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Darn Fish'eads
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Old 23 Mar 2009, 18:31   #1 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,645
Default Darn Fish'eads

I just sent an email to a friend of mine soliciting some advice for facing another friend who is a Tau player. I figured I may as well post it here and see what you all think.

-------------------------------------------------

So, played Mark and lost, brief mention of it in the move thread where Mark reported their win and my reply. Every game we have is close and comes down to the wire but lately it's been him getting enough edge to get the win. I'm wondering how you would approach a game against Tau? I ran you through most of my list this last game on the phone, but in short it was:

Warboss - rode with Boyz
Big Mek - KFF in a ride with Shoota Boyz
Deffkoptas x 3 w/tl-rokkits
Kommandos x 11 w/2 burnas & Snikrot
Lobbas x 3
Kannons x 3
Lootas x 6 w/3 Meks (total 9)
Grots x 10 w/Slaver
Stormboyz x 11 w/Nob (12 total)
10 Boyz w/Nob (11 total) in Trukk (Warboss went here)
10 Shoota Boyz w/Nob (11 total) in Trukk (Big Mek here)
11 'ard Boyz w/Nob (12 total) in Trukk

I won't run you through all the wargear, it's not exactly why I'm losing anyway. His list was this, it changes game to game but the core remains:

Commander
Crisis Suits x 2
Crisis Suits x 2
Fire Warriors x 12
Fire Warriors x 12
Hammerheads x 2
Sniper Team x 2
Kroot x 15
Stealth Suits x 4

He has drones in various units, gun drones and shield drones, and wargear is typically flamers and missile pods on the suits. As you can see, it's a pretty heavy gun line between the Fire Warriors, Hammerheads and Snipers. He's really defensive with his Kroot, preferring to shoot with them over moving them, as well as his Stealth Team. I'm finding it a damn hard nut to crack open.

As you can also see, he has a lot of bodies on the table, almost as many as me with my fast list, but we know Tau can shoot and so that many bodies with that many guns...it's ugly. This past game I did finally reach assault, a-f*&@#$!-men, but with the JSJ that the suits have, he was able to dance away from me before I could hammer into him after clearing out Fire Warriors. In 5th I'm just finding it really hard to lock an army down in assault. Unless you get lucky enough to land 2-3 assault at once on different units, you just leave yourself open to getting shot up once you clear your target. Which, landing that many assaults at once, is a b*@#! with so many guns aimed at you.

I've played very different lists against him each time and I just can't seem to find that edge I need to get to him and hold him down to beat the hooves off those fish'eads. I'm just looking for some insight, some ideas, not a complete list or anything. Again, how would you go about tackling a static Tau gun line?

-------------------------------------------------

So yeah, thoughts, suggestions, tactics and advice is all welcome. Again, I'm not looking for the details on what my 1,500 point list should be, more looking for a direction.
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Old 23 Mar 2009, 19:12   #2 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Darn Fish'eads

Units that I would match up agaist:

Deffkoptas vs Sniper Teams: 1 Deffkopta can easily zoom in and clean up a stealth team in assualt. Tau just don;t have what it takes to even deal with 1 Deffkopta let alone three of them.

DeffKoptas vs HammerHeads: I would however split the deffkoptas into 3 lone kopta squads. Sure its more killpoints but its also opens the door tactic wise. Deploy 1 of them and outflank the other two.

With both of these keept those deffkoptas turbo boosting or moving from cover to cover. Be patient and let the kills present themselves to you rather than forcing it.

Grots vs Objetives: Place your objective right at the 12" mark or closer if the mission allows. However place your grots in reserve thus preventing the enemy from targeting them. Do the same even in killpoint missions as they are an easy killpoint

Kommandos vs Sniper Teams/Fire Warriors: Chances are the snipers are in cover and near the table edge. This makes Snikrot, his two burna boyz and the rest of his squad prime canidate for taking these guyz out. Say bye bye to their cover saves. This also goes for his static Firewarriors who are problem hanging out near the back as well.

Kommandos vs Kroot: YOu said that his kroot stay statics and in cover well eliminate the cover save and BBQ the chickens the boyz will Love you for it. The two flamers will reduce the kroot down significantly due to no armour saves or cover saves. This should then make it viable for the kommandos to assualt them. Just make sure if you do that you have more orks then kroot sinc ethe kroot vs Orks generally comes down to who charged.

Kannons vs Criris Suits: Crisis suits should be your prime target unless you can get rear armour shot on the hammer heads. The reason for this is that if the suits cannot generate a cover save or have an invl. sv then they will be instant killed. If you have ammo runts this essentially can lead to one dead crisis suit team for every time you can target one. The kannons also have the range to do this.

Kannons vs Hammerheads: Goning to be tough due to their armour and chances are he has disruption pods thus he gets a 4+ cover when unit over 12" fire at them. If you can target a crisis suit do it before you waste you shots on one of these. Once the crisis suits are dead or if you cannot target them then give it a try on the hammerheads. Of couse if he silly enough to give you a rear armour shot then go for it.

