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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going crazy man. I mean, I just started getting into warhammer over this Christmas, but I'm in this crazy ultra absorbed phase where I can't get enough of it. Of COURSE I chose an army and learn it's getting an overhaul 2 months from now. It's absolutely killing me that I can't really design lists and pour over the manual and devise tactics.

Most of all I wanna finish my budding army and play some GAMES! >_< Hah, I've only got like 500 pts..

Well, yeah Im sure you feel my pain, but I wanted to vent a bit.
 

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It seems most of the new units will be suuport squads at best so the core of a Tau army shouldn't change much. This means the armies overall tactics should stay the same just w/ a few new tricks. This means firewarriors and hammerheads should still be mainstays in your army (whether you play mech, static, or hybrid).

NOT STEALTHS! ( Ill spare you a rant of my own)

Phase Out....
 

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but you cant go wrong when buying tau. all units are great (exept kroot and pathfinders i cant make those units to work) but overall just look in the army list section and you will see a red line. hammerheads stealths and XV8 and lots of them.
 

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I went through the same thing over christmas si i know where you are coming from. I got the army based on the current codex and I got it together and played acouple games with it. Im sure nothing from the new codex is going to drastically change a current army list(at least not for the worse). I think you should get the stuff now and build on it when the new stuff comes out. Worked for me.

Good luck
 

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Given we're getting a new codex soon, I'd just like to wrap up tactics I use, using our current codex. Parts of it are agreed on in some way or another, but it is still a biased article and definetely not necessarily all true.

Army list building:

Commanders: There are 5 good configurations: plasma-missile-multi, twinplasma-missile-hwmulti, twinmissile-plasma-hwmulti, twinplasma-fusion-hwmulti, plasma-fusion-multi. Don't get any other upgrades.

Ethereal: Don't give it any upgrades. An ethereal is useful for static fire warriors and broadsides.

Bodyguards: Not a good choice until you've maxed your elite spots with stealths. Similar to commanders.

Crisis suits: There are 3 good configurations: plasma-missile-multi, twinmissile-tlock/flamer, twinplasma-tlock/flamer. Best in units of 1, don't use in units of 3. Don't get any other upgrades.

Stealths: Only field in a unit of 4 or a unit of 6, with no upgrades.

Fire Warriors: Give them a shas'ui if not mechanised, no upgrades (or other weapons) otherwise.

Devilfish: You should take decoys, multi, and tarray.

Kroot: Don't give them any upgrades, they should only be fielded in units of 10. See kroot hounds for an exception.

Gun Drones: Not great, not useless. Use them if you like them.

Pathfinders: Hard to use. Don't give them any upgrades (or other weapons) other than a shas'ui, and maybe 2 gun drones. They are best fielded in a unit of 6.

Kroot hounds: A useful combat unit can be made with a unit or two in a unit of 14-20 kroot with shaper and save.

Broadsides: Not as good as the hammerhead, but still ok. Best with 2 shield drones, with an ethereal on the board for the moral checks.

Hammerhead: The best Tau unit, it must have decoy launchers and a multitracker, and it's ok to have target lock and disruption pod. The first two railheads are superior to an ionhead, the third is about even. Smart missiles are better than burst cannons, but require target locks to be useful, and should only taken if you have the spare points.

Krootox: A fairly useless unit, lets hope the new codex will do it some justice.


Fire warriors, kroot, or stealths?
The decisions made why playing tau, generally, involve trying to keep out of charge range. On the other hand, getting within range to shoot is also a priority.

This is a common conflict of interest for tau players. They want to get close enough to shoot, but you want to stay far away enough so they won't be charged. Tau deals with this well by having mobile firepower.

There is a third decision to be made, which is how to get to the objective. Warhammer in space is no longer about putting men down and rolling dice. It's not about who kills the most, or if a unit can make its points back. In 4th edition, the objective now plays a big part in who wins a battle.

Similarly to the way combat and range conflict, moving towards the ojective and defending deployed forces conflict. When you sit a unit of fire warriors down, you now have a unit you want to protect. You want to keep elite tau units closer in order to save them from any threat.

Remove the static fire warriors, remove the broadsides, and you now no longer have anything to defend. The board is the limit, your Tau are free to move. They can now concentrate on capturing objectives, without static elements to tie them down.

