Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

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mason8ah
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Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

Post#1 » Oct 18 2017 05:48

Hi All,

I've been playing 8th for a few weeks now, I joined a local league. I'm by no means an expert and prefer painting, so I'd really appreciate your thoughts on this.

First off I love Tau, they're the only unique race in the galaxy. We are a glimmer of hope and light amongst everything that is dark and corrupt.
We are very specialist at range and good strength nasty weapons and I've had some great games, amazing wins and losses that I've enjoyed thoroughly.

However this specialism can lead to some awful boring losses.
I played a 1500pt game vs Harlequins. I got spectacularly tabled entirely through circumstances out of my control. It was all down to the random deployment card we drew that determined that I was nothing but a passenger/spectator the entire game.
It meant we played length ways and essentially I had a very small shallow deployment zone at one end and the Harlequins could deploy right up the battlefield. Resulting in the furthest I could get away being about 22".

They had turn 1 and with their massive movement and ability to skim over buildings and troops alike, they were straight into me and that was basically game over.

I took counterfire defence systems, Grav-inhibitor, kroot shield lines and of course the greater good.

So I just wanted to see if anyone else was experiencing this annoyance of being so dependent on the luck of the draw, where most other armies can cope with what comes their way.
Army list below so tell me if I was an idiot or not! Or if it happens to all armies. I'm not the greatest tactician.

p.s. They took out my longstrike in ONE TURN with a PISTOL, dealing D6 wounds for each wound, from a 4 shot weapon, is massively OP in opinion. Especially as a hammerhead TANK deals 1 D6 damage??
Also this is most of what I own, so I don't own piranhas, which I think would be beneficial. And I hate to dakka the broken drones, if I had, I would have fared a bit better on the overwatch.
Thanks all :D

Tau 1500pts
Commander, 2 x Missile Pod, Early Warning Override, Stim Injector, 2 Shield Drone
Longstrike, Rail
2 x 10 kroot
2 x 12 FW Strike Team
1 x 12 Gun Drone
1x 5 Vespid, Strain Leader
1x 10 PathFinders, Grav-Inhibitor
1 x 3 Crisis with single fusion, TL, MT
1 x 3 Crisis with Burst and Plasma, EWO
1 x DF

Harlequins 1500pts
3 units speeder bikes
3 units transports
3 units troupe
1 solitare
2 sergeant types
Last edited by mason8ah on Oct 18 2017 06:16, edited 1 time in total.
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Panzer
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Re: Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

Post#2 » Oct 18 2017 06:03

1 x 3 Crisis with single fusion, TL, ML
1 x 3 Crisis with Burst and Plasma, EWO

ML are Missile Pods I guess? In that case this is probably one of your biggest problems.
Two different weapons on a Crisis suit with a support system it doesn't really need at all. So you have a little bit anti-tank/anti-monster and a little bit anti-infantry/anti-light vehicle but neither enough to be a real threat to any of those targets.
If you want Missile Pods on Crisis best take 2xMP + ATS. If you want Fusion Blaster, take either 3xFB or 2xFB+Flamer/Support System (Shield Generator would be a viable option if you don't have enough Drones to protect them).

For the other squad:
Burst Cannons on Crisis suits is bad. If you want anti-infantry better take Cyclic Ion Blaster for more range but also more expensive, or Flamer for close range but cheap. Plasma also are inferior to CIB unfortunately. They are only almost comparable within 12" and only as long as the target has good armor.
EWO is very situational, unless you expect many reserves it's not really worth it on Crisis (and even then it might not be worth it depending on your gameplan for them).


Your Gun Drones would work better in 3x4 or 2x6 instead of 1x12 as well since their LD is rather bad and you don't want to lose them because you used their Saviour Protocol.

The rest looks okay. Not min-maxed but not bad either. I haven't played against Harlequins yet but units getting too close to fast wasn't really a problem for me so far. Actually I'm usually the one who gets close to the enemy as fast as possible. :D

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

Post#3 » Oct 18 2017 06:16

Sorry, ML was supposed to be MT (Multi Trackers, I've amended now thanks)

Didn't know about Burst Cannons and Plasma being inferior to Cyclic, I'll look more into that so thanks for the heads up!
But yes those Harlequins bikes and transports have a 14" movement, standard 6" advance (no rolling) and can then charge as well. So 20" movement, can still shoot and charge. Turn 1 before they declared a charge they were base to base with my kroot. Then charged over/round them. Took out my DF on turn 1 with one shot from the pistol as well.
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Panzer
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Re: Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

Post#4 » Oct 18 2017 06:29

Ah Multi-tracker. Well that doesn't make the situation better. Two support systems who aren't even the good ones for Crisis is not a good loadout. ;)

How did they take your DF out with a single pistol shot though?

