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Role of Pathfinders
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Old 25 Dec 2005, 18:19   #1 (permalink)
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Default Role of Pathfinders

In a recent topic I posted, the role of pathfinders in a forward position was brought into question. Now one player prefers to have the pathfinder in the back, using the full range of the markerlight. My question is this: the pathfinders are fast attack and graced with the key ability to be put into a forward position, including a devilfish move before the first turn. Does anyone use this? And when?
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Old 25 Dec 2005, 18:30   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Role of Pathfinders

I use it to get into a forward cover position. This allows me to reach a little farther across the board when I use my markerlights/rail rifles.
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Old 25 Dec 2005, 18:34   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Role of Pathfinders

The idea of the Pathfinders is to get to a good position where they can mark up most of the enemy targets. Sometimes the piece of primo real estate is at the back of the board, some times it aint.
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Old 25 Dec 2005, 19:10   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Role of Pathfinders

pathfinders have a 3 foor range. most tables i play on are eithr 5 foot, or 6 foot by 4 foot. keep the pathfinders 6" onto your half, and they can see and target stuff in the enemies deployment zone.

So, to the question. Do I move forward with my free move?

the answer is no. and why? Moving forward is not very efficient. the best use of the movement is so that you can get your pathfinders in a position to mark the target unit that you find most threatening, which may mean a sideways movement. the thing is with a forward movement, you are now outside your deployment zone, and probably 24" from something in his force. and if thats a tyranid hormagaunt squad, with a bit of lucky, he has a turn 1 assault. how about dark eldar in a raider? 12" move. 2" disembark. upto 6" fleet of... and then a 6" assault. combat in turn one. if its any 12" move assault unit, he will be in assault in 2 turns. and your pathfinders will die. why? they are a priority unit. they are very expensive. they are vunerable in that they are stationary, AND they are only t3 with a 4+ save. heck, i dont even need an assault unit. I drive a rhino up 12", disembark my marines, and rapid fire into them. 100 VPs for me easily, while the rest of my force targets the rest of yours.

you see, out in front they are vunerable. keep them in the back, and they're at least 30" from anything before set up. you now have an anchor unit and if you want "bait" for a kauyon. you now have them in a better position targetting the unit of importance.
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Old 25 Dec 2005, 21:28   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Role of Pathfinders

Using them defensively only works if the enemy doesn't send some long range firepower their way... or fast troops with guns. All too often my friend's winged "machine gun" tyrant has gunned down all of my pathfinders on the first turn. I only use them defensively if I know that either A) my opponent will underestimate them or B) can't reach them.

I use the pre-game move to my advantage in tricky ways.

For example; deploy the pathfinders in the middle. Any units placed after the pathfinders to attack them will be in the center. Pre-game move to a flank, out of range and away from what can hurt them.

If my opponent leaves a flank open, my mobile army can move to exploit that weakness, and often my pathfinders can be found leading the way, dashing forward to a posistion out of sight from most of the army, but in an excellent posistion to crush the weak flank. The pre-game move is perfect for something I like to call "cover-swapping". Find which pieces of terrain are good for hiding behind whilst blasting the enemy (this is during the flanking manuever) and move such that there is always cover available for the next unit moving up. EX; the pathfinders move forward behind some trees. Next turn, my other flankers move behind those trees, while the pathfinders move even further to claim some rocks, and deploy there. Turn after, the fish moves out of the way so the units behind the trees can benefit from the rocks, and something new can move to the trees.
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Old 25 Dec 2005, 21:53   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Role of Pathfinders

I've used them both ways. But to go foward, they need support, preferably from kroot and/or stealths. It depends on the opponent. Against shooty eldar, IG, necrons, even orks, I migh tmove them up and try to blow up tanks. And you want to here a secret. the PF devilfish should always move 7+ in so it can be only glanced on first turn, sneeky Anyway the best advancing job for pathfinders is blowing up tanks with EMP. they move really quick with free move. Much fun in omega witha hybrid list. Had them, and a broadside VS. tank Guard. They cam on 2 at a time, and I had a field day. The PFs destroyed 3 tanks with railguns from various sorts took the rest. My favorite though was when 2 pathfinders blew up an immobiized monolith. That was awesome.
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Old 25 Dec 2005, 23:17   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Role of Pathfinders

it depend on how u role you wantt hem to play
if u need them to mark for the good ol' railguns then keep them as far as possible to kep them alive, but if they are going target hunting (searching for the greatest threat for all weapons, then they need to stay close to the front of the battle as you can to deal with any threats that pop up in your front,
the other is for the famed (in my area at least) hunter. Shoot them up as far as you can to mark those pesky Inderect fire tanks ie the basilisk, and keep those rhino rushers outta your front line, with a good ol seeker boat.

Those are the 3 main roles of my favoirte unit, the pathfinders
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