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Tau are meant to be played in one of two ways, three if you include a hybrid. There is the dependable standoff or the "neo" form of mechanized. They each have their own pros and cons.
Makes your enemy come to you.
Allows time for tactical manuever.
Allows for more reactive defense.
Most Standoff armies will have at least 4 squads of Firewarriors and at least 3 sets of Rail Guns.
Great for flat terrain or hilly/foresty scenery. Allows for great firing lines
If your enemy is mostly infantry, something is going to get into CC.
If a squad gets into CC then it's a$$ is most definitly grass and if your enemy gets a lucky roll they may consolidate into another squad, whos a$$ will also become grass.
Facing another static army you will not survive unless you play aggresivly. While we have better standard guns that Gaurd, they can still land a lot of armor save negating pie plates a turn and those heavy bolter teams...
Facing a fast army you have to rely a lot on the dice to pump out a lot of shots. If they get close you're in trouble. This is not all that bad.
Requiers good setup skills and a feel for how the battle will flow as well as a tested and true list of target pirotization.
You confuse many enemies and can usually destroy enough units to make any counterattack to weak to succed.
Your maueverablity allows you to fake your opponent making it hard for him to predict your moves. "I'm going to send 3 squads of Firewarriors to destroy that squad next turn. **Next Turn** I get a 12" so I'm going to fly to the left, dismount, and fire on that other squad."
Glancing hits on all your vehicles due to 6+ move.
29 shots out of a squad+Devilfish+2Gundrones.
Most, if not all, of your army gets to move 12".
Great for tables with a lot of big hills, difficult terrain, and cliffs. Allows for the most explotation of our mobility
You basically need to win in the first two, maybe three, turns. By that I mean gain the advantage be it numbers, terrain, or whatever.
Requiers a lot of terrain usage knowledge and measurment estimation skills.
One mistake can, and most of the time, blows the game.
If you fail to kill a squad chances are you will be assaulted next turn. The fish of fury technique will fail if you get to close which is entirly possible.
Against a static army you are going to be attacked by a lot of high Str weapons, most of which will negate your amor save.
Against a fast army you will usualy get into CC extremly fast. Sometimes before you can pump out enough shots to thin their numbers out signifigantly.
Allows for a lot of pulse rifles as a base of fire.
Allows for a scissor like flanking action with Crisis Suits and Ionheads.
Forces enemies to make a choice of being hit by a large number of above average Str shots with okay Ap or being hit by a few number of high Str and Ap shots that will instakill almost any unit they have.
Lets you be fluid in how you respond to enimies.
Against a static army it forces a lot of their weapons onto your mobile squads leaving them open to static fire.
Against fast armies you mobile squads pop the light armor on those vehicles and anything that crawls out is killed by massed pulse rifle fire.
Sometimes tough to play.
Requiers the ability to form a battle plan and stick with it.
A few bad dice rolls can really ruin your day if your mobile squads fail their saves.
Not very specialized.
You have to leave some of your Firewarriors in open positions to make them look like an easy target, thus drawing the enemy into your trap.
If they deepstike an assault squad and it doesn't die you are in big trouble.
I'm sure that there are more for each ot these but I'm drained right now.
The Tau army is meant to be fluid. While it may rush an opponent one battle the next it may force an enemy into the muzzels of it's guns. In campaigns this aggrivates many opponents becuase they don't know what you're going to play during the battle. Playing only a single type is, for lack of a better word, ignorant. I'm not saying I'm the Tau god or Tau master but you have to go battle by battle. I'm not going to go mech against a D.E. army. While it is possible to win with mech I would feel much more comfertable with forcing my enemy to me. You're going to see 6 broadsides on the field lighting up all those raiders with pulse rifles mowing down anything stupid enough not to get behind some sort of cover. If I'm facing gaurd I'm sure as hell not going to sit back and let him come to me. That's just asking for an Earthshaker shelling. I'm going to drop a lot of pulse rifles real close to his lines. You really have to do it on an army by army and battle by battle basis.
For all those who want CC Tau units or special weapons in Firewarrior Squads don't collect Tau. Go with Gaurd. Tau are not meant for CC because CC limits manuverablity and there are no special weapons in Firewarrior Squads because then they would be just like Gaurd but with much more powerful standard weapons. Tau are meant to be just like water. Facing Gaurd you expect a lot of Tanks. Very rarley does it scew from sit and shoot. Facing D.E. you expect an imdiate rush into your infantry. Again, it rarley scews from that basic plan. Tau can change from sit and shoot in one game to a get close and fire the next. They are not bound by their unit selection or their armor saves to one single stratagey. They pay for this fluidity in lack of ultra specialized units. While every unit has a purpose it doesn't have a speciality. Crisis suits are your heavy armor busters but by no means are they equivilant to Terminators. Stealth Suits are great harrasers but by no means are they phsycers. The only exception may be Pathfinders because they are designed for lighting targets up and acting as scouts. They also pay for their fluidity in the relative fragility of all their units. They may not be made out of paper but by no means do they have great armor by any stretch of the imagination. Their X suits are only equivalent to power armor in terms of saves.
Tau are meant to be fluid and to keep your enemies on their toes. It makes it extremly hard to cook up an anti-Tau list because of our fluidity.
If I seemed to have wandered off at the end it's because my mind is basically gone right now.
Originally posted by BadKarma@Feb 7 2005, 23:41
I'm not going to go mech against a D.E. army. While it is possible to win with mech I would feel much more comfertable with forcing my enemy to me. You're going to see 6 broadsides on the field lighting up all those raiders with pulse rifles mowing down anything stupid enough not to get behind some sort of cover.[snapback]323343[/snapback]
Hmmm... I have to disagree with you on this point. I feel that Mech Tau really shines against assault based armies, which includes Dark Eldar. If all your Shas'la are packed in trasports, those Wyches and Mandrakes can scratch at our paint all they want, they're not gonna get through the armor. All the while the Hammerheads and Devilfish are laying Railgun submunitions rounds and burst cannon fire into their T3 troops.
