So I've been playing Warhammer 40k for a few years now and there are a several conflicting trends that keep becoming more and more clear to me. I was wondering if anyone else had any experience or advice for me in dealing with them.
The thing that really calls to me about the tau play style is their ability to surgically to remove specific models/squads from the table. I love the ability to cripple the vital parts of my opponents army in a way that allows me to dance around and out maneuver the remnants of that army, slowly dissembling it piece by piece. In less elegant terms, when I want something dead, I enjoy the ability to kill it with extreme prejudice and reliability. Just picked up and off the table.
I've come to realize that this desire to slowly bleed the opposing army to death while remaining tantalizingly just out of reach can be rather frustrating to play against. I've managed to somewhat reasonably balance this out by utterly flooding any table I play on with terrain. I'm talking about cities of death/infinity amounts of terrain with minimal firing lanes. This greatly reduces the likely hood that my game will turn into a turkey shoot, because tabling my opponent on turn 2/3 because of lacking terrain is no fun for anyone.
Also, I've noticed that because of my preferred play style I have a blast playing against horde armies. Simply put, when someone brings a horde army they're in the mindset that their army is going to get utterly shot to pieces. They're just banking on having more bodies than I have bullets. So my desire to shoot things off the table matches up extremely well to their expectancy to have large portions of their armies shot off the table. As a result of this the vast majority of the games I've had against tyranids, imperial guard or orks have been very enjoyable for both parties.
The problem is when I play against space marines, especially newer space marine players. A very common trend I've noticed is that space marine players are much more likely to lose heart in the game when one of their squads eats an AP2/AP3, ignores cover large blast. Commonly, they just don't seem mentally prepared for it. It isn't that they're upset their models are dying per say (although they're not thrilled about that), it is specifically that their models are dying without saves. If I had caused the exact same amount of space marine deaths through sheer weight of pulse rifle fire then my opponents are usually fine with it. It is the removing of all power from their hands and simply deleting a squad as opposed to letting them feel like they have some control via their armor saves. As a result many times I've won against space marines I have inadvertently crushed their enjoyment of the game by stripping this figment of control from them. There lack of enjoyment then also reduces my enjoyment.
This has made me slowly cut AP2/AP3 from my list to avoid this. The only decent replacement I've thought of is by trying to replace it with sheer weight of fire. Sheer weight of fire comes with the issue I have to rely on my opponent to fail armor saves. This doesn't sound bad but often results in a large amount of frustration on my end. I like to be around burst cannon range, ridding that fine line where you can start double tapping with firewarriors and just all around maximizing firepower at the expense of increased risk of counterattacks. When I pour all of my army's shooting into a squad of marines and they take negligible casualties I get very frustrated and very dead. This is partly because I enjoy shooting things off the table, and shooting 20 firewarriors and a HBC riptide into a squad of marines with zero result is demoralizing. It is also frustrating because don't feel like a grand tactical strategist that I otherwise would. I simply can't plan ahead on how to best move my army around over the coarse of the turn and the next and see my plans and positioning slowly come to fruition if I have don't know if my shooting will kill 2 of his terminators or all of them. This dulls down the game greatly for me.
- I like efficiently killing units
- I've realized killing to space marines too efficiently ruins games for both parties
- Tampering my list helps somewhat but reduces my enjoyment of the game
- Is there another option I'm missing?