This was an epic battle and a tremendous game. These two armies are radically different and the game format: one objective/pitched battle, made for an intense display of each armies strengths and weaknesses. Tau basically consisted of the cheaper commander with 3 body guards, everyone was packing missles and plasma. 2 other crisis suit teams were packing the same. 2 teams of 3 broadsides with the rail guns and missles, a hammerhead, 2 pirahnas with drones and fusion gun, 2 teams of 16 kroot(rifleman and hounds), kroot had the 6+ save and no bonding knife, also there was a team of pathfinders and one squad of fire warriors in a devilfish. Space Wolves had a very hybrid list: a rune priest with jaws and murderous hurricane with 9 grey hunters(power fist, mark of the wulfen, melta gun, wolf banner) 4 razorbacks with las cannon and twin linked plasma gun, 5 grey hunters with mark of the wulfen and one melta, 2 squads of long fangs with 5 x missle launchers, a wolf lord on a thunderwolf mount with the belt of russ(4+ invul), 2 x lightning claws, talisman and Saga of the Warrior Born with 9 or 10 dogs, a wolf guard battle leader on a thunderwolf mount with a storm shield, frost blade, talisman and sage of the wolfkin with 9 or 10 dogs)Tau win roll for turn and takes side with 3 level building terrain in corner where his objective is.Tau deploys everything...basically the pathfinders and a team of broadsides are on the top levels of the 3 story building in his right corner, they can snipe from here. the devilfish is also in the cornermore to come
The crisis suits teams, other broadside team and the hammerhead all started on the back middle and were behind the two squads of Kroot that were strung out to meatshield. There was a piranha on either side of this big clump of shooty death. Fortunately I've seen this deployment before and was fielding a list that had the tools necessary to tear through the bone(kroot), to taste squishy marrow(crisis suits). I deployed with the intention of using as much cover as possible, and to minimize alpha stile casualties. The space wolves placed the rhino opposite of the enemy objective. The wolf lord with the lightning claws and wolves were near the rhino but in a large terrain granting them a cover save for the dogs. I failed to mention that I had a lone wolf terminator with chain fist, storm shield and 2 wolves, I put him in cover to the right of the wolf lord. 2 razorbacks were also placed opposite the enemies objective, but farther back and well behind cover. a squad of long fangs were placed in the middle back, in cover, another atop a taller building on my right. 2 razorbacks were in my far right corner on top of the objective.I
With both forces fully deployed, the fire works were certain to launch early and often. I rolled to seize initiative and.....6!!!!!Seized, the space wolves will go first!The rhino goes 12 inches, directly at the enemy. The lone wolf and wolf lord move forward and farther into cover. The razorback moves around it's cover and positions itself for a las cannon shot. The long fangs stand still. The ride side razors scoot up and position for a las shot as well. The wolf guard battle leader and dogs also move up and diagonal left to stay in cover.Shooting:rhino pops smoke, long gangs drop one of the broadside models with a double toughness wound. The long fangs on the right shake/stun the piranha opposite them. The razorbacks on the left immobilize the piranha near the enemy objective. I run both wolf packs and the lone wolf. Seize
No assault. Tau' turn.
Tau 1: The Space Wolves did real damage stealing initative. The Center of the board was terrain heavy, three or four pieces of connected industrial area terrain, some dangerous and impassable to vehicles. The piranahs were perfectly positioned to stop the Space Wolfs at one or both gaps in the terrain on either side of the board. Most importantly to the Tau was the right flank where the three story building and the tau objective became the center of the battle - it was imobilized and the 2nd was shaken/stunned on the left. Broadsides in the center took a causalty to a lascannon (no drones...) they also rolled poorly for movement and were efectively neutralized in turn 1 shooting. The Tau army carefully advanced. Hammerhead in the center-left moved towards the center-right but stayed outside of poissible assault distance, initally planed as a 3rd/4th blocker unit, the loss of the piranahs advanced this units role. General Oadius doesnt like Hammerheads, and the tank was now a primary target - next turn it could block either side of the Space Wolf Army single handedly. Crisis suits jumped into position and Kroots creeped forward precisely - in a nice thin line just outside of Wolf assault range. They were the primary layer of defensive wrap for the entire Tau Gunline after the piranahs. Firewarriors in pathfinder Devilfish creeped into fireing range with SMS.Tau army opened fire en masse at the closest threat: Wolf Lord on right flank with wolfclaws and 10 buffalos in cover. They would be able to multicharge both kroot units and probably the hammer head if they had great movement rolls next turn. Pathfinders with markerlights for +BS and -Cover, three units of fireknife crisis suits, and the hammerhead template plus roughly 13 failed saves saw that unit wiped right off the board. The nearby charging Rune Priest rhino was also destroyed (snipered by red broadside team leader hanging out in right flank objective building) spilling out a fully armed SW Gurka Team. Even with the early losses the Tau shooting stopped the SW army cold for any assaults on turn 2, but didnt damage the considerable SW firebase getting ready for turn 2 shooting...
With the rhino popped in turn 2, the rune priest and gurka unit came out from behind the wrecked rhino to position themselves to jaws of the world wolf into the enemy hiding in their stronghold. The left rhinos moved forward 6 inches. The rhinos on the right unloaded a squad of grey hunters onto the objective and moved forward to support the wolf guard battle leader. The wolf guard battle leader and his dogs abandoned the old cover and began to move right towards the advancing enemy formation. An anxious Lone Wolf jumped from one cover to another, determined to make it through the shooting that was sure to come next turn. The long fangs once again stood still in order to shoot their heavy weapons. With a general advance completed by all offensive UNITs the shooting turn phase began. Shooting
I meant razorbacks, the only rhino was wrecked