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

Post#5 » Oct 18 2017 06:42

mason8ah wrote:We are very specialist at range and good strength nasty weapons and I've had some great games, amazing wins and losses that I've enjoyed thoroughly.

However this specialism can lead to some awful boring losses.

This is why many people feel that Tau have changed in this new edition. Basically, that's not our specialty anymore. Now, we're durable, fast, and have blistering short-range alpha strike. Forget everything you know about Tau, because it's a whole different galaxy now.

Here's what you need to know:

1. Commanders, Drones, and Fireblades are the best parts of our Index.
2. We have lots of fun wargear, but the only viable weapons are the Fusion Blaster, Flamer, and (most of all) the CIB.
3. Battlesuits and Commanders must have uniform roles.
4. Focus on alpha strike, skirmishing, and the 18" "sweet spot" range.

If you can, build your list around the following units:

1. Commanders w/ Fusion Blasters
2. Commanders w/ CIBs
3. Fire Warriors
4. XV8s w/ CIBs and Gun Drones
5. Gun Drones
6. Mechanized Gun Drones
7. Mechanized Fire Warriors
8. Gun Drones
9. Did I mention Gun Drones?

So, let's apply these rules to your list and see what happens! First, the Commander brings all Fusion Blasters. Longstrike gets SMS and Seekers. The Fire Warriors split into three squads and reduce in number, as this isn't a gunline list. The Gun Drones go into a Devilfish and add a Fireblade. Let's change your XV8 loadouts and give them Gun Drones. We'll make a few more changes too (for points we need to drop the Vespids and a few Pathfinders, for example), but that should give you the idea! Here's what an 8th Edition version of your list might look like. This isn't a final draft of course, but it should give you some ideas! :D

-

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)

-

Looks different, right? 18 Fire Warriors and 8 Pathfinders find nice spots to set up in cover. 11 Gun Drones and the Fireblade go in the Devilfish. The Fusion XV8s, CIB XV8s, and Fusion Commander set up in Manta Strike reserve. Longstrike hangs out in back.

On turn one, light up the biggest enemy target with at least two Markerlight hits, drop your Commander and Fusion XV8s near it, and fire the 10 Fusion Blasters and two Seeker Missiles at it. Basically guaranteed Imperial Knight kill right there. The CIB XV8s drop in and attack infantry or light vehicles that could threaten the drop core. Longstrike's Railgun should be used as a long-range executioner, finishing off any crippled vehicles or monsters. Meanwhile the Devilfish full of Drones rushes forward to hit light enemy target in the flank. Fire Warriors and Pathfinders stay back and hold objectives.

Anyway, that should be a nice summary of 8th Edition for you! :D
Last edited by Arka0415 on Oct 18 2017 09:37, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

Post#6 » Oct 18 2017 06:47

mason8ah wrote:Took out my DF on turn 1 with one shot from the pistol as well.

Was your opponent a new player? I have the Harlequin book, and unless the weapon is hidden somewhere I'm not seeing, the most powerful pistol the Harlequins get is the Neuro Disruptor which has a maximum damage of 9, but gets reduced damage against vehicles. In fact, there are no weapons in the Harlequin book capable of one-shotting a Devilfish, or even two-shotting one.

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

Post#7 » Oct 18 2017 06:58

I'm no expert, but the Burst Cannons coupled with EWO proved incredibly useful. I knew that I was gonna get charged, so 3x Burst Cannons on 3 suits re-rolling their failed overwatch was in my opinion quite beneficial.

I've just got clarification from the Quins player. The DF went down turn 1 like this: The Quins can fire out their transports, even in combat. Each troupe had 4 fusion pistols AP-4 (so no save for DF), hitting on 3s,D6 damage each.
So 1 zoomed right up to it turn 1. Shot at it from inside their own transport, 4 shots, 1 missed, 3 wounds no save, so 3 D6 damage. and then the transport charged the FW. Bye bye fishy.
Then exactly the same with Longstrike but turn 3 I think.

