Well I’m still at the missus’ so don’t have full time on my hands ^^ but she’s sick on the couch atm 🙁 so I decided I’d go over to Warseer and see what I missed (bunch of whining really). A few comments irked me, like this:
Wisdom like silence:
“No and this is one of the reasons that Tau aren’t competitive in 5th – they don’t have any effective, efficient method for dealing with MEQs that isn’t also suicidal.”
Uh ya, 10 RF plasma, 10 autocannons, 6 SMS, 5 railguns (2 w/submunition), 4 fusions, 20 kroot rifles, 6 FWs, 1 burst cannon + 8 MLs can’t deal with MEQs or in that matter, any horde? *facepalm*
Anyways, this plus a few other posts that have bothered me have taken me to write some posts on specific armies that don’t get a lot of love or get too much love in relation to their effectiveness on the table. The first one is obviously Tau. This will be broken down into sections that I believe are the most…wrong in the eyes of the forums.
First off for Tau are their Elites, specifically Crisis Suits. We’ll take a quick look at Stealths at the end.
So what do Crisis suits offer the Tau army? A mobile shooting platform able to take most of the guns the Tau have at their disposal (some special weapons are exempt, Markerlights, Railguns and Ion Cannons as well) and coupled with their relentless ability allows them to shoot heavy and rapid fire weapons to their full potential. We obviously want to take advantage of this if we can.
So quickly looking at each gun:
Burst Cannon: the same S and AP that is built into the Tau list from the ground up, we don’t want our Elites using ‘basic’ guns though 3 shots is nice
Flamer: the only template weapon the Tau have access to but its short range is a huge liability and with the Tau’s ability to pump out shots, not really needed though can be good for a cheap tack-on
Fusion Gun: there are better platforms for a meltagun (piranhas) but are another good tack-on weapon to an HQ but suffer from the short-range of the flamer
Plasma Rifle: expensive for a RF S6 AP2 gun where cover saves are common in 5th which wipes out the advantage you get for AP2
Missile Pod: same as an autocannon but on a relentless, JSJ platform? priceless
So looking at these we want to take advantage of the MP as much as possible. Since we can’t take two separate MPs (aw :() we’ll start off with one. Now the flamer and fusion gun are completely incompatible with the range of this gun and bring the suit into “I’m dead” range where they are much more easily charged. The burstcannon also has a shorter range but is again the staple of the Tau army and we don’t want our Elite JSJ units carrying these babies. So that leaves us with the PR. It’s expensive but matches relatively well in terms of strength, range and has the added benefit of a good AP and an extra shot at closer range. Since we have two weapons we want to fire at once we need to buy a multi-tracker.
Now, this is the “staple” Crisis suit for most Tau players yet forum-goers in particular try to advocate a different out-load and claim it is far better than a PR/MP suit. This is the TL’d-MP suit w/varying wargear (sometimes it’s cheap to make them cheap and sometimes it’s the expensive targeting array to up the accuracy of the unit). The build however is inferior to the PR/MP suit. Why? Their advantage is in taking out tanks. Even with the targeting array raising their BS they are not significantly better than PR/MP suits. They are substantially better at damaging lower AVs but with the rest of the Tau army that is often not necessary (Broadsides, Piranhas and Railheads are generally going to be disabling/destroying the bigger targets from T2) so whilst the improved ability against Tanks is warranted a Tau army has to be able to deal with what comes out of the transports, namely infantry. This is where the PR/MP suit really shines. It has 9-12 shots compared to 6. Whilst the TL’d factor and improved BS can often leave the amount of hits similar across the board, anyone who knows some basic statistics is going to take the 9-12 shots over the more reliable 6 shots. Add in markerlight support and the AP2 and in that respect it should be pretty clear.
To reiterate, the crisis suits add a mobile torrent and light anti-tank unit to the Tau army which needs medium strength weaponry. They have a big “hit me” sign on them but with their mobility (they should never not have a 4+ save and can often get quite good LoS blocking with their tanks) they aren’t rolling over anytime soon. Even with them gone the Tau still have a significant amount of fire power to throw across the board at you.
Now why not Stealth Suits? They are worse in every way compared to Crisis Suits except they can take MLs in greater numbers but PF are better for that and I’d like more firepower in my army list thanks. The inability to take weapons which could take advantage of their defensive field (i.e. something 24″ or greater) across the board is what limits this unit. Tau don’t need more S5 AP5 guns.
Next up I’ll do Piranhas.