Tau with SM allies List Building Theory

Cadres who fought and bled under 6th edition rules.
Rawrgyle
Shas
Posts: 67

Tau with SM allies List Building Theory

Post#1 » Jun 14 2013 04:29

I'll start with a little history on the formation of this list here. It started as a “how many pie plates can I build into the new tau codex?” That list was a gimmick of course, but it did get narrowed down to a workable build that showed me one thing with the new codex. Ion weapons have multiple profiles! “Duh” you're saying, but it did help in showing me that many of our units with ion weaponry can have dual roles. Razorsharks can bring 6 str7 shots against land or air targets, OR a str 8 large blast. Same with Ionheads, 3 str7 shots, OR a str 8 large blast. Both can be used to target transports, MCs, or switch up and blow chunks out of infantry blobs. Same for Riptides. This dual role I think really helps the new codex. Paying 5 points for the railgun submunition round should almost be an auto-include, Its what made hammerheads basicly viable before, and still should. But the point is that most everything can do this now even if it includes a “gets hot!” roll.

The second part of the building comes from allies, personally from wanting to also build a space marine army, but also from a gameplay aspect. Battle brothers is really icing on the cake, as when we look at tau we have a serious lack of mobile resilant troops, that don't just fall over in close combat. Having a 3+ save troop added into our 4+ save xenos really helps out on the tabletop. Here I went all in with mobility and toughness with the biker captain, making some 3+ save and 5 toughness, very highly mobile biker troops. I've actually been working on ideas for bringing in a couple bike squads into my tau lists for awhile now, and with the new eldar codex I actually think people will be really start to use bike squads of all sorts as they go down in price and their general usefulness in 6th edition.


Tau with allied Space Marines - 1850

HQ:
Cadre Fireblade = 60
Fortification:
Aegis w/ lascannon = 85

Troops:
FW x12 = 108
FW x9 = 90
FW x9 = 90

Elite:
Riptide Ion Acel., TwL Plasma, EWO = 190

Fast Attack:
Razorshark MP, decoy launchers = 153
Razorshark MP, decoy launchers = 153
Pathfinders x6 = 66

Heavy:
Ionhead SMS, Blacksun, Dpod, Sensor Spines = 146
Ionhead SMS, Blacksun, DPod = 141
Skyray SMS, Blacksun, DPod = 131


Space Marine Allied:
Captain Bike, Power Weapon, artificer = 165
Bike Squad x8 + Attack Bike = 290
-- x2 melta, meltabombs (sergant), multi melta(AB)

Warning: Wall of text incoming! Feel free to just comment on the list below if you wish, but hopefully some of my reasoning will shine through below.
Last edited by Rawrgyle on Mar 15 2014 02:20, edited 3 times in total.

Rawrgyle
Shas
Posts: 67

Re: 1850 Tau with SM allies

Post#2 » Jun 14 2013 04:30

The Core:
Starting with what is the heart of this list. Each of these units has an Ion weapon allowing it to perform multiple roles. I will note I currently only have one riptide, but was looking at adding in more possibly running two with a full ionhead support, but points wise, well cuts have to come somewhere, and overloading my wallet wasn't the only reason. As at this point in list building a single Riptide being backed up with Ionheads would leave me room to add in crisis suits, as I knew I would be using both of my fighters to fill up fast attack slots. ALSO NOTE: to get an idea of the list building strategy I included the original extra ionhead which will get replaced later on with a skyray, but thought it would be good to see for the way in which I came to what I did.

-Riptide Ion Acel., EWO

-Razorshark MP, decoy launchers
-Razorshark MP, decoy launchers

-Ionhead SMS, Blacksun, Dpod
-Ionhead SMS, Blacksun, DPod
-Ionhead SMS, Blacksun, Sensor Spines

An Early Warning Override on the riptide is almost self explanitory. It provides the ability to really hurt deepstrikers, bye bye termi's, and only costs 5 points. Adding in a stiminject at this point is a possibility, but with three other vehicles and flyers, I actually don't think it will take as much abuse as to warrant the points. And if they do decide to attack it so much the better to save the Ionheads to have free reign for a turn or two more. I'll make the note that the secondary system I never pick until the end of the list build in order to get a better grasp on what is needed in the list. Velocity tracker is out with two razorsharks in the list. While maybe not the best anti air, just having my own flyers will change the game.

Razorsharks get the “mandatory” MP upgrade and decoy launchers. For 3 points I don't understand why I don't see these getting put on our aircraft and being almost as “mandatory” as the MP upgrade. I basicly get to ignore interceptor and allow my craft to make a safe run the turn they come in play for next to nothing, brilliant! Takes the heat off of me worrying about destroying quad guns and lascannons behind defense lines and the such. Makes a counter broadside units efficancy go way down.

Ionheads, glorious ionheads. Backing up the already 3 large blasts I can throw down is another 3 more. Not to mention the STR 8 and AP 3 attached to the large blast weapon, these guys lay the hurt down on anything that is not a terminator. Being STR 7, when not firing the large blast, along with the riptide also gives me a decent core of transport hunting on the first turn also. Will be fun to pop a transport then drop in a pie plate on everything inside. As for upgrades, blacksuns for a single point, and because I do want these to have some survivability Disruption Pods on two and to keep points down, sensor spines on the third, allowing me to start out of LOS or near cover to move to. Also gives me the idea to set up two behind an aegis and have the third outside countering whatever it needs to.

For the firepower portion of the core I have:
9x str 7 ap3 or 3x str8 ap3 large blasts = marine killing, or first turn transport wrecking.

