Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

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Arka0415
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Re: Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

Post#19 » Oct 18 2017 09:40

mason8ah wrote:
Arka0415 wrote:Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x Fusion Blasters, 3x Flamers; 6x Gun Drones (255)


I think your maths is wrong here, that load out I've got coming out at 327pts
Anyone else?

Oops! Thanks for the catch. Yeah, the real price is 327- the math still works out though.

You get a little window into my thought process here! :D I was originally putting a 9x Flamer team in the list so you could keep all six XV8s, then I realized that kind of team is too situational and tricky to use for this kind of list, so I switched it for a Fusion/Flamer team and shaved points from elsewhere.





Panzer wrote:The tripple flamer is good against any kind of infantry that has no 2+ armor to be honest.
9 flamer are 31.5 S4 hits. That's ~16 wounds against T4, which would kill 5 Space Marines. So unless the opponent plays a big unit you'll just wipe that unit. Which also makes them pretty much immune to getting charged by infantry unless the opponent wants to risk a >8" charge.

This is good advice! Flamer XV8s really are the #1 anti-infantry leafblower unit in our army, but... they might also take top spot for the hardest unit to use in our army too. The don't really like to Manta Strike unless you have a Homing Beacon available, they're best suited to defensive play, they make Advance moves everywhere... powerful, but odd and tricky to use properly.

Get them near a squad of infantry though, and watch units melt away. A full 32-hit torrent of fire should get you about 15 dead Guardsmen, 13 dead Ork Boyz, 8 dead Necron Warriors, or 5 dead Tactical Marines.

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Harkus959
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Re: Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

Post#20 » Oct 18 2017 11:13

How do those triple flamer suits fare against primaris though? I imagine that extra point of toughness and the second wound would create a few problems.

I still balk whenever I see multiple CIBs, for most of my active time as a Tau player they were restricted to one per army. I didn't get many games in last edition, so I'm having to adjust to the idea of them being deployed everywhere.
Last edited by Harkus959 on Oct 19 2017 12:28, edited 1 time in total.

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Panzer
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Re: Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

Post#21 » Oct 18 2017 11:23

Harkus959 wrote:How do those triple flamer suits fare against primaries though? I imagine that extra point of toughness and the second wound would create a few problems.

I still balk whenever I see multiple CIBs, for most of my active time as a Tau player they were restricted to one per army. I didn't get many games in last edition, so I'm having to adjust to the idea of them being deployed everywhere.

Half as good as against regular Marines obviously.
You shouldn't worry too much about Primaris though. Pure Primaris armies are more on the weak side currently.

Well we're a few hundred years in the future from when it was a rare weapon. It spread quite a lot it seems. ;)

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GND
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Re: Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

Post#22 » Oct 18 2017 12:05

mason8ah wrote:But to be honest, with quins being expensive and tau cheaper on points, quins are gonna finish setting up 1st and get 1st turn. So with this close, confined deployment I was never going to win, regardless of list. Pretty sure I was doomed from start as it was all units in CC from turn 1.


You couldn't be more wrong. You lost because, and let's be frank here, you list was bad, and I suspect you deployed incorrectly. Tau in 8th edition are more than capable of getting charged, surviving and retaliating with devastating firepower on enemy units that are now conveniently located in our most effective range of <18".

You can plan around going second. Identify your key damage dealing units and protect them with chaff units (ie. everything else) or put them into "reserves" with abilities like Manta Strike.

Kroot? Chaff. Firewariors? Chaff. Pathfiders - sure markerlights are nice, but still - chaff. Devilfish? Chaff. Do not be afraid to sacrifice these units. Let them be shot. Feed them to your enemies charging units. The heavy hitters of your list are Longstrike and XV8s. Vespid are a diversion/harassment unit.

When dealing with fast armies that can FLY like Harlequins, you don't set up your chaff units into lines. They will just fly over them, like you said. You literally set them up at maximum coherency to take up the most space possible on the board. Doesn't matter if they won't be in cover. You don't care. Each 28mm base is a 3" circle in diameter where the enemy cannot move in their movement phase. With your number of models, you can easily deploy Longstrike in a corner and surround him with enough bodies that no Fusion Pistol can get in range to hurt him. If Kroot are getting shot by Fusion Pistols, you are winning. It will take a couple of games of practice to get the hang of it, but you'll get there.

