New to Tau -1500 points

A review of past Cadre formations from tau'cyr before.
gamma016
Shas
Posts: 78

New to Tau -1500 points

Post#1 » Feb 27 2013 02:07

Hello everyone, I have newly acquired around 1500 points or so of tau units and want to know how best I can be using them and what my future purchases should be to buff my list. I have played Imperial guard for quite some time now, so I am far from new to 50k, but I want to play my tau differently then I did my guard. My first thought for a tau army was a solid battle suit list, comprised of mostly crisis suits, stealth suits and broad sides. I wanted nothing to do with the non robot looking models such as kroot, vespid, or ethernal models. I also wanted to shy away from big tanks because I wanted something different then guard, which are mostly big tanks. The list I have here is basically everything I have, except maybe a few unmade kroot and some drones. So without further adue here is my 1500 point list.

HQ:
Commander
- shas'o
- Aribursting Fragment Projector
- Cycling Ion Blaster
- Shield Generator
- Hard Wired Multi Tracker
- Stimulant Injector

Elite:
Stealth Suit Team
- Shas'ui Team Leader
-- Targeting Array
-- Hard Wired Drone Controller
--- Gun Drone x2
- Shas'ui x2
-- Targeting Array

Stealth Suit Team
- Shas'ui Team Leader
-- Targeting Array
-- Hard Wired Drone Controller
--- Gun Drone x2
- Shas'ui x2
-- Targeting Array

XV8 Crisis Battle Suit Team
-Shas'ui x3
-- Flamer
-- Plasma Rifle
-- Multi Tracker

Troops:
Fire Warrior Team
- Shas'la x12
-- Proton Grenades

Fire Warrior Team
- Shas'la x12
-- Proton Grenades

Kroot Carnivore Squad
- Kroot x11

Fast Attack:
Pathfinder Team
- Shas'la x6
-- Pulse Carbine and Marker Light
- Shas'la x2
-- Rail rifle and Target Lock
- Devilfish
-- Disruption Pods
-- Flechette Discharge

Heavy Support:
XV88 Broadside Battlesuit Team
- Shas'ui Team Leader
-- Targeting Array
-- Hard Wired Target Lock
- Shas'ui
- Targeting Array

XV88 Broadside Battlesuit Team
- Shas'ui Team Leader
-- Targeting Array
-- Hard Wired Target Lock
- Shas'ui
- Targeting Array

So this is what I have to deal with. I also have the models for two more gun drones, three marker light drones, two shield drones and a kroot, with eight unmade kroot and four unmade gun drones. My general idea with this list has been to deep strike in my XV8's, our flank my kroot, and infiltrate my stealth suits into cover. My biggest worry is large amounts of troops. As a guard player I have learned that large blasts are handy for getting rid of large squads of anything. However with a suit heavy list I can only have one large blast, and it's on my commander. The main armies I play against are tyranids, dark eldar, eldar, necrons, and soon possibly some faction of marines and orks. The hardest army to beat out of them all bein the tyranids. All help is welcome and any advice on future pitches will be dually noted.

im2randomghgh
Shas
Posts: 452
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Re: New to Tau -1500 points

Post#2 » Feb 27 2013 05:21

New to Tau? Welcome to the Empire!

Not a bad list, I can see the points being stretched here to play a higher points level than the models normally allow (I do this myself when I start an army!), but you seem to have a fair understanding of tau list building already, from what I can see. :)

A few suggestion I would make would be to:

-You may want to drop the railrifles on the pathfinders, (they really dilute their purpose, and two bs3 S6 AP3 shots a turn isn't very useful against Tyranids, orks, necrons etc.).

-Maybe swap out the CIB on the commander (contrary to what 5 shots would have you believe, it is not a very effective anti-horde option, particularly against orks). A plasma rifle or a missile pod may fit your needs better, being effective against the rank-and-file of the horde armies you seem to face a lot of (most of them don't even get saves against the missile pod) as well as their big scary things (nob bikers, tyranid MCs, etc). This also gives him a longer reach.

