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Tau list building and tactics- vs specific Blood Angel list
Old 25 Mar 2009, 21:07   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tau list building and tactics- vs specific Blood Angel list

My friend has a Bood Angels disk that, against my Tau, no matter what I try, simply annihilates me. Heres what he brings

-Lemartes, jumpjet chappie character (as-is)
-Death Company- 5 men (Bolt Pistol/CCW/jumpjets)
-Furioso Dreadnaught (Venerable, Death Company, Ext Armor, Hvy Flamer, DROP POD)
-10 Assault Marines (Sgt w/ Powerfist)
-10 Assault Marines (Sgt w/ Powerfist)
-10 Assault Marines (Sgt w/ Powerfist)
- Baal Predator (hvy bolters)
- Vindicator (stock)
=1500 pts

So, yeah.. I totally hate him. :P The way the games usually go is: My railguns wipe out his tanks, all of his jumpjet monsters jump 12" then run d6"... I get one desparate round of troop fire, and they assault me, even in the back end of my deployment zone.

As things degrade from this point, the Dread inevitably arrives, with a flamer template in just the worst possible place- you get the idea.. hehe.

How can I tactically engage such a fast, shredding monster? I guess hiding in devilfishes, who canNOT move flat out to be harder to hit. Fletchettes take a share, but never enough, etc.

A quick rundown of my tau collection to give you a hint at what to work with, I own:
1 commander suit
12 crisis suits
12 stealths
48 Fiirewarriors
40 kroot
6 hounds
2 ox
8 vespid
8 pathfinders
4 pathfinder snipers
2 Piranhas
16 or so versa drones (gun/marker/shield)
3 broadsides
4 versa-tanks (devilfish/hammerhead)
2 sniper teams

.. its a reasonably filled out collection, short only in tank hulls, I guess.

So, This is a discussion of how Tau can engage and fight such a force. We can discuss tactical approaches, list compositions, etc. Keep in mind that 2/3 of the time, objectives need to be held/controlled, and this Tau is stumped as how to defend such objectives from those slavering, vampiricly tainted Smurfs!!
Though I walk through the valley of the swarms of the clueless, I shall fear no idiocy, for the M-STAR flagged them 12 seconds ago, and the JDAMS are already freefalling.
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Old 25 Mar 2009, 22:02   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau list building- vs specific Blood Angel list

It seems to me part of the problem lies in your firing discipline. Taking out the Vindicator early is ok, but the Predator should lie very low on your target priority list. The assault squads should be your primary targets.

Railheads should use submunitions rounds and ignore the tanks. Take the piranhas and give them fusion blasters to deal with the vindicator.

Keep one or two crisis suits away from the main action and give them fusion blasters and either shield generators or shield drones to counter the dreadnought's arrival. Other crisis suits should load up on plasma, burst, and/or flame weapons to pick the marines off.

Don't use stealth suits to deep strike. Instead put them in the front line to to soften the assault marines.

Any Vespid or Kroot you take should stand by to counter the assault, especially if your fire warriors stand their ground.

If you take broadsides, be prepared to use thos SMS's or give them plasma rifles.

Those Assault marines have enough speed and powerfist/krak grenade potential to make short work of any Devilfish. Keep them at home to make room for heavier hitters or more troops.

Spread out your fire warriors in cover and have them concentrate all their fire on one assault squad if possible. The cover will help you weather the Predator's guns.

In short, pour as much fire as you can on the assault marines and Death Company. If you can break the attack, the rest should be relatively easy.
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Old 25 Mar 2009, 22:29   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau list building- vs specific Blood Angel list

As long as you're not using, for some ungawdly reason, the KP rules (at which point nothing you do will save you anyways unless he rolls nothing but 1's and 2's for 3 turns in a row), A certain asset can be quite spectacular at tying him up and slowing him down, especially now that there's no consolidation.

