Tau with SM allies List Building Theory

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Rawrgyle
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Re: Tau with SM allies Theory

Post#19 » Mar 14 2014 04:25

Firstly, I really like this list, and it is the result of the evolution of the ideas above. The play style is one that I have sought since beginning this thread and the original idea of fast durable bikes spearheading my tau shooting. I have played many games in the 1850, 2K, and also a 2.5k tourney and learned many lessons, some of which you can read about above. It is my hope that others will be able to use this thread as not only ideas on a specific concept, but for furthering their own list building skills.

At higher points levels this play style can work against those who are unprepared for it, but I wanted to play the same way at smaller points levels. Higher points levels can create a sort of misbalance in terms of firepower and cheese. Taking what I've learned I've trimmed the concept down to the bare bones, and have come up with a very solid list at 1750.

Instead of the normal “Help me make my list better”, I am posting this as a bit of a strategy guide on how I play this list, and will offer up a couple of alternatives. For those who have read through some of my ramblings above and my approaches to list building concepts I have one more link – Building blocks of War written by bayonet. It is a short read and will help to setup the play style explanation that works with this concept.


Farsight Enclaves Primary
HQ
(177) Commander Missile pod, Cyclic ion blaster, Target lock, Drone controller, The Talisman of Arthas Moloch; Marker drone (x2)

Elite
(215) Riptide Heavy burst cannon, Twin-linked fusion blaster, Early warning override, Earth Caste Pilot Array

Troops
(222) Crisis x3 (MP, MP, Target Lock), bonded; Marker drone x4
(75) Kroot x10, Sniper rounds; kroot hound x1
(75) Kroot x10, Sniper rounds; kroot hound x1
(70) Kroot x10, Sniper rounds

Heavy Support
(256) Broadside x3, HYMP/SMS, Target Lock x2, Bonded; Missile drone x4

White Scar allies
HQ
(275) Chapter Master Bike, Artificer, Shield eternal, Burning Blade

Troop
(190) Bike Squad x5, Grav Gun x2, Attack bike (multi melta)
(195) Bike Squad x5, Grav Gun x2, Attack bike (multi melta); Melta bombs (sarge)


Basic Strategy:

The basics are simple, starting with the Chapter Master who goes in the non melta bomb bike squad. Both squads setup to rush up the table with Riptide behind them, providing a very tough wall that must be dealt with or risk loosing backfield units. Next, broadsides and one squad of kroot, to bubble wrapp the broadsides from harm, form a firebasemid table.. This is to give good board coverage, hopefully with a good field of view to rain down destruction. Other two kroot squads can stay off table or offer deployment options depending on who you are playing. Finally commander with crisis are mobile support with markerlights and target locks to put pressure out where needed.


Core Concepts:

At the heart of this play style really is the Tau fluff tactical philosophy of the Mont'Ka or the “killing blow”. The point is take the fight directly to your foe. This list is made to play aggressively and very often suffers from playing timidly or too conservatively. See my comments above on the pro/con summery after a tournament about kroot and crisis support teams. Or, in this list, moving the Riptide behind the bikes as they go forward creates a “multi layered” approach to what seems like an impenetrable wall that “just has to be dealt with” in the words of an opponent. Without the Riptide behind them the bikes seem to be a bit more easily handled, and loose that psychological edge. Not to mention the firepower that gets directed at them. The two together is a fundamental way to achieve a measure of board control, by dictating what your opponent must shoot at or attempt to ignore, and while he still has a choice, you are the one giving him the choice.

In accordance to the building blocks of war arranging this list into doctrines works very well and hopefully shows off some of the flexibility within the list. The assault elements have purpose, goals, and direction. The support and firepower elements provide options and cover, while the whole army works together.


Biker Troops – Assault

I want to say first that these guys are expendable. Not to say use them recklessly, but rather ruthlessly and aggressively. The goal is to force your opponent to deal with these bikers coming almost straight at him ready to blow up his tanks and wreck his infantry. Losses are inescapable and should be expected. Fortunately because of toughness 5, a 3+ armor save, and an improved jink save at 4+, these guys need more than a round of shooting from a single squad to frighten them.

