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New Army: Help with Lore and Tactics


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#1
General Strike

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So, I recently traded for a very large and unpainted Tau army. I wanted to try something different from Power Armor for once.

I have read a ton of Tau lore in the past week, including the Codex, the wikis, and listened to several Tau Lore videos on youtube. It doesn't seem like a whole lot exists, which makes sense given how small and young of a race the Tau are.


I'm unsure of how to create inside of the space the Tau give me. With space marines it's easy, basically choose a trope/culture/animal/theme and grow it around that. How can I create a Tau armies lora, my characters and Sept.

Edited by General Strike, 14 October 2019 - 02:17 AM.

  • mithrilforge likes this

#2
Captain_Krash

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Serious statement...

 

What can't you build?

 

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#3
General Strike

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I know I now have the vast majority of Tau units. But I haven't played Tau and wasn't sure what a good place to start with all this is?

#4
mithrilforge

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That's one hell of a good trade, you got most units you can use..well the kroot are take em or leave em whistlingW.gif  (but o.k in friendly games)

what kind of force were you thinking of running competitive?,friendly?...just rule of cool games where you don't care if you win or lose but just have fun?...

 

is it all grey plastic or painted?...

 

Cheers, Mithril


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#5
General Strike

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So, some of it is primed black, some of it, mostly the strike teams and devilfish, are painted really poorly in bright yellow, and the rest of it is bare plastic. I haven't decided on a color scheme, but I'm fairly sure it won't be bright yellow.

I was hoping to build a list that will help show the ropes for Tau. I've never played them or really even watched them be played in 8th edition.


Yeah, I got a really good deal on the trade, about 3k points in Ultramarine Primaris, a Chaos Rhino, 20 old rubrics, and a can of Corax White, for all this. And this is just the immediately useable stuff, there are some old crisis suits and broadsides that need some hard TLC that I can save down the line.

Edited by General Strike, 12 October 2019 - 01:21 PM.


#6
Exilyth

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T'au are constantly evolving, innovating and expanding. On the other hand, their caste system is very rigid.

So, aside from changing the caste system, anything goes as long as it serves the goals/will of the ethereals (read: higher good).

 

 

 

As for playing them:

Generally speaking, T'au are shooty, mostly long range. Their Infantry is a bit squishy, battlesuits a bit more resilient.

T'au tend to augment their medium BS with markerlights and use drones as bodyguards (via savior protocols).

Their great weaknesses are the lack of psykers (no cast/deny) and the meelee phase (with some exceptions).

 

 

If I was starting T'au, I'd go with a small low points army picked from one of

  • all infantry: a few squads of firewarriors (maybe w/DS8 turrets) supported/lead by an ethereal (buffs morale & provides other buffs) and/or cadre fireblade (gives extra shots for pulse weapons), maybe a squad of pathfinders w/special weapons (can also bring interesting support drones) and/or a squad of breachers in a devilfish. Such an army would be more of a horde and gunline-like (except for the devilfish & transported squad ofc.). It can also be a cheap battalion.
  • all suits: a commander leading crisis suit squads, maybe a unit of drones (as ablative wounds) or two and/or a larger suit (e.g. vx88 broadside or vx95 ghostkeel). Such an army would be more elite and could be somewhat more mobile.

 

Most T'au lists I know of use a combined arms approach (infantry + suits).

Aside from devilfishes, vehicles/tanks seem to be more of a rare sight this edition.

 

 

Did I mention drones yet? They're good I hear.

 

 

edit:

The big question lorewise is: Farsight Enclaves or T'au empire?

Farsight Enclaves are a bit non-conformist to say the least.


Edited by Exilyth, 20 October 2019 - 06:41 PM.

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#7
Trevak Dal

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At their core, the Firecaste are hunters more than anything else.

Before the glut of stuff that came out (I started playing Tau as my first army in 5th edition, when I started the hobby), I sort of came up with the idea somewhere between the Yajuta (Predators race) and the Hirogen (Star Trek Voyager Predator knock off race) combined with elements of the Sanghelli from the Halo series.

They were a part of the Enclaves, but went "more extreme" seeking out Space Marines as "the most dangerous prey" (I got space marine helmets and dread parts on my crisis suit bases).

As their trial of fire (rank up ritual, every four years, progressing from shas'la to shas'ui etc) is to hunt an apex predator which I pictured to be something like a giant archaeopteryx, capture it alive and take a feather from its tail, releasing it alive.

Feathers are their bonding knife mark.

"Our Turn" - Centurion Khârn.

 


#8
Trevak Dal

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I wouldn't bother with the turrets. If you ever move your guys, you lose the turret. They aren't very expensive but that is points spent.

On firewarriors, it's best to stick with pulse rifles instead of carbines, now the Breachers got some interesting play about them, because they have an awesome shotgun type weapon, but requires you to get close, which you got to be careful about that with Tau, because you don't have psychic defense or ability, and you are going to be hitting on 5s in combat.

"Our Turn" - Centurion Khârn.

