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Dealing with the blue-faced Space Commies.....

 Post subject: Dealing with the blue-faced Space Commies.....
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 12:55 pm 
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Hey guys, just hoping for some advice or pointers in dealing with a Tau list looking something like this

Incompertus, 3000 POINTS
Tau Third Phase Expansion (6.8 Approved)
==================================================

CRISIS BATTLESUIT CADRE [375]
5 XV8 Crisis Battlesuit, Shas'o

FIRE WARRIOR CADRE [325]
6 Fire Warriors, 3 Devilfish, 2 Pathfinders, 1 Devilfish

FIRE WARRIOR CADRE [325]
6 Fire Warriors, 3 Devilfish, 2 Pathfinders, 1 Devilfish

BROADSIDE GROUP [300]
6 XV88 Broadsides

ARMOUR SUPPORT GROUP [300]
4 Hammerhead Gunships (Ion- or Fusionhead), Skyray

ARMOUR SUPPORT GROUP [300]
4 Hammerhead Gunships (Ion- or Fusionhead), Skyray

ARMOUR SUPPORT GROUP [225]
4 Hammerhead Gunship (Railhead)

ARMOUR SUPPORT GROUP [225]
4 Hammerhead Gunship (Railhead)

KROOT KINDRED [175]
Kroot Master Shaper, 9 Kroot Warriors

BARRACUDA SQUADRON [150]
2 Barracuda Fighters

BARRACUDA SQUADRON [150]
2 Barracuda Fighters

ORCA DROPSHIP [150]


The armour support with Skyrays are both units of Fusionheads. Basically our games seem to usually go the same way - he floats his skimmers in behind the choicest bits of terrain and turns the board into a shooting gallery for my tanks while his Fire Warrior formations double out from behind cover at choice moments and nuke my infantry from disrupt range. With the plethora of Lance, Macro, Disrupt and Ignore Cover all backed up with Markerlights my poor Guardsmen are really struggling and dying in droves.

My Space Marines do better as they've got the deployment methods to get right on top of the filthy scum and give 'em the kicking they deserve but they usually get nuked in reply.

Overwatch doesn't seem to work so well as his tanks are so fast that they just flit from cover to cover between moves and leave me without a shot although it has been known to limit his popping up shenanigans. So the Shadowswords were nice for that, until the Spaceship started turning up and shredding them from the get-go. I'm developing the mentality that I need to annihalate his Fusionheads by any means neccesary any time they leave themselves exposed as those bloody things are lethal when they bring their own Markerlights with them....

I've tried Titans and had mixed results. He managed to kill the Reaver in one turn both times but the Warlord at least survived his outing, albeit with half damage, a critical and a big frowny face. I've tried prioritising his Markerlight troops so now he beds them into his main formations so they're much harder to target.

Are there any units you wouldn't leave home without when using Guard v Tau? Or any tricks I'm missing?


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 Post subject: Re: Dealing with the blue-faced Space Commies.....
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 2:44 am 
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Artillery sucks for Tau as they can't bunch up so much. The 4 tank formations are very fragile (hit 4 with a Blast template and averages usually mean 1-2 will die). Kill one or two per formation and command and control goes to **** with the BMs etc. and renders them largely ineffective. They can't move and shoot when they can't activate. It used to be that Leman Russ companies were the death of Hammerhead formations (still will be if you can get to them first) but with Lance the Rail and also Fusions will eat you now. Remember the fusions are only 30cm range so gauging it will be important so you can hit them first or after they move.

Make sure you try to kill his air power with a good spread of Hydras.

It will be a game of attrition regardless.


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 Post subject: Re: Dealing with the blue-faced Space Commies.....
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 7:48 am 
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Unfortunately I can never get more than 2 under the template at once so struggle for one kill per barrage. That and the fact that the basilisks are more expensive than the hammerheads and need protecting with other stuff so I can't really justify another battery.

I can kill them when I manage to get hold of them but pretty much the only times I get to see them is when they pop up to blow me away. It seems that they have a rule for every bloody target too which doesn't help. RA? Ha I've got lance/macro. Cover? Smart missiles and markerlights will see to that....


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 Post subject: Re: Dealing with the blue-faced Space Commies.....
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:01 am 
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give them a taste of their own medicine,2 formations of Vultures starting on overwatch should stop the first 2 formations who pop up from doing anything to you.


