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Thread: Tau Strategy

  1. #1
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    A lot of things have bugged me about the Tau, the way they play versus the way their method of warfare is generally described. To be fair, they do live up to their generalizations for the most part, pretty good at ranged combat, relatively able to beat a fighting retreat, inept in close combat, but it isn't these major issues that bother me, it's a number of smaller things.

    First, what is the deal with the Cleanse mission?
    Mission objective: Hold table-quarters
    Tau perspective on holding territory: Don't
    While it is concievable on some level that the Tau might engage in most of the other standard mission types, this particular one just bugs be. It is almost completely contrary to the Tau way of war.

    Second, why do we have a Strategy rating of one? It may just be me, but the Tau seem like one of the better organized, more logistically sound forces out there. They may not be quite on par with the super-veteran Space Marines (and their almost utter lack of army-scale logistical needs) but surely the Tau are more capable of organizing themselves than your average mob of insane khore berserkers or hoarde of orcs. While a rating of three may be too high, relegating the Tau to a Strategy rating of one seems almost like an insult.

    Finally, while the Tau probably are better at fighting and retreating (because of the jet packs rule) than most, they still aren't very good at it. Your best hope for relocating safely is piling into a devilfish when your enemy gets too close and hoping you don't get shot down as you skitter away. Even here, you are widening the gap, at best, six inches per turn on your agressors. Given that the turn the firewarriors or pathfinders disembark, they're virtually useless (unless they are, once again, far too close) this tactic isn't actually all that viable except as a stalling-and-denying-vp-to-your-opponent trick for the last few rounds of a game. While that's hardly worthless, it is also not all that useful from a tactical perspective, and basically is similar to losing if there are any time-sensitive objectives in question (which, in a 40k game, is pretty much always assumed)

    In the end, my explanation for these oddities have come from learning about Epic 40k. In that system, it describes an "Assault" as resulting in a close skirmish roughly equivalent in scale to a game of Warhammer 40k. Reading that, it hit me--in a game of 40k when being assaulted represents the utter breakdown in Tau tactics and the veritable end of the battle for them, assault in Epic is very similar. The Tau just aren't very good at it, and basically, it only happens when something has gone wrong and the enemy has gotten too close.

    In essence, a game of 40k represents what has happened when the Tau have already messed something up. Your average game on this scale is a last ditch effort to pull things out of the gutter for your rag-tag band of isolated forces that shouldn't really be there in the first place. Tau strategy isn't really meant to be executed on a scale as small as 40k at all.



    Anyway, I just thought this particular revelation to be interesting enough to be shared, and wondered what are your opinions on these apparent incongruencies.


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    I agree with much of what you said. And actually, it really bugs me that they made the Tau so inept at close combat. If they are indeed patterned off of samurai, as many people think, they would be more balanced in regards to shooting vs. CC. And they aren't THAT awesome in shooting, so much so that its worth the crappy CC. If they are meant to be awesome ranged fighters, they should have a little better stats in it.

    I play Tau, so I like them, but this always bothered me.
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    Originally posted by FistofManheim@Mar 10 2005, 149
    If they are indeed patterned off of samurai, as many people think, they would be more balanced in regards to shooting vs. CC.
    [snapback]349071[/snapback]
    Where do you get that idea? I've never seen anything official saying that they were patterened off Samurai. I see them as being more patterned off giant robot anime. And even then, in looks only.
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    I'm sorry, but Tau can hold objectives just fine. First off, things have to get to them through 30" of Str 5 rapid fire. That's not easy. second, they're not that bad in CC. WS is actually the least important stat out of the 5 that affect CC. (WS, S, T, I, save) The to-hit roll only goes from 3+ to 5+, people. Anyway, the important thing is, they have a good save, reg toughness and str. They can't exactly slaughter the opponent, but they can last a suprisingly long time. Long enough for you to use kroot to sweep off the enemy, or until the end of the game.

