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Tactica: Tau and Kill team (or: I've found something the Tau seem to be good at)
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Old 21 Mar 2010, 19:32   #1 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Tactica: Tau and Kill team (or: I've found something the Tau seem to be good at)

With the release of battle missions kill team games have become very popular in my local GW, as a consequence I have realised that the Tau may possibly be the most competitive army for a kill team game (this by and large is due to jetpacks, as explained later), the unique playing style of kill team giving the Tau an edge that other races don't get.

Below are the units I have used so far and my opinions of each of them. There are only three units I can comment on at this stage, but I intend to test out more and report on them.

Crisis battlesuits
These are probably the most useful Tau unit in a kill-team, they can carry weapons to do just about any task.

Jump-Shoot-Jumping to get behind LOS blocking cover combined with the lack of models your enemy gets in a kill-team game means that your opponent will have a complete nightmare trying to get a shot on them, this will be the undoing of any opponent that relies on long range firepower. And against an opponent that relies on assaulting the jetpacks will allow you to put valuable extra distance between you and them.

Furthermore they can take the best advantage, of any unit, of the kill-team special rule that allows you to split the fire from one model across a range of targets. If your suit has a mix of weapons they can split their fire accordingly to do the most damage which means that if the suit is equipped appropriately they can potentially take down a few enemies a turn.

No matter what else you have you can always benefit from having one to add special weapons that cover the rest of the team's weaknesses, such as adding a missile pod or fusion blaster that can take down the occasional vehicle you will encounter. Or maybe a plasma rifle for taking heavier armoured infantry.

However, in my opinion crisis suits really come into their own when you take a full team of three of them. You will have a kill team that if played right can almost completely deprive your opponent of making any attacks, shooting or close combat. With the sheer variety of the battlesuit armoury you can make a kill team capable of taking on any foe, be it mass infantry, a small squad of terminators or even the occasional one tank kill team. Personally I think the best all rounder kill team of crisis suits is three fireknife suits, I know that normally these are quite controversial because the weapons are for different purposes but this becomes a non-issue in kill team, because splitting fire means you can use the plasma rifle to fry anything that gets to close then use the missile pod to shoot at a further away enemy.

Fire warriors
Fire warriors are very useful in kill team for taking on light to medium infantry, if placed right the superior range of their pulse rifles will allow them two turns of strength 5 shooting against most infantry units before your opponent can get close enough to shoot back. Fire warriors should never have pulse carbines in kill team because pinning is going to do you no good whatsoever. If the enemy gets into rapid fire range they can cause a lot of damage but if it reaches this point you should probably take steps to prevent the enemy from being able to charge them. Fire warriors are probably best taken in a small team and used to support something else using covering fire.

Vespids
I know there will be comments about this but actually vespids are quite useful here, but only if they are kept hidden from LOS in cover and used to counter anything that gets too close. They are good for this task thanks to their AP3 guns and if that fails they can charge the enemy to tie them up while important units move further away.

However, I must say that when used in this way vespids are quite fragile, so on the turn in which they expose themselves if you cannot position them in cover to do their shooting (or if the enemy has flamers) I would strongly recommend that you get them into combat, at least that way they have a chance of getting away alive if they go on to win that combat on an enemy turn, allowing you to move them to safety during your subsequent turn. I know this is a fairly big "if" but believe me, they will get mown down quickly if you leave them exposed.

One other useful thing about vespids is the leadership of 9 that the strain leader has, this can really come in handy when you have to take your leadership test every turn if you get below half strength.

Kroot
Kroot can be very handy in a kill team, for the simple reason that they can infiltrate. It can really make the enemy deploy cautiously when he doesn't know where half your kill team will turn up.

My advice for using them would be to infiltrate them behind a something that blocks line of sight in such a way that they can easily get within line of sight from within cover (buildings being good for this generally), if this is impossible just put them in cover. Then wait for the enemy to get near before you jump out to rapid fire them. Unless the enemy has some seriously good guns you should always rapid fire rather than charge because at least when the enemy shoots back the kroot can get a cover save, and should the enemy charge them they will strike first.

Stealth teams
Stealth suits can be used in kill teams in much the same way as crisis suits. You jump them in and out of cover and shoot at whatever's nearest/poses the biggest threat to you.

If you want to give them a support system I would recommend targeting arrays because of the increased importance of killing whatever is nearest. This will mean that two of the three shots from each of their burst cannons will hit on average.

They also come with infiltrate which means you can deploy them knowing where they are able to do the most damage, knowing exactly where the enemy is. And it allows them to position themselves so that the enemy can't draw a LOS to them.

Kill teams I have tested:

3 Fireknife battlesuits
This is one extremely effective kill team. The plasma rifles are excellent against targets with heavier armour and the missile pods add more shots for when the foe is lighter armoured and there are more of them, and can do damage at a greater range. And with jetpacks you can make it very hard for your opponent to attack back.

1 fireknife suit, 6 fire warriors, 4 vespids
Quite effective, the long range firepower from the fire warriors means that the enemy is forced to advance, at which point they are met with concentrated high AP fire from the vespids and battlesuit.

