Studio Tau Army Composition

These are the units that I'm likely to include in the Studio Tau Army. Can you give me advice, please, on unit composition and gear? I really don't know what I'm doing. The options for Tau are bewildering.

Please comment.

I am actually going to build this army! I have plenty of models to increase the size of any of these units. At the bottom you will find a rough inventory. I should note, though, that I want the army to be in the 2000-2500 point range.

As a side note: all the other models will be up for a special one-shot deal. The "Brother Army" deal will offer the remainder of the models at 40% off for anyone that wants to commission them. Still working out the kinks on that one.

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

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

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

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

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

Troops: Kroot Carnivore Squad (14#, 96 Pts)
12 Kroot Carnivore Squad @ 96 Pts
Add Kroot Hounds; Kroot Rifle (x12)
2 Kroot Hounds @ [12] Pts

Troops: Remote Sensor Tower Team (1#, 40 Pts)
1 Remote Sensor Tower Team @ 40 Pts
Markerlight (x1); Target Lock (x1)

Fast Attack: Gun Drone Squadron (4#, 48 Pts)
4 Gun Drone Squadron @ 48 Pts
Twin Linked Pulse Carbines (x4)

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

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

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

Heavy Support: Hammerhead Gunship (1#, 165 Pts)
1 Hammerhead Gunship @ 165 Pts
Railgun; Smart Missile System; Disruption Pod; Landing Gear; Targeting Array

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

Total Roster Cost: 2344

Created with Army Builder
Copyright (c) 1997-2005 Lone Wolf Development, Inc. All rights reserved.

Studio Tau Army Inventory

Fire Warriors 72
Path Finders 16
Stealth Suits 12
Gun Drones 24
Shield Drones 10
Broadsides 2
Hammerheads 3
Skyrays 1
Battlesuits 14

Still Needed
Piranhas 2
Kroot 16
Kroot Hounds 2

Forge World
Barracuda 1
Sensor Tower 1


Anonymous said...

Hard to read your list. Note that you can only have up to 3 bodyguards per HQ.

I think having 2 shield drones and a shield generator is overkill. It looks like 5th edition will allow one to take markerlight drones and allow them to move and fire. I'm guessing ML drones will be the new shield drones. It depends on how GW rewrites the shield drone rules.

You can keep your TL MP suits cheaper by dropping all those invlun saves. Use their longer range to keep them out of harm's way.

I'm sure you will enjoy the TX-42s.

Good luck with the Skyray. I think in the last 5 games I've had 2 successful kills with it. It looks cool, but just stinks in game. I think you may enjoy the sniper drones more, especially with your goal of using all kinds of units.

The color scheme reminds me of a friend's.

Blue Table Painting said...

Thank you for that. Very nice. Note: the Shield Generators noted are for the Shield Drones, not the Crisis Suits. Too bad about the Sky Ray. I might drop it for something different, then. There are a LOT of great Forge World heavies that would be a LOT of fun, like a Barracuda. I don't care how much that one sucks, it looks way too cool.

Anonymous said...

Ask and ye shall receive - you want Tau advice? I was recently building a Tau list of my own and, if you were really as confused as you sound in the first paragraph here, I have to say I'm impressed. This is a good all-rounder list, and the following suggested changes are mostly pretty minor, aimed at trimming the edges and optimising what you've already got. Be warned, though, this will be LONG. I have a tendency to ramble.

So, from the top:
1. The HQ. First, I think you need a Shield Gen (SG) on your Shas'O. This is a no-brainer for me when building Tau, because I always like to extend the life-expectancy of my commander. If you're tight with points, you can sacrifice the Stim Injector, to me the SG is a higher priority. You can Hard-Wire the multi-tracker to make room for it. Since you're playing 2 guards, I wouldn't bother with SGs for them.
I'd reconsider the Fusion Blaster (FB) on the guard. Its range it too short. With the rest of its weapon choices, this unit is designed to sit back and pound from a distance (24" Plasma and 36" Missile Pods) and only close to 12" to deal a finishing blow with Rapid Fire. If you're close enough for the FB to make a significant impact, you're too close and in danger of being tied up in assault. You have two options in my opinion: First, either get rid of the FB, or second, swap out the missile pods on the other guard and the Shas'O to FBs as well. The unit will then be designed to get in close and hammer elite units like Termies (as well as light vehicles), staying just out of assault range by using the Jump-Shoot-Jump tactic. (This is actually how I do my Tau HQ, it's a dicier job but to me a far more interesting battlefield role. That's how it is with most of my armies, actually. I find it more exciting when, figuratively speaking, it's my commander who's getting the most hazard-pay).
I would also recommend scrapping the Drones on both the guards and just having two Shield Drones on the Shas'O, so that the whole unit clocks out at 10 wounds.

