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Rapid Fire, FoF, and Dire Avengers
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Old 09 Nov 2006, 01:06   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Rapid Fire, FoF, and Dire Avengers

After recently becoming obsessed with 40k (and buying some Marines to play with the kids with), I'm looking at the Tau. It seems the Tau are great at shooting, and have great range, but the "rapid fire" weapons and Fish of Fury tactics have me a bit confused. I have a couple of questions:

- After disembarking from a transport, such as a Devilfish in the Tau case, doesn't that count as the troops moving? If that's the case, don't the Fire Warriors only get one shot with the rapid fire weapons they have? A unit of 12 Fire Warriors, with a single shot each, seems like it'd struggle versus a unit of Marines.

- How vulnerable are the Devilfishes after deploying in a zone? It seems that even with the front armor of 12, and being a skimmer to allow glancing shots, that the Devilfish are pretty vulnerable. How often are they lost or shot at?

- It was my impression that using a Devilfish combined with Fire Warriors was pretty potent, but it seems the Eldar can do it much better now? A Wave Serpent can drop Dire Avengers 18" away and combined with bladestorm can hit an enemy with 33 shots (for just 10 DAs). What separates the Tau from this? Maybe just a lot cheaper for the attack?

Anyway, I guess I'm confused on rapid fire, and how it works with disembarking. Mounted Fire Warriors also seem a huge part of the Tau attack and gameplan, so I'm trying to understand why. I love the Hammerhead and Devilfish models, and especially love the Piranha models, so I'm really tempted to collect Tau, but just want to understand them first.

Thanks!
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Old 09 Nov 2006, 01:13   #2 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Rapid Fire, FoF, and Dire Avengers

Rapid Fire weapons can be fired after moving when you are in Rapid Fire range.
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Old 09 Nov 2006, 01:14   #3 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Rapid Fire, FoF, and Dire Avengers

A few things to clear up, I guess ...

Quote:
After recently becoming obsessed with 40k (and buying some Marines to play with the kids with), I'm looking at the Tau. It seems the Tau are great at shooting, and have great range, but the "rapid fire" weapons and Fish of Fury tactics have me a bit confused. I have a couple of questions:
It's really just my opinion, but the Tau aren't that great at shooting. It's just that we have amazing guns to make up for how bad we are at using them. Likewise, we don't have the static shooty capability of some other armies.

As for rapid fire and FoF, just check the rule book. Currently, rapid fire doesn't much care if you move or not if you're firing from 12" or less - that is, you WILL get 2 shots, whether you moved or stood still. Moving only cares if you're further away.
The above probably helps clear up your confusion with the FoF as well, because there's not much else to elaborate on.

As for the devilfish, it's not a hugely popular target when the fire warriors themselves are standing directly behind it. It pretty much does as good a job as it can do preventing assult, and shooting it down won't help that front either, as a skimmer or hunk of junk do an equally good job stopping your enemy in their tracks.

The Eldar comment, I am not so familiar with, and cannot help you.
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Old 09 Nov 2006, 01:24   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Rapid Fire, FoF, and Dire Avengers

Quote:
Originally Posted by sw001
After recently becoming obsessed with 40k (and buying some Marines to play with the kids with), I'm looking at the Tau. It seems the Tau are great at shooting, and have great range, but the "rapid fire" weapons and Fish of Fury tactics have me a bit confused. I have a couple of questions:
Ah, it's great to see new people to 40k! Welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sw001
- After disembarking from a transport, such as a Devilfish in the Tau case, doesn't that count as the troops moving? If that's the case, don't the Fire Warriors only get one shot with the rapid fire weapons they have? A unit of 12 Fire Warriors, with a single shot each, seems like it'd struggle versus a unit of Marines.
Yes, they do count as moving. You're understanding seems to come from the 3rd Edition Rulebook, that was the way it used to be. Now it is different, they can get double the amount of shots they used to get, but may not make an assault move. I further clarify this through PMs if necessary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sw001
- How vulnerable are the Devilfishes after deploying in a zone? It seems that even with the front armor of 12, and being a skimmer to allow glancing shots, that the Devilfish are pretty vulnerable. How often are they lost or shot at?
I'm still perfecting my Mech Tau list, but most opponents I come across prefer to shoot the more damage causing elements of my force than mere Devilfish, and I have found them to be surprisingly resilient. I lose few in games, and it's generally only if I've screwed up somewhere, my opponent had nothing else to fire at, or he preferred to shoot the devilfish instead of the Fire Warriors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sw001
- It was my impression that using a Devilfish combined with Fire Warriors was pretty potent, but it seems the Eldar can do it much better now? A Wave Serpent can drop Dire Avengers 18" away and combined with bladestorm can hit an enemy with 33 shots (for just 10 DAs). What separates the Tau from this? Maybe just a lot cheaper for the attack?
Yes, the Wave Serpent and Dire Avenger are significantly more points combined than the Fire Warrior/Devilfish design. They may hit more often, and have a bit longer range, but other things in the Tau's arsenal, such as markerlights, can dramatically change this outcome. Also, the Fire Warriors weapons are stronger than the Dire Avengers, and sometime that makes all the difference.