12x str7 ap4 or 2x str8 ap4 large blasts = more str 7 for hard to reach targets across the board and lesser (Quardsmen/xenos) infantry killing potential that comes in later, also anti air.

3x str7 ap2 or 1x str8 ap2 large blast = terminator or better killer, also cannot forget the ability to overcharge to str 9 and ordinance blast any parking lots on the first turn.

Ignoring the SMS shots, and 4x seekers of course. This is 24x str 7 shots or 6x large blasts in various forms. Definitly have some str 7 power there, and maybe misslepod crisis suits and broadsides with HYMP could put out more shots, but this is a different type of list :) The tried and true “Tau can get str 5 shooting anywhere in their list, so don't take [burst cannons]” should almost be changed to str 7 also :P Str 8 large blasts also have the added benefit of insta-killing many multi wound infantry models as a bonus.

The Allies:
When first coming up with the pie plate list idea I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to bring along some Space Marine bikers. With all the points I would be spending on just getting pie plates in, not much would be left over for devilfish or enough troops in kroot to move across the board and take objectives. Or at least this was the original intention. Devilfish may help as any early shots fired at them would keep my vehicles around a bit longer, but as Tau we face a different problem with our troops. Survivability. Bikers can get across the board, are toughness 5, and have an inherant cover save. Not to mention don't die to a stiff breeze in close combat. They are NOT the best thing for CC, I know this, but are definitly leaps and bounds better than anything in the Tau codex and with manuverability can work as a great counter charge and buffer unit if needs be. But more than that they can offer to fill a role that the beginning of the list kinda lacks. Bringing in melta guns to deal with AV14. The mass of str 7 shooting can and will bring down transports and lightly armored vehicles but some melta guns in the hands of bikers can get darn near everywhere I need them to. An allied piranha squadron if you will.

This means a Biker captain in order to make bikers troops, and a full sized squad of bikers with x2 melta guns and Attack bike with a multi melta and some melta bombs. Combat Squad down to two groups with meltas, or even just one group of melta with another that has the captain and regular bikers for a counter CC unit as needs dictate. Which leads also to the captain getting a Power weapon and Artificer armor giving him a 2+ armor save/ 4+ invuln and the ability to tank some wounds which will get thrown at him. Still unsure of what power weapon, leading twords a maul. I can be reckless with the captain too, not being a warlord and all, hopefully able to reach opponents objectives and hiding arty. On Kill point missions the option of leaveing the whole unit together could be fun also.

Rawrgyle
Shas
Posts: 67

Re: 1850 Tau with SM allies

Post#3 » Jun 14 2013 04:30

Filling out, Troops, fortifications, and HQ:
One of the first things I normally do when making a list is to add in 3 squads of 10 firewarriors. No matter the points level or where I'm going with the list. We are a shooty army and a core of 30 firewarriors helps me feel like I have some punch with my basic troops. I know 8-9 man squads or full sized squads can be more useful depending on what I need, but it is where I start before deciding to bring more or add in kroot and/or devilfish. For this list 3 Squads seemed about right with another 1 or 2 (more than likely 2) coming from allies anyway.

To protect them, as I know I will have to with the bikers basicly heading into harms way, and already having the idea of sticking some of my tanks behind cover with their Disruption Pods to protect them, I need to add an Aegis Defense line. Normally I like to add on a quad gun to the line, but in this list at the moment, I really think a lascannon would be more beneifical. I have two of my own flyers to go against anti air, and plenty of str7 shooting, a str9 ap1 shot could help out much more on turn 1 for taking out vehicles, and later turns with interceptor on deepstriking terminators even. But mainly in the hands of a high BS unit (thinking splitfire) it can add an extra high str shot out there for av13/14 vehicles.

Now with adding up the points, unless I want to make a 2k list (which may not be a bad idea, but not the goal at the time) Adding in a Mark'O commander and a drone squad would start costing way too much. An ethereal to me just not worth it. Cheap enough for what I need here, but I have many reservations about writing in an extra victory point for my opponent in a list. Now if I have many Firewarriors and using more of a pure tau troops, I can see the usefulness of a ethereal. Also if I want a unit to fire the lascannon I need a higher ballistic skill. Enter Cadre Fireblade. High Balistic skill, Splitfire, and a markerlight. Works better inside a full sized Firewarrior Squad, for the volley fire ability, which is perfect for sitting behind an Aegis Line.

Adding two firewarriors to one squad and dropping 1 from the two others easy. Full sized squad with a fireblade not moving behind an Aegis manning a BS 5 lascannon with intercptor so he can fire a markerlight if he uses the intercptor rule.

On Markerlights:
Two Fast attack slots are used up. In a pure tau list I would for sure be adding in a Mark'O and a drone squadron for getting in at least some shots, probably embedding some drones into FW or crisis teams also. Without a boost in BS, a drone squadron would need to be much larger than the leftover points would allow, so regular pathfinder squad it is.

Now six shots will get me 3 hits on average, which isn't much, even including the occasional help from the Fireblade. But in every allied list the Tau side seems to be lacking in markerlight support in most of the lists I played around with, pre new codex. I think a Mark'O with a drone squadron can bring in whats needed. Something I may look into in a 2k list perhaps, for now I will make do and see how the list performs.

The Skyray:
As I started looking over the list at this point I was looking at a couple of things. Do I have to many pie plates? And I wish I had more markerlights. What would actually make this list more competitive, not just “for the lulz” in dropping pie plates everywhere? Actually took me a long time to come up with a solution after playing around with adding drones, trying to fit a commander in etc....

