Pure Theory: Designing an "Optimal" Tau List?

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Arka0415
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Pure Theory: Designing an "Optimal" Tau List?

Post#1 » Dec 21 2017 07:43

We've come up with plenty of strong lists on ATT over the past few months, but mostly we're all limited by the models we own. From a pure theory perspective, right now, Tau are very one-dimensional. A faction with a Codex and diverse army options might have plenty of strong, viable lists, but we Tau have very few.

With that in mind, what's the strongest concievable Tau list? I won't presume to have the answer, but I'll try my best- whatever we do, it's probably going to include Commanders, Fireblades, Stealthsuits, Gun Drones, Y'vahras, and maybe Pathfinders. I'll give it a shot:

-

HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Cyclic Ion Blasters, Drone Controller; 2x Marker Drones (155)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Cyclic Ion Blasters, Drone Controller; 2x Marker Drones (155)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Cyclic Ion Blasters, Drone Controller; 2x Marker Drones (155)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42) [Warlord, Exemplar of Mont'ka]
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones (32)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones (32)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones (32)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones (32)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones (32)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones (32)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones (32)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones (32)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones (32)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones (32)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones (32)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones (32)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones (32)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones (32)
Fast Attack - 2x Shield Drones, 2x Marker Drones (36)
Fast Attack - 2x Shield Drones, 2x Marker Drones (36)
Fast Attack - 2x Shield Drones, 2x Marker Drones (36)
Fast Attack - Y'vahra w/ Ionic Discharge Cannon, Phased Plasma Flamer, Stimulant Injector, ATS (408)

Total: 1999 - Command Points: 9 (6 Outrider Detachments)

-

Obviously this is nothing original, just Commander/Drone spam, but I figure it could be a fun way to come up with an "optimal" Tau list as a community.

What do you think?

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GI-Redshirt
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Re: Pure Theory: Designing an "Optimal" Tau List?

Post#2 » Dec 21 2017 08:19

Two issues pop into my head right off the bat.

1. This list gives up First Blood really easily. I mean, its pretty hard not to have a competitive Tau list in 8th right now that doesn't due to our reliance on Drones and Commanders, but it is still something to consider.

2. If playing ITC rules, this list also gives up the kill a unit Maelstrom objective quite easily. Pretty much the same issue as above, but rather than giving up simply one point at the beginning it gives up potentially between 1 and 3 points a turn. That's a pretty glaring flaw in my mind.

I honestly don't think that we can work around this issue with current Tau reasonably, but here would be my solution. Bigger Drone squads (you would lose out on Outrider Detachments, but I actually don't think many tournaments would allow for 6 detachments at 2000 points), probably 12 man on the Gun Drones, and squeeze an Ethereal in there to give out the leadership bubble. Can also give out some extra survivability to the Commanders, Y'Vahra, and Fireblade depending on positioning with Sense of Stone and increased mobility on a Mont'ka with Zephyr's Grace.

Also, unrelated note, but who would have the PEN chip in this list? The Fireblade I'm assuming?

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Yojimbob
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Re: Pure Theory: Designing an "Optimal" Tau List?

Post#3 » Dec 21 2017 11:47

I like the idea but I made something similar with an ethereal, 2 min squads of kroot hounds, 3 CIB commanders 2 with ats 1 with dc, 2 QFC's, one coldstar, a y'varha, and 12 gun drones, 13 marker drones, and 51 shield drones.

I made a non y'varha list with 6 cib commanders, 3 QFC, a coldstar, and drones. Makes me feel icky but I want to use the list and see what it does. Not sure which is deadly, 10 commanders or 6 and a y'varha. :eek:

You can make your list fit into a standard 3 detachment if you combine the drones into squads of 6 and 7. I don't recommend using that many gun drones without any shields helping out. You have to remember with THAT many of them you WILL make good 5+++ saves.

