Saturday, August 22, 2009

For the Greater Good

Well, I finally fielded my Tau, against Xardian's mech chaos.

My list is something like:
Hybrid Tau v1
Shas'el w/ Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Multi-tracker.
87 points.

3 Crisis Suit Teams, consisting of:
3x Crisis Suits w/ Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Multi-tracker
186 per team (558 total)

6 Fire Warriors
60 points

10 Kroot, 7 Kroot Hounds

10 Kroot, 7 Kroot Hounds

Fast Attack
Piranha Squad
2 Piranhas; Fusion Blasters, Target Lock, Targeting Arrays, Disruption Pods

8 Pathfinders
Devilfish w/ Smart Missile System, Disruption Pod, Multi-Tracker

Heavy Support
Hammerhead w/ Rail Gun, Smart Missile System, Disruption Pod, Multi-Tracker

Hammerhead w/ Rail Gun, Smart Missile System, Disruption Pod, Multi-Tracker

Broadside Team
2 Suits; both w/ Advanced Stabilization Systems. One upgraded to Team Leader w/ Drone Controller, 2 Shield Drones

Total: 1850

Xardian's list was something like:
Nurgle Lord w/ Daemon Weapon
2 Dreadnoughts w/ Missile Launchers, CCWs
2x Plague Marine Squads w/ Rhinos (7 strong, powerfist champs, personal icons; one had double-flamers, one w/ double plasma guns)
CSM Squad w/ Rhino (Powerfist champ, icon of chaos glory, double flamers)
~8 Summoned Daemons
2 3-man Oblit Squads

I don't think I'm leaving anything out.

Scenario was Seize Ground, Table Quarters. Three objectives. I won the role to go first, slapped the Hammerheads in a corner, and then had the Fire Warriors near the Devilfish. Kroot formed a screen around my objective and the Broadsides hid behind them. Crisis Suits grabbed some cover and deployed around that objective. The other objectives were off the quarters. Pathfinders grabbed high ground in a building near the middle with a pretty commanding view.

The battle, in short, involved Xardian playing a more tactical game while I was all MWAHAHAHAA! GUNS! GUNS! KILL! He did manage to Seize the Initiative, which was karma considering how often I go first and/or seize the initative. His Rhinos moved out and popped smoke. His Defiler popped a shot at my Suits, and managed to scatter it off the table.

I respond by promptly immobilizing the Defiler, then remove its weapon. I ignore it, it potshots my Pathfinders slowly. He stays in cover, hides his Rhinos as well as he can, and threatens my objective with Dreadnoughts until I blow them up. I err and don't use the Piranhas to meltagun the things. The other problem is he manages to deep-strike the Oblits well, and I give up rear shots.

Bottom line? I make a few mistakes with movement and perhaps deployment. He strikes Oblits well when I should've screened them better, and I lose my hammerheads. Also, one squad promptly rampages through my lines, and proceeds to nuke a Hammerhead, then absorb a heap of gunfire and plasma, and then eat a Kroot assault. The Kroot promptly spend 3 phases fighting them, two of which are TIES. Then, the two Oblits pop them during my turn (win 3-0, Kroot can't seem to make a Ld4 check. Funny that) and then beat up my Broadsides as in 'beat to death.' Then I plasma them until they stop moving.

The game ends turn six with him having one objective cold, and me having one cold. He has a chunk of tactical marines on an objective in cover, and as my Pathfinders are whittled down, I probably wouldn't be able to gun them off the objective without another couple of shooting phases.

Fun Things I learned About Tau
Guns Are Cool
Tau have a crap-ton of firepower. There's something about having a heap of railguns, missile pods, and plasma rifles that makes a man feel mean and sadistic at the same time. At least, it works for me.

On Kroot and Troops
Tau troops are fairly crunchy. A Devilfish isn't bad, but it's not invulnerable to enemy shooting. Fire Warriors can do some decent shooting, but have Ld7 and tend to run away screaming.

Kroot are fine in cover, though enough of them got caught out in a vehicle explosion to run them off the table. They're cheap, though, and are more intended to act as screens. In a pinch, and given terrain, I might be able to work them onto on objective. Still, at 117 for 17 wounds, it's not a bad deal.

Crisis Suits
They should always leave the house with a missile pod, minimum. They're the one break between S5 and S10 in the army, outside of Piranhas. They're strong enough to menace rhinos and transports, and S7 will wound most anything with a toughness value pretty readily.

The secondary weapon is of concern. Honestly, I see the merits of plasma now that I've rolled with it. It's expensive, but it denies armor saves and is a truly nasty point-blank weapon. It also lets me standoff, and at 24", well...honestly, I don't think I'd ever roll with the Burst Cannon. Less strength, AP and range. Flamers? No. Far too short-ranged; if the enemy is that close I'm screwed and asking to lose the suits. 6" move + the jump pack move isn't enough to effectively use it, and I categorically refuse to suicide-drop suits. Fusion blasters? Range issues. Twin-linked missile pods? Maybe, but then you're committing to a support system in lieu of a complimentary shot, and losing on a weapon system.

Hooray for versatility. I like them, though I'd have more of a feel for them if I hadn't given Xardian a great little pocket to drop oblits into. Then again, point-blank twin-linked BS4 meltaguns WILL kill a Hammerhead.

At 200 points, the team is a bit costly, but I can't see taking the team and not taking shield drones, the fire-splitter, and the Advanced Stabilization System. Why the Stabilizer? Don't lose a turn of shooting with the need to reposition.

The Target lock keeps me from overkilling an enemy unit. Against something like a Rhino, well? I think a single Rail Gun slug is probably going to be fine. Twin-linked BS3 is a 75% chance to hit anyway, so there's a pretty reasoanble chance of blowing up or otherwise harming light transports. And, the shield drones? It keeps someone from getting cute and firing stuff like Lascannons and other S8 stuff at the Broadsides.

It helps when I remember to move them and use them correctly. It's like having a Land Speeder that trades its heavy flamer for AV11 on the front, which requires heavy weapons to kill. The Gun Drones are 'eh', but can at least threaten to contest.

Still, while the squad is a bit costly, they can split fusion gun fire, and their gun drone shots as well. In general, I'm reasonably impressed with them.

Tau Thoughts In General
I think I'm going to like these guys. They'll take some getting used to, and they have some issues with keeping troops alive. They aren't necessarily forgiving, but there's something fun about carrying all that firepower.

There's a learning curve, but MAN it's fun having all these guns. Now I just need to get another Piranha, 5 more Crisis Suits, and figure out a better Kroot Hound conversion. Maybe ponder a way to get troops to work more, or commit to just killing more claiming units in lieu of trying as hard to score.

If nothing else, learning Tau should improve my game.


The_King_Elessar said...

Decent Rep Rap, thanks. ;)

Pics would be nice, obvs. lol

Raptor1313 said...

I gotta remember to drag my crapttastic camera along. Seeing that Sad Defiler sit there and dejectedly pick off Pathfinders was pretty good stuff. (Pathfinders, of course, refused to make a 4+ cover save for a while.)

SpartanTau said...

Nice report, and I'm glad that you are pretty happy with your army. Your list looks nice, and your tactics are pretty solid as well (ignoring the occasional memory lapses...). I completely agree with the strength and versatility of the Missile Pod, even if I don't always use them myself...

Nice job, and I'm looking forward to your next report!

Sholto said...

Yay for the Tau. Seems like a very solid Tau list. They are one of the less forgiving armies, but all the more enjoyable for it. And for the plasma rifles, natch :)