Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Command Team

What do you guy think?
True to the Gundam Origin or what?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

1850 V3

After some testing vs Sisters of Battle and Chaos Space Marines I made some changes.

More Plasma, Less Kroot, Different Squad Loadouts for Wound Allocation.

Suggestions Welcome

HQ 1
Shas'O, Plasma Rifle , Cyclic Ion Blaster HM Multi Tracker, HW Drone Controller, 2x Shield Drones
BodyGuard, TwinLinked Plasma, Flamer, HM Multitracker

BodyGuard, TwinLinked Plasma, Flamer, HM Multitracker

3 Teams of
TL Missile Pod, Flamer

TL Missile Pod, Target Lock

TL Missile Pod, Black Sun Filter

Fast Attack
A) Piranha with Fusion Blaster and Targeting Array (70)

Heavy Support
3 Teams of 2 Broadsides with:
Team Leader
Target Lock on Main Broadside

HardWired Drone Controller
2 Shield Drones

Squad 1
11 Tau Fire Warriors

Squad 2
11 Tau Fire Warrior
Squad 3
6 Tau Fire Warrior
Squad 4
6 Tau Fire Warrior
Squad 5
6 Tau Fire Warriors
Squad 6
6 Tau Fire Warriors

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bat Rep vs Sisters of Battle

Thursday night I played vs Sy. Sy’s an excellent, tourney winning, player. You get better by playing him. I had a feeling my winning streak was coming to an end: Spearhead Annihilation.

“We are up against a tough General for the Greater Good! But we will persevere!”
“He wins tournaments on a weekly basis, and you still have questions about vehicles!” Shouted Skippy the Fire Warrior.
“No breaking the Fourth Wall!” Replied Commander Zero, “Yes, they may have fire, so much painful, painful burning fire. And transports with heavy flamers. They may have so many Flame-Spewing Transports that the deployment area is almost full. But we have something they don’t have...”
“Is it courage and determination in the face of overwhelmingly being burned alive in a horrible manner?” Asked Skippy.
“Railguns. And Missile Pods. And Rifles that can glance front armor. We have SCIENCE! They have fire.”
“Can we have Science-Fire?” Asked Skippy.

Lessons Learned:
3 2-man Broadsides with Target Lock are best.
Plasma, Plasma Kills with no armor save. A Tau Army NEEDS PLASMA!
Missile Pods, while excellent and having incredible range, allow a save.
Kroot are worthless except in bulk with Dogs and a Shaper.

Set Up
It’s in a ruin heavy board. Great for Jet Packs, bad for Transports.
Sy sets up first with a flawless deployment, each transports (and they are enough to blot out the sun) providing cover for the next one like some Spartan Shield Wall. 2 IG tanks are in reserve.

I fan out taking over the whole quarter while hugging cover. One group of Railguns on the right, one on the left each supported by a Deathrain team. 2 11 man FireWarriror squads line up on the first and second floor of the ruins and the 6 man squads screening the Broadsides and my Command Unit (Also Deathrain) and the 3rd team in the ruins. The Kroot infiltrate in the upper left as far away as possible.

Round 1
Fortune Smiles on the Greater Good and I seize initiative in the most boring round ever.
24 missile pods, 22 Rifle Shots, 6 Rail Guns... 1 transports destroyed, 2 immobilized.

Sy pushes forward 12 inches and pops smoke. My Kroot firm up their position.

Round 2
Better shooting and the Tau artillery leaves plenty of crates on the ground. The FireWarriors pick off a lot of the disembarked troops.

The IG tanks come in off reserve and tank shock the Kroot. The Kroot then spend 5 rounds walking off the board. With transports and troops approaching on each flank; a slug-fest of a round.

Round 3
More shooting, more craters. The FireWarriors gun down more Flaming Bitches of Death.
The 2 IG tanks on the left flank make it hard to hold but not impossible as they engage the FireWarriors and suits.

Round 4
Shooting, what else? At this point he’s 2 immobilized Transports in the starting zone and a third back there hiding so it doesn’t give up a Kill Point. He’s also got the troops completely out of line of sight so I can’t snipe them.
2 of the Transports pull inside a ruined building and disgorge Sisters. Melta and Flamers hit the suits and FireWarriors and I start taking casualties.

Round 5
I hope game ends on 5 and I win.
The casualties are mounting up and 2 of the Sisters close for Assault. My left broadside unit vanishes in a barrage of Melta. A few crisis suits go down as well under the mass of wounds.

Round 6
We’re still in round 6.
I’ve less on the board and more smaller targets. My other Broadside team picks off a few solo sisters for a cheap KP. The IG tank Tank Shocks the Fire Warriors who fail their LD test. Another tank shocks in against my Broadsides who Death or Glory (at this point what other option is there?) and takes out the Transport. His last mobile transports shocks my remaining Crisis Suit team who fail the D&G and Insane Cowardice (Box Cars!) the LD and flee off the board.

