Hey fellow followers of the Greater Good.
I wanted to share some of my experiences with the new Tau Codex, and discuss my somewhat unusual play style. Let me begin with a little bit of my Tau history. It was the army that got me back into 40k in 2001, and I have played it almost exclusively since. In 4th edition I ran a suit heavy list with lots of drones and played a mid-range 24" kill zone that my opponents hated to try and close. In 5th Edition I changed to a more static fire base/line style, with more broadsides, outflanking kroot squads and less suits to round out the list. 5th edition was very hard on my Tau, and I went from winning a high number of games in 4th to losing almost all the time in 5th no matter what I did. Needles to say I moved to the hobby side of the game for a while.
Enter April 2013 and the new Codex comes out and I am in heaven. New models to make, new options to try, more balanced point cost, and the Riptide! So far I have had overwhelming success with the new codex. I have played 8 games and lost only 1. The armies I played against were: Nids, Chaos Daemons, Chaos Space Marines, Orks, Dark Angels, Space Wolves with Imperial Guard allies, and Tau. We play 1850 points most of the time, but I think a couple of the games were at the 1500 point level.
Here's the list I use:
Commander with: Cyclonic Ion Blaster, Drone controller, Advanced Targeting system, Iridium Battlesuit, 2x Marker drones
Riptide 1: Counterfire Defence system, Stimulant injector, heavy burst cannon, twin-linked smart missile system, 2x shielded missile drones
Riptide 2: Early warning override, Ion Accelerator, twin linked smart missile system
Fire Warrior Team: 8 Fire Warriors with pulse carbines, devilfish with disruption pod, 2 gun drones
Kroot Carnivore Squad: 10 Kroot
Pathfinder Team: Shas'ui, 3x pulse carbines, 2x Ion rifles
Piranha Squad: 4 piranha with fusion blasters
Hammerhead 1: Railgun with Submunitions, twin linked smart missile system, blacksun filter
Hammerhead 2: Ion cannon, twin linked smart missile system, disruption pod, Longstrike
Skyray: Blacksun filter, disruption pod, twin linked smart missile system
My Commander joins the gun drones from the piranha teams in the first turn. Darkstrider is deployed with the Fire Warriors to give them outflank. The kroot and pathfinder team will stay in reserve, and depending on the mission will use outflank. And of course the Sunshark is held in reserve, leaving me with 2 hammerheads, a skyray, 2 riptides, 4 piranhas, and a commander with drones on the table to start. Most times I have deployed my tanks to use their long range as protection from enemy fire, I place the Riptide 1 as the closest unit to the enemy to take shots, and my commander and piranha team move in tandem. All the units that I start with are pretty tough to crack, and I don't give up any really easy kill points on first turn.
With only 2 troop choices, I am concentrating on keeping mine alive while decimating my foes. Keeping them in reserves helps, and the missions help too. When I was thinking up the list I took into account that in 2 of the 6 missions I will actually have more scouring units, Big guns never tire, and the Scouring. Purge the Alien is kill points, the Emperors Will has 2 objectives and I can hold mine. So that leaves the Relic and Crusade. In those missions I would go for the secondary objectives, first blood, line breaker and slay the warlord. In most games I usually get first blood, and Darkstrider's unit has a good chance of getting me line breaker. So it is up to the rest of my units to get me slay the warlord, and to blow stuff up.
So far my tactics have worked. In most games during the first turn my opponents move into better shooting range, and I take very few hits. On my turn however I am killing squads or vehicles that could threaten me. Actually I only lost a Riptide in the game I lost because I underestimated the speed of orks and he got me in close combat. Most of the games I have played have been Big Guns (3), Purge the alien (1), the Scouring (2) and the Emperors will (2). So I have yet to play the Relic and Crusade. However, in both of those missions I can't see my tactic changing much.
After the games we always talk about what worked and didn't for both armies, and my friends have said they can't believe I run only 2 troops in this edition. They say troops win games, to this I reply scoring
units win games, when I explain my rational they see my point. Talking after a match is often the best part of the game because you get to share your tactics and thoughts on units that didn't work or worked really well. When I played my friend with the Nids, he explained to me the powers that augment the toughness on his monstrous creatures and recommended sniper weapons to help deal with it. So I will have to find a way to give my kroot sniper rounds to deal with high toughness. He asked me how to deal with support fire, and I said take the extra turn to make sure you can charge with multiple units so I have to choose what fires where. But then I said he was on his own about Longstrike, because if positioned well he will overwatch 3 times!
My favourite unit in the codex is by far the Riptide. With marker light support he is a killing machine and very tough to take down. I think every Tau army should field at least 1. Piranhas to me are the next best change in the codex. With their reduced point cost, the increase in fusion blaster range, and how drone controllers work these vehicles are also a must in my book. Their font armour makes them resist small arms fire, moving gives them a jink save, supporting fire from my commander squad makes them hard to charge, and if they draw my opponent's heavy weapons that means they are not shooting at my big stuff making them live longer.
Overall I really like the new codex, and being able to play 40k again and put up a decent fight is fun. Units I am looking forward to trying: Shadowsun with Crisis Bodyguards and Broadside team with High Yield Missile pods and support commander, but I have to build those new broadsides first.
Last edited by Shas'o Dre
on Nov 10 2015 08:55, edited 7 times in total.