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I have zero tabletop Warhammer experience, but I'm looking to start an army and join the hobby. Model-wise, my preference is for Tau, but I'm not sure they match the playstyle I think I'd prefer.
I'm not so big on having some army-padding troops while relying on a few tricked-out characters. I'd rather play by force of arms and tactics than just having the deadliest character. With that in mind, I'm getting mixed internet chatter about Tau armies. Some players talk up their supertank and their pimped Crisis Suit Commanders and not a lot of lip service is paid to the troops themselves.
Tell me, would a player who favors rank-n-file over super-character play well with Tau or are they dependent on all the special gadgets you can put on a Crisis Suit?
In other words, if I spent points on another Firewarrior unit, would I die faster than if I'd put those points into a wedgie-beam cannon for my HQ?
Firewarriors are a very good troops choice in my experience. I don't play them myself but have fought against them plenty of times. FW have massive rangeon their standard guns and they have a high enough S to actually hurt things like Wraithlords whereas nobody else's standard troop can do that. A fancy pants Commander can be useful but if I were to play them, I'd put way more points towards Fire Warriors.
We don't have a single, nearly impossible to kill character that some other armies are restricted by. I actually find those characters help me pick my strategy based on the only way that the enemy can play with that guy. The simplicity of the XV8 commander and the number of options for outfitting makes him very nice.
If you play Tau, there are two ways to win. First, and most common, is good strategy and outmaneuvering your opponent. The second way involves aweful mistakes on your opponents part, and should not be relied upon. Tau are fun...play them..
My platform is RL, you'd be surprised at the quality of the graphics!
To be honest if I didn't have to take an HQ choice I wouldn't I would much prefer to take 2-3 more regular crisis suits or more fire warriors or kroot.
The general choice for a Tau Commander who doesn't take up a lot of points but who can contribute well is the Shas'el Fireknife+ (MP/PR/TA/HWMT for 97pts). Since 5th Ed is all about Troops Choices being the scoring units, I tend to load up on Fire Warriors in Devilfish with some XV8 support and a Hammerhead or two. Markerlight support is either from Stealth Marker Teams or Pathfinders. Oh, and a bucket of Kroot too!
There are several styles of play associated with the Tau: Mechanised with predominance of DFs and HHs; Static with distinct lack of afore-mentioned vehicles; Hybrid with a mix of both; Farsight Enclave, with its own restrictions on army configurations - hard to play but good if you like loads of Battlesuits!; Spec Ops using Shadowsun with lots of Stealths/Kroot using Infiltrate/Outflanking/Deep Strike. Or you can design a style to suit yourself! Choosing which way you intend to play the Tau will direct your purchases and will also probably save you a truckload of cash. Since you appear to like the idea of multiple units of Fire Warriors, I'd say go for it with either Static or Mechanised. Static might be a little harder to keep the guys alive, but hey - what's life without challenges?That's exactly how you have to play the Tau, and we don't really have a Tau version of Abaddon anyway!I'd rather play by force of arms and tactics than just having the deadliest character.
"Tau Commandment #226: Participants who use Velocity Trackers in the Tau Clay Pigeon Tournament will be disqualified"
im a anime fan so i like me battle suits but at the same time my list's only compises of 3 or 4 of them the rest are ussally fire warriors with a unit or 2 of kroot and a hammerhead or two
but thats just my opinion im still getting used to the 40k system so my advice isnt from lots of experience
"The next time I do fight,I'll make death love me; for I will contendEven with his pestilent scythe."Atony & Cleopatra Scene XIII
Combined arms is the only way Tau armies win games. We don't have any singularly dominating units or combos, it's all about playing better than your opponent. And having plenty of fire warriors and/or Kroot on hand is usually a must. (Though excellent Tau armies can be built on far fewer grunts.) Our Troops provide mass firepower, harrassment, and defensive screens in support of our more expensive and more specialized units like Crisis Suits.
So if you like an army that relies on coordinated tactics, and you like the models, then the Tau sound like the perfect fit.
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
Thanks, all. It definitely sounds like I'm looking at the right 40k army for me. I'm a hobby painter first (and a player a distant second 'cause I've never actually played with any of the minis I've painted), and it was the look and variety of the Tau models that first appealed to me.
I'd like to paint some of every model the army has (yes, even the Vespid and Ethereal). I suppose that would make me a hybrid army by definition.
Rather than start a second thread, though, I'll tack on another question here about the Tau. What's the difference between a Tau army and an Imperial Guard army? Both seem dependent on masses of troops backed by big guns, how do they play differently?
From my experience Tau are a much more mobile army thanks to skimmers and jet packs, Tau's basic fire warriors are better than basic guardsmen.
Yeah, Pheonix just said the general gist about Tau, they focus on mobility quite a bit more than the Imperial Guard. ...somewhat. Well, our Suits are certainly a lot more mobile, as well as our tanks thanks to multitracker...
But, well, there's two aspects to Tau, the long range stationary aspect or the mobile aspect. Just like there's two almost similiar aspects to the IG, the heavy infantry (with or without armoured support) or the very heavy armoured with infantry that just so happens to be in chimeras. (Among others, but we're going for general ideas here.)
A key difference between the Tau and the Guard, perhaps the key difference, is expendability. Now, Tau firewarriors aren't, say, as essential as a Grey Knight, but still, I feel that the Tau are just barely on that line where nothing should be sacrificed without good reason. Everything in the Tau arsenal should be supporting something else, and as such, their absence should hurt. Kroot are debatable, but still, they're not really something you'd just toss out into the open either.
The Guard, however, center around protecting their vitals with expendable units. Conscripts to form living walls, for example, and while I'm unsure about their armoured tactics, I'm fairly certain that the loss of a Leman Russ is a lot less painful compared to the loss of a Hammerhead, and probably less so with the new codex. (Though, wait, are the Russes getting a cost increase?)
So in essence, yes, both have cc-incompetent troops with long range weaponary and nice armour (yes, IG troops are long range. Think of them as heavy weapon platforms and those guys with lasguns as wounds.), but while the Tau can with with sacrifices made, the Imperial Guard win because of sacrifices.