1850pt Tau vs Ork Battle Report
By Chris Vinton
This week I ran my tau against orks. I'll admit the prospect of running against a close combat army seemed a sure bet for the tau, but with Matt's mech Orks I really had my doubts. 3 AV 14 battle wagons really pushed the weakness of my list. The sept was really in for a rough match with the marked lack of armor punch; this was a true test to my theory that my Riptides are enough to handle AV 14...
Matt plays a pretty standard 5th edition ork list; 3 battle wagons with boys in all and a big mech in one, A trukk with a boss and nob squad of doom, a squad of lootas and a single deff koppta. My list is the tau list I've been posting, ethereal, cadre, 5 squads of fire warriors, kroot, 3 squads of pathfinders, 2 ion riptides and 3 sky rays.
The mission we rolled was vanguard, scouring. We placed 8 pieces of terrain and Matt won first turn. His warlord was a scoring unit, and mine allowed me to get up after going to ground.
For first turn, Matt ran the wagons forward and hung out for the turn. Def kopta took a shot at the side of the skyray getting a glancing hit. Then he took some shots at my lines killing a few kroot and a fire warrior. I moved the rip tides to the side. I failed to do anything much to the wagons, but I did blow up his trukk, which careened 7 inches straight at me. Taking away cover saves with my marker lights shut down the kustom force field, a big leg the mech orks stand on.
For shooting, the rip tide tried to put an overcharged shot into the nob squad and the wagon but scattered huge off target. A good FAQ question came up; if I use marker lights to ignore cover, Do I ignore it on everyone hit and not just the target squad? My weapon gains ignores cover when shooting at the squad. I'd say yes as written, which really makes the ion cannon even better in that I just have to center on the marked squad and get to double dip ignores cover. But I don't feel that's what they intend.
After the steam was taken out of the initial ork turn 2 charge, it was just a shooting gallery. His losses were too great to come back and the skyrays with the smart missile systems didn't allow his few remaining scoring orks to get on an objective and hide out of sight.
I blew up the last full wagon and got hot on another super jouice ion blast that would have covered 18 orks! (should have gone to BS6! but I chose to ignore cover instead!). But a torrent of fire from the warriors took them out just fine.
Matt took away a few lessons. This being his first 6th ed tau match he had no idea how bad they over watch would hurt. Charging more at once to limit the over watch or charging more into a flank versus right in the middle. Either one would have really helped. I told him my biggest fear was that he was just going to tank shock into the middle of my lines with all three wagons. Also, I was really happy he didn't have deff rollas, as that would have been destruction on a crazy scale I couldn't deal with.
Over all, I feel like the def rolla will be a must to deal with gun line tau since the charge ability is really hard pressed. Take out the Ethereal, drop them all to ld 7 or 8 and go tank shock crazy. I would have had to get really close with the Riptides to get my melta shots in and if needed close combat on the wagons and then the Nobz would have made short work of them.
A good match, and I can't wait to play Matt again after he adjusts to his new enemy. I'm sure da Warboss leart a t'ing or two 'bout dees hatchet faced goat-fish e'll be bringin' back wid em.