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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
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"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Email in: questions to your TAU list

"Hi kirby,

nice blog, interesting articles. most time i've spent on you articles regarding tau. And im really interested in your opinion regarding my army. what i miss in your army is the Tau Ethereal as additional HQ to reroll moral checks and drones for your krisis teams, and the 2+ marker (for 1 reserve) for your Krisis HQ. What i dont understand is the amount of piranias. i'm playing in europe an we're playing about 1750 points. Well my questions are:

1) Why are you playing pathfinders, if your not playing a static TAU army.
2) Hammerhead for so many points?
3) and just 2 broadsides?
4) Do pirania really help againts droppod lists?
5) Why do you play the same typ of Krisis in your teams, so you cannot control the wounds?

thnx you really for your help, because after reading your article i think there is "something" wrong in the way i'm playing:)

Herbert Bachmann"

Hey Herbert. First off there's nothing wrong with the way you play, it's just different and probably quite common to what most people consider the way to play Tau. So let's look at your questions.

1) Tau are probably the most static army in 5th edition which can do well in you often have a designated area you want your army to move around in; that's a whole different kettle of fish. Pathfinders however are the only unit which cannot move and shoot and due to Scout should have a decent deployment. What this unit does at 1500-2000 points (higher and you don't really need it) is improve your guns and when you've got a potential 4 team crisis unit (3 suits + HQ) that's 16 shots you can have hitting on a 2+ and ignoring cover. They also help a lot with stripping cover saves from a tank which simply needs to die from your broadsides. Are they necessary? No.

2 & 3) You can mix up the numbers of Hammerheads and Broadsides. 3x2 Broadsides is fine if more expensive and less anti-infantry whilst 1 Hammerhead and 2x2 Broadsides is more anti-tank with some anti-infantry. I prefer two Hammerheads and a 2-3 Broadside squadron so I get those extra two vehicle chassis and I'm still carrying around 4-5 railguns. SMS isn't a required upgrade on the Hammerheads either but multi-tracker and disruption pods are about as mandatory as you get.

4) Piranhas help a lot more against mech armies. Sure a point blank melta is nice but Kroot are generally what keep your opponent at arm's bay when deep-striking whilst Piranhas are very effective movement blockers in midfield. Being able to slow assaults and particularly mech born units is a very important role which Piranhas fill admirably and they also provide a very fast platform for a rather slow army style.

5) Wound allocation is only a good thing when it doesn't affect the bottom line of unit efficiency. The only way to change Crisis Suits are to have different gun layouts, wargear (so you then cannot fire two weapons) and Shas'vre upgrade (expensive for minimal gain). None of these actually make the unit better (and can sometimes make it worse) and only marginally increase survivability. Team leaders w/Gun Drones attached is a fine if expensive way to increase survivability of suit squads at 3 members strong but I would prefer more guns in my Tau army.

I hope that answers your questions and I'll put in some more info. The reason ethereals are bad is when they die, your whole army operates differently. Pass on taking Ld checks on most of my army when their Ld is already so bad. Until this is changed, Ethereals are just a waste of points (especially when you MUST take a Crisis HQ) as they take army control out of your hands. I covered Drones above but the reason positional relays (2+ reserve wargear) is what do you have to reserve? We aren't wasting points or FoC slots on suicide fusion suits or anything like that and starting on the table means we have more guns, etc. It may add some flexibility but with only Crisis being able to deep-strike and Kroot outflanking, these units are often required on-table most games.

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