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I have always found the idea of a static Tau army appealing. When I first started Tau, basically when they came out during third edition, I based it off of Static. However, I never win with such a list. Ever. So how can we make it work, especially against the most bountiful and durable of opponents, the Smurfs?
My gaming group's new motto: That army you're using is overpowered because it hurts my guys, codex is broken and needs a rewrite.
Make sure to support your units. Kroot are a great aid to a static list - their infiltrating ability can help close off assault corridors that your enemy might otherwise use to flank your static Fire Warriors and the likes.
Pathfinders are also a great addition - those Markerlight hits can seriously aid anti-tank and anti-infantry squads. I would recommend Broadsides with A.S.S. and you definitely still need Crisis Suits in your list.
Post up your list and people can help by recommending tactics, alternate units to use, and the likes.
You might consider Rail Rifles in your Pathfinders unit(s). They can help against MEQs, especially if you have some Markerlight hits to use (from Fire Warrior Shas'ui, networked Markerlights, or from another Pathfinder squad - a unit cannot use its own Markerlight hits unless they are networked).
Are you losing in scenarios or in your typical kill as much as possible? Keep in mind that just because you are "static" does not mean you should just sit in the same place. This allows the enemy to move around you, flank you, deny fire lanes, etc.
with a static list against marines you can't beat 3 squads of sniper drones and 2 3 man broadside teams as your heavies.
also a squad or 2 of pathfinders behind a bunch of firewarrrior squads is sweet too. set em all up in terrain and your laughing.
Have to agree completely with xsickpeoplex there. A friend of mine at our game club used a predominantly Static army against a World Eaters list (before the new CSM codex came out). He had two bunkers to defend, but had the Sniper Drone Teams, PF units and BASS teams as mentioned already, plus a shedload of FWs. The firepower emanating from that army was just awesome. Chaos did not stand a chance, and the Chaos player is no slouch at playing 40k.
There were a couple of Hammerheads and a Skyray too, but not too many Crisis suits.
Markerlights were of paramount importance and seriously ruined the Chaos army's day.
@ lLonginus: If you could post us a list of what you yourself were using (as already suggested, I just noticed - sorry for the repetition), it would allow others perhaps to suggest potential improvements for you to consider.
"Tau Commandment #226: Participants who use Velocity Trackers in the Tau Clay Pigeon Tournament will be disqualified"
If you want to go full static with no vehicles whatsoever you'll need Kroot to block assaults. I'd suggest a swarm style list with 4 or 5 max Kroot units(20 Kroot, 8 hounds). Even 5 such units will only run you 940 points and that nets you a total of 140 models right there alone. Plenty of points left over for sniper drones for anti MEQ and pinning, a nice Shas'O commander with SD's and a 3 strong Broadside team with SD's. Heck in a 2000 point game you could get some Deathrains another commander and another broadside team and really lay the smack down.
Of course you could go a little more balanced and take 3 full Kroot squads as well as 2 minimal 10 strong squads plus the obligatory FW team of course and have tons of points left over too but I think the point I'm trying to make is that if you want to play static Tau you need more Kroot for their guns and ability to hold off approaching units who want to kill your Broadsides/Snipers.
But to be honest there is no reason not to take a few Piranha for last turn objective grabbers, free drones, and emergency skimmer walls at least.
Even though this list is a static list (and therefore has no tanks, as Lost Nemesis stated) you may want to take tanks, my advise is: DON'T. This is becaues of Lanchester's square law. Lanchester's square law shows us how twice as many troops in modern warfare is actually 4 times as good as the original amount (look it up on wikipedia if you don't get it).
This means that you should either seek to get as many tanks as possible (and make it impossible for the enemies AT fire to cope) or get none at all (and thus denying AT fire any targets at all, wasting the opponents points he spenton them).
Just because it is a static list does not mean it can't have some manouevrability. I would suggest getting 2 commanders (helios or fireknife), a squad of Deathrains (to stop enemy transports rolling up your line) and mabye a stealth team for harassment. The rest of your list would then be made up by a BASS squad, 2 sniper teams, 1-2 pathfinders (DO'H these come with a tank! I suggest hiding it behind terrain with a SMS) with the rest filled with FW and Kroot.
I used to play static Tau (actually Farsight), and I must warn that it is hard. Against some (fast-moving) enemies you will have literally no chance at survival. Assuming you are still interested...
1. Consider the Broadside with TL plasma and multitracker. It will provide you with the low-AP firepower you need to deal effectively with MEQs.
2. Use Kroot. They are useful against horde armies; the rest of your list will be focused primarily on MEQs. Between the two you will have as reasonable an all-comers list are can be hoped. I would go with 10-Kroot speedbumps (five of them if points allow), although you could add 6 hounds.
3. Cheap, dedicated, solo suits. The two variants to consider most are the Deathrain (to free up Broadsides for killing MEQs) and deepstriking Suicide Kings (TL fusion + flamer) for killing heavy tanks, Basilisks and generally making up for an otherwise static army.
4. Use an Ethereal. You'll be taking casualties and he will help keep your (non-Kroot) troops on the board. Also, attaching him to a Broadside squad will make them much more reliable. Also also, your opponent may be so greedy to get in CC with him that he'll ignore units he shouldn't in his headlong charge. (Otherwise smart opponents have done this; Tau opponents keep telling each other to 'get in CC' to the point of ignoring the strengths of their own armies!)
5. Three Sniper teams is more or less mandatory. Again, it's mostly about killing MEQs with jump packs before they can charge.
6. Use a 6-man squad for the mandatory FW choice. Give it markerlights if you have the points left over, otherwise don't give it a single upgrade. Firewarriors are worse than Kroot in static lists...you WILL be in CC and you'll be better off with Kroot instead of FWs when it happens.
That basic list I envision is 6 broadside-plasmas supported with an Ethereal, 3 sniper teams, a couple suits, and all the rest be Kroot in 1500 points. Vary to your tastes.
While markerlights are fun static weapons, in purely static lists they aren't useful since they cannot kill by themselves. A good markerlight list, if that is more what you're wanting, would be 3 Pathfinder squads (no rail rifles) backing up 3 Hammerheads. Use the Pathfinder Fishes with no upgrades for precision suit deepstriking and CC blocking. Round out the list with whatever you like.
"My tanks have names, my men have numbers." -Col. Edmund Grahvess, 23rd Kronecker Prison Guard