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Fortifications and You.
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Old 29 Nov 2013, 14:18   #1 (permalink)
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Default Fortifications and You.

I thought that it would be useful to start a thread relating to one of 6th editions biggest changes- the introduction of fortifications. There are two in particular that stand out to me as having fantastic synergistic qualities with common Tau armies. I am of course talking about the Aegis Defense Line (ADL) and Sky Shield Landing Pad (SSLP). I'll start with the ADL.

Aegis Defense Line

This little gem is a staple part of most lists these days due to the obvious benefits of a 4+ cover save. This in itself is not of great significance as similar cover can be acquired in ruins and wrecks. The real benefit of the Aegis is the fact that the area that it cover is often much larger that a single set of ruins. Something to also consider is the fact that you must deploy fortifications before any other terrain. Although this can be problematic if your opponent knows what he is doing with terrain placement, with clever positioning you should be able to cover an area wide enough so that when your forces are deployed, they do so with a good view of the battlefield.

A note of particular interest to Tau players is the ability to go to ground behind the Aegis for a +2 to their cover saves. This is particularly important for the late game when scoring units start to dwindle. An ethereal with fire warriors is a standard choice as with the sense of stone power granting a 6+ FNP save, and a 2+ cover save they are incredibly hard to shift. Another thing to consider is choosing the ethereal as the warlord can have benefits in this situation. The ethereal has a good chance of rolling exemplar of the selfless cause allowing a clump of units cowering within the ADF to get back up next turn with no penalties.

One final option is the addition of the quad gun or icarus lascannon. The quad gun is preferable however it is not so much of a no brainer to take one as in other armies. The reason for this is that Tau over all other armies have an extensive list of units that can effectively deal with fliers, neutering the efficiency of the quad gun somewhat. Having said this in certain builds in which your army lacks skyfire this can be a valid choice.


Sky Shield Landing Pad

This is a less obvious choice than the ADL for the reason that should you pick this then it will affect what units you choose, and how you deploy. For some this is too much of a constraint, however there are incredible benefits to building an army around this fortification. This includes a 4++ invulnerable save, and a 3+ cover save.

The most obvious units that benefit are those who are either numerous but vulnerable or high priority. An example of the former would be pathfinders, fire warriors and kroot. All of these units suddenly become much more durable when upon the skyshield. Pathfinders become a difficult source of marker fire to shift whereas normally they would be focused on and wiped out early on. The latter example would be riptides, hammerheads or broadsides. All of these benefit greatly from a vast improvement to durability due to the fact that they are simply too dangerous for an opposition and must be taken out. A broadside unit with shield generators would cost 75 points in upgrades alone so taking that into account, the skyshield covers their drones, and other units too making it a bargain.

The final benefit of the SSLP is the fact that it offers such a great view of the battlefield as it is essentially an elevated platform. This means enemy units find it much harder to claim cover, or remain out of sight. The downside to using this is that your forces upon the pad will both be extremely stationary and vulnerable to blast weapons. Nevertheless the trade off is often more than worth it.


I hope that others can share their thoughts and perhaps offer other experiences with fortifications. Thanks.

Last edited by Arufel87; 29 Nov 2013 at 14:24.
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Old 29 Nov 2013, 14:51   #2 (permalink)
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Both work very well in a gunline, which can be handy if that's how you run a list.

The ADL's Quad Gun has Interceptor as well as Skyfire. Being able to put 4 T-L Interceptor, Skyfire, S7 Ap4 shots on something isn't actually possible in our Codex. Broadsides do either the Skyfire or the Interceptor, and a Commander can do it all but only fire 2 shots. (You can only fire 1 weapon on Interceptor.) The Riptide compensates for lack of T-L by simple volume of shot, but at S6 it drops out of real effectiveness against AV12. Firing with Gets Hot is also risky.

It also costs as much as a Velocity Tracker to put a Quad Gun on an ADL. An auto-take if you're taking the ADL anyway, IMO. A Cadre Fireblade would work better, as his Split Fire lets him shoot it at one thing, while the Fire Warriors shoot at something else. His Volley Fire also works well, as they won't be moving if they're camping an ADL.
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Old 29 Nov 2013, 15:01   #3 (permalink)
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Interceptor is mostly only useful if you can actually destroy the target before it gets to shoot or at least force it to jink. The two biggest flier threats to Tau are Vendettas and Helldrakes, both of which either have twin linked weapons or has an invulnerable save already so they won't fear jink. Nor are they likely to be wiped out by the quad gun. Therefore I question whether it is not worth using a codex choice such as a skyray, or broadsides instead.

Forgive me if I'm wrong but I thought that the quad gun upgrade was double the original cost of the Aegis? And if you are using the fireblade for the gun then you are wasting a valuable markerlight although the BS5 is tasty.
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Old 29 Nov 2013, 15:15   #4 (permalink)
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Thing is if the Quad Gun is firing at an aircraft with an Ethereal, so are your Fire Warriors. The Fireblade can attempt to Split Fire, making it more useful.

Jink is still only 5+ in most cases, and forcing a Flier to Snap Shot effectively takes it out of the game for a turn. Skyrays can be popped no problem by a Vendetta's Lascannons, and Broadsides in the open - unlikely, I know - are insta-killed by it. The advantage of putting a few rounds on a target before it can even fire is pretty useful. Against something like a Crimson Hunter, it can potentially spell death for it.
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Old 29 Nov 2013, 16:04   #5 (permalink)
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I know that some may say it is a points sink but would a shas'ui with target lock not do the same job for less and not take up a HQ slot? *Edit- I forgot that the 'Ui only has BS3 so maybe not such a hot idea.* Also if you are running an ethereal you have a 33% chance of rolling skyfire if he is your warlord. Not worth planning for I know, but still useful.

Jink isn't as effective at neutering fliers as a lot of people think considering a lot of fliers are twin-linked (vendetta, night scythe) or simply don't need good BS (dakkajet). In the end the point I was trying to make was that for 50 points for the quad gun you could invest in an alternative option. As I said in the original post, it often will depend on what else you field.

Last edited by Arufel87; 29 Nov 2013 at 16:31.
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Old 29 Nov 2013, 17:32   #6 (permalink)
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True, true. If you were already running a gunline I'd add the Fireblade on the Aegis personally. Otherwise there's other options there.
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Old 15 Dec 2013, 01:50   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arufel87 View Post
I know that some may say it is a points sink but would a shas'ui with target lock not do the same job for less and not take up a HQ slot? *Edit- I forgot that the 'Ui only has BS3 so maybe not such a hot idea.* Also if you are running an ethereal you have a 33% chance of rolling skyfire if he is your warlord. Not worth planning for I know, but still useful.

Jink isn't as effective at neutering fliers as a lot of people think considering a lot of fliers are twin-linked (vendetta, night scythe) or simply don't need good BS (dakkajet). In the end the point I was trying to make was that for 50 points for the quad gun you could invest in an alternative option. As I said in the original post, it often will depend on what else you field.
Quad gun is TL so the BS Skill of 3 of a 'Ui is really of no Consequence the thing is ld 8 to split fire may have an impact compare to fireblade ld 9 so it really player preference
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Old 15 Dec 2013, 08:42   #8 (permalink)
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You don't need to do a Leadership test in order to split fire with a target lock.
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