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

May 6, 2013 ·

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.


MihaM. said...
May 6, 2013 at 8:22 AM  

Don't you think that with 3 units of Fire warriors in rapid fire range an Ethereal would be a vastly superior choice? I consider him as such in any case...

Roberty said...
May 6, 2013 at 10:42 AM  

The Ethereals do now have a good place in an army. I wouldnt advise anyone against them. But personally I just never think they are worth it. For 10 points more I can get a model with a very similar rule AND a markerlight/target lock and an actual armour save. For me, despite their rules, Ethereals are just a little too flimsy.

Embrace Your Inner Geek said...
May 6, 2013 at 2:17 PM  

What I really struggle with is the extra VP. While no where near the liability he was, it's still a problem.


Roberty said...
May 6, 2013 at 3:59 PM  

Yeah his weak ability to save any wounds on him with that 2 victory point rule really makes him a risky choice.

Anonymous said...
May 12, 2013 at 10:05 PM  

I've really been struggling with the new Tau codex. I used to run a very self reliant mechanized list (highly mobile and no markerlights), but I'm finding it much too slow and lacking in firepower under the new codex. My local meta is very competitive and quite unforgiving... but the decrease in mobility and dependence on markerlights of the new codex has really made it hard to inch out a win thus far; I just can't keep my units alive long enough (markerlights especially are dissolving very quickly), and a sudden increase in AV13 spam is making things a tedious uphill grind every game. Any suggestions?

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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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