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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, I have been playing Tau for a couple months now, and I am preparing for a local tournament and its going to be 1250 point lists. Got my starting list, would love to get some feedback from people who have been playing Tau longer than I and have a better idea of what works and what does not. So please please please help a fellow Tau player out, its for THE GREATER GOOD!

HQ:
Commander Shas'el
- Multi-Tracker, Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, HW Blacksun Filter, Stimulant Injector
2 Bodyguard
- Target Array, HW Multi-Tracker, Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle
TOTAL POINTS: 264

TROOP:
10 Kroot Carnivores with 10 Kroot Hounds
10 Kroot Carnivores with 10 Kroot Hounds
9 Fire Warriors
- Team Leader, Bonding Knife
Devilfish
- Disruption Pod
TOTAL POINTS: 460

ELITE:
3 Crisis Suits
- Multi-Tracker, Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod
TOTAL POINTS: 186

HEAVY SUPPORT:
2 Broadsides
- Team Leader, Advanced Stabilization, HW Target Lock, HW Blacksun Filter, HW Multi-Tracker, Plasma Rifle
Broadside
- Advanced Stabilization
Broadside
-Advanced Stabilization
TOTAL POINTS: 348

At these tournaments there are a lot of Space Marine armies to say the least. So I gotta come prepared with lots of shots/attacks and/or high AP shots. I think this list has both. I like to outflank with kroot, though i will probably keep one squad to infiltrate to be annoying or sacrificed for the greater good. Some might noticed the lack of Railheads, well with this sized list i like the extra railgun shots with a little better accuracy that the broadsides provide. But if you think otherwise, let me know why.

Thats it, have at it!
 

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In this list and at this point scale you might consider splitting your XV8 teams. Instead of two three man teams, try making them three two man teams, or even two, two-man teams and two shas'el. Reason being, you can spread fire instead of dumping all of your plasma or missile pods into one or two targets. Fire teams at a target until it's dead, and target your remaining shots elsewhere. As two three man teams you have to fire all of those shots into up to two units. The flexibility of movement as seperate teams will also help you play JSJ to a safer degree with the lone or paired XV8's instead of a three suit team that has to maintain coherency.

Also you can save points for more units like pathfinders if you drop the plasma rifles from the broadsides and extra kroot unit. Markerlights are a force multiplier in a way that your extra plasma and kroot aren't. You can strip cover saves and increase your BS with markerlights. That means against marine players you can literally remove models from units without any saves... which is not something a marine player will be used to. Plasma Rifles one Broadsides are generally a no-no, as they should be at range with those railguns anyways.

Finally I am not sure... but you might also want to split the broadsides up also. That way if they pour fire into one, you don't have to have extra wounds spill over onto another Broadside. Generally speaking, when you can, split units. Saves you from unneeded wounds, gives you flexible movement options, and allows you to split fire without target locks being needed. So on your Broadsides alone that saves you the Teamleader, HW Target Lock, HW Multi-tracker, and plasma rifle points.

The three man XV8 teams come from necessity at higher points as we only have three elite slots and we want as many XV8's as possible. But my Tau list during Apocalypse games for instance, is 30 XV8 Monats (Single Man Teams), since there is no force organization chart in Apoc games. Makes larger forces have to expend gratuitous amounts of firepower to kill single XV8's and keeps me from suffering from overflowing wound fountains. =D
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Breaking up the crisis suits is a great idea, so simple i probably woulda never thought of it.
I do want to keep three BS 4 suits still so I think the suits would change to the following:

Commander Fireknife with Crisis Suit Fireknife
Team Leader Fireknife with Crisis Suit Fireknife
Team Leader Fireknife with Crisis Suit Fireknife

2 man teams is going to help a lot. Easier to hide and dont have to worry about losing a unit on a failed leadership check below half strength. Also gives me 10 points!

The broadsides are as broke up as possible, funny I thought about breaking them up but not the crisis suits. I wanted to maximize my railgun shots in this 1250 list, and Im pretty sure thats the best I can do. If i drop the HW MultiTracker and Plasma from the 2 man squad that will save me another 15 points.

So now im sitting here with 30 points to spend. If i can muster up another 18 points i can get a small pathfinder team. I think dropping the kroot squad down any is going to make them ineffective. Reducing the firewarriors might be an option, dropping them down to a 6 man squad with no leader would give me 45 points. That might be the route I take.

What are your thoughts good sir? Thanks for the input so far, its already helped a ton.
 

