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hello everyone
im getting rdy to play my first game back in about two years of 40k. i play sm and i got a game against a decent tau player. it'll be a 1500 and i will be bringing lots of assault marines, a few tac squads, some dreads and i always liked to bring lots of HQ choices. the tau player's whole army is shooty. not sure the name of everything but there will be suits about 3 tanks and everything else that shoots. basically before i go and get shot up i'd like to know if there's any good tactics i dont know about for what i've got and what i'm going up against.
thanks
 

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Charge into combat ASAP! don't get into gun fights when your opponent has a railgun.
 

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Tau are very shooty and their vehicles are pretty hardy, being well armored skimmers. The suits will do some annoying movement tactics, since they can jump-shoot-jump and will likely outrange your marines. Send the Dreds and devastators after the tanks and get those jump troops into the Tau lines as soon as you possibly can. Pay attention to when you will likely win combat, too. You don't want to finish them off on your turn, you want all melee to last an even number of turns, charge on yours, finish them off on his unless you can move directly into another unit. Don't be afraid to 'pull' your charges a little if you need to to make sure that there are leftovers, Tau are absolutely piss poor at HtH. Unless it's a Crisis Suit it probably won't matter if they hit you. The reason for this is that you do not want to be stuck out in the open with a squad of fire warriors raining death upon you because you killed their buddies during his shooting phase. Anyhow, I hope it helps.
 

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Aim for the hammerheads. They will kill you the most. Ignore the Dfish Squads, Tau pulse will not hurt you.

Trust me.. tau is reliant on the heavy tanks. You take them down, then they will die.
 

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Imperialtrader...that's just simply not true. Pulse rifles are the biggest threat to Space Marines in the Tau arsenal, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Anything that wounds you on a 3+ is a serious problem, even if you get your armour save. It comes in enough volume that you're going to be taking quite a few of them, too.

The Tau are, in my opinion, rather hard to beat if there's an even halfway competent player at the other end of the table. The main weakness of the Tau army is, obviously, close combat. That being said, it's very easy to keep Tau out of combat. Devilfish models are such that you won't be able to assault around them in a single turn, so you'll take a lot of rapid-fire pulse rifles, and more often than not, twelve fire warriors can pull down the one or two Space Marines who manage to survive the torrents of fire that get poured into the nearest melee threats.

Plasma rifles for the Tau don't get hot either, and they're very inexpensive, so you'll be seeing a fair number of them. Crisis suits typically mount the "Fireknife" configuration, which has a missile rack (which is the Tau equivalent of an autocannon) and a plasma gun. Crisis teams armed as such will jump out to rapid-fire your squads closest to being in melee range, and then leap back OUT OF YOUR POSSIBLE CHARGE RANGE IN THE SUBSEQUENT TURN. You will be very hard pressed to engage Crisis teams in close combat, so you're going to have to shoot them.

The trick for fighting the Tau is to be aggressive. If you present more immediate threats than they can counter, you can eventually get some depleted squads into combat. You'll take monstrous casualties on the way in, but if there's no obvious target for them to engage first (i.e., you don't go after the Tau in waves with assault squads first, followed up by mounted units, and then the third wave of tactical squads and foot-slogging Command squads) you should be okay.

It may sound utterly insane, but Space Marines CAN put up a rather good firefight with Tau if the army isn't loaded with Crisis suits, Stealth Teams, and Devilfish-mounted squads that are positioned in a manner that they're impossible to assault due to game mechanics. A traditional firing line, which occasionally does turn up, can be countered by your own firing line of Tactical Squads. Statistically, interestingly enough, a Tactical Squad has a slight edge over a Fire Warrior team in a firefight. Tau hit on 4+ and wound Space Marines on 3+, while you have a 3+ armor save. Space Marines hit on a 3+ and wound Tau on a 3+, and they have a 4+ armor save. The numbers are slightly in your favor there-- but be aware that there are more fire warriors, and thus more shots coming your way. If there are static units of Fire Warriors in a traditional firing line, high-volume AP4 weapons work wonders-- heavy bolters and assault cannons are excellent tools for fighting the Tau.

