Monday, 25 September 2017

5 Reasons to play Star Wars Armada

In the down season from Epic Armageddon I thought I'd take a few minutes to talk about another awesome game system that I'm obsessed with, there's always room in the cupboard for one more system right! With that in mind here's 5 reasons why you need more plastic crack in your life: 


1) Deep strategic play - I’m someone who goes back decades with tabletop gaming, I’ve played an array of systems and recognise that every game is different. Some games a quick and tactical, knock out a game in less than an hour and move one, Armada is not that game. I was someone who loved 7th edition Fantasy because every game was determined by a solid movement mechanic, Armada is much more like that. In Armada there are advantages to going first and advantages to going second, there’s advantages to more activations and advantages to less. Turn order is determined as part of list design so there is no randomness involved. It comes down to this basic principle, you can invest heaps of points making your Imperial Star Destroyer akin to a Death Star but if your positioning is rubbish you’ll never get to fire those big ass cannons, these mechanics are why I love me some Armada.

2) Great variety in builds - I always worried that with only 2 sides the game would stagnate quickly because I came from a Warhammer universe background. What I’ve discovered instead is a wide variety of ships and squadrons with so many usable options that I’ve played at least 1-2 games a week and never felt that it was the same game. The missions help heaps with this too, they are essential to the way every match plays out as opposed to many systems where missions feel kind of tacked on.

3) Amazing game balance FFG has done a brilliant job right from the start recognising issues with balance and taking steps to balance things out brilliantly. Mostly they do this with the new waves bringing out gear and ships to fill gaps but recently they hit us with an errata that solved pretty much any remaining issues in balance.

4) Amazing competitive circuit – Tournaments certainly aren’t for everyone but if you’re keen on the competitive side of things the Good Games stores and other local games stores run regular comps at all levels. There is at least one per quarter plus store champs, regional champs and national champs every year which cater to everyone’s needs. The best bit is that the entry fees are always cheap ($10-15 for the regular events) and you get freebies just for coming.  


5) Solid price point for buy in Some players have talked about being turned away from new games because of the expensive buy in, coming from a GW background I think many players have a warped idea of expensive! But not everyone is made of money so here’s a basic idea. Armada stuff comes in “waves” of new ships, the earlier waves are available from online shops much (Book depository/Amazon etc) much cheaper than in the stores while the more recent stuff is comparatively priced in either venue. A pretty comprehensive buy in price for an imperial admiral would look something like this (from Amazon AU$):

  • 1 x Starter set ($105.00)
  • 1x Squadron set 1 ($29.00)
  • 1 x Squadron set 2 ($26.00)
  • 1x Imperial Raider ($26.00)
  • 2 x Imperial Assault Carriers ($52.00)
  • And I couldn’t find a Gladiator star destroyer on Amazon for some reason but you can get one in store for $50 or cheaper online.  
So all up you’re looking at around $300 including postage to get your hands on enough ships and squadrons to build something competitive and to give you a few different options to experiment with. Another $100 would get you everything else for imps that’s not on this list and you would spend about that again when they release a new wave 1-2 times a year. The only thing you would lack are certain upgrade cards that only exist in Rebel packs which is why ultimately most players end up playing both teams but for our purposes that starting price is realistic, you don’t need every single card just to play socially, proxy for a while until you decide whether you want to dive in or are just happy with the toe. There’s no hidden costs like terrain and tables etc because that’s all covered by the core set.

      And one bonus reason: It’s Star Wars – I mean we all love our GW created universes no doubt but there’s something so incredibly satisfying when you blow up the big fat ship at the centre of the enemy’s fleet. Sometimes it doesn’t happen and some games are all about the little explosions on the periphery but damn its good when a plan comes together…. Just saying.

      If you’re still interested check out some of the awesome bat reps online, there is an amazing series produced here in Aus that are well worth watching. This one has Admiral Akbar going up against Darth Vader and is a classic example of how amazing our game is. Hopefully you start thinking about what you want in your stocking this Christmas… 

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Let's make Epic great again! Castle Assault 2017

Letting loose the dogs of war...

