Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Tau and the FAQ

By now all of you will know that Tau got their target locks back, and disruption pods now give tau vehicles shrouding if they are more than 12 inches away.

Target locks are nice to have back, but their loss did not have a huge impact (other than in Farsight lists). However, Dpods giving shrouding is pretty huge. Take a moment to think about this. What it means is that Tau Vehicles now get a 3+ cover save if they moved at all (via “jink”). They get a 2+ cover save if they are more than 25% obscured by ruins (and with sensor spines they ignore difficult terrain, so they can move in and out of cover at will). They get a 2+ cover save if they move flat out.

Now that Holo Field Falcons are pretty rubbish, I suspect this makes Tau vehicles the most resilient in the game at range (can anybody thing of anything tougher to kill than a hammer head behind a ruin – I can’t). I’m no maths guy but I suspect a HH with a 2+ cover save will be harder to kill than a Landraider with a 4+ cover save…!

I’m pretty excited about this, given my previously expressed views on how static gun lines are dead, and how a more mechanised list might be the way to go. I love the idea of Hammer Heads, Piranhas and ‘Fish “dancing” just outside of 12” (supported by suits), shrugging of shots and blowing the enemy away, before “swooping” in to grab objectives. It is exactly how I envision Tau fighting in the fluff. The tantalising prospect is whether you might just get “Fish of Fury” to work again!

Thinking about how this effect Tau Vehicles

·         Hammer Heads. This makes Hammer Heads extremely hard to kill. They are not cheap – 180pts, with Railgun, SMS, target lock, and Dpod. However this gives you a Railgun (and remember it has the sub-munition large blast), 4 S5 shots that don’t need LOS, an AV13 platform, the ability to target 2 separate units (one with the Railgun and another with the SMS) and all after moving 12”.  Couple that with a 3+ cover save in the open if you’re more than 12” away, and it’s not too bad! My only concern is that they are so resilient, your opponent might just ignore them and shoot your suits instead!
·         Piranhas. I don’t think that Dpods are that great on Piranhas. To be effective Piranhas need to be up close, usually within 12”. Not a huge boost here.
·         Devilfish. Dpods on Fish make them pretty resilient. They are AV12, rather than 13, but a 3+ or a 2+ cover save will bounce of most hits. The problem is they don’t contribute that much to the armies fire power for their points. If you kit them out as a warfish (Smart Missile Systems, Multitracker, Targeting Array) you only put out 7 s5 shots, and 3 of them (the burst cannon) only have an 18” range. That’s not much for 120pts. I wonder if it would be better to run them as Dumbfish (i.e. Dpod only) and just use them as troop transports/protection? The difference is being able to move 12” and shoot seven BS4 strength 5 shots, as opposed to moving 6” and shooting 3 strength 5 shots as BS3. Is that worth 35pts?
·         Tetras. If you are running forgeworld stuff then tetras with shrouding is are just even more awesome. There is never any need to get closer than 12 inches with a Tetra. It makes them much more resilient.

So, the big question is – how best to run Devilfish? As gunboats with Firewarriors actually doing something for a change, or as a way to protect your scoring units until such time as they need to get out and grab an objective.

What do you think?



  1. I'm very much a newcomer to using Tau, and the disruption pod FAQ sounds amazing. I'll use it on DF to get my Fire Warriors into great firing positions to rapid fire squads to death. 24 shots is gonna be hard for anyone to withstand! Its also made the HH a very tempting propisition. I've got one, and was thinking of getting 6 broadsides to fill the other HS slots... now I may just go for three so I can have two hh's!

    Any good tips for using Tau? I've bought a bunch of stuff really cheap, including vespid and a sniper team... but not heard much good about them!

  2. @Vandalworks - sorry its taken me ages to respond to our comment - tech problems I wont bore you with.

    Tips for Tau...I've written a heap of them in this blog, although most of it now out of date, being written for 5th, not 6th. Ive not yet played enough games in 6th to be too sure of how they play now. But, when i have ill let you know!


    1. No worries man! Hope they're all sorted=]

      Yeah thats cool, I've got myself 1000pts so far, but with a few bits still to build. I'm gonna do a couple of posts soon on my blog and hopefully a video too.

      Look forward to 6th tips!

  3. I ended up playing tau last night (first 40k game for a while!). I used my far eldar and I did just end up ignoring the hammerhead and devil fishes.

    I figured I could cope with only loosing one vehicle a turn to the hammerhead especially when it's going to miss 1/3 of the time. The hellions hugged cover all the way to limit the effect of submunitions.

    He was using war fishes and I didn't think they were worth it. He had three and the extra points spent would be better spent on another unit of fire warriors to reserve and bring on at the end of the game.

    1. You can't reserve and bring on when you want though, you have to roll and then turn four they automatically come on, so the protection is sometimes better than the wait.

  4. Ah but....positional relay can delay reserves.....!