Saturday, October 8, 2011

Tau @ 1.5k: not like I usually play

First off, a huge thank you for putting up with my touting my models I was selling here. I had my eye on three Furiosos, and the necessary bits to make 2 of them Death Company Furiosos, and one of them able to alternate between vanilla and Librarian Furioso. With some bitz-sells as well, I also picked up the bitz to finish my converted Vanguard Veterans. I'll do some posting about those when I'm done. However, thats all beside the point. For now, there shouldn't be any shameless commercial plugs. Now, on to other stuff.

Warhammer Tau. Check it out.
Now, for something completely different. Tau. I haven't posted a lot regarding them, because there isn't a lot thats new to them. The not-quite-grimdark fishheads were nasty in 4th, and still have managed to remain competitive in 5th, with a cost. That cost is becoming a monobuild. The Tau Empire codex was built with 4th in mind. Rules such as skimmers being immune to CC unless grounded, no TLoS, higher costs for the opposition's models, target priority, preferred enemy meant guaranteed attacks regardless of survival, etc. Which means, in true xenos fashion, rather than mighty stats they had mighty gimmicks. Sadly for Tau, all those rules above are gone. So they adapted. Sacrificing scores of Kroot allies, sending Piranhas to their pilots death, and giving ground in return for a change to unleash more blistering firepower, the Shas'el and Shas'o's are able to still claim victories for the Greater Good. Its always a costly victory, and its never certain whether important objectives can be reclaimed before it is too late.

While the traditional competitive build is both challenging and entertaining to play, and a dead Grey Knights army is a pleasure for everyone to enjoy this holiday season, sometimes I want to play something different. A different build, that has a chance of success but changes up my army and strategy. And at 1.5k points, because it lessens the firepower gap between first and second tier codexes. Will this build be the most efficient build the codex can offer? no, but it will share similar traits. Will it have a chance of victory as a take-all-comers list? That's the idea. I lean more towards the gaming/competitive side of the spectrum than towards the fluff/painting side. I don't want to build a bad list, I am aiming for pretty good, as long as it is different. So, here goes.

Commander-est non-forgeworld Google has to offer
Firstly, HQ choices. Mandatorily, we have a Crisis Commander. I'm thinking dual missile pods and target lock, as that is what I have mine modelled with. And, it adds some anti-light armor and high-toughness firepower while saving points for the rest of the army. What about another HQ? no. I don't want to take another Commander because they don't gain enough for the extra points spent on them. And I won't take an Etheral for two options. One: I HATE THEIR RULES. Giving the codex a leader that causes everyone to loose heart upon his/her death, plus no save, and dumps fearless on a squad that is almost guaranteed to suck at CC is beyond cruel, its malicious. Two: i figure a less-than-ideally-effective army build will prob be annexing a backwater planet, making the presence of an Ethereal silly.

As far as Honor Guards go: probably not. They're expensive and don't add much. Slightly higher BS or the ability to take wargear don't make up for how expensive they are. unless you're over 2k points for your match, no reason to hit this category. Nothing new or interesting, just more expensive. No thanks.

This is what real camo looks like
Who do I want for my first elite slot? Stealth Suits of course. I love the design of these. I prefer the older ones to the new ones, but I can honestly say I like the XV-25's as well. I picked up 12 of them when I first got into 40k. And I want to us some of them. 30 pts for a model is kind of expensive, if they only have one wound. So we wont take a big squad at first. Lets try one three-member squad. Lets make one a Shas'ui, and give him a marker light. And give all three targeting arrays. Why? because invisible markerlight-shooters are fun. And if you're gonna spend that much in points, you better hit almost every time. And for killing MEQ and TEQ's lets put two squads of two Crisis Suits, giving them the traditional fireknife configuration. I like them, and they're a good unit. Plus the Tau Codex all but hits you over the head with a sign that says: "TAU USE CRISIS SUITS DUMMY!" So thats the elite slots.

Warhammer Wiki: awesome pics
And now for troops. The wisdom garnered from too much time on blogs suggests 4 troops for 1500. So four troops. I like Fire Warriors, i've got 48 of them floating around at my place. While they have some glaring weaknesses, they're the epitomy of Tau, and I have a weakspot for them. So two 12-man squads. And Kroot. They make great sacrifices, and allow flanking. I never flank, because that means less bodies on the field to absorb firepower. So, to change things up, we're gonna take two squads of fourteen Carnivores and seven Hounds, and outflank the heck out of them. Add in a Devilfish setup warfish style and troops are good to go. Two standing and shooting, two outflanking or infiltrating depending on the mission. Can't go wrong there.

