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Tau vs. fast-moving Marines
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Old 09 Nov 2006, 01:53   #1 (permalink)
Tyr
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Default Tau vs. fast-moving Marines

I am a recently new Tau Player. I live with a friend who collects space marines. Using several Traits (Blessed be the warriors and be swift as the wind. I think) His army mostly consists of units that move 12" or more. His typical army has 2 10 man squads of Assault Marines, 3 5 man units of Bikes, 3 Landspeeder tornado, Two chaplains with jump packs, a dreadnought and recently he picked up a whirlwind (this can hurt a bit, large blast S 5, AP 4)

So far I have managed to win the few games we have played but was wondering if there were any thoughts on possible tactics to use?
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Old 09 Nov 2006, 02:01   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau vs Fast moving Marines

A good answer to any fast moving skimmer, such as Land Speeders, would be a HammerHead with an Ion Cannon. Since he doesn't take any heavy armor, I'd invest in two of these, as they can rip through any part of his army.
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Old 09 Nov 2006, 02:05   #3 (permalink)
Tyr
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Default Re: Tau vs Fast moving Marines

I like that. Plus they will eat his bike squads as long as he doesn't boost.
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Old 09 Nov 2006, 02:07   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau vs Fast moving Marines

Exactly. I don't think it would hurt to invest in some Crisis suits with Plasma rifles as well. They can lay the hurt down on any 3+ save army very quickly.... :shifty:
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Old 09 Nov 2006, 02:22   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau vs Fast moving Marines

Piranhas are great for blocking fast moving marine assaulters in the open field. If you position them right they can severly cut down on jump troops ability to get their full movement rate in. Plus since they are pretty much immune to CC (only hit on a six) and immune to bolters from the front (AV 11) they are the best thing I have found to slowing down enemy assaulters in the field. Think of them as fast moving devilfish which are cheaper and don't require the purchase of troops.

As a last resort, their free drones can assault straight out of the Piranhas even after hey have mover 12" due to their open topped nature. Give them Fusion blasters and they will instagib those chaplains and whirlwind too. Plus, the drones can cause the occasional pinning check too.

You'll have to have them avoid those land speeders though, assault cannons are nasty.
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Old 09 Nov 2006, 15:07   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau vs Fast moving Marines

Another suggestion I have for any new 40K player:

Play 1500 point games until you get a feel for the rules, and for tactics.

40K is designed to be played at between 1500 and 1750 points.

Less than that is fine, but more than 1750, and the inherent weaknesses in certain armies are easily avoidable by taking more stuff.

I personally prefer 1500 point games, as they require the most delicate attention to what you bring and what you don't.

Armies like Marines and Eldar excel when they get to 1750, and they get downright ridiculous at 2000 points. I simply never play 2000 point games.
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Old 09 Nov 2006, 23:12   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau vs Fast moving Marines

The problems with Pirhanas is that they are incrediably short-ranged. And if the LS is just as fast as it, with a father-ranged gun, +1 AV is going to help you out.

I would say go with as many Firewarriors and Kroot as you can get. Usually assault marines would get with in 12" of you by turn 3. That means that for turn 1-2 you would probably get a 2 rounds of shooting before he can shoot you (bolt pistols are only 12" range). As a plus, when he does get within 12" range, you can rapid fire and fire twice as many shots. Statisticaly, that would kill 2-3 marines per turn (assuming you're using 12 man firewarrior squads). So by turn 3, you would have killed about 6 marines. Which is very good, because they are below half strength and not that hard to break. If he does get in CC with you, use kroot as the front lines. They are on par with assualt marines in every way except they lack an armour save. However, should easily wipe out a half strength assault mairne squad should they charge (assuming you're using 10+ man squads).

Bikes are a big problem, not only are they T5, but they have a inv. 3+ save. So an ion cannon would be less than half as effective. I would use gun drones to fight bikes. Why? because 1) they are more mobile than firewarriors, 2) more accurate than firewarriors 3) have a pinning effect which is EXTREMELY useful against bike squads 4) they can hold their own in CC. They can strike at the same time as marines.
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Old 09 Nov 2006, 23:31   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau vs Fast moving Marines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyr
I am a recently new Tau Player. I live with a friend who collects space marines. Using several Traits (Blessed be the warriors and be swift as the wind. I think) His army mostly consists of units that move 12" or more. His typical army has 2 10 man squads of Assault Marines, 3 5 man units of Bikes, 3 Landspeeder tornado, Two chaplains with jump packs, a dreadnought and recently he picked up a whirlwind (this can hurt a bit, large blast S 5, AP 4)

So far I have managed to win the few games we have played but was wondering if there were any thoughts on possible tactics to use?
Heya,

