Monday, 4 January 2010

New Tau Army List Gets A Test Run - Part One


Over the xmas break I got to play 3 games that would help see how my new thinking on my army list would fair on the field of battle.

The list I used was:

Shas'el Commander – 102
Cyclic Ion Blaster, Missile Pod, Multi-tracker,
Hard-wired Drone Controller with 2 Gun Drones

Crisis Battle Suit Team - 137
1 Crisis Battlesuit with
Twin-linked Flamers, Missile Pod
2 Crisis Battlesuit with
Twin-linked Missile Pods, Flamer

Crisis Battle Suit Team - 163
1 Crisis Battlesuit with
Twin-linked Missile Pods
Drone Controller with 2 Gun Drones
2 Crisis Battlesuits with
Missile Pod, Burst Cannon, Multi-tracker

Crisis Battle Suit Team - 187
1 Crisis Battlesuit with
Twin-linked Missile Pods
Drone Controller with 2 Gun Drones
2 Crisis Battlesuits with
Plasma Rifle, Fusion Gun, Multi-tracker

6 Fire Warriors – 60

10 Kroot & 7 Kroot Hounds – 112

10 Kroot – 70

6 Pathfinders – 72
Devilfish with Disruption Pods – 85

6 Pathfinders – 72
Devilfish with Disruption Pods – 85

Hammerhead Battle Tank – 165
Railgun, Burst Cannons, Multi-tracker, Disruption Pods

Hammerhead Battle Tank – 165
Railgun, Burst Cannons, Multi-tracker, Disruption Pods

Broadside Battlesuit Team - 275
Broadside Team Leader with
Advanced Stabilisation System
Hard-Wired Drone Controller with 2 Shield Drones
2 Broadsides with Advanced Stabilisation Systems

Total Points: 1750 (74 Models and 16 Kill Points)

First up was a fluffy Ork army, it consisted of:

Big Mek with Shock Attack Gun

10 Nobs with Heavy Armour, including Painboy, couple of Powerclaws, and a few other upgrades such as big choppas that had no effect on the game
Battlewagon with Deathrolla

Large Grot Mob (who the Big Mek joined)
20 Shoota Boyz, including Nob & 2 Big Shootas
20 Shoota Boyz, including Nob & 2 Big Shootas
20 Shoota Boyz, including Nob & 2 Big Shootas
12 Slugga Boyz on a Truck including a Nob
5 or 6 Commandos led by the Special Character upgrade that allowed them to outflank from any board edge
12 Stormboyz including Nob

10 Lootas
1 Deffdread
2 units of a single Killa Kan with Grot Zookas

We rolled up normal 12” deployment, and Annihilation. Normally Annihilation is normally a pain for my Tau with it's high kill point total of 16, but against the Orks who had a simular kill point total (of 15) it wasn't so bad.

I won the roll to go first or second, and allowed my opponent to choose board edges and go first.

The table had (from my side's point of view) a forest in the top right and bottom left, with the rest of the board having ruins scattered across it. In the top right was a standard 3-tier city fight ruin, to the right was the GW scenery with the stained glass window. In the top-middle was one of the card building GW made in the 90's, it was 3 tiers and quite large (about 10” across at the base). In the middle, about 20” from the left of the table was one of the new bastions, directly in the middle of the table was another of the 3-tier city fight ruins, and on the left was a group of mordiem card buildings, roughly 6” from the right table edge and strething from 10” away from my board edge to about 20” from my board edge. In my deployment zone there was the forest on the left, a small ruin (2 tier) slightly left of the middle, and then a selection of mordiem card buildings in the right ending about 10” from the mordiem buildings on the far right that stretched out of my deployment zone.

Going first my opponent had to spread his deployment out, but with such a large ork army it's almost impossible not to. Going from left to right he deployed.

Unit of 20 Boys
Truck Boys
In and behind the scenary with the stained glass window was the Big Mek with the Grots
Deffdread and 2 Kill Kans
Battlewagon with Nobs just to the left of the large centre ruin
Lootas deployed in the central ruin (however the top level was slightly out of the deployment zone so they would have to move up to the top on the first turn)
Hidding behind the central ruin was the storm boyz
To the right of the centre ruin was 2 units of 20 boys (1 behind the other)
and finally the Commandos were outflanking

I placed a Hammerhead on the far left flank.
In the ruin slight left of centre I placed 6 pathfinders
My twin-missile suits, then missile/burst suits, and finally plasma/fusion suits deployed from left to right behind the ruins in my centre-right.
2nd Hammerhead
2nd Pathfinders just fit in the ruins on the right
2 pathfinder devilfihs in the bottom right hand corner (trying not to be noticed – when one of my small troop units get in they are the easiest 3 kill points an army can get)
The larger kroot unit outflanking, and the small kroot unit and the fire warriors went in reserve.

The karma gods smiled on me and I stole the initiative.


The middle pathfinders lit up the battle wagon, stripping it's cover save and giving +2 BS to the broadsides. After 3 railguns on 2+ to hit with rerolls and no cover for the battlewagon I'd...NOT EVEN SCRATCHED IT !! What the karma dice god give they can easily take away :)

The rest of my shooting stunned a deffdread and killed a couple of boyz. A bad shooting phase, but then again I shouldn't have had it yet.

The Ork turn was simple as everyone charged forwards apart from the stunned dread and the lootas which went to the top of the large ruin. The Big Mek aslo stayed still to shoot but scattered.