Vehicle and min-size drone squadrons. Oh yes. Getting a few of those around the front, a few inches ahead, can force him to waste an assault killing them. Detatching the drones can make for several nice large walls of "can't move within 1" because they're enemy units", forcing him to either shoot them (at which point he can't very well assault what's behind it... right? or do space marines ignore that too now?) or assault them. Either way, that's another shooting phase of happiness for your guys.

Markerlights (remember: they don't wound so you can't save against it) to take out his cover saves if any, or, occasionally (this'll be rare but when you see the opportunity and have enough lights or nothing better to attempt) pin the unit you're NOT trying to wipe out this turn (drones and carbines, friend!), could help a lot. I've pinned assault marines (and sisters) exactly twice in my life, but both games I won in small part thanks to that. You want those assaulters dead.

If pieplates aren't your thing consider saving some points by using an Ionhead. Marines are pretty much exactly what its made for after all. And since mobility's moot for footsloggers; he'll get there in 2 or 3 turns whether or not they run, the sniper teams could actually be nice. Use the target locks on them to force 2 or three seperate pinning checks a turn; EVENTUALLY he may just fail one.
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Old 25 Mar 2009, 23:55   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau list building- vs specific Blood Angel list

Great advice so far! FYI: my tactical doctrine was already knowledgeable of 80% of the above tips, but they are all excellent for other readers who may wish to learn the same problem solving issue.. so by all means- keep them coming!!

The problem with vehicular assault screening is that damnable jumpjet move of 12" is often enough to leap over all my lines to my firewarriors rear- regardless of whats in between them, or to jumpjet off to an angle around the blocking vehicles/units to assault in a skewed angle into my ranks. Think of the assault teams moves as a two legged angle, with a single turn at the 12" point- such a broad 18" maneuver is nearly impossible to prevent with drones or tanks... theyre just not that broad.

I had a list that was heavy in Suit Plasma, vespid, and Sniper teams AND seeker missiles (cant forget those Meq auto killers!)- ideal for anti-Meq... but the problem I faced was the objective scenarios- with all the special gear in the Elite/heavy FOC slots... very few points were left for the troops slots. (damn the 5th ed tules and the lack of Tau troop choice special weaponry!!! ARGH!!). Such an Anti Meq list had only 2 troop units, and thus had no way to endure a take and hold or seize ground scenario: all the opponent has to do was kill those two units to guarantee I canNOT win. So, I altered my list to this:

3 Stealths
12 FW
12 FW
12 FW
12 FW
10 Kroot
8 Pathfinders
PF warfish+FD
2 Sniper Teams

.. thinking that the troop numbers would mean I could survive an attrition battle for a while. But now all those points went into Troops. which cant select anti meq weaponry. BOY did I miss the Seekers and plasma rifle numbers that used to be in my original list!! I would THINK that 48 pulse rifle shots all at markerlight boosted BS5 would do the job... but such a fusilade only killed 3 death company.. my first unit to obliterate aqnd light up with markerlights. After that single round of shooting during my turn 2, the assault units got stuck in (the result of a dreaded pitched battle starting line- thats what a 12" deployment+ 12+d6, 12+6 move gets them), where all 5 units of theirs split up and engaged all of my force (his 3 assault squads, the 3 surviving meatgrinders of death company, and the detached Chappie beating up a FW all by himself)while my units may have indeed been a little too close together, those 5 12+6" elbows were able to fan out quite easilly to tag them all simultaneously.

So yeah, that better defines the problems I am facing with this Blood Angel slavering, slobbering, bloodthirsty (quite literally!) assaulty army
Though I walk through the valley of the swarms of the clueless, I shall fear no idiocy, for the M-STAR flagged them 12 seconds ago, and the JDAMS are already freefalling.
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Old 26 Mar 2009, 04:50   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau list building and tactics- vs specific Blood Angel list

Sounds like you've got rotten luck mate :-\. If quantity doesn't work for you; go quality.

