Welcome to Librarium Online!
I played my first game against an eldar opponent using the new eldar codex, and I was very impressed with the eldar firepower. I was playing sisters of battle myself and I got annihilated.
My tau army previously only feared assault units (mainly drop pods and deep-strikers) and IG basilisks (after losing the "first turn" roll when the bassies score penetrating hits on my HH's because they hadnt moved yet). I'm not so confident they could exchange shots with eldar anymore.
This made me wonder, how do the tau stack up against eldar from a "stand and shoot" perspective?
A stand and shoot perspective? It should work fairly well depending on the eldar player and the type of army they play. The problem is the Eldar are very fast and if they get to your lines you're probably going to lose.
I play mobile Tau and I find them to be very effective against Eldar. Eldar troops are torn apart by firewarriors' rapid fire and burst cannons, and even the really scary ones (read: fast) like Swooping Hawks and Warp Spiders are taken down easily enough with Str 5 weapons and the HH submuntion. With JSJ and transports, you can strike where you need to.
Now, against a Wraithlord, the best thing to do with mobile tau is ignore it and avoid it. With static... I'm not so sure. The Tau have a severe lack of Str 8 and higher weapons and it's a waste to fire Railguns at the thing seeing as how you need them to take out the fast and just as dangerous little guys. Unless you use alot of Crisis suits with fusion, the Wraithlord will be a problem if you can't get away from it.
-Thread Killer Bryan
Tyranid Hive Fleet Typhoeus
T'au Empire, Bork'an Sept
Good points ZenGamer
If you have a look at the basic stats of your average infantry type weapon for al the different armies, Tau are only better in regards to having a slightly higher strength (normally one point higher) and a slightly better ranger (normally 6 inches longer). Problem is that a lot of basic enemy infantry have a better BS than a Tau FW (Marines, Chaso Marines, Eldar, Dark Eldar, Daemonhunters etc) and an equivalent or better armour save. They also generally have access to heavy or special weapons in thier infantry squads which means that if you have a squad of 12 Firewarriors facing off against a squad of 10 space marines, or 12 Eldar Guardians (or heaven forbid Dire Avengers) at a range of 24" then the marines or eldar will get more hits on average and with heavy and special weapons adding some higher strength shots to their ranks they will get more kills on average.
Don't get me wrong, you add 2 markerlight hits to the equation and put the enemy inside rapid fire range then the whole equation turns around very quickly, but in a heads up fight a squad of Fire warriors aint all its cracked up to be.
That is why it is (in my opinion) essential for Firewarriors to be given transports. You can fly within rapid fire range, fire off 24 pulse rifle shots combined with whatever weapons you have given the Devilfish (BC's or SMS) dealing out significant damage in one fell swoop. Again if you add two markerlight hits to this, one to increase the BS of the squad and the other to either remove cover saves or lower leadership, then you are really doing some significant damage.
Basically what I am trying to say is that Tau can be out shot by anybody who really knows what he is doing, I seriously believe that. In terms of straight out shooting ability Tau are behind IG, Marines, Iron Warriors and like you said probably Eldar. The thing is that the Tau can out manuevere all of those armies and that is where Tau do their best work.
Well there is my very biased Mech Tau opinion on how we do in a shoot out. I am sure some people who play static Tau will have a different opinion of that but, there you go.
I don't care what you say. I found a lightsaber in my garage and that makes me a Jedi
Tau are capable of static shooting, but they aren't the best at it.
Never confuse a pulse rifle for a heavy weapon.
The Tau have amazing applied firepower. That is where we shine. Focus all of your awesome firepower onto one point, then JSJ back and be ready for the next. Really, it should be almost surgical in nature.
Now Eldar are also incredibly fast, but don't always have as good firepower. The trick is to find a balance, not get stuck in assault, and maintain the initiative.
P.S. I agree about that Basilisk thing. It is horrible.
Turtles For the Turtle God!
Shells For the Shell Throne!
