View Full Version : New to 40k going Tau

29-04-2010, 23:18
I've been prowling the boards for a while, and have gotten an idea of what I want in an army.

- Tau have great models

- Shooty mobile army, not zerg swarm or necron/IG gunline

- Not SM, which as cool as they are... too common unfortunately. Blood angels codex up my alley but... eh.

Biggest question is does the Tau have a single hero/character/elite that can pwn face? Mephiston style?

29-04-2010, 23:28
Mephiston style? Negative.

I'm not a Tau player, but I've got a couple regular Tau opponents so I've seen my share of the buggers. The Tau are an interesting but challenging army. They don't really have end-all-be-all units and surefire combos these days, but they do have a very nice set of tools at their disposal. Railheads (hammerheads with railguns) scare the pants off of most mech generals, as do broadsides. The Crisis teams are excellent, but you have to learn to finesse them a bit to get the most out of them. Despite what I've read on here and other boards, I find packing tons of marker lights into your list to be a wise investment - Those BS bonuses and cover reductions are nice as is reducing LD for pinning. Kroot (with Hounds) are their best troop choice by far imho.

For all sorts of helpful info (from actual Tau players, lol) check out: http://www.advancedtautactica.com/

30-04-2010, 02:36
aww damn. I always liked having that focal point of your army when I played with my friend's armies.

Dante was so cool...

30-04-2010, 04:42
What kind of focal point are you looking for? Because if its awesome looks you're after more than 'I am the god of war' type thing then you can make some damn nice looking tau battle suits/units.

30-04-2010, 04:46
- Shooty mobile army, not zerg swarm or necron/IG gunline

You're about to be very very disappointed.

Might I recommend Imperial Guard...or Eldar.

Friend of ours sold his IG because he wanted a "mobile" shooting army. So he bought a Tau force...after about 3-4 weeks of only beating new kids at the shop (otherwise getting it handed to him) he quit 40k and we haven't seen him in like 3-4 months :(. Oh and he was good with chaos space marines, and I.G. Could usually always count on him to be a contender in tourneys.

You really really need to love the models to stick it out with Tau at the moment, especially if you're going to play anywhere with good opponents. Crisis Suits are your friends, Piranha's are okay, make use of marker lights and spend as much time as you can hiding (play for late game obj contesting). Remember the old Tau mantra - NEVER GET OUT OF YOUR DEVILFISH...and you may see some success. But do not expect to be "mobile" as Tau cannot afford to go anywhere near an opponent with any form of combat abilities...remember all your big fancy vehicles are not fast, and get hit in that juicy rear armor of 10 in H-T-H.

30-04-2010, 06:29
I've been prowling the boards for a while, and have gotten an idea of what I want in an army.

- Tau have great models

This is a good reason.

- Shooty mobile army, not zerg swarm or necron/IG gunline

This is also a good reason, unfortunately, due to how our weapons work, Orks can be shootier while only being a little less mobile, but not quite at our range.

- Not SM, which as cool as they are... too common unfortunately. Blood angels codex up my alley but... eh.

Not a good reason not to go Blood Angels, but not a bad reason, either. I mostly feel the same way.

Biggest question is does the Tau have a single hero/character/elite that can pwn face? Mephiston style?

Closest is O'Shovah or Farsight as he is also known. His Dawn Blade lets him Assault like a Monster, and he even has great WS and I, for a Tau. Unfortunately, great for a Tau is average for a Space Marine or Eldar of similar rank. Combine that with the fact that he severely limits what you can take, but gives bonuses to most everything else, and he can be a less effective Special Character.

Of course, he could be worse, he could be Aun'Va.

Oh, and word to the wise, never field an Ethereal as anything but an objective. It only leads to disappointment and tears.