Some random tips for fighting Harlequins (or in general):
- high AP weapons are wasted on Harlies due to invul saves.
- take care how you remove casualties in CC. Even if only one Firewarior/Kroot survives you can create a situation when the enemy can only pile-in away from your lines (as they have to go towards the closest model).
- don't forget to throw Photon Grenades in overwatch. It can cut down you loses.
- split your Firewarior and Drone squads into min squads where possible. You are going second anyway. Leadership is less of an issue and the enemy may not be able to reach all of them in a charge and prevent them from shooting. Also more opportunities to throw Photon Grenades.
- if you don't have detachment slots for Drone units, give them to units that can take them as wargear (ie. XV8s). I personally prefer this option
- consider using Breachers instead of Strike Teams (proxy if you have to). They preform the same agains T3 at 15"-5" range and better at 5"- 0" due to wounding on 2+. And with an entire enemy force rushing you, range isn't much of an issue.
- use Vanguard moves to spread out a take up more space even if it means going closer to your enemy.
- Flamers are better against 'Quins than Burst Cannons. Both wound on 3+, and Flamers average more hits both in the shooting phase and overwatch. If you want better overwath, use Flamers, not CDS.
- If you can take a weapon or a support system, always take a weapon. You can start experimenting with support systems when you have more experience and are playing games with more points.
- Drones are good, use them. Unless you are bringing a separate carry case just for Drones, you are not being that-guy. They are integral to making our army work.

I really didn't want to write a long post, but oh well...

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mason8ah
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Re: Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

Post#23 » Oct 18 2017 06:11

GND wrote:You couldn't be more wrong.


WOW, I can physically feel my brain getting bigger after reading that! Thank you SO much. I've definitely taking literally everything you've said on board!
The Quins guy is a lot more experienced than me, but also really nice, he's offered an exact re-match but I can change my list, so I can train up on him.
I'll happily admit my list was crap, because it was! I've now seen some of the potential that Tau have. And, if anything, you've all spurred me on to play more tough games like this and accept the challenge.

Again thank you so much for taking the time to write all you did. I loved every word! :D
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mason8ah
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Re: Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

Post#24 » Oct 18 2017 06:19

Arka0415 wrote:HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
HQ - Longstrike w/ Railgun, 2x SMS, 2x Seeker Missiles (225)
Troops - 6x Fire Warriors (48)
Troops - 6x Fire Warriors (48)
Troops - 6x Fire Warriors (48)
Dedicated Transport - Devilfish w/ Burst Cannon; 2x Gun Drones (127)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x Cyclic Ion Blasters, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drones (306)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x Fusion Blasters, 3x Flamers; 6x Gun Drones (327)
Fast Attack - 8x Pathfinders (64)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 6x Gun Drones (48)

Total: 1499 - Command Points: 7 (1 Battalion Detachment, 1 Outrider Detachment)


Thank you so much for this. I just got back from playing Space Marines with pretty much this list, I just subbed 3 fusion on the XV8s with plasma to make the points under 1500, took 3 FW and added 4 Vespid (I love Vespid, all marines cower at S5 AP-2).
Turn 1 I destroyed a Dreadnaught with Commander and Marker Lights and Long strike took out a bike, plus a few marines killed by the rest. And that pretty much assured my victory.
The gun drones with the XV8s made the suits so much more survivable, loved it! Also just the right amount of drone dakka, not crazy stupid, just enough.
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Arka0415
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Re: Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

Post#25 » Oct 18 2017 06:37

GND wrote:You couldn't be more wrong. You lost because, and let's be frank here, you list was bad, and I suspect you deployed incorrectly. Tau in 8th edition are more than capable of getting charged, surviving and retaliating with devastating firepower on enemy units that are now conveniently located in our most effective range of <18".

