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I'm using them. They're not as bad as I thought.
It's ok if you don't want to use them, it's ok if you think they are no good. There are plenty of reasons to think that, reasons I've been telling people for months.
I have yet to play a game with bodyguards, I have no tactics for them. All I know is that I'm now playing an army where there are no targets but the hammerheads. And if my opponent wants to use a lascannon on my HQ, at least it's not going to the hammerhead.
2*Shas'el + guard - pmm
6 fw with shas'ui
3 railhead - one with bsf
One more scoring unit than I had before, more high strength and range than I had before. I used to abuse IC with my shas'el so they couldn't be shot, but I found that there just weren't enough models to do this properly with.
i tend to (in the larger battles i play) just link up a Shas'el to 4 drones and give him 2 himself (cheap meatshields that can pin), which seems to work most of the time, but i must admit the hammerhead will go down if i don't skimp on the movement for him.
i generally use:
a fireknife shas'o w/2 drones and a squad of 4 drones
a broadside w/ shield
2x 12 firewarriors bonded & no leader
a hammerhead (usually w/ railgun & Burst cannons)
a squad of 2-3 crisis (weapons never the same)
3-6 stealth suits
some kroot for backup (either 1 20 man squad or 2 10 man squads)
i find that my opponent will go for the crisis and hammerhead every time and leave the devilfish alone. this lets me drive it up to his flank and rapid-fire weaker units to clear a space for deep-strikers. the drones have never survived in all of my games but the leader makes it every time. i feel that if i use bodyguards i'd have to conceal my crisis a lot more and they would be lees useful.
Tau are best as a fluid army. Tau can concentrate on the objective without having to worry about having to defend any static forces. That's the best way to play tau, nothing to defend that's holding your units back, letting the table be the limit.
This means 3 units of stealths. You need 3 units of stealths to replace the fire warriors, so you no longer have anything to defend. What we are now stuck with is no room for any more crisis, and at 1500-2000pts, no more heavy support or elite spots to get any more stealths or hammerheads.
This is where bodyguards come in. At 1500pts, you can fit in 2 bodyguards with one shas'el, take another shas'el by itself, have 18 steaths, 6 fire warriors, 10 kroot, and 3 railheads.
The bodyguards work better than more fire warriors or a devilfish. Here's a list why:
-provide more medium range weaponry that stealths fail to cover
-provide more high strength weaponry that stealths fail to cover
-provide more AP2 weaponry stealths fail to cover
-provide another target for high strength weaponry (S8+) to dilute firepower targetting hammerheads
-provide further denial of victory pts through jump shoot jump
-provide an extra scoring unit
What you lose is being able to have your commander safe from being a target. What I've found playing with 3 units of stealths and 3 railheads is that I don't have a lot to actually protect my commander with. The fire warriors and kroot usually die in the first few turns, simply because it's an advantage to use them as a distraction. I'm often hiding my commanders behind terrain instead of using the independent character rule.
When the commander is with a bodyguard, I am still be able to hide like normal. If I fail to find suitable terrain, I'll be providing an extra target to the opponent to shoot high strength weapory at, keeping my hammerheads safer.
I use bodyguards because I require the extra high strength low AP weaponry. My stealths can't kill terminators very well, When you're facing 10 with 4 assault cannons you want something that will do some damage. 3 Wraithlords used to walk freely on the battlefield against me, now I have a safety net against them coming too close. Stealth cover my anti-infantry, I needed the extra special weapons that crisis suits provide against the tougher lists.
Bodyguards also provide an extra scoring unit. Two bodyguards count as a two man scoring unit, lose one out of two, and you still have a scoring unit. This can be very helpful. The commander provides the extra leadership that is very useful when taking a casualty test. Lose the two bodyguards, and the commander does not have to take all alone tests, and gets the protection of IC again. It takes a lot of small arms fire to kill off the bodyguards and commander in one turn. 6 marine missile launchers (that aren't shooting hammerheads), or 27 bolters.
It's further denial of victory points, and fills in the gaps stealths create. Bodyguards may be an extra 10pts for useless stats, but they're worth it.
I've been playing with a Shas'el and bodyguard team and then a normal Crisis team so far because I haven't been able to get an Ethereal (relatively new to Tau ), and it, uh, works fairly well... Need more stealths though, I only have 6 ;_;
Gloria Imperator, The Firstborn Stand!
- 2000pts Inquisition, 2000pts Vostroyans, 3000pts Vampire Counts, 1400pts Daemons, [WIP] 2500pts Death Guard
yeah even though if you have space your better off just buying a few shas'ui crisis and put the shas'el with them,the tau often don't have enough elite slots so bodyguard is one of the way to take a few crisis for anti heavy infantry and light armour
Personaly I love bodygaurd(mainly for fluff reasons) however i only use them in fairly high point battles. I like the mobility of the lone HQ. However I have never had a game using bodygaurds where more then one of them died.
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