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Before the battle was joined

4000pts Mission capture and control (5 objectives) Deployment pitched battle

The forces lined up in anticipation, everything started on the table on the marine side. For the Tau, kroot outflanked and vespid units as well as helios crisis team decided to deep strike.

Sun Dragon Space Marines get first turn.

Stealth suits form a line in front of Tau tanks

Space Marine Turn 1 The armoured might of Darko Panchevs engines of war rolled forward towards the Tau lines (at combat speed for some reason best known to Darko himself). The devastators, scouts, whirlwind and the Red Ox (master of the forge) observed the advance from back field. Luckily for the Tau the Marine shooting was poor, only a stealth suit, its gun drone and a pathfinder succumbing.

Tau Turn 1 The Tau army took a collective sigh of relief, and trained their markerlights on the imperial tanks. The piranhas advanced on the left and their fusion blasters came in handy as they liquefied the front armour of a rhino, the embarked unit escaping just in time. A second Rhino was wrecked by Ion blasts. One or two casualties were taken by the bikes and Darkos unit, and the Broadsides fluffed their shots against the dreadnoughts. One of the speeders was wrecked by SMS fire from the Devilfish on the Tau right.

Marine 2 Darko urged his company forward, and they did so, the bikes rough-riding over the processing plant and making a beeline for the broadsides. Librarian Telecas attempted to open a gate of infinity but a nearby warp storm thwarted him. In the shooting phase the combined fire of bike multimeltas, dreadnought lascannons and librarian machine curses failed to cause any damage due to poor accuracy and disruption pod saves. The sternguard decided to set a proper space marine example by wiping out 3 pathfinders from the squad nearest the broadsides. Despite the presence of the ethereal nearby, the pathfinders panicked and ran off the board. The devastators were encouraged by this show of strength and unleashed their fire on a crisis team, wounding 2 suits: however, the drone shook off a direct lascannon hit. The scouts used their sniper rifles to target the broadsides, and these were very effective, wounding the ethereal and destroying one of his drones. With that, it was the turn of the Tau to combat the oncoming juggernaut!

Tau 2 Incredibly all Tau reserves appeared this turn. One unit of vespid scattered onto the bikes they were supposed to be attacking, and had to be placed back in reserve. Furthermore, El Quixo forgot about the helios team! The second vespid unit appeared next to the bikes, wondering where their insectoid bretheren had got to! The kroot outflanked next to a tac squad whose rhino had been wrecked by piranhas previous turn.

The kroot immediately rapid fired this rather unfortunate squad, together with a squad of gun drones which detached from the piranhas. Only 3 marines stood after the dust settled! The drones followed this up by assaulting the 3 marines, drawing the combat. The piranhas sped off and melted another vehicle a dreadnought this time. The ironclad was popped by the broadsides. The vespid failed miserably against the bikes killing only one. The Ion-head did better, killing 3 of them from across the table. The devilfish on the right flank immobilized and destroyed the meltagun on the last speeder. The majority of remaining fire was concentrated on Darkos unit, who despite feel no pain and storm shields were reduced to a single marine and Darko himself. A very good turn for the Tau.

Marine 3 The remaining bikes sped up to assault the broadside and ethereal, pouring in bolter fire and killing a broadside. Tactical squads advanced once more, and Darko thought that finally he might be in assault range. One of the razorbacks decided to tank shock the devilfish containing the EMP grenadiers, and succeeded in stunning it! Again, machine curse and dreadnought heavy weapons failed to do anything due to disruption pod saves. The whirlwind and tactical squad tried to shoot crisis suits but got only one wound between them. To add to marine woe, Darko was out of assault range. However it was not quite so bad for the devastators, who wrecked a piranha. Also the vespid, who were in the open, were riddled by the sternguard and reduced to just 4 insectoids. The bikes assaulted the broadsides, and with a swift bolt pistol shot, killed the ethereal! This resulted in the second pathfinder unit running off the board, however the broadsides squashed a bike in return and the combat was drawn. The gun drone-tac combat was also drawn.