Also we used battle forged armies, so couldn't split my drones up into 3 as I had Pathfinders and Vespid too. Unless I take an auxiliary detachment at -1CP
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mason8ah
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Re: Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

Post#8 » Oct 18 2017 07:09

On turn one, light up the biggest enemy target with at least two Markerlight hits, drop your Commander and Fusion XV8s near it, and fire the 10 Fusion Blasters and two Seeker Missiles at it. Basically guaranteed Imperial Knight kill right there. The CIB XV8s drop in and attack infantry or light vehicles that could threaten the drop core. Longstrike's Railgun should be used as a long-range executioner, finishing off any crippled vehicles or monsters. Meanwhile the Devilfish full of Drones rushes forward to hit light enemy target in the flank. Fire Warriors and Pathfinders stay back and hold objectives.

Anyway, that should be a nice summary of 8th Edition for you! :D


Wow, all your knowledge is priceless thanks! However I didn't get turn 1, so literally ALL their units were IN my units on my turn 1.
Surely theirs no coming back from that. Especially as DF is gone. All I can really do is drop all the manta strike units in the same place as the rest of the army and shoot at whatever is best.

Also you mention drones a lot. I really don't want to be that player that spams drones like they're conscripts. But I could do with taking more your right! (until they get nerfed lol).
Last edited by mason8ah on Oct 18 2017 07:12, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

Post#9 » Oct 18 2017 07:09

Also sorry I don't know how to quote yet! :-(
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Re: Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

Post#10 » Oct 18 2017 07:26

mason8ah wrote:I'm no expert, but the Burst Cannons coupled with EWO proved incredibly useful. I knew that I was gonna get charged, so 3x Burst Cannons on 3 suits re-rolling their failed overwatch was in my opinion quite beneficial.

I've just got clarification from the Quins player. The DF went down turn 1 like this: The Quins can fire out their transports, even in combat. Each troupe had 4 fusion pistols AP-4 (so no save for DF), hitting on 3s,D6 damage each.
So 1 zoomed right up to it turn 1. Shot at it from inside their own transport, 4 shots, 1 missed, 3 wounds no save, so 3 D6 damage. and then the transport charged the FW. Bye bye fishy.
Then exactly the same with Longstrike but turn 3 I think.

Also we used battle forged armies, so couldn't split my drones up into 3 as I had Pathfinders and Vespid too. Unless I take an auxiliary detachment at -1CP

EWO doesn't let you re-roll hit rolls in Overwatch. CDS does that. ;)
Also when only 3 Burst Cannons did so well in your game, imagine how well 6 CIBs would do instead!

The pistols in transport sure are nasty. Not much you can do about that if he gets first and you deployed in range of that except for providing redundancy. Aka taking more of the same kind of unit so even if he nukes one you still have another left to do what needs to be done.

You could have still been battleforged by just taking an Outrider detachment. Put your Commander or Longstrike together with the Drones there and you're good. That is if you want to keep building on your list instead of just taking Arkas rather generic list (no offense but I usually don't try to write lists for people because it would end up in the same kind of list all the time. I rather try to give hints on what could be improved instead).

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

Post#11 » Oct 18 2017 07:35

Thanks for the responses! I'll try to reply to each of your points:

mason8ah wrote:I'm no expert, but the Burst Cannons coupled with EWO proved incredibly useful. I knew that I was gonna get charged, so 3x Burst Cannons on 3 suits re-rolling their failed overwatch was in my opinion quite beneficial.

I'm sure it's a good trick, but here's the thing- statistically, three Burst Cannons are going to get two hits in overwatch. With Counterfire Defense Systems, you're looking at three hits, maybe four. I don't know how many times you're planning to get charged, but XV8s are all about the shooting phase, not the opponent's assault phase. Remember the opportunity cost of not taking more guns. Stronger guns, even if they don't re-roll hits, will do more damage in overwatch and do way more damage in the shooting phase too!

mason8ah wrote:I've just got clarification from the Quins player. The DF went down turn 1 like this: The Quins can fire out their transports, even in combat. Each troupe had 4 fusion pistols AP-4 (so no save for DF), hitting on 3s,D6 damage each.