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 Post subject: Re: Dealing with the blue-faced Space Commies.....
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:47 am 
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dptdexys wrote:
give them a taste of their own medicine,2 formations of Vultures starting on overwatch should stop the first 2 formations who pop up from doing anything to you.


this I like :)

you are quite likely to prevent the opponent from trying his usual tactic using this deterrant, even a single formation of vultures is pretty effective, just keep them well protected with hydras as they tend to get strafed a lot by aircraft

with marines I'd suggest spacecraft + podding devs, use the template to flush his tanks out from behind the choicest cover, then position pred annihilators or warhounds so they can double up and hit them, the devs can either sustain fire on a formation (preferably one with a skyray) or engage them, with a bit of luck you can likely knock out 2 formations before he can move, and reduce his air cover which means your thunderhawks can fly around more safely

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 Post subject: Re: Dealing with the blue-faced Space Commies.....
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:17 pm 
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I'll definitely give the Vultures a try thanks. They're not something I've tried before so I'd never thought of bringing my own skimmers. Those and a pair of death strikes might make it feel like a fairer fight. The games lately have been a bit morale-busting it has to be said so anything to even the score


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 Post subject: Re: Dealing with the blue-faced Space Commies.....
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:56 pm 
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:nopics :( :wah :'(

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 Post subject: Re: Dealing with the blue-faced Space Commies.....
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:19 pm 
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I keep trying to talk them into doing some batreps but they get all camerashy about unpainted models so the lack of pics isn't for lack of trying ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Dealing with the blue-faced Space Commies.....
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:26 pm 
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Even just pics of the models ... not even a BATREP ... Image

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 Post subject: Re: Dealing with the blue-faced Space Commies.....
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:50 pm 
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you don't need models (or pics) to batrep. hell, before I went 100% vassal I used to test using cardboard chits and butcher paper terrain (because as I like to say, who has weird stuff like 7 formations of darkshrouds or Land Raider Terminus around?)

[L4 and Greg and Primarch not included :D]

so basically, don't be skuuuurd :P

on topic: cool ideas from Dobs and Kyuss!

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 Post subject: Re: Dealing with the blue-faced Space Commies.....
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:58 pm 
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I've got a game against the filthy Commies on Monday so I'll endeavour to take some pics n notes.

Unfortunately my painting queue is chock full of lovely DiD novan elite at the moment so Vultures may be a while coming unless I proxy something for them.


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 Post subject: Re: Dealing with the blue-faced Space Commies.....
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 2:10 am 
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Helpful as it is to give the enemy some healthy respect, don't overdo it and start to think negatively. Tau have their weaknesses. They are almost entirely reliant on ranged shooting which has several consequences:
1. They hate to be assaulted.
2. They need targets, you don't have to play into their hands if you don't want to.
3. Blast markers are more effective against them than they are vs other armies, especially guard who have lots of leaders, and marines of course. This is not only because Tau spend their time shooting more, but they degrade with BMs dramatically because they typically have several weapons per unit.

Tau also lack any barrage which helps a bit with your own positioning. Being quite specialised, it's also possible to frustrate them by not presenting the right kind of target (eg fire warriors with AP weapons and guided missiles only go so far against massed RA).

Personally with marines I would just get right in their face. With guard, it may be that the markerlights make the difference. Either those units are exposed, or he doesn't get the benefit of markerlights. Make him choose. Overwatch presents a dilemma in that regard, and don't underestimate its effects on positioning and aggression. The same goes for barrage weapons. And on that subject, I don't see why you would use basilisks over manticores - remember, Tau hate blast markers. You are going to neutralise or quite likely even break a formation of hammerheads in turn 1 (and remember those arent cheap formations with skyrays in).

Perhaps a run down of a game would help identify what is going wrong - the decisions you are both making with your formations.

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 Post subject: Re: Dealing with the blue-faced Space Commies.....
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 2:41 am 
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Sorry jimmyzimms PFE100(Greg),doesn't have any Land Raider Terminus, but he's working on getting some....

On topic, yeah would agree with Vultures...

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 Post subject: Re: Dealing with the blue-faced Space Commies.....
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 12:52 pm 
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You mean I have something he doesn't? [falls off chair ]

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 Post subject: Re: Dealing with the blue-faced Space Commies.....
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 11:29 pm 
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Thanks for the necessary shake guys. I think it's just that I'm coming at this off the back of a series of pretty one-sided games and was in a bit of a rut for ideas.

I'm definitely going to give the Vultures a try (tried some Stormtroopers in Valkyries against marines last night and I'm very impressed with the speed and flexibility they offer) and Manticores too. I've tried them before and got stung a couple of times when not managing to hit anything with the barrage turn one but I'll give them another few chances

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