Tau Tactica: Common Mistakes

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Thanks to Garner Durant for the "Divided and Conquered or Overlapping Firepower" part of this and thanks to Auno Lissta for the "More Stats" part of this.



 Divided and Conquered or Overlapping Firepower
 More Stats



Divided and Conquered or Overlapping Firepower

Disclaimer: I don't play Tau, but I have considered, played and beaten them more times then I can imagine.
When glancing at the Tau codex, the first thing you are more than likely to notice is their 30" range on basic weapons. This range will give you a major advantage against almost all armies you face.
However, a 12 man strong squad of Fire Warriors cannot stop a squad a 10 Space Marines from 30" away. They[Space Marines] will almost always shrug of the attrition and make it into close combat. Here are some rough statistics:
  • 12 Fire Warriors fire 12 shots
  • 6 will hit
  • 4 will wound
  • 1& 1/3 space marines will die
This brings me to my point. It is not that Tau rifles aren't powerful. Far from it. Pulse rifles have one of the highest basic strength in the game for infantry's guns. However, to take down Marines your tactics need to be a little more heavy handed. If you fired 3 troops of firewarriors, the results would have been much more spectacular:
  • 36 Fire Warriors shoot
  • 18 will hit
  • 12 will wound
  • 4 Space Marines bite the big one
I know what you're thinking. That 4 marines is hardly worth three squads shooting. But in two turns the squad is well below fighting strength. But to be able to mass this kind of fire power you have to overcome one of the biggest mistakes most Tau players make:Do not spread out your forces.
Otherwise you will not be able to overlap firepower needed to take out some of those tougher squads. Establishing a strong firebase will allow you to focus firepower against certain target until they fall. Keep Fire Warriors in tight formation and make sure not to overextend your Crisis suits, stealth teams and pathfinders, and it will be next to impossible to launch an assault against you.
However if you do find yourself in an assault, either mob the enemy assuming its the tattered remains of a tacticle squad, or get out of dodge and establish another firebase.



More Stats

I'm Auno Lissta, in this part, I'm looking at the basic unit with average stats and figuring out, if a unit moves straight forward and there's no intervening terrain, and your unit takes no casualties, if you can kill it. This is just to give a rough idea of the sort of kill rate that you could expect from two Fire Warrior squads.
Unless otherwise noted, it takes the unit four turns to get across the table. Note that I'm rounding all stats down.

Space Marines, Chaos

You hit six times, wound four and they make three, for the first three turns, amounting in three casualties in the first three turns and two in the turn that they reach our Pulse Rifle's rapid fire range. The Tactical Squads who this part targets (And their chaotic counter parts,) are some of the hardest units to kill.
  • Up to turn three: 3 casualties
  • Turn four: 2 casualties
  • Total Casualties: 5

Necrons

Warriors have the same death rate as Space marines; however the WWB rule means that half the dead get back up.
  • Up to turn three: 1 casualties
  • Turn four: 1 casualty
  • Total Casualties: 2

Eldar, Dark Eldar

They can generally reach your line, with fleet of foot rolls, in three turns. But as Eldar Guardians and Dark Eldar Warriors are weaker, and with a higher armour save, more die in a turn.
  • Up to turn three: 10 casualties
  • Turn four: 10 casualty
  • Total Casualties: 20

Imperial Guard

Like the above, only slower. Note however, the basic Joe Schmoe of the Guard (I.e. The Infantry platoons) probably won't advance into an assault with you.
  • Up to turn three: 15 casualties
  • Turn four: 30 casualties
  • Total Casualties: 45

Tyranids

As hormagaunts can reach your line in two turns, ignore the Carnifexes, at least with your Fire Warriors.
  • Up to turn two: 15 casualties
  • Total Casualties: 15

Orks

A Shoota Boyz armor save is high, but they have a Space Marine's Toughness.
  • Up to turn three: 12 casualties
  • Turn four: 8 casualties
  • Total Casualties: 20

Comments

1. No Subject

What if their BS Definition: Battle Sister or Ballistic Skillwas raised by 2 from Markerlights that means: to hit 10/12 to wound 6.66/10 to save 2.22/6.66 (to save result=number dead)

Posted by fio_caste, 28th June 2009 at 06:36am [Report to Mod]

2. No Subject

3. For the same price as all those fire warriors you could buy 2 ion heads, give them good, and have points to spare. P.S. Sorry about all the posts I was trying to do this on my DSi and it didn`t work.

