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Looking to start playing Tau
Old 12 Mar 2011, 02:04   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 4
Default Looking to start playing Tau

Within the next couple days I intend to start building my second army, and since none of my friends play Tau and because mechs are awesome, I thought I'd give them a shot.

I apologize for coming into this knowing exactly nothing about Tau, but that's why I'm here. To learn.

Within my group of friends we have people who play Space Marines, Imperial Guard, Chaos Space Marines, Necrons, Space Wolves, Grey Knights and Tyranids.

We usually play 1500 point games, with usually 4 players.

I prefer a more offensive style of play, if that helps deciding what to get.

I'm thinking of starting off with 2 battleforces, just to get a good rounded troop collection.
But as for an HQ, I am totally clueless....
Also, advice on heavy options would be awesome :P

Anywho, thanks for any help.
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Old 12 Mar 2011, 07:22   #2 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2010
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If you want to start up a tau army you want to make sure you have as much room for trial and improvement as possible. Battlesuits and the Hammerhead chassis will give you just. you also want to consider whether you want lots of troops an intermediate ammount of troops or a small amount of mounted troops.

HQ (for tau your first compulsory HQ choice must be a XV8 commander battlesuit)
I would definetley advise going solidly battlesuits with your HQ.

Ethereals are pretty useless unless you want your enemy to have a big blue button that sends half your troops fleeing if you can guarantee their safety through an ingeniuos tactic then go for it but like i said 'big blue button'

Commander battlesuits are accurate and have access to more of the taus already limited armoury. they have between 3-4 wounds and can be given a beastly set of saves. they can hold or win a combat against some of 40Ks weaker opponents but ideally you want to thin and rout the hordes before it gets to that stage. at 1500 it is adviseable to give him an inv save and a bodyguard.

Elite: Crisis suits>Stealth suits
stealth suits are good occasionaly but are expensive and not very versatile with only 18" range guns they are not effective and their peices of wargear do not compliment each other well at all. Stealth suits like with the commander give you options. do you want them to sit back with 36" range Missile pods or drop in behind weaker enemy squads and hose them down with a lethal salvo from TL flamers its up to you

its up to you and i would reccomend getting a mix of firewarriors kroot and some devilfish for testing out different combinations of mechanised troops long range troops and a more horde like combat/shooty mix

fast attack
look to get pathfinders. they are just little guys with laser pointers mounted up in a devilfish or so you should tell your enemy. markerlights lock onto targets allowing for more accurate shooting the effective negating of cover saves and the ability to call in missile strikes if you have any mounted on vehicles

for the others its up to you. pirahnas often work in squadrons of 2-3+ as they can slip round tanks and tear up their rear armour and with seeker missiles are even more effective at that role.

Heavy support
BUY SKYRAY BOXES. this is what i meant by versatility. Skyray packs give you every single peice of kit you could need for a tank unless you intend to stop by forgeworld and for no extra price over the hammerhead box. i will say that broadsides if used effectively are good for tank hunting and shooting round corners but if you are dealing with the hordes fast flying hamerheads dropping plates all over your enemy are lethal.

sniper drones are okay but i have never used them properly so i would advise you ask around and see who has. the same goes for vespid in the fast attack category.

In a nutshell
Buy a decent amount of XV8s. second hand is the way to go here
Experiment with your troop types
Take pathfinders to increase your armies combat effectiveness
BUY SKYRAY BOXES over hammerhead boxes. of course if you just want a devilfish just go for that without the trimmings
Oh and keep asking around. tau can be hard to play and i think its the unity we have as a community of tau players that allows us to prevail

one final edit. i honestly didnt put unity and community in the same sentence for any particular reason

Last edited by ColdShadow; 12 Mar 2011 at 07:28.
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Old 12 Mar 2011, 07:48   #3 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 4

So A good starting point would be getting about 9 battle suits and a battlesuit commander?

Right now my list of stuff to get is 2 battle forces, 7 xv8s and 1 commander, 2 skyrays and a couple pathfinders.

