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TAU OVERVIEW
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Old 01 Aug 2008, 23:21   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default TAU OVERVIEW

Here is an Overview of the basic Tau army and Tactics.

Units
HQ
XV8 Crisis Suit Commander
This guy is the leader of your army. At 1+, he is required for all standard missions. With a pretty good statline, he can be used quite easily to take down enemy elite units or even HQs. However, they should always be equipped with comparable equipment that you would put on a Shas'ui in a crisis suit. The Fireknife combo (Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Multi-tracker) is my favorite. Also, give this guy the Stimulant Injector. Always. The Feel No Pain rule always helps.

Ethereal
The Ethereal is one of your wierder units. By himself, he's pretty much useless. He has no shooting attack, and if he gets into close combat, he gets owned. However, he gives all Tau units a morale bonus, and gives you access to BS4 Fire Warriors (Honor Guard).

Elites
XV8 Crisis Teams
These guys are great, but don't get too dazzled by their apparent awesomeness. They are not, and should never be, the core of your army. Their statlines aren't as good as the Commander, but you can give them some of the same equipment. Fireknife works great, and The Burning Eye (Twin-linked Plasma Rifles + something else) is also a good choice. If you can spare the points, a Targeting Array adds one to your BS for only 5 points. Iridium Armor or a Shield Generator can go a long way towards improving durability, but be aware that Iridium Armor makes your extra 6" move in the assault phase into 1d6", thus endangering anyone who uses the "Shoot & Scoot" (described below). Also, if you decide you are fond of the Airbursting Fragmentation Launcher, put it on one of these guys, rather than your Commander.

XV25 Stealth Teams
A tad bit pricey sometimes, but sneaky. Everytime someone shoots at these guys, they have to check for spotting distance, as if using Nightfire rules. Each one comes equipped stock with a Burst Cannon. One in 3 Suits can be equipped with a Fusion Gun for popping tanks, but I usually leave this off, as there are other units better suitied to this role. Not a whole lot of customization that can go on here, but remember, any drones attached to Stealthsuits benefit from the stealth rule, and have the same shooting range.

Troops
Fire Warrior Teams
The Backbone of any Tau Empire Force, Fire Warriors come equipped with a 30" Range S5 weapon. A full size squad without any upgrades mounted in a stock Devilfish runs you 200 points, but with 2 of these squads, you can pull off one of the most destructive maneuvers available to the army. Dumping over 50 S5 shots into an enemy squad, even at BS3, gives you a nice chance to destroy any enemy squad, provided you avoid TEQs.

Devilfish APC
Your transport. Equipped with a Burst Cannon and two Gun Drones, the Devilfish is a fairly durable skimmer that adds mobility and a touch of firepower to your Fire Warrior Teams.

Kroot Carnivore Squad
Kroot are the close combat support unit of the Tau. Each one comes equipped with S4, 2 CCWs, and very little durability. However, they get a +1 bonus to any cover save conferred by a forest or jungle-type area. Add up to 12 Kroot Hounds for more attacks in close combat, or to absorb wounds for the slightly more expensive Carnivores. Krootoxen add bigger guns, and can bash a lot of stuff up in close combat, but take away the squad's ability to infiltrate. A shaper can increase the longevity of the squad, and gets more attacks. A full size squad of Kroot (20 Carnivores, 1 upgraded to shaper, 12 Hounds, 3 Krootoxen) costs only 338 points, but has 47 wounds, and gets over 100 attacks on the charge. Just remember: at equal models, Kroot get stomped. At equal points, they do the stomping. Surprisingly enough, a good size squad of Kroot are a good way to get rid of Terminators. The Terminators all have fists, so only the Sergeant, with his sword, attacks before the Kroot. The Sergeant, with his two attacks, will likely kill only one Kroot, and a max of two (up to three if the Terminators got the charge). Two Kroot cost you 14 points (12 if you remove two hounds instead), but then the sheer number of attacks from the mass of Kroot are enough that you have well over a 50% chnace to kill all five of the terminators (this assumes the other player is not retarded enough to use a ten man Terminator Squad).

