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Noob in need of help...
Old 06 Mar 2006, 18:32   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
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Default Noob in need of help...

Hello everybody.

I have just started up playing 40k, and Tau just appeals to me. The thing is...I have only played two games so far...and I am getting crushed big time. My firs game was against an eldar force...my those banshees are quick. They assaulted me in turn two and I was done. My second game was against traitor marines...khorne I think...they hade some kind of wierd fleet of foot rule. Same thing happened there...I shot up a couple of models and then he was in assault-range=game over.

Ok...so after this I pretty much understand that static Tau is a really, really bad idea. So I want to go mech tau instead. I have read on this board about a tactic called FoF...that sounds effective and I think I like that aggressive approach.

Now, to my questions:

I am going to play a game against a friend in a couple of weeks. He is playing traitor marines...nurgle. The thing is that I have heard that he uses a LOT of swarms. Other players have warned me about them. How do I deal with them?

Also...if i buy a railhead w submunitions...can I still fire the gun without using the submunitions? Say that I want to shoot up a squad of marines w sub turn one, and a tank turn two?

Any advice on a list is also appriciated. (1500p)

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Old 06 Mar 2006, 18:58   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Noob in need of help...

What? Losing with Tau? We don't allow your type around here! ;D

Well, any Tau army requires an HQ Crisis suit and 2 troop choices, minimum. The troops available to you are Fire Warriors and Kroot. The Fire Warriors are not bad, but can't withstand assault. Getting them a Devilfish will let you get them out of a bad situation, plus protect them from assault. Multiple squads of Fire Warriors can concentrate their fire on approaching targets, so do it. The F-O-F tactic lets you double your firepower by safely moving into rapid fire range, and unloading. For your 1500 point army, I'd recommend at least 3 full Fire Warrior squads with Devilfish. Never be afraid to load into the Devilfish and retreat. Live to fight another day!

I don't know if you have kroot, but if you play with lots of forest and jungle terrain, they can be very deadly. If you buy Kroot, make a lot of forest and jungle terrain and try to work it into the games.

The HQ Crisis suit is flashy and fast. If you are new, maybe try a TL Missile Pod config with a Target Array on a Shas'el. It's easy to play with. Go for light armor things like Rhinos, then start supporting your infantry. Read up on Jump-Shoot-Jump tactics. Crisis suits work best with LOS blocking terrain to hide behind.

The Hammerhead with a Railgun is a nice choice. Multitrackers and Decoy Launchers are highly recommended. The railgun can fire either a solid shot or submunition round each turn. Use the solid shots to take out vehicles, especially troop transports and heavy armored vehicles. Use the submunitions to take out swarms and light infantry after the vehicles are gone.

After that? Well, that depends on what you think you need. Crisis suits can mount plasma weapons that are excellent against heavy infantry like chaos marines. Broadsides can give more anti-vehicle punch. An Ethereal can keep your army fighting, if you can protect him. Pathfinders are nice, but hard to master. Each unit in the Tau army is good at doing certain things. Until you know where your army is weak, you don't really know what is needed.
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Old 06 Mar 2006, 19:03   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Noob in need of help...

mmm Nurgle, my most hated of Foes.

First Static Tau can be just as successful as Mech, all depends on the terrain, deployment, unit composition. Lots of Factors.

You can choose which method of firing your railgun uses each turn. They arn't seperate weapons, mearly different ammo if you will.

For swarms the Railgun pie plate is a beauty, and although a full swarm has some 30 wounds, they are low on strength and toughness, so consider stealth suits that really add up the wounds quickly. With a 5+ save they will die fast.

They also have to take instability tests with a leadership of 7 which means they are likely to take a few extra wounds each shooting phase.

Nurgle's are typically slow, focused entirely on foot sloggers that use infiltrate to get in close early on in the game. Focus your fire on the closest unit.

Try to spread your forces out at deployment, even if he manages to get to part of your army, you should have room to move the rest into safe positions.

Specialize your crisis suits. Use them in one or two man teams with twin linked plasma and flamer (its expensive, but has the strength and AP to cut through Nurgle troops and the template flamer cuts down swarms like the railgun).

...then again, i really hate Nurgle. My Bogie army. So my advice might not be the best to follow
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Old 06 Mar 2006, 22:20   #4 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
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Default Re: Noob in need of help...

IMO use crisis suits in three man squads with burstcannons and twin linked plasma rifles.As for static tau stinking thats not true
Good uck

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Old 06 Mar 2006, 22:32   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Noob in need of help...

Post your list, and both of your opponents, if thats possible. This will help all of us in the tau section help you.
Originally Posted by Falstead
Falstead: I don't think you can ever justify a T5 goat in a regular 40k game
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Old 06 Mar 2006, 23:15   #6 (permalink)
lonely tau
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Default Re: Noob in need of help...

i would say from what i read your playing nurgle soon so here is something to know. when you do FOF your half as effective and their normal trooper is worth 2 fire warriors so take 4 FOF squads and group them together for the FOF so you deal with all of the squads 1 at a time and use the tnaks to knock out swarms but tanks first

i only play 1000 point games so i cant suggest a good 1500 point list good luck
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Old 06 Mar 2006, 23:42   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Noob in need of help...

