Raw Dogger on Tau: Why Tau Will Rock Your Face 100% of the Time

He’s back and he’s opinionated! Caution, Raw Dogger curses like a sailor and easily offends. Reader be ware! -ed

This past weekend I went to a local RTT that also happened to be a qualifier for the upcoming Feast of Blades tournament in Denver, Colorado.  I brought what I THOUGHT would be a tournament winning Dark Angels/Imperial Guard 1850 point list.  I won’t lie, I walked into the game store pretty confident in my list.  If you described me as being a bit cocky it would be an understatement.  Alpha Striking terminators with the Azrael/Guard 4+ Invulnerable save blob of DOOOOOOOOM?  I gots that!  I was ready to beat it like a sore dick, i.e. hard.  Little did I know I was about to be the sore dick getting beaten i.e. hard.

tau drawing

I would like to preface my embarrassing defeat with the fact that I have not really played against nor have I read to far into the new Tau codex.  I knew that they shot dead killy and were almost as tricksy as the light on their feet Eldar, but was ultimately so unprepared for what was to come I’m surprised I was still wearing my pants by the end of turn 2.  By the end of turn 3 I had to call the game, since that’s just how I roll (READ: I’m a quitter, Vol.1).  So what happened, Raw Dogger?  What caused you to consider Tau the new hottest thing?  The best army since sliced bread?  Please keep in mind that I STILL have not read through the Tau codex so I’m basing my opinions off of what beat me to hell in the game.

  • Did you know that Tau can take Interceptor for basically ALL of their units for around 5 points?  I sure didn’t!  Having an all reserve (deep striking) force really, REALLY sucked in a game with 6 Intercepting Missile Broadsides and 2 Intercepting Riptides.  This should also be a lesson on NOT reading your opponent’s list.  I told my opponent that he could just tell me what things were when he was deploying, and I didn’t really pay attention to what he was telling me.  As in ‘Hey, your whole army is rendered obsolete so you know…want to get any early lunch?’
  • Cover saves?  How you are supposed to operate in a game against an overwhelming shooting army when you cannot get cover saves?  ‘Why don’t you kill the units with Marker Lights, Fatso?’  Well, dick, most of their units HAVE the Marker Lights so if you want to take them out you need to kill the whole army.
  • Riptides.  FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU.  My opponent had two of these bad boyz, and to be honest, so would I.  Yes, they CAN hurt themselves when over charging their weapons but that never happened to me.  So yeah.
  • Blocking Terrain gets negated by their no line of sight weapons.  So even if you try to avoid being seen, you still get blasted in the face.
I’m sure there is a LOT more that makes them insufferable, I just didn’t last long enough to find out.  I think the thing that makes me the most upset is the fact that there is LITERALLY nothing you can do about getting shot off the board.  All I could do was hunker down and hope I had models left on objectives by the end of the game.  This isn’t enjoyable.
What do you all think? Tau hyper powered or no? For more from Raw Dogger, check out his blog: http://kimchigames.blogspot.com/ -ed


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

20 Responses to “Raw Dogger on Tau: Why Tau Will Rock Your Face 100% of the Time”

  1. David Key June 24, 2013 10:36 am

    That is rough dude. I know how you feel. Even when I beat them, I never enjoy games against the Tau. They all involve lots of standing around while your opponent roles a lot of dice. While I think it is good for the meta, I don’t think it is enjoyable to play against. That being said, I think they are beatable but you pretty much nailed it in your first point. ie. you have to know what your opponent can do.

  2. Bigpig June 24, 2013 11:08 am

    Split fire without split fire roll restrictions on stealth suits is flashy too. How bout I outflank melta your tank and burst cannon the troops with this tiny unit. The supporting fire rule can be a pain too depending on mission and their army load out. Anytime an army’s rules break the basic mechanics of what were used too (cover, LOS, etc) it can be a rude awakening.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 24, 2013 1:48 pm

      You said it well. Ignoring LoS and turning overwatch into essentially another shooting phase is brutal.

  3. Hotsauceman1 June 24, 2013 11:23 am

    Im loving my tau. But are a fun army to play, My suits and vehicles can out maneuver all but the fastest armies, while being as hard hitting against guard.

