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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Placed 3rd in a tourny this past weekend (prolly could have taken 2nd if I'd had more than 2 hours sleep under my belt =P). Thought I'd share my list (it's an approximation - too lazy to dig out my book). I've played Tau for 4ish years now and this is a list that consistently places in the tournys (pretty consistently w/about 2 hours sleep =P I work nights).



Commander Shadowsun

Cheap Commander
-TL Missile Pod
-Targeting Array
-2x Gundrones

2x Bodyguard
-TL Missile Pod
-Targeting Array
-2x Gundrones (each)



3 Crisis Suits
-Flamer
-Plasma
-Multi-Tracker
Team Leader
-TL Plasma
-Flamer
-HW Multi-Tracker
-2x Gundrones

3 Crisis Suits
-Flamer
-Plasma
-Multi-Tracker
Team Leader
-TL Plasma
-Flamer
-HW Multi-Tracker
-2x Gundrones

3 Crisis Suits
-Flamer
-Plasma
-Multi-Tracker
Team Leader
-TL Plasma
-Flamer
-HW Multi-Tracker
-2x Gundrones


12 Fire Warriors
Team Leader
-Markerlight
-HW Target-Lock

12 Fire Warriors
Team Leader
-Markerlight
-HW Target-Lock


Hammerhead
-SMS
-Ion Cannon
-Multi-Tracker
-Target-Lock
-Decoy Launchers
-1x Seeker Missile

Hammerhead
-SMS
-Ion Cannon
-Multi-Tracker
-Target-Lock
-Decoy Launchers
-1x Seeker Missile

2 Broadsides
-SMS
-Targeting Array
Team Leader
-Target Lock
-2x Shield Drones


Commentary:
My crisis team outfits are strange (I call them 'napalm' =P)- but they work. You have to have the balls to consistently deep-strike them, but they absolutely punish all but the most hoardie units - flamers are vastly under-rated and keep the squads cheap.

I didn't want to take commander Shadowsun - Originally I had a squad of 20 Kroot and gun drones for the fire warriors, but I got to the tourny and realized I didn't have my kroot - She will absolutely never make her points back, but it's hilarious to deploy he aggressively to play clean up for a turn or two and then watch your opponent break his teeth on soo many 3+/4+inv saves.

This was the first time I've run 'death-rain' on my command squad and I'm sold - will probably run it from now on - it's brutally consistent.

Ionheads beat the hell out of Railheads - just look at the points difference... and 3 ion shots will take more meq's off the board wit way more consistency than a rail.

2 Broadsides is all you ever need. Ppl are scared of them - the drones let them soak las fire instead of valuable crisis suits dying. If anything does come into their los it's dust.

Hope this gives you guys some ideas ^_^
 

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The deep down truth
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5,714 Posts
Cheap Commander
-TL Missile Pod
-Targeting Array
-2x Gundrones

2x Bodyguard
-TL Missile Pod
-Targeting Array
-2x Gundrones (each)
This is a really bad unit, why? well lets list the reasons

Twin linked MP on a BS5 commander, why? its BS5, give it another useful weapon like a BS5 Plasma. Also at 78pts it is not cheap, a normal XV8 Deathrain does the job just as well and for 25pts less.

Same goes for the Bodyguards, you are paying more points for a basic Deathrain, why? What benefits are you getting, and please do not say Drone controller.

On top of this your removing your HQ's greatest benefit, his IC status by taking BG's AND on top of this your exposing the whole group to mixed toughness and mixed armour rules by taking the Drones.
Plus why take the drones in the first place, you have Deathrains which rely on range to stay safe, the range is 36" while the Gun Drones have an 18" weapon, hence these will be doing nothing for most of the game.
The only thing they will do is die fast when shot and make the whole group run away.
Honestly I can see no redeeming features to this HQ group at all.