-I am not a fan of TAs on stealthsuits. You are paying thirty points to boost all their ballistic skill. For thirty points, you can get another suit, with the unit averaging the same number of shots, costing the same, and being better in terms of survivability and (marginally) close combat.

-You have a lot of broadsides. This is good. Especially against guard. Against horde armies, however, swapping one unit out for a hammerhead may be preferable, leaving you with three railguns instead of four, but one is a tank which can shred infantry and is nigh-on impossible to kill, considering it's points cost.

-Plasma rifle and flamer is an odd loadout for crisis suits. Plasma rifle is designed to kill vehicle/terminators/monstrous creatures, flamer is designed to kill cover-camping hordes. Especially odd with a multi-tracker, as they will rarely both be effective against the same target. I would recommend removing the multi-tracker, swapping the plasma rifle for a missile pod and then either twin-linking the pod, or twin-linking the flamer (whichever fits your intended purpose better). This will also save you a fair sum of points (Originally this unit is 162 if my math is correct; the altered unit would be 129-141 points, depending on which you twin-link). If you are able to find some points to pour into the unit (like, for example, dropping TAs on one stealth unit), you could upgrade to fireknives, able to do a good job against vehicle, hordes, heavy infantry and monstrous creatures, which keeping their distance.

I understand if you can't do some of these due to model constraints (like the stealth suit option and the hammerhead), but just treat them as general advise.
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Medalion
Fio
Posts: 41

Re: New to Tau -1500 points

Post#3 » Feb 27 2013 05:31

Well, if you're not a fan of them, replacing your kroot would probably be the first thing to do. If you want to be fielding 3 troops choices, another squad of Fire Warriors would be good. Otherwise, some more crisis suits are probably in order. Your commander is looking pretty lonely at the moment, perhaps a bodyguard for him?

I understand not wanting to be vehicle oriented if you've already done that with Guard, but you probably should still consider some tanks. The Tau have the wonderful disruption pod, which combined with the jink rule makes them pretty awesome.

As far as your list goes, I would recommend removing the targeting arrays you have. They are handy, but expensive. You're spending a lot of points on them, and you could probably put them to better use elsewhere. You have the pathfinder team, so that should be able to help bump up your BS. I like to take some drones with my battlesuits to act as meat shields (metal shields?), and they give a bit more firepower to the unit. Shield drones on your broadsides would also be a good idea. With how tough they are, it will make the squad much more durable, and having that invulnerable save is very handy for them. Currently, they'd have no defense against something like a lascannon.
Science for the Science God! Math for the Math Throne!

Silvtalon
Shas
Posts: 220

Re: New to Tau -1500 points

Post#4 » Feb 27 2013 06:48

HQ
Your Hq choice is not bad as it revolves heavily around medium to short range fire power which can in some cases put your commander in undo danger. I honestly prefer the medium to long range approach giving you a wider array targets to choose from over all. In addition a broad choice of weapons to choose from thus I enjoy the benefits of the three weapon commander.
Weapon choice load out
Choose between one of the follow; Flamer, fusion blaster or AFB.
Plasma Rifle (Standard)
Missile Pod (Standard)

Shield generators are nice but a bit to costly, uses up a slot and even though they give you a decent chance to save against high powered weapons. I would honestly suggest giving your commander a body guard team which adds more suits to your listing or place him in a crisis suit team tailored to your commanders weapon set to best utilize firepower. I will always strongly point out that a commander should always have shield drones never field one with out a couple drones.

CIB is a great weapon in its own right. I have seen a lot of down play about this weapon due to its strength being a bit to low which makes it harder to wound anything with a toughness of 4+. But the real beauty of this weapon is the fact that anything T6 or less can take a no armor save allowed wound on a roll of a 6. Now your thinking well I wont see to many of those and you may be right. As the average number of 6's you could roll is maybe one or more a turn. I have had a CIB hit 5 times and roll three 6's in a row often enough to always consider taking this weapon.

