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Old 09 Feb 2014, 11:53   #1 (permalink)
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So Ive been pouring over the codex and online sources for the past few days and have noticed the both literal and figurative hit and miss nature of pathfinders. They are a 5+ armor save, ballistic 3 markerlight delivery system practically begging to become first blood. so i got to thinking: what if instead of a squad of 10, 11 point pathfinders i added 6, 12 point markerlight drones to my supportmander squad (support commander with 3 crisis suits) and give my commander drone controller and confer his 5 ballistic skill to those 6 drones as well as ignoring cover and rerolls to hit. not only would it be cheaper, they'd live longer and have a higher chance to hit. This is probably stupid for a reason i haven't yet thought of but id like to see what people think.
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Old 09 Feb 2014, 12:02   #2 (permalink)
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That's a good idea in theory, but it has four issues:

*You have to give the Commander and the Crisis Suits Target Locks. This means you don't get space to take other Support Systems if you want 2 weapons each,

*Rather than having to shoot at your Crisis Suits or your Pathfinders, your opponent can now focus everything on one unit,

*The Crisis team can't use its own Markerlights if it needs them,

*Only really works on Missile Pod suits, as the other loadouts get too close to the enemy to fire, and put the Marker Drones at risk,
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Old 09 Feb 2014, 12:26   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoffeeGrunt View Post
That's a good idea in theory, but it has four issues:

*You have to give the Commander and the Crisis Suits Target Locks. This means you don't get space to take other Support Systems if you want 2 weapons each,

*Rather than having to shoot at your Crisis Suits or your Pathfinders, your opponent can now focus everything on one unit,

*The Crisis team can't use its own Markerlights if it needs them,

*Only really works on Missile Pod suits, as the other loadouts get too close to the enemy to fire, and put the Marker Drones at risk,
yeah i think you are probably right however i do think the pros outweigh the cons, at least on some lists

Edit: also the commander wouldn't need a target lock because he shouldn't be shooting anyway meaning only the suits would need to give up their support system slot

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Old 09 Feb 2014, 22:58   #4 (permalink)
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You could shell out the extra few points for a Marker Drone Squadron instead. Join them up with your Commander and let your Crisis team do its own thing.
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Old 09 Feb 2014, 23:13   #5 (permalink)
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He's using the Commander to buff the Crisis Team, though. :/
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Old 10 Feb 2014, 05:10   #6 (permalink)
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Hmm... perhaps bring a Shas'vre in the squad with PEN? That really is just too dangerous putting so many eggs in one basket. If that dies, you lose your warlord, your heavy hitters, and your entire markerlight source. At least this way you can equip your Commander to dish out some pain too, since the drones really won't need to be twin-linked at ballistic skill 5. If you're not dead set on equipping your Crisis team with target locks, just twin-link the system you want to deal the most damage. They'll still be hitting most of their shots, and they'll have the better chance to doing damage with PEN. Not to mention they could then take advantage of those skillful markerlights if need be.
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Old 10 Feb 2014, 16:34   #7 (permalink)
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i like sniper drones with 3 Farsight marksmen. 3 maybe 2 markerlighsts a turn. alabative wounds. stealth and 4+ armour for 80 some points. downside is that they take up heavy support, but i dont use broadsides so its not much of a problem
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Old 10 Feb 2014, 21:06   #8 (permalink)
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I have used a unit similar to this on several occasions, and it's worked very nicely. It is however vulnerable to some dangerous weapons and is not going to be the tough, tanky unit of any army. Even with iridium armor, the commander will be doubled out by S10, and there is enough AP2 floating around to really threaten him. Ablative wounds in the suits / drones help this (your commander LoS's on a 2+) but you're still at risk of something getting through. With iridium armor it's much easier to manage, but an S10 blast from something like a siege cannon can (and has twice so far for me) obliterate the entire squad even with careful distance managing.

The biggest advantage is their mobility. You can deepstrike them in games where you would benefit from mobile, on the spot markerlights, or you can put them on a flank to threaten anything you kit the suits out for whilst being a primary markerlight source for your army. I agree that it works best with missile pods, and having a PEN chip on the commander turns them form a moderate threat to transports and walkers, to an incredibly dangerous unit that can be taking down even AV13 vehicles and multiple transports in a single turn. That unit is great in itself, so if anything I would recommend shifting out the markerlights to another unit if you want to reduce the value of that unit rather than sending the commander off on his own.

Honestly though a supportmander is not the best use of his BS. Ignores cover can be gotten by markerlights, and the twin-linked is actually slightly better on a crisis with a commander than on the commander itself (9.33 hits out of 12 vs 9 hits out of 12) I tend to run a configuration where the commander has weapons, drone controller and velocity tracker. While it forces the commander to fire with the markerlights, his natural BS5 makes him ridiculously effective as a skyfire unit particularly if he's carrying the PEN chip. Something like 1.85 glances / pens against even an AV12 flier, only a full squad of skyfire-capable deathrains or broadsides could do better. I have yet to buy broadsides though, so that's partly why I use it.

If your meta allows forgeworld, or even just case by case, some tetras might help you out here. So far as I've heard they're generally allowed (being not really that obnoxious), and they cost about the same as pathfinders for the number of hits they put out. As far as codex is concerned, marksman teams and marker drones are about as survivable as markerlights get. Both rely on cover though, so you're generally screwed if you face alot of barrage or cover-ignoring weapons.
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Old 11 Feb 2014, 05:37   #9 (permalink)
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Barrage won't ignore the cover save of the sniper drone team, it will just most likely force them to take the area terrain cover (plus stealth or shrouded, I don't know which they have) save rather than ruins or what have you.
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Old 11 Feb 2014, 06:05   #10 (permalink)
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That's certainly true, but cover saves are determined on line of sight from the center of where the blast marker ends up scattering to, so ruin walls, aegis lines and other non-area terrain can potentially not be useful in providing cover saves. They do get stealth though, so at least a 6+ save against anything that doesn't have ignores cover.
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