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Tau leadership issues
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Old 19 Jun 2006, 15:35   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tau leadership issues

Well, I know that most of us know all about our many tactics and strategies. We have our great tacticians like Malveaux, Tonka, Ollanon, etc. However, I've never seen a post based solely on our Leadership issues. I've seen many topics that are about other things, but never on Leadership, at least here. That's what this is...

Well, as Tau, we have big nice shiny guns, but on our troops, it can get ugly when they get shot at. Even our elites are only at Ld 8. That's a scary prospect. We need those guns to not run away. Granted, with our abilities, mainly JSJ, we keep out of fire. When we do, which can happen, our leadership fails us, sometimes. I always cringe when I take leadership tests, because I hate to see my 195 point units flee. Over time, I've learned a few things about crisis teams (and broadsides):

-never take gun drones
-3 man squads are a bad configuration for morale issues

First off, taking gun drones in the old codex shot us in the foot. We had to take leadership tests when they died, which was soon. I learned that the drones were a liability which needed to go. So they did. Shield drones today are a good option, because of they way they got redesigned, adding a wound that has a 4+ invulnerable save, with the save and toughness of the parent unit. When I do take these, I take two, because that generally stops any large amount of incoming high powered shots, but I still use JSJ, when at all possible. However, advancing to objectives means that you will sometimes get shot at, and shield drones help.

Taking three man squads never worked out for me. They usually either overkilled what I shot at, or left that lone lascannon gunner, which then proceeded to blow up my takns, requiring another unit to kill it. Plus, whn one died, it was a Morale check. At leadership 8, I failed quite a few times. And when they killed the second guy, my suit had to take All On Your Own (AOYO) tests every turn, and he didn't do much, as he wasn't scoring. Then I found two man teams. The beauty of these teams is two-fold. First, it will always be scoring, or dead, and second, it never seems as much of a nuisance, until it's too late. Let me explain why it's always scoring. This unit is never below half strength. It's at half strength when one member dies, but the opponent must take out the second one for him to get the victory points. While this can hurt as an all for nothing deal, and the amount of AOYO tests you'll most likely make, I find it's still worth it.

Stealth suits are able to get more numbers than this, and this does mitigate moral issues. 6 guys need to lose 2 before a check is made, and need to lose 4 before they aren't scoring. This is a lot, and combined with the stealth ability, which diverts some shots at them, they don't normally totally protect from all shots. Four man teams are also nice, because to not be scoring, you need to have 1 suit left, which won't due a whole lot. Here I'll touch on something from the Mech Tau bible about four man squads. Having four men means as soon as one is lost, you take a Morale check, but to not be scoring you have to be down to one guy, who most likely won't do much.

How to stop all these nasty morale issues from happening...

Well first off, we have the Ethereal, which got kind of nerfed in the new codex, seeing as we have to have LOS and vision to it. However, the re-roll is very useful. It increases the chances of passign a MORALE check by a lot. I stress morale because morale isn't regrouping, pinning, target priority, etc. The Ethereal does help a lot when it comes to keeping your units in the battle. Just don't let it get killed You also have to deploy the Ethereal correctly, so that as many units as possible can benefit, and in Night Fight, I wouldn't bother, seeing as the close grouping of your units makes them vulnerable in assault.

For Fire Warriors and Pathfinders, it is easy for a leadership boost. Give them a shas'ui. For ten points, you get Ld 8, which while isn't the best, means that you pass more than 50% of the time. A very useful upgrade.

For almost all units in the codex, we can bond them, allowing units under 50% to regroup. While this is a useful upgrade, there are times when it is not necessary. Two man units, for example, do not need it. And even our 3 man crisis teams don't need it, as 1 crisis suit, probably won't be useful enough to come back. However, if you want a tricked out shas'vre to come ack to the fray, by all means, give him bonding. On broadsides, a three man team can use bonding, as the range of the broadside means that it will still be useful. On Fire Warriors and Pathfinders, bonding is a nifty upgrade for them, as the amount of Fire Warriors you could bring back into the fray is a lot. However, sometimes it won't be worth it. It's all up to you.

Bonding and Bodyguards...
First off, it's not needed. When the bodyguard dies, the commander reverts to being an IC, which aren't ever below half. Enough said. The only time you need bonding for bodyguards is for O'Shovah's bodyguard, but then, the bonding knife is free anyway.

The main way, to me anyway, for Tau to negate Morale mishaps, is to not get shot at. We are good at that. For crisis teams, stealth teams, commanders, and gun drones, we have JSJ. For fire warriors and pathfinders, we have devilfish. Vespids have Ld 9, and kroot need a lot of firepower to make them run, if in good cover. The only vulnerable units are broadsides and sniper teams, whicha re static. However, broadsides are very tough, and snipers, at range, are all but invisible. Ethereals are ICs, so that helps, just don't let them get shot at, or your plan may fail.

Overall, while the Tau do have problems with morale, careful play and amry list construction can negate many of them. I hope you all found this useful. Any comments or add-ons about what I missed would be greatly appreciated, as I'll add them in.

