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Quality or Quantity with Tau?
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Old 11 Oct 2007, 02:18   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Quality or Quantity with Tau?

I've been playing Tau for a little while now. I've tried mechanized, stationary, and hybrid lists. Honestly, I've never been able to walk away with a win (out of all the games I've played, I've scored 2 draws). Of course, I'm still learning my strategies and what mistakes not to take, but anyway, that's not the point of this post.

I'm questioning which is more efficient - Quantity or Quality with Tau? Should you aim for fewer, more geared-out units. Or should you cut back on wargear and fill in with more units?
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Old 11 Oct 2007, 03:38   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Quality or Quantity with Tau?

I'm in the Same boat as you.(Losing record)
I'm trying to come up with a list also, but instead of looking to the forum, I have been looking to the history books. In World War 2, the Germans pushed the blitzkreig, which means lightening war, and relies on using machinery to increase an individual soldiers' skill. In contrast, the Soviets used manpower to support the machines.

One could compare this to different schools of Tau thought. The maximum increase of soldier firepower would be a large amounts of suits and Devilfish, with perhaps an XV-88 for support. The plan being that the Firewarrior is the Schwerpunkt(focus point) and everything else on the board is there to support them. The manpower support of Machinery would have many Piranhas and Hammerheads, with Footslogging units of Firewarriors and Kroot to support your tanks.

I have not tried out either of these, but I look forward to doing so. On that note, if you are paying for your models, like I do, Quality is cheaper :

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Old 11 Oct 2007, 04:03   #3 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Re: Quality or Quantity with Tau?

I've probably had more success with hybrid lists than either of the two mainstream builds.

Currently I'm tweaking a 1500 point list. As it stands, I have 158 points to spare, and can field two 10-man FoF teams, two 12-man stationary FW teams, a FireKnife Shas'el, two Railheads, and three monat Tetras.

With that 158 point gap, I could toss out a Deathrain team (TWMP, TA), or fill in with an Ethereal and small bodyguard or another footslogger team of Fire Warriors.
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Old 11 Oct 2007, 04:04   #4 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Quality or Quantity with Tau?

Actually... I've found that it's neither. Or Both perhaps, depending on how you look at it.

The strength of Tau isn't any particular unit or stat-line. It's the ability for one unit to support another. It's an unforgiving army that requires a good head for tactics. It's all very fluid when played by a skilled commander.

For example:

1) If your opponent goes after your Broadsides, let him. Hit him with Piranha instead.
2) If he wants to spearhead into your territory, let him. Sweep around and roll his flanks.
3) If your opponent wants to 'turtle up' and shoot from his edge, let him. JSJ from range and don't give him anything to shoot at.

That's a bit simplistic, but think about your list tactically rather than strictly numerically.

Every game I've played as Tau I KNEW I was going to get slaughtered. His statlines where better, or he had more/bigger/tougher units, whatever. However, by mid-game I'd pretty much dismantled my opponent's ability to fight. Tau have incredible flexibility, and THAT'S what you need to work into your lists.

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Old 11 Oct 2007, 10:27   #5 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Quality or Quantity with Tau?

My experience was similar to yours, until I started doing a few things differently:-

1. I started dividing my units up more, aiming to always fill FOC slots. The ability to place your elites long after your foe has deployed his entire force means you can put them down, always behind LOS cover, where they are going to be in range of a shot turn 1.

2. It is better to roll dice, even with low odds, than not. This means I started taking Missile Pods on all my XV8s and eventually stopped taking Fusion Blasters. Getting in close has always meant losing the XV8, while hiding at the back popping off 2 S7 shots has always been good enough to take out almost every vehicle I've met. Against Bikes, Destroyers and Speeders they work their magic two and two shots against

3. When filling up my Fast Attack slots, taking a unit of Gun Drones have always been a good idea. Time after time they have taken out more than their points worth or be a major diversion for my foes.

