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Ethereals: Grand Martyrs or Supreme Leaders?
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Old 02 Jul 2007, 00:36   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Ethereals: Grand Martyrs or Supreme Leaders?

Now I know that the general opinion on Ethereals as it stands, which is, kill 'em quick and reap the rewards. While I see the obvious benefits from this technique I do not see the other side of their potential fairly represented.

An ethereal with 12 FW with Carbs will hit you at about 200 pts if you take the honor blade. 210 with an 'ui (which I recomend for the extra attack). Tack on a couple of gun drones and you have a fighting force to be reckoned with all for the cost of FW's with rifles in a fish.

Now, I haven't purchased an ethereal yet ( as I'm trying to figure out some cool conversions - suggestions and links appreciated ;D) but when I do I'm going to paint up an FW unit especially for him and make it a sort of fearless veteran type of deal.

The basic concept is that the squads moves on foot ahead of the army and with the aid of a gun drone squad pins the opposing forces making their progression slow and harmful (Aided by higher BS and ML hits) . This force will hold out and back away until enemy forces (now dwindled) reach the main lines, at this point it will screen the most dangerous oncoming unit and force it to assault. The amount of attacks possible by the this unit, along with the ethereal and 'ui stats will make it less of a sweep than usual.

The end result (In true Tau fashion) will be a handful of dead FW's and a dead Ethereal lying beneath a vastly weakened assault squad. You still get to enjoy the benefits of a dead politician plus you did some damage. And this benefit maybe be just in time as this means enemy units are within assault range of your forward units.

This is a rough explanation of my thoughts. What I really want is to hear opinions on how useful ethereals can be NOT how lame they are.

Please try and refrain from posting "suicide martyr" strategies unless you think you have a very unique perspective.

Thanks, later gators
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Old 02 Jul 2007, 00:50   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ethereals: Grand Martyrs or Supreme Leaders?

First off, you're not mobile. Second off, you cost 230 points once you add the drones, and you lack anything with an invul save...and in fact, anything with better than a 4+.

Another downside. You're fearless. I know, I know, most people consider that a good thing. It's only good until you loose combat and are outnumbered, which is remarkably easy with tau.

Its a horribly expensive way to kill a squad of firewarriors with relatively little effect.
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Old 02 Jul 2007, 05:11   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ethereals: Grand Martyrs or Supreme Leaders?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shas_O_Jeff
Now, I haven't purchased an ethereal yet ( as I'm trying to figure out some cool conversions - suggestions and links appreciated ;D)
I've always wanted to convert some Tomb Kings into ethereals, IMO they'd look a lot better then the current line of ethereals.
http://store.us.games-workshop.com/s...206&GameNav=13

As for strategy, ethereals are there for the moral boost. Having one lead an Honor Guard ahead of your army is probably exactly the role GW intended for them. Just make sure your army will hold once the big guy goes down.

As a fearless unit, you can also use them as bait for a trap. Have the enemy assault unit pile in, nerf thier attack with some photon grenades, then pile in the kroot. Hopefully this should be more then enough to stall their momentum as their assault units get bogged down trying to finish off one fearless unit.
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Old 02 Jul 2007, 05:22   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ethereals: Grand Martyrs or Supreme Leaders?

In all honesty, an assault squad still gets what, 21 attacks without the bonus charge? And they will hit on 3s, and wound on 3s, so thats 9.3 wounds to save...assuming that sgt didn't bother with a power weapon, there isn't a chaplain with, and that they didn't feel it necessary to fire pistols at a fearless unit beforehand.

Should they be sane and fire pistols, thats another 4.44 wounds to save. Assuming they didn't burn points on anything better than bolt pistols. Keep in mind that you're etherial doesn't get a save.

So basically, after the charge, you can expect a minimum of about 7 firewarriors on the ground, and for you to not be able to shoot them on your turn(generally a bad thing). If it's a properly tricked out squad, expect 1-2 models standing. The Fws/etherial will do minimal damage. Charge kroot in, and they still beat you on init. At this point they can either polish off your FW team, or do enough wounds to the kroot to force a morale check. If it's a minimal squad, they can simply kill it outright.

