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A wild 9th edition Battle Report Appears! 1000pt Imperium vs Tau

Started by Cammerz, April 10, 2022, 09:58:52 AM

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With pandemic restrictions basically gone, I have managed to play a few games of 9th edition. My Imperial Guard have fought against Death Guard, allied with a force of Adepta Sororitas against both Death Guard and Iron Warriors, my Tau have allied with some other Tau to destroy an unusual alliance of Death Guard and Sororitas, now it was the turn of my Inquisition.

I will start by stressing that I know this is far from a competitive list, but it is a force I created for fun and have fully painted up to be Parade Ready. To give myself something of a chance I customised the Ordo after seeing who I'd be up against, it was Tau, so they were Ordo Xenos.

The actual list itself is actually an Imperium force consisting of two Vanguard Detachments, one of Inquisition and one of Imperial Guard (no starting CP for me):

Ordo Xenos Vanguard
HQ – Inquisitor w. Power Maul, Plasma Pistol (WT. Puritan, Relic. Digital Weapons)
Elite – Jokaero (modelled as a tech guy, there's no way this Inquisitor would allow a technologically advanced orangutan near him)
Elite – 3x Acolytes (3x Chainswords and Plasma Pistols)
Elite – 3x Acolytes (2x Chainswords and Plasma Pistols, 1x Bolt Pistol and Plasmagun)
Elite – 3x Acolytes (2x Chainswords and Plasma Pistols, 1x Bolt Pistol and Plasmagun)
Heavy Support – Inquisition Land Raider Prometheus [Legends] w. Multi-melta and Storm Bolter

Imperial Guard Vanguard (Custom regiment – Gunnery Experts, Jury-rigged Repairs)
HQ – Company Commander w. Power Fist and Plasma Pistol
Elite – Platoon Commander w. Chainsword and Plasma Pistol
Elite – Command Squad w. 4x Meltaguns
Elite – Command Squad w. 4x Plasmaguns
Dedicated Transport – Taurox w. 2x Autocannons
Heavy Support – Armageddon Pattern Medusa

The Inquisitor and all nine acolytes would be starting the battle embarked within the Land Raider whilst the Imperial Guard infantry would all be in the Taurox, this meant I would be deploying four models on the tabletop. The Inquisitor isn't a psyker because the model is Gideon Lorr and he wouldn't like that sort of thing.

I don't have the full details of the Tau force but it consisted of a Vanguard Detachment and a Super-Heavy Auxiliary, both Bork'an Sept (so no starting CP for my opponent either):

Bork'an Vanguard
HQ – XV8 Commander w. 1x Marker Drone, Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Burst Cannon and probably another piece of wargear (WT. All of the re-rolls, Relic. Shield Generator with extra rules)
Elite – 3 XV8 Crisis Battlesuits w. 1x Marker Drone (each Crisis Suit carried naught but a single Burst Cannon)
Elite – 3 XV8 Crisis Battlesuits w. 1x Marker Drone (each Crisis Suit carried naught but a single Burst Cannon)
Elite – 2 DX-4 Technical Drones [Legends] (these are an old Forge World unit that can repair battlesuits)
Heavy Support – Riptide w. Ion Accelerator and 2x Plasma Rifles (although he only realised that there were two of them part-way through the game, so in the first couple of turns I got off a little easier)

Bork'an Super-Heavy Auxiliary
Lord of War – Stormsurge w. Pulse Blastcannon, Smart Missile System, Cluster Rocket System and 4x Destroyer Missiles (there were also two Tau Flamers but they were never used).

As you might be able to tell just by looking, this wasn't going to go well for me.

The Tau secondary objectives were: Assassinate (kill my characters), To the Last (he would get points for his Commander, Riptide and Stormsurge surviving the battle) and a Tau secondary called Decisive Action (he needed to hold half or more of the objectives during the first three turns when Mont'ka was active).

