So after however many years of not going to a tournament, jumping into one straight away for 8th. I feel Tau are lacking somewhat in 8th but I’m also waiting on an order for some of the models I want for my Marine armies and Tyranids (while Eldar haven’t really pricked me with the 8th edition bite yet) so what better way than to review that in a tournament setting. There will be 50+ people there using ITC format rules and missions so it will be very interesting to see how everything goes.
Exploring the list below.
One of the main concerns I have in Tau for 8th edition has been scoring, particularly given the Maelstrom components of missions in the ITC format and grabbing objectives during the game. Unfortunately, I had no time to playtest this before submitting the list which has some stark changes from what I’ve been playing in 8th edition with Tau to date (I had anticipated getting access to the Marine models I had been proxying for either a Dark Angels Mech + Imperial Soup or Girlyman Mech + Imperial Soup type list to take to the tournament). This is never a good thing heading into a tournament so it will be super important to make and keep attention to cheat sheets.
What I have is as follows:
Battalion Detachment –
Ethereal w/Honour Blade
Longstrike w/Railgun, 2x MV1 Gun Drones
5x Stealth Suits w/Burst Cannons
Ghostkeel w/2x Fusion Blaster, ATS, Cyclic Ion Raker, 2x MV5 Stealth Drones and Target Lock
9x Fire Warrior Breachers
Hammerhead w/Railgun, 2x MV1 Gun Drones
Devilfish w/Burst Cannon, 2x MV1 Gun Drones
Supreme Command Detachment –
Commander w/3x Missile Pods, ATS
Commander w/3x Missile Pods, ATS
Super-Heavy Auxiliary Detachment –
Stormsurge w/Pulse Blastcannon, Shield Generator, 2x Flamers, 2x Smart Missile System, Cluster Rocket System, 4x Destroyer Missiles, EWO, ATS
Totals: 7 CP, 2000 points
The Stormsurge was going to be integral to any Tau list I made – it’s straight up damage efficiency is strong in terms of anti-infantry potential with the SMS and Cluster Rockets. Throw in ATS and it does decent plinking work against vehicles as well while the Shield Generator keeps it alive, the EWO make it a deep strike deterrent (somewhat) for more aggressive units and the Pulse Blastcannon puts decent and reliable damage against vehicles while not also paying the crazy cost of the Driver Cannon. The two Railheads with one of them being Longstrike add to this ensuring I’ll be able to drop a vehicle a turn relatively reliably.
Pathfinders are a no brainer and two Kroot squads as speed bumps give my backfield a little bit of time to ply the game with their shooting. The backfield is quite small though here without any Broadsides or on foot Fire Warriors but I needed a 5th HQ, so enter the cheap Ethereal. A Fireblade would have upped the damage of the Gun Drones and Pathfinders but the Ethereal starts the marker chain nicely with his shooting aura or adds some decent flexibility which also helps the Commanders.
I do not have any CIBs so the Commanders are all Missile Pods unfortunately – I initially had one Commander and a Broadside but felt the firebase was too vulnerable and the Commander, while lacking two missile shots and all the SMS, is a good 50 points cheaper. There is lots of anti-infantry in the list regardless I think. The Commanders can obviously provide some more mobility as the game wears on but can hang around the main firebase early.
Finally, we start to add some extra mobility and aggression around this. I have tried the Darkstrider + Breacher combo to decent effect and while there is not a lot of infantry to take advantage of his fall back ability here, he makes the Breachers a decent anti-tank option and lots of options around anti-infantry (not necessarily at the 5″ range) depending upon the opponent in question. The Devilfish is a great throwaway unit as well and if it blocks up movement and delays shooting, all the better. If it survives late game, it can magically turn into three models on an objective as well. The Ghostkeel brings a mobile and annoyingly durable (particularly if there is terrain to hide a drone behind and keep him moving) with a spread of weapons to put multiple wounds on tougher vehicles or potentially character snipe if opportunity presents itself. Otherwise, can wail on some infantry with the normal shooting mode of the CIR. Stealth Suits are a completely new addition for me, and if I had CIBs, think I could be running a Fusion Blaster in here pretty easily. Essentially, some more disruption / slightly harder models to remove models that give me some mobility outside of my standard firebase.
Anyway, I will be giving it a go and see what happens. I worry that my firebase will be too easily assaulted and I don’t exactly have a ton of models but we will see how it performs, particulalry with different elements I’m not used to. Prepare for some battle reports with many mistakes.