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Advice for starting Tau: Army Construction (V 0.4)
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Old 07 Nov 2006, 06:51   #1 (permalink)
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Default Advice for starting Tau: Army Construction (V 0.4)

[size=8pt]So, you're starting Tau, but like most other people who just started a whole new army, you probably don't have any idea how to go about kicking a$$ for the Greater Good, eh? Well this thread will aim to answer most, if not all, of your beginner questions regarding army construction.

Being a guide for army selection, this will not have too big a portion to do with tactics and using each unit. Rather, it will offer up some suggestions for your army composition based on what type of an army would you like to field, and what type of opponents you will be facing.

At least, it will in time. [size=12pt]This is very WIP[/size], and I'll be updating (with both my own advice as well as the wisdom of others, should they choose to add to my limited knowledge) till I lose all interest, which won't be for a while. Hopefully this'll get stickied so we'll never have to see another "help me i'm a beginner" topic again (and if they're posted anyway we can merge & answer in this thread as well, forum software and mods be praised).

This guide, by completion, will be separated by the type of army you'd like to construct. So for example, if you wanted to totally trounce the annoying kid from your hobby centre with the badly painted Ultramarines, you'd refer to section "tailored army: anti-marines", or if you were going into a tournament, you'd refer to "All-comers army" and choose the type you like.

So without further ado:[/size]

[size=14pt]Starting Tau[/size]

[size=12pt]Before you dive in...[/size]
It's quite (obviously) important that a new player will understand the [size=11pt]strengths and weaknesses [/size]of the Tau before constructing his army.

Some strengths that are immediately obvious should be:
  • Strongest basic infantry weapon. S5 AP5 is able to wound half the galaxy on a 2+, and has an extra 6" range when matched against most other basic infantry weapons.
  • Strongest anti-vehicle weapon. S10 AP1, 72" range to boot. That's DOUBLE the range of a lascannon, and not even an ordnance weapon.
  • Shreds and cooks light infantry in twenty-six different flavors. there are few weapons in the Tau arsenal that aren't capable of absolutely DECIMATING any sort of infantry army short of power armor.
  • mobility. Ridiculous mobility. The Tau Hammerhead, with only a 10pt upgrade, can join the very exclusive club of "40K vehicles that can fire all weapons even after moving 12". Then we have battlesuits that can jump back into cover after shooting, or stretch the effective range of their guns by 6". Amazing.
As for weaknesses:
  • CC performance is sucktacular. While Kroot are somewhat capable of holding their own in an assault, you might as well kiss your battlesuits and Fire Warriors goodbye if they get charged by a close combat specialist.
  • expensive single models. Sucks when a 70-pt battlesuit gets instagibbed by a krak missile tac-squad.
  • No BS4.While armies like Eldar, IG, or Orks can make up for an average ballistic skill simply with number of shots or by ignoring shooting altogether, the Tau have no such luxury. However (and this will be covered with great detail later) the Tau can boost BS with markerlights--which themselves usually need to hit on a 4+. Definitely a big adjustment for people who came out of playing Marines.
  • Distance judgment has never been more important. Most of the popular Tau tactics require careful and precise judgment of distance--a skill that is developed only through time.

As you play more games with Tau, you'll gradually notice some other nuances about them, and those nuances (along with how much you care about them) will gradually shape your playing style.

[size=11pt]A note about the army list[/size] on the mandatory (1+) XV8 battlesuit commander and Fire Warrior squad. Depending on the type of army you'd like to field, these two 1+ units can be minimzed so that you have more points to spend elsewhere. People have been known to squeeze in a 97pt "wondersuit" commander or end up with a seriously tooled up Shas'O. Meanwhile the fire warrior squad can cost you as little as 60 pts, leaving you the rest to spend on expensive mechanized gear, or you can actually manage to tool it to over 200pts with the addition of drones and a troop carrier.

[size=13pt]All-comers army[/size]

Tau armies that aren't tailored against particular opponents fall into three (very general) categories. Those categories are static, mechanized, or hybrid. Read the descriptions of the three categories and decide where your tastes lie.

