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My brother plays a divergent SM army. Normally we play 1000-1500 point games. He has yet to find a good tactic for beating my primarily jetpack equipped army. Between the suits, stealth, and drones I end up whittling away his army before they can close or force me out of cover.
The only serious flaw in his army is the lack of fast attack which I could see as the bane of jetpacks because they can close so much more efficiently. What other options does he have?
How have SMs or other armies countered your JSJ Tau? What tactics or troops seem to be the most effective?
Swarm armies will give you a real run for your money. I mean unless you have lits of firewarriors to back up the jetpacks, Hormagaunts won<t have to much of a problem terring into you.
There once was a Lord named Vlad,
Who's fighting skillz really were mad.
He killed and he maimed,
He spilled blood in Khorne's name.
And the fact that he's legal makes me glad
(special thanks to Uriel Zarium for the last line/touching it up)
Aside from fast troops (like you said) such as assault marines, bikes, speeders, drop pods, etc there's a lot to be said for the "turn 0 strategy" which includes things like terrain setup and choosing table side. The Tau have a strategy rating of 1... Marines have 3, so your friend should almost always be picking his table side and should do so to deny you as much of the suitable JSJ terrain as possible. Of course, he should also object strongly to when you place 6-7 pieces of perfectly sized terrain pieces scattered around the table.
My friends laugh at me when I set up the table before they arrive because it's always covered with large rocks ~4" cubes which are perfectly sized for hiding a pair of Crisis Suits behind. In the end, we usually agree to reduce it to 2-3 of these rocks. But my point is, if you let the Tau player set up the terrain, you're asking for trouble.
remember that JSJ is usually dependent on cover and enemy composition. Against marines, it's typically plain stupid to JSJ if there are assault marines or landspeeders nearby. When I play against Chaos, my opponent is very weary of JSJ and brings lots of raptors. I settle the score with ion cannons.
what is JSJ??
Have you ever annoyed an opponent by jumping your suits out of cover and blasting him, only to jump back out of range or line of sight? This tactic is called "Jump Shoot Jump" or JSJ. If you use XV15 or XV8 Battlesuits, this tactic is a must because it WORKS! Unfortunately, it is dependent on terrain set up.