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End of vehicle relevance
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Old 18 Apr 2007, 11:39   #1 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Default End of vehicle relevance

Well, the time has come to park the skimmers, all of them. As army list development cycles, it has become apparent that shooty armies are making all vehicles redundant.

I played in a tournament last weekend and for the first time thought about my tanks and all the skimmers in terms of points earned vs. points wasted. I played against Gray Knight w/IG, DE, and Black Templars. I finished 6th of 16, which aint bad for a guy who hasn't even seen his Tau army in almost a year.

My army contains 3 HH (2ion, 1 rail), 2 DF (one for PF), a piranha. That is roughly 600pts that generate 7 heavy and occasionally 18 meduim shots per turn. Sounds good, but the reality is that while in a game this means 42 heavy and 108 meduim shots, with casualties, covered targets, and the vagueries of piranhas and DF near the enemy while the HH stay out of secondary range I average over a game 9-12 heavy and 12-18 meduim shots. With BS4 average, of those shots taken 1/3 are misses (most often the railhead). So in a game I can count on a total of 6-9 heavy shots hitting and 9-12 meduim hitting. Using MEQ that translates into roughly 10 wounds of which half are instakills (ion). So I'm paying about 60 pts per wound on 15pt. models. Of course, I use my tanks against tanks mainly, but even here the odds of success are at best marginal. Popping rhinos is one thing, but facing Monolyths, LRuss, Eldar skimmers, means devoting my best guns to what amounts to a 50-50 shot. It is like going into a gunfight with half a magazine and a full slate of targets.

I usually loose 2/3s of all skimmers, so I must recognize that when I take the field I'm giving up 400pts in every game through loss of my vehicles. I know there are many here who will poo-poo this notion and talk about skimmers moving fast and 13 armor fronts and points denial and all the other Tau realted dogma, but the reality is that our tanks are exactly as capable as the other guys tanks. What proof? Always glanced skimmer will still die 50% of the time if hit. 3 means stunned, so next turn it dies to a penetrating flank shot. 4 means weapon destroyed, so now what? 5 means immobilized which translates into crashed if skimming fast--note that a decoy launcher will translate this result into a 2/3 chance of the same or worse fate. 6 means vehicle destroyed. Shooting at a Lruss with 14 frontal armor gives about the same results and they too can have extra armor for the track reroll.

My solution: Static Tau. That's right. The time for static Tau is upon us. Look first at the enemy's predicament. If your typical enemy is like mine, he has 4 or more Lascannons, a couple or more vehicles, and some fast moving CC troops or skimmers to chew up your time. With Static Tau you are denying benefit to his lascannons right from the start, and the cost imbalance of having them turns to his side. Second his vehicles now have to concentrate on infantry models, which they certainly can do, but aside from the Russ are major overkill for very low return: Brightlance vs FW in 4+ cover, for example, will return in a 6 turn game only around 30 to 40 points. Barely the cost of the cannon itself.

Without giving away my experimental army lists, at least until I try it this Weekend, here is the jist of what I propose:

HQ
'el with MP, TLPR, HWTL
'el with PR, FB, MP, HWTL

Elites
2x2 crisis with TLMP and a mix of BC and/or flamer
1x6 stealth, bonded

Troops
5x10 FW, 4 with 'ui & DC, targeting drone
1x10 kroot (just to infiltrate and deny area terrain)

Fast
1x6 PF, 3 rail rifles

Heavy
2 sniper drone teams
2x1 broadsides with SMS, DC, sheild drone and gun drone each

I have all but 2 squads of FW already, so I will test this list concept this weekend.
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Old 18 Apr 2007, 12:02   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: End of vehicle relevance

I think the more important point is that with the recent (past 1.5 yrs) success of Mech Tau combined with the (more) recent release of the Eldar Codex, people going to tournaments now plan to face all-skimmer armies. One of the reasons Tau in general and Mech Tau in particular did well in the past is that everyone built their armies to kill Marines. We had an advantage simply by being different from Marines. However, Tau and Eldar are on the rise and Missile Launchers and Assault Cannons are more common than LasCannons and Plasma Guns just for that reason. Nobody's surprised (or scared) anymore when you plop down 3 Hammerheads and 2 Devilfish. It's just the way the metagame has swung.

You've got interesting timing Wanax. I just put this up on ATT yesterday
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Old 18 Apr 2007, 12:20   #3 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: End of vehicle relevance

Quote:
Originally Posted by T0nkaTruckDriver
people going to tournaments now plan to face all-skimmer armies. ...Missile Launchers and Assault Cannons are more common... Nobody's surprised (or scared) anymore when you plop down 3 Hammerheads and 2 Devilfish. It's just the way the metagame has swung.
Yes this is the jist of my reason behind cycling the other way. Sorry if I didn't make it completely clear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by T0nkaTruckDriver
You've got interesting timing Wanax. I just put this up on ATT yesterday
Well timing is a matter of observation, estimation, and determination. We both have these now don't we
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Old 18 Apr 2007, 12:45   #4 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: End of vehicle relevance

The word you need is gist.

