I recently got a couple of friends over to my house in Alexandria, VA for a throw down of Orky proportions. My buddy was unable to get a hold of his Eldar models so he got to play the green horde while I teamed up with another friend to bring the ranged pain of Tau and Imp Guard.
We used some modular terrain I made a long time ago and that’s been buried in storage for several years. We put together the dining room table and a fold out table that I own (which had a lower height by about an inch). We used our imagination to describe the height difference in the tables as a crevice caused by an Earthquake. It gave a 4+ cover save and was dangerous terrain for vehicles and difficult for troops.
The Tau and Imperial Guard got to choose a side of the board, and we went for the side with the crevice. It would give us the benefit of cover but also the danger of the Imp guard vehicles crashing.
Ork 2000 point army
10 Nob squad with a pain boy and all shoota/skorchas.
30 Ard Boys
Big Mek with a kustom force field
5 Tank busta boys
1 Looted Wagon
2 Killa kans
1 Zzap gun
1 Wartrukk with a squad of slugga boys
1 warbuggy w/ skorcha
Tau 1000 point army
12 Kroot snipers with a krootox and 2 kroot hounds
12 Firewarriors with a Cadre Fireblade
6 Firewarriors in a Devilfish with an Ethereal
2 Broadsides with 4 missile pods
1 Sniper Drone team
Imperial Guard 1000 point army
Leman Russ Executioner
2 Chimeras each with a platoon commander
4 squads of men with the platoons
1 heavy weapon team of mortars
Ratling sniper squad
The Ratling snipers managed to score first blood on the Zzap gun. I’ve never used the artillery before and it was just too easy to kill, so sorry to my friend that I tried it out on.
The Tau armored spearhead moved up on the flank that had very few orks and prepared to secure the objective next to the river. The imperial guard started their general advance while the Tau mostly hung back to support fire. One small fire warrior squad moved up to secure the bunker in the middle of the battlefield.
Very poor luck doomed the orks early with the looted wagon being forced to move forward so that it could not use its Boomgun. Even worse, the Battlewagon went over dangerous terrain and was immobilized, so the Nob squad and Warboss had to disembark earlier than desired. Just to add insult to injury, one of the warbuggies also got immobilized from terrain. The squad still got into melee with a Chimera and destroyed it, but this put it out in the open and not in close combat. The orks forced the kroot to have to move to regain coherency, messing up their sniper shots.
Basically, the number one goal was just to take out the Nob squad and Warboss (composing about 450 points). If that unit survived, the Tau would probably get wiped out one unit at a time. The combined firepower of both armies was enough to wipe out the squad, just barely.
The orks kept slogging forward and took out some Imperial Guard, but it wasn’t looking very good for their casualty to kill ratio. The orks forced the kroot to have to move to regain coherency, messing up their sniper shots, for a second turn.
The tau cleaned up on their left flank, leaving the orks with no way to secure the river objective. The imperial guard valiantly stood their ground and prepared for the inevitable Orkish assaults on the right flank.
Ork bikes drove up and engaged the Imperial Guard that took the middle bunker. The Ard boyz assaulted a command squad. The deff koptas took out another Chimera. The Wartrukk orks engaged and destroyed two squads of imperial guard in a disorganized charge, but their numbers suffered greatly.
In the end, the orks only had two troop choices left with no way to really score enough VPs before the end of the game, we called it, the etheral safe and sound on the left flank and our warlord, my cadre fireblade, safe behind a couple of other units.
The Nob squad having to depart the heavy Battlewagon so early was a major disaster for the ork army. If the nobs had been able to stay on board for one or two more turns and drive up into the Tau squads, it would have been a disaster for the Tau.
Ork artillery needs to be used in a unit and with a Runtherd or stowed far out of harm’s way.
Firewarriors with a Cadre and a nearby Ethereal is devastating.
Hammerheads and Leman Russ are really really tough to take out.
Ard boys are not too bad for the points, especially in a full size unit of 30.
Orks should disorganized charge more than one unit, if possible so that they can stay “stuck in” during the opponent turn, or wipe out two units.
Kroot snipers continue to be disappointing.
Battlesuits are not required for Tau to be good now that the Cadre Fireblade exists.
Markerlights again prove to be the best Tau weapon.