A static Tau army maximizes volume and strength of ranged firepower at the sacrifice of mobility and flexibility. Such a Tau army is content sitting at one edge of the board blasting incoming opponents to pieces before they reach your lines for an assault. The backbone of a static army is composed of Broadside battlesuits, Fire Warriors, and Sniper drones.

A mechanized Tau army maximizes mobility and survivability in exchange for heavy firepower. Such a Tau army rarely has a unit that cannot move more than 12" a turn. The backbone of a mechanized army is composed of Hammerheads, Piranhas, Fire Warriors mounted in Devilfish, and battlesuits.[size=8pt]Disclaimer: In no way can I claim to be a Mech player or know the intricacies of mechanized gameplay. If someone such as Tonkatruckdriver or MechTau can write the mech Tau army selection, it'd be appreciated. [/size]

A hybrid army (which would technically be 90% of the Tau armies out there) incorporates both elements, with both a relatively solid firebase composed of static units and elements of mobile firepower to take the fight to the enemy or capture vital objectives. But then a hybrid army usually leans towards either extreme in some way.
Note: here is the interesting thing about hybrid lists: if one side outweighs the other then chances are you will probably play in the style of your more significant element, anyway. For example, battlesuits in a more static army will likely be hopping laterally, lending firepower where needed (since the static firebase has been weakened in exchange for the battlesuits in the first place), while a mech-heavy list might leave their static counterparts behind, or even offer them as juicy targets for enemy assaulters. [/size]

Moving on to specific types of All-comers army lists:

[size=12pt]All-Comers: Static-heavy[/size]
In a static army list, Fire Warriors are your best friends. You might want to start by maximizing your mandatory squad, then look towards getting at least one more squad, at most two or three in total. Fire Warriors will manage to rip apart everything with a 5+ armor save or less, and the gun range will outshoot every other basic infantry weapon. Save snipers, other armies will not get a chance to hit you very hard with volume infantry fire without opening themselves up to retal.
Spend points to upgrade your squads to have Shas'ui leaders, since Ld 7 isn't very high at all, and the possibility that your firebase might crumble from a few shooting casualties is quite real. Of course, you could always...
Pick up an Ethereal. This lessens the chance that your firebase may break from morale checks, or you can join a squad with the Ethereals to make a squad Fearless.
Giving the Ethereal an Honor Guard can be very worth it since BS4 Fire Warriors are gifts from heaven. Also remember that if you give the team leader and the Ethereal both Drone Controllers, you can have up to four shield drones in one squad. Expensive, but scary.
Since most of the opponents you face will be Marine-equivalents (MEQs) you will want to up the anti-power armor potential as well--this is where sniper drones come in. For 240 points, you get three networked markerlights and nine potentially pinning, 36" range AP3 shots that wound marines on a 2+. This is nothing short of excellent in terms of Marine-killing potential. An Ion cannon Hammerhead may be useful as well.
What about terminators? The only guns (besides from the railgun) capable of passing through a 2+ armor save are mounted on battlesuits and piranhas. You can go out and get some of either, or you can function on a simple, elegant rule of statistics that static players have been using for a long time--With enough volume of fire, even terminators will go down. In this case, concentrated Fire Warrior shooting power would be adequate for terminators--but remember, AP3 is wasted on 2+ armor.
Broadside battlesuits define anti-tank. A squad of these mounted with targetting arrays or target locks can really ruin a tank fan's day. Get at least two for normal games--since you lack XV8 suits in your army, it might be an idea to upgrade it to carry plasma rifles, since you don't have any and God knows you don't need more S5AP5 shots.
Your last bit of points should be spent on Pathfinders. While GW fiction describes them as forward, flexible scouts, in practice they are anything but that. A squad of pathfinders are perfectly content tucked in a corner markerlighting targets and substantially increasing your killing efficiency, so they fit in well with a static army. This, plus your sniper drone squads, should provide ample markerlight support.

[size=12pt]All-Comers: Mech-heavy[/size]
If someone more qualified would like to write this, that would be appreciated...