 


#9
Messor

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If it's any help as a reference, here is the fluff I established for my own Tau: http://www.bolterand...fire-coalition/

I sympathize with you on the comparative lack of cultural exposition we have; it can make them challenging to relate to and create for. I'd also suggest referring to these Sept creation tables if you haven't seen them yet. A good route might be to choose a unit/unit type that your force will be centered around, and build thematic lore around that. For example, if you're planning to roll with a lot of fire warriors, then maybe it's a Sept with a very classical martial tradition that puts a lot of emphasis on the comradery born from fire teams, or if the army is really driven by stealth suits or pathfinders, their background would be very contrasting with the previous example.


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#10
chapter master 454

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Tau comprise of 5 castes; Air, Water, Fire, Earth and Etheral.

 

Water Caste are the diplomats and merchants of the Empire, these are the ones who talk to other races regarding joining the tau empire and negotiating trade deals and the like. Very often the first face any race will see of the Tau Empire (and of the Tau race itself). If I remember right, they are sleek and smooth in appearance and have a natural charisma befitting of such position.

 

Air Caste are the pilots of the many aircraft of the Tau Empire. Be it Zero-G or atmospheric, these guys fly it. Their most notable trait is vestigial remains of their wings they once had back in their primitive state as they used to fly by their own ability. Very thin and tall, very brittle looking.

 

Earth Caste can be best described as Tau Dwarves. Shorter but sterner built than any other caste, these are the builders, scientists and engineers of Tau. Any gun, armour or battlesuit you see the tau use was created by an earth caste member. These are the ones you can thank for all them sweet battlesuits.

 

Fire Caste are the face of the Tau empire on the board as these are the warriors of the empire. From the humble Shas'la to the venerable Shas'O, you know what they look like thanks to the models and are the most warlike of all the castes being naturally more aggressive than the other castes and having the build for it.

 

Etheral Caste just showed up. Shrouded in mystery these figures just arrived one day, walked into cities, said "for the greater good" and everyone went "yup, sounds good" including even the war like Fire Caste. These are the ruling caste of the Empire and wield a potent level of control over other tau, whether they are Psykers of any kind is up for debate however personal conjecture is I lean in that they are Psykers but in the same scale that tau have warp presence which is near nothing.

 

Lore wise, born to a caste means you stick to it and do what you can for the empire. Always for the "greater good". Naturally we have more information on the fire caste than any other.

 

In terms of how they treat their own kind, there is a mixture of grim dark coupled with noble bright elements that I think if fleshed out better would create a very compelling race with an appealing outside but their deeper lore being just as sinister as the imperium. Generally, factions brought into the Empire are treated well however there are fringe cases where the darker elements show through, including on their own native race of Tau.

In regards to Gue'Vesa (humans who have defected to the greater good), this can be a bit of a mouthful to figure out fully. For what I am aware these individuals still get to worship the Emperor however as long as they keep pushing towards the greater good. The Tau often regard humans with a wide degree of emotions, fear and respect being chief among them. They see their ability for war as astonishing along with their weapons being primitive but just as lethal if not more than their own. For Gue'Vesa, they can take up roles within any caste of Tau society I believe with the obvious noting of them being in the military where they aren't forced to use old gear and are actively armed with Tau equipment.

 

 

In terms of gameplay, there are various routes to take. So lets put down some special mentions.

 

Coldstar Commanders. The mucho grande final word in what commander you want to take when going stock codex. Mobility unrivalled by anything that isn't a Flyer force org slot and the ballistic skill to back it up. Excellent to keep as pocket units ether for later in the game or if want to, the now fading from popularity fire and forget missiles that are quad fusion commanders. Never a bad choice, NEVER, and you often want to take triple battalion so you can indeed have 3 of these fly boys doing their thing.

 

Strike Teams. Love how people call these guys squishy when they have a 4+ armour save. Slap them in cover with their pulse rifles and unless some AP comes their way they have a 3+ save which is nothing to scoff at. They aren't brick walls but you may be surprised at how well they last when it gets down to it. Often taken in 5 mans with the sergeant having a markerlight for cheap and cheerful troop choices that just overall get work done.

 

Riptides. Riptides...what do I need to say? Take 3, watch them get work done and always keep shields up at all time when you can. Fast, shooty and tough as nails.

 

Pathfinders. Don't take them for markerlights, take them as special weapon teams as the rail rifles and ion rifles they can take often do a lot of work for the cost and considering these boys aren't too expensive, sometimes popping the surprise 6 rail rifle shots will get a reaction.

 

Cadre Fireblades. Take them, you don't have a choice but don't worry these guys are worth it if just for their Ballistic Skill paired with a markerlight and when enemies get close to strike teams with him around, suddenly the number of shots skyrockets!

 

 

For colour scheme, pick whichever colours you like. There are some set sept colours but Tau are notable in not sticking to it as much as marines or guardsmen with the only designator for sept being colour used for their squad markings (as far as I read/was aware). Talking of septs:

 

Vior'La if you want to get aggressive.

Bork'An is a bit more specialised but has applications, steer clear until more aware of how Tau works to learn why this sept can be good.

