New Tau's First Tournament

May 31, 2013 · 2 comments

Little Geek and I are off to the Games of War summer tournament this weekend.

Games of War is a gaming store in Seaham in the North of England. They run 40k tournaments roughly every quarter and get around 20 or so people coming along. I’ve been going semi regularly for a couple of years now. It’s a bit of a drive (2 hours away) but it’s a great opportunity for Little Geek and I to get away from Mrs Geek and the Geeklets and have a “boys weekend”. So, we’re loading up the Geek Mobile tonight and heading off after work/school.

XV8s Are they still good?

May 30, 2013 · 3 comments

Double Death Rain Shas'vre Team Leader

Crisis Suits were the default take in the old codex, however with Riptides being the new “hotness” I can’t help feeling the XV8s is being over shadowed a little. But they are so much better than they were…….!

I always think of XV8’s as Swiss army knifes. They are so flexible you can pretty much kitted them out to do anything. They are ideal for plugging gaps in your Cadre. But that in itself is a problem when trying to write anything meaningful about XV8 load outs. There is no such thing as the “best” load out, there is only the load out that best fills the gap you need to fill.

Which makes this article kinda pointless – but that never stopped me in the past, and certainly won’t stop me here! What I don’t want to do is “rehash” a guide to XV8s. I’ve already done this in my Codex Review over on Apostates Anonymous. What I want to do in this article is kick around a few ideas about load outs that strike me as particularly interesting, or unique, or different, to try and start some discussion on what people are using in their Cadre’s.

Double Death Rains

Now that suits can take 2 weapons systems that count as 2 separate weapons, you can bring even more fire power. This unit runs at 156pts for 3 XV8s each with 2 missile pods. The unit pumps out 12 missiles per turn. It’s only BS3, and it’s not twin linked, so needs Marker Light support to really shine, but that’s a lot of shots for not a lot of points. There’s also a spare hard point you can fill with another weapon or support system. Add in another missile pod making one pod twin linked is an option to increase the team’s accuracy. For an extra 15pts your average hits go from 6 to 7.5. Alternatively, add in a velocity tracker for some anti air if you’ve filled your heavy slots with hammer heads or sniper drones.

An interesting addition might be a Puretide Chip, giving the team Tank Hunter or Monster Hunter (and some other stuff you will never use!). However, I suspect most people will want to put this on an XV8 Commander for the flexibility of being able to move him from squad to squad.

The down side of this load out is that it’s a bit of a “jack of all trades master of none”. Deathrains were really good in 5th, when people spammed light vehicles, but now I’m not so sure.

Fire Storms

You can push out a lot of Dakka from an XV8 team. Three suits with 2 burst cannons each and 6 Gun Drones (give one of the suits a drone controller) puts out 24 S5 AP5 BS3 shots and 12 S5 AP5 BS3 Twin Linked shots. On average that’s 21 hits, or around 5 dead marines per turn. Not bad for 194pts. However, give them 2 marker lights and they’ll kill half a blob squad, and with 2 more marker lights they’ll do it even if the blob is cowering behind an Aegis.

That’s a lot of dakka!

Marker Team

One option for Marker Light support people are talking about is attaching a Commander to a squad of Marker Drones. But there is an alternative, which doesn’t seem quite so “wasteful” of the Commander.

If you give all the suits a target lock, one of them a Drone Controller, and each of them 2 Marker Drones, you get a team that can fire their weapons at one unit, while their Marker Drones fire at something else. The benefit of this over a dedicated Drone Team is that it doesn’t take up a Fast Attack slot, the Drones are BS3 rather than BS2, and they are 2 points cheaper per drone. You can load them out with whatever weapons you like, but missile pods seem best to me as they have the same range as a Marker Light so the team can hang back shooting stuff as well as lighting things up for other units.

Multi Tool

You can build a team to cope with almost anything. Give one of them 2 Fusion Blasters and a Target Lock, the other 2 Plasma Guns and a Target Lock, and the last one 2 Burst Cannons and a Drone Controller. Give each of them 2 Gun Drones and for 232pts you push out a lot of fire power that you can target at 3 different units if you need to.

This of course begs the question – is it better to have 2 units that can do anything, or one unit that does one thing really well, and another that does something else really well.  A topic for another day.

So how to use VX8s in the new codex?

