Mechanized Tau 1500

A review of past Cadre formations from tau'cyr before.
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Das'Kyman
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Mechanized Tau 1500

Post#1 » Jan 29 2013 11:25

Okay. I'll go first :neutral:

I am new to using Tau on the battlefield and I am calling upon the experienced Mech Tau players to please take a look at my list. Since Mech Tau hasn't seen too much use since 4th edition, I wanted to run my list by the Mech Vets and see if I'm making any "first timer" mistakes, like taking a unit that is too difficult to use with Mech.
I used a few basic abbreviations in my list. If any of them are unclear please check out the abbreviation guide

1500pts Fully Mechanized Tau List
by Da Skyman

HQ - Shas'O Commander: 189 points
Twin-linked Missile Pods; BSF; hard-wired Drone Controller w/ 2 shield drones.
1 x Shas'vre bodyguard: Twin-linked Missile Pods; Targeting Array.

HQ - Shas'el Commander: 229 points
Plasma Rifle, Fusion Blaster; Multi-tracker; hard-wired Drone Controller w/ 2 shield drones.
1 x Shas'vre bodyguard: Plasma Rifle, Fusion Blaster; Targeting Array; hard-wired Multi-tracker, hard-wired Drone Controller w/ 2 shield drones.

ELITES - XV25 Stealth Battlesuits: 115 Points
3 x Stealth Battlesuits: burst cannons; Team Leader has a hard-wired Drone Controller w/ 2 gun drones.

TROOPS - Fire Warrior Team: 200 Points
8 x Fire Warriors: pulse rifles.
1 x Devilfish: Burst Cannon, SMS; Targeting array, Multi-tracker, Dpod

TROOPS - Fire Warrior Team: 200 Points
8 x Fire Warriors: pulse rifles.
1 x Devilfish: Burst Cannon, SMS; Targeting array, Multi-tracker, Dpod

TROOPS - Fire Warrior Team: 200 Points
8 x Fire Warriors: pulse rifles.
1 x Devilfish: Burst Cannon, SMS; Targeting array, Multi-tracker, Dpod

HEAVY SUPPORT - Hammerhead Gunship: 130 Points
Ion Cannon, 2 x Burst Cannons; Targeting array, Dpod, Multi-tracker.

HEAVY SUPPORT - Hammerhead Gunship: 175 Points

Railgun, SMS; Targeting array, Dpod, Multi-tracker.

Total : 1438 points

Notes :
I would like to keep a bit of variety in the list so that I can experiment with different units and find out what I enjoy using most, but I don't want to experiment so much that I'm doomed to never win a game.
My local meta runs mostly horde, artillery, chaos and space marine lists. There are only a few fliers but one chap is working towards a Necron Air Force :dead: I don't expect to see more than 1 Land Raider at a time but plenty of Leman Russ and Predators.
I am undecided about how to spend the last 62 points. I have more stealth suits, drones and piranhas but no Kroot or tetras. I am leaning towards the piranha since it adds another vehicle target but I'd like to know other people's opinions on what they would do with an extra 60 points.

Any suggestions or corrections are obviously welcome and encouraged.
If I made any format errors please let me know so that I can fix them and be an example for those to follow.
Thanks all!

PS: I know Plasma Cannons are better than Ion Cannons, but I don't own one and I don't like proxying if I can help it
Last edited by Das'Kyman on Jan 29 2013 02:09, edited 2 times in total.

tehlegend
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Re: Mechanized Tau 1500

Post#2 » Jan 29 2013 01:50

That railhead at the bottom is 20 points lower than it should be.

Other than that, it looks like its going to be a monster to deal with in certain deployments. The shield drones are questionable to me in the current edition on the stealths, since their cover save is so good and there are no special weapons on them. I think increasing the stealth suit count, and/or spamming drone controller systems and bringing as many gun drones as you can with the points left over, works best for a unit that can spread an incredible cover save to drones attached to it. you can also consider a markerlight on the leader for boosting the occasional fire warrior squad.

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Das'Kyman
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Re: Mechanized Tau 1500

Post#3 » Jan 29 2013 01:58

Ah. Thank you, I will fix that. And I just noticed that I actually meant to have gun drones in the stealth team. The points should be the same though.

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Ell'ran
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Re: Mechanized Tau 1500

Post#4 » Jan 29 2013 02:34

You could consider putting BSFs onto your Hammerheads. That's never a bad idea, especially vs MEQs.