Mr. Skyray (trademark pending :P) while dropping some str 7 shooting and one of my pie plates, still gives me an av13 vehicle, some additional anti air that works great for Flying Monsterous Creatures, and two additional markerlights that might actually stick around and be able to support the pathfinder squad. About the best solution that works with the rest of the established list.



So please, comments! I have more to say, but at this point I think I'll do better responding to input.

por'el vior'la Kais

Re: 1850 Tau with SM allies

Post#4 » Jun 20 2013 04:36

just want to say that I love the idea of massed ion fire, I have played some necrons recently and we all know the problems with them, heavy infantry everywhere! only two ion heads were needed to get rid of them. let me tell how, markerlights. for the cost of 2 markerlights your ionhead has bs.6, allowing him to re-roll failed gets-hot rolls, and firing with a scatter minus 6. put in some more markerlights and the enemy has no cover, or you have bs. 8 which almost garantuees you no scatter. seriously worth it. so my tip for your lists is more markerlights, not sure where you should get them from, but they will help a lot. mabey trade in one flyer for a pathfinder group, since you already have enough anti-air (skyray, other flyer, icarus lascannon) and throw in some more markerlights.

Rawrgyle
Shas
Posts: 67

Re: 1850 Tau with SM allies

Post#5 » Jul 06 2013 11:34

I'm looking to a 2K list with some experince I've had and I have an idea how I'd like to have the list work. I've had great luck with a three strong piranaha squadron in my last tourny, suprisingly for me almost the MVP in all three games, and I think adding them to the biker squads gives a great aggresive tau approach that will throw people off.

One of the big draws of CC armies is to rush across the field and hold thier opponent in thier deployment zone. I'm wondering if I can do the same with some shooty elements.

Forward Element:
Captain Bike, Artificer, PW = 165
Bike Squad +5 bikers, x2 melta, Atk. Bike (Multi melta) = 285
Piranha Squadron x3, Fusion = 150

Turn 1 these guys rush forward, killing transports, blocking running lanes, or flat out to the rear tank support elements, as needed.

Mid Field Element:
Riptide IA, Plasma, EWO = 190
Riptide IA, Plasma, EWO = 190

With bikers and the piranhas makeing an easy screen, taking midfieild with a couple of MCs easily done, also nice area for intercepting Deepstrikers and outflankers. Plus can always fall back under any pressure.

Support Firebase:
Cadre Fireblade = 60
FW x12 = 108
ADL w/ Quadgun = 100
IonHead SMS, Blacksun, DPod = 141
IonHead SMS, Blacksun, DPod = 141

FWs with the fireblade manning the quad gun (Split fire standard, and using his markerlight when the quad gun fires interceptor) in the center flanked by two ionheads with thier backs against the edge of the board. Dpods give the ionheads 3+ cover without having to move, and there is a decent enough amount of firepower here for anything that gets close... lol 30" close

FW x9 = 81
FW x9 = 81

Extra troops to start in reserve or on any points/strategic ruins, or stretched out to create supporting fire zones.

At this point I'm running into a bit of a wall. First is I need some anti flyer capability, second is markerlights, thirdly there just doesn't seem to be enough dakka for the points level.

StormTalon w/ skyhammer ML = 125
Pathfinder x8 = 88
Pathfinder x8 = 88

This is the best I can to fill up whats left. but with the double force org I'd need a second HQ to bring in a razorshark, but the Marine allies fits the stormtalon in nicely. Now another 7 points left around to work out a bit.

Any suggestions?

Spoiler for a easier to read list:
[spoiler=]Cadre Fireblade = 60

FW x12 = 108
FW x9 = 81
FW x9 = 81

Riptide IA, Plasma, EWO = 190
Riptide IA, Plasma, EWO = 190

Piranha Squadron x3, Fusion = 150
Pathfinder x8 = 88
Pathfinder x8 = 88

IonHead SMS, Blacksun, DPod = 141
IonHead SMS, Blacksun, DPod = 141

ADL w/ Quadgun = 100

Captain Bike, Artificer, PW = 165
Bike Squad +5 bikers, x2 melta, Atk. Bike (Multi melta) = 285

StormTalon w/ skyhammer ML = 125[/spoiler]

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Lyi'ot
Por'O
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Re: 1850 Tau with SM allies

Post#6 » Jul 22 2013 10:41

Rawrgyle has posted a really great summation of his army thoughts -- can I get a support cadre in here ASAP? Get this shas the logistics information he needs!

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timb6ea
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Posts: 485

Re: 1850 Tau with SM allies

Post#7 » Jul 23 2013 12:46

Sorry, stopped following this thread due to the first line in the first post. Started too gimmicky for my tastes and I'm not really up on my Space Marines lately.

Rawrgyle wrote:First is I need some anti flyer capability
BS5 Quadgun and Stormtalon not working out for you or was that your solution to the need?

Rawrgyle wrote:second is markerlights
Again, I see the two pathfinder units, seems like you list them to answer your need. They may not be the most efficient or flexible option we have for that need but if you can keep them alive they should be putting out around 4 marks per turn each. If the rest of your Tau units are focusing fire are you finding you need more?

Rawrgyle wrote:thirdly there just doesn't seem to be enough dakka for the points level.
I see your dilemma. You have built an extremely durable army which may be low on firepower. I would think this would be a scary list to face. Who you gunna shoot at? The bikes who are in your face with T5 + artificer? The Riptides standing right behind them or the ADL firebase?

