Friday 21 June 2013

Broken Empire's... Eldar vs Tau 1750 points.

My second game with the eldar codex and this time instead of carrying on the evolving list, I thought that I would just use some different units to see how they do. It’s probably best doing it that way for a few games to see the strengths and weaknesses that each unit possesses that isn’t immediately obvious in the rules. Facing my Eldar is the Tau Empire, in a 1750 point game of purge the alien, with hammer and anvil deployment. 

The Armies

Eldar 1747

Farseer – 100 (warlord: seer of the shifting vector) w/Dire avengers
Guide, prescience, scyers gaze

Avatar – 195

5 Rangers – 60

5 Rangers – 60

10 Guardians – 90

Wave serpent – 135
Twin-linked scatter lasers, holo field

10 Guardians – 90

Wave serpent – 135
Twin-linked scatter lasers, holo field

10 Dire avengers – 130

3 Wind rider jetbikes – 51

8 Swooping Hawks – 128

8 Swooping hawks – 128

Wraithlord – 125 (swordlord)
Ghost glave, 2 x flamer

Wraithlord – 160 (starlord)
2 x starcannon, 2 x flamer

Wraithlord – (brightlord)
2 x brightlance, 2 x flamer

I used this army to try out swooping hawks and to see if 3 wraithlords were viable (and plus I just got 3 new models so I wanted to try them out). I’m hoping the hawks will be useful with their ap 4 blast and mass shots, especially against fire warriors. When I first saw the new rules for guardians I wanted to put them in wave serpents instead of dire avengers, no idea why, but It seemed like a good call, so that’s getting tested as well. I’m also using the farseer to see if he has any merits, but I’m not holding my breath.

Tau Empire - 1753

Commander – 154 (warlord: though unity, devestation)
Iridium armour, Twin-linked plasma rifle, 2 x shield drone

Bodyguard – 96
Command and control node, 2 x shield drone, multi-spectrum sensor suite, flamer

Cadre Fire blade – 60 w/ fire warriors

10 Fire warriors – 90

12 Fire warriors – 108

10 Kroot – 75

6 Stealth suites – 180

10 Pathfinders – 125
3 x ion rifles, pulse accelerator

Riptide – 235
2 x drones, ion accelerator

2 Crisis battle suites – 84
4 x missile pods

Piranha – 50
Fusion blaster

Razorshark – 145

Broadside – 104
Shas v’re, early warning override, 2 x missile drones

Broadside – 107
Shas v’re, drone controller, 2 x missile drones

Hammerhead – 140
Disruption pod

His army is dangerous at range so I need to get close with everything and quickly, I can only hope that the wraithlords and avatar last long enough to make it to his lines. The wave serpents should be ok if I boost them straight up to kill a flank. But those stealth suites could get irritating.

The Mission

The terrain Is set up in a rather symmetrical manor giving no side of the table any clear advantage. We rolled for mission and got purge the alien, with hammer and anvil deployment. Rolling off for table side I won and selected the deployment zone with the ruin in it. Rolling for first turn I also won so elected to go first. I deployed both my wave serpents on the left flank behind the ruins for cover, the wraithlords and avatar up front shielding my dire avengers and farseer. I kept both units of hawks and the bikes in reserve.
Eldar deployment
He countered this by placing his kroot in his forest with the pathfinders, a unit of fire warriors on each side of the forest with the fireblade on the right hand side. The hammer head went on the hill for a good line of sight. A broadside was placed behind each fire warrior squad and the riptide went in the centre with the crisis suites. The commander hides behind the bunker on the right. The piranha went on the left. The razorshark went into reserve.
Tau deployment
We were both using infiltrators so we rolled off and he won, placing his stealth team in the woods in front of my wave serpents. I placed a unit of rangers in my ruin and the other in the woods on my right mid table.

Night fight: Turn 1
Steal the Initiative: Yes

The Battle

Eldar turn 1

Night fight first turn, no point casting psychic powers just yet. I move up both of the wave serpents up the left hand side to face the stealth suites, I want them dead before they become a pain my in ass. The wall of monstrous creatures, move up the field followed by the dire avengers.