3 Crisis Suits
-Flamer
-Plasma
-Multi-Tracker
Team Leader
-TL Plasma
-Flamer
-HW Multi-Tracker
-2x Gundrones

3 Crisis Suits
-Flamer
-Plasma
-Multi-Tracker
Team Leader
-TL Plasma
-Flamer
-HW Multi-Tracker
-2x Gundrones

3 Crisis Suits
-Flamer
-Plasma
-Multi-Tracker
Team Leader
-TL Plasma
-Flamer
-HW Multi-Tracker
-2x Gundrones
Again these are expensive and have a bad combination of weapons. I would not deep strike any XV8 unit. Against hoards the flamers may punish one unit (if and I mean if you do not scatter out of Flamer range). Only problem is that your now stuck near to the opponent with a three man expensive unit that is useless at CC and will also probably get shot to pieces because you cannot JSJ when DSing
.
Again lose the vulnerable Gundrones and your testing.

These units would be pretty much useless against tougher armies; you would be foolish to DS against MEQS or even Eldar (with their weaponry and CC ability).
So given that DS is pretty much out, you are stuck with 3 weapons that will rarely be used (Flamers). Unless you get to 12" you will only get 3 Plasma shots to 24" at BS3.What a waste of a valuable resource and points.

I would rather use cheaper Deathrains with TA and Stealths and have some points for other units.

12 Fire Warriors
Team Leader
-Markerlight
-HW Target-Lock

12 Fire Warriors
Team Leader
-Markerlight
-HW Target-Lock
Gaaah Markerlights in full squads, why?. Reduced mobility, BS3 Markerlight (50% miss rate), confused unit purpose (is it a shooting unit or an ML unit). I do not like 6 man ML FW squads much and these are even worse.


Hammerhead
-SMS
-Ion Cannon
-Multi-Tracker
-Target-Lock
-Decoy Launchers
-1x Seeker Missile

Hammerhead
-SMS
-Ion Cannon
-Multi-Tracker
-Target-Lock
-Decoy Launchers
-1x Seeker Missile

2 Broadsides
-SMS
-Targeting Array
Team Leader
-Target Lock
-2x Shield Drones
Despite what you said the Railgun equipped Hammerhead is much more useful in a tournie. The wide number of different opponents means the option for the submunnition is extremely valuable.
SMS suck in tournies as most players will be tooled up to take down armour (tank hunters, grenades etc) and if you have to be to close to use em. The seekers are pretty much a useless addition given the next to non existent ML quota.
Ion heads do not beat the hell out Railheads, the RG is nearly as good against MEQS, better against hoards and I have never had any problem against vehicles (and that’s any vehicle not just AV13 and below). Ion heads have a limited place but that place is not replacing the Railhead.
With ML support the Railhead is probably one of the best units in the game and the ability to target any unit makes them priceless. Use em at max range and keep em cheap and they usually do the job.

As for the points difference your HH's cost 155pts that is only 10pts less then a Railhead with BC, Multi and DL's and for less versatility and maybe one more MEQ a turn.

Your Broadsides lack the single most useful add on the A'S'S. They cannot move and shoot and this really restricts them.

The fact is that your overly expensive and limited XV8 squads and pointless HQ (the Deatrain job could be done much cheaper by elites and just about as efficiently) have compromised your list. This unit would be much better with the A'S'S and the Shas'El supporting them.
The XV88 unit is indeed scary and it is even scarier with the A'S'S and a Shas'El (or Shas'O pref) with two more Shield Drones and its boost to LDS.

Shadowsun is useful but only in a limited type of list, where she can use her LDS bubble. If you are not using this sort of list then she is pointless.

Sorry to be so negative about this list, but I can see so many problems and exploits with it that I find it very poor. I know many players you would struggle against with this list and they are just normal players, not tournie level players.

You have next to no ML support, no assault ability what so ever (and this includes counter assault), no infiltrate or anti infiltrate (this list would suffer so badly against any list with infiltrate ability). You have poor tough armour capability (try killing AV14 of which there is plenty). You have way to many points tied up in to few units.
The HQ unit is very vulnerable and your XV88 unit is too static and to vulnerable to applied pressure that forces movement.
The FW are mixed up and have no fixed purpose, they are static and need to remain so. This really restricts their usefulness.

