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Want to start a Tau army? - Part 2
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Old 15 Jul 2005, 11:19   #1 (permalink)
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Default Want to start a Tau army? - Part 2

Following on from the first part..

So you've build and assembled a small army from the battleforce - but what do you do next?

At this point, you should try and decide a play style you want to follow. If your not sure about this, play some games, and work out what type of army you want. Whether it be a highly mobile army, one with a lot of fire power, or one in between with a mix of both. Your play style is important in determining what you have in your army and how you build it. Typically you'd want an army that is mobile AND hard hitting, although this isn't always possible. Once you've decided on a style, you just have to pick the units you want. Other members here have kindly provided some sample army lists, for different point games - see the end of this post for those links.

A brief look at the different play styles and their associated armies.

In general, there are two play styles - Static, and Mechanized:
  • Static - Static Tau focuses on large amounts of firepower, and efficiency. This generally means - large amounts of fire warriors, and many broadsides, with crisis suits fitted with long range firepower. This army plays on the concept that you just sit back and shoot, hope the enemy doesn't reach you, and in the process, stop them from reaching objectives and eventually going for the objectives yourself.
  • Mechanized (Mech) - follows the concept that everything in the army can potentially move 12" each turn, through the use of transports for the fire warriors or jetpacks for its elite infantry. As a result, Hammerhead gunships are taken instead of broadsides, for the sole reason of mobility. This army focuses on mobility, and a large amount of armour. The high mobility comes into use with evading enemy forces, and gaining control of objectives.
  • Hybrid - Hybrid tau is a mix of Static and Mechanized Tau, effectively getting the 'best of both worlds'. Most of the time, its a Mechanized army with a Static element, in the form of broadsides and/or kroot. It more or less is a combination of high mobility and high firepower elements, that work together to achieve goals. With the large range of armour around, the static element usually doesn't receive too much attention, and so is free to pick off units and enemy tanks.

Each of these armies have their own associated tactics, a lot of which can be found under the 'Tactic Threads' section of the Important Topics. For further reading on the Mechanized Tau style, see The Guide to Mech Tau, but together by the Mechanized Tau Tactica group.

In a Tau Army, there are 3 main elements:
  • Vehicles - Tanks - Hammerheads in particular
  • Jump Infantry - Anything with a jetpack - drones, crisis suits, stealthsuits
  • Infantry - Everything else - Fire Warriors, Kroot, Broadsides etc
Note: see the 'Existing Unit Types' page in the 4th ed rulebook for the full list

This table shows each unit and their associated play style(s):
[tr][td]Hammerhead[/td][td]-[/td][td]x[/td][td]x[/td][td]Mobile Hard-Hitting firepower, Anti-everything[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Devilfish[/td][td]-[/td][td]x[/td][td]x[/td][td]Used mainly to transport Fire Warriors[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Crisis Suits[/td][td]x[/td][td]x[/td][td]x[/td][td][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Stealth Suits[/td][td]x[/td][td]x[/td][td]x[/td][td][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Fire Warriors[/td][td]x[/td][td]x[/td][td]x[/td][td][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Kroot[/td][td]x[/td][td]x[/td][td]*[/td][td](All kinds of kroot) * Depending on Mech sub-style, kroot are sometimes used, in others such as purist mech, its not used because its not mobile.[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Broadsides[/td][td]x[/td][td]x[/td][td]-[/td][td]Twin-Linked Railguns are good, but broadsides tend to get left behind, and can't move and shoot.[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Ethereal[/td][td]x[/td][td]x[/td][td]-[/td][td]Gets left behind in Mech[/td][/tr]

In my opinion, Crisis/Stealth suits, Drones, and Fire Warriors have a place in every Tau army, as they should. In each style, varying amounts of each are used, but they are used in a fairly similar manner, albeit defensively vs aggressively.

Static Army:
General Characteristics - A large amount of broadsides, and usually a lot of fire warriors too, along with some crisis suits for fire support
General Tactics - Sit back and shoot, jetpack equipped units go and take objectives etc

Mech Army:
General Characteristics - Devilfish mounted Fire warriors, everything can either infiltrate or potentially move 12" each turn
General Tactics - FOF, Railgun sniping, Devilfishes either float around in the background, or dismount firewarriors for support/anti infantry fire

Hybrid Army:
General Characteristics - Mech army with a static element, usually in the form of kroot and/or broadside(s)
General Tactics - All of the above, Broadside sits and shoots, Kroot infiltrate or support the broadside, the rest of the army works as the Mech army above.

Sample Army Lists
(Thanks to 42 for organising all these - Taken straight from the Sample Army Lists)
Mechanised Tau Sample Army Lists - http://forums.tauonline.org/index.php?topic=5975.0
Static Tau Sample Army Lists - http://forums.tauonline.org/index.php?topic=5963.0
Hybrid Tau Sample Army Lists - http://forums.tauonline.org/index.php?topic=5984.0

I think I've gone all over the place with this post, but if you've read this and had a look at the Sample Army Lists provided, it should all be useful in deciding what to get next, and why. If you have any additions/corrections, or just general comments, feel free to reply and provide your feedback.
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