30-04-2010, 06:33
I'll just say Tau are pretty different than most other armies. Mostly in the fact they tried to make them ultra shooty at the cost of ultra sucking in Close combat. Well they got the ultra sucking in close combat part down, but the shooting part is only meh. I consider Tau a high learning curve army. Expect to lose often at the start and with knowledge, skill and practice you might hope to put up a fight against a starting 8 year old with a Space Marine Army. Is it really that bad? No, but don't expect to pwn anything anytime soon. For example Tau get cool things like leaders that when they die make half your army run off the board.

30-04-2010, 07:24
Tau dont belong in 40k. and defiantly dont have some uber-powered HQ simply because they shouldn't get one,

30-04-2010, 07:37
Tau dont belong in 40k. and defiantly dont have some uber-powered HQ simply because they shouldn't get one,

Wow, there's a wise statement :eyebrows:

Go for Tau if they appeal to you. All my regular opponents are space marine players (space wolves and blood angels mostly). Its hard to win against such enemies with tau, but with a little practice (and hopefully some terrain on the table) you can beat them, if not always.

Cheers, AmonRA

30-04-2010, 07:44
As a long standing Tau player i can safely say they are a very tough army to get to grips with but once you start learning what works for them (and you) they are a very rewarding army to play with !

I always explain Tau to be like a scalpal - precision is required ! They are woeful in combat and though meant to be a shooty army, there are very few armies they can out shoot. What they excel at is combining together at taking out key threats in your opponents force, and geared up right they can be very mobile.

So dont be put off by some of the above (especially Havokas), as they are new they dont have vast volumes of fluff to be constrained by, Forgeworld loves us, GW keep writing us into new Fluff, we are here to stay and i say if you love the look and up for a challenge, go for it !!!

Urban Shaman Commando
30-04-2010, 07:59
Tau can really prosper only through really tedious min-maxing and playing experience. If that is your thing or you don't mind getting beaten badly for playing more casualy go for it. The XV-8's have a plethora of conversion potential and a neat XV-8 commander can serve as a focal point of the army, at least on a symbolic level.

EDIT: They're also pretty constrained at lower point levels since they are pretty expensive points wise. It also takes a healthy supply of points to pull of the iconic missile pod + plasma rifle XV-8 spam.

30-04-2010, 11:58
If you like the models use the army.
Remember you are going to be painting and building the stuff.

30-04-2010, 12:26
If you want to learn about Tau I would suggest reading what Kirby has done on his blog http://kirbysblog-ic.blogspot.com/p/armies-in-5th-edition-articles.html or his posts in the Tau tactica forum. Tau are pretty much the most under apreasated army going at the moment.

This is also a good reason, unfortunately, due to how our weapons work, Orks can be shootier while only being a little less mobile, but not quite at our range.

Ha, your funny.

30-04-2010, 13:36
I agree with the overall message that if you like the models get the army. I picked up Daemons of chaos because I really like some of the models (nuuuuuuuuurgle). Playing the army is really tough, but it gives me thrills that my space wolves cant.

As everyone else has stated, you have no single target terror on the battlefield. Your tanks are dangerous though, str 10 ap 1 if I remember.

A little trick my friend used to do when he played tau was to circle his troops with his tanks and have the troops shoot under the tanks. I would have to either jump infantry over, or blow up a tank to get through. It worked well until I brought 2 large units of wolf scouts and sky claws.

30-04-2010, 15:00
As a Tau player (and a recent Blood Angels player), I've noticed the Tau take thought and skill to play and win. But it is possible. Definately do your research as far as what units to use are concerned. Advancedtautactica.com and the Tau 40k army section at librarium-online.com are great resources.

From my experience in the current mech heavy metagame, there are some units you should focus on using.

Crisis Suits - Max out what you field. They are your best units. Use either fireknife (missile pods and plasma rifles) or deathrain (twin linked missile pods) weapons loadouts. Fireknife is great against marines/MEQs and Deathrains are better for more weak armor/hordey armies. Always use cover and use their Jump Shoot Jump ability.

