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Tau force expansion suggestions
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Old 01 May 2007, 15:39   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 6
Default Tau force expansion suggestions

Hello everyone,

I am very new to the Tau, i recently had the good fortune to be able to acquire around 1K points of well painted Tau from a friend.
I have jumped at this opportunity because it provides me with a welcome change from my current Thousand Sons army...

After exactly one battle with my new Tau (and having played against them several times) i have a pretty good idea of my 1K points starting army (I am going for Mech Tau as i really like the Tau vehicles, and want as much mobility as i can get):

HQ:

Shas'o with one Bodyguard, both Fireknives (Shas'o had two Shield Drones). Considering the Shas'o is an independent character UNLESS accompanied by a Bodyguard this makes them a scoring unit together, right?

Elites:

Crisis team, 2 suits, one upgraded to Shas'vre, both Fireknives

Troops:

10 Fire Warriors, one upgraded to Shas'ui, in a kitted out Devilfish with SMS

10 Fire Warriors, one upgraded to Shas'ui, in a kitted out Devilfish with SMS

Heavy:

Hammerhead decked out, Railgun and SMS.

This gives me a nice starting force... Now i am wondering how i will spend the next 500 points to get the army up to tournament size (1500 pts here in the Netherlands)...

I am certainly getting another Hammerhead with Railgun, but after that i am open to suggestions...

I could get a third Hammerhead, with an Ion Cannon, or another Railgun

Some Stealth suits would also be an option, and/or more crisis suits... I am unsure about the Stealth Suits though...

I guess i could include some Kroot, as they are very cheap, but i'd rather not, as they do not really fit with my idea of Mech Tau...

If i do get more crisis suits, i could get a two man Deathrain team, and change the weapons on the HQ unit to more anti heavy infantry (Fusion Blaster/Plasma Rifle, i'm sure this combo has a cool name as well, but i still have to learn it)...

Vespid are not really my thing, so i doubt i'll be including them any time soon...

Another option would be getting some Pathfinders, but i think i'd like to make a nice army without the whole Markerlight thing, and then when i get the hang of that i can start playing around with Markerlights...


At the moment i am leaning towards getting two Hammerheads, and filling the rest out with more crisis suits... (Another team of two, and maybe a cheap third lone one for extra tank busting). However i am open for suggestions from you experienced Tau players...


any comments/thoughts would be appreciated!

One question to start you guys off with: Do my Crisis teams need (Shield)Drones and/or Shield Generators to protect them, or is the JSJ tactic protection enough?

Also, what is the best size for a Crisis unit? I am thinking two... But i'm not really sure...
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Old 01 May 2007, 17:56   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Fenton, MI
Posts: 1,151
Default Re: Tau force expansion sugggestions

Belgarath,

The best size for a Crisis unit is 1. If fielded as a Monat in this way, you don't need Shield drones. If Force Org restrictions require you to field them in greater numbers, units of 2 are decent. Here though, I'd suggest a teamleader with a Hardwired Drone Controller and a pair of Shield Drones. You should still be J-S-J'ing, but your footprint is now large enough that you'll find you can't hide behind just any terrain piece... only the larger ones, and mobile heavy weapons will occaisionally be able to draw a bead on you. Note that the upgrade from Teamleader to Shas'vre is only useful if you're planning on taking Special Issue equipment... if all you're looking for is access to the armory, Teamleader is good enough and saves you 5 points.

Using these principles, I'd suggest the following HQ and Elite setup using your 4 XV8 models:

*** HQ ***
Shas'El (97)
- [Plasma, Missile Pod, Target Array, HWMT]

*** Elite ***
1 XV8 (77)
- [Teamleader, Plasma, Missile Pod, Target Array, HWMT]

1 XV8 (77)
- [Teamleader, Plasma, Missile Pod, Target Array, HWMT]

1 XV8 (77)
- [Teamleader, Plasma, Missile Pod, Target Array, HWMT]


This gives you 3 scoring units (rather than the 2 you currently have), more flexibility with your targeting (since all 4 suits can target separate units), and more resilience to morale mishaps (you can never be below 50% and will never have to take a 25% casualty morale check).
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"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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Old 01 May 2007, 19:27   #3 (permalink)
Ethereal
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 18,087
Default Re: Tau force expansion suggestions

Welcome to the forums!

That is a nice force to start out with. Tonka is absolutely right about the Crisis suits. There is never any reason to take them in larger units unless you need the FOC slots.

As far as expansion goes, I would consider bulking up your troops a bit, either with a few Kroot or another mechanized Fire Warrior team. Kroot look a little odd with Mech Tau but they can really help out in terms of supporting the flanks of rapid deployments of Fire Warriors. After that, I would consider a third Hammerhead, since you seem to be leaning mechanized (make sure you buy the Skyray box, though, as it will give you the parts to build the Hammerhead plus a lot of other bits). Arm that one with an Ion Cannon if the other two have Railguns. You might also consider either a Stealth Team or a few Piranhas, depending on your tastes.
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Old 01 May 2007, 20:09   #4 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 6
Default Re: Tau force expansion suggestions

Thanks for the replies and the advice...