Note – This is largely a stream of consciousness, if you don’t feel like a long read skip straight to para 5…


First things first, check out the army gallery here... it's absolutely worth it. 

I’ve been someone who has really loved Epic Armageddon since my first into game. In that game some Imperial guard I borrowed got absolutely reamed in 2 turns by a well refined Orks list run by a mate of mine who graciously pointed out every mistake I made at the end of the game, I took notes. One thing I took away from that game however, the thing that has defined my experience with Epic from that point is that the balance in this game is garbage. This is a paradox which I have been unable to reconcile with fact that I’m also a highly competitive gamer who will inevitably invest much time and energy building, refining, practising and generally getting gud with any system that I play.
      If you’ve been following the adventures of the Australian Epic scene you have seen this scenario played out over and again, in no small part due to my own fault. What I learnt in that first game is that you might want to run a company of Leman Russ battle tanks because they are so cool but in reality a selection of smaller cheaper formations will probably crush that unit because of odd rule mechanics like clipping assaults where a unit like shining spears can jump out shoot that company of Russ with shiruken pistols in FF and somehow make all the tanks explode because they are so inspired…
      In tournaments we have seen this played out over and again, Cancon being taken out by my Squat force that was deemed so bad the entire race has been extinct since, Castle Assault being stomped by Feral Orks where I absolutely min/maxed the hell out of a list abusing orkeosaurus, and again at Cancon this year where the Eldar we had only kept out by the skin of our teeth took the inevitable win with massive activation spam. The result I realised was that the highly competitive players of the Aus scene had essentially dug their own graves driving away many new players through our own efforts in breaking a game which was fragile to begin with.
      All our efforts to restore balance to the game met with failure, any attempt to gain traction in the quagmire that is Taccoms just led to massive frustration with the intransigence of an elite few and if anything that forum has pushed more players out of our game than any other factor. The attempts to balance internally though composition systems at out comps also didn’t take well so we reached a point where I personally thought we were pretty stuck. I found myself less and less interested in the competitive side of Epic and watched as even the efforts of our most passionate advocates couldn’t stop the stagnation, then came Castle Assault 2017…
      I didn’t make it to CA17, I was shattered at that fact but it clashed with another major comp on my calendar and I was caught between a rock and a hard place. I saw the lists when they first came out and sadly with only a couple of days lead before the event I didn’t have the time to do a full write up but the first thing I noticed was that there was no bullshit lists in there, no orkeosaurus, nothing with more than 12 activations, no Biel Tan at all either. In fact there was a beautiful spread of lists and races and I actually struggled to call a winner straight up. It seemed that though all the efforts to enforce balance from the top down had failed the community had developed a solution that I had never considered, they decided to just stop being dicks.
      It actually made me wonder how much the meta is impacted by the presence (or absence) of the most competitive players. I know that when I’m going to any given comp I’m looking at whose on top of the food chain and trying to predict (and therefore counter) what they would run. Given that I wasn’t going this year and that this year’s Cancon winner was the TO it cut down the pool of such uber-competitive players to a much smaller group and those that did come brought really balanced and quite friendly armies.
      The link to the lists is here and I would encourage you all to check them out, the final results saw the closest finish that we have had in years, a far cry from the typical result where one player is so far ahead of the pack that the last round is really irrelevant. Spoiler alert we ended up with marines taking the crown which is amazing just of itself. But the most exciting bit was still to come, when the winner was announced and in the following days the response was universally positive…. There were no cries of “yeah but he only won because of the list” or anything of the nature. People were genuinely happy with the results after having genuinely enjoyed themselves for the weekend, it was so refreshing for their not to be controversy.
     It is my sincerest hope that CA2017 has set a new standard for play in Australia, the solution is simple, don’t turn up with a hideous concoction of game breaking gimmiky crap, turn up with something that everyone would enjoy playing against and if you win, so be it. This is a community driven game and we have so long forgotten that, it is really easy to point fingers at lists and Taccoms forums and blame our shortcomings on overseas groups but ultimately if we want the game to improve it’s up to us.
      Here’s to more results like this, more new players joining up to our glorious game and a bit more inspiration for anyone who is involved.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Tactica Tau - Unleash your space commie!