Posted by Sea-Zan, 8th June 2009 at 06:00am [Report to Mod]

3. No Subject

2. Space marines can also rip feqs to bits with heavy bolters.

3. For the same price as all those fire warriors you could buy 2 ion heads, give them good, and have points to spare.

Posted by Sea-Zan, 8th June 2009 at 05:58am [Report to Mod]

4. No Subject

I have several problems with your anti-marine strategy.
1. Rarely will an opponent charge a 36 man line with 1 squad
2. Space marines can also rip feqs to bits with heavy bolters.
 

Posted by Sea-Zan, 8th June 2009 at 05:52am [Report to Mod]

5. No Subject

dude i can kill 3 marines units and a 2termy unit in a game without lossing a single warriors

Posted by ARCHER, 31st May 2009 at 06:08am [Report to Mod]

6. No Subject

it makes no referance to kroot and i would like to state in smaller games you wil be subject to "'ard boys" they are ork boys with a 4 save.

Posted by Fulizer, 24th January 2009 at 09:10am [Report to Mod]

7. No Subject

wow no offense but your article says common MISTAKES with tau not mistake and usually i use a sniper drone team and some vespids (ap 3) to kill of tactical squads

Posted by ćau master, 22nd December 2008 at 03:08pm [Report to Mod]

8. No Subject

What about carbines? say 4 carbines in a 12 man squad. Then at least you have some chance of pinning, giving you a whole other turn. And if u add markerlights..... Cheesy

Posted by Default, 8th November 2008 at 11:13am [Report to Mod]

9. No Subject

what if in rapid fire range that would mean that 8 space marines would die but if that fails they will rape you in close combat

Posted by butnugget, 5th October 2008 at 09:29am [Report to Mod]

10. No Subject

Ok guys if your fighting tyranids kill anything that can potentially move 12' first things that move 6' aren't much of a threat.

Posted by The_God_Rhys, 22nd August 2008 at 06:46am [Report to Mod]

11. No Subject

thats right! never spread out your tau!if dat happens you can get flanked and your dead!

Posted by taugundrone, 29th April 2008 at 03:20am [Report to Mod]

12. No Subject

Aren't pulse rifles rapid fire weapons?

Posted by taugundrone, 20th February 2008 at 02:59am [Report to Mod]

13. No Subject

I think people are getting confused by what you have here. they are thinking what your saying is what will always happen. what he is saying is what most likely will happen, now we have all had it happen where we decimate and entire squad in 1 or 2

Posted by Nawaraven, 31st January 2008 at 08:52pm [Report to Mod]

14. No Subject

Pulse rifles are rapid fire weapons, so wouldnt it be 12 fire warriors- 24 shots? 12 hit? and 8 wound? This would then cause the space marines to roll a morale check. If this is failed, they fall back, and reduces the chances of close combat.

Posted by Bubgum, 2nd January 2008 at 08:54pm [Report to Mod]

15. No Subject

This tactica isn't right. This teaches me how to use static tau correctly... Now what about mech Tau?

Posted by Kraut, 9th August 2007 at 01:16am [Report to Mod]

16. No Subject

I do hope that you relize that the numbers you are using are messed up. Tally the points and then try to make the squads even. 12 firewarriors actually stand a good chance to make a 7 man squad useless (less then three men) in only a few turns. The same  

Posted by leadfoot352, 22nd June 2007 at 03:00pm [Report to Mod]

17. No Subject

He's talking about statistics here guys. We've all had times where the dice did something funny, but this is the average. And yes, on average, one squad of fire warriors aren't going to cut it against SMurfs. That's why you bring the rest of the army Wink

Posted by dunehunter, 10th June 2007 at 06:51pm [Report to Mod]

18. No Subject

Now thank you for the advice, but i would like to give some actual numbers and i DO play tau. By turn two i have killed around 6 space marines with one FireWarrior squad and a marker drone
 

Posted by XV8 Duruus, 3rd May 2007 at 05:20am [Report to Mod]

19. No Subject

Very helpful advice thanks.

Posted by ry, 2nd December 2006 at 11:03am [Report to Mod]

20. No Subject

He's right about fire power with fire warriors alone as far as those stats go, law of averages considered. If you don't use Kroot (look like mutant parrots, crap) or Vespids (make them bugs, not bug-men) and using a Firewarrior fire base is deadly. And by

Posted by thecatinthehat, 16th October 2006 at 03:28pm [Report to Mod]

21. No Subject

I have to wonder about where you got these numbers. Also, were you considering forces of equal point value or equal number of models? It sounds like equal number of models, that is not always fair.  

Posted by max256, 10th October 2006 at 06:27pm [Report to Mod]

22. No Subject

I like to use less Fire Warriors, and spread em out. I mass firepower for the "heavy handed" effect by using ultra mobile units like Piranha, Crisis, vespid, heads.

Posted by israfel420, 27th August 2006 at 11:17pm [Report to Mod]




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