Tau had been the monkey I couldn't get off my back. But with this list, I finally did it.
My list is basically here:http://thewarmaster.com/index.php?topic=7677.0
With just a couple changes: Khan was out, a librarian on a bike was in. No attack bike and less conscripts, but two extra squads of inquisitorial henchmen on foot, 1 flamer & 1 meltagun for each squad in a rhino, and add Coteaz and another quad mortar.
Round 1: Bye.
Battle 1 (round 2):
Facing Magnus with heralds, horrors, and tzeenchian flying demons (incl. fateweaver), I got first turn and called down a lot of long range firepower on his heralds and horrors with my wyverns, quad mortars, and some serious additional firepower from my scouts.
Ultimately, my list was overwhelmed by the sheer power of Magnus backed with about 29 psychic dice. He won 10-1, but it would have been 6-5 if I had made a run move on the last turn onto the relic with some obsec folks. Unfamiliarity with Magnus' powers didn't help. He summoned flamers and toasted infantry. He summoned chariots and toasted bikes. I neither rolled well to deny the witch nor did I target the right powers. Also not helping: failing to get any scout units back on the 5+ the castellans detachment grants.
1) Moving to midfield with much of the force. The deployment was hammer and anvil. Had I waited at a distance, my opponent's first turn would have done a lot less damage, and I could have kept pummeling his light forces that provide psychic dice and whatever he was summoning before he could do a lot of damage.
2) Unfamiliarity with Magnus. Wow, a 18 inch D beam... treason...
Facing a Tau list with 3 regular riptides, 2 different forgeworld riptides, a stormsurge, 4 tetras, and some forgeworld commander.
I got the plus-one to seizing the initiative trait, and for the spare warlord trait from the inquisitorial detachment, I got to infiltrate the inquisitor plus 3 more units. My opponent, accepting that with Coteaz' reroll, I was more likely to seize than not to, let me go first. He deployed 1-2 riptides forward to screen the rest of his forces from my infiltrators. He kept his non-giants off the field to avoid the tons of small arms fire I had available. I infiltrated some of the psychic mini-squads in their rhinos. Turn 1, I killed a riptide and damaged 2 others with a ton of psychic shrieking and a bit of grav and raw firepower.
He played defensively on his turn 1, using a fair bunch of his stims to get 3++ saves.
On my turn 2, another riptide fell. And then around turn 3, tank-shocking made a couple riptides run off the board.
Much of my HQ force made it into the assault with the storm surge (though the blob that got them there had mostly melted away), but broke off using hit and run to take out the enemy commander. This was a mistake. Other forces failed to hold the stormsurge until they could get back, and a failed assault roll meant that his wounded stormsurge and 1 remaining riptide survived, pretty much staying away from my forces in a corner and shooting whatever got close or could be a threat (like Rhinos). He won the primary mission (kill points), I won the maelstrom mission, and then I won on tertiaries. Smarter play could have probably tabled my opponent, but I made a couple of mistakes:
1) I took my assault squad after a small enemy HQ for the tertiary objective of slaying the warlord rather than leaving that to whatever was there to deal with him. This let the stormsurge survive.
2) Much of my first blob got killed because I hadn't internalized the ITC rules for invisibility, and large chunks got smashed by templates.
3) I didn't give my two footslogging henchmen units telepathy, but rather divination. Ditto Coteaz. Big mistake.
Takeaways about my army:
The techmarine didn't bring much to either battle. Time to move hunter's eye to the librarian and find something else to do with the other 85 points.
Scouts can do quite a number on light forces, and getting them to come back in on the outflank (or deepstriking in their land speeders) on a 5+ after being destroyed could have been super awesome for linebreaker, and for continuous damage to an opponent's backfield. Drop the melta squad (useless in both battles) for that.
Takeaways about the meta:
The Magnus list I faced won the tournament. Ynnari made up a third of the tournament's armies. The rest was almost all Tau, space marines, or demons.
I had put meltaguns here and there because I was worried about battle company, but that's obsolete - not one brought battle company. Lots of jetbikes instead.
I enjoy having the ability to generate 2+ rerollable saves in the assault, but most powerful assaulters these days ignore armor saves. Time to drop a ministorum priest.
Is the meta right for a Hereticus inquisitor with a psyocculum and null rod in a horde of conscripts? With the new psyk-out grenades on 25-point inquisitors with extra warlord traits, commmissars are more obsolete than ever.
I finally have that Tau monkey off my back! I've played games against riptide lists where I've failed to remove a single model. The solution is tons of psychic shriek, and getting the first turn. And the inquisitorial representative detachment plus Coteaz really help with that.
I have yet to face Ynnari, but it strikes me that one may want to abandon conventional wisdom when fighting them: Try not to kill any units entirely, whittle them down instead to the point that them getting a spare shooting action won't be a big deal. Another bit of conventional wisdom that may have to be abandoned: Sometimes, you should stop shooting to make sure you get the assaults you want.