After several games withthe y'vahra, commanders, cold star, drones longstrike and pathfinders, i am confident that only the quad fusion commander and drones are close to being overpowered. here is my take on the units.
y'vahra - the initial reaction from my opponent is always negative, accusing it of being overpowered. I will then analyse the game afterwards with them and see in what way it is overpowered. After the game, none of my y'vahra has gotten back its points worth in damage dealt despite of it melting a few units left and right. The true value of y'vahra is being tau distraction carnifex. The only time its worth taking is when it is paired with drones and absorb enemy fire power and take their focus away from the real glass cannon of my army, the quad fusion commander. The y'vahra augments opponent shooting, movements and their entire strategy outlook of the game It is priced correctly at just over 400 pts. As an example, today i went up against a dreadnought deathwatch list with flyers and killteam support. The two y'vahra i fielded melted a 5 man killteam and 3 dreadnaughts for the entire game. It does not make it points worthwhile if we just analyse kill, but it along with a few drones absorb an entire firepower of my opponent for the rest of the game. One ended along with a dozen drones died in the first two turns. In another game, it killed a 8 flamer nobs and one boyz before being vaporized...way underperform, but it did take the brunt of half of the opponent firepower and assault for two turns before dying....see the pattern. This vs my two quad fusion commander which manage two eliminate two corvusblackstar flyers and two dreadnaughts in two turns of shooting.....thats close to 900pts of enemy unit dead by a 320 pts for the two commander that did the dirty work. If i exchanged my two y'vahra for 5 additional quad fusion commanders, the game would have been over on the first turn instead of 3rd turn. Conclusion: Semi competitive, use y'vahra if you want to have fun or love their looks, but leave it on the shelf if you want a competitive army.
commander (quad fusion) - I only use two in my list to not anger my opponent and have a fun list to play with. This is the real deal and one of the few unit that can be considered overpowered as it is a character and has ungodly fire power. between the two of them, they usually killed 400 - 800 pts worth of enemy units easily each game (even vs ork hordes). Brutal and is ussualy the last few unit standing in the game. My opponent always focused on taking down y'vahra while the commander points and erase units behind drones and y'vahra. once my opponent destroyed the y'vahra, they realized who the real glass cannons are, but its most likely too late for them since their star unit would have been erased already by the commander. Having said that, the unit is not overly OP. Smart opponent can easily focus on it if they can somehow forget about the hulking y' vahra spewing scary plasma flamers at their front line units. Personally, i see a huge weakness in commander spam army in that its possible for armies such as astra militarum to prevent the quad commander from shooting their hard target. Commander also don't hold the line well as they are quite fragile for their points without dozens of drones supporting them. a 5-7 commander in a 2k list is probably more optimal. Conclusion: very competitive, don't leave home without it if you are playing tau....but we all know this already. The only stand alone tau units that works independently without much use of buffs.
Drones (gun and shield) - the other MVP of almost every game. My opponent hate them to their guts. It made their high-quality shooting into garbage. Drones made the commander the star and made y'vahra a viable unit to play. without them there is no viable/competitive 8th edition tau army. Conclusion: very competitive if used correctly with buff and important units to protect.
Pathfinders - i bring them to screen attacks like what most people use kroots and hounds. Their 7 inches scout move is golden. The special drones they bring can sometimes be an MVP against certain army build. For example in one of my games vs orks, the grav inhibitor drones which stays hidden in ruins managed to stop four charges which will be deadly if they are successful. At other games they are entirely useless. The ml that the pathfinder provide is rather situational. I probably use ml for the first two turns and fires its pulse carbine for the rest of their game...if they survived since they are a fire magnets. I still don't see them using special weapons as they are too fragile and unreliable shooting. Conclusion: Semi competitive, it takes up a lot of the niche in tau army such as ml support, special drones, bubble wrapping etc.
Longstrike - a very mediocre unit that dies rather quickly there is no good way to protect it. In the game that it survives, it does insignificant amount of damage. I rather use it as fire magnets for first turn opponent shooting since most of my opponent happily shoots a character tanks without any extra drone protection. I am really considering its usage in my list. Conclusion: not competitive....far from it. Bad damage output and no way to protect it with drones. Does not synergize well with drone heavy list. Only use is to sit back and take backfield or midfield objectives in early game turns while taking pot shot at target of opportunity.
devilfish - not bad, reduces my deployment setup significantly and gets the drone where they need to be. even an extra 3inch of extra movement for the disembarking drones matters a lot in the first two turn of the game. my opponent tend to ignore it, so it gets free reign on midfield and up-field to take points and so on. if you can charge them into enemy tanks such as predators then its even better. Conclusion: Semi competitive. If you take drones then it got some use...if not then it can only serve to reduce unit deployments or protect vulnerable infantry from first blood.
cold star- i use one as a drone nanny/character slayer/ objective grabber/ first turn aura/orders. super useful in term of utility. every tau list must include at least one. usually my warlord since it can run rather fast and opponent tend to ignore or being unable to shoot at it for the entire game. Conclusion: competitive. Jack of all trade for a modest price, give huge flexibility to an army depending on its built.
Fireblade - his usefulness is rather situational. I felt that he is a more defensive oriented units. In my list he boost drones and pathfinders well when the opponent moves close to my deployment zones for assault. Using him with the army to move closer to enemy deployment zone for close quarter shootings usually results in being unable to keep up with the rest of the advancing army and ended up just shooting his bs2+ marker light. During a defensive oriented game play he is a 42point beast that boost anti infantry fire power by more than 33% in most cases. You will need a devilfish to position him midfield in a close quarter shooting army or just shove him in the back field with the other infantry gunlines.
What do you guys think?
Playing an assault/aggressive tau is a fresh change from my 7th edition battlesuit gunline tau. Its definitely much more challenging and more rewarding if it manage to outmaneuver and surprise the enemy. lots of potential mistake in term of positioning and firing order, but most of my opponent is totally unprepared to see an entire army shift more than 10 inches towards one direction in a turn, raining down tons of short-ranged firepower on them. I shelved my space marine army ever since i discovered this new tau playstyle.
Last edited by turtlesoup
on Aug 04 2017 12:51, edited 1 time in total.