Again sorry to be negative but I am struggling to see anything positive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I won't address individual points here and now because I have neither the time or the desire to see this become a pissing match. This list worked because it is consistent in it's ability to deal damage to a variety of lists, it mixes mobility and static elements, and distributes points as evenly as it can amongst it's units. Causing your enemy to split his attentions is a great asset of the list - everything is a threat and nothing is worth (significantly) more points than anything else - the command squad is an exception but it can hide like Tau and if you try to get close it adds 12 S5 shots to the avg. 5 wounds it's already doing. The crisis squads die - and that's ok - their points cost is minimized and they cause split attentions - best case being when they drop behind an assault line, drop a squad, and cause the assaulting player to choose whether to continue or double back and loose ground. Bah, now I'm addressing like I said I wouldn't - any way - I handily dropped Nid Zilla and some mixed marines player and tied the last round w/a Blood Angles player (a close friend of mine and one of the best players I know).
 

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The deep down truth
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5,714 Posts
I won't address individual points here and now because I have neither the time or the desire to see this become a pissing match. This list worked because it is consistent in it's ability to deal damage to a variety of lists, it mixes mobility and static elements, and distributes points as evenly as it can amongst it's units. Causing your enemy to split his attentions is a great asset of the list - everything is a threat and nothing is worth (significantly) more points than anything else - the command squad is an exception but it can hide like Tau and if you try to get close it adds 12 S5 shots to the avg. 5 wounds it's already doing. The crisis squads die - and that's ok - their points cost is minimized and they cause split attentions - best case being when they drop behind an assault line, drop a squad, and cause the assaulting player to choose whether to continue or double back and loose ground. Bah, now I'm addressing like I said I wouldn't - any way - I handily dropped Nid Zilla and some mixed marines player and tied the last round w/a Blood Angles player (a close friend of mine and one of the best players I know).
Hey dude its not a pissing match, everything I said is legitimate. Why drop XV8 suits in to die after maybe damaging one squad. A single suit costs 54 points, the twin linked suits costs 89pts with Drones. Altogether thats a 197pt squad thats minimized according to you. To me thats a very expensive suicide squad.

The XV8 should be working all through the games 6 turns not waiting around to maybe deep strike 3rd turn, maybe end up out of range because of scatter and then die horribly through CC or being shot to death. If you DS how do you handle the possibilty of late arrival and bad scatter results? What is your fall back? What do you do while these units are of table and the opponents hoard or MEQ units are rampaging up the table? all legitimate questions.

Being worth no more points than anything else is hardly a way to judge a units importance to an opponent. A Hammerhead costs a Deathrain squad costs 106pts and a HQ XV8 Shas'El Fire Knife 97pts, but the Shas'El will be more of a target for most players than the Deathrain squad (even though they cost pretty much the same).


As for the splitting attention, well how? You have two static Fire Warrior squads and 8 other units, thats hardly a lot to worry about (especially if your holding the XV8's in reserve to DS).
Your units tie a lot of points up in easily handled vulnerable chunks.

You totally missed my point with the command squad, my point was why waste your HQ on a Deathrain configuration, when you can get a normal XV8 at 53pts that is just as effective. Same goes for the Bodyguards, why spend more points on the Bodyguard for absolutely no gain?, you get exactly the same performance with a normal elite Deathrain but cheaper.

As for the Drones well the point with those is you have 60pts tied up in Drones that you should be hoping will never need to be used. Take two Shas'Els, have them working alone and spend the points saved on a Drone squad that can work with the Shas'Els and protect them. The Shas'Els cannot be targeted (that nice IC status) and the Drones are not going to lead to the unit running away when they die.

Also if your expensive HQ unit gets shot at, which toughness gets used? yep the Drones. So your expensive Shas'El and Bodyguards are being wounded on 3+ if hit with Bolters for instance.

Basically it is a very very bad HQ unit and one that does a job no better than a cheaper much less vulnerable squad of Deathrains.

As for the consistency, well sorry but I can think of other lists that do much better than this.
Your XV8 squads have Flamers which make them very susceptible to return fire and assaults if they get close enough to use them, if they do not get close enough then they are restricted to the Plasma at BS3 and unless they get to 12" they only get 3 shots. Even at 12" they will be lucky to get 2 casualties. Not in my opinion a very consistent unit.

The HQ is inefficient in so many ways (that I have already described) its basically a waste of an HQ.

The Hammerheads are expensive and un-versatile, the 165pt Railhead is more versatile and just as effective. You say you take them because they are cheaper but they are only 10pts less than a Railhead.

The XV88 squad is hampered by a lack of mobility and is easily pressured into ineffectiveness.

The Fire Warriors are hampered by a pointless Markerlight.

