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A general tactica thread
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Old 10 Jan 2006, 07:17   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default A general tactica thread

Given we're getting a new codex soon, I'd just like to wrap up tactics I use, using our current codex. Parts of it are agreed on in some way or another, but it is still a biased article and definetely not necessarily all true.

Army list building:

Commanders: There are 5 good configurations: plasma-missile-multi, twinplasma-missile-hwmulti, twinmissile-plasma-hwmulti, twinplasma-fusion-hwmulti, plasma-fusion-multi. Don't get any other upgrades.

Ethereal: Don't give it any upgrades. An ethereal is useful for static fire warriors and broadsides.

Bodyguards: Not a good choice until you've maxed your elite spots with stealths. Similar to commanders.

Crisis suits: There are 3 good configurations: plasma-missile-multi, twinmissile-tlock/flamer, twinplasma-tlock/flamer. Best in units of 1, don't use in units of 3. Don't get any other upgrades.

Stealths: Only field in a unit of 4 or a unit of 6, with no upgrades.

Fire Warriors: Give them a shas'ui if not mechanised, no upgrades (or other weapons) otherwise.

Devilfish: You should take decoys, multi, and tarray.

Kroot: Don't give them any upgrades, they should only be fielded in units of 10. See kroot hounds for an exception.

Gun Drones: Not great, not useless. Use them if you like them.

Pathfinders: Hard to use. Don't give them any upgrades (or other weapons) other than a shas'ui, and maybe 2 gun drones. They are best fielded in a unit of 6.

Kroot hounds: A useful combat unit can be made with a unit or two in a unit of 14-20 kroot with shaper and save.

Broadsides: Not as good as the hammerhead, but still ok. Best with 2 shield drones, with an ethereal on the board for the moral checks.

Hammerhead: The best Tau unit, it must have decoy launchers and a multitracker, and it's ok to have target lock and disruption pod. The first two railheads are superior to an ionhead, the third is about even. Smart missiles are better than burst cannons, but require target locks to be useful, and should only taken if you have the spare points.

Krootox: A fairly useless unit, lets hope the new codex will do it some justice.


Fire warriors, kroot, or stealths?
The decisions made why playing tau, generally, involve trying to keep out of charge range. On the other hand, getting within range to shoot is also a priority.

This is a common conflict of interest for tau players. They want to get close enough to shoot, but you want to stay far away enough so they won't be charged. Tau deals with this well by having mobile firepower.

There is a third decision to be made, which is how to get to the objective. Warhammer in space is no longer about putting men down and rolling dice. It's not about who kills the most, or if a unit can make its points back. In 4th edition, the objective now plays a big part in who wins a battle.

Similarly to the way combat and range conflict, moving towards the ojective and defending deployed forces conflict. When you sit a unit of fire warriors down, you now have a unit you want to protect. You want to keep elite tau units closer in order to save them from any threat.

Remove the static fire warriors, remove the broadsides, and you now no longer have anything to defend. The board is the limit, your Tau are free to move. They can now concentrate on capturing objectives, without static elements to tie them down.

That's the general argument for why mechanised tau outperforms trench tau. When building mechanised tau army lists, however, there is still the decision on what balance of mechanised fire warriors, kroot, and stealths should be taken for the army's anti-infantry role.

So, lets look at the tactics of each one seperately.


Fire Warriors in Devilfish:
Taking a look at the fire warrior, I notice a few things. They can survive a single average round of firepower with their decent armour, but are not likely to survive a round of combat with their low initiative. They shoot the enemy very efficiently at a close range. And they can take a very durable transport that has a high capacity.

Put these together, and you get a tactic called the Fish of Fury.

What is the FoF?
The FoF is a manouvre where fire warriors are unloaded from a devilfish, rapid fire at their enemy, and are then unable to be assaulted due to the enemy having to move around the devilfish.

I'm not going to start praising this tactic as a game winner, it is far from that. The FoF is a highly overated manouvre that will never get the results you expect. It is however still a viable tactic that can be used at the right time to gain a small advantage.

