Witch Hunters With Inducted Versus Tau

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This is my second Inquisitor and Buddies Vs Tau battle report I have played recently. This time the Tau player has fielded a far more mechanized (moveable) army.

Army Lists

I used roughly the same list as in this battle report, although the heavy bolter servitors were exchanged for multi-melta servitors, dropping the acolyte for points.
My opponent brought a near-fully mechanized Tau army:
  • 1 fireknife HQ, with stim-injectors
  • 1 railhead, with multi-tracker, targetlock, decoys, SMS.
  • 1 skyray, w/ 2 burstcannons, target array, multi-tracker, decoy launcher
  • 2x 12 Firewarriors + devilfish (SMS, targetlock, decoy launcher)
  • 1x Ethereal + Honourguard + devilfish (Burst Cannon & Drones, target lock, decoy launcher)
  • 8 pathfinders (5 markers, 3 railrifles) + devilfish (SMS, targetlock, decoy launcher)

Terrain

We went to the local Battle Bunker, and picked a jungle table. With all the indirect fire, this was certainly to my opponent's advantage. There was a lot of jungle (area terrain), with a fairly wide open space in the middle of the table, with a river running down the length of the table, snaking to the left inside my opponent's deployment zone. To make things interesting, we decided that there were carniverous alien fishes in the river, and any infantry models would treat the river as dangerous terrain.

Mission

We rolled a '5' on the table, Take and Hold. Fortunately, there was a large rock in the middle of the table, which we called the objective. We rolled an Omega mission, which meant that most of my opponent's force started off the table... No dusk or dawn though.

Deployment

I won the roll, and graciously allowed my opponent to deploy first. He put his lonely pathfinder devilfish on the table, to the right of a rocky outcrop. This would prove entertaining....
I tried to keep most of my army together, with only the Calidus, Rough Riders and Armoured Fist squads in reserve. I positioned two units of stormtroopers, and two penitent engines on the right side of the river, and everything else centered, with either a clear route to the objective, or able to lay down covering fire around that area (the Inquisitor deployed in a jungle, and sat there).
For his scout move, the pathfinder flew around the outcrop, and deployed it's cargo.
SparkeyG won the dice-off for first turn, and graciously allowed me to go first, as he had next-to-nothing to be shot.

Top of 1

With only one target on the table, my penitent engines took off charging towards the pathfinders. One got a good rage roll, and so was able to move up to about mid-table. Everything else advanced.

Bottom of 1

The pathfinders lit up the penitent engine with a bunch of markerlight hits, but the railrifles and SMS failed to hurt it.

Top of 2

My reserve rolls got me one armoured fist squad. I rolled it towards the middle, and disembarked. My guys moved forwards, with the penitents about a turn away from the pathfinders.

Bottom of 2

My opponent gets everything except the Ethereal's devilfish. He enters the table cautiously, all in the far left corner. The Pathfinders hop into their Devilfish, and fly back around to the right side of the rocky outcrop.

Top of 3

I get my Rough Riders and Assassin. She reveals herself in the left corner with all the skimmers. Most of my troops are already close enough to the objective, so they just mill about. One Penitent engine now has the left-corner hammerhead as it's closest target and charges that way, the other two circle around the outcrop to try and pin the Pathfinder's fish down. The assassin shreds the Tau Commander, Skyray and a Devilfish, stunning both hulls, before charging the commander, taking two of his four wounds.

Bottom of 3

The last Devilfish shows up. The skimmers that can move do so, slowly coming out of their corner. The Railhead shoots at, but misses, the penitent engine that's charging it. In assault, the assassin hops out of combat. The Pathfinder's ride hops back to the left of the Rocks.

Top of 4

The last Chimera shows up, On the far left, to take shots at a Devilfish. It manages to shake it. The Penitent engine that's been chasing the Pathfinders gets in range to charge, but only manages to shake the skimmer. The assassin shreds the commander, devilfish and skyray again, only shaking the two skimmers this time, before she charges and kills the commander. She sits out in the open waiting to die.

Bottom of 4

The Pathfinder's devilfish runs away, towards the other skimmers. The Hammerhead kills the penitent engine that's been closing on it. Other skimmers shoot, and kill, the Callidus.

Top of 5

My guys shuffle a bit, to make sure that as many as possible are near the objective. Penitents chase, but don't get to, the Pathfinders.