Remember we're also trying to be positive though, okay? Make sure your criticism is backed up by concrete suggestions- if you think the list wasn't optimal, what kind of list would you write? Thanks!





Anyway, your advice is definitely solid! Tau have long been an army that has excelled at going first- that really hasn't changed, especially now that XV8s are so reliable in Manta Strike (no scattering is great for us). However, our new short-ranged meta means that squaring off against a shooting army and also going second will be a struggle for us. To an extent we do rely on the enemy coming to us.

GND wrote:Kroot? Chaff. Firewariors? Chaff. Pathfiders - sure markerlights are nice, but still - chaff. Devilfish? Chaff. Do not be afraid to sacrifice these units. Let them be shot. Feed them to your enemies charging units. The heavy hitters of your list are Longstrike and XV8s. Vespid are a diversion/harassment unit.

Don't go out of your way to sacrifice units (we're not the Imperial Guard here!) but if you need to feed Fire Warriors or Drones to an enemy offensive, don't worry too much about it. Tau can do pretty well with a high-casualty playstyle especially in the lategame- we can use our shooting advantage to create a numerical advantage if played right, giving us more chaff units later on in the game.

GND wrote:When dealing with fast armies that can FLY like Harlequins, you don't set up your chaff units into lines. They will just fly over them, like you said. You literally set them up at maximum coherency to take up the most space possible on the board. Doesn't matter if they won't be in cover. You don't care. Each 28mm base is a 3" circle in diameter where the enemy cannot move in their movement phase. With your number of models, you can easily deploy Longstrike in a corner and surround him with enough bodies that no Fusion Pistol can get in range to hurt him. If Kroot are getting shot by Fusion Pistols, you are winning. It will take a couple of games of practice to get the hang of it, but you'll get there.

Defensive geometry! Mason8ah, this might sound like a strange way to do things, but GND is completely correct here. Against some armies (Harlequins are the best example, but warptime-spam Chaos will do this too) "bubble-wrapping" your units becomes a very valuable option. Remember that shooting always takes place after moving- it doesn't matter if their Shuriken Cannons can take out your Kroot if their Fusion Pistols can't hit what's behind the (dead) Kroot!

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Arka0415
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Re: Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

Post#26 » Oct 18 2017 06:53

mason8ah wrote:
Arka0415 wrote:HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
HQ - Longstrike w/ Railgun, 2x SMS, 2x Seeker Missiles (225)
Troops - 6x Fire Warriors (48)
Troops - 6x Fire Warriors (48)
Troops - 6x Fire Warriors (48)
Dedicated Transport - Devilfish w/ Burst Cannon; 2x Gun Drones (127)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x Cyclic Ion Blasters, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drones (306)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x Fusion Blasters, 3x Flamers; 6x Gun Drones (327)
Fast Attack - 8x Pathfinders (64)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 6x Gun Drones (48)

Total: 1499 - Command Points: 7 (1 Battalion Detachment, 1 Outrider Detachment)


Thank you so much for this. I just got back from playing Space Marines with pretty much this list, I just subbed 3 fusion on the XV8s with plasma to make the points under 1500, took 3 FW and added 4 Vespid (I love Vespid, all marines cower at S5 AP-2).
Turn 1 I destroyed a Dreadnaught with Commander and Marker Lights and Long strike took out a bike, plus a few marines killed by the rest. And that pretty much assured my victory.
The gun drones with the XV8s made the suits so much more survivable, loved it! Also just the right amount of drone dakka, not crazy stupid, just enough.

Congrats on the win!! I'm glad you liked the list. Tau really do have some powerful unit combinations!

If you're interested in taking Vespid (remember the minimum squad size is 5), that's an addition of 51 points once you drop the extra Fire Warriors. Personally I don't think Fusion Blasters are the right thing to remove (remember keeping XV8 loadouts uniform), so if you want a budget XV8 team consider switching the Flamers for Multi-Trackers. It's not ideal, but it'll reduce points and lower your markerlight dependency. That's 21 points saved, so if we drop Longstrike down to Gun Drones (not SMS) that'll bring us from 30 points over to just 6 points over.