Both wave serpents shoot at the stealth team, using the energy burst from their shields as well to ignore the 2+ cover save the tau get. The combined fire only manages to kill 3 of the tau though, the rangers aid them and kill another, unfortunately they hold. Spurred on by the avatar, the wraithlords and dire avengers run, but I don’t roll higher than a 2 for most.

Tau turn 1

With the eldar fast upon them, the tau move their lines, the Riptide moves to get a better target and the stealth team moves towards the rangers. Not allowing the rangers in the wood chance to interfere with the greater good the commander jumps out of cover to face them.

kroot chilling in the woods
Unloading their burst cannons the stealth team mow down 3 rangers, but they hold. On the other side of the table the commander only kills a single ranger. Aiming at the closest wraithlord the hammerhead prepares a shot and misses. The pathfinders fire marker lights at the closest wraithlord to them and hit it 3 times. Pulse shots from the fire warriors are shot at the Avatar but fail to do any damage to its molten body. A broadside shoots at the swordlord and manages to deal a wound to. The other broadside is just as successful at damaging the avatar. The broadside shows its superior fire power on the wave serpent and fails to even glance the tank (ha). Missiles come from the crisis team and wound the swordlord again.

Assault phase and the commander jumps back into cover.

Eldar turn 2

The farseer casts guide on the brightlord and prescience on the starlord. Unfortunatly the only reserves I get this turn are the bikers who stay at the back while both wave serpents move a little but keep their focus on the stealth team. The wraith wall advances again, with the starlord going after the riptide and the brightlord looking at the hammerhead. The dire avengers advance behind them.

Shooting from the wave serpents kill off the stealth team this turn, but it does take the combined fire of both unfortunately. Firing balls of hot plasma, the starlord destroys a single drone and wounds the riptide with its starcannons. Ranger fire kills a single fire warrior and pins the unit. The brightlord fails to penetrate the armour of the hammer head, and the bikes boost up.

Tau turn 2

The razorshark screams on to the board facing the wave serpents. The piranha follows hoping to destroy a tank of its own. Again the commander jumps out of cover while the army moves around a little.

The commander hides
To start the turn the commander uses his warlord trait, allowing all units in 12 inches to re-roll rolls of 1 to hit. The pathfinders shoot at the swordlord with marker lights and ion rifles marking it 3 times and wounding it once. The commander shoots at the avatar and wounds him, followed by the fire warriors lead by fireblade who deal and extra 2 wounds to the daemon. Shooting from the razorshark on the wave serpent manages to get a single penetrating hit which destroys the twin-linked shuriken catapults on it. The piranha and hammer head however fair much worse and fail to even hit a tank. Shooting from the riptide manages to wound the starlord, a small act of revenge for what it did to him. A riptide attempts to hurt the avatar but thanks to his armour he is fine, same result when the crisis suites shot him.

Assault phase and again the tau commander runs.

Eldar turn 3

A single unit of swooping hawks come in form reserve, and I place them on the left side of the table, dropping their template onto the fire warriors but it scatters and only kills 2 of the fire caste. Both wave serpents move up towards the broadside on the left, and the bikes move closer again. I move the swordlord and the avatar (both on 1 wound) as close to the fire warriors on the right as possible, there is a chance I can charge this turn.

Attacking the left flank
Unloading all they have on the broadside, the wave serpents fail to even scratch its armour. Under a hail of lasers, the fire warriors on the left are reduced to only 2 men after the hawks shoot at them. The brightlord shoots at the hammer head again and this time penetrates it, stunning the tank. The starlord shoots both star cannons at the piranha and it explodes, the ap 2 did help.

I have a slight chance to assault so I take it, I declare the wriathlord is charging first and the tau over watch, I forgot they have a rule allowing other units to help but combined fire from the fire warriors, broadside, pathfinders all fail to kill the wraithlord, who then fails the charge roll, as does the avatar (I was needing 11, as I said, a slight chance).

Tau turn 3

Charging up its engine, the riptide nova charges its gun, and moves to see the bikes. The crisis suites move away from the swooping hawks and the 2 man fire warrior squad moves forwards. Jumping out of cover again, the commander goes after the brightlord.

