On the first Tyranid turn, the entire army showed up. I made literally every single 3+ reserves roll. It promised to be a brutal turn for the Tau, but at least when it was over, they would know what they were up against. A Hive Tyrant with bodyguard, a beefed up Carnifex, a unit of Hormagaunts, and a unit of fleshborer guants moved on the left side their long board edge, where there was 3 objectives. A Carnifex, flying Hive Tyrant, Zoanthropes, and a unit of Genestealers would go after the other two objectives on their right. A unit of Gargoyles and a unit of Ravenors came in by Deep Strike, with the help of their forward observer. Two lictors dropped out of the trees behind a unit of scouts and a broadside suit.
The gaunts charged in and had no trouble wiping out the pinned defenders of the closest barricade objective and capturing it. Similarly, the Gargoyles had no trouble capturing the other barricade objective. They did, however, suffer several casualties from a mine field that was right between the two barricade objectives. That well-placed minefield would prove to be pretty deadly.
The Raveners came under some automated interceptor fire which killed one of them before they could assault the Kroot in the woods. The Kroot attacks killed another two Raveners, but the charging monstrosities killed most of the Kroot in return. The few survivors fled off the table as the Ravenors took cover in the woods. The Carnifex on the Tyranid left charged and destroyed the nearest Bastion, leaving the unit of Tau inside unharmed.
One of the Lictors charged into the unit of Pathfinders. The Tau, paralized by shock and fear, were easily cut down to the last by the fearsome predator. The other Lictor charged the Broadside and his two shild drones, hitting with 4 attacks. Needing 2+ to wound, the hapless Lictor managed to roll 4 ones and not do a single wound, and in return was wounded himself by the return attacks. I don't recall ever seeing a roll of 4 ones before. I rolled a lot of ones this day, but that must have been the worst single roll I've had in a while.
On the Tyranid right, the flying Hive Tyrant and the other Carnifex charged the huge unit of Kroot and Kroot Hounds in the woods. Being tough enough to survive the initial attacks of the Kroot, they fought back ferociously. Caught between the two monsters, the Kroot had nowhere to excape too and were slaughtered.
It was a pretty successful first turn for the Tyranids. They captures all three objectives and eliminated most resistance on the left, though they hadn't done much on the right yet. Still, if they just managed to hold onto the objectives they already had, it would be a Tyranid victory. The Tau had suffered some heavy losses already, but they still had some tricks left up their sleeves, as well as a lot of pretty accurate automated firepower.
On the first Tau turn, all but one unit of their reserves showed up. It was time for their counter-attack. A Hammerhead tank and a Shas'o in a battlesuit with a bodyguard turned up and made short work of the remaining Raveners.
Despite being well-camouflaged and hidden in the woods, the unegaged Lictor was wounded by some automated weapons fire from the nearby Bastion. The other Lictor managed to destroy one shield drone before being finished off by the Broadside.
A unit of Battlesuits and a unit of Vespid managed to drop in right behind the Tyranid advance! Pretty stealthy. Between their fire, the two Broadsides on the Bastion roofs, and all the automated defense weapons, they managed to put three wounds to the flying Hive Tyrant and one on the Carnifex. Not quite enough to kill the Hive Tyrant, but close enough.
The Tau unit in the destroyed Bastion made use of an escape hatch that lead directly to one of the barricade objectives. I'm sure when they arrived, they were quite surprised to find it overrun with Gargoyles! With no real alternative but to die heroically, the Tau opened fire, gunning down a few of their enemy before charging in and being wiped out.
The first Tau turn wasn't nearly as devastating as the initial Tyranid onslaught, and things looked pretty bad for the Tau. But their Bastions on the Tyranid right were still untouched, and were formidable fortresses, with all their automated weapons and topped with Broadsides, with a Devilfish tank for support. So the Tau were determined to hang in there.
At the begining of the second Tyranid turn, the flying Hive Tyrant, with only a single wound left, planned to fly towards the closest Bastion and attempt to assult it. But as he was partly in the woods, he had to take a difficult terrain test. Naturually, I rolled a 1. So having survived a brutal barrage of weapons the previous turn, the Hive Tyrant was felled by a pointy branch. I forgot to mention that last turn, as with this turn, the three Zoanthropes fired a charged up warp blast at the nearest Bastion. However, it really isn't worth mentioning, since they did the same thing every turn for as long as they survived, and never managed to damage the building at all. They might as well have not even showed up. The Carnifex, meanwhile, assaulted and wiped out the battle suits, while the Genestealers slaughtered the Vespid. So much for the counter-attack on the Tyranid right.
On the other side of the battlefield, the Tyranids mostly stayed put. The had captures all the objectives on that side, but had barely enough units to hold them. And any unit venturing out into the open, would be subject to lots of heavy firepower from the other side of the table, in addition to two tanks and two battlesuits on their own side. All they could do was hope to hold out long enough.
On the Tau turn, the cavalry finally arrived, and they received their final unit of reserves: a unit of gun drones! It may not seem too impressive, but they would turn out to be what turned the tide of the battle. The Tau fired on the hunkering Gargoyles, killing a few more of them.
On the other side, the combined firepower of all the automated heavy weapons (which were uncannily accurate in this game) and the two Broadsides finished off the Carnifex. I think the Zoanthropes were finished off in the following turn, leaving nothing on that side of the table that could possibly harm the buildings. So the Genestealers, having nothing to do, spent the rest of the game hiding in the woods trying not to be killed by all the automated weapons. The attack on the right side had been completely repulsed.
On the Tyranid turn, the Hive Tyrant and bodyguard moved up to try and get closer to the Tau. But the heavy firepower from three broadsides, plus the tanks, convinced them to get back in cover the following turn. The Hormagaunts moved up to take the objective the Gargoyles were in. Since one of the battlesuits approaching them had a flamer, which would be brutal to the defenders of the objective, something had to be done. The Gargoyles left the safety of the objective to charge the two battlesuits. They did managed to drag down the battlesuit with the flamer, but most of the gargoyles were killed in the combat. The remaining gargoyles fled right into the minefield and were blown to bits.
The noose was closing. In the final turns, the Tau focused the firepower from their tanks, gun drones, and battlesuit commander on the beleaguered hormagaunts. Even going to ground, they suffered casualties from all that fire. The threat of heavy weapons fire kept the Hive Tyrant too far away to help them except to take ineffective pot-shots at vehicles with his venom cannon. On turn 5, the Battlesuit Commander got close enough to charge the hormagaunts. The gaunts just lost the combat, and fled right through the minefield, killing a couple more of them. The Tau had recaptured the objective, and now held three of the five! But we rolled the random game length, and there would be another turn.
Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of Turn 6. The Hormaguants, now withing synapse range, rallied and charged through the minefield (suffering more casualties) into combat with the Battlesuit Commander. They weren't able to kill him, but they didn't flee. So the objective was again in Tyranid hands.
On the Tau turn, those cursed gun drones charged in, and were enough to tip the balance. The Tau won the combat, and the Hormagaunts again fled out of the barricade objective. It was left with only Tau models inside it, and the roll for random game length indicated the end of the game. The Tau managed to win it on the very last turn! Quite a dramatic turn of events, as the Tau managed to just pull out a victory, even though things looked so bad for them early on.