1500 point Tau army – Any good?

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So after recently becoming a Tau convert in the 40K Universe, I’m still struggling to get reliable results from this supposedly ‘weapon-savvy’ and ‘hard-hitting’ race. I’ve probably played 4 games with them now, so not many, but I have noticed the following things:

  1. Fire Warriors often get wiped out before they can do anything significant against infantry. Their weapons are great once they’re all raining dual shots down on the enemies, but just before this usually happen they get torn to pieces by 30″+ weapons.
  2. Markerlights don’t seem worth it. I’m usually deploying squads of 8, getting usually 2 or at a max 3 lights down on the enemy. This can obviously be used to improve BS by 3, or both bump BS and get some Ignore Cover weapons in play. Is the gamble of using a 100 points for just only ever helping other units out worth it? They are pretty squishy too, so my opponents quickly takes them out it seems. You could get 3x XV8 Crisis suits tooled up and Deep Striking behind the enemy defences for little over 100 points.
  3. Deep Striking Stealths’ seem to work brilliant, throwing down 12 twin-linked shots for only 4 suits (1 has a C&C Node so doesn’t fire but enables essentially twin-linking the others weapons). However after their initial strike they quickly get picked off. Perhaps I’m just making them too much of a target. Anywhere they jump to for safety they get gunned down or assaulted without fail.
  4. I’ve been using a Commander with a C&C Node as well as the Drone Controller, with 6 Missile Drones in his unit (4 from bodyguards), which works great. However I’ve just read that you can only take 1 C&C Node per army, and I’ve got another on the Stealths’, so that’ll sadly have to go from the Commanders arsenal.

I’m facing an experiences player tomorrow, wielding a new Eldar army for my largest ever game of 1500 points each side. With a few more points than normal I’ve decided to bring in some new toys; namely a Riptide and a Sniper Drone squad.

My Tau line up consists of:

  • HQ squad:
    • 1x Commander with T/L missile pods, cyclic ion blaster, drone controller and a repulsor impact field.
    • 1x XV8 Crisis Bodyguard, 1 missile pod and a T/L plasma rifle,
    • 4x missile drones,
  • 2x Fire Warrior squads, each with:
    • 8x Fire Warriors,
    • 1x Fire Warrior Shas’ui,
  • 1x Pathfinder Squad:
    • 8x Pathfinders,
  • 1x Stealth squad:
    • 4x Stealth Shas’ui with burst cannons. (1x Shas’ui has a C&C Node),
    • 1x Stealth Shas’vre with airbursting frag projector and a homing beacon,
  • 1x Gunship:
    • A Hammerhead gunship with a railgun (and submunition), T/L smart missile system, decoy launchers and a disruption pod.
    • Commander Longstrike,
  • 1x Riptide:
    • 1x Riptide armed with an ion accelerator and a T/L smart missile system,
  • 1x Sniper squad:
    • 4x Sniper Drones,
    • 1x Marksman,
  • 1x Broadside squad:
    • 2x Broadsides armed with T/L heavy rail rifles, T/L plasma rifles and stimulants,
    • 3x Gun Drones,
  • 1xXV8 Crisis squad:
    • 2x XV8 Crisis suits armed with T/L burst cannons and an additional burst cannon for luck!
    • 2x Gun Drones.

And if I’ve done my maths right, my Tau army comes in at 1498 points.

We shall see how this fares up against his seemingly bizarrely strong and hyper-mobile Eldar army. Hopefully I shall post a report tomorrow, although not probably a fan-fiction story like my first Tau game: Tau vs Space Marines vs Chaos match. Maybe Shas’va’el will have to make a return 🙂

I would be very grateful if other 40k players, not just Tau ones, could point out any obvious strengths of weaknesses I’ve got in my above mentioned army list.

Till tomorrow then…

(The conclusion of this article can be found here – 1500 point Tau game writeup)

Paul Joyce

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