The way it is....

A blog that is mostly surrounding my obsession with Games Workshop's many, many fine products but will occasionally feature posts about my many other geeky hobbies!


Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Well crap!

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 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!


  1. That sounds like it was a tough break on the tournament front, Captain. Still, well done for pulling out some wins and some good shooting in general.

    It's hard to account for initiative siezing (like against the orks) but if your opponent has good weight of fire, you have to be careful. If you see Lootas then try to deploy so that they have limited targets, even if they get to go first. With Tau mobility, you can probably move to engage them if you keep first turn and you'll be safer if the opponent does get that lucky 6.

    As far as going second, consider reserving some or all of the army. That way you get to avoid the first turn firepower, get to shoot first when you come in and get the last chance to run for objectives in the game. It's not foolproof by any means but it is definitely a good way to save some bodies against the stronger codexes.

    All the best,


  2. PS: This weekend I should be playing against OSH's blood angels with Tau, so we'll see how well the codex can handle the tough new kids on the block.


  3. Hi,

    Really shame about the result. 1 Win, 2 Draws & 3 Losses and 2nd to last seems harsh, was there comp scores which bought your position down, or were the games scored on a sliding scale rather than the GT 3-1-0 scoring. When Tau lose I find they lose big so a sliding scale scoring system can hurt the Tau which tend to get close wins or big losses.

    Don't lose faith with the Tau. With 5th edition and the latest codices they have taken a hit but they can do ok, they just take a while to get used to, and find a balanced list that suits your personal style of playing.

    Your list is very mobile, so can get to objectives, but (in my eyes) lacks firepower, so will struggle to kill the enemy. Try moving slowly to more hybrid style with more firepower (and less troops). I'm not saying this will definitely work, it's just a suggestion of a direction you could experiment in.

    Don't abandon the Tau completely, play with them as you play blood angels. Also playing as maries will make you better at exploiting their weaknesses when you play Tau.

    After my Tau is fully painted I'll be moving onto my Space Wolves, however with the blood angels codex I can feel my canine teeth shorting and the red thirst beginning to gripe me...I MUST RESIST :)


  4. Thanks for the comments guys, all the feedback has been very much appreacited. The suggestions you've given for ways to utilise the cadre have been pretty much in line with how I've been running them but I'm still finding myself losing an awful lot.

    I've hit the stage where I'm tired of relying on my opponents making mistakes to be in with a chance of a win and I'm also tired of the fact that if I make even 1 mistake with the cadre it's incredibly dificult to pull back from. Now I'm not going to stop playing my Tau but once I've got my Blood Angels ready the Tau will become very much ky second army until they get a new codex. At the end of the day it's not a situation I'm incredibly happy with as I love both the look of the Tau and the way they should play and I would dearly love for GW to release even a revised FAQ to fix some of the glaring deficencies with the codex but as that's not going to happen I need to do something to keep enjoying this game until a new Tau codex lands and unfortunately that's gonna mean playing a different army......specifically a red one!!