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Arka0415
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Re: Pure Theory: Designing an "Optimal" Tau List?

Post#4 » Dec 22 2017 01:20

GI-Redshirt wrote:Two issues pop into my head right off the bat.

1. This list gives up First Blood really easily. I mean, its pretty hard not to have a competitive Tau list in 8th right now that doesn't due to our reliance on Drones and Commanders, but it is still something to consider.

2. If playing ITC rules, this list also gives up the kill a unit Maelstrom objective quite easily. Pretty much the same issue as above, but rather than giving up simply one point at the beginning it gives up potentially between 1 and 3 points a turn. That's a pretty glaring flaw in my mind.

I honestly don't think that we can work around this issue with current Tau reasonably, but here would be my solution. Bigger Drone squads (you would lose out on Outrider Detachments, but I actually don't think many tournaments would allow for 6 detachments at 2000 points), probably 12 man on the Gun Drones, and squeeze an Ethereal in there to give out the leadership bubble. Can also give out some extra survivability to the Commanders, Y'Vahra, and Fireblade depending on positioning with Sense of Stone and increased mobility on a Mont'ka with Zephyr's Grace.

You're not wrong, that's for sure, but I don't really see a way around those problems without adding support units like Ethereals. We could try for a more durable list that focuses more on protection rather than Drone spam. I'll write one below in this post.

GI-Redshirt wrote:Also, unrelated note, but who would have the PEN chip in this list? The Fireblade I'm assuming?

Didn't think too hard about this list, so I didn't decide who to give the PEN to. I guess one of the Fusion Commanders for a damage re-roll?

-

HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Cyclic Ion Blasters, Drone Controller; 2x Marker Drones (155)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Cyclic Ion Blasters, Drone Controller; 2x Marker Drones (155)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Cyclic Ion Blasters, Drone Controller; 2x Marker Drones (155)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight; 2x Shield Drones (58) [Warlord, Exemplar of Mont'ka]
HQ - Ethereal on Hover Drone w/ Honor Blade (50)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 2x Marker Drones, 4x Shield Drones (52)
Fast Attack - 2x Marker Drones, 4x Shield Drones (52)
Fast Attack - Y'vahra w/ Ionic Discharge Cannon, Phased Plasma Flamer, Stimulant Injector, ATS (408)

Total: 1997 - Command Points: 6 (1 Supreme Command Detachment, 2 Outrider Detachments)

-

There's a three-detachment ITC version. I wonder if it's better to have multiple Drone Controller Commanders spread out among the Drones, or if the Commanders should focus entirely on shooting?

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DominayTrix
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Re: Pure Theory: Designing an "Optimal" Tau List?

Post#5 » Dec 22 2017 02:38

ITC vs Non-ITC is a pretty important difference. In non-ITC, drones coming in pairs of 2 is considerably stronger since it forces more decisions and chances for over/under allocating firepower. Adding to this, I have been very happy in testing out Y'varhas in pairs. It seems to be just enough Dakka to solve most problems and just enough tankiness to let my commanders really hit their stride. In terms of dealing with kill points I do not have solution besides try to table them and abandon objectives if you are too far behind.

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demurr
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Re: Pure Theory: Designing an "Optimal" Tau List?

Post#6 » Dec 22 2017 04:41

Whatever you guys end up with, I'm gonna run with in february! =D

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Arka0415
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Re: Pure Theory: Designing an "Optimal" Tau List?

Post#7 » Dec 22 2017 04:52

DominayTrix wrote:ITC vs Non-ITC is a pretty important difference. In non-ITC, drones coming in pairs of 2 is considerably stronger since it forces more decisions and chances for over/under allocating firepower. Adding to this, I have been very happy in testing out Y'varhas in pairs. It seems to be just enough Dakka to solve most problems and just enough tankiness to let my commanders really hit their stride. In terms of dealing with kill points I do not have solution besides try to table them and abandon objectives if you are too far behind.

