Tau Empire Codex 2013 | Army Builder Program
Dark Angels Codex 2013
Chaos Daemons Codex 2013
Chaos Space Marines Codex 2012

Warhammer 40k Forum Tau Online


Warhammer 40K Forum

Tau Questions
Old 18 Aug 2010, 17:03   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 3
Default Tau Questions

Hi there everyone, I have played warhammer fantasy for quite a few years and have a couple armies. I have decided to give 40k a try. Now in fantasy I tend to enjoy the "elitest" armies over the horde armies. Woodelfs being my main 7th edition army as I enjoy high maneuverability and shooting.

I have pretty much come down to two armies I think I would enjoy in 40k, Tau or Eldar. I am looking for some unbiased opinions and contrast of the two... As of now I am leaning more towards Tau as I love the battlesuits big ships etc as that is what I want in a 40k game. I will probably end up playing at tournaments eventually as I enjoy doing so in fantasy. Everyone at the LGS's around here are pointing me away from Tau, I'm just trying to get some input from the experts here.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Koopa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18 Aug 2010, 18:43   #2 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 15
Default Re: Tau Questions

Hey, and welcome to the cadre, koopa.

To be perfectly honest and direct. Tau are extremely underpowered. They have probably the biggest weakness in the entirety of 5th edition, they cannot CC, even the elites have a hard time. Tau are fragile, have poor anti-MEQ vaiety (marine equivalent killers), and our most important units can get very very expensive. Talking strictly what is best in tournaments, you're looking at Imperial Guard, or a variation of Space Marines. The stat comparisons and side-by-side comparisons show that most SM or IG troops are cheaper, stronger, and more versatile than the average Tau unit.

Not to be all doom and gloom, here is the silver lining.
Tau have the potential to be a top tier army. We have one of the best, if not the best anti-vehicle/anti-MonstrousCreature unit in the game.
Our HQ is probably, pt for pt, the most economically powerful HQ in the game.
We have Markerlights. Markerlights are probably the best wargear in the game.
And, we have disruption pods for our vehicles. 5pts to give them a +4 cover save. Amazing wargear.
We also have a lot of interesting abilities conferred by units and wargear that virtually no other unit in the game has.

Now, to get into detail, I'll explain what some of these things are.
#1: heavy support: Broadside xv88s with twinlinked S10A1 railguns. Must take stabilizers! Give yourself movement while firing this heavy, ridiculous cannon.
#2: Shield drones: Take 2 with your broadside units. Take 1 or 2 with you HQ. Give them to your crisis suits and anything expensive, they are well worth it.
#3: HQ, always take Shas'el over Shas'o. The only real difference is one wound and +1BS, and you can add a BS for 10pts.
#4: Pathfinders. Take as many as possible. Always. Forget the rail rifles, just straight up pathfinders. These guys not only have an S5A5 gun that pins, but they have markerlights which are unsaveable and don't require a wound roll. If they hit, they hit. The markerlights are then used to increase the ballistics skill of a unit firing at the target, remove cover from the unit, provide night vision, lower leadership, etc. These things turn possibility into certainty.
#5: Every pathfinder unit requires you to take a devilfish transport. Always take a disruption pod for the cover save, and always take a multitracker allowing you to shoot as if you were a fast vehicle.
#6: Firewarriors: You need to take at least one squad, always. It's a compulsory unit. They are rapid fire 30" S5A5 guns. Not the best units, but they are good for holding points as long as you keep them stationary. Their guns have the longest range out of any standard troop unit.
#7: Kroot: Really cheap, get a +3 cover save in forests or jungles. Can outflank, pretty good in CC. Try to get some kroot hounds as well. Kroot compose the largest sized unit you can take for tau. You an take 20 kroot, a bunch of hounds (12 maybe?), and some other kroot that you shouldn't worry yourself about. Outflank a 40-model unit of IG and watch them lose everything to about 100 attacks.
#8: Crisis suits: These are your main powerhouse. They're the guys you will be using to kill the really tough units. But their guns are expensive. And they are expensive to equip. Very overpriced, but we really don't have an option, here. You need to take these guys, or you will lose. Multitracker wargear allows them to fire two weapons per turn, and suits don't count as moving when firing weapons. Also very good at killing vehicles, particularly transports with 11 armor.
These guys are also subject to JSJ, that's Jump-Shoot-Jump. They can move 6" in teh movement phase, shoot, and then move again in the assault phase without having to assault anyone.
#9: Railhead: The hammerhead tank with a railgun. Not as good at killing vehicles as the xv88 broadside, but it is more mobile, and can shoot a large blast. Some people really like it, but I tend not to take them. Also can be given an ion cannon for taking out marines, again, for the price there are other options to consider, but it's always good to have more vehicles.

Now, eldar...Eldar are a really fun and versatile race.
They have some great anti-MEQ, so they fare better against Space marines, and they have some great CC units.
Typically, a tourney list for eldar will be:
1 farseer with doom and guide, runes of witnessing and runes of warding.
2 groups of dire avengers with exarchs and sometimes not with exarchs. Their exarch can be given a power which like doubles the shots of the unit.
2-3 wave serpent transports
0-2 fire prisms
0-1 harlequins or striking scropions (almost never both of them)
0-1 rangers
0-1 Dark reapers (excellent MEQ)

However, eldar have so much more variety and ability compared to tau, so lists are often very different from each other.