Black sun filter
Always equip a commander with this.

Body guards are a good option and for the ten points above a normal suit they can be tooled the way you need them to be. You can even maximize the amount of shield drones you can put into your squad as well. They are a bit spendy compared to normal crisis suits and do not cost you an elite slot but over all its a great away of adding another suit team of three(including commander) to your army and a tougher one at that. I personally prefer putting my plasma rifles and missile pods on my commanders bodyguards compared to that of a normal crisis team due to the added protection of 4 additional drones!


Elites
Stealth team squads are a little spendy for just a burst cannon but with the rules update adding stealth and shrouded to them as well makes it up some what. Lately I been using a squad of six with two fusion blasters and I find them very useful. They are great at drawing fire power, good for shooting in their own right. I would suggest you drop all the fancy upgrades they do not need them just only the two fusion blasters. So long as you use cover in between you and the enemy units firing at them and you keep a minimal of 19 inches away from any unit that moves six inches you can harass anything all day long with an insane +2 cover save. The points you save on those other upgrades can go to other units.

Crisis Team
If your plans are to use the crisis team to back up your commander you would want to tool them to mirror your commander as close as possible. So that similar fire power can be brought to bare but if you do this I suggest taking body guards but even the elite choice can work out well either way. But If taking body guards I suggest this elite chose be twin linked missile pods with flamers and one suit with black sun filter a great all around support unit.

Although your current config is honestly a bit poor in choice I would use something other then a flamer with a plasma rifle. If I was low on points I'd use burst cannons if I had extra points I would use missile pods for sure. If this suit squad was being used to shield your commander as part of the squad, I'd have two shield drones with them to add survivability. The only time I'd ever use a flamer is on Death Reins (twinlinked missile pods and flamer suits) or on Suicide Teams (twinlinked Fusion blasters and flamers). Flamers tend to work best on these suit configs. But if I had no choice and had only four points and a open weapon slot then yes I would take a flamer but not use the mufti-tracker option if I was using the suit at ranged mostly.

If you plan on using the crisis team to deep strike then they will need to be tooled for a particular job. If your looking to attack hordes its best to go twin flamers (re-roll wounds) and maybe a burst cannon or missile pods don't bother upgrading to a team leader or drones. If your looking to take our marines, then its plasma rifle, fusion blaster, Mts and no upgrades or team leader. You expect these suits to die after they do their job and they will.

Black Sun filter
Always equip one crisis team member with this if they are equipped plasma rifles or missile pods.


Troops
Proton grenades have their uses but in all due honesty if a horde army were to assault your fire warriors there is a very strong chance that either all your fire warriors die or fail the leadership test. In order to maximize your ability to kill off low armored targets and glance lightly armored vehicles by denying cover saves from the first turn of night fighting. I highly suggest upgrading one tau to a shas'ere and taking black sun filter with a bonding knife. So in the off chance you do break for what ever reason in melee or being shot at and not run off the table or get run down. You can regroup at your lead 8 leadership unmodified.

Kroot
A really strong kroot squad is 10 kroot and 5 hounds. I5 hounds will normally swing first in a melee fight and are worth it.


Fast Attack
Pathfinders
They are best left alone with no upgrades. A six man pathfinder squad in a Devilfish with disruption pod is all you need and on the cheap to. This gives you at odds to above odds chance for rolling to hits with your marker lights and gives you a transport that allows deep strikes to be re-rolled due to the pathfinder devilfish. If you use your devilfish correctly the chances of it being charged is pretty slim.

