Email in: Mech Eldar (2k?)

From chair126;

hi there,

uve prob seen me on warseer. i comment on ur painting sumtimes and found ur blog. rly liking it so far. keep it up.

id like to request a eldar list though and i dont want any sort of council (though if the only way they can compete is wit a council ok) which is as top nothc as possible. id like to use as many serpents as possible as ive got 6 a prism and some vypers. i keep losin wit em down in tassie so any tactics would be gr8 to

cheers,
chair126

Well first off thanks for liking the blog. Yes I’ve seen you on Warseer a few times and appreciate the comments on my SM painting blog. So down to the dirty. I’m going to assume 2k unless otherwise noted and if you want a competitive Council list you can’t go far wrong with this.

So anywho let’s get cracking. I’ve been meaning to fiddle around with a 2k Eldar Mech list and lots of AV12 chasis as a restriction isn’t really a restriction at all. Since chair126 asked for tactics I’m going to make the list the talk about it rather than my usual discussion along the way (I’ll explain my choices later in the tactics section).

HQ –
Eldrad

Elites –
Fire Dragons x5
Serpent w/TL Shuriken Cannons, Shuriken Cannon, Spirit Stones

Fire Dragons x5
Serpent w/TL Shuriken Cannons, Shuriken Cannon, Spirit Stones

Fire Dragons x5
Serpent w/TL Shuriken Cannons, Shuriken Cannon

Troops –
Dire Avengers x5
Serpent w/TL Bright Lance, Shuriken Cannon

Dire Avengers x5
Serpent w/TL Bright Lance, Shuriken Cannon

Storm Guardians x10 w/2 flamers
Serpent w/TL EML, Shuriken Cannon

Dire Avengers x5

Fast Attack –
Vyper w/Shuriken Cannon, Scatter Laser

Heavy Support –
Fire Prism w/Shuriken Cannon

Fire Prism w/Shuriken Cannon

Falcon w/Scatter Laser, Shuriken Cannon, Holo-fields, Spirit Stones

Total: 1997 pts
Tanks: 10
Infantry: 41

You could drop the Storm Guardians completely for another 2 seperate Vypers (same setup) and points to spare or replace them with another Avenger/BL serpent combo but you’ll see why I have that Vyper in a bit and the trade-off in firepower from a single BL down to an EML is minimal and thus worth it.

So. Eldrad into the Falcon alongside 5x Avengers. Double Fortune some Serpents T1 and Guide or Doom a target as needed. Otherwise chuck out Doom, Guide & Fortune as needed (always Guide the falcon unless it has weapons blown off). Use the Vyper behind the Falcon where it can shoot but still get cover. Use Eldrad to Guide if you haven’t Doomed something (or Falcon isn’t in cover to get a benefit from Fortune).

A lot of the internetz hates chin shuriken cannons. I’m going to disabuse you here. From chin shuriken cannons we’re paying 100pts. For 30 S6 shots on 10 different shots @ BS3. That’s 3.33 points per S6 shot. Um. Okay, sold. You’re not going to find that efficiency across the army often. Add in the fact that every one of your vehicles now has at a minimum two significant weapons and a single weapon destroyed result doesn’t in a virtually useless unit (you only need 2! woo). They also love spirit stones. What are the chances of 10 stunneds across the board? Minimal. Chin shuriken cannons are that much better and the same points. At the same time I think having stones on the Falcon and some Dragons helps overcome those occasional stuns. Still, they aren’t needed but provide a little bit of flexibility in planning (remember: these are NOT bought for contesting last turn, that is a waste of points. If I can, it’s a bonus. The point for the Dragons is to get them there. The Falcon to reposition).

Troop Serpents and Fire Prisms essentially fire from back/mid-field and use their speed to move about and control objectives. The Avengers rarely, rarely get out and should only get out en masse to try and wipe a small unit off an objective late game. The Storm Guardians can be used late game to push a unit off an objective. Like Dragons, expect them to die once they hop out so make sure when they get out that it’s pivotal.

