Warhammer 40,000 Battle Report: Imperial Guard vs. Tau
Cadian 17th vs. Tau: E’co Sept (Jon Kissinger)
Mission: Pillars of Hatred, round 5: The Pillars
Deployment: Modified Pitched Battle*
This was the 5th episode of the Pillars of Hatred campaign for the Cadian 17th, who were lured to the dark planet of Bein-Telu by the Renegade Inquisitor, Lord Aki. Dark things lurk on this foul planet, once home to an industrious civilization. Dark forces of Chaos linger in the planet in forms of Pillars that caused the planetary population to turn on each other and hold a civil war.
Lured by the promise of power, Lord Aki was not alone in his ventures, only the first to make planet fall. Having discovered the arriving forces also drawn by either a distress beacon or the call of chaos, he set his plans into motion.
First, the initial recon forces of the Cadian 17th expeditionary forces were lured to a landing zone by Lord Aki. As troops made planet fall, Inquisitor Lord Aki sprung his trap, attacking the loyal imperial force, and catching them by surprise.
During the campaign, they had been ambushed by Inquisitor Lord Aki, and than beset upon by Traitorous forces of Chaos by the Army of the Ten Rings. As a few units made the breakthrough, this led to the disturbing event of Salamander space marines losing forces to chaos. After combining efforts with the Salamanders 2nd company in stopping their cursed brothers, Colonel Dray was than sent to capture the mysterious “Keepers” before the Tau of force Firestorm could.
Escaping with 2 of the Keepers, the secrets garnered from them led to this stage of battle now….the location of the Pillars of Hatred. It would be up to the Cadian 17th to intercept Commander Shas’o Ra’Kel and the E’co Sept Tau forces from controlling or destroying the Pillar of Hatred.
The tactics were good. The plan was sound. It started to work. Than all hell broke loose and the Pillars of Hatred unleashed their Chaotic Hell upon everyone……..
Taking to the field, the Pillar of Hatred stood in its lonesome, surrounded by nothing but craters and debris. Around the pillar were some ruined buildings and scattered woods.
Cadian 17th forces (1500 points consisted of the following):
Troops: Infantry Platoon: command: junior officer with power fist, 2 x melta guns, 1 medi-pack, 1 vox caster
• Infantry squad: vox caster, Melta gun. Commissar (plasma pistol & power weapon)
• Infantry squad: Melta gun.
• Infantry squad: melta gun.
• Heavy weapons team: 2 x Lascannons, 1 Missle Launcher
• Veteran squad: Sgt w/plasma pistol, 3 x plasma guns, (riding in valkyrie)
• Guardsman Dutch (SPC Marbo clone)
• Stormtroopers squad (10), Sgt w/power weapon, Plasma gun, Melta gun (Recon)
Fast attack: Valkyrie Assault Carrier (Lascannon, 2 x missles)
• Leman Russ Demolisher: w/lascannon upgrade
• Leman Russ Battletank: w/lascannon, sponson heavy bolters, HK missle, pintle mounted Heavy Stubber.
Points would be scored as follows:
• Control the Pillar at least 1 turn (by being in base contact with it for 2 consecutive turns), 15 points
• Destroy the Pillar of Hatred (AV14, 2 structure points), 10 points
• Kill enemy commander: 1 point
• Victory Points: Killed: total points/10, modified. Max total: 15 points.
Cadian turn 1: The warp storms were in effect, blinding light causing the same effect as “night fight” rules. The Valkyrie used its scout move to fly flat out and position itself along the right flank. Moving to hit the Hammerhead tank on the side, the Valkyrie moved slightly to fire a krak missle and lascannon, stunning the Tau vessel. Tau units moved as well, Two Devilfish transports came zooming right in to the center by the pillar. (scout moves) and deployed their infantry squads. The Leman Russ battle tank fired and took out two of its weapon systems. The Pillar fired off blue electric beams into each squad, not causing any casualties as of yet.
Commissar Blackledge moved his mob of 30 men from three combined infantry squads forward, urged further along with the aid of Lt. Balken and his infantry squad.
Tau turn 1: The Pillar continued to fire off bolts of energy around. Two troopers from the Cadian 1st platoon fell, but so too did three of the tau warriors. Devilfish moved forward, all Tau that could “see” Cadian forces trying to shoot the large squad, but most attempts failing to find their mark.
Cadian turn 2: With a brief lapse in the warp storm, total confusion set forth as the mystical energies of the Pillars of Hatred caused brother to turn on brother and each allied squad turned and opened fire into their closest ally.
On the Tau side, the Command unit in Crisis battle suits opened fire and annihilated a squad of tau pathfinders closest to the Pillar. Fire warriors immobilized their own transport tank, and another devilfish tank killed two of the fire warriors.
On the Cadian side, Lt. Balken’s squad turned their fire into 1st platoon, and the 25+ strong man unit returned fire. The ensuing lightshow of lasgun fire cut down all of the Infantry command squad except one lone Melta gunner, Corporal Miggins.
The Valkyrie continued to fire into the Hammerhead on the right flank and stunned it yet again. The veteran squad from the Valkyrie deployed, pumping multiple plasma gun fire into the rear of another Devilfish, causing some minor damage.
Tau turn 2: The Pillar of Hatred still continued to cause mayhem and this time warped and teleported each and every unit within 18 inches of it (180 meters?). The Tau forces scattered harmlessly and not very far, basically falling back an average of about 7 inches.
