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What do competitive (tournament and Grand Tournament) Tau Lists usually look?
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Old 30 Dec 2009, 07:14   #1 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default What do competitive (tournament and Grand Tournament) Tau Lists usually look?

I'm curious. Since I'm planning to start going to more serious tournaments with my Tau (which, frankly, is the army I have the most experience in), I'm curious as to what most lists look like, and possibly gauge what I should put into my army case on such occasions.

HQ - I'm going to assume most go for a single battlesuit commander, usually a Shas'O (for the Ballistic skill and leadership) or the Shas'El (to save points). Probably Fireknife or Deathrain?

Elites - Probably the biggest concern for a lot of Tau players: What in the world do you fill your precious Elite slots with? As I've said in previous posts, I typically go with at least one squad of Stealthsuits and Twin-Linked Plasma Rifle (+ shield generator) Battlesuits, but I've been called a 'nub' before with that configuration.

Troops - The rather disappointing discussion about our Troops (well, in my opinion anyway) leads me to believe that Firewarriors don't cut it in really any sort of mission. In tournaments where both Objectives AND kill points matter, I find it difficult to choose betwen Firewarriors or Kroot. I have typically fielded four squads of Firewarriors (sometimes six) in the past for holding objectives and laying down an impressive swarm of S5 firepower. On the other hand, I keep hearing that Kroot are more tactically flexible and viable.

Fast Attack - To be honest, I never leave home without my trusted Pathfinder teams. Not sure if I would want to nab three squads of them (as this would deny me a slot for, say, Pirahnas, which are decent tank killers, from some personal experience). Alternately, I could field a squad of Gun Drones (or two). I've used them to harass my enemy before and block valueable lanes of assault.

Heavy Support - One of the Tau's more important sections. I've never had luck with Sniper Drones, so they'll likely stay at home. I'm not sure if I want one squad of Broadsides and Two Hammerheads, or Two Squads of Broadsides and a single Hammerhead (or hell, three squads of Broadsides, leaving the Anti-infantry/anti-horde to my firewarriors). I've never used a Skyray myself, but if someone can vouch for it's tactical use, I might use one.

Any thoughts and suggestions?
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Old 30 Dec 2009, 18:44   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: What do competitive (tournament and Grand Tournament) Tau Lists usually look?

Quote:
I'm curious. Since I'm planning to start going to more serious tournaments with my Tau (which, frankly, is the army I have the most experience in), I'm curious as to what most lists look like, and possibly gauge what I should put into my army case on such occasions.
Well hello there. Let me help you out with this. I've built some pretty competitive Tau lists. However, I've gotta be honest with you up front. There's a lot of lists that are much more competitive that in the current tourney circuit will tear apart just about any Tau list. However! If your opponents are taking more balanced lists you should be able to play an evenly matched game and prevail.

Quote:
HQ - I'm going to assume most go for a single battlesuit commander, usually a Shas'O (for the Ballistic skill and leadership) or the Shas'El (to save points). Probably Fireknife or Deathrain?
There's 2 ways to build an HQ that I've found to be effective. 1) A shas'el as cheap as possible with shield drones or 2) A Shas'O that's got 2 bodyguards and almost every upgrade under the sun.

1) Generally speaking you'll wanna go with option 1. The Cheap Shas'el will be able to add fire support where ever you need him for a reasonable price and he'll leave all sorts of extra points so that you can take important things for your army. Generally speaking I find Helios to be the best configuration, with a targeting array and 2 shield drones. The Shas'el ends up being cheap with a great ballistic skill, durable, and can kill tough targets whether they're marines, vehicles or terminators.