In deployment I tend to think two turns ahead, or rather where I want these squads to be in turn 2 and then in turn 4 or 5. Even if not expecting them to survive till turn 4 or 5, an objective to end on with whatever may remain, more often than not.. an attack bike with a single wound, is the goal. And hopefully they cut a swath of destruction along the way.

While setup with a high strength multi melta and grav guns to take down MCs, tanks, or heavy infantry, these squads also do great at close combat with basic infantry squads, which leads to having to have flexibility in terms of what you shoot at and go after.

White Scars chapter tactics helps this aggressive play style. Never forget hit and run to avoid being shot at, or to gain extra movement Effectively ignoring terrain because of automaticly passing dangerous terrain tests allow them to be highly mobile in getting to where you want them to be, abuse this!

Chapter Master – Assault

Lets face it, this guy is a beatstick, and should be used as such. At 275 points and the most expensive unit/single model and like the bike squads above, EXPENDABLE. With a 2+ armor, 5 toughness, 3++ invulnerable, 4 wounds, and Eternal warrior, if you include close combat considerations is just as tanky as a riptide. He is not your warlord, and should be at the front of your spearhead acting as a bullet magnet. Playing aggressive is his style.

When I deploy the Chapter master it is with the non melta bomb squad, and deploy him at the front of the squad. The other bike squad moves along with this but is the one I will try to LOS blocking with as I move up the field. The reason for doing this is to have one squad blow up a transport and to hopefully have the chapter master squad assault the squishes that come out. While not the only tactic it is an effective and common one.

Another consideration to think about is when to detach the chapter master from his bike squad and send him off on his own. Because of Eternal warrior I am not afraid of strength 10 melee hits and will have him go off and tank MCs or the like, to tie them up and then use hit and run when I am ready to shoot it dead with the rest of the force, or the other bike squads with their grav guns.

Once again, be flexible with him and he is expendable, do not worry about the points cost, but use him as a tool in your arsenal.

Riptide – Assault/Support

I sometimes feel I could write a whole tactica on riptides, as I see them being used wrong in so many lists and on the tabletop. But this is only my play style, and only the way in which I believe they should be used. Not necessarily the right way. So I will give some examples here on how I use this one, and why.

The Burstide (Riptide with a Heavy burst cannon as opposed to an Iontide) is here to move up with the bikes. If you read the MTO (maximum threat overload) article above, while I am not straight using this principle in full the basic idea is still there. With the tankiness of the chapter master and the tankiness of the riptide combined they require a lot of firepower to bring down. All of which is firepower NOT being directed at the other elements of this army. And if left alone both can cause serious damage. IF you do not play him aggressively and keep him in the back, which often happens with the longer range of an Iontide, the bikes at the front can be targeted down a bit easier. This is both a real consideration with range of the opposing players guns and psychological. The point is to apply pressure in order to force your opponent to make mistakes, achieve board control, and help your army survive.

So move him up and use him as an assault element, but he is also support to the bikes, and often I do not have a hard target I wish to use him against. I will use him to maneuver around cutting off paths and taking down targets of opportunity as appropriate. Use him as a nuisance mid field daring your opponent to try and take him down.

One tactic that I have used a couple of times against deep striking lists is to have my forces castle up, then put the riptide off on his own. I expect to use a 4D6 thrust move to get him back into play, but deploying away from your forces will often make your opponent drop a drop pod out of position to try and counter him or take him out with sternguard for example. Jump away and leave an opposing unit out of position to be dealt with later or have him free to take on the minimal backfield units while you deal with the drop on your castle.

Commander and Crisis Troops – Support

The heart of this list is here with your warlord and markerlights, and the only unit I tend to play conservative with, in the first turn or two. As I mentioned above, markerlights in allied lists can be a problem in getting enough and having the units available to use them. Here they are all in one unit and meant to be used as ablative wounds for the commander and crisis suits. Deployment out of LOS, in a multilevel building, anything on the first turn or two is a must to attempt to keep them around. Keep this in mind!

The commander load out with the Cyclic Ion Blaster is there for two reasons. One, because it is fun! Two, because a strength 8 blast can be helpful when dealing with deep strikers or necron scarabs for example. The missile pod helps kill what may be out of its range and both being strength 7 and AP 4 compliment nicely also. The talisman also gives the nice 4D6 deny the witch boost to units within 12” but gives your commander a 5++ invulnerable save to hopefully keep him alive on occasion.

