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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings everyone!

I am looking for some help and critiques on my 500 point list. I will be up against a new tau player with this list so I would imagine he'll be fielding a typical army but after going through a bunch of my old battle reports I was surprised to find I've never actually faced off against a Tau player before. Usually I only post a single list for review but since I only have theory as to what will be effective I will post what I think would be most effective and then a few alternative lists in short form. Thanks in advance to anyone that replies!

List 1:
Captain= 135 Points
Artificer Armour, Bike, Melta Bomb

Tactical Squad= 175 Points
10 Marines, Rhino

Scout Squad= 70 Points
5 Scouts, Camo Cloaks, Sniper Rifles

Bike Squad= 120 Points
5 Bikers, Grav Gun

Chapter Tactics-(See Below)

After a couple of reiterations I landed on this list for my most likely choice.

The tactical squad would serve as a backbone for the list with the rhino making sure they get where they need to be.

Although I've only had about a 2/3 success rate with the sniper scouts I still like to include at least a small unit in all of my lists. At best they see a special weapon or squad leader off the board, at worst they usually manage to at least temporarily deny a good cover location for a couple turns.

The bike squad is the heavy hitter here. Although I've used them less than I'd like to admit their stats and load out at least appear solid on paper.

List 2:
Captain (Artificer Armour)
9 Tactical Marines (Rhino, Meltagun)
4 Bikes (Melta Bomb)
5 Scouts + Telion (Camo Cloaks, Sniper Rifles, Missile Launcher)

This list sees the captain join the tactical marines(Taking 1 from the squad), loses the grav gun and instead include Telion. He has proven to be a valuable addition in the past and he provides a lot of survivability to the scout squad. His ability to pass off his BS to the Missile Launcher usually ensures the missile will go where it's needed.

List 3:
Captain (Artificer Armour)
9 Tactical Marines (Rhino)
5 Scouts (Camo Cloaks, Sniper Rifles)
5 Assault Marines (Flamer or Melta Bomb)
3 Bikes (Melta Bomb, Flamer)

This list appears to be pretty versatile overall. The bike squad becomes more of a rapid response team (using the flamer or melta bomb as needed) and the assault marines would likely deep strike as close as possible to a unit of fire warriors (Unsure if a melta bomb or flamer would be the safer bet here?).

List 4:
Captain (Artificer Armour)
9 Tactical Marines (Rhino)
5 Scouts (Camo Cloaks, Sniper Rifles)
6 Devastator Marines (4 Lascannons)

This list is closer to what I usually run. Typically the variations are trading the Devastators weapons based on my opponent and moving the points to either the Captain or moving more around to fit Telion in. My main issue with this list though is that it typically has a dig-in and shoot plan which usually works well enough, they have the weapons and armor to pull it off. But to me this sounds like a bad plan against Tau. However on the off chance I am missing something important I'm including it as an option.

So these are my current contenders but I can't really decide what would be the best choice, each list has it's merits but my lack of experience against Tau doesn't help. I can give more specific points to the other lists if needed.

Thanks in advance to anyone that responds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hey everyone. Finished the game with List 3 today and things went pretty well.

Quick breakdown by unit:
Scouts:
They managed to get a suitable firing position but the commander he had was Darkstrider not Shadowsun so he had firewarriors which I originally thought were out of range suddenly getting scout and being very much in range, this coupled with the fact that the squad of fire warriors ended up being entirely equipped with Carbines saw the scout squad wiped first turn.

Assault squad:
fared much better, I made a bit of a gamble on their drop location which ended up paying off as it saw them hidden when they landed but able to charge his pulse rifle fire warriors regardless of where they went. The resulting close combat went pretty much exactly as you’d expect.

Bikes:
Darkstrider and his carbine fire warriors ended up exchanging fire with the bikes but in the end and it was a single bike and Darkstrider remaining. Had he not been lowering their toughness the exchange would've went better but regardless they bikes did pretty well overall.

Tactical Squad + Captain:
This squad did well enough, the Rhino took a couple glancing hits which saw it immobilized and my repair rolls were not in my favor. They ended up disembarking into the combined fire of a pair of Crisis Suits and a piranha. They held their ground but had the game continued any longer their lack of anything but bolters would have likely seen them dead.

Main things I took away from all this:
Sniper scouts without Telion or a techmarine (or better yet both) are just not effective against Tau, Had they got the option to shot they might’ve been more effective but even in a good position a unit of 5 would’ve been hard pressed to cause any significant damage.

The Ultramarines chapter tactics are useful but in the future I may chose something else unless the list contains 1 unit of assault, tactical and devastator marines. The benefits it provided while helpful were situational and since the last turn is never a guaranteed time away it felt like I needed to use them in more of a hurry than I would've liked.

While trying to out shoot the Tau wouldn’t be a good choice in the future I will pick my ranged exchanges more carefully. The Tau’s range almost all around is impressive but I may be more inclined to use my marines in a more reactive way. While I wouldn’t have wanted to allow the Tau to become too entrenched I will likely exercise more tactical restraint against them in the future. After the battle I distinctly remember a piece of writing referring to the Space Marines as more of a surgical knife than a hammer. They can certainly take a hit and respond but I will certainly pay closer attention to when I should sit back in defense while taking a few shots and when I should attack.

Overall I enjoyed the game and the list showed some strengths and weaknesses of the marines in a better clarity. Much thanks again to anyone who responded and helped with the list.
 

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hey man, glad to hear you learned something from that game :)

I'd say that VS Tau, a good solution is melee

3 units of 5 Scouts with shotguns and meltabombs are going to make him cry in 3 Landspeeders, with support from a sniper squad.

A rhino and 9 marines doesnt have the melee strenght to bust a tau gunline nor the bodies to withstand a sustained fire. You should MSU them.
5 marines, flamer,power maul, rhino
5 marines, flamer,power maul, rhino
5 marines, flamer,power maul, rhino
5 marines, flamer,power maul, rhino

this is a list your tau friend could hate, imo.
 
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