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Tau pinning army
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Old 16 Oct 2007, 21:12   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Posts: 558
Default Tau pinning army

Hello all!

This topic will be about theories and pratical uses of a pinning Tau army. Note that these are just thoughts for an optional game style, and is mostly made to spice up the game. Also, where I personally play we don't play with the normal GW scenarios or GW victory conditions. Where I play we focus alot on onbjectives, which are spread out on different locations on the field and can also be taken only in certain rounds or if completed something before.
This gives a more feel of what the war in the future might be like. The commanders pushing their soldiers to complete their objectives.
But of course, killing also gives points. The ratio is 6 objective points and 4 army points, 10 points in total during a game. The intresting thing is also that both sides (or more if you play a 3/5 way game), can aquire 10 points each! But this is very rare, and only in certain missions where each player has their own objectives to complete.



Introduction
As I am allways looking for something different when I play, I read the codex many times before I decide on what to get. Also I check with forums and check up on what is the usual army lists that people play. For Tau Empire it is either "gunline" or "mechanised" armies that dominate.

So I decided to look for something that isn't gunline or mechanised.
Second thing I go for in a codex is what I think is intresting/"cool" to have. For me it's has allways been infantry on foot, and assault weapons. Thus, the pulse carbine became a favourite very fast. Since the pulse carbine has pinning as an added effect, I started to look for other weapons that had pinning. Well, there wasn't "many" more weapons that caused pinning, only the railrifle and Airbursting fragmentation projectile (aka AFP)added pinning. But... this is more than most armies. Also, I can equip many units with these weapons, except the AFP of course.
Now my journey for a pinning army had started.

Note that this army isn't made for killing your opponent fast and with deadly force. This is a very calm and sneaky army, that takes down it's prey with "fear/panic". It won't win many turnaments, that's for sure, but it will probably give you and your freinds a nice gaming experiance.


Rule of thumb conserning pinning
When it comes to pinning it is very important to know it isn't restricted as a leadership test. Once a unit cause pinning effect on an enemy unit, the unit must take a leadership test directly after your unit has shot with all it's weapons. This means that you can cause multiple pinning tests on an enemy unit by shooting at it several times with different units.

So, the basic is to have alot of pinning units. Sooner or later your opponent will fail his leadership test, whatever that statistic says. It's all up to the dices in the end.


Pulse carbines
Most players use pulse rifles, and prefer them over the pulse carbine due to it's longer range and that it has the possibility of two shots, rapid fire, at 12". Some might add a couple of pulse carbines in their fire warrior squads, just to have some chance of pinning.
Of course, I can understand that people want to use the rapid fire at close range in combination with the devilfish, the well known "Fish of Fury" tactic.

So why have a whole squad of pulse carbines? What are the advantages?
Well that is maybe a hard question to answer and prove to most players, but I'll give it a try.
The pulse carbine has a range of 18", same strength as the pulse rifle, has pinning effect and is an assault weapon.
With this in mind we know almost for certain that we can't shoot way into enemy lines as a Tau gunline army could, or shot as much as with the fish of fury tactic. But, we can move and shoot. This will give us an effective range of 24" (18"+6" move). In normal WH40k most fire battles are between 12"-24".

Now of course, at 24" the enemy can reach you, and this isn't good, since the pulse rifle is much safer in this case. But what if, you don't go first? This usually means that there is 24" between the armies. If the opponent wants to shoot at you, he has to move forward. But if he moves forward (usually other armies have rapid fire weapons), they will only reach 12". Thus you are safe from their incoming fire. This means in your first round, you could move a few inch and reach your opponent.

A good thing about carbines over the rifles is the fact that carbines can do a tactical fallback and still reach their enemies. Let me give an example. A squad of angry Space Marines jumps out of a rhino or have advanced to your fire warrior squad, and are now less than 12" away from your fire warriors.
In this case a pulse rifle squad has two options, to stand and shoot with rapid fire, or turn tails and run away and not reaching them with their rapid fire. If they stand and shoot, they will gun down a few marines, and if they run away they will not acomplish anything really, unless it's apart of your master plan to run away.

