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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Friday, November 19, 2010

Email in: Tau 1500pt List Critique

"Hey there Kirby,

As you know I've got my Tau army which I've been making to be competitive, and I'm pretty sure I've shown you my other tau lists somewhere (you could link them here to contrast them maybe?) and after getting a new Hammerhead to fix my old one (and more importantly, getting a second SMS for my second hammerhead) I came up with a new idea for my list. So here it is, and I'll explain why I've changed what I've changed.

Shas'El - Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Multi-Tracker - 87

Shas'El - Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Multi-Tracker - 87

2x Shas'Ui - Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Multi Tracker - 124
2x Shas'Ui - Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Multi Tracker - 124

Fire Warriors - 6 Shas'La - 60
Kroot Carnivore Squad - 10 Kroot, 2 Hounds - 82
Kroot Carnivore Squad - 10 Kroot, 2 Hounds - 82

Pathfinder Team - 169
   Pathfinders - 7 Shas'La
   Devilfish - Gun Drones, Disruption Pods, Marker Beacon
Piranha Team - 2 Piranhas, Fusion Blasters, Targetting Arrays - 140

Hammerhead - Railgun, Smart Missile System, Disruption Pods, Multi-Trackers - 175
Hammerhead - Railgun, Smart Missile System, Disruption Pods, Multi-Trackers - 175
Broadside Battlesuit Team - 2 Shas'ui, ASS, Team Leader w/Hard-Wired Target Lock, Hard-Wired Drone Controller, Bonding Knife, 2 Gun Drones - 195

8 Suits
6 FW, 7 PFs
2 HH, 1 DF
4 Railguns

So, first up, you may notice I have two commanders now, this ties in with my kroot units being 12 instead of 13, as throwing the commanders with the kroot can increase their survivability alot with the addition of Ld9 instead of 7 (I'm sure there's mathhammer reasons to back this up, but I'm too lazy to figure it out). They can also separate off and join together, or the other crisis units. With the points gained from dropping some kroot, I've also added SMS and MT onto my Hammerheads, and a bonding knife onto the Broadsides so that they can stop running if they break (which tbh, would be when the two gun drones die, making them half their unit size and unable to regroup). Which also brings me to the Gun Drones, as someone suggested in one of your other emails, they can hug cover and get me the 4+ save my shield drones would usually get me, for 10 points less. Sold! I've also been considering the possibility of breaking my Piranha team into two lone Piranhas. What do you reckon of the list?

P.S. I still haven't seen my battle report posted up yet, surely it can't be that hard :P"

Hi there Kyle. Your list looks really solid, its classic Tau for a competitive environment. There are a few things that I have issue with, that I'll try to explain.

Firstly, I don't really agree with how you are using your Shas'Els. Boosting Kroot leadership is not really high on my agenda with a Tau list, as if your opponent is putting shots into your Kroot rather than your suits, they are dancing to your tune. Also, at 1500pts, you don't really have the spare points to waste on leadership buffers for low-profile units (translation: mobile spikey haired cover saves.) So lets drop back to a single Shas'El, with Missile/Plasma/Target Array, HW Multitracker. Makes him more reliable at supressing transports at range, regardless of what unit he is with. Probably throw a Target lock in here as well, so he can split fire to whatever unit you use him with.

At 1500pts, I'm fairly certain you are going to want minimum of 3 units of 2 Fireknives, so lets fix that. Next is your troops choices. Firewarriors for scoring Pathfinder fish are perfect, but the Kroot need changing. Lets modify them (assuming you have models) and make them 10 Kroot, 3 Hounds, in 2 units. Requires 4 casualties to take a morale check, and if at 1500pts your opponents putting that sort of firepower into them (after they have gone to ground) your still ahead.

Fast attack choices - at this points level, 6 Pathfinders is probably sufficient. We can also drop back to a single pirahna, as a blocker/suicide melta, as you have plenty of firepower elsewhere in the list to stop heavy armour.

Heavy support - I'm not a massive fan of Smart Missile Systems on Railheads. Fact of the matter is, your either moving 12" to take advantage of side armour with solid slugs, or moving 12" to get around cover to template infantry without a cover save. I think of sponsoons on a Railhead as more of a defensive weapon, and 6 Str5 shots at 18" is more than enough. The SMS is gimmicky, as most of the stuff you face will have an armour save of 4+ or better regardless of cover, so it becomes more effective to have more shots rather than shots that ignore cover. Broadsides are fairly tooled up, which is a common mistake. If we drop your XV88 unit down to bare bones, we have 63pts left to play with. I'd also suggest TA's on your XV88's, as you have mobile antitank with your Railheads. Set your XV88's up with the best field of fire possible, and use them to deny movement to your opponent. If someone parks in their firing lane, its gonna be a parking lot before long.

By changing the Shas'El back to a simple Plasma/MP/Multitracker set up with HW Target Lock, we have JUST enough points to squeeze in a 3rd XV88. So at 1500pts, my changes to your list would look like this:

Shas'el, (Fireknife pattern) Missile Pod/Plasma Rifle , Multitracker, HW Target Lock

2 x XV8 Fireknives
2x XV8 Fireknives
2x XV8 Fireknives

6 Fire Warriors
10 Kroot, 3 Hounds
10 Kroot, 3 Hounds

1 x Pirahna, Fusion Blaster, Targetting Array
6 Pathfinders, Devilfish with D/Pod

Railhead with 2 x Burst Cannons, Multi Tracker, D/Pod
Railhead with 2 x Burst Cannons, Multi Tracker, D/Pod
3 x XV88's, with SMS/ TL Railguns and Targetting Arrays

1497 pts
5 Railguns
7 Fireknives (plasma/missile!)
1 Blocker with fusion
6 Markers

5 Railguns at 1500pts is obscene. You can basically guarantee 3 hits (BS4 with reroll) on any vehicle you choose per turn, and even with cover/turbo boosting, you will probably wreck said vehicle. Pirahna is there for any Land Raider shennanigans that might occur, and you have 2 solid Kroot screens to hide behind. Shas'El goes with the XV88's for LD boost, Fire Warriors jack the Pathfinders ride, and thats pretty much the game. Overkill? Possibly. But you were aiming for a competitive list, and at 1500pts, I can't think of many lists that will outgun you.

Have at ye, Pink Army!

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