My list for instance has two HQ Shas's that are basically untouchable, they work throughout the game dealing damage. They are immune to LDS tests and work to bolster other units (my Shas'O works with the XV88 squad, which have A'S'S by the way) and the other Shas'El works with a Drone squad that is not attached to the El, so they do not take away his IC status or make him run away when they die (they also do not make him take wounds on their toughness). So none of the weaknesses of your HQ but lots of benefits.

That Drone squad can drop behind assault lines to and do exactly the same job destracting but without risking losing valuable elites.

My two Deathrain squads do the same job as your HQ DR squad, only they do it for much cheaper. They can also target 4 units a turn. So my HQ and elites can target 8 different squads a turn and are cheaper than your squads. Again none of the weaknesses but the advantage of cheapness and effectiveness. No DS suicide silliness needed either.

My stealths can infiltrate and are extremely hard to kill, they handle hoard units and anti infiltrate. Your list has absolutely no anti infiltrate.

My XV88 squad can move and fire, they can fire if retreating. The Shas'O joins them and takes two Shield Drones with him, so the unit is LDS10 with 4 Shield Drones. It is incredibly tough and can target 2 units a turn with a BS5 Shas'O lending a hand. Again none of the weaknesses but plenty of benefits, with a simple wargear addition and the intelligent use of the XV8 HQ I have a unit to be feared and none of the move and shoot penalties.

The Railhead handles infantry but can also deal with ANY armour and its 10pts more than yours. Why DS expensive vulnerable XV8 units to handle hoard squads when the HH does it so much better. Use the units that are decent at anti hoard, Fire Warriors with ML help and a Devilfish to prevent next turn massacres, Stealth squads and Kroot. All are better than using expensive XV8 suicide squads.

I have Pathfinders and a Skyray for decent ML coverage, which ups the efficiency of my Fire Warrior squad in the Devilfish and the Hammerhead. Last of all I have my Kroot squad to deal with infiltrators and assault squads (hounds are cool). I have mobile MLs that hit on 3+ and a full pathfinder squad, both units are DEDICATED ML squads and not hamstrung FW squads (my FW's do what they should be doing, shoot things)

This is just one list type and I can point to many more that are just as good (Israfels, Onlainaris etc) that do just as good a job at splitting the opponents attentions, while punishing them in a much better fashion, Israfels especially is a masterclass in multiple unit use and overloading the opponent with targets.

3rd in a tournie is great and I congratulate you (sincerely) but one 3rd place result in one tournie does not a great list make. Nidzilla lists are notoriously easy for Tau to handle (slow and easily out maneuvered and we have plenty of weaponry to hurt them). Marines are a bit tougher but not the hardest Tau opponents by a long way and the tie with the Blood Angels player tells me what I suspected and said earlier. Any reasonable player will see the inherent weaknesses in your list (again not a criticism of you but an easily observed fact).

I spend a lot of time analyzing lists and I am always honest in my critique, I will praise if warranted and criticise if also warranted. Anything I say is not intended to be a personnel attack on you in any way. I am commenting on your list not you as an individual. There is no reason to turn this into a pissing match (as you so nicely put it). You would do yourself more favours by answering my critiques in a constructive way.
If you post a list as a "winner" then you have to expect opinions and critique about it, because it is obvious you are posting this here as an example (in your opinion) of what a good Tau tournie list is, and sorry dude I just do not agree. If you want it to be taken as a serious example of a good Tau tournie list then answer my points constructively, becasue every single one is valid and is not just made to illicit a flame war or argument.

Also remember this is only my opinion (for what thats worth:|) and I am just some random dude on the internet :C, so no need to get bent out of shape and turn this into a pissing match. I would much prefer you to come back with counter points that back up your list because I love a good natured defence and debate.
 

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Firefly
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4,209 Posts
Congrats on the placing. You certainly do take things I normally don't but it seems to work for you.

How big are your tourneys and how many games did you end up playing?
 

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I would listen to Rikimaru. Though the two of us differ on many things, he is pretty darn right in this case.

Also, your list isn't bad, it is good, but it could be so much better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm sorry I took things a little personal guys - People in my local area sometimes seem to have nothing but negativity and/or self-aggrandizement to bring to the 40k table, so I jumped the gun a bit. I see where some of your comments make sense Rikki - mby I'll draw up another list and post it.

