Monday, February 15, 2010

Network Communications: Tau at 1,000 points


I was wondering how you would run Tau at 1000 pts. I have a local league coming up at said point cost and would appreciate any input. i'll be facing Chaos, Chaos, Orks, Dark Angels, Space Wolves, Black Templars and Tau.

Currently considering:
HQ
Shas'el Fireknive+targeting array
2 fireknive bodyguards+targeting array
Elites
3xDeathrains
Troops
13xKroot carnivores
6 xFw+fish

Heavy
1xhammerhead, burst cannons,targeting array,disuptiond pod,multi-tracker,target lock, railgun
 2xBroadsides target array

I have access to the following models since im borrowing a friends tau cadre :/

7 suits
24 fire warriors
6 pathfinders
2 tanks
 5 stealth suits
 2 broadsides
 Thank you in advance for any feedback

zirjin


Reply: 


Zirijn, this list looks pretty strong for 1,000 points. I normally try to gain fire superiority when fielding small lists. I go for cheap units that can really pump out the firepower. Let's start by doing some reconnaissance. Looking at your opponents it looks like you're going to facing off against mostly Marines, either Chaos or loyalists. I first typed into google "1,000 pt marine list" and got a large number of hits. Looking at a couple of them, I noticed most of them would include 2-3 tactical squads in Rhinos, carrying Meltaguns and Lascannons or Missile Launchers. This core was supported by varying units, like Dreadnoughts, Special Characters and tanks like Vindicators and Predators. The three variants here, Space Wolves, Black Templars and Dark Angels, will most likely look similar with the exception of Dark Angels, who might bring a Bikers List. Not to worry, Bikers are simply target practice for Tau, we seem uniquely outfitted to wrecking their armies. 


Chaos Lists will be similar with the exception that you will probably be facing less models that are tougher. Yes, I'm talking about Plague Marines. At the very least, you can still expect to see your enemies relying on the mobility provided by their Rhinos. The good news is, you've got what you need in your current list to knock out 3 Rhinos in one turn; the Deathrains, Fire Knives, and 2 Broadsides. Try your best to take going first so you can trash his Rhinos before he pops smoke for the 4+ cover save. This is priority number one. If you're not looking across the board at a mechanized force, simply look for the fastest units and take them out first. 


Let's consider the economy of force with your list. Starting with the obvious, Deathrains, will target Rhinos or Monstrous Creatures in a pinch, Fire Knives, Rhino then marines or heavy infantry, 2 Broadsides target heavy armor and transports, Fire Warriors stay in their Devilfish (in reserve) until needed to claim objectives, Kroot, in cover, protect the Broadsides from assault and the Hammerhead targets infantry, firing off submunitions and burst cannons every time (Note; Don't be tempted to shoot of the solid slug and the Hammerhead already comes with a Targeting Array so you cannot give it another one for BS5). You've got most of your bases covered.  


There are some problems with the list. There aren't lots of troops in this list. Any objective-based games are going to be extremely tough for you. The 2 broadsides are a little vulnerable but I wouldn't remove them of put more points into them. Simply be aware that if they take a casualty they will be forced to take a leadership test at LD 8, so they'll probably end up fleeing off the board. Be careful with them. Personally I think you're dropping too many points into your fire knives. I would drop them down to regular Crisis Suits to shave off some points for more Troops.  Ideally I'd be aiming to get another squad of 6 Fire Warriors in a Devilfish with multitracker and pod.  This is a nice list for killing stuff but objectives will be difficult. 


What about our regulars? Any list advice for zirjin? Anyone have a great 1,000 point they want to share?

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would definitely try to put shield drones on the suits. I never leave home with out them

Anonymous said...

Shield gen and gun drones

find 60 points for a third troop.

Shas'O D'Narb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shas'O D'Narb said...

I shall comment on FOC: Elite...

Despite how I would usually agree with Anon's comment regarding drones, I don't in this case.

Tau firepower is reduced greatly in small point games if we take all of that wargear. Therefore, I would run fairly basic suits in squads of two, always upgrading one to a leader with a target lock. This will pack enormous firepower into a 1000pts army.

Importantly, doing so will allow you to run more squads and because of the low points, enemy armies won't be running many squads of their own, and therefore will be unable to target all of yours. In essence, this solves one of Tau's greatest problems: lack of volume of fire. Effectively, doing this in a low points game addresses this typical Tau disadvantage.

