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Hybrid List Building: Some Goals and Guidelines
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Old 17 Nov 2006, 09:07   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Hybrid List Building: Some Goals and Guidelines

Building hybrid lists can be fun and challenging. The goal in playing hybrid is to balance the 2 very different types of Tau warfare, static and mobile. By properly mixing these two styles many new tactical options present themselves to the clever commander. Thus it is important to analyze how each unit fits into the framework of the overall hybrid list to find every unit's maximum tactical flexibility.

While choosing an effective blend of units can be difficult, with the right blend of elements no opposing army will be able to just walk all over you. This is due in large part to the variety of tactics available to a well built hybrid list. The wrong blend of units, however can leave deficiencies in your army and make specific foes more difficult to fight. This could be due to an improper mix of unit types, and/or not properly configuring the unit types chosen for maximum flexibility

For example, to much static in your hybrid list and you can fall prey to fast well armored assaulter's, and even mass heavy bolter lists. While not enough static and face hordes overrunning your meager firebases, or worse, the loss of precious devilfish which your mounted Fire Warriors need to be funtional. Worse, once a good mix of units is found getting unit sizes and proper wargear selection right can be a nightmare.

Two things I want you to remember-

Hybrid lists are all about flexibility
Thus their unit selections should reflect the maximum amount of tactical flexibility possible.

Different enemy armies require completely different tactics
Thus options in the overall battle plan are necessary to in order consistently achieve victory. This includes deployment options as well as unit roles.

Lets look at a static element common to many hybrid lists. Fire Warriors teams. Start out out by looking at two different ways to deploy and use static fire warrior teams.

1.) Divide them into separate smaller firebases and cover multiple fire lanes , backed up by other elements like crisis suits or sniper drones. This type of deployment allows for maximum coverage of fire lanes and better markerlight coverage when using marklerights on them(you should). This also minimizes the effects of drop pods and deepstrikers.

2.) Group them all together in a large firebase where they can apply volume of firepower against enemies. This is useful against horde armies, as it applies more concentrated firepower.

Lets do a comparison now between two different configurations of 390 points of fire warriors.(I'll add in mechanized units to this comparison in a future edit)

1. 3x10 Fire Warriors, Shas'ui, Bonding, Markerlights, Target Locks = 390 points
VS.
2. 2x8 Fire Warriors, Shas'ui, Bonding, Markerlights, Target Locks = 220 points
2x6 Fire Warriors, Shas'ui, Bonding, Markerlights = 170 points
Total = 390 points

-Group 1 has 2 more pulse rifles and 1 extra target lock.
-Group 1 is slightly better in the LD department due to squad size.
-Group 1 has a slightly greater volume of fire.
-Group 1's units can each benefit more from a single Markerlight hit.

-Group 2 has 1 extra markerlight and one extra unit.
-Group 2's units are easier to hide.
-Group 2's units are cheaper making them less of a liability.
-Group 2 can cover 1 extra fire lane
-Group 2 is less susceptible to being completely tied up in CC
-Group 2's extra markerlight lends more tactical flexibility and support reliability

Assuming Both Groups are placed in one large firebase to combat hordes, and assuming both groups use their markerlights to their own groups benefit(in other words they support each other and not units) Their volume of hits are as follows-
(Keep in mind when looking at that mathhammer that the guys carrying the markerlights can't shoot with their pulse rifle when they ML's.)

Group 1 = 3 markerlights = 1.5 hits per turn. This works out to 9 Fire Warriors getting BS4 1 turn followed by 18 Fire Warriors getting BS 4 the following turn. That equals 13.5 BS4 fire warriors and 13.5 BS3 fire warriors per turn on average.
13.5*2/3 = 9 hits + 13.5 * .5 = 6.75
Group 1 Total = 15.75 hits

Group 2 = 4 markerlights = 2 hits per turn this works out to 14 BS4 Fire Warriors and 10 BS3 Fire Warriors per turn.
14*2/3 = 9.33 hits + 10*.5 = 5 hits
Total =14.33333 hits

As you can see, group 1 and group 2 in the large firebase configuration have similar firepower profiles.

