Need More Plasma

January 2, 2010 ·

Happy New Year from Warhammer Tau! If there's one resolution any Tau army should make, it's for more plasma and more railguns too.

Since the seeing a lot of aggressive Tau armies at the Grand Tournament and building my Space Wolves army, it's clear to see how the Tau are being left behind in 5th edition due to their plethora of basic S5 guns and apparent lack of plasma gun, melta gun and lascannon equivalents.

Missile pods are cool, but they're not going to be destroying any tanks in a hurry without a little bit of luck.

So as I ponder a return to the Tau ahead of schedule, my sights are set on fielding more Battlesuits than before and more Broadsides too.

In particular, I will be arming my Broadsides with the Advanced Stabilisation System and twin linked plasma rifles.

Why the sudden move towards plasma?
Because I'm sick of outflanking space marines, deepstriking terminators and other nasty targets with a high armour save jumping straight down my throat.

Let's see how they cope with a unit of 3 Broadsides putting out 6 twin linked plasma shots followed by a charge!

I'm also going to give the plasma rifle/fusion blaster combo a try on 2 Battlesuit Command Teams as well. If supported by Pathfinders in a Devilfish, their Deepstrike should be safer...

Here's a rough army list:

plasma rifle/fusion blaster Battlesuits
plasma rifle/missile pod Battlesuits
twin linked missile pod, single flamer Battlesuits
pathfinders + devilfish

Overall, this provides better anti-tank and harder hitting units. The loss of massed basic weapons fire isn't going to have too much of an impact, because it never seemed to actually kill much anyway due to the poor AP.


Anonymous said...
January 2, 2010 at 1:39 AM  

Did you paint that Crisis Suit pictured in this post? That thing is amazing!

Adam said...
January 2, 2010 at 2:01 AM  

I'm afraid not. I think it was a Spanish Golden Demon entry. But it could be my new colourscheme.

Managarm said...
January 2, 2010 at 2:21 AM  

Nice to see Warhammer Tau back online :-)

I might see some problems against hordes, especially with the new 'Nids coming to town. Against power armoured guys your suggested list could work quite well but the bugs eat this kind of army in no time. I don't know about orks, but I guess it goes the same way. Generally I think you are going to be outmaneuvered by fast armies. And which army hasn't the potential to be fast nowadays?
It's just my few cents, but I think your recent lists are more solid.
But always depends on the environment you are playing in. For friendly games it's a nice change to the mech-lists.

Are you building your new army yet? I am curious how that will turn out.


levi said...
January 2, 2010 at 3:01 AM  

This colour scheme is excellent! It would be a great choice for the type of Tau army You'd like to build, I think. I fear plasma costs too much and that it's not too effective against swarms of enemies...
By the way I'm also thinking about fielding only battlesuits, and no hammerheads... I usually can't do any damage with my HHs because I tend to fail the 3+ to hit, I don't really understand why :)

I didn't play tau for a long time because I kind of realized that however its a shooting army, it can't field enough firepower. Plasma is cheap, MP doesnt have AP against MEQ, FB is too short ranged (though it works great against armor with deep strike), we just cant shoot enough to kill the horde we only have the HH railgun to blast, and so on...

Slate_Blank said...
January 2, 2010 at 12:28 PM  

I think you should keep the MPs on the battle suit, just always pair them with plasma. I manage to fit 3 full "fireknife" teams in my 1750list and it does wonders for me. (I also use pathfinders...) Big proponent of plasma on the broadsides and would ask you to consider how often you really move them. If the answer is practically never consider multitracker instead of ASS...

Gredus said...
January 2, 2010 at 4:53 PM  

Glad to see you posting again for the Tau Adam, i've just started up my own Tau blog to track my army, hoping to get across from Ireland for the bigger UK tournaments in 2010

levi said...
January 2, 2010 at 4:56 PM  

Gredus: Would You please send me a link to your blog? I'm rather interested!

Raptor1313 said...
January 2, 2010 at 6:48 PM  

I'm still not a fan of the deep-striking plasma/fusion teams. 50/50 shot of landing a 'hit' if the Pathfinder Fish has LOS is still not that great, and it's going to hurt if you deviate too much, since it just kills your firepower. Outside of the 6" zone, you lose your melta, outside of 12" and it's just a 'why did I even bother to do that?'