Gue'vesa Squad
While not listed in the Codex, these guys are still a viable option. Each Gue'vesa'la is a Guardsman, costing 6 points and including a 5+ save and a lasgun. Up to two men in each squad can have a Tau weapon (Pulse Rifle or Carbine), and one man can be upgraded to a Gue'vesa'ui and given a markerlight. While the Gue'vesa cannot benefit from markerlight tokens, a static squad of Gue'vesa can be used as great support units for nice and cheap.

Fast Attack
Gun Drone Squadron
Gun Drones in a squadron cost a bit much for my tastes, but a full size squad of them (96 points) Deep Striked behind enemy lines can cause extreme irritation and distraction for the enemy.

Piranha Skimmers
The stock Piranha looks kinda like Klkn on paper. That's because it is. It gives you the same firepower as a Devilfish stock, but cannot carry troops, and is a lot more fragile. However, upgrading a Piranha with a
Fusion Blaster and a Targeting Array, along with your choice of durability-enhancing wargear, you have a cost effective tank hunter.

Pathfinders Team
Pathfinders come equipped with a markerlight a piece, and have the option of taking rail rifles. Rail Rifles are the "sniper" unit of the Tau. Pathfinders are required to take a Devilfish Transport, which seems stupid, since they must stay still to fire their Markerlights.

Vespid Stingwings
Vespid were designed as Marine killers, but I still think Fire Warriors do that job better. Vespid have a gun with AP3, and if they have to hightail it out of a hot zone in a hurry, they can make a 6" Fleet Move at the expense of shooting. A big meh on my radar. No seriously, when radar sweeps over most things, it goes "blip", but when it passes over Vespid it goes "meh".

Heavy Support
XV88 Broadside Team
Broadsides can be the "Dark Reapers" of the Tau, providing static firepower. When used in this manner, they are a great place to attach some Markerlight Drones. If you equip them with the Advanced Stabilization System, they can move and shoot their heavy weapons, albiet moving slowly. When used in this manner, their capacity for ownage can be increased by upgrading the Smart Missile System to Twin Linked Plasma Rifles and attaching Multitrackers; however, this does make them rather expensive, and you must be careful not to let them be killed.

Sniper Drone Teams
For sniper drones, I would point out that they are very similar to 3 rail-rifle pathfinders and 1 markerlight pathfinder. They get a stealth field and a better markerlight, but they don't have their own transportation. You can field 3 of them in a single force-org slot, but you can only use that one force org slot for them.


Hammerhead Tank
Hammerheads come in two basic flavors. Ionhead, and Railhead. The Ionhead gets 3 heavy shots per turn, while the Railhead can fire either a pure ownage single shot (same thing the Broadsides get), or a Blast Template Shot (great for obliterating Scarabs or Rippers). A secondary weapon system can be one of three things. 1: Two Burst Cannons 2: Two Gun Drones or 3: Smart Missile System (ick).

Skyray Missile Gunship
From the neck down, this is just like a Hammerhead. What differs is the Turret. While the Hammerhead gets one of two guns, the Skyray gets a rack of six Missiles. While you only get six missiles per game, a Railhead is unlikely to ever get more than six shots per game. Your call.


Tactics
The Fish of Fury
The Fish of Fury (FoF) maneuver uses one or more (usually two) Full size squads of Fire Warriors mounted in Devilfish APCs. The Devilfish move up to the enemy stopping nose to nose in a wide V shape. All the Firewarriors disembark, making sure all are within 12" of the enemy. Since the Devilfish is a skimmer, the Fire Warriors can shoot under them. The Fire Warriors rapid fire their Pulse Rifles at the enemy squad, getting an incredible 48 S5AP5 shots. The Devilfish can shoot too, depending on how far they moved. That's another 6 shots with the same Strength and AP. Finally, another 4 shots from the Fish's Gun Drones. And those 4 are pinning.
Sound good yet? You bet it does. If anything survived your 50+ shot barrage, they can shoot you back, but they can't assault under the Devilfish, and it's too far to go around in one turn.
This maneuver can be used with only one squad, by placing the devil perpendicular to the firing lanes, but be careful! An enemy squad with Fleet of Foot/Claw/Hoof can get around the single Fish to assault you.