    • Puretide1 June 24, 2013 12:50 pm

      I agree loving my tau so many combo’s to try just love the look on my mates faces.
      Imagine your friends face when you take out 3 leman russ with only 3 units on turn 2, kroot outflanking and glancing it to death, a hammerhead destroying an immobilized on stuck in the open and longstrike send railgun shot through 1 like a hot knifle through butter.

      • Reecius
        Reecius June 24, 2013 1:47 pm

        Yup, sounds about right, hahah, tau are brutal.

        • Hotsauceman1 June 24, 2013 9:02 pm

          I just wish people would stop trashing them. I am loving my tau, but people are making me feel bad for playing them. That I just want to ignore the rules they have.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 24, 2013 1:43 pm

      Yeah Tau are excellent this edition. Very easily top tier.

  4. Mr E June 24, 2013 1:21 pm

    whatever the eldar mech is going to be feared, as much as reece doesnt think that the Dire avengers in waves is worth the points i will try my hardest to prove that an incorrect theory, and sounds like you needed some more blob squads instead of azreal, any shooty army that can focus fire down the blob squad should also be able to handle some alpha striking terminators, I am a firm believer in needing to fully understand what each new army can do so at least your some-what prepared for whats about to be coming at you, my favorite solution to this is to buy all the most recent cheese and is why i own a copy of Grey knights and Necrons, and will be getting a Ork book when it comes out as well as keeping my attention on what that new meta might be, this is a very different hobby from any previous ed and cant be thought of as the same game by any means GW are genius’s at keeping their community hooked on the next new thing

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 24, 2013 1:50 pm

      I agree that this is a new hobby. The way the meta is shifting so fast and has so many variables is just mind blowing! It’s fun though, I like it.

      I don’t think Dires are bad in a Serpent, just that Guardians are more points efficient for the same hitting power. If you prove me wrong though, more power to you! Then share your secrets with me so I can copy your ideas if they work better! hahaha

  5. Tangentical June 24, 2013 2:33 pm

    Tau have certainly started to change people’s opinions of what the initial building blocks of a good list are.

    Having some units that dish out hurt at over 36″ is a must (at under 36″ + night shields if Dark Eldar). So much of their army is 30/36″… Marker lights, SMS, HY Missiles or with a 36″ threat range – Fire Warriors that it has become absolutely key to have threats from outside that bubble.

    Also I’d say almost always ignore the Riptides. Point for point most other Tau units cause or buff to a greater degree and you can more realistically whittle their damage output by taking out key units.

    Kill Skyrays turn 1 if possible, they are deceptively brutal and clinical tools that will ruin your cunning plans.

    Bring some St 10 if possible to kill that Iridium Armour Jerk tanking for marker drones.

    Bring some Barrage to snipe footslogging Ethereals.

    Puppet Master from Telepathy is amazing against a Riptide.

    Don’t worry, Tau can be beaten!

  6. umbo June 24, 2013 3:54 pm

    I personally believe Tau/Eldar (ally) could well be the new Grey Knights (from 5th Ed), they just seem to be a clear leader in the current meta game.

    I am hoping Wraithknights scare Riptides away, but I doubt it.

    Until then I guess I need to have a JAWS runepriest ally 🙁

    Whenever I play tau now I just try to kill troops and hope I survive on objectives, its pretty boring but its has worked. However I expect v good players will counter this and Tau will be very very hard to beat.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 24, 2013 4:46 pm

      I agree that Tau/Edlar is going to be T1, no question. Every Tau player was already bringing Eldrad along, so for them nothing much has changed. I think Tau/Orks will be amazing, too.

  7. Cruzcontrol39 June 24, 2013 6:13 pm

    It’s gotten to the point to where I just won’t play them… The two times I beat them I had to use a double Ward army and the last time I beat them with Deathwing and that was just pure luck…

  8. Jason
    Rawdogger June 24, 2013 7:45 pm

    Wow, I forgot how bad my language was in this one! After calming down a bit, I realize that they CAN be beat, but you have to really tailor your army to beat them. If you have the basic take all comers list, you will be dead by turn 2. I’m sure we will be seeing Tau on the top tables for some time.

  9. Baal Viper June 25, 2013 10:31 am

    I continue to hear people who play Tau saying “they are so much fun to play,” and “they have so much tactical depth,” while at the same time the people they play against respond with “I just had to dig in and take my beating,” I would contest that Tau are only fun becasue they win games not because they are tactically stimulating.

