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Big Big Big Tau Empire Headache
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Old 06 Mar 2006, 00:59   #1 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Big Big Big Tau Empire Headache

I haven't even made up my first army yet and my head feels like it's going to explode. :P

Honest and Truthfully I admire you guyz, I really do.

I have been told to start with a nice 1000 point cadre and go from there. I thought that this would be easy; oh what a mistake. With the new codex soon to be on full scale release I am finding it even harder than I expected to make up an army list.

1000 points that sounds so easy. Well for the last few days I have been paying a lot of attention to the new 'intro tactics' for the Tau taking into account the new codex. All the articles are fantastic.

This is where the problem starts. At the moment I have made a starting army that amounts to about 3000 points. I love all the new ideas and tactics, and want everything in my cadre. So I think I will be looking for a starting game of around 4500 points by the time I eventually stop reading these tactics.

So, gentlemen and ladies (for those that my be among us as well), I raise my hat to you, because when it comes to taking the bull by the horns you guyz can really hang on. I however will try and hang on to two of them and end up falling off.

I really do take my hat of to you all; you make it look far easier than it is.

Cheers
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Old 06 Mar 2006, 01:06   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Big Big Big Tau Empire Headache

Hehe. I was like that too, when I first got into Warhammer.

Well, the thing is- you cannot have it all! Make a list. On top, the unit you'll want the most and so on. Eventually, you will be getting there, it just takes a lot of time.

For 1k, I might say:

Shas'el, tooled up towards enemy heavy infantry

Shas'ui XV8, deathrain

8 FW's, Fish (anti-infantry)

10 kroot

5 --> 8 Vespid

2 Hammerheads/1 hammerhead and 2 broaddies.

This should leave you with some points left

Anyway, just a thought. It takes some time, I don't know many hundred different Tau armies I've drafted on paper during the last few years, but it really helps. I'm starting to feel when I'm nearing 1.5k (which is my standard size).

Good luck with your list, the best tip I can give you would be to wait long enough. Bying a whole lot too early really sucks. Bide your time and read the codex thorough, ask people to give you their opinion etc.

Feel free to pm/msg me anytime you'd like, my msn is on my profile, easy to get

Cheers,
~Olannon
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Old 06 Mar 2006, 01:12   #3 (permalink)
lonely tau
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Default Re: Big Big Big Tau Empire Headache

it sounds like your just thanking us all over here so i believe that i will help you because you were so kind to us. to start an army you need to move in 500 point blocks. first the essential 2 troops. i usually go with 12 fire warriors and 12-20 kroot depending on the size of the game. then the HQ a crisis battlesuit with missle pod and plasma rifle with multi tracker and 2 shield drones w/controller. after that you see how many points you have left over,nearly 150 you can add a couple of crisis suits and upgrade you FW's. or you can go static Tau with 3 squads of 12 fire warriors and an ethereal and upgrade the rest of your troops with stuff. it all depends on what you want to do but use 500 point blocks and concentrate on basics
 
Old 06 Mar 2006, 01:25   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Big Big Big Tau Empire Headache

And may I remind you that these listes are all their preferances and not always the best choice. It all comes down to you on how you want you cadre to be. Also always move in 500 point chunks. First get some FW then maybe crisis and DF. Also get a few kroot if you like them. Then go for some Heavy support like Hammerheads and Broadsides. Also plan for maybe 2000 point armies so that you have a force that is versitile and flexible. It really helps to have an army that can change in 1000 point games.
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Old 06 Mar 2006, 03:07   #5 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Big Big Big Tau Empire Headache

The 500 or 1000 point chunks seem easy enough.

I have decided to paint 12 fire warriors first and then a devilfish transport for them afterwards. I'll leave it at that until I read the new codex.

If I finish the painting before I get the codex then I will paint a second unit of 12 fire warriors and a devilfish for them.

At least then I will have two troop choices before I even have to make out my list.

Thanks for the direction guyz it helped we start screwing my head back on.