3 stealthsuits with burst cannons and targeting arrays, 10 kroot
Very effective kill team. The ability to infiltrate the whole kill team proved very useful as it was easy to deploy so that the enemy couldn't see any of them. Best deployed all relatively near to each other then keep JSJing with the stealthsuits to force the enemy to advance. Then, when the enemy is in range, jump out with the kroot and rapid fire with their rifles, between them they should do a fair bit of damage.

Further notes:

Markerlights
Needless to say, these are useless in a kill-team because they can only effect one model at a time.

Specialists
Below are a few good special rules to give to certain units:

Crisis suits:

Infiltrate- This will allow a crisis suit to position itself in a good position, and with the knowledge of where the enemy has deployed to make it easier to JSJ.

Eternal warrior and Feel no pain- Both of these will increase the survivability of crisis battlesuits, but in different ways.

Vespids

Hit and run- Allows the vespid to charge an enemy to tie them up then break off at the end of an enemy turn to make good their escape into cover during yours.

Special rules are probably wasted on fire warriors but if you have one going spare you could give one relentless or move through cover.

I'm hoping to update this as I play more kill-team games.


Nice write up +1 GF

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Old 21 Mar 2010, 20:48   #2 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Tactica: Tau and Kill team (or: I've found something the Tau seem to be good at)

You mentioned markerlights being useless. What about 1 markerlight for say, a crisis suit with burst cannon, missile pod, HW Multi Tracker and drone controller with 2 gun drones? 7 shots boosted or is that a bit much?
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Old 21 Mar 2010, 21:01   #3 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Tactica: Tau and Kill team (or: I've found something the Tau seem to be good at)

It'll only boost one model's shots against one other model.

At that scale its going to be more points efficient just to get another gun on the table.
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Old 21 Mar 2010, 23:43   #4 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Tactica: Tau and Kill team (or: I've found something the Tau seem to be good at)

Ah, gotcha. I guess markerlights would only be useful with a seeker missile? Sorry for these questions if they seem stupid, don't have a copy of the battle missions.
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Old 21 Mar 2010, 23:47   #5 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Tactica: Tau and Kill team (or: I've found something the Tau seem to be good at)

Even then not so much, given how few vehicles you are likely to encounter in kill-team games.
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Old 22 Mar 2010, 02:49   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tactica: Tau and Kill team (or: I've found something the Tau seem to be good at)

I think the Stealth USR can be used quite nicely by XV9'x as well. Especially a more support orientated suit.
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Old 22 Mar 2010, 17:19   #7 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Tactica: Tau and Kill team (or: I've found something the Tau seem to be good at)

Could be, but its not that hard to block LOS altogether if they deploy well.

If playing on a board with cover that isn't tall enough to completely conceal you, then yes.
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Old 22 Mar 2010, 18:05   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tactica: Tau and Kill team (or: I've found something the Tau seem to be good at)

I really love the Tau in Kill Team, though we don't have any super-cheese tricks (like, say, a Vendetta with Vets), we have many different tricks we can pull.

Besides what Commander X has listed, I've found a few interesting tricks myself.

Demo Army List 1:

4x pathfinders (Relentless, SnP, and your choice of Stealth or FnP on the last)
-Fully-kitted Devilfish with two Seeker Missiles

Start the game with one of the Pathfinders in the Devilfish and scout move it. Relentless one is best for this, since he can dismount and fire the markerlight on your opening turn. Just make sure to keep your distance and target meltaguns first.

Demo Army List 2:

5x Stealth Suits (Targeting Arrays, specialists are really your choice)
Alternate: 6x Stealth Suit, Team leader w/ 1x Shield Drone

Infiltrate in close, abuse shot allocation to put one shot at each target in range (double up if there aren't enough targets), and jump out to make firing back a true nightmare. A Fusion Stealth with Tank Hunter is a rather fierce way to stop enemies who seek to abuse Armor in this format.

Stealth teams are present in most of my Kill Teams, whether it's the 5-man all-Stealth team or a 3-man support for something else i the 90-point range. Also on things the Tau can do here is actually form units in Kill Team, since the Drones you buy will tag along with the one who bought them as wargear. Shield Drones are one of only ways in the format to avoid just picking up models when an enemy fires Plasma or a Lascannon. The only downside is that we are limited to 0-1 Elites, which means we can't do both Stealth and Crisis in the same list.

I'm working on my main list still, it's going through a lot of revision, but I'll put it up when I write a full version
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Old 22 Mar 2010, 19:00   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tactica: Tau and Kill team (or: I've found something the Tau seem to be good at)

I recently played 2 killteam games against a fellow space wolves player, it was the mission from the new rule book that just came out, at 200pts each. My army? All Stealthsuits. The 1 difference was Team Leader + HW Drone controller and a gun drone, + fusion blaster. JSJ your way to victory, as you can practically never be assaulted, and the sheer volume of shots they put out, dominates small marine teams at that level.
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Old 22 Mar 2010, 19:16   #10 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Tactica: Tau and Kill team (or: I've found something the Tau seem to be good at)

My local store's gaming night is on thursdays,

on the next one I'm thinking about testing a stealth team only force.
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