The rest of the Crisis suits are dual missile pods with target locks so you can shoot at separate targets from what the markerlights are hitting. Having no markerlight support themselves and having to rely on the ballistic skill 3 doesn't always contribute to being super effective. What I often do is split fire two crisis suits and then one crisis suit and the commander at separate targets while the markerlights light up a high priority target. I should also mention that in firing priority the bikes shoot first then this squad, followed by the rest of your tau units. Now the split fire tend to be pot shots. I will target any tanks I can such as transports and generally get some hull points stripped off or a wound or two out on different targets. Lets revisit this again with broadsides ;)

Markerlight targeting should be on a high priority target that either your broadsides or riptide are going to be shooting at (if not both).

Much like the Chapter Master above, there are times when it can be beneficial to also detach the commander. A tactic that I have used, and not one I recommend to try all the time as there is risk involved, is when I know all my firepower will be directed at one unit. Say I have a squad of kroot and my crisis squad needing to take down a tough unit heading my way. Detaching your commander with his two drones, shooting with him, and then using those hits to add to the ballistic skill of the crisis squad and their drones, which in turn can boost the shooting of the kroot. Then with your assault moves hop your commander behind the crisis squad. You cannot have him rejoin until the next movement phase, but this can save your commander from a charge, though it may leave him open to shooting.

Overall careful play with this unit makes the Tau elements of this list deadly, and good opponents will notice this. Sacrificing crisis suits over markerlights will be a judgment call as this unit takes casualties. Hopefully though the bikes, riptide, and broadsides can take some pressure off.

Kroot – Reserve/Support

The overlooked heroes I like to call my kroot. Sniper rifles can be deadly, taking out riptides, wraithknights, rhinos, terminators, guardsmen, and grots alike. Screening my forces, infiltrating, outflanking and stealing objectives, kroot I feel are sometimes the measure at which flexibility in a unit should be judged. True they are weak and can die from a slight wind at times, but especially in this list where nearly everything but the riptide can be a troop they can be easily overlooked. And in turn will take out units two or three times their point cost.

A rule of thumb that I have come across when deploying them is: The more your opponent holds in reserve the more of them you put on the table. Now this is not a hard rule, mostly just an observation to keep in mind. Against a drop pod list they become the wall of your castle, or spread out to stop deep strikes into your lines. Against infiltrators I will always have one unit infiltrating to hopefully stop an opponents plan.

For particulars here I will keep the kroot squad without a kroot hound as a screen for my broadsides to give them cover. The other two squads are flexible to outflank with acute senses or do as needed depending on what you are facing.

Broadsides – Firepower

The heading should say it all, HYMP broadsides are the god form of tau shooting. The only real static unit in this list, in deployment setting them front and center should be your basic concern. I will look for area terrain to set them in for a cover save, but attempt to make sure that they have good firing lanes and a decent reach to as much of the table as possible. Without an ADL the kroot screen can also give them a cover save and prevent direct charges to them (and twin linked overwatch) if you are lucky.

With target locks they have a choice of targets. I tend to fire them at what has been hit by the markerlights if the riptide has not used them all up, and remember those pot shots from the crisis squad? Target locks allow you to finish off those wounded transports or whatnot without sacrificing all of your firepower. Should also mention anti air duties fall into their realm also, which they can do as well as a quad gun, though at a steeper points cost :(


Alternatives

That sums up the army and if you are still with me I'd like to point out alternate builds that fit. Some of these I have tried and a couple that I have not and were suggested by others.

Enclave vs. Empire

I like the extra troop choice in the crisis squad, talisman and the ECPA on the Burstide is a central reason, but I play Enclaves. Honestly that’s the best answer I can give you :) An Empire “buffmander” does bring a lot to this list and I would not fault anyone for playing the same basic list on the Empire side.

Burstide vs. Iontide

I have to be honest and say I prefer an Iontide with plasma and an EWO for 99% of my other lists. But in this list the burstide with the ECPA supporting the bikes is a fundamental part of it. I have switched to it to try it out and it really depends on what you are playing against as to which one is better. For the extra points that it costs you can drop one kroot hound and come out even.