Static has been given a LOT of great new toys in the new codex. It was a viable approach before, though maybe not in tournaments. Now it's possibly competitive with mech.

Tau is not an easy army to play. Losing a slew of games at the start is highly likely. Especially if Tau are your first army, like me. I would advise you to get a hammerhead no matter which path you decide to go. There is a whole 'nother learning curve for mech Tau, and it might be easier for you to stick with static or hybrid for the time being. Buy things that can go into either list for now, and don't forget that the new codex is out any day now.

Finally don't listen to much of the advice of people at the store/game place, with the possible exception of veteran Tau players. 90% of 40k players do not understand how the Tau work or how to play or make a successful army. It'll come with experience. Come check with us to see whether some advice you hear is good or not
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Old 07 Mar 2006, 00:04   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Noob in need of help...

Hmm... Nurgle is indeed a tough nut to crack. A tough, pestilent, despicable nut .

For a 1,500pts Mech Tau army, I would suggest the following. Firstly, get yourself 3 mounted units of Firewarriors, as someone else has pointed out. Each should be a 12-man squad, with a Devilfish equipped with a Decoy Launcher and a Multitracker (645pts total, for the three units).

Next, get yourself two Hammerheads: one a Railhead (Railgun, 2 Burst Cannons, Decoy Launcher, and Multi-tracker), the other an Ionhead (Ion Cannon, 2 Burst Cannons, Decoy Launcher, and Multi-tracker). These will cost you just under 300pts, and will give you plenty of firepower and versatility. The Ionhead will be fantastic against his infantry (other than Terminators and regular daemons, if he has any) and his lighter vehicles, while the Hammerhead will be great against his Nurglins, Daemons, and all his vehicles.

Next, you need a solid Commander. It is important to give your Commander fairly long-ranged weapons; Commanders are Independant Characters (ICs), and cannot be shot at if there is a closer target. Thus, I recommend giving him a Plasma Rifle and a Missile Pod. If you have the new codex, you can use a Shas' El with a BS upgrade. Otherwise, use a Shas'O. In either case, you will need a Multi-tracker to fire both weapons (get a Hardwired one for the Shas'El). This guy will set you back roughly 100-110pts.

The following important step is to boost your support weaponry. That is, your army has plenty of S5 AP5 shots from all over; what you need now is shooting that can do whatever S5 AP5 is NOT good at.

Here you will have a few options. I would not recommend the Vespid against a Nurgle army; they are tough, shooty, and have few (if any) expensive and fast units with a 3+ save to make good targets for the Vespid. Unless you play in dense terrain, such as cityfight, I would recommend you leave these guys home.

For a Mech Tau army, you have a few options here (given that I do not recommend Pathfinders). With about 450pts left, there is plenty which you can purchase. Some units which I would highly recommend are: Ionhead, Skyray, Crisis Suits, and maybe even Piranhas (to find out about the Skyray and Piranha, you will need the new codex).

For now, I can safely recommend another Ionhead (this will be an excellent purchase against a Nurgle army), and some Fireknife-configuration Crisis Suits. In fact, I actuallly recommend taking a second Commander, again with the Fireknife equipment (Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, and a Multi-tracker --- Hardwired or otherwise). With those 450pts, you could get roughly an Ionhead, another Commander, and 3 Fireknife Crisis Suits.

These Crisis Suits (including the Commanders) will excel at taking out every kind of infantry in his army: from Nurglins and Daemons to marines and Terminators. They also have the range to keep you away from trouble, until they can safely move to within 12" range to rapid-fire with their Plasma Rifles and decimate their opponents (NOTE: Crisis Suits always count as stationary for shooting their Plasma Rifles, just in case your opponent tried to tell you otherwise). Also, break these guys up into two or three squads (they will never need to take All Alone Tests this way).

Finally, this leaves you with 2 Commanders, 3 Crisis Suits, 3 units of mounted Firewarriors, 1 Railhead, and 2 Ionheads.

Note that while this army list can trash an infantry heavy Nurgle list, it will run into trouble against a Nurgle list which has numerous heavy vehicles (those with AV13 or 14 --- the latter of these being the real problem). If you fear a vehicle heavy list, I recommend either making one of the Ionheads a Railhead instead (if you can find the points), or switching two Missile Pods for Fusion Guns on your regular Crisis Suits (not your Commanders), preferably Suits in individual units (i.e., one man units), so that they can split up their shots.

In terms of tactics, just be cautious with your Firewarriors until you can get at a few units (i.e., until there is little threat back). Then dismount and rapid-fire the heck out of him. Until then, use you mobile-shooty elements cautiously to wear him down and to take away any mobile elements which he might have.


On the other hand, if you decide to give non-Mech Tau another try, I would make the following recommendations.

