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Devilfishes:One-way delivery system or hit-and -run taxi? (C&C on mech tau also)
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Old 03 Dec 2006, 10:04   #1 (permalink)
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Default Devilfishes:One-way delivery system or hit-and -run taxi? (C&C on mech tau also)

Well, the topic says wht the argument is all about.

While I was playing that day, I noticed that alot of the senior gamers are watching my game. It happencs sometime, but after I am done with the game (which ended in a draw) the senior gamers started an argument amongst themselves. They argued about how best to use a devilfish, the purpose of the devilfish, and the disadvantages of the devilfish compared to a static line of fire warriors.

They argued that a transport for the tau fire warriors is more of a one-way delivery system. This reason being that all the transport in 40k games is more like a one-way trip. Drop the load and the transport is useless. Then the fire warriors should be static from then on.

Another group argues that Tau fire warriors should use the devilfish as a hit-and-run taxi. They say that the fire warriors should localize their firepower and then later run away to pick at weaker targets later.

They also say that a devilfish waste the rate of fire that a squad of fire wariors can do per turn. They argued that with the devilfish flying around, you halved their rate of shooting to only 3 turns. So instead they argued that fire warriors are better of being static and lay down their firepower. And thus they say that a mech list will make a shooty army firepower to lessen. And thus a mech-tau wll find it hard to destroy stuff in tournaments.

When posed with the question of protection, they state that the shooty army is better off using cover as protection instead of a transport.

For me, I see both side of the arguement. But I am an advocate otf the hti-and -run taxi system for my devilfishes and also a advocate of mech-tau.

What say you on this matter?* :-\

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Old 03 Dec 2006, 10:21   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Devilfishes:One-way delivery system or hit-and -run taxi? (C&C on mech tau a

First off, if those Fire Warriors or Pathfinders find themselves with nothing to shoot at because its either dead or gone, they're not shooting anyways. So at the very least, a turn of devilfish-improved movement could do you a lot of good.

As for role it depends on the loadout.

The SMS devilfish gunship (with a targetting array) might as well ignore the troopers it supposedly came with. It'll probably drop off some guys on turn one, and then serve as a fairly good torrent of pulse doom. Ferry'em around, or don't. It doesn't really matter, this almost becomes a secondary, optional purpose. The option's there if you want it since its in your list, if not, deploy'em seperately.

The basic armament is really meant to be a transport in my mind. Once its done with that, it'll either act as a big brick in between you and angry powersword wielders until it blows up, or until you decide to get out of there (whether because you killed everything or because you need to escape the immediate area). The drones are best used as expendable, free shields in this case, and can prove incredibly effective: losing a turn assaulting or shooting a pair of frizbees could cost you infinitely more than it costs the drone user, seeing as they're worth jack to VP!
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Old 03 Dec 2006, 11:12   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Devilfishes:One-way delivery system or hit-and -run taxi? (C&C on mech tau also)

I not having a Devilfish and never having used one, i cant really speak much from experience, but i am a fan of the Hit-And-Run Taxi system, as i feel that giving your fire warriors that extra little boost into range, then taking them out of there to avoid losses is a sound way of playing them.

But i do see the disadvantage where shooting is concerned, and if your going to get out of there in the next turn then you had better whish for some good shooting to get rid of whatever it is you are shooting at. Also, if i was faced with, say, 2 devilfishes full to the brim with fire warriors rushing towards me, i would probably rate them as public enemy number 1, as if they got i close enough to lay down some rapid fire pulse rifle shots, then i wouldnt be a very happy bunny!

But, aside from this, i can see the Hit-And-Run Taxi system as one that would work, but not neceserily in a tournament game when your pressed for time.

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Old 03 Dec 2006, 14:33   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Devilfishes:One-way delivery system or hit-and -run taxi? (C&C on mech tau also)

I think that just looking at the numbers will not work for Mech Tau. Sure, you get fewer shots for ferrying your Firewarriors across the battlefield - but in the end, you get the shots WHERE you want them, WHEN you want them, and with near-maximum efficiency (for rapid-fire range and the cover the Fish provides from Assaulters).
If you just stand still, your FW-team can not choose its targets like a mobile team can; nor can it fire with full efficiency (long range fire with FWs is just a pity to watch); it will most probably take casualties from enem shooting, so, when the enem finally comes to rapid fire range, fewer of your FWs remain for the Mega-Pulse-Barrage(of Death)(tm) - and, of course, it is possible that you have to take a target priority test...
The team is a sitting duck, and the enemy can either avoid getting shot by them by clever use of cover, or just stay out of range and pound them with heavy weapons (Necron Destroyers anyone?).

Mech Tau (and, therefore, mobile FW-teams as well) don`t win by massive amounts of firepower. Mech Tau wins because it outmaneuvres the enemy, taking objectives, and concentrating the firepower it has where it is needed - with devastating results for the target ;D

This is not just a question of "numbers of shots possible". This is a question of "number of shots actually fired and the effect they had" - and there, mobile FW teams have the edge if used right.
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Old 03 Dec 2006, 19:49   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Devilfishes:One-way delivery system or hit-and -run taxi? (C&C on mech tau a

I often use static firewarriors and they frequently have no targets to shoot at. To assume that static firewarriors will have six turns of firing is false. Mechanized fire warriors will have at least one turn of rapid fire most of time, often they can get two. Given their potential for casualties and lack of targets early and late in the game, static firewarriors will usually have about three to four turns of ranged firing a game.

