Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Caledonian List

So here’s the list I’m taking to the Caledonian, 1850pts.

HQ1: Shasel with Missile Pod Plasma Rifle and Multitracker. Bodyguard with Missile Pod Plasma Rifle Targeting array, and HW Multitracker. [169]
HQ2: Shasel with Missile Pod Plasma Rifle and Multitracker. Bodyguard with Missile Pod Plasma Rifle Targeting array, and HW Multitracker. [169]
Elite 1: XV8 Team Leader, with Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Targeting Array, and HW
XV 8 Twin Linked Missile Pod, Black Sun Filter [123]
Elite 2: XV8 Team Leader, with Missile Pod Plasma Rifle Targeting Array, and HW
XV 8 Twin Linked Missile Pod, Black Sun Filter [123]
Elite 3: XV8 Team Leader, with Missile Pod Plasma Rifle Targeting Array, and HW
XV 8 Twin Linked Missile Pod, Black Sun Filter [123]
Troops 1: 6 Fire Warriors [60]
Troops 2: 10 Kroot [70]
Troops 3: 10 Kroot [70]
Fast Attack 1: 8 Pathfinders [96] + Transport 1
Fast Attack 2: 2 Piranhas, targeting array, fusion blaster, disruption pod [150]
Heavy Support 1: XV88 Team Leader, with HW Drone Controller, targeting
array, HW target lock, 2 shield drones
2 XV88 with targeting arrays [280]
Heavy Support 2: Hammer Head, Rail Gun, burst cannons, Multi tracker,
disruption pod. [165]
Heavy Support 2: Hammer Head, Rail Gun, burst cannons, Multi tracker,
disruption pod. [165]
Transport 1: Devilfish, Disruption Pod [85]

So 10 XV8s (7 BS4 Fire Knifes, 3 Death Rains), 6 Fire Warriors, 8 pathfinders, 2 Piranhas, 3 Broadsides and 2 Hammerheads.

Or looking at it another way 5 railguns (3 BS4 Twin Linked), 20 S7 AP4 Missiles, 7 Plasma Rifles, 2 Fusion Guns, and assorted small arms.

So a breakdown of the units and their use

Crisis Suits. These are the real killers in the list. The missile pods kill light armour and in combination with the plasma rifles, they also kill medium to heavy infantry. One opponent likened advancing into this army to walking into a wall of lead.

Fire warriors. Because you have to. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t take them. I don’t care what anybody says, fire warriors are terrible. Loads of people will disagree, but IMHO, they are wrong. Basically they are a scoring upgrade for the Pathfinders Devilfish. You can always tell things are going badly, if my FWs get out their fish – a tactic of last resort.

Kroot. Cause they are little feathered hero’s! I love Kroot and would swap the FW’s for another Kroot squad in a moment if I could. They’re sole purpose is to get in the way. To stop stuff getting to your Suits. Having said that, I’ve had them kill dreadknights and demon princes, mince guard’s men, hold up a rock hard biker command squad for 3 turns, and glance Chimeras to death after outflanking on the right side for once. In fact the only problem was when I used to include Kroot Hounds in the squads. They were too good! The last thing you want is for a kroot squad to get charged and win, ‘cause that means they are locked in combat during your shooting phase and you can’t shoot the unit that charged them. If that happens they will usually break in your opponents turn, leaving your opponent to assault your suits in their turn – not good! What I found was that with Hounds in the mix they were more likely to win combat. No, while I love them dearly, if charged they need to die and die quickly!

Pathfinders. Pathfinders are awesome. Their marker lights do loads of things, but the 2 big ones are boosting BS and reducing cover save. So if you have a squad of terminators in your face, boost your plasma rifles so they hit on 2+, and strip the terminators cover save by one so it matches their invulnerable save. Suddenly no more terminators. Or even better, strip the land raider’s cover save before it unloads the terminators and blow it up with rail guns, leaving the terminators stranded in their deployment zone. No army can kill Land Raiders at range like Tau. HOWEVER, there are drawbacks.