Interesting tactical thinking here, in that if you have both setups (mech and static) you are prepared for many eventualities. Painting up 50 plus figs though. Ayiyi. Tau are too nice looking for slop and go.

You do know you could throw another set of snipers into your list, right? Best static unit in the army.

BTW, if it isn't a big deal, could you pm me your experimental list? I would love to test it on a certain SM player I know. All confidences respected, of course. Regards,
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Old 18 Apr 2007, 12:59   #5 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: End of vehicle relevance

Too bad Im switching to a hybrid list and Im beginning to like skimmers

Static tau seems so boring and dull
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Old 18 Apr 2007, 13:27   #6 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: End of vehicle relevance

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberzomby
Too bad Im switching to a hybrid list and Im beginning to like skimmers

Static tau seems so boring and dull
I guess it all depends on the Country where you live, people you play with and so on and so on. Countries where many people play WH40K and it is widely known, they adapt sooner and quicker. In countries where it is lot more marginal, they may even not notice such advantages or may not be prepared for changing tactics between codexes for a longer time.

I am personally from Central Europe and though I dont have an army myself yet, I am messing with this business electronically And I guess if I would build an army and start playing local guys or even our Country-brothers (not Western Europe guys, I guess), I would still have room for advancement or surprise on behalf of the opponents not being prepared for the diversity or different approaches the Tau Army can muster.

Joe
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Old 18 Apr 2007, 14:44   #7 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: End of vehicle relevance

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberzomby
Too bad Im switching to a hybrid list and Im beginning to like skimmers

Static tau seems so boring and dull
There is nothing to it.

I've played hybrid for over 2 years, and it is only recently that the trending towards heavy weapon laddened shooty armies in on the rise. Thus, I will outshoot them without giving them targets for their heavies. In some areas I'm sure this is not the point in the cycle of army list development, but here is it very promenant.

Of the 16 armies in last week's tournament, I saw one assaulty SM and 2 assaulty CSM armies. There were one Tau, one DE, 2 necron, and 2 IG. All other's were some form of SM. The top 6 players were all shooty: Blood Angels, Dark Eldar, Thousand Sons, Word Bearers, Black Templars, Tau. While three had some CC ability, it was the shooty aspect that was promenant.

What makes static Tau appealing is the ability to control time and space through distance and mass shooting. Any Eldar, IG, DE, or bugs not in vehicles will not venture into the open in front of Tau. SM will, but now which Tau to target? You got a squad with a lascannon, a plasma rifle, and some troops, but rapid firing SM will either stop for the heavy to fire or keep going and forefet this cannon's points. To rapid fire they must walk at least 3 turns. To stop and shoot long distance they walk a turn or two. Either way, they must rhino up to get across the table and you don't see many rhinos anymore.

The bottom line is that with 50 FW, marker drones, sniper teams, crisis MP teams, some stealth and some broadsides, you are going to shoot down most enemy squads to non-scoreing in 6 turns. They can't do likewise unless you are in city-fight or on a bowling ball with special deployment.

W

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Old 18 Apr 2007, 18:35   #8 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: End of vehicle relevance

Aren't you only allowed 1(one) sniper drone group? for a maximum of 3 drone teams?
No codex here, just memory.
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Old 18 Apr 2007, 19:40   #9 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: End of vehicle relevance

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaxAnteBellum
Aren't you only allowed 1(one) sniper drone group? for a maximum of 3 drone teams?
No codex here, just memory.
yes, I'm only taking two teams as a group in a heavy slot.

w
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Old 18 Apr 2007, 20:20   #10 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: End of vehicle relevance

just remember, they outrange you with their heavies. all you need is one 4-h.bolter devestator squad 36" away to ruin your fire warriors' day... and your fire warriors are just standing there.

only suggestions i'd make are
(a) etherial. with lots of infantry teams on the board, the twin-linked morale will give you a hige benefit.
(b) more kroot. 50 fire warriors is all well and good.... but 2 squads of infiltrating kroot will give you a lot more versatility.

beware of going to the other extreme. too many fire warriors makes you easy meat to a chaos lord of lunacy and/or other fast assaulty units that'll just roll up a flank.
second weakness is you will be weak against a mainly mechanised force like eldar as you've focused on mid range ap5 weaponry.

id stick to hybrid myself.
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