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Made in us
Raging Ravener



Raleigh, NC

I need help. I'm finding myself growing more and more dissatisfied with my Tau. I've been playing 40k for about a two years now, first year and a half with a very shooty Tyranid army and more recently with my hybrid Tau list.

When I first started playing, I put together what I thought was a great Nid list and used it to win quite a few engagements at my FLGS and a placed in the top 3-4 in a couple of tourneys and even won a league. After the success I had with them, I decided to get another army. I wanted a new army that had all the things my Nids didn't so I went with Tau. Vehicles, S10, loads of low AP weapons, longer range and having to learn the rules for transports and leadership all really appealed to me.

Now, after a few games with my Tau and making revisions to my list almost continuously, I find myself hitting a wall. I refuse to be the guy that blames his dice, the opponent's list or my army's shortcomings. I need some advice on the more tactical aspects of the game. Where can I read up on some basic tactics like killzone sniping, deploying for the advantage, baiting and others?

I'm including my current army list so you can see what I'm working with and how I try to use my units. I'm not necessarily looking for list advice but more on tactics and strategy.

Thanks in advance.

1850 Pts - Tau Empire

HQ: Commander Shadowsun (175 Pts)
1 Commander Shadowsun
Two Fusion Blasters; Multi-Tracker; Advanced Target Lock; Bonding Knife; Drone Controller
1 Command-link Drone
2 Shield Drones
Shield Generator (x2)

==> I use shadowsun in 2 ways usually. If my opponent is mech heavy with lots of threats to my vehicles, I'll usually DS her into the middle of some juicy targets and try to pop 2 high AV vehicles in such a way that it's not immediately suicidal. If my opponent isn't mech heavy, I'll usually use her in my own DZ for the leadership bubble, to screen using her stealth field and to rush out and pop a transport full of assaulters to give the rest of my army an extra turn or 2 to fire on them before they hit my line.


Elite: Crisis Battlesuit (231 Pts)
1 Crisis Battlesuit
Team Leader; Crisis Battlesuit; Crisis Battlesuit; Bonding Knife; Fusion Blaster; Hard-wired Drone Controller; Hard-wired Target Lock; Shield Drone; Shield Drone; Plasma Rifle; Multi-Tracker
1 Crisis Battlesuit
Fusion Blaster; Plasma Rifle; Multi-Tracker
1 Crisis Battlesuit
Fusion Blaster; Plasma Rifle; Multi-Tracker
1 Shield Drone
Shield Generator
1 Shield Drone
Shield Generator

==> This unit is mainly used for backfield defense from things like termie squads, 10 man tac squads, nob bikers, and anything else that the rest of my army would have trouble with. With some markerlight support I can pull cover off a unit, increase their BS to 5 and against most "hard" targets I'm getting 9 shots with 2+ to hit and wound that completely deny armor saves. (Thanks Dashofpepper for the advice on this unit)


Elite: Crisis Battlesuit (124 Pts)
1 Crisis Battlesuit
Team Leader; Crisis Battlesuit; Flamer; Bonding Knife; Hard-wired Drone Controller; Gun Drone; Gun Drone; Twin Linked Missile Pod
1 Crisis Battlesuit
Flamer; Twin Linked Missile Pod
1 Gun Drone
Twin Linked Pulse Carbines
1 Gun Drone
Twin Linked Pulse Carbines

==> Standard 2-man deathrain team. Early game they pop transports, late game they fire missiles into targets that need high S or drop flamers on weak units hiding in cover.


Elite: Crisis Battlesuit (92 Pts)
1 Crisis Battlesuit
Team Leader; Crisis Battlesuit; Bonding Knife; Gun Drone; Twin Linked Flamer; Drone Controller
1 Crisis Battlesuit
Gun Drone; Twin Linked Flamer; Drone Controller
1 Gun Drone
Twin Linked Pulse Carbines
1 Gun Drone
Twin Linked Pulse Carbines

==> This unit is in the list to DS and remove the trash most of my opponents leave to guard the home objective or to remove soft outlfankers like genestealers and kommandos.