I struggled with my decisions and eventually settled on: Behind Enemy Lines (get units into his deployment zone), Bring It Down (kill the Riptide and Stormsurge) and Investigate Signal (I needed infantry to perform actions in the centre of the battlefield).

The mission was Centre Ground (Incursion mission 3: Core Rulebook) with four objectives in No-Man's Land and diagonal deployments. There is a fair amount of proxying for the Tau (particularly with battlesuit weapons), the XV8 commander is the one painted entirely differently to the others (he's one of mine and needs a new colour scheme in due course) and the DX-4 Technical Drones are being represented by Recon Drones. Tech Adept Jok Aero is located in the top-left ruin near objective 4, if you look closely you might be able to see him peeking through the window.

I was the defender and so started deploying first but sadly didn't win the roll to go first.

Tau turn 1:

The two Crisis Battlesuit teams leap forwards to claim objectives 1 and 3, the Commander accompanying the XV8s towards 3. The Riptide, in true Mont'ka fashion, heads straight for the centre of the board ready to enage while the Stormsurge is happy to sit back and uses the Deploy Anchors Action to grand itself re-roll hits for the rest of the game.

The Riptide initiates proceedings in the shooting phase by firing at the Land Raider Prometheus (overcharging the Ion Accelerator as it does so) causing four wounds; three to the Land Raider and one to itself. The Commander then fires all of his guns at the Taurox, dealing four damage in total. His XV8 escort unload their Burst Cannons into the same target and chip off a further two wounds.

The XV8s on the other side of the battlefield are forced to split their fire as each battlesuit can see either the Land Raider or Jok Aero, neither target suffered any damage from the fusilade.

Finally the Stormsurge decided that the rest of the Tau force just hadn't done enough damage and split its fire around the place; the Smart Missile System took two of Jok Aero's three wounds, the Cluster Rockets roll well and a lot of missiles find, damage and ultimately destroy the Taurox (which doesn't explode) and the Pulse Blastcannon deals 13 damage to the Land Raider, bringing it down to a single one that was quickly extinguished by the lone Destroyer Missile that he had also opted to fire in that direction (that didn't explode either).

So Tau turn 1 ended with all of my infantry models suddenly forced to travel on foot whilst the Tau managed to earn 4VP for Decisive Action.

Inquisition turn 1:

The infantry spread out, heading towards objectives 2 and 4, cover and enemies as each unit thought would be best. The Company and Platoon Commanders each issued the Take Aim order which these days can affect all units in range (themselves and their accompanying Command Squads), the Company Commander bravely led the Melta squad towards the Riptide and opened fire (overcharging his plasma pistol) but sadly missed (fortunately rolling a 2 rather than a 1). The Command Squad fared somewhat better but only one managed to get past the Riptode's forcefield and even then dealt a paltry four damage (this was within half range so he was rolling d6+2).

The Platoon Commander fared better still, his own overcharged plasma shot obliterated a marker Drone whilst his squad (also overcharging) killed two Crisis suits.

The Acolyte squad escorting the Inquisitor (squad 1, all chainswords) failed to wound the Riptide whilst the other two Acolyte squads and Jok Aero combine their shooting into the other XV8s, killing one and a half, plus their Marker Drone. The Heavy Bolter of the Medusa is unable to add more to that count but a round from the Medusa Siege Cannon did get a further six damage onto the Riptide.

Zealotry perhaps getting the better of them, one Acolyte squad decided to charge the team of two Crisis Battlesuits who Set to Defend as they were behind obscuring cover. The Acolytes manage a single wound on the already-wounded XV8 but two of them are killed in retaliation (had they survived that round of combat then they would have taken objective 1 from the Xenos).

The first Battle Round ended with the Tau ahead 4-0 and my squishy T3 Sv5+ Veteran Guardsmen and Acolytes no longer in those nice, safe, metal boxes.

