Thursday, July 19, 2012

Battle Report: Orks vs. Tau, 5th vs. 6th


 I went over to Joshua's the other day, and while our kids played with their toys, we played with ours.  Joshua wanted to try out Tau, and I had a bunch of another friend's sitting around in storage, so we broke those out for a test game against Orks.  Joshua hasn't read any of the 6th ed stuff yet, so we kept the game 5th ed.  I took pics as a matter of habit, but thought I probably wouldn't post a battle report given the edition change.  However, thinking about it today I thought it might be interesting to show this 5th edition game and make some comments about how things would have been different if it were a 6th edition game instead!

 We had a Spearhead (table quarters, doesn't exist in 6th) deployment, with Seize Ground with 5 objectives.  The Tau deployed in firing positions while the Orks prepared to charge across the field.  Tau had a unit of Crisis Suits and a massive Kroot blob in reserve (deep strike/outflank respectively), I had Koptas, Kommandos, Grots, bikers, and a trukk of sluggas in reserve (koptas and kommandos outflank).  In 6th you can only reserve half your units in most cases, but we had more than enough units so that would not have made a difference here.

The speeders are really tau piranha

The battlewagon and ardboy trukk get destroyed by railgun and missile pod fire, despite their 4+ cover from the KFF.  In 6th, the KFF save would only be 5+, but there would have been a good chance of first turn night fight, which depending on the distance could have raised it to a 4+ or even 3+.  

Orks move up towards objectives and the enemy.  The trukk squad on the right wouldn't be able to move 12" and disembark in 6th, and the meganobs wouldn't get to Run due to Slow and Purposeful, but don't always move as if in terrain.

Ardboys get pummeled by Tau fire.  With 5th wound allocation, I was able to take the bucket of failed saves from the ones further back, maintaining the guy closest to the broadsides.  Also, since the wounds came in a few at a time, I was able to mostly spare the nob having to take saves.  In 6th, the unsaved wounds would have to come from the closest guys, improving the odds that I'd be out of charge range.  The nob would also have had to make more saves, though I could have a chance to Look Out Sir! and pull boys into the way of the shots.  Of course, in 6th the nob may instead have been positioned further back in the unit precisely to avoid the shots in the first place.

The trukk boys who were near the objective bottom left in the picture got shot up and fell back (now near middle of pic, above center crater).  With the deep striking battlesuits nearby and being under 50% they had no chance to rally.  In 6th, the nearby enemy wouldn't matter, and being over 25% they could rally at their regular Ld7, making them much more likely to be more active in the fight.

Bikers come in from reserve up top and try to shoot the stealth suits with their dakkaguns.  I roll a 3 for my night fighting check, giving me 9" visibility to the stealth suits, not quite far enough (a 5 would have done it).  In 6th, instead of random visibility distances, night fight gives extra cover saves, and stealth suits have been errata'd to fit in, with Stealth and Shrouded, giving them +3 to cover saves, 4+ in the open.  I would have been able to shoot them, and their stealth wouldn't have really mattered against dakkaguns as their 3+ armor would be better.  If they had been in the 5+ cover woods instead though, they'd have a 2+ cover save to use instead!

The kommandos also came in from their outflank, and with the aid of the Waaggghh cleared the sandbags and prepared to charge into the fire warriors and a hammerhead.  In 6th, I wouldn't be able to charge coming out of reserve, couldn't charge after running even with the Fleet from the Waaggghh, but the charge distance would be 2d6" (able to be rerolled due to Fleet) instead of 6" flat. The fire warriors would also be able to overwatch fire at the incoming orks, but only hitting on 6s, which with 20 shots would probably result in about two dead kommandos.  The hammerhead wouldn't get to (Tau question - gun drones are sometimes treated as vehicle weapons and sometimes as passengers - vehicle weapons can't overwatch, but passengers can - so can gun drones on a vehicle that gets charged take overwatch shots?).  In addition, by charging two units the orks would be making a "disordered charge", losing their +1A for charging and Furious Charge.  The fire warriors have defensive grenades which made me lose the attack anyways, but they work differently in 6th.  Whew, that was a lot of changes!

