Saturday, April 21, 2012

After Action Thoughts on Tau (Part Two)

Part one focused on my current Tau list's performance at OW17. Today I'll look at what I could do differently in future Tau armies. Let me start by pointing out there's a very good reason I haven't made some of these changes before. I only have a limited range of Tau models at my disposal (in particular kroot) and I'm loathe to buy any new ones if (and it seems to be a big "if") the codex is coming out next year. It would be a shame to buy and paint a whole range of new units when there'll likely be some shiny new models. Not to mention I might end up stuck with a load of units that suddenly become crap. The other factor is that the rumour mongers seem pretty sure that 6th edition is coming our way soon. If the mechanics of the game change dramatically I again don't want to be stuck with an army that can't pull its weight. Right, that being said let's crack on.

I took Tau to Jolly Toys and Open War to give me more of an excuse for poor performance than I have when I play Space Wolves. This worked well at Jolly Toys but at Open War people were very quick to point out that Tau had won the indy GT this year so "they can't be all that bad". This was news to me so I thought I'd look at the list the winner took. Essentially it's this:

Shas'el w/ missiles
2x 3 Crisis suits w/ missiles

2x 6 fire warriors (leader w/ marker)
3x 10 kroot
1x 10 kroot + 4 hounds
3x 3 broadsides

I've skipped over the upgrades but you get the general idea. There are several noticeable differences between the lists:
  • Just the one commander, no bodyguard
  • 3-man battlesuit teams
  • No tanks
  • Blacksun filters aplenty
  • Craploads of kroot
  • More broadsides
Otherwise the equipment isn't that dissimilar, missiles on crisis teams and lots of railguns. However, all these differences mean he's got a lot more ranged firepower (6 more twin-missile shots and 5 more twin-railguns). What's more he'll be hitting 3 more targets than I would be. Granted everything (except the commander) is BS3 but with twin-linkage that actually doesn't matter too much. This all equates to a lot of dead enemy tanks from his opening salvo. He's maximising the long range damage that Tau do best. Whilst my command teams are lethal in the right situation they're a bit circumstantial and you pay a premium for them.

Although my list is no slouch when it comes to killing vehicles it struggles once their occupants are walking around. The GT winning list has a crapload of anti-infantry rapid fire. Assuming he's in rapid fire range he's got over a hundred shots! Not to mention the kroot can assault softer stuff. This is really where my army struggles.

So, looking back at my list there's a whopping 500pts more in the HQ section than he spent. Add in the cost of the pathfinders and 3 devilfish and around 850pts which is pretty much half my army! None of these things are reliably pulling their weight. For the same points he's got more anti-tank and more anti-infantry fire! Clearly I've got it wrong at the moment but I'm still loathe to buy piles of kroot and broadsides for an army I might not take to another tournament before 6th edition/new tau codex. It's just not worth the investment at the moment. The Tau go back in the box for a while so I can play with my Dark Eldar!


  1. Necrons won the Indy GT this year, and the final match was Necrons vs IG. Where did that Tau list come from?

    1. Well I wasn't there so I can only go on what people told me but here's where I eventually found it:

    2. Do you mean an American GT perhaps?

  2. Yeah I meant the Indy GT in Indianapolis. Yeah, the UK GT was won by a Tau player I heard, I hadn't seen his list yet. That is very interesting. The list doesn't impress me that much, but its obvious he did well with it. 9 broadsides is nothing to laugh at, but I don't understand the 40 kroot.

    For my own reference, why did you call it the indy GT instead of the UK GT? (Obviously I've missed something in translation, haha)

    1. The Kroot are essentially bubble wrap. They provide a LOT of rapid fire for low cost (7pts each). He also used them for some dirty deployment denial by the looks of it.

      "Indy" in this sense means independent as in not run by GW. Didn't know there was a tournament in Indianapolis!


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