Hammerheads and Broadsides - VERY necessary against mech. the S10 AP1 railgun is mandatory for any Tau army. Hammerheads are more mobile but less accurate (use the disruption pod for cover save with these guys). Broadsides are more accurate (twinlinked rails) but much less mobile.

Kroot! - The cheapest and possibly most important unit in your army. These guys are expendable meat sheilds and should be used only as such. An ideal unit size is 10 Kroot and 5 Kroot Hounds, for a very cheap unit that has surprising amount of attacks (and good initiative relatively speaking). Take multiple units of these guys and surround your better troops with them.

Pathfinders - Markerlights are also a defining feature of Tau. Units of about 4 PFs are good. You'll usually get 2 or 3 ML hits per shooting phase. With 5th editions focus on cover saves, its ability to REMOVE cover saves are invaluable. Also the ability to up a units BS is pretty nice too. I recommend 2 units of 4 PFs, you'll also get 2 devilfish transports that you can use with ...

Firewarrriors - These guys are pretty good but you definately have to protect them. At the beginning of the game disembark your pathfinders from the Devilfish and put these guys inside and run around doing Fish of Fury technique (look it up at above Tau sites). Their shooting range and Str 5 shots are not bad, especially if you can rapid fire people. I recommend 1-2 units of 6-12 FWs.

Piranha - These, along with Kroot, are cheap expendable units. But their role is rather different. With piranha you want to put fusion Blasters on them and run them up the flanks as fast as possible to try and kill mech, monsters etc. I usually have only 1 unit per squadron (squadron rules suck in 5th). Moving them at flatout also gives you a cover save since they are fast skimmers.

HQs - The special character HQs in Tau suck. Dont use them. Even Oshovah sucks because he puts serious army list restrictions on you (no Kroot, limited Hammerheads). Just use a cheap Crisis Suit commander with fireknife or deathrain configuration. Sorry, there are no mephistons or other overpowered marine HQs

General playing tips with tau:

- Never, ever get in close combat. Just dont do it. the only time you actively get into close combat with an assault is to use your Kroot to block a unit from CCing a better unit like your Crisis Suits or Tanks.
- Use your markerlights and focus your fire on the highest priority unit. The tau have powerful shooting but only if you use it precisely. Dont spread out your shooting accross the enemy army. At most focus on your nearest threat and maybe use your rails on a distant mech threat.
- Always use Jump shoot Jump with your Crisis suits.
- Always protect your Tau troops with Kroot. They are cheap and expendable and can slow down the close combat troops trying to get you.
- With objectives, use your marker lights to remove cover and wipe out the defenders before you try to claim it. Remember you only need the objective at the end of the game not in round 1 or 2.

I'll probably think of more things in the future and add ...

30-04-2010, 19:20
I got blasted to the stone age by Tau today. There were some bad rolls and some tactical errors on my part, but the Tau can hold their own (I played nurgle CSM with 4 mech PM units, 2 Vindis, a lord, a small terminator and a small raptor unit, both with 2 melta weapons and a dread - my opponent used two units each of pathfinder, Kroot, FWs, and Broadsides, a crisis team with Commander, an Etheral and 3 Piranhas). With plasma on the Crisis teams and fusion on the Piranhas my tranports went quickly and the braodsides did the rest (and silenced the Vindis). Then my now footslogging PM got hit from all sides with Plasma. My raptors got downed by fire warriors rapid firing and kroot charging in and the termies devidated far on the DS which got them killed by plasma as well.

The key to a Tau victory - at least against mech armies like the one I was fielding is to focus on removing the opponents mobility first, then using your own mobility to leave his units stranded. This can be tricky against hordes (and thatīs the main reason that Tau have lost a bit of their standing - Hordes have become bore powerful and more common since the last Ork Codex, followed by the IG codex and the Nid Codex).

30-04-2010, 20:57
i think i'm going to have to drop into the gaming store and watch a few games. I'm liking what I'm hearing about Tau but god damn that librarian dreadnought was cool to watch as well.

Thanks for the help guys and gals... gotta go debate how to spend my money!