All in all, you're burning 230 points of etherial + honor guard and what, 140+ points of kroot to kill an assault squad worth half to two thirds that cost?
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Old 02 Jul 2007, 08:56   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ethereals: Grand Martyrs or Supreme Leaders?

All of that is very true Tyndmyr, but I think you've missed the point. It's a unit intended to stall the opponent so that my main firebase can set up. Used with cover and a little skillful foresight I think they can survive long enough to find their way to cover without being wiped out.

Also I believe the ethereals are underestimated in cc. The HB gives them S5 and (edit: 2 wounds, thanks) All and all I believe that at the very least it could make an effective rifle unit. Thanks for the input.

And Orange, thanks for the link. I think that'd look pretty good. I'm also pretty sure I saw a similar tau conversion on some artists page, I'll post it if I can find it.



[hr]

Anyone else have some construstive advice on how to use ethereals, go right ahead.
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Old 02 Jul 2007, 09:04   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ethereals: Grand Martyrs or Supreme Leaders?

Ethereals have two wounds IIRC
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Old 02 Jul 2007, 09:11   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ethereals: Grand Martyrs or Supreme Leaders?

The problem as I see it, they wanted to nerf the Aun down, as they were apparently too good in third. So they changed them to LOS only, but left the disadvantage as normal.

So now, you only get benefits if you can see (night fight included) but if he dies, then you still suffer.

I don&#39;t like them, ruleswise. They are more, IMO of a viability than an asset, with the exception of Aun&#39;Va.

A good use for him is to place him as far forward as possible, and making sure the enemy can get at least 5 Lascannon equivalents with line of sight to him. When he dies, you get something decent :


But this is not how Aun should be - having to kill them on purpose to get something good?

I agree with Tyndmyr, yes you have a slow moving, fearless unit, but its the same old story with Tau. If you get hit by Tactical Marines, you might hold them and the Kroot could finish them off. However, the minute you get hit by a dedicated assault unit, thats it, your unit, and your Aun are dead, and your army is a-running.
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Old 02 Jul 2007, 10:03   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ethereals: Grand Martyrs or Supreme Leaders?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyndmyr
In all honesty, an assault squad still gets what, 21 attacks without the bonus charge? And they will hit on 3s, and wound on 3s, so thats 9.3 wounds to save...assuming that sgt didn&#39;t bother with a power weapon, there isn&#39;t a chaplain with, and that they didn&#39;t feel it necessary to fire pistols at a fearless unit beforehand.

Should they be sane and fire pistols, thats another 4.44 wounds to save. Assuming they didn&#39;t burn points on anything better than bolt pistols. Keep in mind that you&#39;re etherial doesn&#39;t get a save.
I guess were assuming that the Tau can&#39;t shoot down a single assault marine as well? Or can&#39;t position themselves in cover so that they could potentially knock down some assault marines first. Or that the Tau player won&#39;t take the CHEAPER kroot hound which have better Initiative then assault marines? :

Yes Assault marines can dish out some hurt, but taking down even one reduces their punch significantly. You can easily set up a firing line lead by an ethereal where instead of having having an assault unit run ramped breaking one Tau unit after another, their instead stopped at the first unit they hit, their main offensive power (assault) is blunted (no charge bonus). And you can then mount a counter attack. Kroot have sheer numbers on their side, getting a lot of extra attacks for the +1 for charging. If you lose combat, meh, your unit will be fearless as long as the ethereal is there (and you can easily have him avoid the first round of combat). Or you can simply not attach the ethereal and use the moral re-roll to hold of the assault squad. Next turn charge in (maximizing your kroots assault ability), and if you win combat you&#39;ll outnumber the small elite group of assault marines, thus making it easy to break them (negative LD modifiers because of outnumbering), causing them to take more wounds because of ATSKNF.

Or on the other hand, you can use the (unattached) ethereal to make sure the FW that are hit by the assault marines break the first chance they get, thus setting up the classic trap where the assault unit finds itself with it&#39;s pants around it&#39;s ankles, and most of the Tau army taking aim.

