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Starting out Tau - Returning to 40K
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Old 28 Feb 2009, 05:34   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
 
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Default Starting out Tau - Returning to 40K

I used to play 40k as a secondary interest to Fantasy since second edition. I've had marines, dark eldar, necrons and nids.

With the new troops capturing rules necrons are out the window for me as a marine is about 14 points (given that frags and 15 pts of weapons are free) and with the fearless rules the less said about gaunts the better ...

Anyway, I've managed to sell my dark eldar and uncompleted salamander marines (totally pointless in terms of fluff since you can only take one flamer in a squad now.)

I was thinking of 're-investing' (not sure if 40k is an investment!!) that space and money into Tau whom I've always liked the idea of and I've got a nice colour scheme in my head for ages.

However I've yet to properly read the 40k rules in entirety. Keep in mind that I've only peeked at the new 40k rules. I have no idea about metagame/what is currently cheesy*, and I know that you now **NEED** troops to capture things.

(*to an extent...I know that drop podding 6 dreads on top of you and having 2 minimsed squads of sniper scouts for my core as my army is cheeseballery)


What is the generally friendly ratio of HQ/E/T/FA/HS ?
It used to be 1/2/2/0/3 in terms of minimum troops and tonnes of HS and power weapon melee elite and shoot shoot shoot while elites stabbed you in the bum. Now its about troopers plebbing about to capture things. So is 3 units a good idea as a minimum ? What about transports are they totally useless like last edition? if not what has changed to make them a decent choice?

Also the army I'm thinking of is Tau in a nice red and beige colour scheme. I'm thinking of pathfinders + skyray and then having markerlights all over the place to try and tag and bag units rather than gurella plasma guns which was last edition tau... though there might be 1 or 2 units of suits (as opposed to 5 - 2HQ + 3 Elite = 15 suits?) including the leader as I want to have a tactically flexible army that can adapt to over come enemies rather than relying on gimmicks (see afore mentioned 6 drop pod dreads and/or mech tau wiht plasma rifles everywhere)

Assuming that the older units function the same (eg previous codex) what are the use of parhanas, skyrays (well I know it can mark stuff and throw rockets around corders in addition to seeker missiles) and drone sniper teams?
To me the Parhanas seem quite weak as they are open topped skimmers with a short ranged gun and don't seem to be good value for money.
[here i must point out that the spell checker thinks my misspelled parhana should be euthanasia - probably best to avoid!!]

Drone sniper teams - are they useful ?

If I get a commander and a battle box thingy I have 650 points give or take. That means that I'll need another 1350 to give a good 2000 pt selection however I do not wish to double any units until I have at least one of each.

I was thinking :

Battleforce + Commander - That gives me 650 points

Shas'la, Cyclic ion blaster, TL plasma rifle, ejection port, combat stims, hard wired multi tracker {anti marine}
XV8 Suit - Team Leader, Airburst Launcher, TL burst cannon multi tracker {anti troop/pleb}
3 Stealth suits - leader with marker drone
12 kroot
12 fire wariors - inc shas'ui, bonding knife and 2 gun drones
Devil fish with disruption pod.

to bring it to 1000 add:
6 path finders - 3 rail rifles, shas'ui bonded, target lock, 2 gun drones {rail rifles can tag one target, 2 MLs to another wiht gun drone pinning, and sepeate ML for seeker missiles if necessary}
Skyray w/ SMS, Disruption pod and targeting array

What would be recommended next? (Assuming I have 1HQ, 2E, 2T, 1FA 1HS)

Should I get more troops - I imagine that I would need more fire warriors anyway as 1 unit is hardly enough.

I can spend about £80 more and I think I need some anti armour like broadsides or a TL fusion blaster/missile pod XV8 unit. If I did get another battle box then I have enough for about one or two more units - 2 broadsides, or a hammerhead or some vespids.
Would it actually be best to get a second battlebox which would give me lots of useful things? - like another stealth team, fire warriors, another XV8 to accompany the first one, drones - all of which are useable and the saving over buying each bit of it seperately works out about same cost as the 12 kroot anyway (might as well take em if its for free!) I could possibly use the extra bits from the skyray to convert the devilfish into a hammerhead (or just use it as a devil fish if it would be better). Although I'm not to plussed on the kroot to be honest although I guess they are cheap and can hold objectives as well as infiltrate and have kickass cover saves. Plus they would look good in blue and red. Scratch that, I love kroot now!

