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How far is too far to protect pathfinders?
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Old 21 Mar 2009, 08:01   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default How far is too far to protect pathfinders?

I'm tired of my pathfinders getting squished before they can do much of anything, and I'm looking for ways to protect them. In my last several games I seem to be unable to get first turn (or we're playing Dawn of War), so my pathfinders are mostly dead before they fire any markerlights. I can leave them in the vehicle for a while, of course, but then they still get killed the moment they step out of it.

Anyway, I came up with the following rather drastic solution and I'm wondering if the rest of you think it's a good idea. Take a full squad of pathfinders and attach both two crisis suit commanders with shield drones to them. One of them would have stim injectors and iridium armor, of course. I know this was discussed sometime back as the "shield-o" theory, and I like the idea, but is it excessive to put over 400 points in a single squad but have only 2 models in it that actually do any damage? With that many points in one squad, will they just take even more fire than before and take 2 commanders down with them when they go? It seems dangerously risky to put that much together. If they fail a morale check (and I find it far too easy to fail Leadership 10), the whole squad could flee off the table, or a sweeping advance would also take down the whole mob. To support the pathfinder/HQ squad (odd that I would talk about supporting an inherently support unit), I would have 2 warfish full of fire warriors that would hopefully sweep in and rapid-fire anything threatening at BS 5, and a kroot squad ready to soak up the charge.

Is this likely to work?
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Old 21 Mar 2009, 08:09   #2 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: How far is too far to protect pathfinders?

Sounds good.

I think that if they were deployed in cover with the rest of your forces (NOT infiltrated) this would work excellently.

You could just deploy a devilfish sideways in front of them, then when it is your turn move it out of the way.
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Old 21 Mar 2009, 16:56   #3 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: How far is too far to protect pathfinders?

I wouldn't advise going through all the trouble. If the enemy is shooting at your Pathfinders, hes not shooting at your battlesuits. My Pathfinders usually find a nice piece of cover, or hide behind a stealth team to gain a cover save. Attaching a Commander, your most pimp battlesuit, to babysit them is just.....well, unfluffy and ineffective.

And, if you find them taking too much fire from where they are, then move them. My last game they were targeted by a Havoc squad w/ x4 Autocannons....I wasn't just going to stick around and hope the trees blocked most of the shots, i got them the **** out and redeployed them using the Devilfish.
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Old 21 Mar 2009, 18:21   #4 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: How far is too far to protect pathfinders?

Quote:
Originally Posted by xShaperx
I wouldn't advise going through all the trouble. If the enemy is shooting at your Pathfinders, hes not shooting at your battlesuits. My Pathfinders usually find a nice piece of cover, or hide behind a stealth team to gain a cover save. Attaching a Commander, your most pimp battlesuit, to babysit them is just.....well, unfluffy and ineffective.

And, if you find them taking too much fire from where they are, then move them. My last game they were targeted by a Havoc squad w/ x4 Autocannons....I wasn't just going to stick around and hope the trees blocked most of the shots, i got them the Y'xauk out and redeployed them using the Devilfish.
Unfortunately, redeploying pathfinders doesn't work very well. For every redeployment that's at least 2 turns that they're not firing at anything: 1 to get into the transport and 1 to get out. If they have to redeploy more than 18 inches away it can take 3 turns where they're not firing, which is half the game. Add that to the fact that they can be shot at when they get back out unless you manage to outrange any resistance, and it quickly becomes a bad idea.

I admit it's somewhat unfluffy for the commanders to be playing defense like that, but I'm not convinced it's ineffective. It's not completely without fluff, though. The Kauyon Patient Hunter theory of warfare mentions using a unit as a lure to draw out the opposition before pouncing on it with other things, and that's a valid way for this to work out. As the enemy moves in to attack the pathfinders, everything else moves in to attack them. If an assault squad gets too close, the commanders can detach and charge forward to intercept them, possibly even finishing them off in melee.

Anyway, having them in cover doesn't help. My guys are always in cover, but T3 models and a 4+ save (cover or armor) is not that durable. 4 wounds (pre-save) will cause a morale check which they fail just under half the time, and 8 wounds will cut there firepower (lightpower?) in half. It's not hard to do 8 wounds to a T3 squad. A squad of 9 space marines single-tapping bolters could force a morale check (9 shots, 6 hits, 4 wounding hits, 2 wounds), the same squad in rapid fire could cut the squad in half. 2 squads in rapid-fire or 4 squads at long range (I admit that's quite a bit of firepower now) could wipe them out in a single round, and that's not even considering what vehicles or heavy weapons will add.
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Old 21 Mar 2009, 18:43   #5 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: How far is too far to protect pathfinders?