That's the general argument for why mechanised tau outperforms trench tau. When building mechanised tau army lists, however, there is still the decision on what balance of mechanised fire warriors, kroot, and stealths should be taken for the army's anti-infantry role.

So, lets look at the tactics of each one seperately.


Fire Warriors in Devilfish:
Taking a look at the fire warrior, I notice a few things. They can survive a single average round of firepower with their decent armour, but are not likely to survive a round of combat with their low initiative. They shoot the enemy very efficiently at a close range. And they can take a very durable transport that has a high capacity.

Put these together, and you get a tactic called the Fish of Fury.

What is the FoF?
The FoF is a manouvre where fire warriors are unloaded from a devilfish, rapid fire at their enemy, and are then unable to be assaulted due to the enemy having to move around the devilfish.

I'm not going to start praising this tactic as a game winner, it is far from that. The FoF is a highly overated manouvre that will never get the results you expect. It is however still a viable tactic that can be used at the right time to gain a small advantage.

There are better uses for fire warriors in devilfish.

The most common use for fire warriors is the rapid fire drop. The FoF is a varient of the rapid fire drop, but it assumes there are enemy left. The best rapid fire drops are those where the enemy unit is finished off. Work out how many you should kill, and have a HQ or elite unit or two to backup just in case luck goes against you. Rapid fire drops should be done on 3 marines, 6 storm troopers, or 8 guardsmen in cover, no more. Double rapid fire drops are safer, and can be done on up to 6 marines, with backup if needed.

That's the damage side of fire warriors, the rest of their uses are tactical advantages that benefit your whole army.

Fire warriors in devilfish are great anti-tank dilution. Give the devilfish decoy launchers, multitracker, and targetting array, and you have a tank that can shoot as well as 6.2 fire warriors, and more importantly, will absorb some anti-tank fire that is now no longer directed at your hammerheads. This works in practice more than in theory.

Lastly, fire warriors in devilfish are scoring units. They can move 12" a turn and ignore terrain, they are an expensive scoring unit, but one that can be relied upon to stay alive until the end of the game, and then able to make a dash for the objective.

After all that, we've come to the conclusion that fire warriors are an impact unit, designed to apply a concentration of firepower when needed, and otherwise get shot at instead of hammerheads, and if they survive, they can score relatively easily.

So, what is the best combination?

12 Fire Warriors in Devilfish - decoys, multi, targetting array 220

A unit of 6 can also effectively be fielded, acting as a purely tactical unit rather than an impact one.

All other upgrades are not worth their cost, they're solutions you can avoid by not making a mistake in the first place.


Kroot:
Kroot are not a combat unit. Kroot are about par to fire warriors when shooting at the wider range of targets. Kroot offer little damage advantage, what kroot offer is their tactical advantage.

Tactical advantages of Kroot:
-Can infiltrate
-Distraction
-Scoring unit

Kroot need to be taken to push back infiltrators. This is not a hard strategy to understand, you put them in an area where you don't want the enemy to infiltrate, sacrificing the kroot for more space.

If there is no need to push back infiltrators, kroot are a very good distraction unit. The opponent will often shoot at them just because they are there, what you need to do is take advantage of that by putting them somewhere to get the rest of your army into a better position.

Kroot are also a good scoring unit, especially in alpha mission, or cleanse and secure and control, where the cost of the unit doesn't matter. Kroot are able to sit behind forests, then move through them in the last few turns without movement penalty.

If there is little tactical use for the kroot, they are best as a pillbox unit, sit them in a forest and shoot.

None of these advantages get any better than more kroot you have in a unit. The best combination?

10 Kroot 70


Stealths:
Stealths are a fantastic unit. Stealths are incredibly hard to kill if your main focus is on keeping them alive.

When using stealths, it is usually best to keep them alive as a first priority, shooting them at something is less important. This doesn't mean hide them for 6 turns, they can often shoot and hide back behind terrain, what it means is that there may be one or two turns where it's best to stay back and use their stealth armour to protect them, or to stay behind cover and wait for the enemy to advance.

Stealths are designed to stay alive, and score objectives. The best combinations are:

4 stealths 120
or
6 stealths 180


What's the right balance?
It generally doesn't matter what balance you have, you will have a good army that will win battles. The only way to convince yourself which is the better balance is to find out for yourself.