I feel the need to prove this mathematically, and so I shall!

11 Firewarriors, mounted in a Devilfish with Shas'ui upgrade, Devilfish with Decoy Launchers is 205 points. This is the way I run my FoF squads.

Likewise, 10 Dire Avengers, Exarch w/ Power Weapon & Shimmershield, Defend, Bladestorm, mounted in a Wave Serpent with Spirit Stones, ShuriCannon x 2 is 297 points.

Now, these aren't min/maxed squads, just generally, all purpose squads I can see people using.

11 Firewarriors = 22 shot in rapid Fire range.
9 Dire Avengers = 27 shots with Bladestorm.

To Hit!
FW: 22 shots at BS3 = 11 hits.
DA: 27 shots at BS4 = 18 hits.

To wound!

MEQ(Marine Equivalent models):
FW: 66% wound, so 7.33 wounds. 2.44 dead marines.
DA: 50% wound, so 9 wounds. 3 dead marines.

On GEQ(Guardsmen Equivalent models):
FW: 83% chance to wound, 9.16 wounds. 9.16 dead Guardsmen.
DA: 66% chance to wound, 12 wounds. 12 dead Guardsmen.

Now, looking at this raw, we can see Dire Avengers do more damage, but are more costly, almost 33% more of the price than a Fire Warrior Squad doing this.

Now, if we decide to pump up the Fire Warriors with Markerlight shots, we can get a better result from them.

To hit with +1 BS(BS4):
FW: 66% hit, 14.66 hits.
Wound: 66% wound, 9.77 wounds. 3.26 dead Marines.

To hit with +2 BS(BS5):
FW: 83% hit, 18.33 hits.
Wound: 66% wound, 12.22 wounds. 4.07 dead Marines.

Now, look at that effectiveness jump! They are easily killing MEQ's more than Dire Avengers are, and they are still cheaper in points.

Now, to only make it fair, we'll give the Dire Avengers a Doomed target.

To Hit!
DA: 27 shots at BS4 = 18 hits.
Wound: DA: 75% wound, so 13.5 wounds. 4.5 dead Marines.

Now, you can clearly see the Dire Avengers succeed in dealing damage to MEQs, but they are not as sufficient as Fire Warriors are for their points. More than likely, you'll have nearly 3 FoF squads where the Dire Avengers will have 2. The Dire Avengers can hold their own in the assault phase, which is something Fire Warriors can never hope to do without the aid of Kroot. One must remember though, that after the Dire Avengers shoot with Bladestorm, they may not fire in their next shooting phase, cutting their effectiveness by that much more. In a standard 6 turn game, the Dire Avengers average 13.5 dead marines at best at shooting, while the Fire Warriors could mount a bit more than 24. Remember, this is under the best circumstances, so many times, both sides will not fair that well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sw001
Anyway, I guess I'm confused on rapid fire, and how it works with disembarking. Mounted Fire Warriors also seem a huge part of the Tau attack and gameplan, so I'm trying to understand why. I love the Hammerhead and Devilfish models, and especially love the Piranha models, so I'm really tempted to collect Tau, but just want to understand them first.

Thanks!
Ah, it's no problem trying to help a new gamer understand the rules. If you need anything else, I'm sure the helpful people here will have no problem clarifying things for you.
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Old 09 Nov 2006, 01:51   #5 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Rapid Fire, FoF, and Dire Avengers

Thanks all. I just misread the rapid fire rules. If units haven't moved, they can shoot up to the maximum range once. Rapid fire is always twice in twelve inches.

As for targetting the Devilfish or Firewarriors, it would seem that the Devilfish would be the best target most of the time, at least to me as a beginner. If I shoot down the Devilfish, the Fire Warriors would be easy to attack and then assault, where they are extremely vulnerable. Why not get rid of the Devilfish and pick off the Fire Warriors? If the Fire Warriors can escape every time, they are a lot more trouble it'd seem?

After looking at points more, it appears that the Devilfish + Fire Warriors are 80ish points less then an Eldar Wave Serpent and loaded out Dire Avengers. 80 points is a commander in points costs, so I guess it is significant. The Dire Avengers have a better BS, which would seem to equal out the slightly better power of the pulse rifle for the Fire Warriors.