They have comparable defensive profiles with different strengths and weaknesses (although I personally like group 2's defensive profile much better).

The main difference between the two lies in the added tactical flexibility having an extra unit can bring to the table. Group 2 can set up 1 large firebase, 2 medium size ones, or even in 4 completely different fire lanes. Group 1 can only cover a maximum of 3 fire lanes, and can not form two medium sized bases like group 1.

Another unit for comparison, The Deathrain in 2 different configurations-

1. Deathrains with Targetting Arrays = 53 points
Vs
2. Deathrain with Flamers. = 47 points

Deathrain 1 is only 8% more accurate than deathrain 2, but costs almost 13% more than Deathrain 2.

With its flamer, Deathrain 2 is better at protecting static elements from incoming assaulter's, this is a very important skill in hybrid.

Both Deathrains are capable of deepstriking, this is a highly effective tactic to hit side/rear armor of a basilisk or whirlwind or otherwise get to hidden indirect fire enemies which threaten your firebases . Deathrain two is cheaper so in this instance less is risked on the Deep Strike role.

Now by pairing the second death rain up with the first fire warrior configuration we have the start of a nice hybrid list. A couple of deathrains with flamers will make a nice addition to any firebase. They can add strong accurate long range fire power to a static base, while also providing some flamer/counter assault protection to said base. If there are multiple small bases, the deathrain can potentially defend to adjacent bases. If needed for a deepstrike for whatever reason, that option also exists.

Well, you should be well on your way to constructing your hybrid list. I think I'm going to do a series like this comparing popular units and their builds in the context of working within a hybrid list. So look for them.

Comments appreciated, more to come...8)





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Old 17 Nov 2006, 12:46   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hybrid List Building: Some Goals and Guidelines

most interesting

as it happens i'm working on my first hybrid list with 3x6 firewarriors (for the extra ML) and a squad of deathrain-flamers, among other things.

anyway, on this subject i'd be particularly interested to hear your advice on how to deploy your mobile elements so that they can support the static, and vice-versa.
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Old 17 Nov 2006, 16:17   #3 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Hybrid List Building: Some Goals and Guidelines

One of the strategies I developed with hybrid lists was making my static element at least 1/3 of my force. I adopted this strategy out of a need to have a solid, defensible footprint when Escalation prevented my mech element from starting on board.

Escalation is THE reason to consider using dismounted Fire Warriors (although I personally have had such poor results with dismounted FW that I don't do it anymore - they seem to always fail Ld tests and run off the board at the first chance they get).

Kroot, on the other hand, are great for this - because if you're playing in escalation, you're also using infiltration...

For me, when I go static, it is almost always to include XV88 Broadsides. They can often perform better than Railheads.

I also go Hybrid to protect Pathfinders if they are a major component of my list (in the old dex, the whole PF team & DF started on board - nowadays, the DF may not, but also the PF may start off-board in the DF, which can be of value).
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Old 17 Nov 2006, 16:23   #4 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Hybrid List Building: Some Goals and Guidelines

Not too worry, mobile elements are on the way in future posts. ;D

I plan to more or less review every unit in the context of hybrid list builds.

One really interesting comparison will be the skyray vs ionhead vs rail head. This will include SMS VS Burst Cannon variants of each. Right there you have 6 different units!!!

Of course when it comes to Piranha, there is no comparison!!! But I will discuss their multi role capability and how they free slots in other FOC choices(heavy weapons), while limiting choices in others(mounted FW's). But more on that later.

I also plan on doing a markerlight sourcing comparison between various types of markerlight carriers and how they can be used in hybrid lists. This comparison will include the sniper drones, pathfinders, staticFW teams an ML stealth suit teams.