So 2 battle boxes, leader (he has all the special weapon options I understand yes?, 6 pathfinders and a skyray equates to about 1575 assuming i take a squad of 8 gun drones as well.

This would give the above 1000 points PLUS duplicates of the firewarriors, kroot, stealth team and devilfish. And adding another suit to the XV8 unit gives 1574. I dont know how effective this would be though as I've perceived a trend in warhammer fantasy that the best units are the pricey metal ones.... and the best armies are usually more expensive to buy. I dont know if 40k has gone that route. But there is no point shooting myself in the foot either by being cheap because that is a waste as well. However the 2 battle boxes gets 4 units of troops out there ready to go and I understand that troops are important. Plus I like reasonably biggish armies. [as opposed to the condensed, min/max tourney armies. One or two good hits and they die!]

Assuming that 2 battle boxes are the way to go (I think I've convinced my self while writing this) what would be the most efficient use of the remaining funds? 2 Broad sides to add some anti tank and a balancing 2nd HS ? That would be ~1700pts and 2 HQ, 3E 4T 2FS 2 HS

I do have Aun'Va - I got him at a games event for doing the photography. I could use one of his bodyguards as an ethereal and give him some drones... that's 50 pts. Leaving me with 1750.. 250 shy of 2000 but still large enough.

I realise that most of this is very 'stream of consciousness' but its my logic of thinking about it and notification about any large wholes that I've missed would be appreciated as well as army building advice.
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Old 01 Mar 2009, 23:45   #2 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
 
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Default Re: Starting out Tau - Returning to 40K

I realise that there's not many replies... its is because a long post scares people ?

Basically I'm asking how viable an army based off 2 battle boxes as its 'core' would be? I would be looking to go 'in your face' aggro tau due to the new rapid fire rules
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Old 02 Mar 2009, 03:24   #3 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Starting out Tau - Returning to 40K

With 5th edition, it seems that the most effective troops choice is a minimum fire warrior team in a devilfish.
Quote:
Drone sniper teams - are they useful ?
Yes, but only versus non drop podding marines.
As to your ratio question, I think it's something like
1:1.5:2.5:1.5:1.5
*.5 symbolizing between 2 numbers.
On the subject of your list, I would recommend dropping the second plasma rifle for a targeting array. Also, if your new to Tau, don't use a skyray. Instead, get a hammerhead for anti tank. On a similar note, I would recomend dropping your current anti infantry suit for a deathrain+(twin linked missile pods + targeting array).
Quote:
I do have Aun'Va - I got him at a games event for doing the photography. I could use one of his bodyguards as an ethereal and give him some drones... that's 50 pts. Leaving me with 1750.. 250 shy of 2000 but still large enough.
Great model, but horrible character. With 5th edition, he's even worse than a regular Ethereal.
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Old 02 Mar 2009, 13:02   #4 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
 
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Default Re: Starting out Tau - Returning to 40K

[quote=leatherback]
With 5th edition, it seems that the most effective troops choice is a minimum fire warrior team in a devilfish.
Quote:
Drone sniper teams - are they useful ?

Yes, but only versus non drop podding marines.
Could you not markerlight them then pop them killing a couple of marines?


Quote:
As to your ratio question, I think it's something like
1:1.5:2.5:1.5:1.5
*.5 symbolizing between 2 numbers.
So fast attack is considered useful again.. that is good. Where I would like not to duplicate any choices unless necessary.