Now a with a carbine you also have two options, but these are more positive over the rifle. First option is to do a tactical fallback and shoot, since it's an assault weapon, you can still reach the marines with your 18" carbines. This will also result in that the space marines either has to stand still and shot at "long distance" or chase the fire warriors and not shoot or acomplish anything.
Second option is to move forward! Yes this sounds crazy to most Tau players, but moving forward can in some cases be an advantage. Since the carbine is an assault weapon, you can assault the marines, or whatever, after shooting. This is good when there are few marines, or whatever left, or you need to bind the enemy in close combat for the rest of your army to fallback.

Against assault marines or similar that have jump pack movement, things are different. You need to plan your moves earlier and make sure your at 17"-18" away from the assault troops, and to have some kind of difficult terrain between the units. This might be hard to achive, and to measure distance with your eyes really hard in the beginning. Anyway with 17"-18" between the units you can now still fire upon the assault troop. With some luck or statistics you should kill of one or two. And since you can only take those within range, it should be the one that is within charge range in the following round.

Now I know this is really hard to achive... but trust me, with good training, measuring and memorizing distances in the game, you can do it. Always check distances between different terrain features, so you know how far it is between them. You never know when you need to know how far it is to a target. So... always measure! even if you know you will hit your intended target.

Fish of fury tactic vs. carbines. Well the amount of shots are double against the carbine. But the points are far from each other, so we could easily add two gun drones to even out the points differance. But now on to something more intresting. Now the fish of fury needs a round to get into possition, meaning that most often round one there will be no shots. In most cases, fish of fury kicks in at round two. This means two rounds are wasted. In this time, you can with your carbines shoot in these one or two rounds. But of course if the fish of fury works out fine, where the fire warriors move back or forward with the transports protecting them from round 2 and forward, it will be more effective. But I havn't seen a game where this has happened yet. Usually there are some kind of assault troops who can catch them if they keep them self outside the transports.
In conclusion, yes the fish of fury is perhaps better, but costs more. For those extra points on the transport you can get another 8-10 fire warriors with carbines. And the carbines have pinning... and this is what this pinning army is about.

Gunline vs. carbine. Here it's the range that is the intresting fact. The rifle will most likely reach it's enemies in the first round, where the carbines might not. And the rifles have the ability to shot two shots at 12". But, if they do use rapid fire, it usually means the enemy will charge them in the following round. This is where the carbines are more usefull, they can escape from assaulting units. Also, carbines can be on the move all the time and not be punnished with range reduction. This will make the more mobile and thus letting them get objectives easier.
For me, carbines are better than gunline setup, as I play mobil foot slogging style, and I also get the pinning effect I want.


Airbursting fragmentation projectile (AFP)
The AFP is a special issue weapon, thus you can only have one, sadly enough. This weapon isn't the most important arsenal you have when constructing the pinning army, but it sure is a nice addition to have.

I try to advice people not to take this weapon on a Shas'el/o since they have better BS and this is rare in the Tau Empire army. Use the Shas'el/os BS more vicely.
I recomend some kind of Shas'vre to handle this weapon.

What other options should you get the AFP wielding crisis have?
Well I recomend something with atleast 18" range, thus leaving us with burst cannon, missile pod and of course another special issue weapon, the cyclic ion blaster. I would personally recomend the burst cannon or missile pod, it's cheap and has basically the same target as the AFP, infantry.


Rail rifle
The rail rifle is the bread and butter in the style I am going to apply in this tactica/topic. This weapon is a long range, high strength and good AP value. It's a perfect marine killer. It usually hits on 4+, and wounds on 2+. But of course, as all Tau Empire players should know, the to hit rate can be improved.

Units that have rail rifles are only two though. Those are path finders who need to upgrade for some points to get it, and the sniper drones who have them from the start.


Basic principle
Well now on to the acctual tactica and how to use the pinning army. What you need is a set of points to be played. Where I play it's 1750 pts as a standard. And I will thus use those points for my eample here. Of course it can be modified to suit different points.

The army list have two basic units that need to be included, and these are Pathfinders and Sniper drone teams. Now these teams must work together. For example, for every pathfinder team, you need atleast one sniper drone team. The basics now is that the pathfinders marks the target with as many markerlights as possible.
Now the sniper drone team uses the markerlights to lower the leadership. Now this should, in most cases, make the unit pinned.

Now to give more detailed example. In this case we need a unit of fire warriors with a shas'ui upgraded with markerlight (and possibly target lock so he can shoot at a different target). The pathfinder team should be around six members with markerlights. And also, of course you need a sniper drone team.

