The Setting

You can find my army list and the Victory conditions for this encounter in this blog post. The battle is set over a ruined imperial complex, the husks of burnt out tanks from some long forgotten battle still remain. There are however, important data nodes in the centre with unknown tactical details (paint pots) to whoever can get their hands on them. Farsight Enclave and Space Wolf task forces have been dispatched to secure the data.

Turn 1

Tau Deployment


There was not much to shoot at for the Enclave force. Half the Wolf army was in drop pods and the rest were hiding. The entire army moved forward at full pace deciding to commit fully to the task of capturing objectives. This force is fragile and any early points whilst we are still at full strength will be a great help. A lucky shot from an Ion cannon stuns a Predator Executioner and a Rhino is immobilized – quite the blow in this objective game. The XV8 Battlesuit teams jump ahead finding cover near the objectives in preparation for their activation upon turn 2.

Tau forces move forward and secure data objectives.


The first two drop pods plummet down into the Tau deployment zone almost exactly where the Tau force had been standing before advancing. Terminators pile out and their combi-meltas spew molten shots at Longstrikes’ hammerhead utterly destroying it. The ensuing explosion reaches such temperatures that it disintegrates an unlucky Terminator nearby. Grey Hunters exit their drop pod and slink into cover releasing bolter and plasma shots as they go. The XV9 team, guarding the rear of the Tau advance, take the brunt of the shots - one falls, breaking apart under the torrent of fire whilst the other retreats, badly damaged. The rest of the Wolves on the field begin picking off any drones not under cover. A Landspeeder shoots forward unleashing flames and further melta shots eating into an XV8 team.

Space Wolf drop pods land in tau deployment zone causing horrific damage.

Turn 2


With targets on the field the XV8 teams jump into action. The commander and his unit obliterate the heavily armoured Terminators with ease, the flood of plasma tearing great holes in their armor, felling them in seconds. The newly arrived hunters are lit up by drones for the remaining Hammerhead to target with pinpoint accuracy. A jet of deadly particles shoot from the Ion cannon killing a huge swathe of Wolves. The Landspeeder is brought down point blank by the Fusion XV8 Team and the Devilfish moves up the flank, disembarking it’s unit of Fire Warriors who secure the objective. Two more objectives are secured by other XV8 Teams jetting into position. 3 victory points are secured by the Tau force.

Grey Hunter squad is reduced to a few men.


The final drop pod crashes from the sky, taking position on the Enclave left flank. The Tau forces are now truly surrounded, the Space Wolves tactical skill honed through ages of warfare showing through. They still needed objectives though. A further Grey Hunter unit swiftly departs the newly landed pod, boltguns flaring at the large profiles of the nearby XV8 teams protecting the objective cutting into their numbers. The wolves eye their targets through the din of battle, their eye lenses sifting through the visual mess of battle. Drones explode out of the air, and the bulky form of battlesuits topple. The remaining Hammerhead exposed and in the open is promptly annihilated through accurate melta fire. The other Grey Hunter squad, now significantly reduced in numbers finish off the remaining out of position XV9. From further back the battlefield is lit up from shots emanating from the Executioner pattern predators on either flank. The Tau skimmers take some damage but the crucial XV8 teams stay mostly out harms way. The wolf sky claws, led by the armies rune priest, jump into position, unleashing their special weapons as they go and finding a favourable position to strike from next turn. Still no objectives are taken ....

Space wolf forces mass on the Tau left flank, picking off battlesuits and preparing to charge.

Turn 3


The Tau force, now starting to buckle under weight of fire from all angles stands fast on the objectives, their mission is clear, the odds do not matter. The XV8 commander and his unit, still in good shape, level their plasma rifles at the mass of fresh power armour on the left flank and unleash. The Rune Priest and his body guard, about to cut into the other battered XV8 teams are utterly removed in further torrents of plasma. The remaining teams, turn their guns to the full strength grey hunters and fell many of their numbers. The brave pilot of a TX-42 Piranha boosts up the right flank targeting the Predator Executioner point blank with it's fusion blaster. Despite the close range, the inexperienced pilot shot wildly off target leaving him in a dangerous position behind enemy lines next to the Wolves heaviest weaponry. 3 further victory points are taken.

The unsupported skimmer tries to take down a predator (rolls two 1's :[ )


The space wolf forces barely hold rage in check with the loss of their warlord. They still held significant tactical advantage over the battlefield and needed to capitalise on that. The Executioners on either flank both engage their engines and roll forward searching for new targets. The Grey hunters from their position of cover start whittling into the Tau Warlords squad, removing several drones protecting the XV8's. The Grey Hunters on the left flank, seeing their Rune Priest obliterated in front of them step forward and charge the nearby XV8's covering the objective. They are locked in combat, swift and skillful attacks come from the marines but fail to deal significant damage as the XV8's desperately defend themselves. The lone piranha, without support is easily picked off by the long fang team. Much of the Tau force was eliminated or weakened by the perfectly executed Wolf strike yet the objectives feel frustratingly out of their reach. No points are scored...

With the loss of their warlord the Grey hunters charge in with anger.

Turn 4


Little can be done at this point other than hang on for the last moments of this battle. The Tau Commander is out positioned with no hope of pulling out alive. Space Wolf tanks push up the flanks allowing for no reprieve and the XV8's on the left flank finally look like they will fall. The commanders unit drops down to throw out more plasma at any remaining wolf targets in sight but not much damage can be done. The devilfish that had been sheltering the Fire warrior team capping the right flank objective moved out and took some hopeful shots at the Long Fangs, with little effect. The objectives start powering down and the Tau commander makes his last transmission to the orbiting fleet - Data secure, mission complete. Cadre task force recovery - impossible - End.

Surrounded the XV8 commander prepares for his final stand.


The fangs of the Space Wolf army close in around Farsight Enclave Cadre's neck. The battered forms of the XV8's are assaulted from all angles. Chainswords cut into plated armour, bolt pistols blow out key systems and the final silhouette can be seen, the Tau commander himself, dropping as his limbs are torn from torso. The expressionless space marine helmets not reflecting the vengeful actions the wolves made with every movement. Not one of the Tau elite soldiers survived the wrath of the wolves. Finally the Predators which had been moving up the flank open up on the Fire Warrior unit, cutting them down with no defence. A futile move, the objectives had been lost.

Turn 5

With the objectives lost and no hope for a Space Wolf win the game was called.

Final score

Farsight Enclace: 9 (Slay the warlord + objectives points)
Space Wolves :     2 (linebreaker +slay the warlord) 


It seems Tau really do need Riptides to be resilient enough. A largely skimmer and battlesuit force is just too vulnerable with not enough wounds on the table to survive concentrated fire. Not that it mattered here. Despite nearly being tabled the sheer manoeuvrability of this army list allowed my to grab objectives early and still utilise a lot of my fire power. Space wolf drop pods are deadly and tricky to deal with without interceptor - definitely missed having broadsides and riptides with early warning override on the field. Overall it was an exceedingly enjoyable fight. The victory conditions we used were really interesting and it's weird to be advancing so much as Tau! Looking forward to more of these.

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