Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Soulstorm

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Soulstorm

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How to play Tau
By Poyo and 1 collaborators
This guide will go over the basics of every unit, vehicle, and building that the Tau use.
Need to Knows about the Tau
Just to make a quick note, this is less about how to play the tau, and more just simple information for the tau, but the reason for it is because when i made it, there were 3 guides out, all with just 1 sentence. I felt like someone needed to make an at least, slightly passable guide, so here it is. First thing that everyone needs to know about the Tau, is that they are diverse. Its more of a decision as to how you want to play, and what you want to sacrifice, rather than what you want to play with, and have everything open to you. The Tau give you choices. For example, there are 2 buildings in the Tau arsenal: the kauyon command center, and the mont'ka command center. You can only choose to build one, and once you do, you cant build the other. Each one gives you special upgrades that are good for different things. The kauyon command post gives you a great upgrade to your fire warriors and kroots, it gives the option for kroot hounds and the krootox. The mont'ka will give you access to the Hammerhead gunship, and the XV8 Crisis Battlesuit.

Earth Caste Builder-The ECB is the basic builder unit for the Tau. Much like with other builder units, it builds all the stuff for the Tau. You have a limit of 4 that you can have out on the field at one time. The ECB can repair all vehicles and battlesuits

Fire warriors-The fire warriors are the Tau’s signature units, they rely on long range high damage shots. They are mildly up gradable with the option for a commando fire warrior and a shield drone. The shield drone, as given by the name, gives the squad a shield to protect from some damage. The commando fire warrior will give the squad the option for photon grenades. The fire warriors long range does mean that they stay back during fights, making them a bit open to a flank or stealth unit to come around a deal some damage, since they cannot detect stealth themselves.

XV15 Stealth team-These stealth warriors are your basic scouts, they are not as powerful as many other units, but they can stealth, which makes them much more dangerous, they can be upgraded with a commander unit, and more high tech laser weapons. They have the optional upgrade to equip the squad with jetpacks, allowing for hit and runs, or a quick escape from certain death. This unit, when capturing a strategic point or other capture points, will stay stealthed, making it a lot safer to send them out to capture. They are great to use with the Fire warriors since they cannot be detected, and can get rid of Fog of War, allowing for the long range of your fire warriors.

Tau Commander-The Tau Commander, is your hero unit. This unit, can be upgraded with a jump pack, a flamer, a missle pod, and 2 plasma rifle upgrades. The Tau commander has several special abilities, first among them being that he can set down snare traps, which will stealth and when walked over by an enemy, will root them in place for a certain amount of time. Another of his abilities is a high powered plasma shot that will ignore armor. The tau commander, with all his weapon upgrades, does make him effective towards all units. But, with only 1000 health, the Tau commander is a squishy unit who cant take too much punishment.

Pathfinders- The Pathfinders are the advanced Tau scouting unit. The pathfinders have one of the farthest sight ranges in the game, making them a nice combo with the Fire warriors. The pathfinders, being a more advanced scouting squad, can mark enemies, which will light them up for a bit, making them more vulnerable to the Tau weapons. The pathfinders are a scout squad, so they are weak, and they dont have stealth or jet packs to get away. It is best that the pathfinders dont travel alone. The pathfinders, although they look similar to the Fire warriors, do not have the Fire warriors range, so they do tend to get in close. They are one of the 2 squads that can detect infiltrated units, making them quite an important part of the army.

Kroot Carinvore-The kroot carnivore squad is the basic Melee/Close ranged squad for the Tau. The Kroots, being a close combat unit, are still not very strong, but they have numbers, mixed with the ability they have to eat the carcasses of the dead enemies that were killed. This will slowly raise the Kroots health to a very high rate, making them quite hard to kill, depending on how much they are fed. The Kroots carnivores, being the basic melee units, do have an upgradable option to leap into the battle, closing the gap and engaging the enemy head-on.

Kroot Hounds-The Kroot hounds are the more advanced melee squads for the Tau. They are only aquired through the Kauyon command post, which was explained earlier. The kroot hounds are strictly melee, with no ablilities of any sort. They can take a beating, since they are heavy infantry, but shouldnt be solely relied on.

Kroot Shaper-The kroot shaper is a commander unit of sorts. It will attach to other Kroot squads, such as the kroot hounds and kroot carnivores. The kroot shaper will increase the Health, and speed of a kroot squad, for example, a full squad of kroot carnivores has 3100 health. With the kroot shaper, the health raises to 4345. The Kroot shaper is best put into a kroot squad, so that its effects can be used to the fullest.