Heavy support
Your choice of broadsides is good having two squads of two is a strong choice. Although with the cover saves that tanks can easily get or monstrous creatures splitting your fire may not be a good choice with so few suits although that is personal choice as it has its ups and downs. The targeting array is nice but why need it your guns are twin linked your chances of hitting are pretty good as is unless you are trying to ensure they hit then that's fine. I would choose A.S.S. for mobility and being able to move about to get better angles and possibly negating cover saves. But if your not interested in mobility but maximum fire power I suggest multi-trackers. Anyhow its entirely up to you in how you want to equip them and your play style just adding my two cents. But always add one shield drone to a 2 man team or two as you will never drop below 25% and you need no bonding knife.

If you feel confident with only one broadside team, make a three man tool it up with some shield drones and the way you want it. Use the points you saved on the fourth suit and add a Hammerhead for its template and rail gun option. Personally I think its only good for its template as the solid shots tend to almost always fail.

I hope my insight helps.

gamma016
Shas
Posts: 78

Re: New to Tau -1500 points

Post#5 » Feb 27 2013 07:57

Thanks guys, I have played a few games since I first got my tau so I feel I am learning a bit. I do have to say tau vehicles and guard vehicles play very different, and I am loving the disruption pods.

The rail rifles were just the models that I got second hand from someone. They seemed like a good idea at first; however they have done absolutely nothing in all the games I have played.

I am starting to see the value of kroot, but would prefer not use them for the sake of my theme haha. As for now they will remain in my list as point fillers.

I see what you mean about the stealth suits and targeting arrays. I have been thinking about spamming gun drones with my stealth suits or if I don't take pathfinders spamming marker light drones.

The plasma rifles and flamers are for opposite purposes. However with the new shooting rule that wounds from the wound pool can be allocated any model within range of any one gun in the squad this effectively increases the number of models you can wound with your flamers. Plasma rifles my be the wrong weapon to use but they have been working out well for me. I may try burst cannons instead of plasma rifles for a better anti infantry squad. I do like fireknives (plasma rifle missile pod suits right?) but I like triple stacking flamers more. If I take bodyguards for my commander I would probably make them fireknives.

I do like the idea of shield drones on with my broadsides. I don't know if I would flat out replace one of them with a hammerhead, but I defiantly would like to add one into my list.

gamma016
Shas
Posts: 78

Re: New to Tau -1500 points

Post#6 » Feb 27 2013 08:36

I do like the idea of fireknives as bodyguards for my commander, and shield drones spam on them would defiantly be nice. If I did that I would probably drop the shield generator onthe commander and make him a fireknife as well, maybe with a bonding knife.

I generally like defensive grenades on my troops. The tyranid player I generally play has been playing a nidzilla list for the past while so I'm not to worried about hordes.

I would like to eventually get some kroot hounds, however initiative five doesn't always mean much playing dark eldar and tyranids.

I am learning that pathfinders bare bones or with proton grenades is the way to go. And once again playing fast armies my devilfish are most likely going to be assaulted.

With my crisis suits I have been dropping them in and flaming my opponent. I can see the appeal of twin linked flamers but I like have a useful secon weapon I can fire. The plasma rifle may not be the right choice but so I'll field test some other setups.

For my broadsides I have tried using an ASS but I don't like the loss of over watch. I've used the multi tracker too but either the smart missile systems are out of range or too weak so I'm not the biggest fan of them.

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duckinedit
Shas
Posts: 121

Re: New to Tau -1500 points

Post#7 » Feb 28 2013 01:31

Someone stop me if I'm wrong, bit I believe the Adv. Stab. Sys. only gives you Slow and Purposeful for that movement phase/turn. Allowing you to Overwatch normally while being assaulted.
Play smart and remember what you've learned!

Silvtalon
Shas
Posts: 220

Re: New to Tau -1500 points

Post#8 » Feb 28 2013 09:26

duckinedit wrote:Someone stop me if I'm wrong, bit I believe the Adv. Stab. Sys. only gives you Slow and Purposeful for that movement phase/turn. Allowing you to Overwatch normally while being assaulted.