Firing its novacharged weapon at the bikes, he locks on, and kills 2 of the 3 bikers. The pathfinders shoot at the swordlord and it finally falls. Knowing it’s their last chance; the fire warriors shoot at the avatar and kill the monster before it reaches their line. Shooting from the woods, the kroot kill 2 dire avengers. The flyer shoots at the undamaged wave serpent and shakes it. Launching salvos of missiles again, the crisis team shoot at the starlord but his wraithbone proves too resilient. The broadsides fail to do anything.

Assault phase and the tau command and crisis suits run.  

Eldar turn 4

The hawks are rather late for the party but they come in this turn anyway, and drop their template on the fire warriors on the right, but it scatters too far, the hawks land on the right next to the lord. The farseer guides the starlord. Jumping out of their transport, the guardians of the unshaken wave serpent get out and move towards the left side broadside. The other wave serpent moves to the right and the wraithlord moves forwards, as do the dire avengers.

The left starts to crumble
Finishing off the small fire warrior unit, the rangers on the left get two perfect shots and kill the 2 fire warriors. Using battle focus, the guardians run forwards then shoot at the broadside, they get 4 regular wounds and 2 pseudo rends, I make my opponent roll the regular saves first which kills off the drones, then the ap 2 shots kill off the broadside. The guardians wave serpent uses its energy burst and scatter lasers on the crisis team and manages to score enough wounds to kill them off in a single turn. The hawks on the left, shoot at the pathfinders, and kill off 3 of their number. Not allowing its monstrous quarry get away the starlord shoots its starcannons at the riptide and deals 2 wounds to the gigantic suite, leaving it on 2 left. The new units of hawks shoot at the fire warriors killing 3 of the tau warriors.

Tau turn 4

Turing to find a new pray, the razorshark goes after the brightlord. The riptide reeling from its sudden attack, nova charges its weapon and moves away from the wraithlord. The commander moves forwards towards the brightlord.

Shooting its nova charge at the dire avengers, the riptide misses, and the shot scatters over the wraithlord and kills it and 3 surrounding dire avengers, finally getting its revenge. The pathfinders shoot at the hawks that shot at them and kill 2. Continuing their covering fire from the woods, the kroot down 2 more dire avengers. Finally getting its sights correct the hammerhead hits and wounds the brightlord. The flyer however fails to wound the monster as does the commander.

Assault phase and the commander attempts to run away again but only rolls 5 inches to is still in range of the wraithlord if he charges.

Eldar turn 5

Casting his powers, the farseer guides the hawks next to him and casts prescience on the dire avengers. The remaining wraithlord moves towards the tau commander while the guardians re-embark upon their transport. The other wave serpent moves to the right.

With pin point precision the rangers kill 1 kroot, and the hawks guided by the seer manage to down 4 pathfinders. The other hawks only get a wound on the fire warriors. Unleashing its energy burst a wave serpent kills 2 pathfinders, who then run. The other wave serpent shoot at the fire warriors and kill 3 of the fire caste. About to charge the commander the wraithlord burns the clustered squad with both flamers, killing a single drone.

Assault phase and the wraithlord charges into combat with the commander but loses a wound to over watch, leaving him on 1. The commander issues a challenge to which the wraithlord happily accepts. First the hammer of wrath attack by the wraithlord wounds the commander (a knee to the face I like to think) and then he strips his last wounds away by ripping him apart bit by bit. The body guard holds though.

Tau don't like combat
Tau turn 5

Again the flyer carries on its course and the riptide moves to teh right side of the table.

Shooting from the flyer kills 3 swooping hawks on the left while the fire warriors obliterate the hawks on the right. The kroot only manage to kill a single dire avenger and again the hammerhead misses. The riptide and broadside have the same fate and fail to hit the wave serpent in front of them.

Assault phase and the wraithlord only kills a single drone but is fine, the tau hold.

End game
We roll to see if the game carries on and it doesn’t.

