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  1. #1
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    Advice for Tau vs. Necrons at 1500 points

    Brothers of the Tau empire,

    A buddy of mine just got a new Necron army in and has been challenging people around here left and right. He has challenged me to a 1500 point game and I was hoping to get some advice as these Necrons will be a new experience for me. I thought that I might as well go to the experts. I am posting this in both the Tau and the Necrons forums to obtain all the information I can.

    Lets get down to the basics:

    We have both agreed to tailor our lists against the other.
    We will be rolling on the basic missions table.

    I believe he will be bringing the following:

    The night bringer
    Monolith
    Lord with Res Orb.
    Minimum Warrior Squads.

    The rest I believe he will fill with a unit of wraiths, some heavy destroyers and destroyers. Which of these units do I need to watch out for? It seems that there will be a fairly low phase out number, correct?

    Any advice on list building and/or tactics would be greatly appreicated.

    I am currently thinking of bringing the following units:

    1 Fireknife Shas'el (plasma/missile pod) for the HQ
    2 sets of 3 fireknifes
    1 set of 3 torch squad
    6 fire warriors and 2 sets of 10 kroot
    1 unit of pathfinders

    My heavy support is where I begin to question. Should I bring all broadsides, should I use ionheads? Currently, I believe I may be going with an ionhead and 2 sets of 2 Broadsides with shield drones. Is this one of the rare cases where Sniper drones could be worth it?

    Also, would fusion piranhas be worth subbing out for something else in the list?


    Any advice on what to bring/which tactics to use/target priority would be greatly appreciated.

    For the greater good,

    Ainom

    Last edited by Ainom; February 9th, 2011 at 18:33. Reason: spelling and grammar

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    Senior Member Taubeast's Avatar
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    I rarely use ionheads, but 1 with 2 2-man team broadside squads would do really well. probably don't worry about a piranha for against necrons. He has a really low phase out number, so focus firepower on the warrors, lord, and destroyers first. If yo get him to phase out, wipeout for you! completely ignore the monolith, watch out for wraiths and nightbringer.
    Tau Empire: We never stop hiding from you

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    Senior Member MrRe-roll's Avatar
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    Look if your opponent throws both the Nightbringer and a Monolith this means that these two units will costs the 1/3 of his army.

    I don't think that u should pay so much attention to this 2 units.Just make sure you're out of the monolith's range and keep the C'tan away.
    I would suggest you to take 2 Broadsides or two Hammerheads.Railguns is one of the best weapons to bring the Monolith down.
    What you should be afraid of is the Destoyers.Deal with them as quickly as possible.They are fast and can easily bring your vehicles down.

    I doubt whether he will put HeavyDestroyers.There very expensive and he can't afford spending many points.

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    Senior Member Dark Trainer's Avatar
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    Well here's what I would do against me.

    Nightbringer has a s9 shot at 24", you've got enough high str weapons to put wounds on him as he gets closer. His 4++ only save really makes wounds on him hurt, he will die. Don't worry about him for a couple turns as he WALKS, and walks real slow! He's a BEAST in CC. Denies ALL saves including invul!!!

    Destroyers are always your biggest threat, 3 S6 shots. All the S10 weapons you can bring, put them on his destroyers and deny his WBB because of double T5. He likely would have his lord near the warriors and not his destroyers. It's a good way to make me cry... 36" gauss weapons hurt on vehicles, weapon destroyed's are just as good at lowering a vehicles usefulness.

    Warriors are just Marines with no awsome combat gear or rules. So that said, they die in CC to CC oriented squads very well...problem, Tau don't specialize in CC. This is where a squad of Kroot could actually work in your favor. Do you have anything that is CC speclized other than kroot? That said, if he's fielding 30 warriors, 10 kroot will get shot up at rapid fire before they assault likely.

    Priority targets:
    1) Kill the destroyers! Kill them ALL in one round of shooting if possible. and deny ALL WBB since there's no like model standing.
    2) Don't let the Ctan get near you. Once he's within 12" and assault range he's going to rip open vehicles and troops alike. I believe your skimmer vehicles can move 12 and still fire, right? If so at least CC is only hitting on 6's. Ok to ignore Ctan first, maybe 2nd turn...but after that, he's likely moving for a kill. Killing him is also not helping you reduce his phase out if his numbers are truly low.
    3) These next two are your choice. Monolith because yes S10 can kill a monolith with enough, but I honestly IGNORE the monolith, always! Wasting your awsome killing power on it, is just what it's for...soaking up firepower. Ok to do that, once the Ctan and destroyers are gone though.
    3) Warriors are his phase out key, shooting will not deny WBB. Destroying a whole warrior squad off on it's own however with a spyder nearby WILL as no like models. So the key here is focus fire, just like you would do against destroyers. Also, if you can get the ORB out of the picture you can start killing warriors instantly with S8 or better at range.