I'm really excited to get this going, already ordered a couple xv8s from gw since their doing one of their almost always free shipping things :P

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 12 Mar 2011, 17:16   #4 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
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Posts: 3

I've got 2 Battleforces, +another two xv8s (hint: you dont have to use the commander model for a commander on the table, you can just use a regular xv8 model. unless of course you are in a tournament) a sky ray and a hammerhead. I'm going out today to get some more Tau stuff but so far my army has worked well.
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Old 12 Mar 2011, 17:59   #5 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Australia/UAE
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I suggest at least a squad of broadsides, not very effective against swarms, but the potential for 3 twin linked Str10 Ap1 (firing at a potential 3+/4+ ) weapons is too much to resist. And these babies will free up hammerheads which are much better equipped to deal with the hordes. Besides, who doesn't like to get players with Av14 tanks scared?
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Old 12 Mar 2011, 20:42   #6 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
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I'm definitely considering getting a group to help deal with my friend who plays IG.
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Old 12 Mar 2011, 22:23   #7 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Just max out on suits. Only take a hammerhead if your taking on swarm
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Old 13 Mar 2011, 05:48   #8 (permalink)
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Okay for my HQ I got a commadner's kit and then used a second crisis suit to build the body guard. My commander i geared out with the cyclic ion cannon from the kit and some supporting systems (usually a missile pod and shield generator but mine has magnets) and i run him as a Shas'O for the extra wound and the BS5. The body guard i equip with the Airbursting Fragmentation Projector and usually a plasma rifle and shield gen. I assign both the FREE hard wired drone controller and ussually take a pair of shield drones and a marker drone. Though points expensive this combo gives me maximum versatility in a static list face any/all opponents style tournament day/fights as it gives me the ability to cover most kinds of opponents from large uglies to mobs to calling in seeker missiles on enemy vehicles.

I field a cheep but highly effective squad of 3 crisis suit "deathrains" (twin linked missile pods and a flamer) with a pair of shield drones of course giving them 5 models instead of just 3 that way.

I have used sniper drones but they have performed poorly for me in the past so i am broadside heavy in my forces.

I field 3 broadsides in my squads and i field them a little different than others as I field my team leader with twin linked plasma rifles, a targetting array for the boosted BS, and a hard wired target lock as well as a hard wired drone controller for a pair of shield drones. Of the other two both get smart missiles and one gets a target array for the BS boost while the other gets a target lock. This way while 2 have boosted BS if I deem it necessary all 3 can feasibly divid their fires on several enemy vehicles or major uglies (works great against most ork vehicles and dark eldar flying kites).

I dont bother with a skyray, not that it is not a fine vehicle (anti see Im saving you the rant) I have one but I have magnetized the missiles and spread them out across my other vehicles making it harder for my opponents to take out my launcher if they cannot kill my pathfinders.

I think I have poured out enough of my experience with stuff for now and will prolly cause enough arguments as it is. As always this is just my style and usuae my experiences. Experimentation and play will help you more than anything.

i am also a kroot and vespid fan but that may be for another time...
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Old 13 Mar 2011, 15:19   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TheLawn View Post
I prefer a more offensive style of play, if that helps deciding what to get.
If by offensive style of play you mean you want to go into close combat the Tau are probably not the army for you. The only army in that list of opponents you can really hope to do well up close against is IG and even then you should only go for close combat if you outnumber them.
However if you mean playing aggressively to force your opponents hand then Tau are absolutely the right army for you. While Tau close combat is a joke our manouverability and our ability to almost shoot around corners is exellent to devide up enemy forces and destroy them one at a time.

Read up on how the ''jump shoot jump'' of the Crisis suits works and practice it abit at home to get a feel for it. Mastering this particular tactic is pretty important and Im sure most veteran players would agree with me.
Most units in the Tau army have some sort of tactic asociated with avoiding close combat and once you learn how each unit behaves and how to combine them you will be a kickass Tau player in no time.

For building a starter army this is what you will need: 2 battleforces, 2 hammerheads and 5 extra suits. The models you gain from that will never go out of style and will probably be in most of your battles even along way into veteranhood.

PS: Dont ever buy a hammerhead. The skyray kit costs exactly the same but comes with all the options to build either a hammerhead or a skyray.
It is supposedly a big deal... Chokolate or vanilla icecream... I say ''Who Cares? Free Icecream!''
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Old 13 Mar 2011, 17:21   #10 (permalink)
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Dont know if I agree with the two hammerhead approach though having a second one on hand for missions requiring armor is handy. Personlly I prefer a pair of broadside teams and a single hammerhead for the more massed twin linked railguns rather than the single railgun. Of course with mass mob armies hammerheads are very beneficial as when properly wargeared out they can move the 12" movement and still lay down the large blast template from the main gun. A pair of those along with my usual Shas'o bodyguard with the AFP is unforgiving on mob troops (3 large blast templates/turn).
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