Sunday, November 15, 2009
Firepower On Hoof: The Tau Mobile Infantry Army
It's always interesting to find an army that is completely original, one that you've never seen before, composed of seldom-used units in large numbers and played with it's own unique strategy. My friend, Dale, is one the those players who constantly comes up with lists like this in whatever game he plays. Dale is not at all interested in theory-hammer and his lists are built with no outside influence other than game play. This past Friday I was able to witness his unorthodox Tau army in action.
Dale's army has 3 full squads of drones, 9 or more Crisis Suits, 5 Broadsides and a number of 6-strong Fire Warrior squads on foot. Not a single vehicle. Essentially, Dale has packed in a lot of firepower on foot. His Crisis Suits sport either Burst Cannons and Plasma Rifles or PLasma Rifles and Fusion Blasters. Dale has also invested a lot of point in shield drones and Marker Drones to accompany his various XV8 and XV88 squads. It's a total opposite approach to army building than most players take, but it does render all those melta-crazed warriors ineffective.
Dale uses the drone squads to protect his large XV8s and fire warriors, as they move to control or contest objectives. Drones will surround and protect valuable units from assault and shooting (by providing a cover save), while in the Tau shooting phase the drones will move out of the way so as not to confer a cover save to the enemy. The smaller foot-slogging units of Fire Warriors tend to get ignored because of their size and low threat level.
It is risky to get too close to this army. With that many heavily armed crisis suits, anything that comes within 24 inches of them gets fried. In one turn of shooting during this game, a full squad of Legion of the Damned was wiped out, regardless of their invulnerable save. This was not the only time in this game when this happened.
This was not a Tau victory in the end, as Dale needed one more turn to move his troops onto the objectives. The Marine player was able to hold two objectives and contest one of the Tau's with a speeder for the win. However, Dale Tau Mobile Infantry army caused much more damage and certainly won the war of attrition.