New to Tau and 40K - Help appreciated

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Zlatan
Shas
Posts: 2

New to Tau and 40K - Help appreciated

Post#1 » Mar 29 2017 05:56

Hi everyone,

I'm a long-term fantasy (4th Ed - AoS) player who's thinking about getting more into 40k. I've always been attracted to the Tau aesthetic and fluff, and I want an army that other people in my area aren't using much - so I've decided to join the Greater Good. I have read the rules and played a few friendly maelstrom games with a small Space Wolf army before, so I understand the basics but I'm still a rookie and could use a few pointers.
As for the local meta, there's a good amount of players around who range from uber-fluffy friendly gamers to hardcore win-at-all-costs types. We play in store and it's not always possible to book a table, so usually this means turning up and playing whoever's around. The main armies I'll face are marines, eldar, astra militarum and mechanicum. There's also a few tyranid players about. So basically I need an all-comers list.
I like armies which look good on the table and use a variety of models. I also like using balanced lists that require tactics and synergy, rather than sledgehammering people by spamming the best stuff. That said, I'd also like to have a fighting chance of winning against some of the more competitive players.

I've just finished reading through the codex and I've put together a couple of lists at the 2 standard points values people play in-store - 850, and 1850. Generally the smaller list would be for friendly games, and the 1850 list would be for more serious competitive games. I'd like some help and advice. :P

So to summarize my goals:
- I want to use varied models. I like pretty much the whole Tau range so I don't need to use the models I've listed below, but I'd rather not spam the same unit type too much.
- I want the army to be balanced, fun to use, and fun to play against. I don't want to be too cheesy (no-one wants to play "that guy").
- I want to be able to tweak up the competitive level if I find myself facing a cheesy opponent, especially with the larger list.

Here are the lists:

850 points list - combined arms detachment

HQ

Commander
2 plasma rifles, iridium battlesuit, drone-controller, target lock
Attached unit: 2 marker drones.

Elites

XV8 Crisis Team (2 models) (Commander goes here)
Both with 2 plasma rifles and target lock
Attached unit: 4 marker drones.

XV104 Riptide
Ion accelerator, early warning override

Troops

6 Fire Warriors
Pulse rifles.

6 Fire Warriors
Pulse rifles, bonding knife ritual

Fast Attack

6 Gun Drones (If facing lots of low AP infantry the commander can jump to this unit to lend his BS to the drones)

Heavy Support

Hammerhead Gunship
Railgun, submunition rounds

That puts me 1pt over which is just acceptable in my store.

A few questions about this list: Should I swap out the Hammerhead for a Skyray for some skyfire potential and extra marker lights? Will 2 small scoring units be enough in 850pt games? Have I done anything dumb here?

My thinking is that I have MEQ/TEQ killers from the commander and crisis team, and the markerlights can target something else if necessary. I have anti-armour capability in the riptide and hammerhead, and anti-infantry/bike shots from the drones and fire warriors. DO you think this is a balanced all-comers list that could do well?


Here's my bigger list:

1850 points list - Hunter Contingent

Hunter Cadre

HQ

Commander
2 missile pods, iridium battlesuit, drone-controller, target lock, neuroweb system jammer, vectored retro thrusters
Attached unit: 2 marker drones.
edit - swapped 2 fusion blasters for 2 missile pods

Elites

XV8 Crisis Team (3 models) (Commander goes here)
All with 2 missile pods, target lock.
edit - removed 6x marker drones and bonding knife ritual

XV8 Crisis Team (3 models)
All with 2 plasma rifles, target lock. Crisis Shas'vre: vectored retro-thrusters.


XV104 Riptide
Ion accelerator, early warning override, stimulant injector

Troops

5 Fire Warriors
Pulse rifles.

5 Fire Warriors
Pulse rifles.

10 Fire Warriors
Pulse rifles. Shas'ui.
Attached unit: Devilfish transport with disruption pod.


Fast Attack

Pathfinder team (4 models)
Pulse carbines, marker lights.

4 marker drones

4 marker drones

Heavy Support

Hammerhead Gunship
Railgun, submunition rounds
edit - swap for Skyray Missile Gunship?

