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Tau Playstyles Outlined
View Poll Results: Which of these ways of war do you most commonly use?
Static 5 4.46%
Hybrid 65 58.04%
Mechanized 31 27.68%
Ninja 11 9.82%
Voters: 112. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 17 Apr 2009, 21:06   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Tau Playstyles Outlined

So, to kick off, we have the first tactic that many 40k players fall upon when they see the light of the Greater Good.

Static Tau:
This basically involves lots of firepower, and not a lot of movement. Many Static lists include XV88 Broadsides as opposed to Hammerheads, and lots of Pulse Rifle Fire Warriors as opposed to Pulse Carbine Fire Warriors.

This tactic is almost useless when faced with objectives, cityfight and any other board with lots of scenery that allow the enemy to approach in relative safety.

Some of the ways to beat this tactic include Deep Striking Assault units and firepower that does not require LOS, such as those pesky Basilisks.


Next, we have one tactic that often follows on from Static and is, in my opinion, the most versatile.

Hybrid Tau:

This involves some static firepower and some mobile firepower, using a mixture of, for example, Broadsides and Hammerheads, as opposed to using one or the other.

One tactic for Hybrid is Kauyon (Patient Hunter), this requires setting up an ambush for your opponent, so either using your mobile firepower to draw the enemy back to your static line, or by using your static line as a lure, then flanking the enemy with your mobile firepower.

As said, this is very versatile, so is not particularly stumped by many mission types.
If we take a mission with objectives as an example, we could have the mobile units taking the objectives, while the static line gives covering fire, or helps get the enemy off of their objectives.


Next, we move onto a very difficult (and rather expensive) way of war.

Mechanised (Mech) Tau:

This (as I'm sure you can probably tell) involves units that are all able to move quickly, such as battlesuits, and PCFW (Pulse Carbine Fire Warriors) mounted in Devilfish, so that they can move to counter threats as they form.

I find that Mech Tau is very good in Cityfight scenarios, as it is very fast. Because of this speed, they can get in closer to the enemy, so Crisis Suits may be fitted with closer ranged weapons, such as Plasma Rifles, Fusion Blasters and occasionally flamers.

This can be defeated by either a faster force, or by a solid and well aimed counter attack, or even a brick wall of a static line (not that bricks would really stop Plasma, but you know what I mean).


Finally, we move onto a relatively new tactic.

Ninja Tau:

Now, Ninja Tau is a very fast, reactive and precise army to control.
It can be infuriating to be shot at by a Stealth team, which rips apart one of your squads; then, you go to shoot back but guess what? You can't see them.

Deep Striking is a common tactic to use with Ninja Tau, as you can rain down firepower from where it is unexpected.
In some cases, I have seen a squad of Crisis Suits DSed behind a defensive line, they are shot and survived, meanwhile, everything else in the Tau army advances. Hammerheads, when upgraded, can still move a full 12" and fire their Railgun, a very useful thing to have. Its a shame we lost the Skimmers Moving Fast USR, but we should be able to make up for it with coordination and precision.

I hope that this has given you a brief (yet concise) overview of the 4 main tactics for Tau Players.

[hr]

EDIT: I forgot the army lists, so here they are: (in possibly the longest edit ever)

Sorry if some of the points costs are a bit off, as I have lost my Codex (!!!) so am using my memory (or lack of, so it may seem) to guestimate the points values.

Here are some 1000 point sample army lists:


Static:

HQ: Shas'el with Missile Pod and Plasma Rifle and Multitracker - 85

Elites: 3 XV8 Crisis, one Shas'vre, all with Twin Missile Pod, Multitracker and HWTL - 199

Troops: 12 Fire Warriors with a Shas'ui upgrade - 130
12 Fire Warriors with a Shas'ui upgrade - 130
12 Fire Warriors with a Shas'ui upgrade - 130

Heavy Support: 2 XV88 Broadside with a Shas'vre upgrade, both with Multitrackers and HWTL - 174
Skyray Gunship with Decoy Launchers and Blacksun filter - 150

Total - 998


[hr]


Hybrid:

HQ: Shas'el with Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Multitracker - 85 points

Elite: 3 XV25 Stealth Suits - 90
2 XV8 Crisis Suits both with Missile Pod, Flamer, Multitracker and Target Lock - 140

Troops: 10 Fire Warriors with a Shas'ui upgrade - 110 (Pulse Carbine)
10 Fire Warriors with a Shas'ui upgrade - 110 (Pulse Rifle)

Fast Attack: Pirahna with Fusion Blaster and 2 Seeker Missiles - 85
5 Pathfinders with a Shas'ui upgrade - 70
6 Gun Drones - 72

Heavy Support: XV88 Broadside Shas'vre with Shield Generator - 100
Hammerhead with Ion Cannon, Burst Cannons and Targetting Array - 135

Total - 997 points


[hr]


Mechanized:

HQ: Shas'el with Fusion Blaster, Cyclic Ion Blaster, HWMT and Targetting Array - 90 points

Elites: 5 XV25 Stealth Suits - 150 points

Troops: 10 Fire Warriors with Shas'ui - 110 (Pulse Carbine)
10 Fire Warriors with Shas'ui - 110 (Pulse Carbine)
10 Fire Warriors with Shas'ui - 110 (Pulse Carbine)
Devilfish with Decoy Launchers - 85
Devilfish with Decoy Launchers - 85
Devilfish with Decoy Launchers - 85

Heavy Support: Hammerhead with Railgun, Decoy Launchers and Targetting array - 170

Total - 995 points


[hr]


Ninja: I apologise in advance, I'm not amazing with Ninja lists at present.

HQ: Shas'el with Plasma Rifle, Fusion Blaster, Positional Relay and HWMT - 103?