One of my concerns about your Crisis suits is that you have more shield drones on your 'El team than your 'O team, and this could potentially be a problem if you were concerned about the Slay the Warlord point. If not, then carry on. My guess is the Helios team is planned to deepstrike into the enemy, which would justify the drones. Of course, if you wanted to shave a few points off you could always turn the Helios unit into an Elite squad and do it that way (which some would argue is also more points efficient, but I have a feeling you're more concerned about accuracy at this point).

tehlegend wrote: you can also consider a markerlight on the leader for boosting the occasional fire warrior squad.

OR you could go with a Marker Drone. In my experience they give Stealth teams quite a bit of flexibility on the field, and they help out a ton if you're using a "Stealth Cloud" (aka lots of gun drones) type unit.

STS17
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Re: Mechanized Tau 1500

Post#5 » Jan 29 2013 02:37

Hello Da Skyman! I was curious who would be the first to add their list to here :biggrin:

I would like to start off by saying that I have not personally fielded a fully mechanized list since 5th edition, so you should not take my advice as gospel. I also believe that you have a good starting shell for a mechanized list, and there aren't really any "glaring errors" that I can see. I will note that I will try to avoid "telling" you want units to take or what specific changes to make as I generally dislike "building someone's list for them" (it is your list after all, not mine :) ). Instead, I will try to talk about some general concepts and make a handful of suggestions about what you can do with your remaining points.

With all that said, I do believe that your "first timer" mistake is that your list has a lot of "fat" in it. What I mean by that is you have a lot of excess upgrades that you don't entirely need and those are taking valuable points away from your list as a whole. Trimming away some of this excess fat, along with the 72 points you have left to fill, might give you enough points to squeeze an entire extra Hammerhead into your list!

A few ways you can trim some of the fat from your list:
- Downgrade your Shas'O to a Shas'El. Depending on how much you really care about the improvements an 'O has over an 'El, you can save a lot of points here. You may prefer the extra stats he gets and that's perfectly fine.
- Your Shas'el unit has 4 Shield Drones. That's 60 points to protect 169 points, and you don't even get perfect protection. You could buy almost an entire extra bodyguard for that price. I would recommend doing away with two shield drones or downgrading them to gun drones if you really want the ablative wounds.
- Your Stealthsuits have 2 Shield drones and you bought a team leader to do so. These guys will almost always have a 2+ cover save, they don't really need more protection than that. You could have purchased an extra stealthsuit for what you paid for the drones here. I would recommend doing away with these drones completely. However, if you wish to keep them, downgrade the shield drones to gun drones - your Stealth Field Generator will at least provide the drones as much protection as the invulnerable save.
- Eight Fire Warriors instead of Six. Will your Fire Warriors be spending the majority of the game inside their tanks? If so, you really want to minimize the points you spend on them and should probably take minimum sized squads to reduce cost. If you plan on keeping them out to shoot, keep them as they are (or even bump their size up to 9 or 10)
- Smart Missile Systems on the Devilfish. While I understand why you bought these, as they provide some much needed extra firepower to a mechanized list, I believe sticking with Gun Drones is a better option. The reason for this is because you can use the Gun Drones to contest enemy objectives late in the game by disembarking them at the last minute.

You should note that I am not necessarily suggesting you do all of these things, I am just pointing out where you have opportunities to save a few points if you need them.
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Ell'ran
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Re: Mechanized Tau 1500

Post#6 » Jan 29 2013 03:14

STS17 wrote: - Your Stealthsuits have 2 Shield drones ...


He has Gun Drones there STS ;)

But on the subject of stealths and drones, somewhere on ATT (I don't know where it is now, it was possibly in the old academy articles) there used to be a breakdown of the point-efficiency for stealths and their 3 relevant firepower upgrades: another XV, Target Array, and Gun Drone. Long story short, all of these options improved the efficiency of the unit by roughly the same margin (a miniscule improvement of accuracy for the Gun Drone). Keeping that in mind, I believe that Gun Drones are the way to go for stealth suits for 6th edition. At least until we get a new codex anyways.

At any rate, STS17 does make a good point, and I think that we, as a community, need to emphasize that this isn't a "here's my list make it better^^" type of subforum. The primers still apply, and those that are both requesting and giving advice should keep them in mind while they post.

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Das'Kyman
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Re: Mechanized Tau 1500

Post#7 » Jan 29 2013 03:36

Sorry for the confusion. I had shield drones in there by mistake and I must have edited it after STS wrote his reply.

