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Hi guys, thought some of you might be able to offer your superior tactical knowledge against a certain type of Tau Army my friend plays a lot. His army recollection is by memory, so it might not be 100% accurate but I'll give it a go. We normaly play about 1500 point games, though the type of game we play is "Kill everything to win". I don't know a lot of the names of his units though so please bear with me as I try to explain them. His army is as follows:
1 Commander (normally whatever is the better type)
2 12 man fire warrior squads
3 Crisis Suits (normally joined to the commander)
1 Hammerhead with Ion Cannon
1 Hamerhead with Railgun
15 Gun Drones? (the twin linked shooting plate things)
The problem I have with his army is he just sits back, fires everything within range (we normally play about 48-60 inch boards) and slowly (or sometimes quickly) whittles everything down until I have sod all within assault range and usually die.
I have a whole bunch of stuff that I can use but a lot of it gets shot up anyway. No strategy I have come up with has let me win (best I ever got was destroying his two Hammerheads) Here's what I have in total that I can field:
20 defender guarians
20 Dire Avangers
5 Guardian Jetbikes
6 Fire Dragons
6 Striking Scorpions
6 Howling Banshees
10 Harlequins (1 Troupe Master,1 Shadowseer, 1 Death Jester)
2 Wave Serpents
5 Warp Spiders
20 Swooping Hawks
2 War Walkers
1 Fire Prism
5 Dark Reapers
As I mentioned before, trying to get close enough for assault is often difficult due to how many long range shots he gets and even if I do get within range I am often too weak to do much. Long Ranger strategies are nobetter since although I have a few long range weapons, his sem to muder me more than mine murder him.
Anyone got any potentially useful strategies to use? I'm not too adverse to getting more units, though it might take a while to buy them
Thanks in advance for any help.
Our transports are some of the best things in the game to go up agianst heavy fire power becuase of the energy fields. those str 10 shots from broad sides and hammer heads get reduced to str 8, which helps. also try and go for a full sqaud of scorpians and outflank them. He can't shoot at them until they come on the board, and if he has a sqaud to close to the edge, oh well bye bye!
Another thing shadow seer is your friend for the harliquins. becuase the max range he can shoot that squad at is 24'' and the average would be 14''. so if you stay outside of 14'' until you charge, with fleet, he cant see you!
my favorite thing of all is the unstoppable unit. for me this is usualy a full squad of warlocks with a far seer w/ fortune. 4+ rerollable invul saves are nothing to laugh at. it usually takes my oppenent 2-3 full turns of shooting EVERYTHING he has agianst that one squad, plus, if he ignores this sqaud well, nothing like 5 or 6 heay flamers into those weak 4+ armor of thiers, plus witch blades are awsome agianst tanks. 30 hits on a charge at str 9 vs rear armor.
The main thing when going up agianst tau is to get them into close combat before he shoots you to death. with eldar this is easy becuase of our speed. try a wave serpent with star engines. first turn, fortune the serpent, move flat out, and use the engines to get as close as possible. Now you got a 4+ rerollable save on your wave serpent. then 2nd turn, drop the squad thats in there, and assault!
I would infiltrate/outflank everything I possibly could. Eldar do not have a lot of weapons that can outrange Tau, so trying to out shoot him at range is going to get you hurt. Deny him the advantage of range, and grab 'em by the belt buckle. Target priority will always be important with Eldar, against Tau even more so. Even your humble Guardians should be able to stand a pretty good chance in CC, so don't be afraid to charge. Rangers might be good if you can find solid enough cover and a position to shoot at his battle suits, but I'm sure he'll be targeting those early.
Depending on your setup, those War Walkers can really lay a pounding on Tau units. I personally like Missile Launchers on Walkers, but no matter which choice you use, a good turn of shooting with them could really effect the outcome.
Your Wave Serpents could definitely use Star Engines. That's a lot of movement in one turn, plus with the save you get for moving flat out, you should have a decent chance of getting their cargo to the line. I'm assuming that they'll be carrying your CC punch, so I would consider beefing up your Scorpion and Banshee squads to 10 if you can get the cash up.
A Death Jester might be a liability here, since I think a better application of Harlies is to get them into CC as quick as possible, thus you should be fleeting every turn instead of shooting.
Also, although the tactic is somewhat beardy, you can split your Hawks into smaller squads, then just skyleap/grenade pack/skyleap. The big blasts can do pretty well against his Firewarriors and Kroot. If things get really hairy, you can try assaulting his hammerheads with haywire grenades.
