The Road To Feast Of Blades: For The Greater WAAAAAGH!

August 2, 2013 by crew

Last time I mentioned that I would be taking my small but spirited blue space-communists to the Feast of Blades Doubles Tournament. However I didn’t tell you which army my teammate would be bringing. There are a lot of great armies that work well with Tau, for example Space Marines and Eldar come to mind immediately. Imperial Guard is another army that would do well with Tau considering both bring excellent shooting to the table only in different forms. But in my mind there was only ever one real option…Orks.

The Tau in Close Combat by wibblethefish

There are a lot of reasons why I’ll be teaming up with the boyz in green; first and foremost “da head crumpa” is a good friend of mine and his is an army I’ve become quite familiar with over the years. Secondly the two armies pair wonderfully. Finally while it might be hard to believe there is some entertaining fluff we’ve built up between these two forces.

The Generals

So much of the history of these armies has to do with the generals behind them. Austin (the Ork player) is a good friend and coworker of mine. He was actually the one who got me into Warhammer almost two years ago. The Orks he will be taking to Feast of Blades are the same ones I first cut my teeth against on my kitchen table so long ago. But just because two armies look good together on paper doesn’t necessarily mean they can work together on the board. If the players aren’t in synch with each other and can’t get their armies to work well they are toast. It may sound like a simple thing but it takes time and experience to understand how your partner builds their list, how they play their army, and how they work within a team. Austin and I have worked together and against each other countless times; consider him the hard charging, intuitive, Patton to my patient, methodical, Montgomery.

Now Austin has more than one army, and I have more than one friend. So how did we settle on Orks being my perfect teammates? To be honest building a 2000 point team-up list isn’t that different from building your standard 1500 point list for a weekend game with your mates. In general there are two competing theories on how this should work. The first is that you pick a great unit and spam it to death. In such overwhelming numbers how can you lose right? The second approach is to build as balanced a list as possible making sure you have all the tools you need for any number of situations. As you can probably guess I subscribe to the second approach and here’s why: I’ve found that for every great spam list there is a weakness or a counter to it. Going into this tournament without prior knowledge of the armies we will be facing means that it is entirely possible we could encounter the antithesis of our spam list and could get slammed for it.

Building Synergy

Here is what I feel our list needs to have:-

- Strong scoring options, 6th Ed. is all about scoring units in my mind and there’s been plenty of times my army has gotten hammered but I still won on captured points.
- Good mobility, scoring isn’t any good if you can’t get to the objective. Being able to exploit weaknesses in an enemy formation is important as well.
- Durability, what good is the ability to get a scoring unit on the objective only to be shot off it?
- The ability to kill troops, this might sound like a no brainer but if my game plan is to win using points I need to be able to deny my opponent the ability to score.
- The ability to kill tanks, the internet says “Mech is dead” but all it takes is a couple of Baal Predators to seriously ruin one’s game.

Tau Commander by NachoMon

Some say the new 6th Ed. Tau are the most flexible, most dangerous army in the game. I believe that’s a little bit of an overstatement and we have some serious gaps. In many cases I feel Tau were always dangerous, they were just rarely played so no one had much experience dealing with them. Personal feelings aside here’s what I can bring to the table:

- Mass strength five shooting; that single extra point of strength over most basic troops doesn’t seem like much but wounding MEQ’s on threes and GEQ’s on twos is sublime.
-Strong anti-tank weapons; Tau anti-tank took a big hit when our Broadsides lost their Strength 10 rail guns, but we did also gain 18″ melta-weapons and really melta does a better job against heavier armor in my opinion so I think we’re sorted there.
- Strong anti-troop weapons; be it mass pulse weapons or massed plasma Tau can bring a downright scary amount of shooting to the fore that can kill basic troops.
- Maneuverability; All Tau vehicles are skimmer and it’s dirt cheap to upgrade them to ignore terrain effects meaning they can hide in ruins or out of line of sight right before pouncing on their target. Crisis suits have the dreaded jump-shoot-jump ability which can let them cover up to 18″ a turn all while firing two weapons!

Space Ork Command by Goramitrio

Considering their age I think most gamers are familiar with the Orks, but let’s do a quick review of what they are all about:

- Cheap; Orks are dirt cheap model per model and unlike my Tau they can absorb lots of losses and still be fearsome, perfect for grabbing and holding an objective.
- Close Combat masters; sure there are those models out there that are better, but point for point it’s difficult to come up with a better close combatant than your basic Ork Boyz.
- Aggressive; Orks are meant to be rushed forward, not hanging out in a gun line. (Albeit massed Lootas can do some amazing things).
- Wacky; Ok this is a bit more of a personal preference but you have to have a sense of humor when watching Orks do their thing. Their unpredictability can be frustrating at times but I always get a good laugh in when they are involved.

The Legend of Farsquig
I’ve had a lot of crazy things happen as I played against these Orks. So much so in fact that we’ve begun to create a running narrative. In our games we’ve seen Farsight take the Orks to task the past several years. That is until he encountered one Ork with strange powers Tau scientists couldn’t explain. Never the less Farsight committed his forces to battle. All seemed to be going well until it came time to slay that one… unusual boy… The boy stared down the charging crisis suit and just before he could strike the Ork down Farsight’s suit stopped. His body guards watched in horror as the suit shuddered and rocked violently before a vicious squig gnawed its way out. Unlike most squigs this one was blue, not green, and was decidedly more intelligent than your common squig.

No one could explain what happened to their beloved Shas’O, but they found this squig had a captivating presence over both Tau and Ork forces. Now, under the direction of the one known as “Farsquig” Tau and Orks fight side by side (more or less) seeking to purge the galaxy of whatever targets their short, but tactically brilliant leader directs them towards. (Farsight actually did get turned into a squig one game and yes we made a blue squig model, complete with crisis antennas and shoulder pads.)

So there’s our team, Tau and Orks. We believe that both armies work well together based on filling in the gaps of the other to a create balanced team. Additionally my teammate and I have lots of experience with each other and know each other’s capabilities and play style.
Next time I’ll get into the actual lists and we will begin to see how this combination actually plays out on the tabletop!

The Tau in Close Combat by wibblethefish

Tau Commander by NachoMon

Space Ork Commandos by Goramitrio

Casey Roberts

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