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Aiming for Apocalypse!
Old 14 Oct 2008, 18:16   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Czech republic,Plzen
Posts: 95
Default Aiming for Apocalypse!

After some time (about a year) iam starting my tau army again and after playing my catachan army,grey knights and tau army with my friend World eaters and deamons againts imperial guard (sides have about 6000 pts) it was also our first apoc game in this city.well the point is iam aiming to build tau force themed on commander R´myr personal cadre but iam not sure with direction go have anyone of you veterans any tips how to build good apoc army?
Originally Posted by Guitardian

I think they look like an army of little well armed incredible-hulks. Just my first impression.
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Old 14 Oct 2008, 19:26   #2 (permalink)
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Amarillo, Texas
Posts: 289
Default Re: Aiming for Apocalypse!

Build yourself a couple of the railgun emplacements from White Dwarf a year or so ago (when apocalypse came out), and blow the living heck out of anybody's super heavies. As far as I know, that's the only way to get Destroyer weapons in a pure Tau army. Otherwise, Apocalypse is kind of just a mashup of whatever you want to bring. Take ten to twelve hammerheads with a few skyrays, using the armoured interdiction formation, and keep blowing up any problems.
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Old 14 Oct 2008, 21:15   #3 (permalink)
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ota, Gunma Prefecture, Japan
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Default Re: Aiming for Apocalypse!

First things first you need to clarify with your gaming group what your house rules will be. The biggest two that can affect you are the suggested ones in the Apocalypse and Apocalyse Reload books: should there be a (72") limit on unlimited range weapons (i.e. seeker missiles) and what counts as a scoring unit in games of Apocalypse: is it Troops only, as stated in the 5th Edition Rulebook, or is it anything over half strength, as stated in the Apocalypse book (though, do note that the rules for half strength have changed slightly; check out page 300 of the rulebook for the specifics). Once you've sorted those things out then you can start working out your army.

If you are building an Apocalypse army from scratch, then my personal opinion on it is that it ought to be planned well in advance. You should decide what you're going to purchase well in advance of actually doing it.

The first thing to decide upon is what formations and legendary models you intend to take; these will likely be the most expensive part of your army, both in money and in points, so it's probably a good idea to decide whether you want any of these first.

Your formation choices are as follows:

[table][tr][td]Datasheet name[/td][td]Location[/td][td]Rough Overview and notes[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Armoured Interdiction Cadre[/td][td]Apocalypse[/td][td]Multiple Hammerheads and Skyrays gain bonuses to shooting[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Rapid Insertion Force[/td][td]Apocalypse[/td][td]1 Stealth Team and 9+ Crisis Suits Deep Strike behind enemy lines, destroying their surprised foes[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Pathfinder Search and Destroy Cadre[/td][td]Imperial Armour: Apocalypse[/td][td]Pathfinders, Remoras and Tetras scout out the enemy. Sadly, with the onset of 5th Edition removing Target Priority tests, one of the special rules this formation gets isn't of any use anymore[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Drone Perimeter Defence Team[/td][td]Imperial Armour: Apocalypse[/td][td]Sensor Towers, Sentry Turrets and all manner of Drones defend an area of the battlefield[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Kroot Knarloc Raiders[/td][td]Imperial Armour: Apocalypse[/td][td]Allows Kroot riding Knarlocs big and small to, effectively, outflank an enemy force[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Manta Death Blow Cadre[/td][td]Imperial Armour: Apocalyse[/td][td]Manta + army = dead or fleeing enemy[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Farstrike Battlesuit Force[/td][td]Apocalypse Reload[/td][td]Crisis and Broadside suits Deep Strike to capture an objective[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Fire Warrior Counter-Strike[/td][td]Apocalypse Reload[/td][td]Multiple Fire Warrior teams in Devilfish speed to where they are needed[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Skysweep Missile Defence Wing[/td][td]Apocalypse Reload[/td][td]Multiple Skyrays in an anti-air role. Sadly, though GW tried hard, you'd be better off taking an IA Skyray instead (see below for details)[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Firestream Pirahna Wing[/td][td]Apocalypse Reload[/td][td]Multiple Piranhas and Tetras disrupt the flow of enemy reinforcements using their swift speed. Note that this formation originally appeared on the GW website under the name Tau Ranged Patrol Wing; this is the most recent version of the datasheet and the TRPW should be ignored[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Night Hunter Stealth Group[/td][td]Apocalypse Reload[/td][td]9-30 Stealth Suits appear from nowhere, surprising their foes[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Kroot Mercenaries[/td][td]The Games Workshop Website[/td][td]Bring back the glory of the Kroot Mercenary army list. Going by the background, this isn't really a choice for Tau, but it can be used to represent a variety of Kroot within a Tau army[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Rapid Redeployment Force[/td][td]The Games Workshop Website[/td][td]Devilfish Taxi service. Similar to the Fire Warrior Counter-Strike formation in Reload, but both more and less versatile in the same breath[/td][/tr][/table]