Lobbas: The only unit I don;t care for are your lobbas as your enemy is going to be in cover with the prime units that the lobbas would want to target. Also these units will be along the table edge and in extended line thus midigating the effects of blast wpns.

Lootas vs Firewarriors: Say good by to their armour and if they are not in cover then you will be mowing them down. Use you range with these boyz to your advantage and deploy them as far back as you can. They can outrange the majority of his units. Spread them out though and put them in cover as his HammerHeads will be gunning for them. If you can deploy them right on the edge of your table any scatter rolls towards you eddge should cause the shot to go off the table.

Ork Boyz: Run the trukks either in an extended Line or in a two up "T" formation. Place the KFF trukk in the rear for the T formation or in the middle for the extended line. Use cover and objects that BLOS to your advantage. Everything in his army can pop your trukks so be prepared to take a beating. The KFF should help out and so should the ramshackle rule. When you get the chance to strike try to assualt multiple units as each of squads can easily kill any one of his squads. Also try to assualt multiple suqads of his with only one of your squads. You strike first as long as you charge. With the trukks and a well time waaagh!!! you should be able to pull this off.

Overall his army lacks mobility in terms of troops. If you ge to place more than one objective put the other one more towards the middle. This will force him to either contest it or try and claim by footslogging a troop choice. If he footsloggs it well the chances are they are not going to make it as they are now moving towards you and will be caught in the open at one point. Deploy your trukks so he cannot see them and this goes for your Lootas as well. Find them a spot where they can dominate a fire lane but no expose themselves to multiple firelanes as well. If the board if fairly open your your troops and or trukks to help create the fire lanes.
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Old 23 Mar 2009, 19:27   #3 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Darn Fish'eads

Thanks for the feedback, very appreciated.

The list I ran this last game was mostly me putting everything I've found effective into one list, well what would fit within points. The list didn't do poorly, I made a few mistakes but that's how it goes. We ended up rolling annihilation, which I wasn't expecting, so he was happy to just sit back and shoot. Oh, I forgot to add in the 12 Stormboyz I had, updated my first post.

The Kommandos with Snikrot I thought were going to save the day, they came in at the right time and right where I needed them. The problem was I used both burnas to cook some Fire Warriors in area terrain and got enough of them that he removed the ones near me, putting him too far away to assault after casualties. They just got chewed up in subsequent turns as they were just standing there. Lesson learned, if you want to assault then don't shoot the burnas first, use them as power weapons.

Anyway, over our games I've gotten ideas and tried many things, so just trying to pull it all together now. I hadn't thought about Grots in reserve just because he tends to completely ignore them until the last turn or two anyway. Despite that, it's a good idea for no other reason than he'll be thinking about it. I'm wondering if as a general rule that I consider putting more into reserves just for that reason, give him threats he has to worry about later.

I have also considered trying out Zagstruk for the assault after deep strike option. I'm just not sure if it's worth the points since a bad deviation can mean the loss of the whole squad, either from mishap or landing too far away to assault and just getting shot to death.
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Old 23 Mar 2009, 19:50   #4 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Darn Fish'eads

Over all Zagstukk is just over kill even if you safely deepstrike him and his squad well away from the enemy behind LOS then move in for the kill next turn. They will just mop any unit they assualt and they have the asssualt range to do so. Its the after math or miscalculated assualt that will cost them and you a lot of points. Your better off with another squad of boyz in a trukk.

Right now as it stands his Hammer Heads are the real pain and treat. To me they are the backbone of his army. Once you dipatch these his army should far rather quickly. The hard part is getting the angles for side if not rear armour. Thus why I strongly advocate putting your 2/3 if not all of your deffkoptas in reseve.
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Old 23 Mar 2009, 19:59   #5 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Darn Fish'eads

I wrote up a list for our next game, hoping to be this coming Friday, and this list has 5 Deffkoptas. If I break them out into a 2 Kopta and 3 Kopta unit then I can put either in reserves and leave the other out. Optionally, I could put both in reserves if I feel I can pull it off based on who has first turn, his list, terrain, etc.