Troops: Fire Warrior (180 Pts)
6 Fire Warrior
Pulse Rifle
1 Devilfish
Burst Cannon; Smart Missile System; Disruption Pod; Landing Gear; Multi-Tracker; Targeting Array

==> Standard Warfish, shoot and scoot. I tend to use all 3 to pepper 1 unit until it's gone while sitting on or near objectives.


Troops: Fire Warrior (60 Pts)
6 Fire Warrior
Pulse Rifle

==> This team gets into one of the PF devilfish and joins with the other 2 units as above.


Troops: Fire Warrior (60 Pts)
6 Fire Warrior
Pulse Rifle

==> This team gets into one of the PF devilfish and joins with the other 2 units as above.


Heavy Support: Hammerhead Gunship (180 Pts)
1 Hammerhead Gunship
Railgun; Smart Missile System; Targeting Array; Disruption Pod; Landing Gear; Multi-Tracker; Target Lock

==> I tend to use my HH aggresively. I try to fire solid shots early game to assist my broadsides with anti-tank. I'll switch to sub-munitions as the game requires. All the while I try to be tank-shocking, ramming and whatever else I can be doing to annoy / harass things I'm not shooting at.


Heavy Support: Broadside Battlesuit (203 Pts)
1 Broadside Battlesuit
Team Leader; Twin linked Railgun; Broadside Battlesuit; Smart Missile System; Bonding Knife; Hard-wired Blacksun Filter; Hard-wired Drone Controller; Shield Drone; Shield Drone; Targeting Array
1 Broadside Battlesuit
Twin linked Railgun; Smart Missile System; Targeting Array
1 Shield Drone
Shield Generator
1 Shield Drone
Shield Generator

==> Shoot vehicles, MCs, DPs, Ghazkull and anything else that needs killing now. I try to deploy them in the farthest safe area of my backfield, in cover, preferably on the top floor of a building.


Heavy Support: Sniper Drone Team (160 Pts)
2 Sniper Drone Teams
2 Drone Controllers; Networked Markerlight; Pulse Pistol; Stealth Field Generator; Targeting Array; Sniper Drone Team
6 Sniper Drones
Rail Rifle and Target Lock (x3); Stealth Field Generator; Targeting Array

==> I usually try to set these guys up to cover my objectives and screen my PFs and broadsides. I've taken to placing my objectives out in the open and daring people to try to take them while shooting S6, AP3 holes in anything that gets within range. If they pin, great, but I don't go out of my way to use MLs to increase the chances.


Fast Attack: Pathfinder (192 Pts)
6 Pathfinder
Markerlight (x6); Pulse Carbine (x6)
1 Devilfish
Burst Cannon; Smart Missile System; Marker Beacon; Disruption Pod; Landing Gear; Multi-Tracker; Targeting Array

==> Light up juicy targets for the rest of my army. Devilfish goes and picks up one of the foot-slogging FW teams 1st turn.


Fast Attack: Pathfinder (192 Pts)
6 Pathfinder
Markerlight (x6); Pulse Carbine (x6)
1 Devilfish
Burst Cannon; Smart Missile System; Marker Beacon; Disruption Pod; Landing Gear; Multi-Tracker; Targeting Array

==> Light up juicy targets for the rest of my army. Devilfish goes and picks up one of the foot-slogging FW teams 1st turn.

TL : DR - Shorthand for ""Hi, I am a miserable cretin of the Internet that must be spoon-fed pictures and factoids or I will piss myself."

 
   
Made in us
Imperial Recruit in Training



Fort Myers FL USA

My advice is to beef up your troops. I play IG so I am pro troops anyway. You ony have 18 guys to both hold and take the enemy's objective. At 6 troopers per squad you have no real ability to take a hit and stay in the fight. Beef those squads up to 12 or add 3 more at 6 each. Drop the Hammerhead for the pts. or one of the pathfinder teams ( I say pathfinder) Thats my 2 cents anyway. Where in FL are you?

