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500 pts "Getting back into it" Tau starter
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Old 17 Apr 2013, 10:56   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default 500 pts "Getting back into it" Tau starter

Hiyathere. I haven't really been into 40k since 4th edition. I played some games in 5th and I didn't like it much, so my poor little Tau have gathered dust. Having flipped through the 6th edition rulebook, however, I decided that now might be the time to start things up again, but I figured I'd start from the ground up. Gonna build a 500 point army, get it modded and painted, then go to 1000 or something etc. etc. I've (possibly) talked some other people into the idea to make it a joint thing.

So, below is my first 6th edition Tau list. I tried to focus on mobility, because that's what got me into Tau in the first place, and having a lot of pewpew. Not a lot of AT, but at 500 points I'm expecting light vehicles at the most.

---------------------------------------- HQ ----------------------------------------
60 Cadre Fireblade -OR- Etheral with Honour Blade

------------------------------------- Troops --------------------------------------
115 Fire Warriors, +4 extra Fire Warriors, Shas'ui w/ Markerlight & Target Lock
102 Devilfish, Sensor Spines, 2 Seeker Missiles, Blacksun Filter

115 Fire Warriors, +4 extra Fire Warriors, Shas'ui w/ Markerlight & Target Lock
102 Devilfish, Sensor Spines, 2 Seeker Missiles, Blacksun Filter

Total points: 494
21 models
2 tanks
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Old 18 Apr 2013, 05:18   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Tau have lost a great deal of their mobility this edition, but I think devilfish will still be important for Tau players not using kroot (we need to get our troops to objectives across the board somehow!).

I think the Ethereal will be a better choice than the fireblade in your list. He has a better emphasis on mobility (his boosts don't just kick in if your unit isn't moving) and he even has some powers to make you more mobile (run in the shooting phase and still get to fire snap-fire shots).

Your load out on the devilfish is a little strange. At low point values you need to try and get as much on the field as possible (quantity over quality works better at lower points). Keep the devilfish cheap and cheerful. You won't need sensor spines, since you are a skimmer and you wanted a mobile force (no camping in ruins!); swap it out for a disruption pod and keep on the move.

Likewise, the devilfish are currently providing your only anti-tank. And while thematic... I really don't know how effective that's going to be for you (especially because I am assuming you are planning to use the markerlights from the fire warrior squads to fire them?). That means you are spending 62 points for 4 S8 AP3 shots. Now admittedly, at the 500 points range you won't see many tanks... but looking at the numbers on the seeker missile we get this:

Fired from the devilfish without a light:
AV10 Hull points: 0.42 Penetrating hits: 0.33 Explode results: 0.06
AV11 Hull points: 0.33 Penetrating hits: 0.25 Explode results: 0.04
AV12 Hull points: 0.25 Penetrating hits: 0.17 Explode results: 0.03
AV13 Hull points: 0.17 Penetrating hits: 0.08 Explode results: 0.01
AV14 Hull points: 0.08 Penetrating hits: 0.00 Explode results: 0.00

Fired with a marker light:
AV10 Hull points: 0.69 Penetrating hits: 0.56 Explode results: 0.09
AV11 Hull points: 0.56 Penetrating hits: 0.42 Explode results: 0.07
AV12 Hull points: 0.42 Penetrating hits: 0.28 Explode results: 0.05
AV13 Hull points: 0.28 Penetrating hits: 0.14 Explode results: 0.02
AV14 Hull points: 0.14 Penetrating hits: 0.00 Explode results: 0.00

Those odds are not exactly optimal, even at these point values (assuming you get the best position on it possible with your attacks, it would still be a nail biter to see if you take out a single rhino or chimera; at those odds you might as well be firing pulse rifles at it).

So the whole point of that big long analysis was this: you may want to drop the seekers and markerlights in exchange for a battlesuit, a melta-piranha... or even a broadside (missile version will work best against everything but AV14)
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Old 18 Apr 2013, 13:43   #3 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Wow, thank you.
That's more feedback than I was hoping for with this entire thread, all in one post.
I did a quick little update following your recommendations:

---------------------------------------- HQ ----------------------------------------

50 Etheral

------------------------------------- Troops --------------------------------------

99 Fire Warriors, +5 extra Fire Warriors
95 Devilfish, Disruption Pod

90 Fire Warriors, +4 extra Fire Warriors
95 Devilfish, Disruption Pod

------------------------------------- Fast attack --------------------------------------

65 Piranah w/ Fusion Blaster, Disruption Pod

Total points: 494
21 models
3 vehicles

This feels leaner and more efficient, definately. I kind of miss the markerlights, but I can always re-introduce those later. Perhaps a squad of Pathfinders would be more useful in that regard anyway?

