What is Mech Tau?|
Content by Kai'lore, Written by Kai'lore, Edited by T0nkaTruckDriver
The short version:
"Mech Tau is a Hunter Cadre that can be dropped from a Manta."
That's it! Any units that can't infiltrate need to be equipped with Jump Packs or have gravitic capabilities like Devilfish APC's and Hammerhead Gunships.
The word Mech comes from it being a Mechanised Army, but that doesn't necessarily mean that Mechanised Troops (Foot Soldiers in Transports/APC's and IFV's) need make up the bulk of the army. Mech Tau also has connotations of Mech & Mecha - large robot fighting suits so it also suits players who prefer to use more Battlesuits. These one Tau Fighting Suit/Vehicles are also a type of Mechanised unit, being one 'man' IFV's (Infantry Fighting Vehicles).
Putting those ideas together, we get Mech Tau and I guess the name has stuck!
Terrain: Mech Tau works best in Heavy Terrain Environments, where other armies can successfully negate the range of your basic weaponry and sneak up on you out of LOS.
Army List: Crisis and Stealth suits, FW's in Devilfish, Pathfinders in Devilfish, Drones and Hammerheads. Additionally, kroot can be used as "pre-positioned ground assets" and Air Support when/if available.
General Tactics: It's a very fluid and flexible army, and will depend largely on the temperament of the Cadre and it's Sept preferences, but as my fellow Mech Tau Commanders have commented, it's more about winning through:
Against aggressive armies, Mech Tau Cadres tend to give ground, either depth or laterally whilst using Battlesuits and Hammerheads to disable and destroy enemy mobile elements, simultaneously protecting their own soft forces, the Shas'la. Then pouncing back on the stragglers to clean up.
Why Mech Tau?
Content by Kai'lore and Azraphael99, Written by Kai'lore and Azraphael99, Edited by T0nkaTruckDriver
How many of you also play in Heavy Terrain Environments against a plethora of Assault Based armies? Hammered by Multiple Whirlwind Batteries and charged down by ravenous aliens and jump pack equipped, Chainsword wielding fanatics?
All of the fantastic advantages of the Tau list including heavy hitting Broadsides and Firewarriors with their fantastic basic armament lose a great deal of their shiny-ness when they can't be used to full effect. The 30" range of Pulse Rifles was and is meaningless where I play, were I am lucky to get an 18" shot off. So it made sense to move before getting caught by mêlée troops and live to rapid-fire another day.
When reading through the Tau Codex, the image of a very well equipped Combined Arms force formed in my imagination. Honestly, the idea of "hording up" on Fire Warriors never occurred to me, and I thought the Codex was pretty clear about that. I very much wanted to put together and learn how to play with an "ultra-mobile" Tau army that "consisted of an extremely well-equipped mechanized infantry formation with armoured support".
To support this idea, I would like you to consider some excerpts from the Tau Codex:
The biggest reason to play a Mechanised Tau army, however, is that is just so darned much fun! With all of this strategizing and debate, it's very easy to forget why we all started playing 40k in the first place - it's fun! Sure, we're all trying to build effective armies, and we're all trying to win games... but sometimes we get so caught up in the numbers that we forget the flavour and interest that dragged us into the hobby in the first place.
There is no best. There never will be. What's best for stats may be boring to run and boring to paint for you - and if that's the case, don't! If I like stealths and you like crisis suits, or if I like krootox and you like broadsides.. run with it. Are we talking about a core strategy and a way of doing things that does lend itself to certain units?
But do what makes the game fun for you. I play Mech Tau because I love the fluff - the idea of tanks humming over the battlefield and Firewarriors hot dropping into an LZ under fire. I love the lightning-quick raids of Stealth Suits and the nearly-impenetrable armor (and massive guns!) of the tanks. On the rules side - I love the restrictions the army places on me and the creative thinking it takes to win battles; having both a master battle plan and a fluid tactical situation suits me well.
I play Mech Tau, and this game - because it's fun. So should you.
Content by meyst, stealthsuitstanley, and T0nkaTruckDriver, Written by T0nkaTruckDriver, Edited by T0nkaTruckDriver
Before we get into the details, we've provided here a list of the common acronyms used in the Tau Vernacular. These are the common terms seen on message boards all over the 'net. While we've refrained from using them as much as possible in this document (for clarity), any new Tau Commander should familiarize himself with them.