I agree that drone pairs are better in non-ITC (though possibly not strictly good, since they're a real shot in the foot in Kill Points games) but most tournaments these days do tend to be ITC.

demurr wrote:Whatever you guys end up with, I'm gonna run with in february! =D

Haha, enjoy!

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StealthKnightSteg
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Re: Pure Theory: Designing an "Optimal" Tau List?

Post#8 » Dec 22 2017 04:58

I know damage output is not good as the pointcosts, but what about Ghostkeels they are suberb area denial if you keep them at distance to keep the -2 to hit on them. Though there are very fast units around that can close that gap fast.. but also with a Generation Shield they are really durable

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JancoBCN
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Re: Pure Theory: Designing an "Optimal" Tau List?

Post#9 » Dec 22 2017 06:10

Arka0415 wrote:HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Cyclic Ion Blasters, Drone Controller; 2x Marker Drones (155)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Cyclic Ion Blasters, Drone Controller; 2x Marker Drones (155)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Cyclic Ion Blasters, Drone Controller; 2x Marker Drones (155)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight; 2x Shield Drones (58) [Warlord, Exemplar of Mont'ka]
HQ - Ethereal on Hover Drone w/ Honor Blade (50)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 2x Marker Drones, 4x Shield Drones (52)
Fast Attack - 2x Marker Drones, 4x Shield Drones (52)
Fast Attack - Y'vahra w/ Ionic Discharge Cannon, Phased Plasma Flamer, Stimulant Injector, ATS (408)

Total: 1997 - Command Points: 6 (1 Supreme Command Detachment, 2 Outrider Detachments)


Funnily enough, I just played a game yesterday with a pretty similar list, only changing all the commanders for another Y'vahra, 6 5-man Pathfinder units (4 of them with 3xRailRifle, I love that thing), a Coldstar Commander and another Cadre Fireblade.
I had 52 Drones in total (21 GUN, 24 Shield and 3 Marker). I basically could manage a T1 from a 5 LemanRuss, 60 Guards, 40 Tempestus Scions and 2 Taurox Prime list (from a very experienced AM player), to start advancing and start anihilating everything. I end up wining when I reached their last 3 Leman Russ with my last Y'vahra at 8 wounds... and managed to kill 2 and charge the 3rd!

Again, back to the topic, I do like the inclusion of shield drones on your drone squads. If you get 1st turn the outcome might be similar or less powerfull (but still a huge alpha strike), but if you don't, your odds of winning increase sharply if you have them that if you don't, as all AP-X weapons will have their hardest time agains 4++ (and 5+++), and also every time they wound your Y'vahra with a high AP, Damage weapon, you now have a drone dead 2/3rd of the times, instead of just a straight drone dead. Those extra saved wounds act offensively at the end, as the more turns your Gun drones are alive, the more dakka you get from them, and that acts virtually as getting just more gun drones! win win, I tell you! Maybe the only downside of shield drones is that they cannot contribute to a huge for the greater good against an early charge, but I think it should not be as important as resiliency, not with a Y'vahra and 6 commanders, or 2 Y'vahras and 3 Commanders.

Another thing that I want to bring to the discussion is something I tried out yesterday for the first time: giving the Y'vahras 2xMV52 Shield Drones. I ran the numbers, and I saw that they absorve more shots per point than a normal shield drone when they are shot directly. And I can tell you that they WILL shot at them direcly instead of to the Y'vahra, maybe not the big guns, but the small-medium ones for sure.

Arka0415 wrote: I wonder if it's better to have multiple Drone Controller Commanders spread out among the Drones, or if the Commanders should focus entirely on shooting?


In my experience, yes. This list acts as a bubble, though, so you should not be far from your drones; 2 Drone controllers should be enough. That said, maybe giving them MP+ATS instead of 3xCIB would give them more room to go where the drones need them instead of 18" from your target is, or at least I could see making one of them like this, and correct its position if the CIBs ones move too far to do their shooting.
With 2 Y'vahras you can be forced to divide your forces (it happened to me yesterday), but at that point your main strength does not rely on that anymore. I would recomend Coldstar in those more mobile lists, though.