Finally the Dragons. Zoom em first turn generally (here’s where your double Fortune goes) and take out the biggest targets of note. If there aren’t really any immediate threats (or you can let the threats come to you) use them in conjuction with the Prisms and Troop Serpents to control the battlefield.

Does that make sense chair126? I choose Eldrad over 2x Seers to a) get the Vyper b) use two of the same power without spending 120+ points x2 and c) not having to pay RoWit x2 to reliably get those powers off w/o Embolden. This does however limit your psychicness to a very local area so you have to be very aware of your Falcon placement and movement.

Thoughts everyone else?

Email in: Ninja tau

Email in from MagicJuggler:

This is MagicJuggler btw.

The internet is retarded. People still believe in Ninja Tau…up to write an article on how to bust it?

I’ve done this a few times on the forums and agree with you. So I’ll gladly hit down on Ninja Tau again :p.

Ninja Tau uses the special wargear positional relay to delay the majority of the army by allowing a unit to come on from reserve very reliably (first failure, most Ninja tau lists who get the bad roll and screw this up, are screwed). They do this to deny damage to their units and come on en masse late game for an alpha strike with 2/3 of their army.

So this fails for a lot of reasons.

1) tau are a great shooting army. You’re stopping them from shooting. That’s bad. You’re doing your opponent’s job
2) Tau are a great shooting army and not shooting at your opponent allows him to get close to your side of the board unmolested. This is a win for the other army
3) combined with 2 it’s hard to utilises blocking and screens which means in those couple of turns Tau are on the board, they are in combat or being melta’d
4) the Ninja tau are relying on their unit with the special wargear option to survive and when it doesn’t, lots of short-ranged guys come in and can get pummelled by long ranged armies
5) Ninja tau bleed units. It’s designed to minimise KPs but you’re sending in single units for the first 4 turns (plus what starts on the table). The enemy is quite capable of dealing with a unit a turn tyvm
6) how do you get to midfield objectives? oh right Ninja tau doesn’t unless you want to DS contest with Suits or something (which is stupid)
7) if you get bad rolls and fail to pop those transports that alpha strike is pretty fail am I right?
8) lack of efficient markerlight support which means to get MLs you’re using up slots better suited for something else

See? bad.

Let’s put this into context. Tau are very good at shooting and defending themselves from alpha strikes and assaults/RF. By trying to force your army to come on later you’re removing the biggest advantages Tau have in 5th and expose their weaknesses. That is not a recipe for success.

Even if you take a good Tau list and add a Positional Relay it gives you ZERO advantages. You’re shooting less and can’t set up your deployment how you’d like it (and unlike in DoW you don’t have night fight to protect you) whilst your opponent advances across the table claiming midfield and gaining your deployment zone.

Viability in 5th? Zero.
Fun factor? Zero.
Ever been a good idea? No.
Will it stop? No.
Should you beat it to a pulp when you see it? Hell yes.

That help MJ :P?

List request: Kaney 2k IG

HQ
Company Command Squad – 4 Meltaguns, Chimera, Heavy Flamer – 145

Elites
Inquisitor – Emperors Tarot, 2 Mystics – 47

6 Sanctioned Psykers – Chimera, Heavy Flamer – 125

Troops
Veteran Squad – 3 Meltaguns, Autocannon, Chimera, Heavy Flamer – 175

Veteran Squad – 3 Meltaguns, Autocannon, Chimera, Heavy Flamer – 175

Platoon Command Squad – 4 Meltaguns, Chimera, Heavy Flamer – 130

Infantry Squad – Autocannon, Grenade Launcher, Commisar, Power Sword – 110

Infantry Squad – Autocannon, Grenade Launcher – 65

Infantry Squad – Autocannon – 60

Fast Attack
Vendetta – 130

Vendetta – 130

Vendetta – 130

Heavy Support
Manticore – 160

Leman Russ Executioner – Plasma Cannon Sponsons, Heavy Flamer – 230

Leman Russ Battle Tank – Plasma Cannon Sponsons, Heavy Flamer – 190

Kaney’s request is a competitive 2k build with an infantry bubble-wrap platoon so let’s see what we can do.