"Wind whippin at my coat..."
Fast Attack was the last slot I ever learned to use. I'll be honest, I was loath to purchase Piranhas, and I can't stand Vespid. So, lets add in some Pathfinders and their mandatory Devilfish. Lets try boosting the Pathfinder numbers to 8 and configuring the Devilfish warfish style. Btw, that means smart missile system, multitracker, targeting array and disruption pod. 120 pts for a transport that might kill stuff. Nowhere near las/plas Razorback awesome, but its as close as we get. And a couple of Piranhas for blocking and melta goodness. Since they tend to not shoot the same targets as anyone else, we want them to hit. So add in some targeting arrays, the prereq disruption pod, and a fusion blaster, and they're good to go.

Now for heavy support... if only I had more points. I usually play with a couple Hammerheads, so i'm gonna go Broadside this time. Esp at lower point values, the twin-linked guns are beautiful things. Lets try two of them, in two squads. Add in the advanced stabilization system so they can move, make them both leaders (the cheap option), and give each one a shield drone. This allows for shooting different targets, gives each one a cheap 4+ invuln save attached to a disposable drone, and presents your opponent with the problem of overkill.

Tau of War: pure amazing
Unfortunately, this puts us over 1.5k in points. So... drop the fire warriors to 8 per squad. It still allows for the death of 2 prior to the first morale test, and sheds 80 pts total. Then, drop the kroot to ten carnivores and seven hounds apiece. Finally, drop the Pathfinders to 5. That should leave you with five points to spare. I'll prob add a bonding knife to one of the broadsides, or a target lock to the stealth suits. No obvious spends here though.  So this gives us the following:

shas'el: tl-mp, tl
2x2 crisis: mp, pr, mt
x3 stealth: ta, leader/marker
2x8 fire warrior
Devilfish: sms, ta, mt, dp
2x10 kroot/x7 hound
x5 pathfinders
Devilfish: sms, ta, mt, dp
2x1 piranha: fb, ta, dp
2x1 Broadside: ass, leader, x1 sd

As far as strategy goes: depends on the map. Kroot can outflank or infiltrate. I'd probably outflank to put some pressure on the opponents back area in objective games. The Broadsides can be put in opposite corners of your deployment zone to make sure they both can't be CC'd into oblivion. And... the rest of your army except for Pathfinders are mobile. Piranhas are great blockers/speedy melta units, your Stealth Suits can't be shot beyond 18" and are packing a 30" marker light, and your Crisis Suits and Fire Warriors have great range. Whichever side the Pathfinders are deployed on will prob be the focus of the enemy firepower/assault. So deploy them all, harras with Piranhas while pathfinders guide the shots in. After they get a little on the close side, load up or JSJ out of CC/Melta range. Then, drop the Fire Warriors back out, turn the crisis suits around, and firepower the heck out of everything. Meanwhile, your outflanked Kroot will either be stealing objectives or assaulting backfield units. Surround and destroy. Is it optimum? no. Does it use Stealth Suits and Fire Warriors? Yes. I'm gonna give it a whirl next game, post your comments if you do too.

P.S. Again, as a reminder, this is not the best Tau can do. If you recommend this list to a new joiner to our hobby, you should be ashamed of yourself, and chewed on by your gamer group. The best Tau can do is the shas'el w/ x2mp, 3x3 crisis: mp, pr, mt, fire warrior squad, 2x 10/7 kroot/hounds, x9 pathfinders, devilfish: ta, mt, dp, sms, 2x2 piranha: fb, ta, dp, 2x1 hammerhead: rail, sms, mt, dp, x2 broadsides; ass, leader/tl, x1 sd. This list is for a bit of tactical variety, and carries a higher risk of loosing.

Till next time,

Shas'el Mike
"work all day at the chocolate factory..."

1 comment:

  1. had to sell my tau but i got a new job thinkin of recollectin them thanks for the advice man check out my blog for battle reports and stuff if u get a chance :D