A Short Shadow War AAR. Tau Vs Squats
Josh and I played Shadow War last week.We didn't take extensive notes, but here's a few pics and a brief overview. Josh provided the nice Necromunda'ish terrain below which is built of Mantic Battlezone pieces. In the background you can see Tim and Michael playing Shadow War also.
I'm on the right the foreground with my Squat (using IG rules) group and on the left side of the table is Josh's Tau warband.
It was a simple "Gang Fight" scenario and it quickly separated into two separate firefights on either flank.
Eventually Josh was able to use the large drone pictured above to flank my right (barely visible above) and cause enough casualties to force some bottle rolls of which I failed the third.
Interestingly, ammo rolls took their toll and we each ended up with one ineffective figure when their sole weapon was rendered inoperable. This has happened before and has me thinking about the benefits of giving backup weapons to figures with weapons that are prone to malfunction. Also, we completely forgot to use the rules for hiding which would have likely resulted in our forces getting even closer to each other.
I enjoyed the game. I have a strong affection for the classic Necromunda rules and that's almost exactly what Shadow War is, albeit with the addition of 40k factions. However, what I learned afterwards did make me a bit skeptical of the balance between the various factions. As we played, the Tau's relatively mediocre Ballistic Skill (chance to hit) seemed to balance out the power of their weapons which are quite potent. Their standard weapon is more powerful than a space marine's boltgun! As we played it, the game seemed fairly balanced as we traded rounds of fire and hits.
However after the game we found that the "markerlight" upgrades that Josh had taken for his weapons (a sort of tracker) appears to hit automatically and then the target loses the advantage of cover from any Tau unit! We had played that the markerlight had to roll to hit like any other weapon which made it useful but not game changing. Without much armor in play (very little armor in the game itself) cover is the thing making most units somewhat survivable. If the Tau rules are as they appear, it seems difficult to see how most forces could compete with them as the negation of cover is a huge advantage. I'm not giving up on the game but I'll be interested to see what happens next time I encounter a Tau team. Perhaps use of the "Hiding" action will make things a bit more balanced?
Til next time!