How do markerlights change the outcome? I need to read the site more, but I'm still unsure on markerlights. I have the Tau Codex, and see that I can take a Shas'ui in the Fire Warriors and a marker light for extra points, but will that marker light improve the groups accuracy, or another groups?

Thanks for all the answers!

edit: just saw a great markerlight post, so they make sense now
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Old 09 Nov 2006, 01:59   #6 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Rapid Fire, FoF, and Dire Avengers

Quote:
Originally Posted by sw001
Thanks all. I just misread the rapid fire rules. If units haven't moved, they can shoot up to the maximum range once. Rapid fire is always twice in twelve inches.
Ah, we all make mistakes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sw001
As for targetting the Devilfish or Firewarriors, it would seem that the Devilfish would be the best target most of the time, at least to me as a beginner. If I shoot down the Devilfish, the Fire Warriors would be easy to attack and then assault, where they are extremely vulnerable. Why not get rid of the Devilfish and pick off the Fire Warriors? If the Fire Warriors can escape every time, they are a lot more trouble it'd seem?
Well, you can either kill their mobility, or you can kill their firepower. You have a lot more weapons capable of killing Fire Warriors than you do to kill a Devilfish. Generally, the Devilfish becomes worthless if the Fire Warriors inside are killed. Plus, the crashed Devilfish still blocks line of site, so if you shoot and kill that, you may no longer shoot at those Fire Warriors, and they can either make an escape on foot, or rush up and rapid fire again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sw001
After looking at points more, it appears that the Devilfish + Fire Warriors are 80ish points less then an Eldar Wave Serpent and loaded out Dire Avengers. 80 points is a commander in points costs, so I guess it is significant. The Dire Avengers have a better BS, which would seem to equal out the slightly better power of the pulse rifle for the Fire Warriors.
Yes, it does equal out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sw001
How do markerlights change the outcome? I need to read the site more, but I'm still unsure on markerlights. I have the Tau Codex, and see that I can take a Shas'ui in the Fire Warriors and a marker light for extra points, but will that marker light improve the groups accuracy, or another groups?

Thanks for all the answers!

edit: just saw a great markerlight post, so they make sense now
Ah, I edited my post with these questions answered, and did some math to show what is more effective. I hope that clears things up!
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Old 09 Nov 2006, 02:11   #7 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Rapid Fire, FoF, and Dire Avengers

Thanks Ga' da Ma' 'za'ha. Sorry about the markerlights. Just posted that and there was a big discussion three threads down of course .

The Tau seem pretty interesting, and I really most of the models. The mech Tau lists seem very interesting as well. I just want to make sure the Tau have a really different feel then the Eldar, or are better in some areas.
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Old 09 Nov 2006, 02:17   #8 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Rapid Fire, FoF, and Dire Avengers

Quote:
Originally Posted by sw001
Thanks Ga' da Ma' 'za'ha. Sorry about the markerlights. Just posted that and there was a big discussion three threads down of course .
Ah, silly me. And to think I just could've copy/pasted all that instead of working it out....

Anyways, you're welcome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sw001
The Tau seem pretty interesting, and I really most of the models. The mech Tau lists seem very interesting as well. I just want to make sure the Tau have a really different feel then the Eldar, or are better in some areas.
The Tau do have a different feel for the Eldar, but they are similar in several respects. I suggest taking the time to look through both codices and inquire upon both boards. That's the most informed decision you can make.
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Old 09 Nov 2006, 06:03   #9 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Rapid Fire, FoF, and Dire Avengers

I think the biggest advantage is that the Dire avengers dont particularly need to buy that wave serpent transport and can function as a carbine squad, only with the awesome firepower more than equivalent to a FoF.

DA squad w/ transport
10 DAs Exarch with assault 4 gun and bladestorm
Wave serpent w/ TL shruiken cannon, skruiken cannon, spirit stone
282pts

FoF Squad
12 FWs w/ shas'ui
DF w/ decoy launchers, multi-tracker, TA
230pts

DA squad
10 DAs Exarch with assault 4 gun and bladestorm
152pts

Carbine Squad
8 FW, shas'ui w/ 2 drones, bonded
110pts

Transports' kills are added onto the first two.
Red number is points per kill
[table]
[tr]
[td]

[/td]
[td]

[/td]
[td]
10 DAs + Serpent
[/td]
[td]
12 FoF FWs
[/td]
[td]
10 Dire Avengers
[/td]
[td]
10 Carbines
[/td]
[/tr]

[tr]
[td]
MEQ kills
[/td]
[td]