There are better uses for fire warriors in devilfish.

The most common use for fire warriors is the rapid fire drop. The FoF is a varient of the rapid fire drop, but it assumes there are enemy left. The best rapid fire drops are those where the enemy unit is finished off. Work out how many you should kill, and have a HQ or elite unit or two to backup just in case luck goes against you. Rapid fire drops should be done on 3 marines, 6 storm troopers, or 8 guardsmen in cover, no more. Double rapid fire drops are safer, and can be done on up to 6 marines, with backup if needed.

That's the damage side of fire warriors, the rest of their uses are tactical advantages that benefit your whole army.

Fire warriors in devilfish are great anti-tank dilution. Give the devilfish decoy launchers, multitracker, and targetting array, and you have a tank that can shoot as well as 6.2 fire warriors, and more importantly, will absorb some anti-tank fire that is now no longer directed at your hammerheads. This works in practice more than in theory.

Lastly, fire warriors in devilfish are scoring units. They can move 12" a turn and ignore terrain, they are an expensive scoring unit, but one that can be relied upon to stay alive until the end of the game, and then able to make a dash for the objective.

After all that, we've come to the conclusion that fire warriors are an impact unit, designed to apply a concentration of firepower when needed, and otherwise get shot at instead of hammerheads, and if they survive, they can score relatively easily.

So, what is the best combination?

12 Fire Warriors in Devilfish - decoys, multi, targetting array 220

A unit of 6 can also effectively be fielded, acting as a purely tactical unit rather than an impact one.

All other upgrades are not worth their cost, they're solutions you can avoid by not making a mistake in the first place.


Kroot:
Kroot are not a combat unit. Kroot are about par to fire warriors when shooting at the wider range of targets. Kroot offer little damage advantage, what kroot offer is their tactical advantage.

Tactical advantages of Kroot:
-Can infiltrate
-Distraction
-Scoring unit

Kroot need to be taken to push back infiltrators. This is not a hard strategy to understand, you put them in an area where you don't want the enemy to infiltrate, sacrificing the kroot for more space.

If there is no need to push back infiltrators, kroot are a very good distraction unit. The opponent will often shoot at them just because they are there, what you need to do is take advantage of that by putting them somewhere to get the rest of your army into a better position.

Kroot are also a good scoring unit, especially in alpha mission, or cleanse and secure and control, where the cost of the unit doesn't matter. Kroot are able to sit behind forests, then move through them in the last few turns without movement penalty.

If there is little tactical use for the kroot, they are best as a pillbox unit, sit them in a forest and shoot.

None of these advantages get any better than more kroot you have in a unit. The best combination?

10 Kroot 70


Stealths:
Stealths are a fantastic unit. Stealths are incredibly hard to kill if your main focus is on keeping them alive.

When using stealths, it is usually best to keep them alive as a first priority, shooting them at something is less important. This doesn't mean hide them for 6 turns, they can often shoot and hide back behind terrain, what it means is that there may be one or two turns where it's best to stay back and use their stealth armour to protect them, or to stay behind cover and wait for the enemy to advance.

Stealths are designed to stay alive, and score objectives. The best combinations are:

4 stealths 120
or
6 stealths 180


What's the right balance?
It generally doesn't matter what balance you have, you will have a good army that will win battles. The only way to convince yourself which is the better balance is to find out for yourself. If you're willing to take a shortcut, I find 18 stealths, 6 fire warriors, and 10 kroot the best.


Crisis suits:
Crisis suits are required to offer the range and the high strength shots that fire warriors, kroot, and stealths fail to cover. They help against what S5 AP5 and S10 AP1 fail to specialise killing, 2+ saves and medium vehicles. You do not need a lot of crisis suits to cover this area, in 1500pts 2-4, including commanders, will cover a basic army.

The fireknife: plasma rifle, missile pod, multitracker. While unspecialised towards both 2+ saves and medium vehicles, is the best configuration to use as it covers both well enough.
The fireknife is best used to deny victory points to the opponent just like the stealths. Commanders achieve this well, being able to avoid being shot unless they are the closest. They should focus precisely on the targets they were taken for, rather than an anti-infantry role.