Tau turn 2:

The Tau immediately spend their newly-gained CP on Back-up AI which convinced the Riptide that it was fine and could operate on its top bracket for the turn. The one remaining Marker Drone (attached to the Commander) tried to draw a bead on the Plasmagunner Command Squad but the beam of light reflected off the shiny Imperial armour. The DX-4s repaired three wounds on the Riptide and it celebrated by leaping into the midst of the Imperial forces and opening fire at those who would dare try shooting at it. The Ion Accelerator disintegrates three of the four meltagunners but the Plasma Rifle (at this point he still thought it only had one) failed to harm the Company Commander.

The XV8 Crisis Battlesuits fired next, the pair in combat with the lone Acolyte deciding that they didn't like him much and teaching him that they can now fire in close combat (yeah, he died) whilst the one in the Commander's aura killed a plasmagunner from the Platoon Command Squad. The Commander then splits fire, his burst cannon destroying the rest of that Command squad whilst the missile/plasma combo lit up the Platoon Commander, his refractor field doing just enough to leave him standing on a single wound.

The Stormsurge attempts to repeat its tankbusting antics from round 1, this time against the Medusa which, being slightly further away, is out of range of the Pulse Blastcannon's Focused Shot. The Blastcannon plus a pair of Destroyer Missiles astonishingly fail to so much as scratch the solid lump of ForgeWorld resin. It had better luck with the SMS which simply deleted the Acolytes by objective 4. Luck was not on the side of the Company Commander however, who looked up to see the Cluster Rocket System unleash a monstrous barrage directly at him. The Refractor Field was amazing, it managed to catch an unbelievable amount of firepower, but it was only just too much to handle and he rolled just one too many failed saves.

The Riptide charged the Acolytes by the ruin where the Inquisitor was holding up but neither unit did any damage to the other. The lone remaining meltagunner saw discretion as the better part of valour and, when nobody was watching, Brave Sir Robin ran away, away.

At the start of Turn 2; the Tau gained 10VP for holding a pair of objectives, by the end of the turn those objectives also got them a further 4VP for Decisive Action and the death of the Company Commander scored 3VP for Assassinate.

Inquisition turn 2:

I didn't have as many models as I would have liked at this stage, but I'd made it very clear before the game that I would either see out the end of turn 5 or get tabled, so here we go.

The Medusa drove over to cover Objective 4 with Jok Aero, its subsequent firing failed to do anything, as did the combined firepower of: Jok Aero, the Inquisitor and the Platoon Commander. The Acolytes engaged with the Riptide did manage to get a single overcharged plasma pistol shot through which brought it back down to four wounds, the Inquisitor then charged it and gave it a thrashing with his power maul, he and his Acolytes removing two further wounds from the Riptide, one of which came in the form of a Mortal Wound from his Digital Weapons.

At the start of turn two I put 10VP on the board for holding objectives 2 and 4 but I failed to achieve any of my secondaries, a couple of which were already looking increasingly futile.

Tau turn 3:

The Riptide, now down to two wounds, once again hands control over to the Back-up AI for a CP so it can still operate as if it were on its top bracket. The DX-4s decide that the AI can deal with things on its own and they head over to hold objective 1 while the pair of XV8s who had been holding 1 jumped over to contest objective 4 from Jok Aero and the Medusa. The lone XV8 Shas'vre beside the Commander leapt around the ruins to deny cover to the Platoon Commander who was subsequently destroyed by the Burst Cannon.

The Riptide, as a battlesuit, fires in close combat and directs all of its firepower at the Inquisitor, his  Puritan-boosted invulnerable save saves him from the Ion Accelerator shots but the plasma rifles (two now) manage to get a hit through which dealt three damage to my warlord (I had entirely forgotten about the Acolytes' Loyal Servant rule which could have prevented some of that damage but I'd also forgotten to roll to see if anyone died in the vehicle wrecks in turn 1, 9e is still quite new to me). The Stormsurge directed all of its firepower, including its last Destroyer Missile, at the Medusa which was parted behind a nice piece of obscuring terrain. Despite all the horror stories of Tau shooting with this new codex, the Pulse Blastcannon dealt only four damage, the Destroyer Missile missed, the SMS was saved against and the Cluster Rockets dealt two. In total the mobile artillery was just shifted into its second damage bracket.