I do agree that the missile pods need some help to KO armor, but I'd still like to have that capability in the army. Furthermore, it lets me start wounding infantry and even monstrous creatures at range.

I'm also not sure I'd drop the missile pods from the Broadsides. In fairness, the only time the TL plasma rifle is actually preferable to the railgun is when there are heavily-armored infantry within rapid-fire range. I believe they can mount a single support system, but I'd not lose the Adv. Stab. Sys. in favor of a multi-tracker.

And, of course, if there happen to be more numerous and not-so-durable infantry approaching, then the SMS is totally worth it.

However, it all depends on how much you see in the way of marines. If that's all you see, then build to fight that, but if not...yeah. Your list has lost a good amount of volume of fire, and a chunk of mobility. Also, you've lost mobile cover for your battlesuits, which will be a pain if you ever face S8+ weaponry.

Gredus said...
January 3, 2010 at 10:43 AM  

I was trying to write up 1500 and 2000 point army lists last night. As i'm a missile pod fan, makig units with plasma is pricy. It's also a pain in the but to balance it between something that could take down Marines, horde armies like orks, and Nids (After reading the latest White Dwarft they look nasty!)

Rathstar said...
January 3, 2010 at 7:11 PM  


Great to see more posts on Warhammer Tau. I've only got into reading 40k blogs in the last few months, and Warhammer Tau is one of the best.

Just like Gredus I've started my own blog ( charting how my Tau list develops over the tournaments I intend to attend in 2010. It seems quite a few Tau players (myself included) are trying out more aggresive lists and putting in a bit more plasma, but boy are those plasma suits expensive :) Can't really decide which weapon to combine the plasma with :(


Warrio said...
January 5, 2010 at 3:45 PM  

Firstly, good to see you have returned.

I do fear that this new, essentially "gunline" list will cause you no end of hassles due in some part to the exposed Fire Warriors and in more part to the lack of Hammerhead sub-munition.
Perhaps using the AFP on a Shas'vre and the CIB on your HQ to take advantage of the higher BS could provide you with some measure of deterrent against the likes of Orks, Guardsmen and the soon to be plentiful Nids.
That said however the lack of mechanisation would, in my opinion, result in this list not being competitive in a tournament setting since those S8+ AP2- shots have to go somewhere if they are not going into your tanks and I have a feeling that your broadsides might be the destination.

slxiii said...
January 6, 2010 at 2:06 PM  

No offense, but I don't think this strategy will work out well. It may bring a decrease to the amount of time it takes to destroy a marine army, but tau didn't really have trouble with that before. The first time you play against nids/guard/orks with this list, you'll regret spending so many points on suits to have them instant deathed by battle cannons/power klaws/venom cannons. Right now these will be the three armies to beat, and plasma won't do much against any of them....

Adam said...
January 6, 2010 at 2:08 PM  

My Tau always struggled against marines. Well, they could take them out, but they'd be unable to advance.

I think you're right about the suits being unprotected.

But more Broadsides is definitely the way to go.

Tom said...
January 7, 2010 at 5:29 AM  

Rathstar, I intend to combine a twin-linked plasma with a targeting array. Will be giving the team leader a failsafe detonator just to see what that does ;)

will let you know on your blog how that works out

slxiii said...
January 8, 2010 at 1:07 AM  

yes, broadsides are amazing... if only they were more reasonable priced..... I doubt that the 2 metal railguns and metal feet cost 15 bucks, and i think it's ludicrous to spend over 300 for 9 broadsides...

Personally my lists usually max out firewarriors in devilfish, run a few broadsides and some hammerheads. No offense to your personal list building style, but i've always thought the way you run firewarriors in comparison to suits was a bit odd.
If you get a chance, I think you should try maxed firewarrior squads in a smartfish, and possibly deathrains instead of fireknives. Sending 24-31 s5 shots at a marine squad will do some serious damage... plus it has the benefit of killing hordes too!
I don't know, you may not want to give it a try, but if you do, let me know how it fares for you.

levi said...
January 8, 2010 at 2:16 AM  

slxiii, I have played mostly against marines and tried to use the fire warriors against them with no success at all. I mean I could take down 2 marines maximum and I was lucky then, the usual number was one. Next turn I got slaughtered.

