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Pathfinders, How many?
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Old 29 Aug 2008, 16:08   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Pathfinders, How many?

Hey all.

With the advent of 5th edition, Pathfinders have become much more powerful and important. I want to know, at what point level should they be taken? Back in 4th, Pathfinders were usually taken around 1500pts. Does that change, and would people consider taking them at even lower point levels?

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Old 29 Aug 2008, 17:03   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Pathfinders, How many?

Tau pathfinders are pretty useful at any level, but they shouldn't take up too many points at 500 - 1000pts. The bad thing is the mandatory devilfish. So i'd go for a four man squad, with devilfish, at 500 pts.
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Old 29 Aug 2008, 17:58   #3 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Pathfinders, How many?

Before I joined online message boards I had no idea that pathfinders were deemed expensive and used to be limited to 1500 point games. I made room for them every game (although 500 point games never were played). With the advent of a 4+ cover save lurking behind every unit and around every corner I have almost doubled up on my pathfinders (I used to field 7, now 13 in two squads). I was always planing on buying devilfish anyway, and these devilfish even come with a nifty deep strike aid. So for me the answer to your question is 2 squads. I just wish I had more fast attack slots (now I choose between Pirahnas and gun drones).

The flexibility that markerlights give is absolutely necessary for my army to work (maybe thats because I spent too many points on the pathfinders, hmmm)
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Old 29 Aug 2008, 19:40   #4 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Pathfinders, How many?

Hi 'Snowbird

Like Sau1us I always make room for Pathfinders, even in most of my combat patrols. They are just so useful and given that transports can now… er… transport any unit the compulsory devilfish becomes more flexible as well.

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Old 30 Aug 2008, 05:02   #5 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Pathfinders, How many?

Fit them in whenever possible. I say one squad in 1000 points or more, or really anything much above combat patrol. Two squads in 1500 points or more. I have no idea when or if it's worth going to three squads since I don't have enough models to try it. I think three would be overkill unless you're using one to outflank with seeker missiles, and probably even then.
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Old 31 Aug 2008, 15:49   #6 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Pathfinders, How many?

I'd start putting in a full squad around 1000 pts. They are just to handy to not have, especially with a warfish that can now can ferry anything. On a side note, what ratio, if any do you have rail guns in? I'm forced to a 6:2 Markerlight:railgun ratio. I plan on fixing that soon though.
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Old 01 Sep 2008, 00:25   #7 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Pathfinders, How many?

I take two squads of four in 1500 point battles and give to devilfish to my Firewarriors. As most of my army is BS3 (firwarriors) the average of two hits per pathfinder squad gives me BS5 and greater flexiblity over my markerlight distribution.
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Old 03 Sep 2008, 16:42   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pathfinders, How many?

IMO path finders are a must as soon as you hit the 750 point mark in 5th edition. Not only do they pump up the BS (or turn down the cover saves of the enemy), but their devil fish can help with deep striking units and can now be given to your fire warriors.
Given that roughly half of your path finders will hit each turn, I usually pack squads of six. This usually gives me 3 solid ML lits, allowing me to pump up to BS 5 and possibly cut a point of cover or vice versa.
In a 2000 point game it is typical for me to deploy them outside the DF on opposite sides of the army (so they can create a support zone) then I load full squads of FW into the DF, making it possible for some rapid fire debarkation. This also allows the path finders to hang back and take advantage of their range and keep them out of harms way.
If you have the room, you could max out the squads to 8, making the extra two rail riflemen, adding to your ability to pick out enemy and somewhat protect your self.

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Old 03 Sep 2008, 20:02   #9 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Pathfinders, How many?

One problem with pathfinders is kind of leadership is one reason I do not use them. I can never pass a leadership test for some reason. Yet if they are close and in the back. Autocannons or heavy bolters will not be good for pathfinders with their high volume of fire even if they are in cover. In cover they still are vulnerable. Also you cannot start your firewarriors in the devilfish which is not good. A pie plate could cause some serious havoc on your firewarriors even pinning them. It also does not work out well in dawn of war deployment for pathfinders. against hormagunts if you do not hide them well. If the enemy has hormagunst you can get first turn charged and you cannot deploy in a devilfish and protect you form that assault. Lash of submission is also great on pathfinders I mean they are really static on foot and you do not really want the carbines you want the markerlights yet they can easily be moved out of line of sight or into close combat. Also the firewarrior could be lashed away form the transport. (one of the armies i play the most is chaos.) Also anything shooty that can deepstirkle near them is a problem. Lictors also pose a huge threat.
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Old 03 Sep 2008, 20:27   #10 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Pathfinders, How many?

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Originally Posted by Doctor Wu
One problem with pathfinders is kind of leadership is one reason I do not use them. I can never pass a leadership test for some reason. Yet if they are close and in the back. Autocannons or heavy bolters will not be good for pathfinders with their high volume of fire even if they are in cover. In cover they still are vulnerable. Also you cannot start your firewarriors in the devilfish which is not good. A pie plate could cause some serious havoc on your firewarriors even pinning them. It also does not work out well in dawn of war deployment for pathfinders. against hormagunts if you do not hide them well. If the enemy has hormagunst you can get first turn charged and you cannot deploy in a devilfish and protect you form that assault. Lash of submission is also great on pathfinders I mean they are really static on foot and you do not really want the carbines you want the markerlights yet they can easily be moved out of line of sight or into close combat. Also the firewarrior could be lashed away form the transport. (one of the armies i play the most is chaos.) Also anything shooty that can deepstirkle near them is a problem. Lictors also pose a huge threat.
They do seem to take an awful lot of fire, but there are ways around most of your arguments. Except the fact that they carry heavy weapons: nothing I can do about that. Massed fire will kill them, but at least that's fire that isn't killing anything else! The leadership problem can be helped by joining a commander or (less likely) an ethereal to their squad, having an ethereal in sight, or having Shadowsun within 18 inches. Lictors can be dealt with by filling the terrain piece with models and/or giving the pathfinders a kroot wall to hide behind.

I have to admit that my usual method of keeping a squad of pathfinders on the field is a whole lot less strategic: I start with two squads!
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