    Lastly, if you were any other army I'd say go like 30-50% just CC ruthless machines and it'd be game over for the Necrons. Sweeping advance kills us! We lose CC by 3-4 wounds testing on a 6-7 is brutal! Losing by more pretty much assures out initiative 2 is real bad! That said, their I2 is attacking last in CC...reason Kroot could likely land enough wounds first

    If I was playing, I'm not afraid to charge everything right at the Tau. Like I said. You don't have out achielles heel which is CC and sweeping advance...good luck! Think of me as the Deceiver, I want to see the other Ctan die! Mwa ha ha!
    Last edited by Dark Trainer; February 9th, 2011 at 20:03.
    "There is only do, or do not. There is no try." - Yoda

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    Dark Trainer has the right idea, I would only priority the targets slightly differently.

    1. Destroyers
    2. At least immobilize the monolith
    3. Take down C'tan
    4. Warriors


    The destroyers are the obvious threat, and should be killed immediately. After that however, ignoring the list above, if you get the shots try and go for a quick phase out at his small warrior squads. Other than that, Do not underestimate the monolith, If the deployment is Dawn of War or Pitched Battle, your lucky and shouldn't have problems. In spearhead, it will be right in front of you in a small amount of time. The C'tan should only get shot at first if you have nothing else in the above list to shoot. If it starts to get pushy within 32-24" Its time to unload into him. The Nightbringer may be T8, but the 4+ save won't get him very far. Then after that, mop up the remaining warriors.

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    The ORIGINAL Sniper Puss eiglepulper's Avatar
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    I play both armies, so I will reply from a Tau perspective.

    First, going by what you've said you believe he will bring, here's a break-down of the costs of what he would be bringing for his 1500pts.

    At any game level, a Lord with Res Orb is a certainty, and 2x minimum Warrior units is a requirement. So that takes up 500pts straight off. Add in the third minimum Warrior squad and you've hit 680pts. A Monolith brings it up to over 900pts and if he adds in the Nightbringer he is seriously handicapping himself at almost 1300pts. He would have sufficient points left to bring 4 Destroyers and still have some change out of the 1500pts.

    Ok, so what would I do against such a list?

    The Monolith Particle Whip can instant kill a unit of 3 Fireknives. I know, because it happened to me three times in one round of shooting (the Necron player fielded 3 Monoliths). Lesson learned: use your 2" coherency spread and stay away from it as best you can. Don't waste your time shooting at it, as it is a huge firepower sponge and only your Str10 weapons really have any hope of hurting it. Your firepower is needed more urgently elsewhere.

    Destroyers are your worst enemy as they have excellent movement, range, strength and rate of fire. However, you can counter this by using your JSJ to gain 6" range on your Missile Pods. This will be hard though due to the Destroyers' ability to move like jetbikes. This is where your really long range weaponry comes in, and I would be taking an Ion Cannon rather than a Railgun on your Hammerhead for that reason: the Destroyers can't easily escape it due to its range, you have multiple shots available which should be boosted by Markerlights, and the AP negates the armour save. As others have said though: you need to take down the entire unit in one round of shooting or else the WBB rolls will regenerate some of them again and again.

    Wraiths are very fast and are strong in combat (decent number of attacks, high initiative, high toughness+strength), but still only have a single wound. Multiple wounding hits on these guys will force multiple saves thus increasing the chances of failed saves, so shoot the heck out of them. The Ion Cannon is not quite so effective in removing them this time since their invulnerable saves are the same as their armour saves, but its strength helps to wound them. Again, your missile pods are going to help here due to strength and range.

    Heavy Destroyers are less likely to appear; they are more expensive and less effective IMHO than the standard Destroyer whose weight of firepower can cause more problems.

    Always concentrate on taking down a full unit at a time if you possibly can. This can take discipline to do, as there are a lot of potential targets and you will be tempted to blast away at several of them. His Warriors have to be grouped fairly well together in order to benefit from the WBB roll rules, and the Lord with Orb will be in there too. If he is attached to any particular squad of Warriors, do your utmost to level that unit, as wounds have to be distributed evenly throughout the unit and thus you will be able to land wounds on the Lord too.

    Nightbringer is hellishly slow, but that ranged weapon of his is a lascannon in all but name. Be aware of where he is, and if you've nothing more essential to do in the early turns, try and take a wound or two off him. Don't fixate on him though; he doesn't add to helping with Phase Out.

    I would be using the first turn or turns to ensure that I avoided the Particle Whip while using my JSJ and the max range of my plasma rifles to help reduce numbers. Sniping here and there with the AP2 weapons will force WBB rolls which only have a 50% chance of being passed, so you should be able to reduce numbers a bit here and there. However, my main concern would be taking down the Destroyers and keeping a wary eye on the Wraiths. I have never played against Wraiths, but I use them myself and they are darn fast.

