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My first 40k game... or "help me not get my butt kicked this hard again" :)
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Old 17 Mar 2008, 14:00   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
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Default My first 40k game... or "help me not get my butt kicked this hard again" :)

So I played my first games of 40k this weekend.

I started getting into 40k in February when I noticed a friend's Tau and decided to pick up a Crisis suit of my own to paint. When I heard there was a convention March 15th, I quickly started putting together a 500pt army. A couple friends of mine had the same goal in mind and we met regularly to paint.

Last Friday we decided we should probably make sure we knew the rules. We did a match of Tau vs Marines. The Tau did admirably even after a squad of Terminators managed to deep strike right on top of them . I learned enough to tweak my crisis configurations and rethink my strategy for the tournament, but sadly not enough to really familiarize myself with Tau strategy.

Saturday was the tournament. Nothing official. 500pt games in the morning. The only rule in building the army was that you needed one troop selection. This was done to allow the new players (4 of us -- half of those in attendance. Small con.) to play. The afternoon was 1500pt games, and people were allowed to combine forces with other players to make 1500 points if they didn't have enough on their own. The people running the tournament were aware that there were new players interested in the game and they really went the extra length to try to make sure we could partake and have fun.

My 500 point army consisted of:
1 Crisis Command Battlesuit (Twin linked MPs)
1 Crisis Helios
3 Stealth Units w/ 2 Gun Drones
1 Devilfish w/ 8 Carbine equipped FW, decoy launcher, flechette discharger and ... something else :\
12 Fire Warriors
Both FW squads had bonding knives.

This, incidentally, is pretty much every model I own with the exception of 4 additional Gun Drones.

My first two matches I got REAMED. The more experience players really used the lack of army constraints to build some really overpowered 500 point armies and held nothing back. It was a tournament after all, so I didn't blame them. The crushing defeats, however, left me wondering if Tau were the way to go. Of course, there were also rules that I was not aware of and mistakes I had made from my inexperience. I still had a blast playing though.

The day went better for me as it progressed. When the afternoon games came along, I was finally getting the 'how of Tau'. The afternoon games were usually pretty even, with the last one having the Tau completly dominating.

So, in the end, I met some great players and had a lot of fun. I also learned pretty fast how to use my units and how not to use them. My confidence in the Tau increased dramatically, as did my knowledge of the rules.

I'm now looking to grow my army. I'd like some diversity, but I certianly would not build a static tau army. If anything, I would consider a mobile tau force, or something relying hevily on mobility.

The crisis suits earned their keep, and I loved the dual-linked MPs -- although one of them popped off during the day and vanished :-X

FWs also did some good damage when I finally started learning to eyeball distances, keep them protected and keep them out of melee. Regretting the carbines on 8 of them though. The rifles did much better.

Loving the drones. They make a great distraction.

Stealth units earned their keep too, and after the first two games they tended to stick around. Often I'd try to manuver them around to a side, keeping them out of range, and in breaking them away from my main force I've twice had my opponent actually forget about them.

The Devilfish were certainly handy and more useful than I had originally considered. It surprised me how much attention people would give to them even though they had deployed their cargo. If nothing else, they drew fire and could be used defensively.

Not sure yet what my next purchases will be. Despite my desire to go mobile, I'm tempted to get a broadside. They did okay, although my friend's Tau army ended up loosing one of his two broadsides the first or second round of every match. Suggestions for the next purchase are welcome. Hammerhead seems tempting, as well as some Pirahna. I think Crisis suits would be a very good next purchase too.

Had fun, great game, want more
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Old 17 Mar 2008, 15:09   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: My first 40k game... or "help me not get my butt kicked this hard again" :)

Fire warriors with carbines are a mixed bag. I think you did wrong by putting them in the devilfish, imho. Put firewarriros with pulse rifles in 'fish. Why?
1) Carbines are assault, allowing you to move and fire. With their shorter range, you're going to need to move to get people in range of your weapons.
2) Pulse rifles can rapidfire within 12" after dismounting from a 'fish, so they can get mobility and firepower together.

I don't really believe in fielding full carbine units, instead preferring a 1:1 mix of carbines:rifles. Such a unit is dual-role. It can stand back and deliever a bit of firepower(and eventually enemies wil lget in range of carbines, I promise you), or it can pick up and move, firing with carbines and rapid-fire rifles.