Tally Up. A brutal combat, he wins due to fleeing units and has a 1 point VIctory.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

1850 Point List

I'm getting ready for a pretty big tourney @ 1850 points.

Somethings I'd like to point out before the obvious is mentioned. It's different, no heavy Kroot screens, no Pathfinders, no plasma.

It's focused on a high volume of shots from accurate units. Pathfinders, while excellent, are expensive and aside from the ability to strip cover, provide diminished benefit in a Twin-Linked list.

Weapons are twinlinked as much as possible. An expensive unit can have 100+ attacks, but if they all miss, what's the point?

Also, while Fire Warriors are reviled as being horrible they do have 5/5 weapons, a 4+ armor save and great enough volume of fire is worth it. 54 Fire Warriors means either 54 30 inch shots of 108 shots at 12 inches. Also, you need them to hold objectives. Fielding a 90 point Devilfish to protect 60 points seems a bad investment over 9 more shots so I'm working on a massed units of Fire Warriors.

The initial change would be to to consider cutting the Kroot and either buff up the Fire Warrior Squads with a full complement and Bonding Knives or 2 more Broadsides equipped with only Target Locks or a Hammerhead or a 2nd HQ Deathrain.

I'm open to all thoughts and feedback.


Squad 1
9 Tau Fire Warriors
Squad 2
9 Tau Fire Warrior
Squad 3
9 Tau Fire Warrior
Squad 4
9 Tau Fire Warrior
Squad 5
13 Kroot + 6 Hounds

Shas'el TwinLinked Missile Pod, Flamer
BodyGuard TwinLinked Missile Pod, Flamer
BodyGuard TwinLinked Missile Pod, Flamer

Crisis Suit
Elite Team 1
A Twin Linked Missile Pod, Flamer Team Leader Upgrade + Bonding Knife
B Twin Linked Missile Pod, Flamer

C Twin Linked Missile Pod, Flamer

Elite Team 2

A Twin Linked Missile Pod, Flamer Team Leader Upgrade + Bonding Knife
B Twin Linked Missile Pod, Flamer

C Twin Linked Missile Pod, Flamer

Elite Team 3
A Twin Linked Missile Pod, Flamer Team Leader Upgrade + Bonding Knife
B Twin Linked Missile Pod, Flamer

C Twin Linked Missile Pod, Flamer

Fast Attack

A) Piranha with Fusion Blaster and Targeting Array
B) Piranha with Fusion Blaster and Targeting Array

Heavy Support
Team 1

A) Twinlinked Railgun (Built in), Smart Missile System (Built in), A.S.S. Team Leader, Bonding Knife, Target Lock, HardWired Drone Controller, 2 Shield Drones
B) Twinlinked Railgun (Built in), Smart Missile System (Built in), A.S.S.

C) Twinlinked Railgun (Built in), Smart Missile System (Built in), A.S.S.

Team 2
A) Twinlinked Railgun (Built in), Smart Missile System (Built in), A.S.S. Team Leader, Bonding Knife, Target Lock, HardWired Drone Controller, 2 Shield Drones

B) Twinlinked Railgun (Built in), Smart Missile System (Built in), A.S.S.

C) Twinlinked Railgun (Built in), Smart Missile System (Built in), A.S.S.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Last night I was wondering, how many Pulse Rifles can I fit on the board total?
(More on that later).
And something occurred to me, an actual use for the Ethereal as a commander.

Aside from being cheap, take two of them. Charge one headlong into the opponent to kill them off.
Use the other Ethereal's LD for the save. And baring crazy bad dice, that's one angry Tau Army with Favored Enemy.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

1850 Tau VS Chaos SM Bat Rep

1850 Tau VS Chaos SM Bat Rep
Spearhead Objectives (3)

“...we will try a Glorious New Strategy for the Great Good! Any questions?” Shas’el Zero shouted.
“Where are the Devilfish?” Asked Skippy, the young FireWarrior.
“There will be no Devilfish when we remove this plague of Chaos.”
“But Commander,” Skippy continued, “In Firewarrior school we were taught the duty of every Firewarrior was to sit in the Devilfish, hopefully over an objective and wait.”
“This glorious new battle stratagem has the unmatched Firewarriors of the Tau in the field, boldly facing their enemies!”
“But, we’re good at sitting in the bus. I thought the Greater Good was based on sitting in the bus in a comfy chair.” Firewarrior Skippy pressed, with murmurs of approval coming from the masses. “And, how come there’s so many of us. Usually it’s just 12 of us and some Kroot.”
Greater Good help me thought Zero, “The Kroot had what they assured me was an important ritual involving a sacred herb and the munchies. Instead of having all our Firewarriors sitting watching telly in the Devilfish you will take the field of battle. Now go get them! Including you Skippy.”