Optimised Stealth Cadre

Ghostkeel
Cyclic ion raker, twin-linked fusion blaster, early warning override, velocity tracker.

Stealth team (3 models)
Burst cannons. Stealth Shas'vre: Fusion blaster, homing beacon.

Stealth team (3 models)
Burst cannons. Stealth Shas'vre: Fusion blaster, homing beacon.

Drone network - 4 squads of marker drones
4 drones each.

Hopefully this can deal with all-comers and is an efficient set-up. I'd like this list to be semi-competitive, but not too cheesy, so I guess my main question is - is this terrible? :D
Last edited by Zlatan on Mar 30 2017 01:51, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
Mirth
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 83

Re: New to Tau and 40K - Help appreciated

Post#2 » Mar 29 2017 07:13

Zlatan, welcome to the greater good! And 40k. ;)

I'll mainly comment on the 1850 list, as your 850 list is solid for friendly games and such. :)

Since you're looking at mainly seeing more hard-core competitive lists in the 1850 games, my thoughts are as follows-

1. OSC- bring three Ghostkeels. This is one of the best formations we have (definitely top 5, possibly top 3), but only if you bring three Ghostkeels. Two just need target locks while the third can, but doesn't have to carry a velocity tracker- you will not be disappointed. The formation's ability to ignore cover and the buff to the BS means it can operate entirely without markerlights while putting out a lot of firepower.

2. Drone Network- This requires 4 teams of drones which are usually done as marker drones. Since the way you had it listed made it seem like you were just bringing 4 drones, I just thought I would point that out. ;)

3. Your commander- best "drone buffing" commander is as follows- two missile pods, drone controller, target lock. Gives your marker drones the commanders BS while still allowing him to function effectively at range thanks to the target lock.

4. Hammerhead- unfortunately the Hammerhead isn't terribly great at the moment in competitive play- the Skyray is a better choice for competitive stuff from what I've seen.

5. Crisis Suits- in my experience, it is better to kit your Crisis Suits out for doing one thing very well, rather than watering down their effectiveness by attempting to pull double duty, in this case by adding marker drones to the unit. ;) Usually the Drone Net gives you all the markerlights you'd need, particularly with a Mark'O (commander with drone controller) added in.

6. Y'vahra- gotta get a plug in for one of my favorite models from FW- the Y'vahra is excellent and I would recommend it highly, as one of the Riptide variants. Completely capable of working without markerlights, it is highly effective against nearly anything, so if your local store permits FW stuff, I would consider one. ;)

Hope that helps, and welcome to ATT! :)
When we forget we are soldiers, we stop fighting.

Zlatan
Shas
Posts: 2

Re: New to Tau and 40K - Help appreciated

Post#3 » Mar 30 2017 01:54

Thanks so much for the feedback on the 1850 list!
I've made some edits based on your advice - swapped the hammerhead for the skyray and missile pods on the commander. I've cleared up the confusion with the drone network and I've taken the marker drones out of the crisis team.

That's saved a few points.

As for the extra ghostkeels, that sounds awesome! But it puts me at 2060 points. Where would you trim the 210 points from in this list?

User avatar
Mirth
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 83

Re: New to Tau and 40K - Help appreciated

Post#4 » Mar 30 2017 03:01

In the Fast Attack section- since you have the Drone Network, you don't need the extra markerlights in the the form of two more marker drone squads and the pathfinder squad- that saves you some 150-160 points. Otherwise I would pull the homing beacons and fusion blasters from the two stealth squads, and if your commander is going with missile pods and joining the other crisis suits with missile pods and not drones, I would remove his drone controller and neuroweb jammer- he won't usually be in range for the jammer, and if there are no drones for him to buff, then he doesn't need a drone controller.

If I'm not mistaken, that should put you in the point range you're looking to hit. ;) If you need a few more points, drop the target locks from your crisis suits with plasma rifles- they are going to want to gun down one unit at a time, rather than spreading their fire out (just in my experience).

Hope that helps! :)
When we forget we are soldiers, we stop fighting.

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