Bigmac

 
   
Made in us
Oozing Plague Marine Terminator







A Guard player isn't really the one you want to hear that from. His infantry are 5 points a model, yours are twice that. Don't drop the Hammerheads they are your best anti-tank. Sniper teams don't function as well as you need. Drop them for another Warfish squad.

   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka





Feasting on the souls of unworthy opponents

I just wrote this somewhere else, and thought it might apply for you.

My advice in summary: Go mechanized, or make a static gunline. Don't try getting the best of both. You don't need to go take objectives to win an objective game. With that said, here's what I wrote elsewhere:
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Welcome to Tau. In answer to your question of how good Tau are....they're freakin' awesome.

Tau have just gotten a MASSIVE boost. 5th edition has shifted the meta-game into much more mechanization, and Tau are hands down the best tank killing army in existence. The second thing that Tau have at their disposal is the unique ability to influence a battle in interesting ways. You have LOTS of pinning weapons, the ability to pretty much force-pin units, wound allocation goodness to increase suit survivability, and the best troop weapon (the pulse rifle) in 40k.

How you use it all determines how you do. Personally, I find kroot distasteful. If I want a close combat element in my army, I play a 2v2 and have my wife join me with her orks. Tau are meant to shoot, shoot more, and lay down such a withering fusillade of firepower that enemy armies simply evaporate under your firepower. You'll see some interesting ideas for tau army lists floating around, and some incredibly dumb ideas too. I've been incredibly successful with a pure Tau gunline (using some tactical deployment to avoid being flanked and annihilated). Here's my advice:

1. Tau firewarriors: Take groups of 12 of them, with a shas'ui who has a handheld markerlight (10 points). Give the squad 2 gundrones, or 2 marker drones if you can afford it pointwise. I deploy these guys almost 2" apart, in a line where possible, and always in cover. 4+ armor save doesn't impress anyone, but 4+ armor save in addition to 4+ cover save does wonders for keeping firewarriors alive.

2. Broadsides. In 5th edition, Broadsides rule supreme. You should have six of them. Two teams of three. If you're playing 1,000 points or less then two teams of two. Team leader with a target lock, and both teams need two shield drones each. You've got 2+ armor saves, and your drones have 2+ armor saves and 4+ invulnerable saves. These puppies ALSO need to be deployed in cover. Preferably on top of a building somewhere that counts as ruins, so that climbing is required if people are going to try outflanking and assaulting you. Putting them in cover gives you 4+ cover saves in case you run into AP2 weaponry. Those six broadsides should form the backbone, the core, the heart, and the basis of your army. The rest of your army is really just support for your broadsides, ESPECIALLY today where everyone is running such heavily mechanized lists. Depending on mood, sometimes I'll take a Railgun hammerhead as a third heavy support for its large blast template; as anti-tank its next to useless.

3. Snipers! A heavy support choice that can consist of three individual teams of snipers. Each of them STR6 AP3, and able to headshot an MEQ without a save, and each able to pin a unit. One of my favorite, FAVORITE tactics in 40k is to have a broadside team blow up a transport, have a firewarrior team drop 1-3 markerlights (2 drones + shas'ui) on the disembarked unit, or have a pathfinder unit drop 5-8 markerlights on them, then pin them using a rail rifle and markerlight modifiers. You play against Eldar often, and those pesky wave serpents turbo-boost around the board getting cover saves, right? Drop a couple of markerlights on it, reduce its cover save to nothing, and introduce it to a whole team of broadsides. 4+ rerollable to hit, depending on facing, you need 3 or less to glance, and if they're turbo-boosting, 3+ destroys it. AP1 gives +1 on the penetration table, and if a turbo-boosting vehicle is immobilized, it counts as destroyed. Hey! Free pinning test on the guys inside!

4. Speaking of rail rifles....if you have a team of pathfinders with rail rifles+target locks, and 3 sniper teams, you can cause 9 seperate pinning tests across an enemy army. If you toss a bunch of markerlights into the fray, you can go a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong way towards immobilizing an entire enemy army.