Broadsides with EWO

I am never against more interceptor in a list, it is currently a perk that Tau get over other armies, and can be easily added to one of the broadsides by the same dropping of a kroot hound as above. And if you do not have kroot hound models I actually would recommend it, and either use the iontide suggestion above, or add in the extra melta bomb to the bike squad with the chapter master.

1850

When doing a pick up game or just needing to scale up the list, adding in a thunderfire is a very nice option. This is also when I would be most likely to switch to an Iontide, as you are more likely to see a bit heavier infantry or tanks.

Chapter Master vs. Captain

I has been suggested to me to drop the chapter master to a captain and then use the saved points to upgrade on of the biker squads to a command squad with an apothecary. This creates a tougher unit with a bit more firepower overall while loosing a wound from your primary tank, a troop choice, and the chapter masters orbital bombardment.

My personal thoughts about it are: Meh /shrug. It is a tradeoff, one I probably wouldn't do if playing Empire because of the buffmander buffs to the chapter master as an option. But it also ties the captain to that squad for the Feel No Pain boost, and splitting him off drops as a viable option. But it is an alternative that fits the list so I won't dismiss it.


Final Thoughts

Thanks ATT! For providing a forum for me to post my thoughts, and for reading them if you made it all the way through ;P

I don't wish this to be a definitive treatise on how you play this style, but I hope it will help others in knowing some of what I have learned.

Also I will respond to any and all questions if something is not clear or you wish to know more about parts of the list.

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timb6ea
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Re: Tau with SM allies Theory

Post#20 » Mar 14 2014 02:43

I made it all the way through. I like the style of this list and will be trying something similar although I I think I can only field a single full squad of bikes and they need a good amount of work before I am willing to put them on the table. :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.
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Markerlight Junkie
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Re: Tau with SM allies Theory

Post#21 » Mar 15 2014 06:15

For their cost bikers are not worthwhile in a Tau army. You are ensuring that they are going to get shot at first and with the amount of AP 1&2 and D weapons in the game now you are going to lose them fairly quickly and that is ~300-500 points of your army gone in one or two turns. With having two fliers you are then facing 1000-1500 points of firepower on the second turn with only 500-1000 points of firepower left on the board.

If you want in your face and fast moving I would look to the Piranhas. If you are looking for Space marines, Salamanders in SteehlRain works well so you can drop some serious anti-infantry/anti-tank for half the cost between a Dreadnought with dual heavy-flamers and a TAC Squad with Melta, meltabombs, combi-Melta with Techmarine and Commander with same loadout. You no have four targets instead of one for the same point cost, more models and a mixture of armoured and infantry.
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Rawrgyle
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Re: Tau with SM allies Theory

Post#22 » Mar 15 2014 12:16

Markerlight junkie I would ask that you read the entire thread and respond to the LAST list before posting again please.

The point of the bikers is to get shot up, there are no fliers in the last list, and I did use piranhas at a couple of points throught the evolution of this list.

bremtard
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Re: Tau with SM allies List Building Theory

Post#23 » Mar 15 2014 07:15

I like the idea of Tau allied with White Scars, one of the LGS owners current runs an army similar,
personally if your going to use Farsight Enclaves as a primary make more use out of crisis suit troops,
your gimping your commander at T4 in a support role to gain a 4d6 deny and a 5++ to have one suit team.
you could have a tougher commander with The empire and move your crisis suits to an elite slot as your currently only using one.
you also have a redundancy in your crisis team by having three target locks, you would only need two in order to be able to firing all three units at separate targets.
as for the bike squads They look like they are going to do some damage, you currently also have a lot of things on the board to take care of armor
so you could move the melta bomb points elsewhere.

An aegis line can do the bubble wrapping a bit better, which can also be upgraded to have a comms relay and get your reserve rolls in sooner rather then later.
the broadsides wont be moving to much with a lack of relentless the 4+ cover is better then a 5+ intervening.

I personally like the burst cannon on the riptide and it is an aggressive player, it has a nice potential if you combine marker lights with his nova charge.