I think the epitome of a Hunter Cadre has to be Fire Warriors supported by XV8s. The image I have in my head is of D’fish full of Fire Warriors pushing forward, supported by XV8 teams, with Broadsides, Skyrays and Hammer Heads providing long range fire support. The Heavy Support take out units that threaten the Devilfish as they move forward. The XV8s shelter behind the Fish until it’s time for the Fire Warriors to jump out and unleash hell. When that happens the XV8s deploy, using their drones to light up targets for the Fire Warriors, and hitting hard targets, which are beyond the Fire Warriors Pulse Rifles.

Great in theory…but will it work on the table top? Gonna be fun finding out!


Battle Report: Tau/Kroot vs. Grey Knights/Dark Angels

May 28, 2013 · 3 comments

Sadly, I do not get to play very often, but this weekend I made the 1 hour trip to play a 2v2 game. My ally brought a Kroot list based on the original Kroot Mercenary list, updated for 6th edition. This guy is known as the "Nid Kid", he loves all hordes and plays Nids, Orks and Kroot. I play a Mech Tau list with no kroot, so it worked out well fluffwise.
Both sides had two armies of 1500 points each.
This game was only my second 6th edition game ever (the first was a 500 point skirmish). Also, my first doubles game, first game against Grey Knights and first game against the new Dark Angels. My first time using Battle Chronicler as well, so please overlook the errors in the pictures and use them more like a general picture of how the game developed. BC is tougher to use than Vassal but I prefer how it looks.

Beware! This is a pretty long report.

Tau News and Odds and Ends!

May 23, 2013 · 2 comments

May 23, 2013

Firstly I want to thank all the new contributors to Warhammer Tau. You guys have certainly stirred up some interesting discussions, and turned the blog into a community...

The big Tau news this week is the the Forgeworld release of the Imperial Armour Volume Three, second edition of the Taros Campaign. Bringing all of the Forgeworld Tau and Kroot models up to date with the 6th edition rules.

On a personal level, I got a 1000pt game in last night, against my pal Del's Iyanden Eldar. The scenario was a capture the flag game with each of us starting in opposite corners. It turned in to a real meat grinder. I lost my Hammerhead (which had been ineffective as I forgot to give it submunitions), both my Piranhas, both squads of Firewarriors, my Pathfinders and the only Kroot left on the table was my Krootox. I had 4 Crisis suits left.

The Eldar were also reduced to 2 Wraithguard, a Farseer and a Warlock.

Neither of us held our objectives, mine was uncontested, as both of our forces were forced away from it. The game ended with 3 of my Crisis suits sitting on the Eldar objective with no Eldar in the neighbourhood!

If the game had gone to a 7th turn I feel I could have pulled a victory out of it. I just needed to move the Krootox to defend my objective and send some of my suits to tie down the last of the Eldar. However, it was not to be as the dice ended the game, just short of my plan coming into play...

Shadowsun's Ghost Cadre

May 22, 2013 · 7 comments

I really want to make Shadowsun work in a themed list. An idea for a “Ghost Cadre” has been tumbling around in my head for a while, but I just can’t come up with a list I’m happy with. So, I thought I would throw it out to the community and see what we can come up with.

The concept is to create a list with a “special ops” feel to it. The sort of force a Commander might deploy prior to deploying the full weight of a Hunter Cadre. In concept its role is to destroy key targets, interdict movement, and prepare the ground for the Hunter Cadre. In practice I would like to use all the sneaky deployment tricks and strategies in the Tau Codex, to create something that was fun and tricky, and could at least hold its own. To stick with the theme, the units I want to work with are Stealth Suits, Kroot, Pathfinders, XV8s and Sniper Drones. I don’t think Fire Warriors, Riptides, Ethereals, Hammer Heads or Skyrays really fit in

I’m not expecting this to be a super competitive list! The theme is too restrictive to allow you to bring to the table all the tools you really need to reach the top tables. In my mind it’s the sort of list you might take to Throne of Skulls, rather than the GT!.

The way I see the list working is in 2 “waves” the first wave deployed, and the second wave in reserve. The first wave’s role is to pave the way for the second. The first wave sets up the strike and the 2nd wave delivers it. With that in mind, the first question is what do we need each wave to do?