The deathrain: twinlinked missile pod (target lock/flamer). Specialised against medium vehicles, it is the best tau unit in taking out AV10-13 skimmers and AV10-11 non-skimmers, with only the broadside better than it against AV12.
Only elites should be deathrains. The deathrain is the easiest crisis to use, as it has the longest range.

The burning eye: twinlinked plasma rifle (target lock/flamer).
Specialised against 2+ saves. It's not a great marine killer, stealths are better unless it gets into rapid fire range.
Only elites should be burning eyes. The burning eye isn't taking to not get into rapid fire range, nor to score. It needs to hit hard and fast, using the superior mobility of the crisis suit to increase its survivability.

The helios: plasma rifle, fusion blaster, multitracker. Also specialised against 2+ saves, it can also help against vehicles.
The helios is not better than the burning eye within 12". It is better on commanders, being able to use IC to protect it from most enemy. It is still highly suicidal.

Twinlinking is not a priority, and should only be done on shas'el if the spare points are available. Shas'el should always have 2 weapons, you should always max out your commanders before you start using elite crisis.


Hammerheads:
Fit in as many as you can, hammerheads are absolutely fantastic unit, and are quite easy to use. A point a shoot tactic will work, just make sure to stay near terrain so you can hide if shaken next turn.


And it's concluded. I'm willing to hear your thoughts on how wrong I am . Even better, what tactics do you use?
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Old 10 Jan 2006, 11:26   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: A general tactica thread

I endorse the first section, "Army List Building", whole-heartedly, apart from the bit about Kroot Hounds. This bit kind of encourages people to take Kroot Hounds instead of 10 bare Kroot.

I would also like to say that static FW don't have to suck. Disembarking FW in a Fish that are in rapid fire range are also in the enemy's assault range unless they wipe the squad out.
Static FW squads could get four turns of shooting (one of which is rapid fire) against an enemy squad that moves 6" and assaults 6" (and can't fleet).

a rapid fire drop is good, as long as the target definitely dies. that bit could do with more emphasis maybe?
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Old 10 Jan 2006, 14:16   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: A general tactica thread

I use 20 Kroot as it is much harder to make them run, and it takes a LONG time to shoot them down if they are in decent cover.

I use 8 pathfinders - why would you not? Only 12 points a piece, it's worth it to max out the squad to make up for the points sunk into their near useless devilfish. All that said, I don't use them below 2000 points.
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Old 10 Jan 2006, 14:47   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: A general tactica thread

And here it is... the article I'd hoped would never be written I hated 3rd ed for pidgeonholeing the Tau army into one "best" list, namely Nikkenryu, and here we are again discussing the only viable tournament option. While I agree with most of your assertions and feel that most of us secretly feel as you do, it's still sad to finally see it written down.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DireStrike
I use 8 pathfinders - why would you not? Only 12 points a piece, it's worth it to max out the squad to make up for the points sunk into their near useless devilfish. All that said, I don't use them below 2000 points.
Olainari and I had a long discussion on this a while back. The reasoning is subtle and hard to convince someone of without trying it for yourself, it all has to do with your opponent's perception of how much of a threat they are. For some reason, a unit of 8 Pathfinders is percieved as a much greater threat than a unit of 6... much moreso than the 2 additional Markerlights represent. I'd bring 8 Pathfinders (and sometimes 2 Gun Drones for protection) and the unit would be gone by turn 2... even when parked in 4+ cover. My opponent just hated the thought of 8 'lights sitting there marking stuff. But drop 'em down to 6-strong and all of a sudden they started making it through entire games. 6 Markerlights shooting over 6 turns gets you a lot more Markerlight hits than 8 shooting for 2 turns!

Like I said, I doubt you'll be convinced just by me telling you it's so... you'll need to try it out for yourself. And be sure to tell your opponent... yes, this is ONLY SIX PATHFINDERS HERE!!!
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Old 10 Jan 2006, 16:26   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: A general tactica thread

I hate it when people pontificate :P. While a lot of the information in here is useful, some of it is blatantly biased by the author's personal preferences. Please, people, when you post stuff like this, don't start out by saying "anyone who's any good agrees with everything I'm about to say." Some poor newbie might actually believe you!


Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari
the tactics agreed on by the best tau players using our current codex
See what I'm talking about? How many of the best tau players read and approved this before you posted it? :

That said, there are only a few things I take issue with:

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari
Ethereal: Don't give it any upgrades. An ethereal is useful for static fire warriors and broadsides.
While they are not recommended for fully mechanized forces, ethereals are useful for any unit that isn't a vehicle or in a vehicle. My aun has done great things for my stealth suits a couple of times, for example. And when my helios suits have really bad rolls, and only one is left, rerolling that man alone test is nice, too. You don't give the aun much credit...I suspect because you don't use one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari
Crisis suits: There are 3 good configurations: plasma-missile-multi, twinmissile-tlock/flamer, twinplasma-tlock/flamer. Best in units of 1, don't use in units of 3. Don't get any other upgrades.
Burning eye, Deathrain, and Fireknife are the only ones worth considering? I beg to differ. I also disagree with the idea that they should only be taken as monats or in pairs. One suit is an annoyance to an enemy squad. A full set of the right suits is a bad day at the office for that squad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari
Fire Warriors: Give them a shas'ui if not mechanised, no upgrades (or other weapons) otherwise.
only do this if you don't take an ethereal...it would suck to reroll a passed test and still pass because you paid for an 'ui. If you have an aun, FW's base leadership is ideal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari

Kroot: Don't give them any upgrades, they should only be fielded in units of 10. See kroot hounds for an exception.
I don't use kroot, but I'm sure others would disagree here...most of the people I know who do use them advise maxing them out with no upgrades, except possibly hounds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari
Pathfinders: Hard to use. Don't give them any upgrades (or other weapons) other than a shas'ui, and maybe 2 gun drones. They are best fielded in a unit of 6.
Any special reason for the number six? I use a full eight, and wish I could have ten...Under current markerlight rules, they average 4 hits, but often get only 3...and three is the minimum number needed to support a trio of suits. I agree with your comments on upgrades. They're rubbish...with the possible exception of a target lock. Targetlocking the pathfinders' leader is much cheaper than putting a target lock in a FW squad.


Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari
Hammerhead: The best Tau unit, it must have decoy launchers and a multitracker, and it's ok to have target lock and disruption pod. The first two railheads are superior to an ionhead, the third is about even. Smart missiles are better than burst cannons, but require target locks to be useful, and should only taken if you have the spare points.
I agree with most of this. The smart missile bit has me squirming. They'd only be better than burst cannons if they cost the same. I've never founf my heads in a position where there's a good target in the 18-24" range, or inside 24", but out of LOS...To me, the SMS would be worth considering if it were free...but for 10 points? I can find a better use.


Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari

Remove the static fire warriors, remove the broadsides, and you now no longer have anything to defend. The board is the limit, your Tau are free to move. They can now concentrate on capturing objectives, without static elements to tie them down.

That's the general argument for why mechanised tau outperforms trench tau.
AHA! So it's an advertisement for the mech tau doctrine in a thin disguise!

Oh, and nothing to quote in your bit about firewarriors...but I did notice that you failed to mention their 30" range and its implications...obviously, this is because a mechanised firewarrior lets this remarkable ability go completely to waste.

You mentioned kroot as infiltration-denial specilaists...and didn't mention that stealths can do the same...why?


Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari
The best combinations are:

4 stealths 120
or
6 stealths 180
Why do you say this? I myself use 6, so I don't really disagree, but I'm sure that others do...so what makes those numbers special?


Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari
The burning eye: twinlinked plasma rifle (target lock/flamer).
Specialised against 2+ saves. It's not a great marine killer, stealths are better unless it gets into rapid fire range.
Only elites should be burning eyes. The burning eye isn't taking to not get into rapid fire range, nor to score. It needs to hit hard and fast, using the superior mobility of the crisis suit to increase its survivability.
Huh? You're saying that the points cost of a burning eye is justified for getting one twinlinked BS3 plasma shot per turn? I couldn't disagree more. the only plasma-equipped suit that can pull its own weight outside 12" is the fireknife.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari
The helios: plasma rifle, fusion blaster, multitracker. Also specialised against 2+ saves, it can also help against vehicles.
The helios is not better than the burning eye within 12". It is better on commanders, being able to use IC to protect it from most enemy. It is still highly suicidal.
Au contraire, mon frere! The helios is statistically exactly as good as burning eye inside 12"...but with the possibility of 3 wounds instead of 2. And that's without markerlight support. Throw in a few lights, and the helios is left for dead. And someone try to tell me the "suicidal" comment isn't biased : I happen to use 3 of these fine suits, and at least two of the three survive more than half the time...and even when they don't they tear the guts out of whatever unit the enemy pinned his hopes on. Helios is expendable, as in as long as the enemy assault force dies, I don't mind the suits going down with them...but not suicidal. Fact is, they get the job done, and they ususally come out the other side still standing...but they are probably the hardest suit to use.

Anyway, those are my comments...I actually agreed with more than half of what you said...but I have a huge] issue with you putting your opinions forth as fact, and assuming that anyone with a winning record must obviously have gotten there the same way you did.
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Old 10 Jan 2006, 16:43   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: A general tactica thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by march10k
I hate it when people pontificate :P. While a lot of the information in here is useful, some of it is blatantly biased by the author's personal preferences. Please, people, when you post stuff like this, don't start out by saying "anyone who's any good agrees with everything I'm about to say." Some poor newbie might actually believe you!
And I don't like posters being attacked just for giving their opinion. It is a tactica thread, not a stickied walkthrough for winning with Tau. If you want to argue points, that is fine, but anything else you do over PM.


The only thing that really stuck out for me was the ten-man Kroot squads. The reason that we often see the larger 20-man units is that it is all too easy to kill three Kroot and send the unit packing. With twenty, your opponent has to divert significant resources into doing this. With ten, the Kroot may get finished off by one or two units with no other targets, particularly if the Kroot have infilitrated.
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Old 10 Jan 2006, 17:26   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: A general tactica thread

There's something wrong with expressing my disapproval for the arrogance of posting one's own personal opinion as
Quote:
the tactics agreed on by the best tau players
???

Even if his opinions are based on dozens of games he's played...others, such as myself, are equally successful with different tactics...some of them so different as to be opposite.

I respect opinions...I despise it when opinion is posted in such a way as to appear to be "the only way".


And you'll notice that 90% of my post was a direct response, point by point, to those of onlainari's opinions with which I disagree. Perhaps the fact that I didn't quote everything he said that I agreed with, and issue praise, makes my post seem overly negative...that was not my intent...I did, after all, say that I agreed with the majority of his opinions.
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Old 10 Jan 2006, 20:19   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: A general tactica thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by march10k
There's something wrong with expressing my disapproval for the arrogance of posting one's own personal opinion as
Quote:
the tactics agreed on by the best tau players
???
No, but do it over PM with the author rather dragging the thread itself off-topic. The rest of your post was fine, and exactly the sort of commentary that makes tactica debates worthwhile.



I noticed one other thing, actually. Is it really worth the points to upgrade Devilfish with multi-trackers and target locks? Drones fire as passengers (check this one, as I don't have the rulebook handy) and use their own BS, so these upgrades are really only effecting a single Burst Cannon. Not too expensive for a single skimmer, but if you field 2-3 Devilfish in your army as is common for large Mech lists, it can really add up. I am curious to know what others have found in this respect. Are those extra Burst Cannon shots worth the cost?
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Old 10 Jan 2006, 20:44   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: A general tactica thread

The targetting array is always worth the cost - as long as you are almost always firing. The multitracker therefore goes hand in hand with the TA... it's really a hard upgrade to analyze, but basically it increases the durability of your skimmers by letting you do the 6.01" shuffle.

