Help! New tau player's first army.

Discuss and develop your army list amongst new players and veterans alike.
Dren_Nas
Shas
Posts: 11

Help! New tau player's first army.

Post#1 » Dec 28 2017 05:24

Hey all! I've been playing 40k for a few months now. I bought the Dark imperium box and built a nice little space marine army these past few months. I originally wanted the local game shop to carry battletech/mechwarrior stuff, but they went with 40k because of the new edition release. I discovered the tau after I was already invested in the space marines. Recently, a guy in our group over heard me saying I wanted to build a tau army next because I like big stompy robots. He offered to sell me his old collection for $450. The collection was as follows:

    Cadre fireblade
    3 etherals
    3 stealth suits
    6 crisis suits
    4 broadsides
    Commander in crisis suit
    20 fire warrior/breachers
    37 drones
    All 3 peices of tau terrain
    2 Hammerheads
    2 riptides
    Ghost keel
    Storm surge
    A start collecting box which is 3 crisis suits and drones and etheral

I'm still floundering around, but after reviewing your community the past few days this is what I came up with for a 2000 point army. Any advice or suggestions would be most appreciated! (I'm proxying the pathfinders until the shop gets some in for me.)

++ Spearhead Detachment +1CP (T'au Empire) [43 PL, 775pts] ++

+ Heavy Support +

XV88 Broadside Battlesuits [10 PL, 189pts]: MV4 Shield Drone, MV7 Marker Drone
. Broadside Shas'vre: 2x Plasma rifle, Heavy rail rifle, Target lock

XV88 Broadside Battlesuits [10 PL, 189pts]: MV4 Shield Drone, MV7 Marker Drone
. Broadside Shas'vre: 2x Plasma rifle, Heavy rail rifle, Target lock

XV88 Broadside Battlesuits [10 PL, 189pts]: MV4 Shield Drone, MV7 Marker Drone
. Broadside Shas'vre: 2x Plasma rifle, Heavy rail rifle, Target lock

+ HQ +

Cadre Fireblade [3 PL, 60pts]: Markerlight, MV4 Shield Drone, MV7 Marker Drone

+ Fast Attack +

Pathfinder Team [5 PL, 74pts]: MV31 Pulse Accelerator Drone, MV33 Grav-inhibitor Drone, MV4 Shield Drone, MV7 Marker Drone
. 5x Pathfinder: 5x Markerlight

Pathfinder Team [5 PL, 74pts]: MV31 Pulse Accelerator Drone, MV33 Grav-inhibitor Drone, MV4 Shield Drone, MV7 Marker Drone
. 5x Pathfinder: 5x Markerlight

++ Vanguard Detachment +1CP (T'au Empire) [55 PL, 1216pts] ++

+ HQ +

Commander [7 PL, 178pts]: 4x Fusion blaster, MV4 Shield Drone, MV7 Marker Drone

+ Elites +

XV104 Riptide Battlesuit [19 PL, 373pts]: 2x Fusion blaster, Heavy burst cannon, 2x MV84 Shielded Missile Drone, Stimulant injector, Target lock

XV104 Riptide Battlesuit [19 PL, 425pts]: 2x Fusion blaster, Ion accelerator, 2x MV84 Shielded Missile Drone, Stimulant injector, Target lock

XV95 Ghostkeel Battlesuit [10 PL, 240pts]: 2x Fusion blaster, Fusion collider, 2x MV5 Stealth Drone, Shield generator, Target lock

++ Total: [98 PL, 1991pts] ++

Created with BattleScribe (https://battlescribe.net)

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 2613

Re: Help! New tau player's first army.

Post#2 » Dec 28 2017 08:42

[quote="Dren_Nas"]Hey all! I've been playing 40k for a few months now. I bought the Dark imperium box and built a nice little space marine army these past few months. I originally wanted the local game shop to carry battletech/mechwarrior stuff, but they went with 40k because of the new edition release. I discovered the tau after I was already invested in the space marines. Recently, a guy in our group over heard me saying I wanted to build a tau army next because I like big stompy robots. He offered to sell me his old collection for $450.

3 etherals
3 crisis suits
9 drones
2 Hammerheads
Welcome to the Tau Empire! Looks like you have a great collection already (you bought the models, right?) but sadly, a good chunk of it is largely uncompetitive in the new meta. Right now the Tau index is very unbalanced, with some models (Commanders and Gun Drones) incredibly strong while others (Broadsides and Riptides) are too expensive to be useful. By and large, in your collection, you will want to use:

Commanders
Fire Warriors
XV8s
Ghostkeels
Stealthsuits
Gun Drones

...and you will want to avoid:

Ethereals
Support Turrets
Riptides
Broadsides

So, all in all, you still have plenty of units to use. However, the weak spot in your collection is the lack of Markerlight sources (Pathfinders). As such, we'll need to use Fire Warrior Shas'ui and Marker Drones to give you the Markerlight support you need.