Consider blacksun filters to give your army an early significant advantage in 1/3rd of the games.

Conclusion: I recommend running an elite army with several small squads. You could probably run three squads of 1 Deathrain Ldr (TL, BSF) plus 1 FireKnife. That's 12-18 S6-7 shots firing at 6 different targets!

suneokun said...

I'd probably drop the targetting arrays and adopt a few gun drones instead. The drones will soak up the return fire better - giving you more tactical options.

I'd also drop the two fireknifes and adopt them as a standard squad ... since the only time a 'retinue' is useful for a IC is when he's assaulted... and if you are being assaulted, you're silly.

I'd consider dropping the 13 Kroot and the targetting arrays and take 6 warriors and a devilfish.

Oh, it's you, Bob... said...

This is what I ran at 1000:

HQ
Shas’el (AFP, Flamer, Targeting Array, Hard Wired Multi-Tracker, Hard Wired Drone Cntrl., 1x Shield drone) – 104

Elites
2x Crisis Shas’ui; (Flamer, Missile Pod, Targeting Array, leader w/ knife, h-w drone cntrl., 1x shield drone) – 127
1x Crisis Shas’ui (Missile Pod, Fusion Blaster, Targeting Array) – 59

Troops
7x Fire Warriors
- Devilfish (Targeting Array, Disruption Pod, Multi-Tracker) – 170
7x Fire Warriors
- Devilfish (Targeting Array, Disruption Pod, Multi-Tracker) - 170

Heavy Support
1x ‘Broadside’ Team Leader (Advanced Stabilization System, Hard Wired Drone Controller, 1x Shield Drone) - 100
1x Hammerhead (Ion Cannon, Burst Cannons, Targeting Array, Disruption pods, Multi-tracker) - 130

Fast Attack
2x Piranha (Fusion Blaster, Targeting Array) - 140

Total - 1000

It worked great in all cases, but I didn't face any hordes. As to objective taking and holding, I played to deny. It's kind of cheesy, but it worked out pretty well. Keep one fish in reserve so you can get an objective 'honestly', but I was more contesting everything.

Zirjin said...

I appreciate all the feedback and im currently in the middle of tweaking the list.
Seams the other tau player might do space wolves insted and if so I can borrow a fish from him and run something like this.
1 shas'el (Plasma rifle,Missile pod,Multi-tracker)

2 Fireknives

3 deathrains

1 hammerhead: railgun,burst cannons,disruption pod,Multi-tracker

Broadsides:
1 teamleader: HW-blacksun filter,Drone controller, 2 gun drones
1 Broadside: Blacksun filter

6fire warrior+fish(Burst Cannon; Gun Drones; Disruption Pod; Multi-Tracker)

6fire warrior+fish(Burst Cannon; Gun Drones; Disruption Pod; Multi-Tracker)

Problem comes along if he decides to run his tau as that would leave me with either 2 fishes 0 hammerhead or 1 hammer 1 fish and a headache

Pete W said...

I have to say that for anti-power armour work, I really cannot talk up Helios (fusion and Plasma) suits enough. They are the same cost as Fireknives and as long as you can judge distances well you will be really able to punish anything in good armour at short range.

Otherwise, I would just say don't go with too few troops to claim objectives.

For reference, my 1000 pt list from a recent cityfight game against OSH's marines was:
- Helios Shas'El + 2 G Drone
- 3 Stealthsuits + M Drone
- 3 Deathrains
- 12 Fire Warriors
- 12 Kroot
- 6 Pathfinders & DF (Disruption Pod, MultiTracker)
- Broadside (TA) + 2 G Drones
- Skyray.

On a more open field, I'll drop the stealths for a helios and a piranha, switch the skyray for a Railhead (shoot pie plates all game), and try to squeeze in more fire warriors or kroot. I'd also probably split the 12 Fire warriors into two squads of six.

Tactics-wise, just keep your distance and use deathrains and broaside to rip open transports. Anything that gets closer, hit it with fusion. The Helios suits should be used fairly aggresively but try to use them on a target that they can kill in one turn. With markerlight support (say 2 hits) you can fire 6 shots at 12" and probably kill 5 MEQ/TEQ so as long as the hammerhead/deathrains/FW have shot them up a bit, you have just killed off a squad.

slxiii said...

