Im on a roll with games at the moment and while I had my board set up and ready to go, my son asked if we could have a game. We went for a tempest of war game as I'm getting quite familiar with them now and I also decided to stick with my guard list as I had it all to hand. He was keen to play his new tau models, even though he's still waiting for me to sort out magnetising the various weapon options.
As with previous games the 4 buildings in the middle are obscuring, so while the ghostkeel on the tau left might look exposed, it's actually hidden behind the building. The tau deployed very aggressive with said ghostkeel on one flank and stealth suits on the midfield objectives. The pathfinder squad also moved up pregame. I played fairly aggressive with the guard, mostly the Hellhammer, as I pushed it right up as I feared that it would take a lot of punishment turn 1 and needed to try and get something out of it.
As it turned out I was very lucky and got to go first, moving my Hellhammer right up and hitting as.mucj stuff as I could including taking the ghostkeel down to.just a couple of wounds which I them removed by charging in the tank. Luckily I rolled high enough to go around the ruins as I couldn't fit between them! This did however leave my tank very exposed to return shooting.
The return shooting however was a bit of a washout. The hammerhead Railgun fired, missed, rerolled, missed. It's speaker missile then missed, as did the devilfish seeker missiles. Lastly the broadsides took their turn and promptly missed with both seeker missiles. The rail rifles did hit and wound, as did a couple of the pathfinder rail rifles, kicking the tank down to less than half wounds.
The tau also went aggressive on the other flank, with the crisis suits and commander dropping in, using the stealth suits homing beacons. The tau started to push hard right from the off.
The guard Countered by dropping in behind the tau and doing damage to the tau castle, removing a number of units and characters. However, not all the "big" units were dealt with. The hammerhead, although crippled survived, as did the devilfish and a broadside. Enough firepower to be worrying.
The guard reserves drop
The wording was justified and the Hellhammer was destroyed with relative ease. Unfortunately it didn't explode, as I would have loved it to go nova right Infront of the tau! Apparently it only does that when in its own lines though.
At the end of turn 2 things were still quite tight and we were actually even on scores, with the tau holding the majority of the board, but only loosely, as their deployment zone was mostly devoid tau units. They still had some bite left but I was confident I could handle what was left.
We took a break at the end of turn 2, as it was getting late. One advantage of the new dinning room is that I can leave the game up overnight and play again the next day.
As we moved towards the end game I took some calculated risks, which did actually pay off this time around. Rather than go for quick points I went for the long game, advancing up to claim objectives rather than shooting, with a lack of firepower on the tau side, especially in the back field, I was certain it would pay off.
The tau responded in pretty much the only way they could, and kept pushing, hoping to keep chewing through my castle and they did a pretty good job, the firepower of the Breachers, crisis suits and commander taking down pretty much everything they looked at. That broadside that I failed to destroy and the hammerhead also crippled my flyer, just about managing to take it out but only with the additional mortal wounds caused by the railguns, something we initially forgot about! With the flyer now gone, my scions way out of position in the rear, I was actually starting to wonder if I had enough firepower to drop all the crisis suits and the commander.
The guard turn 4 was basically taken up shooting the commander and crisis suits trying desperately to chip off wounds. I did finally manage to kill the suits but failed to kill the commander, so everything that could charged did charge but even that wasn't enough to destroy it.
By this point it was obvious that the tau had lost, and we were running out of time as well, so we decided to call it here. The tau had only a few units remaining and not enough firepower to really kill off the remaining guard before they too would have been destroyed, so the tau commander sounded the retreat, hit the power button on the jet pack and jumped away to safety.
Despite the board being quite devoid of tau units, the score was actually a lot closer that you'd think. I did look at the cards for turn 5 if we had of played and we theory hammered out the turn and we recon that it would have ended at about 90 to 80, as I would have been able to get a couple of cards but no more objectives and Thomas would have only been able to get a single card but gained another objective.
I really enjoyed this game and I think it's one of the best things about the tempest cards, you never know what your going to get and so it really levels the playing field. My son made a few mistakes but nothing that cost him to dearly, I also made some but mostly as I was playing quite freely, more so than I would have in a tournament game. After four games of thinking every move through, it was nice to just relax a bit and play for fun. I've really got to get that last tournament game sorted!
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