Tactica Tau - Unleash your space commie!

If you're a follower of this blog you will no doubt have read up on my Tau at this year's Cancon. I know that many other players at the comp were left scratching their heads as to why I was bringing Tau to such a competitive competition but their was a logic to it. I've long stated unequivocally that in my mind Tau are a weak force in comparison to the top tier lists available and with a request from the TO that I show a degree of restraint with my list this year (as opposed to last year!) I figured I'd kill two birds one stone. 

I really enjoy my Tau, I like the fluff of the space commies and the model range that is coming out of onslaught is really fantastic in my mind so they are an army I would like to see do well.  We have a history in Australian comps though of seeing almost no Tau and that is largely a reflection of the list rather than access to minis. That said I really like what Matt Shadowlord is doing in his Viorla edition of Tau and I think his efforts could just lead to a version of Tau that is more competitive. This article then will focus on Matts revision rather than the approved version which like many others lists I rate as complete rubbish. There seems to be no realistic possibility of that list changing though so I'd suggest if you are a keen player of space commies then backing Matt with the reports and data he needs is your best chance. 

Core unit options

Fire warriors - with Tau more than many other lists we see lots of debate surrounding the most effective options and builds. Personally I prefer suits to fire warriors but I've seen fire warriors used to great effect too. If I were looking to include them I'd be focusing on them as a solid place to hide my ground based AA by throwing a skyray in with the devil fish. It could be s great place to hide your sup com as well though it doesn't have the advantage of being super tough or fearless and if you add a sup com odds are it will become a BTS so be careful in that respect. You will need to watch out for air assault formations especially. I've seen lots of versions where you throw in pathfinders for the markerlights, an ethereal for fearless or coordinate them with a tetra formation in order to do a hard hitting alpha strike unit. In my mind however you want to avoid failing into the trap of pouring points into this unit and just keep it simple. 

Crisis suits - My favourite core option by far but the warning here is that if you want to run lots of crisis suits you need to basically build your army around this structure. My Cancon build for example was all about suits in orcas dropping down to wreck stuff and it worked to some degree. Suits on the ground without an air transport option are just too slow and don't hit hard enough to really threaten much so I think their points are wasted and would be better spent on fire warriors.  I always invest in drones and sometimes invest in the cadre fireblade but that's about it unless you want to include a sup com. 

Support options
One thing about Viorla is that we are somewhat spoilt for options here, the real skill is in finding an effective synergy between units and then using them on table to maximise that potential. 

Xv104 riptide suits - they caused quite a stir when they dropped with lots of calls of OP (including myself much to my shame) but Matt has done a great job giving us a functional unit here that will feature in many Tau lists. They are expensive for what they do in my mind but no more than most things in Tau. 

Gunships - though there are a few options here in my mind the one that fills an obvious gap for Tau is the hammerhead variant. Long range Titan busting death that combines well with markerlights if you can arrange it. I generally take 1-2 units of these guys in various sizes, often with a skyray included 

Scouts - tetras and pirannas both have their uses to me, if nothing else they are cheap activation padders who add the always useful scout ability and markerlights if you can make them live long enough to put it out use. Experiment with your combinations and see if you would prefer units what rain down missiles at long range or units that focus on putting little red dots on important formations. 

Broadside battlesuits - these guys have always been a bit awkward to me. Given that we are looking at Viorla I'd suggest your points are better invested in either hammerheads or riptides rather than this unit that seems to sit on the fence between them. 

Skyrays - absolutely essential to include but much like hydras for gaurd I'd suggest you go with integrating a single into bigger formations than taking a unit of them all together because it's too vulnerable to breaking. 