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    Originally posted by Sir_Prometheus@Mar 10 2005, 14:25
    I'm sorry, but Tau can hold objectives just fine. First off, things have to get to them through 30" of Str 5 rapid fire. That's not easy. second, they're not that bad in CC. WS is actually the least important stat out of the 5 that affect CC. (WS, S, T, I, save) The to-hit roll only goes from 3+ to 5+, people. Anyway, the important thing is, they have a good save, reg toughness and str. They can't exactly slaughter the opponent, but they can last a suprisingly long time. Long enough for you to use kroot to sweep off the enemy, or until the end of the game.
    [snapback]349084[/snapback]

    You make a good point there about the saves especially.

    And I said the Samurai theme is something many people think, at least what I've heard. I know it's nothing official, but because of the caste system being so close to feudal Japanese caste systems, I think thats part of where the idea comes from.
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    Originally posted by Bean+Mar 11 2005, 032--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Bean &#064; Mar 11 2005, 032)</div><div class='quotemain'>First, what is the deal with the Cleanse mission?
    Mission objective: Hold table-quarters
    Tau perspective on holding territory: Don&#39;t
    While it is concievable on some level that the Tau might engage in most of the other standard mission types, this particular one just bugs be. It is almost completely contrary to the Tau way of war.
    [/b]


    Maybe they are securing a killzone for a bigger Kauyon operation?

    Originally posted by Bean@Mar 11 2005, 032
    Second, why do we have a Strategy rating of one? It may just be me, but the Tau seem like one of the better organized, more logistically sound forces out there. They may not be quite on par with the super-veteran Space Marines (and their almost utter lack of army-scale logistical needs) but surely the Tau are more capable of organizing themselves than your average mob of insane khore berserkers or hoarde of orcs. While a rating of three may be too high, relegating the Tau to a Strategy rating of one seems almost like an insult.
    I am guessing the low strategy rating comes from the fact that the Tau is relatively inexperienced in full scale war compared to the older races in 40k.


    <!--QuoteBegin-Bean
    @Mar 11 2005, 032
    Finally, while the Tau probably are better at fighting and retreating (because of the jet packs rule) than most, they still aren&#39;t very good at it. Your best hope for relocating safely is piling into a devilfish when your enemy gets too close and hoping you don&#39;t get shot down as you skitter away. Even here, you are widening the gap, at best, six inches per turn on your agressors. Given that the turn the firewarriors or pathfinders disembark, they&#39;re virtually useless (unless they are, once again, far too close) this tactic isn&#39;t actually all that viable except as a stalling-and-denying-vp-to-your-opponent trick for the last few rounds of a game. While that&#39;s hardly worthless, it is also not all that useful from a tactical perspective, and basically is similar to losing if there are any time-sensitive objectives in question (which, in a 40k game, is pretty much always assumed)
    [/quote]

    I agree, but the Tau do have the firepower to keep the distance, not to mention that almost all Tau units can have a pinning attack that may hold an enemy in place while they slip away...

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    Phew, you guys really took that the wrong way. I was neither saying that the Tau were bad, nor that the Tau should be better in close combat.

    My point about the Cleanse mission is not that Tau can&#39;t hold objectives, it&#39;s that they don&#39;t believe in holding territory While it&#39;s concievable, as dethray mentioned, that they do need some ground in order to pull off a larger scale engagement, the whole notion of fighting over nothing but land still seems very out of character to me (and that&#39;s exactly what a cleanse mission is).

    To further respond to Dethray (since he actually responded to my points):

    Yes, they might just be inexperienced, that&#39;s a good point.
    Still, though, to say that they&#39;re as bad as orcs or nids seems a bit overboard.

    They can keep enemy&#39;s at range, but that isnt&#39; the same as being able to fight a retreat. Firewarriors are limited to the 12" after moving, too, which means no backing up, shooting, and not getting assaulted for most of your guys. The point about pinning is a good one (though I am disappointed at how rare it is for enemies to actually get pinned), as the carbines do allow them a better fighting retreat than most. It still isn&#39;t a very good one, though.

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    yeah we do kind of wander off point.
    Cleanse
    It does seem a little, odd, but tau will try and protect their technology as much as possible, that may be a research lab, etc, and they are protecting it until they can evacuate it.

    i agree about the strategy rating, it is a little low for some very smart dudes. But the fire caste only stay in the army for what, 60 years is it? Thats not long (comparing to marines) to get experience.