A mixed unit can be used as an additional mobile force, allowing you to advance towards objectives, while still having respectable firepower. This can be handy in an army lacking mobility(i.e. not alot of 'fish mounted warriors). Those scrambles for objectives i nthe last turns can get pretty hairy, and rifle equipped fire warriors generally lose out because they can't move and shoot effectively.

Your suits are a bit fragile for objective claiming, imho, due to small numbers, and the suits tend to be engaged all-game long, going after their targets.

gun drone squadrons can also take the roll of carbine warriors, and work it better, as well.
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Old 17 Mar 2008, 16:45   #3 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
 
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Default Re: My first 40k game... or "help me not get my butt kicked this hard again" :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by VerjigormDeExile
Fire warriors with carbines are a mixed bag. I think you did wrong by putting them in the devilfish, imho. Put firewarriros with pulse rifles in 'fish. Why?
1) Carbines are assault, allowing you to move and fire. With their shorter range, you're going to need to move to get people in range of your weapons.
2) Pulse rifles can rapidfire within 12" after dismounting from a 'fish, so they can get mobility and firepower together.

I don't really believe in fielding full carbine units, instead preferring a 1:1 mix of carbines:rifles. Such a unit is dual-role. It can stand back and deliever a bit of firepower(and eventually enemies wil lget in range of carbines, I promise you), or it can pick up and move, firing with carbines and rapid-fire rifles.

A mixed unit can be used as an additional mobile force, allowing you to advance towards objectives, while still having respectable firepower. This can be handy in an army lacking mobility(i.e. not alot of 'fish mounted warriors). Those scrambles for objectives i nthe last turns can get pretty hairy, and rifle equipped fire warriors generally lose out because they can't move and shoot effectively.

Your suits are a bit fragile for objective claiming, imho, due to small numbers, and the suits tend to be engaged all-game long, going after their targets.

gun drone squadrons can also take the roll of carbine warriors, and work it better, as well.
What I saw in game echo'd your comments on the carbines -- probably should have tossed the rifle FWs in the 'fish. I'll do that in the figure. Tempted to pick up another box of fire warriors so I can have two full squads as the 'fish set I picked up only came with 8 of them. It would give me a chance to go heavier on rifles. Maybe I'll pick up another DF/Firewarrior pack so both units will have a fish.
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Old 17 Mar 2008, 17:15   #4 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Default Re: My first 40k game... or "help me not get my butt kicked this hard again" :)

Well, this is a fairly common argument (the Carbines v Rifles). I believe the general consensus is Carbines are good for FoF (Fish of Fury) while Rifles are better for static Tau.

Personally, I think the best use of carbines and rifle is the "Hammer and Anvil" tactic. Basically, you have a full squad of Carbines pin the enemy squad, preferably within range of the Rifles. Once they're pinned, your rifles unleash pulse shots galore into the unit. Maybe even toss in Kroot on the assault phase to wipe out remaining guys.

Overall, it looks like you did well. ^^ We have a Tau Army List board if you'd like some helpful critique for a competitive list.

Also, welcome to the forums! ;D
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Old 17 Mar 2008, 17:22   #5 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 256
Default Re: My first 40k game... or "help me not get my butt kicked this hard again" :)

-One thing that could really give your army a boost if you're using transports is to get some piranha squadrons. The gun drones they carry can make a vile nuisance of themselves while the piranha can be a great anti-tank vehicle.
-Despite the coolness factor of stealth troops, I've always found them to be too expensive to field them in smaller games. To give you a comparison, for the cost of a basic 3-XV15 (stealth suit) team you could buy a squad of 10 kroot with 3 kroot hounds or a basic 9-man firewarrior squad.
-When you get to bigger games, I would recommend looking into getting some shield drones, since it's the only defense the Tau have against instant death wounds.
-An easy way to make sure your weapons and support systems stay on your suits, yet are still able to swap out weaponry, is to use magnets. there's a few sites on the 'net that sell tiny high strength magnets you can use for this application.
-If you ever get your hands on a hammerhead, remember that unless you're using the ion cannon, you can field two broadsides for nearly the same price so make sure that you really need that large blast from the railgun before you settle on using one.
- Your firewarriors with bonding knives were absolutely the way to go. It makes up, somewhat, for the low leadership.