Your armour is forfeit against the Tau-- you might have brought it with a purpose in mind, but the railguns on the hammerheads and Broadsides, combined with the rather surprising array of other anti-tank weapons the Tau can muster (Pirhanas with fusion blasters, and the all-rounder fireknife Crisis Suit) will make mincemeat of it. It's better to position it to provide cover for your advancing infantry in the form of wrecks. If you can shoot with it, that's great, but your overwhelming objective is going to be to deliver infantry to fight in close quarters in whichever manner you prefer.

Incidentally, ignore the broadsides. They're always deployed in the backfield and you're going to have enough trouble getting to the front lines of the Tau army. Their 2+ armour and the inevitable shield drones that accompany them make them an extremely tough nut to crack, so it's better to just let them do their damage and focus on threats you can actually neutralize.
 

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i am not very expirienced but assault squads with melta bombs arent they deadly? :S
 

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Assault squads have access to meltabombs, and occasionally, they're a useful tool. Against Tau, however, not so much. It takes a 6 to hit a skimmer in close combat, so it's more effective to shoot them down if you can rather than try to bring them down with a meltabomb. For the Tau, assault squads are primary targets, and a little care has to be used to ensure that at least a few of the Astartes make it into contact. Having them get out of cover or move out from behind cover in order to assault a vehicle really exposes them to more fire than is ideal most of the time. I'd only do it if you can make sure that the downed vehicle will obscure the squad from the Tau line of sight in the subsequent shooting phase-- ideally, you need a sergeant with a power fist throwing his attacks in addition to the squad's meltabombs for that to have an even decent chance of success.

That being said, if you can assault a Devilfish or something and get the extra movement out of the charge, even if you can't hurt the thing, you probably ought to if it'll bring you closer to the main Tau lines without seperating the squad too much from the rest of your charging lines.
 

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CC is the ultimate downside to the Tau. Apart from that, played well they are a hard army and in the hands of a decent player, very brutal to play against. Concentrate on getting into h2h and base your tactics on that because otherwise you are in for it.
 

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and remember, if depending on what you go after the crisis suits they can make you chase them (one of my favorite techniques) then i lead em right into a line of firewarriors. and if you will face fire knives, remember if his suits get into 12" you will be facing rapid fire ap3 shots that have a damn good chance of wounding.

also remember that tau are going to be trying to concentrate fire so like was said before present some extra targets.

i feel like Benedict Arnold now giving out advice on how to kill my own army
 

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Discussion Starter #10
how about this list i tought up. trait advantages are honour your wargear and see but dont be seen. take a command squad w/ hq and give them infiltrate, tac squad w/ see but dont be seen, devestator squad w/ honour your wargear, and a scout squad. that makes 4 infiltrating squads, then couple it with 2 full assault squads and a deepstricking dread. think i could get into
h2h and do well with this setup
 

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Tau are one of the armies that I play against the most, and the best thing I can offer is taking a Librarian Epistolary in terminator armour with fear of the darkness and deepstriking, or drop poding him, into the enemy lines. When I last used this combo, half the Tau army fled off the table in second turn! But I have always been lucky with my scatter dice so you may want to consider the drop pod so he doesn't die. Could also try tigrus in a drop pod with command squad and fear for the double range. After all, tau are Ld 7-8 on average so with a -2 their not likely to hang around for very long.
 

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If we could still use the old chaos codex just declare yourself Alpha legion and start 12' away and behind cover, or 16' away for your entire army of footsloggers. :p
 

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If we could still use the old chaos codex just declare yourself Alpha legion and start 12' away and behind cover, or 16' away for your entire army of footsloggers. :p

I used to use an infiltrator-heavy (and by heavy, I mean everyone in the army had the skill) army-- I just used the Alpha Legion rules with my Black Legionnaires since it was dumb to pay more points when I wasn't using any of the advantages playing Black Legion entailed. Anyway, infiltrating was a bad idea. You just get pasted in the first round of shooting. It's very difficult to get 12'' away with infiltrators, as well, since they have to be out of line of sight. Every time I tried to infiltrate and get up close to the firing line, I just got shredded by pulse rifles and Fireknife crisis suits.
 
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