Tau 3 El Quixo suddenly remembered as he advanced that he had not given the helios team their coordinates! He hastily patched them in on his GUI but made an error El Goyus and his Helios team used their jet packs to fly into place and splashed down in a river, half a mile from the front line! The emp grenadiers in the immobilized devilfish formed a circle while their Shasui repeated their bonding oath, before they faced their individual hell they disembarked and assaulted the dreadnought threatening to rampage through their lines, however all they could do was blow off the power fist. More firewarriors followed their brave example, a unit of 12 disembarking ready to rapid fire the terminators who were slowly working up the Tau right flank, however they failed to scratch their ancient armour! The stealth suits, who were having a fine battle so far (other targets were clearly higher priority!) advanced on Darko (Darth Lysander) and opened up with volleys from their burst cannons and gun drones. The sun dragons commander and his loyal remaining entourage were cut down by sheer volume of shots, and Darko made his glorious last stand as he was overwhelmed by the assaulting suits. On the same flank, crisis suit missiles rained down on the remaining intact marine rhino, blowing it up. The marines inside were in disarray as several died in the explosion and others perished to ion cannon shots once they disembarked, leaving 4 left. These marines decided a tactical withdrawal was the optimal decision. Other assaults rumbled on without a clear winner on either side.

Marine 4 The librarian Telecas, who had not had the best of luck with machine curses, decided that a direct approach would be better. He left his unit, and opened a gate of infinity behind an Ion-head. A bizarre sequence of events followed, as he first cast warp blast but it rebounded and exploded on him! However he shrugged this off.. in time to see the blast marker find a weak point in the ion-head armour. The plasma accumulators detonated, exploding the tank and killing Telecas! The unit of fire warriors who had disembarked to rapid fire the terminators were flamed by a rallying tac squad and ran for the table edge! The devastators failed to kill any piranhas but telion showed them how it was done, downing one of the flyers with a sharp shot from his rifle, leaving one piranha on the field. Several marine units were now in assault range. The sternguard flew into the broadside-bike melee and turned the tide of combat, wiping the suits out. The dreadnought got its bearings against the emp grenadier fire warriors and killed 3 of them, scattering the survivors into the woods. On the same flank the terminators moved in to assault the ion head, and succeeded in wrecking it with heavy blows from their thunder hammers. On the opposite flank (Tau left) a largely intact tactical squad assaulted the stealth suits, but with their 2 attacks each and servo assisted strength they held up well, drawing the combat.

Tau 4 The second vespid unit had hidden their advance well, and burst from nearby cover to shoot at a tactical squad, killing two. The helios team continued their hilarious performance deep striking into a river clearly wasn t enough one of the suits had to drown in the rapids, while his colleagues managed to kill a single terminator. A full squad of fire warriors disembarked to deal with the rampaging terminators and caused 10 wounds, all of which bounced off their 2+ armour. On the plus side, fleeing fire warrior unit rolled a double 1 and stayed on the table, rapid firing the bikes killing one. The kroot and drones finished off the tac squad in close combat and consolidated to the objective. It can be surmised that this was not the most effective Tau turn. Marine 5 The helios team really did have a bad day. Deep striking into a river, ballistic ineptitude and then they ran into a terminator assault squad . And were annihilated. The vespid who deep struck in got hammered from all quarters and reduced to the single strain leader, who went to ground. The sternguard, having wiped the broadsides from existence, assaulted a nearby ion head and immobilized it. The stealth-tac assault was again drawn. Finally one of the devilfish contesting a marine objective was wrecked by the punch of a sergeants power fist.

Suits help out in CC

Circa turn 5

Tau 5 Remaining Tau vehicles rush SM-held objective, stealth suits and crisis suits combine to wipe out tactical squad in CC.

Marine 6 Marines attempt to shoot kroot off objective but mercs stay solid despite 5 casualties. Vehicles and fire warriors contesting SM objective killed in CC. Sternguard assault a unit of dawdling suits, but roll quadruple 1 s for power weapon attacks.

Contesting, contesting, contesting oh bugger!

Tau 6 Sternguard rout suits. El Quixo s team assault scouts to stop them scoring. No vehicles left to contest with, as the game ends in a draw.

Marine MoM: sternguard Tau MoM: stealth suits