The fire warriors shas'ui now shots with his markerlight, and lets now presume he hits okey. Now it's the fire warriors turn. They use the markerlight to increase their BS. Now as they shoot the pathfinders markerlights should do around four hits.
Next up are the sniper drones spotter, he marks the target also. Finaly the sniper drones who now uses 4 markerlights to lower the leadership, and one to boost the BS. This should secure one kill and possibly 2 or even three kills. And with -4 to leadership most units will hugg the ground. Of course, some times you score less markerlight hits, and in those cases you should put priority on the lower leadership ability. All you need after all is one kill, and you should be able to kill one power armoured soldier with 3 sniper drones.

Now this is alot of points to make a unit pinned. The total cost for this is around 310 pts. But one should not forget that we acctually kill stuff too when we pin down units. The devilfish transport can protect units from beeing charged and support a little with it's weapons.
the fire warriors have weapons of their own to shoot with, thus they are not totaly useless. So the units dedicated to pinning are following:

  • Fire warrior Shas'ui with markerlight
  • Pathfinders
  • Sniper drone team

This adds up to around 175 pts spent on pinning. The rest of the points are spent on things that can shoot at different things or same target and kill of some bad guys.
And for me that isn't so bad. Now think about it, keeping an assault marine unit away from your lines could be life saving, and those units usually costs alot, right?


My personal current setting
As for now I have the following setting for my units:
  • Fire warrior squad
    Unit/squad: 1 Shas'ui, 5 shas'la and 2 gun drones
    Weapons: 6 Pulse carbines, 2 Twin-linked pulse carbines
    Wargear: Markerlight, hard-wired target lock, hard-wired drone controller
    Points: 105

    Pathfinder squad
    Unit/squad: 1 Shas'ui, 7 shas'la and 2 gun drones
    Weapons: 6 Pulse carbines with markerlight desintigrators, 2 rail rifles, 2 Twin-linked pulse carbines
    Wargear: Hard-wired target lock, hard-wired drone controller, hard-wired blacksun filter
    Transport: Devilfish
    Points: 234

    Sniper drone team
    Unit/squad: 1 team (3 sniper drones, 1 spotter)
    Weapons: Rail rifle x3, pulse pistol x1
    Wargear: Stealth field generator, network markerlight
    Points: 80
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    419 points



Now this is alot of points I have to admit. but every unit is upgraded and all of them have the possibility to pinn down their target.
Starting with the Fire warriors. They have eight members in total, this is something people tend to forget, the gun drones. The Shas'ui is equiped with a markerlight and target lock. This frees the unit or the shas'ui to shoot at different targets. Seven carbine shots might not be the most impresive in the world, but it takes only one casualty to force the enemy to take a pinning test.

Pathfinders, these are the pointsinkers. They are ten members, including the gun drones. The shas'ui is equiped with target lock so he can seperate his markerlight from the unit to help a crisis team if needed. The unit is also equiped with two rail rifles. This is just to get an extra punch, it's expensive, but it follows the theme with pinning and the thumb of rule when it comes to pinning armies, is to cause alot of pinning tests. This leaves us with five shas'la with markerlights, six if we include the shas'ui.
So what should they target?
Well the drones shoot at the main target, as they have no choice. The pathfinders shas'la at main target to mark it, the shas'ui has two options, to mark the main target or mark a secondary target, and finally the rail rifle guys, shoots at a seperate unit hoping to kill and cause pinning.

Sniper drones, are the last one in line. And they have a simple task. To use the markerlights and make sure to pinn down the intended target.


Tactics
So how do we use this army?
Well in 1750 pts I field 2 settings as I have shown. Now that's around 800 pts of my army total. For the rest of the points I get things that acctually kill my opponent of course, preferably with pinning effect.
Now, the basics here is to pinn down atleast two units per round, preferably 3 or more if possible (if you go all out on carbines that is).
By using the basic theory of the pathfinders and sniper drone teams you should be able to cripple your opponent each turn, and giving your self the upperhand of more points on the table that can act.