    I would also be using the first turn to realign my deployment in order to get away from as much of his firepower as possible. There is no sense running forward to get into rapid fire range with your plasma rifles if you're then going to face the full weight of 2 or 3 Warrior squads' worth of gauss flayer fire, also at rapid fire range. Moving sideways to produce a refused flank will still allow you to pop off a lot of shots while reducing the amount of return fire you'll suffer in his turn.

    Monoliths are dead slow and stop, but they can rapidly speed up the movement of a Necron unit across the table via the Portal. However, this then denies the use of the Particle Whip, so you'll probably find that the Whip rather than the Portal will be used early on to try to get rid of your Fireknives. This is why I was saying earlier that it is important to stay out of harm's way and use your coherency to best effect.

    Heavy support-wise I would have an Ionhead and at least 2 Broadsides. I would consider a Railhead as well for the variable ammunition loads; the submunition shell doesn't ignore armour saves, but it sure can cover a lot of Warriors in one go. The Broadsides' railguns would be the thing to use against the Monolith: twin-linked so 75% chance of hitting, with a 50% chance of doing serious damage.

    Sniper Drones are anti-MEq but are very static. They also don't cause Instant Death, which the Railguns can do against the Necron Lord if you ever get a chance to smack him. Even the lower strength Ion Cannon could reduce him to 0 wounds if everything hits and wounds! The Drones would be ok for taking down the Warriors, but would be too easily caught by the Wraiths or shot to shreds by the Destroyers.

    Pathfinders: put them is as heavy cover as you can and use them to light up the Destroyers first, the Monolith next and then whatever will benefit the most from the Valkyrie's Mark.

    So:

    1. Avoid the Monolith as best you can at the start in particular. This is to do with your Fireknives' safety in mind.
    2. Ignore the C'tan initially unless you have no other viable targets.
    3. Nuke the Destroyers asap.
    4. Be aware of the Wraiths and do not let them get close.
    5. Take units down in their entirety if possible. Don't over-split your firepower; concentrate on one unit till you hopefully kill it in the single round of shooting.
    6. If you can immobilise the Monolith it will help, but don't fixate on trying to kill it/damage it. It's one tough nut.

    Hope some of this helped and I didn't ramble too much.

    E.
    Last edited by eiglepulper; February 9th, 2011 at 22:00.
    "Tau Commandment #226: Participants who use Velocity Trackers in the Tau Clay Pigeon Tournament will be disqualified"

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  9. #7
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    all you got to do is take out the warriors and you would be set. oh and watch out for the destroyers they are a real nasty unit.

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    Thank you for the advise, all of you.

    Every bit of knowledge can and hopefully will be helpful.

    It seems that the destroyers seem to be the most prevalent threat. I believe that he will be using heavy destroyers instead; however, they are not as efficient as basic destroyers. Should they still be the primary target? I think so. Please correct me, otherwise.

    How important is it to immobilize the monolith? I would rather target the destroyers first and let him come to me if I can.

    Dark Trainer: Your comment put a smile on my face. My Tau sept may soon incorporate your deceiver into their fluff. Anything specific you would like to add?

    Eiglepulper: You rs was the most informative by far, thank you for playing both sides. Your input is much appreciated.

    2 more main questions for all.

    1. Would you recommend trading one of the groups of broadsides for another ionhead and extra points? Those points would likely be used for shield drones and XV8 upgrades.

    2. Would you recommend dropping the pathfinders at this point value? I have been a fan of them for their boosting capabilites; but, I don't know if they will be worth it against the Necrons. For the price of 7 pathfinders and the requisite devilfish, I can afford to upgrade the broadsides to units of 3 and add a shield drone to my HQ.


    Thank you again for all your help, please continue.

    Ainom

    ````````````````````````````

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    Member Stevish4U's Avatar
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    There are a few tricks that I've seen Necron players use. Some of which are actually quite crafty.

    1). The Monolith Fling.
    Something to look out for is the ability for the monolith to teleport units into itself. The wraiths could be left behind the monolith until you've let it roll up the field and then everything it within charge range of those nasty close combat wraiths.
    (I know that compared to assault termies...wraiths aren't so scary...but hey, we're Tau.)

    2). The Medivac Lord
    Using the monolith again to teleport the Res Orb to within it's effective range just before you get in a good round of shoosting.

    3). Warrior Screen
    I've seen the warriors used like a screen sticking off the sides of the monolith so that there is cover for everyone behind them.
    This one can be very frustrating because it lures you out of your ideal Monolith avoidance position so you can get around to shooting at the fools behind the triangle of doom. Then they employ the good old Monolith Fling and you lose a unit to slinkies with sharp claws.