@ Skarsgard

We play 3 round tournys using a mission objective system wherein each round the players get a primary objective that is worth 500 bonus victory points and only one player in each match can accomplish (capture objectives, rescue captives, etc). Also, each round the players receive 2 secondary objectives that are generated randomly, unique to each player, kept secret from your opponent, and worth a bonus 250 pts each. Bonus VP's are added to totals for killing enemy units at the end of each round (2 hour time limits) to determine who won - The tournament winner is the player with the largest accumulated (positive) difference in points at the end of the third round (aka. the only points that count are the ones you scored above and beyond your opponent each round). Average attendance between 8-12 players.
 

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Firefly
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That's about the same set up as my local tourney's.

Once again, well done.
 

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The deep down truth
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5,714 Posts
I'm sorry I took things a little personal guys - People in my local area sometimes seem to have nothing but negativity and/or self-aggrandizement to bring to the 40k table, so I jumped the gun a bit. I see where some of your comments make sense Rikki - mby I'll draw up another list and post it.
Not a problem dude, I can come over as being critical sometimes (I lack some of the more subtle social skills :D). All my points and critiques were not meant to rip your list apart or insinuate the list was crap. My intention was to help you eliminate wasted points and make your list more effective.

The list could be so much more effective with just a few tweaks. The list dynamics are pretty much sound (though unit number is a bit small) and most of your tactics are valid (splitting fire, balanced points distribution etc), apart from the deep striking XV8's (never a good idea with expensive full units).

Shop or club tournies are great learning grounds but official GW tournies are a different thing altogether, the participants vary wildly from ultra spam cheesy lists of doom to players who excel at the sublime use of tactics, to the pleb who wants to argue every single bloody rule etc. Also the experience level of tournie players is what I was referring to when I said that many players can exploit weak points in the list.

I think it could be an effective list with tweaking and I am more than happy to help out (though my way of playing may be different to yours).
I apologise if I came over in an overly negative way and am glad you see the posts as help and not a personal attack.
 

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I am a free man!
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4,941 Posts
I dunno. Kinda hard to argue with a top placing at a tourney. :rofl Kudos to you for taking an unusual list and making it work. From my point of view, it looks suboptimal. But I've long since learned that an army general can take such lists and really make them shine. The best anybody that's not you can do is tell you what works for them personally, or what number-crunching and statistics indicate to be efficient choices.

But neither of those angles will necessarily do anyone any good. ;)

There's a quote from a poster on another forum that I have taken to heart. (He's one of the best players I've ever known.) It always seems appropriate in discussions about list or unit effectiveness.

Silent Requiem said:
About my list; it is weak. But it fits me, and that counts for a lot more than any amount of mathammer.
 

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The deep down truth
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5,714 Posts
I dunno. Kinda hard to argue with a top placing at a tourney.:rofl

There's a quote from a poster on another forum that I have taken to heart. It always seems appropriate in discussions about list or unit effectiveness.
At the end of the day it’s about fun, if you have fun playing a list (no matter what others think) then play it. Who are we to say anyone MUST play a certain way. We can only advise and give our opinion.

As for tournies well it depends on the tournie, I am not being disparaging to Courtsloth when I say this, but shop and club tournies are very different entities to something like a Conflict or the last rounds of GT's.
Shop and club tournies are good preparation and you can learn lots from them but they tend to be a lot less restrictive and more tolerant of mistakes than a GT for instance. I remember in the Leeds conflict a few years back, I made the mistake of taking my new Space Wolves list (a very good one as it turns out) and I got beaten 2 out of 3 games. Not because I am a bad player or the list sucked, but solely because I was not used to the army and made some mistakes because I was not used to how it played. My opponents exploited every minute mistake I made. I should have taken the Tau army I qualified with.

Just one change to Courtsloths list would make a significant difference, for instance using a Shas'O to bolster the XV88 unit (and giving them A'S'S, ok 2 changes) would really help the unit to avoid fall back and other LDS based tests and would make the unit much more effective.

Like I said it is not about saying his list is crap, it is about suggesting improvements and then maybe he could get 1st place and that would be even more reason to celebrate for him :drinking: :X :drinking: :ballon:
 
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