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Thread: Tau Defenses

  1. #1
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    Hey there, I don't collect Tau, and unfortunately, do not know too much about their statlines or anything else. I know their overall approach is to be a shooty army.

    I didn't get much of a reply to this question when I posted it on the general army board, so I figured I'd ask it here.

    My dad is a defensive player, and currently has some money invested in a Space Wolf army, which, obviously, is a bad mistake now that he realizes he likes to cautious and play D rather than assaulting.

    Are Tau probably the best choice for him to switch to? What kinda general information can you provide me with, without violating the copyrights? Also, just so you know what he'd be facing, I play Tyranids, so a decent strategy and maybe an outlined, rough draft of a force organization chart to start with would be nice too.

    Thanks!

    "Can you put that in a memo and title it '***** I already know!'"
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    Sarge: "Get on with it, Griff."
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    Griff: "And that I'm a girl..."
    Church: "What else?"
    Griff: "And I like ribbons in my hair, and I want to kiss all the boys."
    Sarge: "This has to be the best surrender of all time."

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  3. #2
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    By fluff and design the tau for the most part work well in a defensive role. With not much good CC abilities other than the kroot (who aren't the best assualt units in the game) the tau generally don't go about getting too close to the enemy. The tau also have the most powerful basic rifle in the game being Range 30" S5 Ap5, which encourages alot of commanders to stay put and pump out the shots.

    Almost every tau weapon never goes below the S5 AP5 range with the exception of kroot rifles and flamers so they can dish out some fearsome firepower. The tau also have some very good mobile options too like battlesuits and drones who are equipped with a nifty jump pack that allows them to move 6" in and direction in the assualt phase allowing for some hit and run attacks.

    Against nids I would say the tau perform well with most of their firepower going straight through tyranid armor as well as having pretty long range. Submunition rounds (ordnance blast that does not scatter) on hammerhead gunships work well at killing little creatures or big ones to if you use the solid shot.

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    Tau are a great Defensive army, but they also have good attacking abilities. With crisis and stealth suits, he can move a few of his troops up towards the enemy to try and stop them early, and sit back with Boradsides and Firewarriors to make a good firebase. I usually play this way, with half my troops in very defensive positions, while others move ahead.
    Ive done some research on the Tyranids, Id say even when he first gets his army, you'll have trouble getting through that much firepower in order to assault him. My basic suggestions for a small army is:

    Atleast 2 full firewarriors squads, 3-4 if hes gonna play very defensive. They have great firepower and make great firebases. Also help to screen heavypowered Broadsides.

    Atleast 3 Crisis suits. One can be used as a Shas'O commander, the other as elites. Can be good at anti armor and anti infantry roles.

    Around 5 stealth suits, they take a while to get use to, but he might really like them and want more. They dish out great anti-infantry fire power and are hard to kill.
    Patherfinders are fun to try, especially wih their new Railrifles. A 36" Str.6 AP 2 shot is great. Expensive to field though, and takes some getting use to.

    For heavy, its a toss up. Hammerheads have more options, and with a Submunition shot, makes them very good at anti armor/troop roles. A broadside is cheaper, and with its Twin linked Railgun, makes hitting easier. But it doesnt have a submunition shot, so is only good at taking out heavy armor, or completly destroying 1 poor space marine. (Str 10 AP 1 hurts, alot)

    Basically, grab a codex and look for units that look good. My preferece is to stay away from kroot, as they weaken your firepower. If you fire so many shots at the enemy before they get into assault range, they aren't gonna be able to assault you with much anyway, if at all.

    Good luck.

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    I played Deathwing before switching back to Tau, so I can relate to your Dad's wanting to play a slightly cautious force. You can ask any Necron or Deathwing player, how static their tactics are. Move, shoot, assault. Move, shoot, assault...the game suddenly loses its luster, and you find yourself looking in depth at everyone else's army instead of your own!

    Tau make a great 'cautious' army IMHO. Their whole philosophy in war is to avoid meeting the enemy in CC, as they lack the physical strength and stature to do so, so what they lack in strength they make up for in firepower...

    As Chobo-Elite mentioned the very basic Troop choice for Tau, the Fire Warrior has what I think is the best standard weapon in the game, a 30" Rapid Fire Str 5 AP 5 gun, which allows you to set up 'fire lanes' and control portions of the board. That additional 6" is great, and is very useful. And it doesn't stop there, there's always the Crisis Suits, Gun Drones, and Stealth Suits that allow you to 'bounce' back and forth in the movement and assault phases, 6".

    You can basically go two major ways with Tau, or at least that seems to be the two most popular builds. There's Mobile Tau, and Mechanized Tau:

    --Mobile Tau make use of the Devilfish APC and Pathfinders, to quickly engage and strike the enemy from distance and bounce around. And if you ever get in a sticky situation, your APC can move 24" because it's a skimmer. The Pathfinders and even the Fire Warriors can paint targets for your Heavy Support to pick off 72" away. That's right, that's 6 feet away.

