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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, April 13, 2012

Email in: need help with Tau vs Vulkan drop pod list!

"Hey there Kirby,

I have been regularly losing to a Vulkan drop pod list and I am in serious need of advice.  I play Tau, and have tried "castling" several times and reserving everything.  All the sites say that “castling up” is the way to win, but I’ve never had it work (especially versus a Vulkan list that is melta/flamer heavy).  Here’s my typical deployment vs a drop pod list:

Here’s my issue with castling:  My opponent picks a spot to pod in over my troops so he has to auto-deviate, even if he rolls a direct hit.  I can’t find anything in the rules that say he has to pick an unoccupied spot for his landing zone, so I think that’s legal.   Since he can’t safely land on a troop, he auto-deviates to the closest “safe location”, which is right next to my kroot.

He then lays into me with flamers and meltaguns  (which count as twin linked due to Vulkan).  That’s when I start breaking, lose morale and run into either a friendly unit or run off the board (either which is death).

I’m usually beat by turn two, though sometimes I can escape with a fish or two and a hammerhead.

If I try reserving everything, he will just land his pods near the table edge and wait for me to slowly trickle in.

Do you have any advice on beating a Vulkan drop pod list with Tau?

I have around 8k points of Tau (I’m an impulse spender), so I can pretty much field whatever list anyone can come up with.


First, what your opponent is doing is illegal - if the Drop Pod runs into models/impassable terrain it minimises it distance to avoid such. If your distance is 0" it can't be minimised and thus is an auto-mishap. He has to place it in clear space.

Second, spread out but make sure there are no spaces for Pods to land and disembark units within your lines. Pods + even a Dreadnought take up a lot of space so your opponent needs at least 5-7" (I don't have dimensions on me) to land and disembark something. Leave gaps of around 4" in your army and then spread it out, particularly the Kroot to force the Pods away form your army as much as possible. Your Turn 1 sees you contract behind the Kroot whilst still leaving no space for Pods to come in behind the Kroot (this is where you'd move Pirnahas/Drones/Devilfish up into those spaces). 

Otherwise, assuming you have a list based on Crisis/Broadsides with Hammerheads/Pathfinders/Kroot/Pirnahas supporting you should be fine. It's a tough nut to crack as the list is in your face ASAP but if he doesn't have any TH/SS and you keep your Crisis safe, you can drop those full squads pretty quickly with plasma + markerlights. 

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