Franco’s Foc’d Up 40K – Tau Deployment part 2

23 Oct

Tau Deployment: Spearhead

So this week let’s get table quarters out of the way before I move onto the win win situation of Dawn of War next. Table quarters is not a bad deal for Tau really, on first glance. However, a couple of things can make it a bit of a stress fest. The table can make a massive difference here, and in general you should avoid playing on any tables which are circular, as often your opponent will simply spin the table around rapidly which will cause your models to fly off the side and lose you the game pretty quickly. Very tall tables should also be avoided, as they can make for a difficult set-up if, like Dave Symcox, you’re a dwarf. These kinds of rules can be applied to any army really, so for all you non-Tau players we’ll just call that one a freebie. You’re welcome.  Moving on…

Terrain can make a huge difference to a spearhead deployment, so it’s worth mentioning some basic rules here. Obviously if you get first turn you want to give your opponent the quarter which gives him the least amount to hide behind. Cover for you isn’t really important, as your kroot will be providing that and any vehicles you have shouldn’t need it (disruption pods), so it’s more about denying the enemy and setting yourself up in a good position with clear lines of sight. Objectives should be considered, but remember what I said last week: concentrate on simply killing things and surviving the attack first of all, then get the objectives. Have a look below to see how we’ve set-up this week. I’ve used the same armies as last week to keep things nice and simple, and because I’m lazy.

So the quarter we’ve given the space pups to set up in has some cover, but not much in the way of los blocking cover, and that’s the important bit. It also allows us to take advantage of the woods in our quarter for the kroot, and gives the broadsides a building to shoot out of for a bit of height. Due to the narrow set-up zone he has been able to hide all of his long fangs, which is bad news, but you can still see the razorbacks (albeit in cover) and taking care of those STR9 AP2 shots should be a priority anyway.

The piranhas have set up on the line as usual, and will of course boost forward and form a wall in front of his transports in turn 1. The crisis suits are slightly back from the line and have half of their unit behind the kroot just in case he steals the initiative – you’ll likely still die to massed missiles but at least you can get cover. In turn 1 they will hop forward and hopefully shoot at some long fangs once one of those los blocking rhinos has died. The broadsides are back and spread out to give clear views of the field. It’s also worth noting that as the wolves advance your army will fall back to this position and the broadsides will move in tighter, so that when he hits your lines you can bring all your plasma to bear. The kroot have formed a line, making sure they’re getting at least half their cover save from the woods, and will advance slightly after the crisis have hopped forward. When the crisis suits hop back they should land in between both lines. The original plan for the devilfish would have been to use its scout move to drop the pathfinders off in the ruins just out with our deployment zone and then will move back in preparation to either pick up some firewarriors moving in from reserve or block as necessary. However, with the presence of thunderwolf cav nearby those pathfinders will instead just be getting out and moving behind the kroot line. Hopefully they will still be in range to wipe out some long fang cover saves.

The army will continue to retreat each turn in the face of advancing wolves and group up around the building to bring the close range defence into action once they hit the lines. It will be difficult to keep your crisis alive in the range of so many rockets, but don’t be afraid to go to ground with them as long as you’ll have time to get up again before the assault on your line begins.

On to if you set up second. Like pitched battle, setting up second might not that bad a thing in spearhead. A lot of that depends on the table really, because terrain can offer some real advantages to having your pick of corners. That’s why I haven’t recommended either in this instance (unlike last week) because it’s really just a judgement call at the time, you need to think on your feet, which is why Dave will never play Tau.

So the big bad wolf has not given us the best of corners to hide in, mainly because there is nothing to hide behind. So we’ve cornered up as best we can in order to stay out of range of his long fangs with all our heavy hitters, which will force him to move forward with everything or shoot at the piranhas (which is more likely). The piranhas themselves cannot get out of range because there’s not enough room back there, so we assume the rhinos will boost forward 12” in his turn 1 and have set up in a position to both block and be in range with our melta shots. The piranhas may not survive turn 1 but if they do then that’s the plan. The kroot lines are really far back as well, but close enough for the long fangs to shoot at once the piranhas are gone, because 2+ cover save kroot love that, even 3+ cover save kroot don’t mind it too much. It means (if they take the bait) that the long fangs won’t be moving forward to get a shot on your suits, and that’s great news. The devilfish will head north in the scout move and drop off the pathfinders in the ruins. They will be in range of the long fangs as well so, like I said last time, if they get shot at and you won’t be rapid fire plasma-ing anything next turn then don’t be afraid to go to ground with them. The firewarriors are in reserve as per usual.

The one advantage you have in this corner is the fact that there is a big open area in front of your gunline. So anything that makes it beyond the woods and wipes out the kroot won’t be getting any cover saves and will be getting decimated by plasma at close range. Look for this kind of area when you’re deploying yourself. Ideally you want it like the above – some area terrain to hide stuff in up front, then a big open area behind this which you can fill with nastiness. If your pathfinders are still alive when he breaks through both lines of kroot you could easily be looking at shooting 20 plasma shots, all hitting on 2s and killing on 2s…

So that’s it from me this week. If anything isn’t clear or I’m just talking out of my bumhole then let me know in the comments below. Next time we’ll deal with my favourite deployment type with the Tau – Dawn of War.

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