The downside is you're a little low on guns and I'm not sure I know how to help you while preserving your list style. Your bikes + SM Captain are costing you 450 points, your Riptides another 380 and the two IonHeads 282. Those 11 models are costing more than half your army, meanwhile just about everything else is clearly on a budget, although you'll never hear me say anything bad about the Pirhana, I'd put 15 in a list if I could.

I have to ask, with the two Riptides running around, do you really need those IonHeads? Conversely, with 4 Ion Pies, what are you having trouble killing? Have you considered putting in some Kroot for their deployment advantages, sniper option and low cost? As for the bikes, I can see you've built your army around them. When I played Space Marines (4th Ed.) I quit using bikes due to their points cost.
Will Flak'O for food.

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Rawrgyle
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Posts: 67

Re: 1850 Tau with SM allies

Post#8 » Aug 03 2013 02:27

Thanks for the response to the 2k list timb6ea! Yes the pathfinders and stormtalon were a result of the need and I should have labeled them as “The Support” for the rest of the list. Also the 11 models you stated are actually 14 models... BUT YOUR POINT STILL STANDS. Sorry for caps just wanted to clarify :) I have a lot of points tied up in only a few models, and I actually want to dive into why.


Planning to win by shooting your opponent off the table is not a winning plan. I firmly believe this. And while if it happens I'm more than happy to accept it, in creating a TAC list friendly or competitive, I'm not counting on it. The most disheartening games as a tau player is when our best optimized static gun lines get outplayed by a clever opponent who can win on objectives by not playing our game. My very first tourney I won 2 out of 3 games, and it was the very first game against an IG flyer spam that was able to deploy outside my range, that I lost, and taught me the value of that lesson. Deploying out of sight, reserves, and other tricks will ruin our day.

So in building a cadre not only am I thinking about having the ability to counter everything that may be out there, and watching for those weaknesses in a list, but I'm also thinking of board control. Over on the blog The Back 40k, TheGraveMind has up a very good article about this and is a very good read. The last line is actually a quote and a very good one at that:

"The key to strategy... is not to choose a path to victory, but to choose so that all paths lead to a victory."

When I go about building my lists I've really begun to move away from the static gun line that many Tau players fall into. I've started looking in my list building to make sure that not only am I covering the bases of anti flyer/MC/AV14/horde and whatever else, but to also look at how I will gain some measure of board control against those lists. So I am not merely making a static gun line and putting in a kroot squad or two and saying I can capture backfield objectives. When I am looking at lists lately and prepping for my next tourney at 2k, before I read it, I have been unknowingly taking the idea of that quote into my list building, and have been trying to build something better out of my tau.

So in looking at how we exercise board control as tau the first answer is in markerlights. The ability to ignore cover, while not as powerful as ignoring LOS altogether, added in with the ballistic skill increase can at the very least cripple if not destroy a target unit. An opponent just knowing that can make him respond accordingly and give us a measure of board control. He can also seek out and destroy our markerlight sources, effectively ending a big grasp on our ability to control the board through markerlights. This is nothing new to Tau, but the new codex does give us tons more flexibility in how we field our markerlights, and even though in the above two lists I've stuck mostly with the standard pathfinder team, drones, skyrays, and embedded markerlights are really a direction to look into offering more mobility and durability.

I think in terms of units the new codex actually gave us the best piece of board control the tau can get. Riptides bring the tau a measure of durability and presence in the midfield that allows us to push forward. For the points I could get units that give more high str shots, or more ap2, but nothing quite like a high toughness multi wound model that our opponent has to either choose to ignore or deal with, and when I spend the points I'm finding that I don't care which way my opponent chooses to go. If he wants to bring them down, it takes quite a few shots that hes not throwing into the rest of my ranks. And if he ignores them, I get to use them as the blunt instruments of destruction they can be, relatively speaking compared to the rest of our codex. But, bringing them just as extra fire support can leave them hanging out in the back really doing nothing. So I hope the other tau players out there can get the hang of this model, I'm finding it to be extremely useful, and cry slightly (single manly tear of course) every time I see someone put a velocity tracker on them.

I'd like to point out a discussion going on at this time here at ATT based on a BoLS article. Specific thoughts on the article and discussion aside, I'd like to bring up the first weakness he points out and one which I think is undeniable. Tau suck at capturing objectives. Anything outside our gun line just gets shot at and usually not moved twords from our troops in any significant way that helps with board control. Yes Kroot can outflank, but coming on too early and not supported both can spell doom to kroot who will run a way from a light breeze. They have the mobility (though random with outflanking) but not the durability for board control, for dictating much of a response, from many opponents. And I will clarify that yes I know there are other options but I am strictly talking about using them for capturing objectives in list design here.

To solve this problem within codex, it only takes a glance to see all the Mech lists that are out there. I've definitely toyed with many mech lists and have found the more aggressive tau approach quite fun. The main consideration in building these lists is target saturation. Having enough vehicles in the list to not have your Devilfish targeted down quickly to leave your troops stuck halfway to their goal, and for many new codex lists even having an ethereal hanging out somewhere mid field. The other consideration is that when you dismount your FWs, they have the firepower to wipe out the target unit, which more than likely with a little markerlight support they probably can.

