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I’m looking at making a 1500pt Mechanised Tau army cause I always like a different type of game play for each of my armies Chaos provides heavy infantry, Guard provide swarm game play so I’m now interested in an all armoured army and skimmers survive longer than normal tanks, most people suggest Eldar but I prefer Tau.
So I like some hints about tactics and layout for a 1500pts ‘very competitive’ Tau Mech Army as my local gaming club is fierce! I also have a few questions…
Should I go for Tanks like 2 Hammerheads, 1 Skyray and 3 Separate Piranhas with 1 Seeker Missile each and support them with mounted fire warriors.
Should I rely on massed ‘Fishes of Fury’ (Mounted Fire Warrior Squads) with Tanks supporting them?
What vehicle upgrades do you suggest for Tau Tanks apart from the Decoy Launchers which is a must?
Does Tau process anyway to nullify escalation rules and get the tanks on to the board quicker?
Any help from experienced players would be useful
For 1500pts lists, you will be using up around 550pts in your Commander (probably a Shas'el Fireknife+) and two 12-man Troops units in DF, so to answer your three questions with this in mind:
1. Two Hammerheads: yes, with Railgun/SMS/MT/TL/DL: nets you 360pts. Forget the Piranhas and the Skyray at this level.
2. Multitracker and Target Lock for Hamerhead, with DP a close runner. Multitracker and (Target Array) on the DF, with SMS if you have the points spare, Gun Drones if you're needing the points elsewhere.
3. No. Even the Pathfinders have to leave their DF behind.
Ok, so you're interested in the FoF tactic, but you also need some medium-range fire support, so consider what configurations of Crisis Battlesuit you want to take. The commonest "best" all-rounder is considered to be the Fireknife (MP/PR/MT), taken as 2-man unit with T-Ldr upgrade with Target Array. This costs 139pts. A second unit worth looking into is the Deathrain (TLMP/TA), again as a 2-man unit with T-Ldr taking HWTL (although it's best to concentrate all the firepower from this unit into one enemy target, it is useful to have the opportunity to pick off a separate light vehicle when the chance presents itself). This unit costs 116pts.
So you have a 97pt Commander, 2x120pt Fire Warrior units in 2x120pt Warfish (MT/DL/TA/SMS), a total of 255pts in Crisis Suits and 360pts in Hammerheads, giving you a total of 1192pts. You need some Markerlights in this list, so consider a unit of 8 PFs in a Warfish (or you can go basic DF with just DL) costing you a further 216pts (181 with basic DF). You have 92pts left which is sufficient for a 6-man Fire Warrior team with 'Ui upgrade taking a Markerlight and HWTL for 85pts. Introduces another ML into the army plus gives you a small firebase for holding Table Quarters. Or you could have 13 Kroot.
Hope some of this was helpful.
"Tau Commandment #226: Participants who use Velocity Trackers in the Tau Clay Pigeon Tournament will be disqualified"
Q2: On the hammerhead multitrackers are a must. You need to keep your tanks moving to survive. Target locks are useful upgrades if you have the spare points also. On devilfishes (providing you have the points) go for the 'Warfish' instead. Targetting array, multitracker, decoys and the Smart Missile System. Adds quite a bit of extra firepower to your army. Always try to max out your firewarriors in these squads.
Q3: The answer is simple...No
Round out the rest with Battlesuits and youll be sweet I recommend investing in some Fireknives, youll need some anti MEQ in there. Two two man teams are great if you can fit them in. Also consider some deathrains, or even helios for some anti tank.
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Okay to answer severeal of your questions. IMO the skyray isnt that great of a tank, in 1500 it wouldnt really occupy any niches any of your other units coultn do better. 2 hammerheads is a must, railgun/sms/tl/ta/mt/dl comes out to 180 and is the best configuration.
FoF is a vital part of the mech tau strategy. You want to maximize fire power on individual units. My favorite set up is a 12 man team, without any upgrades. in a warfish, which is a devilfish with sms, decoy, ta, multitracker. The whole unit runs about 240. But what that gives you is 31 strength 5 shots on the turn you pop out. The warfish is also a devestating gun boat as well. With sms you dont even have to expose yourself to shoot. Sit behind trees and buildings and plink away at the incoming enemy. Then when they get close enough, run out and FoF. 2 units of those and the 2 hammerheads will run you 840. Now you have nearly 700 points to play with.
For the HQ slot, imo the best commander is a s shas'el w/ missilepod, plasma, ta, multitracker. The set up runs you 97 points, and porvides you with an independant character that can shred light vehicles and all types of infantry. The fireknife configuration of crisis suit is the best in a mech list. It fills the all important role of medium strength firepower, and brings the most volume to the table. One of my favorite set ups is to run 5 fire knife suits, 2 'els as previously described and 3 teamleading loners with the same set up. This is a very powerful set up. It allows you to place 5 individual units in different places. They are very easy to maneuver. And you can split your fire on to seperate units if you need to. Not too mention, if the enemy ever does get to assault range...feed him a 77 point suit. The concentrate your fire on it the next turn. That way you dont lose a 200+ point squad to one assaulter. All five suits cost 425, which is a bargain considering the survivability and damage out put they can bring. Total this costs 1265.