[size=12pt]All-Comers: balanced[/size]
In a balanced list, you should take elements that you like from both static-heavy and mech-heavy appraoches and strike out a middle road.
Static elements that provide a firebase would consist of Fire Warriors and Sniper Drones (whose stealth fields can come in very, very handy). You may also consider a unit of Kroot to provide a counter-charge should assaulters close with a squad of Fire Warriors. They can prolong an assault if nothing else (and Kroot can hold their own against most enemies), leaving you some time to relocate your static elements.
mechanized engagement elements would be Stealthsuits (at most one unit! this will be explained later), XV8 suits (a fireknife squad), and hammerheads, with Railgun if for fighting GEQs and Ion Cannon if you're fighting MEQs.
A balanced list also gives you the best opportunity to field Kroot and Vespids. Kroot, while only 7 points, can hold off equal numbers of hormagaunts while in cover of woods (as they should always be). Vespids, meanwhile, can provide the anti-power armor fire that you might need to finish off the last members of a decimated assault squad.

Sig thanks to EvilKillaRuna of Relic Forums

Originally Posted by Lonely Tau
Anyways, just because we have already had someone who called it:
Originally Posted by RealMenUseCarbines
Heh, thought he'd know by now...watch this turn into another relationship advice thread.
*DING DING DING* You're a winner!!! you get your choice of bragging rights or nothing, choose wisely!!!
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Old 07 Nov 2006, 08:46   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice for starting Tau

Well, it looks good so far.

Originally Posted by Wargamer
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Old 19 Nov 2006, 06:30   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice for starting Tau: Army Construction

[size=13pt]Tailoring Your Army[/size]

Most of us don't play in tournaments regularly enough, and chances are you will have an idea of your opponent's force 80--90% of the time. It is up to you then to drive the economy forward and buy more models to tweak your existing army--or build it ground up, you filthy rich T'auk'cka'era...heh. Onto army construction!
I will be basing this section on static and mech approaches towards every army, and particularly popular configs of those armies, if need be--also, specific units that are very dangerous/common will get a mention as well.
I will kick off with my two most common opponents...

[size=11pt]Fighting Tyranids[/size]
Tyranid armies have two main configs (besides from the normal balanced one): the horde (genestealers, hormagaunts, basically fast assaulters with tons of models backed up by synapse), and the godzillas (overtooled Carnifexes and Hive Tyrants). Your specific counter, then, will very much depend on which side the army leans toward.

For [size=11pt]static players:[/size]
Against Godzilla 'Nids: Counter his Godzillas with your own Godzillas, seriously overtooled Broadside battlesuits. Give 'em A.S.S., Targetting arrays, shield drones--anything to boost their survivability and accuracy. Nine Broadsides comes to 630pts before upgrades, two minimized fire warrior squads comes to 120pts, for a total of 750pts.
In a normal 1500pts game you should have points to spare on a full squad of Pathfinders to make every railgun shot count, as well as some more infantry to force him/her to buy anti-personnel firepower and decrease his/her effectiveness at killing your XV88s.
Instead of buying Fire Warriors, however, this might be a good time to field some Kroot. A smart 'Nid player will deepstrike Lictors and/or Raveners, infiltrate broodlord with a retinue, anything--just to engage you in CC to halt the railgun shots. Kroot will help you with this in close combat. Park them in woods, close to your broadside battlesuits, and when deepstrikers pop up you waste 'em.
There is also an increasingly popular variant called the "Godzilla Choir", where the Nid player uses Psychic Scream to force your troops to fall back from shooting casualties. You know what'll fix that? An Ethereal.
Against Horde 'Nids: Fire Warriors, man. Boatloads of them. Three squads (one of them honor guard for your Ethereal) should cut it, with Kroot to cover your flank and guard against infiltrators/deepstrikers. They really come into their own against an army like Nids. I am usually not a big fan of single-weapon battlesuits, but against Genestealers with extended carapaces, Deathrain XV8 battlesuits can be very useful.

