Sunday, 23 June 2013

Battle Report - An Unexpected Foe - Tau Empire v Eldar 1500 points.

The recon cadre advanced slowly on the mysterious plains, forming a three pronged pincer with the elite Crisis suits held back ready to deep strike at the first sign of trouble. Sub-commander shas'o'Taal was sure that through boldness victory would be achieved, no matter what.

As all units moved forward, the first signs that this was no ordinary place appeared. From out of nowhere an old imperial bastion opened fire. It's massive quad gun intercepting the fast moving Tau as they manuevered into position. The Piranha was moving too fast for it though and the heavy shots zipped past. All units were now on high alert, knowing that they might have walked straight into another Chaos trap. It was the eagle-eyed spotter of the lucky Piranha that was first to dismiss the fear of more warped Astartes. Hazy and somehow not quite there, but visible all the same, loomed a War Walker construct of the Eldar. A brace of fusion blaster fire emitted from the Piranhas nose and it glanced the delicate biped but did no serious damage. He was fully visible now, appearing on every Taus' tactical displays. Hammerhead commander MisStrike, ready to make up for his sub-par performance in the previous conflict charged up his formidable main weapon and the energy beam lanced towards the walker. The shot connected and it detonated, totally destroying the Eldar machine. The ensuing blast was catastrophic, catching a nearby Dire Avenger squad that had been hidden from sight. The Exarch and two of his men were incinerated or lacerated by the shrapnel and fell on the spot. Tank commander MisStrike had redeemed himself.

Not wanting to be miss out on the fighting, a unit of Fire Warriors disembarked from their Devilfish, forming up around their Ethereal to protect the wise but fragile leader from the ravages of war.  From their position they could see the ghostly outlines of heavily armed Eldar perched high on a nearby ruin. Their pulse rifles were lacking in range, but the more heavily armed Broadsides had more than enough power in its twin-linked heavy rail rifle to take a shot. The shot connected, and the last that was seen of a Dark Reaper was his body tumbling off the building.

The impressive XV104, not deterred by it's failure to wound the nearby Rangers fired up its huge jet pack, leaped a vast distance to try and circle around the enemy close by. Unfortunately it wasn't far enough. More units than were initially visible moved in the confront the towering mech. Warp Spiders using their warp jump generators crossed the battlefield at a frightening pace, and between them, the Dire Avengers and Rangers, soon had the Riptide at critical levels. All that was left to do was for the last remaining War Walker and the almighty Avatar to unleash their arsenal, and the latest innovation in Tau technology was wiped from existence.

On the other side of the Eldar outpost things were not going in the Taus' favour either. A spirit controlled Wraith Lord had made his presence felt with a burst of shooting that immobilised the empty Devilfish. It was now a sitting duck and the Fire Dragons made short work of the still skimmer. Four shots penetrated it's hull causing a massive detonation, charring a couple of the nearby Fire Warriors in the inferno. Lit up by such an intense fire the Ethereal's bodyguard were targeted by all surrounding units. Incredibly quick Jetbikes rounded the corner and the Dark Reapers, recovered from the loss of a brother, made short work of over half the remaining squad.

Realising that drastic action needed to be taken before all was lost, sub-Commander o'Taal gave the order for all XV8's to enter the fray. Two units of aptly named Crisis suits, one of which consisting of him and his bodyguard, deep struck hard and aggressively in an effort to stem the tide of destruction these Eldar were wreaking. His first action was to bring the formidable weaponry of their suits to bear on a unit of Howling Banshees lurking in cover. With a swift verbal command he activated his Multi-Spectrum Sensor suite and the hail of fire was too much for the Banshees. When the dust settled only the Exarch remained. Within a split second the Broadside unleashed hell with his SMS obliterating the last traces of the aspect warriors.

The other XV8 team, more suited to tank and monster hunting, had the Wraith Lord in their arc of fire. The technology inside the shas'vre's Puretide Engram Neurochip allowing them to mortally wound the spindly construct but ultimately failed to put it down for good. Realising the imminent danger of a swift counter attack all six suits jumped as far as possible out of the danger zone, time would tell if it was far enough.

Around the central kill zone minor altercations were continuing. The Fire Warriors and inspiring Rthereal attempted to take out the Fire Dragons that had so far severely hampered their progress. Despite the Ethereals' invocation of the elements they were unable to find their mark amongst the base of the ruined building. The remaining firepower of the Tau was similarly ineffective, sometimes glancing a lucky hit but failing to make any meaningful contribution to the battle.

Retribution for the Tau upstarts boldness was swift and thorough. In every direction death was to be found. From the two Stealth suits mown down by an emplaced weapon in the Eldar fortification, to the deadly Dire Avengers obliterating the tanking hunting XV8 Crisis team. But the most grievous of all the damage dealt was to come from the Warp Spiders. Able to easily target the bulk of the XV8-02 Iridium armour since the accompanying gun drones had already succumbed to fire, they pounced and by the time they were done, the once proud sub-commander was no more. His final thoughts were that he hoped he had given his life to the greater good.

Without proper leadership the morale of the Tau dropped heavily. Their grand plans seeming to crumble before their very eyes. The final member of the Stealth team being taken out by the Eldars' own stealthy Ranger unit. Attempting the avenge the death of the cadre leader the SMS of the distant Broadside lit up the skies as the projectiles screamed towards the Warp Spiders. Two were slain in the ensuing blast but the squad remained, taunting the enemy with their presence.

What remained of the cadre was crumbling fast. They'd lost too much to be able to hold their ground and put up a decent counter attack, but without the command of a high ranking leader to order a tactical retreat, the only thing they could do was to cling on as long as possible and attempt to deal as much damage as they could.

The Piranha, skimming around the edge of the battle field managed to loose off a lucky fusion blast taking out the lone War Walker but nerves had got to the remaining Tau. Their attempts to take down the fearsome fiery Avatar of Khaine had failed miserably, and his unstoppable and frighteningly fast advances soon made short work of the Devilfish nearby. The flittering Warp Spiders continued their dance of death through the devastated cadre and struck the final blow against the XV88 Broadside still standing his ground.

As the metal suit buckled and twisted, falling to the scorched ground the battle was over. The Tau had suffered a grievous defeat at the hands of such a mystical and enigmatic foe. From way up in orbit, reports were flooding in to commander o'Ralais chamber. He would not forget this slight on his honour or let it rest. He would plan better, harder, and be prepared for the next inevitable encounter in his mission to annex the planet of Thrask.

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