Hey everyone, Reecius here from Frontline Gaming to talk about preparing yourself for the coming of the Greater Good!
Crazy internet super rage about how to read the new Tau “Decurion” style detachment (the Hunter Contingent) Command Benefits aside, I am very pumped for the return of Tau. As a long time lover of all things giant robot and manga, (Voltron was my first giant robo love as a young lad), it will be very cool to see them coming back to the tabletops after a bit of a downturn in popularity.
Tau are getting a lot of the same in terms of units, wargear, abilities and points cost which is good and bad. Existing Tau players won’t have to restructure their entire army, just add in some of the new cool goodies. But, it also means they’ll have many of the same strengths and weaknesses they’ve always had which is frustrating a bit.
However, the new Formations do look REALLY powerful. Many are being immediately drawn to the Optimized Stealth Cadre for good reason. One, it includes the beautiful Ghostkeel kit (one of which we gave away to a lucky watcher on our Twitch channel last Tuesday!), but it also gives them the very powerful Ignores Cover USR and they automatically hit vehicles on their rear armor…wow! That is scary. Combined with their high cover saves and the Ghostkeels amazing ability to essentially go Invisible to shooting to one unit once per game and you have a nasty, self contained group of units that is going to be doing work.
That is just one of many Tau tricks coming your way! It’s going to be a new landscape here very shortly, are you prepared? Here are some easy steps to get yourself up to speed and ready for battle:
- Read the Tau rules. Knowledge is power, grasshopper! Nothing worse than getting blindsided by something when it is too late to alter your plan.
- Learn how to use tricksy ticks to stop or diminish overwatch. There are LOTS of little tricks of the trade with model positioning that can mitigate Tau’s brutal overwatch capabilities such as only leaving a single model in LoS when overwatch is resolved so that only that poor sucker can get vaporized, leaving the rest of the unit free to make the assault! For reference, you only need LoS to the target unit when you declare a charge for it to be legal. Also, sacrificing a unit in an attempted multi-assault to force the Tau player to waste their Overwatch helps a ton to allow you harder hitting units to go in to melee after the suicide squeeze play, unscathed.
- Be prepared for massive Interceptor. Tau get Interceptor for 5pts per model on units that pack some serious heat. It’s brutal if you are not ready for it! Come in from reserves in position to hide from that crazy hitting power, or simply do not reserve at all. Another cool trick is to have a unit such as a vehicle move in front of your unit that just came out of reserve, cutting off LoS to it from the Tau units. As Interceptor is resolved at the end of the movement phase, you can save your units from getting pummeled before they get to do anything. Then, have the vehicle Flat Out of the way in your shooting phase before the unit that arrived from reserves activates, and it can shoot per normal. Now you see me, now you don’t!
- Break their morale! Tau have the inbuilt weakness of poor leadership for most units. Exploit this. Tank Shock them, hit them with leadership attacks, pin them, etc. Also, do not forget, many of their MCs are NOT Fearless. That is very, very important to keep in mind.
- Punch them. Well, duh!, right? Everyone knows this, but remember it. Even your weak units are usually going to steal the lunch money from most Tau units. Go hell bent for leather to get those Space Commies locked in combat as fast as you can. It also protects you form being shot! Multi-assault in almost every possible situation you can. Remember, their MCs are not usually fearless. Catch a Riptide with a unit of Firewarriors, smack the Firewarrionrs, win combat, run the Riptide down. It is immensely satisfying!
- Apply pressure. It can be intimidating to face Tau firepower and many players will hold back. Don’t! Go balls to the wall for the throat. Bum rush them and if even a few units make it into melee or simply force them back into a corner, it can win you the game. When the wheels fall off the bus for Tau, things tend to fall apart pretty quickly. So even if it feels like you are getting obliterated, stay focused and if you can get across the table with even a few stragglers and you win some multi-assaults, the tables can turn in a flash.
- Play to the mission. Tau often are not very good at grabbing objectives, particularly if you use progressive objectives. They want to stay away from you so play aggressively and go for board control. Keep in mind and while you may be eating Pulse rounds like they were candy, so long as you have a single model left on the table and more mission points, you win the game!
- Abuse Puppy added some more solid tactics and tips to the list:
- Range. Most Tau guns are 18″, 30″, or 36″; if you’re Imperial, you outrange them pretty easily. Even Eldar, who are only 36″ themselves, have the mobility to generally get the first punch in.
- Wraithknights. I mean, everyone struggles to kill Wraithknights, but for Tau it’s exceptionally bad because their common weapon profile (S7 AP4) is actually pretty weak against the big dude and they lack anything like Lascannons in number to really seal the job. With as fast as the WK is, they don’t get many chances to deal with it.
- Stormsurge Destroyer missiles will help a ton to deal with GMCs! -The French Overlord
- Fragility. While the Riptide and Stormsurge are reasonably tough to kill, most Tau units fold up pretty quickly when you start shooting back at them. Crisis and Broadsides are exceptionally vulnerable to S8+ weapons and the Ghostkeel, though it has a 2+ save all the time, is only T5 and can easily go down to concentrated Bolter fire. (Also, as Reece mentioned, low Leadership means any morale check is a chance to run off the table.)
- Psychic powers. Tau have no answer to enemy psykers other than “shoot at them some more,” which is their solution to basically everything. The Telepathy table in particular, while always good, is particularly-powerful against Tau due to their low Leadership values- Terrify, Psychic Shriek, and Dominate can all be absolutely backbreaking for a Tau army.
- Scoring. Tau don’t like sitting in midfield for the most part, and their troops are pretty weak. In ITC missions you should pretty easily trump them on Maelstrom for the most part, and in “normal” missions you can potentially keep enough pressure on them so that they don’t get the chance to ever start advancing.
Now drop and give me 20! You’re ready to face those fish faced aliens and give them what for!