For [size=11pt]Mechanized players:[/size]
Against Godzilla 'Nids: rather than overtooling cumbersome broadsides, you can instead overtool Piranhas and Hammerheads. Before other upgrades, you can get FIFTEEN piranhas with fusion blasters and three ionheads (arguably the best time to take ionheads) into this army list. Of course, if every creature on the field has a 2+ save, you might consider some plasma/fusion XV8 battlesuits instead.
Against Horde 'Nids: XV25 Stealthsuits are Gods here. Get a full squad at least, and unleash dakka fury. Firestorm XV8 battlesuits are also very useful: a squad of three spits out 9 AP5 and 6 AP4 shots, enough to put a serious dent into both gaunts and genestealers with extended carapace. Last but not least, Piranhas with Old Faithful (burst cannon) can also rip apart hordes with extreme prejudice, and you can disengage drones to slow down attackers while your more valuable assets jet away safely.
Chances are he's also got at least one or two squads of synapse creatures, most likely in the form of (winged) Tyranid warriors, which makes for priority targets for Deathrain XV8 battlesuits. Deepstriking can get around pesky target priority checks.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~

[size=11pt]Fighting Dark Eldar[/size]
Dark Eldar armies are universally agreed on to be difficult to use. While rare, its difficulty in handling means that a Dark Eldar army is usually (usually!) played by very skilled players. In such a case, your army selection will have less to do with your performance than against other armies. But, it is important nevertheless!

For [size=11pt]Static players:[/size]
Most of the Dark Eldar army are basically close combat specialists, so it is up to you to blast them to Kingdom Come before they reach your lines. There are three things distinguishing about the Dark Eldar from other fast attack armies that you need to keep in mind, however:
1) Only two units with a save higher than 4+. Besides from the Dark Eldar Talos (their Wraithlord, you might say) and a Shadow-Field equipped character, everything else in the Dark Eldar army can be taken care of with pulse weaponry and missile pods.
2) Glance-only on skimmers and Invul. Save for jetbikes. If your opponent has any Raiders or Jetbikes at all, chances are they'll be moving more than 18" a turn, meaning the ubiquitus railgun is pretty useless here.
Taking these two things into consideration (and the idea that Dark Eldar armies focus on CC), this means you should have a force composed of Fire Warriors, Sniper drones, and Kroot. The best way to crack a ridiculous invulnerable save is of course to pour shots at it--unless your opponent gets real lucky with the Shadow Field it won't last long, and you only have to breach it once to disable the field. Sniper Drones can deal with Incubi and Jetbikes, and finally, a SINGLE Talos is reason enough to get an Ionhead. I cannot stress how important taking those Taloses out is.
Skip the railguns because there really aren't any huge armored threats that you can't pop with S7 or S8--and remember, your Fire Warriors can penetrate AV10. Don't be afraid to shoot at an incoming Raider with pulse rifles--on average (beyond RF range), a squad of 12 will glance twice, more than enough to destroy the Raider.

For [size=11pt]Mechanized players:[/size]
Dark Eldar were basically made to be destroyed by Mech Tau. Stealthsuits can reliably pop skimmers at 24", Firestorm XV8 battlesuits will decimate all infantry, and Ionheads do an excellent job as always of Talos hunting. Just one thing--on the off chance that your Dark Eldar opponent takes Grotesques, you should consider investing in a railhead (to kill the accompanying haemonculus w/ submunition, reducing the Grotesques effectiveness) or Fusion-blaster equipped Battlesuits and/or Piranhas. One more thing: if haemonculi likes to jog along right behind footslogging assault troops (safe with IC shield), you might consider Burst cannon Piranhas to get around the IC shield.

[size=11pt]Fighting Necrons[/size]
Ah, 'Crons. They can either be a serious reaming for you and your ego, or put up an incredibly interesting and fair fight against your Tau. A few things before we get started:
There are two main types of Crons army organization that I've seen. One is some sort of "something for everyone" army (typically new players or characterful players against max/min armies), with destroyers, a monolith, a C'tan, and some scarab swarms besides from the ubiquitous Necron Warriors and Lord. The other is the Crons horde, where besides from a monolith and a tooled up Lord, all you've got are boatloads of Warriors (sometimes with a few other specialty units that the player just likes to have around).

