What Should I Buy Now? Phase IV

August 16, 2013 ·

Phase IV:  Mech Tau

I like the Mech-Tau style of play, and I like the Gunline-Tau style of play.  Remember what I said about never playing the same game twice?  But unless you have cash flowing out of your nethers, you need a plan for what to get next. 

This post assumes that you have been building up your basic cadre as listed in the first three articles.

Mech Tau is short for Mechanized Tau.  The concept goes back to the German blitzkrieg of World War Two.  First, the Germans would pound their targets with aircraft and long range artillery.  The goal of this phase was to eliminate any enemy anti-air and anti-armor assets.  Then they would roll in with the tanks with attached infantry units mounted in armored vehicles.  These guys would eliminate enemy anti-infantry units.  Next, the trucks would roll in loaded with even more infantry to serve as rapid response and to mop up any remaining organized resistance.  And lastly, the ground pounders would slog in and finalize the occupation. 

Now, this strategy was not new in World War Two, The Russians, The French, the British, and the Japanese all tried to do this.  But the Germans were actually good at it because they had modern weapons and the training to match the strategy.  The others didn't.

I am not glorifying the war, but there is much to be learned from German tactics and strategy.  

The Germans were among the first to successfully use aircraft to actually soften ground targets, not just spot for artillery.  Softening those targets allowed the second wave to more easily roll in.  But our aircraft (Tau aircraft) kinda suck.  So we have to work this a different way.

To figure out what you need to acquire, you need to figure out what you want to do with your force.  At this point I am going to pass on some wisdom from an old video on Tau of War,,,  I ignore the FOC as far as planning my army goes, and divide my force up into three chunks: Attack, Support, Defend.

With that in mind for a Mechanized Tau Force, the units you select MUST me mobile.  With our skimmers and jetpack, and jump infantry, we have the ideal mix of units to be able to pull this off.  I am going to avoid points here, because I am just trying to get your creative juices flowing,  This is not an army list, just a primer to get you going with your cadre.

Remember, for this play style, mobile, mobile, mobile.


Attack elements are supposed to bring the heat to the enemy.  I mean seriously.  When I decide what units to include in my attack force, I think hard about which assets are going to take enemy units off the table.  My attack forces consist of 

Battlesuit Commander and 2 bodyguards
2 Broadsides
3 Battlesuits (could also be a riptide)
3 Battlesuits
2 Piranhas


Support forces are intended to make the attack forces more potent or to back up the defense forces.  markerlight support is essential in the modern tau army, and there are two units with this resource.  Shadowsun and her stealth squad or her riptide harass the enemy and serve as a painful distraction allowing the defense units greater opportunity to get into position.  Hammerheads provide direct fire support and take out enemy armor from long range,

Shadowsun and 1 Squad of Stealth Suits (or Shadowsun with a riptide)
1 Drone Squadron
    - 4 to 6 Marker Drones
    - 2 Shield Drones
8 Pathfinders with a Devilfish
    - EMP Grenades (or a second drone squadron)
2 Hammerheads (one with Longstrike)


Defense units hold objectives.  Period.  They can be held in reserve until the last minute, and zip in to take or contest objectives.

10 Fire Warriors in Devilfish
10 Fire Warriors in Devilfish
10 Fire Warriors in Devilfish

This isn't 100% mine.  I got this structure from a YouTube video on the Tau of War's channel, and modified it to match my own play style.  And you should do the same.  Here's the video (below), just remember that it was designed to work under the last codex, and things have changed quite a bit, particularly as it relates to fire warriors and the devilfish.   

Check it out, and then use the underlying principles to create your own list. 

That's it, Mech Tau.

Next time, Gunline Tau.


AlphaCyberus said...
December 13, 2013 at 1:23 PM  

Fantastic page dude, I've only just started playing seriously myself, but have always loved Tau and thought the Blitzkrieg was a fantastic battle strategy but couldn't implement it very well until now!

Do you have a youtube channel I could subscribe to??

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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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