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So one of my main opponents is Tau and he kicks kicking my ass sideways.
I play Black Templar and he has a highly (usually 5 Devilfish) mechanized Tau force. The only serious anti-tank he has is his Commander (usually tooled with either TL Plasma or Fusion Blaster) and a pair of Broadsides. I tried assault the Broadsides and killed them, but it cost half my Assault Squad (2+ saves and 3 or 4 wounds for each Broadside, it wasn't pretty) but that wasn't my main problem (although I'd love some tips on that). My main issue is the Devilfish. Assault them in simply insane as I need a 6 simply to hit them in CC. Shooting them has it's perks, but there are so many of them it's hard for two tanks to take them down effectively. Posted below is my army list I'm using in our next game (first time I'm using Terminators, well technically the 2nd but last game they didn't arrive until the 6th turn, horrible reserves rolls!). I would also welcome any and ALL tips for Black Templar against Tau. At the bottom will also be a basic mockup of his forces.
Emperor’s Champion 100 Pts
Black Sword (Power Sword, adds +2 to S) Armour of Faith (2+ Armour Save, 4+ Inv save in CC), Crusader Seals, Frag Grenades, Bolt Pistol
Master of Sanctity 151 Pts
(Jump Pack, Teleport Homer, Meltabombs, Terminator Honours, Bolt Pistol)
Dreadnaught 105 pts
Assault Cannon, Storm Bolter
Terminators 220 pts 6 models
Assault Cannon, Storm Bolter, Power Fists
Sword Brethren 203 pts 5 models (these work in conjuction with the Emperor's Champion, like a bodyguard)
Meltagun, Razorback Transport w/ TL Heavy Bolters, Extra Armour, Smoke Laucnhers
Alpha Squad 5 models 90 pts
Bolters, Missile Launcher
Bravo Squad 5 models 90 pts
Heavy Bolter, Plasma Gun
Assault Marines 10 models 240 pts
Powerfist, Plasma Pistol
Predator Destructor 125pts
Predator Annihlator 145pts
His basic setup is thus:
Shas'o TL Plas
3 groups of 10 Fire Warriors,
2 groups of 7 Pathfinders
Pirahna w/ Fusion Blaster
Basically he uses his Devilfish as a mobile bunker, shooting from behind the Devilfish.
My basic strategy is give my Rhino, Dreadnaught, and Assault Marines as much cover fire as I can and take out as many Devilfish as I can before getting into CC, which always *gasp* goes in my favor.
Any and all help would be great, my Marines are getting tired of getting their asses handed to them.
In the meantime, I have to ask whether you have any more basic troops - both initiates and neophytes - because my initial gut reaction is that you have too much quality at the clear expense of quantity. Never forget that it is troops that win battles and that in the bolter you have one of the best "basic" troop weapon going. Also, do you have another Pred Destructor turret?
Actually, it would be a whole lot easier if you told us what extra troops you had (if any), and then we can get down to business.
~ Ravenscraig ~
A couple of general things to keep in mind before we go to the list:
5 devilfish means that he has at least 400 pts of non-scoring transports on the board. Use that to your advantage. Assuming at 1500 pt game, that means, coupled with his HQ, he has only 1000 points of scoring on the board. Use that to your advantage in the missions (you do play missions, right?).
You can return fire underneath the transports, so do that. While you don't want to get into a firefight with the tau, you do want to rapid fire them. You wreck their basic troops with your bolter.
Perhaps having a good firebase to return fire/target the Broadsides would be good? A 2+ save means nothing against a lascannon (and don't forget about instant death). A PF to the face is another good way to kill the broadsides.
On to the list:
HQ - In this case, I believe the best vow will be the +1S, -1I vow. That'll make mincemeat of the tau even that much faster (hit on 3+, wound on 2+!). It's a bit more, but it'll help. Your chaplain is decent, but you don't need the teleport homers, as your termies should start on the field, in my opinion. Drop it, save the points. Drop the MB (they can be useful but not against skimmers, in general) in favor of the best thing we have going for us: the HOoA. Autoglances a vehicle, and against skimmers, it's just about perfect.
ELITE - The dread is good, but either put him in a drop pod or drop him, as the tau have too much good stuff for him to last long outside of CC.
Termies are a bit expensive, especially considering that the tau can run a squad of crisis and effectively kill them in one or two turns, with no retributive fire (JSJ). If you are set on using them, I would start them on the board, and place them so that they can target and be targetted by one unit at a time, and open fire with both ACs from 24". Remember that you can get a 15-man unit for the same points. Most of the time, it's quantity over quality against tau.
The sword brethren are an absolute waste in every game I've played. Use the points for more troops.
TROOPS - where are they? Really, 10 men? I run at least 30 against the tau. Minimum. Squads each have a PF & meltagun. Once they get in range with RZ, they will do a number on the tau. So, use the troops as expendible line breakers (assault troops), and provide the terminators or dreads with the opportunity to act as a firebase.
FAST ATTACK - Cut the 10-man assault squad to 8 (max) with PF & either 2 plasma or 2 flamer, your choice. Both can be effective. I prefer the cheap plasma here. They don't get RZ moves, so keep them hidden as much as possible. Hit the target that is doing the most damage shooting at you with this unit, and let the PF fly. You'll chew through anything in about 2 turns.
HEAVY SUPPORT - Vehicles disappear after 2 turns against most good tau armies. I usually run all troops if I know I am playing them. Our tanks simply can't stand up to the railgun. Not much can, but especially not our tanks. Rely on footbased firepower (missiles, lascannons, ect) if you need long range support.
I personally run 2 units of 8-men with JPs (PF & 2 PP), and 3 units of 15 men with PF/MG. This is about 1350 pts with the 2 HQs, leaving you a few points to put a dread w/DP or shaving a few more points off your 2 AC termies. That's a total of (minimum) 63 marines coming at the tau. They simply don't have enough fire to prevent them from breaking their lines. The 2 jump squads get into combat by turn 3 every time.
BTW, I play both tau and BT, and often play against myself, so that's where this advice is coming from.
"Listen up you primitive screwheads ... see this ... this is my BOOM-stick!" - Ash
"I told you, it's not Pink! It's Light Red!" Donut on his new power-armor.
This'll do better in the Army List subforum.
Ya I've never had much luck with the Sword Brethren (except for one game where they single handedly took down 3 Devilfish and 20 Fire Warriors, truly impressive) but they are there basically as a bodyguard to the Emperor's Champion. I'm never quiet sure what to do with him, you can't Drop Pod him so that leaves foot slogging or Rhino. And foot slogging has seen entire Marine squads reduced to mush in one turn (having upwards of 50 shots can have that effect). I had him in a Drop Pod with a group of 9 Initaites for a while but they always got blasted on the first turn.
The next army list I make will have significantly more Marines in it though, the reason I'm keeping the tanks is my opponent never seems to pay them much attention and I usually get a couple good shots in before he pops them, and seeing as the only real thing he has that is a threat (he doesn't field ANY Crisis suits) are the Broadsides then if I can get them tangled up in CC with the Jumpers then my tanks will have free reign over his force. Take out his transports and he is pretty much gravy, just that there are so many of them to take down!
Thanks everyone for your advice, keep it coming please!
As for a odd idea, I was going to get a Razorback geared up with Lascannons, and then put the Emperor's Champion in it with a Techmarine with the Servo Harness and 4 Combat Servitors. Havn't actually used it (all of my games are online so I am not limited to models) yet but I'm hoping to in the upcoming game, which will either be against Tau again or Eldar (I hate Banshes, but not as much as Harlequins!).
Again, thanks for the help.