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Definitive Mech Tau Tactica???
Old 29 Jul 2007, 10:23   #1 (permalink)
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Default Definitive Mech Tau Tactica???

Okay, so I've searched the boards some (admitadly didn't go past the first page, as the seach yielded all things Mech, but no things Tactica, at least on the first page) and I looked through all the links I could find on the stickies, and I found no actual Mech Tau Tactica written by anyone on our boards. I did find a link to a website, but this was broken (it was supposed to be the old standby "Mech Tau Bible"). I found the lack of a good Mech Tau Tactica on our website astonishing, considering all the experienced proponents for it on the boards. Therefore, I want to know if any of you experienced players out there would write a real good Mech Tau Tactica, something really worth reading, something that could get you some karma.

I personally am very curious about it, because I play mostly static, and I'm pretty tired of my entire army getting wiped out or nearly so after I obliterate an entire army except...4 un-upgraded Genestealers (this actually happened to me in the game before last; I killed everything on the board and took nearly no losses till turn 5, and then the game went from what should have been a Solid Victory if not a Massacre to a Draw). I personally would like to move toward a more true Hybrid force, but as Hybrid composes both elements of Static and Mech, and I already know everything I need to know about Static, I need to know more about Mech.

I have only gathered snippets on the boards about how to properly play a Mech army; most of what I've gathered is army composition, and maybe some stuff about avoiding assault but I mean, how exactly? How do you judge what to do and when to do it? For how long? I mean, when people talk about loading up their FW's to avoid a Jump Troop assault, since Jump Troops move as fast at least as the DF, does this mean that the DF literally flies around the board for the rest of the game, if the opponent is stupid enough to chase it all game (I would assume answer is "Yes.")? Do you use Carbines? If so, how effective are they (there IS tactica on that, but little in the way of actual results-reporting)? Etc., etc.

What I'm asking for is a definitive Mech Tau Tactica, not just to help me, but to help (dare I say, enlighten, both me others?) others as well. It would also be great if the news spread of the article and people could point to TO and say "I read about Mech Tau at TO, you should go there."

If anyone reading this wants to put out pointers and what not, that would be fine, but I've been reading pointers ever since I got here to TO about Mech, but nothing really in-depth; I'm looking for something I can really sink my teeth into, something that provides real guidance, not merely, "If x, than y, foo." If you know of other websites that have good Mech tactica, than by all means link there so I can read it, but I think something written by our own, I guess, "staff" would be preferable, as this site is pretty much the true Tau presence on the net.

Thank you for your consideration, and sorry for the long post, I just wanted to do my best to get my meaning and feeling across.
"They got ded big shooty gunz dat'll kill tons of boyz, but if yer can get near em den you've got a chance. Just gotta make sure you bring loads of boyz, coz you ain't gonna have a whole lot left when you get close enough to crump em." - Warloard Skarmork, The Great Despoiler
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Old 29 Jul 2007, 10:39   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Definitive Mech Tau Tactica???

I know your feeling about this as well, for I actually learned how to play mech tau the way you are doing right now.

Someone give him some sort of cookie for pointing this out. I would be off to try and draw people to this.

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Originally Posted by FT
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Old 29 Jul 2007, 11:59   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Definitive Mech Tau Tactica???

MechTau–The Basics
Mobility is everything, if you are mobile, you may reach your foe. If you are manouverable, you may avoid your foe. If you are swift you may catch you foe as he flees. If you are mobile you are not tied to the place you fight, the place you fight is tied to you. Mobility is everything.
-Puretide, 21st meditation on the way of the warrior.

MechTau armies aim to do one thing, and to do it well, and that thing is dominance of the movement phase. The movement phase is the only phase not dominated by luck and chance. It is the only phase in which everything can be determined simply. The movement phase is the only phase where any unit can do exactly what is required of it.
Speed is also important a MechTau army, as the only things that are included are those that can move at least 12" a turn, or are able to infiltrate. Due to the speed, and manouverability that 12" usually infers, a MechTau army can get to anywhere on the board within 2-3 turns.
The third big advantage of the speed and manoueverability is that it allows you to focus you firepower effectively on section of the opposing army. If, for example, you can bring all of your army to bear against only half of your opponent's, and can inflict sufficient damage without heavy retaliation, you have won.

Fire Concentration
Focus your fire. No one foe can survive the combined might of a Tau hunter cadre. Strike hard and strike fast at your foe's weakest points. Ken'rai, kill the head, the body will die.
-Puretide, 38th meditation on the way of the warrior.