    Generally running away tau are trying to get people into a trap, or fleeing cowardly froom enemies.Positioning is all to important with the tau, try so enemies cant get to you, ie impassible terrain helps
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    First off, the whole tau / daoism reference doesn&#39;t mean that tau are made to be samurai (laughs), it was more so the social structure of daoism with 5 castes which are similar to tau fluff. Otherwise militarily they are nothing like the samurai or ancient asia. Samurai would probably kill themselves before sitting on a table edge firing long range pulse riflers.

    Also the tau are in no way suppose to be great at shooting, they are young rather inexperienced humanoid soldiers. However, their strength IS their advanced technology, which is shown by weapons like the pulse rifle (s5 rapid fire weapon at 30" range) which is far superior to any other basic weapon. Plus they have a 4+ save in combat so they won&#39;t win but they do a good job of holding the line.

    What you guys are talking about (making the tau better at firing because YOU think they are accurate or adept at shooting [they arent]) AND better in close combat (because YOU think they are samurai [they arent]) is not only totally inaccurate, and doesn&#39;t even follow fluff and they would probably cost more than space marines.

    That only doesn&#39;t make sense because fire warriors are generally teenagers given training about equal to guardsman and equipped much better which already is shown in their point cost.

    Firewarriors are extremely effective for their price. You are one of the few armies that can destroy or route entire squads cossting 3 - 4 times yours in one round of shooting (which is ridiculous). What I can see you having a tough time with are deep striking armies (necron or terminators).

    And the reason that their strategy rating is low is probably for two main reasons:

    Fluffwise they are all young (25 years max military career unless broadside or commander) and their race in general is very young and not long ago were they barbaric tribes (advanced technologically quickly).

    Gamewise they have a tendancy of sitting at their deployment zone just shootin, which works well buy doesn&#39;t require a lot of strategy.

    So their army is very smart and technological, which shows in their equipment and amazing guns, but they aren&#39;t as warlike as the other races, so aren&#39;t inherently going to be very tactical.
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    Originally posted by Bruiser117@Mar 11 2005, 09:49
    First off, the whole tau / daoism reference doesn&#39;t mean that tau are made to be samurai (laughs), it was more so the social structure of daoism with 5 castes which are similar to tau fluff. Otherwise militarily they are nothing like the samurai or ancient asia. Samurai would probably kill themselves before sitting on a table edge firing long range pulse riflers.

    Also the tau are in no way suppose to be great at shooting, they are young rather inexperienced humanoid soldiers. However, their strength IS their advanced technology, which is shown by weapons like the pulse rifle (s5 rapid fire weapon at 30" range) which is far superior to any other basic weapon. Plus they have a 4+ save in combat so they won&#39;t win but they do a good job of holding the line.

    What you guys are talking about (making the tau better at firing because YOU think they are accurate or adept at shooting [they arent]) AND better in close combat (because YOU think they are samurai [they arent]) is not only totally inaccurate, and doesn&#39;t even follow fluff and they would probably cost more than space marines.

    That only doesn&#39;t make sense because fire warriors are generally teenagers given training about equal to guardsman and equipped much better which already is shown in their point cost.

    Firewarriors are extremely effective for their price. You are one of the few armies that can destroy or route entire squads cossting 3 - 4 times yours in one round of shooting (which is ridiculous). What I can see you having a tough time with are deep striking armies (necron or terminators).

    And the reason that their strategy rating is low is probably for two main reasons:

    Fluffwise they are all young (25 years max military career unless broadside or commander) and their race in general is very young and not long ago were they barbaric tribes (advanced technologically quickly).

    Gamewise they have a tendancy of sitting at their deployment zone just shootin, which works well buy doesn&#39;t require a lot of strategy.

    So their army is very smart and technological, which shows in their equipment and amazing guns, but they aren&#39;t as warlike as the other races, so aren&#39;t inherently going to be very tactical.
    [snapback]349777[/snapback]
    Okayyy, settle down there a little bit. I&#39;m not saying Tau are samurai, I said some people think of them that way, I tend to do so as well, but I am NOT saying they are. It&#39;s a dead point now, let it die.
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