Thursday, November 19, 2009

Reflections on Tau experience in Dawn of War vs Guard

Having secured employment, I finally got the models (and foam trays) necessary to field the army. I got a game in against a buddy's IG; Dawn of War with 5 Objectives. The end result was a draw on objectives and a moral victory for Tau.

Here's some unit-by-unit reflection, per Dawn of War and hybrid Tau.

Oh, there's some difficulty to be had in getting mileage out of these guys in DoW. You have range, but since you're moving in from the board edge, field position is more of an issue. I had some trouble getting use out of them because of their deployment; I went for a central position on the board but compromised fire lanes becuase it was an either/or proposition, and I got stuck going first.

On the other hand, they nailed a Vendetta on turn two, then spent the next three turns of the game shaking up a Russ. Talk about comically inept shooting; a Russ absorbed 6 railgun slugs and never got worse than Stunned. (Note this is with Markerlight support, for a good chunk of the time).

All-star performance. They did a number on enemy army; the pair of them stopped Hellhounds early on, and with their mobility, well, it's hard NOT to get use out of them. I do need to watch their positioning when it comes to enemy meltaguns, as I got lucky when he immobilized a melta-laden chimera.

And, there's nothing like markerlighting a squad of Guard heading for an objective, then obliterating them with a precise submunition shot.

Crisis Suits
They did only ok this game, in large part due to the sheer amount of AV12 I was facing. They did get a chance to shoot up some sisters of battle, as he'd allied some in and slapped them into the Vendetta. They did halt the other menacing-looking Hellhound.

Still, I am impressed with them; the plasma is totally worth it for the utility and for the ability to nuke infantry. Power armor to cover saves IS a big deal, considering the usual premium you pay for power armor. (...then again, A Sister of Battle is 11 points, and a Fire Warrior is 10 points. Yeah. Tell me the Fire Warrior's worth it.)

The main trick in using them is to use your tanks as walls, terrain as walls, walls as walls, and try to set up multiple fire angles. Shoot the guys that can only shoot one thing first.

He...sat with the Broadsides for a bit 'til I realized they weren't going to get shot at. Not the best use of the commander in this case, but so it goes.

I deployed them in their Devilfish this time around. I had intended for it to get them into a decent position on turn one. On the other hand, deploying out of a transport and risking a run move may or may not leave you in the position you want.

Anyone have any ideas for Pathfinders and Dawn of War? I think the Devilfish is worth it some times, and I'm going to lose turn one of shooting with them, but past that?

Pathfinder Devilfish
...ate a LR Demolisher cannon round on turn 2, exploded violently, and ceased to even be cover.

Mmm, kroot screens. With 17 Kroot, coherency, and first turn in DOW you can press a couple of them up to the middle-of-the-field line, and force enemy deployment back. Note that this is only really annoying when the other guy wants to deploy troops or an HQ on the field.

As my opponent had a large combined squad of guard with autocannons, well, I considered it worthwhile. Of course ,that also put the Kroot that much closer to guns, so they had to beat a hasty retreat.

Fire Warriors
Sat in reserve. Came in on turn two anyway, to claim an objective and allow the Kroot on that flank to advance. Did their job, at least. Not that I ever get Fire Warriors to DO much...

These guys get the Expendable All-Star cookie. Turn 1, I pushed them far up the field. Make the enemy sweat, because there are two squads of two with meltaguns running upfield. Ok, I lost three of them on the other guy's first turn, but it kept him from shooting other stuff.

The survivor managed to KO a Hellhound, though, and dictate his deployment.

I lucked out a bit with the dice in that terrain immobilized one of his meltavet teams. He also managed to let me log-jam him with popping/immobilizing vehicles here and there, but when your army has 8-10 vehicles, well, you're short on space for deployment.

Body Count
Several Kroot
1 Crisis Suit
1 Devilfish
2x2 Piranhas

1 Meltavet squad
1 Vendetta
10 SoB
1 Hellhound dead
1 Hellhound damaged
1 LR Demolisher damaged
2 Chimera immobilized
[Maybe more; it was last Saturday...]

