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HQ Choices for a beginner and other inquiries.
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Old 16 Mar 2009, 12:36   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default HQ Choices for a beginner and other inquiries.

Hey, so I'm trying to put together a 500 point team to learn the game (I havn't played yet). I'm looking for something that isn't too specialised and is somewhat versatile but effective. I have a battleforce, 1 shaper and 2 path-finders with rails (got them 'cause I think they look cool).

Anyhow, I was reading a post on 500 point builds and I saw one that interested me. Would this build be a good way to learn the basics? (It has many different troops so I could learn to use them) It seems from the post like its not especially friendly. I don't want to have a build that would make my future opponents dislike me.

Also I noticed that most lists, at least the small ones use a Commander Shas'O or Shas'El. I have a Crisis Battlesuit that comes with the force which I can use as an HQ. However if the Commander is worth it, I'll gladly purchase that unit. But I only really want to get one HQ at this time so I can focus on other units (hounds, HH... etc.) Is the Commander the best Choice or are one of the other options (Aun'va, O'Shava, Shadowsun etc...)

Also if this list is too 'hard-hitting' could you recommend a list that uses more of my units so I can save some money and is still useful? I like the Kroot force xShaperx set up (Shaper + 9 Carnis + 6 Hounds) as a CC defense/wall. I was thinking of also using a Warfish with X number of FWs too see how to use that combination to take/defend points - 6 is recommended right?

Edit/Addition:

I also want to try out markerlights in different strategies. To possibly cover what I'm asking: I'm looking to put a basic 500-750 army that covers a wide range of playstyles. It doesn't have to be effective, I can take losses. I just would like to quickly develop a play style and get units that could be used in most/all armies like a good HQ or HH etc... I also plan on magnetising so units with lots of bits and different options are good too.
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Old 16 Mar 2009, 15:24   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: HQ Choices for a beginner and other inquiries.

That's a pretty competitive list. If you're looking for something a bit more balanced I'd suggest.

Shas'el w/ plasma rifle, missile pod, Targeting Array, Multi-tracker

10 Fire Warriors
Devilfish with Smart Missiles, Targeting Array, Multi-Tracker, Disruption Pods

14 Kroot

Broadside with twin plasma rifles and multi-tracker

500 points

Shas'os are a bit expensive for a 500 point game (I don't use them period). The commanders are the only Tau HQs worth taking. The special Characters and ethereals are very poor units.

This list lets you practice with decent sized units of both Tau Troops units. The Kroot, while advertised as a close combat unit, are best in cover as a shooting unit. Only charge with them if you outnumber your opponent 3-4 to 1 or against equal numbers of combat troops that are individually weak like Guardsmen, ork boyz, and Guardians. (Orks are excellent combat troops, but they need large numbers and charging to be successful. Kroot on the charge will usually beat them) The Devilfish is optimized for combat so you can practice using both a transport and a decently powerful tank.

You really only need one railgun at 500 points, so one Broadside will be enough. The twin linked plasma rifles will help against marines and other high armor targets.

I dropped the hounds from the original list not because the are bad units, they're quite good, but they're very expensive at $10 for two, so it would be more efficient to spend your money on models that give you more points per dollar while your starting off. If cash isn't an issue, then replacing 4 of the Kroot with hounds will improve their combat ability.
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Old 16 Mar 2009, 15:45   #3 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: HQ Choices for a beginner and other inquiries.

In 500 points, it's generally a good idea to take 1 Deathrain, 1 railgun (in some form), 2 troops choices (I would recommend for a beginner, 2 x 6 man fire warrior teams in devilfishes), and a commander to fill in where your army is lacking.

As for why most lists use a 'El of 'O, it's because they are mandatory (that's what that 1+ symbol next to them means). The only way to not take one is to take Shadowsun or farsight (but you can only do that in higher point levels).

And buying the commander set is definitely worth it, as you get all the normal crisis suit weapons in addition to all the special issue wargear/weapons.

For a list, I would recommend:

Shas'el with plasma rifle, CIB (fusion cannon if you don't have the piece), targeting array, HW-multi tracker (100 points)

'Ui with twin linked missile pods + targeting array(53 points)

6 fire warriors with devilfish w/ SMS multi tracker, and d-pod (170 points)

Broadside with A.S.S. (80 points)

Then you have 97 points left over to put towards your second troops choice. I would recommend Kroot as they are great fun to play with.
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Old 16 Mar 2009, 15:59   #4 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: HQ Choices for a beginner and other inquiries.

Thanks for the responses. While you were writing them I put my first list together. While I work through both of your lists feel free to look at and bash the current one. As for the hounds I hear getting the plastic chaos ones was a suitable replacement and I'm thinking I'm going to go with that. I like the look of the Kroot and I think I would enjoy a strategic game over a 'how many units can I kill before they finally get within 12" of me' one even if I lose as a beginner.
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Old 16 Mar 2009, 16:29   #5 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: HQ Choices for a beginner and other inquiries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leatherback
Shas'el with plasma rifle, CIB (fusion cannon if you don't have the piece), targeting array, HW-multi tracker (100 points)
Can you make a Shas'el Commander out of the Crisis suit in the Battleforce or am I confusing myself? Does the CIB come with the Commander Pack or do I have to buy a separate bitz bag?

