Is there a weirder pairing than Tau and Orks? Yes there is: Chaos Marines and Grey Knights.
Tau and Orks got a few tweaks from my previous report here, but remained relatively the same; most notable was we swapped out one of the two hammerheads and the Aegis Defense Line for:
1 Crisis suit: 2 x Missile Pod, Early Warning Override
1 Crisis suit: 2 x Missile Pod, Early Warning Override
1 Crisis suit: 2 x Missile Pod, Early Warning Override, Puretide Engram Neurochip
The idea being that this squad will be more versatile in the tank hunter role than the Hammerhead and will also give us some interceptor shots.
Here’s what the unholy alliance brought to the table:
10 x Purifier squad: 3 Incinerators, 1 Psycannon, 1 Daemon Hammer, 5 Halberds
5 x Purifier Squad: 2 Incenerators, 2 Halberds, 1 Daemon
5 x Terminator Squad: 1 Psycannon, Mix of swords and halberds, 1 Daemon Hammer
5x Purgation Squad: 4 Psycannons
Aegis Defense Line
5 x Plague Marines
5 x Plague Marines
20 x Zombies
Defiler: Extra Hades Launcher
So yeah, lots of nasty templates against a list that really doesn’t do well against templates. But whatever, we’re getting our WAAAAGH on! This was a short game of only three rounds since the FLGS where we played was closing early for a holiday (which they neglected to mention until we got there!).
Mission: Purge the Alien
Deployment: Dawn of War
Tau/Orks won the roll of so we deployed first, the Boyz took the middle of the board with a small pocket for the Fire Warriors. Dreads went in front of the Boyz, and Piranha’s provide cover on one flank, and Crisis Suits and the Hammerhead covered the other.
Chaos Marines/Grey Knights spread themselves out a bit more and took positions behind the Aegis. The Vindicator and Defiler were split up on each flank. Crowe and Typhus both hid back a bit waiting for the horde to close before they made themselves targets not wanting to give up warlord points easily.
Pathfinders scouted their way into a ruin which gives them a nice cover save and a good view of most of the battlefield.
Turn One: Tau/Orks
Our plan is simple. We run at them as fast as possible. Tau give cover to the Boyz until they reach assault range, and try to kill the big nasty stuff. Drones detached from the Piranhas and jumped in front of the Boyz while the Piranhas unsuccessfully tried to kill the Vindicator. The Hammerhead and the Crisis Suits leap forward and opened up on the Defiler with everything they had…and only managed one glance and destroyed the large template weapon; not their best day, but that large template was primed to do horrible things to the Boyz, so we counted it as a victory, even if it was a tad hollow. Looks like we won’t be getting first blood.
Turn One: Chaos Marines/Grey Knights
A can full of dakka from the Forge Fiend resulted in an exploded Ork dread that wiped out three Boyz hiding behind it netting Chaos and Grey Knights first blood. Meanwhile Purifiers and Plague Marines focus on killing the drones. Other Purifiers manage to destroy a single Piranha and stun the other. The Vindicator managed to hit six more Boyz, however due to three failed wounds and the Boyz passing their cover save, no more models were pulled from the table.
Now let’s talk about odds: What are the odds of successfully making two “Deny the Witch” rolls? 1/36? Yeah we did that.
Turn Two: Tau/Orks
The amount of damage done by our opponents was surprisingly minimal, pair that fact with five and six inch run rolls in our first turn and we now find ourselves in position to make turn two assaults with nearly completely intact forces! Once again the Tau big guns completely whiffed their shots and failed to remove any enemy artillery, but they were able to kill four terminators, including the thunder hammer, and three flamer packing Purifiers.
Amazingly, the Dakka Jet came in this round instead of sitting out until turn four as he has in every other game up until this point. With all his forces on the table and in prime position it was time for a WAAAAGH!
And a proper WAAGH it was too.The Dakka Jet unleashed a torrent of hot lead upon the Grey Knights while over 30 Boyz crashed over the top of the Aegis Defense Line. The Grey Knights failed their psyker check and did poorly in overwatch which made for an easy assault for the Orks who faced virtually no over watch losses. There’s nothing an Ork loves more than a good scrap and there were many happy Orks that day.
Turn Two: Chaos Marines/Grey Knights
With nearly all of his shooting troops dead or locked in combat the Grey Knights player threw his last terminator into the melee with the Dredd figuring it’s better to charge than to be charged. This goes for Crowe as well who hopped out of terrain in front of the Crisis Suit commander (I made a mistake and got WAAAY to close) and the Defiler who, after being able to remove a single tank hunting Crisis Suit, decided to charge as well. Grey Knights made another attempt at a witch fire attack but were denied again (1/216 odds???). Typhus and friends declined to shoot in order to ensure they made it into combat… which they didn’t by failing a five inch charge. However they were able to remove a second Piranha and a second Ork Dredd through shooting.
Speaking of charges and over watch fire let me first start by saying I’m not a huge fan of over watch shots. Snap shots have horrible odds and those several that do hit are then typically lost to subsequent to-wound and to-save rolls. I think I’ve killed maybe half a dozen models in over watch in the last year?
But this game was different. In an attempt to do what he does best (ok the only thing he really does) Crowe caught a pair of fusion guns while charging into combat and found himself battered after failing his invulnerable saves At the same time the tank hunter Crisis Suits managed to put the final glancing hit on the charging Defiler in their over watch shooting. Consider me a true believer of the power of Tau over watch shooting.
Turn Three: Tau/Ork
With the Grey Knight melee resolved, the Boyz start looking for another target. That’s when they see Typhus and his ilk. Papa Nurgle loves his children and Typhus is one mean mother in close combat so the fire warriors attempted to thin down his body guards. The Crisis Commander’s body guards added their plasma shots which Typhus easily shook off while the Tau Commander’s Fusion guns made short work of the Forge Fiend.
Two Boyz squads charged simultaneously piling nearly thirty green skins onto Typhus and his three remaining Plague Marines. It was beautiful. That was until Typhus laid down his strength four, AP two template and wiped out eight Orks before the Boyz even got to swing.
Turn Three: Chaos Marines/Grey Knights
And this is where our game was cut short. While a lot can happen in another two turns of play it was relatively clear the direction this game was going. The Orks still had a massive amount of Boyz on the table along with a Dakka Jet in the air; the Tau still had all their Pathfinders, a Hammerhead, five Crisis Suits in the enemy back field, and a dozen Fire Warriors.
Our opponents still had Typhus mired in combat, a Vindicator, a squad of zombies, and a few disparate single models scattered across the board. It was fairly clear the day was ours. The game was called.
Tau/Orks: 5 – Warlord, Line Breaker, three dead units
Chaos Marines/Grey Knights: 3 – First blood, two dead units
This was a pretty crushing victory for us, despite the close score and getting cutoff at turn three I could easily see a turn five tabling of our opponents. There is however, always room for improvement. Here are a few of my thoughts and I’m eager to hear what everyone else thinks.
1. Over watch isn’t as bad as I first thought. You shouldn’t rely on it though and focus on staying out of charge range. It saved our bacon by killing Crowe and the Forge Fiend.
2. Our lists work best when everything is moving together instead of splitting us into moving and static portions.
3. There are a couple more tweaks ours lists need, but I think we are 90-95% locked in.
4. The Emperor removes his protection when his sons ally with Chaos. If any of you are planning a GK/CSM list I highly recommend you rethink it; your dice will revolt against you.
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