Well, I'd say the most dangerous are the Riptides, but they'll take solid effort to kill off.
In my theory, I'd eliminate as many targets as fast as possible (dangerous squishy stuff first), followed by the scoring stuff that can actually win the game, rather than focus on the most problematic first.
That leaves less stuff to shoot you while you're trying to deal with the harder to kill units, and you can focus more attention on killing stuff at the end without worrying about what Scoring units are doing.Broadsides
are probably going squarely at the top of the list. They're super simple to shut down and kill off, but they can cause mass devastation if left unchecked.Hammerhead Gunships
are....generally underwhelming in my book. They have MASSIVE range, and a MASSIVELY powerful single shot weapon with a couple completely unrelated (in usage) secondary weapons, so in the end I don't find that to be too much of a bigger threat than a Devastator squad with a Lascannon and a couple Heavy Bolters.A Hammerhead Gunship with Longstrike
(the Tau tank commander), on the other hand....HOLY CRAP!!!
KILL IT WITH FIRE!!!
Longstrike grants his Hammerhead BS5, the ability to Overwatch with his tank, and the ability to use the Tau's almost universal special rule - Supporting Fire (see fine print).
I foresee Longstrike being taken pretty universally with the first Hammerhead in every Tau army list. To me, Longstrike makes the difference between the tank being really sub-par, and it being a really legit pain in the ass.Supporting Fire - Basically the PERFECT Ultramarines or Tactical/Devastator Squad special rule, IMO...
It allows every Tau unit that has Supporting Fire within (6"?....12"?) of a Tau unit that is the target of an enemy melee charge, to fire Overwatch at the charging enemy unit as if they themselves were being charged. A unit with Suppoting Fire can fire Overwatch again and again to support squads getting charged, just never against the same enemy unit more than once per turn. So if you make the mistake of charging Firewarriors while a whole squad of Gun Drones and a Riptide are right next to them, you're going to get a whole mess of Twin-Linked S5 BS1 shots, and maybe several S7 AP2 ones, fired at you. And if Longstrike is sitting there, you'll be getting a BS1 Hammerhead firing at you too....for EVERY TAU UNIT YOU CHARGE in range of these Fire Support units....
Oh, and Tau also have access to Battlesuit systems that allow them to upgrade their Overwatch to BS2, so it's possible to run into stuff like Broadside Teams or Riptides that will Supporting Fire you with a mountain of shots every time you charge their buddies, and actually hit enough to do a fair chunk of damage to your units..... It's almost like the Tau can invoke whole extra shooting phases for themselves if their enemy has enough melee units. Outside of a very specific Necron prank, this is the first time I've ever thought of Overwatch as a significant part of the game.Riptides
are super destructive, and can reach out and touch basically the whole board. They're also super hard to kill. Honestly, I think these things make Land Raiders look like a complete joke.
As much time and frustration as our opponents waste trying to blow up our Land Raiders, I think we'd be wasting similarly vital amounts of time and firepower trying to take down a Riptide that we can't easily nab in melee.
True, you can instantly tie them up if you can catch them in melee, but given the distance they can operate from and the fact that they can become extra-fast Jet Pack units, I think we could end up wasting a lot of time chasing them around the board attempting to reach charge range.
A Tau player good at kiting with Riptides could be a nightmare for everything from horde armies to Terminator armies.
So, DEFINITELY charge them if you have the opportunity, but I can see wasting all your time on it as a distraction that could easily lose you the game.Kroot
come in massive blobs of up to like...33? Kroot of various types now. I think the maxed-out squad is 20 Kroot, 10 Kroot Hounds, and 3 Krootox Riders.
They basically have Bolters (or Sniper Rifles if upgraded), so could do a fair bit of damage to our Marines if ignored, but they're SUPER squishy. I think they're T3 SV6+, so easier to kill than IG if they're not using the Stealth(Jungle) to get a half-decent Cover Save.
You can probably just devastate a Kroot Squad with whatever you happen to have laying around. A Tactical Squad or two passing by with Flamers will probably leave them effectively useless.
Since they're a fairly mobile (Fleet and Move Through Cover, I think?) Troops choice, you should probably take a second to blow them to hell and avoid risking them racing to objectives late in the game.Firewarriors
have Armor Saves that actually count for something! Their Pulse Rifles are S5 Rapidfire, and have a nice long 30" range (if only Marines or Necrons had such a magnificent range on their base weapons....). That makes them a fair nuisance. They're not super easy to kill, and they can just run away and stay out of range of most of our guns while remaining comfortably able to shoot us with shots that will wound Marines on a 3+....
More worryingly though, they have EMP Grenades (Haywire Grenades).
If a Firewarrior team gets within 8" of ANY of your vehicles, expect them to die.
12 Haywire Grenades is just....brutal. That's an average of 2.6 Glancing Hits and 2.6 Penetrating hits without effort in the shooting phase....and if your vehicle survives they can just charge it and cause 2.6 Glancing Hits and 2.6 Penetrating Hits in melee.