Intricacies of mech lists aside, I would like to point to a basic.. I don't want to say problem, but.. problem, is that you are essentially doubling the points spent on your basic troops, which for tau have great damage potential, but are not as durable as we would like them to be. Great glass cannons that we end up making very expensive and taking up a sizable chunk of our army list in a mech list. The question is then for me: how does this help me gain some board control? Mobility and the ability to target down an infantry squad does help me move out and capture an objective making my opponent take that into consideration, but I don't believe this helps me dictate on a turn by turn basis something to shoot at. It is a threat, but takes a turn or two to maneuver each time I wish to do this, where it is not being so much of a threat. And I'm making a juicy target that much better to go after, which could be good if I was meaning to do this, but you are attempting to make your troops more survivable, not a better target.

So, in addressing the problems above, I've chosen to bring in allies and specificity biker squads to counter the weaknesses I believe exist. Toughness 5 with a 3+ save and innate cover save, relentless like our battlesuits so they can fire each round or turbo boost for extreme mobility let's call it, and the ability to bring in special weapons allowing the unit to serve more than one role. An allied piranha squadron that can score I called it before, that even picks up some redundancy when paired with one. Not to mention that because of twin linking, operates effectively without markerlight support, which can be a bit of a drawback sometimes when dealing with cover, but makes up for it in the CC ability that is leaps and bounds above anything Tau can bring. Combat Squading and ATSKNF further the tactical options in deployment and survivability.

Reecius from Frontline Gaming has an article HERE that kinda sums up the basic principle of the 2k list. I think a great example of how this works in a tau army can be found in the “trinity enclave” cadre thread. Where the troops are somewhat kept down while the heavy hitters in riptides, piranhas, and skyrays become your targets to have to choose from, and there is plenty of redundancy. You even say about my 2k list, “I would think this would be a scary list to face. Who you gunna shoot at? The bikes who are in your face with T5 + artificer? The Riptides standing right behind them or the ADL firebase?” Basicly threat overload. The individual units give me mobility and durability while having enough tactical flexibility to perform multiple roles, and redundancy hopefully makes target priority very hard.

So these are like, my opinions man, and though there may be many like it, these are mine. To butcher two other quotes :) Maybe I am taking the concepts here a bit too far, play testing will tell me shortly, but if anyone has thoughts about this please let me know, as I need to stop the rationalizing in my own head.


TL;DR: Yes timb6ea, I will be giving sniper kroot a try, freeing up another 22 points or so...

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timb6ea
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Re: 1850 Tau with SM allies

Post#9 » Aug 03 2013 04:11

Your points are well made and I would certainly like to see how this works out for you. Your post mentioned you feel you may be low dakka though. Thing is when you have a few expensive units the rest of your force suffers but here's how I would think I might face it.

Turn one shoot everything I have at the bikes, kill a few of them maybe, lament the losses I'll face due to melta and ion fire to key forces, try to understand that some other Tau builds might have killed some more of my guys while worrying about speed this attack is coming in. If I've got assault forces, might go ahead and commit them on the bikes, hoping to tie them up, otherwise I'm thinking spread out as much as possible, which won't do me all that much good though because I have to keep my units large to survive the Ion Pies and Riptides, Bikes and Pirhana are all pretty fast and have large zones of control.

Turn two watch the bikes plow into my ranks, either in CC or with short range shooting. Do what damage control I can do to turn the tide. Depending on angles at this point I might start in on the Riptides if I think there's any chance of dropping one. Might be able to save the tie if I can keep you on your side of the table. Still probably haven't put a single shot into that firebase though.

And that's pretty much how the rest of the game goes. Your fast units are tough, you don't have as many guns on the table as you could, but everything up front can take a hit and with good targeting priority you might be able to make up for that.

If the bike plan fails, your Pirhana will be exposed and about a quarter of your force, and your most intimidating unit, will have gone for naught. But, they'll have at least bought you a turn and the rest of your stuff may still get the job done. Your pathfinders will probably live to fight another day.

But, if you want more dakka, well, more dakka means more guns. Understand the bikes are the core of your unit but 450 points = 50 firewarriors, 32 drones, 9 fusion pirhana, etc. But, the bikes are the core of the list, which is why I targeted the IonHeads. 282 points could get you devilfishes for all your firewarriors with points to spare, 5-6 deathrains, 40 kroot snipers, a Crisis commander with friends, another bike squad, or a full Tac squad in a Rhino with points to spare for Scout snipers.
Will Flak'O for food.

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Rawrgyle
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Posts: 67

Re: 1850 Tau with SM allies

Post#10 » Aug 09 2013 12:14

Thanks Timb6ea for the input. Even if I don't take all your advice it is still helpful in understanding my list and tactics. Not just for others but for myself also, hopefully all this helps others out also. I've finally solidified the list and will be giving it some practice runs hopefully before my next tourny, still need a second riptide which I'll order next week :) I'll come back and post results for sure after that. But I think if anything I'll look into the weaknesses of the list so I know what they are.

Cadre Fireblade, x2 Marker Drones = 84

FW x12 = 108
Kroot x10, Sniper = 70
Kroot x10, Sniper = 70

Riptide IA, Plasma, EWO = 190
Riptide IA, Plasma, EWO = 190

Pathfinder x8 = 88
Pathfinder x8 = 88
Piranha Squadron x3, Fusion = 150

IonHead SMS, Blacksun, DPod = 141
IonHead SMS, Blacksun, DPod = 141

ADL w/ Quadgun = 100

Captain Bike, Artificer, PW = 165
Bike Squad +5 bikers, x2 melta, Atk. Bike (Multi melta), Meltabombs (Sarge) = 290

StormTalon w/ skyhammer ML = 125


Suprisingly, I think one of my biggest weaknesses is actually troops, when I was meaning to buff them up some. Kroot are a bit squishy, even with some deployment options. The FW squad is behind the ADL but also has the warlord in the group and has a big target on the unit for say... thunderfire cannons? And the 1-2 squads of bikers are meant to be going into harms way. I will have to keep this in mind, maybe shielding a smaller biker squad from some fire if they are split up.

