Advice on Tau List


This wonderful client responded with a huge-normous email to my Tau list. Thought you might enjoy. It has a LOT of good insights.


Shawn,
As you’ve already discovered, tau are one of the most difficult armies to build because of the number of choices available to the player (both in unit selection and in how those units are configured and equipped.) There is a bunch of material on the web that goes through the most mathematically efficient configurations for each unit and how best to combine certain themes for best effect (I don’t agree with all of it but that’s usually the case.) What would really help is knowing what you intend to do with the army and what the theme is going to be that you’ll be using. For example, I could easily convert this into an entirely air-moble tau hunter cadre that uses kroot as their advance scouts and counter assaults (all troops with jump packs or mounted in hover tanks.)


The army would look something like:
2x hammerhead with rail gun, smart missile system, decoy launchers, disruption field, 1 seaker missile.
1 Skyray gunship, smart missile system, decoy launchers, disruption field
1 unit of perhana with rail guns
2 units of 2 crisis suits with twin linked missile pods and targeting aray.
1 unit of Kroot 20 strong (can expand with whatever upgrades you want but you want them maxed out.)
3 units of fire warriors with pulse rifles, shas’ui with marker light, bonded, in a devil fish with smart missile systems, 1 each seaker missile
Shas’o with plasma rifle, missile pod, fail safe detonator, hard wired multi tracker (can’t remember if fsd is hard wired or on the suit. If it isn’t on the suit just give him a suit mounted multi tracker)
2 body guards each with plasma rifle, missile pod, target aray, and hard wired multi tracker.
One of the body guards should have a hard wired drone controller with 2 shield drones or 2 gun drones if you want a more aggressive configuration.
That list will give someone fits and is right out of your inventory.
Modifications to your current list:
Tau Empire Roster - Studio Tau Army

HQ: Commander Shas'o (7#, 351 Pts)
1 Commander Shas'o @ 351 Pts
Stimulant Injector; Crisis Bodyguard; Crisis Bodyguard; Missile Pod; Plasma Rifle; Multi-Tracker
1 Crisis Bodyguard @ [122] Pts
Failsafe Detonator; Hard-wired Drone Controller; Missile Pod; Shield Drone; Shield Drone; Plasma Rifle; Targeting Array
1 Shield Drone @ [15] Pts
Shield Generator
1 Shield Drone @ [15] Pts
Shield Generator
1 Crisis Bodyguard @ [107] Pts
Fusion Blaster; Hard-wired Drone Controller; Shield Drone; Shield Drone; Plasma Rifle; Targeting Array
1 Shield Drone @ [15] Pts
Shield Generator
1 Shield Drone @ [15] Pts
Shield Generator
See my suggested hq above. Your stim injector serves little purpose where it is because someone will have to force you to take a wound on that model, or the unit will have to have taken so many wounds that you’llw want to allocate a wound to your commander. I like a fail safe detonator on him since if you’re going to lose your general anyway, best if he takes a bunch of the enemy with him.
Only one set of drones on this unit as the more shield drones you put on a unit the less points you are actually using to win the game and the more unwieldy and more visible your unit becomes.
***
Elite: Crisis Battlesuit (4#, 141 Pts)
1 Crisis Battlesuit @ 141 Pts
Team Leader; Crisis Battlesuit; Hard-wired Drone Controller; Shield Drone; Shield Drone; Twin Linked Missile Pod; Targeting Array
1 Crisis Battlesuit @ [53] Pts
Twin Linked Missile Pod; Targeting Array
1 Shield Drone @ [15] Pts
Shield Generator
1 Shield Drone @ [15] Pts
Shield Generator
Lose the shield drones and the upgrade to team leader. The unit doesn’t even have to be bonded since with 2 models it will always be over 50%. In most cases you want this unit sitting behind the edge of a blocking piece of area tarain. When it comes your turn, jump out in your move, fire, and then jump back behind the tarain out of sight. Same deal with the hq squad which is why too many shield drones is both inefecient and makes the unit harder to hide.
***
Elite: Stealthsuits (8#, 212 Pts)
5 Stealthsuits @ 212 Pts
Add Team Leader; Burst Cannon (x5)
1 Team Leader @ [62] Pts
Bonding Knife; Fusion Blaster; Hard-wired Drone Controller; Gun Drone; Gun Drone
1 Gun Drone @ [10] Pts
Twin Linked Pulse Carbines
1 Gun Drone @ [10] Pts
Twin Linked Pulse Carbines
I’d just drop the fusion blaster here. This unit will mess someone’s day up, the single fb just takes away from the units overall mass effectiveness. Add targeting aray if you can, they’re pricy but every little bit of help counts here (especially with that many shots.)
*****
Troops: Fire Warrior (15#, 245 Pts)
11 Fire Warrior @ 245 Pts
Add Shas'ui; Pulse Carbine (x11)
1 Devilfish @ [95] Pts
Burst Cannon; Gun Drones; Decoy Launchers; Landing Gear; Multi-Tracker
2 Gun Drones @ [0] Pts
Twin Linked Pulse Carbines
1 Shas'ui @ [40] Pts
Markerlight; Bonding Knife; Hard-wired Target Lock
See my suggestions in my list for how this unit can be configured. The addition of the target lock is a nice touch. The landing gear and targeting aray are fairly useless since ideally you want this guy to stay behind cover to jump out and pick up the fire warriors later or to deposit them and stay in front of them (still can shoot through it since it’s a skimmer) to prevent assaults. You want as little upgrades on the devil fish as possible since it is a very expensive non scoring unit. Smart missile systems work well since it canhide behind terrain and still fire. A single seaker missile can be handy as well to spread out the anti tank love a bit. I’ve found that anything else is pretty much pointless.
***
Troops: Fire Warrior (15#, 245 Pts)
11 Fire Warrior @ 245 Pts
Add Shas'ui; Pulse Carbine (x11)
1 Devilfish @ [95] Pts
Burst Cannon; Gun Drones; Decoy Launchers; Landing Gear; Multi-Tracker
2 Gun Drones @ [0] Pts
Twin Linked Pulse Carbines
1 Shas'ui @ [40] Pts
Markerlight; Bonding Knife; Hard-wired Target Lock
See above***