This would leave you 235 points. This leaves you tons of options. You could go for another FW team, or perhaps the piranhas. I prefer them in bigger point games but 3 piranhas, with fusion, and a target array (all in seperate squads) can be pretty good armor killers if you run them up the side. All three cost 210. What i will usually opt for is a pathfinder team. I used to not like them, but once you play around with them the power of marker lights is exceptional. You can use it to deny cover saves from your ap 2 plasma or your hammerhead blasts. Nothing like pie-plating a bunch of eldar pathfinders and stripping all their cover saves against a hammerhead blast. Its quite good fun. Not too mention you can bring along another warfish, which provides not only excellent fire, but it also has the positional rely for missions where it is appropriate to deep strike your suits. I usually make it an 8 man squad with a shas'ui and bonding knife for 111 points and another warfish for 120. That pretty much fills the 1500. By no means am i telling you you need to buy this stuff, i am just explaining some of the units i use and why i take them in my 1500 points list which i have great success with. Hope you dont mind the long read and to answer your last question...pray to the dice gods lol.
Joe Peshi (lone wolf) kill tally:Lash Sorcerer, Ghazkull, Yriel, Termi Libby, Vulkan.
1.At least hammerhead is a must if just for the intimidation factor (they provide MUCH more than this let me tell you). Piranhas Function best in pairs. Fish of Fury is an amazing tactic and should be abused err i mean used as much as possible =). O and on another note i rather like Skyrays. the 2 extra markerlights never hurt (i play farsight enclave so markerlights are a rare commodity).
2. For Firewarrior Fish just use Decoy launchers. Targeting arrays are something to think about for all others. If you take pathfinders upgrade their Fish with Decoys targetting arrays and Smart missles. This is called a warfish and is great for harrasing units (pathfinders dont really need their fish as their markerlights have a long range).
3. Nope =/ All of our tanks suffer as bad as anyone elses
All in all Tau Tanks are In my opinion the single best tanks for the points cost the game of 40k has to offer. Hammerheads are rightly feared and we have one of if not the best transport for the cost in the game.
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Thanks for your help, keep a look out in the army list section for the list.
I would always advise two HH and a Skyray in any list from and including 1500pts, mainly because the HH really benefit from the marker lights BS bonus.
Also the best fit for a Hammerhead is the basic 165 pts Burst cannons, Railgun, Multi and decoys, you do not need Target lock because you should NEVER be in range to use either SMS or BC, the SMS tends to encourage the player to get close to utilise it and its simply not worrth the risk of bringing the HH in range of the opponents weapons and losing the railgun (players will always take this 1st).
You should always aim to move as much as possible with a HH and to keep at maximum range to minimise the shooting it takes.
Similar case as with Stealth Suits - many people seem to like them, but I hate them. I never take them in my lists because I don't like to use them. I do, however, like Piranhas, which is against maybe half of the people in the forum.
My advice to a beginner would be to first get the essentials - a couple Crisis Suits, a Hammerhead or two (via the Skyray boxed set), and one or two squads of Fire Warriors. Build a 500 point list and start off there, and proxy your options to see what you like the best. Buy a Devilfish, but don't completely assemble it (use magnets, anyways) - use the Warfish one game, and the near-naked Devilfish the next, and see which you like better.
It's all a matter of personal taste, and past the basics, which have been covered well, options like Piranhas, Stealth Suits, Warfish vs. Devilfish, Skyrays and the likes, need to be decided on a personal level. People can give you advice on how to outfit these units and how to use these units, but in the end it will fall back down to how much you like them and how well you can use them.
So with this in mind their are two things that are needed:
(1) To be able to move quick (I/E transport)
(2) To prevent the FW getting assaulted
A Devilfish has its drones so thats 5 shots at 18", absolutely perfect range for the FOF support and only two shots less than the Warfish, however the drones can be dropped of and provide very effective protection against assaults and also force target priority test, with the two drones placed 2" in front of the Devilfish it is almost impossible to assault the FW's. You can also assault with the drones to try to tie up the opponents unit.
Also the drones can provide defence against attacks from more than one unit, the DF screens the FW against one unit and the drones can provide a buffer against another unit attacking from a different angle, they have the 6" assault move and added to the 2" deployment they can get to where they are needed to prevent a unit from flanking.
A Warfish can provide protection but the drones, DF combo is better at it but its also cheaper, given the fact that the Warfish will not usually be leaving the FW unit to go do its own thing (as a Pathfinder warfish can) then I really do not see the point in paying 35pts for 2 more shots a turn and inferior defence against assaults.
For 2 units thats 70pts and that another XV8 or 10 Kroot or some juicy upgrades for squads etc, to me these are more useful.
I really liked the idea of Warfish but on reflection, game testing and some extensive thought on their tactical usefulness when taken by FW, I have really come to the conclusion that in 1500pts and over they really are not worth the pts for use with FW squads.
Easy to make up for the "lack of" defense vs. Assaults.... basically, you ensure that the target who would be assaulting, goes down. Rapid fire, seven shots from the Warfish (all more accurate than the Devilfish), a potential four to seven from the Warfish the previous turn (due to the multitracker), and then the random pot shots in from Crisis Suits or whatever you have free at the time. If there's not a unit to assault you, you don't have to worry about it.
You can also use the SMS while on the move - how often do you Fish of Fury? You have to move to the location, get out, shoot, and get back in - this will take three turns, minimum. (First turn, move, second turn disembark/shoot, third turn, get back in and move away). With the Warfish, even though you aren't Fish of Furying more often (it's the same), you get to shoot the entire time you're doing it when you're in range.
Like I said, Riki, it may not be the most viable option for you, but that doesn't mean it isn't the most viable option for someone else. I like it better and it always serves me better - it doesn't serve you as well, that's okay, I believe you and I think you should stick with your naked Devilfish. However, I don't think players who haven't tried them both should shy away from it, by all means they need to be testing them both out and finding the solution for themselves.
Anyways - many pardons to the OP for the offtopic discussion.