Furthermore, Ion-Cannons and Crisis with missile pods are both better (more chance of success) and more efficient (kills per point) at downing Raiders than Railguns are.
But otherwise, some good points here!
The thing I don't like about Railheads is that if you miss with a pie plate you just wasted a lot of points. I'd rather go with 3 Broadsides and 4 to 6 squads of Firewarriors as a base of fire then have 3 to 4 anti-tank Crisis Suits with an Ionhead or two to sweep into the vehicles. If I have the points left over a squad of TL Missile Pod Crisis Suits would be great. They would be my main fire support for my FW squads.
BTW awsome radio show.
I see what you're getting at. You do pay a lot more for the Railhead shots than you do for the Broadside shots... that's part of the game though. If you're going to play Mech Tau successfully though, you need to abandon the classic thinking of "every one of my units must be killing stuff every turn". Even if your Railhead misses every turn of the game, as long as it lives to the end, you've effectively denied your opponent 180 victory points. This is the doctrine of victory point preservation. Here's a relevant snippet from the Guide to Mech Tau: (gosh, I quote this thing a lot, don't I?)Originally posted by BadKarma@Feb 8 2005, 00:46
The thing I don't like about Railheads is that if you miss with a pie plate you just wasted a lot of points.[snapback]323390[/snapback]
In missions that use Victory Points, a common misconception is that units must "make their points back." In reality, the only time a unit must "make its points back" is if it dies! If 3/4 of your army stays buttoned up behind a huge forest doing nothing the entire game and your two Hammerheads kill 7 marines over the course of 6 turns, you win the game! At the start of the game, the two sides are even, neither army having killed any of the oposing army's forces. Any time you stick your nose out (or deploy your Firewarriors), you risk taking casualties which must be "made back." Therefore, if we are careful about when and where we pick our fights, we can be sure to always take more Victory Points than we lose and will never feel pressured to engage an enemy we may be ill-suited to fighting.
This implies that a healthy amount of caution be exercised when deciding which targets to engage. In a perfect world we would only ever engage targets that we were sure of destroying in one round of shooting and would attack from an angle that denied LOS to every other unit on the board thereby negating any chance of return fire. While this situation is highly unlikely, there are often situations where terrain can be used to minimize return fire and therefore casualties. In short, AV12 fast-moving skimmers (with decoy launchers) are good at minimizing casualties, and a minimum number of casualties means less Victory Points for our opponent, and less Victory Points for our opponant means less Victory Points that we need to collect to win the game.
So yeah, don't think of it as points being wasted if you miss... because as long as you're careful about keeping your troops alive, all you need to kill is one Marine to win the game
Thanks for taking the time to listen to the radio show! There are lots of back issues of the show in the archives for download. Great for long road trips!
Mech tau are not that good verse dark elder because dark elder have got quick transports with dark lances on them and they can have jet bikes with blasters, these can make mince meat of your transports.
life is an icecream and you just have to lick it
Originally posted by smoking (plasma) gun@Feb 8 2005, 02:47
Mech tau are not that good verse dark elder because dark elder have got quick transports with dark lances on them and they can have jet bikes with blasters, these can make mince meat of your transports.[snapback]323432[/snapback]
A BS3 Darklance has a 5.5% chance of destroying a Devilfish. A BS4 Darklance has a 7.4% chance. I wouldn't call that "mincemeat"
Conversely, a Devilfish with a Target Array has a 55.6% chance to destroy a Raider with it's Burst Cannon + 2 Gun Drones. Without the Target Array, that drops to 41.7%... but I'd take the Devilfish over the Raider any day!
I'm not sure if you calculated this, nor am I entierly sur of the rules, but don't dark lances treat all armor greater than 12 as AV12. Also, the sheer number that they are able to take makes up for their poor performance. My theroy here is that it takes more to kill a unit than it does to kill a vehicle.
Indeed, they have the 'Lance' special ability.Originally posted by BadKarma@Feb 8 2005, 19:11
I'm not sure if you calculated this, nor am I entierly sur of the rules, but don't dark lances treat all armor greater than 12 as AV12. Also, the sheer number that they are able to take makes up for their poor performance. My theroy here is that it takes more to kill a unit than it does to kill a vehicle.[snapback]324083[/snapback]
However, consider this: Dark Lances are not Assault, like their Bright counterparts; it's still a 1/3 chance to miss; and only a 50% chance to glance - if you're moving your vehicles as you should Dark Lances aren't really that scary, and they don't field more than seven or so that I can tell.
However, against a Raider...one Railgun, if it hits, is an auto-penetrate unless they moved 12" (if they're smart) - but, being a skimmer, it'll get blown to little bits when you immobilise.
It's not auto pen though. Also you only have to move more than 6" for the skimmer rule to come into effect. Check page 66 and page 69. The way I interpet the rule is that AP 1 weapons auto pen only when there are no special rules affecting it. The skimmer moving fast rule would negate that. The skimmer moving fast rule counts towards the Obscured Target and Glancing Hits potrion of the AP1 rule.
Going through the rule logicaly; an AP 1 weapon makes a glancing hit into a pen when the glancing occurs soley the dice. While the dice may affect the glance/pen on any vehicle, when you move a skimmer more than 6" a special rule comes into place where all shots that did any damage are downgraded to a glance. This suppercedes the AP1 rule. That's just the way I read the rule and I may be wrong.
Edit-I miss read your post but I'm not going to delete this because I think it helps clarify some mistakes made with shooting at skimmers-Edit