As I see it the first wave needs to do 2 things – first it needs to “set up” the enemy to maximise the 2nd wave’s strike, next, it needs to take out key enemy units which might disrupt that strike. The 2nd wave needs to deliver a devastating blow.

It’s easier to work out the 2nd wave than the 1st! The obvious choice is tooled up XV8 teams with an XV8 Commander deploying via deep strike. With that in mind the first wave needs to set up the enemy for a deep strike assault coming in on turn 2.  To do that they need to counter anti deep strike defence e.g. bubble wrap, warp quake, Coteaz “I’ve been expecting you”, interceptor etc., and kill stuff that might annihilate your suits in response e.g. missile long fangs, plasma units etc. To do this I need accurate deep strike, and an ability to deliver a “surgical” alpha strike.

The key to an accurate deep strike is positioning a Homing Beacon exactly where you want it. You can take homing beacons on 3 units in the codex – on a Stealth Team Shas’vre, in a Pathfinder’s Recon Drone, and on an Ethereal.  An Ethereal doesn’t really fit the theme, which leaves the Stealth Team and the Pathfinder Team. Both are viable. You can infiltrate the Stealth team into position, and bring the XV8’s down on them, or you can outflank the Pathfinders and bring the suits down on them (in passing note that you CAN NOT attach Shadowsun to a unit that doesn’t have infiltrate and infiltrate both her and the unit. So you can’t attach her to a Pathfinder team and infiltrate both her and the team).

The problem is positioning and reliability. If you infiltrate the Stealth team you can only get the beacon within 18” of the enemy. If you outflank the Pathfinders you can’t rely on the team coming in on the correct board edge. However, if you give the Stealth Team a Positional Relay, and get them within 6” of a board edge, you can then bring in the Pathfinders anywhere along that edge…..!

This gives you lots of flexibility. If you can infiltrate your Stealth Team to within 6” of your opponent’s board edge, you can then bring on the Pathfinder team in wherever you like on their board edge. Because the Homing Beacon doesn’t need to be on the table at the start of the turn to use it, you can then deep strike the XV8s off the Pathfinders beacon.  Even if you can’t infiltrate into you opponent’s back field, you can set them up on your board edge within 6 inches of one side, and you know you’re pathfinders are coming in on that side.

So with a Positional Relay on the Stealth team, and a Recon Drone on the Pathfinders you have a degree of reliability and accuracy on your deep strike. What else do you need?

Next is a “surgical alpha strike” ability. I’m not talking about a devastating alpha strike here. I’m more thinking about the ability to kill the Justicar in a strike squad to make warp quake less reliable, or pick out a plasma cannon, so he can’t template your suits when they come down, or kill a Thunderfire Cannon so it can’t blast your Stealth Team with ignore cover rounds.

I think Sniper Drone teams are pretty good at this. Up to 9 BS5 48” rapid firing sniper rifles (with stealth!) should be able to kill the odd Justicar or plasma gunner. If you give them 3 Marksmen each, you also get 3 BS5 marker lights in each team to help the XV8s when they come down. But what about armour? Well, that’s where Kroot come in!.

In the past I’ve used Kroot as speed bumps and cheap objective grabbers, however, in this list they need to pull their weight. Helpfully Kroot units are much more flexible now and can make more of a contribution. One of the issues the first wave has is a lack of Heavy Weapons. I can help this by bringing Kroot Ox with Kroot Guns. Also, taking sniper rounds for the Kroot Rifles makes them much more flexible. A pack of 10 Sniper Kroot with 3 Kroot Oxen costs 145pts. This gives me some pretty weak scoring units, but with 10 S4 Rapid Fire weapons, 10 24” sniper shots, and 3 48” Rapid Firing S7 Kroot Guns. Reasonably flexible, but pretty fragile.

So the first wave might look something like this

Shadowsun. C&C Drone, 2 Shield Drones

Stealth Team, Homing Beacon, Positional Relay

10 Kroot, 3 Kroot Oxen, Sniper Rounds
10 Kroot, 3 Kroot Oxen, Sniper Rounds
10 Kroot, 3 Kroot Oxen, Sniper Rounds
10 Kroot, 3 Kroot Oxen, Sniper Rounds

Sniper Drones team of 5 Drones and 3 Marksmen

This comes to 1,349pts

For the 2nd wave I want 2 squads of XV8s. The units need to be devastating and able to deal with any target. I want one with Fusion Blaster and one with Plasma Rifles, and all of them need to have Gun Drones. The idea is that one team comes down and can hit vehicles, while the Drones hose down light infantry, and the other one can come down and hit heavy infantry, while the Drones hose down more light infantry.

