Franco’s Foc’d Up 40k: Tau Deployment Part III – Dawn of War by Franco Marrufo

23 Nov

So time to wind deployment up this week and talk about the final type from the core rules: Dawn of War. Next time I’ll go on to talk about how I go about building a list, and what variations I’ve tried as my list has developed from one thing to another. Now I don’t game in the most competitive environment in the world to be honest, but the lists I use and tactics I employ regularly has me smashing folks up on my local scene, and not embarrassing myself at national tournaments. The good news is that I’m nothing special as gamers go, so anything I can do you can do better no doubt. Takes a bit of practice and a bit of patience, but I reckon anyone can regularly pull in the wins with a decent Tau army played well. You might not get all the glory you can get from playing Grey Knights, but you’ll certainly feel more pride in your accomplishments.

Before I go any further I should probably have a dig at Dave… Eh… Oh aye, Dave, Crowe doesn’t have a force weapon you fanny. Nice one, on to business.

While some armies, particularly shooty armies, really dislike DoW as a set-up, as a Tau player it’s a bit of a win win situation. Either you go first, and you get the first turn of real shooting in the game, or you go second and get the advantage of position in deploying second as well as an initial volley due to acute senses and blacksun filters. I’ve heard the argument that blacksun filters just aren’t worth it, because you’re only going to get use of them in 1/3rd of the time, and even then that’s only if you go second in DoW, not first. However, they’re only 3 pts each on a broadside or crisis team leader, so if you have 3 broadsides with them it’s 9pts of your army. I take the point that 9pts can be precious in a well constructed list, but if 9pts is going to make or break your army, then it’s a very delicate army indeed. The amount of times I’ve been given first turn despite losing the roll just because I have blacksun filters is in itself is a good argument for taking them at all.

People fear railguns, and rightfully so. Combine that with the fact that blacksun filters gives you an average night fighting roll of 42”, with a reroll for acute senses. This can often give you the psychological advantage from the get go. It puts your opponent on the back foot, and puts you in your comfort zone, and that’s a good place to start a game from with Tau. It’s perhaps the last time you’ll feel that until the end of the game in fact!

So on to the meat of the article, below is how things will pan out at the end of turn 1 if I am going second – we have left out the wrecked vehicles you will no doubt accumulate this turn, but expect 1 or 2 at least.

So as we can see the emperors dogs have moved on in a fairly sensible fashion. The long fangs have moved on in their razorbacks and then disembarked into cover in a spread that should range most of the table. Everything else is fairly evenly spread as they don’t know where we’re coming in.

In this deployment we’re expecting wolf scouts to show up from turn 2 onwards, and so have moved on with that in mind. On the right we’ve blocked the wolf scouts with our kroot, while the back edge is blocked by crisis suits, broadsides, and drones who have disembarked from the right hand piranhas. Note that the kroot squad has deployed in such a way that the hounds are all on the right, so if it gets charged by scouts they will all get to swing on initiative 5, they you can remove them when you start dying on initiative 4, and swing with whatever warriors are left on initiative 3.

The far left has blocked out the wolf scouts with disembarked piranhas from the other squadron, and the devilfish. Note that the 2 drones from the fish have spread out in such a way that if the scouts do come in over there then they will have to come on and move through cover to get round them. In doing this we will hope to suffer a charge against those 2 drones only, and not the other squad of 4. Obviously if it was a kill point game we would not be using the drones like this. The pathfinders would be back slightly rather than plugging the back edge with drones, and the kroot line on the left would be blocking that flank.

The piranhas have moved on 12” rather than the usual first turn move of 24”. This is for a couple of reasons. The first (and primary) is because by moving 24” we’re not going to block any movement in the enemies next turn. Instead we’re waiting until they move forward again, to the halfway line more or less, and will move in front of them then. We probably won’t need to move 24” next turn in order to block either, which will allow us to bring their fusion guns to bear as well. The other advantage of only moving 12” is that we can get the drones out this turn of course. This isn’t vital, and would not in itself be a reason to do this. We will also need to be aware of the potential damage these exploding piranhas will do to the small kroot line behind it, but if this does happen the drones should be able to fill the gap they leave. Again, if we didn’t intend on using the drones (in a kill point game) we would not be taking the risk of losing the blockers on that flank and the piranhas would move more than 12” in order to get a bit beyond their current position.

All of the broadsides have moved on in such a way to block wolf scouts as well as allowing los to a couple of the razorbacks. Hopefully they will get a few shots off and bust 1 or 2. The suits would have moved on slightly to the left of their current position, and then jumped back to where they are now in the assault phase to get out of los of the long fangs and block the back table edge. The pathfinders have moved on centrally to allow good range and los to most of the stuff on the table. They are also in a good position to block late in the game if it comes down to it. As usual the firewarriors are in reserve.

So on to deployment if you go first. Have a look below.

You’ll notice some similarities with the pitched battle deployment here, except we’re not as far forward as we’ve had to actually move on to the table and not just deploy on it obviously. The kroot can infiltrate of course, but we’re using this deployment to illustrate the effect wolf scouts can have on our set-up again. They’re a proper pain aren’t they? Unfortunately we have to basically stay bundled up like this until they show up, or they’ll kill something valuable when they do come on.  The piranhas have boosted this time, so no drones are deployed from them. They haven’t gone the full 24” because a lucky night fighting roll from a razorback would expose them to fire. They’ve gone forward enough to likely stay out of range, but will still be able to move forward and block the enemy advance next turn quite effectively. They haven’t come on yet, but we can reasonably expect them to come in right in front of us, as they will want to close with us quickly.

The broadsides have moved in on the back edge to give room in front of them for everything else to get in. The kroot will have come on first (even infiltrated on if possible if the other guy sets nothing up) and formed the basket for everyone else to get behind. Then the crisis move on to where they are now, and the pathfinders next, then the broadsides at the end. The fish has moved in to block our left flank, and deployed its drones to push scouts back further. This will prevent the scouts coming in just to the side of the fish, the fish getting blown up by long fangs, and then the scouts charging into the side of broadsides past the now wrecked vehicle. The back edge is sealed up tight by the broadsides, and the right is locked up with kroot.

That’s about it really. Again, if anyone has any questions or needs anything explained better, or just disagrees with the deployment entirely then feel free to say so below. Obviously different armies will set up differently, and this is more focused on a very gunline orientated army, rather than one that is a bit more agile.

Next time I’ll break down my army a little and explain why I’ve built it the way I have. I like to change little bits of it on a regular basis, just to see how other things work as much as anything else, and keep the game fresh for me. The initial Tau army I settled on for a long time looked a fair bit different from this army to be honest, and even the one I run right now is different from the one I’ve used in these articles (although not by much). It’s interesting to see how much it has changed since last year, as new codices have been released and the meta has developed. Hopefully I can go into more details about that over the next few weeks.


3 Responses to “Franco’s Foc’d Up 40k: Tau Deployment Part III – Dawn of War by Franco Marrufo”

  1. Andy Ovel November 24, 2011 at 13:37 #

    Good stuff Franco, I’m looking forward to seeing what you write next 🙂

  2. Sl40 November 24, 2011 at 15:04 #

    Hey Man, wanted you to know that I am a Tau player but until I read these had starting playing my marines again because I just couldn’t win a game. But now with this advise I’m not your Josh Roberts but I am having loads more success. With the right deployment it seems a much easier game.

    • Franco November 25, 2011 at 03:33 #

      Good stuff dude. Another Tau player is born. That makes 6 of us in the UK now in total. Fear the mighty Tau Empire!

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