More information would be helpful here. A lot of this depends on what points you play, what mission types you play, and what type of army list you run (how suit heavy, formations ok, etc)? Also, how much of his loses are as a result of a difference in codex power and how much are they a result of player error?
I'm going to assume from your signature that you usually run 1000k lists and that what you have in your description is a normal list that you field.
Many people I play with lose the game against tau before my first shooting phase and they don't even know it. Intentionally spend more time going over your pre-game/deployment decisions.
Step 1: Run more Line of Sight blocking terrain. You think you have enough? Run more anyway. If the tau guns can't shoot more than 12" because they literally can't see more than 12" it changes the game dramatically. Be aware that tons of LOS blocking terrain makes crisis suits much better too, as their assault jump is even more important. However a lack of LOS blocking terrain just turns the game into a turkey shoot which is lame.
Step 2: Put taller terrain the the middle of the table and shorter terrain towards the outside. This is goes right along with Step 1. If there's great lines of fire because of ruins towering over the cover in the midfield you're going to be shot to pieces.
I'm not particularly knowledgeable on chaos army lists, so I won't be able to tell him what units most effectively accomplish these goals. Now assuming that list is what you normally run at 1k against him. He should do the following things.
Goal 1) Have a couple ways to threaten/kill the entire pathfinder squad turn 1. Not turn 2 or 3, first turn.
Goal 2) Stop shooting shield drones with lascannons/plasma/melta. There's a million shield drones in that list. Kill them with bolters (which also forces leadership tests) then hit the squishy fellows with lascannons.
Goal 3) In the likely event you're running a heldrake, don't position its AV10 towards the broadside or firewarriors. Statistically it should take multiple turns to get shot down if you avoid that. Pretty sure a heldrake w/flamer should give this tau list an absolute nightmare with proper positioning. With proper position there is no feasible way I could see it beating 2.
Goal 4) You need target saturation. Don't have a slow drip of units hitting the tau lines. If that happens you're going to just lose a unit at a turn and not make any progress. If you are in range of those firewarriors rapid fire range, they're going to absolutely melt any non-vehicle they shoot.
Goal 5) This list seems very very weak to vehicles with AV 12+. There is 1 FB on a stealth team which should be avoidable if it infiltrates and the odds that it does anything if it is in range is minimal. The crisis team is the only reliable threat to vehicles and they're only very strong at killing one thing per turn. If you let them get into a AV10 arc they'll be able to kill 2 vehicles consistently. If you can present them only AV12, they'll only kill one vehicle (statistically). Then you assault and murder them dead. Afterward you have a field day killing the rest of the army dead.
SeengingPeipes wrote:And the problem is.. no matter how much i try to go easy on him, he always loses. And he's getting a bit disheartened. i have done all i can short of not shooting certain units or outfitting crap units
Next game do the following
1) Have him bring a landraider
2) Bring literally nothing that can kill the landraider (0 melta, 0 railguns, 0 monsterous creatures)
As long as he avoids immobilizing himself on a rock this guarantees him a giant tank of doom that'll roll around and kill stuff every turn and 1 successful assault (since you can't stop him from disembarking literally ontop of you).
Glancing at your 1k list I'd also recommend swapping your broadside into the HRR variant and swapping your crisis suits to burst cannons. Getting armor saves ignored is one of the worst feelings for marine players, and the HYMP broadside is insanely strong.