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Issue with Static Tau at 1850
Old 24 Apr 2007, 13:31   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Default Issue with Static Tau at 1850

Well, I've been toying with my new list and found a major issue with static Tau...

I've run out of Force Org chart slots before I run out of points!

1831pts spent. No room for any more bonding, team leaders, units. Might put BSF on all the leaders but this still leaves me short. I might give EMP grenades to some infantry, but this leaves me over!!!

ARG, a new problem :-\
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Old 24 Apr 2007, 13:33   #2 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
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Default Re: Issue with Static Tau at 1850

Take the BSF and be those few points light. =]

Either that or rework your WHOLE list. lol:P
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Old 24 Apr 2007, 13:56   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Issue with Static Tau at 1850

Here is the count for weight of lead tossed by my new army list:

22 Str 6 or greater shots in one turn
94 Str 5 or less shots in one turn.

These number are, of course, theoretical, and do not account for rapid fire which boosts the shot total up to

24 Str 6+
124 Str 5 -

Nothing substantial here to rest your hat on, but certainly a substantial increase in firepower over Mech Tau. With losses of 10% of Str 5 shooters each round, one would be able to account for the following:

5 stealth + 10 kroot + 12 drones + 50 firewarriors + 2 PF (DF drones actually)= 79

79 shooters in turn 1 goes to 71 goes to 64 goes to 57 goes to 51 goes to 46

So one might expect as a tactical planning average:

79 shooters with 94 shots
71 shooters with 85 shots
64 shooters with 76 shots
57 shooters with 68 shots
51 shooters with 61 shots
46 shooters with 55 shots

This does not account for rapid fire, obscured targets, cover saves, CC whipeouts, tank shocks, or really bad dice. But if we plan on this conservative average, we can conclude that the static list will even on turn 6 produce more shots that most armies have troops in turn 1.

I'll toss the list and tactica up in a bit, but just wanted to show the numbers I've been working with.

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Old 24 Apr 2007, 16:39   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Issue with Static Tau at 1850

Well, the assumption with Static Tau is that the decrease in firepower is going to be manageable. In practice, if you can't keep out of close-combat, you start losing both shooters and targets at the same time, and your lines-of-sight start getting blocked. I don't think anyone has ever argued that Mech Tau has an advantage in terms of firepower. But once the enemy is in your lines, you end up with a problem you don't really have the tools to solve and that moves too quickly to ignore. I am looking forward to your thoughts on it, though. I played Static during the last couple games I had. It is definitely a fun change if all you are used to is skimmers.
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Old 24 Apr 2007, 17:56   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Issue with Static Tau at 1850

Well of course your words are studied and factual as always. But there are a couple of tactics that I use that are beneficial in helping to reduce the effects of having enemies within the lines.

First is there was an article some 2 years ago, sorry the search button doesn't seem to find it or I'd link it, call "Fight like a Girl" or some such. The theory is that you want your FW to fail in combat right away. There are two ways of insuring this:
1. Do not give them photons, thus allowing enemy to go first. By doing so you actually reduce the chances of being locked in combat. You actually want the enemy to kill up to five of your squad before you have a chance to fight.
2. Remove models from the 2" bubble as casualties. People tend to remove from the rear in hopes of getting to hit back, but the fact is you don't want to hit back. You want to run. If in the arrangement of your squad you are careful that each model is *exactly* 2" from the others, then as you remove from the front you also remove his chance of chasing you when you run.

So some assualt marines hit a squad and cut it up, you remove models eligible to fight, and so he wins. Now you test. It is a good thing to have bonding here since going below 50% helps you fail your test. If your squad passes the test, then you pile in and insure you move other units as far away as possible from the CC. If you fail, likely, then you roll to run. He cannot massacre, he can only consolidate 3". There is a little known rule (pg38 IIRC) that states "if there are no models within combat--i.e. 2" bubble--the victor can only consolidate if the enemy runs. Since it will always be the enemy who initiates CC, when you run and the turn is over it is now your turn to shoot. Guess who is standing in the middle of your firepower, often at rapid fire range? Yep...the victorious unit.

The nice thing about a consolidation move is any other squad outside of 9" or 18" depending on the unit type is now safe from assault. Nice thing about Tau pulse rifles is that they reach nearly 1/2 the table width.