The enough dakka/ionhead thoughts: I'll be honest and say I'm growing to love the Ionhead lately. Dropping them and adding more troops seems to take a big section of the threat level away. Add in some HYMP broadsides instead, but I'm not liking. I don't know about durability, lets call it equal, or even moot as we are looking to see which helps out in the dakka department. The major reason I decided to keep the ionheads was range. The broadsides will force me to put them in a central location in order to reach where I may want them too, where the ionheads can take advantage of any location with their 60” range. Which leads me to the other part I am liking about this list. Maybe I am short on the dakka level, but the short range shooters are all very mobile, and the long range guys, are well, long range.. meaning I can bring that firepower down where I need it to.

So thanks again and I'll post some summeries when I get them.

Rawrgyle
Shas
Posts: 67

Re: 1850 Tau with SM allies

Post#11 » Sep 16 2013 12:30

Help me ATT your my only hope! The 2k tourny is coming up in less than two weeks, and with the brand new Space marine codex, has thrown my list in to turmoil. Or at least me. I'm second guessing everything, and with the reduced cost in both the captain and bike squad, I have points to work with, leaving me wanting to shore up weaknesses I've seen.

Also, with the list idea I've been working with, I need help making sure I'm doing the Farsight Enclaves correctly (just looked over the supplement tonight). I need to double check all points costs but want to get this up and seen before I head into the work week.

Secondly, I'm concerned with my local tourny not having enough terrain and dropping the ADL from the list below. Mostly as it changes the nature of the list a bit, as in I loose a static firebase, which I hope I can get a game in with, as I nearly always have a pivot point or point of focus and I don't know if I will have that at all anymore - thats a playstyle concern perhaps though.

Primary: Farsight Enclaves

HQ:
Commander MP, CiB, Drone Controller, Target Lock, Tailsman of A. Moloch, x2 Marker drones = 177

Elites:
Iontide IA., TwL Plasma, EWO = 190
Iontide IA., TwL Plasma, EWO = 190

Troops:
Crisis x3 (MP, BC, TL) x3, Bonded, x4 Marker drones = 212
Kroot x10, Sniper = 70
Kroot x10, Sniper = 70

Fast Attack:
Piranha x3, Fusion = 150

Heavy Support:
Ionhead SMS, Black, DPod = 141
Ionhead SMS, Black, DPod = 141
Skyray SMS, Black, DPod = 131


Allied Detachment: White Scars (Dark hunters successor chapter paint job coming soon!)

HQ:
Captain Bike, Artificer, Power Sword, Meltabombs = 150

Troops:
Bike Squad +5 Bikers, x2 Grav Guns, Attack Bike (multi-melta), Meltabombs (sarge) = 258

Fast Attack:
Stormtalon w/ Skyhammer ML = 125


Things of Note:
Chapter tactics = +1 jink saves, Auto pass Dangerous terrain, Hit and run, +1 Str to HoWrath for the bikers

5++ invuln instead of 2+ armor for the commander, PLUS all of my units (still battle brothers) within 12 have 4D6 deny the witch rolls.

Skyray basicly replaces the ADL w/Quadgun

Commander + crisis team basicly take over the Squishy parts of the list. Pathfinders are just targets to die quickly, even in a list where I am trying to overwhelm an opponent with high priority threats, they still die first /sigh. Being a troops choice and marker drones built in, the squad WILL be targeted, but hopefully works better overall. My concern would be that I can only target one unit for markerlights, but hopefully the skyray helps that somewhat. The squad setup works great for general infantry killing also, when much of my list isn't necessarily setup to do that as primary role.

MIGHT get one game in before the 28th (busy) SO, any input on changes or comments on the latest form gladly accepted.

EDIT: final thought, I really do like the mobility of this list, everything can move and shift if I need it too, wich really suits the white scars battle doctrine along with the farsight mobility, and the options that are there with kroot and crisis for staying off the board if I want them. Even fluff-wise I can see the Farsight enclaves having the technology but not the manpower, hence the drones, kroot, and allies.

Second EDIT: Changed crisis to Firestorm and commander to Ionstorm. sitting in the back adding in MP shots plus high volume of fire still for infantry if needed. Just made more sense. Whole idea is flexibility Primary role while still being able to do others. And I hope this helps more with farsight enclaves, especially with hoping for the PEN chip light warlord trait for this unit. Thanks for the spark of insight slick!
Last edited by Rawrgyle on Sep 20 2013 12:03, edited 3 times in total.

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Slick Samos
Shas
Posts: 17

Re: 1850 Tau with SM allies

Post#12 » Sep 16 2013 09:56

Hi Rawrgyle,

I'm also a collector of Space Marines and Tau with a Salamanders Detachment to my name including some Bikers! Can I just say I'm not convinced switching to Enclaves is a great idea just before a tournament as you're unfamiliar with them... Anyway below is how I'd field the Space Marines without too many alterations which comes out to 584pts which is 51pts more than you spent before...
Chapter Tactics: White Scars

HQ:
Captain (1) - 155
- Relic Blade
- Artificer Armour
- Bike
Relic Blade provides some additional punch to your Captain which mitigates the need for Meltabombs

Troops:
Bike Squad (4+1) - 174
- Sergeant, Meltabombs
- Additional Biker
- 2 Plasmaguns
- Attack Bike with Multi-Melta
These guys can hunt light tanks as well as heavy at a push. You may wish to swap the Plasmaguns for Meltaguns at the cost of your MEQ and TEQ firepower.

