Starting Tau Gang Tips


Jan 21, 2015
Hey Everyone,

I am looking to start a Tau gang based on the NCE rule set.

Having no experience of Tau and mid range experience with Necromunda, does anyone have any ideas for a starting roster?

I have never played Outlanders either but my friends and I are starting a campaign soon so I'll be up against a Genestealer Cult & Pit Slave gang.

I am not cheating (in my eyes!) as I ve generally sucked at beating them in the past so any insider tips on how not to suck, would be much appreciated!

These here are the only Tau rules I have seen for NCE/OCE, and they look as though they haven't seen much tuning/ support in the last 18 months. Honestly, given your stated experience with Necromunda, I would strongly recommend you try them as proxy Van Saar's (who share the closest look to the Tau miniatures - and with mere head swaps and a humanizing of their feet I would recommend them as a base kit for any Van Saar build) as even the Outlander gangs can be very tricky to play for even very well experienced Necro players.

There are Ork rules here on the site, which would be the best rules I have seen for converting a 40K race into a playable faction for Necromunda, and with extensive community work took something ridiculous like 2 years to mold into a playable ruleset. I aim in no way to discourage you from developing Tau rules, or refining those on here, but I do think these sorts of things end up being serious labours of love and if you are looking for a quick way to play against your friends using miniatures from your Tau army for 40K, your best bet is to proxy them as a House Gang.
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If you and your friends really arnt after any sembalance of balance... you might be able to find some lists in inqmunda for tau, but power levels may vary considerably and not all rules will convert nicely.

Overall though I would echo @Blood Donor and say go van saar (roll lots on the techno table!)
Thanks for the replies guys.

I am already looking at the Hive take 2 rules which seem to be the most up-to-date but I appreciate the heads up that these might be untested and unreliable.

My friends and I already have 2 other campaigns with standard gangs so this new one is just a bit of fun and try out the Outlander setup. So I dont mind experimenting with Tau anyways as my friend is taking the same leap of faith with the Genestealers. I am sure we are both happy to address holes in the rules and amend to suit everyone.

Was just wanting to ask the forum if anyone has/is using a Tau gang currently and do they have any tips/tactics? Mainly at this stage I am looking to write up a gang roster so I cant commit to buying/converting some models.

Thanks again.
A Tau Gang would be horrible in Necromunda as they lack well anything to make them function within reason. Necromunda is a human-only planet in a human-only region of space in a human-only Empire.

It would be a gang of Fire Warriors with exactly the same equipment on every member. No melee weapons, no special or heavy weapons, everyone has carapace armor, and pulse rifles.

Aliens dont fit in Necromunda. Orks were introduced in Necromunda Outlanders to give an enemy that wasnt wildlife or other humans. Plausibly orks could be captured for Arenas. That was actually before the background of warhammer 40,000 made human absolute xenophobes will kill-on-sites orders for aliens on every world, so now its even worse.

Orks got their own game, Gorkamorka so aliens fit much more openly there.
the closest approximation you could have is to is to use the Arbite Rules. If people were generous someone might allow you to use Tau models to convert into another gang like that Van Saar gang.
It certainly would have to be different from the standard gangs, probably more like genestealers, for example.
A watercaste leader, two or three Tau body guards-most likely scouts-and human converts to the greater good.
New rule to accommodate aliens in Necromunda

"Suffer Not a Xenos to Live", alien gangs are always outlaws and cannot collect income from territories as no humans will deal with them under pain of death. In addition Gang members get +10 credits and +d6 experience points as a bounty for each alien or alien sympathizer they take Out Of Action .
Thanks for the further replies guys, appreciate the inputs.

Chaosticket - Understandable they dont really fit with the storyline but this is just a bit of fun and like i said, my friends and I are looking to just try out the outlander rules and try some new modelling projects.

Tomcaet - Thanks for the tip however I have already commited myself to using the Tau in the hive 2 rules and i am happy with them.

Ideally I am looking for someone who has tried and tested the Tau as a gang as more and more questions are coming up as I plan my gang. Most responses above are tryna dissuade me or advise alternative rules. I am way past that I'm afraid! This is happening lol just need some starting tips!

For example:
Does anyone know how the Marker Light works in Necromunda? Dont think the rules explain it very well!

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Is the Pulse Carbine a 'heavy weapon'? It says you can move and fire IF you have hip shooter, therefore implying its a move OR fire weapon. Does this mean the pulse rifle is move or fire as well?!