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If you reduce the Firewarriors to a six man squad, and remove the devilfish you will save enough points for the Pathfinders. Remember pathfinders -must- take a devilfish, so you will still have a devilfish in the army, it just has to be assigned to the pathfinders. Also the firewarriors will not need a team leader or bonding knife and they should stay inside the Pathfinder's devilfish as long as possible. Like someone said before, firewarriors work best as 60 point upgrades to devilfish to make them scoring. =D

Outflanking your kroot -could- help, or it could make them entirely useless. They have a 66% chance of coming onto the field where you want them, but there is a 33% chance they will outflank to the side where they will be useless. If you keep them near your army or infiltrate them to influence the enemy deployment you will find they are much more helpful. Just keep that in mind as you make your deployment choices. Also outflankers have to get rolled for as the game goes on, and those extra kroot rifle shots could pay for themselves more than any kroot assault. Just consider your opponent before choosing. If they are a marine player with a group or two of scout marines that he will most likely infiltrate in the backfield to hold an objective... the outflank could help you unseat them and steal an objective. OR if they are an assault army and you have first deployment, infiltrating the kroot as far forward as possible can force them to deploy back on their table edge giving you more movement room. These are just ideas, each choice is yours to make depending on the situation. I rarely use kroot at all, but I would not necessarily recommend dropping them from your list.

The broadsides can be split into two one man teams... meaning no needed moral checks for loosing members of their team. Also you can split fire without the need of a target lock, which means you don't need the team leader upgrade. It will take two Heavy Support slots, but who cares, right now you are only using one Heavy Support. Also by splitting the Broadsides you can deploy them on entirely different sides of the field, making it nearly impossible for you opponent to keep front armor against both Broadsides. And makes them have to divide their attempts to knock out your railguns.

Finally on the Fireknives... you might consider dropping the multi-tracker and going with Target Arrays. You loose shots, but gain reliability. It means you will have to choose targets and which weapon to use each shooting phase to maximize damage. Missile Pods are high STR, which helps ensure wounds at a good 36" range as well as damage and destroy lighter vehicles. When presented with harder infantry like marines... you can pummel them with missile pods as they close, and then pick off survivors with save denying plasma shots when they are within rapid fire range. This would reduce the suit's ability to cope with multiple easy to kill targets like orks, but make them more reliable against things like Marines, Necrons, and MCs. Unless you roll consistantly high, you will be loving the BS4 on all your suits.

The above is mainly personal preference, you will find people who argue both ways. I am a pro at rolling 1's and 2's so the BS4 is needed just to make sure I cause any casualties xD

I also personally field fifteen XV8's in my list. Five teams of three, and all of them use Fireknife configuration and Target Arrays. It requires better understanding of target priority and weapon selection, but will give you a higher amount of hits reliably in my experience.

Last but not least... my suggestions are based on my own preferences and experience in my region, take them as ideas to consider when thinking about your own area. What works for me might not work as well against your opponents or with your play style. I am always willing to offer constructive criticism! =D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think there is some confusion on the broadsides. I have a squad of two with a team leader and target lock. And then I have 2 more broadsides that are separate from each other, so four broadsides total, but three units.

I think you are right about the kroot. I have been mostly outflanking them, but using them to dictate where the enemy deploys, or using them as a bubble shield to protect my forces from drop pods could be ten times more useful than outflanking, especially considering I fall into the 33% chance on the outflank more often than not.

I seriously have considered the target arrays on the knives, lose some fire power for more accurate shooting. But if i drop that Fire Warrior squad down to 6, then i can get a 6 man pathfinder team, which SHOULD produce 3 lights to play with every turn. This should allow me to up the BS skill for accurate shots with both weapon systems which is nasty. My only concern is that I now have the suits in 3 squads, each squad having a BS 3 suit in it. So i would not be making the most of the lights if I am using all of them on BS skill. Cover is every where and I want to get rid of it haha.

So the revised list would look like this:

Commander Fireknife (100)

6 Fire Warriors (60)
10 Kroot with 10 Hounds (130)
10 Kroot with 10 Hounds (130)

Team Leader Fireknife with Fireknife Suit (139)
Team Leader Fireknife with Fireknife Suit (139)
Fireknife Suit (62)

6 Pathfinders with Devilfish (157)

Broadside Leader with another Broadside (173)
Broadside (80)
Broadside (80)

To me this list is looking a lot better. Capable of bigger and better things. Thank you so very much for all the input. What do you think, would U go into a tournament with this list? What would you change if not.
 

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The list is well rounded enough to work I think.

I would not go to a tourney with that list, but not because of any obvious flaws in your assemblage.

For instance, I would trade the Kroot for more firewarriors in Devilfish. Everyone else pretty much will say to you NO! you must haz the Kroot! But I do not like 'sacrificial' units... it bothers me. I'd rather have three, six-man firewarrior teams in devilfish scooting around than twenty dudes hiding behind logs hoping no one looks at them funny. Now that is a personal preference and one that can get me in bad spots because I did not have my twenty guys behind those logs... but it better suits my play style.

