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Alright. I just started playing 40k with the announcement of the large box set "Hunter Cadre" for the Tau with the Apocalypse expansion. I have never played 40k, yet being a 2 year vet of the warmachine/hordes and 6 months in the AT-43 circle, I'm not unfamiliar with how a tabletop game works. So, given I will get a nice large box here soon, I was hoping to get it pointed out (I just bought the codex and rulebook) and see what I am able to play. In general I'd like to play with the box set, and then add or replace as I see fit, based off of first hand experience. I have looked over a good number of posts this afternoon, and I'm sure you very knowledgeable gamers can help me!
For your edification, the box set comes with the following,
24 x Fire Warriors
6 x XV8 Crisis Battlesuits
3 x XV-88 Broadside Battlesuits
1 x Hammerhead Gunship
1 x Skyray Missile Gunship
32 x Kroot
3 x Piranhas (including two 2 Apocalypse squad upgrade frames, what ever that is)
After a little prying at my local game store, I'm told it does come with a crisis command sprue, to make the leader. So in light of all this, what am I able to make? My friends (non-tau players) say the Kroot shouldn't even be assembled and I should replace them with something else...
But first I'd like to see what we can come up with first. From what I have learned so far, I guess a Shas'El with the plasma rifle and missile pod, multitracker and targeting array (I think this was called a Fireknife) would be a good start? And then for the Hammerhead doing a multitracker, decoy launcher, railgun and burst cannon. This isn't very many points in face of what comes in the box, so I beseech you all for guidance! Thanks in advance.
Before assembling an Army List, you have two priorioties: #1 is to read the rulebook! and #2 is to read carefully through the Codex if you haven't already done all this. However, the rulebook is the more important priority.
Once you've familiarised yourself with the rules, re-read the codex several times because there are little things in there which are often overlooked or misunderstood. This is not being said to you in a condescending way; it comes from personal experience, and still I come across little nuances which I didn't catch even though I have read this codex countless times.
There's a good 14-1500pts in this boxed set for a basic-options Tau army list, which could be enlarged to nearer 1750pts by being more carefully selective with upgrades and so forth. Again, reading your codex carefully will help you find the best configurations and upgrades.
Also, ignore people who say that Kroot are useless. They aren't, believe me! Watch those same people cry as your two Kroot squads rip their prized units apart, then casually muse something like "hmm...they *aren't* bad at combat after all..."
"Tau Commandment #226: Participants who use Velocity Trackers in the Tau Clay Pigeon Tournament will be disqualified"
The trend here is to put the Firewarriors in a Devilfish and to execute the Fish of Fury tactic. Since your box doesn't have any Devilfish, I think making two squads of 12 with a Shas'ui and a bonding knife is going to be the best way to go. I don't personally use the Devilfish and I have great success parking my Firewarriors in some cover and letting them shoot away at 30".
(Before anyone gets mad, the three suits I am going to talk about are the Fireknife, Helios, and Deathrain. I am going to talk about these three because they are the three I have had the most success with and the three I feel most qualified to talk about. Yes, there are others that work.)
Deathrain: This guy typically has a twin-linked missile pod and a targeting array. This essentially means that each missile shot is going to hit 90% of the time. Those STR7 shots are phenomenal at taking out light tanks, skimmers, and low armored troops. These guys rock.
Fireknife: This suit has a plamsa rifle, missile pod, and multi tracker. The plasma and missile pod both have high strength (and the plasma has a low AP), so this suit is better at taking out better armoured troops. The missile pod can help with tanks at larger distances but the plasma is going to be the real killer. A good suit for your Shas'el if you add a targeting array.
Helios: Same as above, except the missile pod is replaced with a fusion gun. This guy kills things. Big things. The fusion and plasma combo means very high strength shots with very low AP. Terminators, marines, and big tanks do not like this suit. A good suit for your Shas'el if you add a targeting array.
Give it a railgun, Decoy Launchers, and a Multi Tracker. Keep it moving and shoot big things with the single shot, or infantry with the template. It will probably work better with a second (or third) tank on the board so as to spread out shots against it.
Markerlights abound! I don't know much about this, but there are some good articles on this forum about it. I'm also pretty sure you can just turn it into another Hammerhead if you'd like.
Again, not much experience. They don't move well and can get stranded as the rest of your army hops around the board. The guns are huge though, and many people see these guys as a huge threat. The models look phenomenal.
Never used them, but they can deny your opponent infiltration spots, and their guns aren't terrible. I also hear they're not bad on a charge, so probably use them to charge into a unit that has been weakened by another unit's shooting. Put them in trees.
I love these things. They move phenomenally fast and getting a second turn fusion gun shot to the back of a tank is a great feeling. Your three can also drop down 6 gun drones, which are great at forcing target priority tests, getting in your opponent's way, and sometimes even killing something.
Hopefully someone can fill in the holes. Welcome to Tau!