Sunday, December 01, 2013

Tau Army After Action Thoughts - Blog Wars 6

Blog Wars 6 may have been quite a while ago but sadly I've been too busy to get much content up since then. I've already decided that I'm giving Tau a break for a while but, before I put them to bed, I'd like to run through what worked and what didn't in my most recent Tau list. Head over here for my list.

Ethereal
When testing my list prior to the event I really noticed the difference when I didn't include an Ethereal. They're disgustingly cheap for what they offer but their drawback is that they cost you an HQ slot. Still for the leadership bubble alone I think they're worth it. Perhaps I was doing something wrong but I kept my Ethereal in his Devilfish the whole time and measured from the vehicle which obviously increased his range. I can't find anything to say you can't do this but maybe someone will enlighten me.

Nevertheless the Ethereal really makes the fish of fury tactic effective. It wasn't difficult to get all three squads of fire warriors to disembark in range of the Ethereal and make full use of Storm of Fire.

Fire Warriors
These guys certainly have their detractors across in the internet. In fact, it's rare to see any in a list. Most people look to Kroot or Allies for their Troops. I really think mechanised Fire Warriors can work though. Basically you keep pile them all out to put a ton of S5 shots onto something and then mount the surviving warriors back up if they take some serious fire. There are going to be times when you lose some of them but hopefully they've done their job before that happens.

They really rely on the Ethereal though. They're not useless without him but they aren't stellar either. Your opponent will be pretty disgusted by the number of dice you pick up when you fire with them at full strength and that's always a nice feeling.

Shadowsun and Bodyguard
My problem with Shadowsun was that I simply forgot her rules most of the time. There were a few occasions where she was out in the open and I forgot that her unit got a 4+ cover save thanks to Stealth & Shrouded. The bodyguard are pretty much essential I'd say to allow her to pass off S6+ wounds onto them. Her Warlord Trait allows her to cover ground quickly which means you can make the most of her fusion blasters and keep out of harm's way too.

There were times when I missed my usual commander though and I still think in non-BW games I'd take my fusion/plasma commander over Shadowsun. You're always paranoid about her getting hit by something and you have to steer well clear of combat at all costs. Her drones are excellent though as they make her unit pretty sturdy and devastatingly accurate if you get a markerlight or two.

Kroot
It frustrates me that they lost their S4 and extra attack but this firmly puts them into the shooting category in my mind. There's rarely a need to charge them in. They were disgustingly lucky in my first game but the rest of the time they either got ignored or were easily dealt with. They're there to grab objectives for cheap so you don't have to expect much else from them and you won't be disappointed.

I couldn't find 10pts to give my two units a hound each but I have to say I didn't really miss them. This is probably mostly due to my fire warriors having some mobility but also you have to think carefully about objective placement.

Crisis Team (Missile Pods)
I spent 10pts to the two shas'ui suits a flamer each but I don't remember using them once. Obviously, there are times when they might come in handy but generally you're trying to keep the missile suits around 36" away from their targets.

These guys did what was asked of them providing ranged anti-vehicle fire. They do, of course, struggle against AV12+ but that's where the fusion weapons in the list come into play. The PENchip makes a massive difference for anti-tank and is great when fighthing the many MCs that are around these days.

Pathfinders
As you might expect these guys are a bit hit and miss. You have to accept that anyone who knows about Tau will take them out ASAP and deploy them as far forwards as you can to make the most of them whilst they're alive. Having them for the first couple of turns is worth the points in my opinion. Being able to decimate enemy infantry and vehicles alike with the rest of your army in turn one or two is vital.

Marker drones with a buff commander are definitely better at marking targets whilst staying alive but for the same points I'm lighting up three different targets with three marker hits pretty reliably. I'm keen to stick to three units as invariably at least one makes it past turn two and can make the difference between victory and defeat. There's something satisfying (dirty as it is) in firing an S8 AP2 pie-plate and killing everything under the template. Speaking of which....

Riptides
Undoubtedly the most dirty part of the list. There's no question that using a pair of them won't make you many friends. With the benefit of hindsight I shouldn't have taken them to an event like Blog Wars but they were definitely made to look better by the armies I faced.

I've sung their praises plenty of times before. Some people are saying SMS is the way to go for dealing with Eldar jetbikes but that opportunity to fusion a flyer is just too tempted I'm afraid!

The List in General 
I'm much happier playing this Tau list instead of my static gunline version. Seeing the confused look on my opponents' faces when I advanced my army towards them was priceless. I love using Tau but simply don't enjoy sitting back and shooting. It's a shame that's what 40K has become but I'd much rather be getting stuck in and taking the fight to my opponent.

The list works well together with every part of it being a crucial cog in the machine. There's no doubt that the new codex is powerful and I don't think it takes much to come up with a strong list but I'm glad I can at least do something a little different from the norm and still do well. I promise that should I end up playing at BW7 I'll be bringing something A LOT friendlier.

What I'd like to try is running the list without any riptides and replacing them with more crisis suits and perhaps even more fire warriors! Anyway, the Tau are going back on the shelf for a little while whilst I dust off my Dark Eldar. I've loved playing a top flight army for a change but it's time to move on I think.

1 comment:

  1. Each of the secondary weapons on the Riptide has it's own charm... Personally I like Plasma Rifles. That extra 6' range over the Fusion Blasters has kept them firing for me, and its oh so nice to double rapid-fire on those that try to drop in, and get up close to mine.

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