Playing with the Hunter Cadre.

Hello everyone, Frankie here to talk about my experience thus far with the Tau Hunter Contingent. Be sure to check the Tactic’s Corner for more great articles!

Most interesting man in 40k

So this last weekend Reece and I decided to get a game in with the new Hunter Contingent which you can watch, here. Now to be fair, this was my first game with Tau in general and of course the first game with the new codex. So this is just my experience and in no way an opinion from a Tau expert, but I have played against Tau a ton! Anyways, my first reaction while building the list was, “wow this detachment is not very many points.” It came out to around 900 points with upgrades on the required units. Once I threw in some other units to fill out the Cadre and bring some more firepower to the list it filled up quickly and ended up spending all my points without adding any additional formations. Now I’m not sure if this is the best list but I also used what we had in the studio. Here is the list:

Commander Command and control node, Multi-spectrum sensor suite, Puretide Engram Neurochip 1
Strike Team _ 12
Strike Team _ 5
Strike Team _ 5
Devilfish Smart Missiles, Disruption pods 1
Riptide Ion Accelerator, Early Warning Override, Stimulant Injector 1
Riptide Early Warning Override, Stimulant Injector 1
Ghost Keel Twinlinked fusion, Early Warning Override, Stimulant Injector 1
Fast Attack
Pathfinder Team _ 6
Pathfinder Team _ 6
Drones Marker 4
Heavy Support
Broadsides High-yield missile pods, 2xtarget lock 3
Lord of War
Stormsurge Burst Cannon, Pulse Driver Cannon, Early Warning Override, Advanced targeting 1

   Once the list was built I was feeling pretty confident in my firepower and objective holding capabilities. I added the Devilfish to run around and grab objectives and really enjoyed playing with it. Now as for the Hunter Cadre, my first impression was, “Dang this detachment is good and adds a lot of tactics to a Tau army.” The Hunter Cadre forces you to pick targets ahead of time and decide how many units will be shooting at the target. This adds in some serious tactics as sometimes it is better not to combine fire and other times you do. It just really depends on what you are shooting. I really enjoyed making two combined fire units and split firing with the Broadsides and Stormsurge. The Cadre also makes you really think about where to put marker lights as sometimes it’s better to shoot them at something you are not combining against to ignore cover or what have you. This detachment gets a 5 out of 5 on tactical flexibility in my opinion.

two thumbs up

  Now what I think really helps out the new Tau and the Hunter Cadre is the Stormsurge. This model is a beast in the shooting phase and in a lot of cases can hold its own in close combat. I believe this detachment really benefits from having a unit of two of them as they can run up the field shooting and charging whatever they need to. The ability to gain +1 BS and shoot at other targets is crazy powerful for this model. It literally has the firepower to kill all the pesky units running all around the table. I think the Stormsurge fixes the problems Tau used to have with assault as two of them charging into a unit will be able to stomp whatever they need to to death. I also believe in most cases you dont plant your heels and just run two of them around grabbing objectives and shooting.

secret suace

  The Hunter Cadre is crazy good and will be a top tier army in the right hands. Target priority is even more important now and will take some getting used to for the Tau. Some tactics I learned while playing with the army were joining Buffmander to different units throughout the game to help save you markerlight resources. Charging with the Stormsurge is not a bad idea especially if you pay the points for two. Riptides can survive a long time in close combat, haha, but we all already knew that. And lastly taking enough units to make two tothree Combined fire units is super important and is what the army needs to function at maximum efficiency.

number one

  Anyways guys, I hope some of these tactics will help you out while playing with your Tau, and I am excited to see Tau on the tables at the next event. Good luck and let me know some of the tactics you are using with the new Tau.


About White925

Frankie is the greatest 40K player on the planet. Nuff Said.

26 Responses to “Playing with the Hunter Cadre.”

  1. Novastar November 2, 2015 2:49 pm

    Why not give the Stormsurge the 4++ system?