Orks swarm over a piranha, but need 6s to hit it in assault.  They manage a few tags and Stun it, keeping it from escaping.  In 6th, they would hit the moving vehicle on 3s.  They could only glance it, so would be unable to Stun it, but a few glances would remove all its hull points and wreck it anyways.

The reduced ard boys squad and the meganobs make their charge rolls and engage the broadsides.  In 5th they rolled 2d6 and took the highest to charge into terrain; in 6th they would have rolled 3d6 and discarded the highest die.  With Fleet from the Waaggghh they could have rerolled those dice, but they wouldn't get the Run move.  The broadsides would have gotten overwatch shots, which could be painful coming from broadsides!  The twin linked weapons would give them a decent chance at those 6s.  In 5th, the broadsides went ahead and piled in, while in 6th they would have waited for their initiative step to do so, and it would have only been 3 inches.  In 5th, the warboss, being out of btb, was unable to attack, but that wouldn't stop him in 6th.  There also could have been some challenges, with a warboss or nob potentially taking on the tau team leader.  In either edition though, this many powerklaw swings should result in dead broadsides.

The giant kroot and kroot hound mob shows up from outflanking and charges the bikers.  See kommando example for all the different things that would happen in 6th (no charge from reserve, overwatch).  TL dakkaguns probably would have gotten around 8 kroot (18TL shots hitting on 6s, Str 5 vs. T3).  

The kommandos dispatched the fire warriors, but were unable to get ahold of the hammerhead, which flies away.  In 6th, assuming the charge could have happened at all, the nob's PK would have only needed 3s to hit instead of 6, making it much more likely to have gotten a result on the tank.

Stuff happens.  Near the top of the picture, the remaining piranha shoots at the lobbas hiding behind the ruins.  The hits were randomized against the gun and crew, but didn't hurt anything.  In 6th, the hits on the gun battery would have been allocated as normal to the closest model first, but would have used the guns' T7 for all hits, instead of grots' T2 or AV10 for the lobbas.  A few Str5 burst cannon shots are unlikely to have much effect against artillery in 6th.

The big mob takes on and wrecks a hammerhead and prepares to stretch out to cover two, maybe three objectives.  In 6th a unit can only control one objective at a time.  Slugga trukk boys had come in earlier and charged into the kroot, wiping them out with a run of great rolls.  They since piled back in and head towards more objectives.

Gots in the ruins try to score this objective, but a devilfish sits on it and contests it.  In 6th, a vehicle (in most cases) can't contest (deny) objectives.  The fire warriors get lobba'd heavily, and the survivor falls back off of their objective, leaving the Orks in firm control of the map. 

There you have it!  I hope that some of the side-by-side edition comparisons from an actual game may help some get a better handle on the new edition, and demonstrate how some of those differences will lead to some significantly different choices in-game and during list building.


  1. That was really cool! I liked how you described the differences in the editions.
    I haven't gotten my rulebook yet, so any games I play in the next couple of weeks will be 5th edition. It's nice to see someone still rockin' the old stuff a bit. But I can't wait.
    Thanx! Great post!

  2. Thanks agemmanjw! Glad you liked it.

  3. Looks like it was a fun game - loved the write-up! Thanks for sharing the pics, it's always cool to see Da Boys give the Fish-heads a good kicking! :)

  4. It was his first time playing Tau, so he was at a pretty significant disadvantage, while I had played with and against Tau a good bit and was familiar with my own army too. Even so, he's a good enough player to seriously hurt the orks and keep it from being a foregone conclusion. Some 1s to wound on railguns and similar rolls didn't help either.

    Glad that you liked the writeup; it was an interesting exercise, and I'm glad that so many things came up so they could be compared.


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