KX-139 Supremacy Suits - these guys are fantastic, my Cancon build this year was lacking them largely due to laziness in modelling and I totally regret that. I consider taking two of them to be absolutely compulsory now to give you some long range hitting power. 

Stealth suits - one of those units I keep coming back too. I've tried them as deepstriking ambushers and now I run them with a fireblade in an orca for engagement. I wish they had an AT gun option to back their AP ability but I reckon they are a unit worth exploring. 

Pathfinders - much like skyrays I think  pathfinders are a good unit but you will find better synergies if you add them to core infantry rather than running them as full units by themselves 

Vespids - cool concept but not worth the points in my mind. Any sort of engage based unit that has zero armour won't find a role in my army and I reckon that fire warriors are a better option. 

KV-128 Stormsurge suits - much like vespids, I like the concept but there are better big suits for your points. 

Air caste formations 

Baracuda fighter bombers - much like thunderbolts these are a nice flexible unit that I tend to include every time. Lots of flexibility to use for CAP or ground attack 

Razorshark fighters - must admit I've never used them, to me barracudas have always looked the better option because of their flexibility 

Manta dropship - big fat war engine of death. Worth experimenting with for the assault support and interesting tactical options but overall to me it doesn't hit hard enough for its points. Certainly not as a shooting focussed unit. 

Orca transport - whether or not you include these will really depend on your build. I love orcas because they are cheap and effective for delivering crisis suits and stealth suits. Adding in the possibility of a sneaky turn 3 drop down to contest and objective they are great value in my build. I wish they had the extra hitting power of the thunderhawk because you can be stuck with something to do with them at times but they are still great. I totally recommend the pickup turn 1 drop turn 2 or 3 because that can be great for padding activations. 

Spacecraft - cheap and potentially effective, another auto include for me. Yes it sucks when the shots miss but the double TK shot is useful to me in basically every game. 

Tiger shark AX-10 - so good I wish I could take multiples. You will tend to only remember all the times it misses but with its hitting power and range it really covers what would have been a hole otherwise. 

Sunshark bomber squadron - personally I've never used them but I know plenty of Tau players who like these guys, especially if you are going super air heavy rather than the more engagement driven approach of my build. For me I think that the supremacy suits recently added give you enough long range artillery support without the risk of being aircraft. Sun sharks don't have the special rules like disrupt or ignore cover that others do which really makes a difference. 

Sample builds 
I've never mastered tau or found anyone who is hugely successful with them to tap into for tactics and builds but the best I can offer is a few builds assembled by myself and a guy named Norto who easily wears the crown of the best Tau general at this year's Cancon. 

Sample Build 1 - Castle Assault 2016

CRISIS BATTLESUIT CADRE [325] 4 XV8 Crisis Battlesuit, Shas'o
FIRE WARRIOR CADRE [225] 6 Fire Warriors, 3 Devilfish
FIRE WARRIOR CADRE [225] 6 Fire Warriors, 3 Devilfish
ARMOUR SUPPORT GROUP [375] ***BTS 4 Hammerhead Gunships (Ionhead), 2 extra Hammerhead Gunships (Ionhead), Skyray
ARMOUR SUPPORT GROUP [225] 4 Hammerhead Gunship (Railhead)
ARMOUR SUPPORT GROUP [225] 4 Hammerhead Gunship (Railhead)
ARMOUR SUPPORT GROUP [225] 4 Hammerhead Gunship (Railhead)
RECON SKIMMER GROUP [175] 5 Tetra, Piranha
RECON SKIMMER GROUP [175] 5 Tetra, Piranha
RECON SKIMMER GROUP [175] 5 Tetra, Piranha
RECON SKIMMER GROUP [175] 5 Tetra, Piranha
RECON SKIMMER GROUP [175] 5 Tetra, Piranha
BARRACUDA SQUADRON [150] 2 Barracuda Fighters
BARRACUDA SQUADRON [150] 2 Barracuda Fighters

This was the build I fought against at Castle Assault last year, the bat rep is on the blog so you can check it out for yourself. You will note the veritable horde of tetras in the force which helped it do some interesting coordinated fire attacks. Note that technically this is not a Voir'la list it's standard Tau which is why there is that odd crisis suit team. You could easily adapt it to the new option and put your Shas'o into an infantry unit where he is much safer. 