    The best way to deal with the 'Crons is to take a unit and burn it to the ground(as mentioned above). It will be very hard to kill the lord by himself. He will most likely be in a unit of warriors which is also partly behind the monolith, giving them cover and WBB/ResOrb. Not easy to take down in one turn of shooting. It would take a ton of shots...but wait!

    Fireknife Shas'el for 97 Points
    2 Teams of 3 Fireknives for 372 Points
    3 Teams of 3 Broadsides all with Multi-trackers for 720 Points
    leaving you 191 Points to play with

    The railguns don't let the Warriors do WBB (I think). Also, if they are hiding some troops behind the Monolith, the SMS doesn't require line of sight. If they are out in the open and in range, then all the broadsides get 5 shots (4 SMS and the tl-railgun). This list doesn't make sense in a normal game, but it's worked for me in the past. There was a very experienced Necron player around here, and he was so afraid of so many railguns that he wasn't sure what to do. He tried the Monoloth Fling, but had left it in cover so it could get a save against soooo many big scary guns. This meant his wraiths had to get out the side...three inches farther away than normal, so they were just outside of their effective range. The broadsides mopped them up. Remember...shock and awe are your friend.

    Good luck
    My platform is RL, you'd be surprised at the quality of the graphics!

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    The ORIGINAL Sniper Puss eiglepulper's Avatar
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    If he's only using Heavy Destroyers then he's compromising his own shooting, but he may also be thinking along the lines of the weapon's str and AP values which are sufficient to take down a Crisis suit in one go. Three HDs could take out a unit of Fireknives if he rolls well, another could be taken out by the Particle Whip so yes, the HDs are just as priority as standard Destroyers. If both types are fielded, take down the standard ones first due to their better Rate of Fire.

    The Monolith is a pain to kill but is very slow. Depending on what scenario you play, you could find it right in your face from the word go. In Dawn of War it can't be deployed initially but it can Deep Strike so it will land as close as possible to your units. This is one ploy which you can do nothing to avoid; getting away will be essential. This is when you try to nuke it with the Broadsides.

    2 Ionheads? Hmmm....I know why you like the idea (anti-MEq AP), but the railgun on the Hammerhead would be more use to you in the long run. If you did decide to drop a Broadside unit for an Ionhead, use the spare points to bulk up your Kroot. "The more the merrier" is very true of these guys.

    Although Pathfinders force you to take a Devilfish, they are not the unit going to use it. You deploy the DF separately, with the Pathfinders using their Scout move to get into cover before the first turn starts. Your Fire Warriors should be within mount-up distance of the DF so that when you get your first turn they just jump aboard and the DF disappears to a safer spot. You want this unit to stay alive since you only have Kroot otherwise as scoring units, and giving them an AV12 transport is a good idea (even with the threat of the gauss rules).

    Pathfinders also will give your Fireknife units a decent chance of doing some serious damage by increasing BS and dropping cover saves. Out of a 7-man squad you should average 3-4 ML hits on an enemy squad which is easily sufficient to bump BS to 5 and drop cover to at least 5+. It means that you will be hitting and wounding most things on a 2, or wounding on a 3 if it's against Destroyers.

    Remember that the ML range will allow you to hit 3/4 of the way across the table, so if you can find hard cover within 6-7" of your baseline, that is where the PFs should go. The ML range bubble will allow you quite some coverage of the table and make it hard for the Necron units to stay out of range.

    Kroot: forgot to mention these guys before. Let's get one thing clear.
    They are NOT a dedicated combat unit. There are no power weapons, their Initiative is not exactly lightning fast (though it is better than the Necrons') and they have no armour save. Having said that, they have a boltgun-strength weapon, two attacks as basic and their WS and Str stats match those of a Space Marine, so they can certainly do damage. Against Necrons, they can however be rather effective because of the sheer number of attacks they can put in on the charge.

    One question I have to ask: do you have any Kroot Hounds? Their high initiative would help if you end up fighting the Necron Lord, as theirs is higher than his. If you have a few of them, I would certainly consider trying to find the points to include them.

    Ok, back to the Monolith: it can help to immobilise it because it means that you can stay out of the way of the Gauss Flux Arc by keeping >12" away. It also means that you may not have to suffer the appearance of a teleported Necron unit arriving in your face because you've managed to immobilise the Monolith on the other side of the table. It also will dissuade your opponent from using the Portal to get a re-roll for his WBB rolls if by doing so he effectively withdraws his units back instead of letting them go forward. Apart from the Destroyers (and Scarabs/Wraiths), the rest of the Necron army is pretty slow and it takes them time to get across a battlefield so dragging them back just to get a WBB re-roll wouldn't be ideal. In other words, you would be taking away one of the Monolith's uses.

    Hope this was some use.

    E.
    "Tau Commandment #226: Participants who use Velocity Trackers in the Tau Clay Pigeon Tournament will be disqualified"

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