[/td]
[td]
3.70/76.21
[/td]
[td]
3.35/68.65
[/td]
[td]
2.66/57.14
[/td]
[td]
1.13/97.34
[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]
w/ 1 ML
[/td]
[td]
BS
[/td]
[td]
4.70/60
[/td]
[td]
4.24/54.24
[/td]
[td]
3.66/41.53
[/td]
[td]
1.43/76.92
[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]
w/ 2 ML
[/td]
[td]
BS+Doom
[/td]
[td]
6.81/41.40
[/td]
[td]
5.13/44.83
[/td]
[td]
5.6/27.14
[/td]
[td]
1.72/63.95
[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]
GEQ kills
[/td]
[td]

[/td]
[td]
12.89/21.87
[/td]
[td]
12.59/18.26
[/td]
[td]
9.77/15.55
[/td]
[td]
4.25/25.88
[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]
w/ 1 ML
[/td]
[td]
BS
[/td]
[td]
17.78/15.86
[/td]
[td]
16.28/14.12
[/td]
[td]
14.66/10.36
[/td]
[td]
5.37/20.484
[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]
w/ 2 ML
[/td]
[td]
BS+Doom
[/td]
[td]
23.78/11.85
[/td]
[td]
19.61/11.72
[/td]
[td]
20.14/7.547
[/td]
[td]
6.48/16.97
[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]
Pts
[/td]
[td]

[/td]
[td]
282pts
[/td]
[td]
230pts
[/td]
[td]
152pts
[/td]
[td]
110pts
[/td]
[/tr]
[/table]
[size=8pt]
*Markerlight point costs per hit: http://forums.tauonline.org/index.php?topic=17630.0
[/size]

In case you're wondering, heres the transport kills.
vs MEQ
0.69 Fish
1.04 Serpent

vs GEQ
2.59 Fish
3.12 serpent

So they're pretty much the same in firepower but you've got to consider that the wave serpent is actually a fast vehicle, giving it the 24" boost if necessary. The fish would have to buy a multi-tracker to move 12" then fire, which was not included in pts (whoops sorry).

Other things you must consider besides MathHammer!
Transports:
-Wave serpent is a fast vehicle
-Wave serpent is arguably the hardest transport to kill
-Devilfish is cheaper
-Wave Serpant can unload farther away due to 18" range of squad

-Markerlights are points coming from elsewhere so you may want to factor in your points per markerlight hit here, I would add this but the table would be a mess to read. As there is many options for markerlights and it has already been covered here: http://forums.tauonline.org/index.php?topic=17630.0

-As a counter to markerlights, there may be warlock/farseer powers that increase accuracy, but I'm not to familiar with them. If they exist someone please tell me so I can add those in too.

-Dire Avengers are much better in combat, I'm using the same exarch Gha Da Mah used.

-Dire Avengers have better leadership, but cannot get bonding.

-The Dire Avenger squad could probably be a cheaper squad without his power weapon and shimmer shield but I have no idea of their points so I just left as is. Once I see the codex or someone tells me their cost I'll update these numbers with a more role-oriented squad.

-The tau are more mobile so will be able to better support their squad, versus the dire avengers which will probably have less around.

Summary
The dire Avengers on foot simply look amazing to me. If you need really mobile firepower I would still recommend the FoF tactic as the Avengers seem to loose their worth when upgraded with a Wave Serpent.

However with the serpent vs fish and no support, they are neck and neck as far as pts/kill goes. However, you are safer from enemy fire as you can unload from ever farther away and will decimate an entire guard squad on a semi-unlucky roll.

As for the plain squad of flootslooging Avengers, there's no contest. Semi-mobile, and with all those assault shots at 18" they are pretty darn safe from combat. And even if they do enter combat, WS4, and I5, with I6 and a power weapon(if you want) on the Exarch to boot.

In the end, the Avengers seem like a better squad no matter how you take them. However, that's one unit laying wanton destruction where it wants vs. the ability of the entire Tau army to do so. You can only use so many Vypers.

I am depressed about the MathHammer performance of my favorite squad, the 10 firewarriors with carbines :'(
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Old 09 Nov 2006, 06:30   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Rapid Fire, FoF, and Dire Avengers

The dire avengers on foot does seem like its better however there is another thing to factor in. A single Railgun submunition would spell doom for those avengers and likewise heavy bolters, battle cannon, mortars etc, etc, etc. Without the transport to keep them safe from ap 4 weapons and such the Dire avengers are not resilient enough to rush up and unload against the enemy IMO. With fleet they arent slow but its not reliable enough to make sure they stay in cover and even then I would rather have a tricked out Wave Serpent protecting my not all too cheap troops instead of some rubble.

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