Quote:
Originally Posted by leatherback
6 fire warriors with devilfish w/ SMS multi tracker, and d-pod (170 points)
For some reason I get 175 points... and no Targeting Array?

Quote:
Originally Posted by leatherback
Broadside with A.S.S. (80 points)
Is this assuming I get the Crisis battle suit with Linked Missle Pods + TA or is it stand-alone better than the 85 point Plasma Rifle + Multitracker version? Does A.S.S. support the Plasma system as well as it does the SMS version?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Commander_Vimes
10 Fire Warriors
Devilfish with Smart Missiles, Targeting Array, Multi-Tracker, Disruption Pods [...] The Devilfish is optimized for combat so you can practice using both a transport and a decently powerful tank.
I kind of want to keep things simple by not actually evacuating the FW so I was planning on sticking to 6. It just seems easier... otherwise I might get caught up with technicalities. Playing it as a tank and a capturing unit seems decent for now but I can always evacuate the 6 FW. You both seem to say the drones aren't worth having and should be replaced with SMS. I would like to do this, but what exactly am I missing out? In what situations do drones fair better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Commander_Vimes
14 Kroot [...] The Kroot, while advertised as a close combat unit, are best in cover as a shooting unit. Only charge with them if you outnumber your opponent 3-4 to 1 or against equal numbers of combat troops that are individually weak like Guardsmen, ork boyz, and Guardians.
I kind of want to try using my full Kroot arsenal. I like the way they look since they provide contrast to the Tau on the field. I wanted to see how a Shaper and Hound-supported team fair as the main troop (basically taking the FW out of necessity.) Thanks for the strategic advice on Kroots, this is just the kind of stuff I need.
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Old 16 Mar 2009, 18:22   #6 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Default Re: HQ Choices for a beginner and other inquiries.

Quote:
Can you make a Shas'el Commander out of the Crisis suit in the Battleforce or am I confusing myself? Does the CIB come with the Commander Pack or do I have to buy a separate bitz bag?
You can, but the head will look slightly different. The CIB doesn't come in the battleforce, so you can substitute a fusion cannon as both work. However, I highly recommend you buy yourself a second battlesuit sometime soon and as the commander comes with the special weapons, it seems like a logical choice.

Quote:
For some reason I get 175 points... and no Targeting Array?
Oops, I was looking at the battlesuit armory. Your right, it is 175 points and adding a targeting array would be a good idea.

Quote:
Is this assuming I get the Crisis battle suit with Linked Missle Pods + TA or is it stand-alone better than the 85 point Plasma Rifle + Multitracker version? Does A.S.S. support the Plasma system as well as it does the SMS version?
Honestly, I think your commander will be enough anti TEQ power for this list making the plasma system redundant and with 5th edition and the ever-present cover save, you can never have enough cover ignoring shots. A.S.S. supports SMS better than plasma as a broadside can already move and shoot with rapid fire weapons. I would recommend taking both the Deathrain and the broadside if you can, as two anti tanks should be enough for most enemies at 500 points.

If you want a list that you could use solely with what you have now, I would switch the deathrain and broadside for a 3 man stealth suit team (all with a drone controller and 1 gun drone each) which would cost 120 points, meaning you would have 110 points for your second troops choice (113 if you drop the commander's CIB for a fusion cannon). That's enough for a medium sized kroot team.
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Old 16 Mar 2009, 18:31   #7 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: HQ Choices for a beginner and other inquiries.

Gun drones are never a good thing. They give up an additional kill point, and get half as many shots as the SMS. Leatherbacks list is very decent though. Only possible suggestion is that you rejigg the Devilfish a bit.
Cam
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Old 16 Mar 2009, 18:42   #8 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
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Posts: 228
Default Re: HQ Choices for a beginner and other inquiries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leatherback
Quote:
Can you make a Shas'el Commander out of the Crisis suit in the Battleforce or am I confusing myself? Does the CIB come with the Commander Pack or do I have to buy a separate bitz bag?
You can, but the head will look slightly different. The CIB doesn't come in the battleforce, so you can substitute a fusion cannon as both work. However, I highly recommend you buy yourself a second battlesuit sometime soon and as the commander comes with the special weapons, it seems like a logical choice.

Quote:
For some reason I get 175 points... and no Targeting Array?
Oops, I was looking at the battlesuit armory. Your right, it is 175 points and adding a targeting array would be a good idea.