The downfall of such an army is that he has significantly less firepower for skimmer removal. This is a huge advantage to you. Alternatively, his entire army is literally built to destroy infantry in assault. If you take lots of Fire Warriors on foot, you're simply inviting heavy losses. Assault is bad because while he's in assault, you cannot shoot him. And you will lose assault. Kroot on the other hand, are far more acceptable for this purpose, due to infiltration (to repel any infiltrators he has) and to simply be as cheap as possible and sit in cover and require him to assault you in cover if he wants the meat. Meanwhile, you're best bet is to mount up. Even the XV8 is in danger of a fast moving marine force. And if you think you're faster due to jet packs, think again. A chaplain on a bike will simply murder every XV8 on the board and you won't even be able to do anything about it. And he could even take two. However you say he has them in jump packs. This is also bad. They will be untargetable by you, and easily get in assault range and dominate you from then on. Multiple chaplains, assault marines and bikes should be a huge red flag saying "Don't take infantry!" Infantry is simply going to get you killed fast. Infantry can be useful still though--Kroot and Deathrains in particular will slow down specific elements. Kroot offer you an impassible line, that will surely die, but can possibly drag a few marines down with them for ultra cheap. Deathrains are simply good for killing bikes because they're going to typically have turbo-boost saves, making AP meaningless--that's where high strength (Str7) comes in handy for wounding on a 2+. More wounds equals more failed saves eventually. Death rains are also extremely cheap for what they do, so if you do lose one to assault, your opponent wastes incredibly momentum to kill a single 2 wound battlesuit and will butcher it, leaving him open to be shot on your turn again (ie: he can't hide from shooting by assaulting small squads like this).

Your best friends:

Hammerhead with IonCannon and BurstCannons (Three of them if you wish).
Fire Warriors (minimal) in a Warfish (Devilfish with SMS). Perhaps one or two squads.
A few Kroot, 1 or 2 squads of 10. No more.
Monat Death Rains. Single serving suits.
Dakka Commanders, like the BurstCannon & CIB, or Missile Pod and Burst Cannon, or Plasma and CIB. Vectored thrusters is a plus.
Piranha are actually game breakers; they can kill enemy land speeders, move fast and end up scoring the objective while he assaults.

Quote:
I would say go with as many Firewarriors and Kroot as you can get. Usually assault marines would get with in 12" of you by turn 3. That means that for turn 1-2 you would probably get a 2 rounds of shooting before he can shoot you (bolt pistols are only 12" range). As a plus, when he does get within 12" range, you can rapid fire and fire twice as many shots. Statisticaly, that would kill 2-3 marines per turn (assuming you're using 12 man firewarrior squads). So by turn 3, you would have killed about 6 marines. Which is very good, because they are below half strength and not that hard to break. If he does get in CC with you, use kroot as the front lines. They are on par with assualt marines in every way except they lack an armour save. However, should easily wipe out a half strength assault mairne squad should they charge (assuming you're using 10+ man squads).
Assault Marines can be on top of the Fire Warriors and Kroot, easily by turn 2. There's only 24" between deployment zones. If the Assault Marines are front and center, they are moving straight at you, without even worrying about terrain ignoring it, and by turn two, can and may be 24" forward, with another 6" left for assault range. If your Fire Warriors are within 6" of the deployment edge, they're risked in assault (same with Kroot). Alternatively, all these Fire Warriors and Kroot are going to be dead or pinned, because he has a Whirlwind and multiple heavy bolters in his list. And they cannot even fire at the Chaplains, who will be assaulting and winning against all these infantry that you took, which will do minimal work against superior mobile assault units like this. They just don't do enough damage and are too much of a liability here. It's not as if he cannot shoot them down. And he can and will be in assault by turn two sometimes unless you're moving--and if you're moving, you're not shooting far with those Fire Warriors and Kroot.

Cheers!
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Old 10 Nov 2006, 00:55   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau vs Fast moving Marines

This doesn't deal specifically with assault marines, but with marines in general. Arm a squad or two of Crisis suits with either a plasma rifle and fusion blaster (if there are Terminators involved) or twin-linked plasma rifles. Depending on how you plan to hunt the marines, you may want a shield generator to counter those power weapons, but that would only be if you're suits got in close combat, which is really not recommended. I usually give the team leader a targeting array and H/W Multi-tracker and target lock and give the other two either targeting arrays (if you're going for general marine hunters) or multi-trackers (if you need to take out terminators). Again the assault marines are going to be harder because of their mobility, but that also means that they fall back farther. I usually find a nice spot with lots of cover, preferably blocking LoS, and hop out from behind it and blast away. This only works for a few turns before you're going to have to relocate. The danger isn't so much being shot at as it is being in assault range. And, if things get really bad and you absolutely have to get in close combat, don't wait for him to charge you. Rapid fire with everything you've got and then charge in. This is, of course, only recommended when close combat would be inevitable anyway.
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Old 13 Nov 2006, 04:17   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau vs Fast moving Marines

Hey, at least your buddy doesn't infiltrate devastators to go with them ASMs. But I feel for you, buddy, I really do.

I suppose, mech tau with twin-linking crises is probably the way to go, but I really wonder what's the best way to deal with fast marines in smaller point games, (like, under 1k) where the number of twin-linked/plasma-fusion suits and ion heads is kinda limited.
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