Monday, May 15, 2017

FIESTA OF FURY UPDATE: Adjusting the army list - What went right, what went wrong and HOW DID I NOT KILL TAU IN %@^&# MELEE!?

I ran the latest version of my Alpha Legion army list yesterday against a friend's Tau army. I'll protect his identity by not using his real name, so I'll just call him "Geno". Anyways, Geno is also taking part in the FIESTA OF FURY~! this Saturday so he was using his own tournament list. I'll provide a brief summary for those that are not used to how the Tau play these days:

HQ: An under-costed Commander with 15 Gun Drones as his bodyguards. Capable of laying down nearly 40 shots at a range of 18" and hitting on a roll of 2.

Fast Attack: Ghostkeel Battlesuits. Anywhere from 3 to 6 of them in an army, Stealth save even in the open and packing a melta gun as their "secondary" weapon.

Heavy: Broadsides. These are the suits with the big railgun on the shoulder, or just lots and lots of missiles....that don't need line of sight to hit you.

Elite/Heavy (honestly can't remember what slot they use): Riptides. Big, BIG suits with big, BIG guns. Capable of wiping out an entire flank in one turn of shooting.

Oh, right, and a dozen teeny, tiny Fire Warriors. Compared to my list I was bringing Hacksaw Jim Duggan's taped fist to a gunfight while my opponent was 200 miles offshore with the Railgun equipped Battleship from Transformers 2. And just like in that piece of cinematic mastery, I had my testicles shot off after my units joined together to form disappointment.

Here's the breakdown of what worked, what didn't and what last minute changes I'm making before officially submitting my army list to the Tournament Organizer tomorrow:

What Failed Horribly

The Chosen: Start of game, infiltrate and pull off a 10" move up the field with the Mindveil. Not perfect, but good enough to unload 5 S7 AP2 shots into the Broadsides before they get a chance to fire. What happens? 2 guns get hot and the rest either fail to hit or fail to wound. Woof. Unit gets wiped off the table by the Broadsides on the next turn.

My second unit? Outflanked, were able to get into a good position for an initial volley in rapid fire range! 10 plasma shots this time from one unit! No wounds on the SAME UNIT OF BROADSIDES NOT EVEN IN COVER! Oddly enough, had the Chosen units been equipped for close combat, they would have been more effective.

Raptors: Failed a key pinning check, the points investment to make them effective is too prohibitive. I mean, they're good and all, just not good enough when my troops are also stupid fast.

The Changeling: This one is actually a "didn't live long enough to really see how he would work" issue. I whiffed my Flickering Fire attack with him, but that's because I got greedy with the psychic dice. It's more a case of

Lack of killing power: The army was excellent at pulling off a "bend, don't break" style of gameplay. The Tau were kept on their half of the board, and since the secondary was based off of objectives, it wasn't for a lack of trying to advance. The issue was just simply tying down the Tau units in combat and not being able to finish them off, while my ranged firepower was....a bit lacking.

What Worked Awesomely

Psykers: My two Alpha Legion Sorcerors went all in on Geomortis. That paid off really, really well. The primaris on that tree causes an enemy unit within 18" to take a dangerous terrain test with no armor saves allowed. Doesn't sound like much, but that's a lot of potential damage for a minimal die investment. Being able to move terrain around and mess with line of sight can be game-winning. The Herald of Nurgle was a good surprise too, as he was able to shut down overwatch. The entire Plague Discipline actually has some good utility spells, so I'll be doubling up on Heralds of Nurgle.

Fearless Cultists: A classic of mine. A unit of 30 Cultists were able to hold an objective all game before tying up the Ghostkeels. Even against Tau in a kill point mission, they were able to hold strong.

Alpha Legion: The army-specific items (Mindveil and Icon of Insurrection) were very useful. Infiltrating Chosen and Cultists allowing me to Outflank in a Kill Point mission would be even better against a non-Tau army. Getting to choose a new Warlord when my first died? Complete with a new Warlord trait? Worked perfectly.

What's Being Adjusted:

Demon Engines: Dropping the Plague Drones (which worked, but didn't at the same time) for two Helbrutes. Helbrutes are basically the Chaos Marine equivalent of a Dreadnought and come standard with a Multi-Melta (24" S8 AP1 gun) and a Power Claw (S10, strikes at Initiative 4). That adds some killing power. Oh, and adding in a Heldrake, the flying demon chicken capable of 4 S8 AP4 shots and the best "fly by" attacks in the game. Gives me a way to deal with other flyers, just in case.

Melee Weapons: In goes a Herald with a sword of Instant Death, out goes some Plasma Guns to have Chosen with Power Weapons.

Not being stupid with the Portalgylph: I placed it far too forward. Instead of sending forward spawned demons, I need to send the Cultists forward and just spawn objective holders. Lesson learned.

No matter the game you're playing, if it's a CCG, a miniatures game or even an online game, let yourself be flexible. Recognize what is and what is not working then make adjustments. Don't stubbornly try to ram a square peg into a round hole. Especially if you're a Hanzomain, Widowmaker main or a Heroes of the Storm Genjimain, realize that you suck and try to change your strategy.

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