Troops: Kroot Carnivore Squad (14#, 96 Pts)
12 Kroot Carnivore Squad @ 96 Pts
Add Kroot Hounds; Kroot Rifle (x12)
2 Kroot Hounds @ [12] Pts
You want these guys as big as possible as well. Kroot require numbers to win combat and more rifles is always good so they can thin out the enemy. Put them in cover and the enemy will be forced to dedicate a fairly large amount of their resources to remove them. Meanwhile with the preshure off your tau, they can blast those resources.
***
Troops: Remote Sensor Tower Team (1#, 40 Pts)
1 Remote Sensor Tower Team @ 40 Pts
Markerlight (x1); Target Lock (x1)
Doesn’tmatch your theme much. This is more of a perimeter/fixed implacement model. I wouldn’t bother much unless you have points left over. I suppose the tower could be the unit that raised the alarm and summoned your army of doom in the first place.
***
Fast Attack: Gun Drone Squadron (4#, 48 Pts)
4 Gun Drone Squadron @ 48 Pts
Twin Linked Pulse Carbines (x4)
Max it out at 8 or don’t bother. At 4 it is at the minimum number of models to hold an objective. I’d rather see a sensor tower than 4 gun drones really.
***
Fast Attack: Pirhana TX-42 (IA) (2#, 220 Pts)
2 Pirhana TX-42 (IA) @ 220 Pts
Twin Linked Rail Rifle (x2); Decoy Launchers (x2); Disruption Pod (x2); Seeker Missle (x2); Targeting Array
Lose the seaker missiles and the disruption pod. The first just runs your point total up on a very frajile unit and the second won’t be required since you’ll be moving while you’re firing anyway. The units are too delicate to warrant too much dedicated protection.
***
Fast Attack: Pathfinder (9#, 246 Pts)
8 Pathfinder @ 246 Pts
Markerlight (x5); Pulse Carbine (x5); Rail Rifle and Target Lock (x3)
1 Devilfish @ [120] Pts
Burst Cannon; Smart Missile System; Decoy Launchers; Disruption Pod; Landing Gear; Marker Beacon; Sensor Spines
Lose the landing gear, disruption pod and decoy launcher. Non scoring unit. Add a seaker missile or two, god knows you’ll get your use out of it.
You may want to consider a team leader with target lock as well.
***
Heavy Support: Broadside Battlesuit (2#, 180 Pts)
1 Broadside Battlesuit @ 180 Pts
Twin linked Railgun; Broadside Battlesuit; Twin Linked Plasma Rifle; Targeting Array
1 Broadside Battlesuit @ [90] Pts
Twin linked Railgun; Twin Linked Plasma Rifle; Targeting Array
Add team leader and 2 shield drones. You need something to soak up the fire these guys will be taking.
Not so much a fan of the plasma rifles without multi trackers on them so you can fire both at the same time…but that’s me.
***
Heavy Support: Hammerhead Gunship (1#, 165 Pts)
1 Hammerhead Gunship @ 165 Pts
Railgun; Smart Missile System; Disruption Pod; Landing Gear; Targeting Array
Lose the landing gear and add a decoy launcher and seaker missile.
***
Heavy Support: Sky Ray Missile Defence Gunship (1#, 155 Pts)
1 Sky Ray Missile Defence Gunship @ 155 Pts
Turret Mounted Seeker Missles; Two Networked Markerlights; Smart Missile System; Target Lock; Disruption Pod; Landing Gear; Targeting Array
Lose the landing gear and the target lock (as more often than not you’ll be firing at the same target anyway.) add a decoy launcher. Your tuffer scoring units need that extra protection.
***
Total Roster Cost: 2344
There are my thoughts anyway.
Remember, everyone has opinion, it doesn’t mean it’s right;) Play what’s fun.
Matthew

6 Comments:

Naelok said...

