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500 point starting list
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Old 29 Jan 2014, 03:11   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default 500 point starting list

Okay, been on here for a while but I finally have tau army started. Just a note, the models in this list are all I currently have and I plan to grab a battleforce later on.

HQ
- Ethereal, Honour Blade

Troops
- 6x Fire Warriors, Shas'ui, Target Lock/Markerlight, 2x Gun Drones, Bonding Knife, EMP Grenades
- 6x Fire Warriors, Bonding Knife

Elites
- XV104 Riptide, Ion Accelerator, TL Plasma Rifle, Velocity Tracker, Drone Controller, 2x Shielded Missile Drones

499 pts.

So, thoughts? I have played 2 games so far and won one, and the other ended in a tie due to time constraints but I would have won had we kept going. Thoughts?
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Old 29 Jan 2014, 06:13   #2 (permalink)
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There' a lot that you can do in 500 points, in this I hope that I can maximise the effectiveness of what is quite obviously a solid list. If this seems in anyway blunt, I do apologize.
1) Ethereal can drop the honour blade. It looks nice, but it will almost never save the unit he is with from fleeing.

2) In these points I find that the Riptides basic defense systems are adequate to withstand most attacks so long as you keep him out of close range and prioritize enemy heavy weapons first. With this in mind I recommend dropping the shield drones and drone controller. I would also advise taking a fusion blaster instead of a Plasma rifle due to its increased effectiveness against vehicles.

3) The markerlight, gundrones, bonding knives and emp grenades are all pretty much superfluous and a waste of points. Markerlights on a shasui are the most expensive way to access them, and on a very inaccurate model.

4) With all this chaff cutting done you have roughly 100 extra points! Seriously, you can make that go a long way. There are many options for this glorious extra fifth of an army, and I will denominate a few of them as follows in a handy mini list:
Note: I am aware that you lack models, which is totally understandable for any beginning list, this may however give you some oppertunity to think about what to get when branch out.

a) Bump up the fire warriors to at least 9 in each squad. This mitigates the odds of them taking a leadership test from enemy shooting whilst at the same time not costing you much.

b) Grab a piranha or two. These probably won't die unless the enemy is expecting them and provide some very cost effective fire power on a flexible frame. You could even put a seeker missile or two on them to return any fire power you lost from the shielded missile drones.

c) Skyray. This will allow you to drop the Velocity tracker from the riptide and rest at ease in the knowledge that you are immune to this level of flyers. Furthermore it will instakill a monsterous creature of your choice turn one and at the same time give you some handy markerlight support for the fire warriors. It will chew up all your points though.

d) A devilfish could be useful for moving troops up the field late game, providing mobile cover, and having some reasonable shooting.

The simplest of these options is to probably just take more fire warriors. Stick them in cover and they are pretty imovable and the riptide should be able to handle any vehicles.
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Old 29 Jan 2014, 10:51   #3 (permalink)
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I agree with Ember on the removing of the Honour Blade. Removing the Shas'ui and all his upgrades and Drones will save you a lot of points, as the Ethereal will take over his Leadership, anyway. Bonding Knife is also unnecessary, as the Ethereal grants this ability, being and Independent Character. It will also only have an effect if the squad goes below 25%, so you'd need to have one guy alive and running from the whole squad - not worth the points.

Drone Controller sadly doesn't work on any Missile Drones, it specifically notes Sniepr, Gun and Marker Drones as being affected. Dropping that and the two Drones will save you a lot of points.

Dropping all this will grant you 141 extra points, so you have 142 to play with.

My recommendation once you grab the Battleforce would be:

- Bump the Fire Warriors up to at least 9 men each, 12 will be excellent once the Ethereal pops his Storm of Fire. This will cost you 54-108 points, but will be well worth it.

If we bump them up to 9 each, that leaves us with 88 points. In my opinion, you can't go wrong with two Twin-Linked Plasma RifleSuits at this points level. They'll cost 42pts each, so if you take two that leaves you with a 496pt list.