It's a very close call as to whether this is worth it. You do lose a little bit of firepower, but not much, and that bit is made up for by what you gain in exchange... mostly...
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Old 10 Jan 2006, 21:58   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: A general tactica thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari
... the tactics agreed on by the best tau players using our current codex.
I'll agree with March in the spirit of what he said, making a statement like this can be misleading to those who are learning about Tau. It's a general statement that cannot be true, since there are many good Tau players that have different solutions than those offered in this post. I agree with some of what is said, but my rebuttals are:

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari
Commanders: There are 5 good configurations: plasma-missile-multi, twinplasma-missile-hwmulti, twinmissile-plasma-hwmulti, twinplasma-fusion-hwmulti, plasma-fusion-multi. Don't get any other upgrades.
Wholly disagree. A 'good' config depends on the role of your commander. Twinlinking is not point cost effective (regained shots vs. real cost of upgrade) on most commanders, though I would consider it on an 'el. The real cost of twinlinking is not just in the 1/2 again cost for the second weapon, you must also consider 3rd point, any hardpoints that are forced into hardwire, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari
Crisis suits: There are 3 good configurations: plasma-missile-multi, twinmissile-tlock/flamer, twinplasma-tlock/flamer. Best in units of 1, don't use in units of 3. Don't get any other upgrades.
Again, effectivness depends on your role. Twinlinking is generally ONLY of value if 1)you are likely going to be shooting the twinlinked weapon each turn, AND 2)twinlinking does not incur other costs (such as Hardwired MT). Unfortunately this is rarely the case, you must fill a third hardpoint with another system. The TLock (useless in Single, often useless in more than 1) and Multi (utterly useless) and flamer provide your cheapest cost, but offer you little in support of your twinlinked weapon. The flamer is a great offset, but then, it's the flamer giving you hits, not the twinlinked weapon. What about a BC/Flamer/Multi for Ubercheap close fire support? Best in units of 1 is also misleading, as Elite spots are precious. Personally, I prefer 2, it keeps the costs down and still gives you a lot of crisis shooting. You get the same scoring effectiveness as 3 without loading up on points.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari
Kroot: Don't give them any upgrades, they should only be fielded in units of 10. See kroot hounds for an exception.
I despise kroot. They CAN be effective in just the right circumstances against just the right enemy, but otherwise they are a waste. As a countercharge unit, they might be respectable, but with low I, they just can't pull their weight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari
Pathfinders: Hard to use. Don't give them any upgrades (or other weapons) other than a shas'ui, and maybe 2 gun drones. They are best fielded in a unit of 6.
I don't have any yet, but I'm not sure you're close to the mark on this one. Most people who use them (according to the forums anyway) say they're the first things to be taken out. Why, because they are very effective in their current incarnation, but that is offset by the fact that they have only one real purpose.
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari
Kroot hounds: A useful combat unit can be made with a unit or two in a unit of 14-20 kroot with shaper and save.
No thanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari
Broadsides: Not that good, still useable. Best with 2 shield drones, with an ethereal on the board for the moral checks.
Disagree again. Twinlinked BS3 railguns? No move and shoot sucks, but they are great for restricting armor and/or solo character movement through good placement. Their SMS shouldn't be overlooked either. Drones are OK but makes them much more expensive, cover is better IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari
Hammerhead: The best Tau unit, it must have decoy launchers and a multitracker, and it's ok to have target lock and disruption pod. The first two railheads are superior to an ionhead, the third is about even. Smart missiles are better than burst cannons, but require target locks to be useful, and should only taken if you have the spare points.
Not necessarily an overstatment, but I use 1 and 1 since they each have their applications. Interestingly, I prefer an SMS (with multi) to BCs for their added range and freedom from LOS. Unlike March, I frequenly find myself with an opportunity to fire at a unit from behind cover. My oppents have begun to dislike them as well, which is a point in their favor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari
There is a third decision to be made, which is how to get to the objective. Warhammer in space is no longer about putting men down and rolling dice. It's not about who kills the most, or if a unit can make its points back. In 4th edition, the objective now plays a big part in who wins a battle.