So the list looks something like

Shadowsun. C&C Drone, 2 Shield Drones

Stealth Team, Homing Beacon, Positional Relay

2 XV8s each with 2 Plasma Rifles and Target Locks. Add a Shas’vre with 1 Plasma Rifle, a Target Lock and a Drone Controller. Plus 6 Gun Drones.

2 XV8s each with 2 Fusion Blaster and Target Locks. Add a Shas’vre with 1 Fusion Blaster, a Target Lock and a Drone Controller. Plus 6 Gun Drones.

10 Kroot, 3 Kroot Oxen, Sniper Rounds
10 Kroot, 3 Kroot Oxen, Sniper Rounds
10 Kroot, 3 Kroot Oxen, Sniper Rounds
10 Kroot, 3 Kroot Oxen, Sniper Rounds

3 Sniper Drones team of 5 Drones and 3 Marksmen

Comes to 1,821pts, so maybe a couple of sniper drones or some more Kroot to make it up to 1850.

It’s far from ideal! It really needs a comms relay to make sure the 2nd wave comes in on turn 2. It’s a bit weak on scoring, and it has no answer to flyers what so ever …. but it could be fun.

The problem is, there is really no pressing need to have Shadowsun in the army! It would work perfectly well without her. Arguably it’s stronger if you swap her for an XV8 Commander with all the fixings. Even better might be an Ethereal to stop the Kroot running away and to boost their shooting.

So I still can’t work out a good way to run Shadowsun.



Battle Report: Tournament

May 21, 2013 · 0 comments

Last week I posted up this list and said I was taking it to a tournament. I wanted to experiment with using a Farsight bomb and this list (imperfect as it may be) gave me a strong fire base to work with. My plan was simple, dig in deep until Farsight came in using the Hammerhead and Piranhas to keep my opponents’ at bay, then trap them between Farsight and a wall of S5 fire power.

It seemed like a good idea… let’s see how I did. The tournament consisted of three rounds with a winner being calculated first by win/loss, then by victory points.

Round 1: Dark Angels with IG allies - Lost
Round 2: Orks  - Won
Round 3: Tyranids - Won

Round 1: Emperor’s Will, Vanguard deployment. Tau lose roll off and go second.
The Dark Angels player took Aegis line with a banner that let him do lots of shooting, I took a gun line as well (plus Farsight) and we both ended up hiding behind our Aegis lines and staring each other down. He also had an IG blob that he paired with a Dark Angel HQ that gave the entire blob fearless and a 4++ save. Farsight tried to take down the blob while trying to knock them off their objective, but the blob finally caught him and ground him down. The interesting thing was that Farsight did surprisingly well in CC. My opponent only won by a single point caused by slaying my warlord. It was a close game, and I made a lot of mistakes, plus there was some confusion about what my wargear actually did... all in all it left me a little mentally shaken.

Round 2: Relic, Hammer and Anvil deployment. Tau lose roll off and go second. This was a match against my friend and we’ve played this battle out before; good news is I know his army and tactics well, bad news is he know mine just as well.

 I foolishly placed my gun line within double tap range of the relic thinking it would let me wipe the speed freaks out quickly. What it also meant was that ‘da boyz’ were in CC by turn 2! Luckily Farsight came in round two and with some lucky shooting was able to draw heat off my gun line... almost too much heat since he ended up getting assaulted by 3 koptas and 10 boyz. Once again, Big Red was able to slash his way out! (3 flamers in overwatch helped a lot) Farsight challenged and slew the nob in the first round and in the second was able to use his high initiative to put the hurt on the boyz the second round and sweeping advanced them! I’m sad I had to face down my friend but it helped me put my head back on straight after the first round.

Round 3: Purge the Alien, Dawn of War deployment. Tau lose roll off but rolls a 6 and steals the initiative.

