So last weekend was the Mayhem tournament down in Warhammer World and as you can tell from the post title I finished in a less than great position....2nd from last in fact. When you consider that there were 55 players taking part at this tournament it strikes home just how poorly I did.
I've walked away from the weekend still feeling that I had a good time - I did really enjoy myself and all of the guys who took part were really great to play against and there wasn't so much of an ultra competitive feel to the proceedings as just everyone being there to have a good time but finishing a hairs breadth from the very bottom of the rankings has brought it home to me that the Tau just aren't a competitive army in any real sense.
The first day went pretty well and after losing my first game I managed to pull a draw and a win out of the second and third games respectively. This left me sitting at mid table, I was pretty optimistic heading into the last day that I'd be able to maintain that position....events of the day proved me somewhat wrong on that score however.
The first game was for kill points but rather than the usual 1 point per unit you gained a variable amount based upon the points cost of the unit which you killed - I managed to pull a draw out of the game mostly by the fact that I killed my opponents HQ which netted me 5 VP's. The other two games were objective based and the second one I got annihilated with my opponent capturing every objective but it was the third game which really brought the point home that the Tau aren't going to be viable until they get a new codex....I got out shot by an Ork army! He managed to seize the initiative for our battle and I lost my pathfinders and all my Deathtrain Crisis Suits in his turn due to a phenomenal weight of fire coming my way and the game pretty much carried on in the same vein, it says something that by the end my opponent was getting quite embarrassed by the situation!
The main conclusion that I have gotten from this is that if Tau go last they lose - it's that simple. If you go first you stand a fair chance, but only a fair chance, of being able to win. Acting first means you can usually bring a large amount of fire to bear on your opponent and use your manoeuvrability to keep at range, going second means typically that your opponent has already closed most of the distance to you before you've even had chance to fire a single shot and you have much less room to get out of the way.
I still enjoy the Tau and I will still be looking to build my Cadre up for friendly games but I think I'm definitely going to be going towards a different army for future tournament play. I've always had a soft spot for Blood Angels out of all the varied Marine chapters and I've got the new codex coming in the next week or so, seems like I'm destined for that scarlet bandwagon!