Welcome to Librarium Online!
I'm a Dark Eldar player shopping around for a next army. Those who frequent other Army forums have probably already seen my posts in numerous other forums as I explore a variety of ideas. For you Tau-loving folks, I have some questions:
Has anyone tried a no-vehicle Tau army? It feels to me like you could manage to pull one off, using a few squads of Firewarriors as an anvil and using crisis and stealth suits as a hammer, or as a harassing force, ensuring transport vehicles don't get near the Firewarriors, etc. I envisage the Heavy slots being filled by Broadsides and maybe a Sniper Drone team (I haven't got a codex, so I'm not sure of costs or usefulness)
There's a couple of reasons I'm looking at a no-vehicle army. Part of it is the stigma associated with Mech-Tau in my area. There is 1 Mech Tau player that is pretty hardcore about winning (I play in a club where most of us are there for fun) and he's got a tricked out list, uses Fish of Fury all the time, etc. He's a good player, and he's not a complete so-and-so, but everyone groans when the Mech Tau come out. Also, I play a DE Air Force (lots of transports) and boy does it get expensive! I figure that if I build my army, I can always decide to get some transports later to make Mech an option.
Does the idea sound viable, given that Tau are meant to make heavy use of their maneuverability, or are transports all but necessity?
you can do without APCs for some time!
In 1000pts army you don't really need any transports, but the hammerhead would come in nicely. Again I must praise Tau for being so adverse! you can buy broadsides instead, even tough they are not that competitive as a hammerhead, you will have no problem what so ever, if you are playing more or less friendly games.
Just pick up one or two broadsides to deal with tanks, and you'll be fine for now.
I think you should build up 500pts (perhaps only 400 for combat patrol.) and then try it out... That will give you the basics for playing infantry tau. After some games, you can expand to 1000pts (that's when you need broadsides)... You will be a little weaker without the devilfish and hammerhead, but you would have no big problem in friendly games as mentioned...
Even tough you don't want any devilfish, try to keep yourself mobile anyway. This can be done by giving Fire Warriors pulse carbines, that are assault and cause pinning, and still have a bit better range, which is rather important, as 12" is within charge-range, and 18" is well out of charge range...
On a final note: if it is mostly the price you are worried about, then I must inform you, that tau tanks are not that expensive. You even get a devilfish in the battle force...
-lurking in the shadows of LO.
Officially diagnosed by TekoreMelkhior, Necrarch Lord
When you say no vehicles, do you mean no hammerheads either? I feel both are a necessity in any of my lists.
Monitarily speaking you are going to spend the same amount of cash for any 2000 pt list no matter what is or isn't included, GW made sure of that.
You can have a competitive force and still be a 'fun' player. That has more to do with the person than the list. Some people will be so-and-sos no matter what list they are using. I say take a good list and have fun, there isn't a good enough reason out there to purposely handicap your list. Maybe you could take a mech list and help to discredit or disprove the current stigma.
Maneuverability is Taus' biggest ally, use it and use it well. If you insist on no vehicles maybe you should look at IG, they may serve you better for that style of play.
it is very possible to play tau using only infantry and suits, but if you do this limit yourself to smaller games, or you wont have the firepower to deal with enemy armour. however if your in a 1000 point game taking one tank can make a brilliany distraction. (everyone hates s10 ap1 weapons lol )
Dont Look Back... Something Might Be Gaining ;-)
Tau 1500 (in progress) win/draw/loss 3/1/0
(1) A totaly average infantry armour save 4+
(2) An infantry unit that is dire in an assault situation, and I mean dire to the point of it being ridiculous
(3) Very little means of soaking up an assualt or stopping units getting into rapid fire range etc
(4) A very restricted range of mid level strength weapons platforms.
(5) A huge reliance on mobility.
Basically Tau rely on 2 things to be competative (1) Firepower and (2) Mobility.
The Tau list is geared to delivering firepower efficiently, we have range advantages in our heavy and infantry weapons, and we have very effective delivery platforms for the little mid range weaponry we have, the XV8 relies on its jump shoot jump move to stay viable (mobility again).
The Tau have the markerlight, but the two best platforms for this are the pathfinder squad and Skyray, both are vehicle dependent, ML's in Fw squads are not a good plan and are expensive, and stealths are not suited to this role even tough they can take ML drones.
We have the Hammerhead which can move 12" a turn and fire its main (bloody awesome) weapon, but the mobility is needed to keep it alive.
Broadsides are ok but even these should be part of a list with large mobile components, simply to make the opponent split his forces to catch and handle the more mobile parts, thus ensuring a fair amount of firepower is not coming the XV88's way.
Tau have Kroot as their main CC component but these are more suited to a skirmish roll, infiltrating and pushing forces back or providing a deterent to the opponent thus denying parts of the field, they are good for counter assaults but not good for preventing assaults, they can provide a percieved threat but actually using the Kroot to actively stop assault units by instigating an assault is dodgy at the best and needs the addition of hounds, but really htis is not their role.this brings me to my next point.
Tau are useless at standing still and soaking up full frontal attacks, they have no CC ability and unless a Shas'ui upgrade is paid for at FW squad level or an ethereal is close by then LDS is below average, this also applies to stealths, XV8's and really the entire Tau list, this means a static list will suffer against faster assault based armies because they cannot lay down enough fire to prevent assaults and when they get in CC they lose BADLY.
It is next to impossible to stop a mobile opponent getting to your Tau lines.
This also applies to list with a greater proportion of armour and transports, they will be able to take the fight to the Tau and the Tau have very little means of responding, they cannot send tougher CC troops to slow down units and static Tau units cannot get out of the way fast enough.