Round 1 Tau going First
1 Objective in my quarter, 1 in the center and 1 between them.

It was a board with mesas and pillars and a decent hill. Both broadsides teams had a clear view of the field, the Crisis suits hugged cover and the firewarriors covered the majority of the table quarter.
Chaos Space Marines put down 1 transport partially covered by the hill and kept everything else in reserve.

I spread out in my deployment zone to get better lines of sights and ran the Fire Warrior up the hill to the objective. Grabbed LOS with the Broadsides and exploded the transport.

Round 2
I spread out further heading to the remotest objective. The broadsides shot the CSM who got out of the transport ruin. The Piranhas spread out for transports coming off the back line.
Chaos’ bikes come on, and a 2nd transport. Deep striking Obliterators have a mishap and a fatal error. Hilarity ensues. Some Firewarrior losses from the bikes and the rest break and run.

Round 3
Crisis Suits teams + FW teams make the bikes a brief memory and the Broadsides reduce the new transport to chum. More Firewarriors kill the guys who get out.

Round 4
Reduced whatever was on the board to chunky salsa.

Round 5
The Tau hold onto all three objectives.
A demon pops on and using some weird reach attack grapples my HQ Crisis Suit and squad into melee. They spend 2 rounds duking it out on top of the objective.
The other two Obliterator teams deep strike in and set two full FW Teams on Fire. At this point I hold 0, and Chaos contests 2

Round 6
Yay! The obliterators die painfully under a wash of gun fire.
The Crisis Suits beat the Demon to death in melee and the Broadsides vaporize the few remaining Chaos Marines and my opponent is tabled.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Advanced Tau Tactica

So I asked a question relating to *gasp* playing Tau.
Not painting, not fluff, not how to lose and then complain about it on the net on the Forum.
Locked and "Not up to standards" from so mod.

Really, you guys are doing the Tau players no favors with the high-handed fluff bunny elitism.

All I learned from A.T.T. was how to lose.

Thanks for poisoning the faction to newbies you Cry babies!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

ShadowSun Part 2

I really like ShadowSun as a commander.

However in army building she's a conflict.

Her Dual Fusion Blaster need her to be up close and personal with the melta. She can kill tanks, etc.

Her command and control node means she needs to be near (within 18 inches) other units to Inspire them. Tau have range. If my Crisis Suits are within 18 inches of a transport I've been struck in the head repeatedly. With 36 inches of firing arc, my suits should be far away. If my troops are within 18, they will all be dead soon.

Lets say ShadowSun is 5.9 inches away, at max Melta range. The Marines are getting out towards her. They'll fire, then assault in and then start moving towards the Troops.

Also, ShadowSun can't join another unit unless her Drones die.

An up close unit with a unit booster that can't join a unit unless her drones die. She's got a lot of good going on, but the grab bag of powers doesn't make a lot of sense.

Sigh. I really wanted her to be playable.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

HQ's and You: Shadowsun

There is a certain challenge in picking the right HQ. The right HQ can set the entire tone for an Army. The Tau are not overflowing with awe inspiring picks.
Space Pope has a horrible flaws. Farsight and his 7 Ronin give you a different and weird force Org Chart. An Ethereal is not that horrible if you field plenty of Fire Warriors and the Veteran Fire Warriors are surprisingly good. A Crisis Suit HQ is an expensive version of the Elite.
That leaves Shadowsun. But is she Worth the Points? Cost: 175
BS skill vs Wounds make Shadowsun equivalent to a Shas’el for 75 points
A single Fusion Blaster costs 12 and she gets two, non twinlinked Fusion Blasters worth 24 points. A multitracker sticks on an additionally 5 points Drone Controllers are free but the Drones cost with 2 Shield Drones clocking in at 30 and Bonding Knife for an additional 5. The Command Drone roughly costs 15. Making Shadowsun worth 154 points of gear. All in all, not that far off the mark for price for a solid Armor killer.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tau'dum Army

Some army photos might brighten up the Blog.
Here's my new Piranha!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

“Stop eating your Kroot Loops”

Kroot or “Stop eating your Kroot Loops”

Why use Kroot?
I’m not a Kroot hater. I have 40 assembled Kroot, 30 painted and 50+ Kroot desprued.
I’m a Kroot fan. But after using them in games, I gotta ask, are they worth it? Verse Spaz Marines, the Kroot die like lemmings into a blender. A space marine can break wind and an entire Kroot squad is wiped out.

But why field them?
They’re cheap. 70 points buys you 10 of them. Tactical uses: they form a cheap unit wrap, aka “Kroot loops.” This benefits if the Tau warrior is playing the Internet approved Tau Castle game. The Tau Castle just makes it easier for your opponent to win, but further details on the reasoning behind that will be offered in another post. The Tau Castle is just a bad deployment, mediocre group-think, but more on that another time.

