Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Theory-Hammer Tuesday! The Tau Mobile Gunline Army

Recently I've been playing mostly with my Dual Firebase list that you saw at NOVA, click here for that post. It's effective, has lots of firepower and plenty of blockers. However lately I've been dreaming a something different all together. I wanted to build an army based on being able to be mobile, shooty and still have plenty of blockers. Here is the list I dreamed up.

HQ- Shas'El Commander with Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod and Multitracker (using my XV-22 model)

Elites- 1 Crisis Suit Team Leader with TL-Missile Pods, Flamer, HW-Drone Controller, 2 Gun Drones
           2 Crisis Suits with TL-Missile Pods, Flamer
Elites- 1 Crisis Suit Team Leader with TL-Missile Pods, Flamer, HW-Drone Controller, 2 Gun Drones
           2 Crisis Suits with TL-Missile Pods, Flamer
Elites- 1 Crisis Suit Team Leader with TL-Missile Pods, Flamer, HW-Drone Controller, 2 Gun Drones
           2 Crisis Suits with TL-Missile Pods, Flamer

Troops - 6 Fire Warriors with Devilfish, Multitracker and Disruption Pod
Troops - 6 Fire Warriors with Devilfish, Multitracker and Disruption Pod
Troops - 10 Kroot, 2 Hounds
Troops - 10 Kroot, 2 Hounds

Fast Attack - 1 Piranha with Fusion, Disruption Pod and Targeting Array, 1 Piranha with Fusion, Targeting Array
Fast Attack - 1 Piranha with Fusion, Disruption Pod and Targeting Array, 1 Piranha with Fusion, Targeting Array
Fast Attack - 1 Piranha with Fusion, Disruption Pod and Targeting Array, 1 Piranha with Fusion, Targeting Array

Heavy Support - Hammerhead with Railgun, Burst Cannons, Disruption Pod, Multitracker
Heavy Support - Hammerhead with Railgun, Burst Cannons, Disruption Pod, Multitracker
Heavy Support - Hammerhead with Railgun, Burst Cannons, Disruption Pod, Multitracker

This list is built around the theme of an entirely mobile attack force. It would look sick on the table top and would play well but would of course require some careful planning.

The main plan with this list is to send out the Piranhas to cause havoc, block, melta the enemy, while your Battlesuits and Hammerheads pummel him from afar. You would need to drop the all the drones in the first turn and use them, along with the Kroot to screen your Crisis Suits or to set up a "bubble wrap" against any drop pods that might deliver some melta-love. The Piranhas move out together in 3 squadrons to block and melta the enemy. As a squadron  send one piranha up with the second piranha in the squad with the Disruption Pod trailing behind as far back as possible but still in coherency, preferably staying out of the 12 inch range. Vehicle Squadron rules state that if 50% of the squadron is obscured the whole unit gets the cover save. This way you move to block and still shoot their fusion blasters, while claiming the cover save. It takes some careful placement but it can be done. When in doubt just move flat out.

The list is not an "optimized" list. It is dangerous but wouldn't be the best build to take to a tournament. It is a fun list to play though. All those Piranhas zipping abouts, the hammerheads laying down pie-plates from afar and the Crisis Suit teams are going to be making huge wrecks out of enemy transports.

What I like best about this build is its uniqueness and its theme. You won't find too many Tau armies built this way, probably because it isn't optimized and there is no plasma. The theme is pretty sweet too. It's a mechanized assault army, a Tau Tank Company supported by aircraft, running daring raids on enemy forces while the tanks and battlesuits pummel the enemy from afar, allowing the infantry to take and secure ground.

I like this list so much that I am considering building an entirely new Tau Army with a new color scheme to fit this army. I am thinking about a Dark Grey, Black, Bleached Bone color scheme for this. Loads of weathering and battle-damage. Maybe Kroot represented by Gue'Vesa Auxillaries... 



12 comments:

Lord Lizard said...

I too have been dreaming of this army in another incarnation, more true mech :-)

1750 - Mech Tau

1 shas el - twin pod, target lock

3*6 firewarriors - Ui
3*1 devilfish - SMS, array, multitracker, disruption pod

10 kroot, 5 hounds

3*2 piranhas - fusion, array, 1 pod, 1 flechette

3*1 hammerhead - railgun, SMS, target lock, multitracker, BSF

Pumping out 24 SMS-shots per turn at BS4 this should be a threat to hordes and de-mechanised enemies.

I believe yours is better, but I wanted to stick with the mech-theme altogether when i wrote it.

Magilla Gurilla said...

It is a very unique army build and I do think it would look striking on the table top. I do think it would have to maximize it's mobility because the lack of AP 2 and AP 1 shooting means that you definitely do not want 3+ armies getting close

Aloh'Nan'El said...

IMO, it would be best drop one squad of Piranhas and gain some Pathfinder support.
Not that you need the BS boosts, but if you plan on using your Hammerheads for anti-infantry duties, than dropping cover saves is very useful.
Furthermore, the loss of your Piranhas would allow almost complete wrapping of your vehicles by Kroot... right now there is simply too many!
Of course, you could drop the Kroot altogether and just use Piranhas for the job...

Kiten said...

This looks A LOT like the list I came up with when I started playing; it's the same, really, just trimmed down in points with smaller XV8 teams, no Plasma Rifle on the commander, and one less choice for Kroot, Piranhas and Railheads.

It gives me a nostalgic feeling, I gotta admit, but I also don't remember the army doing that well, nor it being THAT rare- at least looking at the few Tau armies I could see around here in Italy.