4. I don't assault with Kroot anymore, unless it's against something really soft and small. Their guns, rapid fired from cover are excellent.

5. I only choose LOS hiding terrain over cover save area terrain, and JSJ my way to victory!

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Old 11 Oct 2007, 12:58   #6 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Quality or Quantity with Tau?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pond823
My experience was similar to yours, until I started doing a few things differently:-

1. I started dividing my units up more, aiming to always fill FOC slots. The ability to place your elites long after your foe has deployed his entire force means you can put them down, always behind LOS cover, where they are going to be in range of a shot turn 1.

2. It is better to roll dice, even with low odds, than not. This means I started taking Missile Pods on all my XV8s and eventually stopped taking Fusion Blasters. Getting in close has always meant losing the XV8, while hiding at the back popping off 2 S7 shots has always been good enough to take out almost every vehicle I've met. Against Bikes, Destroyers and Speeders they work their magic two and two shots against

3. When filling up my Fast Attack slots, taking a unit of Gun Drones have always been a good idea. Time after time they have taken out more than their points worth or be a major diversion for my foes.

4. I don't assault with Kroot anymore, unless it's against something really soft and small. Their guns, rapid fired from cover are excellent.

5. I only choose LOS hiding terrain over cover save area terrain, and JSJ my way to victory!

You pretty much have the right of it here. I tend to drop any extraneous equipement where possible in favor of more models and filling up FOC slots, this allows for more firing options. As Pond Stated you want to use your cover to maximum effectiveness. Work those crisis and stealth suits as much as you can with JSJ and stay out of sight. The tau are great at pinpoint ranged strikes to take out those things that are the bigges threat. Use that to your advantage, choose your targets carefully, kill the immediate threats, and don't fall into your opponents traps. For instance, I often play against a tyranid army with 2 fexes and 2 hive tyrants, with tons of hormagaunts and gene-stealers. If I try and focus too much on the MCs then I will get over-run by the genestealers and gaunts. So I pretty much ignore the fexes and tyrants until the more immediate threat of the stealers and gaunts is taken care of, usually by turn 3 I will have wiped out all the smaller creatures then I can focus on taking down the baddies. Similar thing when playing eldar, those wraithlords are pretty nasty, but they also take alot of work to take down, they are slow however and usually not even worth dealing with in the first few rounds of the game. Take out the easier vyper and guardian units. These are just examples. Take as much firepower as you can for your play style (mech, hybrid or static) and choose carefully where you will shoot. Don't rush to kill the biggest nasties right away. I always opt to kill what I can kill the most of first.
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Old 11 Oct 2007, 16:26   #7 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Quality or Quantity with Tau?

Hey guys,

Just to add to pond and chryos, this whole 'quality' vs 'quantity' thing really depends on the style of tau you're playing. For example, when I play mech tau, I always upgrade my units (particularly my vehicles) heavily, because my strategy relies very heavily on a relatively small number of them (which is just the unavoidable nature of mech tau). On the other hand, when playing static I would say, focus on taking more, larger units because I know that that is the most efficient way of increasing their effectiveness, again, in accord with the nature of that style of play. There are many upgrades and wargear that are available to us in our codex, but many times, only a select few are really useful for a particular strategy or way of playing.

Unfortunately for us, Tau aren't a very forgiving race to play. The important thing for a tau player to keep in mind when building their list is deciding on a clear strategy and building their list accordingly, upgrades & wargear included. Upgrades are only there to make a particular unit a little better at doing what it was chosen to do, and choosing the right unit really depends on having a clear strategy.

Truth be told, when it comes to upgrades, you take as few as you can get away with, and that all depends on a player's command of proper tactics and strategy. I really don't want to go on with what a proper tau strategy is, or what proper tactics there are to play out such a strategy, but I think that's where you'd want to start. After all, army composition only take you that far, and some of the better players on this forum often play with fairly mundane looking lists but win fairly often anyways.
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