ITC competitive T'au (can we hang?)

Discuss tactical and strategic development for 40K/Tau.
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Aedeeg
Shas'La
Shas'La
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ITC competitive T'au (can we hang?)

Post#1 » Dec 11 2017 12:41

Well it's been a long hiatus for me with a super busy winter at work so far but I booked tickets for the Las Vegas Open a while ago and am now gearing up to go. I am hoping to take T'au, I know that a lot of people are feeling down on their competitive viability, so as the title suggests, can we hang with the top tier lists?

For those unfamiliar with LVO, the championship tournament is a 500 person, 9 round event. It uses the ITC tournament format and is 2000pts. I've been browsing the mission packet and trying to come up with ideas for a list, here are some of my thoughts:

(2-4) 4FB Commanders
- possibly with shield drones depending on points; new targeting rules might work well if you can hide some
drones in front of the commanders
-used for big game hunting

(1-2) Coldstar commanders w/ drone controller & ATS and 2 marker drones
- one will probably be my warlord and be taking the Mont'ka warlord trait
-Drone controller to move to clusters of drones and buff them, make use of savior protocols etc.
-Can pick up objectives if need be and be a jack of all trades weapon platform

(1-2) CIB Commanders
-Still unsure if I should run 4 CIB or 3 CIB & ATS. I've ran some numbers but I need these guys to cover my weak
areas which seem like medium toughness, multi wound models (terminators-light vehicles)

(2-3) Cadre Fireblades
-Cheap drone support

(1) 3 Man Crisis suit flamer squad w/ 6 gun drones
-2, 3 flamers and 1, 2 flamer & DC
-Horde Killers, drop in with or without homing beacons and kill some chaff
-seems like a heavy points investment but will be useful against mass conscripts, tyranids, etc.
-still not sure about their overall viability and if they are necessary in the list

(1-2) 3 Man stealth suits w/ homing beacon
-Just their to infiltrate and drop a homing beacon their damage output is lacking but the utility is there

(2-3) 11 Gun drone squads
-Deploy in devilfish with fireblades or use as a screen against deepstrike heavy armies
-Cheap and easy pulse carbine shots, Fireblade + DC = dakka

(2-3) Devilfish
-Barebones burstcannon and gun drones
-Decent transport and gun platform that can provide assault and screening support for other units

(1-2) 5-7 Kroot hounds
-Deepstrike denial and first wave assault chaff
-may or may not use them depending on points and how the rest of the list pans out


Some of my issues are:

A) No Objective Secured troops

B) Minimal marker light support (not sure how necessary it will be)

C) I want to put more gun drones in but don't have enough. I may do some conversions to add to my numbers and help differentiate between multiple squads

D) I don't have any kroot hounds. I was thinking of converting some fenrisian wolves but the models are very large and would look terrible on 25mm bases. Not sure if I'd get away with putting them on 32mm or 40mm bases.

I was originally planning on taking Astra Militarum but I just find them boring at the moment. I enjoy T'au and am hoping for the darkhorse factor because they aren't seen as competitive right now.

I have some games lined up with the better players in my local group. Going to be playtesting against Tyranids, Chaos, Astra Militarum and Eldar.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be awesome!

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Yojimbob
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Re: ITC competitive T'au (can we hang?)

Post#2 » Dec 11 2017 01:25

I like it all for the most part. Playtest with a Y'varha if you can. Do a weapons conversion from a riptide that I know you probably have benched somewhere collecting dust. :P

See if you can do a battalion and squeeze 129 points of firewarrior tax in there. Taking a fish is pretty good since you'll want something to charge some tanks people will have around to stop them from shooting us to pieces. Plus you get the added benefit of all those drones lurking inside coming out and wrecking some faces with 70+ dice.

I'm not completely sold on the flamer suits but auto hits are really useful with a lot of -to hit modifiers flying around these days.