As stated previously, concentration of firepower is a key aspect of MechTau. Nothing is more satisfying than aiming most of your available weapons at a single squad and watching it reduced to ash. With MechTau you have the capability to bring a lot of firepower to bear on small sections of your opponent's army when and where you need it. You can even tailor the level of firepower at each target point. You need a breakthrough, send your units with most powerful weapons against the weakest part of your opponent's line, presto, instant path. You need to secure a flank, zoom, everything is there and blazing away, both securing the flank and destroying your opponent's offensive. You need a large hole in a small but tough unit on an objective, zoom, dakka, done.
The key to utilising Fire Concentration is that it must be concentrated on the right target at the right time. Get your timing right and it's all gravy, get it wrong and your army is all blue-grey gravy. MechTau is not a very forgiving army, you get at most one or two mistakes, so try not to make any.

Target Saturation
If there are more of you than of the foe you have numbers, nothing more. If there are more of you, in a form the foe does not expect, you have saturation. Once you have saturation, you have control. Once you have control, you have victory.
-Puretide, 58th meditation on the way of the warrior

Target saturation is a concept where you have more of a certain kind of unit than your opponent can counter. This most often illustrated in MechTau vs NidZilla battles. If you commonly face 'take all comers' armies then it's unlikely they'll be laden down with lots of anti-tank weapons. MechTau exploits this by having more tanks, or vehicles really, than your opponent can easily deal with.

Let's have an example. In a 1500 point match the average army might have 6-8 anti-tank weapons, and the Average MechTau army will have at least 5-6 vehicles. Now, those anti-tank weapons were probably taken on the basis of 1 primary, 1-2 back-ups such that an army with low amounts of vehicles (3 or less) would see them gone by turn two. With a MechTau army your opponent is forced to either split fire from those weapons in the hopes that something can be bought down, or, more likely, will concentrate fire on what they perceive to be the biggest threat. Either way you win, simply because your opponents chances of taking are so low it's not worth considering, or you can be confident that at least some vehicles will survive, then those nasty Anti-tank troops will pay.

Using The Basics
Avoiding Assault
The main form of this is prevention. Your all too squishy Shas can't be assaulted while they're within a well armoured Devilfish, so, why not just keep them there. Well, because, at some point they're going to need to shoot at something important. This will most likely be making use of the Fish of Fury tactic, which is explained in depth elsewhere. The most critical thing about FoF is distance. A Devilfish is just over 5" long, the rear of the 'Fish has a 2" deployment zone. With the FoF it's assumed you want to get every shot, so you must set up very precisely. The margin of error here is only around 1/2 an inch.
If the squad in front of you has a frontage equal to or greater than the 'Fish you only have 1" of leeway, as one side of the squad could loop around and assault you. If however, the frontage is less you have about 2" of leeway, as the squad also has to factor in a slight diagonal in its move.

Another reason you might need to avoid assault is because you were using your Fire Warriors as static firebase while your vehicles did firelane clearance. (A valid tactic, more on that later). Timing and judgement of distance are critical in this case. A 'Fish can move 12", a Fire Warrior can move 6", most assault troops can move at least 12". The best way to do a combat extraction is to move the Fire Warriors away from the assaulting and towards their 'Fish, using any terrain for cover along the way.

More Later, when it's not 2am.
Originally Posted by CmdrBonesaw
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Old 29 Jul 2007, 12:44   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Definitive Mech Tau Tactica???

The old Guide to Mech Tau is still available here. Keep in mind though that it was written for 3rd ed.

There's also the 3 page Intro to Mech Tau PDF available here; again written during 3rd ed.

When MTT became ATT, we began the process of updating the Guide to Mech Tau to 4th edition while simultaneously expanding on it to include information about other playstyles. That effort has stalled somewhat as I'm no longer a student and have (regrettably) entered the "real world" where you can't just wake up and decide you're going to skip class and work on writing Tau articles all day instead. However, you can view the beginings of the new site here.
"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

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Old 30 Jul 2007, 21:21   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Definitive Mech Tau Tactica???

Hey guys, thanks a lot for responding. This definitely gives some insight. I'm glad the spirit and heart of my post got accross.

Please continue to right as much as you can. Probably the biggest problems I've had with MechTau is "How" and "Why" certain things happen; I just can't seem to put 2 and 2 together in a lot of instances when I read about some tactics. I also have started reading the website. I'd like to contribute some if I can, but I need to finish reading everything there first before I can figure out if I have anything original to contribute.

Thanks all of you Ravager, Tonka, and Vyper. Spread the word if you can so maybe we can get more people involved in this.
"They got ded big shooty gunz dat'll kill tons of boyz, but if yer can get near em den you've got a chance. Just gotta make sure you bring loads of boyz, coz you ain't gonna have a whole lot left when you get close enough to crump em." - Warloard Skarmork, The Great Despoiler
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Old 31 Jul 2007, 22:00   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Definitive Mech Tau Tactica???

I've really little else to offer, as I'm awaiting to see how this ends. If anything, consider my another eager student, much like TimberwolfCY.
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