Elite: 5 XV25 Stealth Suits - 150
5 XV25 Stealth Suits - 150
2 XV8 Crisis Suits, both with TL Plasma Rifle - 108

Troops: 20 Kroot Carnivores - 140
12 Fire Warriors with a Shas'ui upgrade - 120
Devilfish with Decoy Launchers - 85

Fast Attack: 6 Gun Drones - 72
6 Gun Drones - 72

Total: 1000 points


[hr]


- LordZanuu
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Old 17 Apr 2009, 21:57   #2 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Tau Playstyles Outlined

I think playing static Tau under the current rules set is something of a suicidal death trap. Tau infantry dont have the survivability or the number to stand and shoot. So I think you're going to see very few gunline Tau players.

Hybrid Tau is probably going to be the most common. It's the best way to make sure that you've got enough guns in your army to deal enough wounds to take down your opponent. It's pretty good. It's got some weaknesses but all in all it's solid against the other 4th edition books and against people who dont really take full advantage of the 5th edition books as vs. the 4th edition books.

Mech Tau is pretty solid. Our vehicles are pretty darn survivable now that 5th edition has rolled around. I play mech tau with a lot of crisis suits. My fire warriors never leave the fish unless it's an absolute emergency. They're just not strong survivable enough of a scoring unit unless you leave them in the devilfish at all times. So I leave the fire warriors in a devilfish and I let the crisis suits and the hammerheads or stealth suits and hammerheads do all the killing.

I find the idea of ninja Tau to be something of an abstraction. We're not really doing anything that other armies cant do a little bit better. Granted the positional relay is pretty nice, but the problem is that if you're depending the relay to call in your reserves you're going to find yourself with VERY few guys on the table at any given point in the game. I like to use this tactic in the first round of dawn of war deployment type games. My opponent will have very few units deployed in the first turn and usually as far forward as possible. I will have nothing. Then everything deploys in the first turn and I have my entire army able to shoot at just a couple of his most forward units. It can really put a hurting on my opponent. But all in all I don't buy into the "Ninja Tau" philosophy. It seems to me like sort of a cheap parlor trick that can back fire pretty easily.
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Old 17 Apr 2009, 22:06   #3 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Tau Playstyles Outlined

Quote:
This (as I'm sure you can probably tell) involves units that are all able to move quickly, such as battlesuits, and PCFW (Pulse Carbine Fire Warriors) mounted in Devilfish, so that they can move to counter threats as they form.
Pulse carbines, I have found, are not taken in any playstyle and are only useful in a couple tactics. Other than that, nice summary.

The way I see it

Static = Setting up a firebase that stays in your deployment zone, shooting any threats.
Best units for the tactic: Fire Warriors, Broadsides, and Ethereals*
*only useful if you can keep him alive

Mech = Outrunning your opponent by taking nothing that moves less than 12" a turn.
Best units for the tactic: Devilfishes, Crisis suits, and Hammerheads

Ninja = Keeping most of your units in reserves, making use of the positional relay, and bringing a large amount of units in on the final turn
Best units for the tactic: Gun Drones, Crisis/Stealth Teams, and Pathfinder Devilfishes

Hybrid = A playstyle that combines any/all the above playstyles. A Hybrid list may have a static Broadside Firebase, a mobile Devilfish + Firewarrior team, and a deepstriking crisis team.


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Old 17 Apr 2009, 22:42   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau Playstyles Outlined

I play a mechanized list with a small unit of 6 pathfinders to focus fire put in their. This is mechanized style of play with a lot of skimmers and only one battlesuit for 1000 points.

Did static ever work?

Also the hammerhead in the mechanized list is illegal it at least needs burst cannons.
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Old 17 Apr 2009, 22:48   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau Playstyles Outlined

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Wu
Did static ever work?
it worked about as much as you could expect any static line to work (maybe a bit better but not much). against an enemy capable of keeping you back for 5 turns you lose, against an enemy that starts on the board and has a few expensive units rather than a ton of inexpensive, you'd do well, maybe even win if you did it earlier enough or were able to move something enough to be able to take objectives.
On average though... I'd say no.
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Old 17 Apr 2009, 23:22   #6 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Tau Playstyles Outlined

Quote:
Insert Quote
I play a mechanized list with a small unit of 6 pathfinders to focus fire put in their. This is mechanized style of play with a lot of skimmers and only one battlesuit for 1000 points.

Did static ever work?
Your not playing a Mech list, your playing a hybrid list. Static worked okay in 4th edition, but with all these extremely fast armies, it has lost most (if not all) of its edge.
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Old 17 Apr 2009, 23:30   #7 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Tau Playstyles Outlined

I would do static if I could pull it off, but I agree that it just isn;t doable except in maybe a city fight... but that is a big maybe.
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Old 17 Apr 2009, 23:51   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau Playstyles Outlined

Hey… you forgot about AggroTau.
I can't vote for it if it's not an option up there…
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Old 18 Apr 2009, 03:42   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau Playstyles Outlined

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravager Zero
Hey… you forgot about AggroTau.
I can't vote for it if it's not an option up there…
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that where you want to get into CC using units like O'Shovah and Kroot (Not at the same time, obviously)? Or is it where you just have units moving quickly to get into their face to dish out loads of fire-power? I find either of these tend to not work very well. Getting too close to an army that has any sort of CC capabilities will destroy you by the end of turn 3 or 4. Though, it does have some advantages with running Fusion blasters and Plasma rifles on crisis suits.

I personally like a hybrid army, with always running a full squad of Kroot (20 and 12) and a Full squad of XV15s. I run it leaning heavily towards the mobility and sometimes unpredictability of 'Suits.
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Old 18 Apr 2009, 04:40   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau Playstyles Outlined

I was actually about to mention Agro-Tau, but it seems me more like a variation of Mech than its own playstyle.
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