Since I had an Aegis I had to put it down before we deployed. I put it in the far back right corner fully intending to make my stand against the inevitable tide of fangs and claws. My opponent seemed to like this idea and packed everything into a dense ball of biomass on the same side hoping to run me down and spam more bugs than I could shoot. When I saw how far to one side of the board he deployed I decided to change my plans and deployed all of my forces on the LEFT side! Sure it meant I lost the Aegis, but it forced him to now have to walk almost the entire board length to get to me.

I decided not to deep strike Farsight and instead used him, my piranhas, and my hammer head to punish him from long range and jump-shoot-jumping in and out of LOS. Had the guy decided to deepstrike his Trygon along with the Zoanthrope and Doom and brought them in at the same time it might have been a little different story, but since they were all on the board nearly 6 feet away, it turned into just a giant shooting gallery. One Tervigon did try to charge Farsight and friends, but he died to overwatch shooting. (Yes I really did kill a MC in overwatch... it was pretty amazing.)

All in all it was a good time for me, I met some great guys, saw a lot of new lists and tactics, and I think I learned a lot about my own army and how to use the Farsight bomb better.
Here are a few of my thoughts:

  1. Flamers on the Farsight squad were immensely helpful. We all like to believe we will keep our units at optimal range but there are times against a skilled opponent where we are going to take a charge and these can be life savers.
  2. The Aegis line “head-fake” was an extremely, if unintentional tactic. Falsely telegraphing your deployment can allow you to control how your opponent sets up when they are deploying first.
  3. At I5 Farsight is surprisingly effective in CC. Now he will still go down to mobs or more significant CC characters, but in a pinch he can reliable take down a nob with a powa klaw or a Sargent with a power fist.
  4. When faced with a blob of guardsmen with a 4++ or a squad of marines it’s more effective to use the bomb agains the marines. While it’s easier to generate wounds on the guardsmen, the marines will not be taking any saving rolls. I smacked my forehead when I realized this after my first game… I blame it on first tournament jitters.
  5. Speaking of jitters, there is a very real mental component to this game, be it your mental condition going into a game versus a new opponent or army and it pays to prepare before going to a big match by taking on smaller local tournaments.

Using Magnets on your Crisis Suits


Few armies lend themselves to magnetization like the Tau. And fewer still can do it as cheaply or as easily.
Tau crisis suits are so incredibly versatile, that magnetizing them is almost mandatory. What will you do after you've glued on that multitracker or flamer? Counts-as models are always a little bit of an admission of defeat, because you wouldn't pay enough money to have all the correct models.
However, using magnets maintains your ability to switch out weapons/systems on your battlesuits, without forcing you to buy extra battlesuits or weapons. You can also use magnets to make your devilfish/hammerhead/skyray interchangeable. An excellent tutorial on magnetizing your vehicle chassis can be found here.
I will be focusing on the XV-8 battlesuit, but magnet techniques can be adapted to just about any model.

1500 Farsight for Casual Tournament.

May 14, 2013 · 8 comments

I've been playing with a 1500 point Farsight list and having some success with it lately. I'm going to be taking this list with me to a small local tournament next week and wanted to share with everyone my list and my planned tactics.

So first, the list:

Body Gaurds
3 Crisis - Plasma, Plasma, Flamer
2 Crisis - Fusion, Fusion, Target Lock
1 Crisis - MSSS, CnC, PnC, Flamer

Cadre Fireblade + 2 Marker drones

9 Man Firewarriors
9 Man Firewarriors
9 Man Firewarriors
5 Man Pathfinders
5 Man Pathfinders

Hammer head - Railgun + submuntion + SMS

3 Piranha (squadroned) - Fusion + 2 seeker missiles a piece

Aegis Line with Lascannon

Ok so now how am I going to use this list? (This is really the most important part)

Farsight lists personify the Tau fighting style of the patient hunter. In this case the lure is our oh so fragile Firewarriors. The Fireblade will go with a squad behind the Aegis while the two others wait in reserve. With the exception of Farsight and friends every thing else begins on the table.

Deployment is critical and if it's botched up can mean the end of the game. My force will be set up on a single side of the board in what's known as a refused flank. Everything will be spread out enough that a first round template shouldn't hurt too badly and will keep damage from drop podding antic to a minimum. The whole point of this setup is too both take advantage of my long range firepower and draw the enemy forward. You see, the more spread out they become, the better it gets for me.