Eldar: 11 (first blood, slay the warlord, line breaker, 8 units destroyed) – Tau: 4 (4 units destroyed)

Victory to the Eldar.


That defiantly highlighted a few things about the eldar for me, and the units that I used this game. With a little more practice I could have made the army work a lot more efficiently, as now I'm realising I made a fair few mistakes. But that's why we test the list’s isn’t it? Anyway what did I learn?
·         Rangers: I like the new price for rangers, and I think I could make them work in a future list. What I should have been doing with them (which I never did) was shoot then run to reposition, that way I can shoot at full BS and still move. It makes them more useful as in that game they couldn’t see that much, but a few inches of movement could have made a real difference. Shoot and move.
·         Farseer: I am not happy with the powers he got, and I swapped out death mission for guide, maybe if I use 1 lore I will get better results instead of jumping about with 2. If I got doom or fortune I feel things would have gone very differently as the avatar could have made combat with fortune, or units would have died more with doom. I think I will try out a farseer again, but I think a spirtseer might be better for me.
·         Swooping hawks: They were very interesting this game, the ap 4 on the blast makes tau cry and the range of their guns is very good, but I feel I could have used them a lot better. What I should have done was place them on the edge of cover when they came in, shot then ran out of sight, that would have been a better use of them, save them getting shot. With 8 I really didn’t want to skyleap as I would have lost a lot of shots, so if I do that, a 6 man unit is what I’m after. However, I think I prefer spiders to hawks, they seem more useful in most situations.
·         Wave serpents: Very powerful now, if not a little over powered. The guardians in them worked straight away but the dire avenger range would have been nice. I will try them again, as they are 40 points cheaper, which will probably count somewhere.
·         Wraithlords: This game has 3 of them and 2 still got shot to shit. If I only took 1 it would have gone worse for me, so if I use them again I will have to go big, or go home. 3 or none.

Anyway that’s it for now. I hope you enjoyed the battle report, as the game was fun. Now I need to figure out what list I will use next time, I want to test out a few more units before going back to evolving the list. Oh and my opponent did make a little mistake equipping his commander, so if he learns from that next game it could be a lot closer.


  1. Nice battle report. From what I recall, Battle Focus cannot be used with heavy weapons, so you were using the Rangers correctly.

  2. Anon is right - you need relentless to use Battle Focus with heavy weapons. As for Wraithlords, they're tough but I don't know if I'd want to walk them straight across at a Tau battle line. When you mentioned scenario and set-up my first thought was "uh-oh, this could hurt". Congrats on the win, things started a little against you I would say.

    1. I don't know how i missed the part of battle focus about heavy weapons, but it is a big chunk of it, but at least i didn't break any rules in the game.

  3. I'm sorry but that is one of the worst Tau lists I've ever seen. He made glaring tactical errors (Novacharge while targeting bikes???) and had a poor deployment strategy. While your list was well rounded and relatively point efficent, his was full of head scratchers. I'm sorry but it looks like you beat up on a 12 year old.

  4. woo so harsh there look none of the stuff is painted and not all of it is put together so it's probably a new army his friend is working on. Maybe he is just trying stuff out it didn't look to bad to me.

    1. Your right nagash he has just got the army and is testing out units and seeing what works.

  5. I don't see any mention of the riptide making a morale check, did you think it was fearless? Once it lost a single drone its got to take a test.

    1. I was going to say its a monster so automatically fearless but i checked just to make sure, and my god your right. Monstrous creatures aren't automatically fearless any more. That's quite a big thing for the riptide. I won't miss that again.

  6. Sorry about anon, but I don't have any of the other stuff.

    Why did you reserve the hawks? Couldn't they just Skylab turn 1, and then come in automatically turn 2?

    Looks like a reasonable list, I know that a guy at my club uses a list with wraith knight and 2 lords, and it is pretty effective, but we have a lot of ruin terrain, so that helps.

  7. Good lists, for the Eldar player those rangers probably should have been shooting at the riptide (4+ to wound regardless of toughness and rending).

    I think the wraithlords are fine, can't expect everything to live and they are tough for their points, combined with the serpents resilience it makes getting first blood and alpha striking against Eldar tough.