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nic
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Re: Pure Theory: Designing an "Optimal" Tau List?

Post#10 » Dec 22 2017 10:50

When I saw there was going to be an ITC tournament local to me I theory-hammered out a list which is a bit different but which I am fairly confident would hang tough. It is basically a fast moving T'au assault list :dead:

There is absolutely no chance I would actually take this to a tournament. I played at the same venue 2 years ago, went 5-0 with my 60-kroot list and was bored to tears by the end of the weekend so merely winning games is not enough motivation for me.

Outrider Detachment
Commander, 4 x Missile Pod
Commander, 4 x Missile Pod
firesight marksman
Kroot Shaper
Breachers, Shas'ui with markerlight, 8 x fire warrior, DS8 with missile pod
Kroot Hound x 9
Kroot Hound x 9
Kroot Hound x 9
Kroot Hound x 9
Kroot Hound x 9
Kroot Hound x 9

Outrider Detachment
Commander, 4 x Missile Pod
Commander, 4 x Missile Pod
firesight marksman
Kroot Shaper
Breachers, Shas'ui with markerlight, 8 x fire warrior, DS8 with missile pod
Kroot Hound x 9
Kroot Hound x 9
Kroot Hound x 9
Kroot Hound x 9
Kroot Hound x 9
Kroot Hound x 9

Outrider Detachment
Commander, 4 x Missile Pod
Aun'Va
Ethereal Guard - warlord with PEN, Inspiring Leader
firesight marksman
Kroot Shaper
Breachers, Shas'ui with markerlight, 8 x fire warrior, DS8 with missile pod
Kroot Hound x 9
Kroot Hound x 9
Kroot Hound x 9
Kroot Hound x 9
Kroot Hound x 9
Kroot Hound x 9

So breakdown

Kroot Hounds
Not quite as durable against a wide variety of threats as Shield Drones but faster moving and actually quite deadly against enemy chaff units when in large numbers. Flood the table with bodies and push opponents off the objectives. Bite the legs off anything T5 or below by sheer weight of dice :D

Breachers
If I had more FA slots I would not take these as they are just different chaff. They do add a few things to the list that the hounds do not and ObSec can be really good against the few things which I really struggle to kill and therefore need to just lock in place to neutralise them. If ITC clarifies that the DS8 were to qualify these as 10 model units then probably just drop them to avoid possible secondary points scoring.

Kroot
Also would not be here if I had more FA slots but the pre-game scout move has some utility as does ObSec for the same reason as above.

Commanders
Kill anything that is good at killing 160 Kroot Hounds, then kill the ObSec.

Aun'va
Takes Ld10 because of the warlord trait of his bodyguard - then hands that out to everyone nearby. With re-rolls. Nice. Re-roll advance moves on the infantry and 6+ FNP on them are worth having but not a big deal. Also the option to just stand still and re-roll 1's to hit can be useful in some situations when using long-range firepower like Missile Pods.

Kroot Shapers
Take Ld 8 if carefully placed relative to the warlord and then hands that out to Kroot Hounds within 6". Re-rollable. Nice morale bubble extenders and the re-rolls to wound are not worthless when you have that many hounds doing that many attacks.

Firesight Marksmen
Don't need many markerlights, this is them.

Some of the list design is specifically designed to deny an opponent secondaries in the ITC missions. For example there is only one unit of 10 in the whole list so the Reaper secondary is useless for them. Only Death by a Thousand Cuts looks appealing and in reality killing 3 units of 9 models for 4 consecutive turns is going to prove very tough when your anti-infantry is taking incoming fire from all those commanders - and the hounds will be all over you long before turn 4 either locking your units in combat or maybe even killing stuff. If I had to face off against this list I really do not know what I would choose for the other two secondaries, most look either impossible or extremely unappealing.