Of course I was just starting out and knew little of the game mechanics; but I'd still like to tell you what I experienced with an army very much like this one:
I had almost no trouble in demeching my opponents- and that should be a given, with that many missile pods on the table alone. I had my fair share of problems against hard vehicles, though, as the Piranhas will go down when they're the only real threat to your opponent's dearest AV13+ armor, and Hammerheads struggle a little if attempting to take their secondary role.
Railguns would however give me some fearsome covering fire against infantry; too bad it'd basically be the only fire I'd have against it, were I not to stop my continuous rush towards safety with the rest of the army. So meet a horde army true to its name, and get ready to see your low yet accurate shot count get back at you.
Another obvious problem would be massed power armor; I used to face Black Templars playing with their silly 20-man infantry squads at the time (yes, people still play that around here), but I'd bet multiple Blood Angels' Assault Squads would be even worst for such a force to face (... Yes, I do see people running that too.). I basically always ended up relying on bad armor rolls from my opponent when facing such armies at the time, and it would normally go really bad.

I find it is a fascinating, fun army to play, but it suffers a lot.
In case you get around trying it before I field test it again, which actually seems pretty likely, let us know.

Keep up the good work.

PS: TWO comments coming from me in a single day after a year of utter silence? Fascinating.

Kiten said...

This looks A LOT like the list I came up with when I started playing; it's the same, really, just trimmed down in points with smaller XV8 teams, no Plasma Rifle on the commander, and one less choice for Kroot, Piranhas and Railheads.

It gives me a nostalgic feeling, I gotta admit, but I also don't remember the army doing that well, nor it being THAT rare- at least looking at the few Tau armies I could see around here in Italy.

Of course I was just starting out and knew little of the game mechanics; but I'd still like to tell you what I experienced with an army very much like this one:
I had almost no trouble in demeching my opponents- and that should be a given, with that many missile pods on the table alone. I had my fair share of problems against hard vehicles, though, as the Piranhas will go down when they're the only real threat to your opponent's dearest AV13+ armor, and Hammerheads struggle a little if attempting to take their secondary role.
Railguns would however give me some fearsome covering fire against infantry; too bad it'd basically be the only fire I'd have against it, were I not to stop my continuous rush towards safety with the rest of the army. So meet a horde army true to its name, and get ready to see your low yet accurate shot count get back at you.
Another obvious problem would be massed power armor; I used to face Black Templars playing with their silly 20-man infantry squads at the time (yes, people still play that around here), but I'd bet multiple Blood Angels' Assault Squads would be even worst for such a force to face (... Yes, I do see people running that too.). I basically always ended up relying on bad armor rolls from my opponent when facing such armies at the time, and it would normally go really bad.

I find it is a fascinating, fun army to play, but it suffers a lot.
In case you get around trying it before I field test it again, which actually seems pretty likely, let us know.

Keep up the good work.

PS: TWO comments coming from me in a single day after a year of utter silence? Fascinating.

Kiten said...

This looks A LOT like the list I came up with when I started playing; it's the same, really, just trimmed down in points with smaller XV8 teams, no Plasma Rifle on the commander, and one less choice for Kroot, Piranhas and Railheads.

It gives me a nostalgic feeling, I gotta admit, but I also don't remember the army doing that well, nor it being THAT rare- at least looking at the few Tau armies I could see around here in Italy.

Of course I was just starting out and knew little of the game mechanics; but I'd still like to tell you what I experienced with an army very much like this one:
I had almost no trouble in demeching my opponents- and that should be a given, with that many missile pods on the table alone. I had my fair share of problems against hard vehicles, though, as the Piranhas will go down when they're the only real threat to your opponent's dearest AV13+ armor, and Hammerheads struggle a little if attempting to take their secondary role.
Railguns would however give me some fearsome covering fire against infantry; too bad it'd basically be the only fire I'd have against it, were I not to stop my continuous rush towards safety with the rest of the army. So meet a horde army true to its name, and get ready to see your low yet accurate shot count get back at you.
Another obvious problem would be massed power armor; I used to face Black Templars playing with their silly 20-man infantry squads at the time (yes, people still play that around here), but I'd bet multiple Blood Angels' Assault Squads would be even worst for such a force to face (... Yes, I do see people running that too.). I basically always ended up relying on bad armor rolls from my opponent when facing such armies at the time, and it would normally go really bad.

I find it is a fascinating, fun army to play, but it suffers a lot.
In case you get around trying it before I field test it again, which actually seems pretty likely, let us know.

Keep up the good work.

PS: TWO comments coming from me in a single day after a year of utter silence? Fascinating.

Gredus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gredus said...

Ok i've had a think myself and put up my own non standard Mech Tau List. I'm pretty excited to try it as I think it would be fun. (or potentially a nightmare!)

I'd say to counter drop pod and melta spam is just to keep units in reserve.

Harman Smith said...

Yes, this is more like it, this is what I would love to see you test and savour.

We Tau are always expected to sit back, kings of our own castle, firing away from the topmost tower... yet what would be our role if we were like the knight, dashing through the battlefield, not only playing with death, but using this risk to our advantage?

Xyhelm said...

I love this list!!! But I would still want to bring Broadsides, heh.

Why put burst cannons on the Hammerheads?

Old Shatter Hands said...

@Xyhelm, I like them better. They're cheaper and have more dakka.

Marshal Wilhelm said...

My stinginess says perhaps play the list before shelling out the clams for another Tau army?

Also I would wait for the rumoured Codex to emerge before spending money willy-nilly.

I too have thought of buying Guard for my Tau....