I'd say stick with 2 fusion commanders max, 1 coldstar for sure, not sure if multiple are necessary. Go with the rest as CIB commander and definitely roll 3x w/ ATS. 1 fireblade and tuck him nicely in the fish. I'd recommend taking our relic on someone like the coldstar as well so that he can zip places and supply his reroll on something that will be important plus he can escape and survive keeping it on the board for as long as possible.

Let us know what list you decide to run and how it does.

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MNGamer
Shas'Saal
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Re: ITC competitive T'au (can we hang?)

Post#3 » Dec 11 2017 01:37

i've had a lot of success with infiltrating the stealth suits near my opponents deployment zone out of line-of-sight. Then i deep strike in my flamer/gun drone crisis with the homing beacon along with some commanders and a coldstar, this has allowed me to take out a significant portion of their army and because so much is in deepstrike or deployed out of sight i can still retain most of my armies effectiveness if i don't get turn one.
Even when broken, a sword may still cut~Aun'ko'vash

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Aedeeg
Shas'La
Shas'La
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Re: ITC competitive T'au (can we hang?)

Post#4 » Dec 11 2017 03:59

@Yojimbob Yeah I've got three Riptides that haven't moved since 8th edition dropped. I was considering converting one to an Y'vahra. I skimmed over it in the IAI: Xenos but haven't run any of the math on it yet. Have you used it? I'm just wondering what kind of role it fills? Seems like it can do some light tank hunting and burn off some chaff, even MEQ type stuff. Against -to hit modifiers it should be great (elder fliers, demons, etc.).
What support systems are you using with it? I think a target lock and something like an ATS, Shield Generator or Stim Injector would be good.

I will definitely include the relic on the Coldstar. Might as well grab it right?

As far as the firewarrior thing, I might give it a try. I like breachers in the fish a lot but they don't perform as well as drones. They could perform better for getting dropped off on objectives and have the Fish move on. Or I could use strike teams as bubble wrap for the first couple turns instead of kroot hounds.

Has anyone tried 5 Breachers, 6 Gun drones and a Fireblade in a Fish? I might give that a go and see how it performs.
We can mathhammer all day long but sometimes when you put something on the table, there is a lot more utility than what the numbers show. I will investigate further.

@MNGamer That is basically how I run stealth suits depending on the mission and whether or not I get first turn. They are also great for getting on to objectives right away. Another case of Mathhammer vs Utility in game. There is also the little trick of dropping a homing beacon and Manta Striking right into combat with something. Haven't used it yet but you never know when you might need to pull that out of the toolbox.

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lantzkev
Shas'La
Shas'La
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Re: ITC competitive T'au (can we hang?)

Post#5 » Dec 11 2017 11:15

Well we have obsec now with boots on the ground rule. Also tau has a strength in massive shots, xv9s with advanced targeting is good. Also spam the drones

Sheeb
Shas'Saal
Posts: 53

Re: ITC competitive T'au (can we hang?)

Post#6 » Dec 12 2017 10:25

In short, no. Not until we have a codex with combos, stratagems, and other tricks. We have zero tricks and only markerlight combos. And funny thing is your opponent knows to kill your MLs first...

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lantzkev
Shas'La
Shas'La
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Re: ITC competitive T'au (can we hang?)

Post#7 » Dec 12 2017 10:30

I will agree we don't have anything special or worthwhile, literally three other armies do our role better or the same right now, let alone how imperium can do shooting better lol. Our abilities lie in deepstrike shooting oddly enough. Markerlights are a piss poor dumb thing that doesn't do enough for the resources invested into it. The seeker/destroyer missles just don't do enough to justify running units with it and the markerlights compared to literally 3 other armies.

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Yojimbob
Shas'Saal
Posts: 480

Re: ITC competitive T'au (can we hang?)

