Dawn of War with Capture and Control were used for the mission – so night fighting first turn, setups to the halfway point of the table, and just two objectives – one for each sides CCC point. House rules were active, in that chaos daemons could be used from the Chaos Daemons codex, but had to be summoned on as per the Chaos Space Marines codex, and took up a slot in the force organisation table.
The Tau won deployment, for what it was worth – only a HQ choice and two troops choices can deploy in the scenario – all the rest wait in reserve! Commander Farsight deployed with a unit of 12 fire warriors in a Devilfish in an aggressive posture, while a unit of 6 fire warriors held their Command point objective in a crater at the landing point.
The Chaos Marines set in a more defensive postion, with a large unit of Thousand Sons marines by their Command location in a crater, and a rhino with a Chaos sorcerer and another unit of Thousand Sons ready to roll next to them. Over half the Chaos army was already on the board, while less than a third of the Tau could deploy!
The Tau started tentatively, advancing the devilfish, and launching a few cautious shots at the unit in the crater from Commander Farsight’s team of Crisis suits to little effect.
The Chaos troops were incensed by Xenos filth on their planet of secrets, and the Rhino rolled out, unleashing pshychic shooting attacks from the top firepoint! Bolts of change lashed out, dropping two of the crisis suits instantly, with instant death and failed vulnerable saves taking their toll! Commander Farsight was exposed and vulnerable!
Reinforcements began to arrive, with the addition of a unit of fire warriors, drones and a Broadside Battlesuit to the Tau forces. The Fire Warriors, drones and Commander Farsight moved to head off the advancing rhino, with Farsight’s plasma rifle immobilising it! The devilfish dropped off its unit of 12 fire warriors near the centre of the table, preparing to flank the Thousand Sons, and then advanced towards the enemy CCC post.
The Thousand Sons struck back with some decisive moves – a unit of raptors charged onto the table, and were able to catch the unit of Fire Warriors for an assault, butchering them all to the last man! The troops in the immobilised rhino disembarked, pouring forward towards the Tau attack, and finishing Commander Farsight with a psychic assault. A unit of terminators appeared, summoned near the Tau CCC post by chaos sorcery, only to scatter back towards the Tau offensive troops, where they promptly damaged the Broadside battlesuit, and killed all but one of the advancing firewarriors. Things looked bleak for the Tau! A Chaos Lord arrived, and bolstered the defences on the Chaos CCC post, strengthening their overall position.
Reinforcements continued to arrive! In a desperate move to change the game, a unit of drones and a unit of stealth warriors dropped into the Chaos stronghold, in an attempt to take their objective in the crater in the north west. Opening up with a tremendous amount of firepower, almost half the defending marines were annihilated, but as fearless, souless automatons, it wasn’t enough! In the south east, the Tau defenders of their HQ opened up on the raptors, killing four, but the sole survivor refused to break. A unit of crisis battlesuits arrived, and moved to block the terminators from the CC post, opening fire with huge numbers of weapons, but failed to kill a single terminator!
In return, the terminators annihilated the crisis suits and moved back towards the objective, while the chaos troops and sorcerers near the rhino held their ground and annihilated the broadside suit with further psychic strikes. A unit of flamer daemons materialised near the crater where teh Chaos CCC post was esstablished, and annihilated the chaos drones in a tremendouse wave of fire, while the defending chaos troops and chaos lord hurled sorcerous bolter fire at the stealth suits, cutting them down with ease. The Tau strike force was wiped out!
More Tau reinforcements poured on – the last unit were the pathfinders, who should have been leading the way, and instead turned up late to the party! Equipped with heavy weapon railrifles and markerlights, none of them could fire as they moved into a defence of the troubled CCC post.
The last of the Thousand Sons reinforcements also arrived – a Predator tank, equipped with Lascannons and heavy bolters. Rumbling 6″ onto the board, it opened fire on the scout devilfish, immobilising it! The terminators unleashed a hail of fire on the Pathfinders, quickly annihilating them as they advanced towards the objective. Summoned lesser daemons (Flamers of Tzeentch) hurtled up the field, destroying all but one of the remaining drones, while the troops from the Rhino, realising time was running short, ignored the single fire warrior and drone to run towards the Tau objective.
The Tau were on a last ditch, desperate defense of their CCC post, with their few remaining troops mustering a last ditch defense. The devilfish and fire warriors poured fire onto the terminators, but were unable to cause a single wound, with over 15 successful armour saves!
In return, the chaos troops continued their desperate advance, with the flamers and troops hurtling up the field, ignoring scattered survivors of squads to run towards the command post. The chaos terminators advanced around two gun drones from a devilgish, and annihilated one of the two units of defending fire warriors! The predator opened up with a heavy bolter and lascannon against the firewarriors, but cover saves saw them through with a single lost man.
In a shock roll at the end of turn five, the game ended!
Both players still had their starting objectives, so a technical draw, but certainly a moral victory to Chaos, who would have contested the Tau objective by turn 6, if not held it outright.
The game favored the Chaos troop types with the scenario – the higher value troops gave the Thousand sons a much greater initial force than the Tau, and the piecemeal reinforcements made the structured defensive tactics needed to maximise Tau firepower almost impossible to push together. In addition, the Tau are geared up to pin troops and break units from shooting – the largely fearless thousand sons made most of their special weapon advantages worthless! Having said that, tactical errors, like leaving units in charge range of raptors, and the awesome chaos saving throws, particularly for the terminators (not one save, including 5+ invulnerable saves against fusion blasters were failed, while for the Tau not one invulnerable save for 4+ shield generators on crisis suits was passed!) More mobility – perhaps another Rhino would have been needed for the Chaos to be able to switch from defense to offence more effectively.
Great fun was had by all, and another dubious draw by Kipper 🙂