Thanks to all for the help. My meta is pretty competitive and I don't want my first tourney with them to be an embarrasment.

@STS: let's say I slimmed down my list. I don't have any other hammerheads (yet...) so what would you fill the points up with? When I majorly slim it down and beef up my stealth squad I still have ~200 points left to spend. This may give me a good idea of what should be next on my purchase list: tetras, plasma turret, 3rd hammerhead, more crisis suits, kroot etc.

@Ell'ran: so should I not have posted my list this way? I want to do it right and I'm paranoid that I missed the purpose of this forum

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Re: Mechanized Tau 1500

Post#8 » Jan 29 2013 03:55

One suggestion I have would be to downgrade the devilfishes to dumbfishes-only using a disruption pod as far as upgrades go. This, combined with your spare points, would go some ways towards getting a broadside team. I know not everyone likes them, but I have found that they are essential for anti-tank. Particularly with the Leman Russ tanks and Land Raiders you were mentioning. You have only two units in your army capable of dealing with them as is, and less reliably that broadsides, since one is a half the shots, non twin-linked version, and the other needs to get up close, where the landraider's cargo could flatten them in CC.

That's my first thought, anyways.

If you are looking for some other way to fill up the points (Not a problem I am accustomed to :)) you could flesh out the stealth team a little, by adding 2 more suits and a fusion blaster. That would bring you to 1500pts on the dot. Making units tougher to kill is always something to consider, especially since kill points is still something to worry about.

Alternatively, you could put three of your crisis suit in the elite section, and have a 1250 list with points to spare.
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STS17
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Re: Mechanized Tau 1500

Post#9 » Jan 29 2013 04:40

Ell'ran wrote:He has Gun Drones there STS ;)


Well, clearly, it's because he took my excellent advice. I'm certain it had little to do with an accidental typo. :P

Da Skyman, you really have plenty of options when filling in those 200 points. If you bumped up your stealthsuit unit count, plan on playing with the fire warriors out of their fish and shooting, and use the remaining points to add an extra crisis suit or two, a Tetra would be an excellent addition to your collection. It will allow you to improve whatever shooting you need most, and also is a unit you will often want to take in other list archetypes, should you decide you wish to explore them in the future. Barring that, I would consider an additional hammerhead or a pair of Piranha. It will really depend on your local metagame and what types of units you feel you are most vulnerable against. Honestly, it's rarely a bad idea to add more Hammerheads or Crisis suits to a list.
Victory needs no explanation, defeat allows none.

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Ell'ran
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Re: Mechanized Tau 1500

Post#10 » Jan 29 2013 09:33

Da Skyman wrote:@Ell'ran: so should I not have posted my list this way? I want to do it right and I'm paranoid that I missed the purpose of this forum


Your list is fine, I just know that list posting is still a grey area for the forum as it's something new.

As for your list, I will have to echo everyone else's sentiments when I say that you don't have enough Anti-Tank on the field. Railguns are nice, but they aren't a 1 shot, 1 kill weapon for AV13/14 tanks. As for your XV8s, you have so few of them that they would probably be better spent on a target that doesn't have a potentially melee-centric cargo. With 200 points you could fashion a pretty nice squadron of piranhas, anti-tank or anti-infantry is entirely up to you, but they are probably the most survivable Fusion delivery system we have (on paper anyways, I don't speak from experience).

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Das'Kyman
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Re: Mechanized Tau 1500

Post#11 » Jan 30 2013 11:00

Ok. I have 2 piranhas with fusion blasters so that works out well. And since they carry drones I will keep the warfishes to help out vs hordes and the piranhas can drop their drones in his backfield. :evil:
The helios were actually meant to deal with any terminators/dreadnoughts that might get too close, so I was even less prepared for anti-tank than it appeared.
The piranha team gives me a better chance of killing any heavy battle tanks I see, and the added bonus of 2 more vehicles for my opponent to shoot. Huzzah! :biggrin:
Does anyone know of any studies into piranha survivability as a team of two vs two seperate teams?

The last thing I wanted to take a look at was the crisis suits. If I have fusion piranhas, are Helios overkill? I could change them to Firestorms and gear them more towards anti- MEQ and horde and they could still hurt TEQ, just not as bad.

Again, Thank you all for the help. I'm getting eager to see how I perform with this list.
That should probably be another point for army lists, to update and let people know how it did?