Post#8 » Dec 12 2017 11:05

Aedeeg wrote:@Yojimbob Yeah I've got three Riptides that haven't moved since 8th edition dropped. I was considering converting one to an Y'vahra. I skimmed over it in the IAI: Xenos but haven't run any of the math on it yet. Have you used it? I'm just wondering what kind of role it fills? Seems like it can do some light tank hunting and burn off some chaff, even MEQ type stuff. Against -to hit modifiers it should be great (elder fliers, demons, etc.).
What support systems are you using with it? I think a target lock and something like an ATS, Shield Generator or Stim Injector would be good.

I will definitely include the relic on the Coldstar. Might as well grab it right?

As far as the firewarrior thing, I might give it a try. I like breachers in the fish a lot but they don't perform as well as drones. They could perform better for getting dropped off on objectives and have the Fish move on. Or I could use strike teams as bubble wrap for the first couple turns instead of kroot hounds.

Has anyone tried 5 Breachers, 6 Gun drones and a Fireblade in a Fish? I might give that a go and see how it performs.
We can mathhammer all day long but sometimes when you put something on the table, there is a lot more utility than what the numbers show. I will investigate further.


It goes beyond "light" tank hunting for sure. Check through some of the other y'varha lists floating around the forums and you'll see some batreps with them single-handedly torching preds, dreads, and doing SIGNIFICANT damage to knights and even landraiders. The flamer is deceptively good at tank hunting as well. Always overcharge when you go tank hunting. Also, I've seen people advise to bring a LOT of drones to help keep it alive. Haven't seen too many people upset with it's damage/points either which is impressive at 400+ points for the model. There are also some people running multiple y'varhas with some effect. Give one a shot and see if you like it, two might need to be a very efficient and tailored list to make it work.

Firewarriors should just disperse and find cover on our near an objective and hide out. Breachers in fish are cute especially with Darkstrider. Since they get super close he can get them out of combat with fighting retreat the following turn for more pew pew. I ran breachers with pathfinders and rail rifles in a fish with great effect in small games. Not so sure how it will work in bigger games. Rail rifles being rapid fire would mean I'd put them behind the breachers and still get double tap at 15" and push the breachers really far forward onto the enemy.

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Iron-Fist
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
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Re: ITC competitive T'au (can we hang?)

Post#9 » Dec 13 2017 02:16

Commanders (fusion or CIB) and attached drones are very competitive. Commanders (plasma or missile pod) are pretty competitive, due to higher wounds/drones per point or higher range. 1-2x coldstars can be good, they win objective based games and are great spots for drone controllers but lack hard hitting power of other commanders.

Unattached drones, stealth suits, and Longstrike are marginal.

Everything else is some shade of trash.

In my opinion.
Augmented Puretide Council
The Tau Deathstar 2015: 8-1

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DarkRaptor
Shas
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Re: ITC competitive T'au (can we hang?)

Post#10 » Dec 17 2017 01:27

Drones attached to squads will loose you games in the new itc format. That's what coat me every game at socal not understanding the new format. Bringing drones along in pairs is unfortunately a liability. My opponents would focus on the drone pairs and just make sure to kill a bunch of them and it would result in a two point swing per turn. I have been focusing on building larger units and making sure I can maximize the list while denying my oppontnent The kill points and the territories ie big game hunter, reaper, death by thousand cuts and head hunter.

Surprisingly in the new itc missions crisis teams are really good.
2014 ITC Champion
2014/2015 Best Tau

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lantzkev
Shas'La
Shas'La
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Re: ITC competitive T'au (can we hang?)

Post#11 » Dec 17 2017 05:14

I don't think that's entirely true. you can go with "ignore the secondaries and spam them to hell" and go with literally 25+ small groups. I'd have to look more closely at the current itc stuff, but nothing I've seen overly discourages me from it. although I will say always giving up first strike, and usually first blood, strike the rank and file etc is frustrating and the not getting +1 to deploy hurts... but it's not without it's merits to be able to hold everything critical but yvhars in reserves.

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Shas'O R'Kai
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Re: ITC competitive T'au (can we hang?)