    I have played a few Tau games and beaten them on most occasions (though admittedly against in experienced opponents). They can be beaten, but as anyone who has been on the other side of the table will tell you, they are NO FUN TO PLAY AGAINST. They have only one battle plan, SHOOT… The only “tactical” descisions they have boil down to a) what to shoot at first and b) how to block off charges. I feel like Tau are a super easy botton while beating them requires a lot of player skill and knowledge about the Tau codex. If you do not believe this, just look at tourny results where Tau players win with brand new armies that they have only been playing for a few weeks, often beating seasoned player with battle tested lists with ease.

    To the hard core Tau players who have been loyal all these years, I salute you, and say good job guys you earned it. But to the bandwagon players out there who simply want the new shiny stuff I have to question if you are in this hobby to engage in a tactical game, or to simply line your army men up across from people and mind numbingly roll lots of dice and see what happens.

  10. MRC June 26, 2013 8:07 am

    I agree Taudar are one of the power armies of 6th edition. We’ll see what the new codexes bring, but even with improvements accross the board to SM, Orks, Nids, Sisters, BTs, and additional suppliments to all the new codexes, I think they will continue to rank in the top tier throughout this edition.

    Aside from just the tremendous degree of options Taudar have accross all FOC slots and great fundamentals (great mobility and shooting, with reasonable options for survivability and CC), I think there are SO many synergistic combinations available to the. Just for starters, here are a few:

    -Tau Commander with MSS, C2 node, PEN chip, and a large Dark Reaper Squad with Starshot missiles
    -Shadowsun attached to a maxed our Wraithguard squad (infiltrating D-scythes with Stealth/Shrouded!!!)
    -Farsight attached to a full Warp Spider squad (no scatter DS deathspinners with S6 and Monofilament rule FTW)
    -Bike Farseer with Divination attached to a Crises Team with dual Plasma Rifles each (Twin-linked, 4++, Ignore Cover, Overwatch at full BS, enemy re-roll successful saves, Farseer re-roll his 3+/4++, control reserves precisely… you can’t go wrong with Divination in this unit)
    -Karandras infiltrating and/or outflanking with a maxed out Kroot/Hound/Krootox squad
    -Illic Nightspear attached to Sniper Drone Squad in cover (2+ cover save with BS5 snipers wreaking house on enemy units at long range and rapid firing at 24″)
    -Eldrad attached to a Riptide with Drones (majority toughness 6) with nearby Pathfinders in cover…Eldrad Presciences the himself/the Riptide, Guides the nearby Pathfinders (for 75% accurate marker lights), mans a Quad gun with BS5, and uses two more power from Divination to improve himself and the Riptide’s combat effectiveness.
    -Farseer on Jetbike with Mantle of the Laughing God dashing down field with 5 Fusion Blaster Pirahnas…. twin-linked meltas on fast vehicles with 9″ melta range and possible re-rollable 4+ cover save (Fortune + Jink + Disruption Pods)

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 27, 2013 5:05 pm

      I think Tau and Eldar are going to be one of the most powerful armies in the game, if not the most powerful.

  11. Hallucion December 9, 2013 8:14 pm

    I played a friend in a 2k pt game on saturday night. He was Daemons, I was tau. I used the stuff I got when fifth ed was still fresh. I loaded up with maximum broadsides sporting the dual missile option (high yield missles + smart missiles), a commander with a markerlight drone unit in tow with the ability to re-roll the units to-hit rolls, some XV9’s and shadowsun. Not a lot of troops, though.

    He pulled out the pinkstar, where you have a max number of pinks with rules that stacked it so that the player could re-roll the 2+ invuln save. That setup brushed off an ENTIRE ARMY’S worth of shooting. But when it failed on him, that’s when the tables turned.

    Having two max broadside teams at BS5 is enough to make anyone lose their shit. Both metaphorically and model-count wise. I used this setup to remove almost 3/4s of his pinkstar, and took out the two key models to boot.

    By turn four, I almost tabled him. From what looked like a near-guaranteed loss.

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 10, 2013 7:57 am

      Yeah, the turn the Deathstar doesn’t power up, it is killable. But if that doesn’t happen it isn’t even a game. it isn’t fun, that is the issue we all have with it.