Tau need mobility, FW should be predominantly in Devilfish (not every unit but the main firepower bearing units definately), the heavy slots should include at least 1 (pref 2) hammerheads (like I said XV88's are an option but not a full replacement for HH), Kroot should be utilised as infiltrating units.
XV8's and stealths are an integral part of most lists and they have the mobility to stay very safe, but ham string them with a basically static force and they will be less effective.
The point is the Tau need to provide as much firepower dilution as possible, this can be achieved by a mobile list very easily, a non vehicle list has one major drawback a least 2 troop units on foot and these will always be the weak link.
If you take a look at the Tau codex you will see its pretty clear the Tau are menat to be a mobile army even more so in the new codex.
A non vehicle list is entirely possible but really the only way of doing it is to minimise the troop choices and go for lots of XV8's and stealths with broadside support but I really would not give it much of a chance.
To my mind 2 Hammerheads and 1 Devilfish for the FW, with XV8's, stealths and Kroot is hardly an expensive list, especially when you consider that to buy 3 Broadsides costs a whopping Â£45 and you will need two teams to be viable, yet 2 HH cost Â£50 (or even better get Skyrays you get all the parts for the HH as well).
Sniper teams are not cheap either at Â£15, you could get a good vehicle inclusive 1000pt list for around about a Â£150 and thats 2 HH, Tau battleforce, 2 XV8 boxes and 3 extra stealths to make up a full squad, to do a non vehicle list would actually cost you more, for instance:
FW squads Â£18 a time.
XV88's Â£15 a shot
Kroot Â£18 a box
XV8's Â£10 a pop
Stealths Â£15 for 3
Snipers Â£15 a team
You could buy the battleforce but it includes the DF and you still need an extra FW box and the expensive heavy options.
Hope that helps in some way.
Well hold on a second i wouldnt say they compleaty stink at close combat. ok myabe they do but i killed a c'tan and deamon prince with my fire warriors before so shun the non believer. But anyway i play a non mech tau if you dont count the hammerhead i have a solid fireing line the only thing that will kill you is dense terrain. It is viable at 2000 points and very easy with the most powerful basic weapons in the game. All u need are 3-4 squads of fire warriors a suped up kroot unit ( mine gets over 100 attacks on teh charge assuming there all in range) to soak up fire power and dish out death in cc. Dont bother with there save. You'll also want broadsides at least one unit of 3 and sniper drones id take all 3 units to kill MEQ'S there really good at what they do and 4 railguns is nothing to be laughed at. Also take crisis suits and youll be good to go. Set up firing lanes with support include one pulse carbine squad for pinning(i say only one cause most armies arent failing a leadership test anytime soon except nids but damn synaps stops that well a t least where i play might be different with you.) So if u set up cross firing and excelent firing lanes your opponent will die jsut from the sheer amount of firepower.
Last edited by jacobite; September 5th, 2007 at 16:49.
If your concern is how fun it will be for your opponent to kill you avoid all of taus advantages of being a highly mobile firing force and use none of them. I for one use 3 warfish and 3 hammerheads. I started with 2 HH and 3 broadsides and the rest suits and firewarriors unmounted and every game went the same. I got 2 turns of shooting and the opponent gets 8 turns of CC, *noted they get many wounds on mine and their turn while I may get 1-2 while engaged and skilled players will make sure any unit they need remains in combat on your turn or behind enough cover to deny your your shooting long enough to get into CC. Even a non CC unit can tie FW and Crisis teams up for many many turns. I get complaints that its not fair that I have so many tanks and their army just cant deal with skimmers....That is not my fault. I am sorry you thought your LRC was unstoppable. This is somewhat of a mini rant for me cause I get tired of people upset with Tau using the tools made for them. People think that they should be able to run 90 space marine infanty armies that should beat everything. I used to hate space marines, now they have become one of my easiest match ups. Denying that 350 point devastator squad its shots 4 turns is not only funny but highly satisfying. I love making a dev. squad have to move from their all so safe piece of terrain, where they hide their 9 wound 4x heavy weapons. If your opponents dont want to play and lose then they probably should quit playing all together. I dont know what the sudden hate for tau came from. I think the big problem is most people starting tau, practice while building up an army and dont see their big advantage with higher point games or maybe people lose a few and dont see any reason to spend more money on their vehicles.
At a recent 1500 point tourny I played in 7 of the 24 people played tau. I was the only person to play mech tau, not so suprisenly I was the only one to win games. With 2 crushing victories and 1 draw vs. Dark eldar.
My upcoming blog in the works:
It's also a shame that you feel obliged to try a non-mech tau simply because of the reaction of the other players. Personally, having found out - the hard way - that manouverability is one of the Tau's main strengths I wouldn't be tempted to try for an all-infantry Army. In fact, the Army I tend to use is more of a mech-heavy hybrid as opposed to pure mech but I just can't see myself going in what I feel would be a backward step by leaving out what could well be the best troop transport in the game.
I suppose it comes down to why you want to play Tau and why you want a change from your current Army. I think if you could articulate that a bit more it would be easier to give more advice. Ironically I first tried out Tau a few years back and really didn't like it - it didn't suit my style of play at all. Now, I think it's the most challenging and satisfying Army to play and the amount of choice is quite superb.
Not knowing the extent of why you want to change and why you are considering Tau I don't think I can give you any more advice. However, if you want to consider a really challenging infantry Army that no-one would have the nerve or bad grace to groan about, have you considered a Kroot mercenary Army?? Now THERE's a challenge to sort out the sheep from the goats .. .. ..
~ Ravenscraig ~