When Farsight eventually drops (hopefully turn two) I need to be extremely careful about where he lands. It's true I've got a ridiculous amount of low AP shots in this unit but I need to use it wisely. Plasma will go towards troops and fusion towards artillery. The best way I've found it to drop them as far into the enemy backfield as possible. Now my opponent is in the midfield faced with heavy fire in the front, and a deadly unit in his backfield. If he ignores one the other will tear him to pieces.

I've also got a fair number of marker lights and seeker missiles in this list. This means I can hide behind cover and volley AP3 shots or race forward with fusion weapons. If Farsight drops on time these units will be good forward suppport for him, but if he takes him time then I still have some anti-tank options.

So how can this list go wrong? A lot of ways actually:
1. Farsight doesn't drop early. This can be mitigated by taking a comms relay on the Aegis but I've chosen to give myself some skyfire instead.
2. Indirect fire. Hits from IG templates will obliterate the forces I have on the table. However I have a couple of troop units I can protect via reserving them.
3. Getting into assault. The bomb needs to be shooting every turn, so I need to keep them from being tar-pitted. Hopefully the overwatch shots from the flamers and Farsights I5 attacks will keep me safe... anything that that doesn't deter I shouldn't be close to in the first place.

So that's it. It's not a perfect list, but I've had a lot of fun playing it. Most of the shortcomings in this list can be mitigated through carefully planning and good tactical decisions. I still have a few days so I would love to here what everyone has to say and any last minute improvements.

My Initial Thoughts on Mech Tau

May 13, 2013 · 2 comments

Hello! For my first post I'll be talking about the direction I chose to take my Tau cadre: Mech Tau.

When I was looking to get back into the 40k scene after I finished college, I did a little bit of research. I'm more of a hobbyist than a gamer and so I was looking for an army that wouldn't be too hard to paint, offered a challenge, and would be fun to convert. Tau.

I'd always thought they looked like fun, and a conversion addict like myself just couldn't resist those XV-8's. My friend had dabbled with the Tau back in the day so I hit him up for his old models. I sold off all of my Ultramarines and started in on buying my own force. But what did I want my force to look like? Then I found Warhammer Tau. Adam Smith's Army Lists and tournament Battle Reports won me over and I decided that I too would walk the path of the Mech Tau. True, Adam's experiences were a little out of date, but the concept was still there and it had style.
Just in case some people are not sure exactly what Mech Tau (Mechanized Tau) is; this site privides a great description. I sure do hope T0nkaTruckDriver decides to revive it and update it for 6th edition. The short definition from this site reads:

Mech Tau is a Hunter Cadre that can be dropped from a Manta.

The New Codex

I was in the process of putting my mechanized force together when the new Tau codex hit, and I was devastated. Only a very quick glance at the codex made it very apparent that Mech Tau as we knew it was taking a big hit. There are many pieces of the codex that contribute to the discouragement of Mech Tau but there are two that stand out most in my mind:
  • No Vehicle Multi-trackers
  • No decrease in Devilfish cost
These were not necessarily killer blows to Mech Tau, but they do send a message: "Tau aren't fast." An odd message, since our codex specifically describes Tau as a race that excels at mobile warfare, feints and powerful lightning attacks.

Our tanks can't move and shoot any faster than a Leman Russ. Our devilfishes aren't faster than any other transports. Our fliers aren't fast for fliers either. So where are we mobile while our opponents are not? There are a few small areas:
  • Our elite battlesuit units can deep strike and get a thrust move in the assault phase. It is not incredibly reliable, but it is something.
  • Markerlight hits can improve snapshots. It is a poor substitute for the Multi-tracker, but a Tau army with alot of markerlight support can boost the snapshots of a crusing hammerhead. The downside here is that we are paying more for markerlights instead of multitrackers and none of our markerlight sources are very survivable.
  • Our vehicles are all skimmers. If your board has impassible terrain on it, then our skimmers can fly over them, even if they don't fly over them very fast.
So we are ever so slightly more mobile than any other treadhead army. Not much, but I'll take it. Dark Eldar, Ravenwing and Eldar were all way faster anyways.

Now What?

It is apparent that our vehicles took a hit. Thankfully, Mech Tau also has alot to do with battlesuits. Not many armies have elite firing platforms that can keep up with their mobile cover vehicles at crusing speed. This is where Mech Tau will pick up the slack of its gimped vehicles.