Cheers
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Old 06 Mar 2006, 04:59   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Big Big Big Tau Empire Headache

Excellent choice.
If you haven't already purchased them, I advise you to spend a few dollars extra, and pay for hammerhead models instead of devilfish models. With a little work you can use the model as both types of tank.

Zustiur.
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Old 06 Mar 2006, 05:08   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Big Big Big Tau Empire Headache

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shas'el Sa'cea Ev'ets
I haven't even made up my first army yet and my head feels like it's going to explode. :P

Honest and Truthfully I admire you guyz, I really do.

I have been told to start with a nice 1000 point cadre and go from there. I thought that this would be easy; oh what a mistake. With the new codex soon to be on full scale release I am finding it even harder than I expected to make up an army list.

1000 points that sounds so easy. Well for the last few days I have been paying a lot of attention to the new 'intro tactics' for the Tau taking into account the new codex. All the articles are fantastic.

This is where the problem starts. At the moment I have made a starting army that amounts to about 3000 points. I love all the new ideas and tactics, and want everything in my cadre. So I think I will be looking for a starting game of around 4500 points by the time I eventually stop reading these tactics.

So, gentlemen and ladies (for those that my be among us as well), I raise my hat to you, because when it comes to taking the bull by the horns you guyz can really hang on. I however will try and hang on to two of them and end up falling off.

I really do take my hat of to you all; you make it look far easier than it is.

Cheers
Keep in mind that we won't be having (well, shouldn't be) any army lists for the new codex until the 23rd, as mentioned in the sticky topic: Important: Posting Codex Tau Empire [Updated]. I'm not to sure about tactics, but there will be some for the time being.

As for army expansion - get whatever models or units you like. It'll fill up easily . It largely depends on your playstyle and what you want in an army though..


Quote:
Originally Posted by Zustiur
Excellent choice.
If you haven't already purchased them, I advise you to spend a few dollars extra, and pay for hammerhead models instead of devilfish models. With a little work you can use the model as both types of tank.

Zustiur.
Yep, in which case, refer to modular tanks pic in my sig

Zustiur - If I remember correctly, you contributed to the original thread on 40kO? In which case, that was one of the most useful bits I got out of that thread
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Old 06 Mar 2006, 05:23   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Big Big Big Tau Empire Headache

***NOTE: Some points costs in this post were removed because they are from the new Codex. I do not actually have one myself, so these costs were actually taken from such things as Army Lists posted by GW on their website. Nevertheless, posting such costs here seems to be a violation of forum rules at the moment. I shall update this post after March 23***


Two Troops choices is an exceptional start; many beginning players start with all kinds of units that cannot make what is commonly considered a decent list.

In terms of how one can go about creating a competitive, yet exceedingly flavourful list, I have a few suggestions:

1) Work out a precise definition of what kind of army you wish to play. You can always create different lists later, but for each list you create, defining your intentions is a valuable start. E.g., "I want a highly mobile shooting force" is a good start. However, "I want a mobile shooting force, that has units to deal with most threats, a decent amount of models, and can take a beating" is even better, in terms of precision.

2) Work on a small sized army; 1,000pts is just about perfect, because it is large enough to fit within the intended rules, and small enough that it can even be used in a 4' by 4' table.

3) Fill out mandatory slots. With the new Codex, you will need a Commander, and the regular 2 units of Troops (including at least one of Firewarrios).

4) Try to have about 35% to 55% of your points spent on Troops. They are the backbone of a sturdy, well balanced army.

5) Try not to have any more than 33% of your points spent on a single section of the Force Organization Chart (the FOC), other than Troops.

6) Most of all, refrain from purchasing too many "goodies" (i.e., fancy toys/upgrades/wargear). The fewer of these you use, the more efficient your army will be, in general.



Given that you seem interested in painting a Devilfish for each squad of Firewarriors, I am guessing that you want a Mechanised Tau Army (a Mech Tau army, as they are commonly referred to). Such armies are perfectly viable and extremely competitive, if built correctly.