Last time I played against orks and 2 figures (a boy and a nob remaining from a unit) killed 9 of my fire warriors. I thought 2 miniatures wont stand a chance in close combat. Yes they did... :D

slxiii said...
January 8, 2010 at 3:22 AM  

I've never really had a problem with any marine army. Around here most people play mechanized marines, and since I play mostly Mech Tau, I don't think I ever had a problem not killing a whole unit. When you can get 3-4 units with 24 shots each on top of a unit in one turn, they should go down pretty easy. Honestly, the things that scare me most are the big multiwound models like nobs... that's when a rapid firing unit of firewarriors does nothing.....
The commander I usually run is Cyclic Ion Blaster/plasma, so if needed he can kill off 3-4 marines in a turn as well. The thing about Tau is that they have to work as a perfectly oiled machine, or they will fail 9 times out of 10.... The 3 plasma crisis suit unit will not wipe out a unit of marines either, and it will probably be wiped out the next turn as well(assuming a few meltas are in his army).... so in either case the marines won't lose alot, and you'll be wiped. The advantage with the firewarriors is that they are cheaper, scoring, and more expendable, plus they have a contesting box called a devilfish that can tank shock as well... Plus the firewarriors WILL perform better against a horde.... all but 2 guys in an ork unit to 9 firewarriors is still a good trade.

Anonymous said...
January 8, 2010 at 7:34 AM  

Great to see that Adam`s back!! I`ve missed your blog...

I play an army that is a mix between your old one and Old Shatter Hands' one and I it does quite well against IG and SM. The vehicles really draw the heavy fire on them, which keeps the few suits and broadsides alive. As pointed out before, I fear that your new approach leads to an army vulnerable to S8. And, after all, a great torrent of S5 shots takes out nearly anything. I love Stealths shooting with BS 5...=)

Rathstar said...
January 8, 2010 at 1:19 PM  


I think vehicles being so much tougher in 5th edition that the choice of how many railguns is very important.

I currently run 5 in 1750, but I'm still considering going up to 6 by changing one of my hammerhead for 2 broadsides.

However the hammerheads have some often forgotten benefits, and people only seem to look at the pts per railgun hit, and broadsides easily win that comparison. Hammerheads are still effecient after the enemy armour is destryoyed with a subminution round and 6 burst cannon shots. The hammerhead is safer from combat, it can move to only be hit on 6's, it can also move away faster than broadsides to avoid combat in the first place, and it can more up the field to contest objectives easier than broadsides. Hammerheads also soak up alot of heavy weapon fire that would be instant killing crisis suits and broadsides or popping devilfishs that are crucial to the Tau troop choices staying alive.

5th edition is also faster as well as more mech, and too many broadsides teams will make an army very succeptable to fast assult armies, it only takes any unit with a powerfist to take broadsides.

On the plasma front I wish I had a unit that could just blow an enemy unit away in a turn, but it is so expensive. I've currently trying a quasi-helios team as my third* crisis unit acting as a mobile reserve. Nasty unit comes in, I pull back so the rest of the enemy is out of combat range, and then light them up with markerlights and hit them with helios and attached commander. Early play testing has been inconclusive in how effective this will be in the long run


*My other crisis suit units are Twin Missile/Flamer, and Missile/Burst

Joe said...
January 9, 2010 at 4:26 PM  

I agree with you on the plamsa. It should pay off in the end. just remember to balance all of the few shot weapons out. I'd advise adding at least one hammerhead just for the submunitions

Tom said...
January 10, 2010 at 2:44 AM  

against Marines and equivalents, more plasma is definately needed, as the submunition round won't hurt them much (2+ to wound ok, but only 1 out of 3 wounds will get through at a 3+ armour save)

I'd say balance out a team of burning eye's (for example) with a team of firestorms. Gives you a balanced army, by adding some high-armour hunters and some horde/transport hunters.

Anonymous said...
January 13, 2010 at 6:01 PM  

I play against my friend, who plays Eldar alot. My tau army has a hard time dealing with his wraithlords. Do you have any advice to help me kill them?

Adam said...
January 13, 2010 at 10:49 PM  

I usually ignore them and focus on the enemy transports to keep them away from you.

But then, there's nothing that massed plasma rifle and missile pod fire can't take care of.

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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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