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Anti Tank Tautics

Submitted By: Date: September 21, 2005, 08:24:30 PM Views: 2886
Summary: <p class="body">Well, cheesy name aside this hopefully promises to be an informative article on how to deal with the tanks and other such armored nasties in 40K that a Tau player may face.<br /><br />

One question that pops up often is 'Just how much anti-tank should I be taking?' Well, although this is often a matter of personal opinion, you can probably expect to be facing around one heavy armored (AV 13-14) and another couple of light armored (AV 10-12) vehicles per 1000pts, rounding up. For example, in an 1850pt game I'd be prepared to fight off two main battle tanks with heavy armor and a small scattering of lighter vehicles. Of course some common sense is needed here, so expect more light vehicles from an Ork army (let alone a Speed Freek one!) and often a few heavy Leman Russes in a similar sized IG force.<br /><br />
'But what does this mean for me?' you'd be right in asking next. Well a decent rule of thumb is to take at least one anti-tank Tau unit as the counter for each one that you think you'll face. Fortunately for you, even Pulse Rifles and Burst Cannon can make nice holes in the lighter vehicles, and any trickier light vehicles can be knocked off by Plasma Rifles and Missile Pods. Isn't it great having an army with only one ranged weapon below S5?<br /><br />
Therefore it's preparing to face those heavy vehicles that you should be most prepared for. Luckily for the Tau, their straight-forward approach to tank-busting avoids the traps other weapons fall into. By this I mean the 'anti-melta' devices some units can have - such as Monoliths - you know the ones, the kind that basically ignore any bonuses and special rules of the weapon. This effectively makes the Railgun the best gun in the game to fire at these things.<br /></p>
<p class="subheader">Picking units<br /></p>
<p class="body">Most players will use one of the following four ways to combat enemy armor, and it is those that I will look at here:<br /><br />
<li>Gue'ves'a with EMPs</li>
<li>XV8 Crisis Battlesuits</li>
<li>XV88 Broadside Battlesuits</li>
<li>Hammerhead Gunships</li>
</ul><br />
The observant players amongst you will also have realized that a lot of these units can be used to take out TMCs (Tyranid Monstrous Creatures) as well. Obviously the EMPs are pretty much useless at this secondary role, but it's good to know that against an army with no armor at all that your money's still going to go to good use.<br /><br />
<p class="subheader1">Gue'ves'a with EMPs</p>
<p class="body">
Probably the least used option for a whole host of reasons. They weren't in the Codex when it was released, and whilst Railguns still exist the whole 'run forward to get them' technique still isn't played much with Tau.<br /><br />
As one of the weakest units to be shot at in the Tau list, they may not even get a chance to do any damage, but are one of the cheaper options for trying. Even so, once you've bought them EMPs they come to nearly the cost of a Fire Warrior and will be an easy target when they run out of your lines.<br /><br />
Therefore, try to support them with some front running Drones or other Jetpack unit if you can, and you never know, your opponent just might not be expecting it.<br /><br />
In summary....<br /><br />
<i>Pros:</i> Relatively cheap, good modeling opportunity, does the job.<br />
<i>Cons:</i> Slow, fragile.<br /><br />
<p class="subheader1">Crisis Battlesuits</p>
<p class="body">
An XV8 with twin-linked Fusion Blasters, or even a Fusion/Missile (yes, I know that Plasma is fun and everything but the Missile Pod is still better at taking out tanks) combo can do a nice job at taking down most kinds of vehicles. Especially as you can also Deep Strike one behind said tank and blow out the rear armor on the same turn, problem solved!<br /><br />
However, you've then got the rest of an army to face the repercussions from, even more so if you fail to take the tank down. Luckily you've got two guns on your side from a single model, but buying extra suits for the same unit will get costly - and not just in the Elite choice you've already used up on this instead of buying more regular Crisis and Stealth Suits to do the fighting from your lines.<br /><br />
Using a Support System such as a Shield Generator or Drone Controller can increase the lifespan of your XV8, but all come at a cost and it might not be enough to save the poor thing. This leads to this method being dubbed as somewhat of a 'one-shot missile' approach.<br /><br />
<i>Pros:</i> Mobile, can Deep Strike, multiple shots.<br />
<i>Cons:</i> Short ranged, can be overwhelmed, Elites slot.<br /><br />
<p class="subheader1">Broadsides</p>
<p class="body">
The two most well known anti-tank Tau units are the Broadside and the Hammerhead - most possibly because they both mount some of the strongest weaponry in the game! However, the Battlesuit carrier of the Railgun isn't that fast - in fact, if you wish to shoot, you'll be going literally nowhere. This means that if you lose LOS to the vehicle you also lose at least a turn of shooting.<br /><br />
The Broadside Battlesuit is possibly the hardest model in the Tau army to get rid of if you kit it out well enough - the best armor save, a great possible invulnerable save and the option to add more (and invulnerable saving) bodies helps a little bit here. And, if any enemy troops get closer than they should be doing it even has that handy secondary weapons system to thin the numbers down somewhat.<br /><br />
<i>Pros:</i> Accurate, long ranged, resilient, versatile.<br />
<i>Cons:</i> Not very mobile.<br /><br />
<p class="subheader1">Hammerheads</p>
<p class="body">
What bad can be said about a Hammerhead? Well, they make up probably the most costly anti-tank unit (up to twice the price of a Broadside's Railgun shot), and can be struck down by a stray lucky missile.<br /><br />
Fortunately there is a wealth of upgrades available to reduce the chance of this happening, and to give your Hammerhead abilities that most tanks in the 41st Millennium just don't have. Not to mention the fact that you can get an effective reach of 84" out of this thing, which can also be used to jump out from behind terrain and snap off a shot at any vehicle brave enough to step out of its own cover.<br /><br />
Not much can hide from a Hammerhead, but remember that it's important to get rid of any threats to it as early as possible - even if that means using the Railgun in the secondary firing mode as an excellent horde thinner.<br /><br />
A lot of Tau players will also make the mistake of dismissing the Ion Cannon as the anti-tank weapon of choice. However, due to the higher volume of shots, it's actually more effective at glancing/penetrating the lighter vehicles than the Railgun is. That said, the low AP of the Railgun still keeps it as the best choice to penetrate heavily armored vehicles.<br /><br />
<i>Pros:</i> Very mobile, accurate, upgradeable, long ranged even more versatile.<br />
<i>Cons:</i> Expensive, vulnerable to one lucky shot.<br /><br />
That's all for now!<br />

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