In the first turns the effect of pinning will not be noticed as much, even if you pinn down two units, but as the game goes on and the opponent loses more and more units, pinning two or more units later on in the game really has an effect on your opponents effectivness. Remember that to be able to pinn your enemy, you need to cause casualties, meaning all these points are not just for pinning, your acctually killing stuff too. And as I said, alot of these points are able to seperate their shots from the markerlights.

The rest of your points should be focused on killing and beeing a bigger threat. Such as crisis suits, Hammerheads, and other things that people usualy fear in the Tau Empire army. Make sure the opponent need to focus on your other units and not so much on your pinning units, unless you really want him too.
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Old 16 Oct 2007, 21:12   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Default Re: Tau pinning army

Example list
  • HQ

    XV8 Crisis suit Shas'el
    Weapon systems: Cyclic ion blaster, plasma rifle
    Support system: Targeting array, hard-wired multi-tracker
    XV8 Crisis suit Bodyguard
    Unit/squad: 2 Shas'vre
    Weapon systems: Fusion blaster, plasma rifle
    Support system: Targeting array, hard-wired multi-tracker
    Points: 261

    ELITE

    XV8 Crisis suit
    Unit/squad: 3 Shas'ui
    Weapon systems: Burst cannon, missile pod
    Support system: Multi-tracker
    Points: 150

    XV8 Crisis suit
    Unit/squad: 1 monat Shas'vre
    Weapon systems: Airbursting fragmentation projectile, missile pod
    Support system: Multi-tracker
    Points: 72

    TROOP

    Fire warrior squad
    Unit/squad: 1 Shas'ui, 5 shas'la and 2 gun drones
    Weapons: 6 Pulse carbines, 2 Twin-linked pulse carbines
    Wargear: Markerlight, hard-wired target lock, hard-wired drone controller
    Points: 105

    Fire warrior squad
    Unit/squad: 1 Shas'ui, 5 shas'la and 2 gun drones
    Weapons: 6 Pulse carbines, 2 Twin-linked pulse carbines
    Wargear: Markerlight, hard-wired target lock, hard-wired blacksun filter, hard-wired drone controller
    Points: 108

    FAST ATTACK

    Pathfinder squad
    Unit/squad: 1 Shas'ui, 7 shas'la and 2 gun drones
    Weapons: 6 Pulse carbines with markerlight desintigrators, 2 rail rifles, 2 Twin-linked pulse carbines
    Wargear: Hard-wired target lock, hard-wired drone controller, hard-wired blacksun filter
    Transport: Devilfish
    Points: 234

    Pathfinder squad
    Unit/squad: 1 Shas'ui, 7 shas'la and 2 gun drones
    Weapons: 6 Pulse carbines with markerlight desintigrators, 2 rail rifles, 2 Twin-linked pulse carbines
    Wargear: Hard-wired target lock, hard-wired drone controller, hard-wired blacksun filter
    Transport: Devilfish
    Points: 234

    Gun drone squadron
    Unit/squad: 8 gun drones
    Weapons: Twin-linked pulse carbines
    Points: 96

    HEAVY SUPPORT

    Sniper drone team
    Unit/squad: 2 teams (6 sniper drones, 2 spotters)
    Weapons: Rail rifle x3, pulse pistol x1
    Wargear: Stealth field generator, network markerlight
    Points: 160

    Hammerhead gunship
    Weapon systems: Railgun and two burst cannons
    Wargear: Targeting array, multi-tracker, decoy launcher
    Points: 165

    Hammerhead gunship
    Weapon systems: Railgun and two burst cannons
    Wargear: Targeting array, multi-tracker, decoy launcher
    Points: 165

    Total models: 63 + 4 vehicles

    Total points: 1750


So the basics of this list is of course Fire warrior squads shas'ui marks the intended target to be pinned. The pathfinders shas'las uses the markerlight and remarks the target. The patchfinders shas'ui marks a different unit to support a crisis unit if possible. Sniper drones tries to pinn (and should succeed) the intended target. This happens two times, as there are two pinning setups.

Meanwhile from the same units there are seven shots from each fire warrior squad that can fire at a seperate unit apart from their shas'ui. The pathfinders have two gun drones and two rail rifles. the rail rifles can target other units, preferably a unit that the fire warriors have shot at giving them an additional pinning test to pass.
From these units we can do some minor damage. So it's not a total loss to go for pinning.