Sample Build 2 - Cancon 2017
4 XV8 Crisis Battlesuit unit, Shas'o Commander, 2 Gun Drones

Shas'el Commander, 5 XV8 Crisis Battlesuit unit, 2 Gun Drones

Shas'el Commander, 5 XV8 Crisis Battlesuit unit, 2 Gun Drones

4 Hammerhead Gunship (Railhead), Skyray

4 Hammerhead Gunship (Railhead), Skyray

4 Hammerhead Gunship (Railhead)

3 Pathfinder Tetra, 2 Piranha

3 Pathfinder Tetra, 2 Piranha

2 Barracuda Fighters



TIGER SHARK AX-1-0 [175]
1 Tiger Shark AX-1-0

1 Protector Class Cruiser

This was my build from this year's Cancon and although the theory was sound it didn't come together well. The basic principle is to do the real damage with well timed orca drops full of crisis suits but I found it lacked hitting power. Post Cancon I'm experimenting with more supremacy suit artillery support and putting stealth suits in to replace at least 1 crisis team to allow for a better engage hit out of the orca. 

Sample Build 3 - Cancon 2017 
6 Fire Warrior Units, 3 Devilfishes, Cadre Fireblade, Skyray

6 Fire Warrior Units, 3 Devilfishes

4 XV104 Riptides, Shas'o Commander

3 XV104 Riptides, Shas'el Commander

1 KX 139 Ta'unar Supremacy

1 KX 139 Ta'unar Supremacy

1 KX 139 Ta'unar Supremacy

2 Barracuda Fighters

2 Barracuda Fighters

TIGER SHARK AX-1-0 [175]
1 Tiger Shark AX-1-0

2 Sun Shark Bombers

1 Protector Class Cruiser
Weapons: 2 pin point attacks

This was another build from Cancon this year and did a little better overall than mine. Note that its far more focused on artillery and long range hitting power than orca drop attacks. Lots of air as welll and plenty of heavy armour options with a bit of infantry support too. Ultimately a very different design philosophy but it helps to illustrate the flexibility that Tau can present. 

Friday, 3 March 2017

Friday Night double header! 
God Machines walk the earth again! 

 So two battle reports for you this week as the Epic crew came together to test out some of the new toys for Squats and Tau. You will notice a more explicit activation by activation format this time which is a reflection of what's needed for bat reps to support list development but I'll put a turn summary at the end of each one so that you can still get the narrative overview which is often lost in an activation by activation recount. 

Game 1 - Squats 1.6 Developmental Vs AMTL

The lists:

Squat Thunders w/ 4 Zerkers + 2 Thunderfires + Rhinos Squart Zerks w/ 4 Zerkers + Termites Squat Zerkers w/ Rhino 3 x Overlord Airship with Flak Autocannon Bikers Guild + Grand Warlord Bikers Guild Colossus w/ Living Ancestor + Flak Autocannon Land train w/ 2x Zerkers cars + Siege Mortar

The main changes in the new version of the list are the integration of thunderfires into the core warrior units, a slight points bump to the Berzerker units, a slight bump to the speed of bikers and a serious nerfing of the overlord airships. The war engines haven't changed hugely but the list now has much less long range firepower and potential for activation spam than it had before.

