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The Tiger Roars
Guest Commentary: A Thousand Points of Light
Introduction <> Suggested army lists for new players

A Thousand Points of Light: Tau Empire  by Patrick Eibel
As Games Workshop releases revised codices to incorporate the new rules changes, I am going through and updating the Thousand Points lists as well. A lot of players were surprised when the Tau received a revised codex sooner than older armies in need of one, like Orks and Eldar. Being the new kids on the block, as it were, the Tau needed a little tweaking to make them competitive, and now I think they have a pretty solid army list.  Here is a basic list to help you promote “the Greater Good.”

Remember, this list--like all the others in this series--is meant for brand new players or for players looking to start a new army. This list is not meant to be a "killer" list for winning tournaments or trouncing people at the local gaming shop. Rather, it is a foundation that players can build upon as they desire.

What To Buy

  • One Tau Battlesuit Commander: $25/£15
  • One Tau XV8 Battlesuit: $20/£12
  • Four Tau Fire Warrior boxes: $140/£72
  • Two Tau XV88 Battlesuit: $70/£35
Total: $255.00/£129

All prices are from the Games Workshop website  as of July 2007 and may vary. Prices do not include taxes and are meant only as a guide.

You are getting the Commander box just to get the cyclic ion blaster. You could always buy two regular Battlesuits and get the blaster bit from GW Mail Order instead.


One of Pat's converted Tau Commanders

1000 point list

  • Tau Commander Shas’O w/ missile pod, plasma rifle, shield generator, hard wired multi-tracker (132 points)
  • Tau Commander Shas’O w/ missile pod, cyclic ion blaster, shield generator, hard wired multi-tracker (127 points)
  • Fire Warrior Squad  w/ Team Leader w/ pulse rifle, bonding knife; 11 Fire Warriors w/ pulse rifles (135 points)
  • Fire Warrior Squad  w/ Team Leader w/ pulse rifle, bonding knife; 11 Fire Warriors w/ pulse rifles (135 points)
  • Fire Warrior Squad  w/ Team Leader w/ pulse rifle, bonding knife; 11 Fire Warriors w/ pulse rifles (135 points)
  • Fire Warrior Squad  w/ Team Leader w/ pulse rifle, bonding knife; 11 Fire Warriors w/ pulse rifles (135 points)
  • Broadside Team w/ twin-linked railgun, smart missile system, advanced stabilization system; Team Leader w/ HW target lock, HW drone controller, two shield drones (200 points)
Total: 999 points


Squads of Fire Warriors, with their awesome pulse rifles, will form the basis of your Tau Empire army

Tactics
For the points, Tau Fire Warriors may be the best shooting Troops in the game. A 30" range and a Strength 5 gun mean that just about every opponent will have to worry about their firepower. This list maximizes their capability with four teams, or a potential 48 shots per round (96 within 12"). 

I have included two Broadsides for tank hunting. I took the advanced stabilization so that your Broadsides could move and still fire, but you could just as easily take targeting arrays to hit more often. I chose Broadsides over a Hammerhead because with such a small army, I wanted more railgun shots. By giving the leader a target lock, you could potentially take out two tanks per round. If your opponent fields no tanks, the smart missile systems will be a nice fallback option. 

The two Commanders will provide support where needed. With missile pods, they have a chance against lightly armored vehicles, and the cyclic ion blaster and plasma rifle can do nasty things versus infantry. By not giving them drones, they will have to be the closest target to the enemy in order to be targeted (love those Independent Character rules).

Next Steps
I would certainly invest in a Hammerhead with either a railgun or ion cannon. While the railgun is a better tank hunter, the ion cannon provides more shots and is great for thinning out troops. Also, a couple of units of Sniper Drones may be useful if you frequently face armies with 3+ Armor saves (and given the popularity of Marines, how often will you NOT be facing armies with a 3+ save?). 


Sniper Drones may come in handy when facing Space Marines, Chaos Marines, and Necrons

A squad of Stealth Suits can be useful for infiltrating a bunch of burst cannons (I would not bother with fusion blasters, as the range is too prohibitive to be useful for the points). A unit of Kroot can help out if you find yourself assaulted by your opponent. I like a unit with a Shaper, some Kroot, and a good amount of Kroot Hounds (with an Initiative of 5, it is the Hounds that will be doing the heavy lifting), and I would not bother with any Krootox.


Tau Stealth Suits, armed with burst cannons

So, there you have it. The main things to remember with Tau are to get off as many shots as possible each round and to avoid close combat at all costs. Now go, spread the Greater Good!
 

Related Pages
Introduction to the series
Other lists in this series

Originally posted February 2003. Revised September 2007. Used with permission.
 

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Fighting Tigers:
Codex <> Tactics <> Gallery <> Allies and Enemies <> Tales of the Tigers

Other Pages:
Main <> What's New <> Site Index <> The Tiger Roars <> Themed Army Ideas
Events and Battle Reports <> Campaigns <> Terrain <> FAQ <> Beyond the Jungle