Friday, March 6, 2015

The Tau Empire- Missions are changing the units we use!

Here's a few of the highlights of the various power builds:

The Farsun Bomb:  Essentially a Swarm of Drones surrounding a crazy amount of firepower with the ability to target lock different targets.  Think of the Death Blossom attack from The Last Star Fighter. If you don't know that movie, stop reading, go watch it and come back when you have your geek card back.  This list came out almost right away, was the toast of the smugites (those who believe they've found the fountain of youth or something similarly momentous and have to get it on Youtube like yesterday to claim credit and proclaim their genius).

Triple Tide:  In reality this has been carried even to 5 Riptides in lists before 7th Edition allowed even more!  But the Triple Tide list is the one that is most familiar and our generic name for the type of list.  This list was accompanied often with Pathfinders to help them find their marks, and sometimes bubble wrapping Kroot with Sniper Rifles to help weaken the one thing a Riptide most definitely does not want to see nearby:  other Monstrous Creatures!

Buffmanders+ Missileside:  the ability to give every Drone BS 5, plus allowing everyone to re-roll misses and granting the Ignores Cover USR for the entire unit makes the damage output of this unit stupendous.  With the Velocity Tracker on board, this unit literally just takes almost anything out.  Two units of them may well completely stop an enemy advance.  The vulnerable units can even be shielded from Psychic attacks if you ally in the Farsight Riptide with its Talisman for anti-Psyker goodness.  Three units of these is around 900 points before you had the Commanders but it impressive and notably hard to approach or kill.

Fire Warrior Spam + Ethereal and Fireblades.  Multiple Detachments allow you an unlimited supply of Fireblades.  A Tau Fire Warrior unit that belts out 4 shots per figure is nothing short of amazing and Supporting Fire makes it a hedgehog that can annihilate a lot of assault threats before they move a muscle.  Added to this list is the important Marker Drone Swarm, which can, when added to a Buffmander, mean maybe 4 marker light hits on the incoming target before Overwatch...

Fish of Fury:  Dead for a while but now fully in effect again.  Jinking with Disruption pods has made these hulls extremely hearty and capable of delivering and protecting a large number of Fire Warriors who fight in many ways like the new Necrons can now.

These builds are the bedrock upon which Tau Empire tournament success has been achieved by various Generals.  All rely on the basic tenet that has always been the Tau Empire mantra:  don't hold ground.  Weaken the enemy, retreat to draw them in and finish crushing them.  This formula of attacking, fading and attacking again can be frustrating for those who never embraced speed as a weapon.  Obviously faster armies do deal better with the Tau empire if they gun line and we've said repeatedly not to gun line.

Now that Maelstrom is a part of the 40K landscape, and is included in Bay Are Open missions which are also used at the Las Vegas Open as well as others, you are seeing FAR more mobility options showing up in peoples armies.  Flying creatures and vehicles of all types have taken preeminence in the 40K universe.  So it makes sense that the power of the Tau Empire is now being curbed not by its codex NOR the other codex's.  The reason its power has been curbed is simply put, enemy Generals are finally forced by the missions to take more types of units than they ever did previously.

In other words, all of the things that we have preached in this blog and that have in some cases not been appreciated, are now suddenly being seen in a different light.  The missions have done what no amount of banging your head against a wall could have.  I could have explained all day the value of Stealthsuits and been met with nothing but resistance.  Now, people are recognizing the threat of Infiltrating Stealth+Shrouded fire hoses that can kill tanks and be where they need to be at games end to snag an objective from enemy control!  Suddenly their deployment options are being seen as more valuable.

Similarly, I have now seen some people catching on to the magic of Firesight Marksman, a unit I can say with surety based on my search for used Sniper Drones, wasnt being used.  It's not that no one read the codex.  It's that they didn't read ti with the same filter.

Even Pathfinders, long seen as marker light caddies are finally starting to be seen for the nasty sting they can bring and I've seen at least two Generals recently start to take my advice on their offensive capabilities instead of their support role.

I think this is good for the game, and its extending to many other codex's.  Unused and unboxed models are seeping into the meta and while they may still represent a relatively minute part of it, progress is progress.  Take it where you can get it.  I suspect more and more of these unsung units will pop up in games here and there, so be ready to face a meta that may include things as crazy as Stingwings some day!  I own 27 of them myself.

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