    --Mechanized Tau make extended use of the Crisis Suit teams, who can field an impressive array of advanced Tau weaponry. They too can bounce around, 6" in the movement, 6" in the assault (even if there is nobody to assault, they can move 6" in any direction). Jump out, shoot - jump back. Stealth Teams are also very popular in Tau armies now-a-days. Very cautious, very sneaky, very annoying for your opponent to deal with. Personally, I am making a Mechanized Tau army right now and it is challenging as it is rewarding!

    The whole Tau world is very exotic compared to the rest of the WarHammer 40K universe...I got tired of the same old "Emperor this, Imperium that..." and once I read up on the Tau I was instantly hooked. The Tau are fresh new and exciting force to 40K, with their own original ways of waging war.

    The big risk you take with Tau is obviously their inability to duke it out in CC. They are worse in CC than your average guardsman, but then again you get that nice 30" range weapon. If you Dad decides to go Tau, just be aware that most everyone is aware of the Tau's weakness in CC, and they will try to exploit that weakness. But then again, not even my Necron friend has managed to out-shoot my Tau army...
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    Thanks for the help everyone. I think the only problem is that since we are somewhat limited on funds, and he abhors waste, he feels he&#39;s already started a Space Wolf Army, and wouldn&#39;t want to switch over to Tau now... I might try to convince him otherwise, b/c he says he will try to learn to play aggressively...but I know my dad, and that just wouldn&#39;t be him...lol.
    &quot;Can you put that in a memo and title it &#39;***** I already know&#33;&#39;&quot;
    ~Sarge

    Church: &quot;Ok, so we&#39;re agreed? You first&#33;&quot;
    Sarge: &quot;Get on with it, Griff.&quot;
    Griff: &quot;I&#39;d just like everyone to know: that I suck.&quot;
    Church: &quot;And?&quot;
    Griff: &quot;And that I&#39;m a girl...&quot;
    Church: &quot;What else?&quot;
    Griff: &quot;And I like ribbons in my hair, and I want to kiss all the boys.&quot;
    Sarge: &quot;This has to be the best surrender of all time.&quot;

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    Just to clarify real quick, tau vehicles, both the devilfish and the hammerhead, only move 12. They are skimmers, but they&#39;re not fast skimmers. The advantage of being a skimmer is that if you move over 6 inches the enemy can only get glancing hits on you.

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    And it doesn&#39;t stop there, there&#39;s always the Crisis Suits, Gun Drones, and Stealth Suits that allow you to &#39;bounce&#39; back and forth in the movement and assault phases, 6".
    What he means by this is that tau have some of the most amazing defensive jet packs in the game. Lets take XV15 StealthSuits. Because they have an assault weapon they can move and shoot(a great assault weapon at that) So they move out of cover 6 inches and fire their weapon. Once the assault phase moves along, normal jet packs do not allow the model to move any additional inches unless they are within 6 inches of an enemy unit (normal assaulting rules) BUT the tau jetpack can move 6 inches regardless of whether they are within 6 inches of an enemy unit or not, giving you the choice to move back into cover, giving your stealth suits (which are already very good at evading missile attacks) a feeling of invincibility. And stealth suits are not the only suits that have jump packs, Crisis suits also have this ability, and they are also capable of mounting... heavier weapons <evil grin> Gotta love the TAU

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    however, if your dad does want to do nothing but sit and shoot, choose Iron Warriors. Hey look, i have 9 obliterators&#33;&#33;&#33; (tau are mobile shooty, IW are you can&#39;t move me or kill me shooty, and i have 4 ordnanace blasts to kill you)
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    I feel very insulted when puny space marines like you call the tau a...
    shooty army
    The tau tactics are not just stand back and shoot, firewarriors are frontline attackers, while the hammerhead is swiftly taking out barrage weapons from afar while avoiding tank killers. XV suits have jump packs that are very capable of manipulating the battlefield to their advantage by moving out and into cover in the same turn. You may call the tau a "shooty race" but when this shooty race is executing manuvers that keep you just out of range of assaulting and firing your pathetic bolters, while systematically destroying every hope you had of winning, they dont seem to be like a sit back and shoot army anymore MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA
    -*ahem* for the greater good (Crazy D&#39;yanoian&#33;&#33;&#33

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    but in the end they are a defensive army but they can still charge with the crisis and stealth.
    Tau'Va
    &quot;Learn to shorten your reach! If your foe can come close enough to negate your striking power, all strategem is lost and when all stratagem is lost, the battle is lost.&quot;
    -O'Shovah

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