Quote:
Is this assuming I get the Crisis battle suit with Linked Missle Pods + TA or is it stand-alone better than the 85 point Plasma Rifle + Multitracker version? Does A.S.S. support the Plasma system as well as it does the SMS version?
Honestly, I think your commander will be enough anti TEQ power for this list making the plasma system redundant and with 5th edition and the ever-present cover save, you can never have enough cover ignoring shots. A.S.S. supports SMS better than plasma as a broadside can already move and shoot with rapid fire weapons. I would recommend taking both the Deathrain and the broadside if you can, as two anti tanks should be enough for most enemies at 500 points.

If you want a list that you could use solely with what you have now, I would switch the deathrain and broadside for a 3 man stealth suit team (all with a drone controller and 1 gun drone each) which would cost 120 points, meaning you would have 110 points for your second troops choice (113 if you drop the commander's CIB for a fusion cannon). That's enough for a medium sized Kroot team.
Thanks for the sweet advice. How would a Kroot Force of 9 Carnivores / 1 Shaper / 4 Hounds work? Would it be effective or just a collection of too few units? It's for 115, the five extra points won't cause a friendly player to get angry... I don't think. Also to clarify, the Deathrain is an XV8 Crisis suit with twin-missiles? And I'm thinking of getting a Broadside in the future anyways. It might as well be now since it can be used in most lists I see. What are the advantages of a Stealth Team? They sound a little intimidating in the sense that they seem to require know-how and experience. Also, what happens if I run into armored units with my Broadside and Deathrain missing? Will the HQ be enough or can the Stealth team take down heavys?

I'll run down to my local store to get the Commander. I should purchase something there since I will be playing there a lot and the rest of my units/paints were ordered online at 55% of the cost. I'll get a Commander and a hard-copy of the codex (I've been relying on Army Builder and internet posts for the different upgrades up 'till now.)

Technicalities:

What are TEQs and MEQs exactly? Can I build an XV8 Deathrain using the parts from my Battleforce?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ultimatedragonlord
Gun drones are never a good thing. They give up an additional kill point, and get half as many shots as the SMS. Leatherbacks list is very decent though. Only possible suggestion is that you rejigg the Devilfish a bit.
Cam
Jig it how exactly? I kind of like the idea of having a capturing damage-dealing mobile tank (Warfish)
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Old 17 Mar 2009, 01:06   #9 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: HQ Choices for a beginner and other inquiries.

Just to keep the clutter on the Board to a minimum I have a quick off-topic question (well it kind of fits in with the 'other inquiries part).

I'm following this conversion for my Devilfish from my Battleforce. I understand that it doesn't come with the needed turrets but the Idea is that I will get a Skyray in which case I could convert it to a HH and have 1 Skyray and one HH if I wish it's a question of flexibility. The only problem I have is I can't find the targeting array. I don't think I lost any pieces. Could someone tell me whether this set came with one?
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Old 17 Mar 2009, 13:08   #10 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: HQ Choices for a beginner and other inquiries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eleven
Thanks for the sweet advice. How would a Kroot Force of 9 Carnivores / 1 Shaper / 4 Hounds work? Would it be effective or just a collection of too few units? It's for 115, the five extra points won't cause a friendly player to get angry... I don't think.
It's a decent unit for a 500pts game. Even in larger games they will perform good. I've been using Kroot from my early days and they have their moments. Just be use to but them in cover and don't come out unless you are faced with a charge. And only if you think you can win by doing a pre-emtive charge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eleven
Also to clarify, the Deathrain is an XV8 Crisis suit with twin-missiles?
Indeed, there are names for several configurations. I thought it was a sticky, so you can check/learn some names from there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eleven
What are the advantages of a Stealth Team? They sound a little intimidating in the sense that they seem to require know-how and experience.
Stealths are indeed tricky to use, as they are not always as far as you hoped or your opponent rolls good on the nightfight rule. They have some special rules but don't let that scare you. They are exellent for taking out light infantry and punching through the rear armour of tanks. Most prefere Crisis over Stealths because they have superiour weapons, but there are those who never leave home without at least 1 unit (including me).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eleven
Technicalities:
What are TEQs and MEQs exactly? Can I build an XV8 Deathrain using the parts from my Battleforce?
TEQ = Terminator EQuivalent, so something with 2+ armoursave
MEQ = Marine EQuivalent, so something with 3+ armoursave

And I'm afraid you can't make a Deathrain with the battleforce. To make it you need 2 Missile pods and every Crisis suit only comes with 1 of each weapon. So if you plan on buying that commander then you can make it. The only thing is that now your commander can't get that Missile pod. Once you get to Broadsides the problem of insuficient weapons isn't that bad because they come with all the weapons of the Crisis suits. So you get a spare Missile pod, Flamer, Burstcannon and Plasma riffle. Unless you want them to have TL PR, then you need one from your Crisis suits.

Also, you didn't miss the Targetting Array. It just isn't in the Devilfish sprue, it comes with the HH. Hopes this has clarified some things for you.

Greetz
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