Makes sense. Against that kind of firepower there isn't much you can do- except, once you've witnessed its power, remove it at your first opportunity! Remember, Tau are all about short-ranged firepower, and the enemy just rolled right into the teeth of your army.

mason8ah wrote:Also we used battle forged armies, so couldn't split my drones up into 3 as I had Pathfinders and Vespid too. Unless I take an auxiliary detachment at -1CP

True, but in a stronger list you'll want to take more HQs, and more HQs means more detachments! :biggrin:

mason8ah wrote:Wow, all your knowledge is priceless thanks! However I didn't get turn 1, so literally ALL their units were IN my units on my turn 1.
Surely theirs no coming back from that. Especially as DF is gone. All I can really do is drop all the manta strike units in the same place as the rest of the army and shoot at whatever is best.

You can totally come back from that! Keep your strong units in Manta Strike reserve, they're invincible up there. Then, if they focus your Devilfish, that's better than if those shots went into the juicy target inside the Devilfish, right? Again, remember what I mentioned before- if the enemy comes to you, they're doing your job for you. Mitigate charges where you can, use Drones and screening to keep your units alive, and come back with a vengeance on the counter-attack.

mason8ah wrote:Also you mention drones a lot. I really don't want to be that player that spams drones like they're conscripts. But I could do with taking more your right! (until they get nerfed lol).

I don't want to sound negative, but your current army doesn't really have any competitive units in it- don't worry at all about being "that guy". Once you're packing 9 Commanders and 100 Gun Drones, then you can worry! :D





Anyway, does all of this advice make sense? It's a real paradigm shift from how Tau used to be (it's a combination of an underpowered codex and a vast meta shift) but if you adapt to the new environment you should really notice some results! Tau may not be as weak as you think!

By the way, here's how to quote text. This...

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[quote="Arka0415"]By the way, here's how to quote text.[/quote]


...turns into this:

By the way, here's how to quote text.
Last edited by Arka0415 on Oct 18 2017 07:38, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

Post#12 » Oct 18 2017 07:36

Panzer wrote:EWO doesn't let you re-roll hit rolls in Overwatch. CDS does that. ;)
Also when only 3 Burst Cannons did so well in your game, imagine how well 6 CIBs would do instead!

Ah yes that;s my bad! got the 2 mixed up, thanks for correcting me!

Panzer wrote:You could have still been battleforged by just taking an Outrider detachment. Put your Commander or Longstrike together with the Drones there and you're good. That is if you want to keep building on your list instead of just taking Arkas rather generic list (no offense but I usually don't try to write lists for people because it would end up in the same kind of list all the time. I rather try to give hints on what could be improved instead).

My list building skills/knowledge are obviously very limited, but you guys dropping knowledge bombs like this really helps. For some reason I thought Burts were better than CIB's, I need to revisit all of the stats to figure it out.
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. They can also jump out of combat, shoot and charge again can the quins, which is devastating, but fits them so well given that war is art for them
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Arka0415
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Re: Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

Post#13 » Oct 18 2017 07:43

mason8ah wrote:For some reason I thought Burts were better than CIB's, I need to revisit all of the stats to figure it out.

These threads should be some good reading:

viewtopic.php?f=52&t=26661

viewtopic.php?f=52&t=26635

viewtopic.php?f=52&t=25567

viewtopic.php?f=52&t=25682

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

Post#14 » Oct 18 2017 08:11



Thanks for that! Though too much Mathhammer hurts my head!
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mason8ah
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Re: Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

Post#15 » Oct 18 2017 08:30

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

Post#16 » Oct 18 2017 08:35

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?

You're right. Those are the points for a tripple flamer squad with drones. ^^

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

Post#17 » Oct 18 2017 09:04

Panzer wrote:
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?

You're right. Those are the points for a tripple flamer squad with drones. ^^


I guess the tripple flamer squad I'd take when playing guard or other hoard type armies!
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Re: Tau's most annoying weakness. Thoughts?

Post#18 » Oct 18 2017 09:34

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.

FYI 9 Flamer would kill 10.5 Harlequins on average so that might be a good unit for you to try anyway. Just make sure to take enough Drones with them (I recommend Shield Drones) so he doesn't kill too many Crisis before declaring a charge. ^^

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