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alternative to pathfinders?
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Old 02 Oct 2007, 12:27   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,958
Default alternative to pathfinders?

I've gotten frustrated with the challenge of keeping a pathfinder squad alive long enough for them to do any good. Sure, you could hide them in the devilfish, but then they don't light anything. I love the markerlights, and I field a skyray so I don't need to worry about wasting ML hits until it runs out of missiles (or gets killed, of course). The problem is that anybody I play against is familiar with the pathfinders and how dangerous markerlights are, so the pathfinder squad rarely survives beyond the first or second turn. Once they're gone I don't seem to hit anything. I do have markerlights in other places (2 FW squads, a skyray, and 1 or 2 sniper teams), but it isn't nearly as effective.

I am considering ditching the PF squad in favor of marker drones wherever I can, but I'm not sure about the point cost, even after dumping the pathfinders' largely useless devilfish.

Time for some math:
8 pathfinders = 12 * 8 = 96 points
photon grenades and a leader w TL = 12 + 10 + 5 = 27
minimum devilfish cost is 80
or the souped up one I usually use is 115.
That's 203 or 238 points for 8 markerlights, making 29.75 or 25.38 points per markerlight. This assumes full size 8-member pathfinders squads. The point cost per markerlight goes up if you shrink the squad or give some of them rail rifles.

Now, I have 2 static firewarrior squads (with shas'ui and markerlight already added) and an ethereal that I attach to one of them. Each of the two shas'uis can take 2 marker drones, as can the ethereal, making 6 lights that almost replace the 8 I would lose from the pathfinders. They are 30 points per light, basically matching the cost of the lights with the warfish, and not too much more expensive then the 25.38 of the cheaper team.

Analysis and Assumptions:
The pathfinders at the beginning of this were equipped with photon grenades, a shas'ui leader, and a target lock for him, all of which increases their cost. I consider that essential equipment, but taking some of it out would sway the numbers in favor of the pathfinders a bit. Absolute minimum cost per light of a pathfinder squad would be 12 * 8 + 80 = 176, making 22 points per light. I listed the cost of the devilfish as wasted points, which is not entirely true, but the 'fish doesn't matter when you're trying to optimize markerlights. The non-pathfinder markerlight system might scale better, as you can do it to every static firewarrior squad you have, and it could also be applied to the ethereal's honor guard. Also note that a markerlight given to an ethereal's honor guard would be BS4 rather than BS3.

Summary
Advantages of pathfinders:
cheaper per ML
fire support devilfish
markerlights will all have LOS to the same target

Advantages of distributed markerlights:
harder to kill all at once
I'd rather have a hammerhead than a devilfish
easier to mark two or more units
might scale better

So what do you think? Has anybody tried this?

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Old 02 Oct 2007, 15:01   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 526
Default Re: alternative to pathfinders?

How are you having trouble keeping them alive? ??? They have a devilfish, use it to wisk them away in nice open part of the map with a good amount of LOS to the enemy, drop em off into a terrain piece for cover, then use the DF to move around annoying the enemy. If you have 2, split them in distant parts of the map. I always field 8 with 2 rail rifles. Works nicely.
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Old 02 Oct 2007, 19:15   #3 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 157
Default Re: alternative to pathfinders?

Another alternitive is to gear up a stealth team with 2 marker drones and a markligher on your team leader.
Park em between 28-36 inches from your prey and light em up. If they get close you can always move 6 inches in the assault phase so your makers are somewhat mobile during the entire battle.

For my army Ive gone one step farther. I have 12 stealth suits all modled with a marklighter. These squads are nearly untouchable by all but the most determined foe to silelce markers.
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Old 02 Oct 2007, 19:30   #4 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Is the Politiburo smoking weed?
Posts: 5,144
Default Re: alternative to pathfinders?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelsik
Another alternitive is to gear up a stealth team with 2 marker drones and a markligher on your team leader.
Park em between 28-36 inches from your prey and light em up. If they get close you can always move 6 inches in the assault phase so your makers are somewhat mobile during the entire battle.

For my army Ive gone one step farther. I have 12 stealth suits all modled with a marklighter. These squads are nearly untouchable by all but the most determined foe to silelce markers.
Well technically you can't move AND fire the markerlight which then puts a stop on the real usefulness of either unit.

[hr]

My Advice
I run a rather stealth heavy hybrid style army. That is a top notch commander a couple of AT XV-8s a large squad of XV-15s 3-4 medium Shas'la teams (with networked markerlight) and assorted other stuff. Including sniper drones.

I don't count on Markerlight hits I find them most useful for taking down cover saves or increasing the BS of my XV-15s to the point they are hitting on 2+ which can mow a guardman squad down a turn. However its not quantity of ML hits that should worry you, but rather combining 1 or 2 counters to create a really good turn of shooting on one target at a time.

The best place for Markerlight hits in my opinion is a Skyray or Tetra. The Tetra although it lacks quantity of shots allows those lovely rear armour light ups or on units your opponent doesn't expect.

At the end of the day you don't have to focus strategy around these little laser pointers, but they can be helpful in all manner of situations.