Both ways can do well, but I'm moving towards a more mechanized force because I can deliver those troops were I want them.
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Old 03 Dec 2006, 20:15   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Devilfishes:One-way delivery system or hit-and -run taxi? (C&C on mech tau also)

Originally Posted by Commander_Vimes
Mechanized fire warriors will have at least one turn of rapid fire most of time, often they can get two. Given their potential for casualties and lack of targets early and late in the game, static firewarriors will usually have about three to four turns of ranged firing a game.
Yeah, mounting FWs on a devilfish really helps ensure a good firing position for them. However, as I understand it, the DF's main purpose (in Mech Tau) is to keep the FWs alive (ie: protection from HBs, running from ASM, etc). I also find my FWs only doing maybe one or two turns of shooting, with my DF picking up the slack with SMS. Because of this, I'd probably have to lean more on the hit'n'run taxi idea, although, the FWs really are great if given a safe place to work.
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Old 03 Dec 2006, 22:06   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Devilfishes:One-way delivery system or hit-and -run taxi? (C&C on mech tau also)

Two points. One if you can get into a point to rapid fire you effectively get two turns of shooting plus each markerlight you use gains more effect.
Two (the more important) I think it fits in with the fluff of the tau better. Staying mobile etc.
I also agree with nova. Those detachable gun drones are brillant
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Old 03 Dec 2006, 22:27   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Devilfishes:One-way delivery system or hit-and -run taxi? (C&C on mech tau a


The list I've been playing lately has 16 Static FWs in 2 squads of 8 and a 10 FW mounted squad (26 total FWs).

There's different uses for each. I don't stick a markerlight in my mounted squad, but both my static squads have them. My static squads, along with my sniper drones, act as the anchor point for the rest of my forces to flank somewhere else with the mounted firewarrios giving me great offensive power. This often means that on the 2nd or 3rd turn they're in position and firing on the flank, but in the event that thigns backfire, I can pack em abck up and fly out. So, sometimes one, sometimes the other. Depends on the scenario really.
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Old 04 Dec 2006, 00:28   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Devilfishes:One-way delivery system or hit-and -run taxi? (C&C on mech tau also)

Well I have had experience in both worlds of static firewarriors and Mobiloe fire warriors.

When I first started playing and up unit recently, I have used purely static firewarrior lists. I found the following advantages and disadvantages.


Cheaper: Static Firewarriors are cheaper, and can be taken in great numbers.

Markerlight uses: Static firewarriors have a better chance at carrying a markerlight and helping other squads, because they won't be moving and they can shoot it every turn, IF there is a target available

Superior Range: For the most part, firewarriors can get about 2 turns of shooting at a squad before they get shot back at. This is assuming they are carrying bolters or the equivalent.


Vulnerable to assult: It is very easy to have an enemy get something wuick and dangerous in the face of static fire warriors, and crush them.

Lack of mobility Since they tote a rapid fire weapon, it is rather shoot or move. Most times the enemy can stay out of your firing lanes if done correctly.

Vulnerable to return fire: With thier decent armor they still fail half the time, and they are easily outshot my MEQ's, and can die in droves, which lowers their effectiveness quite quickly.

Now when I played with Mechanized forces I found these advantages and disadvantages.


Highly mobile: They can move 12 inches and deploy if wanted, or they can stay in for another boost.

Volume of fire: Once you drop your firewarriors, generally at rapid fire range, you are getting two turns of shooting, if they were static. Not to mention the devilfish shots.

Re-deployable: If you make a tactical boo-boo, you have the luxury of saddling up and ponying out to where you need to be.

Taking Objectives: You can boot your firewarriors on objectives later in the game to keep them in your control.


High points cost: It can cost upwards to 225 points for a 9/10 man squad in a "warfish" or 12 firewarriors in a plain jane fish.

Vulnerable to AT Fire: Anti Tank weapons can really ruin your day if they down your transport, before you have delivered the goods.

Lower Model Count: Generally you will ahve fewer models on the table using mech tau, because of the expensive transports. You can, however, make up for this by taking kroot.

Vulnerable to return fire:Since you are generally dropping them off in rapid fire range, if you don't fully dispose of your target, you will take casualties in the insuing return fire.

These are some, not all, of the advantages and disadvantages I have found with both. My personal preference goes with Mechanized tau, because I control the movement phase, and can put firepower where I need it, vs waiting for my opponent.

There is a precieved lack of fire-power with mech tau, because of fewer firewarriors and what not, but if you drop off your firewarriors, you are technically taking Two rounds of fire at one turn, compared to a static base of firewarriors shooting at something running down the field. This done in multiple squads can be devistating. I can't describe the look on my nid friends face, when I boxed in my firewarriors and just rapid fired a decent size of his army away.

When I used a Hybrid army I used upwards to 36 to 40 firewarriors, and 3/4 of the time each squad failed to make their points back before something fast got ahold of them. Yes they got a few rounds of fire normally, but they almost always died.

This is why I switched from static to mechanized. It is versatile and I feel like I have more control of what goes on.
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Old 04 Dec 2006, 01:06   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Devilfishes:One-way delivery system or hit-and -run taxi? (C&C on mech tau a

I personally love to have time mounted, because when i play either they get slaughtered at CnC or they get out ranged, plus i can't get the hang for static based lists. So it was just natural for me to go mech-Tau and taxi my Firewarriors.

It also seem to fit the fluff more, unless you're in a well entrenched fort/city/area in general.
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