· First is that, because they are so awesome, they seldom last more than one turn. Anybody who has played Tau before will always shoot your pathfinders first. Now some say that this stops them shooting your suits or your tanks, and that’s true, but if your army relies on markerlights to boost normally crappy BS, then that hurts.

· Second, you have to buy them a Devilfish, which is stupid. The last place you want pathfinders is in a Fish where they can’t shoot at stuff. Some say “ah but you can put your Fire Warriors in the Fish, and that’s true. But what I really want to do is keep my Fire Warriors in their own Fish, in reserve, until I take out some anti tank fire, so they can safely come onto objectives on turn 4. Having to coordinate that crucial embarkation into the Fish is a pain.

· Thirdly, the marker lights are heavy weapons. So once your Pathfinders are in place, you really don’t want to move them. It makes them a really static unit.

· Finally, their leadership is 7!

So Pathfinders are one to the units I’m wondering about. I’m wondering whether, if I spend their points on more firepower, or more accurate firepower, I can do without them. But then again, there’s nothing quite like watching the look on your opponents face when he realises that the Stormraven he just turbo boosted into your face no longer had a cover save and is looking down the barrels of 3 BS5 twin linked rail guns….!

Piranhas. These do 2 things. They block vehicles, and if they survive (which happens surprisingly often) they are good for contesting objectives in the last few turns. Wasn’t sold on them at first, but am I now. The fact that they are the only melta weapons in my army is a bonus.

Broadsides. Nothing makes armour cry more than broadsides. They will always have a place in my army (and my heart!). The only question mark is over options – smart missile system (SMS), or plasma rifle – Targeting Array (TA) or Advanced Stabilisation System (ASS). I take SMS and TA. My reasoning is that plasma is better on the XV8s as they are more mobile, and the SMS give you some anti horde, which this list is a bit light on. As for ASS, I prefer the targeting arrays. You are paying a lot of points for the big guns, and you really want them to hit (I know maths tells us that the difference between TL BS3 and TL BS4 is not worth the additional 10- points, but I don’t care). However, it makes the broadsides very static, and initial deployment with good firing lanes is crucial.

Hammerheads. Ahh… my great unrequited love! On paper Hammerheads are fantastic. With Multitrackers and Disruption Pods I have an AV13 tank with a S10 AP1 main gun, which moves 12 inches and shoots said gun, while always having a cover save to shooting over 12 inches away. The problem is that you pay a lot for that tank (165 pts), and the bloody thing always misses! For 50 points less I can get another team of 3 broadsides. However, they are still in my list because of 4 reasons

· The submunition rounds (S6 AP4 Large Blast). The rest of my army is designed to kill marines; I need something to deal with hordes.

· They give my suits something to hide behind if there is no cover.

· They take the heat of my suits – i.e. people shoot them rather than the suits, and with AV13 and Dpods, they are pretty durable.

· Finally, they are usually still around at the end of the game and are great for tank shocking troops off objectives to contest them.

So, for now, they stay in, but they may not last the weekend!

So that’s the list. As with all Tau lists its weakness is it crumbles in assault. If anything gets in your lines, you die. The game plan is to stop this happening for as long as possible, and kill everything before they get there. The trick is to do this, and still have time to capture/contest objectives.. not something I’ve mastered (yet!).

So that’s it for now – logically the next post would be how I use the list…. but I think that’s probably best covered by some battle reports, which I’ll try and do next week after the tourney.



  1. Excellent post :)

    Its about time someone explained to me why I should fear Tau @_@

  2. Frankly, not entirely sure you should fear Tau! No doubt about it, there are lots of way more powerful codexes out there, and much stronger armies built from them. Winning with them is always (for me at least) an uphill struggle - I win way more with my blood angels than I do with my Tau.

    So - you might ask, when you like to win (and I do) and you hate to lose (and I do), why do you play them more than any other army you own.....and I don't have a satisfactory answer.

    Well...actually I do.... but it's not a short one, and not one I really want to start getting into late at night. One for a future post!