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Markerlights: How many and what should I shoot with em?
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Old 09 Aug 2006, 06:28   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Markerlights: How many and what should I shoot with em?

Many people have asked me how many markerlights are enough for my army?

While the short answer is "as many as you like", I think it is good to examine when they are most useful, and try to arrive at a ballpark number per 500 points.

Everyone can agree that the BS boost is usually the best stat boost gained from an ML hit, so this post will mainly focus on those situations where it is used to upgrade BS.

These are the first 4 targets, in order of importance, I like to use a Markerlight hit BS boost on.

Target 1: When that piece of armor absolutely has to die, light it up. This is usually a good example of first or second turn use of your markerlight hits. You mark that land raider/monolith/basilisk first turn and aim your big guns. Adding the BS makes sure that you'll at least hit the target.

Target 2: After turn 2, most of the enemy armor should be destroyed, but enemy fast assaulters should be knocking on your door. These should be your next prioity as getting tied up in HtH is never an option for tau.

Target 3: If there are no targets which fit the first 2 target choices then I like the next markerlight hit to be aimed at whatever units can still pump out damage against my remaining armor. This assumes your army still has something which classifies as armor. If you can effectively destroy their anti tank guns, your hammerheads will reign supreme throughout the rest of the match

Of course these are merely guides. Situations arrise on the battlefield where these target prioirty type lists get thrown out for the situation of the moment.

For instance, you should try to take maximum advantage of any troops you have in rapid fire range, as they'll benefit more from that hit than they normally would. Absolute shot count is what's important in a rapid fire opportunity. So, if the choice is between 6 fire warrios rapid firing or a team of crisis suits with at leat 13 Str5 shots. Choose the crisis team (all other things being equal).

Pay attention to which crisis configurations can benefit the most from a ML hit. Twin linked suits typically don't need ML hits as much as multi role suits such as fireknives. So plan accordingly when you deploy and are choosing targets.

Lastly take the AP value of the shots into account. If you have the choice between boosting 12 pulse shots or boosting 4 STR6 AP3 shots against MeQ, take the AP3 shots. In this instance they'll kill 2.22 marines with 1 ML hit whereas the FW's will only kill 1.77

Ok so I know some things I should be shooting at, but how many should I take?
This next part is based more on personal experience than any statistical analysis.

Games that are 500 points or less I usually don't take any ML. The reason is that at these point values it is important to get more models in the list, also there is less of a chance that they'll be used effectively.

I find that in games that the first size list I like to use ML's in are 1000 point games. I like to use 2 markerlights they are great at helping applypressure where it is needed.

At 1500 points I like a minimum of 4 but as many as 6

At 2000 points I like a minimum of 6 up to a maximum of 8. I find that if they are spread out into different fire lanes, there is usually enough coverage to get a couple of hits wherever they are most needed.

Thanks for reading, comments appreciated.





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Old 09 Aug 2006, 06:46   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Markerlights: How many and what should I shoot with em?

i have been taking 8 in 1500 point games. destroying 2 full squads of space marines a turn was nice without the help of any of my two full FOF squads, (though the devilfish transports themselves fired) or my hammerhead. even devilfish become devistating when you get 6 markerlight hits. but more importantly stealth and crisis squads.
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Old 09 Aug 2006, 06:48   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Markerlights: How many and what should I shoot with em?

Do you usually put those ML on Pathfinders or do you use something else?
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Old 09 Aug 2006, 06:52   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Markerlights: How many and what should I shoot with em?

6 pathfinders and a skyray
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Old 09 Aug 2006, 06:58   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Markerlights: How many and what should I shoot with em?

The only problem I have with markerlights, is that almost all of them are static. I tried a skyray, but to really utilize a skyray, you MUST bring pathfinders too. If my list ever becomes hybridized, then I might consider markerlights. However, they simply cannot keep up with the rest of the army when playing full mech.
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Old 09 Aug 2006, 07:01   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Markerlights: How many and what should I shoot with em?

Just switch to a hybrid list. ***Join the Darkside Luke*** ;D
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Old 09 Aug 2006, 15:07   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Markerlights: How many and what should I shoot with em?

1 per fire-warrior squad (that's two)
1 per sniper-drone team of course (that's another two usually)

If I take pathfinders, no sniper drones, but then much more markerlights (and no rail-rifles).

Assume half of them hit at any given moment, and you thus have two hits to use for seekers, BS-upgrades, pinning buffs or whatever on most turns. I carry 3 or 4 missiles in case I get a chance to crack the sides off a falcon or hellhound or something.
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Old 11 Aug 2006, 13:04   #8 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Markerlights: How many and what should I shoot with em?

I've been playing around with 9 ML's in a 1000 pt army lately.

Your suggestions seem pertinent, but ML's are far more useful than simply boosting BS. I won't go over the complete list, but negating cover saves helped out in my last game (I neglected this option in the game previous to that, when I really should have* :-[ ) and perhaps I might try the other ML options as they make themselves available.* (aka I'm considering placing two Seekers on my DF/HH)

The BS boost is indeed sweet (hitting on 2's... doesn't get easier than that), but the new options are worth considering, enough to bring a few more MLs/

On a side note, I saw a guy with 18-20 MLs in an 1850 pt game and he slaughtered some Space Marines, I doubt he'd have been so successful without them.
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Old 11 Aug 2006, 13:09   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Markerlights: How many and what should I shoot with em?

On average, I take about 4 Markerlights per 500 pionts (I take 1 full squad of 8 per 1000 piont games). However, if I do play 500 pionts, I really on my proxied Sniper teams. Since, I've yet to see anyone forfilll 3 HS slots without Wraithlords... :
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Old 11 Aug 2006, 13:10   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Markerlights: How many and what should I shoot with em?

i honestly think that everything that could be equipped with the marker light is in my armies. i generally use the BS bonus, however, in cityfight then the 'ignore cover saves' rule of markerlights tend to work very effectivly ;D
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