I know this one player took 3 full squads of wraithguard, 2 wraithlords, 2 wave serpents, and 2 squads of dire avengers, and an avatar.

His list pretty much wrecked everything it met.

My belabored point is that tau are fun, and they are very good, but in order to consistently win, you need to play very intelligently. They don't have the sheer power of, well, pretty much every other race with the exception of dark eldar. So, starting off, they are going to be hard to learn. Just read and reread the codex, over and over and play as much as possible.

That being said, Eldar are similar to tau. They have to be played well to beat most races.
I would say Eldar are more fun, but I love Tau. They require so much strategy, but they CAN win competitions.
Another great thing about Tau is that we only have a few units, and therefore there's not a lot of investment needed to building a great army. What we have is usually useful against all armies, not just one or two.
Additionally, there's talk of a Tau upate in the works, slated for later this year or early next year, so I'd say buy a cheap army on CL or Ebay nd get some practice in.

Again, welcome :P
Theprof00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18 Aug 2010, 21:48   #3 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Topeka, KS
Posts: 11
Default Re: Tau Questions

I agree with the general point Therprof00 made of Eldar having more options for building and thus being generally more competative. But units and their uses depend on the player.

Originally Posted by Theprof00

Just read and reread the codex, over and over and play as much as possible.
That's best way.

Welcome and I hope you chose the Tau. 0
The are 10 kinds of people in the world
Those who know binary and Those who don't
Si1entman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19 Aug 2010, 01:13   #4 (permalink)
Yelman's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: U.S.A
Posts: 138
Default Re: Tau Questions

I feild Tau, and the army I fight the most is Eldar. Here is a breif pro-con of each:

The Tau combine hi manuverablility (with transports and jet packs) with a lot of very powerful shooting. Thier most basic unit is more powerful in any shootout than many elite units in other armies, can absorbe a ton of fire, and have a whole slew of wargear to benefit them. The only weaknesses the Tau have is in assault and their lack of expendable and space-filler units. The closest things to a expendable units for the Tau are kroot and gun drones, but they are often used as primary units. Just about all Tau are miserable at close combat, with the exception of the Kroot and Vespids (both of wich are very very squishy units).

The Eldar are a good army for a balance of speed, shooting, and assalt. They have plenty of expendable units and plenty of elites too. However, with few exceptions, the Eldar are fairly squishy. They can move, unleash mediocare weaponsfire, and then assalt with no problems other than they often cant live that long. They move quickly, shoot and stab descently, and die easily.

So, overall:
Eldar: Strengths: Thier manuverablility
Middle Grounds: Shooting and Assalt
Weakneses: They're squishy to the max
Tau: Strenghts: Shooting and survivablility
Middle Ground: Varity of units
Weaknesses: Catch them in an assalt, and you've won

In my opinion, the Eldar are a fair army, where thier weaknesses and strengths are equil. The Tau have far more strengths than weaknesses, and the strengths protect the weaknesses.

Choosing between the two depends on how you want to play.
Yelman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07 Oct 2010, 22:57   #5 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 32

I play Tau, they are fun and exciting and most importantly versatile. The bread and butter unit is the Crisis suit and you can gear it out in about 50 ways to handle whatever the other guy has. I used to play Eldar, badly. The thing with the Eldar is specialization, they have a unit that is perfect (if a bit squishy) for any situation. Close combat? Striking Scorpions or Howling Banshees. Ranged combat? Dark Reapers or Rangers. The problem is this, while each unit is awesome at what its designed to do, if you put the wrong tool in the wrong spot you will lose, fast. Played well, Eldar rule. Its EXTREAMLY hard to play them well. Especially for a relatively new player.
DevilBoy82 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08 Oct 2010, 17:07   #6 (permalink)
maddosammo's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Greater Manchester,England,Great Britain
Posts: 661

Yeah, tau are best soz i now you said that you wanted an unbiased opinion (soz) , when you play eldar you are nearly always spesialised and it's easy to get beaten if you play for a different version of an army than you get but, like "DevilBoy82" said if eldar are played correctly they can be lethal to nearly all your opposition though that is hard if, no offence intened you are a new player.
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and Im not sure about the the universe.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

If you're going through hell, keep going.
Sir winston Churchill

Last edited by maddosammo; 08 Oct 2010 at 17:43.
maddosammo is offline   Reply With Quote


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Uh-oh FAQ questions HiveFleetGoliath Tyranids 6 30 Jun 2009 17:30
Eldar FAQ and Rules Questions. Ask all Rules Questions HERE. sinfox Craftworld Eldar 181 30 Jul 2008 15:52
New to tau, Bunch of questions to help me before my first games, questions added Ekiel Tau 15 03 Jun 2008 01:05
Markerlight questions. NEW QUESTIONS! The_Greater_Good Tau 12 06 Dec 2006 06:27
Tau Questions vonzipper98 Tau 9 21 Nov 2005 20:37