First of all, you will have a significant amount of points spent on mobility, with little offensive capabilities given by transport vehicles. Consequently, you will be lacking in volume of fire in general, although you will be able to concentrate a great deal of firepower at once within short-range. Thus, you will need to ensure that you take a few units that can deal specifically with threats that pulse weapons (all Tau S5 AP5 weapons) cannot deal with.

Before I discuss those support elements, let us see where you are at. What you have is a solid start for Troops, in a 1,000pts game:

_________________

12 Firewarriors in Devilfish (Decoy Launchers, Multi-tracker) \215pts\

12 Firewarriors in Devilfish (Decoy Launchers, Multi-tracker) \215pts\

TOTAL: 430pts.
_________________



These units will be able to pour highly lethal pulse shots at the opposition. Pulse shots are superb for dealing with light infantry, good for medium infantry and light vehicles, adequate for dealing with heavy infantry, but terrible for dealing with super-heavy infantry (e.g., Monstrous Creatures) and medium or heavy vehicles. Therefore, we will need units that can deal with all these threats effectively and efficiently.

Our next key section holds some tough choices: Heavy Support. Fortunately, Mech Tau will always choose tanks for Heavy Support, although we get a new tank in the new Codex. Personally, I believe that the Skyray is most suited for an army built around markerlights, most likely not a Mech Tau army. A Hammerhead with an Ion Cannon can get more hits for less, with only a loss of one point of strength to those shots. Consequently, our choice will be between Hammerhead configurations.

Many players live by Railheads (Hammerheads with Railguns) for Mech Tau armies. However, numerous Tau advocates for balance would actually recommend mixing and matching the two configurations (with Hammerheads with Ion Cannons being called Ionheads). A Railhead, while fairly versatile, is incredibly expensive. An Ionhead is lethal, resilient, and quite affordable (points wise, not money-wise ). I recommend you take one of each, giving you the following:

_________________

Hammerhead (Railgun, 2 Burst Cannons, Decoy Launchers, Multi-tracker) \165pts\

Hammerhead (Ion Cannon, 2 Burst Cannons, Decoy Launchers, Multi-tracker) \***pts\

TOTAL: ***pts.
_________________


That makes for two superb tanks for less than 33% of your points total. These guys can deal with most threats effectively. The only type of target that they cannot deal with is infantry with a 2+ armour save. Also, they could use some more help against heavy vehicles.

To fulfill those roles, we will use Elites and HQ units. First, let us pick a Commander, since you are required to use one under the new codex. It is important that we give him weapons with a decent range, since he can NEVER be shot at if there is a closer unit than him to your opponents (except if that unit has stealth technology). One of the best options for them is a Fireknife configuration: a Plasma Rifle, a Missile Pod, and a Multi-tracker (which can be hard-wired). This configuration will give him excellent range and flexibility.

I recommend either using a Shas'El with a ********* *****, or a Shas'O, as BS5 is highly reliable (you can hit on a roll of 2+ with it). Here is one of those options:

_________________

Shas'El (Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, ********* *****, HW Multi-tracker) \**pts\

TOTAL: **pts.
_________________



Note that so far, we have kept all units cheap and simple. Mech Tau armies already have few models; keeping units cheap by giving them only what they need to fulfill their role allows you to have more units in your army.


Next, we will need some Crisis Suits to aid the Shas'El in dealing with troublesome threats. Actually, one of those threats happens to be heavy vehicles, and this is one point where my suggestions split up into two camps. On one hand, I would suggest having some Crisis Suits to support your Commander, and deal with Sv2+ infantry AND heavy vehicles. However, you will depend on Fusion Blasters for dealing with such vehicles, and Fusion Blasters are very short ranged. Crisis Suits are mobile, but not fast enough to get into the optimal range of a Fusion Blaster (6").