Post#12 » Dec 18 2017 08:48

I've found that the Y'Vahra is our most competitive model. Bold statement I know, but as great as commanders are mathematically, they don't have the same effect on the game overall. I've found that just the presence of the Y'Vahra is enough to make opponents change their whole strategy because of how deadly it is, and last min strategy changes can mean mistakes. If you come up against someone that doesn't really know what it does, you can really put the hurt on their power units and trust me when I say they'll never forget it. The firepower it has is absurd even for a 400+ point model. If you can keep this thing alive, I've found that if you get to turn 3 and have been able to get some good shots off with it, you'll have nearly wiped your opponent. The main drawback is that it's pretty damn squishy. It needs at least 15 drones to support it to help ensure it reaches turn 3.

However, use it in conjunction with CIB/Fusion/Coldstar commanders and you'll have your opponent doing one of two things...
1. They know how deadly it is and pour a large portion of fire into it(some will pour almost everything) which it will absorb with drone support more often than not for a couple turns. This leaves your commanders free and clear to complete their objectives.

2.They don't realise how deadly it is and don't try to focus it down. This essentially guarantees an extra turn of fire for the Y'Vahra. Capitalise on it and fire it like a missile towards the biggest meanest thing your opponent has. I've used it to wipe out a knight in a single turn. It's also easily capable of taking out Guilleman in one round of fire.

Overall, the Y'Vahra has been my MVP in every game I've played with it, almost always making it's points back and then some. There's almost nothing that can stand up to a round of fire from it and walk away unscathed. If the dice don't hate you, assume whatever you point it at will die.

R'Kai
Playing with a short reach since 2007 :crafty:

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Aedeeg
Shas'La
Shas'La
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Re: ITC competitive T'au (can we hang?)

Post#13 » Dec 18 2017 10:57

Shas'O R'Kai wrote:I've found that the Y'Vahra is our most competitive model. Bold statement I know, but as great as commanders are mathematically, they don't have the same effect on the game overall. I've found that just the presence of the Y'Vahra is enough to make opponents change their whole strategy because of how deadly it is, and last min strategy changes can mean mistakes. If you come up against someone that doesn't really know what it does, you can really put the hurt on their power units and trust me when I say they'll never forget it. The firepower it has is absurd even for a 400+ point model. If you can keep this thing alive, I've found that if you get to turn 3 and have been able to get some good shots off with it, you'll have nearly wiped your opponent. The main drawback is that it's pretty damn squishy. It needs at least 15 drones to support it to help ensure it reaches turn 3.

However, use it in conjunction with CIB/Fusion/Coldstar commanders and you'll have your opponent doing one of two things...
1. They know how deadly it is and pour a large portion of fire into it(some will pour almost everything) which it will absorb with drone support more often than not for a couple turns. This leaves your commanders free and clear to complete their objectives.

2.They don't realise how deadly it is and don't try to focus it down. This essentially guarantees an extra turn of fire for the Y'Vahra. Capitalise on it and fire it like a missile towards the biggest meanest thing your opponent has. I've used it to wipe out a knight in a single turn. It's also easily capable of taking out Guilleman in one round of fire.

Overall, the Y'Vahra has been my MVP in every game I've played with it, almost always making it's points back and then some. There's almost nothing that can stand up to a round of fire from it and walk away unscathed. If the dice don't hate you, assume whatever you point it at will die.

R'Kai



I tried the Y'Vahra on the weekend and was really happy with its performance. Such a dominating force and really soaked up a lot of the enemy's firepower.

What support systems do you take it with? Do you think that a drone controller would be beneficial if running a couple gun drone squads around it? Do you think the shielded missile drones are worth taking?

The list I ran had a target lock and stim injector on the Y'Vahra but i was also leaning towards and ATS or DC instead of the Stims. I ran 32 gun drones but I'm thinking of upping it to 37 (mabye 32 gun drones and 5 shield drones).

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demurr
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Re: ITC competitive T'au (can we hang?)