Let's start by adding the anti-tank lynchpin units for the list:

HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
Elites - Ghostkeel w/ Fusion Collider, 2x Fusion Blasters, Target Lock, Stimulant Injector; 2x Stealth Drones (205)
LoW - Stormsurge w/ Pulse Blastcannon, 2x Burst Cannons, Shield Generator, ATS, Stimulant Injector (439)

The Ghostkeel is in place of a second Fusion Commander for the time being, and I'm using the Stormsurge too- it's a great model and it'll give you some long-ranged firepower that your list will otherwise lack. Now, we need troops and Markerlights:

HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)

This may seem like a lot of Fire Warriors, however, as you lack Devilfish I don't think Breachers will be viable, and you really need Markerlights. Now let's add some battlesuits to add some punch to the army:

Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 5x Gun Drones, 1x Marker Drone (308)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 5x Gun Drones, 1x Marker Drone (308)
Elites - 3x Stealthsuits w/ 3x Burst Cannons, Drone Controller, Homing Beacon (115)

This so far brings us to 1817 points. By adding an Ethereal we can get a second detachment, and we can also add a few teams of Gun Drones to add some more anti-infantry firepower.

HQ - Ethereal w/ Honor Blade (45)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones, 1x Marker Drone (50)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones, 1x Marker Drone (50)

Here's what the final list might look like:

-

HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
HQ - Ethereal w/ Honor Blade (45)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 5x Gun Drones, 1x Marker Drone (308)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 5x Gun Drones, 1x Marker Drone (308)
Elites - 3x Stealthsuits w/ 3x Burst Cannons, Drone Controller, Homing Beacon (115)
Elites - Ghostkeel w/ Fusion Collider, 2x Fusion Blasters, Target Lock, Stimulant Injector; 2x Stealth Drones (205)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones, 1x Marker Drone (50)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones, 1x Marker Drone (50)
LoW - Stormsurge w/ Pulse Blastcannon, 2x Burst Cannons, Shield Generator, ATS, Stimulant Injector (439)

Total: 1996 - Command Points: 7 (1 Battalion Detachment, 1 Vanguard Detachment)

-

What do you think?

Dren_Nas
Shas
Posts: 11

Re: Help! New tau player's first army.

Post#3 » Dec 28 2017 09:32

Looks great!

When I was putting everything in battlescribe I found a tiny discrepancy. That storm surge build was 437 instead of 439 which allowed me to give the ethereal a hover drone and equalizers... unless there are better options for 6 points? That brings the final list to exactly 2000. (Also, I did buy the entire collection!)

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 2613

Re: Help! New tau player's first army.

Post#4 » Dec 28 2017 09:52

Dren_Nas wrote:Looks great!

When I was putting everything in battlescribe I found a tiny discrepancy. That storm surge build was 437 instead of 439 which allowed me to give the ethereal a hover drone and equalizers... unless there are better options for 6 points? That brings the final list to exactly 2000. (Also, I did buy the entire collection!)

Ah, my mistake. That puts the list at 1994, so... yeah, feel free to give the Ethereal a Hover Drone. The Equalizers I wouldn't bother with.

By the way, is the Ghostkeel magnetized?

Dren_Nas
Shas
Posts: 11

Re: Help! New tau player's first army.

Post#5 » Dec 28 2017 09:58

None of it is. It's not even painted yet to be honest. I'm going to pop a few arms off CAREFULLY and magnetize them myself. Then paint them. I just need to buy magnets and decide on a paint scheme.

My group isn't that strict right now about painting and weapons because we have so many new people trying to get armies together.

gunrock
Shas
Posts: 47

Re: Help! New tau player's first army.

Post#6 » Dec 29 2017 01:23

Hey just chiming in. Grats on the new army! Arka is giving you sound advice just had a couple thoughts as your putting together your models:

- If he gave you any of the extra parts consider converting one of the hammerheads over to Longstrike, the only difference is the little dude on top of the turret, most boxes come with both parts. Longstrike should always be your first tank pic if you take hammerheads.
- I believe you can pretty easily swap the turret on the second Hammerhead to convert it to a Devilfish. Given how many firewarriors and drones you have this might be a good call allowing you to run 10 drones/10 breachers + fireblade in a fish which are both solid.
- If your playgroup is not super critical you can use the un-assembled XV-8's as proxy's for commanders. They look very similar to the older commander model.
- I don't know exactly how to do this, but I think you can convert/proxy the Riptides to Y'Vahra's

Little bit of a bummer that some of the units you got were excellent in 7th and a bit nerfed in 8th, but for 450 dollars for all of that is a steal. Particularly just for the 43 drones which you can do a multitude of shenanigans with. Those little mecha-frisbees are the unsung hero's of the tau army. ;)
All the rivers run into the sea, Yet the sea is not full; Unto the place whither the rivers go, Thither they go again.

