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Old 06 May 2015, 19:51   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 33
Default PathFinders?

Some say they are not a good source of markers. I disagree, i had 8 in a squad on Friday and they gave me plenty of markers (played against Dark Angels) I don't like the "Mark'O" idea. (Commander with Marker Drones, Drone controller with a gun squad for more Markers) Am i missing something here? I really want to buy more to get a full squad of 10 and use the heavy weapons they come with to mix with left over Fire Warrior bits so i can make a Path Finder suicide squad with 4 Path's, 3 of them with ion rifles then disembark (add Devilfish) right near the rear Armour of enemy tanks to get 6, strength 7 ion rifle shots on a rear 10 tank. Good or bad?

And my other list floating around here i did make some teaks.

No more commander. I have 2 Crisis suits each in their own squad 1 with 2-Missile pods and another with 2 plasma rifles. (plan on growing these) Fire Blade and Ethereal are still in my list.

My local shop has nearly no Space Marine players. Its a lot of other Imperial factions, Tyranids, Orks, and Chaos. Me and 1 other are the only Tau.
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Old 06 May 2015, 21:06   #2 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2010
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The issue is that marker lights are a pivotal source of power for a Tau army; a smart opponent will recognize this and remove them as fast as possible. Where pathfinders are concerned, this is all but too easy; they are T3, 5+ save, immobile, single wound models. Given that they are just sooooo squishy, it is not unusual for an opponent to remove them from the board with just minimal firepower (I played a space marine list once that had 6 rhinos. In the first turn of the game he killed off a full unit of my pathfinders just by firing the storm bolters on the tops of them...)... so you can imagine what any amount of dedicated firepower would do to them. This is not just bad because it cuts our potential firepower in half by removing our force multiplier, it also puts us behind by at least the First Blood objective, if not more!

Without armour or natural toughness, the obvious choice is to take cover... but heavy weapons make this impossible. If they can't see you, you won't be able to see them. If you move, including disembarking from a transport, heavy weapons must snap fire... hitting on 6s... a total waste. So the best we can do is park them in somewhere with decent cover and hope for the best. A 4+ is better than nothing... but fire warriors can attest to just how useful a 4+ save actually is... not very.

Thus we get to the reason behind marker drones. Jump-shoot-jump. Being jump infantry, marker drones may fire heavy weapons on the move without penalty. They may also use their assault phase to get a secondary jump. The best armour in the game is to not be hit in the first place, and the best way to do that is to end each turn in a position where you simply won't be seen by an opponent. The major downfall of the drone is obviously the BS2. If it were not for this, everyone would take them. Luckily, our commander buffs them to BS5 which totally negates this problem... but sadly pigeonholes him into the role of drone baby sitter. He can still be an offensive beast on the battlefield... but he's not going to be a buffmander, or a true warrior. His purpose is to give out buffs and take opportunistic pot shots where he can.

Drones aren't the only solution to the markerlight survivability dilemma... Sniper drone team's spotters are the cheapest marker light hits in the book. The skyray can shoot upwards which is amazingly useful. And tetras are still a valid alternative. But pathfinders just don't fit the bill in my opinion.

I personally only take pathfinders as heavy weapon teams in small games for fun (I ran an all 'sniper' list and took a couple teams of them). The most I've ever done was 2 units of 4 pathfinders, with 3 rail rifles each. The best I can say they did... is that they lived. Devilfish isn't needed since disembarking basically just gimps their shooting. Extra lights aren't needed because it just paints a big red 'kill me' target on them. Just small, and unassuming to win the day.
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Old 07 May 2015, 05:20   #3 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 261

I have to agree fully with Carrelio except for with buffmander, I have found buffmander far exceeds any offensive commander on the market which can still buffmander with a drone controller equipped, I think you should drop the fireblade and grab a commander and get yourself marker dones with drone controller and if your going mainly suits I would either grab shadowsun and drop the ethereal or rock an allied detach with the enclave and include the ethereal as a hq for enclave.
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