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Vorenus
05-09-2008, 17:13
Brothers, the time has come for me to start another army, or maybe two. Could any experienced Tau players give me some idea about what units are best to start with for a good balanced army? I can then see if any starter sets exist without a load of stuff I'll never need in them!

Aurellis
05-09-2008, 17:37
I've always believed that the Tau Battleforce is a great place to start a new army. It has everything a new commander would need for his army.

All you'd want to add is another 2 Firewarrior squads, a Commander and a few Crisis Suits for a balanced 1500 pt army.

A few of the Apocalypse boxsets are excellent value for Tau, it'd be a good idea to see if your local store still has any left in stock.

Culven
05-09-2008, 17:57
I agree that the battleforce is a good start. Some of the Apocalypse sets are even better. The Tau Mobile Assault Cadre (http://uk.games-workshop.com/storefront/store.uk?do=Individual&code=99120113022&orignav=10) looks like a good start to an army, though I don't know how much of a vaule it really is compared to buying each component separately. The only thing missing would be some Crisis Suits for the Commander and some terminator hunters.

Adyger
05-09-2008, 18:27
As far as value goes, I love the APOC Rapid Insertion Force--9 crisis and 3 stealth for one great price. This easily fills your HQ and 3 Elite slots, or 2 HQ and 2 Elite for an amazing price...you will definately need some fire warriors and maybe kroot mercs for troops--I like the fire warrior box here, since if you're just starting out you can use it to make 2 small units (enough for the compulsory--probably not enough for practical game needs) The last time I checked, this set was still available for direct order.

Vorenus
05-09-2008, 18:28
Would you say there are any Tau units which are a waste of time?

Culven
05-09-2008, 18:36
Vespids and Sniper Teams have been a waste of points for me. I'm sure there are some who find them very useful, but with my style of play, they just don't work. The Vespids are too fragile, often being charged the turn after they shoot an enemy unit. The Snipers are good at killing MEQs, but Pinning has alwys been a rather unreliable ability. To make it really work, more Markerlights would be needed, pulling points away from more important units.

Vorenus
05-09-2008, 18:49
Culven, can I just check something I'm unclear on in the Tau Codex? This will affect the models I buy. Pathfinders carry a weapon which includes a Markerlight. Presumably they can only fire the weapon OR the Markerlight, and not both? And presumably, if some models want to shoot and some want to use Markerlights, that's allowed but they all have to target the same enemy unit?

Culven
05-09-2008, 18:55
Correct. Pathfinders essentailly have two ranged weapons, the Markerlight and the Pulse Carbine. Regardless of which is fired, the unit must follow the rules for shooting. However, if you chose to do so, you could give the Shas'ui a Target Lock, allowing him to target something other than what the rest of the unit is targetting.

Vorenus
05-09-2008, 18:59
So I guess that even though Pathfinders are not Troops, and under the new rules can't therefore hold objectives, they're pretty vital. How many squads should I take do you think? This target marking thing is new to me, but sounds fascinating.

Culven
05-09-2008, 19:17
I always include one unit of Pathfinders to mark the units which must die. If the game is large enough, I will include a second unit, but that is rare. Instead, I will sometimes add Markerlights to my Fire Warrior team leaders. With Relentless on Jet Pack units, I have started considering using Marker Drones in Stealth Suit units.

Something else fun to do is Mark a target for a Railhead using Submunitions. I have often increased its BS to 7 so that the shot has a better chance of scattering 0". The BS7 is also useful with the SMS or Burst Cannons allowing for a much higher chance of hitting.

jstill
05-09-2008, 19:27
like others have said, the battleforce is a great place to start a tau force. From there you'll definitely want to get some more fire warriors, broadsides and/or hammerheads, and I'd highly recommend some stealth suits. I love (and my regular opponents hate) my stealth suits because they're able to hide behind things a little better than a crisis suit (being smaller) and there's not much in the world better than an opponent thinking they've outflanked them and caught them completely uncovered only to roll an inch short of being able to see them :D

Edit: Just realized they changed the Tau battleforce since I bought mine. Mine was the fire warriors, kroot, 3 crisis suits, and more drones than I could count. Now you get a devilfish and some stealth suits, but less crisis and drones. Still a great deal, and I'd still recommend more stealth suits :)

Vorenus
05-09-2008, 19:39
Right. I sense a Battleforce purchase coming on. Thank you all so much for your input and advice. I may well post again when I start looking at available options and so on, just to see what you all think.

Shas'o Lar
05-09-2008, 19:46
Something else fun to do is Mark a target for a Railhead using Submunitions. I have often increased its BS to 7 so that the shot has a better chance of scattering 0". The BS7 is also useful with the SMS or Burst Cannons allowing for a much higher chance of hitting.

Culven, of course you are aware that according to Tau Codex, the Markerlights can't increase the BS above 5 (read carefully the Markerlight section) ? :rolleyes: And it wasn't FAQed two months ago, so, unfortunately, no BS 7 for our glorious warriors and Railheads...

AfroCelt
05-09-2008, 19:46
I actually made my Tau force out of three battleforces, 2 Broadsides, A hammerhead box, and a commander box. It made:

- 6 troops (3 full firewarrior squads, 3 min sized kroot)
- Devilfish for each firewarrior squad
- 1 full Squad of Crisis Suits
- 1 full stealth squad
- 1 small stealth squad I made into a markerlight unit
- Hammerhead
- 1 Commander
- A good Heavy Support Broadside unit
- At least a squad of Drones for Fast Attack and deepstriking.

All that for under 300 if you shop wisely...that's well over 1750 points. I think that the Tau battleforce box is among the best deals in any of the 40k battleforces...certainly beeter than my ork one :P .

Culven
05-09-2008, 20:09
Culven, of course you are aware that according to Tau Codex, the Markerlights can't increase the BS above 5 (read carefully the Markerlight section) ? :rolleyes: And it wasn't FAQed two months ago, so, unfortunately, no BS 7 for our glorious warriors and Railheads...
D'oh! No, missed that. :( Oh well, BS5 is still good, and the extra Markerlights can make the Cover Save vanish. :D

Speaking of Hammerheads, if anyone wants one in their army, they really should buy a Skyray (unless GW has cut costs). With the addition of a sufficient weight, the Skyray turret can be made removable. Then the turret can be replaced with a Hammerhead turret at will. This of course relies on the Skyray box still being a Hammerhead with an extra sprue. I don't think that the Hammerhead bitz can be easily removed, so there is a fair chance it still works.