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Starting Tau a beginners guide


splinx

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So as the title mentions my new exploits into the world of 40k greater good. 

 

I have literally just finished painting up my Cold Steel Commander, 2 shield drones and a marker light drone and also a Fireblade for my army. This is going to be my 40k OFCC army and I'm hoping to get away from ultra competitive meta and bring something varied, fun and still remain pretty decent on winning games. 

 

My painting log is here: https://www.facebook.com/Warp-Gate-Studios-1515946765402044/

 

So i purchased two of the starter box sets to give me 6 crisis suits to deck out and also plenty of variety making strike teams / brasher teams of fire warriors. I also picked up a couple of Pathfinder teams in trade so will be making those guys up and giving them some paint as well. 

 

As for big stuff i am hoping to pick up 1 maybe 2 of the Storm Surges and maybe a riptide or two as well to complement what i have and give me some variety on formations and line ups.

 

Can any experience Tau players give me an insight on enjoyable parts of playing tau rather than just smashing face?  

 

Cheers and I will update the blog once i get to painting up some more guys. 

 

Cheers

Sam

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Wow, great paint jobs man! 

 

No expert on Tau, as I built mine in 3rd/4th ed and have not updated the collection too much since, except for the odd modal. So I don't run Riptides etc and play it fairly casually. I find Mech Tau is fairly decent, fluffy and cool on the table. Basic idea is mobile Tau, with suits, mounted Fire warrior teams (often with an Ethereal for all the dakka) and Skyrays to support. It's an old and fun way to run Tau, without getting up opponets backsides. Not ultra competitive, but okay. With Mont'ka, you can run single Crisis suits as troops, an Ethereal as a cheap HQ, and bring a 2nd Empire CAD for some Fire Warriors in D'fishes+Skyrays & buffmander if you so choose. 

 

I'm sure a Stormsurge or Riptides would only complement that style. In any case, good Tau armies usually play heavily in the movement phase and shooting. Without a Stormsurge, dealing with monstrous creatures can be difficult, as Tau can pump out lots of st7 and st5. My Mech Tau, don't like facing 2+ saves with multiple wounds!

 

Bit of ramble, but point is, Tau have allot of nice toys and i'm sure some more experienced players will be able to give you some pointers. 

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Sam,

 

Awesome paint jobs and great Facebook link... my son and I were very impressed with the details and color blending on the models!

 

Holler when you think you have an idea of what you're looking for in your model needs and hopefully we can figure something out!  Even if you need to borrow models to playtest, just lemme know... I've let folks borrow models out for a while so they get some games in with them to see if they like how they work for their armies, etc.   Just let me know, bud!  Here to help.

 

Stay safe,

 

don

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Wow, great paint jobs man! 

 

No expert on Tau, as I built mine in 3rd/4th ed and have not updated the collection too much since, except for the odd modal. So I don't run Riptides etc and play it fairly casually. I find Mech Tau is fairly decent, fluffy and cool on the table. Basic idea is mobile Tau, with suits, mounted Fire warrior teams (often with an Ethereal for all the dakka) and Skyrays to support. It's an old and fun way to run Tau, without getting up opponets backsides. Not ultra competitive, but okay. With Mont'ka, you can run single Crisis suits as troops, an Ethereal as a cheap HQ, and bring a 2nd Empire CAD for some Fire Warriors in D'fishes+Skyrays & buffmander if you so choose. 

 

I'm sure a Stormsurge or Riptides would only complement that style. In any case, good Tau armies usually play heavily in the movement phase and shooting. Without a Stormsurge, dealing with monstrous creatures can be difficult, as Tau can pump out lots of st7 and st5. My Mech Tau, don't like facing 2+ saves with multiple wounds!

 

Bit of ramble, but point is, Tau have allot of nice toys and i'm sure some more experienced players will be able to give you some pointers. 