Post#14 » Dec 18 2017 05:30

Aedeeg wrote:What support systems do you take it with?


My y'varha hasn't arrived yet so I'm not talking from experience but it seems like a horrible waste to put a DC on a 400 points platform. My current plan is to run with with ATS for that sweet -1ap on the flamer and target lock to get more shots out of the second gun.

Having DC around that many drones is obviously a great idea that is gonna improve your firepower by a lot, but consider putting it on something that isn't gonna suffer as much as y'varah. My personal choice would be a stealth suit. It doesn't waste a hard point when taking a support system since it can't take an aditional weapon anyway. And it's not gonna be terribly effective km shooting anyway so not much potential wasted by not sticking an ATS on it.

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Aedeeg
Shas'La
Shas'La
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Re: ITC competitive T'au (can we hang?)

Post#15 » Dec 18 2017 06:40

++ Supreme Command Detachment +1CP (T'au Empire) [22 PL, 519pts] ++

+ HQ +

Commander [7 PL, 176pts]: 4x Fusion blaster, 2x MV4 Shield Drone

Commander [7 PL, 176pts]: 4x Fusion blaster, 2x MV4 Shield Drone

Commander in XV86 Coldstar Battlesuit [8 PL, 167pts]: Advanced targeting system, Drone controller, High-output burst cannon, Missile pod, 2x MV7 Marker Drone

++ Outrider Detachment +1CP (T'au Empire) [28 PL, 356pts] ++

+ Fast Attack +

Tactical Drones [4 PL, 40pts]: 5x MV1 Gun Drone

Tactical Drones [4 PL, 40pts]: 5x MV1 Gun Drone

Tactical Drones [4 PL, 48pts]: 6x MV1 Gun Drone

Tactical Drones [4 PL, 48pts]: 6x MV1 Gun Drone

Tactical Drones [4 PL, 48pts]: 6x MV1 Gun Drone

Tactical Drones [4 PL, 48pts]: 6x MV1 Gun Drone

+ HQ +

Cadre Fireblade [2 PL, 42pts]: Markerlight

Cadre Fireblade [2 PL, 42pts]: Markerlight

++ Battalion Detachment +3CP (T'au Empire) [58 PL, 1123pts] ++

+ Dedicated Transport +

TY7 Devilfish [7 PL, 127pts]: 2x MV1 Gun Drone, Burst cannon

TY7 Devilfish [7 PL, 127pts]: 2x MV1 Gun Drone, Burst cannon

+ Troops +

Strike Team [3 PL, 40pts]: 5x Fire Warrior w/ Pulse Rifle

Strike Team [3 PL, 40pts]: 5x Fire Warrior w/ Pulse Rifle

Strike Team [3 PL, 40pts]: 5x Fire Warrior w/ Pulse Rifle

+ Fast Attack +

Kroot Hounds [1 PL, 16pts]: 4x Kroot Hound

XV109 Y'vahra Battlesuit [20 PL, 415pts]: Advanced targeting system, Target lock

+ HQ +

Cadre Fireblade [2 PL, 42pts]: Markerlight

Commander [6 PL, 138pts]: Advanced targeting system, 3x Cyclic ion blaster

Commander [6 PL, 138pts]: Advanced targeting system, 3x Cyclic ion blaster

++ Total: [108 PL, 1998pts] ++

Created with BattleScribe

That's my current list. Trying to figure put how I might incorporate stealth suits with a DC.

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JancoBCN
Shas'Saal
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Re: ITC competitive T'au (can we hang?)

Post#16 » Dec 19 2017 09:16

Aedeeg wrote:
What support systems do you take it with? Do you think that a drone controller would be beneficial if running a couple gun drone squads around it? Do you think the shielded missile drones are worth taking?


Regarding that, I absolutely agree with demurr on that:
Aedeeg wrote:My y'varha hasn't arrived yet so I'm not talking from experience but it seems like a horrible waste to put a DC on a 400 points platform. My current plan is to run with with ATS for that sweet -1ap on the flamer and target lock to get more shots out of the second gun.