Vespid Stingwing Strain-the Vespid Stingwings are a command unit with lots of health, and deals plenty of damage. They are a close combat heavy infantry unit, that can be upgraded to have a commander unit. The vespids, having wings, can jump around the map, much like with jet packs. The vespid have a few abilities that help them to distrupt enemy units. The first ability is a sonic pulse, which distrupts nearby enemies, and can also temporarily stun the crew of a vehicle, making it ineffective. The vespids other ability, allows them to fire a sonic beam at a building, and the building will then take double damage, making for an easier time for everyone. The vespids are the only squad, aside from the pathfinders, that can see infiltrated units.

Ethereal-The ethereal is a hero unit. He has an area of effect buff that makes the units around him deal more damage, have more health, and a higher morale. Unfortunantly, to combat the great buffs, if the ethereal dies, the tau suffer a great health, damage, and morale loss. The ethereal is the only hero unit that can detect infiltrated unit. The ethereal can summon down an advanced group of fire warriors. This group of fire warriors are stronger than even the fully upgraded normal fire warriors, although they have a lower unit count. The ethereal has a few distinct spells that make him stand out as a character. His first ability, allows him to fire a laser from the sky, which expands outwards slowly, anyone in this radius is dealt massive damage, but it lessens the farther you are from the center. His second spell, allows him to clone another sqaud. The other squad wont do damage, it will just be a distraction for the enemy. The ethereal is a melee user, which means you should keep him well guarded to avoid the debuff caused by his death.

XV88-The XV88 battlesuit, is a heavy infantry battlesuit with 2 missle launchers. The XV88 can entrench itself into the ground, where it will prop its missle launchers, making a very high damage, very powerful rail gun. It does have a minimum range, and is quite slow, making it hard to escape with, but good to take the rear and cover another squads escape.

Units 2
This is the Last unit for the Tau. I guess i reached the limit on units 1, so here we are.

XV8 Crisis Battlesuit-The XV8 Crisis Battlesuit is one of the units unlocked by building the Mont'ka command center, which was explained earlier.The XV8 is a heavy infantry unit, with plenty of health and damage to be dealing. The XV8 has 2 weapon upgrades for diversity. It has the flamer, which will demoralize the enemy, and the missle pod, for destroying buildings and vehicles easily. The XV8 automatically comes with a jump pack, which it uses to fly across the map to destroy a quick building, and fly away again.
This does not mean tanks or anything that has armor, anything that uses vehicle cap is put in this category

Krootox-The Krootox is a large gorrila kroot, that is made to take a lot of damage, but still knows how to deal twice as much. The kroot riding atop this beast fires a large cannon, which is his ranged weapon, a medium range. When in close combat, he can disrupt enemy units, making it harder for them to attack.

Greater Knarloc-The greater knarloc, is pretty much the super vehicle for the Tau. It deals damage just by walking on enemies, although its attacks are much more powerful, since they are directed. The greater knarloc, can take a beating, but does tend to go a bit faster than it should. The main thing that keeps it alive is its heavy armor. The knarloc does require that you have a captured relic, so it can be a bit harder to aquire one of these. You have a limit of one that you can have on the field.

Drone Squad-The drone squad is an ambush unit that uses stealth and surprise to defeat the enemy. The drones have a short range damage weapon that they use. One of the main reasons that the drone is an ambush unit because of its ability to burrow underground. The enemy cannot detect these drones until they rise from the ground and strike. When the drones are low on health, they explode causing massive damage to any enemies nearbye. The drones, although using unit cap, also counts as a squad due to the small size of the drone, they had to add more, to make it more even.

Devilfish troop carrier-The devilfish is a troop transporter. It has a stealth feild, making it much more useful when trying to sneak your units to another part of the map undetected. It is a light vehicle, so its fast, but cant take too much damage. The devilfish has a short range burst cannon for defense.

Skyray Missle Gunship-The skyray missle gunship is a long/medium ranged missle platform. As with many missle platforms, the closer you are, the more accurate you become. It is just a normal vehicle, so it can take a bit more damage than the trasport, but does provide good cover.

Drone Harbinger-The drone harbinger is a mobile drone hanger that can deploy small drones for a certain amount of time. The drones are considered light vehicles, although they cost nothing, and no unit cap for them. They have little fusion blasters that they use while in combat to provide cover for the harbinger.