I also would be using more XV8's instead of all the Broadsides. I would be trying to squeeze every last drop of XV8 goodness from my army list before worrying about heavy support choices. 'Most' players fill their Heavy Support and then go from there... with my Cadre's I fill my HQ and Elite slots with XV8's first, then finangle the rest of my list. I suffer from difficulty killing larger massed enemies like ork horde, gribbly Nids, and infantry Guard, but excel at demolishing mixed mechanized forces. In my area for instance the trend is smaller powerful units mounted in transports. Which means once I bust open the transports the squads inside are managable by one or two XV8 teams and their plasma fire. I 'usually' table any marine players I face. Marine players in my area are used to their armor playing and important role in their survival, and when I deny them armor and cover saves they watch their marines get plastered. Rhino's are cake for missile pods, Predator's are cheese for railguns, and Land Raiders can be ignored entirely or blocked and delayed by your own devilfish. Terminators are slow and cumbersome and easily pummeled with plasma. I built my army to fight the people in my local area... my XV8 Cadre is not meant to play all over the world, just in my regional metagame which is Marine and MC heavy with a lot of small mechanized forces. You need to consider your area when building your list. If you think for instance there are a few ork or nid players running swarmy bits... the kroot are going to be needed more than if you have a bunch of steroid Marines buzzing about in Rhinos.

One Broadside or two can usually deal with armor, or at least draw the armor's attention away from your other units. Personally I use one Hammerhead Gunship and two broadsides. This gives me two Broadsides on flanking sides of my deployment for a good crossfire for side armor hits, and the Hammerhead is a good shoot and scoot railgun with a submunition option.

In my -opinion- playing Tau is also a lot about mind games. Our units are not exactly knock em dead powerful, they are generally over priced, and only a few of them truly excel above and beyond the normal call of duty. Broadsides for instance are amazing units. Hammerhead railguns are the envy of the warhammer world, and the XV8 Crisis Suit is a hopping turkey of death. These three units are the three units every enemy player has ever been told to watch out for. Enemy eyes are immediately drawn to that railgun toting hover tank you set on the field. When the broadsides fire their first time you will see the consideration in your enemy's eyes as he stacks up the damages in his mind those railguns might cause. Those units -are- powerful, and enemy's rightly should fear them, but more deadly still is the XV8 markerlight combination. Railguns can smash armored targets, but once the tanks are gone... you are left shooting orks and marines with STR10 AP1 shots... Railguns are extremely important to damage and destroy tough targets, but as the game progresses their need reduces as their targets are destroyed, or other units gain better shots on target. Two STR7 shots to the rear armor has a better chance of causing damage than one STR10 shot to the 14 front armor of a Leman Russ. Your XV8's can put some serious hurt on nearly every unit you will encounter. My trick is to draw my enemy's attention away from other units by using my broadsides and hammerhead as bait. I leave them open with little in the way of blocking or defending allied forces, and I allow the XV8's to sort of flow around the battlefield looking less dangerous, only picking off a few guys here and there... not always but often people will take those openings and commit forces to destroying your railguns. Let them run your gauntlet of fire to the railguns... the whole time they are you are still firing those railguns and doing damage, and whatever forces they committed to the big guns will get peppered by the little guns, and if you have XV8's all over the board from all sorts of angles, I am willing to bet some nice targets of opportunity will present themselves.

And to top it all off... the very 'useless' devilfish that are scooting around and seeming harmless can suddenly be a big problem when it's turn 4 or 5 and your devilfish can scoot 12" to an objective and you have two or three of them still mobile.

In short... all that above is -my- way of playing. Is your list well rounded and playable? YES of course! Would I play it in a tourney? Never. Does that mean you shouldn't play it at your tourney? Of course not. Only you can know how you play and what will work in your area. Maybe with more information on the area and your opponents we could make it better, but going off of a "I will be fighting random opponents in a random tourney with my 'all comers' list" sort of basis than I think you are quite ready for the tourney. Decide on the Multi-tracker or the Target Array and your list is set. I would still advocate Target Arrays so you can keep the markerlight hits to reduce cover saves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Tabling space marines?! You're my hero! Sign me up. Me and my buddy who also plays Tau recently played in a 2v2 tourny and we played chaos marines/nids, chaos marines/space marines, and space wolves/space marines. There is a dense marine population in my area to say the least.

I agree on the kroot but I still have a soft spot for the poor little guys, even though they die just by getting looked at funny as you pointed out. Probably run 2 FW squads in fish with a 20 man kroot squad for my third troop choice for awhile and see how that works out.

I also enjoy BS4 or better on all my units when possible, so I think i will give the target arrays a shot. Normally cant use plasma till turn 2 or 3 anyway, and it will be more accurate when it counts.

I cannot thank you enough for all the information and advise you have given me Serran. Thanks again! Take it easy my friend.
 
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