For [size=11pt]Static players:[/size]
Against "Noob" Necron Armies: no matter how many different units the Cron player takes, it doesn't change the fact that they've got a 3+ save and can get back up the next turn with luck. However, the wide array of powerful special units means that he'll have considerably fewer models than a normal army, and many of them are split into small units like XV battlesuits. It's your job then to nuke them, small unit by small unit, be they wraiths or flayed ones or destroyers, since a wiped out unit won't be able to WBB without a nearby unit of the same type.
You'll need sniper drones, at least three broadside battlesuits for every Monolith he fields, and again, boatloads of Fire Warriors. If deep-striking Flayed Ones are a problem, then you might want to consider 1--2 full squads of Kroot (maybe hounds?) to cover your behind. Just remember, this isn't too recommended since every Kroot you take will subtract from your firepower.
Since a sufficiently varied Necron army has a good chance of phasing out, you'll want to target the big expensive units first (Monolith, lord, (heavy) destroyers, wraiths, etc.); in such a game, the Warriors should be your last target. Oh yeah, and nuke every Tomb Spyder you see.
Against Cron Warrior Hordes: Since the Monolith will be your prime target, you'll need at least a full squad of Broadside battlesuits for each Monolith and/or C'tan your opponent brings. After you've got the uberunits covered, you'll need to spend every other available point on something that'll bypass 3+ armor. This means sniper drones (which might as well be mandatory for any static army) and plasma/fusion XV8 battlesuits. Sure the XV8s don't really fit into your static army theme, but dayamn, you need those plasma guns! Besides, JSJ is really a static tactic anyway. Remember, 'gibbed Crons can't stand back up next turn, so there is indeed a legit reason to invest in Helios XV8 suits.
Of course you'll need a squad of pathfinders, as all static armies do--skip vehicles (besides the mandatory 'fish for your pathfinders) because Necrons were built to kill vehicles. Last note, with the high numbers of 'Cron warriors, you might as well pretend that the "phase out" rule isn't there.

For [size=11pt]Mechanized players:[/size]
Against "Noob" Necron Armies: The composition of your army list will likely sway between three Railheads and a jillion fusion blaster Piranhas, depending on what he has more in terms of points, Monoliths/C'tan or Destroyers/Wraiths. Just remember, Gauss weapons were made to kill vehicles--it'll be up to you to keep your Hammerheads out of range of Warriors/ destroyers/ immortals, or to pummel a squad beyond retaliation with fusion Piranhas. Since you have so many skimmers, you might consider putting seeker missiles on 'em, and gibbing some destroyers with pathfinders.
Should his Warrior composition manage to outweigh his specialists, though, the army would fall under "Cron Warrior Hordes", see below.
Against 'Cron Warrior Hordes: Mech players owe themselves the pleasure of fielding three Ionheads against a Necron player. The only problem this leaves is that you'll be devoid of railguns, the only thing able to reliably kill a monolith (since fusion guns don't get "melta" against 'em). The compromise, then, would be ONE Ionhead and TWO Railheads (you NEED that monolith dead), with the rest of your points spent on plasma/fusion XV8 battlesuits. JSJ 'em to death, man.
You can of course sacrifice principle and actually buy a squad of Broadside battlesuits, since they offer twice as many railgun shots as an equal-points railhead, allowing you to kill that monolith faster--then throw 'em to the wolves, since you get a bargain if you manage to kill the monolith.
(for the unenlightened, monoliths are priority #1 because they have a very nasty combo where warriors charge you, tying you up in CC for your turn, then teleporting away using the Monolith on their turn and rapid-firing you.)

[size=11pt]Fighting (other) Tau[/size]
Tau-on-Tau fighting is indeed a neglected area, but with the number of anime geeks drawn to 40K by the battlesuits, it's becoming an increasingly real prospect. Since your opponent has the same strengths and weaknesses, this presents an obvious question--How to fight yourself?

