Since we were all new to this version of the rules, we had a couple of rules queries that soon got smoothed out, and the game went fairly swimmingly. The Space Marine tactical squads significantly outgunned the larger Tau squads, but the Tau had some special troops that could deliver a nasty surprise, like a tank gun with unlimited range that automatically killed rather than suppressed, mounted on a grav tank that could lurk out of sight on the extreme edge of the board, then pop-up to launch an attack and dropping back out of sight before anyone could return fire. Or the Tau battlesuits with plasma cannon that reduced armour saves. Or those blasted Shield Drones which seemed to effortlessly absorb every single hit we scored on anyone. In fact the only casualties we caused through the entire game were 3-4 shield drones, while we lost two tactical squads and the Terminators. In spite of this the game was a Space Marine victory, as the Tau players kept withdrawing wherever the surviving Marines advanced and so ceded all three objectives on the tabletop. Most importantly it was a good fun game in great company and something I hope to repeat soon.
Anyway, the game did get me thinking about doing something new as a break from VSF gaming. I've a mixed bag of 25-28mm Sci-fi stuff in various states of readiness, including a whole load of "street violence" types. Inspired by some of the great battle reports coming out of the Winter of '79 blog I'm thinking it would be a fun change to do some skirmish gaming, with individuals or small fireteams as the base unit. I'm thinking of going back to this blog's original concept, the "Axis of Naughtiness" modern day Imagi-Nations. Let's take the island of Paradiso and thrust it "five minutes into the future", so that we can get away with using some near-future SF vehicles, and I've probably got most of what I need to play a good range of civil unrest, rebel insurgency or gangs vs authorities games.
For the more far-out SciFi figures, I've been thinking of a slightly more post-apocalyptic setting, with a totalitarian regime keeping its people sheltered in a closed community, while occasionally venturing out to the badlands to deal with rebels and gangs and petty kingdoms. Pretty standard dystopian sci-fi fare, and most of the modern day figures would still be usable.
Then of course, there's that big box 'o zombies. Everything goes better with zombies :-)
So that's vaguely the plan for the next few months, to start delving into my Sci-Fi/Street Violence lead mountain and get them painted and readied to the point where I could easily throw together a game with them at short notice. This time last year I had ten Victorian British soldiers and ten Prussians painted, plus a handful of civilians. The aim is to now do the same for the Sci-Fi/Street Violence stuff.
Which doesn't mean I won't be playing, talking or thinking about VSF. The whole point is that I've got enough stuff finished now I don't need to push to get something new ready for a game, though I might sneak a couple of half finished units onto the crafting table now and again. And I'm still going to try out a few more rulesets and continue my personal GASLIGHT rewrite, plus see if we can't reschedule the aborted May game.