1500 Points Tau Army List Corrections

May 1, 2009 ·

Since posting my 1500 points Tau army list which was wrong. Here is a correct 1500 points Tau army list. Kudos to the chap who pointed out that I was over by 30 points, even if it was so he could steal *cough* borrow it and make some minor alterations. But hey, it's flattering that someone would base their 1500 points Tau army list on mine.

So this evening, it's time to sit down with pen, paper and my Tau Codex to work out my 1500 points Tau army list from scratch.

No, I don't use army builder. It irks me greatly! I don't use a calculator either as I can add and subtract quite well...contrary to my recent army lists. Can you believe I was 30 points down in the 2000 points game last Sunday?

I've written out my usual list, added up all the numbers and I'm 25 points over. Not 30 as some presumed because the Skyray already comes with a target lock (only just spotted that myself mind you!).

This means I need to find 25pts by dropping stuff from my list.
The only things I can drop is the target lock on the Hammerhead, which I rarely use. Plus, the smart missiles on the Hammerhead and Skyray in favour of dual burst cannons.

So now my 1500 points Tau army looks like this:

Adam's 1500 Points Tau Army MKII

Tau Shas’el
Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Multitracker, Hardwired Drone Controller with 2 shield drones
2 Bodyguards with Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Hardwired Multitracker, Targeting Array

Tau Battlesuit Team
2 with Twin Linked Flamer, Missile Pod
1 Leader with Twin Linked Flamer, Missile pod, Hardwired Drone Controller with 2 shield drones

(X3) 6 man Fire warrior Team
Devilfish with Smart Missile System, Targeting Array, Multitracker, Disruption Pod

Hammerhead with Railgun, 2 Burst Cannons, Target Lock, Multitracker, Disruption Pod, black sun filter

Skyray with 2 Burst Cannons, Target Lock, Targeting Array, Multitracker and Disruption Pod, black sun filter

2 man Broadside Team with advanced stabilization
Leader, Hardwired Drone Controller with 2 shield drones, Bonding Knife

Good and Bad
Well, the plus side of having 2 burst cannons on my main battle tanks is having 2 more shots. I also have 1 extra weapon to prevent the tanks being destroyed from my opponents (like Owen) rolling multiple 'weapon destroyed' results on the vehicle damage table.

On the minus side, they now have range 18" guns instead of range 24" and I actually need to be in range with both sponsons to make all my shots count rather than just one.

Unless I want to lose a troop choice there's not much else I can do when it comes to shoe-horning as much as possible into my Tau army. And I need all the mechanised troop choices I can get.

What about the Airbursting Fragmentation Projector? Good question. But first, I need to play some games with the dual burst cannons instead of smart missiles and see how I get on.

Having a good all-round army list seems to be a real problem when it comes to 5th edition. Not only for Tau, but Space Marines as well. For example, when I played against Dave's Space Marines, he had loads of Stern Guard with cover ignoring bolter rounds, loads of razorbacks with twin linked heavy bolters, combat squads with flamers and a whirlwind. The army was great for killing Orks in cover, but as soon as he faced a mechanised list, he was in trouble.

Similarly, when I faced Owen's Orks, my lack of flamers meant that only 1 unit in my army could actually do any damage.

While some people tailor their armies when they know they will be facing a certain opponent, I feel that this is very unsporting, especially when this situation would never arise in a tournament. You just take a versatile army and play to the best of your abilities.

Hopefully I'll get a game of 40K this weekend.


Brian said...
May 1, 2009 at 1:19 PM  

"Having a good all-round army list seems to be a real problem when it comes to 5th edition."

My initial reaction to this statement was that it isn't that difficult to come up with a list that can combat everything with most armies. Then I realized how long I've been fine tuning my Tau and Marine lists, and how much longer I'm going to need to work on my Eldar list. It takes a good while to get the right combination of units at any point level to deal with hordes, mech, balanced, and monstrous creature lists.

I think the reason it's getting harder in the 5th edition is partially because of the new rules that make vehicles tougher to kill, and also partially because of the new codexes that come out that lower the point cost of good units allowing your opponent to bring more models to the table.

My Tau list at 1500 consists of:
2 fireknife commanders
2 fireknife crisis suits
4 stealthsuits
2 fish w/ 10 fire warriors and dPods
2 squads of 10 kroot
Fusion blaster piranha w/ t-array
broadside with A.S.S.
2 hammerheads w/ multitracker, dPods, and BS filter.

It has lots of troops for objectives, 3 railguns and lots of high BS missile pod shots for vehicles, and lots of shots (including 2 large blasts) for hordes. So far I've won more games than I've lost against a variety of different armies.

Tribal-Bob said...
May 1, 2009 at 9:22 PM  

I'm interested in your reasons for using small, 6-man, un-bonded forces.

I've found that now in 5th with the importance placed upon troops, the bonding knife is becoming a standard choice for my fire warrior teams so that I don't have to worry about a half-strength retreating squad to just run off the table.

Adam Hunter said...
May 1, 2009 at 11:58 PM  

The 6 man squads sit in the Devilfish opposed to out in the open where they tend to get shot and killed.

Also, I've found that Fire Warriors either take a couple of casualties and stick around or they take loads of casualties and get wiped out, even when fielded as 12 man squads.

So I may as well save myself points and just have 6 of them.