 

Thanks buddy! Yeah i don't wanna go with a smash face ITC level mega [big bad swear word] you list which seems to be popular at the moment. There are certain things i see as a bit broken in the current meta and i wanna make sure if its a OFCC army then it would be one that I would wanna play against. So making a powerful army less powerful and fun is a challenge in itself. :)

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Sam,

 

Awesome paint jobs and great Facebook link... my son and I were very impressed with the details and color blending on the models!

 

Holler when you think you have an idea of what you're looking for in your model needs and hopefully we can figure something out!  Even if you need to borrow models to playtest, just lemme know... I've let folks borrow models out for a while so they get some games in with them to see if they like how they work for their armies, etc.   Just let me know, bud!  Here to help.

 

Stay safe,

 

don

Thanks Don! I am a weirdo when it comes to models! I don't game without painted models even if Im play testing so will see what else i have for trade fodder for your Tau stuff! :) 

 

Thanks for the kind words on the paint jobs! 

 

Sam

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I'm an expert on Tau, I believe.

 

My OFCC in 5E consisted of entirely unused parts of the codex, on purpose and my list was considered a 1 by the OFCC committee.  A zero was talked about in joking terms.  I think they were joking.  =(  it included Stingwings, Stealth Suits nobody likes led by Shadowsun, Sniper Drones before they were cool, a Skyray in 5E which was pretty bad, some Fire Warriors, a lot of Krootox when they still stopped you from infiltrating and so.  Even took Dark Strider.  Yip.  I did that.

 

I did go 5-0 that year, which I was pleased about.  So you do not have to have a "ripper" list to do well.  Just cover the bases and watch your six.

 

Anywho,  if that qualifies me to have an opinion, I'll give you some advice for friendlier armies:

 

Heavy Support:

Big fan of Sniper Drones and more specifically their Firesight Marksmen.  Throw them in a Gunrig with a Cadre Fireblade and you are REALLY onto something that's unusual.  Cadre Fireblade has splitfire, so he's PERFECT for this setup.  Friendly, unexpected generally and your opponent gets to see what the new Gunrig toy does.

 

Troops:  Breachers are great for reserve bubble wrapping a 'Surge or if you prefer going all fish of fury on people.  Fire Warriors and their dirt cheap missile rack can be cool.  Take a bunch and do the "repelling Zulu's" thing in the Tidewall Rampart or just shove them up in a diamond formation in Devilfish's.  any Fire Warrior heavy force is going to be considered pretty tame and now you have some variety there.  EMP Grenades are a thing.

 

Kroot:  Outflanking them from an enemies own board edge is fun with Krootox.  Couple Pathfinder units with the Recon drone, slide them up full bore in round one in Devilfishes, and in round two the reserves come in from the side or table edge.  No rolling!  Neat trick that makes use of normally "suboptimal" units.

 

Aun'Va.  See my RECENT blog entry on that subject.  He's great, not often seen and really helps your Fire Warriors and ESPECIALLY Sniper Drone teams be very cool.

 

The Drone Network can provide a lot of Markerlight support that you'll need.  Pretty cool.

 

StormSurge is kind of a must if you want to kill WraithKNights in a reasonable amount iof time and even a normal Eldar list might have one (usually) so doing nothing to counter it is foolish.  So I'd take one.  Taking two seems like overkill but because they are only T6 and 3+ armor, they aren't as ridiculous as most of their kind.  I just think taking two crosses the border between necessary and gratuitous, which it seems like you're trying to avoid.

 

Riptides kind of need to go in pairs so if you're going to take them, take two even at OFCC (they really dont like melee and they cause as many wounds to themselves as enemies will).  However, here again if you havetjhe Stormsurge, you might wanna skip the Riptides.  Alternatively, take the Riptides and skip theStormSurge,  Either way.  Theres no denying that the 2 Riptides + Stormsurge would be effective and scary.  i think you're more trying to hit effective and not scary I assume.  maybe one Surge and one Riptide would work just fine also.

