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Good tactics against Jump-pack SM?
Old 01 Jun 2007, 01:02   #1 (permalink)
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Default Good tactics against Jump-pack SM?

These seem to be the single largest thorn in my side whenever I play against SM - some wanker coming at me from an 18" hop and plowing through my entire 10 man FW squad or a crisis team.

I should clarify that by wanker I mean:

a) 10 man assault squadron or
b) 150+ point commander

I've gone troop-heavy, troop-light, tank-heavy, suit-heavy and it seems these are the one thing I have nearly zero defense against. Given, I usually play more games against chaos or tyranids, but straight SM and their jumpy-marines are really giving me trouble.

I'm also wondering...because this is perhaps a reason why, as a tau player, I don't fare so well amongst my friends: how much cover and terrain should typically be on a 4x4 board?

When we play, they all insist on at least 6+ pieces of fair-sized cover (bases of at least 5" x 5") and several things that give soft cover saves, such as trees, hills and sandbags. As a person who's very ranged-based, am I being short-changed by my jump-pack, assaulty friends?

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Old 01 Jun 2007, 01:12   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Good tactics against Jump-pack SM?

perhaps try Kroot heavy?

When I'm done fully painting my two armies (two years later and not done!) I'm going to try a tactic where I have 3 full carnivore squads, no krootox. Maybe no kroothounds, it depends on pointage.

anyways, the deal is I'm going to have them forward, and hopefully act as a buffer for those INSTANT ASSAULT troops.
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Old 01 Jun 2007, 01:55   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Good tactics against Jump-pack SM?

The general rule of thumb for terrain is around 25% of the table. That is, if you shoved all the terrain pieces into one corner, it should take up about 1/4 of the table. On the other hand, me and my friends sometimes go as high as 33% (they have really nice terrain pieces @ our gaming store), but never go above that in a regular game, cos that's really a lot.

Anyway, the tau answer to fast assaulters is supposed to be crisis suits, particularly the long-ranged ones like fireknives & deathrains, but I guess that depending on what style of tau you play, you're gonna see varied results with that. However, as a rule of thumb, you should always try to kill your opponent's fast assets first whenever possible, even if it means risking your fast units a little. Also, if your opponent is the attacker, you should try to position any skimmers you might have so you can form impromptu skimmer walls to buy time for your static units.

Personnally, I play mech tau, so ASMs and bikes aren't quite as bad for me, but these are general rules of thumb that should apply to any other style of tau as well. I hope this helps.

**Oh yes, kroot make a big difference too, but like everything else in tau, they need to be used in conjunction with the rest of your army to be fully effective.**
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Old 01 Jun 2007, 02:05   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Good tactics against Jump-pack SM?

You can do a few things. Or try to at least.

1) Keep all your Firewarriors in DFish until you need them.
2) Keep some Kroot around for speed bumps and/or counter assaulting.
3) Stick something out there as bait (Kroot work well), then when the assault marines jump them make sure nothing else is within 6 inches for them to consolidate into and open fire with everything you've got.
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Old 01 Jun 2007, 02:06   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Good tactics against Jump-pack SM?

forgeworld answer: Hammerhead with TL fusion turret.

Normal answer: Ionheads.
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Old 01 Jun 2007, 02:14   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Good tactics against Jump-pack SM?


If you're playing on a 4' X 4' board, then I really need to ask pointage. Because a Combat Patrol mission I would suggest Mech Tau, 2 squads of 10 Fire Warriors, Devilfish with Decoy Launchers.

If the size is 500 points, I would suggest to you an army of basically the above, with an added Shas'El made for Marine Killing (namely Plasma and Fusion).

Judging from these two inputs of mine, and from the knowledge of how pricey Assault Marines are (25 or 30 points, right? for these examples I'm sticking with the lower number.) 10 Assault Marines without upgrades of any sort is 250 points, so for the most part half of the enemy army or more. This is a sizeable chunk, and with only 10 wounds amongst them you should easily be able to lower their numbers relatively soon.

If you're going full Mech Tau against them, the best you can do is run away from them and kill weaker units (namely scouts as those are the most likely troop choice) for Victory points while giving denial for VP to them.