Hammerhead Gunship-The hammerhead gunship is a heavy tank, with plasma chainguns and a giant railgun. The hammerhead gunship can deal out more damage than any other Tau tank, but cannot take as much as many other Tau tanks. The hammerhead requires the mont'ka building, which was explained earlier.

Barracuda-The barracuda is the Tau's aircraft. It has rockets, and many other weapons used for different situations. The barracuda has a rocket that will disrupt enemy units, for a time. The barracuda is used to deal with mant different types of situations, and can sometimes be worthless due to turrets and anti-aircraft units

Cadre headquarters-The cadre headquarters is the mail building of the Tau. This main building gives you 20 requisition points. Unlike with many other headquarters for the other races, the Tau headquarters does not upgrade. The Tau headquarters is where you can build your builder units, as well as the XV15 stealth suit teams and the vespid stingwing strain. There are 2 things that can be researched in this building, one being an upgrade to the damage of the XV15 stealth suits, and the other being the ability to equip them with jetpacks.

Tau barracks-The Tau barracks are the basic unit building structure for the Tau. It can spawn the Tau commander hero, along with the XV8 crisis battlesuit. It also can produce Fire warriors, Kroot carnivores, Pathfinders, and the XV88 battlesuit. In order to continue building more structures, you need to first build the Tau barracks. The Tau barracks will increase your unit cap once built.

Listening Post-This is the basic listening post for the Tau. It does not have any weapons when it is first built, but it can be upgraded to equip 2 fusion blasters, and then upgraded again for a fusion cannon. As with every listening post, it will raise the amount of requisition you obtained, and still rise as you upgrade your listening post. The listening post, again as with every listening post, can research an upgrade that will give you a permenant requisition boost, which will stay with you till the end of the game. This can be upgraded twice for more requisition output.

Plasma Generator-The plasma generator is the power source building for the Tau. Much like with all the other races generators, the Tau generator has the option to research and gain a large amount of permenant power for the duration of the game. This upgrade can be researched twice.

Path to Enlightenment-The path to enlightenment is the main research building for the Tau. The path to enlightenment has 6 upgrades, 4 of them being automatically unlocked upon completion of the structure, the other 2 cannot be obtained unless the kauyon command post is built instead of the mont'ka. The first 4 upgrades are upgrades for more basic units. One allows for the XV15 stealth suits to have increased accuracy, another allows the skyray missle barrage, used by the skyray missle carrier, the third gives the kroot melee troops such as the carnivores and the hounds the ability to leap into battle, and close the gap, and the fourth basic upgrade equips the fire warriors and the stealthsuits with much higher damage and ranged weapons. There are also the 2 more advanced upgrades. The first equips the Tau with more advanced armor, and also dramatically increases the health of many of their units. The other advanced upgrade, greatly increases the range and line of sight for the fire warriors, and the XV15 stealth suits. The path of enlightenment will increase both unit and vehicle cap. The path to enlightenment will allow you to, once built, access all the other buildings past this point, except the coalition center.

Kroot Shaping Center-The kroot shaping center is the main output for kroots. you cannot build the kroot carnivores in this building, but kroot shapers and kroot hounds are obtained by this building. The kroot shaping center can also build units that use vehicle cap. The krootox and the greater knarloc are only obtainable through this structure.

Vehicle Beacon-The vehicle beacon is the main vehicle spawner for the Tau. It spawns Devilfish troop carriers, Drone squads, Skyray missle carriers, Drone harbingers, Barracudas, and Hammerhead Gunships. The vehicle beacon will increase vehicle cap.

Thermo Plasma Generator-The thermo plasma generator is the advanced plasma generator. The thermo plasma generator, can only be built on slag deposits, making them a bit harder to aquire, but still achievable. Unlike with the regular plasma generators, you do not get the option to research the permenant power boost from the thermo plasma generator.

Mont'ka Command Center-The mont'ka command center is one of 2 major buildings you can have that effects your gameplay. The mont'ka command center has the option to research the teachings of mont'ka, allowing for creation of the XV8 crisis battlesuit, and the hammerhead gunship. The mont'ka command center increases both unit and vehicle cap. The mont'ka command center is incompatible with the Kauyon command center. The mont'ka command center allows for the building of the Coalition center.

