View Full Version : Are Tau too Weak for Newish players?

03-01-2010, 23:04
I've played a bit of 40k before but quit due to a lack of other players. I'm thinking of starting up again with possibly Tau but have heard they are too weak in this edition, is this true?


03-01-2010, 23:26
It's a tricky one, with a well thought out list and finessed play style they will be a match for the vast majority of players. If you want to take them to tournies I'd leave them be, mech lists work better for the guard these days, as does terrifying firepower with nasty special rules to ensure effectiveness. They're not awful though, and they'll get a new list eventually. If they're the models you want to paint the most I'd say go for it, they've also got some really nice forgeworld stuff.

03-01-2010, 23:28
They certainly have a rather tough job. Assaults are brutal in 5th and Tau donīt excell there and the new cover rules hurt shooty armies. That being said not being able to overrun into another close combat keeps lines from falling.
The learning curve is steep, but it has always been and with a lot of armies heavily utilizing (and relying on) transports the Tau are spoilt for choice in taking them out. Broadsides, Suits and Piranhas all can take out Rhinos and the like, Broadsides can reliably deal with Land raiders as well. Take out the mobile elements of your opponents army quickly, then use your own mobility (Fishes and Jetpacks) to keep firing from a distance.

03-01-2010, 23:37
It depends.

Do you mean to play casually with your friends if everyone is not taking all-out tournament lists? In that case, they are fine. In fact, it's a good army to start with, as you aren't going to have the crutch of super-powerful units (in comparison to other lists you play against commonly) to lean on, so you have to learn to play the game well if you want to win. You won't develop bad habits because you have an advantage before the models hit the board.

Do you mean to play in a full-on tournament environment? There are some specific Tau lists that might do decently in the hands of an extremely good player, but you are going to need to put in more effort and get less return than with any army (other than perhaps Necrons) in such a context, and I would suspect that if you are new to the game, it will turn out to be a poor decision if your group is primarily concerned with tournament style gaming.

So depending on what your focus is, there is your answer.

04-01-2010, 00:24
I think for fun play against other people who might be learning the hobby they are a perfectly fine army to play.

However if you are wanting to start off doing really well you will be disappointed as it has a higher learning curve than most armies.

04-01-2010, 04:51
Tau are very unlike say, the Space Marines and their ilk, because with Marines you can shoot, advance, asault more or less in a straight line and still have a chance of victory

Tau is a finesse army like the Eldar, but while the ELdar for example have units in thier arsenal for everythign from ranged combat, close combat, anti-vehicle ect; Tau are mostly shoot and run

most players use the Tau in a firing line: group them in cover, and nope thier St:5 weapons with 30" range is enough to kill the enemy before they get near....didn't actualy work for the british in the revolutionary war either

the key is use the Tau's mobility....such as crisis battlesuits that can move from behind cover, fire and move back....or make use of devilfish to move to another position before the enemy gets too close (because as stated Tau stink in close combat by design

04-01-2010, 05:43
Tau are not beginners friendly, but they are fun! They do suffer in killpoint missions, but they can put up a fight in the other two mission types. Be prepared to get your behind kicked a lot early on, as tau is an army that requires a certain fines. Once you know how to play tau, they will prove to be a very rewarding army tough.

04-01-2010, 05:47
New players field tau as a gunline, and get angry when they lose constantly.
It's definitely not a recommended pick for first or second army.

04-01-2010, 06:24
They were my first, but that was back in 3rd. Nowdays you really need to get mobile to have anything that resembles a snowball's chance in hell, which I can only do in lower points games due to lack of room for the large Tau vehicles. They do really teach you the rules though, since you'll have to know them to not loose. That carries over into opposing armies rules; you'll need to know exactly what what can do.

As a Tau player, I've noticed a strange Phemomena in how I think during games. I really notice when my opponent screws up. I think this is because a)If I screw up, I loose and b)I often know thier army better than they do. It often causes me to think that, if the tables were flipped, I would totally be kicking my ass right now.

04-01-2010, 06:29
I'd say it is not friendly for a new play for a few reasons.

They do horrible is assualt which is half the game and you don't (can't) do it well with Tau.

The have an older more confusing Codex (ones with wargear lists for most troops instead of the newer Unit X have options A, B and C.

They have a high learning curve and will take a long time to play well.

That being said they are currently a finesse that can do well in the right hands with a high level of understanding of the game.

Every battle will be an uphill battle and against some builds it will pretty much be impossible to win.

04-01-2010, 06:34
Yeah, Tau are not easy to win with. It CAN be done, but Tau are consistently ranked as one of the weakest armies in 40k, right down there with necrons, and non-wych spam dark eldar.

The main problem with it though, is that the more effective tau lists involve a LOT of suits, which for a beginner, can be a lot of money spent without an immediate return on the investment (I.E. - even with the Tau powerbuild, which costs a fair chunk of change, it still won't be anywhere remotely near the "I Win" button that some other lists have been.

04-01-2010, 07:59
Are you going to be playing against guys who are also new? If so, Tau will be fine. They've got a lot of firepower, and can wipe opponents off the board before they ever get to hand to hand.

If you're playing against somebody who is really good already, you'll get the crap kicked out of you no matter which army you play. Tau probably aren't as strong as some of the other books, but they can still be competitive and can still win.

If you've been having trouble finding people to play against, that indicates to me that there aren't a lot of players in your area, and those who are there probably don't play extremely competitively. So you should be absolutely fine picking Tau. If you like the models and the background, go for it!

04-01-2010, 23:06
Thanks everyone!

There aren't many players here, I was thinking of getting some money together when I finally get to Uni (a little far off I know) where I know there will be plenty of players in the area. So I'm unsure as to how skilled the players will be.

I've also been looking at Eldar, do they have too steep a learning curve as well?

04-01-2010, 23:30
Eldar have always had a steep learning curve, it's kind of their thing. Smae basic rule of thumb as Tau, Mech up or Die. The only Footslogging Eldar lists I've seen do reasonably were Wraith Warrior armies, which are expensive (both in price and points), an meching up with them just means more points and money.

Meched up Eldar, in my experiance, do better than Meched up Tau. They have the option for assault, at least.