Monday, May 3, 2010

Keeping Your Eyes Open

This weekend I got a lesson in humility from Loki and I thought I'd tell you about it. As you may recall, I play Tau, with little luck. Loki told me about a player who ran a very different style of Tau with great success. This player had decided to play on the weakness Tau and turn it on its head by instead of minimizing the number of fire warriors on the board because of their mediocre stats, this player decided to field five full squads, sixty fire warriors. Instead of my standard tactic of hugging the table edge and scooting away from enemies as they came to me, this player would drive toward the enemy, attacking a flank and deep striking in suits to support while railguns targeted light armor first, then heavy armor, ignoring hammer units until the endgame. This was such an alien concept to me I wondered what this mystery player was smoking.

The next day Loki had convinced me that, crazy as it was, the list had some merit after we had built a rough replica of this mystery army. Loki and I hadn't been able to play a game in quite a while due to conflicting schedules, so he suggested we test this list out. We rolled into the Keep and set up a game between ourselves and Loki told me a secret: he was the mystery Tau player, he had thought up the army the night before. Having been thoroughly conned, I had to shake his hand as we lined up to duke it out.

The game forced me out of my comfort zone and to think, as I had slipped into such a rut I was playing in my sleep. It was one of the closest games Loki and I have ever played and that's saying a lot since he was the person to get me into the hobby. With his assistance my school of devilfish kept swimming and advanced up one of his flanks, intimidating and eliminating his sternguard, while one crisis team dropped in, killed two devastators and forced them to run off the board. Loki's terminators ripped a path through my broadsides, commander and two fire warrior teams. The game was decided on turn six when Pedro and a tactical squad bowed to the massed shots of two teams of fire warriors, two devilfish and a crisis team. The game ended on a two with a tally of eight kill points for Loki and nine for myself. Surviving for Loki were five terminators and six tactical marines facing down thirty-six fire warriors, two devilfish, three suits and a hammerhead.

Through taking a leap of faith, or indifference, and a convincing lie by Loki, I was able to get out of a rut. Generally, I have too high an opinion of myself when it comes to this hobby, but I will admit this was a learning experience for me. Loki was able to figure out an army he's played all of one time, both in list building and tactics, and take it to a close victory over his own tournament winning army. Will I keep running this new list? Probably. Will I try harder to keep my eyes and ears open to advice in the future? Definitely.


  1. That was definitely a solid list. But me being a guard player, knows how much quantity can help.

    It can also surprise people to see an aggressive Tau.

  2. I've been toying with the list. Thinking of dropping one squad for another broadside and a pair of fusion blaster piranhas. I think it would help me be a better player and I do like the aggressive mentality, even if this Tau army isn't all that aggressive...yet.