Head back a few posts to find my army list. I'll keep the battle reports short this time (or at least I'll try - I failed!). I'll be writing up some more in-depth after action thoughts about my Tau list in a separate post.

Game One - Tau vs. Space Marines
Mike had generously agreed to fill the spot left by someone who'd dropped out on the day itself!?! He quickly scrawled an army list down and we started our game with an hour already gone! By the time we'd done all the pre-game rolling and deployed there was just over an hour to go I think. Needless to say the game was a little rushed. We were playing Purge The Alien on Vanguard. Mike had a crapload of terminators with Pedro Kantor, a couple of tactical squads, aegis line and three stormtalons. A great test of how torrent fire works against terminators and how Tau anti-air works.

I deployed my gun-line tightly packed in ruined buildings expecting Mike to deep strike his terminators in and get smashing up my troops. When he deployed them I knew it'd be hard to manoeuvre the fire warriors around (why did I put them in the tall building?) in time not to mention too time consuming with limited game time left. That's what you get for playing rushed.

With the exception of one of my kroot units which arrived on the wrong flank despite Acute Senses and got gunned down, Mike didn't get close enough to do much damage to my force. My ranged fire from the Riptide, crisis teams and Longstrike was enough to kill off the tactical squads, quad gun & small terminator squad over the course of the game. The commander's team was particularly good as you might expect with all that plasma and fusion fire. The three stormtalons arrived all at once but after my flyer had arrived. The interceptor drones were able to rapid fire down one of the talons and the other was forced to Evade by the riptide. Their fire wasn't enough to kill off Longstrike and in the following turn a combination of Fire Warriors at BS2 (thanks to a single marker hit), the fusion from the riptide (which hadn't fired on interceptor) and the missile crisis team were able to down both of the remaining storm talons.

At the end of the game there was only Pedro and his 10 TH/SS terminators left. They took some pie plates from both the riptide and hammerhead along with some fire from the commander's team which left a single terminator with Kantor by the end of turn 5. Sadly the game ended there so I wasn't able to finish them off for more VPs. Still, 8-2 wasn't a bad result (Mike scored another point because my flyer was forced to fly off in turn 5 after sustaining a Locked Velocity result).

Game Two - Tau vs. Blood Angels
More marines for my second game against Peter Barrett. We'd be playing the Scouring on Hammer & Anvil deployment. This layout usually favours Tau as their superior weapon range helps them hit an advancing opponent hard. Sadly with my opponent having a fairly static force of tactical marines and devastators behind a gunline I'd probably need to come to him. He also had a furioso librarian, reclusiarch with jump pack death company, Corbulo, a vindicator, assault cannon baal predator and a drop pod with some more tacticals.

The random value objectives really gave me an early advantage with the objectives in my half being worth 3, 4 and 2 points. That's a 3 VP head start before anyone has moved. I won the roll off and deployed my fire warriors fairly spread across my deployment with all of the big stuff in behind. This would hopefully make it difficult for the drop pod to land where it wanted. My opponent deployed behind his aegis line with the librarian on the right and vindicator on the left. Peter managed to steal the initiative and brought his drop pod down right next to Longstrike's hammerhead lining up his meltagun, multi-melta and combi-melta to hopefully take First Blood. The riptide responded with his ion accelerator but the shot scattered off the board and his fusion gun failed to wound. Luckily for me only the meltagun and combi hit and despite penetrating he snake-eyed the damage table roll leaving Longstrike stunned. The vindicator shot scattered too killing only a couple of fire warriors. A lucky escape then!

In response the pathfinders lit up the vindicator and melta combat squad. Longstrike used markerlights to bring his snap shot back up to BS5 but still missed! The crisis team faired better though and thanks to Tank Hunters they were able to strip enough hull points to wreck the vindicator for first blood. The fire warriors killed 9 of the 10 tactical marines thanks to storm of fire. In response the furioso Librarian used Fear of the Darkness (or whatever it's called) to make my pathfinders run. Otherwise there was little other damage as the devilfish made it's cover saves. The remaining tactical marine decided to charge longstrike to try and take his only remaining hull point. He'd have to weather supporting fire from the riptide and fire warriors but Longstrike had other ideas, managing to score a lucky hit with the railgun and vapourise the astartes. Flukey but it did at least gain a spot prize for my opponent for losing a unit to overwatch.

All of my reserves arrived at once at the top of turn 2. The two kroot arrived on opposite sides with one trying to rapid fire the small squad of marines on the forward objective (killing two) whilst the other hit at long range on a combat squad in the ruins but with no damage. The flyer arrived but did little damage. One of the drones' ion rifles got hot whilst the other's blast scattered off. The commander made a risky deep strike behind the aegis line and thankfully scored a hit allowing him and his squad to kill all of the missile launchers in the devastator squad but Corbulo unfortunately made his cover save. Longstrike managed to penetrate the librarian dread but the psyker passed his cover save with help from the Corbulo re-roll.

The death company turned their attention on the battlesuits. The reclusiarch challenged the commander but failed to wound whilst the rest of his squad easily killed off the rest of the team. Luckily the commander was able to hit and run. The baal predator arrived and finished off Longstrike whilst the icarus lascannon was able to stun the bomber. The devilfish once again escaped unharmed. The crisis team was able to deal with the librarian thanks to markerlights boosting BS and removing cover. The commander gunned down some of the death company before falling in behind a kroot bubble wrap to protect him from reprisal. The riptide was slowly chipping away at the tactical marines with his large blasts.

