Monday, 6 May 2013

Dark Eldar: Nemesis - Tau

Dark Eldar: Nemesis - Tau

I’m going to take a bit of a different approach to nemesis than my previous articles. Perhaps it’s time to tell you how id face an opponent and not just say how good or bad we are against them! Our Subject is Tau, the new kids on the block and the new thing in the internet. The normal discussion is….. How many Str 7 shots did you fit in? I Have 80….

Scary but are we, Dark Eldar, scared? Well let’s have a look!

Time before Time

The old Tau codex despite bring pretty old had A LOT of things going for it. The army was good against the grey Knight Meta in 5th and to a lesser extent the wraith army of 6th. Lots of accurate strength 10 and lots of accurate strength 7, often backed up by Eldrad, this army was devastating to us poor Dark Eldar.

Blacksun filters negated night fight (our natural defence against shooty armies), Shield drones protected there heaviest suits with a 2+ save. Hammer heads and devilfishes were used and so dark lance fire needed to be split between the two!

I was pretty scared of these guys!

The new

Str 7 is the new black apparently, how much strength 7 can you fit in a single army? 80? Such volume of fire does worry me a lot. The availability of ignore cover worries me even more! I was even tempted to add these guys as allies for a while (before Eldrad won 2/3 games at Aldershot basically on his own.)

One thing I have noticed with tau however is this. Survivability has plummeted for broadsides. Shield drones no longer sit pretty with a 2+ save and who’s taking shield drones when you can take missile drones! So basically instead of having to get through 4 2+ (4++) drones to get to the offending broadsides, now you hit the broadsides straight away…. Our dark lances are pretty happy with that!

I’ve also noticed a lack of devil fishes. This can only be a good thing really less AV 13 is better for us.
Ok let’s look at a new tau Army from an experienced player and see how I’d approach the game.

Venerable Brother’s Tau Firestorm

Venerable Brother: One of the nicest people in wargaming likely to wipe you off the table. A nice bloke and he has a great blog at check it out after this!

Ven is a ETC player for our proud nation under his real name Andrew Humphris (no-one remember that, call him Ven)

He currently runs the following:

Commander - Iridium Armour, Target Lock, MP, Drone Controller, Puretide Engram
3 TL MP Crisis Suits
3 TL MP Crisis Suits
Riptide - Ion Accelerator, Interceptor
6 Fire Warriors
6 Fire Warriors
10 Kroot
10 Kroot
Aegis Defence Line - Quad Gun
6 Markerlight Drones
5 Pathfinders
5 Piranhas - Burst Cannon
3 Broadsides - HYMP, SMS
3 Broadsides - HYMP, SMS
3 Broadsides - HYMP, SMS

That is A LOT of strength 7. That Piranha unit shoots out 20 strength 5 shots. That’s just nasty!

How would I play it? This game will be a shootout no kidding it one that a Dark Eldar army will probably lose if they go second. However here is the list of target priority…

Dark Lances/Warp Hunter
1. Broad Sides
2. Piranhas
3. Riptide

Those broadsides represent the majority of the opponent’s fire power… Kill them!

Venom Fire
1. Markerlight Units
2. Crisis Suits
3. Broadsides

Kill the markerlight units the beast unit will have a chance to wreak havoc

Essentially the plan is to kill the marker lights first and then just shoot the strength 7. Not much more you can do. With the markerlights down the beast unit will get a cover save and as such if Eldrad is porting the stealth power, this deadly combination might win you a game against tau.

It’ll still be a tough task, the obscene amount of firepower the give out may mean you lose 2/3 of your tanks turn 2 but don’t fret just launch yourself at the opponent!


Old 9/10

New 8.5/10

The small drop is for the survivability of the broadsides!

Thanks for reading and see you next time



  1. Lovely to get a mention..thanks for the compliment! we are yet to play Mike and i look forward to day...

    The Piranhas put out 40 s5 with the drones too..

    If it helps with the analysis.. That list has evolved after a few more games and few gauntlet style games..

    One unit of Broadies has switched to the Heavy Rail Rifle, I've added a boat load of Missile Drones to them to take the hit first from the nasty lance-class weaponry..high strength, low ap..

    The Piranhas are gone, although a lot of guys are using them, so it is useful for this analysis..

    The crisis suits are not TL anymore, favouring the 4 shots over the 2 light of the FAQ.

    And I am very much toying with the idea of a second Riptide..

    Hope that helps inform some DE decision making and list building.

    The other thing to consider I guess would be to make more use of night shields? The High Yield Missiles and Splinter Cannons share the same range...

  2. Possibly, the issue being that would make the army very expensive very fast.... if theres 12 vehicles thats 120 points. Id be more inclined to try and use my maouverability to try and play tricksy tricks with range, but no

    I read your blog and i thought you were keeping your twin linked?

    Unfortunatly Andy the only tournament i know were both going to be attending would be The death or Glory tourny.... and i'm running that one! You going to Brighton? Also did you want me to save you some tickets?

  3. NS would make it pretty expensive.. You could always just stay out of range (including movement) and then just move in and make sure you kill the missile units..

    Maybe I've not put up my latest stuff..Ive headed far further toward more shots over twin linking. Find it as effective without markerlights and more effective with..

    I'm not heading to Brighton til after summer...t'other tournies I'm heading to are northern til the ETC.
    if you could whack my name down for four tickets that'd be great, I'm seeing the guys later in the week and will pay then...if thats cool dude? Like Thursday/Friday time..

  4. Indeed unfortunatly in some boards, starting in the 42-48 inch window is quite difficult!

    Booked you guys in dont fret too much about payment, you've got a few weeks and thanks for coming along, for you you might even get a morph suit hug!

  5. How many points is that list? And is it me or is it's only way of dealing with AV14 the riptide on nova charge? Doesn't seem to be a take all comers list in my humble opinion. :)

  6. Id trust in VB Mush, he plays for our ETC team :P

  7. So clearly this blog is going round giving Tau players unhealthy ideas. As I played a similar list to the one mentioned above the other day (the 1500 point version). ;-)

    All that S7 is pretty intimidating! Linked the battle report below if you are interested. I'm still convinced it's a heavily meta tailored list, but that's just me. :P

    BR25: The Black Buzzards VS Tau Mass Broadsides - 1500pts