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The Way of Wanax
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Old 19 Dec 2005, 17:36   #1 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default The Way of Wanax

I thought I'd write briefly on how I conduct battle with Tau. I'm certainly not the greatest general ever, but to date I have won all but 4 games in tournament/campaign settings. I will further qualify in saying I've only played standard missions and carnage.

The Combat teams approach.

A combat team is a group of units designated for a specific battlefield role. Many here write on squad/unit roles, but the CT approach does not assign specific roles to individual units. As Tau are fragile inside 6", it is imperitive that maximum firepower be employed at all times regardless of the mission, objective, or enemy. It is with this in mind that I've developed CT. Only Commanders, stealth suits and Broadside units are asigned independant roles based on enemy deployment. All other units are combined to accomplish a CT mission.

There are three CT roles: flanker, firebase, QRF.

Flanker CT are used mainly to sweep into a designated flank area to hold/seize or clear an objective. For example, holding or contesting a table quarter. It may mean moving around a flank, starting on a flank, or even DS into a flank, but it generally only means a force designated a mission away from the center of the field. This is also generally where I put a large effort for offensive action. Flanker combat teams are often larger and/or more powerful than the firebase and QRF teams.

Typical Flanker CTs are centered around mounted FW squad. They will have one or more crisis suit in support and may include a HH. More often than not, the flanker team will be supported by the stealth team. In a typical enguagement of 1000 to 1500 points, the flanker CT is THE offensive effort. It will work within the scenario using terrain in an effort to counter/disrupt enemy plans while making maximum use of firepower to reduce enemy scoring units in the area.

The usual lineup of the flanker CT will be in column formation: A devil fish, the stealth, the crisis. Once contact is made with the enemy (24" to 18"), the DF will drop the FW and detach drones; it will continue to support the FW by flying ahead of them drawing fire and creating an anti-CC barier. Note: This is not a FoF since the DF will pull ahead of the dismounted FW team moving 12" in order to take full advantage of the auto-glancing rules and the upgrade DL. The 2 drones will advance in front of the FW in an effort to force leadership tests on any enemy unit wanting to shoot. The drones are free, so let them die free taking a turn of shooting from one enemy unit at least. Next, and only in support, is the stealth team. They will typically be near the FW advancing to 18" in order to JSJ. My stealth team consists of 5 'ui, bonded. Next are the crisis using terrain and JSJ to support the FW in moving on the objective. For me, the best crisis unit is of 3 suits, both with TL MP, and BC with one having TL instead. For 178 points, this unit can be assured of killing any 11 or lower armor. In the rear (details later) the BS and HH use long range fires to help supress any enemy movement on the flanker CT.

Team +
10 FW 100pts
DF 90pts
3 crisis 178pts
360pts

Team -
10 FW 100pts
DF 90pts
1 crisis 61pts
243pts

Firebase Combat Team is the often the center sector support by fire effort. This team, like the flanker team relies on long range support from broadsides and HH. However the mission is to deny open terrain to the enemy, draw the enemy forward, and conduct follow on operations to the flanker effort if the enemy is in total defensive mode. As the name indicates this CT is static, uses terrain to advantage and relies upon the 30" reach of the FW. typically this CT will include all kroot, a 10 man FW squad, and a unit of crisis. Any DS units will often be assigned to this CT since follow on to the enemy's main effort has the large potenial for disruption.

Use of terrain is key for the Firebase CT. Kroot and FW deployed out of long range fire--i.e. 6.1" inside a wood, in a bunker, or in ruins--in order to maintain order and numbers. Shots at the enemy are important, but in the first turn it is essential to deny any lucky shots on your firebase. Moving the FW forward in the first turn to 1.5" from the wood edge, for example, will still allow some long range fire; more importantly the number of FW available for the rapid fire turn (turn 4 usually) is higher generating more results than the loss of a single longe range fire turn would offset. Kroot are usually a centrally located unit. They too await the advance of the enemy without undue exposure. However, in both cases, it is important that the enemy not be allowed to march unmolested. Shooting is essential and delays in shooting can and do prove costly. Timing the firebase is critical to success. Crisis teams armed with MP and flamers typically, as the missile pod is the only way to really crippling light armored transports at a safe distance. Last, the commander is most often assigned a supporting role to this CT. His fireknife or helios suit can be a critical factor in facing power armored SM.