As amazing as the chapter master is, you should also look into the librarians on bikes, a 2+ jinx save is also nice if you can get invisibility.

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timb6ea
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Re: Tau with SM allies List Building Theory

Post#24 » Mar 16 2014 01:04

bremtard wrote:you also have a redundancy in your crisis team by having three target locks, you would only need two in order to be able to firing all three units at separate targets
He needs the third target lock because he's also running that team with marker drones.
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Markerlight Junkie
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Re: Tau with SM allies Theory

Post#25 » Mar 17 2014 05:30

Rawrgyle wrote:Markerlight junkie I would ask that you read the entire thread and respond to the LAST list before posting again please.

The point of the bikers is to get shot up, there are no fliers in the last list, and I did use piranhas at a couple of points throught the evolution of this list.


Same issues as before but now you have even more points put into your army. AP 1,2 and 3 is going to tear your army asunder whether it be from Troops (Thousand Sons, Crisis, Chosen) and flat outting to avoid using at best a 5+ cover or you are going to be dealing with it from D Weapons which every army has to deal with and will lose 700 points.

Issue is too many points put into one corner and now separated from the army, and can dealt with piecemeal and lead to easy tabling. As well, too few wounds/models on the table. Once the bikers go, Kroot go down easier than chicken wings with a side of Pepto and can be dealt with by the same units that will cause you issues with your bikers.
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bremtard
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Re: Tau with SM allies Theory

Post#26 » Mar 17 2014 05:52

Same issues as before but now you have even more points put into your army. AP 1,2 and 3 is going to tear your army asunder whether it be from Troops (Thousand Sons, Crisis, Chosen) and flat outting to avoid using at best a 5+ cover or you are going to be dealing with it from D Weapons which every army has to deal with and will lose 700 points.

Issue is too many points put into one corner and now separated from the army, and can dealt with piecemeal and lead to easy tabling. As well, too few wounds/models on the table. Once the bikers go, Kroot go down easier than chicken wings with a side of Pepto and can be dealt with by the same units that will cause you issues with your bikers.



Your making a lot of assumptions that might not matter, for instance, the group of people he plays with might not use D weapons, or use different profiles when they do, they may not even use escalation rules. also if there's mysterious terrain the kroot could potentially gain a 2+ cover in a iron bark forest, your also not really adding suggestions or following up your criticism with constructive advice. your just attack him for his choice of models, if your going to comment at least add to the discussion, yes there are flaws, but no list can be flawless, and even if it were possible to make a list that had no weakness, it then goes down to play style, the plays the person makes and the dice rolls. you can have an unbeatable army, but if your not playing your army to the maximum potential all you have is models on a table.

Personally I think the last posting of his list would do just fine in the group of players I play with

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Markerlight Junkie
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Re: Tau with SM allies Theory

Post#27 » Mar 17 2014 06:54

bremtard wrote:
Same issues as before but now you have even more points put into your army. AP 1,2 and 3 is going to tear your army asunder whether it be from Troops (Thousand Sons, Crisis, Chosen) and flat outting to avoid using at best a 5+ cover or you are going to be dealing with it from D Weapons which every army has to deal with and will lose 700 points.

Issue is too many points put into one corner and now separated from the army, and can dealt with piecemeal and lead to easy tabling. As well, too few wounds/models on the table. Once the bikers go, Kroot go down easier than chicken wings with a side of Pepto and can be dealt with by the same units that will cause you issues with your bikers.



Your making a lot of assumptions that might not matter, for instance, the group of people he plays with might not use D weapons, or use different profiles when they do, they may not even use escalation rules. also if there's mysterious terrain the kroot could potentially gain a 2+ cover in a iron bark forest, your also not really adding suggestions or following up your criticism with constructive advice. your just attack him for his choice of models, if your going to comment at least add to the discussion, yes there are flaws, but no list can be flawless, and even if it were possible to make a list that had no weakness, it then goes down to play style, the plays the person makes and the dice rolls. you can have an unbeatable army, but if your not playing your army to the maximum potential all you have is models on a table.