Kill them DEAD.
For the sake of your vehicles and to take away the Tau army's objective-capturing Troops.Pathfinders
are like better Kroot...except they're not Troops. They have 5+ saves (i.e. no saves), they're fairly mobile, and they can pack some decent firepower.
I don't think of them as especially dangerous. With their limited access to Rail Rifles and Ion Rifles, I see them, at worst, as being a threat to Independent Characters that are on their own. I'm not sure if they have EMP Grenades or not. If they do, keep them away from your vehicles.MY TARGET PRIORITY ORDER:
- Broadsides - get them in melee ASAP to render them useless and then kill them (they're just T4 with a 2+ Save) and move on.
- Riptides - Only if you can get into melee with it, if you've really got nothing else important to shoot, if you happen to have a super-handy opportunity pop up, or if you're REALLY sure you can blast through T6 W5 2+/5++ (Potentially 2+/3++/5+++) and two 4++Save Missile Drones.
If you don't kill it or lock it in combat, that's more or less a wasted effort, because it can go right back to devastating stuff just as deadly as before you shot it.
Melee really is the only sane way to deal with Riptides, IMO.
- Sun Shark Bomber & Razorshark Strike Fighter - They can be a hazard to our Flyers, and they have a fairly decent array of weapons. If you have decent Skyfire weapons, these things should be fairly simple to shoot down.
- Sky Ray Missile Defense Gunship - Can be a hazard to our Flyers (and anything that doesn't like getting hit with S8 AP3), and they provide the rest of the Tau army with numerous Seeker Missiles for their Marker Lights. They have paper-thin rear armor. If you can Drop Pod/Deep Strike a squad of any sort behind a Sky Ray, you should have an easy time being rid of it.
- O'Shovah "Commander Farsight" and his Farsight Enclaves Crisis Bodyguard team - O'Shovah is a fairly deadly melee unit, and his Bodyguard Team consists of 7 Crisis suits instead of 2.... That's potentially a TON of Plasma Rifles (24" S6 AP2 Rapid-Fire), Fusion Blasters (18" Meltagun), Burst Cannons (18" S5 AP5 Assault 4), and/or Missile Pods (36" S7 AP4 Heavy2) running amoke on the board. If it were me, that would be a swarm of Plasma Rifles and Fusion Blasters to just mow down heavy infantry and tanks like crazy, and...well....that's everything we have as Space Marines. This squad is huge and can make a real mess, but they're still just T4 with a 3+ Save, so take the time to murder this glorified Space Marine special weapons team into oblivion...before it murders you.
- Longstrike's Hammerhead
- Ethereals - They're pretty squishy, and they give buffs to a big bubble of Tau. Should be able to wipe them out and get rid of those buffs pretty easily.
- Crisis Commander/Bodyguard Team - Glorified Crisis Team.
- Crisis Teams - They're really just glorified Space Marines with fairly good guns and mobility. Kill them dead just to remove the nuisance. Shouldn't take too long.
- Stealth Teams - They're like....mobile Heavy Bolter Marines with Scout abilities, and they can take 18" Meltaguns... They can be decently dangerous if left unchecked.
The following I regard as equal priority :
- Riptides - ones you have to waste time chasing down. (If I were a Tau player, my Riptides would always be perched on the tallest buildings and make you climb up to get in melee range of it, on something tall behind Difficult/Dangerous Terrain that the Riptide can just shoot over, or far away in an area of the board that's completely out of my opponent's way where nothing else is going on, etc. Or I'd just kite enemy units as they attempted to get in range.)
- Hammerhead Gunships - Less dangerous than a full-Lascannon Predator Annihilator (cheaper too though) *shrug*
- Drone Squadrons - I see them as potentially an annoying Fire Support unit that just hangs around providing a load of Overwatch to Tau units nearby. Lots of Twin-Linked S5 shots gives them a reasonable chance to do some actual Overwatch damage.
The following I regard as the least important:
- Sniper Drone Team - Meh. 1-3 Tau and 2-6 Sniper Drones. Not particularly dangerous.
- Vespids - They're super mobile and have good-ish guns. That's about it.
- Piranah Squadrons - They're like Land Speeders with 2 Heavy Bolters. *shrug* I suppose they might be more deadly than I give them credit for, but I think it'd be a waste of your vehicle killing power to prioritse these over anything else.
- Devilfish - If it's JUST a Devilfish, then it's basically a glorified Piranah. If it's full of Firewarriors or Pathfinder, see above.
I can't think of anything else
1. Fire Warriors.
What are the Tau troop choices? I can see alot of troop light Tau armies coming out, with all these fancy gubbinz. Considering most Tau armies were troop light before in the last codex. Kill the Fire Warriors, hold an objective.
Just Firewarriors and Kroot, unless I'm forgetting something.
Edited by The Emperor's Champion, 08 April 2013 - 05:33 PM.