You have some good points about the Crisis Suits, i guess in my current list there is no point in grouping them...
If i should decide to get more i can always double them up...

So i gather i should trust the terrain to protect my Crisis Suits, and don't bother with expensive Drones? Fortunately my regular group has plenty of terrain, but i have played a fair amount of tournaments, and the terrain there was usually VERY limited, and i can't help but worry about the survivability of my suits under those conditions...

I guess i COULD use one or two units of Kroot if i get 2 more hammerheads, especially since i already have 16 of them...

So do you think having three Hammerheads, two units of Fire Warriors in Fishes, 1 Commander and 3x2 Crisis Suits would be to few troops for a 1500 pts Mech Tau army?

I could go for the extra mounted Fire Warriors and only 2 Hammerheads, and maybe squeeze in a unit of Kroot as well for more troops/numbers... Or leave the Kroot out and get a few more Crisis Suits...

Food for thought...

Ps, i gather the Shas'el with Targetting Array instead of the Shas'o is to save 15 points, and that the idea is he won't miss his reduced (mostly combat oriented) stats?
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Old 01 May 2007, 20:10   #5 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 709
Default Re: Tau force expansion suggestions

well you have yoru basic set up. Now try out soem fo the less common units and play around with them (maybe test them as stand-ins first before dropping the $$$). You may find some that fit nicely with your army.
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Old 01 May 2007, 20:14   #6 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 6
Default Re: Tau force expansion suggestions

Yeah, i was planning on doing exactly that, but as always i cannot help but think ahead, about what i should/could/might get to expand my force...
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Old 01 May 2007, 21:00   #7 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Fenton, MI
Posts: 1,151
Default Re: Tau force expansion suggestions

Belgarath,

Exactly right on the HQ. If he's caught in combat (or shot), he's likely dead anyhow. BS is the only stat that matters. It sounds like what you're looking for is a regurgitation of the "standard" Mech Tau army. At 1500 pts, it looks something like this:


*** HQ ***
Shas'El (97)
- [Plasma, Missile Pod, Target Array, HWMT]

Shas'El (97)
- [Plasma, Missile Pod, Target Array, HWMT]

*** Elite ***
2 XV8 Crisis Battlesuits (169)
- [Teamleader, Plasma, Missile Pod, Target Array, HWMT, HWDC + 2 SD's]
- [Plasma, Missile Pod, MT]

2 XV8 Crisis Battlesuits (169)
- [Teamleader, Plasma, Missile Pod, Target Array, HWMT, HWDC + 2 SD's]
- [Plasma, Missile Pod, MT]

1 XV8 Crisis Battlesuit (77)
- [Teamleader, Plasma, Missile Pod, Target Array, HWMT]

*** Troops ***
9 Firewarriors in Devilfish (210)
- [SMS, Target Array, Multitracker, Decoys]

10 Kroot (70)

10 Kroot (70)

*** Heavy Support ***
Hammerhead Gunship (180)
- [Railgun, SMS, Target Lock, Multitracker, Decoys]

Hammerhead Gunship (180)
- [Railgun, SMS, Target Lock, Multitracker, Decoys]

Hammerhead Gunship (180)
- [Railgun, SMS, Target Lock, Multitracker, Decoys]

Total: 1499


Of course there are variations on the theme, but it's basically 3 Railheads, 2 squads of Kroot for infiltrator pushback, 1 Firewarrior team in a Devilfish, and as much Fireknife spam as points allow. Some people will swap a Kroot squad for a Fusion/TA Piranha for a fast objective grabber. As much as you and I would both like 'fish mounted Firewarriors to be effective... Fireknives are just better against most tournament opponents. The above list is incredibly boring and no fun to play against whatsoever... but it's one of the few Tau lists that can hang with the big boys.
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"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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Old 02 May 2007, 00:25   #8 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: on Dal'yth
Posts: 1,326
Default Re: Tau force expansion suggestions

for an extra 500 points, go with the battleforce, and maybe a hammerhead

Cheers!
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Old 02 May 2007, 02:18   #9 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 25
Default Re: Tau force expansion suggestions

I think you were on the money with the 2 railheads and an ion head. I'd stay with at least 2 squads of fire warriors, and if you use that many suits you'll find that people won't like your 6" movement out of cover, shooting, then 6" assault move behind cover.
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Old 02 May 2007, 05:02   #10 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Tau force expansion suggestions

The only significant difficulty this force might have is swarmer armies (Guard, nid, some eldar and tau lists).

Kroot are definately a must. For a dirt cheap unit (70 points at minimum size) you get 10 infiltrating harrasers that get base 2 attacks because of their special weapon. If you want to force your enemy away from cover and into your firing lines, this is the unit to do it with. I always take at least one, regardless of my army size, because it helps deal with enemy infiltrators. (If you can infiltrate first, or even if you don't, you can string that ten-man unit out and deny the enemy key areas of cover or assault-avenues that could screw over your army).
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