Shas'O D'Narb is absolutely correct. I will add that you could drop the targeting arrays and plasma, twin link the missile pods, and be able to fit in another troop choice. I'd trade the targeting array on the broadsides for an ASS, but that is personal preference.

Zirjin said...

That list looks intressting pete. Im abit woried how it would do vs orks tough

Pete W said...

If you think you might face horde (90 or so) orks then there will be some issues. In that case I would probably drop the a gun drone on the broadside and shas'el to add flechette launchers to the devilfish and piranha.

I would then use the two vehicles to block the movement of the orks coming forwards and really tempt them to assault me. I'd probably try to use the deathrains from behind the vehicles so I could jump out and flame the ors then jump back into cover.

Hopefully providing dangerous (4+ wound on assaulters) speed bumps for the orks to assault will give you the time to really punish them with more firepower.

Good luck in any case.

Pete W said...

Just pushing out a clear 1000pt list based on what I said before.

- Shas'el (fusion,plasma,MT,1 gun drone) 97 pts
- 3 Deathrains (TL-MP, flamer) 141 pts
- 3x6 Fire Warriors 180 pts
- 10 Kroot 70pts
- 6 pathfinders & Devilfish (MT,DP,Flechette) 177pts
- Piranha (Fusion,TA,Flechette) 80pts
- Broadside (TA) 80pts
- Railhead (Burst Cannons,MT,DP,Flechette) 175pts

That's an even pointed force that can hold 4 objectives, put out pretty solid firepower and use the vehicles as nasty speed bumps or blockers for assaulting hordes. I'd probably use the hammerhead and piranha fairly aggresively and put the kroot in the devilfish to take a distant objective. That leaves your fire warrior teams to put out some long range fire.

Anonymous said...

I might be a little late now, but i would still like to leave a comment.
I was on a local league just yesterday (also 1000 point armies) and fielded 17 Kroot, 6 FW in a warfish, Railhead, 2 BS with shield drones, a commander with stims, plasma, frag projector and 1 shield drone.
The best unit in my list though, were 6 stealths all equipped with BC and targeting arrays. This unit costs 240 points, but its simply spectacular!
I must admit that they are rather tricky to play... I think, the best way to deploy them is by infiltrating. Choose a flank, and keep them there. By not moving into the center of the table, you make the best use of their stealth gens. It is mandatory to hold the 17"-24" firing distance (by jsj). Note, that the average for spotting will be between 21"-24" meaning that you will often be safe even from enemies on the same flank. In all my games they honored the term "massacre", killing demon princes in the first turn and so forth. I really wonder why people don`t like them...
The opponents tend do ignore these humble warriors on the first turn, and once you've annihilated a squad, they will literally waste firing power on them because of the stealth fields. And if the enemy tries to get into cc; well, thats what you want! Draw the enemy into rapid fire range...

Ps: I don't like the Fusion Blaster on them, because it doesn't allow you to keep the safe distance, often leading to the teams destruction.

love your blog. keep it up!

Old Shatter Hands said...

Anon, you're absolutely right. Big Stealth Teams like that simply dominate the board in small games. Heck, they dominate against any small army like Deathwing and Ravenwing. Its not that people don't like them, its just that they are expensive and get beat out by other elites choices like Crisis Suits. They're weak at T3 and can get murdered if they aren't played well.
Having said that, I'm thinking of putting them back in my list for a new perspective on them. They are certainly a scary prospect when you pick 18 dice at S5. I've even seen them drop wraithlords!
In conclusion, its not that they are a bad unit, its just people prefer Crisis Suits over them.

Shas'O D'Narb said...

For what it's worth, I will advocate giving the leader a fusion blaster solely for a deterrent effect, pressuring the opponent to change the movement paths of their armour. Since it won't often have the opportunity to kill anything, I also advocate carrying a markerlight. With a TA, that'll hit on a 3+, and for very little extra cost, give the unit a great deal of utility.

Moreover, it seems that many forgot: the fusion blaster also serves as a very strong defensive weapon reducing the places an opponent might want to drop pod a dreadnought, for instance.

After all, stealth suits are perhaps the best Skirmisher in the game that can also take on a Special Support role. In smaller games, I think they can still ably serve the Greater Good.