For [size=11pt]Static players:[/size]
Against static Tau: Your armies are both spary-n-pray, so it'll be up to you to outshoot your opponent, crushing him underneath the sheer weight of your firepower. Load up on Fire Warriors--fill the board with em (6 squads), but minus TWO for every railhead your opponent has, for obvious reasons. Skip Kroot (for obvious reasons as well), and of course don't forget Pathfinders. Buy a squad of Sniper Drones for each unit of XV battlesuits he fields. If he's stupid enough to field Broadside battlesuits, all the better, though I doubt anybody will do that.
Addendum: Remember that Tau suck at CC? Here's a new, sort of hilarious, and utterly unreliable strategy to try: buy three XV8 battlesuits, splitting them into separate units. Upgrade them to Shas'Vre, and give them two shield drones as well as TL flamers and shield gen. Deep strike them straight behind his firebase, flamebe a few Fire Warriors, and charge into CC with them. With two shield drones, two wounds, a high toughness, and 3+ armor, you could tie up THREE squads of Fire Warriors in close combat for a turn or two--that's 36 fire warriors not doing anything for two shooting phases. Sound good? it is good.
Against mech Tau: convert to Mech Tau, or give up. His battlesuits and vehicles will dance circles around you, blasting your Fire Warriors with all sorts of nasty anti-infantry weapons, while you're all but powerless to fight back. A good Mech player will never lose against a Static player--it's just one of those things that doesn't happen. If you insist on trying anyway, though, you should grab a maxed contingent of sniper drones, a full squad of pathfinders, and a Skyray. Two full squads of fire warriors should be enough--spend the rest of your points on mechanized elements. What was that, you say? Against principle? Well, is winning against principle? I thought not.

For [size=11pt]Mechanized players:[/size]
Against static Tau: If you lose, you must have been either handicapped or it was just an extremely bad day. Grab three railheads, but switch one for an Ionhead for every two squads of XV suits he takes. Bring Deathrain/Firestorm XV8 battlesuits to kill Fire Warriors, burst cannon Piranhas to shred his pathfinders/sniper drones, and JSJ him to death. You can also deepstrike a squad of Gundrones to kill pathfinders or sniper drones. Basically, don't leave him a good target in sight, and he is as good as reamed.
Wanna be a total bastard? Make your best effort to convince him that you obviously suck at CC and the best counter would be Kroot, then make him cry by shredding his Kroot with extreme prejudice with Stealthsuits, you babyeater.
Against mech Tau: Since you both have mostly identical army composition, your best way to beat him is to make your shots count and hit more than he does. This can be done with the help of pathfinders and Skyrays. Ditch Railheads for obvious reasons. Should your opponent be a Piranha junkie, overload on either ionheads or Deathrain XV8 battlesuits. I prefer Ionheads since they can smoke XV battlesuits equally well--but if you need those Heavy Support slots for Skyrays or something, then Deathrains will work as well.

await further update

[size=9pt]last updated Nov.20 06. Call this v0.3...[/size]
Sig thanks to EvilKillaRuna of Relic Forums

Originally Posted by Lonely Tau
Anyways, just because we have already had someone who called it:
Originally Posted by RealMenUseCarbines
Heh, thought he'd know by now...watch this turn into another relationship advice thread.
*DING DING DING* You're a winner!!! you get your choice of bragging rights or nothing, choose wisely!!!
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Old 19 Nov 2006, 07:03   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice for starting Tau: Army Construction

Looks very promising, have a cookie and Ill add this to the important threads topic though they dont seem to be read very often. Maybe when its done modify the main post to include all the material and it can be made its own sticky so it will hopefully be noticed more. Keep up the good work.

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Old 19 Nov 2006, 07:41   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice for starting Tau: Army Construction

Mechanized Tau Armies

Mechanized Tau isn't just putting your Firewarriors in Devilfishies. Its not about being especially overwhelming. What you want is harnessable speed.

What you want to do is use your speed to use all your points the best they can be used, and at the same time make it hard for the enemy to hurt you.

Lets say your opponent spreads out widely across the board, and has a fairly static army.

You ought to use your mobility to zoom to one of the sides. This means that part of his army's can't effectively fight back! You just made this a battle where a 1,500 point army fights a 1,000 point army!