And of course, this is assuming were talking about SM. And particularity a SM opponent who takes 10 man assault units (I&#39;ve never seen one myself). What if their sarge takes a power weapon? Well that&#39;s a lot of pts wasted IMO, especially when he has to use it against the kroot. What if they take a chaplain? Thats even more pt&#39;s getting tied up. Their are of course other armies out their to worry about. I know from experience that Kroot eat genestealers quite well given the chance (even beefed up genestealers).

Quote:
All in all, you&#39;re burning 230 points of etherial + honor guard and what, 140+ points of kroot to kill an assault squad worth half to two thirds that cost?
In the end, it doesn&#39;t matter if the forces you use cost more pts then the units your opponents using. What matters is if you win or not. Preventing your opponent from exploiting your armies weakness is IMO a winning situation. Assault units can be particularly nasty because assaults are the easiest way to break Tau units, assaults practically get two turns to dish out the damage (assault phase in each players turn), and with consolidation and the assault more these units can move particularly fast. Stopping them at the beginning therefore is IMO not half bad at robbing them of most of their strengths. You&#39;ve got your MathHammer down Tyndmyr, no doubt about that, but MathHammer doesn&#39;t win you games. Counteracting your opponent&#39;s strategy does.
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Old 02 Jul 2007, 13:00   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ethereals: Grand Martyrs or Supreme Leaders?

Quote:
I guess were assuming that the Tau can&#39;t shoot down a single assault marine as well? Or can&#39;t position themselves in cover so that they could potentially knock down some assault marines first. Or that the Tau player won&#39;t take the CHEAPER kroot hound which have better Initiative then assault marines? :
Im not saying it&#39;s not possible to shoot assault marines, but you have what, an 18" range? Thats dangerously close to an assault squads charge range.

Sure, you could footslong through cover....the rate at which you&#39;ll make it to the front will be ridiculously slow, and even if you strike first, 12 FW get a grand total of what, .66 dead MEQs? Even tossing in the etherial and drones, it&#39;s not going to be a win, just slightly less bad. Asssuming you get absolutely everyone into combat, of course.

Oh right, and I forgot to add on the photon points. You were up to 242 for a single unit. That&#39;ll make up the point cost for any hounds you care to tack on.

Quote:
Yes Assault marines can dish out some hurt, but taking down even one reduces their punch significantly. You can easily set up a firing line lead by an ethereal where instead of having having an assault unit run ramped breaking one Tau unit after another, their instead stopped at the first unit they hit, their main offensive power (assault) is blunted (no charge bonus). And you can then mount a counter attack. Kroot have sheer numbers on their side, getting a lot of extra attacks for the +1 for charging.
The problem is you&#39;re making this more and more situational. Carbines are not a gunline sort of thing, and you need them to be in woods, with kroot literally just behind them for this to work out reasonably well. You&#39;re devoting a huge pile of points, and your opponent can just kill it later, or with more than one unit.

Quote:
If you lose combat, meh, your unit will be fearless as long as the ethereal is there (and you can easily have him avoid the first round of combat).
Right, I assumed this. Losing combat, being outnumbered, and being fearless leads to you taking further wounds.

Quote:
Or you can simply not attach the ethereal and use the moral re-roll to hold of the assault squad. Next turn charge in (maximizing your kroots assault ability), and if you win combat you&#39;ll outnumber the small elite group of assault marines, thus making it easy to break them (negative LD modifiers because of outnumbering), causing them to take more wounds because of ATSKNF.
Im pretty sure that&#39;s fearless you&#39;re thinking about. They don&#39;t take wounds for breaking, they just autorally next turn unless you are too close. And if the unattached etherial is in combat, he&#39;s dead. No question about it. If not...well, you&#39;re proposing a different tactic entirely. In which case, it&#39;s still better to have the FW die, so you can shoot them prior to any counter-charges, so the photons are pointless.

Quote:
Or on the other hand, you can use the (unattached) ethereal to make sure the FW that are hit by the assault marines break the first chance they get, thus setting up the classic trap where the assault unit finds itself with it&#39;s pants around it&#39;s ankles, and most of the Tau army taking aim.
Pretty much standard. However, then you run into other etherial issues, such as what happens if he gets nailed.