    • 1PlusArmour November 2, 2015 2:53 pm

      Judging from the double Riptides, I’m guessing he was very short on points. 4++ is also 50 points for the Stormsurge keep in mind… “ideal” kitout for one is nearly 455 points (Driver cannon, 4++, EWO, Skyfire, ABFP).

    • White925 November 2, 2015 3:41 pm

      Yeah after playing with the army I would for sure give the Stormsurge the 4++

  2. 1PlusArmour November 2, 2015 2:52 pm

    So I am curious – what prompted the decision to take a max size Strike team + Devilfish (and likely the drone unit), over two units of stealth suits? Arguably similar mobility, better surviveability, and the hilarity that is Wall of Mirrors?

    I am also curious about the two Stormsurge comment. That’s nearly 900 points in a single unit that can be tied down extremely easily if you don’t get some lucky 6s on stomps (and live long enough to stomp…). That’s also nearly half the points in your list going to something that can only ever hold a single objective, which is (the?) one area that the Tau are still severely lacking in.

    I look forward to seeing more of these guys over the next few weeks, and we’ll be posting some of our own batreps with the new Tau in the very near future as well!

    • Reecius
      Reecius November 2, 2015 3:00 pm

      We don’t have any Stealth Suits at the studio at present =(

      Be sure to shoot us any Bat Reps you fellas knock out!

      • 1PlusArmour November 2, 2015 4:34 pm

        Makes sense! I had to go out and buy some, too! Haha.

        I’ll put the bat reps up for you as soon as we’ve got them done.

    • White925 November 2, 2015 3:45 pm

      I took the Devilfish for some mobility and through in a full Strike team because I had the points. I should have given the Stormsurge the invul with the extra points though now looking back.

      As for the two Stormsurges, yes it is a lot of points but has so much firepower and with 2d3 stomps you should get some 6’s. With a unit of two you have to think twice about getting close to Tau and they will be able to run around and hold objectives in the center of he board since they are so resilient. Downside is the points and the secondary points if they die haha.

      Just my thoughts though and like I said before I am not a Tau master.

      • 1PlusArmour November 2, 2015 4:34 pm

        Fair enough! All the more reason to keep playing them and testing them out 😉

      • abusepuppy November 2, 2015 8:36 pm

        Giving up 5VP on the Maelstrom objective is kinda a huge thing, yeah. With as many deathstars as we see these days (Ravenwing, Thundercav, Seer Council, Screamers, Centurions, etc) I would be very, very leery of investing that many points into a single unit, especially one that is only T6/3+ at the end of the day.

        Also I don’t think the Stims are at all worth it on the Ghostkeel- you pay the same price as the Riptide does, but for much lesser effect. 2+ cover and Holophon already give you pretty good defenses, so it seems needless to splurge on a small extra bonus.

        • White925 November 3, 2015 9:06 am

          I totally agree on the stims on the Ghostkeel but that was my first game with it. As for the Stormsurges and the deathstars I disagree the shooting from two Stormsurges would be able to kill most deathstars that we are seeing right now.

          • Kevin Lantz November 3, 2015 9:15 am

            and even more to the point/point cost is the yvarha, con position self to remove the feel no pain grantors from deathstar units, and can melt everything with little support, it usually dies right after, but it’s solid in the death star heavy meta.

          • abusepuppy November 3, 2015 10:48 am

            Mmmm. A Ravenwing one, sure- Ignores Cover is brutal to them. But something with Invisibility is gonna be REALLY hard for you to hurt, and lack of Kroot for blocking tactics means that you probably are not going to be able to slow them down much. Ditto for something like a Knight, Wraithknight, or Scorpion managing to weather your one turn of shooting and get into a fight- it feels like you’re taking a huge gamble on the assumption that “of course I’ll kill that thing every time” because you have no backup plan.

          • Kevin Lantz November 3, 2015 12:03 pm

            not sure I’m worried about any of those with my list I ran for the last tournament I was in (culexus present) and any armor 3 is fine by me as I will put enough wounds out with my quality shots and volume shots.