Tau have never been an army intended to outshoot anyone, they do not have the BS or the heavy weaponry to do it, they also do not have the variation or flexibility of other lists in regards to outfitting basic squads with other weapons (no lascannons or weapons platforms etc).
What we do have is maneuverability coupled with some decent weaponry, but they only work well when used together, even the 1st codex always eluded to the Tau being a fluid army who lay down accurate firepower while staying highly mobile.
Battlesuits are expressly designed to provide lethal fire support at points where its needed fast, they are not meant to stand and outshoot anyone, stealths are hit and run, gundrones are basically the same, Fire Warriors are meant to be a highly mobile infantry unit (this is why no heavy weapons are included in the squad). We have upgrades for vehicles that allow move and shoot to full effect.
The only things that are essentially static are XV88's and sniper drones, even pathfinders are meant to range ahead and spot for other mobile units.
This is the key to winning with Tau, move and shoot, surgical application of firepower, rapid bolstering of weak points in the lines with fast moving units, infiltrating to sow chaos in the enemies lines.
If you ignore all this you will come unstuck, we simply do not have the sheer amount of firepower and ablative wounds available to stop a fast list (ablative wounds is a term used to describe wounds, models if you will that can be lost without unduly affecting the efficiency of the army/unit losing them) or to reduce a list enough to reduce its impact when it reaches the lines.
Eldar are a tough list but their units tend to be expensive and a lot of their list have very bad saves and are vulnerable to a lot of Tau weaponry, the key to beating them is to keep mobile and use the superior range of our weapons, take down the vulnerable units and the HQ (if possible) as losing HQ means they lose a lot of abilities (farseer powers etc).
Kroot an hounds are invaluable and stealths work well, I always take a drone squad to protect my HQ as well.
-Thread Killer Bryan
Tyranid Hive Fleet Typhoeus
T'au Empire, Bork'an Sept
well my opinon(sp) is that they have a lot of speciel weaponry that kick butt (look at d-cannon and fire prism) but they are rare or espensive and often both. also when they loose those special weopons or units, their plans fall apart fast unlike other lists. the only problem though is killing those units. but sticking eldar to a pure static list is just as bad as making tau do that (no offence static guys) but they will fare better. mainly becuse of all that special weaponry they have and ability to stick them in units that are either hard to kill (wraithlord or fireprism) or ones with a meat sheild. (guardians) but to tell the truth if an eldar static list were to face another static list they would lose most of the time because most of those special weapons have a short range. plus in a lot of other static lists they will have the fire power to down those big units or the meat sheild ones. a static tau army's main stregth is that only one weapon is below stregth 5, and that one is rarely used, so you have a butt load of 5+ streangth weaponry. the downside is we have few weapons with a long range and a low ap and those that do have them can get espensive and are venureable if the field isnt right.
Never give up. Never give up. HIT, HIT, HIT, HIT!
Hmm, I've only really just got into Tau but from what I'v seen XV88s (give them Target Array and Marker drones, if static) should rip through wraithlords in and theN firewarriors and markerlights is all you need for the rest of the Eldar with static Tau. I'm most probbaly wrong but hey, thats my 2 cents.
I think it all comes down to tactics.. Neither army is really a sit and shoot army, though it might be interesting to see which would come out better if they did play like that, it really comes down to who positions and uses the terrain better,
strength 5 weapons vs eldar toughness makes it real easy to wound them. if you push the battle to them by staying mobile you should cream them. yeah they might have a better save than our AP but if you can rapid fire them out the back of a devilfish (with the fish suppliying support and blocking assualt) you will be in a pretty good place.
XV88 can be usful at controlling fire lanes and making the eldar tanks go were you want. plus it means that you can us these to engage his tanks and his wraithlords while saving your railhead for some submunnition nastyness!!
eldar tanks are a pig to bring down though. i try and get a unit of stealths behind them and blow the crap out of the rear armour. that way your getting more hits and then more rolls on the glancing hit table. because of those holofields needing double 5 or above is a pain.
So i play a static base line (xv8 with everything else mobile.