Personally I think the last posting of his list would do just fine in the group of players I play with


It is theory building, thus what I am saying makes perfect sense. Since you have no better idea than I do as to what his group plays with or how they alter rules to reduce butthurt everything I stated is valid. I said he would need to be careful of common armies like Orks, Space Marines, Space Wolves, Chaos Marines and the likes to avoid getting tabled due to the Missile Spam that they can all bring as well as their ability to bring D weapons to the table to remove them. I also stated and gave reason as to why bikers tend to not be viable for gun lines in that they present a very clear target to remove and can easily be counter deployed to reduce efficiency of a Gunline and focus on the bikers to leave an army such as what was presented with only half of the army in a single turn of shooting.

If he did manage to get first turn he would still have to Flat Out as stated to avoid getting torn asunder by commonly played armies and the AP 1,2 and 3 that would tear apart his bikers due to high Strength and low AP. Really do not see the issue. Also with so few models, wave armies, such as Speed Freaks and Nids would chew through the low model count as also stated. I pointed out reasons as to the flaws of using these models against pretty much every army in the last post. If I need to write walls of text on this forum to convey the simplest of thoughts I don't know how 'advanced' this place really is.

Considering the list he has provided has moved entirely away from the original theme, I can see it being tabled quite easily as thirty Kroot are chomping bits for pretty much every army. And with the lack of anti-flier in the army I can see any Cron-Air, Triple Turkey, Blood Angels army tabling it within three.
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Das'Kyman
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Re: Tau with SM allies Theory

Post#28 » Mar 17 2014 09:47

Markerlight Junkie, Keep in mind that Rawrgyle has been developing this list to suit his playstyle and his gaming community, and has based his choices off of actual experience, so it does not really qualify as "theory building". The list has fluidly evolved with the game and codices over time as he plays more games and adapts to the environment, all while keeping true to his own unique playstyle.

Labeling the bikes as "not worthwhile" when Rawrgyle has spent nearly a year playing them, is a bit premature unless you have your own battlefield experience to back it up. Even so, perhaps they would not be as effective bullet magnets in your gaming community, but Rawrgyle has had success with them in his and that cannot be ignored.
Rather than trying to convince him that his successes are accidents and that his army style is actually no fun to play, perhaps it would be more worthwhile to find out how he wins games. If his army is as inefficient as you say, then I'd like to learn how he is managing to win with such a handicap. There is something to be learned from Rawrgyle's experiences (win or loss) and I hope he continues to post more of his in-game experiences for prosperity.

Speaking of which, Rawrgyle, when are we going to get to see some batreps of this army in action? I'm especially interested in what types of armies you tend to play against. The slow removal of large blasts from your lists leads me to think your local gamers have stopped taking horde armies.

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Markerlight Junkie
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Re: Tau with SM allies List Building Theory

Post#29 » Mar 17 2014 10:00

Dude has one post in this thread regarding a battle where his bikers had the exact issues I have stated. I play White Scars, have close to 2,500 points of them and while they do work well, that is because you move everything together. Mixing and matching units as I stated does not work and creates easy target priority when half of your army is forward and the other half is too far back to support. On standard tournament tables his White Scars could be close to 48" away from the Tau and either one could be rendered obsolete simply from deployment, let alone list building.

You state that he has ton of experience but go on to request the guy to post BATREPs so you can see how the army does. #smh
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Unusualsuspect
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Re: Tau with SM allies List Building Theory

Post#30 » Mar 18 2014 12:17

Markerlight Junkie wrote:Dude has one post in this thread regarding a battle where his bikers had the exact issues I have stated. I play White Scars, have close to 2,500 points of them and while they do work well, that is because you move everything together. Mixing and matching units as I stated does not work and creates easy target priority when half of your army is forward and the other half is too far back to support. On standard tournament tables his White Scars could be close to 48" away from the Tau and either one could be rendered obsolete simply from deployment, let alone list building.


He had that issue only against the Tournament winner, didn't he? In a game he states he easily could have tied? And he mentioned several games after that, while explaining why he didn't write up Battle Reports. He also mentioned coming in 5th overall, though he did not mention the number of contestants. Given he had at least 4 games (the game he lost to the tourney winner, the game where his opponent conceded extremely earlier, and the "next couple of games" he had after that situation) and described his 5th place showing as "Great", I don't think it unreasonable to infer that Rawrgyle not only has experience playing a bike-ally army, but was reasonably successful at doing so.