Bike Squad (5) - 130
- 2 Additional Bikers
- 2 Grav-guns
Dividing your unit into two Squads of 5 allows you to get an additional two Special Weapons in. Grav-guns are the obvious candidate due to Relentless if you're not using them to hunt Tanks... Flamers are also a good choice as they ignore cover.

Fast Attack:
Stormtalon (1) - 125
- Skyhammer Missile Launcher

So we're currently 51pts over budget :? I'm going to suggest dropping the Stormtalon, as a lone flier is usually a dead one at high point games. Which leaves 74pts to spend on Velocity Trackers on the Riptides increasing flier defence and other stuff...

My other suggestion is switching the Commander and Crisis Team to the following:
Commander (1+2) - 172
- 2 Missile Pods, Drone Controller, Talisman of A. Moloch
- 2 Marker Drones
Sits at back with Marker Drones.

Crisis Team (3) - 164
- Twin-Linked Plasma Rifle, Burst Cannon, Bonded
- Twin-Linked Plasma Rifle, Burst Cannon, Bonded
- Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Burst Cannon, Target Lock, Bonded
Shoots stuff. AFP can be used to tackle enemies in cover separately.

Drone Squadron (4) - 56
- 4 Marker Drones
Jump-Mark-Jump

Anyway all the best and I hope this helps somewhat...

Shas'Saal Slick Samos

Rawrgyle
Shas
Posts: 67

Re: Tau with SM allies Theory

Post#13 » Oct 13 2013 11:00

Okay time for a summery, I meant to do battle reports, took good notes in the first game at the tourny and the pre tourny test match, but had a very unfortunate encounter in my second match. My opponent and I setup, I had won the deployment and got to go first, wrecked a rhino killed a few guys in two squads and sped my units around for the first turn. On his first turn he did some movement fired a squad or two, then stopped. At that point he conceded, packed up his stuff and left the tourny. Needless to say I was stunned, shocked, and just generally mystified. Never with our local group of players have I had a reaction like that, and I stopped taking notes in the next couple of games as I was still a bit rattled. Overall I had a great showing, 5th overall, lost my first game to the tourny winner, only because 1 incubi survived 7 rounds of assault by himself against a full bike squad (minus the captain due to scenario), which if I had the White scars chapter tactics would've never happened, but he won 2-1 there. But anyways I have decided to at least do a PRO/CON summery.

Quick note: I found out just after my last post that the new codex was not going to be used for the tourny as it was only 3 weeks old at the time so I did some reworking with the list, but the same general form can still be used, and a current list with the new SM codex is actually better than what I took.


Farsight Enclaves with Allied Space Marines

[HQ – 177] Commander , Marker drones x2 ,
Missile Pod, CiB, Drone Controller, Target Lock, Tailsman of Arathas Moloch

[HQ – 170] Captain , Bike, Artificer, Power Sword, Meltabombs


[Elite – 190] Riptide , Ion Accelerator, Twin-Linked Plasma, Early Warning Override

[Elite – 235] Riptide, Heavy Burst Cannon, Twin-Linked Smart Missile System,
Early Warning Override, Velocity Tracker, Earth Caste Pilot


[Troop – 70] Kroot x10, Sniper

[Troop – 70] Kroot x10, Sniper

[Troop – 231] Crisis x3, Bonded, Marker drone x6,
{Missile Pod, Burst Cannon, Target Lock} x3

[Troop – 300] Bike Squad, x2 Plasma guns
+5 Bikers, Attack Bike/w MultiMelta, Meltabombs {Sargent}


[Fast Attack – 150] Piranha x3, Fusion

[Fast Attack – 125] StormTalon, Skyhammer Missile Launcher


[Heavy Support – 141] Hammerhead, Ion Cannon
Twin-Linked Smart Missile System, Blacksun Filter, Disruption Pod

[Heavy Support – 141] Hammerhead, Ion Cannon
Twin-Linked Smart Missile System, Blacksun Filter, Disruption Pod

Your post has been edited - do not list individual points - El'mo
ATT Guidelines wrote:Never, ever list individual point values for anything.
Listing the sum total of points for a squad is OK, but no item-by-item points breakdowns are ever allowed. ATT has zero tolerance for listing individual point values. Repeat offenders will be subject to administrative procedures. Nothing will get us smacked down faster by GW than by listing individual points values for wargear, unit models and upgrades. They will not hesitate to drop the hammer on us, so we in turn cannot be lax in policing this issue.



Forward Elements: Bike squad and piranhas.

Pro: Surprise and/or Shifted deployment

Either the first turn turbo/flat out surprised opponents playing against tau, as they expect a gunline, or resulted in a different deployment if they saw what was about to happen. Great for throwing off the opponents game plan. And with the mobility moving to opposite sides of table or changing where they needed to be to counter, throwing off my opponent even more.

Con: Losses

Combat ineffective. Simply put these guys do do their jobs but suffer from it. They don't have to be all destroyed to lose the punch they bring. A single biker may hold an objective but doesn't do much of anything else.

Overall they did exactly what they were intended to do, and as timb6ea pointed out, they got shot up, but it is what they were basically intended to do. They were meant to rush into front lines and cause target priority problems. The only downside is the point cost, but their durability and ability to take, or rather dictate the firepower that needs to be directed at them rather than the rest of the list seems to be worth it.


