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    SW need help vs Tau

    Every Thanksgiving, my family gets together and we play a massive tournament. Well new to this years tournament and apparently terrorizing my family from the Mid West is my cousin and his tau army. Its not a particularly cheesy army, just a well run tau army. He has a hammerhead, devil fish, 3 pariahs, 3 crisis suits, some kroot as the basis of his army. I know those will be there. The rest will be filled out by stealth suits, drones, fire warriors and probably some more mech type things.

    The game is going to be 1500 points. I rhave a rather large spae wolves army and so have a wide range of things to choose from. The issue to me isnt whether or not I have the models to run against it, its what models should I use. Anyone who has played a tau army with their spae wolves and would like to offer their tactics or style of play they used to beat them, or what they would have done if they lost, would be greatly appreciated.

    My biggest concern, as a side note, is that he has a bunch of armor value models. What heavy weapons or units or models are best at taking those out quickly?


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    Senior Member Sister Bluebird's Avatar
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    I'm going to say a lot of CC here (for the firewarriors). Jump Pack Bloodclaws, Fenrisian Wolves, CC Wolf Lord, etc.

    Then for those pesky tank AVs I'd pack some Long Fangs.

    Throw in a couple Grey Hunter squads (for anything else) and I think you'll do fine.

    Good luck.
    "When Space Wolves call upon Russ or the Emperor in battle, it is to witness the deeds of Men and to judge The Fallen."
    - Meditations upon the Fang

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    Set Sail and Conquer! Cadaver Junkie's Avatar
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    After playing against wolves quite a lot with my guard army, I think it is a bad idea to stock up completely with hth, and to just rely on longfangs for your heavy support.

    The problem with longfangs is that they are small squads, expensive, and your opponent can tend to ignore them as they cannot move and shoot (which is a bad thing vs tau - they can move and shoot, so you will need some of the same with your anti-armour). And sure, they can shoot at more than one target, but once they take a casualty or two the SW player is forced to make some difficult casualty removal decisions.

    In my opinion, something that space wolves really need is speed. Speed speed speed. A landspeeder (or 3) with a multimelta is a great addition, as are bikes. Blood claw bikers are awesome! Attack bikes are probably a good thing too, in this case also with multimeltas. Filling out your fast attack choices with very fast, hard hitting anti armour units is probably a fantastic idea.

    I'd also like to say that I think bloodclaw bikers are far superior to the jumppack version, they are faster, they have decent ranged shooting (twin linked boltguns anyone?), they are tougher, and still dish out ludicrous attacks on the charge!

    And I don't think you need to go overboard kitting out the hth units you do take - take the basic powerfist, and everything else should be plain as possible. This way you get more marines on the table, which is more important (you are more likely to actually make it across the board, and when you are in hth with tau, it doesn't matter what weapons you have, the space communists are toast. With my imperial fists, all I have to do is get a tactical squad over there in a crucial spot, as even they should be able to do the trick!)


    I've also found that a SW scout squad can really mess up your opponents plan, just having it will force him to react, and if used carefully they can do a decent amount of damage.

    Anyway, just my thoughts on the subject. I must admit, however, I haven't ever seen a game of wolves vs tau, but hey, I think some of what I said should be valid!
    Last edited by Cadaver Junkie; November 14th, 2007 at 02:05. Reason: Had more to say, didn't think it was necessary to make a new post
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    Senior Member Sister Bluebird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadaver Junkie View Post
    After playing against wolves quite a lot with my guard army, I think it is a bad idea to stock up completely with hth, and to just rely on longfangs for your heavy support.

    The problem with longfangs is that they are small squads, expensive, and your opponent can tend to ignore them as they cannot move and shoot (which is a bad thing vs tau - they can move and shoot, so you will need some of the same with your anti-armour). And sure, they can shoot at more than one target, but once they take a casualty or two the SW player is forced to make some difficult casualty removal decisions.

    In my opinion, something that space wolves really need is speed. Speed speed speed. A landspeeder (or 3) with a multimelta is a great addition, as are bikes. Blood claw bikers are awesome! Attack bikes are probably a good thing too, in this case also with multimeltas. Filling out your fast attack choices with very fast, hard hitting anti armour units is probably a fantastic idea.

    And I don't think you need to go overboard kitting out the hth units you do take - take the basic powerfist, and everything else should be plain as possible. This way you get more marines on the table, which is more important (you are more likely to actually make it accross the board, and when you are in hth with tau, it doesn't matter what weapons you have, the space communists are toast. With my imperial fists, all I have to do is get a tactical squad over there in a crucial spot, as even they should be able to do the trick!)


    Anyway, just my thoughts on the subject. I must admit, however, I haven't ever seen a game of wolves vs tau, but hey, I think some of what I said should be valid!
    You're absolutely right there.

    Say, would you happen to have an Exterminator? That could lend a hand in taking down the tanks. Also a Land Raider would not only help in that, but it would allow you're more CC oriented guys to actually make it into combat.
    "When Space Wolves call upon Russ or the Emperor in battle, it is to witness the deeds of Men and to judge The Fallen."
    - Meditations upon the Fang

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    Great points by Cadaver (as usual!).