It has less outright firepower than the German CIB Commander/Shield Drone lists but it has a LOT more chaff and a lot more range. The chaff eats other chaff - specifically it easily eats things like Brimstone Horrors or Shield Drones really well. In any of these chaff-wall/character lists the first player to run out of chaff generally loses as the characters are relative glass cannons and go down fast when they can be targeted.

Against AM Infantry you do need to use the small model size and terrain to pull off charges from out of LOS when charging full strength units with the the hounds - but the Missile Pods were specifically chosen for this match-up to reach out across the infantry and take out the anti-horde weapons on the other side before then switching to killing the troops so the hounds can own the objectives game.

Dark Reaper spam? I think this list laughs at Alaitoc Dark Reapers more than anything.

As I said in the "can we hang" thread it is a total skew list and I think when played well it can really work over an opponent. I think its weakness would be an opposing assault horde list that can in some way get the jump on it. On the other hand if this list can get the charge in on a Green Tide or massed Genestealers I think it can hang with them well enough.

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demurr
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Re: Pure Theory: Designing an "Optimal" Tau List?

Post#11 » Dec 29 2017 05:14

Thinking about this thread made me remember that one post on reddit where a guy took 2 y'vahras and 9 commanders with a sensible amount of drones to a 2k pts tournament. Is that really what a top tier tau list looks like in our one codex state? Just those three units and everything else is just buffing the three main guys, but why bother with buffing when you can just take more if them? Is that really the most optimal route we can take?

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Arka0415
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Re: Pure Theory: Designing an "Optimal" Tau List?

Post#12 » Dec 29 2017 08:26

demurr wrote:Thinking about this thread made me remember that one post on reddit where a guy took 2 y'vahras and 9 commanders with a sensible amount of drones to a 2k pts tournament. Is that really what a top tier tau list looks like in our one codex state? Just those three units and everything else is just buffing the three main guys, but why bother with buffing when you can just take more if them? Is that really the most optimal route we can take?

For the time being, it seems like that is the top style of list Tau can field. Commanders and Y'vahras for damage, and Drones or Kroot Hounds for chaff. It's not a good or rewarding meta, but we are an underpowered Index army right now, so we need to stretch to get any kind of viable list these days.

gunrock
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Re: Pure Theory: Designing an "Optimal" Tau List?

Post#13 » Jan 05 2018 01:43

When I first read this thread it made me cringe a little bit, but I think there's some theoretical merit to looking at these lists.

I had a thought on this list:

Supreme Command, Supreme command, Vanguard detachment (6 command points)

HQ - Commander w/ 3x Fusion Blasters, 1x multi-tracker 2x Shield Drones (157)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Fusion Blasters, 1x multi-tracker 2x Shield Drones (157)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Fusion Blasters, 1x multi-tracker 2x Shield Drones (157)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Fusion Blasters, 1x multi-tracker 2x Shield Drones (157)

HQ - Commander w/ 3x CIB, 1x multi-tracker 2x Shield Drones (157)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x CIB, 1x multi-tracker 2x Shield Drones (157)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x CIB, 1x multi-tracker 2x Shield Drones (157)

HQ - Coldstar Commander w/ HOBC, MP, multi-tracker, target lock (142)
HQ - Coldstar Commander w/ HOBC, MP, multi-tracker, target lock (142)

XV 25 - 3x - Homing beacon, Drone controller, markerlight target/target lock 2x Marker Drones (144)
XV 25 - 3x - Homing beacon, Drone controller, markerlight target/target lock 2x Marker Drones (144)

XV 9 - 1x - 2x Dual Burst Cannon, Multi-tracker, 4x Gun Drones (127)
XV 9 - 1x - 2x Dual Burst Cannon, Multi-tracker, 4x Gun Drones (127)

Fast Attack:
Tactical Drones - 6x Shield drones
Tactical Drones - 6x Shield drones

(1994 pts.)