I would suggest min/maxing your list. It'll do two things right away. 1) It'll give you more anti-Meq/Teq dakka and 2) any FW squads that do get assualted will die fast (or be overrun in a Sweeping advance) and let you unload on the 'winner' next turn >

Minimize those FW squads (or at least reduce them to 3 of ~8) and max out on suits- mostly plasma/fusion obviously (but Firestorms could do well too although you might want Stealth don't take 'em, Stealth are for speedbumps and you want them out in the open after their 'victorious' charge)

DF's are pretty good in objective games, even if they just end up being like glorified Rhinos due to the krak/powerfists (dying instead of the troops basically) because that just makes it harder to kill 'em (FWs) than normal. Unless he devotes 2 of his squads (of higher point value probably) to destroying one of yours, he won't be able to.

If you don't get much trouble from the Dread' and Pred' combo (or have enough Railgun goodness from an XV-88 team :rockon, bring Ionhead(s). They're cheap and potentially quite mobile Meq killers.

Also drop the Sniper Drones, they look good on paper but aren't really gonna do that much

Yeah the points'll be tough to figure out but hey at least you have a willing (hopefully unsuspecting) opponent to test you list changes on.
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Old 26 Mar 2009, 07:30   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau list building and tactics- vs specific Blood Angel list

I've played bloodangles 3 times in the last month.

Tonite was my best game yet. I played full ninja Tau and although he shredded a few of my squads he was unable to take any objectives and if it went to turn 6 there was a goodchance I would have gotten one of the objectives. as I had a kroot team running towards one with nothing that could have killed them.

How many points are you playing? I'm completely sold on ninja.

I suggest you use a lot of kroot for outflanking. a gun drone squad or two for early deep strike speed bumpage. Lots of battle suits (deep strike), broadsides, and hammerheads. And a couple warfish with firewarriars inside.
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Old 26 Jun 2009, 10:48   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau list building and tactics- vs specific Blood Angel list

My primary opponent is BA. I find that even with his fast attackers, that I know how to take him down.

First the upside. No termies so no need for massive AP2/1. Also no Landraider so no need for massive Railguns.

Now on to getting some meq killing power.

Heavy support: This may seem odd but hear me out. Dedicate the heavy support to troop killing. Seeing as how the highest AV is 13/11/10 you can take 3 Ionhead with ease. That nine high str, ap3 shot and eighteen pulse shots for 390 points. Nice!

HQ: Seeing as how he doesnt deep strike any unit, Helios suits are not needed. The centurion build will aid you tremendously. With JSJ you can always end your turn 23-24' away from his AS. As for bodyguard, Fireknifes or Bladestorms are the best options. (Mathhammer gives BC only slightly lower MeQ killing power. Point for point even higher). Fill the second HQ slot with a single HQ Fireknife so he can join other squads.

Elites. Deathrain Deathrain and some more Deathrain. For 183 you have TL Fireknife with HWMT and TA with 2 Deathrains with TA. Perfect for taking out his armor. You could even add shield drones on the TL.

Troops. Just 2 FW squads of 6 inside D-fish with dp. 145 points a piece. Just keep the fish moving his 12' away from al his units or just keep them in reserve to take objectives later on.

Fast attack: With this setup you dont really need pathfinders. Most units have TWL BS 4 weapons or have BS 5. You could add a pathfinder squad. If you do so, remember to remove a d-fish from a FW squad for point purposes.

This should provide a core. If you have points left over, which you should have. You could either add MeQ killing XV8's or 100 point kroot squads (10 kroot 5 hounds) to either guard you lines or outflank to capure his points.

Last piece of advice: focus on his 30 AS. Those are his troops. If they are dead the best he could do is draw.

I hope this is a good first post and that it helps Calaban.

Edit: An other tip: focus plasma fire on the Death company. Ap2 and 1 weapons ignore feel no pain.
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