Therefore, I would suggest the new ******** as a viable choice (with a Fusion Blaster, of course). They will cost roughly the same as a Crisis Suit with 2 Gun Drones (a fair comparison, since a ******* comes with two Gun Drones), are less mobile (because they cannot move-shoot-move), but are much faster. These guys can easily get close to a heavy-vehicle, and can even hunt down Indirect Fire vehicles that are hiding way at the back of the board.

The catch is that for the same amount of points, you could make a far more versatile Crisis Suit by not taking the Drones. In particular, the Crisis Suits could help you deal with the troublesome Sv2+ infantry.

As you can see, there is a dilemma here, and there are a few possible options. Option one is to take two Crisis Suits for dealing with both Sv2+ infantry and heavy vehicles, plus a dedicated vehicle-hunting Crisis Suit (which you would probably deep-strike with). Option two is to take two suits as above, then upgrading the Ionhead to a Railhead (and have **pts left over, compared to **pt left over from Option one). Finally, option three is to take some ********, amongst other things. However, I do not have the new codex yet, and so I do not know their cost with certainty.

The second option would make dealing with heavy vehicles and light to medium infantry easier. However, it would make dealing with light vehicles and heavy infantry more difficult. I prefer the first option, personally, because it is more flexible, even if it is a bit short ranged. At least in a Mech Tau army, units at short range can still get plenty of support.


The army altogether might therefore look as follows:


_________________

-- HQ --
Shas'El (Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, ********* *****, HW Multi-tracker) \**pts\


-- ELITES --
2 Crisis Suits (Plasma Rifle, Fusion Blaster, Multi-tracker) \***pts\

1 Crisis Suit (Twin-linked Fusion Blaster, ********* *****) \**pts\


-- TROOPS --
12 Firewarriors in Devilfish (Decoy Launchers, Multi-tracker) \215pts\

12 Firewarriors in Devilfish (Decoy Launchers, Multi-tracker) \215pts\


-- HEAVY SUPPORT --
Hammerhead (Railgun, 2 Burst Cannons, Decoy Launchers, Multi-tracker) \165pts\

Hammerhead (Ion Cannon, 2 Burst Cannons, Decoy Launchers, Multi-tracker) \***pts\


TOTAL: 999pts.
_________________




That is a tough, deadly, and highly mobile army, which should allow you to be competitive against any opponent. In particular, this army excels at delivering a lethal blow at close range, and is good at fulfilling mission objectives as well.


I hope that helps .
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Old 06 Mar 2006, 12:02   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Big Big Big Tau Empire Headache

I've been playing Tau for a while and i still have trouble getting a nice army list in >1500pt games.

The Choice not only of units, but strategy really does pull you too and fro.

Personally i like to look at things from a fluffy perspective. My army always has Kroot and now Vespids to show the federation style empire along with a Shas'O who never changes. From there its a case of personal preference.

Obviously a HQ and two Troop choices are a pre-requisite, but after that, its all yours. Just don't feel the need to take Units to win, remeber that it all comes down to enjoyment.
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Old 06 Mar 2006, 13:07   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Big Big Big Tau Empire Headache

Hey Guyz, Thanks.

A special thanks to Silent Prophet, as well as a big thanks to all who have given their time to help me understand.

The reason I chose 12 firewarriors and a devilfish was not really because of a 'Mech Tau' bias, but more the fact if I did go down that path I would have the devilfish ready to go. I must admit though I do like the idea of a 'Mech Tau' bias cadre.

Rechar, I also like the fluff side of the game, even more so than winning the game itself.

I have read recently that the static side of Tau cadre could make a comeback, and that now we have a really good tactic for an assaulting HQ unit. With all these ideas and all the post from this site I am sure I will be on to a winner whatever way I choose to go.

Now, where is that pencil, I have to get these ideas down.

Hammerhead.... Ionhead or Railhead..... HQ.. Shas'el or was that 'O .... crisis .... crisis .... What Crisis????

Thanks Guyz, this has really helped me out, truthfully.
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