Consider putting an Advanced Targeting System on one for 3pts to fill the points up to 499. On a 6 to Hit, you can choose who the shot hits. Target enemy Heavy Weapons, at this points level they won't have many, and you can really neuter a squad if you take out its only Plasma gun, for example.

Those suits will also let you Deep Strike to flank the enemy, great for when they're closing with your Ethereal's cohort. Them plus the Riptide will give a lot of difficult choices to your opponent. I personally wouldn't run a Riptide at this points level, but that's my taste and I prefer more numbers at this points level. He's good, but he works best with support at higher points levels.
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Old 29 Jan 2014, 19:14   #4 (permalink)
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I can definitely see how you are constrained by the models you own, the upgrades you have are a fair use of points when you really don't have anything else to employ. That said, a battleforce box gives you some very good choices. If you eventually work up the money, I'd highly suggest getting two. In the 1500 - 2000 pt list range, you'll definitely want to have the models to be able to field 36 firewarriors. Not to mention piranhas are more useful in groups, two of them is a good place to start.

Crisis suits are also a very flexible option, and all the advice from CoffeeGrunt and Emberkhan thus far I entirely agree with. Reallocating points for larger firewarrior squads is definately a good idea. Splitting off some points into another survivable unit is also a must, whether that's piranhas, crisis suits, or even a hammerhead / skyray. The tactical flexibility you get from going from one, to two very dangerous and long range units cannot be understated. It's far easier to accomplish without a Riptide taking up 40 - 50% of your list though, so once you have more models to work with it's probably best to save him for bigger lists in most cases.
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Old 01 Feb 2014, 06:35   #5 (permalink)
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I greatly appreciate all the advice. Now another question, I received a $25 amazon.com card for Christmas and I was able to use it to purchase a box of XV25 stealth suits that should arrive within a week or so. What would you suggest I do with them?
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Old 01 Feb 2014, 10:04   #6 (permalink)
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The standard is 2 with bursts, 1 with TL and fusion. Skip the marker drone and controller it's just not worth it. I actually prefer 3 with bursts just to add a bunch of firepower and make them an annoyance for an opponent. They work well with kroot I find too.

Also bear in mind about the list that you posted that riptides become truly terrifying when they have some markerlights under their belts. Or in the absence of that a buffmander.

I would field this-

Commander, C&C, MSS, VRT, Pen Chip, Onager (145)

Riptide, IA, t-linked fusion (185)

12 Fire Warriors (108)

10 Kroot (60)


It might seem like a points sink to have such an expensive commander but together with the riptide they are complete monsters. They can do anything from tank hunting to even close combat. Just to clarify I don't use this combo because it's a bit cheesy however it is extremely effective! I wouldn't worry about fliers at this level. If necessary you can snap shot with rippy and re-roll the AP rolls anyway.
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Old 01 Feb 2014, 18:25   #7 (permalink)
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Seems solid. The thing I have about fusion blasters on a riptide is that it requires getting close, and with the 18" range I would need to have him be that close for a turn before firing it and that means my opponent may assault him and the last thing I need is my 235 points of snooty MC that I would like to have raining death every turn being stuck in close combat. When I get some more models I'll put fusion blasters on more expendable/faster platforms, such as piranhas or battlesuits with vectored retro-thrusters.
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Old 01 Feb 2014, 20:57   #8 (permalink)
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If your opponent brings the combat to you, though, it can be extremely valuable to have Melta on a durable platform.

Riptides do quite well against Walkers and other vehicles in CQC anyway...
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Old 01 Feb 2014, 21:56   #9 (permalink)
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That is a good point, but the only reason for that is the fact it is a MC. But I have so far tended to start backpedaling and putting more distance between me and my opponent if he gets close to allow a continuous stream of fire.
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Old 01 Feb 2014, 22:16   #10 (permalink)
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I was playing against Slaaneshi Daemons today, they really don't let you backpedal far. Other armies that move slower are a bit more manageable, though. Space Marines spring to mind.

I quite enjoy playing Tau more aggressively, though. My Riptide has killed many a Land Raider in CQC. Granted, this means that the squad within normally charges it, but a squad hitting my Riptide isn't hitting my scoring units.

Of course, playstyles and metas differ.
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