Genmotty
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Old 02 Oct 2007, 19:35   #5 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 157
Default Re: alternative to pathfinders?

Well technically you can't move AND fire the markerlight which then puts a stop on the real usefulness of either unit.


I believe your mistaken,
Yes you cannot move in the movement phase with a stealth suit while firing a heavyweapon (marklighter)
After your fire it, then move on to the assault phase you can use jet pack to move 6 inches legally.
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Old 02 Oct 2007, 19:45   #6 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 333
Default Re: alternative to pathfinders?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelsik
Well technically you can't move AND fire the markerlight which then puts a stop on the real usefulness of either unit.


I believe your mistaken,
Yes you cannot move in the movement phase with a stealth suit while firing a heavyweapon (marklighter)
After your fire it, then move on to the assault phase you can use jet pack to move 6 inches legally.
That's true- the problem is that while you're waiting around in the open to get your shot off you are taking incoming fire, charges, and generally getting killed without JSJ.
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Old 03 Oct 2007, 06:18   #7 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Default Re: alternative to pathfinders?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ct_drummer_boi
How are you having trouble keeping them alive? ??? They have a devilfish, use it to wisk them away in nice open part of the map with a good amount of LOS to the enemy, drop em off into a terrain piece for cover, then use the DF to move around annoying the enemy. If you have 2, split them in distant parts of the map. I always field 8 with 2 rail rifles. Works nicely.
If I see their demise coming, then yes I can pack them into the devilfish and scoot away, although that means they don't mark anything for at least the next two turns. Most of the time, though, I can't see it coming. I've had a monolith phase in right next to them and open fire, I've had an ordinance pie plate flatten most of them, I 've had a Dreadnaught emerge from a drop-pod right next to them and flame-broil them, and I've had assault squads deep-strike right next to them. They're just too big a target for their toughness and armor save. That's why I'm trying to find a good way to split up the markerlights so they can't be all clobbered at once.

As a modification to the original plan, could the ethereal with his two marker drones join a broadside unit of 3 suits and 2 shield drones and hide behind their excellent armor save? That way the markerlights would be split up 3, 3, and 2. Since the broadside unit would have 5 models with 2+ armor, would the unit roll 2+ saves even though the ethereal has no armor and the drones have 4+?
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Old 03 Oct 2007, 06:41   #8 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Default Re: alternative to pathfinders?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelsik
Another alternitive is to gear up a stealth team with 2 marker drones and a markligher on your team leader. Park em between 28-36 inches from your prey and light em up. If they get close you can always move 6 inches in the assault phase so your makers are somewhat mobile during the entire battle.
Are you sure about that? The markerlight is a heavy weapon, and the codex says you have to remain stationary to fire it. My rulebook is currently missing, but I think it said that units firing heavy weapons in the shoot phase can not move in the assault phase. Jetpack negates the movement rule for rapid-fire weapons, but I haven't seen anything to suggest that it negates the movement penalty for heavies. Even with Advanced Stabilization Systems a suit can't move in the assault phase if it fired a heavy weapon (this is explicitly stated), so it doesn't make sense that a suit without it would be more mobile than a suit with it.

I considered the stealth markerlight team, but it seems like you have to be completely stationary or equip all 3 suits with A. S. S., and only put drones on the leader. This makes the team prohibitively expensive (40 points per suit plus 5 for a leader plus 10 for the markerlight plus 60 for the two drones... 40 * 3 + 5 + 10 + 60 = 195). 195 is pretty expensive for 3 markerlights, even if they are stealthed, slightly mobile, and tougher than pathfinders.
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Old 03 Oct 2007, 18:30   #9 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 157
Default Re: alternative to pathfinders?

A.s.s. gives slow and purposeful, its not entended for the jet pack rule.

Ive combed through my codex and the core rules and I cant find any thing that would make this trick illigal. It may be a exploit, but till its pointed out by a tournement rules commity that this is not legal, ill continue to use it. as I watch how the u.s. military uses thier laser pointers in actual combat, and how mobile they are. I see no reason to limit a laser pointer as too heavy to keep troops from moving. what is the battery too heavy? a cheap soldier would have a laser pen strapped to his rifle. ( this doent mean I break rules in game, I dont allow pf or fw to move if they want to use this gear. but thn they dont have the option to move in the assult phase.

As for keeping pathfinders alive longer, place them like you would a broad side team. no where neer the front lines, and behind other troops to screen them. Sure you wont get off the early marker hits you want on thier back lines stuff but then if your opponent deeps strikes you to get to your path finders, youll have plenty of retalitory fire power to take down what ever is dropped into your lap.
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Old 03 Oct 2007, 19:31   #10 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 423
Default Re: alternative to pathfinders?

give the opponent somethign more enticing to shoot, it only has to last 1 turn, as by then the pathfinders have hit and the skyray has done its damage. sure it would be a shame to lose them later, but at least thheye done their prime job.

Against newer players, use stealth suits. all thrtuff that damages pathfinders wrill shoot at them.

Against veterans perhaps get a cheap shas'el, and give him a shield drone.

he will be a fire magnet.

o and cover is your best friend

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