Last updated September 13th 2017
This is a personal comprehensive battle guide to 8th edition combat strategy. A little about myself first. I've been playing RPGs of all variety for 26 years, was in the US navy, and studied medieval battle tactics. I am a proud Gue'vesa who strongly believes in the ideals of the greater good, and will gladly help out any fellow Gue'vesa.
Post #1: ObjectivesPost #2
:How to Build a Winning ListPost #3
: DeploymentPost #4
: Mont'ka & Tau Charge TacticsPost #5
: Turn PrioritiesPost #6
Codex Updates (for future update)Post #7
: Forge World Info (to be done later)Post #8
Darks Personal Battle Codex
First off, I'd like to say if you've played any prior edition of warhammer, forget everything you know. 8th edition is an entirely new beast, especially for the Tau. Second thing is, there is a HUGE difference between mathhammer and warhammer. Many things might look good on paper, but in fact are not on the board. This is due to the nature of the objective based game, and rules and abilities that affect it. For example a quad FB commander is excellent yes, but oh look, a bunch of tyranid gaunt swarms taking all the objectives are now literally unstoppable because they claim objectives by numbers (and objective secured), and each commander can kill at most 4 per turn. They've won before the game even stats without even needing to roll any dice.
Here I'll be highlighting everything I find to be important in building AND commanding a solid competitive list. These points are made with the objective game in mind, so inherently doesn't focus on raw mathhammer killing power.
Before we even begin to talk list building, let's talk about how to win objective based games.ObjectivesCapture Objective
Often times, currently unneeded objectives are abandoned. Upon drawing a capture objective card, you simply need to get there. Units with high movement speeds or deepstrike are perfect for this. Coldstar suits or piranhas are great examples. They're cheap, sturdy, and highly mobile.
Sometimes enemies will be heavy on an objective. Remember you only need to outnumber them to capture. Also remember only models within 3" count. A Devilfish full of breachers is amazing for taking objectives. They have to be within 5" anyways to be fully effective, they're 10 to a full squad, and they have amazing kill potential. They're cheap, and the Devilfish can provide cover by blocking line of sight, or charge an enemy unit to prevent them from shooting your squishy breeches next turn.
All troop choices have a special rule called "objective secured." This means they automatically control an objective of they're near it. If your opponent also has troops on it, it goes by model count again. Again breachers are fantastic at abusing this rule. They will likely obliterate other troops and easily take the point.Defend Objective
This one is a bit harder for Tau. Suits with drones tend to work the best here. Put the suits on the objective and deny the enemy entry by making a blockade with the drones. If they shoot the suits or drones it won't matter, and charging shouldn't result in any progress towards the objective. You're probably going to suffer some significant losses on this one, but the points are well worth it.Kill Units
This one is easy. Just focus smaller units. If an enemy has a unit with no special weapons (all bolters for example) consider trying to leave one alive to get this easier if you draw the card. Same idea on transport vehicles if they're not being aggressive, just leave em with 1 wound. Their guns are usually awful anyways.Kill a Unit in Melee
Ok...you almost need Farsight for this until we get our fusion blades and onegar gauntlet back. Remember, suits with ATS do apply it in melee combat. Also consider shooting a squishy unit down to one model, then charging it for the kill. If you're using Farsight, just try to kill a wounded vehicle or small unit. I recommend giving him +1 attack on the charge warlord trait if you're fielding him.Kill a Character
This one is actually pretty easy with Tau. Your fast models, be they coldstar suits or piranhas, can easily zip right over the enemy line and shoot them in the back. MOST players keep their characters behind, not in the middle, of their army. Watch for this and you'll notice it's surprisingly true. A person's natural instinct is to put them in back so they're less likely to be in front and shot at, not thinking how we can just fly over. It's just gotta be the closest enemy model and you can shoot it.
The rest are all highly situational or straight forward.
Always remember to drop an objective at the end of your turn if you're not sure you can complete it by next turn. Also remember some game modes allow 3 command points to be spent to immediately redraw an objective card. If it's an impossible objective for you it's worth the CP.