Reading a number of the new strategies cropping up for the new codex has got me thinking. Currently, the Tau battle plan mostly centers around self-preservation and victory point denial. However, with some of these new options, I was wondering if a related, yet intrinsically different strategy would work as well. It would consist a focused all-out offense, using aspects of a target denial strategy to reduce losses. It's all just conjecture at the moment, and I haven't got anything pinned down just yet, but I thought I'd just throw my ideas out there so that we can flesh them out and see if anything comes of it.
-At its heart, this list would theoretically aim to deliver maximum firepower to specific parts of the opponent's forces to take them out of the picture quickly and efficiently. This would be accomplished with a combination of seeker missile salvos, deepstriking/infiltrating battlesuit units, and vehicles.
-A measure of target denial would be involved in that deployment would consist almost completely of armored units. Infantry units would mostly consist of deepstriking or infiltrating battlesuits and mounted teams of Fire Warriors and Pathfinders
-The list would likely make use of first turn seeker missile alpha strikes on hard targets to soften them up. As for how many to use, and where to mount them is something I'll leave up for discussion.
-Deep-striking battlesuits, would be equipped to offer maximum offensive power for their points (either through quantity or quality of shots), attempting to recoup their costs as quickly as possible. Defensive equipment would be of secondary concern, as the hope would be to reduce the inevitable retalliation to a manageable level. These units would make use of the Pathfinder Devilfish's homing beacon, and possibly the Positional Relay to increase the accuracy and utility of their placement.
-By getting in close, we reduce the effectiveness of indirect fire weapons, especially if your opponent worries about scattering and hitting his own men.
-Commander: The setup with Hit and Run and Feel No Pain, which Tonka has proposed to tie up squads, may come into its own here. It would be a nice asset to reduce your opponent's response to your recently-dropped units. When it comes to weapons, I'll address them in the normal Crisis suit entry
-Ethereal: I don't think there is really a place for one in a list like this, but feel free to show me the error of my ways.
-Fire Warriors: All squads would be mounted in Devilfish. They would likely be few in number, but it's tempting to include a large squad or two to take advantage of markerlight-guided rapid firing. The Devilfish themselves could be equipped with SMS to increase their potency, which would hopefully help to dilute anti-tank fire.
-Kroot: They're a nice, cheap way to increase model count and tie up dangerous squads. One unit of them is pretty much a given, though more might be preferable. Hounds are a possibility (though I wouldn't recommend it), but Krootox are less than ideal.
-Stealth Suits: This is another unit that's almost mandatory. I'd almost be tempted to fill out all three Elite slots with them.
-Crisis Suits: Overall, you'll want to keep them cheap, but there are some really nice weapon loadouts we can give them to suit their roles in this list. Burst cannons and missile pods are consistent and reliable, so that's something to build around, but the flamer, single or twinlinked, really comes into its own here. If you can get into position, you can do some serious damage, even to Marines, without using up markerlight tokens. The plasma rifle is of lesser utility, but since you'll likely be within rapid fire range, you can probably make it work. The fusion blaster is also a solid choice, depending on whether or not you take Piranhas. For leaders, both special issue weapons look good, though in such close quarters, you'll have to be mindful of the scatter on the frag launcher
-Pathfinders: This is one of the central units in our list, so at least one squad will be needed. In general, I've not been sold on taking a second squad, but if you're going to do it, this would be the type of list to do it in.
-Piranhas: Useful for tank-hunting and capturing objectives. They're a solid candidate for inclusion
-Vespids: Their speed and firepower make them a good fit in this kind of list, but it all depends on whether you can get use out of them without getting them torn up first. Still, they're under consideration
-Hammerhead: Ion Cannons are not an option here. We need to take the railguns where we can get them, so I'm thinking two Railheads will be a minimum.
-Broadsides: Equipped with ASS and a few Shield Drones, they could be an option, but they could find themselves in trouble early on. If I did take them, it'd only be one squad of them, probably two suits and two drones.
-Sky Ray: Its complement of seeker missiles could be a nice addition, but with this many vehicles around, we can probably get just as many by spreading the missiles around there. Its main asset would be the mobile markerlights, and I'm not sure if we can afford to give up a possible railgun.
-Sniper Drones: Again, they're static infantry, so I really don't see them having a place in this list.
Problems to overcome:
-A list built in this way would be a glass hammer. If your shooting in the first few turns proves ineffective, you can quickly find yourself in a world of hurt.
-If the mission does not allow deep striking, if your opponent castles up, or if your opponent also plays a list mostly consisting of drop troops, can the strategy of this kind of list be adjusted to compensate?
-If your Pathfinders' Devilfish gets blown up early, can this kind of list overcome the loss in deep striking accuracy?
Well, there you have it. Hopefully, we can build on that and something will come of it. Ideas? Questions? Sarcastic remarks?