Rawrgyle has presented evidence that his list CAN work and DOES work in a tournament setting. You've addressed weaknesses of his list he's explained himself, and he has gone into detail how he's tried to combat these weaknesses or make them as irrelevant as possible.

As far as I am concerned (and I don't think it unreasonable to say I might speak for the majority of contributors to this thread), he's shown a valid tactic with strengths and weaknesses, and has backed that up with a successful tournament placing. He enjoys his style of play, it works for him, and he's clearly managed to mitigates the worst of the weaknesses you've percieved, unless you assume he managed to draw the worst opponents in every battle except the one he lost... which seems like a somewhat uncouth way to treat an ATT peer's word.

Given his success with the list, his right to play with the style of army he prefers, and that he's already addressed the bike squad's weaknesses within his style of play, is there any constructive criticism within the framework of his playstyle you'd like to contribute?

You state that he has ton of experience but go on to request the guy to post BATREPs so you can see how the army does.


He explained why he didn't do any Battle Reports for the tournament. I'd also like to remind you that posting Battle Reports and in-game experience are not necessarily linked. An extremely experienced player might never post a Battle Report in their gaming career, while a relatively inexperienced player (like myself) might have posted several, or even a Battle Report for every game they've played.

At best, Battle Reports and Experience are correlated, and I don't think I'm being unreasonable in saying that correlation is loose.

That said, I would also love to see some Battle Reports from Rawrgyle. Given the quality of his posts so far, I'm excited to see his presentation.

#smh


This does not live up to the standards of ATT. :-?

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Markerlight Junkie
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Re: Tau with SM allies List Building Theory

Post#31 » Mar 18 2014 07:45

Everything is right to play. God this place is like kids soccer everyone gets a participant trophy. #smh
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El'mo
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Re: Tau with SM allies List Building Theory

Post#32 » Mar 18 2014 07:54

I think that a step back is required before a Manta Strike is called in.

Membership Primers wrote:Treat each other with Respect.
This can't be over-stressed. Intelligent criticism from an informed position is encouraged, but cut-downs and sarcasm are not. Preview your post before you submit it. Is it possible the other person will be insulted or will misunderstand your points? If so, edit it. If you're too irritated to think straight, come back and post later when you're feeling more diplomatic. Remember, our foremost goal as a community is to help each other improve, not to set up "pecking orders" or show off our superior intelligence/understanding/martial prowess. A little bit of humility in your posts goes a long way towards getting folks to listen to what you have to say: remember, many of the folks reading your posts have been playing for a darn long time and know their stuff.


Also Unusualsuspect is correct, #smh is not acceptable on ATT as it shows contempt/disgust for the other poster.

Rawrgyle
Shas
Posts: 67

Re: Tau with SM allies List Building Theory

Post#33 » Mar 28 2014 02:25

Hello, me again ATT

I would like to take a moment and clarify the playstyle of this list and how the list building theory works into some of this. I have periodically included outside links to other articles on other sites and to this one to help illustrate points or concepts that I am thinking about when working to evolve a current list. I do hope you read them and not just my list and thoughts as the other authors are much better writers than myself! But, for conceptualizing how a list works is where theory comes in.

While I was reading the responses above this stuck out to me: “perhaps it would be more worthwhile to find out how he wins games.” At about the same time this article popped up on 3++ is the new black.

Now, the part where he talks about attackers and defenders, and how a playstyle of attacking works:

“The best way you can attack an opponent in my opinion is to attack their decision making. Just as overloading your own mind and decision making during the pregame, overloading your opponents mind with multiple choices where they can make mistakes allowing you to capitalize on those mistakes is a great way to battle your opponent. This is a mental game, most players lose because they have made tactical errors multiple times in a game.”


These are his words, but it is a basic principle of my playstyle with the above lists. I'll restate what I said awhile back:

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.”


