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A bike heavy army is one type which I fear. They are quick and are generally powerful, just what a tau player doesn't like seeing coming across the battle field. Just wondering if anyone has come up against this type of list and any tips you might have would be much appreciated. I am playing a vet. so I don't expect to win, I just want to at the very least make the game interesting
Well, I have often advocated the use of bikes against Tau. They are quick, can kill tanks, and are tough. However you should outnumber or outgun you opponent if he takes all bikes.
If he turbo boosts, overload him with massive amounts of pulse shots.
Kroot in a forest are deadly, because in order to assault them he has to make a dangerous terrain test, and then the kroot go first in CC.
If he doesn't turbo a squad for a turn, jump on the opportunity to plasma that squad to death. Focus your fire, and don't let him assault you.
Basically, end your turn >18" away. Or use a skimmer wall or impassable terrain. Don't get assaulted and keep shooting.
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This is usually a good occasion for the Ion Cannon Brigade! A couple of these, with a BASS+SDs unit will seriously hurt his day.
Pathfinders with Rail Rifles are another option, but obviously entail you bringing that DF for a bit of expensive fun, so this unit is not necessarily the best choice unless the points value of the game is reasonably high (2k+).
Fast-moving skimmers with Fish of Fury units can be a real pain for an army of bikes. This is also the time I would put Flechette Dischargers on any vehicles too, as they are particularly nasty to unsuspecting assaulting units!
Shas'el Fireknife+ (MP/PR/TA/HWMT) keeps it nice and simple for your HQ - decent range with low AP for when you need it.
Consider a Helios T-Ldr on a Fireknife unit just in case you get the opportunity to waste an HQ biker. That Str8 will give him a massive headache!
Take a Stealth Marker Team for a couple of Markerlights, or else a couple of minimum 6-man FW ground units with 'Ui leader taking HWTL and ML. Place these guys in heavy cover and let them do their thing.
The Kroot in deep cover - has really to be wooded/jungle though for them to benefit the most from their own special rules - will cause lots of problems for bikers due to what Littleblueman said already. Don't underestimate the Kroot, but time their assaults well or you will be diced up and served for dinner.
Above all, don't forget to do the Jump Shoot Jump with your XV8s. You add 6" to the range of all your weapons with this trick, so remember it!
Hope some of this helped a little.
"Tau Commandment #226: Participants who use Velocity Trackers in the Tau Clay Pigeon Tournament will be disqualified"
will The fish of fury work against bikes? Plus they have a much better chance of shooting down the devilfish. And are Flechette Dischargers worth is since assaults hit on sixes.
I'm going to disagree with some of this.
However, this is the place I would advocate Smart Missile Systems. Generally I like my tanks medium/light on the upgrades, others like them with nothing on 'em and 6ft. away (Riki), but the use of SMS here will be a real pain in the rear for an opponent. They have to take a dangerous terrain test to get through cover, so a devilfish with SMS will be a serious thorn in your opponents side.
You won't need the drones for the FOF unless you are facing blood claw bikers who have to charge the closest unit. Bikes can go around your FoF easily, so try this.
Put your Devilfish against the squad for a standard FoF, with a twist. You should move the fish up against some cover. Then twist the Devilfish away from the cover so that the rear engine is just touching the cover, and the burst cannon is pointing away from the cover.
If the biker squad wants to assault you, they will now have to make a dangerous terrain test first. A nice little something to but a dent in the enemy.
You can actually put the devilfish closer than normal, so that they would have to double back around the devilfish in order to not go through cover.
This is an obnoxious tactic, and one that will annoy your opponent to no end, so don't use it in friendly games.
However, Eigelpulper, you did give some good advice. Rep for you.
Turtles For the Turtle God!
Shells For the Shell Throne!
I love to face bikes since swarms of Piranha eat them alive.
Think about it, if he wants to shoot or assault you, he can't turbo boost. If he turbo boosts, any shots you can get into may face a 3+ invulnerable save, but who cares? With a 30" radius Zone of Control a team of 3 Piranha with burst cannons and TA can usually get range on them after they move. With BS4 Piranhas you are going to get 6 hits + 3 drone hits. So they will kill 1 or 2 bikes on average right there. If the enemy is within charge range of the drones you have more chances to cause a wound, and a good chance to tie the squad up for several turns.
Keep in mind that 6 strong drone squad are worth no VP's, and with any luck they will lose combat on his turn so you can shoot at them again before they get a turn.
If your opponent is not turbo boosting his bike, Fusion Piranhas with TA's make for excellent response units. Even a small team of 2 will typically kill 2 bikes in a turn(counting BS4 fusion+ drones shooting+charging). Additionally, these install kill bikes as Toughnes modifier doesn't count for instakill purposes.
As far as defenses go, plasma guns on bikes are a nuisance, but I don't think he can take more than 1 or 2 in a squad. Melta guns are deadly, but again they don't have enough to effectively deal with swarms of Piranha(4 or more total), and they will quickly lose their ablative wounds.
Besides, even 3 melta guns at BS4 are only 2 hits. Against fast skimmers, it's gonna be hard to get melta range, especially first round. So assuming that is true, maybe 1 glance which is still far from destroyed...
I've never had problems with bike armies. For that matter I've never had problems with any kinds of fast moving armies. Nope the only army I don't like to face are Necrons.
as wat was said before, you will most likely out number him, take a decent amount of firewarriors, at 30" range, youll get a shot or two off at them, so just pour in the pulse fire. take some plasma/missile pod crisis suits, long range, good strength, good ap on the plasma rifle (which wont matter if he turbo boosts), plus the jump shoot jump, you can use any terrain to ur advantage. try taking kroot with some kroot hounds, to make a defensive battle line in front of ur firewarriors. id suggest maybe taking some vespid, as they are fast, with good marine killing weapons, but i havent used them before, and their armour save is something that coud let u down. anywho, thats my two cents...
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Or you could take an all mech list,he would have trouble catching up to youu
-A tau, dark eldar and slaanesh csm player
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Markerlight guide if possible for hits on 2 or 3+ and wounding on 4+ means the bikes WILL take casualties, co-ordinate fire, use a FOF first and possibly a stealth squad or drone squad, I tend to FOF first and finish of with XV8 helios etc.
Attack bikes can be a pain but again they have 3+ saves so plasma, fusion, railguns ec will sort them out quick, most players do not go mad on bikes because of their cost, Chaos bike squads can be very dangerous but again its just about concentrating fire power at the right time, if they boost hit em with pulse rifles and burst cannon, if they don't hit em with low AP stuff.
Also something to be remembered bike units can be pinned as they are treated as none vehicle units and have to check for moral etc just like any other none vehicle unit, so use this when possible.
Characters on bikes can be troublesome, I use a space wolf character my self, they are still treated as independent characters and this can be exploited to keep them safe, by using the rule for not being the closest target, along with the boost this can make them very hard to take down, use low AP insat kill when ever possible and do not let them get into CC (the TGH and character bonuses make them pigs to kill) use Kroot to swamp them if possible.