To me, this list actually looks super fun to play. On paper, I think this would be ridiculously consistent.
Is multitracker secretly really good?
Thoughts?
All the rivers run into the sea, Yet the sea is not full; Unto the place whither the rivers go, Thither they go again.

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Yojimbob
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Re: Pure Theory: Designing an "Optimal" Tau List?

Post#14 » Jan 05 2018 02:18

gunrock wrote:When I first read this thread it made me cringe a little bit, but I think there's some theoretical merit to looking at these lists.

I had a thought on this list:

Supreme Command, Supreme command, Vanguard detachment (6 command points)

HQ - Commander w/ 3x Fusion Blasters, 1x multi-tracker 2x Shield Drones (157)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Fusion Blasters, 1x multi-tracker 2x Shield Drones (157)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Fusion Blasters, 1x multi-tracker 2x Shield Drones (157)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Fusion Blasters, 1x multi-tracker 2x Shield Drones (157)

HQ - Commander w/ 3x CIB, 1x multi-tracker 2x Shield Drones (157)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x CIB, 1x multi-tracker 2x Shield Drones (157)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x CIB, 1x multi-tracker 2x Shield Drones (157)

HQ - Coldstar Commander w/ HOBC, MP, multi-tracker, target lock (142)
HQ - Coldstar Commander w/ HOBC, MP, multi-tracker, target lock (142)

XV 25 - 3x - Homing beacon, Drone controller, markerlight target/target lock 2x Marker Drones (144)
XV 25 - 3x - Homing beacon, Drone controller, markerlight target/target lock 2x Marker Drones (144)

XV 9 - 1x - 2x Dual Burst Cannon, Multi-tracker, 4x Gun Drones (127)
XV 9 - 1x - 2x Dual Burst Cannon, Multi-tracker, 4x Gun Drones (127)

Fast Attack:
Tactical Drones - 6x Shield drones
Tactical Drones - 6x Shield drones

(1994 pts.)

To me, this list actually looks super fun to play. On paper, I think this would be ridiculously consistent.
Is multitracker secretly really good?
Thoughts?


Just no. Multitrackers are bad. You have to fire EVERY gun at the same target to get the benefit and you lose a hardpoint on commanders. I'd rather have 12 guns on 3 chassis than 3 guns on 4. That alone would be more than enough to pay for lights. And markerlight target lock on stealths I am not a fan of for the points. Coldstars don't NEED the target lock and to help with survivability I would go with shield gen. Honestly, multi trackers are such a waste because we have SOOOO many ways to get reroll ones that getting reroll ones for using a hardpoint AND has a special caveat that it wouldn't even be worth it even if it refunded points.

gunrock
Shas
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Re: Pure Theory: Designing an "Optimal" Tau List?

Post#15 » Jan 05 2018 07:55

Yojimbob wrote:
gunrock wrote:When I first read this thread it made me cringe a little bit, but I think there's some theoretical merit to looking at these lists.

Just no. Multitrackers are bad. You have to fire EVERY gun at the same target to get the benefit and you lose a hardpoint on commanders. I'd rather have 12 guns on 3 chassis than 3 guns on 4. That alone would be more than enough to pay for lights. And markerlight target lock on stealths I am not a fan of for the points. Coldstars don't NEED the target lock and to help with survivability I would go with shield gen. Honestly, multi trackers are such a waste because we have SOOOO many ways to get reroll ones that getting reroll ones for using a hardpoint AND has a special caveat that it wouldn't even be worth it even if it refunded points.