2) This option is a little more complicated and risky but A LOT of fun when it works. Basically take a Shas'o give him a shield generator, 2 shield drones, a stim injector and iridium armor. Then, you take 2 bodyguards in any configuration as long as they've got 2 shield drones. The situation this creates is very interesting. When you allocate wounds to the Crisis Suit squadron you end up with several 4 individual wound groups. You've got the Commander with his 2+ save, His Shield Drones who also have a 2+ save, the bodyguards with their 3+ save and their shield drones with their 3+ save. So you can allocate wounds to whichever group has the best chance of saving those wounds. This unit is extremely difficult to kill and will generally absorb an insanely disproportionate amount of fire relative to their battlefield presence. If you wanna make them harder to kill then take another Shas'o or Shas'el with 2 shield drones and have him join the squad. It's a huge point sink but your opponent wont be able to ignore them due to the fact that depending on your configuration they can lay down a great deal of fire power. But anything short of a strength 8 or higher blast template will take a LONG time to whittle this squad done. I usually take them in fun games but I've found them to be pretty competetive.

Quote:
Elites - Probably the biggest concern for a lot of Tau players: What in the world do you fill your precious Elite slots with? As I've said in previous posts, I typically go with at least one squad of Stealthsuits and Twin-Linked Plasma Rifle (+ shield generator) Battlesuits, but I've been called a 'nub' before with that configuration.
Shield generator is a reasonably worthless configuration these days in my opinion. With the availability of 4+ cover saves it's easy enough to get a 4+ save without taking a 20 point piece of equipment. I generally find the best configuration is to take 3 crisis suits all armed with the same twinlinked weapon (plasma or missile pods), a drone controller and 2 shield drones each. They're very effective and very durable. They also give accurate fire power that doesn't require a great deal of marker light support. You can actually use any marker lights in your army to get rid of cover saves.

be right back to finish the rest...
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Old 30 Dec 2009, 19:29   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: What do competitive (tournament and Grand Tournament) Tau Lists usually look?

As for your heavies, I would suggest the 2 Railheads and 3 XV88s. Its a good mix of all out firepower and anti infantry killiness.
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Old 30 Dec 2009, 19:52   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: What do competitive (tournament and Grand Tournament) Tau Lists usually look?

My own limited tournament experience is that Tau will do reasonably well but are very unlikely to overwhelm the opponents frequently enough to do very well. I win more than I lose but that is not enough to do well. There are some armies I constantly struggle against. Plague marines with double lash in objective games being one of them. Either way, a Tau army should do reasonably well but I would be very surprised to see one win a very competitive tournament without a huge amount of luck. On the bright side, I cannot remember the last time I lost a kill point game!

The type of army you select really depends on your play style. That is probably the most important ingredient. Have an army that you enjoy using and can play it well.
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Old 31 Dec 2009, 09:29   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: What do competitive (tournament and Grand Tournament) Tau Lists usually look?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedibean
Quote:
I'm curious. Since I'm planning to start going to more serious tournaments with my Tau (which, frankly, is the army I have the most experience in), I'm curious as to what most lists look like, and possibly gauge what I should put into my army case on such occasions.
Well hello there. Let me help you out with this. I've built some pretty competitive Tau lists. However, I've gotta be honest with you up front. There's a lot of lists that are much more competitive that in the current tourney circuit will tear apart just about any Tau list. However! If your opponents are taking more balanced lists you should be able to play an evenly matched game and prevail.
I appreciate the insight. It does seem like we've been hit by the 5th Ed and Codex Creep double-whammy, huh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedibean
Quote:
HQ - I'm going to assume most go for a single battlesuit commander, usually a Shas'O (for the Ballistic skill and leadership) or the Shas'El (to save points). Probably Fireknife or Deathrain?
There's 2 ways to build an HQ that I've found to be effective. 1) A shas'el as cheap as possible with shield drones or 2) A Shas'O that's got 2 bodyguards and almost every upgrade under the sun.

1) Generally speaking you'll wanna go with option 1. The Cheap Shas'el will be able to add fire support where ever you need him for a reasonable price and he'll leave all sorts of extra points so that you can take important things for your army. Generally speaking I find Helios to be the best configuration, with a targeting array and 2 shield drones. The Shas'el ends up being cheap with a great ballistic skill, durable, and can kill tough targets whether they're marines, vehicles or terminators.

