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I've been challenged by a tau player recently. I don't have any experience in dealing with this army. I know this guy sits back and blasts away and jumps in and out of cover to do damage with battle suits. Any ideas for a suitable Eldar force to compete against this tactic?
In my brief experience with Eldar and Tau, I noticed some really effective units and strategies.
1. Rangers/pathfinders. Tau have crummy leadership, and usually fail moral/pinning checks. So sniper rifles do wonders.
2. Scorpions; well the firewarriors are pinned have your scorpions saunter on into them. The sheer number of attacks hitting the fire warriors will break through their squads, and intercepting kroot won't stand a chance.
3. Fire prism. As far as I've seen these are good against everything, their prism cannon is great at punching through armor, then it can blast crisis suits or even fire warriors.
4. Banshees: fast, close combat specialists, will rip through fire warriors and stealth suits alike.
Any way you could get into combat is a good decision, infiltrated scorpions, banshees, harlequins, even guardians. Hit hard and hit fast, do whatever you can to not allow your opponent to wear you down on your way.
Crisis/stealth suits, well best call would be either banshees, or Darkreapers, finding any way possible to take away their armor saves. I've had a lot of success with anti-character leaders. Perhaps a winged/bike mounted exarch built for assault.
Don't dump too many points in your vehicles, a shot from a railgun will put any vehicle you have out of comission. Keep vypers cheap, fireprisms/falcons should have holofields.
Tau are a tricky thing to beat if youre playing non-mission style games without any special rules/terrain/objectives. They have no need to move, avoid you, or use firing lanes as their battlefield is your grave. Their basic troops do have one of the longest ranges of any unit in 40K after all.
My best suggestion would be to exploit some of taus weaknesses - make them move a lot, use deepstriking/infiltrating units, and just getting close to them in general as once you close the gap theyre not quite so scary.
Definitely agree with Alzer that CC units are a must but dont leave out mobile units like hawks/spiders. While im not a huge proponent of tailoring lists, if thats your case then I may advise against reapers as they just cant compete with the Tau for ranged firepower and a single hammerhead blast will see them gone. what type of games/list/strategies do you usually run against this player? seeing what youre actually donig may help others give advice.
-Alaitoc Ranger Force (1850pts)
2 Guardian squads w/ s. cannons
1 Banshee squad w/ exarch
1 D. Avenger squad
3 Vypers w/ B. Lance
1 Wraithlord w/ B. Lance
3 W. Walkers w/ B. Lance
1 F. Prism w/ H.Fields
I focused on shooting w/ this force as I hoped to combat his weaponry, but I feel that was the wrong tactic. The Banshees that made it through his onslaught did very well(of course), but many were cut down on the way. I need to bring Warlocks w/ Guardians next time for Conceal and Embolden, right? My Prism and other Heavy Weapons pretty much traded blows w/ his tanks, but faired okay. I thought to bring Harlies and Scorps next time and focus on assault but I'm not sure any will make it across the board. Should I flank w/ some bikes and or deep strike? I've never had much luck w/ d. striking so any advice on that would be great. I think next match will be 5th edition, so that might affect his stay put strategy. Thanks again for the help.
Swap out the walker bright lances with scatter lasers, or missile launchers. Both free up points. I suggest doing the same with the vypers, and if you can drop the wraithlord and toss in another fire prism.
I'm gonna second Mongosseo on the missle launchers, again, blast pining is your friend.
Wraithlord I'd keep however, the time's I've seen it used against tau it's taken numerous shots without budging. Fighting tau is when you gotta forget about the instinct to sit and shoot back and forth. March your guardians foreward and shove them down your opponent's throat, if you keep your banshees within the guardian masses they will have more protection than they would otherwise. Also your wraithlord could wander on up with them and try and get into their remaining vehicles or characters.
Scorpions infiltrating, swooping hawks an warpspiders are fast enough to rush foreward without being gunned down to the point of uselessness. And once they get into combat they'll win.
Harlequins beat the crud out of Tau. Give them a shadowseer and suddenly the Tau's greatest (and only) tool against them, massed firepower, is totaly gone. 2d6x2 averages 14", keeping the Harlies 'ignore terrain'-ness and fleet, they move an average of 15" a turn when they charge. Pretty nasty.
In my experience, I find that the right amount of firepower applied in the right places can outgun the Tau, as they have trouble bringing as many ap3 or less guns with the ranges the eldar have. Reapers also blow apart their beloved battlesuits, but need to hide in terrain. And Falcons (or even Serpents) working together down the flanks can cut down swathes of their suits or come to bear against their tanks really well. Eldar tanks are easy to stun, but difficult to kill. Serpents also annoy their main anti-tank weapon, the Railgun by making it S.8.
I love my transports <3
Infiltrating Scorps coming on the flanks are also a must. Remember they can charge! I alyways, always slam them into broadsides, battlesuits or those annoying S.5 burst-cannon wielding stealth teams when I can. If not, I just murder a unit of Firewarriors and then go stalking across their lines. I also bring walkers on behind any tanks foolish enough to run down the board edges with dual missiles, and then use the AP4 pinning plasma shells to keep the firewarriors heads down. Either for a turn or forever.
As is mentioned, Tau players seem to hate Pathfinders, as they can deal out enough low AP wounds to take out a good few battlesuits a turn, and are horribly resistant to their firepower.
There are alot of Tau players at my Local GW, so I have a whole bunch of ways of fighting them. Hordes of guardians work well as they can't seem to cut them down fast enough without getting within 12", at which point aspect warriors jump out and cut them down. Mechanised lists work awesome too, because getting stuck into their lines, whilst messy, destroys their battleplans 100% of the time. And with Dire Avengers, you're better at close range than them.
Quantity has a Quality all of its own - Josesph Stallin
my bro plays tau so i guess i know about them.
if you have reapers use them to take out the battlesuits.
if the tau guy has a hammerhead try to go first to destroy it.
if the guy has a broadside use mind war on him. if you roll good it is an instant death. don't do this until the field is basically is cleared for the last charge.
use swooping hawks to deep strike and destroy the troops and then use sky leap to get off the battle field then re deep strike....
Good luck hitting crisis suits with heavy weapons. I'm pretty sure any tau player that uses crisis suits effectively will avoid leaving them out in the open after they fire. Then again 5th ed. rules make it harder to hide things. Anyway, most things can kill a crisis suit (they're each a space marine with two wounds), but you just need the mobility to catch them. Try tanks or jetbikes or warpspiders. You won't necessarily penetrate armor, but you'll actually be able to hit them. Basically, beat tau with mobility. CC is good, but harlequins seem sort of expensive for the job, and the shadowseer doesn't help that much for the last 18 inches (the most dangerous part). If you can pin a squad, run in with scorpions and they will whomp everything, and survive a round of shooting. The most dangerous thing for banshees is the kroot counter charge, but scorpions do not have to worry.
Last edited by Maximilian; July 28th, 2008 at 22:53.
I'd say Dire Avengers in wave serpents, outflanking striking scorpions, and deep striking warp spiders. The idea goes something like this: If everything is in transports or coming in from reserve, the fire warriors are useless. Rail guns are still a concern for your transports, but their energy shield reduces them to S8, plus with a 4+ cover save, not really a big deal. Just make sure to take an autarch so you can make those all important reserve rolls. I also agree that anything that causes pinning is your friend, so pathfinders and warwalkers with emls. Wraithlords can also be useful (they will absorb a lot of pulse rifle fire and maybe even draw some rail guns away from your serpents), and I find the best configuration to be brightlance and missile launcher.