Can We Power Game
This Article was written by:
:: The Wheel was Invented ::The first time Tau truly took any kind of title that resembled a light Brie was when the ideas of mechanizing the army list to over-stretch enemy anti-tank weaponry and cancel out enemy anti-infantry weapon and assault was really pushed both on the battle field and online with players world wide. Tau really took an aggressive role on the board, as it became more and more popular to escape the old 3rd edition ideals and were rocketed forward with the update of the game system to 4th edition. Tau suddenly had a few people calling them"cheese" for the second time since their first release.
Mechanization of Tau is further emphasized in our new codex, by allowing us more skimmer access coupled with 4th edition's skimmer rules. This is our proverbial wheel, for maximizing an effect while minimizing another-which is the basis of power gaming.
Note: I am not claiming that Mech Tau players are Power Gamers. The point is to show that power gaming is not just a negative term, but simply a description of what is done with an army. And in my definition, that is the maximizing of something, at the expensive of minimizing something else, in order to maximize a desired effect and minimize or cancel out another. This is many times simply called Tactics, by another name.
:: Nitrous Oxide Added to the Engine ::While most of us are well aware of the mechanics of skimmers, mechanized warfare and victory points, the 2nd stone that could possibly be throwing Tau forward for more cries of "cheese" is the ability to now span outuntouchable units who can be very dangerous to infantry. Our stealthsuits have been a great tool, but now, their abilities are being stretched into another force organizational chart, where we can then apply serious armor penetration threats on top it to seal the deal. So let's look into that.
UntouchableStealthsuits have already proven themselves on the field. They're incredible at destroying infantry as well as avoiding damage. They dance the lines of death, dealing and not receiving as often as others. That's not to say they're invincible, but they are often times a serious contender for your elite slots in your game and they're a large factor of a mechanized force, wishing to avoid as much anti-infantry weapon damage as possible in order to conserve victory points.
Now we also have Sniper Drone Teams as a Heavy Support. They too share something with the stealthsuits that they areuntouchable due to their stealth fields. To top it off though, we can add the Railrifle to that as a means to add insult to injury. And for the cherry on top, we can scale a single heavy support slot, to include multiple teams. All of this combines for a non-scoring pile ofuntouchable death dealing anti-infantry threats that can be combined to the mechanization approaches to war for a dirty duo.
:: How's that Cheesy? You're off your rocker...::Well, think about why people call things cheesy in our wonderful game. If they cannot win against it, or if it tricks them in any way, it's suddenly cheesy. If it looks too dangerous on paper even, it's immediately cheesy. Only after several months or more of playing and actually seeing it "fail" does a cheesy thing become "less" cheesy (though it never becomes completely non-cheesy).
So how does this apply to mechanized warfare and our stealth field using units?
Annoying the Opponent orDenying the OpponentWhat if we were to over-stretch our enemy's anti-tank weapons through the use of mass skimmers? What if we were also to reduce the usability and effectiveness of anti-infantry weapons and ground assault units? Now, what if we could also take ground units that were rather untargetable by those anti-infantry weapons of your opponent as well? And what if we could combine all of it for a single army list that could be quite a pain in the butt?
Head Quarters - Untargetable Independent Characters.
Elites - Stealth Field jet pack units (XV15s).
Troops - A12 Skimmers, guarding scoring units of infantry.
Fast Attacks - More Skimmers, A12 and A11 (normal and fast types).
Heavy Supports - Stealth Field infantry with heavy duty guns and range (Snipers).
Heavy Supports - A13 Skimmers.
Everything is either untargetable, difficult to target or very hard to damage.
In standard army list, of 2,000 points, Tau could fill the battlefield with lots of skimmers, lots of untargetable units, and be able output the same damage, plus the added damage of the untargetable units while guarding victory points and quickly moving through the field for missions. Skimmers taking the field, cutting down enemy units. Stealths and Snipers ripping through even the toughest of infantry. Keeping the squishy interior of the force, behind glance-only armor or behind the veil of night fighting.