5. Crisis suits: Crisis suits exist to fill holes in your army strategy; this includes your HQs. With broadsides levelling every tank on the field, sniper drones and pathfinders forcing pinning tests on anything with a leadership value, and multiple firewarrior squads laying down ridiculous numbers of STR5 shots at anything willing to step 30" into range, you've got your anti-tank answer, some anti-MEQ, and the first step towards anti-horde. The gaps in your army are reliable MEQ and terminator killers, and more anti-horde. My favorite suit combination is plasma/fusion with multi-tracker, team leader giving me two gun or shield drones (depending on points). Drop 2 markerlights on a terminator squad, and you've got BS5 needing 2+ to hit, and at the 12" mark, you've got 6 plasma shots and 3 fusion shots. Thats 6x STR6 AP2 and 3x STR8 AP1. 2+ to hit, 2+ to wound. No saves, no feel no pain. Insta-killed anything you like. In larger games, I also take a team of "deathrain" crisis suits, which is twin-linked missile pod suits in my back, working on killing light transports or geting side armor shots on anything they can. That saves the broadsides for the big guns. Give your Shas'el Iridium armor and two shield drones, and you've got three 2+ armor save models; I think the fragmentation airburst launcher (large blast, ignores cover) is pretty much mandatory, and I give him a flamer too. Perfect anti-horde! Suits range across the field dealing death to anything that isn't being pinned or destroyed by your longer range firepower.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Strategy: You now have a static gunline capable of destroying ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that can be thrown against you. The weakness: You're static. You're not moving across the board to take objectives. Believe it or not...there's a simple solution for this one too. In capture and control, you have one objective, and your enemy has one objective. In Seize ground, you're going to have one, and possible two objectives to control. You don't NEED to go take the enemy objectives. All you have to do is destroy their troop choices. With the vast amount of firepower and long range dakka....its pretty easy. Don't forget all those pinning weapons either. Pinned units can't hold an objective.

You'll need to learn and understand enemy lists, and a VERY important question you need to ask EVERY game is "What are you keeping in reserve?" You need to know what's in reserve and if its outflanking or deep-striking. If your flanks are going to be threatened, then deploy in the middle so that flanking units can't get to you. You'll also learn the magic of spreading across terrain to prevent lictor entrances, and using firewarriors to wall off access to broadsides.

That's basically it. This type of list and this strategy has pretty much won me almost every Tau game I've played in the last year. I've been playing Orks heavily for the last six months because I've decided I prefer assaulting over shooting. If you go first, the game is practically over; you can level 1/3 of the enemy army in turn 1, take out most of its mobility, and probably pin a unit or two. If you go second, you'll have to be a bit more tactical about target priorities and threat analysis, but either way, between your broadsides, markerlights, and pinning weaponry, your enemy is not doing much moving the entire game.

If you could imagine what I just described in a movie or a video game, its basically a defensive fortress. Firepower would be flying across the screen so heavily that you'd feel like getting underneath your computer desk to keep your head down. And now the metagame has shifted even more in your favor; more vehicles means less troops, and Tau anti-tank is unrivaled. Don't worry about objectives; you can deny objectives to an opponent by tabling them or killing their troops easier than you can use your own troops to hold them.

Honestly, I don't think Kroot are worth using. If you wanted to play a sneaky, outflanking army you should pick something besides Tau. Dark Eldar, or Orks. Every point you waste on a kroot (who is a subpar model in every respect; its melee usefulness is solely in its ability to tie up an enemy unit for a turn before dying) is a point that you didn't put into the overwhelming firepower that will win you games.

That's my....much more than two cents.

   
Made in us
Imperial Recruit in Training



Fort Myers FL USA

I know I play IG and not TAU but troops are the key. Your opponet looking at your army should quickly figure out you have no staying power in the Troops catagory and target your army acordingly. You have to be able to take something. You have to have your opponet Respect your ability to take something. With 18 troopers? Go to 36! Go Mech!

I do not see relying on pinning as a winning strategy with all this Ld 10 LD 9 floating around plus named characters. I never play named characters but all those SM players seem too. Does Chaos even care about pinning?

 
   
 
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