After writing out that list I knew someone was going to repeat the conventional wisdom 'multi-tracker is always bad', and for the most part I tend to agree with that for all the reasons you pointed out. Eating the loss of a hard point on our strongest shooting platform is hard to justify when markerlights are generally available. Here's a couple thoughts on why in this case it might actually work:

The cheapest source of markerlights is pathfinders at 8 points each. Usually consider the need for about three lights for every target you want to reliably mark. I think we tend to ignore this virtual cost when factoring whether a build is efficient or not. Assuming you take three lights per target your actual cost is 24 points per target which split over three suits is very close to the base cost of another commander (76 points). I think in the case of the fusion commander this actually works because the fusion blaster pretty marginally benefits from ATS or other go to wargear. CIB feels a little bit more tempermental in that you will more likely need to split fire. I think its also worth pausing and considering how many independent targets do we actually need to engage? There's still 6 markerlights and Kauyon floating around if you really need to splitfire.

In conclusion, I generally agree with you, especially in the context of gun drone builds, and most conventional builds, markerlights are superior, but I don't think the multi-tracker build is as horrible as it looks on paper. In a pretty narrow list it has some merits, and i think it deserves a reassessment.

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Arka0415
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Re: Pure Theory: Designing an "Optimal" Tau List?

Post#16 » Jan 05 2018 11:36

gunrock wrote:In a pretty narrow list it has some merits, and i think it deserves a reassessment.

In a 500-point or 750-point list running no Markerlights I could see the Multi-Tracker being viable. Or, if you're running CIB XV8s separately from Fusion Commanders, a Multi-Tracker on the Fusion Commander could allow Markerlights to support the much more ML-greedy XV8s.

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AnonAmbientLight
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Re: Pure Theory: Designing an "Optimal" Tau List?

Post#17 » Jan 07 2018 12:10

Multi-tracker vs X Weapon brings us back to the Twin-Link debate of old.

Why go for a reroll when you can go for more dakka. If you have points to spare, you should grab another gun.
Sky IS Falling, T'au WILL Suck, Sell Me Your Models

gunrock
Shas
Posts: 60

Re: Pure Theory: Designing an "Optimal" Tau List?

Post#18 » Jan 07 2018 02:19

So I don't want to derail this thread by getting to deep into speculation on multi-tracker, but I feel I should present this point more clearly as it does pertain to optimal builds. I apologize in advance if this is not full proof, but hopefully will convey my point on efficiency.

Marker-light efficiency:
viewtopic.php?f=52&t=26347&p=333204&hilit=markerlight+efficiency#p333204

Pathfinder
0ML 16
1+ML10.66666667
Pathfinder is the cheapest marker light source at 16 points per average hit. Seeing as how commander spam lists don't ever seem to run them because of their fragility the next closest source is 20 points/hit for two marker drones buffed with DC (ignoring the cost and logistics of getting a DC). Obviously without DC they're even less efficient.

Another Commander is 76 points base cost. If we're operating under the assumption that commanders are generally engaging separate targets that they would otherwise use a marker light on and assuming we're not running pathfinders lets assume a virtual cost of 20 points per target.

Multi-tracker efficiency:
viewtopic.php?f=52&t=26927

QFC = 160pts and 3.333 hits per turn; i.e. 48 pts per Fusion hit
Multiitracker Variant: 141pts and 2.916666 hits per turn: 48.3428 pts per Fusion hit

Points per hit the QFC is very marginally stronger, obviously with the addition of a marker light hit the QFC is much more efficient, but without it they are almost indistinguishable.

So my theory is your not actually losing much firepower by not filling the last hard point, as the three additional FB are merely being moved to another model which works as an offset of the cost of markerlights as the cost of the commander model is very close to parity withe the cost of marking three targets.

I don't know if my logic is full proof, but I think there might be some merit in the commander spam list. Even if the multi-tracker build is marginally less efficient it has some significant merit in providing additional wounds through more bodies and drones, addressing the issues of excessive drops created by spamming drone squads, loosing marker light support in later turns, and obstructed line of sight. Obviously, with most other battle suits this does not work (on XV8 its garbage), but in the case of commanders I think it actually works.
All the rivers run into the sea, Yet the sea is not full; Unto the place whither the rivers go, Thither they go again.

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