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Pathfinders: Surefire Pins
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Old 31 May 2006, 05:25   #1 (permalink)
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Default Pathfinders: Surefire Pins

Since I now own 9 Pathfinders (two with rails), I need to consider how to use them best other than deploying them in two seperate groups. At the time I had some moeny and was convinced to buy them on a particular strategy....

Since one can use markerlights and railrifles from the same squad, the idea is this: Line up a target squad with the markerlights, reduce their morale save with all the lights, then rail them so they get pinned.

The advantages I see to this is dropping that essential squadron and keeping them as immobile targets to get blasted by other troops. After all, since one of the essential elements of the Tau army is engadging the enemy at distance, it keeps that pinned enemy unit in place, on their side, with several less troops.

That's the idea anyway. Thoughts on this, or other uses for my pathfinders?
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Old 31 May 2006, 05:57   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pathfinders: Surefire Pins

That would only work if they had networked markerlights, but since they don't the other mambers of the squad can't benefit from their effect. Sorry.
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Old 31 May 2006, 06:38   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pathfinders: Surefire Pins

yeah, in order to do that you'll have to keep them in separate units.
then the rails can benefit from each others lights.
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Old 31 May 2006, 06:51   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pathfinders: Surefire Pins

Like everyone else said, they need to be networked. This can be solved by give the squad leader marker drones, though it's pricey.

Im curious as to how good of an idea it is though...all the markerlights and rail rifles need to fire at the same target. I suppose this could be cool if one simply wanted to wipe a squad out, but the pinning aspect is sort of lost.

Anyways for pinning there is nothing better in the Tau army than sniper drones, hands down. The AP, Range, Stealth and the markerlight make everything else look like pointsinks.

If you'd want two squads of Pathfinders, one dedicated pinning unit and another support I'd be interested to see how that would work out. If you keep the teams small, they could be great little scoring units with warfish back up. Theres a great thread about using two squads of Pathfinders up here (though I don't know the link).
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Old 31 May 2006, 16:42   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pathfinders: Surefire Pins

You might also want to check out the "4 pathfinder, 3 railrifle..." thread. It also talks about the pathfinders and pinning.

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Old 31 May 2006, 17:06   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pathfinders: Surefire Pins

While a pinning army would be really cool; and Tau could do it best, I don't think it will actually be effective in a global all-comer sense.

Here's why:

[size=12pt]"... To impose a -1 Leadership penalty on the marked unit ..."[/size]

See, the problem is we can impose a leadership penalty on the unit; not against the leadership test itself. That's a huge difference. Some powers in this game put the penalty on the leadership test, which makes it work far better. When you only apply the modifier to the actual unit, it can be negated.

Most non-fearless armies worth pinning will have a means to negate the test completely, or at least buffer it a lot, due to that.

1 - Space Marines have Rites of Battle (easily buffers up to Ld10).
2 - Witch Hunters have Books of Lucius (competely negates).
3 - Imperial Guard have officers and Iron Discipline (buffers up to Ld10).
4 - Orks have Mob Checks (completely negates).

That leaves you only a few armies who truly may be pinned on a regular basis through the modifier:

A - Necrons
B - Eldar
C - Dark Eldar


Pinning Necrons would be absolutely lovely. However, look at what we have to do to make sure it happens: (1) You have to have markerlights on them, and reduce their leadership at least to a 6 before you can expect reliable results. (2) You must cause more than a few pinning tests in order to make it happen, without luck. (3) You have to actually kill a few Necrons in order to do that in the first place. So if you were to attempt this, you would need a lot of lights, and a lot of RailRifles to make it work. I would suggest you may need 3 squads worth to really make it happen, and enough lights to ensure it each turn. That's a major investment for the Tau. Though interesting, it may not be the best way either since it generally will only be useful for pinning large squads of Warriors, as everything else is already low on squad size and would be destroyed from 3 or 4 casualties anyways.

Eldar & Dark Eldar:

Now these two armies are your best bet for reliably and easily pinning. You don't have to rely on Rail Rifles, though they help. But the leadership is why it's easy. It means less lights required, which means less tests required which means more pinned units. Granted some have good leadership, and will need more tests. The other thing, is most Eldar are more easy to kill than a Necron, so more tests will be easier to force. And we can get more sources via many things--we can practically get a pinning weapon in every slot on the force organizational charge in some way. We don't need to do that, but we have groups of them which are relatively cheap and good at it. So 2 or 3 lights, plus 2 or 3 pinning tests would probably reliably put a pinned squad of Guardians down each turn. That's still a big investment, but it's more realistic than what would truly be needed to ensure it against something like Necrons.

Units to consider:

Pathfinders - 6x Man teams with 2x Shield Drones, 3x Rail Rifles perhaps.
Sniper Drones - Take two teams.
FireWarriors - An extra source of a markerlight to up the BS of railrifles per squad. Take several.
Gun Drones - Outfit GunDrones in fast attack, and make good use of those who detach from Fish.
Stealths with GunDrones - Excellent protected squad of pinning tests waiting to happen.

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Old 31 May 2006, 17:13   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pathfinders: Surefire Pins

I'm not sure it works that way, Mal. Even if the unit takes Leadership from another model, the modifier is still going to be there. This might just be an odd wording.
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Old 31 May 2006, 20:00   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pathfinders: Surefire Pins

I agree with Khanaris. The wording is not crystil clear. But I'm pretty sure we get to impose the -1 to the LD test.
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Old 01 Jun 2006, 00:45   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pathfinders: Surefire Pins

We dont get to use the markerlights for a pinning test for the rifles in the same squad. The rule goes more in depth to say that it applies only to the firing unit's shooting, the firing unit being the unit the marker was expended for. As we cannot expend the markers for its own unit without being networked, this will not work.
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