Consider this option:

-

HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
HQ - Longstrike w/ Railgun, 2x Seeker Missiles; 2x Gun Drones (201)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors (40)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors (40)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors (40)
Dedicated Transport - Devilfish w/ Burst Cannon; 2x Gun Drones (127)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x Cyclic Ion Blasters, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drones (306)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x Fusion Blasters, 3x Multi-Trackers; 6x Gun Drones (306)
Fast Attack - 8x Pathfinders (64)
Fast Attack - 5x Vespid Stingwings (75)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 6x Gun Drones (48)

Total: 1505 - Command Points: 7 (1 Battalion Detachment, 1 Outrider Detachment)

-

At 1505 we do need to drop 5 points, which raises the question... do we drop one Seeker Missile from Longstrike (that would feel like a slight loss of potential), or do we drop the Multi-Trackers from the XV8s (they're pretty much worthless, but open slots are bad too). Thoughts?

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Lostroninsoul
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Re: Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

Post#27 » Oct 18 2017 10:54

@arka: cut a drone from the fast attack role (the one with 6). add a markerlight to a firewalker shas'ui. That's 5 points

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Arka0415
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Re: Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

Post#28 » Oct 18 2017 11:36

Lostroninsoul wrote:@arka: cut a drone from the fast attack role (the one with 6). add a markerlight to a firewalker shas'ui. That's 5 points

I didn't do that only because the 5+6+Fireblade has become such a mainstay unit recently. But that would totally work!

I'm actually wondering whether this list could be rewritten to drop the Fire Warriors and Longstrike, add more Vespid and some Stealthsuits, and go for an all-skirmish list... I just feel like two XV8 teams and Longstrike and a mechanized Gun Drone unit is a lot to fit in to a 1500-point list.

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Panzer
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Re: Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

Post#29 » Oct 18 2017 11:54

Arka0415 wrote:If you're interested in taking Vespid (remember the minimum squad size is 5)

Nop, the min size for Vespid is 4. And honestly switching out flamer for multi-tracker against Harlequins is a terrible idea. He's already struggling with getting charged as is.

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Arka0415
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Re: Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

Post#30 » Oct 19 2017 12:07

Panzer wrote:
Arka0415 wrote:If you're interested in taking Vespid (remember the minimum squad size is 5)

Nop, the min size for Vespid is 4. And honestly switching out flamer for multi-tracker against Harlequins is a terrible idea. He's already struggling with getting charged as is.

Look at that! Always assumed it was 5. Though, taking 4 Vespids is even more of a nuisance squad.

You're right that Flamers are great against Harlequins, but I don't think we're making an anti-Harlequin tailor-list here. I was just looking for ways to shave points and simplify the list, since this is kind of a learning army.

Let's keep the Flamers in though. I think I'll stick to this design here:

-

HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
HQ - Longstrike w/ Railgun, 2x SMS; 2x Gun Drones (225)
Troops - 6x Fire Warriors (48)
Troops - 6x Fire Warriors (48)
Troops - 6x Fire Warriors (48)
Dedicated Transport - Devilfish w/ Burst Cannon; 2x Gun Drones (127)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x Cyclic Ion Blasters, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drones (306)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x Fusion Blasters, 3x Flamers; 6x Gun Drones (327)
Fast Attack - 8x Pathfinders (64)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 6x Gun Drones (48)

Total: 1500 - Command Points: 7 (1 Battalion Detachment, 1 Outrider Detachment)

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Panzer
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Re: Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

Post#31 » Oct 19 2017 01:00

Yeah but even against other lists taking a Multi-tracker isn't exactly a good use of points imo. It's just way too redundant. ^^

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Arka0415
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Re: Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

Post#32 » Oct 19 2017 01:47

Panzer wrote:Yeah but even against other lists taking a Multi-tracker isn't exactly a good use of points imo. It's just way too redundant. ^^

That's definitely true- again, Multi-Trackers were an example of a possible list change that would keep the list basically rigid but still be able to add in Vespid. Really, this just further shows the risks of bloating a list too much. Multi-Trackers definitely aren't a good use of points, but they're an example of a way we can shave down our unit cost... but it's clear that 60 points worth of Vespid aren't worth giving up Flamers and SMS. You'd need to add more Vespid to make the group into a legitimate threat, and the list would need to change dramatically to accommodate, I think.

