Thursday, 9 December 2010

Bad advice?

Unfortunately due to work commitments, I haven't have much time for anything hobby related recently. I did manage to get a re-match against my mate for the last game of escalation and managed to have a relatively decisive victory, although the scenario was in my favour from the start so kudos to Ginge for agreeing to a rematch (we will have a slightly more balanced game next time :-P).

Which brings me onto the topic for this post. While I was down that way I popped into the local gamesworkshop to pick a few bits up,  naturally the guy working there started talking to me, asking what armies I collected etc. When I mentioned I play Tau, he started asking me what I thought of them. I responded saying that they can be quite good with a few tricks but could do with a new codex.

Saying I mainly played a battlesuit army with as many suits as I have, small squads of firewarriors, pathfinders and hammerheads. I was told that this was my problem, at this point I wasn't even aware I had a problem, I was advised that I should really take less crisis suits and broadsides, and more firewarriors and drone squadrons. Stating that one of the regulars at their shop filled up on stealth suits with firewarrior support.

At this point I wondered if the local Tau players had ever won any games, or were just considered the baby seals of the store. Is this the advice that employees are giving out to people who they think are struggling to win games?

I don't considered myself a WAAC player in the slightest, slightly competitive in so much as I play to win, or stop the other guy from winning if my dice fail me :-P. But I have enjoyed some measure of success using my standard army list against most of the newer codexes. I've beaten, and lost to, Guard, tabled Blood Angels a couple of times. Given I rarely get the opportunity to play I think my win/draw/lose ratio has been pretty favourable. However were I struggling and getting frustrated at the 'poor' performance of my Tau would his advice of helped at all?

No, firewarriors are one of the weakest units in the Tau codex, drones are on the same footing. Better advice could be found at places like 3++ is the new black or many other sources of solid tactical advice on playing the game. Stacking up on the weaker units of an army is a sure way to lose, sure you can get more feet on the ground, but they are more likely to be running away at the first sign of trouble instead of inflicting damage on the opponent.

In a Tau army, crisis suits and broadsides are the heavy hitters, missile pods, plasma guns and railguns the tools of their trade. Cram as many of these in as you can and always remember the dead can't claim objectives. That would be my advice at any rate :-P


  1. The dead can't claim objectives. That sounds like one hell of a soundbite :oP

  2. I find it mostly works for me. Although I mainly play my Tau the way I want to play them, even if it means no kroot bubble wrap :-P

  3. If you're gonna refer to Kroot as protection, refer to it as a cage. I don't associate bubble wrap with budgies, but cage is a word that can easily be associated with the vicious little bastards. With the kroot too :oP

  4. You play Chaos Marines too? Don't forget to load up on Spawn!

  5. Strange, I've had the exact same advice a couple of times from one of the guys who works at my local store, and apparently he plays tau himself!

    Is there something magic about fire warriors that's a secret only known by GW staff?!

  6. I used to take lots of FW's but now its mainly in devilfish and the barest minimum purely on the basis they are over prices and despite having one of the greatest basic weapons in 40k its only 50/50 chance to hit. yes you can take pathfinders but some set ups dont allow these to start on the board making you lost 1 - 2 turns of use to get them into position and then they are at risk of being assulted. i play slightly diff to ken, 2 railgun hammerheads, 1 ion cannon hammerhead, 2 devilfish w/fw's and 1 w/pf's and i used 2 squads of stealth suits, couple of fusions in there and use my battlesuit commanders to plug any gaps in the force. win to lose is probably more wins but against the newer faster armies ie nids its either really close draw or i get massacred. still i love tau a challenge to play and cant wait for new dex

  7. Popped into the workshop in question today where one guy was painting some tau for a 600 point tourney. He had a crisis suit commander, a squad of kroot, a squad of fire warriors, a squad of stealth suits, a devilfish, a piranha and an ion cannon hammerhead. Admittedly, he designed his force based around what you get in the battallion box :oP But this guy did refer to someone known as "tau boy" who apparently uses lot's of stealth suits. From the derision in his voice, I'm guessing he does not hold this player in as high esteem as the GW staff member does. Read into that what you will :oP

  8. Would referring to kroot as ablative wounds be better?
    Sons of Taurus - Don't play Chaos marines, although I would heartily recommend that everyone invests as many points a feasibly possible in chaos spawn. :-P.

    Andy - I believe people are mislead by the strength of their weapon. Although strength 5 is fairly potent on a basic trooper, the guy can't shoot for toffee and will happily run away rather then fight. So while you can quite happily blast away guardsmen 5/12 times. You have to kill at least two per firewarrior to make back their points. Once you start adding cover bonuses into the mix they become a lot less effective. So the next great thing is the high strength comes into play against vehicles. Which is nice. But normally you'd be firing at AV11, meaning a 1/72 chance of doing anything meaningful, hardly reliable. What scuppers firewarriors more then anything else is the inability to take special/heavy weapons. Although this is how they are meant to be played it severely limits their potential. A points drop or increased flexibility would help here.

    Noveltyboy - One of the main problems is that the Tau are very maneuverable, but the main bulk of the army is limited to 12", so after someone can reach your vehicles in the first charge, you then can't get away. This is why I like flechettes and why I suspect Ginge hates them :-P

    Ginge - Sounds like a fair 600 point list, Admittedly I'd probably ditch the stealth suits and go for the crisis suits instead, better survivability and more flexibility.