Team +
10 FW w/photon Grenades 110pts
10 kroot 70pts
10 kroot 70pts
3 crisis 170pts
420pts

Team -
10 FW 100pts
13 kroot 91pts
1 crisis 57pts
248pts

Last is the QRF. This team consists of a single DF mounted FW team of 10 and a single crisis suit. The job of the QRF (quick reaction force) is to counter unexpected enemy developments--ie drop pods, hidden deployments, infiltrators, etc. While small, it is highly mobile and can often mean the difference between a crushed flank and victory. Secondary is the role of follow on support. The QRF can move forward following either the flanker CT or the firebase CT in support of success in those areas. Thus, the QRF is most often deployed behind the firebase CT or between it and the flanker CT. Rarely, but it can happen, the QRF does not need heavy support. Here the fireknife is critical since often the QRF will be facing 2+ saves and walkers with 10 armor.

As with the flanker CT, the movement of the QRF is in column with DF then crisis. Once within contact range, the same tactical method of deployment is use with detached drones covering the dismounted FW movement. the DF screening against CC attacks and the crisis shooting difficult targets.

Team +
10 FW 100pts
DF 90pts
fireknife 65pts
255pts

Team -
1 fireknife 65pts

So far the CT approach costs roughly 556pts for (-) to 1035 for (+).

From here the support elements are added.

Essential Support elements these are the elements necessary for a successful Tau commander using the CT approach. It adds enough heavy support and anti infantry capability to create inconsistencies in the enemy attempts to counter any one CT.

HQ fireknife 'el 85pts
5 man stealth 150pts
HH w/RG + SMS w/MT, TL, DL 180pts

415pts

Additional Support elements. These are those desired support elements that add enough additional firepower so that all enemy attempts to advance are seriously crippled if reliance is on vehicles.

2x 1 Bs units w/ RG, SMS, SG, MT 95pts each
OR
1 HH w/ion and SMS w/MT,TL,DL 160pts AND 1 stealth suit 30pts

190pts

For team(-) this give a total of 971pts using the essential support elements. For Team(+) it means a total of 1450 using just the essential support elements or 1640 with additional support elements.

Overall, the Combat Team approach allows the commander to focus on mission rather than what each squad/unit is doing since each unit is preassigned a battlefield role within the Combat Team it is assigned to.

Wanax
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Old 19 Dec 2005, 17:57   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: The Way of Wanax

Wow, this is excellent. I appreciate the insight into you rway of war Wanax. I have one question though. For your examples why did you use small squads of fire warriors and stealth suits. Maybe not small, but not at max. Just curious. Also, if I was a MOD, I would karmatize you but I can't so you get Karma in my book and hopefully in the MODs books too. Thanks again for the graet article.
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Old 19 Dec 2005, 18:03   #3 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: The Way of Wanax

Quote:
Originally Posted by shasocastris
Wow, this is excellent. I appreciate the insight into you rway of war Wanax. I have one question though. For your examples why did you use small squads of fire warriors and stealth suits. Maybe not small, but not at max. Just curious. Also, if I was a MOD, I would karmatize you but I can't so you get Karma in my book and hopefully in the MODs books too. Thanks again for the graet article.
Thanks for the complement.

As for your question, others here will dispute my next statement, but I find that 5 stealths or 10 FW contribute mathmatically almost exactly the same results per turn as max units. For example 6 stealth shoot 18 shots vs 5 shooting 15. That is 3 dice on the BS3 to hit of 50%. So 1.5 more dice will hit per turn. It isn't enough to warrant another 30 points, since the SM armor save would negate it in the final analysis. 10 FW over time will do less than 12, but in less time 12 FW will become 10 10 FW outside of rapid fire only roll 2 less to hit dice, so again the end result is negation by probability by SM armor save. Savings of 20 points right there.