    Don't worry about taking much hth - Tau are SO poor at hth even basic squads will nail them.

    Speed and anti-armour are essential - so landspeeders and attack bikes armed with multi melta's are priceless, with a long fang squad as a static fire point (positioning essential of course!).

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    Quote Originally Posted by dublinlaxd View Post
    Every Thanksgiving, my family gets together and we play a massive tournament. Well new to this years tournament and apparently terrorizing my family from the Mid West is my cousin and his tau army. Its not a particularly cheesy army, just a well run tau army. He has a hammerhead, devil fish, 3 pariahs, 3 crisis suits, some kroot as the basis of his army. I know those will be there. The rest will be filled out by stealth suits, drones, fire warriors and probably some more mech type things.
    You mean piranhas, right? ...I hate those things.

    The wolves are about assault and getting to it, the tau are about avoiding assault at all costs.

    My main suggestion is the grand leveller.... missions.

    Not just cleanse, not just 'lets beat the crap out of the other guy' but objective based missions, secure and control for example, works quite well on grand scales, and tau always cringe at the mention of the Unholy Recon.

    The game is designed to be played with missions, not with a chessboard style of mutually assigned destruction.

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    I think one of the best ways to annoy tau is to use as much speed as you can muster on the table. Another thing which they can have a problem dealing with is strong armour ... aka a land raider...

    Yes they have railguns but that is the only thing which they really have that can penetrate a land raider and they normally won't have many of them on the table, so you get rid of them first and then theland raider can spend the rest of the game in safety as the only other thing they have that can hurt it are fusion blasters at half range = 6" means they will be getting assaulted if they try...

    Scouts are great and giving them a wolf guard to join them is useful as well and you can wreak havoc on thier gun line... I don't know there are some of the ideas that I have when facing tau...

    Don'y know if that will help.

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    All i can suggest is hug cover like crazy to negate the AP1 or AP3 value of the rail gun and get your troops into close combat ASAP. im no space wolves player but i know that they are very good in assault. also if you have any deep striking units, use those to engage his most important models, such as any elites, so these will be tied up with your marines and won't be free to do anything else.
    It is insufficiant that I succeed - All others must fail.

  10. #9
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    Railguns are never AP3.


    Karmoon
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  11. #10
    Wolf Lord JohnPublic's Avatar
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    Railguns are never AP3.
    I believe he meant the hammerhead guns in general; The Rail is ap1 the Ion is ap3.

    I play Wolves and Tau though I have never played either against the other, but I know what I fear as a tau player: speed and deep strikers. What I do not fear is big clumps of marines traveling at less than 13" per turn or stuffed in rhinos.

    Bikes are easily your best bet. They can close in on turn two and the invulnerable save they'll have from boosting is your best chance against the railguns / ion cannons.

    Your second best bet is to field a drop pod army. Dreadnoughts and assault cannon wielding terminators are both excellent choices as they can make a major impact the turn they come in. Because I generally do not like to field an entire pod army I would prolly have a mix of pods and speed at 1500 that would look roughly like this:

    Ven Dread (HQ) - Assault Cannon / Drop Pod
    Wolf Lord - Frost Blade / Bike
    OBEL Scouts - Melta x1, Plasma Pistol x2
    Grey Hunters x8 - Melta / Drop Pod
    Grey Hunters x8 - Melta / Drop Pod
    Blood Claws x8 - Melta / Drop Pod
    BC Bike Pack x6 - Melta, Fist x2
    BC Bike Pack x6 - Melta, Fist x2
    Attack Bike - Multimelta
    Whirlwind

    ... or something like that. Every unit in this army, except the whirly, has the potential to destroy a hammerhead or a suit on turn two or three.

    I rarely play my Wolves without a Land Speeder Tornado present, but building a list specifically against Tau I would omit it. There are just too many options available to the Tau against low armor that I can not see a speeder surviving very long. Virtually every unit it the Tau arsenal can penetrate AV10, including Fire Warriors. Granted the speeder will be downgrading everything to glancing, but that only helps so much.

    I also have in this list a whirlwind. While you should be concentrating full force on taking out the hammerheads and suits, there are potentially going to be massive numbers on models on his side of the board, my 1500 point Tau list includes three hammerheads, but has plenty of room for thirty Kroot. All those Kroot and Firewarriors are there to block the path of fast units from getting to my valuable players. A whirlwind can open up huge holes in the Tau front lines from the safety of cover. It can also render those units to less than scoring to prevent victory points from objectives.

    I should also say that I present this list as an example of what might be a great list to play against Tau, but frankly I do not condone making lists specifically to combat a singular enemy army (unless of course that is agreed upon by both sides.) I would bet that his list is all comers and as such I don't think you should put together a list with the sole purpose of defeating his army, even if you know that his is the only one you will play against. Knowing that his army is going to be present in your metagame should influence you to make changes to your All-Comers list, not force you to make a seperate list to play him with.

    As others have said, incorporate scouts and bikes in your list to take out the hammerheads and suits early and the rest of the game should be a breeze.

    EDIT: One final tip: DO NOT underestimate stealth suits, given the chance they will shred you to ribbons.
    Last edited by JohnPublic; November 15th, 2007 at 16:13.
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