I neglected to include some very useful fellows in my previous assessments of the Tau Empire commanders. It’s true these commanders on the ranged side are intended to be the primaries, but these secondary units are wholly awesome.
First off, the best most quickly available unit for early game Tau is the Kroot Alphas secondary commander battalion.
Kroot Alphas (Command Squad). Level 8. +72. 5651 HP. Squad size = 6. Melee 47 – 65 / Ranged 29 – 37 damage. Cost: 240R/0P
So, +72? Mine had cannibalized two squads of stealth suits before I screenpcapped them. Obvious effects intended.
Nom nom nom. Anyway, They get a bit sparse here, relying on a sortof “great Bambino” reference to get them out of a tight spot. It’s down to one big ass mondo honkin major fucking unit.
Kroot Alpha Knarloc Rider (Secondary Commander). Level 8. 19634 HP. Squad size = single. Melee 600 – 800 / Ranged 400 – 500 damage. Cost: 1400R/0P
Obviously not a strong buy at any point before he becomes available, in tier 3. So be prepared to wait around for a suitable upgrade. It’s better to use these guys in conjunction with the ranged commanders, so you get a pretty diverse set of battle fronts.
Damn, right? Let’s not forget the ultimate master of melee here:
Great Ethereal (Commander). Level 8. 1415 HP. Squad size = single. Melee 208 – 282 damage. Cost: 305R/100P
Damn straight, and why not let him make a few punches, given that you are probably out front in the battle line somewhere with much bigger units, handling the big shit. Can’t leave the Ethereal alone for long, he’ll get obliterated. And no one wants that.
I think not. But he does get down and smack shit with his staff, which is kinda Gandalf and I dig that.
So ultimately, I see the functionality of Tau’s melee restrained only by the necessity for a ranged game. They have to have it, hanging over, in order to win by melee. It has to be joint, with a big melee directed assault. But in the end, you’ll see. I’ve tried melee alone, and when the vehicles come, it’s not fun to watch Vespids get annihilated by heavy duty shit. I hardly count the Vespids, but they have a purpose now and again.
I’ll keep you posted as the crucible continues. Getting these two leveled takes a good hunk of time, and how to distract my foe during this build up time is the next great mystery I have to solve.