Kirb your enthusiasm!


"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

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Email in: Tau Apocalypse

Hello Kirby, and the rest of you brilliant strategists:

I will be embarking on my first apoc game very soon. I am looking through the apoc books/supplements and flipping through the formations. I am interested in the farstrike formation for Crisis suits and skysweep formation from Apocolypse Reloaded in particular. The other that caught my eye is the Mirage Long Range Infiltration for pathfinders. In your opinion, are apoc formations worth the extra cost? Particularly the Tau formations. Looking through all this information, it seems to me that Tau are hindered by a lack of super-heavys or access to titans. How would you best go about mitigating that?

Compared to many of the other factions, Tau are definitely at a disadvantage in Apoc due to lacking many superheavies. Mantas are absolutely atrocious and for some reason FW and GW have decided that what the Tau need most is tons and tons of crappy drones and transports. They do have one good superheavy, though: the Tiger Shark AX1-0. It's a flier (making it very tough for most enemies to hit it, bar Lootas). It has semi-reasonably armor values (meaning it doesn't just die instantly when hit.) And, most importantly, it comes with an incredibly strong main gun, the Heavy Railgun, which can fire either a Str D solid shot or a S7 AP3 extra-large blast.

The Skysweep formation is, unfortunately, rather bad; it greatly limits what and how you can fire and forces you to rely heavily on a single die roll. The cover save against fliers is nice, but not nearly useful enough to compensate for the points you are throwing away on the formation.

The Mirage formation, on the other hand, is much more useful. First off, it lets you have your Pathfinders arrive exactly when and where you need them, keeping them absolutely protected (by being off-board) until then. Note that you are allowed to have them show up first turn, which is what you will usually want to do. Second, it grants them the Stealth Field, making long-range weapons (common in Apoc) unable to target them- and when you're a bunch of T3/4+ guys, this helps a lot. Third, you get an extra side benefit (occasional Precision Strikes), which can be useful.

The Farstrike formation... well, it's not great, but it's not terrible. Fearless suits are nice- it covers a big problem Tau have (morale), but only when you stick near one particular area and only if you deep strike in, which really isn't a very good idea for battlesuits. I would simply take the suits normally, but you could do okay with combining it with Careful Planning to ensure that you arrive on the first turn and get maximum shooting.

As to how to mitigate enemy Titans/etc... well, you do it the same way you always do. Shoot, shoot, shoot some more. Your plethora of S7 and S6 shots should down any Void Shields relatively quickly, which you can then follow up with Railguns like nobody's business- S10 AP1 kills even superheavies, as it turns out. It won't be easy, as AV14 (on most of them) is still a huge pain to get through, but no one does it better than Tau.

I own most of the Tau range except for Sky Rays. The skysweep formation is making me think about picking up a couple. However, because their missles are one-shot, i can't help but think its somewhat of a useless tank. What is your opinion of it in both normal 1k-2k point ranges, as well as the Apocalypse scenario? is it worth foregoing a Hammerhead or a Broadside squad to take one of these?

Not really. Skyrays, in the current codex, just aren't really worth their points and don't do anything that another unit doesn't do better. They can vomit off a huge gout of first-turn firepower... if you have enough Markerlights aimed at the right targets. Which you won't. End result, there is no real reason to take a Skyray except perhaps because you think they look cool and you don't care about anything else.

I think that 3-4 questions is probably more than enough for one email. Thank you for the advice, I look forward to hearing from you!

Shas'el Mike

Well, Mike, let it never be said that I stop a job before I'm done. There are a couple really, really good formations that you missed and that can bring a lot to a Tau army.

Armored Interdiction Cadre: Though it relies entirely on a single tank staying alive, you are free to stay back at 72" and snipe away with Railguns, so that's less of a problem than it might otherwise be. Markerlights that can't be just shot off with Bolters/etc are pretty useful, and this lets you put them anywhere you need them (and that you can see.) That's good stuff right there, and for a pretty low cost. (From Apocalypse.)

Firestream Piranha Wing: Although it limits your deployment slightly, you can zip to anywhere you need first turn and Disruptor Beacon is a huge pain for many opponents to deal with, as it covers a huge section of the table. Hold the command Piranaha back with your main forces to prevent Deep Strike/etc shenanigans and zoom the others off to where they can do some damage unless dealt with (or, if the enemy is close enough, send them in to cause damage immediately.) (From Apocalypse Reloaded.)

Tau Broadside Destructor Phalanx: THIS is your big gun. For a very reasonable price, you can get rerolls on failed penetration rolls against one target- this drastically ups your chances of killing vehicles. You can only use Markerlights that are part of the formation, but this can be mitigated somewhat with Targeting Array, Marker Drones, etc.

Follow us on Facebook!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...