Remove the static fire warriors, remove the broadsides, and you now no longer have anything to defend. The board is the limit, your Tau are free to move. They can now concentrate on capturing objectives, without static elements to tie them down.
Very true, and not stated often enough. I'm not fully mech yet, and I find that an extremely limiting factor when it comes to mobility required victories. Most armies don't suffer under these conditions, but we do.

My only disagreement is that even in Non-VP missions, the ability to lay down fire as often as possible is still a factor. Just because your not gaining VPs doesn't mean that you can often afford to forego shooting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari
Fire Warriors in Devilfish:
Taking a look at the fire warrior, I notice a few things. They can survive a single average round of firepower with their decent armour, but are not likely to survive a round of combat with their low initiative.
They survive CC Better than any other unit due to their numbers and decent save. Kroot are ONLY better in CC if they get charged in cover or are facing a slower enemy (who would be stupid to charge Kroot anyway).

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari
The most common use for fire warriors is the rapid fire drop. The FoF is a varient of the rapid fire drop, but it assumes there are enemy left. The best rapid fire drops are those where the enemy unit is finished off. Work out how many you should kill, and have a HQ or elite unit or two to backup just in case luck goes against you. Rapid fire drops should be done on 3 marines, 6 storm troopers, or 8 guardsmen in cover, no more. Double rapid fire drops are safer, and can be done on up to 6 marines, with backup if needed.

Fire warriors in devilfish are great anti-tank dilution...will absorb some anti-tank fire that is now no longer directed at your hammerheads.

.... one that can be relied upon to stay alive until the end of the game, and then able to make a dash for the objective.
Maybe, but giving 2 turns (1 mountup 1 drop and fire) to kill a squad of 3 marines or 8 guardsmen seems like a lot of resources to dedicate to killing such a small force. I understand the mobility advantages of mechtau, but I would think it would primarily rest with enhanced survival, scoring ability, and/or massed opportune shooting to soft troops, than it would for decisive strikes against very few hard troops.

I can see the possibility of anti tank dilution, the DF makes an easier target than a HH. However, you have a conflict of purpose here, either you want them shooting at your DF to keep from shooting at your big tanks, or you want to preserve your DF to retain mobility and scoring, you can't have both.

Also, you cannot ever rely on a unit to survive, it's like relying on a railgun to take out a monolith, sure it often happens, sometimes easily, but isn't a guarantee. The DF is one of the best transports in the game, but it is far from tough to kill.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari
Kroot:
Kroot are not a combat unit. Kroot are about par to fire warriors when shooting at the wider range of targets.
Agreed. AMEN brother! But you neglected the difference between ST5 and 4, armor pen, and range gaps, which should not be ignored.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari
Kroot offer little damage advantage, what kroot offer is their tactical advantage.

Tactical advantages of Kroot:
-Can infiltrate
-Distraction
-Scoring unit

Kroot need to be taken to push back infiltrators. This is not a hard strategy to understand, you put them in an area where you don't want the enemy to infiltrate, sacrificing the kroot for more space.
Infiltrate is only effective only works if the mission allows, and you have a decent place to infiltrate, I've found though that these opportunities are not plentiful as some make them out to be. 1/3 of the time I can't even infiltrate, and then I'm generally very restricted in my placement. Your mention of kroot pusing back infiltrators is hardly useful if you place 2nd, or if your opponent has none. Also, it's the Kroot infiltrate ability that makes them handy as a scoring unit, otherwise they are no better than FWs. I would counter with the fact that Kroot MUST have cover to weather any attrition, meaning IF you infiltrate and score, you must sit and hope the enemy comes to you (harder with only 24" reach), or they risk running across the tabletop and taking heavy casualties (no save) to score. FWs survive better on the move, and have longer reach when they get there. Fieldcraft helps prevent movement slowdowns, but only in woods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari
...I find 18 stealths, 6 fire warriors, and 10 kroot the best.
Seems a little top heavy, and very risky. With 3 units of stealths you give the enemy much more reason to target stealths (which are costly), and probably many more angles to target a unit. I find that 1 unit of stealths is often ignored for sake of more easily shot units.