2) This option is a little more complicated and risky but A LOT of fun when it works. Basically take a Shas'o give him a shield generator, 2 shield drones, a stim injector and iridium armor. Then, you take 2 bodyguards in any configuration as long as they've got 2 shield drones. The situation this creates is very interesting. When you allocate wounds to the Crisis Suit squadron you end up with several 4 individual wound groups. You've got the Commander with his 2+ save, His Shield Drones who also have a 2+ save, the bodyguards with their 3+ save and their shield drones with their 3+ save. So you can allocate wounds to whichever group has the best chance of saving those wounds. This unit is extremely difficult to kill and will generally absorb an insanely disproportionate amount of fire relative to their battlefield presence. If you wanna make them harder to kill then take another Shas'o or Shas'el with 2 shield drones and have him join the squad. It's a huge point sink but your opponent wont be able to ignore them due to the fact that depending on your configuration they can lay down a great deal of fire power. But anything short of a strength 8 or higher blast template will take a LONG time to whittle this squad done. I usually take them in fun games but I've found them to be pretty competetive.
Hm. The first suggestion definitely has merit, and I might consider it, though I would likely switch it out with Fireknife pattern, or keep the Deathrain pattern. Not sure on that yet. HOWEVER, I especially like the second suggestion, making a balls-hard unit to destroy that's laying down an impressive amount of firepower on the move. I think of good Fireknife configuration would be awesome in that regard. You would end up with multiple wound categories:

Shas'O (Shield Generator, Shield Drones, Iridium Armor, Stimulant Injector, Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Hard-Wired Multi-Tracker) 2+/4++
Shield Drones (Controlled by Shas'O) 2+/4++
Shas'vre Bodyguard 1 (Shield Generator, Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Hard-wired Multi-tracker, Shield Drones) 3+/4++
Shield Drones (Controlled by Bodyguard 1) 3+/4++
Shas'vre Bodyguard 2 (Shield Generator, Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Hard-wired Multi-Tracker, Shield Drones, Target Lock) 3+/4++
Shield Drones (Controlled by Bodyguard 2) 3+/4++
Second Shas'O (Shield Generator, Shield Drones, Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Hard-Wired Multi-Tracker) 3+/4++
Shield Drones (Controlled by Second Shas'O) 3+/4++

Typically, you would think that all of the 3+/4++ drones would roll their wounds collectively. However, because two drones are linked to a particular battlesuit, one would think that you could allocate differently because they are still 'different', just not in wargear. I'm not sure how the BBB dictates on this however.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedibean
Quote:
Elites - Probably the biggest concern for a lot of Tau players: What in the world do you fill your precious Elite slots with? As I've said in previous posts, I typically go with at least one squad of Stealthsuits and Twin-Linked Plasma Rifle (+ shield generator) Battlesuits, but I've been called a 'nub' before with that configuration.
Shield generator is a reasonably worthless configuration these days in my opinion. With the availability of 4+ cover saves it's easy enough to get a 4+ save without taking a 20 point piece of equipment. I generally find the best configuration is to take 3 crisis suits all armed with the same twinlinked weapon (plasma or missile pods), a drone controller and 2 shield drones each. They're very effective and very durable. They also give accurate fire power that doesn't require a great deal of marker light support. You can actually use any marker lights in your army to get rid of cover saves.