Now onto the HQ crisis. If they are close enough, which they should be at round 2 or 3, they will stay at 13"-18" away from the enemy. This is because they have 12" weapons, or they are most effective at this range, thinking of the rapid fire plasma and fusion blasters. They will take advantage of markerlight from pathfinder shas'ui or perhaps sniper drone spotter in some occations. The HQ crisis team will be the main killing team when it comes to heavy armoured guys.

The crisis with burst cannon and missile pods are an alternativ to stealth suits. For the same points I get the same amount of shots, but I get better thoughness and I don't lose as much when I suffer a wound. for example if I lose one wound on stealth suits I lose three shots, while the crisis lose no shots.
If I lose two wounds, stealths lose six shots and crisis only five shots.
Of course, the crisis don't have stealth or infiltrate, but they make up for it with better staying power and that they can take down lighter vehicles at a distance with their pods.

Anyway their target is light infantry or infantry in general. Basic jump, shot, jump tactic applies to these guys of course. If there are no infantry units to shot at, or if there is a transport to close they will take a shot at it.

Crisis with AFP and missile pod is just a crisis that follows the army theme. AFP for pinning, and he is just annoying to have around for your opponent.

Gun drones, are exelent addition for a pinning army. They have pulse carbines, and jetpacks. this this they can do the same thing as the crisis suits. Jump, shot and jump back into cover. Or in some occations they can acctually charge into the enemies. They do have the same inisiative as marines, bare that in mind.

Two hammerhead gunships to hunt down vehicles or if there are no vehicles, they will hunt infantry.

In totalt there isn't much less fire power than a normal army, not speaking of a gunline army now. And the added bonus from this army is pinning, where two units "should" be pinned each round.

To sum it up:
  • 59 AP5 S5 shots (could be more if I for some reason don't use the markerlights).
  • 6 AP4 S7 shots
  • 14 AP2 S6 shots
  • 5 AP4/AP1 S3 shots (CIB)
  • 3 AP1 S8 shots
  • 2 AP1/4 S10/6 shots (Railgun)
  • 8 pinning units


Hope this has been of any use for anyone. I know it's been a long topic. Sorry for that...



Yours Truly

Vash
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Old 16 Oct 2007, 21:25   #3 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Tau pinning army

Well you have clearly put a lot of time and thought into this but I still do not think pinning is a worthwhile pusuit. It's nice to pin a unit every now and then but I find it is folly to actively try to pin most enemies or put too much of your army into it. Most Space Marine armies will be leadership 9 or 10 all around, many squads are fearless, there are many units that can re-roll morale and even guardsmen can be extremely tough to pin with officers and commisars backing them up. To pin an enemy as you describe your looking at 175pts spent on pinning a single target, and even that is a long shot, assuming the markerlights hit which on BS3 many may not, assuming the enemy fails. Even at -4 LD6 is still not an assurity and many squads are fearless. Many marine assault squads will be led by a Chaplain which makes them fearless.

Not only that but with that devotion of your army to pinning a single target your firepower is dropping immensely. Even at 1750pts a Pathfinder team with their mandatory Devilfish is a lot of points and a very soft target. Firewarriors with carbines suffer a 50% drop in firepower and given the still relatively low chance of pinning most foes that is just not a very good trade off IMO.

Pinning in my experience is more about causing a lot of tests than trying to assure a single failed test. Many squads of gun drones off of vehicles and a few thrown into squads, causing 3 or 4 pinning checks on a single squad. Those cause units to be pinned, not lighting them up and trying to lower their leadership. Your ultimate goal is to kill them but at the very least throwing gun drone shots at them from cheap squad add ons and off of vehicles that pretty much come for free then it doesn't waste or deprive your army of any firepower, and gives you a decent chance of causing multiple pinning checks.

IMO it's just not worth it to bother focusing on pinning. Yes it is nice to pin squads every now and then, and yes throwing a couple carbines into a Firewarrior squad is a decent way to give you a chance to pin. But in my experience pinning is not a game winning strategy, it won't stop the enemy from hitting your lines, it generally won't do anything but cause a minor annoyance and the drop in firepower and the resources spent in the manner you suggest is just too much spent on too little gain. It's far more effective just to kill them IMO and besides tank walls stop assault far easier and much more reliably than pinning and do not drop your armies firepower either.

In short pinning is nice, but building an army around it is IMO not a good idea.