Adam Hunter said...
May 2, 2009 at 12:00 AM  

--> Brian
Nice list, but you won't shift Orks or Guard from cover, even with your big blasts.

Mind you, I need to arrange some more games against horde armies. Once they get out into the open they die in droves. In cover you just can't kill enough of them.

Raptor1313 said...
May 2, 2009 at 11:22 AM  

Second Adam on the Fire Warrior note. In objective games, the other guy's always going to be thinking about 'How can I nuke his troops?'

Kroot, if you're using them to hold objectives, are best at getting in cover and goign to ground for a 3+ save, and even then it's basically T3 power armor fellows that won't really last in assault.

Fire Warriors...T3, 4+ or 3+. If you put them in a Devilfish, they've at least got durability to hang for a bit, since it's a tank and there are a couple other scary tanks hanging around.

As for pointing out armies, I'm too cheap to fork over for Army Builer but I find good ol' MS Excel to be pretty useful, especially once I've got things entered at least once. Then it's just a matter of copy-paste for dupe entries.

Only list question I have is are the Bodyguards cheaper than a normal battlesuit team?

Also, vs. hordes, I think Markerlights would help, but you'd be giving up a Fire Warrior team, probably the Targeting Arrays...but you'd get the ability to drop cover saves, and when Orks and company are relying on a 5+ or 6+ save, well, they're going to die in much greater numbers.

Naturally, one of your Fire Warrior teams just co-opts the Pathfinder Devilfish...

MFerek said...
May 3, 2009 at 2:40 PM  

First off, I'd just like to say thanks for running this site Adam. I found it about a month ago, and reading all your battle reports, tactics and experiences with the Tau has revamped my interest in them. I haven't had a chance to play them in 5th edition yet, but i've decided to convert my static Tau army into a mobile one. I used to run 3 squads of 9 Fireknife crisis suits, 3 squads of 12 fire warriors, a hammerhead, a broadside team, a pathfinder team, and a few other units in a 2000 point army. But with 5th edition and the Tau army's complete lack of any melee unit, i've decided that a mobile army is the way to go.

I've modeled my army after your most recently posted list. The main difference, though, is that I will have a pathfinder squad and piranha instead of the skyray. The main reason for this is that I already own those models and using them will mean i can play sooner! Although, I think the pathfinder squad will actually do better than the skyray would. I think the extra markerlight hits will give me a necessary edge compared to the skyray. Having a whole bunch of markerlight hits on one unit usually spells death for that unit. 12 fire warriors rapid firing, hitting on 2s kills a lot of stuff.

I'm planning on plopping the pathfinders down one one side of the battlefield and using them to support whatever forces are on the same side as them. That way, I will be able to deploy fewer forces on that side, allowing them to concentrate on other things. We'll see how it goes...

---> Raptor1313
The bodyguards aren't cheaper than regular crisis suits, but regular ones can't buy both the targeting array and multi-tracker in addition to the missile pod and plasma gun.

A question for Adam: You kind of went into it with your posts, but I was curious as to how you usually use your fire warriors. I know they just ride around in their transports most of the time, but when do you have them get out? I would probably disembark them if they needed to sit on an objective or if the enemy got too close. Past that, I don't see much reason for them to get out. How do you usually use them?

Adam Hunter said...
May 3, 2009 at 2:58 PM  

Hi MFerek, glad you're getting lots of good info out of the blog.

I still have to play my Pathfinders, but I think they could provide an invaluable solution to dealing with units that love cover, such as a mob of 30 Ork boyz. My only concern has been their lack of mobility and rather squishy nature.

As for the Tau Firewarrior teams, I only get them out if they have to get out.

his is usually for the purpose of disembarking and rapid firing en masse. However, I have begun to disembark them into terrain against enemies with very few guns where the additional range 30" shots really do help.

However, if you're not certain where they will be best put to use, it's a good idea to keep them in the tanks. That way the tanks can claim objectives. If the tanks get blown up, then your FireWarriors are likely to still be on the objective. Only now they will be behind the cover of a wrecked tank instead of inside it.

MFerek said...
May 3, 2009 at 4:57 PM  

One way to use your pathfinders might be to screen them with your tanks. Maybe try putting a couple tanks in front of them but give them a line of sight to the intended target. But I agree that they are much squishier than an AV 13 vehicle, but i think the extra markerlights are worth it. If i get a chance to test it, i'll lets you know how it goes

Deluxe said...
May 4, 2009 at 3:45 AM  

How do You think about this (short range) Crisis configuration:
Elite Battlesuit Team
2 with Twin Linked Flamer, Burst Cannon
1 Shas'vre with Twin Linked Flamer, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Hardwired Drone Controller with 2 shield drones

For total 164 points like Yours configuration but with many more attacks in 18"

Adam Hunter said...
May 4, 2009 at 9:41 AM  

I think they problem you just perfectly highlighted is that they are short ranged.

Plus, the need multitrackers in order to fire 2 weapons.

poshgamer said...
May 7, 2009 at 3:11 AM  

mfreak's idea on how to use pathfinders is pretty ingenius. i gotta try that out.

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Warhammer Tau is a group of wargamers who feel that they have a little something different to offer other Tau Empire, Kroot, and allied players... even if it's just a starting point for discussion! Our goal is to produce at least one article per week to inform and encourage the Tau and Warhammer gamer community. For the Greater Good, of course!

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