Landing gear is free on every single Tau vehicle except for the Pirahna. How can you lose it?

I disagree about the way Devilfish should be used. For 120 points you can get Multitracker + SMS + Targetting array on them, giving you 7 BS4 Str 5 AP 5 shows, along with Skimmer Moving Fast for defense. As you fly your fire warriors around, this can be invaluable. My Devilfish never fail to produce results equal or greater than their cost.

Again, you need Target Lock on the Hammerhead. And I don't think you should bother with a Skyray Missile gunship. It's pricey and its only 6 shots total. Weak.

Failsafe detonator is worthless. Read how it actually work. It doesn't explode when you die, but rather you have to lose a combat. So your Shas'O will have to NOT get killed by a power fist or whatever in close combat, but still lose the combat and then fail his leadership test (Shas'O is Ld 10) for you to use it. It'd be cool if it did just activate when he died, but that isn't the case.

Fusion blasters on your HQ bodyguard is just silly. Every suit in a crisis suit team of any kind needs to be equipped with weapons of the same range, otherwise they aren't really much of a team.

Personally when I use Kroot, it's going to be a squad of 12 standing in cover all game. They have no save, most of them have horrible initiative and toughness and they have wretched leadership, meaning that they normally lose close combats and get wiped out. It's best to just have them out in some woods as the army's advance guard.

RanAngel said...

Shawn, one thing I failed to mention in my prior response to your current Tau list: If you're going to use Crisis Suits with two Missile Pods (my personal favourite, actually, even more than the famous Fireknife) may I strongly suggest that instead of a Twin-Linked MP and a Targeting Array, you instead use two MPs and a multitracker. It only costs 1 point more (29 instead of 28), but it is significantly more potent.

I could explain the maths if you'd like, but here's how it ends out:

- A Crisis Suit with Twin-Linked MP and Targeting Array (2 shots BS 4, re-rolling) will on average score 1 and 7/9 hits in a turn of shooting, up to a maximum of 2.

- However, a Crisis Suit with 2 MPs and a multitracker (4 shots at BS 3) will score on average 2 hits, up to a maximum of 4, in a turn of shooting.

Speaking for myself, I'd say that's worth 1 more point.

This announcement brought to you by Mathhammer: Taking the magic out of your hobby for over 25 years.

RanAngel

bluetablepainting said...

First off, I'm going to paint up the Sky Ray because it's new and cool-looking. I view the Kroot as a throwaway unit designed to delay enemy close combat specialists at a critical moment. That's why I see the wisdom of taking a huge-normous unit of them. I've played many games with Tau and often found the game could turn on just a single extra turn of shooting. That's what I think the Kroot are for.

I do agree about the failsafe detonator. I think it's an iffy prospect, like a "fluff" card in a Magic deck.

Naelok said...

Heh, cool about the Skyray. I've never actually used one to be honest. I just looked at the codex entry and saw a limited number of shots and thought 'pffft no way!' I'm a bit too much of a powergamer sometimes. :P

I actually think Kroot have some pretty nice shooting power. Like 7 points for the equivalent of a bolter. But I guess they can be used all sorts of ways.

Tau are very hard to play though, in my experience. Especially since I still have Space Marine habits and will often end up getting my army completely borked by close combat. Like I lost a game a few weeks ago when a Khorne Chaos Lord charged my Shas'O and his Crisis Team (by himself with only 1 wound left!) and wiped them out (And then swept into my Shas'el squad and wiped THEM out too). So maybe I should start using a giant mass of Kroot too.

bluetablepainting said...

Waitaminit. So, if you take two Missile Pods and a multi-tracker (allowing for firing at separate targets) means that they are no longer twin-linked? Where does it say that?

RanAngel said...

Actually, I should apologise for my last comment.
My bad, I was Wrong, Wrong, Wrong.

I must have read through the Tau armory at least a dozen times, word for word, and never before now noticed the teeny-weeny little sentence which says that two weapons of the same type on one suit automatically become twin linked.

I'm feeling like something of an idiot right now, not least because I now have about three possible army lists which need to be recalculated...*sigh*

Oh, and, from your last reply when you mentioned the multitracker("allowing for firing at separate targets") I think you may be a little confused about it. The multitracker allows firing of multiple weapon systems on one suit in the same shooting phase, but they all have to fire at the same target.

Again, sorry about that.
RanAngel

 

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