Dren_Nas
Shas
Posts: 11

Re: Help! New tau player's first army.

Post#7 » Dec 30 2017 10:25

Ah... frisbees...

Yeah, I was thinking you could run n the hammerheads as devil fish. The turrets in those two aren’t glued on.

I don’t know how to actually run the transports tbh out groups tau player just runs a gun line and gets destroyed by anything that gets in melee with him. (We have a lot of ork players) How strong are the breached/fish combos? Ignoring the weaponrange,are breachers just that much stronger than strikers?

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 2613

Re: Help! New tau player's first army.

Post#8 » Dec 30 2017 10:42

Dren_Nas wrote:Yeah, I was thinking you could run n the hammerheads as devil fish. The turrets in those two aren’t glued on.

Would you prefer to run a mechanized infantry list? They can be very mobile and powerful, but a little tricky to use.

Dren_Nas wrote:I don’t know how to actually run the transports tbh out groups tau player just runs a gun line and gets destroyed by anything that gets in melee with him. (We have a lot of ork players) How strong are the breached/fish combos? Ignoring the weaponrange,are breachers just that much stronger than strikers?

For mechanized lists, the idea is to take a few Devilfish, and fill them with Gun Drones or Breachers. Send the transports forward to get in close to your opponent, pile out, and unleash a lot of close-range firepower. Remember though, that you need to pour a lot of firepower into the units near you, since both Breachers and Gun Drones will absolutely collapse in melee combat.

And as you've probably noticed, pure gunlines are bad. Feel free to spend a few hundred points on static or semi-mobile elements in your army as objective-holders, but the primary firepower of your list should be interdiction forces such as Commanders, XV8s, Stealthsuits, and Ghostkeels.

Dren_Nas
Shas
Posts: 11

Re: Help! New tau player's first army.

Post#9 » Dec 31 2017 01:24

@Arka0415

Here’s a question for you. I have 9 xv8s. Would I do better to convert a trio into commanders to give me 4 or would I do better keeping them as standard xv8?

If so, do you know of a good guide to help me keep them legal?

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 2613

Re: Help! New tau player's first army.

Post#10 » Jan 03 2018 09:00

Dren_Nas wrote:Here’s a question for you. I have 9 xv8s. Would I do better to convert a trio into commanders to give me 4 or would I do better keeping them as standard xv8?

Personally I use three XV8 Commanders and six regular XV8s. Commanders have been in XV8s for years and years now, I don't see why they still can't be. However the game is changing, and with the introduction of the new Commander kit, fielding XV8s as Commanders will feel more and more like modeling for advantage.

One idea would be to use three XV8s as Commanders for now (using blu-tac conversions), then when the Codex comes out it's likely Commanders will be nerfed. At that point you can pull the blu-tac parts off and use them as Shas'vre battlesuits or something.

Dren_Nas
Shas
Posts: 11

Re: Help! New tau player's first army.

Post#11 » Jan 03 2018 11:44

I've been doing research since my last message, and I'm going to do something similar for now. I just hope that the codex comes out soon because I really want to pick a sept and get to painting!

User avatar
Arka0415
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 2613

Re: Help! New tau player's first army.

Post#12 » Jan 04 2018 10:50

Dren_Nas wrote:I really want to pick a sept and get to painting!

I was in the same boat as you back in July, but I new that it wasn't worth waiting 6+ months waiting for the codex when I could have been painting. For competitive games the meta will change over time, and most players will just choose whatever Sept they want based on the rules they like, not based on the color of their models. If I were you I wouldn't bother waiting until the codex to choose a Sept.

Dren_Nas
Shas
Posts: 11

Re: Help! New tau player's first army.

Post#13 » Jan 05 2018 01:36

Arka0415 wrote:
Dren_Nas wrote:I really want to pick a sept and get to painting!

. If I were you I wouldn't bother waiting until the codex to choose a Sept.


makes sense. I've been considering doing a custom paint. I did get my hands on a 7th edition codex with the army. There's a couple of nice paint schemes in there.

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