Crisis suits:
Crisis suits are required to offer the range and the high strength shots that fire warriors, kroot, and stealths fail to cover. They help against what S5 AP5 and S10 AP1 fail to specialise killing, 2+ saves and medium vehicles. You do not need a lot of crisis suits to cover this area, in 1500pts 2-4, including commanders, will cover a basic army.

The fireknife: plasma rifle, missile pod, multitracker. While unspecialised towards both 2+ saves and medium vehicles, is the best configuration to use as it covers both well enough.
The fireknife is best used to deny victory points to the opponent just like the stealths. Commanders achieve this well, being able to avoid being shot unless they are the closest. They should focus precisely on the targets they were taken for, rather than an anti-infantry role.

The deathrain: twinlinked missile pod (target lock/flamer). Specialised against medium vehicles, it is the best tau unit in taking out AV10-13 skimmers and AV10-11 non-skimmers, with only the broadside better than it against AV12.
Only elites should be deathrains. The deathrain is the easiest crisis to use, as it has the longest range.

The burning eye: twinlinked plasma rifle (target lock/flamer).
Specialised against 2+ saves. It's not a great marine killer, stealths are better unless it gets into rapid fire range.
Only elites should be burning eyes. The burning eye isn't taking to not get into rapid fire range, nor to score. It needs to hit hard and fast, using the superior mobility of the crisis suit to increase its survivability.

The helios: plasma rifle, fusion blaster, multitracker. Also specialised against 2+ saves, it can also help against vehicles.
The helios is not better than the burning eye within 12". It is better on commanders, being able to use IC to protect it from most enemy. It is still highly suicidal.

Twinlinking is not a priority, and should only be done on shas'el if the spare points are available. Shas'el should always have 2 weapons, you should always max out your commanders before you start using elite crisis.


Hammerheads:
Fit in as many as you can, hammerheads are absolutely fantastic unit, and are quite easy to use. A point a shoot tactic will work, just make sure to stay near terrain so you can hide if shaken next turn.


And it's concluded. I'm willing to hear your thoughts on how wrong I am :).
 

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In onlainari's defense he has posted this before and has been ripped to shreads by alot of people. I feel that all of his info is in some way correct and is a good focal point for beginners to find out how to play a half decent Tau army. I based my army on his comments and although ive made some changes to fit my own style still used his info. Just throwin that out their.
 

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that was great,totally agree with everything you said
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Oh, dont worry I've been reading up enough on the basic tactics to understand and regurgitate them. I just havnt got the actual play time under my belt. Miketehfox has got it down, I'm dying waiting for this codex.

As for the units not changing much, I dunno about that either. I've heard those markerlight squads might be changing so that each markerhit will confur +1BS to one friendly UNIT or reduce the targets leadership by 1 for that turn. I dunno about you guys but that small change makes them about 3 times more desirable to me. :w00t:

That, and vespids. I know a lot of yah hate vespids and auxillaries in general but I <3 em! Oh yeah! And they'll probably fix controller drones too, I hope.

Every time I go to design an army list, I get disgusted because I know the list will be more or less useless to me once the codex is released!
 

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I think current list will still compete alright even when the new codex comes out. I think the new rules will just improve upon them. I dont think GW has ever come out with new rules for an army that made them worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well yeah, making an army worse makes sense for balance, but everyone who plays that army hates what that happens, and GW isn't in the bisuness of pissing off its customers.

I dunno, I just feel like any list I make will be totally useless once new crap pop's up. I plan to use those markerlights all over the place, as they exist right now their not as usefull. I'll probably throw a lot more drones in there and some auxilleries too. Plus the whole bodyguard unit size rumor..
 

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What about the body gaurd? I love the fluff with bodygaurds and it angers me that they take away the HQ IC status. What changes did you hear they were making to them?
 

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Right now, this isn't a place for Rumors, there are tens of Threads around right now covering that, let's stay on topic people.

And in a sense, yes you list will seem useless if you make it now.

