Saturday, 29 January 2011

Learnings of the Shas

Space Marines part 2: Tanks and Terminators
Following on from part 1, regarding de-meching and then killing MEQ infantry, part 2 is going to be about dealing with tanks and termies (pray you don't face them as one elites choice).
Space Marine tanks and fairly good. They're not exceptional but they're certainly not bad. They boast reasonable armour, Bs 4 and a cheap points cost if the first option is lacking. Like a lot of the Space Marine codex, they have the potential to do some pretty horrible things, such as a friends Predator firing a single lascannon shot, killing an in-cover Wave Serpent and causing the Fire Dragons inside to flee the table. this is balanced with their lack of speed, if we ignore Blood Angels, and their rubbish side armour.
Tau fight at range. It may seem obvious but it's something to remember. You don't want to take centre table, you're going on the flank. Your Deathrain crisis suits are pumping out strength 7, re-roll to hit from up to 36" away. This means you can fully exploit the side armour weakness. Sit on a flank and lure your opponent into pivoting towards the other (Hammerheads and large units like kroot do this very well). Hey presto! Your missiles are penetrating on 5+ now not glancing on 6+. Don't be downhearted if you hit the tank glance and fail to hurt it badly. Providing it's not a transport, you're doing fine just suppressing it. Even the worst result prevents that demolisher cannon hitting you for another turn. If you really want to snare the opposing army, stick a suit team on each flank. Then watch you're opponent squirm as he struggles to find a way he can kill your army without exposing himself to ridiculous amounts of firepower.

Terminator's are a giant pain in the rear end, there's no denying it. Three weapons in the Tau army can nullify that dreaded 2+ save and they certainly don't come cheap. Don't put your money on fancy weapons for your suits. To make plasma rifle and fusion blaster suits work, you've got to get within 12". That's assault range. That is NOT where you want to be.
Hang back and make the Termies foot slog towards you. If your opponent only has five, kill them in the true Tau style of stupendous amounts of fire on one unit, in a single turn. If they have more, it's different. Kill everything else in your opponents first, chances are there won't be a lot. Use your superior mobility to take their objectives from under their nose (now their troops are dead) and leave the Terminators stranded on the other side of the board where they can't hurt you or claim your objective. This tactic works well for most assaulty, death star units but be wary of fast ones like Vanguard vets.
If there are any points you think I've missed or situations you want me to talk about let me know through comments, they're always welcome.


  1. Nice Blog. Thanks for your email. I'll add this to my blog roll. I posted a response to your email. I hope it helps.

    Against terminators, I just shoot them with massed small arms, Kroot rifles and pulse rifles rapid firing. Seems more effective than 3 plasma rifles any day...

  2. Amen to that. Torrent is the popular word, and no I don't mean you should download Cameron's Terminator in hundred of little packets.

    Rapid fire them man. Drop 'em like the flies they are. That's been the style since they took their 3+ saves on 2d6 long long ago.

    Ever vulnerable to massed small arms.

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  4. Thanks for the comments guys. I agree kroot are very useful against terminators through the sheer number of attacks a big squad can deal both at range and in combat.