There is a lot of extraneous stuff we don’t need there so let’s start with the basics.

3x 10 Vets w/3meltaguns, demoltions = 390 pts

We won’t put them in Chims just yet as we want to put them in Vendettas so we’ll see how we go for points,

We’d like a bubble-wrap unit too so:

Platoon Command w/4 meltas, chimera = 125 pts

Infantry platoon w/AC x3
include 1 meltagun, Commisar = 225 pts

We may add some Chimeras to the infantry platoon to hijack later but atm no. That’s 740 so for and we still need 3 Vendettas for 1130. And we still want a Company Command squad. Now I think here that the company command squad should be combining with the Platoon to order the Bubble-wrap up and down and to RR hits so they don’t really have need for melta do they… so let’s revisit the Platoon command and Company command together

Platoon Command w/AC, chimera = 95 pts

Company Command w/AC, chimera = 115 pts

This puts us at 1215 and we’ve got our core down. Let’s add some goodies. Manticores are good. 2 is better. 320 points gone and 465 left. We’ve got some Troops, Elites and a HS slot left with 7 tanks so far. So let’s look at adding some Psychic defense as it’s needed.

Inq Lord w/Psycannon, Hood
Mystics x3
3 Heavy Bolter Servitors = 188 pts

They’ll need a shiny new chimera so they can buy one from the Infantry Platoon, +55 pts. You lose a turn of shooting but can get into good position, worth it.

We’ve now got just over 200 points to spend and no Russes as of yet. Now I know Kaney is quite fond of the Executioner so let’s look at one of those.

LR Executioner w/PC sponsons = 230 pts which puts us 8 points and we’d like another BT to take shots for the Executioner so we’ll Drop a Vet/Vendetta combo to give us ~250 points to play with. An attached LRBT with the executioner sets us back 150 leaving us with 100ish points and let’s be giggly. Add in Elite Inq w/Psycannon 🙂 and add in a new platoon giving us:

HQ –
Company Command Squad w/AC, Chimera

Inq Lord w/Psycannon, Hood & 3x HB servitors, 3x Mystics

Elites –
Inq w/Psycannon

Troops –
10x Vets w/Demo, 3x Melta

10x Vets w/Demo, 3x Melta

Platoon Command w/AC, Chimera

Infantry Platoon w/AC, meltagun, Commissar, Chimera

Infantry Platoon w/AC

Infantry Platoon w/AC

Infantry Platoon w/AC

Fast Attack –
Vendetta

Vendetta

Heavy Support –
Manticore

Manticore

LR Squadron w/Executioner w/PC sponsons & Battle Tank

Total: 1998
Tanks: 9
Infantry: 79

Now we can drop a Manticore and go for more blast spam and take 2x PBS in Chimeras (around 6-7 strong) as well but that’s up to personal prefence (this also opens up the option of some more Russes).

As it stands you have a Ld9 stubborn 41 man strong bubble-wrap unit which has 8 S7 shots, protects the chimeras of the Inq, CCS, PCS, which protects the Russes which protect the manticores whilst the Vets deliver alpha strike death to anyone silly enough to allow it.

Thoughts kaney and others?

P.S. all vehicles have hull HFs if they can

Bubble wrap units; why they work

Here.

Posts by em_en_oh_pee after my post.

