Thursday, 8 April 2010

Tau 'Nid Hunter' Force: take 2

A great shot of Darkwing's Tyranid and Tau army on Arcadia Prime ... check out the battle here

After Sholto's comment on my last list ... it's clear this list wouldn't be a lot of fun to play against ... I've therefore reworked my ideas. Ok here goes, I'm lined up to face Anton next Tuesday with the following:
  • HQ: Shas'El, Air Fragmentation Projector, Flamer and Missile Pod, Stimulant Injector [136]
  • Elite: Crisis Team #1 [2]: Burst Cannon, Plasma Rifle, Multitracker, team leader, 2 gundrones [141]
  • Elite: Crisis Team #2 [2]: Flamer, Missile Pod, Multitracker, team leader, 2 gundrones [117]
  • Elite: Stealth Team [5]: with 3 gundrones [180]
  • Troops: Fire Warriors [9] in Devilfish (Multitracker, Disruption Pod, Fletchette Discharger, Sensor Spines [205]
  • Troops: Fire Warriors [9] in Devilfish (Multitracker, Disruption Pod, Fletchette Discharger, Sensor Spines [205]
  • Troops: Fire Warriors [9] [90]
  • Troops: Kroot [12] with 2 Kroot Hounds [96]
  • Fast Attack: Pathfinders [8] with Shas'Ui and Warfish (Smart Missile System, Fletchette Discharger, Multitracker, Sensor Spines, Targetting Array) [246]
  • Fast Attack: Piranha [1] with Targetting Array, Fusion Blaster, Disruption Pod and Fletchette Discharger [85]
  • Heavy Support: Broadsides [2] Targetting Arrays [160]
  • Heavy Support: Hammerhead (Railgun, Disruption Pod, Fletchette Discharger, Multitracker and Target Lock and Smart Missile System) [190]
Total 1851


The Broadsides and pathfinders adopt different sniping positions with the broadsides up front. After playing 8 broadsides the other day in APOC ... I'm realising their potential as superb spiner units (as well as antitank units) Their priority will be assassinating Zoanthropes and other antitank pests.

They will be supported by the Crisis Suit team with the missilepods and flamers... offering good anti-stealer counter attack while offering productive supporting fire. The other crisis team is kitted out to maximise they're 'close escort' role in an 18-24" harrying line. Providing significant firepower into the front ranks of the nids and shooting up their littluns.

The plasma rifles also give a great option against Higher toughness MCs etc. The stealth team will offer the 'first line of defence here' ... sporting significant firepower ... these guys can move to pounce on outlying units ... doing what Tau do best (maximising firepower). The crisis suit commander can fire either an 18" big blast ignoring cover saves plus 2 missile pods ... or opt for the ultimate flamer/big blast death template.

The three FireWarrior teams will go into reserve (depending on the enemy firepower) and then launch joint 'fish of fury' operations on the enemy. On analysis, while the fish of fury has lost some of its impact in 5th ... two 9 man squads can deploy on the 'inside' of two sheltering Devilfish and sport remarkable firepower.

The combination of the devilfish moving 12" and firing and the gundrones spreading out and firing means that the likelihood of being able to assault the firewarriors is next to nill. Giving the 'assault options' of either the dischargered devilfish (ouch) or the gundrones (big loss). With markerlight support ... these guys can be devastating!

The Kroot are in there as a home field objective holder. While they won't move much ... their ability to offering 24" S4 firepower and 2 attacks (hitting first) when charged in cover holds its own in this list.

The piranha is really in there as I just bought my first one. From a tactical point of view ... the fusion gun is sub-par for nids ... although instantkilling a Zoan or Warrior ain't no loss. His real tactical value is in offering a superfast bullet shield for the Crisis Suits and for last turn drop and turboboost contests on objectives...

And finally there's the hammerhead. A S6 template is a welcome addition ... plus the SMS firing at a different target ain't bad. I'm still undecided whether the tactical flexibility and 'low heat' of the missile boat outweighs the advantage of a S6 big blast ... but we'll see.


Fighting the new nid codex with its lack of cover assaulting options and sparsely placed heavy weapons give a new lease of life to the Tau codex. Nid v Tau is much closer to the 'starship troopers' experience than the new Imperial Guard list will allow (thanks to the plethora of flamers/mortars/hellhounds/vendettas etc.

Also, despite the Tau's weakness in close combat, their inherent armour saves of 4+ and 3+ will meet few power weapons (outside an MC or specialist Warrior brood and everybody dies then!) and makes them surprisingly resilient when compared to Guardsmen or Eldar.

I find myself considering the tactical usefulness of Stealth teams, as they hit first when charged (thanks to the stealth rules), have two attacks each and S4. Against most nids this should even the odds (for at least the first round!).

I never thought I'd be competitively considering fish'o'fury again. However against core units (and again exploiting terrain - hence the sensor spines) the fish can offer considerable impact with reduced risks. Considering 18 warriors and 2 Devilfish can potentially drop 12+ genestealers (even in cover) and offer several 'pinning hits' (cue markerlights) is very tactically useful. Their stats for dropping S3 gribblies without a cover save push this up to 25 kills!

I'm also looking at pathfinders under a different light. I may consider splitting the two squads (and sharing out the other devilfish) to get more shooting flexibility ... but that's to be confirmed.

Tank shocking and Flamer/AFP seem the way forwards too ... and an interesting consideration for the Crisis Suits and Piranha!

Comments very very welcome ... this is a first for me fighting the new nid codex.