In addition to these, you have a number of options for Legendary Units listed below. Where there is a listing for both Imperial Armour Three (The Taros Campaign) and an Apocalypse book, you may choose to use either ruleset as long as you pay the correct price for the correct version.

[table][tr][td]Legendary Unit[/td][td]Location/s[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Barracuda Air Superiority Fighter[/td][td]Apocalypse, Imperial Armour Three[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Great Knarloc Pack/Herd[/td][td]Apocalpyse, Imperial Armour Three[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Manta Super Heavy Flyer[/td][td]Imperial Armour: Apocalypse, Imperial Armour Three[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Orca Super Heavy Flyer[/td][td]Imperial Armour Apocalypse, Imperial Armour Three[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Tiger Shark AX-1-0/Tiger Shark[/td][td]Imperial Armour: Apocalypse, Imperial Armour Three (the Tiger Shark entry in IA3 allows for the upgrade to an AX-1-0)[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Piranha TX-42[/td][td]Imperial Armour: Apocalypse[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]DX-6 'Remora' Drone Fighter[/td][td]Imperial Armour: Apocalypse[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Area Defence Node[/td][td]UK White Dwarf #336. You would need to scratch build this as no model currently exists.[/td][/tr][/table]

There are also a number of additions to the Tau Empire Codex that can be found in Imperial Armour Three that do not count as either formations or legendary units, and these are listed here:
  • Hammerhead: has different turret options
  • Skyray: has an anti-air upgrade available and is, other than Barracudas and Remoras, a Tau army's best defence against aircraft
  • Crisis Battlesuit: additional suit options for Shas'El and Shas'O Commanders. Also includes Shas'O R'myr, whom you mention as being the focus of your army. Bear in mind that R'myr has had a rules update, which can be downloads by clicking here
  • Tetra: a small, scouting vehicle armed with a markerlight. One of only two mobile markerlight platforms.
  • Heavy Gun Drone: a larger, tougher version of the standard Gun Drone
  • Drone Sentry Turret: used for defending ground
  • Remote Sensor Turret: a cheap markerlight platform which will likely never be destroyed due to being armed with little else
  • Knarloc Riders: Kroot riding Knarlocs - what isn't to like?

Finally, but is by no means the worst of your choices, you have the Tau Empire Codex itself. There is little I need to tell you about this, except remember that Apocalypse removes all limitations on the force organisation chart and numbers of certain units and wargear. You can take 20 Sniper Drone teams if you fancy, or let Aun'Va reign over his council of 10 Ethereals. How about reuniting Shadowsun with her two XV-22-armoured sisters? Perhaps you'd like an entire wing of Crisis suit commanders with Airbursting Fragmentation Projectors. A strong choice to consider is to take all of your Crisis Suits and Piranha Light Skimmers as individual units, effectively gaining free Target Locks for everyone and reducing the effect of enemy fire (though bear in mind that some formation datasheets require your Crisis suit teams to be of a certain size).

Truthfully, there's an awful lot of choice here, and it's unlikely that you will ever purchase and be able to use all of them (though stranger things have happened). Therefore, you should go with a theme. You've already picked Shas'O R'myr's personal cadre which is a good start. Did you want to build an army based around that which defended T'ros from the Imperium, or perhaps one of his earlier or later conquests? If it's the former, then Imperial Armour Three contains all the info you need on this, including themed scenarios from which you can draw inspiration.