Seriously. First off stop with the metagame. Quoting myself here:

And everyone needs to stop with the metagame. The good 40k books can bring an army to the table that can beat any other army on any given day. If you play in Area 1 where there are 99% Orks who play horde and you take more templates to deal with them it’s called tailoring, not adapting to your metagame. You go to Area 2 where everyone spams mech and meltas with min/maxing on troops and your flamers are essentially useless and you lose but Area 2 plays Area 1 and they can’t deal with all the infantry so they lose even though Mech > Orks. Then Area 3 comes along. Every player there plays a balanced list and they can beat Area 1, Area 2 and Area 3 whilst Area 1 and Area 2 are only going to have a chance against Areas they are prepared for.

Adapting to your area is not a metagame, it’s tailoring. And when you go to a tournament you will fail if you don’t look at the rulebook and army books and make a list that can tackle any list thrown at you. That is the “metagame.” It’s called 5th edition. Not Austin, Texas or London, England or Sydney wherever your local group is. If your local group does have a large amount of a certain type of army or list take a balanced list and see how you still win and when you don’t play the predominate army type, see how you still win.“

It’s annoying. Anyways, onto bubble-wrap units and why they are good.

A bubble-wrap unit is a unit on foot (yes foot) which uses the 1″ keep away rule, unit size and their bases to make a cushion between midfield and your army. There are a few ways to do this. The most basic way is to take your unit and slap it down in front of your army with little space between. This keeps melta out of 2d6″ (though not MMs), forces units to assault the bubble-wrap unit first and keeps DS units further away from your important units (i.e. Daemons who like to assault, melta drops, etc.). Notice how this setup fits within 12″ (pitched battle) and can therefore be done by ANY infantry unit and does not have to be built into your army list. Obviously DoW relies on a good run roll to be able to achieve the same effect but a thinner layer of infantry can do just as well with the addition of not moving vehicles max speed and rotating.

Another setup is essentially the same but allows a cushion between the main army and infantry unit. This can push meltaguns completely out of range, gives more room for maneuvering behind the bubble-wrap unit and is even more effective against certain alpha strikes (i.e. Air-Cav vets). You have to be careful with such a cushion though to make sure you do not make yourself too vulnerable to fast skimmers. If they can get within the “safe zone” with a 12″ move, that’s not good and you should move your bubble-wrap unit back so skimmers cannot get to your main army. Now this setup is harder to achieve in certain setups such as pitched battle but can be more easily done with infiltrating units (like Kroots, Rangers, Scouts, Ratlings, etc.) and are generally considered in the army list itself (i.e. part of it’s role if needed is a defensive screen).

The final type of bubble-wrap setup I will cover here is a simply extension of the previous two. Use more than one unit. The best way to do this is to expand the 2nd example I used and create more “safe zones” between the infantry lines and main line. This makes the enemy have to go through multiple lines to get to your main army and can offer more tactical flexibility and mobility. Furthermore it makes tank shocking through your bubble-wrap much more dangerous.

Now let’s further examine why such a defensive line is good. We’ve already pointed out that it can sometimes completely negate meltaweapons but is generally going to make them less effective by removing it’s extra die for penetration. It also keeps close combat armies away from your more valuable units and gives you more time to mobilise your army for a counter-attack. When setup correctly it can also lead to killing zones. You don’t care if your bubble-wrap unit dies, it is essentially meant to. If it dies in close combat, even better but you want to make sure the unit which killed your bubble-wrap unit isn’t going to be able to claim cover. You want them out in the open. With some armies this is less of a concern (i.e. Tau thanks to markerlights or an SM army with GKTs as a counter assault, etc.) but you also want to give your bubble-wrap unit as much cover as possible so they last for as long as possible (a defensive screen which doesn’t last past turn 1 and allows meltas to get into range by turn 2 isn’t very useful now is it?). Remember you are more than happy for a bubble-wrap unit to go to ground and get that better cover save. So you have to consider the trade-offs of setting up in terrain with your bubble-wrap unit or be confident enough that you can scoot that unit out of cover with tank shocks or simply blow through it’s cover. Remember you can also get cover through the double defensive layer and having the first layer in cover and only 50% of your models need to be in cover to get a cover save. Below is an example that gives the IG infantry cover (but the ACs are in the open) and when assaulted will leave the Fex in the open and the Hormaguants in cover. The guants can either be tank shocked out or simply flamed to death by hull heavy flamers whilst the Fex will fall quickly to a coordinated AP3 strike (i.e. a couple melta vets or Vendettas).

