Starting A Tau Army
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HQ OptionThere are 4 HQ's to choose from:
- Tau Commander (Shas'o or Shas'el)
- Commander Farsight
Tau CommanderAdvantages: Customisable, Fairly hard to kill, Can join any unit.
Disadvantages: Fairly expensive[Points wise] for small battles, Can be killed outright by a strong gun, Bodyguards and shield drones are pretty expensive[Points wise]
Aun'ShiAdvantages: Some nice special rules, Can join any unit, Save is invulnerable
Disadvantages: As weak as a standard Fire warrior, If he gets killed it could cost you the battle (Read 'Price of failure' rule)
Commander FarsightAdvantages: Good in combat, Can join any unit, 'Ork Fighter' rule helps Tau out greatly in combat
Disadvantages: 'Breakaway faction' rule limits your army's options lots.
EtherealAdvantages: Cheap[Points wise]
Disadvantages: Same as Aun'Shi (Above)
As stated above, there are good and bad points with all the Tau HQs. Since you are just starting out I'd recommend getting either an Ethereal or a Commander first. My reasons are that Commander Farsight and Aun'Shi are both special characters and can be harder to use.
Troops ChoiceThere are 3 troop choices to choose from:
- Fire Warriors
- Human Auxiliaries
Fire WarriorsAdvantages: Has one of the best troop guns in the game, Cheap[Points wise]
Disadvantages: Rubbish in combat!
KrootAdvantages: Fairly cheap, Get 2 attacks in combat, Large squad sizes, Good WS and Str for their points cost.
Disadvantages: No armour saves. To get an armour save you must get a Kroot shaper and then pay +1 points for each model. This makes the Kroot unit fairly expensive and then they still don't have a very good save.
Human AuxiliariesAdvantages: Cheap
Disadvantages: Gun isn't very powerful, Fire Warriors aren't much more expensive but yet have a far greater gun
Overall, Fire warriors are probably the best to start up with. The reason being is that they provide a strong fire-base for your army due to their guns. Once you have 2 squads of them, get both a Kroot and Human Auxiliaries squad and see which work best with your tactics by playing a few trial games. Whichever one you feel is best; get them for your third troop choice squad.
Now you should have a good idea of how to start off, and now you can build around this to get a good and well-balanced army. Have fun!