The Tau 2nd turn started with the all the Tau troop choices turning up from reserve. The large kroot squad outflanked on the left to support the hammerhead. The moved in in half way up the board as the the hammerhead which wanted to get a side shot on the battlewagon which had headed toward my right flank. The other troop choices moved on and went straight in the pathfinder devilfishs on the far right flank. Crisis suit jostled for LOS, and the hammerhead and broadsides on the right moved back while ensuring that the battlewagon had no cover from their shots.

I started my using the deathrain team against the wagon on the left flank (if they killed it the hammerhead on that flank would be free to try a side shot at the battlewagon). The deathrains killed the wagon, only killing 1 boy in the damage. The hammerhead on the left hit the battlewagon, but rolled a 1 against the side armour. I was therefore forced to use a pathfinder team to light up the battlewagon, and the broadsides did their job this time and blew it up. The 2nd unit of pathfinders lit up the forward boyz unit on the right and the firestorms (with the shas'el) unloaded into them. The hammerhead on the right took out a killa kan for an easy killpoint. The rest of my shooting was minimal.

The orks continued to move forward in their turn. The storm boyz and the 2 units of boyz on the right moved towards my broadsides and hammerheads. The nobs (the ork unit the furthest forwards) moved towards the broadsides and crisis suits. The deads moved straight forwards towards the pathfinders (who had the deathrains behind them). The foot slogging boyz on the left moved towards the middle. The boyz who had got out of the trukk moved to assault the kroot.

In the shooting phase the Big Mek and lootas took a few wounds and the occassional drone from the crisis suits. The boyz that had come out of the trukk assaulted the large kroot unit, and the kroot were broken and run down, but not before they had killed all the boyz apart from the Nob.


In my turn there was only one main target, the Nobs, everything apart from the hammerhead on the left flank and the troop units in the devilfishs, in my army opened up on them and wiped them out. The hammerhead on the left was forced to kill the Nob from the unit that had killed the kroot. Some remaining firepower took a few wounds from the front boyz unit on the right flank. Everything moved back in the assault phase to ensure they were more than 18” from the front boyz unit. The right flank pathfinders were in range to be charged by the storm boyz (but I wanted their markerlights to ensure the destruction of the nob unit).

The orks stormed forwards once again. The stormboyz 1” away from the pathfinders after their move (but importantly they would have to also move up a level, so would need a 4+ on their assault phase difficult terrain test). The deff dread in the centre was now next to the pathfinders in the centre with the boyz on the left only slightly behind due to good run rolls.

Shooting was painful. The Big Mek finally earnt his points by getting a double 6 for his shot with the shock attack gun, and killed the last 2 members of the deathrain team, plus a drone and a suit from the firestorm team. The lootas added a few wounds to the firestorm team. Then the deff dread roasted all of the pathfinders in the centre with a heavy flamer. I passed my break tests and it was on to the ork assault phase.

I got lucky and the stormboyz failed their difficult terrain roll and were left in full view of the main Tau firepower.


In my turn I obliged the stormboyz by blowing them away. However I was a bit zealous and disembarked both the fire warriors and the kroot to add to the firepower, when they probably weren't needed, especially the fire warriors who didn't get to fire because my opponent took off the stormboyz in range from the first unit that shot at them. The hammerhead on the left took out the deff dread.

The commandos finally outflanked, they didn't wanted to go for the firebase of all the crisis suits for fear they'd just get wiped out the following turn, so went on the right flank to get an easy kill point of the kroot who had disembarked. The orks called the Waargh which allowed the front boyz unit on the right flank to charge the disembarked fire warriors and the devilfish they were in. The unit of boyz behind them on the right flank didn't fleet so they could fire on the 6 pathfinders on the right flank.

The pathfinders went to ground (for a 3+ cover save from the boyz shooting), and luckily only lost 1 model. The kroot and fire warriors were killed in assault.

NB: The boyz in the centre were effectively out of the game as they wouldn't catch the crisis suits.


The broadside smart missiles took out most of the small commando unit, and the pathfinders aided by the devilfishs took out the rest including the character.

The crisis suits took out the remainder of the boyz who had assaulted the fire warriors.

Everybody moved back towards the corner away from the remaining ork units.

The remaining foot orks moved vainly forwards, while the big mek and lootas shooting again did more wounds, but I passed by morale test on the crisis suits.

And with that the game ended with a decisive win for the Tau

Tau Kill Points (10)
2 Killa Kans
Deff Dread
Storm Boyz
2 units of Boyz

Ork Kill Points (5)
2 Kroot units
Fire Warriors
Deathrain Crisis Team
1 Pathfinder Team

Thoughts on my new list

The extra crisis team were helpful, and they definitely needed their drones to survive, and the melta shots were nice when I was shooting at the Nobs (instant death), but playing orcs also showed their weakness of the short range of the fusion gun, as I rarely fired them as I couldn't risk getting close.

Battles 2 and 3 will follow over the next few days.


1 comment:

  1. I like your list. It is pretty good considering the 5th edition tendency to have armies go fully mechanized, you have a lot of transport popping power.

    Do you use the pathfinder's devilfish to move your kroot and fire warrior squad around, or do you keep them with their squads to provide support.

    The kroot are mobile with outflank,but you have to be sure about your deployment from the get-go because it seems your ability to reposition your troops depending on how the enemy is defending objectives could be hampered by only moving foot speed. How do you feel your army fares against really mobile enemies like Tyranids, Eldar, and Dark Eldar?

    What types of armies do you most encounter? My list and tactics are generally developed to go up against SM, CSM, Necrons, and Eldar.



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