Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Kauyon: The Patient Hunter Gets the Prey
After years of trying to execute a flawless Mont'Ka, I've settled into the Kauyon way of war. The Mont'ka is what I call a Mechanized Tau Army Build. Multiple Devilfish, Hammerheads and Piranha, very few kroot and a couple squads of Crisis Suits to move along with the flowing Cadre. The army can move, but isn't necessarily fast. It can shoot but isn't noted for its firepower. Instead the army relies on focusing firepower in specific points on the battle field, destroying them while misdirecting the enemy with Broadsides and blocking the enemy with Piranhas. Just pure gun 'n' run.
With each new codex, units are cheaper. (My own Blood Angels Army went from 1750 to 1500 with the new codex) This means more models on the tabletop and less space to gun n' run.
The Mont'Ka is great for pick-up games and "casual" play (shouldn't all games be casual?), it lacks the weaponry and staying power of the Kauyon Army Build. The Kauyon is what's known in the blogosphere as the Tau Mono Build and .
The army is largely an infantry force that fights like its the Revolutionary War. There are numerous variations on it due to personal preference, but you'll find these armies with 2 large units of Kroot, Piranhas and Drones to protect the heavy weapons of the 10+ Crisis Suits and Broadsides that are castled up behind. It's called the mono build because it's believed that this is the only army build that is competitive.
There are nuances to the play-style that I am still learning. It seems to have to this amazing ability to block approaching units, thereby winning time for your heavy-hitters to keep firing. Deployment is very important. You set up your Kroot in a long line out in front and make sure they can claim a cover save by having most of their models in area terrain. Behind them is the rest of the army. Piranhas set up in the middle of the board so they can quickly move out to block the enemy. Their drones drop and move behind the Kroot, only to move out to block the enemy from charging the Kroot. Although there is a Kroot screen that is meant to die, it's still very wise to keep the enemy from killing your Kroot for as long as possible so use those drones as best you can.
In this picture you can see the army set up as a fire base. The Piranha has moved out to block the rhino while the drones have dropped earlier to sit behind the Kroot, ready to pounce out to their protection at the right moment.
As I said there are nuances to this list I am still learning. Timing and knowing where to block the enemy are very important. In one game my Piranhas were too good at blocking and I ended up keeping the enemy out of sight so I couldn't shoot at them.
I'm also finding that setting up 2 firebases like the one above deployed in both corners of the board is most effective. Because it isn't possible to set up two equally strong fire bases with my list, I want the larger of the two fire bases to take the brunt of the fighting, so it sets up directly across from my opponents heaviest flank. Seems counter intuitive I know but its works. The smaller one supports from a good distance but survives longer with whole units at full strength to escort the Devilfish to claim objectives.
Once you start clearing the board, it's important to press the attack. Move your fire base up to start to secure the midfield. Maintain a strong defensive screen at all times and it will be nearly impossible for certain opponents to get anywhere near you. The Kauyon seems to crush certain armies, while struggling against others, leading me to believe that it's a middle of the road army, not a top dog but not a slouch either.
I've only played 6 games with this type of army and I'm by no means an expert. Part of me still wishes the Mont'Ka could work in a tournament setting. I'll have to save my Mont'Ka lists for pick-up games with old friends but for tournaments, it's the patient hunter that gets the prey.