Cheap does not forgive crappy. They have no save, for 45-55+ points PER UNIT you can give them a 6+. Those points equal most of Fire Warrior squad or a Crisis Suit.

What can make them not horrible:
The Best Use
The best use of the Kroot is to annoy your opponent. Nothing can distract/annoy/confuse your opponent like 32 units showing up on turn 2. Others might think, “That’s unreliable!” My Pathfinder Devilfish disagrees. On a 2+ they show up. Some might want to split the Kroot into smaller units to assure they get something on the proper table edge. Smaller units die quicker, it’s a good idea but I want my Kroot massed for safety and to raise that 25% casuality limit high. Also, every shot heading at the Kroot is one less at my Crisis Suits or Broadsides or Devilfish.

And bring them in as far away from your table edge as possible! Because when the unit fails it leadership check, because it will happen (quickly) you can still fire while retreating.

Those 32 Units have 3 attacks in close combat on a charge so 96 attacks. Moving in you can ring a transport and prevent debarking. And unless it’s a Landraider by volume you will pop it.

Standard Kroot Uses:
If there are forests or swamps on the table deploy as close to them as possible and Run into cover, get them into cover as quick as possible or kiss your 70+ points goodbye. The Kroot can then sit there and fire out of cover. Any unit assaulting into cover goes last in initiative. This means the Kroot get to take some opponents with them before they are murdered horribly. They can also shoot out of cover give you a 24 inch firing arc. That many shots is bound to hit something.

A ten man squad of Kroot can stretch a little less than 30 inches (1 inch base, unit cohesion) that can hold or challenge 1 or 2 objectives.

What else could I buy instead?
If you want to protect units buy a Devilfish, it’s 10 points more, armored and comes with 2 drones. 70 points is a baseline Broadside. And that TL Railgun will do damage, toss in 5 more points for the Multitracker and missiles away. Or get 6 Firewarriors and give 3 of them EMP grenades. Those Grenades can kill Mech. Or a Piranha with Melta.

So What?
If you’re going to field Kroot, either run into cover and pray the enemy ignores them, or fill up the unit and wreak havoc until they get shot at and run away like the French.

Sure you can build your walls out of them, but those walls will come tumbling down.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Battle of Blueberry Gulch

The Battle of Blueberry Gulch (As we were drinking Blueberry Ale during the game.)

“Hey, what’s that?” I ask pointing to a large tank.
“A land raider.”
“It’s cool looking. What’s the armor?” I ask wondering how easily my Broadsides will destroy his work of art and the many, many points it must represent. His tears (metaphorically) will be delicious and for the Greater Good or something.
“Oh, so like 14 front, 12, 10?”
“No, 14 all around.”
“Oh.” That’s... a challenge. 4 to glance with a Broadside. 3 Broadsides on the table. 2 Fusion Blaster Piranhas. And every troop unit he put on the table is wrapped in a Rhino.

A whole lot of transports, not enough Armor Penetration to pop it all first turn and my sight lines were partially obscured by terrain.

I’ll spare you the full Batrep, we ended in a tie in turn 7 which was the best I could hope for after all my troops were killed except some Kroot who spent 7 turns sitting on an objective.

My Piranhas blocked in his land raider, popped drones and then annoyed him. The Piranhas faced sundry forms of getting incapacitated, weapon destroyed, immobilized, etc. His terminators did have to disembark to kill the Drones which I took as a moral victory.

Moments of Learning:

1) Sniper Drones suck. They seem good on paper. Another Broadside is points better spent.

2) I do not miss my Hammerhead. Sure it had a big gun, with cool gearhead upgrades, looks awesome, but in it’s place are two broadsides. Twice the gun, and twice the twinlinked. Also, with a TL upgrade and a HW Multitracker, it gets to fire zee missiles! The option to fire the missiles makes it superior to the Hammerhead Burst cannon in terms of range, if not in terms of rate of fire. My testing agrees with Shoot Tau Thrill.

3) A Devilfish provides the same cover silhouette as a Hammerhead for 1/2 the cost. Sure it’s risky using a troop filled transport as mobile cover but the 3 to 4 Crisis Suits behind it make it worth it.

4) I’d been fielding Fireknives (Plasma and Missile Pods) exclusively. Plasma kills Marines dead. However, getting into Rapid Fire range is chancy and point for point, stripping my list down to 1 team of Fireknives and a FKnife commander and using the point savings from the other 3 man squad equates to 2 2 man squads of Missile Pod Suits. With the enhanced Range and Twin-linking, I think it’ll be an improvement.

Intro to Play Tau Win

Now I’m a new player, 4 games in total. I’m new but learning. I've been reading up on the faction and the game for about 2 months now.
Sunday means beer and Warhammer 40k by the Grace of my wife.
I believe the Tau can be competitive. Here is my tale...