Some of us in the group also dabble in various sci-fi and fantasy games, including the various Games Workshop products. Nothing like a campaign to provide incentive for gaming, so Dave Baker created a planet named Brimtok which needs fighting over. It seems the industrious Tau have been spreading their influence throughout the region, and have managed to swing over planet Brimtok to their side. The Imperial Guard regiments stationed there have given up on the Imperium and have sided with the Tau. Well, we can't have that now, can we? So, the Space Marines have been summoned to give each side a bloody nose and sort things out. Unfortunately, some Chaos forces and their allied Ork forces have entered the arena in the hope of taking advantage of the mess.
Our first game pits my Mantis Warrior space marines versus a combined Tau/Traitor Guard force. 1500 points against about 1200-1300 points. The photo at the top is our battlefield, an Imperial orchard farm.
Above, Dave D sets up his Tau/Guard with fast forces on the wings and the Tau commander and a Leman Rus in the center. Marine objective is the hill.
The Mantis Warriors deployed in similar fashion. The Tau objective is the farm building.
As the battle begins, one of the planet's giant natural lifeforms makes an ominous appearance! Slightly larger than an Ork Stompa and smaller than a Titan, the enormous felinus giganticus (who goes by the name of "Mutton") strode across the battlefield, perhaps attracted by all the commotion. Weaving between the large yet deftly moving legs of the creature, a Tau squad moves forward to support their advancing right wing recon.
Mantis Warriors engage the Tau right wing. The scout scout moves quickly into the orchard while the Rhino and dreadnought move up. The landspeeder begins gunning down hovering drones before turning toward the Tau hovercraft.
The Tau commander moves up a well as the Guard tank. The tank is the 800 pound gorilla in the room. How to stop it?
Mutton the war cat settles down in a nearby lair, oblivious to the noises of battle nearby. The Mantis Warrior assault bikes and Devastator squad begin picking off the Guard sentinels.
On the marine left,a shootout begins between the Tau and Mantis Warriors. The Landspeeder is shot down but takes out half the drones. A squad of marines debarks from the Rhino before it might get destroyed...
The Sentinels take hits. In the center (left of picture), the marine Vindicator and the Guard Leman Russ trade wasted shots at each other.
Aaaieee! Disaster hits a Guard squad. Well, actually it was heavy bolter fire, not the giant claws reaching out for tasty morsels of mortals.
As the Leman Rus moves toward the Vindicator in the center of the marine line, a Guard squad moves through an orchard in support. Vindicator fire is joined by Whirlwind fire, but nothing seems to slow down the tank.
Attrition on the marine right wing. The assault bikes are lost but the Devastator squad takes out sentinels and guardsmen.
The Tau commander engages in hand-to-hand with the scouts in the orchard. Not seen on the marine left, the Tau lose the drones and hovercraft. The dreadnought moves to assist the scouts. In the center, the Vindicator is finally destroyed (has not survived a game yet) and the Terminators take some casualties but wipe out the Guard squad. Tau infantry drop like flies (big, humanoid ones).
Then we ran out of time, and called the game. The Mantis Warriors just squeak by on points, with no objectives taken by either side. Good game to learn the rules, however!