Y’Varha Tau List First Impressions and Painting Update

tauHowdy everyone, Severus here again.  As you may remember, I started work on a fluff themed Tau list based around the new suit, the Y’varha.  You can check out the previous article here for more description.  Over the past 2 weeks I have had the chance to test that list out against two opponents.  I wanted to sit down and take a look at it and see if on early impressions it is meeting my goals.  Just for a refresher, I wanted this to be a mobile tau list that was fun to play and play against, while still adhering to the fluff I set down for it.

The first game I got was against a new opponent I had never played before.  We shall call him Jason the Nocturnal.  He brought out an Iron Hands list that featured centurions with a hard to kill chapter master in a landraider, 2 thunderfire cannons, 2 storm talons, and a smattering of tactical squads and scouts.

I won’t bore you with the blow by blow, but basically it came down to my lack of ability to do anything to the centurions.  I had an amazingly good alpha strike and had the centurions contained early on.  When the Y’varha deepstruck in, it drifted into there range and could not escape.  They quickly turned it into a pile of goo.  After losing him, I had no way to deal with them and they quickly ate apart the rest of the army despite my attempts to flee.  All that being said, I thought it was a fun match.  I got the impression that with the softer tau list I was running, the margin for error was very small.

Following that game I had a chance to play none other than the Lord Primarch.  He is well known for his hatred of all things monstrous creature, especially Riptides and their variants.  I figured if he felt my list wasn’t to tough then I would be in a good spot.  He had recently started to expand a small allied contingent of Grey Knights.  With those fresh in his mind, he brought in Ultramarines with allied Grey Knights.  His list featured 2 dreadknights, 3 centurions, a thunderfire cannon, a unit of tactical squads in a drop pod, an honor guard with a captain in a drop pod, sternguard in a drop pod, and a Grey Knight strike squad with a level 3 Librarian.

Once again, my list had an amazing alpha strike, taking out the thunderfire cannon, chipping a wound off a dreadknight, and killing 3-4 scouts.  The dreadknights proved to be an issue.  I was able to avoid the centurions for most of the game this time, but the mobility of the dreadknight proved to be an issue.  He was also able to drop pod in all his infantry right up next to my lines, forcing a lot of scrambling that ended up loosing me most of my vehicles and my fire warriors.  When the Y’varha arrived it was able to kill the strike squad with their librarian, but was shortly hunted down by centurions once again.  The dreadknights and sternguard hemmed it in while the centurions made the killing blow.  It was another loss (almost tabled by turn 4).

I got to admit, this match left me a little sore.  There was just no way I could handle that level of a list.  The Lord Primarch and I talked it over and he agreed that his list was a lot stronger than he initially thought it would be.  This game gave me the same impression as the last.  My list can do some damage, but there is very little room for error with it.

So, two games in, two sound defeats.  I am learning the list’s weaknesses.  I have trouble with centurions and mobile enemies/deep striking.  In terms of the list, I don’t feel I am going to change it that much.  Perhaps deploy the Y’vahra on the table instead of holding him in reserve.  I need to be a little less aggressive with my alpha strike.  I often find that it leaves units out of position or unsupported, allowing my opponent to pick me apart piece by piece.  Overall though I am enjoying the challenge, and neither of my opponents felt the list was unfair (or atleast did not tell me as much).

Painting wise I am sort of burning out (already).  I have finished a riptide and started work on the R’varna.  There are so many hard edges to line highlight on this guy.  I start to get sloppy, then I have to go back and clean him up.  Then I get sloppy with my clean up, so I have to fix the line highlights.  It is really becoming a grind.  I want to push through and finish him.  After that I will do a change of pace and work on some kroot.  Something nice and organic to break up all those damn lines.

So, that is where I stand with my Tau.  I really want to get a few games in with other players to get there opinion.  Also, I really want to fight anything that DOESN’T have centurions in it.  Those guys are just a headache for me right now.  Hopefully I can push through the burn out and get some painting R’varna.  Until next time this is Severus saying have a good one and take it easy.

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