The Titans

Legio Gryphonicus (NetEA v3.24 *APPROVED*) ================================================== REAVER TITAN [675] Apocalypse Missile Launcher, Laser Blaster, Gatling Blaster REAVER TITAN [725] 2 Volcano Cannon, Laser Burner, Legate WARHOUND TITAN PACK [575] 3 Turbo-laser Destructor, Plasma Blastgun WARHOUND TITAN [300] 2 Inferno Gun, Single Weapon System Surcharge WARHOUND TITAN [275] Vulcan Megabolter, Plasma Blastgun CRUSADER SCOUT MANIPLE [150] 4 Crusader Robots THUNDERBOLT SQUADRON [150] 2 Thunderbolts THUNDERBOLT SQUADRON [150] 2 Thunderbolts

This is an interesting Titan build to me because it's warhound heavy rather than including triple reaver as most do in my experience. Even the reavers aren't overly loaded and you might notice the distinctive lack of plasma death reaver and double quake reaver. It makes for a much more aggressive and mobile titan force.

Game Setup

Turn 1
Squats win strat rolloff and give first turn to the Titans. 

Titans - robot unit on overwatch 
Squats moved bikes up to cover position behind large hill 
Titans - Gatling reaver doubles forward and snipes off two bikes. 
Squat thunderers went on to overwatch (blitzgaurd unit) 
Titans - inferno cannon warhound tripled forwards towards the central craters 
Squats - overlord doubled forwards to bring battlecannons in range stripping a single shield off the advancing warhound. 
Titans - warhound pack doubles forwards into ruins on the RHS unleashing a hail of turbo laser shots into the Squat Goliath stripping its shields but 3 remaining hits bounced off its resilient hide. 
Titans retain with the volcano reaver doubling forwards to blast the weakened Goliath blasting 4 DC off it, leaving it with 2 remaining. 
Squat land train sustained onto warhound pack (right) doing a single shield... 
Titan lone wolf standard warhound doubled to put a dc of damage onto the central overlord. 
Squat overlord advanced and shot standard warhound (centre) for 1 shield 
Titan thunderbolts bombed the wounded overlord which became broken and doubled forward. 
Squat overlord 3 advanced to shoot the lone wolf warhound taking another shield off. 
Titans last activation sees a second thunderbolt unit snipe off the broken overlord in the middle 
Squats finish the turn with a failed bike unit activation in the middle of the table (who would have engaged the lone wolf warlord with 2 overlords in support!) and a failed activation by the berserker unit in the middle 

Rally phase - everything on both sides rallied. 

On the left rhinos loaded with berzerkers square off against a warhound titan whilst on the right the "lone wolf" warhound breaths out, overlords came to the party but the biker unit failed to activate so that engage never happened. 

Turn summary - a fairly conservative advance and posturing for positioning but you can see the squats poised to strike some key engagements and ultimately robbed of some key opportunities in the first turn. The changes to the new squat list also came through heavily with the reduced range on the overlords making them advance more aggressively and expose themselves to more risk. The warhound/volcano reaver move was really well planned and potentially devastating but the colossus would live to see turn 2. So much would come down to the activation roll in turn 2.  

Turn 2 

Squats win strat roll again! 
Squat Goliath marshals regaining its void shields and shedding blast markers. Whilst remaining behind the woods 
Squats retain and launch an engagement with the central berserker unit breaking a warhound and taking a DC off it at the same time (photo) 
Titan volcano reaver sidesteps to draw a bead on an overlord bringing it down with a crit
Titans retain for the warhound pack to advance and take 2DC off the last overlord using turbolasers (1 supressed) 
Squats advance with the Land train up next to lone wolf warhound in the middle dropping a single shield with their firepower 
Squats retain with the bike unit who failed to activate last turn to engage the warhound killing it with the support fire of the train to help. 
Titan thunderbolts fly through the colossus autocannon flak to snipe the last DC off the broken overlord. 
Squat bikers on the left double advance to make a screen against the leftmost reaver (photo)
Titans - the same reaver Titan steps slightly to the side to engage the berserker  formation who killed the warhound earlier and took up positions in the crater. Who were wiped from the board despite squats rolling double 6 and the reaver rolling double 1... the reaver takes up position on the central objective. 
Squats Blitzgaurd berserker formation advances double into the central killing ground to threaten the reaver who just wiped out their brethren. Blitz gaurd duties left with the thunder fire cannons who would remain quiet due to clear skies in their sector. 
Titan robots and thunderbolts would finish off the turn by both failing to activate. 