Overall a bubble-wrap unit delays your opponent which gives you more turns to shoot and more turns to move which in turn is likely to give you more turns to shoot.

Edit: I had a conversation with Wild[TO] about this recently and although I don’t have the quotes on this computer he essentially was trying to tell me defensive layers are bad because people can’t use them right. Alongside em_en_oh_pee from Warseer you can see why they are not more common. Anything is bad when used wrong. If I take 5 TH/SS termies in an LRC and never move it of course it’s bad. Defensive layers have a single drawback, when they get assaulted, survive that assault phase and die in your assault phase. But that is still an extra turn. Combine it with the extra turns it’s likely to have already provided you and your ability to move away from the prolonged combat and that’s a weakness I’m willing to have exploited. This does not mean your mobility is hindered. It does not mean defensive layers are bad. This does not mean Mech is bad. This does not compromise your mech. This does not mean I’m agreeing with Jwolf from BoLS. This is how bubble-wraps should be run and what they do for you when run correctly.

Buy you more time to move and shoot (and launch your assaults if you wish).

That helps you win.

Computer dead

Well some of you may know that my computer died (I’m pretty sure a hole has been burned in the HD…) so I only have access to laptop atm until the computer guy comes out to fix it hopefully on Monday. Hopefully I can recover everything and simply replace the HD rather than get a new comp as after holiday, uni fees, dentist, uni books, car service and regular rent/food needs, I’m low on cash!

The blogging will hopefully go on though ^^.

Kirby needs your help!

Well as GWvsJohn likes to think, he is now my official blog muse and annoyingly I have to give him the musation (new word!) for my Tryanid army. I’ve got a bunch of old 2nd and 3rd edition models and after making a 2k list based around the Swarmlord for GWvsJohn I rather liked it and checked out what models I have.

From the list made here all I need is 3 TMCs (assuming I can convert a 3rd ed carnifex into a tyrannofex) and 6 Hive Guard + a few more guants incase I get insane rolls for Tervigons (I’ve got 40 Termaguants + around 16-20 Hormaguants/Devguants).

A bit of converting work will need to be done to make some Boneswords for some of the Warriors, Swarmlord and Tyrant Guard but only having to buy a couple new models appeals to me. So, for a new army I want a new paint scheme and this is where you lot come in.

Make me a color scheme! Pronto.

My marines are light blue, Eldar brown and Tau purple so something different would be nice and I’d also like to be able to quickly paint the Guants/Hive Guard/Warriors and spend some time getting a really nice touch on the MCs.

So send me your ideas and pictures (either through comments, e-mail or chat) and let’s see if we can get Kirby another functional 5th edition army. I’m off to e-bay :P.

Email in: GWvsJohn’s 2k Tyranids

I tried it today. It kills like crazy, but I’m afraid its too slow to
get across the board.

280 Swarmlord
225 3 Tyrant Guard – Bonesword

95 Tyranid Prime – Lash Whip, Bone Sword, Rending Claws
180 3 Zoanthropes

150 3 Hive Guard

140 Deathleaper

50 10 Termagants
200 Tervigon – Onslaught, Catalyst, Toxin Sacs, Cluster Spines

150 4 Warriors – Deathspitter, Rending Claws

265 Tyrannofex – Rupture Cannon
265 Tyrannofex – Rupture Cannon

2000

Okay, first stuff on Tyranids :p. I’ll do this a bit differently from the last list critique because I think the list is all over the place :P. John you bad boy.

