Got in a game last night with my Chaos Marines and Daemon allies vs. Tau. We decided to go random with the mission and set up so I tried to take a pretty balanced force that could hold objectives well and still put hand to hand pressure on him; getting into a straight firefight with Tau is not advisable these days. My list was something like:
Chaos Sorcerer - Aura, Psychic Level 2
10 Plague Marines - 2 plasma guns
10 Khornate Marines in a Land Raider - Extra Armor and Dirge Caster
10 Khornate Marines in a Land Raider - Extra Armor and Dirge Caster
3 Obliterators (Nurgle)
Demon Prince (Nurgle, Armor, Wings, Balesword)
He had two sets of 3 Suits (one with General in it), Riptide, 2 big blocks of Fire Warriors, Kroot Outflankers, 2 Broadsides, Pathfinders, Stealth Suits, some Drones, Hammerhead and Piranha.
I wanted any mission but Purge the Alien, as kill points are right up the Tau's alley what with all that shooting potential. So of course, what do we roll? Purge the Alien.
We rolled the weird diagonal set up and were fighting on a board with mostly ruins, woods and craters. I choose the side with some cover (the Tau would have very little of it on their side). I think he had a small building to the rear of his deployment zone and that was about it. I had some woods and a building in mine.
I set up both Land Raiders full of Khornate Marines and the Daemon Prince hiding behind them. The Plague Marines were to the right of them with their eye on a ruin to their front to go grab and put down fire from. Everything else was gonna deep strike in. He castled up his army with the Fire Warriors in front backed up by one group of Suits and both Broadsides. The Stealth Suits infiltrated down from my deployment zone and the Pathfinders grabbed a crater slightly ahead of their lines with the Riptide backing them up.
I went first and jumped everything off straight at the Tau lines. I knew I had to play aggressively to keep them from dictating the flow of the battle and concentrating fire. The Land Raiders went flat out and the DP flew over to hide behind a building.
Tau started shooting and only managed to strip a hull point off one Land Raider in their turn. I was primed to hit their lines hard next round. And hit it I did.
Ok, I hear talk that Dirge Casters are not so hot cause it's tough to get them in close where you need them most of the time. Not so much with Land Raiders. I drove into the Tau, unloaded both units of Khorne dudes into them, and only took a minimum of Overwatch shots from Tau outside the 6" zone of fun. It worked like a charm. These thing proved worth their weight in gold this game. I lost a couple of Marines and that was it. They butchered the Tau and consolidated into what little cover there was (mostly craters). Better than nothing! I would be lucky to have any left even though I had just took out a big chunk of his shooting ability.
Over on the other side of my lines my Plague Marines trucked up the field, trying to reach the ruins in front of them. The Riptide had moved a little closer to me so my Sorcerer cast Puppet Master on him. This is one evil little psychic power. I had him target the Pathfinders beside him (cause FUCK marker lights!) and they proceeded to get blasted and the survivors high tailed it out of there, running all the way back to their lines and off the board for the rest of the game. That helped a lot.
Tau turn they take out one unit of Khorne Marines and kill a few from the second squad, not too many though. The Land Raiders move up to squash any Overwatch next turn, and the Daemon Prince flies into a ruin to try to get a flank charge off next turn. The Suit unit is in a tough spot...they can't escape both the Khorny Marines and the Prince, so they fly forward of their lines a little, still in easy charge range of the big guy. The Riptide backed up to stay away from my Sorcerer so as not to get hit with psychic powers again. So far so good, the Tau are reacting to my moves and clearly moving to get away from threats instead of positioning for good shooting.
Next round the Prince flies into the Suit unit and destroys all of them with the Balesword (yay Instant Death) and what's left of the Khorne Marines charges a Broadside, taking no Overwatch as the Dirge Casters keep doing their thing. They slap fight it for a few rounds before taking it out in a sweeping advance later. This teaches me that even against Tau, I should have given their Champ something. These guys are not Berserkers after all and need some kick to them. Even a power sword would have been handy vs. that 2+ save. Luckily the amount of dice being rolled against it finally got some wounds through.
The other Land Raider backs up to go help the Plague Marines, as I figure the Tau General's unit is coming down near there soon. At this point, neither my Plague bearers or Oblits have come on.
Tau continue to blast me in their round, with their General's unit coming down to target my Plague Marines. A huge unit of Kroot also show up in my backfield to help. I'm feeling nervous but T5 plus a few Feel No Pain rolls keeps casualties to a minimum. I do lose both plasma guns to focus fire though. He pours fire into the forward Land Raider and strips a few more hull points off it. Armor 14 is seriously hard to chew through. He concentrates some more fire on my Plauge Marines and takes a bunch out, and puts a wound on my Sorcerer. He has a whole mess of Kroot behind him so it's looking like he'll die soon.
Next round my Plagebearers come in with one of them Misshaping. He gets to place them so they go into my back corner and are effectively out of this fight. The other one drops in near the Tau flank, hoping to go for Linebreaker. I wanted to see how going to ground with them would go. The Daemon Prince flies over to the General's unit and wipes the out, the Balesword just wreaking havoc. The Land Raider backs up some and Sorcerer dude hops in, safe from immediate harm.
More Tau shooting, although there's not much at this point as both Suit units are dead, one Broadside is tied up and about to be dead, and most of the Tau are way off on the left, out of most range. He does finish off the Plague Marines and the flanking Plaguebearers though.
Another mishap with the Oblits as they come on this round (I rolled very high with two of my deep strikers for scatter) so they go back in the corner as well. They get a few shots off on the Kroot. That's some Linebreaker for them so I wanna try to scare them outta there. Khorny Marines finally finish off a Broadside and prepare to die from shooting next turn. Game is really winding down at this point and I'm up 7 or so to 3. I continue to build kill points up which is a definite surprise. Figured it would be the other way around.
Tau go and shoot the piss out of Khorne Marines, killing them. They finally manage to glace my forward Land Raider to death but the damage is done; the Dirge has done it's duty. Pathfinders run off the board. The Stealth Suits come out of hiding but are way out of range.
It's pretty much over when my Land Raider tank shocks the Kroot and they fail their test and run off the board. We called it at the end of turn 5.
So a fun game as I actually managed to get into hand to hand, last time I played him I took a Khorne themed force and got shot all to hell. The MVP was the Prince as he took out 6 Suits. I can't say enough good things about the Dirge Caster, at least on Land Raiders. Taking out Overwatch robs the Tau of one of their greatest strengths IMO. This gives me incentive to work on them this week for sure.
Next time I'll be trying out a Nurgle / Slaanesh Daemon list. I may be spoiled on no Overwatch though!