2. The Elites. The Crisis team couldn't be better. Two points on the Stealthsuits though: A) Stealthsuits either need to be all Fusion Blasters or all Burst Cannons. The weapons are simply too far on opposite ends of the scale - one is designed to kill many small things and the other one big thing. Also, you usually want to keep Stealthsuits as far away from everything as you can to take advantage of their cloaking ability. At 12" that ability becomes as good as useless. Point B) is that I would sacrifice the 2 drones for one more suit, so that the unit has 6 models.

The number of wounds a unit has is a big thing with me. It's all about getting what you pay for: in a unit of 8, if you wanted to add a 9th model that model would not be scoring. A unit becomes non-scoring when it is reduced to below half strength, and that number doesn't change if a unit has 8 or 9 models (or wounds) - below half strength for that unit is still 3 or less. The odd numbered model in a unit will never be scoring, since you can't have .5 of a wound.

Anyway, back to the list:
3. Troops. I would add one more Fire Warrior to each of the squads (so, 12 FW each, again with the even numbers). Also, the one Markerlight (ML) in each squad is questionable, especially since they're kitted out with Carbines (assault weapons). The ML is going to halt the squad in its tracks while it fires (heavy weapon), and one ML isn't going to do enough to warrant that much restriction of movement. MLs are one of the best things the Tau have, and if you want to use them I'd say get another squad of pathfinders. (More on that in a sec).
Apart from that your troop composition is excellent.

4. Fast Attack. Most important point here is the squad of Drones. 4 drones aren't going to do diddly, so either crank up the numbers or scrap 'em and take more Pathfinders (more commonly known to 40k players worldwide as "those guys with the Markerlights" and/or "Laser Pointers of Death").
Speaking of Pathfinders, you've done them well. Rail-Rifles may have questionable effectiveness to some, but who cares? They're insanely fun. Only point with these guys is to give 'em a Team Leader, Bonding Knife, and 2 Gun Drones. Gun Drones work really well with Pathfinders since their range matches (they use Carbines as well) and it beefs up the squad size just slightly, which is good because PF are usually a prime target for many opponents because of the effectiveness of MLs.
Oh, and I love the IA variant on the Piranhas. They look to be far more playable than the codex ones.

5. Heavy Support. Your Broadsides need Shield Drones. Broadsides are possibly one of the most feared and hated units in all of 40k because of those Railguns, and aside from a Hammerhead are usually the first target for any opponent (Hammerheads come in at the number 1 target for two reasons: they’re more fragile, and they have the submunition round as well).
Also, I wouldn't bother with Plasma Rifles on the Broadsides, the missiles are in my opinion plenty. Also for anything but a static list I would strongly recommend the Advanced Stabilisors (the ASS, which allows you to move and shoot with heavy weapons). With these, you can start with the unit in cover at the beginning of the game, then move out and shoot. This is a good investment in case you don't get the first turn, so that the opponent can't obliterate them before they get the chance to do any damage.

Okay, I think that adds to considerably more than two cents, and if you managed to get to the end here it either means you have a lot of patience or that you’re just as much of a geek as I am. You’ve done a great job with this list. It may not be as competitive as many that I’ve seen, but it looks like it would be a lot more fun to play. Kudos.

Oh, by the way, I love the colour scheme you’ve come up with. Prior to this I hated green Tau, but you’ve turned me around on that because those models look really good.


Naelok said...

I agree with everything Ranangel said (except for the Advance Stabilization System bit... that thing is overpriced).

Some more advice:

I would switch all your Devilfish gun drones to Smart Missile Systems and give them all a Targetting Array. That gives you 8 Str 5 AP 5 shots @ BS4. You'd be surprised how much damage that can do.

I would also go with plasma/missile instead of t-l missile on the Crisis Battlesuit team. Just to make Marine players cry.

Give your Hammerhead a Target Lock. With a Target Lock you can shoot your railgun at the Leman Russ across the board while still shooting the SMS at the squad of Guardsmen nearby. Great investment.

Can't wait to see it finished, Shawn!


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