 

So there is some advice.  I can also talk about tactics but this was mostly just list talk.

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I'm an expert on Tau, I believe.

 

My OFCC in 5E consisted of entirely unused parts of the codex, on purpose and my list was considered a 1 by the OFCC committee.  A zero was talked about in joking terms.  I think they were joking.  =(  it included Stingwings, Stealth Suits nobody likes led by Shadowsun, Sniper Drones before they were cool, a Skyray in 5E which was pretty bad, some Fire Warriors, a lot of Krootox when they still stopped you from infiltrating and so.  Even took Dark Strider.  Yip.  I did that.

 

I did go 5-0 that year, which I was pleased about.  So you do not have to have a "ripper" list to do well.  Just cover the bases and watch your six.

 

Anywho,  if that qualifies me to have an opinion, I'll give you some advice for friendlier armies:

 

Heavy Support:

Big fan of Sniper Drones and more specifically their Firesight Marksmen.  Throw them in a Gunrig with a Cadre Fireblade and you are REALLY onto something that's unusual.  Cadre Fireblade has splitfire, so he's PERFECT for this setup.  Friendly, unexpected generally and your opponent gets to see what the new Gunrig toy does.

 

Troops:  Breachers are great for reserve bubble wrapping a 'Surge or if you prefer going all fish of fury on people.  Fire Warriors and their dirt cheap missile rack can be cool.  Take a bunch and do the "repelling Zulu's" thing in the Tidewall Rampart or just shove them up in a diamond formation in Devilfish's.  any Fire Warrior heavy force is going to be considered pretty tame and now you have some variety there.

 

Kroot:  Outflanking them from an enemies own board edge is fun with Krootox.  Couple Pathfinder units with the Recon drone, slide them up full bore in round one in Devilfishes, and in round two the reserves come in from the side or table edge.  No rolling!  Neat trick that makes use of normally "suboptimal" units.

 

Aun'Va.  See my RECENT blog entry on that subject.  He's great, not often seen and really helps your Fire Warriors and ESPECIALLY Sniper Drone teams be very cool.

 

The Drone Network can provide a lot of Markerlight support that you'll need.  Pretty cool.

 

StormSurge is kind of a must if you want to kill WraithKNights in a reasonable amount iof time and even a normal Eldar list might have one (usually) so doing nothing to counter it is foolish.  So I'd take one.  Taking two seems like overkill but because they are only T6 and 3+ armor, they aren't as ridiculous as most of their kind.  I just think taking two crosses the border between necessary and gratuitous, which it seems like you're trying to avoid.

 

Riptides kind of need to go in pairs so if you're going to take them, take two even at OFCC (they really dont like melee and they cause as many wounds to themselves as enemies will).  However, here again if you havetjhe Stormsurge, you might wanna skip the Riptides.  Alternatively, take the Riptides and skip theStormSurge,  Either way.  Theres no denying that the 2 Riptides + Stormsurge would be effective and scary.  i think you're more trying to hit effective and not scary I assume.  maybe one Surge and one Riptide would work just fine also.

 

So there is some advice.  I can also talk about tactics but this was mostly just list talk.

 

Awesome overview buddy! Thanks for the insight! Weirdly enough i have got a sniper drone set on its way and may get another for some fun. :)

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Does the cadre fireblade buff the sniper drones? Thought he only did carbines and pulse rifles.

 

Never tried them myself, I do however own 12 of the old ninja metal stealth suits from 3rd ed! Love the modals and whilst not a great unit alone, the new formations have some nice stuff for them. Off the top of my head, apart from Vespid, who I've never tried either to be fair but have a bad rep, I can't think of too many terrible Tau units. Between the new formations and base units, most stuff in the codex seems to have a place if you're looking for a good, but not bat[big bad swear word] crazy tau list.

 

I'll just have to pick up a ghostkeel or two to make my stealths work..

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Does the cadre fireblade buff the sniper drones? Thought he only did carbines and pulse rifles.

