Friday, 3 March 2017

Friday Night double header! 
God Machines walk the earth again! 

 So two battle reports for you this week as the Epic crew came together to test out some of the new toys for Squats and Tau. You will notice a more explicit activation by activation format this time which is a reflection of what's needed for bat reps to support list development but I'll put a turn summary at the end of each one so that you can still get the narrative overview which is often lost in an activation by activation recount. 

Game 1 - Squats 1.6 Developmental Vs AMTL

The lists:

Squat Thunders w/ 4 Zerkers + 2 Thunderfires + Rhinos Squart Zerks w/ 4 Zerkers + Termites Squat Zerkers w/ Rhino 3 x Overlord Airship with Flak Autocannon Bikers Guild + Grand Warlord Bikers Guild Colossus w/ Living Ancestor + Flak Autocannon Land train w/ 2x Zerkers cars + Siege Mortar

The main changes in the new version of the list are the integration of thunderfires into the core warrior units, a slight points bump to the Berzerker units, a slight bump to the speed of bikers and a serious nerfing of the overlord airships. The war engines haven't changed hugely but the list now has much less long range firepower and potential for activation spam than it had before.

The Titans

Legio Gryphonicus (NetEA v3.24 *APPROVED*) ================================================== REAVER TITAN [675] Apocalypse Missile Launcher, Laser Blaster, Gatling Blaster REAVER TITAN [725] 2 Volcano Cannon, Laser Burner, Legate WARHOUND TITAN PACK [575] 3 Turbo-laser Destructor, Plasma Blastgun WARHOUND TITAN [300] 2 Inferno Gun, Single Weapon System Surcharge WARHOUND TITAN [275] Vulcan Megabolter, Plasma Blastgun CRUSADER SCOUT MANIPLE [150] 4 Crusader Robots THUNDERBOLT SQUADRON [150] 2 Thunderbolts THUNDERBOLT SQUADRON [150] 2 Thunderbolts

This is an interesting Titan build to me because it's warhound heavy rather than including triple reaver as most do in my experience. Even the reavers aren't overly loaded and you might notice the distinctive lack of plasma death reaver and double quake reaver. It makes for a much more aggressive and mobile titan force.

Game Setup

Turn 1
Squats win strat rolloff and give first turn to the Titans. 

Titans - robot unit on overwatch 
Squats moved bikes up to cover position behind large hill 
Titans - Gatling reaver doubles forward and snipes off two bikes. 
Squat thunderers went on to overwatch (blitzgaurd unit) 
Titans - inferno cannon warhound tripled forwards towards the central craters 
Squats - overlord doubled forwards to bring battlecannons in range stripping a single shield off the advancing warhound. 
Titans - warhound pack doubles forwards into ruins on the RHS unleashing a hail of turbo laser shots into the Squat Goliath stripping its shields but 3 remaining hits bounced off its resilient hide. 
Titans retain with the volcano reaver doubling forwards to blast the weakened Goliath blasting 4 DC off it, leaving it with 2 remaining. 
Squat land train sustained onto warhound pack (right) doing a single shield... 
Titan lone wolf standard warhound doubled to put a dc of damage onto the central overlord. 
Squat overlord advanced and shot standard warhound (centre) for 1 shield 
Titan thunderbolts bombed the wounded overlord which became broken and doubled forward. 
Squat overlord 3 advanced to shoot the lone wolf warhound taking another shield off. 
Titans last activation sees a second thunderbolt unit snipe off the broken overlord in the middle 
Squats finish the turn with a failed bike unit activation in the middle of the table (who would have engaged the lone wolf warlord with 2 overlords in support!) and a failed activation by the berserker unit in the middle 

Rally phase - everything on both sides rallied. 

On the left rhinos loaded with berzerkers square off against a warhound titan whilst on the right the "lone wolf" warhound breaths out, overlords came to the party but the biker unit failed to activate so that engage never happened. 

Turn summary - a fairly conservative advance and posturing for positioning but you can see the squats poised to strike some key engagements and ultimately robbed of some key opportunities in the first turn. The changes to the new squat list also came through heavily with the reduced range on the overlords making them advance more aggressively and expose themselves to more risk. The warhound/volcano reaver move was really well planned and potentially devastating but the colossus would live to see turn 2. So much would come down to the activation roll in turn 2.  