On the left everything is turning messy as squats pour out of everywhere to challenge the reaver whilst the right looks a lot more safely in the hands of the god machines. 

Rally phase - everything on both sides rallied 

Turn 2 summary - a much more dramatic turn with one warhound going down to engagement and another broken but rallying. 3 overlords would snuff it too as their reduced range combined with their permanently popped up rules would see them targeted heavily by Titan firepower. Interestingly only one was killed outright with the others being killed whilst broken already to blast marker overkill. Berserkers forwards into more aggressive positions would also make for an interesting turn 3 and squats  would use the newly improved speed to great use in engagement. 

Turn 3 
Berserkers pop out of their tunnellers right under the central crater where the left most reaver is sitting leaving 1 reaver to contest half a table by itself. Ouch. 
Titans win the roll off and launch a decisive blow with the warhound pack who use their recharged plasma blastgun and turbolasers to finish off the squat colossus (BTS) 
Titans retain with the leftmost reaver who flees the tide of berserkers popping out of the ground casually annihilating the left most bike unit during its flight with Gatling laser death. 
Squat land train would advance on the right hand side putting a blast marker on the warhound guarding the Titan blitz followed by a retain with the biker unit who engage the warhound breaking it and watching it double forwards to block squats from advancing to the leftmost objectives. (Photo) 

Game called 2-1 Titans favour at this point. Titans have BTS and Defend the Flag, squats have Defend the flag and no chance of contesting more objectives with their remaining activations. 

Turn 3 Summary - A really aggressive turn but not one that worked out well for the squats. Having lost most of their firepower with the overlords and the colossus going down without inflicting much it was all about engagements to make decisive moves this round. Fearless titans don't die to FF engagements though so the question was more about board control and positioning and the titans just had too much of a lead for those engagements squats did win to make a difference. Squats take one more step towards final extinction.

                       Game 2 - Tau Voir'la Vs AMTL
The Army

Tau Voir’la 3000pts
5x Crisis Battlesuits + Drones + Supreme Commander
5x Crisis Battlesuits + Drones
Recon Skimmers – 4 Tetras and 1 Piranna
Recon Skimmers – 4 Tetras and 1 Piranna
Stealth Teams – 6 Suits + Cadre Fireblade + Drones
Supremacy Suit
Supremacy Suit
6 Hammerhead Gunships + Skyray (BTS Formation)
Orca Transport
Orca Transport
Tigershark AX-10

Baracudda Fighters

The basic Tau plan was to spread the titans out at much as possible and they clearly had the opposite intention to group together and focus on half the board. 

Turn 1
Titans win initiative
Kick off turn with a failed thunderbolt cap roll who stand down. 
Tau show them how it's done by putting barracudas on cap. 
Titans fail to learn lesson by failing to cap with the second unit thunderbolts but the sup com steps in to end the shenanigans. 
Tau begin operation slow bro by bringing on an orca to pick up a unit of something at the end of the turn. 
Titans play the stalling game moving putting crusader bots around 
Tau play it better by mirroring the crusaders with their tetra unit that generally goes in a circle on the spot. 
Titan Gatling reaver advances double into the central terrain piece. 
Tau continue to stall with stealth teams moving around in a circle. 
Titan with volcanos doubles forward and snipes off two of the right most tetras at extreme range breaking the unit. 
Tau suits with sup com on my left sneak forward behind the craters to contest the leftmost objective. 
Titan warhound pack triple moves into the tau half on the RHS 
Tau crisis suits wander around to get into the previously landed orca. 
Titan inferno warhound doubles up to hide behind his reaver friends. 
Tau orca no2 lands to collect the stealth team ready to fly off again 
Titan lone wolf warhound tripled forwards to threaten the tau blitz. 
Tau are all on their own now. Tetras advance, hammerheads reposition, supremacy suits both sustain on the volcano cannon reaver dropping 3 of its shields and the ax10 finishes the turn with a colossal 2 hits (1 shield) on the volcano reaver. 