 

Never tried them myself, I do however own 12 of the old ninja metal stealth suits from 3rd ed! Love the modals and whilst not a great unit alone, the new formations have some nice stuff for them. Off the top of my head, apart from Vespid, who I've never tried either to be fair but have a bad rep, I can't think of too many terrible Tau units. Between the new formations and base units, most stuff in the codex seems to have a place if you're looking for a good, but not bat[big bad swear word] crazy tau list.

 

I'll just have to pick up a ghostkeel or two to make my stealths work..

 

I own 20 Ninja Stealthsuits.  And they are awesome as well.  You may or may not be able to see them in this picture, depending on if they are activiating their stealth fields.  But the Optimized Stealth Cadre is awesome.

 

20151122_1428521.jpg

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They look great! Haha that one in the back with the fusion blaster. Awesome that they got a good formation to boot.

 

Only negative from the new stuff is the hunter contingents unclear ruling on co-ordinated Fire. I thought the sharing buffs route was the RAW and whilst that was very powerful, it opened up some units like hammerheads and after playing against a very nasty version of it (broadsides, riptide, stormsurge, buffmander and optimised stealth cadre), I lost, but felt on a similiar level to facing a battle company in maelstrom. Crazy good like the other decurions, but at least it mostly hinged on rather flimsy characters to dish out the buffs (even dug in with broadsides, an irridium buffmander isn't that tough).

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Yip.  I got three Ghostkeels and I'm not afraid to use them.  They aren't built yet, because i am slow and ponderous when it comes to gtting painting done (I despise it pretty much) but have been making a very motivated effort to actually do a good jerb on my latest Tau models so wish me luck.

 

Splinx, are you planning on using  lot of normal Crisis suits?  If so, the singular "monat" TL Fusion + Flamer combination has served me pretty darn well.  It's multi purpose and a single suit can deep strike and influence things pretty dramatically.  Even if he doesn't, the resources to kill one is usually more than what the Tau general will lose in return.  Food for thought n their use.

 

The other really powerful idea for them is the Cyclic Ion Blaster.  6 of those in a unit is really impressive firepower at their range.  they can repel a lot of attackers and with the Counterfire upgrade, a lot more.  It's impressive.

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I own 20 Ninja Stealthsuits.  And they are awesome as well.  You may or may not be able to see them in this picture, depending on if they are activiating their stealth fields.  But the Optimized Stealth Cadre is awesome.

 

20151122_1428521.jpg

 

So questions for you! Where did you get the Vior'la shoulder pads from? I like them! :)

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And there was me thinking you had personally filled in the old logos and resculpted into the new Vior'la logo. 

 

They look great though buddy. :) I may have to come take a look next time you are down this way and see how you play them. :)

To devastating effect!  Lol.  Just kidding.  But seriously.  To devastating effect.

 

the Ghostkeels are really good.  

 

Just to be clear the dumb ass ruling by the ITC that just came out?  Yeah I hope TO's have enough since to ignore some of them.  Specifically the Ghostkeel one.  Its really dumb.  So is the StormSurge ruling.

 

But yeah the stealthsuits have been a favorite model.  Its probably one of the ones that got me into the hobby.

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Yeah I'm actually thinking of doing an assault based Tau army in Devilfish and some breacher squads! I don't know how the hell it will work and be competitive but could be fun playing an assault based Tau army rather than the standard gun line! :)

Ironically...  I've done it.

 

http://40kunorthodoxy.blogspot.com/2011/12/assault-tau-battle-report.html

 

As an aside on that I won 50%, tied 25% and lost 25%.  So, considering what i was attempting?  Pretty solid.  it's not an LVO army but...

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To devastating effect!  Lol.  Just kidding.  But seriously.  To devastating effect.

 

the Ghostkeels are really good.  

 

Just to be clear the dumb ass ruling by the ITC that just came out?  Yeah I hope TO's have enough since to ignore some of them.  Specifically the Ghostkeel one.  Its really dumb.  So is the StormSurge ruling.