  3. DevianID November 3, 2015 1:08 am

    I second your 2 storm surge idea franky. 1 is too vulnerable/unreliable, with 2 that redundancy means if you have to tie something up, you can count on it, and with potentially 8 d missile shots you can scare off non invisible units from afar like knights. I think your list is missing a plan versus psykers though. The ghostkeel and assassin are the same points basically, but versus invisible units the assassin can keep your opponent honest. Also, a void shield helps shore up grav vulnerability. Thus all in all pure hunter tau are a mid tier army, as 2 very common things really hurt a lot–psykers and grav weapons, and the hunter formation gets no fortifications. This is even more apparent versus your white scar army. Imagine the white scars got first instead of the necrons. You have, what, 52 grav shots, all with rerolls to hit of some kind with doctrines?

    Grav gladius is too popular to bring pure tau like this list, and white scars got even better with ignore cover on a unit like the bikes or centurions.

    • Kevin Lantz November 3, 2015 4:41 am

      as much as I love big suits, I personally feel like a yvarha and more troops is a more ideal situation than the stromsurge

    • 1PlusArmour November 3, 2015 6:44 am

      Keep in mind the assassin can’t really (without risk, anyway) be deployed near your stuff, and without a drop pod he has extremely limited mobility (18″ threat bubble) and will still die very quickly to twin-linked shooting. For a Culexus to be super effective, you really want to bring him in with a pod, which means you’re paying for a 140pt allied detachment tax (including the pod).

      No argument that a Culexus would be great to have, but very hard to use effectively without a pod, and still a one-shot wonder even with a pod from what I’ve seen.

      • Kevin Lantz November 3, 2015 8:41 am

        I’ve found the cluexus assassin as a single small model with infiltrate is easy to keep away, and if they are all drop pod like this, often it’s an objective grabber, specially if no psychers.

      • Reecius
        Reecius November 3, 2015 9:44 am

        Pods are OK for the Culexus, the real secret is to use him in a vehicle like a Rhino. So much better and keeps him alive and kicking throughout the game.

        • 1PlusArmour November 3, 2015 9:52 am

          Next week on FLG “Culexus and Spartan – a match made in heaven?”, haha!

          Very true though, works out to similar point cost as well.

      • DevianID November 3, 2015 8:39 pm

        The culexus has a 24 inch threat range btw, and as a single model he is easy to hide behind a wall. Also, twin linked shooting versus him that also gets around Los walls AND survives tau shooting is very rare. Plus you can put him in reserve as needed.

  4. Hotsauceman1 November 3, 2015 11:35 am

    Did you guys ever give a difnitive judgement on how the rule works? or are you still doing the testing different interpretation thing?

  5. Klasmars November 3, 2015 1:31 pm

    I´ve played about 4 games with the Sturomsurge and in all games it has done more than it should have, again its a good suplement and if you have to have it you should build your army around it. It is a good target since its so new and everyone wants to kill new scarry things that they dont understand but i use it as a tactic. My Firewarriors and riptides and broadsides and even kroot and gun drones all do extra good things in games. The stormsurge is a must have, iuts the new riptide, on stereoids, with crack, inside a H-bomb, filled to the brim with cheese ballz of doom…


    • Kevin Lantz November 3, 2015 2:30 pm

      but it’s toughness six with a three up armor.. even with fnp… meh?

      • Klasmars November 3, 2015 3:02 pm

        Put this thing alongside with 2 riptides and you have a nice killing unit that will be hard to kill, 20 wounds to chew thru with lots of FNP (if you put SI on the riptides, wich is a must have (the only times my riptide dies is when i kill it myself from failed nova)). The stormsurge aint no overpowerd unit, its pretty ballanced and this is what the game needs. Bring it, dont bring it, its all good.
        Bring it…

        • Kevin Lantz November 3, 2015 4:01 pm

          but you can’t group the riptide with anything other than another stormsurge.

          I also feel that putting fnp on your riptides is waste because how much it costs.

          consider the price of three riptides with ewo and vt, compared to two riptides with vt and stim injector.

          • Kevin Lantz November 4, 2015 8:40 am

            sorry storm surge with anything other than another stormsurge