First of all, begin with a solid Troops section, as usual. I would recommend 4 full units of Firewarriors, plus a unit of 16 to 20 Kroot with 4-8 Kroot Hounds, depending on the size of your terrain pieces. Your goal will be to get the Kroot into either a forested/wooded area, or an area that gives a 4+ cover save, if possible. Also, this area should be slightly closer to the enemy than your main firebase (where you intend to keep you Firewarriors), and quite close by, so that the Kroot could charge or counter-charge any units that get too close to your Firewarriors. These guys will set up back about 540pts.

Next, I highly recommend you take a few Broadsides, if you are using the new codex; they are well worth it against any Marine Equivalent (MEQ, for short) army. I recommend you take three 2-man units. Each unit should consist of a Broadside suit with 2 Shield Drones, and a Broadside with Twin-linked Plasma Rifles and a Multi-tracker.

If you are not using the new codex, Broadsides are a dicey proposition. However, they can make short work of any vehicles, so I would still recommend taking one unit in a 1,500pts game. I would take either a unit of 2 Broadsides with 2 Shield Drones each (expensive, but fairly tough), or 2 Broadsides with TL Plasma Rifles and Multi-trackers. These guys will cost you anywhere from 170pts to 200pts.

Since the three units I recommend with the new codex would cost you 555pts, I would recommend you get yourself 2 Ionheads with the left over points (these will do fine here, since the Broadsides can deal with the really heavy vehicles).

I will assume that your Heavy Support costs add up to about 560pts. That leaves you with about 400pts to spend elsewhere. Here is what I recommend for your HQ and Elite slots (do not bother with fast attack, other than maybe Drones --- but Stealth Suits are much better).

For HQ, I would once again recommend 2 Commanders, which will cost you about 200 to 220pts. With the left over points, I would recommend either a Fireknife Crisis Suit and a squad of 4 Stealth Suits (these guys are golden against Nurglins, Daemons, and staying out of trouble or grabbing objectives and table-quarters).

Alternatively, if you play on fairly terrain rich boards, give that Crisis Suit a Fusion Blaster instead of a Missile Pod, and take 2 Fireknife Crisis Suits in place of the Stealth Suits. The Crisis Suits will be a bit more flexible/lethal, but rely greatly on terrain.

For tactics, use your firebase to wear down his infantry (and the Broadside to take out any vehicles or nasty Lords/Greater Daemons). Use your mobile elements to take away any mobility he has, to destroy those units which would give your firebase trouble, and to fulfill mission objectives. Lastly, use the Kroot primarily as a FIREBASE, and as a counter-assault unit as a secondary role.

Good luck .
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Old 07 Mar 2006, 00:51   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Noob in need of help...

I'd like to post a cautionary note about "3 mounted fw squads".

Many tournament armies consider that overkill. Tonka and Spooky both take just a single mounted FW squad, using stealths, kroot, gun drones, and incidental fire like vehicle burst cannons to take up the anti-infantry slack.

Fire Warriors are really not all that. I have given up on my 3 mounted squads, dropping them down to 2 (because double fof is much easier to pull off than single.) as soon as I get enough models to do so. It's also not necessarily a good idea to make it a squad of 12 - it is harder to disembark 12 units correctly, and tying up so many points just to sit in a fish for half the game can hurt. The extra devilfish themselves are non-scoring units, which is always something to keep in mind.

If you want to be a "nice guy" as far as composition is concerned, you can fill out more troops slots with kroot. 10-squads are great for pushing back infiltrators, and 20-squads are fantastic for flank work, hard to dislodge, and disdained by most enemies.
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Old 07 Mar 2006, 00:54   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Noob in need of help...

probly posted above somwere, (i didnt read...)

buy a devifish, it is ur best friend. for 80 points u can have a decent armoured vehicle transport, with 5 guns on it. they r the same as a FW gun, exept no rapid fire, and less range, but also 2 shtos cause pinning. its pretty much a 30 pt upgrade to give ur FW's better def and speed, aswell as being much more intemedating, and alowing u to run back 12" blast 18, and do it again.

also a HH, IMO those r the 2 musts of a tau army.
a HH is probly the best tank IMO, it has good armour, 12" move, skimmer (ignores cover, can only be assault hit on a 6, and can only be glanced if u move fast) AND, most important of all, has one of the best guns in the game, if not THE best. i wont give the stats here cause u probly know them, but u can hit anywere on vertualy any map unless there is cover, u can take out tanks and troops, and its not very pleasent to have a railgun pointed at u >.>'

u can call those two you core army or base army i guesse.

2 mounted fire warriors ATLEAST one HH, and a crisis suit. thats about 600 points, and those are your musts. after that it all depends what ur fighting. agaisnt a MC heavy godzilla army, pack urself full with more HH and crisis suits w/PR,FB.
hoards give urself some kroot, stealths, and vs tanks get some more railguns off of broadsides or HH's, and always take fusion bladters vs tank heavy armys'
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