After Action Report: Strike Force Izumi vs. the xenos Tau

A little while ago I mentioned that I was going to play a game against my friend Josh’s Tau with some Inquisition madness.  Well, we played, and I lost, and I thought I’d talk a bit about the game.  I had a bad cold and Josh only had three hours sleep, so the report will be quick and fuzzy.

This was the first time in ages I’ve used Inquisition forces in a battle.  As usual they were extremely hit-and-miss.  Mostly miss.  I was using Witch Hunters as allies for my Guard, and I went with an Inquisitor Lord with three plasma warriors and Divine Pronouncement, and an Eversor assassin.  Josh also let me swap out my Rough Riders at the last minute for an Orbital Strike.  I thought this was a good idea as the cavalry have never made a good show against the Tau, but as it turned out the lance strike wasn’t much of an improvement.  I would have been better off playing with the horsies.

We played a Spearhead deployment Capture and Control mission with three objectives – one in Josh’s deployment zone, one in mine, and one in the middle, in a rough diagonal line across the battlefield.  At the outset things looked really good for me.  The terrain piece where I keyed the strike was occupied by Broadsides and surrounded by most of the Tau army.  I seized the initiative.  Most of my army was in cover and I managed to advance my tanks within range early.  I broke his Pathfinders and they ran.  The Eversor had a flanking opportunity on three unlucky Fireknives.  But the Tau first turn showed that an Imperial victory was not to be.

The Eversor fell short of his charge by one inch due to difficult terrain and was blown away.  The pathfinders rallied.  The orbital strike killed something like one Krootdog and three Kroot . . . the whole game.  The Broadsides clipped the side of the Inquisitor’s tank through a tiny targeting window and it was wrecked, forcing her to run through cover towards the Tau lines.  My plan of sitting pretty in a chimera and getting at least one turn of rapid-firing plasma and psychic mayhem was ruined.

Josh played really well.  He kept up fire on my infantry platoon, despite how few casualties he was getting each turn, and by the late objective rush they didn’t have enough survivors to hold the centre objective.  I’d done nothing to his troops at the other end beyond waste a few Kroot, and I didn’t really know where to direct my fire.  I should have smashed the Pathfinders but instead I kept trying to whittle down the Kroot being led by the Tau commander.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  I think I was trying to do to them what he was doing to my platoon.  My mechanized vets were immobilized about turn three and kept running in and out of their tank, changing their mind about what to target.

Finally, in turn six, my Inquisitor managed to charge and slaughter the Tau commander and his remaining Kroot, sweeping them away.  She contested the centre objective alone, but Josh flew in with a whole mess of skimmers and contested it right back, as well as the objective my surviving infantry were holding.  We rolled up a turn seven, but I couldn’t see any way I could change the outcome so I conceded defeat.

The only guys on my side who did exactly what they were told were the Kasrkin.  They dropped in, made their points back by melting a Hammerhead and then got shot to hell by a whole freaking tribe of Kroot.  I’m really liking the anti-tank drop storm troopers.  Jawaballs had a great article up the other day about consistency versus potential, and I really think that the stormies have more consistency in this role than mechanized vets.  You could mitigate the vet’s inconsistency a bit by spamming them I expect, but that’s not really my sort of thing.

All in all it was a really fun game, even though I got outplayed.  Next time I’ll definitely think twice before replacing my commanding officer with a psychic spook lady and some angry dude in a skeleton suit.

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