A.S.S does allow you slow and purposeful during the movement phase. Which is useful if you want to keep your heavy guns moving away from trouble or to get better angles at targets. Other wise if your suits move you have to hit your targets on snap shots which can make or break your turn in shooting. You can always overwatch heavy weapons so long as they are not blast weapons. Any Template weapon using the flamer template can be over watched using the wall of death option.


The plasma rifles and flamers are for opposite purposes. However with the new shooting rule that wounds from the wound pool can be allocated any model within range of any one gun in the squad this effectively increases the number of models you can wound with your flamers. Plasma rifles my be the wrong weapon to use but they have been working out well for me. I may try burst cannons instead of plasma rifles for a better anti infantry squad. I do like fireknives (plasma rifle missile pod suits right?) but I like triple stacking flamers more. If I take bodyguards for my commander I would probably make them fireknives.


Although I might want to add you still have to measure each flamer template from the base of the model firing. This may or will change the number of models you can affect, I highly doubt they intended to allow all three flamer shots to be fired by one guy in the unit. But I have yet to read the new core rules update yet, I should tonight or friday since I am going to a tournament this weekend.

gamma016
Shas
Posts: 78

Re: New to Tau -1500 points

Post#9 » Feb 28 2013 09:38

The A.S.S. allows you to choose to use slow and purposeful at the beginning of your movement phase. If you choose to use it, you use it for the entire turn, meaning no over watch and no jet pack move. Only if you don't move using slow and purposeful can you over watch.

gamma016
Shas
Posts: 78

Re: New to Tau -1500 points

Post#10 » Feb 28 2013 09:41

And yes as of the newest FAQ for the rule book if one weapon firing from a squad can wound the entire unit, wounds from the wound pool can be allocated to the entire unit. That means if you triple stack flamers on the first five guys in a twenty man squad an then shoot the unit with your plasma rifles the would from the flamers can be extended to models within range of the plasma rifles.

Edit: This does not change the range of your guns, they can still only shoot thing in range. So you can't flame a unit twelve inches away just because your plasma rifles can hit them.
Last edited by gamma016 on Feb 28 2013 09:44, edited 1 time in total.

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boomwolf
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 1755

Re: New to Tau -1500 points

Post#11 » Feb 28 2013 09:43

Actually thats a mistake, as the SnP given by the A.S.S fades away at the end of your turn, you are no longer SnP by the opponent's turn, and as such may overwatch normally.

gamma016
Shas
Posts: 78

Re: New to Tau -1500 points

Post#12 » Feb 28 2013 09:49

Good call boomwolf, I was thinking game turn and not player turn. Ok so that now seems like a decent upgrade for a broadside.

Silvtalon
Shas
Posts: 220

Re: New to Tau -1500 points

Post#13 » Feb 28 2013 03:00

gamma016 wrote:And yes as of the newest FAQ for the rule book if one weapon firing from a squad can wound the entire unit, wounds from the wound pool can be allocated to the entire unit. That means if you triple stack flamers on the first five guys in a twenty man squad an then shoot the unit with your plasma rifles the would from the flamers can be extended to models within range of the plasma rifles.

Edit: This does not change the range of your guns, they can still only shoot thing in range. So you can't flame a unit twelve inches away just because your plasma rifles can hit them.

I understand the mechanic's above as the new rule for it allowing the unit as a whole to shot so long as one guy can see the unit. That is not what I am making a point on. The point is the firing model(s) with a flamer(s) can not stack all their flamer templates one guy in the unit. Each flamer template must be touching the models base that is firing it. It always has been that way.

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spears
Shas
Posts: 32

Re: New to Tau -1500 points

Post#14 » Feb 28 2013 03:46

I believe gamma is referring to stacking the templates on the victims, not that one model fires more than one flamer.

gamma016
Shas
Posts: 78

Re: New to Tau -1500 points

Post#15 » Mar 01 2013 08:40

Yes thank you spears, as a catachan player I am very aware of the mechanics of flamers

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