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hybrid armies: is there another way?
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Old 18 May 2006, 01:47   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default hybrid armies: is there another way?

I have a standard, run-of-the-mill, "hybrid" tau army. three crisis suits, a squad of stealtharmor, one hammerhead, two squads of FW, a single broadside (they're expensive in canada, bite me), and some other stuff.

most (read: all) games i play literally boil down to two consequences: either the opponent slams its force onto my firebase and is disintegrated literally inches before they reach my lines, or the assault troops break through and slaughter my army in close combat.

Problem is, i don't really see a viable strategy for me to win games with my existing forces other than to sit there shooting at everything that shows up in my sights, blasting happily away like a game of space invaders, and gambling everything on whether i can crush the enemy through sheer shooting alone.

I've tried several other strategies outlined by other people and the Tau codex, but i have never won any games with anything fancy.

So is there another way that i can win games, rather than the gamble on sheer shooting efficiency?

thanks.
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Old 18 May 2006, 02:42   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: hybrid armies: is there another way?

well i find that going with a small static fire base (aka 2 squads of 10-12) and then a squad of mounted warrirors in a Warfish. this gives you a solid fire base and allows you to cripple almost any squad or harrass anything you want within reason (takes a while to get to the basilisk)
 
Old 18 May 2006, 02:49   #3 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: hybrid armies: is there another way?

Hmm. A firebase army can certainly win, but I'd say to try and address the weakness your force currently has, namely the pain of Close Combat. What it seems is needed is a moment's breathing room, tying down the enemy assault units while repositioning the firebase to take advantage of the situation. If you are getting caught with your back literally to the board edge, then there's not a lot that can help... It's literally a do or die situation, then!

The first idea to mind are Kroot. Kroot could certainly provide a worthy assistance, guarding one or both flanks and waiting for the enemy to come within range. Bulked up with Hounds, a squad or two of these could form a vicious counter-attack force the first moment Assaulters cracked your lines, or could put themselves into position to charge the enemy instead. In addition, the veritable storm of rifle fire they unleash is certainly nothing to scoff at!

A second thought might be to use a few Monat-style units, with the addition of a Flamer or other template weapon. For example, a Deathrain type (TL Missile pods) could add the Flamer in as a backup device, and hardwire almost any support device. When enemy squads come too close, the Monat could leap in, unleash a maelstrom of flamer fire on the offenders, and either bounce back or charge in, depending on the gamble. (The main problem here is that single suit is extremely vulnerable to getting trounced in said attack... might not provide you the holding action you want!)

Gundrones are a third idea worthy of consideration. With twin-linked Carbines, these little helpers are perfectly equipped to sacrifice themselves for the idea of the Greater Good.

Finally, there is a tactic espoused on these boards ages ago called the "Brace". Essentially sacrificing two members of a unit for the good of everyone else, it allows a Firebase squad to take a charge, withdraw in good order, and survive long enough to reform and fire once more.

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Old 18 May 2006, 03:29   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: hybrid armies: is there another way?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RealMenUseCarbines
I have a standard, run-of-the-mill, "hybrid" tau army. three crisis suits, a squad of stealtharmor, one hammerhead, two squads of FW, a single broadside (they're expensive in canada, bite me), and some other stuff.

most (read: all) games i play literally boil down to two consequences: either the opponent slams its force onto my firebase and is disintegrated literally inches before they reach my lines, or the assault troops break through and slaughter my army in close combat.

Problem is, i don't really see a viable strategy for me to win games with my existing forces other than to sit there shooting at everything that shows up in my sights, blasting happily away like a game of space invaders, and gambling everything on whether i can crush the enemy through sheer shooting alone.

I've tried several other strategies outlined by other people and the Tau codex, but i have never won any games with anything fancy.

So is there another way that i can win games, rather than the gamble on sheer shooting efficiency?

thanks.
Hey man,

Your units sound completely fine. It sounds to me like the problem is your targeting selection practices and possibly what armies you're fighting. So, maybe you can answer some questions:

1 - Who are you fighting against and which units, specifically, are breaking you in combat?
2 - What point limit games are you playing?
3 - How much terrain are you playing with generally (and which types)?
4 - When you are shooting, which units do you shoot first?
5 - When shooting, do you split up your fire and hit multiple targets, or do you focus on one until it's dead?
6 - Do you have any GunDrone models?

Cheers!
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Old 18 May 2006, 11:15   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: hybrid armies: is there another way?

Gun Drones in back to tie up deep strikers.

Kroot a little bit forward for runners.

Position your gunline to stall sweeping advance.

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Old 18 May 2006, 13:10   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: hybrid armies: is there another way?

hmmm...

I see several courses of action here. They are not mutually exclusive, you might consider more than one:

1. A nastier firebase. 20-25 models, only one of which is not a fire warrior, isn't much of a firebase, in terms of its ability to shoot down an incoming assault. Mine contains 24 FW, 8 PF, and 6 sniper drones. The AP fire of the drones and the 10 markerlights make it extremely unusual for the enemy to break through. In larger games, I'll add a pair of broadsides...but my firebase hovers at 1/3 of my points. Unless you're playing 1000 points, yours is much smaller than 1/3.

2. Brace. Excellent tactic. It was mentioned before. It means extending a fire warrior 2" in front of his squad, and then another one 2" in front of him. In this way, when charged, you lose 1-2 models, breaking base to base contact with the enemy, and get an uncontested fallback move, leaving that enemy squad out in the open, unable to consolidate into anyone, which in turn exposes him to another turn of nasty S5 rapid fire!

3. Go entirely mechanized. Then run away. I'm not fond of this one, but it works.

4. A counterassault/deterent unit. This could take a number of forms. One is a squad of kroot, preferably with both hounds and oxen. This will work wonders if it intercepts the enemy forward of your warriors, and will limit the damage (probably do more damage, too, since the charge is assured) if they get to your firewarriors first. The form that I perfer is a set of helios suits. Without markerlight support, they can be counted on to kill 4-5 MEQs in a round of shooting. With markerlighting,7. Combined with the fires of your actual firebase, this should be plenty to eliminate the threat. If not, you have to decide whether to charge with the suits.

5. Decoys. Some assaulty armies have rules that you can use to your advantage, especially ones that under certain circumstances force them to move towards the nearest enemy unit. Wouldn't it be too bad if the nearest enemy unit was not only behind them, but also faster than them? Watching enemies chase gun drones around his own deployment zone while being shot in the back with long-ranged fire is quite amusing! Even without such special rules, it is possible to present either a threat or a juicy (but elusive) target that gets his assault force moving away from your lines, usually sideways, but backwards is sometimes possible.
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Old 18 May 2006, 15:51   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: hybrid armies: is there another way?

I use units of gun drones to screen my firebase. Small, fast, capable of pinning, high enough initiative to at least get a chance to swing in combat, and small enough size to make it unlikely they'll stick around and provide the assault squads invulnerability for your turn.

If your enemy isn't paying enough attention, you can even force them to assault your gun drones by spreading them out in a half-circle around the squad, each drone being 2" apart. They can't charge through the drones and if they charge the drones they basically don't move for the turn, leaving them open to nasty return fire on your turn.

Plus gun drones have the advantage of being able to deep strike if you don't think you'll need all of them for screening. They are actually pretty good at Basilisk or Defiler hunting.
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Old 18 May 2006, 17:42   #8 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: hybrid armies: is there another way?

The problem with static(er) shooty armies is that the level of player involvement with the game is completely limited to 2 factors. Deployment, and Target Selection. It seems like you're becoming dissatisfied with the limitations in tactical thought this playstyle offers. I'd suggest a change.
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