Besides I can think of many ways to destroy those units without any trouble. Bassalisks and mortar teams hidden behind cover can easily open fire on your fairly pricey Pathfinders and Sniper Drones and saturate them with ordanance until they are wiped away, while the rest of the army simply hunkers down and keeps up the fire or can be deployed out of the way. Also the Carbine Firewarriors have to get to the enemy to use their guns, which either means hugging cover for several turns and not shooting or moving out into the open, where they are fodder for heavy bolters and blast weapons and they can be easily swatted away. Landspeeders, Assault Squads, Vehicles, Dreadnaughts, Deep Striking squads, these things are attainable in any enemy force and can easily counter your pinning. How good is your pinning when your enemy plans armor in the way, they don't even have to be mounted but just hide their infantry behind the tanks until they get close. Rhinos make wonderful mobile terrain. Plus many enemy units outrange you, Carbines, markerlights and Rail Rifles aren't the longest reaching guns in the game, a few small Tactical squads with rocket launchers or a single rocket armed dev squad could easily outgun your pathfinders by turn 2, and cost less than the squad too. Terminators or Dreadnaughts with heavy flamers drop podded into your lines to flame down your pathfinders and snipers is also a very effective way of dealing with them and many marine armies also have access to one or the other such squads.

Any competent foe is not going to be fooled twice by the same trick. If you pin his squads in turn one a player who knows what he/she is doing will deal with it. Adapting to the changing situations of the battle is part of the game. Now indeed I've seen many players who aren't competent but relying on the foolishness of your opponent to repeatedly make the same mistake is also IMO not a way to build your army. For instance how would this deal with some examples of my forces:

Grey Knights- Fearless, more mobile and with more firepower than carbines, can't be pinned, and with Land Raider Crusaders and deep striking incinerators they can tackle your force from multiple directions and your pinning is entirely useless against them, leaving the reduced firepower of the carbines and the few rail rifles to try and gun them down, which is possible but not when they arrive in a Land Raider or deep struke right next to your lines, negating your range advantage and carbines don't have the increased firepower at close range that rifles do.

Imperial Fists Lysanderwing- 24 Deep Striking Terminators and 15 Infiltrating scouts. 9 of the Terminators are fearless, all deep strike accurately together and with 5 heavy flamers. With so much of your army put into carbines and Pathfinders and with the 2+ saves of Terminator armor pinning and range aren't going to help at all, quantity of fire is what is needed and mobility, neither of which is offered specifically in your setups.

Blood Ravens- 90% of the army infiltrates, meaning that on turn 1 90% of the force will be at or within 18" of your force, meaning that the guns and blades of the army will be right ontop of your squads. Tau infantry are extremely succeptible to psychic powers such as fear of darkness which with 3 librarians in the force is more than easy to obtain and easily gotten in range, and even should you pin two squads at such close range the marine firepower will tell on your Pathfinders and Firewarriors who don't have the screen of range and the rest of the force to hide behind, and even if you pin two of the infiltrating squads, the support squads in the form of assault marines, bikes and landspeeders are then free to close the distance and open fire, so again not much help.

Ultramarines- My Ultras force includes a number of vehicles and those squads that aren't mounted are all firepower squads, that can sit at extreme range and keep up fire with missile launchers and lascannons while the armor of Predators, Rhinos, Land Raiders and Dreadnaughts move in and gun down your pinning squads, or ignore them and focus on the other threats with nothing for your squads to pin, and when the infantry is disgorged from the Land Raiders into combat they can't be fired on anyway. Not perfect but again a simple counter to pinning.

Dark Angels- Combat squads in the DA force means that pinning two combat squads isn't going to slow the force down much at all, and usually geared for shooting even pinning two squads won't stop the DA from concentrating fire and wiping away the threat in the early turns.

Space Wolves- Wolf Scouts appearing behind your lines to lock your pinning teams in cc and wipe them out while the rest of the force hunkers down and outshoots any mobile elements, and even if the force gets held up in the field it only needs to have the unattatched officers reach combat to be effective.

Raven Guard- With 22 Jump Infantry including Shrike who can infiltrate and then scout to be well within assault range of your pinning units, even pinning two of the assault squads a turn isn't going to stop the Master Captain or Shrike from reaching your lines and killing your pinning units or at least holding them up for the rest of the force to reach combat, and it wouldn't stop the ranged support in the form of 2 las/plas Tac squads and a Dev squad and two scout squads from overwhelming any pinning units with concentrated firepower.