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boomwolf
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Re: Mechanized Tau 1500

Post#12 » Jan 30 2013 12:07

Firestorm is poor against MEQ.
If any switch to bladestorms, they are good against MEQ, TEQ or hordes. you might have to come close, but not any closer then a helios would anyhow.

I would not recommend piranha, they are a one-shot unit, with that one shot not being so great to begin with. they may seem great on paper, but considering they depend on a cover save to live, and need to get into punching range to shoot-its a problem. if it handled like a jetbike so it could actually try to get away after making the shot THEN I would suggest it.

The ion cannon strikes me as odd, why use it when the plasma cannon is so much better for the same price and the same job? (unless your group disallows forgeworld?) basically trade a bit of range (who is overkill anyway) in favor of an extra shot and twin-linking the same gun.
And if you are not using it, you will probably be better served with spending some points for a second railgun. versatility is power.
The rail isn't half bad at bombing marines, on average the blast will kill about the same number of MEQ as the ion, and it will provide some extra anti-horde and anti-tank power to allow the suits more breathing space.

But in all seriousness-whatever you do, get more anti-tank.

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Das'Kyman
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Re: Mechanized Tau 1500

Post#13 » Jan 31 2013 12:47

@ im2randomghgh: I respect the broadside, however I want this list to be fully mechanized. I may transition to a hybrid or ICBINMT! later. When I do, broadsides will be the first to get some love.
@boomwolf: My mistake, I need to brush up on my XV names. I would definitely rather have a plasmahead, however I don't own the piece (yet...) and I don't like proxying unless it's really casual, and I rarely have time for anything except tournaments at the LGS. I want the Ion/Plasmahead to help deal with MC's and light armor.

Ok, here's a redo of the original list. Based on ATT input and model restrictions, I've filled out the list and redistributed some of the points.
I think that I'm pretty much where I want to be with this list. I'm posting it to show where I ended up and to see if there are any final recommendations on the finer details.

1500pts Fully Mechanized Tau List
by Da Skyman

HQ - Shas'el Commander: 154 points
Twin-linked Missile Pods; BSF; hard-wired Drone Controller w/ 2 gun drones.
1 x Shas'vre bodyguard: Twin-linked Missile Pods; Targeting Array.

HQ - Shas'el Commander: 181 points
Plasma Rifle, Burst Cannon; Multi-tracker; hard-wired Drone Controller w/ 2 gun drones.
1 x Shas'vre bodyguard: Plasma Rifle, Burst Cannon; Targeting Array; hard-wired Multi-tracker.

ELITES - XV25 Stealth Battlesuits: 180 Points
6 x Stealth Battlesuits: burst cannons.

TROOPS - Fire Warrior Team: 180 Points
6 x Fire Warriors: pulse rifles.
1 x Devilfish: Burst Cannon, SMS; Targeting Array, Multi-tracker, Dpod

TROOPS - Fire Warrior Team: 180 Points
6 x Fire Warriors: pulse rifles.
1 x Devilfish: Burst Cannon, SMS; Targeting Array, Multi-tracker, Dpod

TROOPS - Fire Warrior Team: 180 Points
6 x Fire Warriors: pulse rifles.
1 x Devilfish: Burst Cannon, SMS; Targeting Array, Multi-tracker, Dpod

FAST ATTACK - Piranha Light Skimmer Team: 150 Points
2 x Piranhas: fusion blaster; Targeting Array, Dpod

HEAVY SUPPORT - Hammerhead Gunship: 130 Points
Ion Cannon, 2 x Burst Cannons; Targeting array, Dpod, Multi-tracker.

HEAVY SUPPORT - Hammerhead Gunship: 165 Points
Railgun, 2 x Burst Cannons; Targeting array, Dpod, Multi-tracker.

Total : 1500 points

Notes :
I've gone with the piranhas to help overload the board with vehicles, 7 ought to be enough right? :-?
I want to play aggressively with these boys. I want my tanks up in my opponents face and overloading his infantry with SMS/BC shots then FoF (admittedly less effective with only 1/2 sized FW squad but still...
I spoke with a local death korps player. He says that he runs leman russes with hvy wpn teams and that land raiders are actually fairly common around here. Even so, I want to try this list out before I throw it away and go for mega anti-tank.
I believe there are 2 other tau players in my area. One is a gunline army and the other is really just a starter hodge podge army. There is rumored to be one guy somewhere near here to runs Tau and places well in big 'Ard Boy tournaments held a few hours away, but I don't know what his army looks like. Regardless, hopefully I can change the way our LGS looks at Tau :fear:

As I said, I think the list is predominately where I want it and it should be fun to play. However, I do have a few things I could use suggestions on:
1- Split the 2 piranhas into seperate units or keep them together?
2- Target arrays/multitrackers on Warfishes? I know I want Warfishes, but I'm not sure if the upgrades are worth it. With the extra points I would probably give my stealth team drones (Keep in mind I have no ML support)
3- Stealth suits. The way this unit is built I will have to keep them in reserve to deepstrike or outflank. Would fusion blasters be amiss with these boys, or are targeting arrays pretty much required on FB stealth suits?