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GND
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Re: Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

Post#33 » Oct 19 2017 02:49

Arka0415 wrote:Remember we're also trying to be positive though, okay? Make sure your criticism is backed up by concrete suggestions- if you think the list wasn't optimal, what kind of list would you write? Thanks!


That was meant as a friendly jab rather than concrete criticism. Probably should have put a smiley there. Anyway, I feel the problems with the list have been discussed before me enough and I didn't want to add to an already long post.

Arka0415 wrote:Don't go out of your way to sacrifice units (we're not the Imperial Guard here!) but if you need to feed Fire Warriors or Drones to an enemy offensive, don't worry too much about it. Tau can do pretty well with a high-casualty playstyle especially in the lategame- we can use our shooting advantage to create a numerical advantage if played right, giving us more chaff units later on in the game.


This is part of "planing for going second". You are going to lose some models 1st turn, make sure they are the ones you least care about. I wanted to stress this, as I've seen players feel bad when the have to remove models in large quantities after going second and give up. It feels like loosing. But if you are removing the the right kind of models (like Kroot to Fusion Pistols) you are in fact gaining and advantage. You should definitely not act like you have 120 Conscripts thou, because you don't :D Try to save even singular Kroot (lets say by dropping 2 CMD points to auto-pass morale) if it means you will be able to hold an objective for example.

As for the list. I don't think going so heavy on Fusion Blasters on the XV8s is necessary. Longstrike, the Commander and CIB Crisis provide a good anti tank core at 1500 points in general IMO. And specifically against the 'Quin player, he's got only 3 transports. FBs are bad at killing Troupe members due to your low BS and invul. saves on the clowns. I would go for cheaper weapons like Flamers or some more CIBs. If you save enough points you can give Longstrike SMS instead of Drones. SMS is good on Longstrike, probably the only place where it's worth the points.

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mason8ah
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Re: Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

Post#34 » Oct 19 2017 06:02

Yea the Vespid definitely have their place against certain armies. They did nothing against the Quins Solitare with it's 3+ invun. They're 100% in my MEQ list though. Drop anywhere and kill, offensively or defensively. Especially with Marker light support. Then 14" move, especially good for picking up objectives.

For the Quins rematch that i'm going to have, I probably wont be taking so many fusions. with their 4+ standard invul saves they're a bit low rate of fire, but I'll take some cos D6 damage if it get's through is disastrous.
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Haechi
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Re: Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

Post#35 » Oct 19 2017 06:19

To me the main weakness is the unability to be versatile. Because of the 4+ to hit and because of all the D6 shots or D6 damage weapons, doing one thing reliably is already hard. For example, a full out anti tank and elite army will require a truck load of Fusion Blasters and equivalent, just to negate the unreliability of 4+ and D6 damage. Building an anti horde army is easier, and more reliable, so that's good, but making anything in the middle is borderline impossible.

EDIT : To temper my post, I play a lot, and I only play T'au, and I love it. It's hard to compete with some armies that have really easy to build lists that can do everything, but we can fare really well too.

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mason8ah
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Re: Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

Post#36 » Oct 19 2017 09:26

Haechi wrote:To me the main weakness is the unability to be versatile. Because of the 4+ to hit and because of all the D6 shots or D6 damage weapons, doing one thing reliably is already hard.


Yes, that 4+ BS is very annoying, especially when marines hit on 3s AND are better in combat and better armour saves too.
BUT, that feeling when you get 5 marker lights on marines (especially scouts) in cover, strip them of their cover save, hit and wound them on 3s and re-roll the 1s, is soooo good. Chuck a Fireblade in there for extra drone shots. A Darkstrider to take T3s down to T2s so you're wounding on 2s with your standard infantry.
The whole Tau way of life is to work together to make ourselves stronger. Achieving The synergy across your army is almost orgasmic and watch as your opponent can't do anything about it.
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