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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Email in: 1500 point tau list, help

"Hi. First off, let me say that I love the blog. Kudos!

I have been running a moderately successful Tau army since 5th edition came out, and I'd like some advice on my list and tactics.

I am one of the weakest players in my playgroup. These guys have more experience, play more games, are always preparing for the next tournament, and are always practicing with their tournament armies.

I would consider these armies to be pretty competitive. I am able to beat people from outside of my main playgroup, who are running less competitive armies, without much trouble. The competitive armies that I see are mainly mech space marines, and some mech IG.

Here's my currant list. Tournament format around here seems to be usually 1500 points; although I don't play in the tournaments, I am almost always up against someone who is practicing for a 1500 tourney.


HQ 82
MP + PR + MT = 82

2x MP + PR + MT = 124
2x TLMP + Flames = 94
2x TLMP + Flames = 94

10x FW = 100
10x FW = 100
DF with disruption pod = 85
DF with disruption pod = 85

FAST 225
Piranha + fusion + dp + TA = 75
Piranha + fusion + dp + TA = 75
Piranha + fusion + dp + TA = 75

HH 90 + Rail + Bursters + MT + dp + TL = 170
HH 90 + Rail + Bursters + MT + dp + TL = 170
HH 90 + Rail + Bursters + MT + dp + TL = 170

Thanks for the articles and information on Piranha blocking. Before I started using Piranhas, I was winning maybe 25% of my games. Now I'm up to around 50%, just from applying that one tactic, which is easy to do, and highly effective. (yes I'm sucking up)

I already know what you are going to say: take out one Hammerhead, take out the devilfish, reduce the size of the Firewarriors squads, and probably remove one squad. Use the points to put in a 2 suit unit of broadsides, and 2x 10 man squads of Kroot with at least 6 hounds each.

That hasn't been working for me. For example, one guy runs 2 whirlwinds, and at least one small squad in a rhino that seems to be pretty flamery. Between this and that, and my bad rolling, my kroot shield is either destroyed or has run away before his rhino rush gets to them. The rhinos are not really slowed down, and he just keeps advancing on me. And with my luck, thats exactly when he gets his melta drop pod reserves.
I can't generally do anything about the whirlwinds, because I often don't have LOS when I need it, and I have to send Piranhas or Hammerheads out from my firebase to deal with it, which leaves me overextended.

Without the devilfish, I'm afraid that my firewarriors will get the same treatment as the kroot, and that I'll have serious problems with late game scoring.

My concern with the broadsides is that when my firebase collapses, and it always does, they get left behind, and overrun; while my hammerheads always manage to escape and keep on fighting. But I imagine that this is going back to the argument: hybrid vs full mech.

I'm certain that a lot of my issues are caused by the disparity in playing skill. My opponents are just better than I am. They make fewer mistakes in deployment, and are better at taking advantage of my mistakes, etc.

Still any advice would be much appreciated. Especially since I am not getting much help from other sources. For example, I posted this on 40k online. I got only 1 reply. I know that the guy means well, but he said that I have too much AT (*laughs), and that I should take out a hammerhead and a piranha, and use the points to put in vespids. (Vespids!?!)

I'm hoping that you'll feature this as an article so that I can get help from the group.


Well you seem to have a very good grasp on what you should change and I think you should enact such changes as making all your suits PR/MP/MT, add 2x Kroot squads and keep a min-sized FW in Devilfish and try to squeeze in two broadsides. I'd say the two broadsides are the most important then kroot.

So I think your problem is lying in your play. You talk about a firebase and screening everything with your Kroot is certainly viable but if your opponent is hiding tanks and you need to be able to access them. This is done by actually deploying outside of your firebase if you deploy second with such concepts as cornering. This allows your HHeads to see more of the field and you should be able to hit those Whirlwinds (also make sure the terrain isn't more than 25% with excessive LoS blocking terrain). You can also spread the Kroot out to limit the 5" blast to 2-4 hits and attach the Commander for increased Ld to minimise their running away risk. Your suits and broadsides should also easily be able to stop Rhinos before they reach your lines unless there's 10 or more. Whilst no pathfinders is meh, over 7 Crisis + Broadsides and Piranha blocking you should be able to slow them and knock them off pretty reliably. Don't worry about the Whirlwinds with the Piranhas, slowing your opponent down is more important so you can keep shooting. If the Whirls take out your Kroot but you're able to kill his Marines in midfield, win for you.

So I'd work on things like that. Don't be rigid in staying inside the bubble-wrap at all times if it gives you an advantage to spread out. If the bubble-wrap dies, it dies but you need to focus on stopping your opponent from getting to you which is why you run both Piranhas and Kroot.

Any other specific issues?

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