The Shoot and Scoot
This is a Battlesuit tactic that takes advantage of the Tau specific Jet Pack rule. Unlike a normal Jump Pack, the Tau Jet Packs move 6" in the move phase, then another 6" in the assault phase, thus meaning you can shoot and then move. This tactic allows you to take advantage of a rapid fire weapon without getting charged. Assuming your pursuer moves like normal infantry, you sit 12" away from him and rapid fire your weapon(s). Then you move back 6", taking yourself out of charge range. Should the enemy pursue, you rapid fire again, and scoot back 6". Should the enemy not pursue, you move forward, rapid fire, then move back. Frustrates the heck out of a CC army. The Shoot and Scoot is often referred to by the name of the weapon being used, E.G. The Plasma Shoot and Scoot.

Crisis Suit Heavy Armies
A Crisis Suit heavy army, is just that: a Tau army with lots of Crisis Suits. Without breaking any rules, you can have up to 15 Crisis suits in your army (not counting Broadsides). Crisis suits can be tailored to perform many different tasks. Give a Shas'ui twin linked Burst Cannons and a Missile Pod along with a hardwired multi-tracker, and you have a light infantry slaying Crisis Suit. Give the same one a plasma rifle, a missile pod, a Targeting Array, and a hardwired Multi-Tracker, and he becomes better at killing more heavily armored foes. In order to take Hardwired equipment, the suit must be a team leader, which costs you 5 extra points. Do not spend the additional 5 points to make your Team Leader a Shas'vre. It offers nothing you want.

Static Firing Line
Well, I suppose I really ought to put this in there too. There are several users here who swear by it, but I have never seen it work. The basic idea here is simple. You put your Fire Warriors in a line, preferably with some cover, and wait. Something gets within 30", start shooting. If it gets within 12", shoot twice as fast.

Parabola of Terror
This one is, as far as I know, completely untested, but was devised for use in smaller games. Many small squads of Fire Warriors create a parabolic formation on the field, and essentially funnel the enemy into a "killing zone". This tactic was likely based on Sun Tzu's teachings, and may not apply to the gaming world. Unfortunately, the user who initially devised this tactic is no longer on the forums, so we cannot ask him for greater detail.

Hope this helps greatly with new people or anyone who is unsure of what certain units do.

-ShasUiStavo

Could a MOD or ADMIN Sticky this please?

Aunny Edit: Asking for a sticky normally doesn't respond in getting one. If the response from other members about your work is good, then action will be taken into account for the appropriate kudos.
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Old 01 Aug 2008, 23:27   #2 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: TAU OVERVIEW

...

You do this on your own?

There's a lot of things here that scream 4th edition rules.
Terms are funky, aka not the norm (shoot and scoot? Come one, it's always been jump-shoot-jump).

I don't think it should be stickied either. Many people have different ideas on running Tau that are equally viable as your own experiences. I'm a Piranha believer, so are many others, just to illustrate one point.

Good attempt though at an overview. B- for effort from me. :funny:
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Old 02 Aug 2008, 05:52   #3 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: TAU OVERVIEW

Good stuff, but you made a mistake. The targeting array on a battlesuit costs 10 points, not 5.

I would add that the devilfish can be equipped with a smart missile system. With SMS and a few other options, it has more Strength 5 firepower than a hammerhead.

For sniper drones, I would point out that they are very similar to 3 rail-rifle pathfinders and 1 markerlight pathfinder. They get a stealth field and a better markerlight, but they don't have their own transportation. You can field 3 of them in a single force-org slot, but you can only use that one force org slot for them.

Also, I would mention that the skyray is not so much an ionhead alternative as it is a big tough markerlight carrier that happens to also have weapons.
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Old 02 Aug 2008, 16:22   #4 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: TAU OVERVIEW

Overall not it's good.