Let’s look at it from an opponent’s perspective. I think the Swamrlord and Tyrant guard are rightfully scary and stand out. The Tervigon isn’t boosting a bunch of crap in midfield so it can wait. The TYrannos are tough to take down assuming they are in cover so I’m going to leave them for now and suffer 4 S10 BS3 shots a turn especially since you can only onslaught one. The Warriors like the Tervigon can wait as there is only one squad of them and your Elites are all over the place. So, I’m going to shoot the hell out of your Hive Guard which can shoot me early and otherwise everything wants to go into the CC unit of death (i.e. Swarmlord). Then I can start to work on the Tervigon/Warriors/Zoans.

I think to make the Swarmlord work you need a really solid midfield list around him which can provide covering fire as he advances. I think Deathleaper is minorly less needed with the Swamrlord too but he is pretty awesome so I’d go either 3×2 Hive Guard or 2×3. Then I think drop the Prime and try and squeeze in 2 termaguns/tervigon squads + 2x Warrior squads. But that’s prob way over the points limit so the Tryannos might have to be dropped…

What do you think of those ideas? Then we can try and build a list around the Swarmlord.

Armies in 5th: Orks Part 2: Anti-armor

So back to the Orks in 5th edition. We’ve covered their general fail in meching up (BWs can be done but we’ll cover that later) so let’s look more closely at their ability to counter mech.

On the whole Orks don’t like Mech. They have good weight of fire to counter their crrappy BS and medium strength weapons but the higher the strength the less shots they get (i.e. from a 3 shot S5 big shoota to a 1 shot S8 rokkit). So to maximise Orky chances of landing hits we either needs lots of medium strength shots or twin-linking the higher strength shots as much as possible (whilst having as many of them as possible, too).

Now where can we get these kind of guns? Lootas is the first and obvious choice (it’s like I was leading up to this right?). 1-3 autocannon shots per turn per Loota for a measly 15 pts? Done! They are BS2? Still done! Here’s how many hits on average you’re going to get with 1/2/3 shots. 5/10/15. That’s pretty damn good and you have a huge standard deviation range in your favor against those pesky AV10-11 units which the Lootas should be focusing on. This high rate of fire can also be very effective as anti-infantry/MC once the light mech has fallen. What Lootas don’t like? Lots of targets overwhelms even 3 units of Lootas. Unable to split their fire makes Lootas unhappy but you get what you are given. And anything hitting the AV12 range, AV13 and 14? forget it. At least with AV12 Lootas have enough shots to hopefully get a pen and have it not covered but again standard deviations are the Ork’s friend. Notice how we’ve already used the word hopefully?

So we’ve already filled 3 elite slots to take out light armor and they do a credible job of it. Cover obviously reduces their effectiveness and they need enough shots to get through cover to reliably take down tanks due to no AP1 and we mentioned Lootas don’t like the higher AVs. So onto TL-Rokkits. Where can we get these moderately happy S8 weapons and twin-link them? Your fast attack. Buggies and Deffkoptas. Now what’s super important about these? They are the only fast unit which can bring high strength weaponry reliably. What’s this mean? Side armor shots. Like the Piranha in the Tau army the Buggies and Deffkoptas add a different dimension to the Ork codex and allow them more tactical options when taken. Whilst their points seem a bit inflated the flexibility they add to an Ork army is almost essential. The problem? Like Vypers, Buggies are very, very weak. Open-topped and in squadrons is not good which is why taking a squadron or two (or three) of Deffkoptas is a good choice. Problem again is they are more expensive and vulnerable to instant death but they make up for it with the lovely Scout move they have. So this adds a bit of mobile firepower to the Ork army with a mildly higher strength than Lootas but still has trouble with AV13/14. Fast Attack therefore becomes a trade-off between Koptas and Buggies which means to reliably threaten AV10-12 we’ve already locked up 6 FoC slots and the 3 Fast Attack choices aren’t too stellar at anti-infantry.

