I have been hammering out a build order in order to have competitive matches against the computer. I have now set the AI on Harder, and have begun really hunkering down on a tight sequence in order to do well. So, without further delay, the build order, such as it is:
Phase 1: Required Steps (0:00 through 2:30)
Builder set to automatically reenforce, builds 1x barracks (choose melee or ranged), 2x power generator
HQ set to build 2x squads of Stealthsuits, 1x additional builder
1st squad of Stealthsuits: Cap left half of map
2nd squad of Stealthsuits: Cap right half of map
1st additional builder: Wait for first strategic point capture, and build listening post, then second
Once 1st builder is done, build Path to Enlightenment (Tier I)
Phase 2: Choose A Path (2:30 – 4:00)
Once T1 is done being built, go the the HQ and recruit the Heavy Builder
At this point, you should run into opposition while attempting to cap points on the edges of your control. You may lose one or both squads of Stealthsuits. Whatever happens here is fine.
You should have 5 or more strategic points / relics capped and listening posts built on each
Build the Kroot Alphas, and reenforce them (feed your Stealthsuits to them if they are still alive)
Task all but 1 builder to build the geothermal/slag pit power generator. If you don’t have one on your map, build 2x additional power generators (for a total of 4)
Build either a vehicle / aircraft beacon.
Be prepared to crank out a few Vespids if the need arises.
At this juncture, you are being attacked, and the build order gets murky. I highly recommend going tier 2 with melee, as it’s cheaper, and getting 2-4 squads of Kroot Hounds out on the board. With the Path To Enlightenment upgrades to HP and attack power, they are really hard to stop. They reenforce up to 8 hounds and 1 alpha, and do nearly 300 damage per attack.
I’ve won 2 in a row with ease against the HR computer. Typically what happens is my Stealthsuits run into opposition, and die fast, below the 4-6 threshold for capped points. So, the Alphas come in handy, because they can cap and hold ground AND beat on things hand-to-hand. Which I like. By the time I get into Phase 2, I have at least the Alphas out there eating anything they can find in the middle of the board. I’ve had them die to Tyranids in the early stages, but then again, I had also neglected to build a ranged commander to have the Alphas benefit from the communal power / toughness upgrades.
-Early commander Kroot Alphas
-Build 2x Vespids for cannon fodder, backup the Alphas
-Get some Barracudas or Skyrays out before more infantry (though you may have to spend more time MMing the Skyrays for them to be useful)
-Build 2x Kroot Hounds, set Krootox to autobuild, keep building a vehicle of some form as well
-Build / upgrade at least the ranged commander, so the other melee commanders will share the benefits.
These two games have had at least those things in common. I’ve noticed that Tau’s once upgraded melee infantry is fairly formidable. I can take down large tier 3 bases with 2 – 3 squads of Hounds and a Krootox or two to help out. The Alphas are still pretty weak, even after you fully upgrade them. So use them wisely. They make mincemeat of buildings and infantry but have difficulty with vehicles, which is why the Krootox are handy to have around.
I hope this abbreviated BO will help you with your faction, because the same basic principles can be applied to any single / double / triple resource army. I will be applying and modifying this original skeleton sequence and I’ll report any major developments, of course. Be well. Gladiators, I salute you.