While looking over the tau forum i noticed that there was no real noobs guide for tau and in my not quite so humble opinion there should be so here it is.
This is a guide that is mainly for static tau but can be applied to mech tau reasonably easily.

General stratigies
while most of these may seam obvious people. However people new to tau may have yet to discover them

1. always remember to jump back, never let your opponent kill a battle suit because you were too eager to assault with a unit of kroot or because your mind was wandering

2. never let cover remove one of you sqauds from the battle. I have on countless occasions placed a fire warrior sqaud were they can not see the opponent's army just because there was a juicy bit of fortified building. the opponent wil just shoot a squad out of cover and the squad in cover will have trouble supporting them.

3. place your units in a sensable order dependent on thier mobility, less mobile units find it harder to respond if your opponents first few units were a destraction.
i use the following deployment order
1st = hammerhead's
2nd = broardsides
3rd = devilfish fire warriors
4th = non-infultrating kroot
5th = normal fire warriors
6th = commanders
7th = ethereals
8th = pathfinders
9th = drones

4. beware of heavy bolters (they hurt a lot)

HQ choices


everybody likes different HQ combos the most common being either a shas'o or 2 shas'els.
2 shas'els are are statisticly better are shooting than a shas'o but a shas'o with a shield generatorcan even take down a space marine captain in combat (true story).
I think that 2 shas'os is a bit over the top as you are tying up a lot of points in 6 or 8 shots.

My rule of thumb is that shas'os need shield generater and shas'els can do without one because if you include the points cost of hardwireing the multi tracker you can upgrade the shas'el to a shas'o.

the 3 weapon systems that are useful on a commander are plasma rifel, fusion blaster and missile pod. (Burst cannons are better left to the stealth suits and flamers waste your good BS)

I find that a good all round combination is the plasma rifel and missile pod with a multi tracker. Shots gives me the number of shots and the range to deal with any army i meet in a tornament. However if you know you are faceing space marine you could consider trading your missile pod for a fusion blaster (see the thread on magnetic mounting).

consider using shas'os as a speed bump to allow the rest of your army to get away but only if you are really desperate and there are not any power fists


etherials are a good choice for static tau armies if you keep them safe (by keep them safe i mean put thembehind a forest unless you are playing space wolves).
ethereals use is self-explanetory but remember that you can reroll any test that you pass if you want a unit to flee from combat to allow you to shoot the enemie

don't bother with an honour blade because ethereals are (hopefully) not going to get into combat with the enemies.


crisis battle suits

the 3 weapon systems that are useful on a battle suit are plasma rifel, fusion blaster and missile pod. (Burst cannons are better left to the stealth suits and flamers are too close range)

as with the commander i usually go with the missile pod and plasma rifel w/ multi tracker combo and change this to fusion blaster when facing space marines.
battle suits' weapons can be twin linked to great effect. I however would rather have more shots than twin linked shots but twin linking is a viable option.

Due to 4rth ed making drone a lot less useful i no longer use team leaders or shas'vres however if you want to combine a twin-inked weapon, a non-twin-linked weapon and a hardwired multi tracker then teamleaders are for you.

I do not believe in buying a shield generater for a model that is only 60pt.

also the only way to have 2 weapons of the smame type is to twin link them th 2 burst cannons and a multi-tracker combo does not work.

bonding is a matter of taste i do not use it on my battle suits because i believe that the points can be used to prevent the battle suits from fleeing than alowing them to rally.

well this is all i've got time for i will edit in the rest tomorrow
hope you like it