Bottom of 5

The hammerhead shoots one of the remaining penitents, exploding it. The Devilfish shoots the other, immobilizing it. The ever-cautious tau finally come out of their corner, towards the objective. Some SMS shots are fired over the jungle and kill a few zealots. The skyray kills the emtpy Chimera with seeker missiles.

Top of 6

My Chimera shot, and blew-up the Ethereal's Devilfish. 7 Firewarriors died in the crash, and there was much rejoycing, as finally we had killed anything. Other stuff milled about, waiting. I think I had 6 scoring units close enough to the objective to count.

Bottom of 6

The Tau move to the objective en-masse. They shoot at sutff, killing more zealots (13 left), and dropping 4 stormtroopers from the melta-gun squad. Meltaguns are left, but they run away... He managed to get four units close to the objective too, compared to my five (at this point)...
But, we rolled the Random Game Length, and the game continued.

Top of 7

Well, now the game gets interesting, as we're all in close proximity to each other. Finally. My units shot, lots of plasma (my plasma servitor missed on a '2', re-rolled (via sages) a '1' and blew itself up... I landed about eight or nine glancing hits on his ships, never rolling more than a two for results. Assault was a little more productive; My zealots charged the hammerhead, cutting off the railgun, and stunning it. My rough riders launched themselves at a devilfish, dropping it, killing 7 of the firewarriors in the crash (and entangling them).

Bottom of 7

The Ethereal & remaining honourguard start hoofing it to the fight. Many of his ships cannot fire. The undamaged Firewarriors disembark and shoot the zealots, killing them to a man, and sticking a wound on the priest. The Pathfinders also hopped out, and fired at some stormtroopers, but they only killed one. The skyray fired at the other stormtrooper squad, killing all but one, who ran.
Random game length says... another turn.

Top of 8

My Rough riders climb through the wreckage of the Fish they just downed and assault the unharmed firewarriors, killing three for no casualties, but the Tau don't break (in spite of a re-roll in hopes that they would). The priest charges the hammerhead again, landing two hits, killing it's last remaining weapon and immobilizing it. Random fire throughout the turn killed three pathfinders and some guns on ships.

Bottom of 8

Pathfinders fire on the stormtroopers again, but fail to kill anyone. The skyray and the no-longer-entangled firewarriors fire on my armoured fist squad, killing exactly half of them... In combat, two firewarriors and two rough riders die.
Random Game Length: End of Game.

Results

Within 12" of the objective, I have my inquisitor's squad, an armoured fist squad, rough riders, and a unit of stormtroopers. My opponent has a unit of firewarriors, pathfinders, and a skyray.

Points from mission:

Him: 160+ 120 + 126=406
Me: 190+ 66 + 95 + 80=431

Points from fighting:

Him:80 * 4 (2 penitent engines, 2 stormtrooper squads) + 90 (chimera) + 40 (immobilized penitent) + 100 (half for zealots) + 120 (Callidus)=670
Me: 115 * 2 (2 Devilfish) + 60 (1/2 firewarriors) + 90 (1/2 hammerhead) + 122 (Shas'O) + 66 (1/2 Honour guard)=568

Total:

Tau: 1076
Witchhunters: 999

Result:

Draw

Thoughts

I really don't like playing Mech Tau much. This is sad, as it's SparkeyG's favorite way to play Tau, and he's my most frequent opponent. It's not that it's a hard game, it's that it's a boring game (in my opinion) . My opponent (wisely) refused to engage anywhere on the board until turn 6. Without the Random Game Length, there would have been nearly no fighting at all, just a few potshots here and there. I realize that Mechanized Tau works; it's an effective way to play the army. But, I just don't think it's all that fun. I'd rather play a wargame than hide & seek.Article image
Even still, my opponent played well - the only thing I would have done differently in his shoes would have been to disembark the firewarriors on turn 6 rather than turn 7, try try and negate my ability to hit back if there was an extra turn. As it happens, my return fire wasn't that impressive anyway, as I couldn't roll a decent result from any of 8 or 9 glancing hits that turn.
I don't think I could have done anything differently. I avoided hanging any units (other than the penitent engines, who you can't control) out to be picked off individually, and basically just waited for him to come to the objective. Without much long-range fire (and especially on a table with loads of line-of-sight blocking terrain), there's not much else Witchhunters can do.
I'll probably replace the armoured fist squads with infantry platoons as soon as more Vostroyans come out, because I'd rather start the guard on the table, and ride the short-ranged stormtroopers in the chimeras, but at the moment, I don't have enough guard painted to pull that off...
 




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