Turn 2 

Squats win strat roll again! 
Squat Goliath marshals regaining its void shields and shedding blast markers. Whilst remaining behind the woods 
Squats retain and launch an engagement with the central berserker unit breaking a warhound and taking a DC off it at the same time (photo) 
Titan volcano reaver sidesteps to draw a bead on an overlord bringing it down with a crit
Titans retain for the warhound pack to advance and take 2DC off the last overlord using turbolasers (1 supressed) 
Squats advance with the Land train up next to lone wolf warhound in the middle dropping a single shield with their firepower 
Squats retain with the bike unit who failed to activate last turn to engage the warhound killing it with the support fire of the train to help. 
Titan thunderbolts fly through the colossus autocannon flak to snipe the last DC off the broken overlord. 
Squat bikers on the left double advance to make a screen against the leftmost reaver (photo)
Titans - the same reaver Titan steps slightly to the side to engage the berserker  formation who killed the warhound earlier and took up positions in the crater. Who were wiped from the board despite squats rolling double 6 and the reaver rolling double 1... the reaver takes up position on the central objective. 
Squats Blitzgaurd berserker formation advances double into the central killing ground to threaten the reaver who just wiped out their brethren. Blitz gaurd duties left with the thunder fire cannons who would remain quiet due to clear skies in their sector. 
Titan robots and thunderbolts would finish off the turn by both failing to activate. 

On the left everything is turning messy as squats pour out of everywhere to challenge the reaver whilst the right looks a lot more safely in the hands of the god machines. 

Rally phase - everything on both sides rallied 

Turn 2 summary - a much more dramatic turn with one warhound going down to engagement and another broken but rallying. 3 overlords would snuff it too as their reduced range combined with their permanently popped up rules would see them targeted heavily by Titan firepower. Interestingly only one was killed outright with the others being killed whilst broken already to blast marker overkill. Berserkers forwards into more aggressive positions would also make for an interesting turn 3 and squats  would use the newly improved speed to great use in engagement. 

Turn 3 
Berserkers pop out of their tunnellers right under the central crater where the left most reaver is sitting leaving 1 reaver to contest half a table by itself. Ouch. 
Titans win the roll off and launch a decisive blow with the warhound pack who use their recharged plasma blastgun and turbolasers to finish off the squat colossus (BTS) 
Titans retain with the leftmost reaver who flees the tide of berserkers popping out of the ground casually annihilating the left most bike unit during its flight with Gatling laser death. 
Squat land train would advance on the right hand side putting a blast marker on the warhound guarding the Titan blitz followed by a retain with the biker unit who engage the warhound breaking it and watching it double forwards to block squats from advancing to the leftmost objectives. (Photo) 

Game called 2-1 Titans favour at this point. Titans have BTS and Defend the Flag, squats have Defend the flag and no chance of contesting more objectives with their remaining activations. 

Turn 3 Summary - A really aggressive turn but not one that worked out well for the squats. Having lost most of their firepower with the overlords and the colossus going down without inflicting much it was all about engagements to make decisive moves this round. Fearless titans don't die to FF engagements though so the question was more about board control and positioning and the titans just had too much of a lead for those engagements squats did win to make a difference. Squats take one more step towards final extinction.

                       Game 2 - Tau Voir'la Vs AMTL
The Army

Tau Voir’la 3000pts
5x Crisis Battlesuits + Drones + Supreme Commander
5x Crisis Battlesuits + Drones
Recon Skimmers – 4 Tetras and 1 Piranna
Recon Skimmers – 4 Tetras and 1 Piranna
Stealth Teams – 6 Suits + Cadre Fireblade + Drones
Supremacy Suit
Supremacy Suit
6 Hammerhead Gunships + Skyray (BTS Formation)
Orca Transport
Orca Transport
Tigershark AX-10

Baracudda Fighters

The basic Tau plan was to spread the titans out at much as possible and they clearly had the opposite intention to group together and focus on half the board. 