Rally phase - orcas leave uncontested as does the AX10. Thunderbolts take flak but survive it. The volcano reaver sheds all blast markers due to having a legate and the tau tetra unit fails to rally. 

Turn Summary - Tau largely stall for turn 1 using their activation advantage to seek an opportunity to do some notable damage. Sadly the titans were hugging the hell out of area terrain in the middle limiting the Tau capacity to do much real damage. The BTS felt super vulnerable and I couldn't seem to get markerlights and follow up shots to work well together meaning the damage I was doing was fairly superficial. The Orcas were all loaded up now so some good hits could be coming next turn. 

Both sides have essentially square off and take ground with titans up one end of the board and tau down the other trying to find ways to take good shots with minimal risk. 

Turn 2 
Tau win intitiative and use a supremacy suit to snipe the regenerated shield off the volcano reaver (BTS) 
Titans Marshall the volcano reaver who regens all his shields again
Titans retain with the thunderbolts on Cap who fail again. 
Tau sup com crisis suits continue to advance up the extreme left of the field. 
Titans warhound pack doubles forwards onto the undefended tau Blitz and blast the activated supremacy suit who dies to plasma death. 
Tau supremacy suit sustains on the second reaver doing nothing. 
Titan thunderbolts go onto Cap after the sup com steps in again. 
Tau hammerheads pop up to shoot the warhounds camping on our blitz but manage only a single scratch. 
Titan double inferno doubles forward to snipe the broken supremacy suit killing it with  blast markers and wiping out the broken tetras with the same. 
Tau respond with an orca worth of crisis suits who drop down to blast that warhound into oblivion with markerlight macro and conventional shots. 
Titan crusader scouts go on overwatch 
Tau barracudas fly on to blast the crusaders off their bts doing 3 hits which all bounce off the 6+ armour saves... what tha?
Titans respond with an aggressive Gatling reaver advance which targets the suits who just dropped out of the orca killing 2 and breaking the unit through disrupt hits. 
Tau tetras advance on the double to markerlight the warhounds sitting on the Tau blitz. 
Titan lone wolf Titan doubles forwards and evaporates two scout tetras with his plasma and Vulcan bolter 
Tau stealth suits land to engage the warhound Titans on the blitz inflicting a wound but losing 2 in return. They win combat by 2 but lose the roll off and get broken with the Titans now in firm control of the blitz. This would essentially be the game losing move for the Tau. 
The AX10 came on under the flak bubble of the skyray who shoots down a thunderbolt but the ax10 succumbs to the remaining thunderbolt. 
The spaceship finishes the turn but managing 2 hits on the unsheidled warhound Titan pack and then manages two single TK damage which reduces one of them to a wound but kills nothing. Breaking the unit. Stupid spaceship. 

Rally phase - Tau stealth suits rally but the central crisis suits fail as do the remaining tetras 

Game called due to time with an agreement that the Titans have a safe hold on the Tau Blitz and take and hold objectives. They were also in good chance to take the tau BTS so it's really a question of whether it's 2-0 or 3-0. 

Turn Summary - A really tough turn for Tau overall. In my mind the build that I'm running lives or dies on a few key engagements. The first orca drop did it's job with markerlights helping them to wipe out a warhound titan nicely though having them broken by some above average shooting hurt a lot. When all the hits bounced off the crusader robots holding the bltiz that objective got shut down hard and the stealth team bouncing as well just really nailed the lid on the ol coffin. Two more broken titan formations and tau troops positioned to threaten more objectives would have helped the original plan to spread them out but with the losses we took that just wasn't an option and the Titans could concentrate on a few key objectives easily. All things considered the same pattern I've encountered with Tau so far just played out again, they just don't hit hard enough in my mind and I'm yet to find a build that can do that.