Pie Plates: Riptides and Ionheads.

Pro: Durability

Lost one riptide the whole time, and only had 1 HP taken off an ionhead which got lucky and had the SMS destroyed.

Pro: Firepower

Surprisingly this one goes to the ionheads. Riptides spent their time intercepting moving getting tied up and yes doing their fair share of shooting things up, but the ionheads were the heroes here as they were almost completely free to drop AP3 pie plates all over the place and easily made their points back every game. I think alone, without something drawing fire up front (riptides/bikers/piranhas), I can see how others would not like them or think that they aren't competitive (seen that out on the interwebs), but in this list they really do bring down the firepower. Also I should mention range here. As I thought in a post above, bringing in firepower where I needed it too be is kind of the backbone of this style of list.


Tau Troops: Crisis and kroot

Pro: Right Units for this list

Kroot were almost always outflanking, except one mission the scenario called for them being on the table. But almost have to in order for them to not get shot up right away, but to just keep up with the rest of the list and its movement. Can easily out range them when the battle moves elsewhere and they are left unsupported. While the Crisis suits had range and could move I only used their burst cannons a couple of times. This is not a Con though! The burst were meant for the infantry that “got through” and need the extra shots to take down, and the crisis performed exactly how they were meant to.

Con: I did not play aggressive enough at times

Deploying my kroot in terrain farther away than they needed to be and at times not wanting to move my giant crisis team from cover or a building I was JSJing around left them out of position where they could have been more effective if I had been moving them to support the rest of the list even if it seemed a bit risky, would have paid off more I think.


Overall I rate the list at a A+ for just the sheer fun of it all. Never felt outgunned or worried that I couldn't handle anything at any point. It really gave me the tools to answer whatever my opponents did. I did not get a chance to play against a serious drop pod list where I had to weather that massive first turn drop, but I think I could handle it fairly easily.

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Maturin
Shas
Posts: 143

Re: Tau with SM allies Theory

Post#14 » Oct 18 2013 11:18

Congrats on the tourney results, Rawrgyle. You've got a good summary of your pros & cons too - nicely done and very informative. It's always nice to get real world results after a bunch of theoryhammering. :)

But please edit out individual points costs for items in your list. :-?
Post edited - Elmo

Rawrgyle
Shas
Posts: 67

Re: Tau with SM allies Theory

Post#15 » Oct 18 2013 02:15

Maturin wrote:But please edit out individual points costs for items in your list. :-?
Post edited - Elmo


Sorry my bad, just copied pasted and didn't think, thanks for fixing!

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Calaban
Shas
Posts: 239
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Re: Tau with SM allies Theory

Post#16 » Oct 18 2013 03:36

Commenting on the board control focus:

Have you used the markerlights with your ionheads to give them full mobility and firepower to pie plate those lurking behind LOS with a surprise fast move and strike (a Mont'Ka, as it were)?

[Ionhead moves 12", so can only snap fire, but then uses markerlight tokens to reboost his BS up from 1 for that shot]

Such a combo would require a bit of risk (you charge in before knowing how many markerlights you get to use), and require pathfinders with a flanking field of view...

.. but then thats what outflanking pathfinders are good for.. that markerlight team from the enemy's 5 o'clock!

just some thoughts to get those strategic gears salivating... er.. that metaphor doesn't quite fit, but you get the idea. :crafty:
Its NOT a trick or cheat. This is Tau at its very best!

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BabaGanoosh
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 450

Re: Tau with SM allies Theory

Post#17 » Oct 18 2013 04:46

Calaban wrote:Commenting on the board control focus:

Have you used the markerlights with your ionheads to give them full mobility and firepower to pie plate those lurking behind LOS with a surprise fast move and strike (a Mont'Ka, as it were)?

[Ionhead moves 12", so can only snap fire, but then uses markerlight tokens to reboost his BS up from 1 for that shot]



I don't think you could actually do this; you can't fire blast templates as snap fire. Even if you're modifying the snap fire with markerlights, it's still snap fire as far as I can tell, and you could only fire with the Heavy 3 Ion profile.

Rawrgyle
Shas
Posts: 67

Re: Tau with SM allies Theory

Post#18 » Oct 20 2013 03:08

BabaGanoosh wrote:I don't think you could actually do this; you can't fire blast templates as snap fire. Even if you're modifying the snap fire with markerlights, it's still snap fire as far as I can tell, and you could only fire with the Heavy 3 Ion profile.


Correct.

Calaban wrote:Commenting on the board control focus:

.. but then thats what outflanking pathfinders are good for.. that markerlight team from the enemy's 5 o'clock!

just some thoughts to get those strategic gears salivating...


Only the turn they come in they have to snap fire and you are lucky to get one markerlight hit. So they have to survive a round of shooting (which can be done!) but ends up telegraphing what you are planning.

I honestly used the stormtalon for pretty decent effect in flushing out pesky infantry. Hover mode behind them and go to town with the Assault cannon and missiles. Strafing run for +1 BS and pinning, sure they could fire back but when needed it worked.

Overall I found it was best to give the Ionheads good visability of the battlefield. Yes that means the enemy can fire back at them, but that is what the bikes, piranhas, and riptides were for, my opponents firepower was being directed elsewhere. So Pie plate those 2 squads of Devs with their heavy weapons and quad gun behind that aegis... only need two markerlights to wipe most of the squad with a direct hit or slight scatter.

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