Turn 1
Titans win initiative
Kick off turn with a failed thunderbolt cap roll who stand down. 
Tau show them how it's done by putting barracudas on cap. 
Titans fail to learn lesson by failing to cap with the second unit thunderbolts but the sup com steps in to end the shenanigans. 
Tau begin operation slow bro by bringing on an orca to pick up a unit of something at the end of the turn. 
Titans play the stalling game moving putting crusader bots around 
Tau play it better by mirroring the crusaders with their tetra unit that generally goes in a circle on the spot. 
Titan Gatling reaver advances double into the central terrain piece. 
Tau continue to stall with stealth teams moving around in a circle. 
Titan with volcanos doubles forward and snipes off two of the right most tetras at extreme range breaking the unit. 
Tau suits with sup com on my left sneak forward behind the craters to contest the leftmost objective. 
Titan warhound pack triple moves into the tau half on the RHS 
Tau crisis suits wander around to get into the previously landed orca. 
Titan inferno warhound doubles up to hide behind his reaver friends. 
Tau orca no2 lands to collect the stealth team ready to fly off again 
Titan lone wolf warhound tripled forwards to threaten the tau blitz. 
Tau are all on their own now. Tetras advance, hammerheads reposition, supremacy suits both sustain on the volcano cannon reaver dropping 3 of its shields and the ax10 finishes the turn with a colossal 2 hits (1 shield) on the volcano reaver. 

Rally phase - orcas leave uncontested as does the AX10. Thunderbolts take flak but survive it. The volcano reaver sheds all blast markers due to having a legate and the tau tetra unit fails to rally. 

Turn Summary - Tau largely stall for turn 1 using their activation advantage to seek an opportunity to do some notable damage. Sadly the titans were hugging the hell out of area terrain in the middle limiting the Tau capacity to do much real damage. The BTS felt super vulnerable and I couldn't seem to get markerlights and follow up shots to work well together meaning the damage I was doing was fairly superficial. The Orcas were all loaded up now so some good hits could be coming next turn. 

Both sides have essentially square off and take ground with titans up one end of the board and tau down the other trying to find ways to take good shots with minimal risk. 

Turn 2 
Tau win intitiative and use a supremacy suit to snipe the regenerated shield off the volcano reaver (BTS) 
Titans Marshall the volcano reaver who regens all his shields again
Titans retain with the thunderbolts on Cap who fail again. 
Tau sup com crisis suits continue to advance up the extreme left of the field. 
Titans warhound pack doubles forwards onto the undefended tau Blitz and blast the activated supremacy suit who dies to plasma death. 
Tau supremacy suit sustains on the second reaver doing nothing. 
Titan thunderbolts go onto Cap after the sup com steps in again. 
Tau hammerheads pop up to shoot the warhounds camping on our blitz but manage only a single scratch. 
Titan double inferno doubles forward to snipe the broken supremacy suit killing it with  blast markers and wiping out the broken tetras with the same. 
Tau respond with an orca worth of crisis suits who drop down to blast that warhound into oblivion with markerlight macro and conventional shots. 
Titan crusader scouts go on overwatch 
Tau barracudas fly on to blast the crusaders off their bts doing 3 hits which all bounce off the 6+ armour saves... what tha?
Titans respond with an aggressive Gatling reaver advance which targets the suits who just dropped out of the orca killing 2 and breaking the unit through disrupt hits. 
Tau tetras advance on the double to markerlight the warhounds sitting on the Tau blitz. 
Titan lone wolf Titan doubles forwards and evaporates two scout tetras with his plasma and Vulcan bolter 
Tau stealth suits land to engage the warhound Titans on the blitz inflicting a wound but losing 2 in return. They win combat by 2 but lose the roll off and get broken with the Titans now in firm control of the blitz. This would essentially be the game losing move for the Tau. 
The AX10 came on under the flak bubble of the skyray who shoots down a thunderbolt but the ax10 succumbs to the remaining thunderbolt. 
The spaceship finishes the turn but managing 2 hits on the unsheidled warhound Titan pack and then manages two single TK damage which reduces one of them to a wound but kills nothing. Breaking the unit. Stupid spaceship. 

Rally phase - Tau stealth suits rally but the central crisis suits fail as do the remaining tetras 

Game called due to time with an agreement that the Titans have a safe hold on the Tau Blitz and take and hold objectives. They were also in good chance to take the tau BTS so it's really a question of whether it's 2-0 or 3-0. 

Turn Summary - A really tough turn for Tau overall. In my mind the build that I'm running lives or dies on a few key engagements. The first orca drop did it's job with markerlights helping them to wipe out a warhound titan nicely though having them broken by some above average shooting hurt a lot. When all the hits bounced off the crusader robots holding the bltiz that objective got shut down hard and the stealth team bouncing as well just really nailed the lid on the ol coffin. Two more broken titan formations and tau troops positioned to threaten more objectives would have helped the original plan to spread them out but with the losses we took that just wasn't an option and the Titans could concentrate on a few key objectives easily. All things considered the same pattern I've encountered with Tau so far just played out again, they just don't hit hard enough in my mind and I'm yet to find a build that can do that. 

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