Lets say you make a 1500 point army, fully completed, then the new codex comes out....with supposedly New Suit equipment and a New Specific HQ Model, chances are you'll want/need those. Maybe 2 new Fast Attack Choices (Vespid and Phiranahs) that could lead you to have to dump one of you current FA units. A new Tank that sports Racks of Seeker Missiles (6 or 8 AFAIK) that could end up as Heavy Support, and along with possible a reviewing of the Broadsides (some say 'Slow but Propurseful' will be added, see you BGB for details.) and the Addition of Snipre Drone Squads could lend you to have to mix up your Heavy Support Section. New Stealth Suit models (Which could end up as thier own unit) could make you rearrange your Elites choices. Along with new Ethereal Models (and maybe Rules) could have you Rearrange them. The Kroot SQaud rules are changing slightly (Hounds and Ox no longer take up FA and HS slots, AFAIK) and maybe a some new squad option to represent thier 'mutating' aspect (I hope!) and maybe with updating the Gue'vesa Rules to ake them a more viable option to take could lend to some Troops Selection Rearrrangeing.

Not to scare you or anything ;D, I just think it's better to wait, as you never know what could happen.

and GW isn't in the bisuness of pissing off its customers.
I'm sorry, but if you ask us many will say we are pissed at GW for some reason or anougher, I mean, they don't listen to us when we have a conflict with the rules, and thus they don't release FAQs that could clear things up and so on and so forth. They have thier good points and bad points, but I think they may have more bad than good...(SPECULATION. NOT AN ACTUAL FACT.)

Right, try not to jump on me all at once in Outrage, this is all based off my opinions, and if you don't agree, you can say so, but do it nicely and calmly, like the mature people we all are, right?

Mike
 

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Mike i unserstand that they are coming out with all new models but my point was and you didnt argue this was that they are just ti improve on the current list. So in a way you proved me right. You shouldnt have to wait to buy anything till the new stuff comes out. You get the stuff they have now and improve on it with the new stuff later. Its not like the stuff they have now wont be any good cause new stuff is coming out.
 

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The Orange Grey Knight
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Never said that the old stuff would be useless, just that, you've got like 2-3 months to go, just wait and use the time to try and figure out how you enjoy playing with our current codex using proxies (Legos work well, it worked for me, or Even just paper circles with what they are written on them) and then when the new codex comes out, I say just buy the Codex, spend about a week or 2 in deep study and on LO, as well all have our say about it, then from there try and make a list that, while playing similar or exactly like your old one, but with the new units and rules thrown in.

I just think this would be the best way to come out of this with an army you will enjoy and have no chance of being frustrated that something you used before either dosen't work anymore or just won't fit in with the new stuff.

Also, to add to the above, after rearranginf your list just to include the new stuff, you could end up over 2000, and thus either not be able to use it all a lot (Around here I barely play more than 1500 points, due to time) or the new stuff and list just might not bled in too well with the army you had before.

I just think it's safer, and possible funner (Even laughing at yourself for the silly Proxies you could end up using if fun, and yes, as far as I'm concerned, 'funner' is a word) to wait, and know you did the right thing.

Even you have to admit horrid things could happen if people didn't wait, actually right now I'm expanding the number of armies I have fast, or at least was till I realised that every army is going to be revised in some way, so I'm going to tough it out and wait to do each army as the codicies come out(trust me, I have plans to EVERY army).

No Offence if this did happen to by chance offend you.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Oh, just that they might drastically increase the number of bodyguards you can take with your commander. Just rumors.
 

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Mike everything you say is wrong. I cant believe you would even mention some of the stuff that you say.( Now you can write all you want hahaha. just tryin to make you happy). You better prove me wrong on every single trhing i said. hahaha
 

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The Orange Grey Knight
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I figured you'd take this seriously, it's possible a Gamer's life is at stake here!

@Stevensane: Here I am giving you an option to your crisis, and yet all your worried about right now is a rumor? Did you even read my posts? I'm trying to help, but it's hard with out your input.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
MiketehFox said:
I figured you'd take this seriously, it's possible a Gamer's life is at stake here!

@Stevensane: Here I am giving you an option to your crisis, and yet all your worried about right now is a rumor? Did you even read my posts? I'm trying to help, but it's hard with out your input.
Mike
Oh. Sorry?

Heh, dont worry man I just feel like venting. It's hard on me not being able to plot and scheme knowing the information Im basing crap on will be out of date in 2 months. I especially can't wait to see if the rumors on markerlights are true, cauz I'll be rockin those things hard all over the place. Lots of lasers and railguns, the way tau was ment to be!

Also they will probably release a new army pack, so I cant even build too many units I know wont change. I suppose I could get a devilfish, another HH and some pathfinders.
 
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