Well if I got the 2x battle force it would be the firewarriors in the devilfishes to move up jump out at unleash a hail of high BS(from marker lights) S5 hits
Quote:
On the subject of your list, I would recommend dropping the second plasma rifle for a targeting array. Also, if your new to Tau, don't use a skyray. Instead, get a hammerhead for anti tank. On a similar note, I would recomend dropping your current anti infantry suit for a deathrain+(twin linked missile pods + targeting array).
Yes but the skyray can be assembled as a hammerhead. Besides surely the broadsides would be better at anti tank as they are twin linked. The submuntion round on the hammerhead scatters now so I'm not too sure about it. Plus I think the skyray with its markerligths would be helpful

Quote:
Great model, but horrible character. With 5th edition, he's even worse than a regular Ethereal.
I could just use him or one of the bodyguards as a regular ethereal. I got the mini free - I definatly wouldn't've bought it. It's a pity I cannot swap it for a crisis commander.
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Old 03 Mar 2009, 01:42   #5 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Re: Starting out Tau - Returning to 40K

Honestly, I built my army around 3 Battle Forces. Then started adding stuff in here and there...in the course of 4 months, my army has grown to almost 4000 pts haha

Also, go Broadsides and you'll never be happier. And in my limited experience, Pathfinders with rail rifles aren't worth the points.

Good luck, and I definitely want to see pics of some models with that color scheme!
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Old 03 Mar 2009, 02:20   #6 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Starting out Tau - Returning to 40K

My two cents:

If you take rail rifles, you lose out on those valuable markerlights. They are pretty much mandatory in any Tau army.

If you're going to take Crisis suits, there is one configuration that I would use above all others. The Deathrain, which is a twin-linked missile pod and flamer. I usually exchange the flamer for a targeting array. Twin linked missile pods + elevated BS = Dead Rhinos. I haven't experimented with an airburst launcher or burst cannons on an XV8, so I can't really say much. As for the commander, I would drop the stimulant injectors and the ejection pod. I would keep him cheap. I usually run a commander with a Cyclic Ion Blaster, Plasma Rifle, Targeting Array, and a hard-wired multi-tracker. It cost about 100 points, and can kill the same amount of MEQ's.

I would have at least one Hammerhead with a railgun. I find submunition shot quite helpful, and can work wonders against hoards.

Depending on how you would like to build your army (Mech or static), that would influence what units you get. If you decided to go all mechanized, you may have all your Firewarriors mounted, or if you go static, you may exchange your Hammerheads and Skyrays for Broadsides or something.

I hope this helps a little bit.
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Old 03 Mar 2009, 02:34   #7 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Starting out Tau - Returning to 40K

Quote:
The Deathrain, which is a twin-linked missile pod and flamer
Actually, the deathrain is just the twin linked missile part. The third hardpoint can be anything, yet the suit will still be a deathrain.
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Old 03 Mar 2009, 04:52   #8 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Starting out Tau - Returning to 40K

Quote:
What is the generally friendly ratio of HQ/E/T/FA/HS ?
It used to be 1/2/2/0/3 in terms of minimum troops and tonnes of HS and power weapon melee elite and shoot shoot shoot while elites stabbed you in the bum. Now its about troopers plebbing about to capture things. So is 3 units a good idea as a minimum ? What about transports are they totally useless like last edition? if not what has changed to make them a decent choice?

Also the army I'm thinking of is Tau in a nice red and beige colour scheme. I'm thinking of pathfinders + skyray and then having markerlights all over the place to try and tag and bag units rather than gurella plasma guns which was last edition tau... though there might be 1 or 2 units of suits (as opposed to 5 - 2HQ + 3 Elite = 15 suits?) including the leader as I want to have a tactically flexible army that can adapt to over come enemies rather than relying on gimmicks (see afore mentioned 6 drop pod dreads and/or mech tau wiht plasma rifles everywhere)
Don't worry about being cheesy with Tau at 1500-2000 points, it's practically impossible. 5th edition reduced the power of the Tau relative to other armies. We're still quite playable, we just don't have the sheer massacre potential of the high end Ork, Chaos, and Marine lists right now.

I'm trying to make the most brutally competitive Tau list I can and I haven't had anyone comment on it being overpowered yet. Incidentally, it currently has 1 HQ, 2 Elites, 4 Troops, 2 Fast Attack, and 2 Heavy Support. Tau rely on combined arms more than most armies, so a strong list takes units from every part of the list.

Transports are much better because troops don't get entangled in them and they only take damage if the vehicle explodes, as apposed to being wrecked. They are immensely helpful in objective missions but are relatively easy Kill Points. Tau Troops are pretty fragile, so having a Devilfish to hide in really improves their survivability.