Heliodrus - The escalation thing is a good point as to why hybrid is more flexible, one I had not considered in fact. As far as FW running of f the board. They need a shas'ui and bonding knife. I can justify the knife on a small unit of 6 because of the markerlight I give them makes it worth it for even that 1 guy to stick around.

I have to go to work right now though, more later.

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Old 17 Nov 2006, 17:55   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hybrid List Building: Some Goals and Guidelines

Israfel, great article. I really enjoyed it and look forward to your analysis with Devilfish and Hammerheads.
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Old 18 Nov 2006, 06:18   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hybrid List Building: Some Goals and Guidelines

I promised to do a comparison of mech warriors to static one in a hybrid list, but the problem I keep running into is this. The roles of the two units are vastly different from one another. They perform different sets of functions in their respective hybrid army builds. So I've decided to focus on the things to keep in mind when designing hybrid builds with no mechanized units. After that I'll start a new thread about hybrid builds with mechanized fire warriors(unless someone else wants a go). The two subjects are vastly different as both armies have vastly different unit role allocation.

So, unfortunately the direct comparisons of static-hybrid to mech-hybrid will have to be left until both builds are complete. I am defining static-hybrid and mech-hybrid only by the condition of the Fire Warriors. I should probably define my nomenclature.

Armies with at least one mounted FW squads and no static FW squads are mech-hybrid as long as they contain some other static elements such as broadsides or sniper drones(Otherwise pure mech). Armies with no mech FW squads, only static are Static-Hybrid as long as they contain an appreciable amount of fast units other than just the commander. I suppose if a list had both static FW squads and at least one mech FW squad it would be a Pure-Hybrid or something, but I haven't experimented with that too much.

It's pretty late so tommorow I'll examine some more static units and compare them to other units which can fill their role to see if we should take them in our list. For instance, Broadsides. Also, I want to compare pathfinders vs sniper teams in terms of level offense , passive and active defense, and effectiveness in support roles.


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Old 18 Nov 2006, 06:56   #7 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Hybrid List Building: Some Goals and Guidelines

I've always sort of considered them on a percentile basis. If up to 20% of units are Mech (moves more than 6"/turn) then it's a Static Army. 20%-40% Mech, then it's a Static-Hybrid. 40%-60% Mech, then Hybrid (Pure-Hybrid). 60%-80% Mech, then Mech-Hybrid. 80%+ then it's Mech.

Of course, then the debate is to consider unit %age to point %age, but I use it by unit.

So my 1500pt army right now contains 7 Mech units (2 HQ suits, 3 Stealth Teams, 1 Mounted FW, 1 PF) and 3 Static units (all FWs) so I'm running a Mech-Hybrid list, as 70% of my 10 units are Mech. If you were to look at it points-wise, I'd actually be running a Mech list. That's why I consider actual units, not points.

My 2500pt (want) list right now would be the list above, plus 2 more Mech (Skyrays) and 5 more Static (2 FWs and 3 Snipers) so now I have 9 Mech and 8 Static, making it a Hybrid list.

Of course, you could always argue my PFs could count 1 for each, as the PFs themselves are almost always dismounted, and the 'fish runs around on its own...that would tie up my Mech/Static totals to be 50/50.
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Old 18 Nov 2006, 07:34   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hybrid List Building: Some Goals and Guidelines

Thats a very interesting list, how does it deal with enemy armor?
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Old 18 Nov 2006, 07:39   #9 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Hybrid List Building: Some Goals and Guidelines

Seeker Missiles and Fusion Blasters.

Rail Rifles are also good, in a pinch, for a lot of armour.

I hit a Land Raider I'll probably get stomped, but I don't see those very often. Anything else I can outmanouvre enough to get to the squishy parts.
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Old 18 Nov 2006, 07:45   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hybrid List Building: Some Goals and Guidelines

So do the static fire warrior squads carry markerlights?


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