The Cadian forces didn’t fare as well. 1st Platoon, along with Commissar Blackledge, were teleported back and right in front of the large squad of Tau Crisis suits and right out in the open, amid some craters.
The Leman Russ demolisher scattered into a woods and was lost in the warp. Guardsman Dutch also warped. In the Tau shooting phase, burst cannons from the other Hammerhead tank and a devilfish fired at him, but somehow the specialist managed to survive by hugging the ground and diving for cover (suffering 1 wound, going to ground, 6+ cover save, and stealth, giving him a 5+ cover save).
Cadian turn 3: Warp storms again caused confusion, blinding forces from seeing too far. This greatly hampered the Cadian command with the Master of Ordnance as well as the heavy weapons squad nearby.
The Valkyrie positioned to the rear of the Hammerhead on the right flank, still trying to break its rear armor, only having a lascannon left to fire. The veteran squad from the Valkyrie moved up and pumped 7 plasma gun bursts into the rear of the other Devilfish, six hitting it square. They would manage to destroy it, leaving the fire warriors exposed.
Commissar Blackledge again led his men back into assault, this time firing melta guns into the Pillar to no effect, and than attempting to re-establish control once again.
Tau turn 3: The Pillar was unable to shoot this round, but it didn’t matter. The Hammerhead on the Eastern flank gunned down all but one man from the Veteran squad, who dove for cover by some rocky outcroppings.
The Tau command squad along with combined fire from the other units managed to wipe out Commissar Blackledge and his unit. The Fire warriors gunned down Coproral Miggins. With no opposition nearby, the Tau commander SHAS'O RA'KEL led his band of battle suits and established contact with the Pillar of Hatred.
Cadian turn 4: Warp storms again firing around, the Pillar was unleashing large blasts into Tau forces. A few more shield drones were blown apart and a couple of the body guard crisis battle suits.
Guardsman Dutch ran for cover, trying to find a place to get position to help out. But he fell short of grabbing some serious cover in the rocky butte.
The stormtroopers arrived and fired Melta and Plasma gun into the rear of the Devilfish that flew off to the Western flank. Due to the speed of the transport, a killing blow from the melta gun barely missing. (Cover save from skimmer going flat out).
Combined fire from the Leman Russ battle tank and supporting units tried to whittle down the Tau command unit and prevent them from controlling the Pillar of Hatred. The unit survived with Commander SHAS'O RA'KEL and 2 of his body guard still alive, but injured.
The Valkyrie in the North East finally did some damage, and immobilized the Hammerhead and eventually took out its main gun as well.
Tau turn 4: The Hammerhead on the North west opened fire and gunned down Guardsman Dutch (or chased him into cover so deep, he was never coming back out this battle). The other Hammerhead, damaged now, tried to finish off the lone veteran warrior with its burst cannon, but failed to eliminate him.
The Tau Commander finally succeeded. Two full turns (consecutive assault phases) in base contact with the Pillar of Hatred, and established control.
Cadian turn 5: Time running out, and little in the way of options, the Cadian forces fired all they could into the commanding Tau unit. Leman Russ Battle tank cutting down the last 2 warriors and injuring the Tau Commander.
The Master of Ordnance called in an orbital strike, the mark missing the Pillar but scattering right onto the Tau devilfish, destroying it completely.
The stormtroopers advanced in an attempt to gun down the other Hammerhead with their melta gun, but it missed. All they could do was try to kill as many enemy forces as possible now.
Tau turn 5: Tau forces secured control of the pillar, and now decided to attempt to destroy it. Commander Sho’sa swung his Dawn Blade to no avail. The Hammerhead was trying to fire its railgun into the pillar, but no matter what they threw into the pillar, nothing seemed to penetrate it’s outer shell.
Cadian turn 6: Warp storms picked up, and this would spell doom for the Cadian 17th. Heavy weapons teams unable to see their target were unable to fire at the Pillar. Neither could the Master of Ordnance draw aim and call down a strike.
The only unit with any hope was the Leman Russ, and it chose the wrong target ( I chose the pillar and NOT the commander…..my bad). Commander Sho’Sa was injured badly (1 wound left out of 4), but was still alive.
The Stormtroopers fired into the Hammerhead shaking it, extra armor allowing it to continue to move. Colonel Dray looked upon the Pillar, realizing they had loss, he ordered his men to provide covering fire and withdraw their forces.
Tau turn 6: One last desperate gambit to go for maximum points, the Tau tried to destroy the Pillar one last time. The shaken Hammerhead flew off full speed in an attempt to ram the pillar, only to bounce off harmlessly and damage it’s side thrusters. Commander Sho’sa was unable to damage it again with his Dawn Blade.
The battle was over. The Tau forces scored 15 points for controlling the Pillar. They scored an additional 7.5 points for the damage the did to the Cadian 17th. (750 victory points exactly, 750/10 = 7.5) for a total of 22.5.
The Cadian 17th inflicted more damage to the Tau, 1026 points, giving them 10.3 battle points.
Colonel Colwyn Dray pulled his men back. “This did not go as we had planned. This foul chaotic power is nothing we could have made contingencies for.”
As the heavy weapons team pulled back and broke down their gear, the Valkyrie landed. Colonel Dray and his men boarded the transport and made their departure. The Leman Russ Battle tank fired off smoke launchers and used the distraction to make their escape as well.
***** In the end, my tactics and force organization was solid. Had the Pillar not teleported our forces away, the Cadian 17th would have controlled the Pillar first and possibly won the battle. The loss of the Demolisher tank was also unfortunate and robbed the Cadian 17th of some serious firepower.