Kauyon Command Center-The kauyon command center is the other of 2 major building you can have that effects your gameplay. The kauyon command center unlocks the research upgrades in the path to enlightenment. It also allows for the recruitment of kroot hounds. The kauyon command center has one upgrade it can research, which will unlock the recruitment of the krootox and the greater knarloc. The Kauyon command center increases unit and vehicle cap. It is also incompatible with the Mont'ka command center. The kauyon command center allows for the building of the Coalition center.

Coalition Center-The coalition center is the final building for the Tau. It allows for the making of the Ethereal, a powerful hero character.
Combo tactics
Now, since the Tau are so diverse in their units, you can come up with many different combinations of tactics. For instance, many people love to put the Pathfinders with the fire warriors, since the very long firing range mixed with the long sight range will normally equals a powerful winning team. Although that isnt the only way to go. The Kroot carnivores(or hounds), mixed with the fire warriors, is a more defensive build for some, since the kroots will engage the enemy and keep the focus away from the fire warriors. the XV8 crisis battlesuit, XV15 stealth suit, Tau commander, and Vespid stingwing strain all are compatible due to their ability to jump into a battle from afar, and can all escape from sticky situations with the same ease. The drone squads are normally good for a safe path, as i have seen them used as a walkway for certain weaker units they were protecting. These are only a few combo tactics that i know of, but, because of the Tau's diversity in units, its best to just experiment for your favorite combos.
If you liked this guide and would like to see another race done, leave it in the comments below.
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PlasmaWaagh Mar 23 @ 6:46am 
I'm sure it is deep down somewhere in this thread, but-
The Ethereal detects infiltrated units as well.
Pathfinder's gunfire slows enemy infantry and walker units.
Crisis Suit flamer upgrade does better damage vs structures than the missile launcher. The missile launcher is ineffective to the point of being almost a non-option, as it removes the fusion blaster gun. The fusion blaster does fair damage to vehicles and buildings, and though it lacks the missile range it will often serve you better. The flamer upgrade removes a weapon effective vs light infantry and marginally effective against heavy infantry and replaces it with a weapon effective vs morale, all infantry, and structures. Just... don't pick the missile launcher.
Deathsson07 Oct 17, 2020 @ 2:38pm 
Nimmsi Oct 13, 2020 @ 3:05pm 
as a tau you do pew pew pew
Appearing Pear Jun 26, 2020 @ 6:31pm 
all you need is kroot spam >:D
Cairna ♥ Apr 24, 2020 @ 11:24pm 
5 Barracudas as CAS/Hit-And-Run AT with 5 squads of Firewarriors (with 2 Shas'uis, no shield drones), 1 squad of Pathfinders, 1 Firewarrior Bodyguard squad (from Ethereal), and 6 XV15 Stealthsuits (with Shas'uis and Fusion Blasters). Select the Kauyon tree and max out your Path To Enlightenment tech. Put Firewarriors/Bodyguards/Pathfinders on 1, Stealthsuits on 2, and Barracudas on 3. Barracuds are your QRF, move up Group 1 slowly, a couple squads at a time, they'll shred any infantry that get close. If vehicles respond, jetpack Group 2 infront of Group 1 and you should be able to destroy the vehicles before they deal much damage. If there is a baneblade/excessive amounts of armour, recall Group 3 to help deal with the armour.

That's how I play Tau and while it is rather slow-moving, it seems to work very well for me as it can counter whatever is thrown at it.
Reginleif Nov 1, 2019 @ 8:52pm 
Get as many barracudas on the field as possible
Have at least half that number in reserve (auto-build)
Use fire warriors and broadsides for defence and scouts to give them LoS

Fly the barracuda death rain over enemy instillations and have scouts secure them after just fly your barracuda to their main base and send your defence force on the attack. If you focus all the barracudas on taking out their turrets and posts together and then buildings they work a lot better
Lord of the Lemmings Mar 3, 2019 @ 5:29pm 
@Blastman I wrote a guide, if you're interested.
Cairna ♥ Mar 2, 2019 @ 11:09pm 
@Lord of the Lemmings right click the unit to put it on overwatch (will auto-queue the unit when it can, unless it gets greyed out if you reach a unit limit. Not unit cap, a unit limit. You can also right click Reinforce, Leader, and heavy weapons for squads. The drone Harbinger can have Spawn Drone right-clicked.)
Lord of the Lemmings Oct 14, 2018 @ 6:29pm 
How do you auto create units in vanilla?
A_buckyo Bro May 29, 2018 @ 11:36pm 
My friend played Eldar with me as Tau against 2 imperial guard. It was very interesting to see the wall of turrets. Still won though