Having DC around that many drones is obviously a great idea that is gonna improve your firepower by a lot, but consider putting it on something that isn't gonna suffer as much as y'varah. My personal choice would be a stealth suit. It doesn't waste a hard point when taking a support system since it can't take an aditional weapon anyway. And it's not gonna be terribly effective km shooting anyway so not much potential wasted by not sticking an ATS on it.


I don't think DC is even on the table for the Y'vahra. After many reading about her, and from my personal opinion, I have seen that there are only 3 different Suport Systems that will shine in your Y'vahra:
- Stimulant Injector
- Advanced Targeting System
- Target Lock

I, myself, tend to run them (I own 2 atm) with Stim and ATS, given that I always have a Commander in those lists (usually a Coldstar) to call Mont'ka and let the Y'vahras advance and burn something down from first turn.
I think personally ATS is a must, given that the increased efficiency of both weapons will be worth far more than 8p.
On the other hand, Stim injector offers you more durability than it can seem at first, being able to even save some mortal wounds from Smites (that's a huge weakness for a 2+/4++ T7 model). And for just 5 points I think is really interesting, because as many people tell from experience, if Your Y'vahra reaches turn 3, you will probably be tabling your opponent. And the more chances of that happening, the better!
About TL, I think you can get a better effect from your markerlight support, or a Mont'ka from a Commander, so no need to spend such expensive Support system slot. Although is good to have this option in case that your list coun't on her to be alone and without markerlight support at all.

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nic
Kroot'La
Kroot'La
Posts: 832

Re: ITC competitive T'au (can we hang?)

Post#17 » Dec 20 2017 03:12

(disclaimer : I am not the sort of player who would ever go to LVO. I like to play one or two tournaments a year and do well in them but would not pretend to be a top tier player)

The honest answer is that T'au as they are currently cannot hang with the top tier lists using a TAC list. We can try to persuade ourselves otherwise but the raw fact is that a lot of good players have been trying and failing in big tournaments since the Codexes started to drop. Fundamentally there is too much of a handicap playing Index T'au against Codex (or mixed Index/Codex) armies that have better points efficiency and better access to Stratagems/Traits etc. A really good player can pull off the odd win against the odds but if you want to make the last 8 at LVO that is 6 wins and that is a lot of luck needed.

If you really want to make that top 8 I think the best approach is to take a skew list and hope that you get the match-ups that you have designed for. You might for example think that with the beta rule nerf to Smite that the Magnus / Mortarion showing will be even stronger than it has been already and build with defeating them in mind. Perhaps a massed seeker missile list (Piranha swarms etc) actually has a better chance of winning through than a more balanced list would, yes it relies on the luck of the draw but that is a smaller number of lucky events needed than taking a TAC list that needs many lucky rolls every game to pull off the win in the later rounds. Ultimately we cannot hang with the top tier lists but if we build for a specific match-up we can hang with that targeted top tier list and just have to hope not to run into any others, or at least not if they are in the hands of a top tier player.

The more realistic aim for most T'au players will be to aim for Best T'au. My guess is that a 5-1 record will bag that prize and that a 4-2 record is still in with a chance of winning it.

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Aedeeg
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 27

Re: ITC competitive T'au (can we hang?)

Post#18 » Dec 20 2017 03:39

I tend to agree with you. I have no delusions of winning the LVO let alone making top 8. I hope to break even (3-3) and if I do better than that I'd be very happy. Shooting for top Tau may be possible, doubtful, but possible. I'm mostly going for the experience and to have a good time.

Unfortunately I don't have piranhas so I won't be able to skew seekers that hard. I will try to think of some other possibilities. The problem with most of our ways to skew lists, we give up some major points on the mission secondaries.

I'm continuing to play practice games with the mission pack and tweak my list. I'll probably make an event report thread and let you all know my findings after LVO

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