The Insurgency of Grendlwold

Episode 1: An Encounter in the Ruins

T'au Empire: 250 pts, Astra Militarum: 250 pts.

Shas'nel Wais lifted the crude Imperium communicator to his mouth. Activating the communicator with a click, he spoke in clipped, heavily accented Low Gothic. "Imperium partisans! We have come to bring you in. Kneel to the Greater Good… or you will be knelt."
A moment later, the tinny speaker on the device crackled to life. "Reply incoming, please stand by."
Wais regarded the device with puzzlement for a moment, before his eyes widened in realization. Wheeling to face his Strike Team, he yelled, "Get down! Enemy fire incoming!" as the sky filled with the whine of mortar shells….

Hey everyone, this is the battle report for the first battle in our Warhammer 40k Campaign. We will be playing every week or two at Addictive Games and Hobbies in Oshawa, Ontario. In our campaign, the Third Sphere Expansion of the T'au Empire has claimed the Imperium hive world of Grendlwold, largely a political victory as the governor capitulated to Water Caste diplomats. A still-loyal regiment of Imperial Guardsmen have fled into the ruins of the underhive and the outer wastes, planning a guerrilla war against the occupying xenos. This wil be a basic two-player escalation campaign, with a few of our own twists on the formula.

<u>T'au Empire Forces (Outrider Cadre)</u>

1 Cadre Fireblade w/ 2 Gun Drones (Shas'nel Wais)
1 XV25 Stealth Battlesuit Team (Stealth Team Mamba; 1 Shas'vre with Fusion Blaster, Target Lock, Markerlight; 2 Shas'ui with Burst Cannons)
1 Strike Team (Strike Team Tiger; 1 Shas'ui, 9 Shas'la)

<u>Astra Militarum Forces</u>

1 Company Commander
1 Commissar
1 Command Squad
2 Guardsmen Squads
1 Heavy Weapons Team

T'au Empire Strategic Notes

This battle was a pretty simple one, just playing for victory points and destroyed units. I was concerned about my opponent's mortar crews, so I set up my Stealth Battlesuits to counter them, then balanced out the board by deploying my Strike Team and my Fireblade on the other side of the board. My plan was to destroy the mortar teams and then have Stealth Team Mamba fall back to join up with the Strike Team, and have the Strike Team supported by the Fireblade occupy the catwalks at the centre of the board and dictate the battle from there. I don't usually deploy so aggressively, but since I had only three units to my opponent's six I was confident I'd get first turn.

Astra Militarum Strategic Notes

 

T'au Empire Turn 1

I deployed my Stealthsuits forward and at the western edge of the board, while my fire warriors and Fireblade stayed back and more towards to the east. Intending to threaten my opponent's mortars. I drove forward with my stealthsuits to get LoS on the mortars and some guardsmen, while the Strike Team and company sat back with a unit of guardmen at extreme range.
The stealthsuits fired their burst cannons at a guardsmen blob (inflicting three casualties) while their team missed a mortar team with his fusion blaster.  Meanwhile, the fire warriors opened up and managed to kill three more guardsmen. Of course, I didn't make any charges, and while the presence of a commissar kept the stealthsuits' target from going anywhere, the fusillade of fire from the Strike Team scared off two more guardsmen from the eastern side of the board.

Astra Militarum Turn 1

 

T'au Empire Turn 2

Astra Militarum Turn 2

T'au Empire Turn 3

Astra Militarum Turn 3

T'au Empire Turn 4

Astra Militarum Turn 4

T'au Empire Turn 5

Astra Militarum Turn 5

Result: T'au Empire Victory!
T'au Empire +50 points and choice of next Mission
Astra Militarum +75 points

 

T'au Empire Conclusions

So basically the opposite of what I expected to happen, happened. I figured the threat of the combined Fireblade+Strike Team would draw a lot of fire to that edge of the board, while my Stealth Team, which are a hard target that is a relatively smaller threat, would go mostly unmolested. Instead, my opponent went hard against the Stealth and ran only a few guardsmen to counter the other half of my force. Even if they were wiped out, I'm pretty impressed with how much fire the Stealth Team was able to soak up, so expect the rest of Stealth Team Mamba to show up in future games looking for revenge.
The mortar teams didn't prove to be as much of a threat as I expected- while they are great defensive weapons, as long as I stick to cover I should be fine. Luck certainly played a role in my victory, but at the end of the game the dice started turning against me, so I'm glad the battle ended when it did.
I wish I had deployed hard to one side, sweeping up the board and then flanking the rest of the enemy, having the Stealth Team play distraction for the Strike Team and Fireblade. I would have seen significantly greater resistance on that side of the board, but I think splitting my opponent's forces while having my units support one another would have been the smarter move, I think.

h3. Astra Militarum Conclusions

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