So how can we reliably crack AV13/14? It seems we must delve into close combat where Orks are “great.” This means power klaws which Ork players think are their saviour. Nope. They allow units with them to threaten tanks, not reliably hurt them. With the new rules for vehicles in close combat moving and the damage charts are their biggest defenses, not armor value (most tanks are AV10 in the rear). This means weight of attacks is very important. PKs generally swing at a max of 4 attacks which means a minimal Odds Ratio to actually land a hit. However, outside of Zzzap guns, this is the only way Orks can threaten all around AV14 or even make heavy front and side armor tanks like Russes afraid.

So the Orks initial and most reliably anti-tank comes from Lootas (spam S7 shots) and TL-rokkits (field as many as you can and go for side armor with a ~55% hit rate). PKs are a nice little addition but because the initial Ork anti-tank isn’t stellar Ork players will often find themselves hoping their PKs do something against armor. Hoping is never a good strategy. This is one of the inherent weaknesses of the Ork codex, they really have to do out of their way to deal with Mech.

Next up I’ll look at the Ork core in what should be taken as their “hitting” power in Troops. Remember to have some decent and reliable anti-tank we’ve already used all Elite and Fast Attack choices.

Armies in 5th: Tau Part 6: Summary

Sorry for the hiatus, life calls on the weekends generally for me :O.
Well I’ve had some pretty good feedback on these articles so thanks to everyone who posted a comment, sent e-mails, told me online in person or simply ignored me for the positive feedback. Glad I can be of some help.
So to wrap up the Tau series. We’ve looked at all the units that are your best investment in points within the Tau codex. They either do something nothing else in the army can (Piranhas) or do it a premium points cost (Crisis suits). The units we haven’t looked in depth at don’t do enough for what you are paying for them, are too singular in their purpose (like Fire warriors, TL-MP suits, etc. [though we looked at these]) or something else in the codex does it better at a better points ratio (i.e. Stealth suits compared to Crisis suits).

Some of these units are more usable than others (such as the FW and TL-MP suits we touched on) but the list you get is a lot less flexible and units have a lot more defined roles. Remember an army with units A,B,C to take out infantry and D,E,F for anti-tank is worse than an army with L,M,N,O all capable of both. As a general you are less confined in your choices and your battle plan is a lot more flexible.

Whilst the Tau army book has limited choices in what you can take (even if you include TL-MPs and FW) the ability for a Tau army to keep firing through it’s defensive screens, delay super units and deny cover makes it one of the best armies in the game. The main weakness is it’s obvious reliance on shooting (wow! :O). A poor showing in the early rounds of shooting against lists like Eldar and IG can spell doom for Tau as these armies are able to break through the Tau’s army lines. This needs to be kept in mind when making your army list and playing these armies. So let’s look at my army list:

HQ –
Shas’el w/TL’d Missile Pod, Target-lock

Elites –
Crisis x3 w/Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Multi-tracker

Crisis x3 w/Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Multi-tracker

Crisis x3 w/Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Multi-tracker

Troops –
Fire Warriors x6

Kroot x10
Hounds

Kroot x10
Hounds x7

Fast Attack –
Pathfinders x8
Devilfish w/SMS, Multi-tracker, Disruption Pods, Targeting Array

Piranhas x2 w/Fusion Blasters, Targeting Array, 1 Disruption Pod

Piranhas x2 w/Fusion Blasters, Targeting Array, 1 Disruption Pod

Heavy Support –
Broadsides x3 w/Advanced Stablisation System, Team Leader w/hard-wired Drone controller, 2 shield drones & hard-wired TL

Hammerhead w/Railgun, SMS, Multi-tracker, Disruption Pod

Hammerhead w/Railgun, SMS, Multi-tracker, Disruption Pod

Total: 1999
13 suits (+2 drones)
41 infantry
7 tanks

This is a bit different from what I commonly see (2 full 17 Kroot squads, only 2 Broadsides and a PR/MP HQ) but I’ve been using this list lately for the extra broadside (I think it’s worth the less Hounds and less efficient HQ). You can obviously fiddle here and there to make things different and I will often run the setup I just spoke of amongst others.

