Tau 500pt army list

January 11, 2013 ·

I have had a couple of very successful small battles recently, 500pts before Christmas and now up to 600pts just this week.
I thought it would be worth opening my army lists so that they can be discussed.
Today I am posting the 500pt list.
Please let me know what you think!

HQ (87pts)

  • Commander (87pts)
    • Shas'el (87pts) Independent Character
      Missile pod (12pts), Multi-tracker (5pts), Plasma rifle (20pts), XV8 'Crisis' battlesuit
    Elites (221pts)
  • XV8 'Crisis' Battlesuit Team (159pts)
    • Shas'ui (50pts) Burst cannon (8pts), Missile pod (12pts), Multi-tracker (5pts), XV8 'Crisis' battlesuit
    • Shas'ui (42pts) Burst cannon (8pts), Flamer (4pts), Multi-tracker (5pts), XV8 'Crisis' battlesuit
    • Shas'vre (67pts) Cyclic ion blaster (15pts), Missile pod (12pts), Multi-tracker (5pts), XV8 'Crisis' battlesuit
      XV8 'Crisis' Battlesuit Team (62pts)
    • Shas'ui (62pts) Missile pod (12pts), Multi-tracker (5pts), Plasma rifle (20pts), XV8 'Crisis' battlesuit
    Troops (120pts)
  • Fire Warrior Team (60pts) 6x Shas'la with pulse rifle (60pts)
  • Fire Warrior Team (60pts)
    6x Shas'la with pulse rifle (60pts)
Heavy Support (75pts)
  • XV88 'Broadside' Battlesuit Team (75pts)
    • Shas'ui (75pts) Multi-tracker (5pts), Smart missile system, Twin-linked railgun, XV88 'Broadside' battlesuit


Amadeusz Sadowski said...
January 11, 2013 at 7:28 AM  

Oh, interesting, so you actually used Cyclic Ion Blaster? How do you find it work?
And that's lots of Crisis suits!

Also, am I wrong or Have you used BattleScribe to generate army list?

David Drage said...
January 11, 2013 at 7:33 AM  

I have been trying the Cyclic Ion Blaster. It has not been the most successful. As my opponents have been Necrons and Eldar. It wasn't too successful against the Necrons and was hopeless against the Eldar Wraithguards (although my dice rolling was a lot below average in the Eldar game).

Yes I did use Battlescribe.

Narric said...
January 11, 2013 at 8:02 AM  

From my Experience, the AFP is the better of the two Spec-Weaps. Also, Broadsides aren't particularly useful, and will get picked off. I'd trade for another Battlesuit myself.

I find it useful to have a couple suits to be a Bodyguard, but not using the Bodyguard unit. As your HQ is PR/MP, I'd suggest FB/MP for the Bodyguards.

If you do take the AFP, then I'd highly recommend putting it on your Commander. I think it works best with the Missile Pod.

If you can scrounge more Fire Warriors, do. A few extra Str5 shots will help against more numerous, but lighter armour, opponents.

Thats just my opinion though :)

David Drage said...
January 11, 2013 at 8:07 AM  


I will mull over your post.

I have plently of Fire Warrior, 3 12 man squads painted. I close this configuration over the previous line up I had (useing 2 10 man squads), as it is more mobile.

Amadeusz Sadowski said...
January 11, 2013 at 8:44 AM  

+ for the BattleScribe!

I always use AFP on my Commander, though it's rather because I've glued it to him, and one time I tried to play CIB it was hopeless.

That's an interesting take on 500, as I've never left home without my dear Hammerhead. Leaving it off allows for interesting combinations, tough! Thank you for widening my view. :)

Tim said...
January 11, 2013 at 9:32 AM  

No kroot? Hmm. At such a low point level, kroot really help swell the ranks. I would drop the CIB, and down grade all your suits to t-link missile pods with black sun. Drop the Broadside for a piranha too - you get a meltagun and 2 drones, instead of just one railgun that can get picked off easily.

Then use the extra point to buy as many kroot warriors as possible.

At least that is what I would do.

BoxerSaint said...
January 11, 2013 at 10:04 AM  

I'm with Amadeusz, the Hammerhead is pretty killer right now and allows us to handle with both anti-tank threats as well as large infantry-horde threats.

I did a quick scale down of my 1850 list and came up with this:

Shas'El w/Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Targeting Array, (HW)Multi-Tracker, (HW)Blacksun Filter 100

2xCrisis Suits, Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Multi-Tracker 124

06xFire warriors 60

06xFire warriors 60

Hammerhead, Railgun, Burst Cannons, Disruption Pod 155

With the situation we Tau find ourselves in at the moment(which hopefully won't last long), I feel like we have to make spend our points as efficiently as possible to compete with everyone else, and Hammerheads are right on the money for effienciency, in my opinion. AV13 with a 3+ cover save(2+ behind ruins) is hard to pass up.

Shas'el Mike said...
January 11, 2013 at 12:57 PM  

Thanks for the post, looking forward to batreps!

I had a couple thoughts I figured i'd jot down, which may or may not fit your style.

my first thought is that 1x3 and 1x1 Crisis suit squads make target priority easier for your opponent and harder for you. Splitting into x2 and x2 would give you a better spread of fire, would force your enemy to split their fire, and if one squad takes more than 4 wounds (or 2 instant death wounds) those remaining wounds are wasted. Additionally, Tau have terrible leadership since they actually utilize the mechanic. By going x2 and x2 you ensure that a squad is either at 50%-plus strength or is wiped out. This will prevent a runaway squad from dragging useful members off the board. Also, this will save you 10pts on that 'vre upgrade which doesn't really benefit the crisis squad in any way.