Tau Or'es Shi Cadre- My Tau army is completely mechanised, with the suits able to JSJ out of sight and the rest of the army completely mounted inside the armor of Devilfish and backed up by Hammerheads there would be nothing on the field for you to pin until it's too late.

Now none of those are perfect but you get the idea. All of my armies can easily deal with your 800pts of pinning units and not a one of those armies was designed with that purpose, but all can react and deal with that kind of threat instantly and effectively. So as I said, pinning is nice, but relying on it, and building a list around it will just see a lot of dead Pathfinders and Firewarriors.
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Old 17 Oct 2007, 05:16   #4 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Tau pinning army

Well as I said in my first sentances. This is just an optional play style for those who are intrested. I can't prove to you, as I said also, that this will work or works.
It works for me, and I thought I would share it with others. I am, as you, a veteran of this game. Played for 14 years or more.

For me this works, and I have a great time when playing. Those I have problem with pinning are the fearless ones, of course.

Again as I said, this is just for fun and optional playing. The game is about having fun, winning is a side effect for me. If you want to win every time and keep a nice heffy statline that many forum junkies like, do not use this army (ie. W/D/L in the signature row). It is made for fun and for those who are intrested in different armies.

As you, I have many armies and personally I grow tired of beeing one in the bunch who doesn't do anything new and outside the box.
For now I have:
7000 pts Inquisition (SoB and GK)
3000 pts eldar
2500 pts IG (Vostroya)
4000 pts Tau

And I had:
2500 pts Space Marines Dark Angels
3000 pts Space Marines
2000 pts Deathwing
1500 pts Space Marines blood angels
2000 pts IG (cadia)

All I see on forums is the same old tactics, I thought I would share with something that has worked for me and is new.
Furthermore... it's not 800 pts devouted for pinning... of those 800 pts it's only 320 pts that are devouted for pinning. Of these 320, 160 are sniper drones that are imo really good for their points as they kill and do what they are designed to do. The last 160 pts.. well for me, to get a themed army it's worth a while.



Yours Truly

Vash
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Old 17 Oct 2007, 05:32   #5 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Tau pinning army

I think it would be fun to play but it is not a tourney kind of strategy so friendly games only.

I mean Nids and chaos are typically fearless and Marines, Eldar, and Necrons all have huge LD. Even orks with waaaaahggg!!! rules are not goign down to easy and as mentioned IG are harder to pin than first apparent.

Funny thing is this would work rather well against....other Tau. But other than that I don't see it as very effective.

Also if you lose any markerlights at all pinning becomes a much more difficult proposition.

No, for me I may try pinning with my AFP and splitting sniper drone fire but that is only an added bonus as I am really just trying to kill things with them. I would never devote markerlights to lowering pinning checks iun such situations. Of course free drones from Piranhas and DFish would also throw some checks but again nice bonus, not a central tactic.

And I would never give carbines to FW's since the pulse rifle is simply better in almost every way.
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Old 17 Oct 2007, 07:14   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau pinning army

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vash
Well as I said in my first sentances. This is just an optional play style for those who are intrested. I can't prove to you, as I said also, that this will work or works.
It works for me, and I thought I would share it with others. I am, as you, a veteran of this game. Played for 14 years or more.

For me this works, and I have a great time when playing. Those I have problem with pinning are the fearless ones, of course.
Fun is the point, I just felt that the downside needed to be shown.

Quote:
Again as I said, this is just for fun and optional playing. The game is about having fun, winning is a side effect for me. If you want to win every time and keep a nice heffy statline that many forum junkies like, do not use this army (ie. W/D/L in the signature row). It is made for fun and for those who are intrested in different armies.
There's nothing wrong with having fun, but one can have fun and have an effective army at the same time. One does not have to do something extraordinarily outside the box and sacrifice effectiveness to still have a unique, unusual and fun army. When I first started playing a mechanised army it was almost unheard of, now it's the norm. Needless to say I'm a bit miffed but ah well, I'll find a way to expand my army into another front, but that doesn't mean I'm going to take units that are so... specific, and have so many weaknesses.

