After plenty of prep, I took the field against the little blue men. My first outing against Tau proved both informative and painful. While I was playing against a Tau novice (which sort of helped), the Tau force combines remarkably effective fire power with some of the 'forgiving' play points I've come to associate with Eldar.
Needless to say it was a worthwhile exercise below the battle on thursday. This fight has now be upgraded to a full scale 2000 point battle. Hope my plans work, and I hope you - reader - will understand if I don't include EVERY tactical insight on this blog - I'll elucidate at a later date, but walls have ears you know - and this is still a work in progress.
I can however talk about the following:
Firepower: Gulp, that hurt. Suneokun's rule No#1: If it has blue skin and is holding a gun, don't stand in front of it. Predictably my 'conscripts' were piecemealed (only three made it to combat!) and the combination of burst cannon (assault 3) and pinning pulse carbine fire (twin linked) was devastating. The addition of a fusion blaster in that crew made the stealth team very dangerous. The whole 'you can't see me' thing was particularly annoying. Still I have plans!
Ethereal: The use of an ethereal honour guard (with BS4) was effective, but what is quite useful is that Tau are clearly defined between the anti-infantry (SS/FW/Kroot) and the anti-armour. The use of seeker missiles and markerlight might throw a bone into that, but it's interesting.
Railgun: Good grief these guys are effective. The Broadside in battle proved very durable (only losing one shield drone) and killed 4 times his points with his twin-linked death cannon. I do not fancy facing many of those...
Target lock: what a cunning invention - allowing the fusion blaster guy to shoot the tank while his colleagues shoot the men... hmmm. If only I could make my boys all Gue'la and take some target locks - heavy weapon teams would be amazing.
And finally ... what I should have brought - power weapons, plasma and melta. The flamers and grenade launchers were simply inadequate in the face of such overwhelming saving throws. When facing smurf's as a guard's player, you have to trust to the number of 1's and 2's he will eventually roll. The good news with smurf's is that there's so few of them that they can't amass enough firepower to cut you down before you force enough 1-2 rolls. Unfortunately, this doesn't apply to Tau.
The stealth team killed an average of just below 10 guard a turn. Plus a chimera. I killed 4 gun-drones! Whoopee!
Bring on Thursday - I have a cunning plan!