Does Sensory Shock have any other attributes other than making people auto recover at end of game? Sounds like a shitty bonus! Does it have a positive outcome?
Ive said it before but it needs saying it again. If youre going to break the rules go for broke.

Make a whole new planet where Tau, Eldar, Orks, and whatever actually exist. Make up your own planetary Houses from scratch. Create new environments.
In terms of fluff, @chaosticket has got it right, while you are playing necromunda, just imagine its on one of the planets like those in the cain novels, where humans and tau are both living on the planet, there are gangs of both factions, there have rivalries etc etc.

Then it works!, and can even have a native ork infestation to the planet as they are notoriously hard to eradicate completely from a planet, a stealer infiltration going on provides them, while an elder farseer having seen into the future and trying to eradicate the stealers/key figures form one faction of another for their own ends having got their via webway... ta da!, you can basically call in any faction you want at that point :)
Okay again i appreciate the inputs but this isn't really what I am looking for.

I am sure my friends and I will address scenario/environment situations as they came up but for now I am just planning my gang.

Am i to presume not many ppl have tried a Tau gang and/or generally have no opinions about the 'Tau in the Hive 2' rules?
I think that's likely. Also, the rules you are using are so unofficial that if anything isn't clear or you disagree with anything, changing them yourself has as much validity as asking the community. But, in response to your questions:

1. It seems fairly clear how the markerlight is intended to work. Whats your specific question?

2. Pulse carbine - where does it say this?

3. Sensory shock - these weapons are cheaper than the norm so I think it's supposed to be a deliberate drawback to the Tau effectiveness in combat.
Oh I see re: question 2.

It says they may move or shoot without penalty when firing using hip shooting. Normally hip shooting incurs a -1 penalty.
okay, you wanted some thoughts on the list... It's incomplete, you will have to work out how you want to use drones, since there is no drone controller that I could see.

Pathfinders have access to special weapons (all two of them that arnt suit mounted!), but cant take stealth suits, so for the same stats as firewarriors, they aren't worth paying 5 creds more and starting with 60 exp. Take firewarrriors.

There is literally no reason to take pistols, combat weapons or anything like that on the tau, they suck at it. Take rifles over carbines, they are more useful.

Trying to make a rough list without being too boring, this is what I came up with:

Boss, combat armour, target lock, pulse rifle (reducing cover, range 30, bs4... yes please)
fire warrior with pulse rifle x 3 (these guys are your mainstay, str 5 guns, long range, can move and fire still, and get +1 at 12" or less means they can hold their own)
fire warrior, stealth suit, plasma rifle, ejection system, target lock (mobile sustained fire 1, with a decent range, and reducing cover, ejection system to keep investment alive a little longer. The moment any firewarrior gets a bs upgrade they get put in the suit)
juve with autopistol x2 (gives you some ablative wounds, will level up quick and if they get bs increase you buy them a shotgun, you want combat increase though to act as interception for your tau)
juve with flail and autopistol (a counter to a sword wielding combat fella, you cant have swords but you can negate theirs too).

10 creds left, to upgrade your base after first game, then hopefully again after the second game.

The idea is your firebase uses its long range, cover reduction and high str to put some hurt on the enemy, while your juves run interception. in the long run you want to level up the humans for combat (take combat as their extra skill table maybe) and then you will have decent combat team to buy time for your shooters to inflict damage.

Hope that helps
Good work guys,

Thats definitely cleared a few things up and Spafe, thanks for the tips/recommmended setup. I'll write up some roster proposals and pull some of your ideas in.

As for the marker light I think the fact its got ranges is confusing me. Am i to understand that if you have one installed, on say a carbine, that carbine get 36" range? Although you need that plugin/hard wire thing to use the two at the same time? Or does it perminanly give your carbine a 36" range while its installed? The rest of the time it just gives other members (except juves) the list of added bonuses? But not the range surely?

Also very quickly, since it doesnt say, that does that mean the rail and ion rifle are NOT move OR fire weapns?
I do not believe it affects the carbine in any way. The carbine remains range 18. all it is saying is that the mdoel must have a carbine to attack the markerlight too (like an underslung nade launcher attached to a rifle). The multi tracker would let you fire both at the same time, or otherwise I think you pick to shoot the range 18 carbine or the range 36 markerlight. That's how I read it anyway

And the rifles, they are in the special section and do not have the move or fire restriction, so they can move and fire :)