Not too sure about this though:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShasUiStavo
Kroot Carnivore Squad
Kroot are the close combat support unit of the Tau. Each one comes equipped with S4, 2 CCWs, and very little durability. However, they get a +1 bonus to any cover save conferred by a forest or jungle-type area. Add up to 12 Kroot Hounds for more attacks in close combat, or to absorb wounds for the slightly more expensive Carnivores. Krootoxen add bigger guns, and can bash a lot of stuff up in close combat, but take away the squad's ability to infiltrate. A shaper can increase the longevity of the squad, and gets more attacks. A full size squad of Kroot (20 Carnivores, 1 upgraded to shaper, 12 Hounds, 3 Krootoxen) costs only 338 points, but has 47 wounds, and gets over 100 attacks on the charge. Just remember: at equal models, Kroot get stomped. At equal points, they do the stomping. Surprisingly enough, a good size squad of Kroot are a good way to get rid of Terminators. The Terminators all have fists, so only the Sergeant, with his sword, attacks before the Kroot. The Sergeant, with his two attacks, will likely kill only one Kroot, and a max of two (up to three if the Terminators got the charge). Two Kroot cost you 14 points (12 if you remove two hounds instead), but then the sheer number of attacks from the mass of Kroot are enough that you have well over a 50% chnace to kill all five of the terminators (this assumes the other player is not retarded enough to use a ten man Terminator Squad).
Kroot aren't really a CC element...they are pretty average in CC actually, and their lack of armour is pretty much deadly for them.

Also 5th Ed with the majority toughness and initiative in assault (IIRC) makes huge squad of kroot actually less good in CC then a squad of 10 or 12 with 2 hounds...I know odd hey!

19 kroot a shaper and 3 'oxen, plus the armour upgrade (the only time I recommand it) do make a great addition to a static firebase though.

But As stated overall it's good stuff
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Old 02 Aug 2008, 17:54   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: TAU OVERVIEW

Thanks for the extra input. The thing about Sniper Teams will be added in. Thanks again
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Old 04 Aug 2008, 02:07   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: TAU OVERVIEW

i like the overview and also like the term "shoot and scoot". it has a sort of ring to it. anyways, thanks for the overview, even if it was a tad bit off.
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Old 04 Aug 2008, 03:30   #7 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: TAU OVERVIEW

There are a couple of issues with the [nevertheless comendable] effort spent on that writeup.

One is that if you are going to say that you use stim injectors on your HQ all the time- its far better to say that YOU do it all the time, and it works for you- rather than saying that >>I<< should do it too- just because you said so. A lot of people will get rubbed the wrong way if such things are dictated to them as such... especially if they happen to disagree. Just letting you know.

There are some stylistic differences or omissions that should probably be brought to light, to show you some examples:

HQ Bodyguards- The benefit of having the HQ's bodyguards kitted up to be an entire UNIT of BS4 FireKnives, or whatever- something that no Elite slot of Crisis suits could hope to do and yet retain the multitracker+multiple weapon firepower. Any option such as this was completely left out, and The limited scope of the description was found lacking in that regard.

Special issue Wargear: Now, if I was a brand new Tau player, and read your article as a primer to give me an idea of what Tau are... I would be gravely misled into getting the notion that Iridium Armor can be purchased over and over again- rather than it being something that you can only have one of per army, and only something a Shas'Vre or above can take in any place. That sort of vagueness in the description can lead to misled newbies, and later to angry newbies who got embarrassingly corrected in public. hehe.

Sorry for being a little over critical, but truly it was only to explain what and most importantly why it needs more work.
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Old 08 Oct 2008, 08:07   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: TAU OVERVIEW

The 'Parabola of Terror' doesn't really fit into your primer - the others are tried and true; it isn't.

Perhaps the... stealth swarm >.> would go better there?
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Old 09 Oct 2008, 01:06   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: TAU OVERVIEW

I like the fact that you agree with me about the fact that vespid are worthless. I'm a lot more aggressive about it though. I really get in peoples face about how bad vespid are. They're God awful... Anyway, Thanks for your input. Your opinions are appreciated.
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