Any CC welcomed and encouraged

STS17
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Re: Mechanized Tau 1500

Post#14 » Jan 31 2013 01:20

There is little reason to not split your Piranha since you have the available Fast Attack slots. I would probably keep the upgrades on your devilfish, as replacing them with gun drones in your stealth team just leaves a very large footprint that is difficult to hide / stay out of charge ranges and is also more vulnerable to blast templates. I would also avoid the fusion blasters on them unless you really need the extra high strength firepower simply because of range issues - their defenses are useless in assault.
Victory needs no explanation, defeat allows none.

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BabaGanoosh
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Re: Mechanized Tau 1500

Post#15 » Jan 31 2013 03:26

Why not demote the bodyguard crisis suits to normal XV8 shas'ui or team leaders and save a few points?

The difference in their stats is +1 attack; not useful, and you have two open slots in the elites section. You should be taking these suits as elites choices and deploying them attached to the commanders. I can't see any drawback to making the deathrain suit a normal Shas'ui; the PR/BC suit could be a team leader. It would net you 15 points- don't spend it all in one place :smile:

Also, it would give you some flexibility in their deployment. You could deploy each as a monat if you wished, although I'm not sure when that would be wise. Maybe on a table with LoS-blocking terrain that only had space for one suit?

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Ell'ran
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Re: Mechanized Tau 1500

Post#16 » Jan 31 2013 11:51

Da Skyman wrote:@3- Stealth suits. The way this unit is built I will have to keep them in reserve to deepstrike or outflank. Would fusion blasters be amiss with these boys, or are targeting arrays pretty much required on FB stealth suits?

There is a reason why fusions are so cheap in stealth teams; it makes the squad extremely awkward to use, and threatens the loss of the entire team. Target arrays aren't necessary, but they sure do help. Honestly, if you wanted 2 fusions expressly for the purpose of deep striking you would save more points by getting some on XV8s and twin-linking them.

BabaGanoosh wrote:Why not demote the bodyguard crisis suits to normal XV8 shas'ui or team leaders and save a few points?

The difference in their stats is +1 attack; not useful, and you have two open slots in the elites section. You should be taking these suits as elites choices and deploying them attached to the commanders. I can't see any drawback to making the deathrain suit a normal Shas'ui; the PR/BC suit could be a team leader. It would net you 15 points- don't spend it all in one place :smile:

Also, it would give you some flexibility in their deployment. You could deploy each as a monat if you wished, although I'm not sure when that would be wise. Maybe on a table with LoS-blocking terrain that only had space for one suit?


I was thinking this too. It would also allow him to attach the XV8 HQs to the stealth team for even more deployment flexibility (you can detatch from a unit immediately after outflanking, right?)!

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Re: Mechanized Tau 1500

Post#17 » Feb 01 2013 12:07

Da Skyman wrote:I was thinking this too. It would also allow him to attach the XV8 HQs to the stealth team for even more deployment flexibility (you can detatch from a unit immediately after outflanking, right?)!


Actually you can't outflank with the XV8 attached, but you can join one to give it the stealth cover bonus after deployment. If you start the game with an IC attached to a stealth team they can only deploy normally, no infiltrate or outflank.

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THT-Shadow
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Re: Mechanized Tau 1500

Post#18 » Feb 01 2013 07:09

Shas'o Rama wrote:
Da Skyman wrote:I was thinking this too. It would also allow him to attach the XV8 HQs to the stealth team for even more deployment flexibility (you can detatch from a unit immediately after outflanking, right?)!


Actually you can't outflank with the XV8 attached, but you can join one to give it the stealth cover bonus after deployment. If you start the game with an IC attached to a stealth team they can only deploy normally, no infiltrate or outflank.


You can't infiltrate with an attached IC, but you can outflank, the scout rule will be passed to the whole unit.

Probably you can't detatch the IC right after entering the board though.

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