Tau players? Seriously, consider Piranhas. Between Disruption pods and/or turbo-boosting, you should be able to make a nuisance out of yourself. Be where the enemy wants to be. Oh, and there's a BS4 meltagun you should worry about, guys.

Past that, your Crisis Suits should pretty much always have missile pods, just for the range value and utility.

Rail guns kill armor. Surprise, isn't it?

It's annoying as hell to kind of surrender deployment initiative by going first in DoW. A highly mech'ed-up enemy can react to your deployment well. I seriously think that the Piranhas helped me counteract this, as a highly mech-edup enemy has to worry about Piranhas in the middle of the table.

Objectives are still a challenge, though he denied me the tie by playing for the objectives at the end. I just was not able to kill enough of his stuff in time to make the difference. I blame it in part on my inability to actually KILL a Russ with a Broadside team in 3 turns. Then I could've deployed my firepower in a different way.


Stelek said...

Pathfinder devilfish = Tau FW carrier imho.

Nice writeup, is there a list that goes along with this?

Raptor1313 said...

Yep. It's familiar to you, I'll say that much. ;)

For everyone else, the list is pretty much:

At full 2,000.

suneokun said...

Guard simply outrange and can outfirepower Tau. I find that the easiest way to panel-beat Tau (I run a guard AND tau force) is to run mortar spam and simply drop 15 small plates on the troops every turn. The kroot cannot leave cover (as they die VERY quickly), the Tau FW get (at best) a 3+ for going to ground ... and as we know Tau are very vulnerable to Ld tests.

The pinning spam, combined with the mass casulaties is very very effective.

You decide to go after his mortars, you're targetting 5 units that cost 300 pts, it's just not worth it.

Plus I usually roll with a basic rough rider squad. Roughriders with a 11 24" S5, I5 power attacks hitting on a 3+ is murder to crisis and stealth suits - negating that advantage. I've had 55pts of rough rider take down 350pts of Tau Shas'El and Crisis suits.

Not so good against Piranha's though.

Watch out for these simple, cheap but VERY nasty anti Tau options.

Chumbalaya said...

I really want to play this Tau army, but I just don't have the means to get it. Grr.

Good analysis, keep us updated.

Raptor1313 said...

The mortars certainly highlight the issues with Kroot. Still, I think with good 2" coherency abuse, I can somewhat offset it. Somewhat.

Worse for Kroot shields, I feel, are something like Chimeras with heavy flamers, or the Nova Cannon russes. (Then again, no one seems to bring the latter. Funny, because I think the Guard can make those work, and they're just SICK against any kind of troop outside of marines).

I'd worry more about Mortars harassing my Crisis Suits, to be honest. If you're killing my Kroot, well, you're not helping me claim objectives but you're not reducing my firepower. Start dropping pinning wounds on Crisis Suits, though, and then we'll talk. (Well, you'l talk, I'll get worried. Ld8 without any kind of help makes me nervous on suits...).

On the other hand, Mortars are more or less ineffectual against vehicles, and I don't see a ton of them around, to be honest. They're not BAD, but they're not necessarily that great.

Rough Riders? Honestly, they're pretty rare to nonexistent, and I'd hope they'd be able to beat down Tau. I'd worry about cavalry in principle, but more so about Thunderwolf Cav.

Guard can certainly bring more guns, though. I think Tau guns tend to be more durable (between multi-wound, unique Broadside teams and perma-cover-save Hammerheads) and mobile. Have to work that advantage where you get it. Plus, rail guns. Not a lot of guard stuff is abject murder vs. vehicles at range, though Vendetta Squads certainl start getting worrisome...(...then again, what the hell DOESN'T get nervous with 3-9 twin-linked lascannons pointing at them?)

It's pretty fun and effective; it's just that Tau in general require a heap of Crisis Suits, and GW's infinite wisdom gave us a $20 kit AND something that loses a significant amount of utility when bought used. (Can't really repose it readily, and prepare to pay for bits if you don't get the weapons you want...)