Last week CB and Skywatcher took to the void of space to do battle in classic Battlefleet Gothic. This game doesn't get alot of playtime, but it is a favorite of mine. We set the limit of 750pts. Here are the forces brought to bear...
Orks by CB
Gorbag's Revenge w/ a Warload abord (GR)
Terror Ship (TS)
Kill Kroozer (KK)
Total Points: 745
Tau by Skywatcher
Explorer Gal’Leath Bor’Kan (EX)
Merchant - Il’Fannor Dal’yth (MR)
Hero - Lar’shi Tolku (HE)
(3) Defenders (D1-D3)
(3) Orca (O1-O3)
Total Points: 740
The Tau fleet were on an exploratory mission (because it's for the greater good, right!) to planet Doton within the Eastern Fringe. Long thought a dead planet, the Tau detected signals emanating from the surface and sent a small task force to investigate. After entering the planets vicinity, a fleet of dirty Orks emerged from behind Doton to ambush the approaching Tau. "We are on a diplomatic mission from...."
The Ork forces began clumped together to maximize defensive turret strength. The Tau started in two groups as far back as possible to take advantage of their advanced ordnance. The dice rolled poorly for the Tau's leadership, and this would haunt them for the rest of the game.
Tau torpedoes launched from all available bays along with bombers. This is what they do best! The Orks countered with what they had.
A few lucky guided torpedoes snuck past the Ork defenses and slammed into the Kill Kroozer. Two of the Tau Orcas were destroyed by Ork ordinance. Boom!
Unfortunately, a wave of panic and fear spread amongst the crews of the Tau vessels and the fleet commanders desperately tried to rally them back. (The ordinance rerolls failed for the Tau) The left flank of the Tau fleet also ran into a problem with the planet and the Merchant cruiser broke off his engagement in order to attempt to avoid the oncoming Kill Kroozer. The Hero and Explorer maintained their distance. The Ravager was vaporized by the Hero's weaponry. The Orks flagship and Terror Ship maintained course towards the biggest threat. The Kill Kroozer pursued the small Tau detachment.
The Ork Kill Kroozer closed in on the Merchant to almost within boarding range. It was able to fire at close range bringing massive damage to the craft. Gorbag's Revenge and Terror Ship were able to easily eliminate the last Orca ship and land some damage on the Hero.
Tau failed their reload ordinance rolls again, and were stuck without torpedoes or bombers. With no rear armament, the Merchant was left with little else to do that attempt to outrun the Kill Kroozer. The Merchant was all but lost and the other Tau ships needed re-enforcements. The Tau commanders issued commands to the Defenders to focus on the main two Ork ships. They unloaded their railgun batteries into the aft of Gorbag's Revenge dealing some damage.
The Kill Kroozer successfully caught up with the Merchant ship and swarms of greenskins attacked. The other two Ork ships consentrated their firepower and destroyed the Hero ship. A massive explosion rocked the area as the Hero's hull collapsed.
When the communications from the Merchant ceased, the Tau commanders weren't surprised. There was little hope for them once the powerful Orks got that close. Shortly after, a large explosion was seen emanating from behind the planet. The Merchant was reduced to a hulk. The combined firepower of the Defenders did rock the Terror Ship.
The Terror Ship boarded the Explorer ship as Gorbag's Revenge flew by.
The last turn ended as the Explorer attempted to defend itself against the boarding attacks by the Terror Ship. The Defenders fired a few last battery shots at Gorbag's Revenger, as the Kill Kroozer emerged from the other size of Doton.
The matchup between Ork and Tau is an interesting one. They both seem to have the opposite strengths of the other.
The Tau's obvious advantage lies in their cheap ship cost and advanced ordinance. What they have in long distance, they severely lack in close combat and speed. Tau boarding strength is half of a normal ship! The Ork ships are sturdy, have great armor and offensive weapons. They are susceptible to ordinance attacks because they do have lower than normal turrets and are less maneuverable.
In this particular battle, the initial rolls for Tau leadership were very low and caused an ongoing problem with special order rolls. Only one reload ordinance roll was successfully made after the first turn. And having a fleet very dependent on one tactic and then not having it available the whole battle, was a huge challenge. At the advice of CB, I will add in a re-roll into my next list.
Needless to report, the Orks did win on point totals after turn 8. Good game!
And when I asked the Ork's for their side of the story, they added.... WAAAAAAAGH!!