Battlesuits are cheaper overall and can pack much more firepower. Riptides are one of the most powerful units in our codex and are already very popular for their AP2 Large Ordnance blasts wiping entire units off the board. Our gunships are also a bit cheaper, leaving more points to spend on battlesuits. I am currently working on a 2000 pt single primary detachment Mech List that has over a dozen crisis suits and at least 6 vehicles. Hopefully I can test it out in the next couple weeks.

In general, I am excited for the future of Mech Tau. The loss of multitrackers hurts, but it just opens up the opportunity to adapt. Some new changes like reasonable point costs, Longstrike, Skyrays and Ion blasts all make Mech Tau deadlier. The question is how much deadlier?
I will post more of my thoughts on Mech Tau as I get some games in, but those will not be anywhere near as often as I'd like.

Let me know what you think! Is anyone else planning on fielding pure mech forces? Any particular units they are excited to use?

The Many Joys of our Hobby.

May 9, 2013 · 4 comments

Colour Scheme for my new Cadre

This post was sparked by a post on face book by a friend. His post got me thinking about the many aspects of our hobby, and how varied it is.

There’s something in our hobby for everybody. If you’re a gamer, it’s sufficiently complex to provide a competitive challenge, if you’re a painter you can create some beautiful minis, if you’re a modeler the scope for conversions and terrain modeling is endless, and if you’re into the fluff, then you can immerse yourself in the grim dark world of the 41st millennium.

I think what some people forget is that there is no “right” way, there is just your way. Forgetting that leads down all sort of anger soaked byways, none of which end well.

But here’s the thing, you can enjoy all of them. Last year I got really into the competitive side of the hobby going to many (many) tournaments. I had a blast, got better at playing the game, and met a lot of interesting people. But it culminated in Cally this year. After Cally I felt a little “burned out”. I was beginning to tire of optimised lists, Flamers and Screamers, Wraith spam and Night Scythes, and Biomancy Tyranids. (BTW - I’m not complaining about people using lists like this – it’s a tournament, of course people will bring hard lists -  it’s just that it gets a bit stale, and ironically I avoided all these lists at Cally!).

But the beauty of the hobby is its variety. I could “retreat” from the competitive side into other aspects of the hobby. “Beer and pretzel” gaming at the non-club on Wednesday nights, father and son weekends away at Throne of Skulls, painting and modeling my SM bike army etc etc.

And of course the new Tau Codex has reignited my “love” of the fish folk. But it’s interesting … in the past I’ve focused on playing my Tau competitively (if that isn’t an oxymoron!), optimising lists and only bringing the most effective units. However, what I’ve decided to do with this codex is build a completely new Cadre, and I find myself wanting to field units “because they’re cool” and getting really motivated on the painting and modeling side.

And that’s the point, there are so many different aspects to the hobby, it never gets old. If one aspect gets you down, you just move onto another.

Since the new Tau Codex came out I’ve enjoyed working through all the various options. At the moment I’m enjoying the creative process of building a new army - coming up with a new paint scheme, thinking up cool conversions, and modeling thematic bases. But in the back of my mind I’m list building, and in due course I’ll start to hone and refine “my” list for some competitive tournaments in the autumn.

And the latest “project”? Well the other night at the non-club a friend and I sat down and built some models. While “chewing the fat” we came up with a cunning plan to build an “uber” board using a modular tile system. The idea is that it would be the non-clubs “showpiece” when we run our gaming days. A couple of years ago I build all sorts of weird and wonderful terrain for a campaign I ran with Little Geek and my brother. It was great fun at the time, but after spending hours (and hours) building everything from a simple ruined building to a massive gothic cathedral, I got a bit sick of building terrain….. but now I feel my enthusiasm for creating worlds returning.

There is so much variety in our hobby, that it would be difficult to get bored with all of it!


6th edition so far: How are the Tau doing?

May 6, 2013 · 5 comments

For my first post (hello all!) I thought I would be general and talk about my thoughts and feelings on the new Tau codex based on the few games I have played with it so far.

