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  1. #1
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    Please Enlighten Me! :-)

    Hey, I am starting a small (1000-1500pts) Tau army and I looked over at the elites section. Then while I was reading I noticed that battlesuits have a poor BS for being an elite unit in a shooty army. After all, every Eldar unit, other than Guardians, have a superior BS and they arn't even exclusively shooty. I expect Imperial Guard to have the BS they do mostly because they come in mass numbers, but at least their storm troopers have the BS of space marines. However Tau don't seem to have numbers or better than 50/50 chances at shooting. Am I overreacting? Anyhow to the point, can crisis battlesuits actually be effective without a targeting array or twin linked weapons?

    Thanks in advance,
    Andy

    BattleFleet Gothic:
    Valhallan 23rd Imperial Navy: ~2500 pts
    Blood Lord SM Fleet: ~1000 pts

    Warhammer 40,000:
    Valhallan 23rd Imperialist Guard: ~6,000 pts
    BT SM: ~2000 pts
    DA SM: ~1000 pts
    BA SM: ~1500 pts
    Tau: ~250

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Intrepid's Avatar
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    Yes, it is quite distressing that Tau BS is pretty low for an army with no CC ability and no special weapons (for troops). You can make up for it with Targeting Arrays or markerlights, whichever strikes your fancy.

    Can crisis battlesuits actually be effective without a targeting array or twin linked weapons?
    Well, the Fireknife and Helios configurations come to mind. Still, in my opinion XV8s are not cost-effective without boosted accuracy. TAs and TL weapons are much more reliable than a low-leadership, static Pathfinder squad.
    "My tanks have names, my men have numbers." -Col. Edmund Grahvess, 23rd Kronecker Prison Guard

  4. #3
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    It is my opinion that the Taus rather mediocre BS is a bit under the par you would expect by design, because the game designers want you to play Tau a certain way, as a way to add character to seperate them from the Cookie-Cutter masses.

    As to how I think they want us to play Tau, I think they want the Tau army to be more team-oriented, where you get a gestalt (greater than the sum of its parts) by combining different units together in a single effort. Markerlights and Pathfinders come to mind as the obvious team-up by design (to put it plainly: The Tau army is balanced by assuming you always have 5-8 markerlights in it), but there are many more that are more subtle, and need to be incorporated by army design rather than simple hand in hand happenstance.

    By this I mean that the Tau units can never be said to stand alone nearly as well as a 10 man SM Tactical Squad, or a unit of Dire Avengers, or even a group of Necron Warriors. These units can wander off more or less on their own and still take the fight to the enemy, and get results. Not so with Tau Firewarriors (duh!), or a mere three Crisis suits!

    But, if you keep in mind the Tau's teamwork approach when you design your army, and DONT simply add units without a care like you would with other units, you will start to see the teamwork actually forming a gestalt, and the Tau army plays quite differently than any other... but it takes practice to implement. This is why some say that Tau are not for the beginners or the ones who only know Space Marines, especially Space Marines, because those players will learn bad habits that will just get them frustrated with the Tau.

  5. #4
    LO Zealot Arakiaz's Avatar
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    I thinks that Calaban have caught the very basic idea about how Tau are supposed to be played. We are not a strong superior race but relies on our teamwork and strategical thinking. But yes I would have wanted tau to have a better BS for suits along with a better strategy rating, since I don't think that our strategy rating is correct.

    For the rather low BS they have (now) made a bit up for it with adding targeting array - something that wasn't in the old codex - and a lot of markerlights.

    But I really don't think that it could be right that a shooty army like tau should have to have half of the army using markerlights just to be sure that the rest of it will hit their targets
    Dragons do flame.... but only when they are upset or they want to


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    I just want to clarify what BS3 is: it's average.

    Space Marines are genetically enhanced super-soldiers who train and drill 20 hours of the day. They have no life other than battle. They are BS4.

    A guardsman who's been through his combat training is BS3, a conscript who's just been drafted is BS2, and a hardened veteran of countless battles is BS4.

    And of course we have Orks, who shoot just because they like to make noise. They are (obviously) BS2.

    Tau warriors are trained to a similar level as Imperial guardsmen. The only difference in effectiveness is their equipment. This is where the Elites section of the codex comes in: the fire warriors manning the Crisis and Stealth suits are not necessarily hardened veterans. They are a bit more experienced, sure, and that is why they have the big bad battlesuit to fly around in. Think about it: Sentinel pilots don't have improved BS, nor do IG tank crews.

    We can see that Tau commanders are indeed better at everything than their more mundane counterparts, and this is the case with every army.

    So in other words, Tau are just as average as Guardsmen. The difference is in the technology. That being said, I think I'd like to see Shas'vre with BS4 - I think that'd be fair in fluff terms...

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    As previous people have said.

    Space marines are just Superhuman, by definaition, all around.

    Eldar are just about the most naturally dextrous thing in the galaxy, and live for millenia.

    These things have BS4 (most of the time, not even basic eldar do, or baby space marines)

    Humans that have been at war way too long get BS4. To be fair, this is probably more than they deserve.

    Tau only live 40 years, total. Getting better than a 40 year veteran human is really hard for them.

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    I haven't gotten to the fluff in the new book yet, but I know that in the old book the Tau lived only about half as long as a normal human. So right there they have a much less of a time to train for battle, so naturally they are going to be worse than BS 4. You also have to look at it in the big picture, how many basic troops have BS 4? I think it's only Space Marines (and all its different forms i.e. Spacewolves, Sisters, etc.) and Necrons, just because Tau is a shooty army doesn't make it any different. Tau rely heavily on their technology, which means, they suck at everything that doesn't have to do with technology and aiming falls under that category. Besides, can you imagine how broken Tau would be if that had str 5 30" weapons that hit on 3's, that would be uderly rediculous...

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    I can understand the firewarriors being BS3, after all I play Imperial Guard too, so that is nothing new. I would just think that the battlesuits would naturally have a better BS due to them being Tau veterans, the best of the best, and that the suits would naturally come with targeting systems, or so I think. I was just curious. I appreciate the quick and numerous feedback and any further feedback to come.
    BattleFleet Gothic:
    Valhallan 23rd Imperial Navy: ~2500 pts
    Blood Lord SM Fleet: ~1000 pts

    Warhammer 40,000:
    Valhallan 23rd Imperialist Guard: ~6,000 pts
    BT SM: ~2000 pts
    DA SM: ~1000 pts
    BA SM: ~1500 pts
    Tau: ~250

  10. #9
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    A 3 man crisis squad's flexibility and mobility make up for its lack of BS. As compared to stationary heavy weapon squads, they can quite easily equal or top the amount of fire devastators or eldar teams with heavy weapons can get. This is because their mobility insures that you can get them into a firing position every turn (something many heavy weapons teams can't do), and these extra shots help offset their poor BS. That being said, their low numbers and the fact that they're only as tough as the average marine make them less durable than many stationary weapons teams (although their mobility also offsets that a bit).

    The sheer quality of tau weapons also helps overcome the lack of BS, so don't worry much. A suit with a multi-tracker can lay down a crushing hail of fire with two guns, even if neither are twin linked and you don't have a TA. Overall I'd suggest using the TA, but it's not essential.
    Last edited by mephistophales; December 1st, 2006 at 20:28.
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    Well, they do have tagetting systems, you just have to pay for them. That's much better than when they weren't even an option!

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