 

But yeah the stealthsuits have been a favorite model.  Its probably one of the ones that got me into the hobby.

 

Oh LH, I have been running Ghostkeels the day the model came out and the Optimized Stealth Cadre when the formation came out. I have taken it to every tournaments I could (Including TSHFT) and that Formation is really good. 

 

Now, here is where I am going to say some stuff I want you to understand is personally directed at you. Do not, I MEAN DO NOT, hijack this THREAD to go on another of you pseudo antics of "you know better" than ITC when it comes to rules decisions.

 

THAT ruling on the Holophoton Countermeasures is a GREAT ruling because a) the RULE was superb badly written (See my Post about the FORMATION on Frontline and the following 40 POST comment debate about the wording of the damn bloody rule and interpretation). b) The interpretation you liked that they ruled against is in my opinion the same balancing factor as invisibility. More OFTEN than not the Ghostkeel self built Cover Defense (Shroud and Stealth and the Double the Cover if the attack is more than 12" away) is already overly good as making entire armies shooting highly ineffective. (COuntless games have I seen folks pour their entire rounds of shots into them to see them wounded but fully functional). IF they could force SnapShooting Multiple Times per Units (Per Model Count), that unit would literally be so frustrating for folks to kill that it would be just another invisible deathstar. They would mark you down for sportsman for just showing up with that thing. The ITC Ruling for that rule is merely correcting the CONFUSION of the wording and TAKING the CONSERVATIVE reading of it which is still a great unit.

 

LH, you are are probably an above average smart individual but do not delude yourself into thinking you are the "shiznit". People who want to play your version of 40k are the minority at all these National Events and honestly if they didnt make that ruling and you SHOWED up to the table and try to claim you could use the Holophoton Countermeasure more than once in a Unit, I would ask you to show me where IT is the ONLY way it functions when in fact the RULE has literally two instances of how its expended in the same bloody rule and neither of us would be wrong.

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wait. Didnt you just hijack this thread to go on a Pro-ITC Rant.

 

Irony.  It can be pretty ironic sometimes.  

 

But no.  Its a terrible ruling.  And that's your call to say otherwise of course and my call to disagree.

 

My version of 40K is the same version you play as fate would have it.  Saying otherwise is...  odd.  but hey.  it's a free country.  Can't stop ya'.

 

Dunno about being the Shiznit.  Those would be your words, not mine.  But I'm good.  You know that.  Nuff said i guess.

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When you come out and say "their version of the ruling was CLEARLY wrong and my version was CLEARLY right and there is no possible way to argue otherwise," it does tend to make people see you as something of an egotist and that does you no favors.

 

His post was not pro-ITC, it was in favor of one particular decision the ITC had made and that some other tournaments had used as well. The fact that you see any disagreement with your views of how the game should be played by people who favor ITC tournaments (which is to say, most of the large tournaments on the west coast) is rather indicative of your views on the subject.

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Actually there's no "version" issue.  The rule is clear.  So what really happened...actually...  is that someone didn't like it.  So they found some cloudy PLAUSIBLE way it COULD be read another way...  and insisted there be action one way or another, when honestly, it didn't require action.  And that's what happened.

 

And that's fine.  If you love it, good for you.  My guess is the ruling gets reversed once level heads actually read how it works and stop calling it invisibility.  What it is, for those who don't know:

 

You essentially hit ONE unit per game with a limited  "Blind" effect for their shooting phase.  If you hunk out the points... and its a lot of points...  you could do it two or three times... total of three units over the course of the game, a total of one phase each... per game.  And thats what it does.  

 

Certainly not like Centurion stars do it.  But whose counting?

 

If you like the ruling, cool.  I expect little resistance to anything that ITC does here, so i mean...  hey.  You win man.

 

I'm just letting Splinx know he needs to be aware of it.  It may affect his build.

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