Its not a bad idea. However Now that pathfinders can offload there fish onto other squads there effectivly cheaper, so you can fit two squads of 8 into your army without having to sacrifice too much. Tau can only really function if they work togehter and this does not just mean in our shooting phase, to win well you need to apply this to every point of the game, you want the take the heat off your pathfinders, force them to shoot at other units, if he does shoot at your pathfinders push the advantage of the reduced fire at other units. pathfinders have gd range and since you can incorperate the fish into the firewarrior squads there actually very cheap. sit them deap in +4 cover. If hes a 40k player worth his salt he will know how good these are and have to target them, if you can keep them out of the 24" basic weapon range he has no option but to just use his heavy weapons on them which wastes all his basic mens weapons which are actually more dangerous to them.

16 tau in 4+ cover need about 20 heavy botlers to shift, no one takes that many heavy botlers. If you can sit them deap enough to avoid basic fire in the first turn then you only have to worry about large blast templates, all this time these guns are not going to be on your other stuff, and when you do lose them, they didnt even cost you 200 points.
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Old 21 Mar 2009, 18:53   #6 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: How far is too far to protect pathfinders?

Quote:
Originally Posted by knightperson
Quote:
Originally Posted by xShaperx
I wouldn't advise going through all the trouble. If the enemy is shooting at your Pathfinders, hes not shooting at your battlesuits. My Pathfinders usually find a nice piece of cover, or hide behind a stealth team to gain a cover save. Attaching a Commander, your most pimp battlesuit, to babysit them is just.....well, unfluffy and ineffective.

And, if you find them taking too much fire from where they are, then move them. My last game they were targeted by a Havoc squad w/ x4 Autocannons....I wasn't just going to stick around and hope the trees blocked most of the shots, i got them the Y'xauk out and redeployed them using the Devilfish.
Unfortunately, redeploying pathfinders doesn't work very well. For every redeployment that's at least 2 turns that they're not firing at anything: 1 to get into the transport and 1 to get out. If they have to redeploy more than 18 inches away it can take 3 turns where they're not firing, which is half the game. Add that to the fact that they can be shot at when they get back out unless you manage to outrange any resistance, and it quickly becomes a bad idea.

I admit it's somewhat unfluffy for the commanders to be playing defense like that, but I'm not convinced it's ineffective. It's not completely without fluff, though. The Kauyon Patient Hunter theory of warfare mentions using a unit as a lure to draw out the opposition before pouncing on it with other things, and that's a valid way for this to work out. As the enemy moves in to attack the pathfinders, everything else moves in to attack them. If an assault squad gets too close, the commanders can detach and charge forward to intercept them, possibly even finishing them off in melee.

Anyway, having them in cover doesn't help. My guys are always in cover, but T3 models and a 4+ save (cover or armor) is not that durable. 4 wounds (pre-save) will cause a morale check which they fail just under half the time, and 8 wounds will cut there firepower (lightpower?) in half. It's not hard to do 8 wounds to a T3 squad. A squad of 9 space marines single-tapping bolters could force a morale check (9 shots, 6 hits, 4 wounding hits, 2 wounds), the same squad in rapid fire could cut the squad in half. 2 squads in rapid-fire or 4 squads at long range (I admit that's quite a bit of firepower now) could wipe them out in a single round, and that's not even considering what vehicles or heavy weapons will add.
I thought you had to inflict over 25% to force a morale check?
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Old 21 Mar 2009, 19:04   #7 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: How far is too far to protect pathfinders?

No, Turok117, 25% is enough.
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Old 21 Mar 2009, 19:05   #8 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: How far is too far to protect pathfinders?

Yeah, redeploying is a bitch, but its better than giving your opponent a KP and losing a squad of Markerlights you'll need a few turns later.

Just gotta be smart in your placement so that doesn't happen, don't leave your Pathfinders in such a position that they become a main target of the enemy. Throw down some other threats for your opponent to concentrate on, like 30man mobs of Kroot, or plasma-toting battlesuit units.
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Old 22 Mar 2009, 20:04   #9 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: How far is too far to protect pathfinders?

Use your scout move to get into some nice hard cover.

I used pathfinder for the first time today and wasn't that impressed, I can probably find a better use for 96pts.

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Old 22 Mar 2009, 21:51   #10 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: How far is too far to protect pathfinders?

Well a full 8 man team is a juicy target and fairly expensive, I tend to run 4-6 man teams. Less intimidating, and most people just mistake them for Fire Warriors and don't bother shooting at them if they're in a small squad like that.
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