I'd just like to share some recent experience I've been having with Tau and 6th Ed.
I've been busy with work and haven't been able to play much, I got my third 6th ed. game in this past tuesday. We played 2000 points. My Tau vs his SM+Blood Angels allies.
My List (roughly)
Shas'el Xv84 + 1 bodyguard Deathrain (TL missile pods) and stim injector.
2x12 Fire FW with rifles one in a DF, the rest loose.
1x12 FW with carbines - The more I use this unit, the more I want to yank their arms off and replace them with rifles.
3x XV8 with TL Plasma Rifles (Burning Eye)
3x XV8 with TL Flamers (Heatwave)
3x Broadside + 2x Shield Drones
1x 8 Pathfinders + DF
His List: (Roughly)
2x10 Assault Marines
1 tac squad in Drop pod
1 Sterngard in Drop pod
1 tac squad on foot
1 tac squad in a rhino
1 Predator with Autocannon
1 6-man Devastator Squad with two missile launchers.
My first concern was that I did not have enough anti-infantry fire. The new mechanics of 6th edition seem to help in my keeping their numbers at bay. To my favor, he did not bring enough long-range anti-tank capable of breaking my vehicles. His auto-cannon was useless and he chose to fire his Krak missiles at my crisis suits. Here is what I had already chosen to take despite not knowing his list.
Railhead: I usually prefer Tanks to Broadsides. All it takes is one round of assault to shut down 250pts of Broadsides. Railheads are also much more maneuverable to chase down a line of sight on that rogue unit sneaking up on me. Railheads also have the important option of firing the submunition round to give me added anti-infantry support.
Broadsides with TL Plasma: I haven't ever tried the Twin linked plasma option. I love it! This time, I took targeting array instead of BASS. I figured the only case where I would really need to move was when an enemy unit was getting too close. The plasma turned into an excellent defensive weapon for such cases.
Burning Eye: I've only tried using this combination a few times and they failed miserably. In retrospect, those were cases of rock-paper-scissors dilemma. I think this time the unit played true to its use and was VERY effective when heavily supported by Markerlights.
Heatwave: I've also tried a few times to use this combination with varying levels of success. I figured I would try them again. My landing and flamer coverage couldn't have been better. I was lucky with his armor save roll or lack thereof. They did not do as well as hoped in overwatch defense.
The mission was "Scourge" (multiple objectives of differing values, fast attack are scoring) with the Vanguard (Diagonal) deployment. I deployed most of my army in the back left corner. The high-value objectives turn out to be in his area of the field.
Turn One Highlights
My opponent plopped his first drop pod right in my back field among my Broadsides and fire warriors. I knew he would do this as it is a regular tactic if his against my Tau. The tac squad killed a few of my FW in small arms fire. His Devastators proved ineffective this turn. They and the predator were not very effective for most of the game. The rest of his infantry units closed in.
My #1 Priority was to keep my fire warriors out of assault. I lit up the tac squad with all markerlights from tetras and pathfinders totaling for 8 tokens. The combined fire of my broadsides and XV8 Burning eye at max BS while eliminating his cover save wiped the squad out. It also made my opponent shy of getting close to my plasma rifles for the rest of the game. I claim 1 VP for first blood.
This freed up my Railheads to start dealing with the assault squad closing in from his deployment zone. I picked off a few with submunition rounds and long range pulse rifle fire.
Turn Two highlights
His assault marine squad lands dangerously close to my Fire warriors. He camps his foot-slogging tac squad on the 4pt objective on the far right of the board. His Sterngard drop in a safe distance from my front flank and picks off a few more FW. His devastators turn their attention to my burning eye suits hiding behind cover on my right flank. He kills one with a krak missile and wounds another with bolter fire. H's assault squad pistol fires on my FW killing one. he then boldly declares a charge on my fire warriors with his Assault marines. I wound three and kill two of his assault marines in overwatch thwarting his assault distance.
I would like to take this opportunity to say "i love overwatch!"
This time my priority was the remains of the assault squad. I light up that squad with one tetra and destroy it with my Fire warriors and carbine fire from the pathfinders. The other tetra lights up his rhino approaching from the front flank and I destroy it with the broadside fire before it can deploy too close. the remaining railheads picked away at the disembarked tac squad with submunition fire. My burining eye were threatened by an approaching Assault marine squad so i pulled them back to the left. I walked in my 12-FW carbine squad on and my HQ on the right flank to distract his approaching foot sloggers. I am within scraping distance of his assault marines and try to pick off the one or two in range of my carbines unsuccessfully.
Turn three hilights
He carefully marches his tac marines between 18 and 24 from my carbines front flank and picks off a few FW including the 'ui with bolter and missile fire with the help of his devastators. I fail my leadership and fall off the board. His sterngard finish off my other remaining FW on my left flank. His assault marines grow sheepish of my burning eye suits and jump back to hold one of his objectives (they are blood angel troops).
I drop my Heatwave on HIS rear flank to attack the tac marines bunched up on the far side of his wreck hiding from my rail head. I fail my first scatter, but land on the re-roll. My twin linked flamers lay a staggering 17 wounds on his remaining marines forcing enough failed saves on him to wipe out the unit. My railheads take aim on his sterngard and pick off a few. I perforate his predator with a combination of TL Missile pod and railgun fire.
Turn four Highlights (Last turn)
His steargard go for my heatwave, kill one in shooting and wipe the rest in assault. He hunkers down his tac squad on my right on the 4 pt objective and jumps the blood angels back up onto a platform to 3pt and out of reach.
At this point, the VP totals are my 1+1+2+3 points worth of objectives to his 3+4
My goal this turn is to kill his sterngard and claim the objective they sit on. they are out of range of most of my weapons. my submunition rounds only kill two. I am not able to claim it with my tetra (fast attack are scoring). The game ends on turn 4 due to my opponent needing to go home to his wife.
The game ends in a draw.
• I should have turbo boosted my tetra into his backfield instead of the objective for a +1 VP for being in his deployment zone.
• I was fortunate my opponent did not continue to charge me. This is how I am used to being wiped out. Instead he seemed to approach me one unit at a time giving me ample time to deal with his waves. After losing his first unit to plasma fire and being thwarted by another, he seemed averse to giving me any chance to roll dice against him.
• I do rather feel sorry for assault armies now. It is very hard to get in close without taking heavy fire. It would seem one strategy would be to pin a unit and then assault them.
• Plasma rifles on broadsides were MUCH more effective than smart missile systems. I will be fielding this combination from now on.
• This game went VERY well for me. It felt like my shooting was very effective and I rolled some amazing saves on my pathfinders from sterngard fire. He also rolled poorly at key times such as saves against my flamers. I feel as though I need to playlets this list some more to verify these results.