Friday, February 25, 2011

Dundracon 2011: Round 1 - Eldar vs. Tau

The first game of the tournament was a modified Seize Ground mission using table quarters. Objectives could NOT be placed in the same corners that both players deployed in. There wasn't a lot of line-of-sight-blocking terrain besides a large, round storage tank of some kind.

I drew Keith and his awesome-looking Tau army (Keith went on to win the best painted category for the tournament).

Not only was I jazzed to see a Tau army being played, it was a list that I'd always been curious about: the dreaded Markerlight List. Composed primarily of battlesuits and a sky ray, every unit that could take markerlights in this army did so, and many of the suits had shield drones as well.

Well this was definitely not the type of list I had prepared for! However I wasn't too worried... yet. He had no devilfish, and those fire warriors were just begging to be webbed up by my night spinners.

Mistake Number One.
We rolled off and I gave the Tau 1st turn. I knew that sitting in the open while he took pot-shots at me would be a mistake... but I did it anyway! Putting my night spinners on the table, I was able to tuck one out of line-of-sight behind the storage tank in my quarter. The remaining two I pushed into that corner as far back as they could go, forgetting the 72 inch range of the Broadsides. The rest of my army I put into reserve.

Why this is bad?
As I said, if you are going second, sitting your Eldar tanks out in the open is a big mistake, leaving the Broadsides a free, clear shot at bringing down your tanks. Better to keep EVERYTHING in reserve, denying him a round of shooting.

The result: two of my Night Spinners went down without a shot fired. DUH.

Mistake Number Two.
I also failed to keep the pressure on his foot-slogging fire warriors. In a scenario whose victor is determined by Troops, I didn't spend a lot of time putting pressure on his troops. Instead I ended up dropping Doomweaver templates on his suits, hoping for lucky kills. 

Why this is bad? 
Well, he was able to string out one of his units to cover two objectives. A couple more wounds on that unit and he wouldn't have been able to do that. I'm not sure what the current official stance is on such a maneuver, but since I had zero Troops left at the end of the game, it was a moot point.

By turn 6, I had one immobilized, gunless Night Spinner on the table. Everything else was dead, evaporated by BS 4 or 5 shots without the benefit of cover saves.

I could have made more effective use of my skimmers, if only by using them as fast-moving walls to block off my other units. I didn't think of this until later.

Another thought was to keep my dire avengers in their transports and simply move 18 or more inches every turn, swapping objectives, giving them 4+ cover saves, at the very least.

Tau Battle Points: 17
Eldar Battle Points: 5

Reeling and bruised, I queued up for round two...


  1. Ouch! 2 things really spring out at me (well othere than the fact you gave TAU the first turn!) and that's you say you thought about keeping the avengers in their tanks - Mine never ever ever get out (in fact if i do it pretty much means we're toast) - they're ludicrously easy to kill. The otyher is your tanks only need to move 12.1" (i.e. over 12) to get the cover save (common misconception - it's only Jet bikes that have to move at least 18" to get cover).

  2. That's a good point, though it became moot. When using cover or flat-out saves on my vehicles, they were all reduced to 5+ via markerlights. Every transport was demolished, so at most my avengers were able to stay within their vehicles for a single round.

    I should point out that my fire dragons did very well this game. For the first time ever. They brought down suits, drones and the sky ray and more than earned back their points, instead of just exploding upon arrival like they usually do.