I was initially going to say something about needing more plasma, but at those point levels I don't think you'll see more than an HQ that is packing a 2+ save. So, I think just the HQ is probably balanced enough. EDIT: I kept playing with the points, and at 500 I couldn't find a way to fit everything in, so I dropped the plasma off the HQ. This allowed the army to be better balanced overall.Also, by putting a blacksun filter on the HQ during nightfighting you could just have him join the broadside unit so it can ignore nightfighting rules. )

Your big crisis squad has a scattering of 18" or less weapons and 36" or less weapons. Especially since you have purchased multi-trackers to enable firing all of them, you aren't likely able to use those points to full effect. missile pods and the CIB like further range, burst cannons and flamers like close. Because rapidfire has changed to where even the lowly bolter has 24" shooting range, and you have few wounds and pricey (pointswise) models, I would suggest picking weapons that compliment each other and avoid burst cannons like the plague. Fire warriors carry the same weapon with 30" range, so it doesn't really do anything but put you too close to the enemy without a way to get good enough results to justify its inclusion. If you 2x2 crisis squads, then you could go tl-missile + blacksun on both models. This would give you 33 extra points, and greater number of shots over the course of the game. (with that being said, I prefer missiles and plasma on each suit, but at 500 / 600 pts every point possible needs to be conserved.) Additionally, this will encourage you to keep your suits out of harms reach.

With only 6 men per squad, the fire warrior squads could stand to add a couple more members. This would help immensely with volume of fire as well as enable the squad to be more resilient. I would suggest up to 3, as that puts you up another dead model before the required ld check, but thats mostly just personal preference.

I love broadsides, if you're looking for anti-vehicle then it outperforms the hammerhead always. With that being said, a lone suit is one krak missile away from being a casualty of war. Because shield drones receive the armor save of their bearer, i'd suggest taking some of the points saved from reorganizing / rearming the crisis suits and pick up a couple of shield drones for 30pts. This will give the broadside a pair of 2+/4++ ablative wounds. This will make the broadside both more of a target (which is good as it keeps your squishy stuff alive), and more reliable of heavy-hitting unit (as it'll be around longer). WHile the hammerhead is an admirable cleanup unit, the 165pt investment is more than 500pts allows without losing something else vital.

So, if you went with the following list, it would outperform any other army during the (likely) rounds of nightfighting you will find, will be able to use all weapons at max efficiency, and crams in more bodies and forces more enemy shots before you're tabled.

shas'el: tl-mp, bsf: 71
x2 Crisis: tl-mp, bsf: 92
x2 crisis: tl-mp, bsf: 92
x7 fw: 70
x7 fw: 70
Broadside: x2 shield: 105

Yancy Small said...
January 11, 2013 at 1:32 PM  

Both of the Special wpns are situational and mostly only useful against T3 sv5+ troops. So Small nids, guard, and what ever else. The CIB's S3 means that it's not the hits that matter, its the fact that you will only wound on 5+ at best most of the time. The AFP is slightly better in that it ignores cover, but unless your shooting troops with that 5+ save, the ignores cover is meaningless. At 500 I tend to run something more like this:

Total Roster Cost: 498

HQ: Commander Shas'el (1#, 73 pts)
1 Commander Shas'el, 73 pts = (base cost 50 + Hard-wired Target Lock 5 + Missile Pod 12 + Twin Linked Flamer 6)

Troops: Fire Warrior (7#, 170 pts)
6 Fire Warrior, 60 pts = 6 * 10
1 Devilfish, 110 pts = (base cost 80 + Disruption Pod 5 + Smart Missile System 20) + Targeting Array 5

Troops: Fire Warrior (6#, 60 pts)
6 Fire Warrior, 60 pts = 6 * 10

Fast Attack: Piranha Light Skimmer (3#, 75 pts)
1 Piranha Light Skimmer, 75 pts = (base cost 60 + Disruption Pod 5) + Fusion Blaster x1 5 + Targeting Array x1 5

Heavy Support: Hammerhead Gunship (1#, 120 pts)
1 Hammerhead Gunship, 120 pts = (base cost 90 + Ion Cannon 15 + Two Burst Cannons 10 + Disruption Pod 5)

I'd attach the Shas'el to the firewarriors with no transport and guard an objective in my deployment zone when possible. The firwarriors with the transport I'd run up a flank aiming toward linebreaker and or capturing an objective in the enemies zone. The piranha is your tank hunter and will likely die, but if you know what your doing it will kill a tank before doing so. I might consider turboboosting to the enemy deployment zone and detatching my drones in cover for linebreaker on turn one as a back up to the firewarriors. It can also be scoring in one mission giving you 3 scoring units. The Ionhead puts out 9 shots a turn, will draw a lot of fire, and is also scoring in one mission again giving 3 scoring units. Both vehicles have DPods giving them 3 up saves as long as they move, 2 up in area terrain or behind ruins making the very survivable.

Check out my battle reports at:

leon de pinda said...
January 15, 2013 at 8:49 AM  

i usually run a hammer head, for anti vehicle as well as anti light infantry, then 2x12 warriors backed up by tetra's and finally 1 commander, preferably with fusion blaster and/or flamer for deepstriking, but the commander can be customized in my opinion, just extra fire power.

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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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