Dal'Yth. Want cover? Cool, here. Done. Simple and they also have a very powerful relic for commanders.

Sa'Cea. Leadership boost (...yea...such boost...such merit...). The main draw is the fact that every unit now gets 1 re-roll to hit which can be very useful for priority shots (like markerlights from the sergeants)

Far'Sight for those who love their lore but sadly terrible trait unless you go for specific loadouts that currently don'y do well. Pick them if you love them but remember, no etherals.

T'Au. When you charging is getting you down, 5+ on overwatch. The default go to for that reason and the fact they have the 2 best HQs in tau (darkstrider and longstrike).

 

 

Do you but there's my thoughts for you.


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I Chapter Master 454, Chapter Master of the Angels of Justice, Warboss of WAAAGH Gubskul, Commander of a Catachan Regiment, Phaeron of a Tomb World, Shas'O to a Cadre and Princeps of a lance of House Taranis hereby pledge that I will not take up any further models til all other prior have been fully built and painted to tabletop standards. There is no time limit for this task, there is no deadline. My oath is to solemnly complete the armies I have now, to see it that they can have their glory. Paint will be stripped from the old in need, thick may it be like ceramite I will see it removed so that plastic and metal alike may see light of new paint. Models yet to be, boxed and in darkness will be assembled with due care and attention. For this task I am permitted to still buy the supplies needed to do my task but not one model more.

http://www.bolterand...one-model-more/ the thread to my oath. My own reminder.

http://www.bolterand...rk-in-progress/ my own chapter
"The objective of playing a game is to win. The point of playing a game is to have fun. Never confuse the two"

 

 

 


#11
sfPanzer

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Toll add to the post above:

Strike Teams are considered squishy because in 40k even Marines are rather squishy even with their superior armour and Toughness. The only advantage Strike Teams have is that we could theoretically bring twice as many for the same points (nobody really does that though in serious games as our other toys are expensive enough as is).

Vior'la: The infantry guys
Bork'an: The long ranged guys
Dal'yth: Their free cover only applies as long as they don't move but eventually you'll have to move since 40k is an objektive based game
Sa'Cea: The only way to get a (1) markerlight on a Charakter keyword protected unit for your Sniper Drones
Farsight Enclaves: Can give a Crisis Suit unit +1 to hit the turn they arrive which is pretty strong. Also a cool lightsaber relic for your Commander
T'au: Main reason to take them is not the 5+ Overwatch. It's the +1 to wound Stratagem and the named characters (mainly Shadowsun)

Edited by sfPanzer, 04 November 2019 - 05:54 AM.

Disclaimer:

If my posts appear rude to you, I apologize. It's not meant to be rude in any way, it's just the way folks are in my country. It's really more about being direct than being rude. I know how it's perceived in the english speaking community and I already try to tone it down but I barely notice when it's too much since it's normal for me.


So yeah, I'm really not rude it's basically just cultural differences that act against me here. Again, I apologize.

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#12
chapter master 454

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SFpanzer, my friend would like to remind you that charging a riptide Tau castle is something you do not want to do.

 

Mortation learned that the hard way (something about 6 Smart Missiles and 3 Nova-Charged HBCs).

But yea, they are the Ultramarines of tau with characters with Longstrike and Darkstrider being the beasts to take though if you feel fruity I can see shadowsun being decent. 


I Chapter Master 454, Chapter Master of the Angels of Justice, Warboss of WAAAGH Gubskul, Commander of a Catachan Regiment, Phaeron of a Tomb World, Shas'O to a Cadre and Princeps of a lance of House Taranis hereby pledge that I will not take up any further models til all other prior have been fully built and painted to tabletop standards. There is no time limit for this task, there is no deadline. My oath is to solemnly complete the armies I have now, to see it that they can have their glory. Paint will be stripped from the old in need, thick may it be like ceramite I will see it removed so that plastic and metal alike may see light of new paint. Models yet to be, boxed and in darkness will be assembled with due care and attention. For this task I am permitted to still buy the supplies needed to do my task but not one model more.

http://www.bolterand...one-model-more/ the thread to my oath. My own reminder.

http://www.bolterand...rk-in-progress/ my own chapter
"The objective of playing a game is to win. The point of playing a game is to have fun. Never confuse the two"

 

 

 


#13
sfPanzer

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SFpanzer, my friend would like to remind you that charging a riptide Tau castle is something you do not want to do.

 

Mortation learned that the hard way (something about 6 Smart Missiles and 3 Nova-Charged HBCs).

But yea, they are the Ultramarines of tau with characters with Longstrike and Darkstrider being the beasts to take though if you feel fruity I can see shadowsun being decent. 

 

I didn't say it's not good. Just that it's not the main reason to use the T'au Sept rules.


Disclaimer:

If my posts appear rude to you, I apologize. It's not meant to be rude in any way, it's just the way folks are in my country. It's really more about being direct than being rude. I know how it's perceived in the english speaking community and I already try to tone it down but I barely notice when it's too much since it's normal for me.


So yeah, I'm really not rude it's basically just cultural differences that act against me here. Again, I apologize.

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