New Tau's First Tournament.

June 4, 2013 ·

Second Riptide Done!
June 4, 2013

So, as I mentioned last week, this weekend was my first tournament with the new codex. I had a blast and learned a lot. I’m not going to go into detailed battle reports (more detailed reports over on Apostates Anonymous), but a brief summary and some thoughts on the lists I used might generate some discussion.

My first game was against a Death Wing army with Grey Knight Terminator Allies – all terminators. It was a close one, but I won it, despite my opponents making forty five 2+ saves on a squad of Terminators I had just hosed down with 2 squads of fire warriors! The interesting thing in this game was Riptides in assault. I charged a squad of grey knight terminators (which didn’t have a demon hammer) and held them up for a few turn, eventually beating them down with the aid of a pack of Kroot. XV8s couldn’t do that!

Game 2 was against Space Marines. I was worried at first because he had 2 drop pods coming down first turn and 2 packs of Kroot are not enough to bubble wrap all my tanks. However, his pods scatter badly and I was able to kill most of his stuff before it did much damage. Another win. Learning point - intercepting Riptides are not that impressive because they can’t get marker light support.

Game 3 was the game of the tournament, against a horrible demon flying circus army. Five FMCs all of them with multiple rolls on multiple tables giving them powers that I couldn’t possibly remember, let alone process and understand. I think I was lucky (!) in that he didn’t roll Iron Arm for any of them, but there was a fair smattering of horrible things happening to make up for it. With very little clue of what anything did, I resorted to the tried and tested Tau tactic of shooting everything ‘till it stops twitching. Luckliy I have a lot of Skyfire in my list and was able to kill all the FMY’s over 3 turns of shooting, and then clear up the troops for the win…. but it was close! Great game. Learning point …. in some games you can’t have too much skyfire!

In Game 4 I played a CSM list with twin Helldrakes. This would have given my marine army fits, but I was able to swat them out the sky with minimal damage. My opponent was unlucky in his reserve rolls which meant his army came at me piecemeal, and I was able to shoot it down unit by unit. This list would have murdered XV8s, while the Riptides simply shrug off Baleflamers.

In Game 5 I was up against Little Geek and his demons – more FMCs! Again however, the Skyrays and Velocity Tracking Riptdies pulled it off and I won this one too.

So 5 for 5, and a shiny new Crimson Hunter as a prize (I have an Eldar army on the shelf that might see the light of day in the near future)!

What worked?

·         Fire Warriors with an Ethereal in a D’fish. These guys worked as a pair, waiting nice and safe in their ‘fish (AV12 with a 3+ cover save is reasonably safe), until they could jump out and blow away a unit or 2. With Marker Lights support they pumped out 72 strength five BS5 shots per turn at 15”. There are very few non vehicle units that can take that on the chin!

·         Mark’O (i.e. Shas’o with marker drones). Being able to “drown” a target in marker lights is really useful. It allows you to fire 2 units at the target with BS5 and ignore cover. It allows you to move Longstrikes Hammer Head 12” and still fire at BS5, and ignore cover. It allows you to make sure the Ion Accelerator’s Large Blast is reasonably sure to hit, and ignore cover (in one game I think I fired it at BS7, and still ignored the targets cover save). Marker lights are so important for a Tau army that I never felt I was “wasting” the Shas’o in a marker light squad.

·         XV8s. In my 2000pt list I ran them as a team of 3 Double Deathrains, with  target locks and 2 Marker Drones each, to which I attached a Double Death Rain Shas’O with target lock a Drone Controller, 2 Marker Drones, Puretide chip and Iridium Armour. So I had 8 BS5 Marker Drones that could fire at one target, and 16 S7 AP4 shots that could fire at a different target, using either Monster Hunter or Tank Hunter.

What didn’t work quite so well

·         Riptides. On paper Ion Accelerators are scary, however I found them a bit lack luster. I suspect the Heavy Burst Cannon might be better. I’ll need to try that.

·         Skyrays. The jury is still out on these. They’re great when your opponent has multiple flyers or FMCs (games 3, 4 and 5), but pretty limited when he doesn’t (game 2) and rubbish when your opponent has nothing other than 2+ save models (game 1, although this is a pretty limited restriction to be fair!). Having said that Skyfire Marker Lights are nice.

·         Longstrike’s Hammer Head. I didn’t come up against a lot of armour so he really didn’t get a chance to shine. The sub-munition shot helped, but I’m beginning to wonder if an allied Fire Prism might be better!

What didn’t work

·         Well nothing really…..everything was OK, just some things were better!

How would I change these list?

·         In the 1750 list I would take out the Puretide Chip, the missile pods and the target lock from the Commander and keep him as cheap as possible. I might give him a C&C Node to twin link the marker drones allowing them to put a couple of hits on a flyer, or on charging units using overwatch.

·         In the 2000pt list I would swap the XV8 Shas’vre’s missile pods for a C&C Node and a M3S. I would lose 4 shots from the Shas’vre, but on average it works out more or less even because the others would be twin linked. However, making the Marker Drones twin linked is really helpful for putting Marker Lights on flyers, and for hits on overwatch, plus the shots that do hit, ignore cover.

·         Swap the Riptide’s Ion Accelerators for Heavy Burst Cannons. Not sure about this one, but need to try it.

There are 2 other things I want to try out – running XV8’s rather than Riptides, and Broadsides instead of Skyrays.

I’ll let you know how it goes!



Enigma Crysis said...
June 6, 2013 at 4:42 PM  

Remember the CCN and MS3 can't be used during overwatch.

Embrace Your Inner Geek said...
June 7, 2013 at 5:27 AM  

Ah, good point. Missed that. Back to the drawing board!


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