What about Pulse Carbines and EMP grenades? Do they have a place in a list now?
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Old 18 Apr 2013, 16:50   #4 (permalink)
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Markerlights will become necessary as you increase in point values. Rather than directly adding to the army they act as a force multiplier, so the more points they have the multiply the more useful they are. I'd definitely think about picking some up if you plan to grow the list.

Carbines if they must be taken are better now, but if you have the choice between a carbine and a pulse rifle, the pulse rifle is still a better option in all but the narrowest band of usefulness (16"-18" where it shoots 2 shots while the pulse rifle only shoots 1). Way better on gun drones; way better on pathfinders; no need for it anywhere else.

EMPs still have the same issues as before. They are better because they are just straight up haywire grenades... but it still requires fire warriors on foot to charge a tank, which is difficult to accomplish.

Since you have a couple points left over you could put blacksun filters back on your fish if you wanted (won't be of much use since these might be best moving flat out for a 3+ jink save... but then again they do put out some pretty decent firepower).

Alternatively, there's a sneaky trick you can use on your fire warriors. Drop a fire warrior from that first squad to give yourself 24 points to spare. Now add a drone to each squad (doesn't matter what kind, though shield is less useful than the other two... oh and of course missile was FAQed so you can't take it). Drones are 12 points each, so this brings you up to 500 on the nose. What it does is this: because initiative based checks are taken at the fastest initiative in the squad, your squad is now essentially I4. If you lose combat but live this will help you run away without getting over-run.

My only concern is that the piranha is not very accurate. It's still blowing the pants off the seeker missile each shot because of AP1 and Melta, but it's shorter effective range means you will need to be careful with it, since every other shot will miss.
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Old 19 Apr 2013, 11:16   #5 (permalink)
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I personally have a different standpoint to Carrelio, although his advice is pretty much always as good as its going to get.
I believe that whilst mobility is important, at low points, in 6 turns its a lot easier just to kill everything, or even just the enemy troops, rather than worrying about running this way and that in super expensive transports. In this way, my 500 point list looks like this

Fireblade with 2 gun drones

12 fire warriors

8 fire warriors

Riptide with Ion Accelerator

Tetra

The fire blade sits at home with the fire warriors at 30 inches pumps out 24 shots a turn, 42 at 15", as well as an almost guaranteed markerlight hit. Suffice to say that no hoard army stands a chance of landing on your objective, or indeed any other, given that there is nothing a horde can do against that many shots, at least in such low points. The riptide will never die, as well as being your go to for any marine or surprise terminator lists. Also reasonably effective at getting around the back of tanks and melta gunning them. The tetra provides 2 marker light hits a turn, as well as helping for deepstrike should your riptide choose to. You can use your piranha as one as well relatively easily
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Old 19 Apr 2013, 11:21   #6 (permalink)
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Essentially you don't need two devil fish when essentially in 6 turns its likely your troops choices will die
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Old 19 Apr 2013, 15:49   #7 (permalink)
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I'd been looking at the riptide too. In 500 point games it really is very hard to top (difficult to kill, high rate of damage, mobile). However, in the same way we're trying to wipe out our opponent's forces they will also be trying to wipe outs out. 8-12 fire warriors in the open are really just 8-12 T3 4+ saves with LD7 between your opponent and not worrying about you scoring anymore.
The mobility as always trades fire power for survivability. It gives you the option to win a game without ever having to fire a shot and provides you with mobile cover.
Mech Tau isn't as strong as it once was, but it's certainly still got its benefits. Still though, I do partially agree. 2 devilfish is a lot of points...
Unknown.
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Old 19 Apr 2013, 21:55   #8 (permalink)
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Carrelio, you must remember that 20 fire warriors is a lot tougher than it sounds, for several reasons. Firstly, the big squad is sitting on your objective, likely with a 4+ cover save. What you must also remember is that it is very unlikely with this list that the enemy will have more firepower than you do. With this in mind, and considering that firewarriors are still, despite what you say, of reasonable toughness, you should be able to destroy their powerful shooting before they kill your fire warriors. With this in mind, other than cc which really isn't a great option with this list, its unlikely that they will be able to defeat you. Need I only rest my point on the fact that Tau out range pretty much anyone. Devilfish are a good idea normally, but 100 points for an armour value is not going to get you very far, especially considering at these points practically every team will have some small form of anti-armour
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