Your Fire Prism should be able to kill his infantry in reliable fashion. Unless he wants to expose his Hammerheads, the Fire Prism has a long enough range to work. I would not personally take a wraithlord or the Dark Reapers. While Wraithlords are awesome, Tau lists carry a lot of volume of firepower, which is about as good as you can deal with against a Wraithlord, and Dark Reapers, while seemingly perfect for killing his battle suits, will probably be targeted early for that reason.
In any case, good luck, hope that helped.
I think you need to spend more time on your floor.
2500 Black Templars
Thanks for the replies. A lot of suggestions you have mentioned here I have tried whilst trying to come up with a decent ary list trying to defeat him, but never applied them all as one.
Transports are indeed useful things. During my most successful (read still got killed) I managed to get my wave serpent with Fire Dragons all the way up to his Hammerhead, but like an idiot, I forgot to move them close enough to assault! So they shot it, destroyed its weapons and immobilised it, only for e to fail and melta it in the face finishing the job.
Another time my Fire Prism lost its main cannon so I just drove it right up the the other Hammerhead and rammed it in a blaze of glory, taking the thing down in a big explosion.
That's as far as my heroic (semi)victories go though. A wraithlord is indeed bad againt him since he just aimed all three Broadside Rail guns at it and ripped it to bits.
I haven't tried outflanking yet since I didn't know how it worked. Now I know that if rolled well I can appear right next to units on the side table edges, it should be foar more dangerous.
Fortuning the Farseer squad with 10 Warlocks isa good method indeed, and has saved my butt several times in the past.
I think that if I take your suggestions and combine them as best I can I might be in with a chance of at least doing okay. Thanks very much. Any other suggestions I could include?
Against Tau out flanking scorpions are key. You can put them in wave serpents if you want for some extra movement. If he anticipates it, it will only force him to move his forces towards the center of the table where you can rush some units down his throat.
Prisms are VERY useful against Tau. I usually have to put holos on them though.
Fortune is also extremely useful.
Something I haven’t ever done but what might be most useful against tau, get yourself two or three squads of pathfinders, and then infiltrate them and scout right up to just out of 12" of his lines, if you have got first turn, well there is no possible way they are not going to get to his lines and they will at least hold him up for a while, id suggest assaulting the suits or fire warriors, however depending on the size of your squad the suits might beat you down and you really don’t want to fail your Ld.
You will be stopping them from shooting, even if it’s just one turn, you’re holding them static and that’s all it will take for the rest of your army to be all over him by turn 2.
And even if you don’t get first turn, it will scare him, everything will run away from them and shoot them, they will be hard to move with their 2+ cover save, and it might just make him foolishly move closer to the board edges. It might throw him off his initial plan and that’s when you can exploit any mistakes he makes. Just be careful to stear clear of his kroot, but i am guessing they either inflitrate or outflank?
Also, you have ALOT of swooping hawks, why not run 2 squads, smallest numbers you can get with exarch and skyleap. They can just drop bombs on his squads standing around waiting for you to walk into their guns. Also yet again they are a good distraction, drop them down close to his lines and he will have to shoot them or take an assault the next turn, even vehicles should fear them, so use them to scare him and draw fire away from the rest of your army. Take the 6 shot pinning gun, tau are one of the few armies that have a tendency of failing Ld tests so keep him testing.
Warp spiders are awesome too because of their great speed.
So use pathfinders, hawks and spiders to scare him, keep him moving around, and distract him from the real threat of serpents full of dire avengers and fire dragons heading his way.
Last edited by Cut Your Ribbon; October 7th, 2008 at 05:21.
"Playing it safe is the most popular way to fail." - Elliott Smith.
You don't really have the list for it otherwise i'd suggest playing him at his own game but better.
Eldar can jam 36"+ range guns into every slot except Elites and if you cut vehicles out to eliminate the use of railguns you can really give a Tau player a shock by outshooting and outranging them, but thats a thought for the future.
As it is i'd suggest Serpents full of Banshee/Harlies outflanking Scorpions and War Walkers. This gives your army a strong edge, enough bite to tear his army down if allowed to enter melee.
Pair this with a strong firebase of pathfinders, Reapers, Lance/launcher Wraithlord and Fire Prism in your deployment and depending on your remaining points maybe Dire Avengers and Fortuned Council in a second wave attack.
Also try suggesting some actual missions from the BRB. In my mind the new objective based missions make for some of the most exciting games and it forces a little more flexibility in army lists rather than just trying to pour as much killpower as you can in.
"ask not the Eldar a question, for he will give you three answers, all of which are true and terrifying to know"