To do this, you need to make certain list selections across the board:

- The ability to travel 12" is important. This way, your entire fleet can engage, and not leave anything behind.
- Don't worry about CC. You are fast enough to outrun everything except the things so nasty that Kroot wouldn't be able to hurt them.
- Dedicated, focused units. You don't have to have each unit be generalized because each unit will have the mobility to engage whatever it hurts best.

Examples of selections:

10x Firewarriors, Devilfish, SMS, Targetting Array, Multitracker, and Decoy Launcher: 200 points

Why: 10 Firewarriors provide plenty of firepower, while the still able to disembark without being totally cramped. The Devilfish provides mobility, and has been given 35 points of upgrades (Multi, SMS, and Targetting Array) to shoot at things while delivering the FW. Decoy launchers have been kept because they are point efficent when the vehicle moves >6" everyturn!

Note the mix of durability, firepower, and mobility. Note the focus: this entire unit exists to kill infantry.

Hammerhead gunship, Railgun, Multitracker, Decoylaunchers, Smart Missile System, Target Lock: 180 points
Why: Railgun is the best anti-tank weapon in 40k (Aside from assault cannon, pulsar laser, etc) and one of the only anti-tank weapons avalible to Tau. Multitracker means it can move 12" and still fire, Decoys can save your life, and Smart Missiles ALWAYS get to fire at the enemy.

Note how the railgun busts tanks, but the tank has been configured to also pepper the enemy with incidental SMS fire AT THE SAME TIME, with no loss to efficency.

Crisis suit, Plasma rifle, Fusion Blaster, and Multitracker: 62 points
Why: Mobility is self evident, can use terrain to protect itself, and it can use its mobility to get within 12" of enemy heavy infantry for crazy-good CARNAGE. You have to learn how to use these things, but when they work, it is well worth it.

A note on composition: Take enough stuff to deal with Av13 - Av14 vehicles and enough stuff to deal with heavy infantry (2+/3+ saves). You have enough light infantry fire (Its the easiest thing to take), and while you should take plenty of it, it doesn't help against Monsterous Creatures or Terminators.

Light vehicles, like transports and whirlwinds, depend entirely on your metagame. Some lists eschew their use, and some people love them. Taking some missile pods and seeker missiles will help you.

Pathfinders are amazing in the right position, and can make a single unit of rapid firing Firewarriors or Stealthsuits, or Helios suits amazingier! Remember the difference a single Str 8 weapon can do!

In short, hit fast with as many things as possible that are designed to take apart the target you assign them.

Good hunting!
Watch me rebuild my army! - Now with pics of my new scheme!

Open invitation to all: Send me a pm, and I'll be have a look at your army list.
[url=http://forums.tauonline.org/index.php?topic=11198.0]Crisis Suit Theory, Army Composition, and why Fireknives suck - You've got to read this classic by T0nka
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Old 19 Nov 2006, 09:07   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice for starting Tau: Army Construction

Very good start mates, very informative.
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Old 19 Nov 2006, 09:11   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice for starting Tau: Army Construction

Magnificent text. As a soon-starting Tau player, I'd give these boyz some Karma, tacticas/unit guides are allways useful.

Great site for all DE stuff.
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Old 19 Nov 2006, 11:35   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice for starting Tau: Army Construction

I think you should beware giving too many rules away. Other than that, looks good

Make sure you read other threads and avoid duplicating. There has been made a ton of tacticas etc, so if you want yours to actually mean something you should write something no-one else has.. yet! But yes, very promising indeed

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Old 19 Nov 2006, 13:27   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice for starting Tau: Army Construction

BS 4 can e acived by using target arrays on battlesuits, as for markerlights, if you have enough you should be able to make one or even two firewarrior squads BS5

and one un-conventonal tactic for kroot:

max out squad size & infiltrate into a woods, now rather than charge into CC shoot the enemy instead from the safety of te woods, this means that whilst being shot at you have a nice cover save, wheras in combat if you finished the unit off you would be sitting krootducks.

and then a further bonus of this is that when the enemy charges you, you will normaly strike first as you benifit from being in cover.

pretty neat eh?
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Old 19 Nov 2006, 15:22   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice for starting Tau: Army Construction

Nice stuff, but one lil correction. A railgun has 50% more range than a lascannon, not double.
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