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Vespid/Crisis/FireWarrior Combo Tactics for Maximum Marine Destruction!
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Old 12 Apr 2006, 17:54   #1 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Vespid/Crisis/FireWarrior Combo Tactics for Maximum Marine Destruction!

This is a long read, so I'll summarize. I'm discussing the use of Vespid in combination with a TL Flamer Crisis suit and with Fire Warriors, plus the role of Vespid as reserve/support and ambush troops, rather than behind-enemy-lines Marine hunters.

I've been wondering for a while how TL Flamers could be an effective tactic for Crisis suits, and I think the Vespid provide the method.

Let's say you've got a Shas'vre with TL Flamers, travelling with but not attached to a Vespid squad, since a Shas'vre isn't an IC. Everyone has speed and short range weaponry. And they are speeding through cover to a Marine squad. They zip up and prepare to fire.

Now the Flamers should fire first, hitting the largest concentration of Marines. TL flamer performance is roughly .75*.333, or .25 Marine deaths per Marine covered by the template, without cover saves. In a squad of ten marines, firing from an inch away from the squad, you should be able to get 1-2 MEQ kills.

The Vespid now fire, picking off any untoasted Marines. They can have up to 11 in a squad, so 11 shots*.5*2/3 for 3.66 MEQ casualties.

So, we've whittled the squad down to about 5 marines. Now the big assault phase. The Vespid have the highest initiative, and are charging. So 22 attacks/2 to hit /3 to wound /3 for armor means about 1.22 MEQ kills. Pretty pathetic, but we're down to about 4 MEQs, which will likely include the sergeant, a Heavy weapons guy, a special weapons guy, and a basic trooper, who are now locked in assault. They can counterattack for 4 attacks*2/3 to hit*2/3 to wound*2/3 for armor for about 1.185 Vespid casualties. The Crisis suit can now assault for 3 attacks /2 to hit *2/3 to wound/3 for armor for .333 MEQ casualties.

The results are: About 5 MEQ casualties from shooting, forceing fallback test after shooting phase. About 1.55 MEQ casualties from assault, versus 1.185 Vespid casualties caused by Marines, resulting in Marines likely losing assault and being outnumbered 3x or 4x. Total casualties for Tau: 1.185, Marines: 6-7.

In the next Assault Phases, the Tau lose the advantage, killing .7-.8 MEQs versus 1.185 Vespid, as they don't have a charge bonus. Therefore, we need more MEQ casualties from shooting. Since we can only kill one or two MEQs per assault, that should be our target. The example squad above is good for small squads, like the 5 man Lascannon/Plasma rifle Marine Squads some people talk about.

The normal "advantage" of power weapons doesn't really serve the Marines well here, since the Vespid have such low armor anyways.

Options.
Add a Commander: A Shas'o has vastly improved combat ability. Versus Marines, he strikes last. However, on the charge, he has 5 attacks/2 to hit*2/3 to wound/3 for armour for .555 MEQ casualties on average. Compared to the cost of the Elite Shas'vre, I don't believe this is an effective use of a Shas'o. Flamers also waste his BS 5. However, the Shas'o has IC status and Skilled Rider.

Elite Crisis Squad: A squad of Crisis suits with TL flamers looks like a good choice, tripling the shooting casualties from the Flamer attack. Depending on the squad formation, one could likely get 3-6 MEQ casualties. Assuming an average of 4.5 MEQ kills from three TL flamer attacks, we now have 8.16 MEQ kills. There is now only one or two Marines left, and with the additional Crisis suits, we should be able to reliably assault and kill the remaining Marine, and be ready for the next turn. The Vespid and Crisis suits should kill on average 2.22 MEQs in assault, charging.

Pathfinder Support: Markerlights can vastly improve the performance of the Vespid shooting. Two ML hits can raise the Vespid BS to 5, for 11 shots*5/6 to hit*2/3 to wound for 6.11 MEQ kills. With the TL Flamer attack, that's about 7-8 MEQ casualties. However, 2-3 MEQs are likely to survive a round of assault. Another method should be combined here.

Additional Weapons: The Shas'vre and Commander can take an additional weapon and a HW Multitracker. A weapon like a CIB or Plasma Rifle or even a ABFL can add casualties. I think that the .5-2 MEQ casualties one would get would still require combining another method. Still, an ABFL/TL Flamer Shas'vre would look amazing.

Drones: The Drone options the Crisis suit can take can add shots, cause pinning, and add attacks in assault. But two gun drones will hit 2 shots*.555 to hit*2/3 to wound /3 for armor for about .25 MEQ casualties, which is minor. In assault, charging, the drones get 2 attacks*2 drones/2 to hit/3 to wound/3 for armor for .222 MEQ casualties. Using drones would still require another method.

