Tau List Building - Help a (Tau) Brother Out, Part 1
Astra Militarum Lists

Tau List Building – Help a (Tau) Brother Out, Part 1

I am calling on you to help a friend out with his Tau List Building

Approximate Reading Time: 5 minutes

Its with the permission of a friend, my staple Tau opponent, that I am writing this article. It seems that the last three or perhaps four games have gone the way of the Astra Militarum. But by a long way. In Maelstrom games my Astra Militarum have been winning 9-1, 7-1, etc.  Time to help a brother out with Tau list building! Please comment and help!

By his own admission he didn’t put enough time into creating his Tau list and therefore suffered more than normal. But the last list was more thought out and I still won by a decent margin. I am not a great player, and probably not even a good player once the game starts and the real decisions begin. I cannot help but think that his list is missing something or that his tactics are missing something.

Tau Piranhas taking a battering

Tau Piranhas taking a battering

I will be writing up our last battle into a report of some description, that will form part 2 and it should shed some light on the way the game went and decisions taken by both sides of the battle. But for now we just have the lists and some thoughts from.

Tau 1,500 point list

This is the Tau list from our last 1,500 point game.

  • Shawdow Sun (Warlord), with 3x Bodyguards with Twin-Linked Fusion Blasters and Missile Pods
  • Darkstrider
  • 2x Battle Suits, with Twin-Linked Flamers and Burst Cannon
  • 3x Broadsides, 2x with Twin-Linked High Yield Missile Pods and Twin-Linked Plasma Rifle, 1x with Twin-Linked Heavy Rail Rifle and Twin-Linked Smart Missile System
  • 7x Pathfinders in Devilfish
  • 7x Pathfinders, 3x Pathfinders with Rail Rifle, in Devilfish, joined by Darkstrider
  • 3x Piranhas, 2x with Fusion Blasters, 1x with Burst Cannon
  • 2x Forgeworld Tetras
  • Stealth Team, with 1x Fusion Blaster, 2x Burst Cannon

I believe this was an unbound list. I guess because there are no troops? There were also a handful of drones with the Broadsides.

Astra Militarum Deployment

Astra Militarum Deployment

Astra Militarum 1,500 point list

I’ll include my list too;

  • Company Command Squad with 3x Flamer and Volkov’s Cane
  • Punisher Pask (Warlord) with Battle Cannon wingman, Warlord, Dozer Blades, no Sponsons
  • Level 2 Primaris Pysker
  • Enginseer with 2x Servitors
  • 3x Bullgryns with Power Mauls and Brute Shields joined by a Priest
  • 2x Wyvern
  • 2x Veteran Squads, both with Krak Grenades, Carapace Armour, 3x Flamer in a Chimera
  • 1X Veteran Squad with Lascannon and the Camo Cloak doctrine
  • 2x Scout Sentinel with Heavy Flamer
The large amount of empty table used to contain a Wyvern - then Shadow Sun arrived, good Tau List Building

The large amount of empty table in this image used to contain a Wyvern – then Shadow Sun arrived, that is good Tau List Building

My Thoughts on Tau List Building

Here are some short thoughts of mine based on the list and our game. Lots more details to come in part 2 with the full report. I will be sure to link it here once its published, if you want to know when its up just drop me a tweet or a comment on this post.

My initial thought is that the Astra Militarum (my) list is a bit of a tough cookie. I have run this list or a variation on this list many times now, I know it really well. There are brutal elements in there which can deal out some really serious damage if they go unchecked. Mainly the Wyverns and Pask. But its by no means an overpowered list or an impossible list. Its just a well practised list.

My opponent tends to changes his list each time we play, because he loses. I am a firm believer you should play 3 to 5 games with a list before passing final judgement on it. So chopping and changing maybe his only downfall as he doesn’t have answers to questions such as;

What happens if Shadow Sun mishaps?
Or if she is locked in combat for the whole game?
Or she doesn’t show up until turn 4 from reserve?
What happens if the Broadsides die in turn 1?

Without playing through those scenarios and living them then you won’t know the answers. And without knowing the answers to those questions and how you can continue to play effectively then your force and your strategy quickly crumbles on turn 1 or 2 when inevitably you lose a unit.

Tau Vs AstraMilitarum Battle – Notable Events

  • Shadow Sun arrived, took out a Wyvern and was then stuck in combat with the Bullgryns for the whole of the game
  • The flamer battler suits had a similar fate after being charged by the Company Command Squad
  • The other Wyvern was also killed relatively early by Piranhas in turn 1 or 2
  • The Broadsides were lacking in punch and the Tau had very little too punch through the Leman Russ’ AV14
  • Units that could target AV14 were too far away (Stealth Suits) or targeted other units (Piranhas)
  • One Devilfish was immobilised in the Tau deployment zone which meant it and its occupants were stuck 36″ plus away from the Astra Militarum forces

Thats all for now folks, looking forward to your input!


Part 2  is now online!