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Ok, sometimes I hate these "What shall I choose?" threads, but if you all could help me out, I'd be much obliged.
I already have two armies (three counting my Cygnar) to finish building and painting, but I recently bought a bunch of codices in the "know your enemy" spirit, and, well, now I'm in trouble. I have little left to buy for my current armies, and I'm already looking at other stuff.
I'm caught between a bunch of different choices, many of which I never thought I'd like: Chaos (Emperor's Children), Eldar, Orks, nids, and... Tau.
I like the idea of a mech Tau list, as it would be speedy and put out a LOT of firepower. It would also be very different from my usual lists, Necron and Marines, which tend to footslog, or at least center around some footslogging units (my new marines will have three vehicles, a first for me!).
Of course, I'm used to a well-balanced list, and I fear I would feel awkward fielding an army that relies on guns. Necrons feel weird enough to me. I almost think that if I want a sleek, fast-moving force I should go for a more balanced force like Eldar. Why shouldn't I do this?
It also seems like everybody plays Tau, which makes me NOT want to play them. Oh, well. I'm sure you all will encourage me to go Tau, but why? Why them and not the others?
It sounds like you want us to convince you that you've made the right choice!
Tau are challenging to play well, they have nice models, they're fun to play and they scare the heck out of opponents with their railguns.
I wouldn't say I'm biased but then I only have about 14,000pts of them...
"Tau Commandment #226: Participants who use Velocity Trackers in the Tau Clay Pigeon Tournament will be disqualified"
The Tau are one of the most customizable armies out there, especially once you start looking at the many (MANY) XV8 configuration options.
The dreaded Tau Railgun is the utter bane of vehicle-heavy lists, and hammerheads can carry a version that basically says "kill anything below a MEQ that you can fit under a pie-plate instantly." Anything that exposes itself against the Tau, no matter how well-protected, is effectively a casualty.
Markerlights obliterate defensive tactics, especially when paired up with a Sky Ray or some other missile carriers. Upping the BS of a squad that is normally able to deliver 24 shots to 5 is a good way to wipe the smirk off of an opponent's face. One of the funniest things I've ever seen Tau do is charge a tank up one flank, then use a Pathfinder squad to call missile strikes from it, striking what should have been unexposed flank and rear armor with shots that are WAY too strong to be healthy.
For imagery, there's nothing quite like a Devilfish zipping 12" and dumping a load of Fire warriors, then joining them in opening up a rather large can of pain on unsuspecting infantry units.
As for "relying on guns", it's true enough... except for one thing. Kroot give most opponents twitchy fits when used correctly (especially when there's jungle or forest on the board). Carnivore squads can be decked out and configured to be a nightmare in the assault phase, and I've seen them fully obliterate packs of Genestealers and Gaunts on the charge. That said, they're still better at range, but don't underestimate the power of those blades. There's also the Ninja'O configuration for the XV8 if you're into that, but I'm not.
Even if you end up deciding to play Static Tau, firing lines of Fire Warriors have THIRTY inch range on their guns, and hit absurdly hard for light infantry. Stick them on an objective or at a choke point, and you get to sit back and watch them re-enact a game of Halo, sniping at everything unfortunate enough to come within LOS.
My big problem with the Eldar, since you asked, is that their units are over-specialized. I know that sounds funny coming from a Tau player, but it's true. If you can manage to get one of their units into a situation that they're not specifically trained for, it's like pushing around unsupported Guardsmen. Though they specialize a lot, Tau units mostly have some defense or some way to take an emergency role.
I fight for the Greater Good. Too bad for you it's MY Greater Good.
Snow Forces of T'olku W/L/D : 3-4-2... I like to think I'm learning, though.
If you wish don't like the idea of an army that relies solely on firepower, pick the tau, we do Firepower AND movement, unlike the stinky guardsmen.....however we still do rely heavily upon shooting, heck even our CC counterattack unit is armed with boltguns (and potentially a shoddy autocannon, but lets not go there).
Tau are fun, and strangely enough for me one of the least used armies (in my area anyway), they have the potential to look staggering with clean crisp tanks and battlesuits screaming for a few simple conversions to set them apart from the personnaly boring and boxy battlesuit (bbb!).
Besides, could you live with yourself after picking up some ponsy space elf paraphernalia? Exactly, get squats.....
I like the Tau for a number of reasons.
* Models. The Tau model range is spectacular (2nd only to the Inquisition, IMHO) and entirely unique in the grimdark 40K range of armies. It's an eye-catching force when painted up.
* Theme/fluff. This is the least pessimistic and classically "gothic" army in the game. They haven't fallen from grace, they're not looking back at their past with nostalgia, they're not looking to pillage, plunder, loot, or enslave, they're not madmen, they're not hellbent on total destruction. These are rather average creatures (actually sub-average if you look at a Fire Warrior's statline) with very clever technology who are looking to make their way in a hostile universe. I'm not saying they're "Good Guys" (if you don't join the Greater Good, they will kill you), but they feel good about themselves and are optimistic about their future. That's very different when placed against the rest of 40K's forces.
* Tactics. As I noted, this is an army full of average or sub-average Joes. They rely on clever technology and clever tactics to win the day. There is no power unit in the entire codex. People always talk about how great the Hammerhead is, or the battlesuits are, but they don't stand a chance if not used in coordination with the rest of the army. You must play your force as a cohesive whole to compete, otherwise it crumples quickly. It's not like you ever have a great number of models or a total domination with vehicles, etc. Thus, winning games is a testament to your skill as a general and not the logical side-effect of the law of averages. (Picture the horde Ork armies that are dominating the tourney circuits right now for a total contrast to this.)
In short, the army is different, challenging, and rewarding in a way that few other armies in the game can match. Time to join up!
ninjabackhand: point and click, again, really? even after i give you an military term "shock tactic" you still call it point and click.
RIP Warhammer 40,000: 21 Sep 1998 - 24 May 2014
Chaos, Eldar, Orks, Tyranids or Tau... hmmm, what a series of choices...
Given the armies that you have, I'd say you shouldn't pick Tau. I've only had the pleasure of fielding Necrons once, but the time that I did I thought they behaved somewhat like Tau... only a lot harder to kill and some aces up their sleeves. Both Necrons and Space Marines are quite capable shooting lists, and Emperor knows Space Marines have a variety of transport (Drop Pod Assault anybody?). If you get into Tau, I'm afraid you'll find more of the same. Of course, if that's what you're looking for, then welcome to the greater good! And all that hooblah.
I would also advice against fielding Chaos. You already have a marine force, buying a ton of models of a more malign inclination isn't going to grant you much variety. Chaos Daemons may be a different story entirely, unfortunately, I don't have much experience in that area.
This leaves you with Eldar, Orks and Tyranids. From what I hear you tend to field MEQ footslogging lists quite a bit, and want to rest your feet for a bit. Tyranids don't have transports, and while the idea of a gnarly close combat list may sound cool to you now, know from experience that they die far faster than MEQs :-( This leaves you with Eldar and Orks. Orks tend to lean towards footslogging as well, though they do have the ability to get some trukks and scream across the board. They're cheap (points wise) and you can field a ton, but personally I dislike shoving pieces across the board.
Considering your situation, I would choose Eldar. They have very durable vehicles that have effective shooting and work excellently as transports (not to mention fast skimmers can tear up two feet of travel per turn). Their various aspects allow you to have a lot of fun messing around, and grant you a a lot of versatility and neat abilities to use in battle. They're like Tau in that they can use vehicles and transports to great effect, but Eldar can use their transports to deliver assaults as well as shooting.
Of course, if your really want some fast assaulting, you could always try Dark Eldar...
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.