Additional Vespid Squads: Strength in numbers. An additional Vespid squad allows the original squad to do about 8.66 MEQ kills in the shooting phase, which lowers the squad to 1 or 2 Marines, easily dealt with in assault.

Other Support Options: They do exist. Submunitions, Ion Cannons, long range Pulse Rifle support from static Fire Warriors, etc. There are a number of units with a long range attack that can be used to support the Vespid/Crisis combo.

Additional Notes
This is a tactic that requires several things. First off, you need cover to advance in. The Vespid are Skilled Flyers, and are adept at advancing through cover. The Vespids low armor means the squad cannot take much fire without being rendered ineffective, so stay out of LOS.

This is an ambush tactic. This won't be effective against multiple squads, as the Tau will be shot up after the first Marine squad is destroyed. Targets need to be relatively isolated, like infantry squads left behind after their transport was destroyed, or Devastator squads. Plan your attack and make it when you know you can survive. Don't take unnecessary risks. The Vespid are expensive, and bolter fire will negate their armor. You would get ahead by sacrificing a 182 point Vespid squad and a 61 point Crisis suit for a 150 point Tactical Squad.

You need to take full advantage of Crisis and Vespid movement. Oddly, the Crisis suit with jets and antigravity propulsion are much slower than a Vespid, who can travel 12"(Jump Infantry)+d6"(Fleet)+6"(Assault) in one turn, compared to the 12" total for a Crisis suit. Flanking the main enemy forces to get to isolated squads should be your priority.

One other odd thing about the Vespid is that they are not given access to grenades. EMP grenades would've been a welcome addition that would allow the Vespid to hit the opponents support vehicles, like Whirlwinds. The Vespid do have a Str 5 weapon, that can be used to hit rear armor.

This isn't a complete tactic. The Vespid/Crisis combo unit need support for destroying transports. Markerlights are very effective when used with the Vespid. While the Crisis suit with Flamers is not affected by cover, the Vespid Neutron Blasters are. A weird tactic that might be effective would be to use vehicles to "herd" squads using tank shock to isolate them, then landing to block LOS between the bulk of the opponent army and the Vespid, protecting the Vespid from enemy fire.

In the end, the success of this tactic is dependent on the composition of the enemy forces you face. These aren't Terminators who can wade through firepower like a shallow stream. You need to use the terrain with these units and pick your targets carefully.

The Final Word
To be honest, I'm more likely to use Vespid as a fast response reserve unit, which can patrol behind the front lines bolstering faltering units. I'm used to using my Crisis suits for that task, but Vespid are actually efficient Marine killers.

Vespid squad of 11, 182 points, 3.66 MEQ kills, 49.64 points/MEQ kill

This is an excellent rating. This is on par with some of the best MEQ killers in the Tau arsenal. Compared to Static FireWarriors rapid firing...

FireWarrior squad of 12, 120 points, 12 FW*2 shots/2 to hit*2/3 to wound/3 for armor for 2.666 MEQ kills, 45 points/ MEQ kill

And the Vespid have a Ld 9, are Jump Infantry, and are Fleet. They are also more efficient users of Markerlight hits than FireWarriors, don't need a 'Fish to be mobile, and assault better. The real weakness of the Vespid is the low armor, which is the only thing that really prevents them from being a front line unit. The rapid speed lets them jump forward out of cover for a coup de grace when supporting FireWarriors.

I think I've convinced myself to get a squad of Vespid. They seem to be a decent unit.

Anyways, this is getting to be a long read, so I'll stop. What do you guys think of using Vespid as reserve/support troops and ambushers, rather than their "traditional" role of behind-enemy-lines Marine hunting? Is this a decent way to use Vespid? Does anybody have any experience using Vespid like this? In fact, how are you using Vespid, and how successful are you? Do you have any suggestions or additional tactical info?


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Old 12 Apr 2006, 18:07   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Vespid/Crisis/FireWarrior Combo Tactics for Maximum Marine Destruction!

I've got a better idea. Stick 3 sniper drone teams behind a squad of fire warriors (wih an aun?) with a squad of pathfinders. 3 marker counters to the drones means about 5 dead marines, plus one more counter to the FW makes for 8-10 hits (depending on whether you took the aun), 6 wounds, and 2 kills. 7 dead marines at 30" range is a lot smarter than playing around with flamers, then charging the survivors. At around 600 points, this makes an extremely effective firebase, and if you make sure the rest of your force is mechanized, you'll have smooth sailing.
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Old 12 Apr 2006, 18:13   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Vespid/Crisis/FireWarrior Combo Tactics for Maximum Marine Destruction!

Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel.wilson
Does anybody have any experience using Vespid like this? In fact, how are you using Vespid, and how successful are you? Do you have any suggestions or additional tactical info?
Hey man,

I'm sure your idea would work if an ideal situation presented itself. However, the problem is having priority targets like that, oh so close to an enemy, that somehow remained intact and survive getting close enough for this. The suit cannot keep up with the Vespid, and if the Vespid slow down to allow the suit to stay with them, they're all just turned into bolter bait, even if in cover, before they can arrive.

In my experience thus far with Vespid, which is far from complete, is that Vespid that are racing forward to do damage fast, are also on the high priority end of the stick for being shot down, just as fast. Your opponent notices these things. They're just too fast, and too sneaky looking. And when they learn that the gun is AP3, they quickly target the unit for "Exterminatus" immediately and easily rip them up. Not many boards have enough size 3 terrain to truly block line of sight to them all the way up to a good target, and even in cover, Vespid are toast when your opponent is ready to focus on them due to that fast Ap3 threat that they know can move as fast as they do. So I stopped sending Vespid forward, and I stopped sending Vespid into cover and using their speed so early. Instead... I hunt with them.

Basically I've found that if I use my deployment to get Vespid out of sight or at least mostly out of sight and then use their fast movement to get somewhere safe and simply "hold out" for a while, they tend to last long enough and my opponent loses interest in them since they're short range and not coming forward. The focus is shifted towards my transports and suits instead, basically. So in the end; I used the Vespid as a mid-game and late-game surprise, if they survive to see that. It was a way to intercept enemy infantry that either (1) move fast towards me, (2) infiltrate close enough for me to hit right away, and (3) respond to deep strikes and drop pods.

I haven't been able to throw them up against all armies yet, but against marines and chaos, they've been decently useful as a counter, and not as a spearhead. They were pretty poor against Tyranid so far, due to lack of real obtainable targets (and mauled in combat regardless). And they haven't really shined against Eldar yet either. But they've been quite useful against Drop Pods & Assault Marines so far... so there's hope (and for the record, mind are converted from Kroot, like Vulture Kindred).

Anyhow, if you'd care to have it all layed out like normal I can, otherwise, the above is a short summary of it.

Cheers!
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Old 12 Apr 2006, 18:37   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Vespid/Crisis/FireWarrior Combo Tactics for Maximum Marine Destruction!

Quote:
Originally Posted by march10k
I've got a better idea. Stick 3 sniper drone teams behind a squad of fire warriors (wih an aun?) with a squad of pathfinders. 3 marker counters to the drones means about 5 dead marines, plus one more counter to the FW makes for 8-10 hits (depending on whether you took the aun), 6 wounds, and 2 kills. 7 dead marines at 30" range is a lot smarter than playing around with flamers, then charging the survivors. At around 600 points, this makes an extremely effective firebase, and if you make sure the rest of your force is mechanized, you'll have smooth sailing.

That's a little off topic. There is definitely advantages to shooting from 30" range, but that's a lot of points you have invested there. And the 3 MEQs that survive that shooting are going to be the Heavy Weapon Marine, the Special Weapon Marine, and the Sergeant. ATSKNF means they'll regroup automatically, even if they are below half strength. Without the other seven marines, they'll be best off shooting Heavy Weapons from range. I'd add another FW squad to your guys for 720 points. Then you *should* have the firepower to destroy the entire squad in one round of shooting.

They seem very vulnerable to Deep Striking units and Land Speeders. How do your tactics work when Terminators Drop Pod into your lines?

Are you saying you don't want to use Vespid because their range is too short?

Thanks for the feedback, MalVeauX. It seems patience is the important thing with making Vespid effective, not bloodlust. An expensive unit with AP3 weapons is a high priority target for a marine player. Personally, I've never used a flamer on a Crisis suit. I was just trying to figure out a way to do it without being killing in the assault. It looks cheap and viable to try this.

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Old 12 Apr 2006, 19:51   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Vespid/Crisis/FireWarrior Combo Tactics for Maximum Marine Destruction!

Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel.wilson
Thanks for the feedback, MalVeauX. It seems patience is the important thing with making Vespid effective, not bloodlust. An expensive unit with AP3 weapons is a high priority target for a marine player. Personally, I've never used a flamer on a Crisis suit. I was just trying to figure out a way to do it without being killing in the assault. It looks cheap and viable to try this.
Another option for you perhaps:

Something you could try, is that the markerlight isn't all that important for the sniper drones. The sniper spotter, is quite useful as a BS4 markerlight for other units in our army. The rifles are limited to their 3x shots, so improving how well they hit, when we know at least one will hit typically, isn't a massive increase that I've found is worth throwing the light away to. So instead, it's easier just to take pot shots with the railrifles, and forgo the use of our networked light for the team, and allow another squad to use that markerlight counter, should it hit.

So think of what a sniper team, spotting for another squad (such as stealths or vespid, or XV8's or even Fire Warriors) can accomplish, with a little backup from the railrifles just to sweeten the deal:

XV15 x 6 - 180
Sniper Drones Team - 80

@ 36 inches and 18 inch range:

We throw down a markerlight, and let's just assume it hit for the sake of this.
We raise the BS of the stealthsuits to 4.
We fire the railrifles, taking down a marine.
We fire the stealth suits at the same unit, perhaps getting another 3 casualties.

That's a pretty cheap, and pretty resilient way to end 4 miserable marine lives, and then jumping away to relative safety of being untargeted, and avoiding assault.

What about Vespid?

Vespid x 6 w/ Strainleader - 102 points
Sniper Drones Team - 80 points

Again, assume the light hits.

@ 36 inches @ at 12 inch range:

We throw down a markerlight.
We raise the BS of the Vespid to 4.
We fire the railrifles, taking down a marine.
We fire the Vespids at the same unit, perhaps getting another 3 casualties.

We have the same odds as the stealthsuits, nearly exactly. And for a low price, using expendable fast attack Vespid. They can definitely deliver a nice punch that way, if we wanted, and 4 marines isn't a bad deal when you think about it, for just about 182 points, right away. It could be more or less too, depending on luck.

That's 182 points for 4 kills, which is about 45.5 points per death. Not bad in terms of your rating system?

Anyhow - food for thought.

Cheers!
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Old 12 Apr 2006, 20:09   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Vespid/Crisis/FireWarrior Combo Tactics for Maximum Marine Destruction!

Well, yeah, the Vespid can do what the Stealthsuits do cheaper, but the Stealthsuits also have more armor, more range, stealth rules, better performance against the less than MEQ, and infiltrate. You definitely get what you pay for with both units.

In the two cases you mentioned, the stealthsuits are likely to J-S-J or use the stealth field to survive, whereas the Vespid will be shot down with AP:5 bolter fire. The extra points for the Stealthsuits are well worth being able to live to shoot again. The Vespid will work best if no-one is left to fire back.
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Old 12 Apr 2006, 20:49   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Vespid/Crisis/FireWarrior Combo Tactics for Maximum Marine Destruction!

I seem to be out of date on this one since i have not yet had the chance to pick up Tau Empire, but twin-linked flamers? how does that work? is it just twin flamers, firing separately or what?

And from what i hear about vespids i'm thinking that they're high speed marine killers but terribly frail, so when i pick up some vespids i will be reluctant to throw them at anything. I'd probably use them to finish off the last three or four assault marines left after my FWs and battlesuits took their turn.
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Old 13 Apr 2006, 00:37   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Vespid/Crisis/FireWarrior Combo Tactics for Maximum Marine Destruction!

i plan on using a 8-11 man vespid team to be my "anit marine mop up crew". when that assault marine unit comes barreling at my lines, i open up with everything i got and, if any are left standing, send in the vespid! hopefully, by destroying the last 3-5 marines, there will be no return bolter fire, no return assault. a bonus to this is once that squad is gone, i will hopefully be out of LOS to other supporting tac squads! so, to summarize:

-Jump the vespid into place
-Destroy as much of the unit as possible with non-vespid units, leaving the last few for the neutron blasters.
-Vespid open up and destroy remaining numbers
-if neccesary, assault the last marine standing, win combat, and sweeping advance out of LOS of other units!!!

VICTORY!!!
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Old 13 Apr 2006, 01:45   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Vespid/Crisis/FireWarrior Combo Tactics for Maximum Marine Destruction!

I never knew you could use the networked makerlight to spot for other teams. You can do this?
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Old 13 Apr 2006, 02:06   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Vespid/Crisis/FireWarrior Combo Tactics for Maximum Marine Destruction!

Quote:
Originally Posted by The 47th Barracuda
I never knew you could use the networked makerlight to spot for other teams. You can do this?
Networked lights follow the same rules as normal markerlights, but in addition, may be used for the same team in which they are fielded.

Cheers!
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