"The gue'la will either except our destiny, or die!"
-Shas'o Castris
Originally Posted by Faolin
"Human nature" only prevents a better future if we accept it as unchangeable.
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 20 Jun 2006, 16:41   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau leadership issues

I'm on a Monat kick at the moment, with IC Shas'os and Elite Crisis Monats. I'm even using Monat Broadsides. Works great for leadership issues.

I used to use an Ethereal, but I guess GW wanted to reinforce the notion that Tau retreat rather than hold positions, ergo the Ethereal rules changes. So, no more Ethereal.

I've mechanized my army quite a bit. The consequence of that is that my Fire Warriors don't fail their Leadership tests inside their Devilfish. I've upgraded all infantry squads to Ld 8 and bonded them for when they need to get out of the 'fish.
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Old 20 Jun 2006, 20:39   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau leadership issues

There was oooold descussions abut using ethereals to purposely fail morale checks in combat (after all b2b models are removed, of course) to successfully disengage from close combat.

While I may be tooting my own horn a bit.... but I suggest a search of "Tau Brace" on the search function. Use the quotation marks.. otherwise youd get a galzillion results of evert Tau and every Brace.

Anyways that was a Tactic, and it involved Leadership. :
Though I walk through the valley of the swarms of the clueless, I shall fear no idiocy, for the M-STAR flagged them 12 seconds ago, and the JDAMS are already freefalling.
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Old 21 Jun 2006, 15:54   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau leadership issues

There are many things that are often overlooked that really help with leadership.

- Shas'Os. They have Ld 10, and are independent characters so they can pass this onto whoever they join. Just add him into a Crisis or Stealthsuit squad, or even a large Fire Warrior squad, and they will hardly ever run.

- Ethereals. Rerolling morale checks, along with giving out Ld 10, will make a squad never run (well...very very small chance).

- Shas'uis. The Team Leaders are only 10 points, and they offer insurance that Fire Warriors, especially static Fire Warriors, need. 20 points for a Ld 8 Fire Warrior may seem like it is not worth it, but after you are driven off the board for the 20th time you will never leave home without one.

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Old 21 Jun 2006, 16:12   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau leadership issues

I'd suggest house-ruling in that Tau take -1 on Leadership rolls, not score, for target priority and ranged casualties. Their leadership stat sucks because of close combat alone.
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Old 23 Jun 2006, 08:28   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau leadership issues

My experience has shown that upgrading you fire warriors to a Shas'ui helps a lot.
Also if you can't afford pathfinders, try aquipping your Shas'uis with a markerlight and a Hard-wired target lock. It really helps. ;D
For the Tau'va!
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Old 23 Jun 2006, 09:29   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau leadership issues

Well, I haven't played too much with my Tau yet, so I just have some tables to contribute. They come in very handy for me when I am working on lists because it tells me when it is worth it to buy LD upgrades and when it is not. Remember that it is very common to get a -1 or -2 modifier, so plan ahead!

Leadership and possible rolls to pass the test:
*I'm only showing the rolls that are unique to that leadership. IE, leadership 7 only shows rolls adding to seven, but it could pass on every other roll for leaderships 2-6
*2 Really means 2 and below.

2: 1-1
3: 1-2 2-1
4: 1-3 3-1 2-2
5: 2-3 3-2 1-4 4-1
6: 1-5 5-1 2-4 4-2 3-3
7: 1-6 6-1 2-5 5-2 3-4 4-3
8: 2-6 6-2 3-5 5-3 4-4
9: 4-5 5-4 3-6 6-3
10: 4-6 6-4 5-5
11: 5-6 6-5
12: 6-6

How often you fail:
Fraction Failed
2: 35/36
3: 11/12
4: 5/6
5: 13/18
6: 7/12
7: 5/12
8: 5/18
9: 1/6
10: 1/12

Percentage Failed
2: 97%
3: 92%
4: 83%
5: 72%
6: 58%
7: 42%
8: 28%
9: 17%
10: 8%

The biggest shift is when you hit 6LD, which is easy to make Tau do, so if you can afford it always try to bring a Shas'ui, in my experience, at least. From there, just use these charts to make the best army you can for Leadership. They help me a lot and I'd recommend any serious player to print them out or copy them or something, it's nice to have them.
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Old 23 Jun 2006, 15:57   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau leadership issues

Here's an older article I wrote on a similar topic before the new codex was released.
"i like to think of playing against my list as being like punching jelly. you put all your effort in but it just moves out of the way and you cause no damage. then your arm is covered in jelly. and the chicks come out and start wrestling in the jelly, and i drink a beer with stone cold steve austin, and we watch the chicks jelly wrestling, and then the slap-bass funk starts wakka chakka wakka wakka woh" -- Spooky, describing Mech Tau

"You can of course make a list that attempts to work via fragility and easy VP donation and Pathfinders fit into that just fine." -- kai
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