...and that's about all the advice I can think of right now. Good Luck and I hope you find it's worth sticking it out with the Tau.
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Old 17 Mar 2008, 17:45   #6 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Default Re: My first 40k game... or "help me not get my butt kicked this hard again" :)

That's not true, we have Stim Injectors...they help with the whole "instagib" thing.
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Moral of this story... in real life or in a pen and paper game... do not piss off Delpheus or he will OMGWTFBBQPWN your face with a uber hit.
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Old 17 Mar 2008, 18:07   #7 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: My first 40k game... or "help me not get my butt kicked this hard again" :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tak'Ukos
That's not true, we have Stim Injectors...they help with the whole "instagib" thing.
Not really, feel no pain doesn't work against instagib/double strenght
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Old 17 Mar 2008, 18:22   #8 (permalink)
Ethereal
 
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Default Re: My first 40k game... or "help me not get my butt kicked this hard again" :)

Welcome to the forums!

Carbines are a hard issue. I actually never liked them very much in either mounted or static teams. They don't have the firepower of the rifles at close range, and they don't have the range of Pulse Rifles in a static firebase. So their only saving grace is the pinning effect, which to be honest is pretty hard to pull off. I think you have the right idea by fielding them as a unit rather than mixing them into rifle squads, but I think you would better off sticking to rifles for all-purpose teams. Carbines can serve as a replacement when you don't have any mounted units, but they aren't as useful in a mechanized list.

The advantage of the Hammerhead is not firepower. The Broadside, point-for-point, is a better investment in that regard. The Hammerhead, however, is far more durable than the Broadside, can't be stopped by close-combat, and can reposition 12" and still get a shot off.

The Tau have to rely on jetpacks for protection from high-strength weaponry. Shield Drones are a good safety net, but ultimately Crisis suits survive by not taking fire.

To expand, I would suggest a Hammerhead, and at least one more Crisis Suit. If there is nothing distinct about your commander, I would switch that battlesuit over to Elite, and pick up either a PR/MP or PR/FB combo for your commander. I would also make a choice between Kroot and Fire Warriors for your Troops expansion. If Kroot, max out a squad. If Fire Warriors, pick up a 2nd Devilfish for them.
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Old 17 Mar 2008, 19:16   #9 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
 
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Default Re: My first 40k game... or "help me not get my butt kicked this hard again" :)

I'm really keen on keeping my army mobile which makes me think the Hammerhead may be a better overall choice over the broadsides -- however both units can nail most of a table anyway, so mobility may not be so much a factor as pure survivability. Thoughts?

I'd probably take another FW team over kroot -- picking up another fish in the process. Again, mobility.

Finally, I'm curious about what others think of the stealth team. I fielded mine with a couple of gun drones. In reality, it was just to spend an extra few points I had laying around, but I felt the addition of drones would keep me from having to do a leadership test if I took a hit and lost a unit from the team. I was quite fond of the mobility of the suits, their stealth ability, the fact they can deep strike and infiltrate if the situation arises and while their low numbers don't help the survivability, the stealth field does. At 18", I'm rolling 9 dice for the stealth units just as I would the FW team, with a better chance of getting out of dodge if things get hairy. The big advantage to the FW rifle team would be the much longer range and extra shot at 12". Seems a pretty even tradeoff to me at this point.
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Old 17 Mar 2008, 19:37   #10 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: My first 40k game... or "help me not get my butt kicked this hard again" :)

I advise shield drones over gun drones, imho. gives you the ability to take a round of heavy firepower on the chin, and then give it back to the enemy. Gun drones die too easy, imho. The loss of the shots is a bit of a problem, but I prefer survivability of the stealths.

Stealths are handy. I use two teams, and I plan on using them close by each other in the future, rather than split up. That gives alot of firepower and allows them to annihilate many units in a turn. Stealths are also quicker than fire warriors, and that's a handy ability, imho. They can easily operate on the fringes, snapping up any isolated enemy units floating about.

They're also manueverable enough to shadow tanks and assaulters, dumping fire into their butts, so that you don't get reamed by'em. I don't care what kinda tank you are(well, unless your an AV12+ rear/side armor tank...), when 12-20 S5 shots come your way, you're going to feel that.

Currently I run two Shas'o/shas'el with a unit of helios and two stealth squads.
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