If you desire using a static army then I would suggest to you a Kroot wall or two, simply a line of Kroot for Crisis Suits to jump behind so as to become unassailable by the Jump Pack Marines. This puts the marines out of the picture for a while and lets you deal damage to the rest of the units before having to mess with the Assault Marines again.

If you go for a hybrid army, then I would suggest to you a quick unit for them to chase around that is generally safe from them, or expendable (ie, drones or piranhas) while dealing the hurt with a long range weapons from your troopers.

As for the terrain question, where I used to play we always had more than 25% Terrain on the board. I disproved of this, and every time I said something it ended up "stop whining or stop playing". So I took the best of both worlds and just play at the GW or with my friends (namely just friends now though :P)
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Old 01 Jun 2007, 03:21   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Good tactics against Jump-pack SM?

I'd use the devilfish with flechet discharger. When they get too close, pack the FW in the fish and tank shock them out of the way. If they assault the fish, the flechette discharger (wound on 4+ in close combat) will teach them to keep away.

I was faced many time with the same situation (on a larger table mind you) and this tactic saved the day every time.
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Old 01 Jun 2007, 03:48   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Good tactics against Jump-pack SM?

Yeah, we really need to know your pointage here. If you're playing a 1500 point game, a 4x4 table is far too small. All this does is compact your units, making it a lot easier for him to "find, fix, finish" with his jump troops, and consolidate from one unit to the next. Also, figure out how much terrain you're using, and knock it down if it's too much; if it is more than 25% of the board, you're being screwed. Also figure out how terrain is set up, and evaluate it; if he's putting a wall of terrain down the center of the board, you need to take a more heavy-handed approach in setting up, because basically, that's denying all your shooting, which is neither fair nor fun for you. All the tactics listed here may work, but most of them assume one thing: that he'll fall for bait. If you put something out there and let it sit, like Kroot, he'll probably go for it, but I sincerely doubt he'll chase a Devilfish around the board all day long, most people are not that stupid. As has been said earlier, Crisis Suits are the most obvious answer, loaded with T-L Plasma, you can put the hurt on him. Ionheads are okay, but rather points inefficient compared to my next recommendation: Sniper Drones. Load up all three teams on these, and together with the Plasma, you can knock down almost an entire squad a turn. Kroot in cover would be good too. You could take a couple full squads of these and string them across the board, and either you'll get I10 or the counter assault. All this is assuming, however, that terrain is set up fairly, and you're playing on a big enough board. 4x4 is adequate for 1000 points, but horridly small for 1500 or anything greater.

Good luck.
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Old 01 Jun 2007, 04:25   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Good tactics against Jump-pack SM?

Here is your best bet to prevent marine jumpers...

Keep your troops in devilfish.

If you see someone hopping assault marines across the table, move in two or so devilfish plus a crisis team or two for support, and FoF them. I recommend warfish by the way.

The vast number of armor saves they will have to make will crush them like tin cans

Sniper drones are also your friends here.
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Old 01 Jun 2007, 04:38   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Good tactics against Jump-pack SM?

Well, just finished up another game and sadly, my ass was mostly handed to me. Although, in my defence, my "tanks are awesome" brother threw us all a curve and loaded up on over 3 tactical squads of 10 marines in rhinos. I popped one, but the rest got to me. He's also played his typical 190 point jumping, 2+, invulnerable, power-weapon commander. I had 7 FW's and a single crisis by turn 4, and we called it due to time.

But for your inquiries, we play a standard 1000 point game and I'd have to say that if you took all of the terrain we play around 30% coverage or so.

Here's my list in our last game:

1 Shas'el, Fireknife

2 Crisis, Fireknife, MT
2 Crisis, Helios (?), MT (Deep Strike)

10 FW, Bonded
10 FW Bonded
10 Kroot, 5 Hounds (infiltrated)

1 Sniper Drone Team
1 Railhead
1 Broadside

I should mention, he fully admits that it's not my fault that I lose, as he's mystified how many 1's and 2's I manage to roll. He claimed the last game should've been a lot closer, but c'est la vie!
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