So when we got the 6th edition of 40k, the Tau got a little bit of a boost. Overwatch, despite the poor hit/miss ratio for most armies, was a massive boost. The Tau have always been (and still are) poor in close combat. It really is not their cup of tea. But overwatch gave them a bit of a chance, especially with their Str5 weapons. Taking out a few models before they get into combat with you can make or break an assault for Tau. And the change to rapid fire and the other minor changes to shooting really gave them the boost an now behind-the-times army needed

In these ways, the new codex has really built on those changes and reinforced the Tau's shooting superiority. I have found that the fact that I can move and still fire 30" is immense. Especially as my usual set-up for Tau is far back on the board. If the enemy also stays back, that 36" range after moving can make all the difference.
The Cadre Fireblade is one of the few models I would say is an auto-include purely for his Volly Fire special rule. Whether I've won or lost my recent games, he and his Fire Warriors always do very well due to this. Taking 10/12 shots at Str5 is bad enough for most units, but if you then pump that up to 24/36 and you can ruin an entire squad in one round of shooting.

Example: The last game I played, I deployed as a gun-line as usual. I was playing Necrons and they were far away across the board. Only on his second turn they changed that. 2 Night Scythes jumped onto the board and threw 2 full squads at me. And a third squad Ghostwalk Mantle'd to the same location. I faced 3 full Warrior and Immortal squads with some characters in front of me. I felt like this was alreayd the beggining of the end.
Luckily, because of how he got there, he could only make snap shots. Of 3 full squads, I managed to weather the fire and only lost a few models.
Then I returned fire with 3 10-strong units of Fire Warriors (one with a Fire Blade). All within rapid fire range. He ended up losing one whole squad of Warriors and nearly a whole squad of Immortals. All just due to Tau rapid fire and extra shots from the Fireblade. How many other basic troop choices can pump out that much fire and kill that many models in a turn? Not many.

And this brings me on to probably the best and most needed aspect of ANY Tau army, no matter what else you take. Markerlights.

Now these have been covered already, see this fellow contributor's article, but I must stress that in the example above, each Necron unit only had a max of 2/3 markerlights on it. Having your Tau hit on 3s rather than 4s is something not to be sniffed at. If you feel that you missed with too many markerlights, dont fret. If you hit with one, it'll be a great help. So if you have a Pathfinder squad or two, sat in some decent cover (I found out to my cost that left out in the open by accident, they dissapear VERY fast), they can rain invisible death onto the enemy and you can take all kinds of advantage of it. 3s followed by (on average) 3s is a damn nice roll to be looking at.

I wont bore you any longer, I'm just getting used to this army blogging thing, but that is what I have found so far through playing games with the new book. We now have some of the best basic shooting units in the entire game, and they are very cheap and easy to make EVEN better. And 1 marker hit is better than none. 1 hit from a Pathfinder squad could mean 3/5/even 10 more hits from a Fire Warrior squad. Do not discount that at all.

Because if you dont kill them before they get to you, you'll still fold like an old newspaper.

Aggresive Combat Patrol List

May 5, 2013 · 3 comments

May 6, 2013

I just finished up a combat patrol and thought I would share the list I used. We played by the Adepticon 2013 rules found here, with exception of no flyers. This was meant to be more of a fluffy list with mostly scout type units.

6 Stealth Suits - Counterfire defense system
10 Kroot - Sniper Rounds
6 pathfinders
2 Piranhas - Fusion guns and 3 seeker missiles split between the two

Half of this list can infiltrate, and another unit can scout if needs be. Essential this let's me deploy half of my forces last even if I get first turn.Also there is enough strength 8 in this list I feel comfortable taking out any armor I might see while marker-light assisted Kroot snipers should help me deal with infantry.

I wound up winning this little tourney among friends quite by surprise considering I was looking to really test units, war gear out and wasn't trying to be competitive. Here are a few key take aways:

  1. Seeker missiles are incredible versatile when used with markerlights. They negate power armor saves, kill AV12 easily, and take away jink saves. I wish I had brought more.
  2. Kroot snipers boosted to BS5 are amazing at killing MCs and high toughness targets like Nurgle bikers.
  3. BS2 overwatch sounds fun but never proved useful.
  4. Supporting fire can be a nasty trick at these low point levels when only 2-3 models are assaulting you.
Sorry this is such a short report but games were going so fast I wasn't taking proper notes. I'm looking to play in a 1550 point tourney in a few weeks and I"ll post up my list soon and try to document my experience with it.

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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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