If, on the other hand, you're using R'myr beyond Taros, then the floor is wide open for you. As mentioned, a theme is always a good idea; whether that's air superiority through loads of Remoras, a swarm of fast vehicles, a pure foot-slogging infantry army, or an all battlesuit army, the choice is up to you. Some general Apocalypse thoughts, though:
  • Always consider the possibility that there may be Super Heavy Vehicles and/or Gargantuan Creatures on the table opposing you. Therefore, you will always want items to kill them. The best things for the job are Mantas, Tiger Shark AX-1-0s, Area Defence Nodes and to a lesser degree Hammerheads (perhaps in Armoured Interdiction Cadres) and/or Broadside Battlesuits. These all have Destroyer weapons or have a load of Railguns, which are essential for long-range destruction of such targets.
  • Be wary of Flank March. Flank March is one of the most powerful strategic assests, particularly when used by a primarily melee army against a primarily shooty army which has set up close to its board edge. Your primary defence against this is to use the Disruptor Beacon strategic asset (more details on strategic assets later); you can pick this as a standard asset, or you can field the Firestream Piranha Wing which will give you one for free, albeit on a fragile vehicle.
  • Despite all precautions, close combat will be almost inevitable; with Flank March and Strategic Redeployment your foes can close quickly, and there are a multitude of datasheets allowing these assets or similar abilities. With this in mind, you ought to include a strong counter-attack portion in your army. Whether this is an assault element or a close-range devastation element is up to you.
  • Focus on the objectives; objectives win you games, not killing the enemy. Always be aware of the objective markers.

Strategic assets are an undeniable joy to use in Apocalypse. Whether you get to lob a Vortex Grenade into the midst of the enemy ranks, or possess an enemy character with your Bloodthirster (albeit, that one's not for Tau), strategic assets add an additional element to the game. My personal opinion on them is that you ought to consider which one/s you will use whilst you pick your army list for the game. For example, there's no point in picking Bunkers if you've got an army made up entirely from Crisis Suits, who cannot enter bunkers. Conversely, a Shield Generator protecting a horde of Fire Warriors and Broadsides can be a bulwark against the enemy. Here are some thoughts on specific strategic assets:
  • Darkstar Warhead, Icefire Warhead, Remote Drone Network: these are the three Tau-only strategic assets from Apocalypse Reload. All of them are highly in character for a Tau army to use. Whilst the Darkstar and the Icerfire warheads act as area denial for certain portions of the enemy (and yourself), special mention must go to the Remote Drone Network; if you target this in the right portion of the battlefield each turn, you will get an obscene number of free markerlight counters at your disposal.
  • Ambush: a moderate counter to Flank March
  • Hold at all Costs: depending on your group's house rules, this could be very important for securing objectives
  • Recon: Highly in character for a Tau army featuring a plethora of Pathfinders, Piranhas and/or Tetras
  • Strategic Redeployment: a great last-minute objective grabber. Bear in mind that at least two formations offer this to you (albeit in a limited form such that they can only use it themselves)
  • Vital Objective: Got an objective marker of a downed Ethereal/Air Caste escape pod? Why not turn it into part of the narrative and get the bonus of having the objective count as double
  • Vortex Grenade: The thought of a Shas'O lobbing one of these into a bunch of expensive enemies is worth the potential to have it backfire upon you. Probably best used far away from your own battle lines, in case the scatter dice aren't too friendly to you
  • Minefields: Prevent the enemy from getting to you quite so quickly. Bear in mind that you will need to model markers for this (but that shouldn't be so hard - just affix some spare drones to hardboard the appropriate size, for example)
  • Null Field Generator: use the research from Medusa V to include one of these in your force. Protects you from psychic powers and, to a limited degree, from daemonic assaults
  • Supreme Headquarters: got that Ethereal Council I mentioned earlier? As long as you can keep this active, you gain a large number of universal special rules for free!
  • Long Range Ack-Ack: If you don't fancy purchasing any models air defence, then this asset could represent the equivalent, only "off table"
  • Precision Strike: It's like having a bunch of markerlight hits that work for all units. Combine this with real markerlight hits for even more carnage

One final remark is on something that I hadn't previously touched upon. Apocalypse allows you to do many things which would be considered illegal at a 1500 point level but are perfectly allowed by the background. So why not consider including some Imperial Guard as Gue'Vesa? You could include Leman Russ tanks, Rough Riders, or even a number of Baneblades. You could work it into your background by having them be the remnants/descendants of the human colonists on Taros, now working under R'Myr.


All in all, I hope what I've written will give you some idea of what to purchase for your army and I most certainly hope it's helped ;D

+1 for a great overview of Tau in Apocalypse, and Apocalypse in general. ;D
MT.[/td][td] [[/td][/tr][/table][hr]What's an abelian group with an associative, distributive secondary operator and the power to corrupt mortals?
[spoiler=Answer]The One Ring![/spoiler]
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