The second tactical method to use is what I call the 2 line system. If your fire line has one or two units 18" - 24" in front of your main gunline, the enemy will have to stop and hit them first. Sure some units can jump over, but do they want to? With six units, I run 2 with carbines in the front line and 3 with rifles in the rear. The 2 units up front are my "commando" units which means "sacrificial goats". They are never in cover, always behind it if possible. This sheilds enemy fire but allows you to fire into their position. They are armed with carbines so that if it looks like 30 necrons or so are going to be charging in next turn, they move away and still get a shot off at 18". Ideally, I want the enemy to hit the commando units at 18" from my lines so that I can move at least one rifle armed unit to rapid fire on them in the next turn. I also want everything to do with CC as far from any cover as possible--at least 3.1" anyway.

So to recap:

Run army in two lines and never give grenades to FW. Keep units spread apart so as to minimize CC loss, but always remove models from within the 2" CC bubble. FAIL MORALE TEST! Run away. In your turn shoot the assaulty unit into last man standing tests.

Remember that 10 man SM assault unit cost twice as much as a Tau FW unit. They won't be shooting back, and 30+ FW shots will cause some consternation. I've left off how my crisis support the FW lines, but I run mine as PR and MP gun platforms. This is a typical situation I create often in games, and thus why I continue to buy the overpriced PR. Burning down SM standing in the open

Anyway, these are all tested, proven, and successful tactics. However, you may not play Tau as I do, so caution is advised. I tend to play a very fluid latteral game always looking for where he will concentrate targets in the next turn. I use my first line to draw him into kill zones of my choosing, as to ignore these units is folly. I DS drones behind vehicles, I use kroot to occupy his fire into terrain, and basically force the opponant to play my game. Thus far the only type of army I have difficulty with consistently is drop podding SM, but then who doesn't.

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Old 24 Apr 2007, 18:25   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Issue with Static Tau at 1850

What you are referring to is also called the "Tau Brace" or "Bracing". The idea is that you set up your Fire Warrior teams in such a way as to keep one or two models a little out in front of the others (sometimes these are gun drones, and the Shas'ui if you have taken one). You draw the enemy into charging you from the outer edge of his effective range, meaning that he can only get into contact with one or two models. They die, and he is left stranded. Then you keep an Ethereal somewhere nearby to make sure you fail your Leadership test and don't have to make a Pile-in move. It works beautifully against monstrous creatures and things on bikes, as there are not movement bonuses for consolidation. And because your enemy is only engaging one or two models, you don't have to lose half the squad before you can get out of close-combat.

So along with Kroot tactics, there is a lot of complexity involved in Static lists, and I don't view them as substantially weaker than their Mechanized equivalent. But both varieties have very pronounced vulnerabilities. Once your opponents have gotten used to one style, you are usually well-advised to shift towards the other.
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Old 24 Apr 2007, 18:34   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Issue with Static Tau at 1850

Well Like bracing, but I prefer the original "run like a girl" method with a slight modification. The original IIRC wanted you to loose 50% so the negatives on the morale bonus.

The Etherial means a reroll if successful, but at HIS leadership! Hmmm...

And I'd toss a FW before a drone

HAHA! I found it:

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Old 24 Apr 2007, 18:42   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Issue with Static Tau at 1850

Well, I played static and then moved to hybrid. I could never get a hang of all those skimmers.
One of the tricks I've found with Static is to play two units of Fire warriors, one with rifles, and one with carbines just behind it. As usual with Static, drop in those lovable pathfinders too. Once the enemy unit get within 18" of the carbines, let off those Markerlights. The shots can be used to decrease Ld to next to nothing, forcing them to fail the test. Leftover M/L shots can then be used on your rapid-firing FWs to assure a brutal wound taking. Then, they can't move or shoot next turn, and you can clock out yet another M/L assisted blast next turn until all that's left is smoking ruins.
Though, this does really require that you run maxed out P/F in nearly all FA slots, and most people don't like doing that. (I don't do it anymore due to my new-found love of piranhas, though if you're going pure static, that shouldn't be too much of a problem for you.)
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Old 24 Apr 2007, 18:49   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Issue with Static Tau at 1850

Yeah, I didn't bother talking about the entire picture with crisis, markerlights out the wazoo, and such.

My army has, for example, 6 sniper rail rifles and 5 markerlights. I'd mark one units at a time.

The other issue with static is target priorities, but this wasn't covered specifically. Target 1 for all markers is the fastest and/or template gun thing he has. Target 2 is the meanest/biggest/most wounds thing he has. Target 3 is the slimiest cheese he has. Target 4 is troops in open.
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Old 24 Apr 2007, 19:07   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Issue with Static Tau at 1850

Let us know how the Static Tau do with some bat reps. I've never battled a wholly static Tau force before, it sounds like it could really work well.

Seems like you'd have a bit of trouble with long range shooty armies though, how much firepower do you have beyond 30" from your FW?
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