Quote:
Assuming that the older units function the same (eg previous codex) what are the use of parhanas, skyrays (well I know it can mark stuff and throw rockets around corders in addition to seeker missiles) and drone sniper teams?
To me the Parhanas seem quite weak as they are open topped skimmers with a short ranged gun and don't seem to be good value for money.
[here i must point out that the spell checker thinks my misspelled parhana should be euthanasia - probably best to avoid!!]

Drone sniper teams - are they useful ?
Piranhas are a pretty weak unit in 5th edition. They're fragile and their drones are an easy kill point. They can only contest rather than claim objectives now. I tried a pair as a single squadron for a while and found that the didn't contribute much. The speed was nice, but they rarely lived if left out in the open for a turn, even late in the game and moving flat out.

Skyrays have always been overpriced. The mobile markerlights are great, but a Hammerhead with an Ion Cannon does way more damage than the Skyray's missiles will, and it cost much less. Seeker Missiles in general are way overpriced for what they deliver.

5th Edition screwed over sniper teams in pretty much every possible way. Better transports mean fewer marines in the open and that the enemy will be closer sooner. Wound allocation means it's really easy to kill the controller and have the drones die automatically. More cover saves means the AP 3 is worth less. Each team counts as a kill point and is easy to kill making them a big liability in a kill point mission.

Quote:
Shas'la, Cyclic ion blaster, TL plasma rifle, ejection port, combat stims, hard wired multi tracker {anti marine}
XV8 Suit - Team Leader, Airburst Launcher, TL burst cannon multi tracker {anti troop/pleb}
3 Stealth suits - leader with marker drone
12 kroot
12 fire wariors - inc shas'ui, bonding knife and 2 gun drones
Devil fish with disruption pod.

to bring it to 1000 add:
6 path finders - 3 rail rifles, shas'ui bonded, target lock, 2 gun drones {rail rifles can tag one target, 2 MLs to another wiht gun drone pinning, and sepeate ML for seeker missiles if necessary}
Skyray w/ SMS, Disruption pod and targeting array

What would be recommended next? (Assuming I have 1HQ, 2E, 2T, 1FA 1HS)

Should I get more troops - I imagine that I would need more fire warriors anyway as 1 unit is hardly enough.

I can spend about £80 more and I think I need some anti armour like broadsides or a TL fusion blaster/missile pod XV8 unit. If I did get another battle box then I have enough for about one or two more units - 2 broadsides, or a hammerhead or some vespids.
Would it actually be best to get a second battlebox which would give me lots of useful things? - like another stealth team, fire warriors, another XV8 to accompany the first one, drones - all of which are useable and the saving over buying each bit of it seperately works out about same cost as the 12 kroot anyway (might as well take em if its for free!) I could possibly use the extra bits from the skyray to convert the devilfish into a hammerhead (or just use it as a devil fish if it would be better). Although I'm not to plussed on the kroot to be honest although I guess they are cheap and can hold objectives as well as infiltrate and have kickass cover saves. Plus they would look good in blue and red. Scratch that, I love kroot now!

So 2 battle boxes, leader (he has all the special weapon options I understand yes?, 6 pathfinders and a skyray equates to about 1575 assuming i take a squad of 8 gun drones as well.

This would give the above 1000 points PLUS duplicates of the firewarriors, kroot, stealth team and devilfish. And adding another suit to the XV8 unit gives 1574. I dont know how effective this would be though as I've perceived a trend in warhammer fantasy that the best units are the pricey metal ones.... and the best armies are usually more expensive to buy. I dont know if 40k has gone that route. But there is no point shooting myself in the foot either by being cheap because that is a waste as well. However the 2 battle boxes gets 4 units of troops out there ready to go and I understand that troops are important. Plus I like reasonably biggish armies. [as opposed to the condensed, min/max tourney armies. One or two good hits and they die!]

