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My First Game with Ninja Tau
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Old 23 Feb 2009, 13:44   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 12
Default My First Game with Ninja Tau

So my first game ever with my new Tau army also turned out to be my first game using the positional relay. I'd built the army to be able to play this way, but I'd hoped to get my feet wet playing as a simple hybrid force to start. Alas, it was not to be, as we played a three-player game on a crowded table. With orks as my next-door neighbors and marines just down the aptly-named "Death Alley" of terrain, I decided that my best bet was to present as small a target as possible.

The game went surprisingly well, after a few very tense moments early on (Would the ork focus his shoota boyz on me, or would they be more concerned about the foot-slogging marine horde breathing down his neck? Would those Lootaz be able to shoot through to kill off my Ninj'O before he could do his job?). What follows are the impressions of a brand new Tau player on this sort of army.
  • It takes an utterly obscene amount of firepower to kill off the Ninj'O when he's built like a Shield'O. I deployed an Irridium Armor Ninj'O with a pair of shield drones working alongside a two-man broadside team, which gave the enemy 10 wounds with 2+ armor saves to shoot through. They remained viable all game, taking pot-shots at the Space Marine Dreadnought and smart missile spam at the Lootaz until the game ended. If there had been more vehicles on the table, I think this setup would've benefited even more, as popping enemy transports and main battle tanks before they can threaten the Ninj'O seems extremely helpful.
  • The downside to this setup, of course, was that my Shas'O (who I'd given a burst cannon and an AFP) was having a difficult time in later turns raining his firepower down on the advancing enemy. He stayed way out of the way during the early turns, just tossing out some pot-shots with the SMSes of the Broadsides against the Ork Lootaz who were deployed nearby. If I do this setup in the future, I really need to give him some longer-ranged weapon options, even if it means he's a little less nasty against enemy infantry.
  • Cover saves utterly neutered my ability to fight back until my Pathfinders hit the board with their oh-so tasty markerlights. Bringing the Lootaz's coversave down to 6+ allowed me to dish out enough wounds that a little spray from the gun drones on a Devilfish managed to pin the Lootaz at the end of turn two. I need to sit down at some point and do the math on what's the optimal amount to reduce cover saves by and increase BS by to get the most bang for my buck. However, I also need to do a better job on dropping Pathfinders where they can be relevant for the entire game: they outflanked on turn 2 and were useful, but completely inconsequential after I tabled the Lootaz and the Big Mek working with them on turn 3.
  • Coming from a marine army with TH/SS terminators and a big assault squad, I really had no idea what to expect when my Kroot squad (12 kroot and 10 kroot hounds) hit the table. I'm used to crushing skulls and grinding them into dust beneath power-armored boots. However, between two squads of fire warriors dropping in and rapid-firing and then the kroot squad assaulting with 64 attacks, I managed to wipe out a full, healthy 10-man tactical squad of marines in one turn. This is one aspect of Ninja Tau I found particularly effective: dumping all my concentrated (but fragile) firepower in a tiny corner of the map on a foe who thought he had me outnumbered and utterly smashing his flank.
  • My Crisis Suits squad (wound up going for broke with my low-model count and giving them plasma and missile pods... not sure the official naming convention for that yet) with the hopes of dropping them behind the marines and doing some damage. Well, they did just that and managed to wipe out a half-strength Marine tactical squad with plasma fire. Very interesting, but the volume of fire was low enough that it was really tense. In retrospect, they might've been more useful dropping them in alongside my kroot and fire warriors to smash the nearby Terminators (had the game gone on past turn 4).
  • My biggest mistake was that I let far, far too much of my army become static. I dropped my Pathfinders and then proceeded to park their Devilfish right next to them and use it as a miniature firebase of its own while it, my broadsides, and Shas'O dealt with the Lootaz in the nearby building. Being so close to such a large number of orks (including a trukk full of angry nobs and their angrier warboss), I was really afraid of moving any closer, and the closing Marine army and their bolters really cowed me when it came to falling back towards their end of the table. In retrospect, I should've swallowed my fear and used my Devilfish as, well, Devilfish. The Marine player didn't have enough anti-tank firepower to reliably down them, and in a longer game the static posture I assumed would've ruined me when the marines got closer. I need to stop babying my Devilfish so much: they might cost more than three Rhinos to field, but my caution meant that they really didn't do their job very well.
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Old 23 Feb 2009, 18:40   #2 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Minesota, USA
Posts: 490
Default Re: My First Game with Ninja Tau

Nice report. I would suggest turning your devilfish into warfish (use the smart missile system option). It may be more expensive and have overall fewer shots but you don't need LOS (and aren't affected by cover saves i think) to fire them and they have longer range then the burst canons and drones.
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