The XV8 duo on objective 4 removed the final wound from Jok Aero before charging the Medusa to tie it up in combat, the ensuing melee causing no damage on either side.

In the ongoing Riptide melee, the Inquisitor struck first dealing a further Mortal Wound and leaving the Riptide on just one remaining, the Riptide retaliated by stomping on him and removing his last two wounds, the Acolytes managed to get a single wound through which the Riptide failed to save and, because it sounded more fun and victory was inevitable, my opponent decided against command point re-rolling the save and instead spent it on Failsafe Detonator, exploding and causing three Mortal Wounds, one for each of the remaining Acolytes.

At the start of turn 3, the Tau claimed another 10VP for primary objectives and during the turn acquired a further 4VP for Decisove Action (the last turn that one could be scored) and 10VP for Assassinate (3 each for the Platoon Commander and Jok Aero, 4VP for the Inquisitor as he was my Warlord). I gained 2VP for Bring It Down as the Riptide blew up.

Inquisition turn 3:

Remembering that I selected a couple of Custom Regiment traits for my Imperial Guard, the Medusa used Jury-rigged Repairs to regain a wound, putting it back into the top damage bracket. Stuck in engagement range of two XV8s (one of which was wounded), I declared the Crisis Suits as the target of the Heavy Bolter and (if I was able to kill them which was mathematically possibly but unlikely) the Stormsurge as the target of the Siege Cannon. In the end I caused no damage in shooting or combat, neither did the two XV8s.

Tau turn 4:

The two engaged XV8s fell back from combat as the other Crisis Suit and Commander moved in for the kill.

The Battlesuit Commander dealt three damage with his Plasma Rifle and the Stormsurge dealt the killing blow with the Pulse Blastcannon. The Medusa failed to explode and I was tabled.

Counting up the Victory Points on offer for the rest of the battle, the Tau achieved the maximum score for Primaries, 13 for Assassinate, 10 for To the Last and 12 for Decisive Action. I had only scored 10 for Primaries, 2 for Bring it Down and a further 10 for having a fully painted army.

Final Score:
Tau 68 – 22 Imperium

In our post-match review, it was decided that the Tau-of-the-Match was the Stormsurge (which a Super-Heavy in a 1000pt game really ought to be) whereas the Human-of-the-Match was the Medusa because it did a decent amount of damage and was able to tank a lot of firepower.

Overall, went about as I expected. Tau have a brand new 9th edition codex, the Imperial Guard are 8th edition and the Inquisition get no love. I killed six models, but then he only had eight remaining.

Thanks for reading.


A new battle report? What is this madness!

Always nice to see my two armies (IG and Tau) fighting, since it means I stand a chance of keeping track of how things are going despite not having read any of the 9E rules. Is there seriously a rule that give bonus victory points for having a fully painted army? Seems a bit weird...

Shame about the loss, but if it's a choice between being underpowered and having a fun, thematic army, the latter is always the way to go.


Yep, the sort of rule that's mostly there for tournaments, GW think the game will appeal to more people if they see battles between two fully-painted armies. I agree with them, it looks much better.

GW has two current standards for painting; Battle Ready and Parade Ready, you only need the former to get the victory points which consists of: Basecoats, Washes and basing the miniature, easy to do and it makes a big difference over a field of grey plastic.


Well, if basing is required then I'll never get those points. My armies are fully painted, except for their completely untouched bases. I always thought that a mismatched base (e.g. grass when on an urban board) looked worse than just leaving them blank.

Also laziness...