Assuming that 2 battle boxes are the way to go (I think I've convinced my self while writing this) what would be the most efficient use of the remaining funds? 2 Broad sides to add some anti tank and a balancing 2nd HS ? That would be ~1700pts and 2 HQ, 3E 4T 2FS 2 HS

I do have Aun'Va - I got him at a games event for doing the photography. I could use one of his bodyguards as an ethereal and give him some drones... that's 50 pts. Leaving me with 1750.. 250 shy of 2000 but still large enough.
Buying two battle forces in an excellent start. It gives you plenty of Troops. Though at 2000 maybe another box of kroot would be good if you find you like them (hold off on buying more because a lot of people end up disliking them).

Kroot are tricky to use because they have excellent offensive power, but left in the open are second only to grots in their frailty; and the grots have better morale. In cover they make an excellent bunker. Outflanking a small squad is my favorite way to grab an objective. If you give them a bunch of Kroot hounds then they are a moderate assault unit. Don't try to assault with Kroot without hounds. Even 20 Kroot charging a Marine tactical squad will bounce off because of their low initiative and lack of armor. 10 Kroot and 10 hounds will perform far better because the hounds hit before the marines and you can take your casualties on the hounds so all your Kroot can strike. Do a search for Kroot tactics for more information on this tricky but amazing unit. I am the only Tau player in my area who uses Kroot. I am also the most successful Tau player in the area.

Hounds are the most expensive unit dollars to points in the game at $10 for 12 points. Check E-bay or other places to try to find a good deal and save your wallet.

The Fire Warriors, Kroot and Stealth suits give you excellent anti-infantry. Configure your crisis suits the fight against light vehicles and heavy infantry (missile pods, plasma, and fusion blasters) and taking Broadsides as heavy support for anti-tank will give you good options against all comers. I really like a unit of 3 broadsides with a pair of shield drones. If you've only got one unit, then give them advanced stabilization systems so you can move and shoot. Otherwise it's easy for your opponent to avoid your anti-tank. You'll want a second heavy support unit. I like a second smaller unit of Broadsides, but many people swear by Railgun Hammerheads and use them exclusively.

A unit of pathfinders is excellent because they enhance whatever aspect of your army is most important. Up against orks? BS5 Stealth Suits will murder them. Lots of tanks, get rid of their cover and guide in your railguns. Railrifles are a nice weapon, but markerlights are so much more versatile and you can get anti-marine firepower elsewhere.

Don't bother with an ethereal. They are awful. I'd rather have 50 less points than take one.

Good luck!
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Old 03 Mar 2009, 10:56   #9 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
 
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Default Re: Starting out Tau - Returning to 40K

broadsides can be very fun, and scare the crap out of anyone with a tank, and severely restrict his movement. if you get broadsides, you can set the team up to have 3 suites and 2 shield drones (more if you want) this makes the squad very tough. another otion is to use multiple squads of 2 and give one of them a target lock, that way all your broadsides can fire at different targets.

my advice for your extra points... crisis suites, many many crisis suites. in a 1000 point list i usually have atleast 6 of them. they can be set up to fill many different roals, and are the bane of the people i play with. twin linked fusion blasters (sunforge) rip tanks to bits, especially if you deep strike them behind a tank with the help of a pathfinder devilfish (more accurate deep strikes), plasma rifle missile pod combo (fire knife) can handle allmost anything to an extent and my most recent addition, plasma rifle/fusion blasters (helios) that give you 9 shots that deny armor saves. the trick to truely making them effective is mastering the use of jump shoot jump to avoid getting into close combat.

for me the trick is to have a different crisis suite for every occasion ^-^ but that might not work best for you given your monetary constraints. i would however atleast get one squad of xv8's and set them up in the fire knife configuration due to they're agility.

hope that helps
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Old 29 Mar 2009, 00:24   #10 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
 
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Default Re: Starting out Tau - Returning to 40K

I do think I will try to get more suits afterwards. I am going to try and exchange space pope for shadowsun (to be used as a commander leaving the actual commander xv8 as a crisis suit) or some xv8 suits or a devilfish or *something useful*

I'm sorry I've not been on here more. Its choc-a-bloc wiht useful info but I am moving to the UK you see (the tau are my project for the 'new land' lol! ) so its pretty hectic. I will be sure to be back once the dust settles and I'm trying to figure out why my kroot have 3 arms and all my stealth suits are configured illegally wiht plasma rifles! ;D
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