You said yourself (next) that stealths don't add any firepower strength or range that you don't already have, they only add mobility and survivability. With 18 stealths you have no room for crisis, which denies you the opportunity to field weapons that help fill the holes in the Tau arsenal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari
Crisis suits:
Crisis suits are required to offer the range and the high strength shots that fire warriors, kroot, and stealths fail to cover. They help against what S5 AP5 and S10 AP1 fail to specialise killing, 2+ saves and medium vehicles. You do not need a lot of crisis suits to cover this area, in 1500pts 2-4 will cover a basic army.
Perhaps I'm misinterpreting you here, but it previously you recommended 18 stealths (3 elite spots) and here another 2-4 crisis (1-3 elite spots - 3 likely since you recomended units of 1 crisis). What you say about covering the firepower gaps is true, but you can't minimize your crisis to effectively do so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari
The fireknife:... unspecialised towards both 2+ saves and medium vehicles, is the best configuration to use as it covers both well enough. The fireknife is best used to deny victory points to the opponent just like the stealths. Commanders achieve this well, being able to avoid being shot unless they are the closest. They should focus precisely on the targets they were taken for, rather than an anti-infantry role.
Definitely not anti infantry, and not terribly cost effective, but does provide I-don't-know-what-army-I'm-fighting versatility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari
The burning eye: twinlinked plasma rifle (target lock/flamer).
Specialised against 2+ saves. It's not a great marine killer, stealths are better unless it gets into rapid fire range.
Only elites should be burning eyes. The burning eye isn't taking to not get into rapid fire range, nor to score. It needs to hit hard and fast, using the superior mobility of the crisis suit to increase its survivability.
Plasmas are expensive, and unless you field them in quantity, they don't have enough yield to justify their specialization. You do have enough range to make a pretty good mess of a marine squad if you field units of 3. But then if you're fighting softer troops, this config isn't nearly as valuable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari
The helios: plasma rifle, fusion blaster, multitracker. Also specialised against 2+ saves, it can also help against vehicles. The helios is not better than the burning eye within 12". It is better on commanders, being able to use IC to protect it from most enemy. It is still highly suicidal.
Depends on what your shooting at. I should also point out the paradox of saying it's better commanders for IC protection, but then saying it's suicidal when used like it's supposed to be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlainari
Twinlinking is not a priority, and should only be done on shas'el if the spare points are available. Shas'el should always have 2 weapons, you should always max out your commanders before you start using elite crisis.
Twinlinking is rarely cost effective, though on an El' tankhunter (when you want to be sure of a hit) or suicide strike unit I could see it's use, because you need the hits to take out your target.

Though I disagree with many of your assessments, it's still an interesting post. I'm still learning as well. Since I don't often know who I'll be playing, I generally take an all comers list, but I still like modifying list makeup and unit configs (particularly crisis) to achieve different goals. Adapting your deployment depending on what you know of the army your facing is where my focus has been lately. Bad deployment can easily lose the game, while good deployment can prevent a first turn loss (among other things).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Khanaris
I noticed one other thing, actually. Is is really worth the points to upgrade Devilfish with multi-trackers and target locks? Drones fire as passengers (check this one, as I don't have the rulebook handy) and use their own BS, so these upgrades are really only effecting a single Burst Cannon. Not too expensive for a single skimmer, but if you field 2-3 Devilfish in your army as is common for large Mech lists, it can really add up. I am curious to know what others have found in this respect. Are those extra Burst Cannon shots worth the cost?
On a devilfish, I would only consider the multi trackers, the target locks are a definite NO. The targeting array is only 5 points per DF, and you gain 16% more accuracy with each BC shot. Though not cost effective strictly by points (only one 5 point weapon), it does give mobile FWs more accurate close fire support, which is probably welcome. This will be more valuable if there are more options for DF loadout in the new codex.


double-post fixed - Khanaris
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