be right back to finish the rest...
I particularly like this idea, as all that really needs to change on my currently existing suits is maybe a switch on wargear and whatnot, since they are accompanied by Shield Drones anyway (msot of the time anyway). Keeping the Twin-Plasma-Rifle guys (or switching them to Fireknives) allows me some massive MEQ destruction, especially if I hide one of these squads behind the big, tough HQ, giving the weaker guys a cover save.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Man They Call Jayne
As for your heavies, I would suggest the 2 Railheads and 3 XV88s. Its a good mix of all out firepower and anti infantry killiness.
Hm, good idea. I'll definitely go with that, then. If things don't work, I can switch out one of the Railheads for 3 more XV88s.
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Old 31 Dec 2009, 20:48   #6 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: What do competitive (tournament and Grand Tournament) Tau Lists usually look?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Man They Call Jayne
As for your heavies, I would suggest the 2 Railheads and 3 XV88s. Its a good mix of all out firepower and anti infantry killiness.
Jayne Pretty much hit the nail on the head with his heavy support suggestion. From the right position broadsides can kill any vehicle it can see. The Hammerheads will give you the blast templates and smart missiles that can keep hordes at bay. Also, they can be substitute vehicle killers if the situation calls for it.

Quote:
Fast Attack - To be honest, I never leave home without my trusted Pathfinder teams. Not sure if I would want to nab three squads of them (as this would deny me a slot for, say, Pirahnas, which are decent tank killers, from some personal experience). Alternately, I could field a squad of Gun Drones (or two). I've used them to harass my enemy before and block valueable lanes of assault.
Pathfinders are the only really worthwhile fast attack in a competetive list. I would suggest 2 squads. 3 Squads is way too many. You're going to find yourself with a lot of points spent on pathfinders and not enough guys to actually take advantage of all of those marker lights.
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Old 31 Dec 2009, 21:05   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: What do competitive (tournament and Grand Tournament) Tau Lists usually look?

Its the Heavy Support that i always take. I set up one Railhead in each corner so the front armor facing covers the entire enemy deployment zone, then set up the 3 XV88s as centrally as possible, leaving enough space so that they can run back if they have too. Have a firewarrior screen or kroot screen for a bit of anti charge protection.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Circus
It is (and this is an objective statement, looking at examples over the last century) really ****ing hard to terrorise the British.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shas'o Ahab
In parting, I've discovered why Farsight started his breakaway faction...
*Farsight looks at Dawn Blade* "Shiny..."*Farsight picks up Dawn Blade and looks around* "... let's be bad guys."
Quote:
Originally Posted by The man they call Waffles
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Old 31 Dec 2009, 22:03   #8 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: What do competitive (tournament and Grand Tournament) Tau Lists usually look?

If I take a team of 3 broadsides then I'll put them as centrally as possible just like you and I'll put them on a high piece of terrain. Preferably a multi-level building. This way you'll be able to see and hit the entire battlefield as well as having a vertical buffer against any units that are trying to charge you. It works really well.
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Old 31 Dec 2009, 22:39   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: What do competitive (tournament and Grand Tournament) Tau Lists usually look?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedibean
If I take a team of 3 broadsides then I'll put them as centrally as possible just like you and I'll put them on a high piece of terrain. Preferably a multi-level building. This way you'll be able to see and hit the entire battlefield as well as having a vertical buffer against any units that are trying to charge you. It works really well.
Ah, you're a TA fan then? I like the a.s.s. myself. I find myself running/walking briskly around the field more often than not.
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Old 01 Jan 2010, 02:35   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: What do competitive (tournament and Grand Tournament) Tau Lists usually look?

Im a Shield Gen fan for 88s as they are always swifltly targeted by my opponants Skyhammer formation. Thats a squadron of 2 vendetta gunships that scout over to my 88s, drop the Plasma wielding Veterans from inside them, and then wipe out my best anti tank unit before it ever gets to fire.

So a 4+ invun is a must.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Circus
It is (and this is an objective statement, looking at examples over the last century) really ****ing hard to terrorise the British.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shas'o Ahab
In parting, I've discovered why Farsight started his breakaway faction...
*Farsight looks at Dawn Blade* "Shiny..."*Farsight picks up Dawn Blade and looks around* "... let's be bad guys."
Quote:
Originally Posted by The man they call Waffles
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