So, how does the 1750 list win games? The theory behind it is not the standard Tau doctrine of overwhelming firepower, I like to think that it is a bit more subtle than that. The goal is to apply pressure through board control and force your opponent to make mistakes and/or react differently than what he wants to. I am trying to be that clever opponent that outplays on the mission objectives. Everything in the 1750 list can at the very least contest objectives, and if you roll up big guns never tire, all but the riptide can capture objectives, and aside from the broadsides have decent mobility to do it.

So on to the theory! Specificity what the hell is board control and how does a tau army achieve it?

The 3++ article is about building a winning tourney list and the author gives some specific steps that he follows when making them. Now, I'm not trying to debate if his way is the right way (or the writing style), but what I do find interesting is that he has board control built into his list building. And to use some of his terms, but to summarize in my own words of the fundamentals of what board control is:

1.) Pressure: This is forcing your opponent to react. Attempting to judge what you might do with these units, or even knowing exactly what you are going to do with them, he still has to decide what to do about it. Ignore, target first, or even with deathstar type units feed them unit after unit (or just one large fearless unit) to pin them in place.

The application of pressure works in throwing off your opponents game plan. Most lists have a general idea of how they are going to win and/or capture objectives. Threatening those units (or others) changes how your opponent plays, and pushes him to cause mistakes.

2.) Distraction: For lack of better wording, this is the art of making your opponent think. It can come in deployment with holding units in reserve, or in giving your opponent the choice between multiple units to shoot, hoping that he makes the choice you don't want him to. It is an art in that it takes place in a larger strategic sense and a smaller tactical sense, and I think one of the harder things to pull off.

This is also where a attacker/aggressive playstyle can excel. With pressure and distraction combined an opponent is more prone to cause mistakes. Sometimes not enough to overtly win a game on its own, distraction is a finesse tool that can push things in your favor.

3.)Firepower: Something that the Tau are masters of :). This is killing power either with shooting OR in close combat. It is what provides the threat level of an individual unit or your army. I often see this as what my “zones of control” are with projecting the killing power of my units through the range of their guns.

For example a static broadside unit projects a zone of control of about 30” from them, where if my opponent moves his 10 man necron warrior squad, they will simply just disappear :P This changes how an opponent will choose to engage you and, what is very important to take into consideration, the perceived threat levels are to him.

4.) Resilience: This is simply how well a unit can maintain the three points above. It is also the strength of return firepower that has to be devoted to take away the threat. High toughness, multiple wounds, armor/cover/invulnerable saves, number of models, AND leadership all factor in here. The ability to maintain the points above over multiple turns is a large factor here.

A note on mobility, I do not include it in the above, though others think of board control as controlling area, and mobility is the key to this, I see mobility as an aspect in which the above can be achieved. Maybe the best way to think of this is:

Can a largely static army achieve board control?

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

For this thread, lets call this an exploration in achieving board control. And specificity for the 1750 list I think I've identified these “fundamentals” and have attempted a playstyle that really pushes the concept. Along with the standardized idea of anti – MC/tank/whatever that should be taken into consideration within a list.

Pressure is in the bikers and riptide, Distraction is in the options for deployment with kroot, Firepower is definitely present, though maybe less than some tau lists, and resilience in higher toughness, ATSKNF, and mobility.

Now none of these fundamentals can be taken into account in a vacuum. There are levels of looking at these that play out at the list building, your overall army, and unit by unit tactical levels. What works in one list or against one opponent doesn't necessarily work every time or against others. This is where battle reports would be very helpful. While in the short term I won't make any promises, I will attempt to make this a goal!
Last edited by Rawrgyle on Mar 29 2014 01:54, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Mij'aan
Shas
Posts: 94

Re: Tau with SM allies List Building Theory

Post#34 » Mar 28 2014 05:45

I constantly say this but I'm a fairly new player when it comes to the Tau scene. I've not had that many games with them and I am constantly trying to find ways to improve my tabletop performance in general. I tend to read ATT whilst at work between actually being productive. :) (Probably shouldn't)

I know I'm posting without really contributing to the topic but I just wanted to say I'm thankful for this thread as it highlights weaknesses and strengths within the mentioned units. I can see the advantage of running a unit to screen shots in advance. I've learned a few things here and will adapt my playstyle accordingly. I've also just purchased a Riptide, for the greater good.

Good stuff pal, Thanks!

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