Wanax
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Old 19 Dec 2005, 18:27   #4 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: The Way of Wanax

What about hoard armies though. 3 shots from the stealths will kill alot more, but I like he math about non-maximum squads. It's very interesting, but I think the XV15 math is flawed. 15 shots, 7.5 hit, 4-5 wound, 1-1.5 dead marines. 6 stealths is always 2 marines. But that is interesing. I will try it out my next game.
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"The gue'la will either except our destiny, or die!"
-Shas'o Castris
Quote:
Originally Posted by Faolin
"Human nature" only prevents a better future if we accept it as unchangeable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MechTau
Shasocastris, since my return to these boards, nothing has made a bigger impression than you and your views.
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Old 19 Dec 2005, 19:13   #5 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: The Way of Wanax

Quote:
Originally Posted by shasocastris
What about hoard armies though. 3 shots from the stealths will kill alot more, but I like he math about non-maximum squads. It's very interesting, but I think the XV15 math is flawed. 15 shots, 7.5 hit, 4-5 wound, 1-1.5 dead marines. 6 stealths is always 2 marines. But that is interesing. I will try it out my next game.
Well that's the point though. 1.5 is 2

Wanax
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Old 19 Dec 2005, 23:04   #6 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: The Way of Wanax

Nicely written thoughts and tactics. Karmatized!
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Old 19 Dec 2005, 23:29   #7 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Re: The Way of Wanax

Nice, good reading. But I usually never have a plant, guidelines or tactics ready before the game. There are rare times that I plan ahead before the game, but that is all different based on the opponent and the army i'm about to meet. The plan usually develops during deployment, when i see what he is up to, I usually try to counter and confuse.
But still, alot on the tactics you described are good and I use some of em in my games as well. But then again I use 5 devilfishes (4 with firewarriors, 1 with pathfinders), 2 tetras and 3 Hammerheads. 1700pts, standard tournament points in sweden. This is prolly going to be my summer tournament list.
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Old 20 Dec 2005, 11:37   #8 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: The Way of Wanax

One of the main reasons I developed the CT approach is so that I don't have to consider what each unit is going to be doing at the last minute.* Preplanning works if you have large, simple roles for the CT.* Regardless of what enemy, or how they set up, I can shift CT resources in block to counter it.

For example, the enemy SM force places all 4 rhino mounted tac squads* and a preditor on one side of the board.* I simply shift the QRF in behind the flanker CT and designate a heavy support HH to that flank.* Now I have 20 mounted FW, 4 crisis and a HH to counter.*

Using CT makes it easy to understand and counter any tactics within the scope of your own tactics.* It is very flexible*

Aunny: Thanks! ;D

Wanax
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Old 20 Dec 2005, 12:04   #9 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Re: The Way of Wanax

That's a great way of thinking Wanax. I like the idea of the Combat Teams, having part static, part mech and a mech support squad. I'm new to Tau and have been trying to work out how to best play them and what you wrote makes a lot of sense, especially about always putting full fire effect each turn. That's something i've been struggling to do by playing to defensivly.

Lately i've been suffering some losses against 2 SM and a Chaos army which are the armies my friends play. They all take bikes, jumpacks, speeders & landraiders/rhino full of troops. It's been tough trying to avoid and kill the enemy similtainously. Any ideas on how to best playing against them? I've noticed your fond of the MP and dont take the TLPR. If you were playing against just power armour would you consider using 3 Crisis armed with TLPR viable as one of the CT or is your thinking the MP BC is a good allround anti veh anti infintary and any 2+ problems are covered by HQ and support Crisis suits.

Falconrider
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Old 20 Dec 2005, 12:11   #10 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: The Way of Wanax

I play SM almost every week. 2+ units are not as common as some other issues. Yes, they suck, but if I can get 16-20 5/5 shot into a unit of 5 it will kill off 2 for sure. That tends to slow things down. Also terminators are slow, expensive, and valuable, so most SM players tend to use them cautiously. I face drop pods and teleporters alot. Bikes are fodder for MP. I ususally let the DF run at bikes while FW shoot long range.

You can slow bikes by infiltrating kroot into terrain on your flanks. This tends to force the bikes to either go down the center or take on the kroot. Sure the kroot will loose, but in a 6 turn game it will take the bikes 4 turns to do it. This effectively removes them from battle.

Also consider ion cannon armed HH. 60" range with ap2 kills SM of all kinds quick. Did I mention you get 3 shots at BS4?

Wanax
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