Quote:
All I see on forums is the same old tactics, I thought I would share with something that has worked for me and is new.
By all means, as I said I just felt some negatives needed to be shown.

Quote:
Furthermore... it's not 800 pts devouted for pinning... of those 800 pts it's only 320 pts that are devouted for pinning. Of these 320, 160 are sniper drones that are imo really good for their points as they kill and do what they are designed to do. The last 160 pts.. well for me, to get a themed army it's worth a while.
Maybe but it's still 800 points designed for a purpose, how much of that goes into pinning specifically and how much does other things it's still 800 points of your force designed for that purpose, which is IMO far too much for a balanced army. If I'm going to do something unusual I generally make sure to keep it at less than 30% of my points total, preferably lower than 20%. And as I said your pinning forces lack either a strong offence or a strong defencive capability, pinning is nice but they lack the sheer oomph to do much damage or the toughness to last in a firefight and keep up the pinning, so while on turns 1 and 2 it might be effective, by later turns I'd be stunned if an enemy didn't deal with that threat... or... nevermind, I wouldn't be stunned, especially with how much I see Tau being underestimated...

But anyway by all means play such a force, it does sound like a very interesting way to play, simply with tacticas I like to make sure both the pros and the cons are fully explained so people know what they are getting into. But it is refreshing to see something new come along.

Personally I'm going to add a full complement of auxilaries to update my force and dust it off for Apocalypse, 2 squads of Gue'vesa, 1 Squad of Kroot and a squad of Vespid Stingwings, and maybe a Skyray. It's always nice to try something new, as long as one is prepared for all the consequences involved.

Which by the way, I forgot to do it earlier but +1 Karma!
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Old 17 Oct 2007, 15:33   #7 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Tau pinning army

Well of course, there are down sides about this, mostly down sides

Just to point out a thing, Chaos isn't as fearless anymore as they once were.

I'll try to play some games and take some pictures with a battle report. That might be a way to "prove" that it might work
I've done it before, but that's because I have a very different playing style and know how to handle it.

@israfel420
The Pulse carbine for me is way better. Don't say that the rifle is better in almost every way.
As I see it, it has two advantages, range, and rapid fire.
Carbines have assault and pinning. And with their 18" range you can be on the move all the time.
For me and my game style this is much better. Same strength and some AP but I get the bonuses I want, an I am not stationary and a sitting duck who can't take objectives



Oh, btw, thanks for the karma. Just charing what I personally like, hope it can be used by someone in the future.



Yours Truly

Vash
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Old 17 Oct 2007, 15:38   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau pinning army

Very interesting read, while mitigated by the ridiculous amount of High LD armies (sometimes I wonder why bother having an LD stat :) it fits in really well with a Tau style of war - slowing the enemy advance and engaging away from priority targets.

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Vash113 & Vash - you two related?
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Old 17 Oct 2007, 16:56   #9 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Tau pinning army

Well Vash is a common name on the forums I guess.
Just like the name, comes from Trigun and the main character there is sometimes as I am... or me as him? Multi personality
Goofy and clumsy to make others laugh, but dead serios when it comes to more serious issues.



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Vash
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Old 17 Oct 2007, 21:22   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau pinning army

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vash
The Pulse carbine for me is way better. Don't say that the rifle is better in almost every way.
As I see it, it has two advantages, range, and rapid fire.
Carbines have assault and pinning. And with their 18" range you can be on the move all the time.
For me and my game style this is much better. Same strength and some AP but I get the bonuses I want, an I am not stationary and a sitting duck who can't take objectives
Well israfel is not wrong about rifles. Rifles can move and fire, they have double the rate of fire of carbines, static they have longer range. Yes you can move and shoot with carbines but I find that is not often an advantage. With only one shot trying to move away from a foe won't stop them generally and the carbine lacks the firepower to take objectives either unless heavily supported. Ontop of that a carbine squad moving around without a Devilfish is fodder for anything AP4 and there are tons of such things that an enemy can throw at them just to be rid of a nuissance.

Carbine squads can be useful in some instances but in almost every way the Pulse Rifle is far better. For static, hybrid and mechanised armies the rifle generally outperforms the carbine by leaps and bounds. Origionally under 3rd Edition the Carbine was the better option for mobile squads, when 4th Edition came along the carbine became mostly defunct and the rifle became far more usefull.
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