That does seem to be the trick, doing the unexpected. I had not used Snikrot against him previously and so Kommandos behind him was not expected by him. I haven't, as sad as this is, really managed much assault against him previously either, and so him seeing my entire army Waaagh! and slam into him came as a shock, he didn't expect me to cover the ground I did on foot. As long as I can come up with enough surprises and force him into worrying about it in deployment, I think I'll get that edge I need.
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Old 23 Mar 2009, 20:16   #6 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Darn Fish'eads

Well, unless he decides to castle away from the board edges, you can use Snikrot against to assault the Rear AV of his Hammerhead, they have a good chance.
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Old 23 Mar 2009, 20:16   #7 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Darn Fish'eads

Only run the deffkoptas in 1's or 5's due to leadership issues. When I get home tonight I can throw a list together that I would use for a take all comers that would also be effective agaist tau. Don;t have to use it but it might give you some insight into different unit that you could take.
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Old 23 Mar 2009, 20:21   #8 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Darn Fish'eads

While I do agree on the leadership, other sizes shouldn't be ruled out though. At 2 Koptas, sure I lose one and can fall back but I can regroup as I'm not below 50%, I'm at it. With 3 Koptas, I test by losing one but I have to lose 2 before I can't regroup. A group of 2 or 3 may not be entirely ideal but it can still be useful. Hell, in this past game he blew up all 3 Koptas in a single turn. Even if I were at 5 Koptas, I'd have probably fallen back and wouldn't have been able to regroup.

If you up for making a list I'd love to see it. It's exactly what I'm after, different views as to how people would approach this.
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Old 24 Mar 2009, 00:36   #9 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Darn Fish'eads

Here is a 1500pts all comers list that IMO is well balanced. Any question on the list or specific units let me know.

http://forums.tauonline.org/index.php?topic=80933.0

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Old 24 Mar 2009, 03:03   #10 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Darn Fish'eads

Well tau were my first army, so I'll tell you what I would do if playing against you then you can compare that to what your friend is doing. I would deploy everything I could behind or in cover, trying especially hard to keep my hammerheads hidden. I wouldn't worry about snikrot with any of my mobile elements, and I'd probably hug the edges with them to start. The fire warriors and snipers would be more than 12" away from the rear and the snipers would be spread out. I'd probably infiltrate the kroot and steath suits. I'd be trying to get good positions on the lootas and the stormboys.

First I'd markerlight the KFF trukk and try to kill it with one sniper team. If that worked I'd markerlight the stormboys and split fire with the snipers between the other two trukks. Then I'd use the markerlight for the stealths and try and kill as many stormboys as possible. I'd hope to use my kroot and shoot the lootas. If there were any trukks left I'd use my suits to take them out. At this point you probably wouldn't have any trukks left. If I was able to kill all the trukks and still had some suits that didn't fire I'd try to kill the deffkoptas. Hopefully you'd have all the dismounted trukk boys bunched up then I'd hit them with the hammerhead submuntions, targetting the KFF squad until they were all dead, or under 50% and running. Lastly I'd use the fire warriors to mop up any trukk boyz/deffkoptas that were left. I'm sure shooting wouldn't go perfectly, but I'm sure I could rip the list apart.

The things that would scare me the most in your list are the trukks, stormboys, and deffkoptas. I wouldn't be worried about the grots, lootas, or kannons. The lobbas would be a pain though. I'd aim at taking out your mobility and then finishing off anything that can hurt the hammerheads.

**********************

If I were you I'd hope for first turn. With first turn you could take out a lot of his punch right off the bat. First off I'm not going to suggest you start swapping out your list, but I would modify it a bit. I'd downgrade the ard boyz to regular boys. Against tau you really don't need those armor saves. I'd get rid of the three meks and just have 9 lootas, proxy if you have to. The meks are useless. I'd try and get some buzzsaws on the deffkoptas, as fast power claws will do very well against them. The rokkits aren't that great at killing hammerheads and you're better off charging the suits with buzzsaws rather than shooting them.

For deployment I'd hide your trukks behind terrain if possible. The T formation is definately a good idea, since you want to protect that KFF trukk most of all. A smart tau player will never let you hit a suit with those kannons so try and deny a firelane or a piece of terrain he might want to jump behind. I think a good idea would be to use the kannons to cover where you want the stormboys to go. Same thing with the lootas. Stick the lobbas behind some LOS blocking terrain and have fun with them.

If you have first turn use your scout move to turboboost the deffkoptas, hopefully with buzzsaws in three seperate squads, 12" away from the hammerheads. If he doesn't steal initiative charge those skimmers and hope for some penetrating autohits. If he has the skimmers blocked somehow I'd do the same thing to his suits. You need to get the trukks as close as possible, as soon as possible. Go flat out first turn and stick as many units in his face as possible. Bring the stormboys up one side with the trukks on the other. This should corral him in the middle and give his suits no where to go. During his first turn your opponenet will have a hard time killing all the trukks, koptas, and stormboys.

When snikrot comes in you'll only want to go after the skimmers if they haven't moved. Otherwise I'd try and take out the fire warriors or any isolated units he has. The stealths would be an excellent target as well.

Your main threats are the hammerheads and the suits. Everything else is really squishy and will fall easily to cc, once you get there. If he keeps those tanks alive you are screwed. For the suits I've found the lobbas can be great. You only need a 3+ to wound, and he can't hide with JSJ. If your opponent leaves any troops clustered up feel free to drop the lobbas on them instead, but not being able to hide from them is annoying for a tau player.
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