Thanks to me accidentally covering up the Baal predator with my army list I completely ignored it as my opponent pointed out when he revealed it at the start of the next turn. The death company tried to charge the kroot but a lucky shot from the commander's supporting fire insta-killed the reclusiarch for Slay the Warlord. The combination of kroot and warlord was enough to kill off the remaining death company. The riptide dealt with the drop pod that had been chipping away at the fire warriors on the 4pt objective with its storm bolter. The bomber was hit again and forced to evade so it flew off the table in turn 4 to reappear safely on turn 5. The drones from the bomber and devilfish combined to finish off the marines on the forward objective and the devilfish dropped some fire warriors off on mine. To add insult to injury the kroot then charged into the tactical marines holding another objective allowing them to contest at the end of the game. This game me a 13-2 victory as I claimed all of the secondary VPs.

Game Three - Tau vs. Tyranids
As Andy has mentioned on his blog, I seem to always end up playing him or Graham at these events. Today was no different but this time it was Andy's tyranids rather than Grahams! We'd be play the Emperor's Will (yawn) on Pitched Bat..... sorry Dawn of War deployment. Getting first turn again I spread my gunline out knowing he'd got a trygon and mawloc that I'd have to contend with at some point. I decided to deploy my commander and his team to allow me to keep putting fire down and not risking a delayed arrival. You can find Andy's list over at Claws and Fists. Andy managed to get Iron Arm on both his tervigons to give them ridiculous toughness. He deployed his force in the opposite corner (which I should've seen coming really) and denied my a lot of firepower. My commander got the skyfire warlord trait and my home objective was a skyfire nexus, brilliant against an army with no flyers!

My early turns of shooting were pretty impotent. Andy passed a disgusting number of 3++ saves on his zoanthropes and I could only slowly whittle down the hive guard. One squad of kroot came on to hold the objective and free up the fire warriors to try and get into range. The other kroot arrived and shot at the zoanthropes as there were no termagants for them to cut down. When the termagants did spawn they were quick to cut down some kroot and then later charge in to finish them off. The flyer arrived but neither it or the drones managed to do much damage. The commander and his team yo-yo'd in and out of cover to put fire on the big stuff and were able to bring down one of the carnifexes and the prime over a couple of turns. The riptide managed to overheat and longstrike was frustrated by more great rolling for the zoanthropes.

Andy fired some S6 shots (I forget where from, carnifexes maybe) at the flyer and managed to score 5 hits somehow. Thinking he'd struggle to do much damage (needing 5s or 6s) I decided not to evade. Andy of course rolled 3 sixes and the flyer blew up. The trygon and mawloc both arrived at once and I was lucky that the mawloc scattered, sparing the ethereal. The riptide fired both weapons on intercept but only wounded twice. The combination of Longstrike, fire warriors and suits was enough to kill off the trygon prime and take another couple of wounds from the mawloc. I couldn't risk the mawloc either burrowing or charging the ethereal so I charged in with the riptide (who'd used nova for a 3++ save) and the crisis team who ought to do some damage thanks to monster hunter. I could only wound once with the riptide and the suits fluffed their attacks suffering 2 wounds in return.

The tervigons began to advance and tried to chip away at the fire warriors and pathfinders (Andy was pretty unlucky with scatter). The riptide was able to dispatch the mawloc. One tervigon was downed from a combination of riptide and missiles. The final hive guard finally died too. One squad of fire warriors had mounted up in the devilfish to hopefully make a late push for the objective. Sadly they had to try and squeeze past a tervigon to get there which proved fatal. The fire warriors survived but would never make it to the objective unscathed. The tervigon was gunned down by the commander and his team though.

Deathleaper arrived on his home objective to secure it. I can understand why Andy did this but as he was going second it would've perhaps been best to try and contest my objective late on and maybe force the kroot to run from the board. Nevertheless, with time ticking down I wiped out some more termagants that were making a push towards my objective after coming on from reserve. My missile crisis team tried to push for the enemy objective but the game ended on turn 6 which gave me just enough time to get Longstrike into Andy's deployment for a game winning Linebreaker point (as he was scoring thanks to BW rules). A narrow victory from an enjoyable game, 5-4.

It distresses me somewhat that Tau are now considered a top flight army. Granted it isn't without reason (see Franco's performance) but I'm sure Necron, Grey Knight and shortly Eldar players can empathise here. You've been playing an army for years that is widely regarded as a joke and then the latest codex makes them great and you're automatically bracketed in with the bandwagoners. Ah well. Despite how powerful they can be, I like to think my list has a little bit of finesse in that it requires a decent amount of thought to use.

My first opponent Mike may have gone on to claim the Wooden Spoon but I was extremely grateful to him for stepping it at the shortest possible notice. Whether it was tactical genius or not I don't know but by deploying the terminators and keeping them out of range of the main part of my gunline he denied me 4 VPs (1 for the last terminator, 2 for kantor (+1 for being the chosen SC) & Slay The Warlord). Those extra 4 points would've been good enough for 3rd place so it really shows how crucial it is to push for the points in a game of Purge the Alien.

My commander was disgustingly lucky against the death company. Had he not made his Hit & Run he'd have been cut down by the power axe and then to kill the reclusiarch with a lucky supporting fire shot (the warlord trait that denies LoS rolls helped) was the icing on the cake. Once again the fire warriors had been pretty impotent with the exception of the drop-podding squad.

The game with Andy was interesting. When I saw I was playing nids I fully expect to be cutting down gribblies as they advanced on my gunline. Andy played a shrewd defensive game and ensured his home objective was safe. He put his hopes of taking my objective in the hands of the mawloc and trygon. I can't help but think that if the mawloc hadn't scattered the game would've been very different. The death of the ethereal would've cut my firepower dramatically and scored Andy a bonus VP. Thank goodness it scattered!

As ever a massive thanks to my opponents for three enjoyable games. Apologies if I've got anything wrong in these reports but it's always difficult to remember a few days later. I'll be posting some after action Tau thoughts in the next few days so look out for that.