Quote:
And of course, this is assuming were talking about SM. And particularity a SM opponent who takes 10 man assault units (I&#39;ve never seen one myself). What if their sarge takes a power weapon? Well that&#39;s a lot of pts wasted IMO, especially when he has to use it against the kroot. What if they take a chaplain? Thats even more pt&#39;s getting tied up. Their are of course other armies out their to worry about. I know from experience that Kroot eat genestealers quite well given the chance (even beefed up genestealers).
Power weapon and a chappy are not wasted vs your fearless FW team...that just ensures a lot more wounds. I never said kroot were worthless, Im just pointing out that the etherial speed-bump is.

Quote:
Quote:
All in all, you&#39;re burning 230 points of etherial + honor guard and what, 140+ points of kroot to kill an assault squad worth half to two thirds that cost?
In the end, it doesn&#39;t matter if the forces you use cost more pts then the units your opponents using. What matters is if you win or not. Preventing your opponent from exploiting your armies weakness is IMO a winning situation. Assault units can be particularly nasty because assaults are the easiest way to break Tau units, assaults practically get two turns to dish out the damage (assault phase in each players turn), and with consolidation and the assault more these units can move particularly fast. Stopping them at the beginning therefore is IMO not half bad at robbing them of most of their strengths. You&#39;ve got your MathHammer down Tyndmyr, no doubt about that, but MathHammer doesn&#39;t win you games. Counteracting your opponent&#39;s strategy does.
Counteract as many of my tactics as you wish by destroying three points of your models to my two. And throwing your models into assault squads is pretty much playing directly into an assault armies hands, not countering them. And most armies that pack assault squads don&#39;t just bring one, in my experience, so it&#39;s not as if this is the only threat you need to worry about.
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Old 02 Jul 2007, 22:22   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ethereals: Grand Martyrs or Supreme Leaders?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyndmyr
Counteract as many of my tactics as you wish by destroying three points of your models to my two.
If it wins me the game then I sure as hell will. A unit doesn&#39;t have to win it&#39;s points back to win you the game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyndmyr
And throwing your models into assault squads is pretty much playing directly into an assault armies hands, not countering them.
Genestealers are far scarier then assault marines and I&#39;ve beaten them in assault. Just because Tau are weak in assault doesn&#39;t mean they have to take to the hills every time the prospect of assault pops it&#39;s scary head out. Even with a highly mobile army assaults can happen, why not hedge it to your favor since they&#39;ll be coming to you anyways. People assault Tau betting on the fact that they&#39;ll be able to move from one squad to the next taking them out with ease. With an ethereal, you have a chance to stop that, thus eliminate the many strengths of an assault (which is not all dependent on the attacks of the unit).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyndmyr
And most armies that pack assault squads don&#39;t just bring one, in my experience, so it&#39;s not as if this is the only threat you need to worry about.
Your saying I&#39;m the one being situational, yet your the one that keeps sticking to Assault Marines. Which in my experience usually doesn&#39;t work out to well for my opponents.
Why not khorne bezerkers?
Why not genestealers?
Why not repentia?
(units I see more often)
Just because you ran the numbers against one particular unit (which you seemed to pull out of thin air, as well as maxed out as much as you could) doesn&#39;t mean the ethereal speed bump is useless against everything.

Honor Guard or regular Fire Warriors, attached or unattached ethereals, carbines or rifles, cover or no cover. We can mess with the variable quite a bit the change both the cost and effectiveness. In the end however the player still needs to set it up appropriately for whatever the situation calls for and the ethereal can be used for more then just one speed bump i.e. using that moral re-roll when it&#39;s needed. What if you get assaulted by a regular 5-man Tac squad? Would you really like to lose a whole squad of FW&#39;s just to get those marines out in the open to be shot up next turn? Or would it be nice to actually show your opponent that it&#39;s wrong to bank on assaulting Tau to win by kicking his D&#39;yi in hth?
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