So the analysis;

This list has one clear mono-role unit in the broadsides (+ the HQ & FWs but they are mandatory choices and don’t impact the list too significantly). It’s task is anti-tank and really only has minimal anti-infantry through SMS. ASS is a must to try and stay as mobile as possible and hopefully get some shots off in DoW. Every other unit runs as a dual purpose unit.

Kroot -> defense and anti-infantry
Piranha -> defense and anti-tank
Suits -> anti-infantry and anti-light tank
Devilfish -> defense, anti-infantry and scoring APC
Hammerheads -> anti-infantry and anti-tank

With this list it becomes a lot clearer in why Broadsides are more popular in 5th and a “must have” in your 5th edition army. Every unit that is anti-tank is better at anti-infantry or defense. Mech generally does not scare Tau (except during poor T1/T2 shooting days) but imagine a list without those 2-3 Broadsides. Suddenly mech becomes a lot more potent against Tau. Whilst a mono-style unit like Broadsides runs against the trend of 5th edition 40k and the way balanced armies work, they are so good at what they do + have the ability to split fire and the staying power of W2/T4/2+ (with 4+ cover) to be worth it.

Lists like these therefore take advantage of what the current army book has to offer. It’s very hard to assault Tau early on due to their defensive blocks and screens which are able to target your more important units and delay them. By having guns which decimate lighter targets and enough anti-infantry firepower to scare anything that pops out Tau are very hard to advance against and other than relying on their shooting have no “auto-lose” match-ups (for example on a bad shooting day Tau are going to suffer against Mech spam armies but IG have a much bigger midfield presence and can hope their shooting is much better later in game, etc.).

Overall Tau is one of the better armies in 5th though I eagerly await their new book whenever it comes out and hope GW doesn’t botch it too badly (from their latest 4 books I have high hopes for Tau). I hope people have walked away from these articles wanting to play Tau or at least understanding what they can do in 5th under a competent general. Overall I hope you enjoyed these articles and if you have any questions ask away.

Mech Training in relation to Ork Mech

Here is a simple ‘training.’ You can make this longer or simply do it with two, etc.

The first Rhino pops smoke and the other Rhinos get 3+ covers in the front arc or a 4+ at worst for the one on the right. The pred in the back also gets a 3+ cover in its front arc and can still fire its top gun whilst the Dread will get a 4+ cover and can still see. You then need to use board edges, terrain and rotate such a formation to get cover across all facings. When the front Rhino is destroyed it will still be able to provide cover through the Marines or by actually being a wreck. Ork Trukks shoot off the wazoo (Tau PF allow them to take out the first tank reliably and put a lot of hurt on the infantry and still give clear LoS to the next vehicles).

This is where fast armies like DE and Eldar have advantages because they make getting cover on the sides harder (you can rotate the Rhinos more to minimise the arc of 3+ cover but make getting into your side arc harder, etc.).

You can also use a bigger tank like a Land Raider to provide even better more reliable cover to small tanks like Rhinos. In this example as well Land Speeders can be used in place of smoke on the first turn as they move fast anyways or to protect flanks. Armies like Imperial Guard and Witchunters who’s commonly seen transports have guns on the top (i.e. Immolators & Chimers/Russes) can move in such a formation with continuous cover saves whilst still firing.

Again Orks can’t. The minute that first Trukk is gone, it’s gone and if your KFF Mek has been blocked or neutralised you’re going through terrain at some point or out in the open. And armies like Marines/IG/Sisters are happy in midfield if they do have to go through terrain, Orks aren’t. They are happy in combat against crappy combat units. Stranded in midfield is really bad for Orks and manageable for other armies.

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