A Note: This list conforms with the official Games Workshop Kill Team rules, not Kill Team: Heralds of Ruin.
Goal: The goal of this Kill Team list is to create a flexible, mobile Tau Empire force capable of countering light armor and light infantry.
Strategy: I have designed this list to force my opponent (an Imperial Guard player) to prioritize their targets. They strike quickly and rely on fire saturation to win the day. I happen to have general idea of what my opponent is taking (1 Sentinel with a Missile Launcher and Militarum Tempestus Veterans). While my list is geared towards countering them specifically, it may be effective against other Imperial Guard Kill Team lists. Before I get started showcasing the list, I have a couple of important details to point out. Firstly, our battlefield will be covered in ruins, providing an ample amount of cover for both participants. Also, I only own one (1) Stealth Suit Team and no Piranhas, so if you fine people offer suggestions, please remember these restrictions.
200pts Kill Team List
ELITES - XV8 Crisis Battlesuit: 57pts
2 x Flamer; Shield Generator; Multitracker; Blacksun Filter; Shas’ui; Indomitable Specialist: Feel No Pain.
TROOPS - Fire Warrior Strike Team: 63pts
7 x Fire Warriors with Pulse Carbines; Kill Team Leader; Guerilla Specialist: Preferred Enemy; Weapon Specialist: Bane of Vehicles.
DEDICATED TRANSPORT - Devilfish: 80pts
Burst Cannon; 2 x Gun Drones.
Crisis Suit: Let’s start with the role of the Crisis Suit. It is meant to draw fire and soak it up like a sponge. One option I considered was having two Crisis Suits with a Flamer a piece, sacrificing the Shield Generator. However, the Militarum Tempestus Veterans have Hotshot Lasguns. Even though they would only wound the Suits on a 5+, the AP would negate the armor save, not to mention the lasguns have Rapid Fire. Furthermore, the Sentinel would Instant Death the Suits since the strength of Krak Missiles is double the toughness of the Suits. I decided it would be more effective to choose quality over quantity in this case. With the 2D6 thrust move, the Suit will be able to get into flamer range quickly. I debated switching out the two flamers for something like a missile pod, but ultimately decided against it. While a missile pod has impressive range and could be used to cut through the armor of the Veterans and the Sentinel, it lacks the inherent Ignores Cover ability of flamers. Additionally, maintaining line of sight would be difficult with a least six ruins crowding the two foot by two foot battlefield and it would cost me a Fire Warrior to upgrade to a weapon that would deal equal or less wounds than the two flamers; my assessment: not worth it, in this regard. The role of this Suit will be to close distance quickly and draw fire, leaving the Devilfish and the Fire Warriors to deal with the Sentinel. It harasses the Veterans and can be used to hunt down specialists and kill Team leaders. It could also be used as an objective grabber due to its quick movement capabilities. Finally, it has failsafes in spades, including 3+/4++ saves as well as 5+ Feel No Pain.
Devilfish: The role of the Devilfish is to be an objective grabber as well as an nigh unkillable monster. The only threat to the survivability of the Devilfish is the Sentinel, unless the Veterans take a Meltagun. Assuming the Imperial Guard player goes first and the Sentinel can always hit the Devilfish, the Sentinel can destroy it in a minimum of three turns. The Veterans are useless against it since their weapons are only strength three. Not only that, but with the help of the drones, the Devilfish pumps out eight strength five AP 5 shots each shooting phase, four of which hit, statistically. Also, from every corner of the board, it can shoot at least halfway across it, which is more than enough for a Kill Team game. One problem I might encounter with the Devilfish is the placement of the ruins. If they are too close together, my Devilfish will have trouble getting to certain positions on the battlefield.
Fire Warriors: Ah yes, the glorious Fire Warriors. They have the capability to play many roles in a Kill Team match, including objective holding, fire support, light vehicle hunting, etc. The list goes on. However, they will be hunting the Sentinel in this game. I plan to deploy them inside of the Devilfish, so they don't get turned into chunky salsa if the Imperial Guard player goes first. Since the Devilfish has three entry points, I can trundle up to the Sentinel and disembark out the side door, hopefully getting an angle on the squishy AV ten side armor. They all have pulse carbines with the capacity to fire a maximum of fourteen shots at their target. Statistically, seven will hit, one will glance, and one will penetrate, which is enough to wreck the Sentinel. In addition, one Fire Warrior has Bane of Vehicles (reroll failed vehicle penetration rolls) and another has Preferred Enemy (reroll failed to hit rolls against Imperial Guard). The only worry about disembarking the Fire Warriors is that they would most likely be out in the open and vulnerable to retaliation from the Veterans. The Kill Team Leader would be exposed as well and I would rather not lose him, seeing as he is vital to keeping the rest of my Fire Warriors in line. I would have to advance the Crisis Suit swiftly in order to attempt to draw fire from my troops.
List Retrospective: As a whole, I think this list has a very defined role as a swift, maneuverable force that has some measure of adaptability. The army can traverse the board quickly with the Devilfish and the Crisis Suit. I believe the force achieves the objective of drawing enemy fire away from key units and forcing them to prioritize. While it has yet to be critiqued by the community, I think it will stand a fighting chance against the Cadian invaders.
Thank you all for your time and I look forward to reading your suggestions.