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My First Tactica: Vespids
Old 23 Apr 2009, 12:46   #1 (permalink)
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Default My First Tactica: Vespids

Right, I've always loved my Vespids, they tend to pull the game into my favour with a mix of speed and firepower. But the majority of people on this site seem to have very little time for these bugs with guns. So a quite run down on my thoughts on them, the ways I've gotten them to work and what units I find they work well with.

Lets look at them first.
Weapons + Abilities
The Vespids are mobile, very mobile. They have wings so count as jump infantry and have the fleet rule. While this is now less important with the introduction of run. It can be useful to move up and charge units engaging important units like pathfinders or crisis suits. The thing that gives stingwings their unparalleled mobility is the skilled flyers rule, meaning you can keep them moving through cover without much fear of a bug hitting a tree and dying on you. Which is a very helpful seeing as they are a very fragile unit.

Talking of fragility, the save on a vespid is terrible, the same as a guardsman meaning that any effort to deal with them is likely going to result in the unit going back in their box. Having the same toughness as a marine does help to keep them alive, taking the average troop weapon as being STR4 only 50% of hits are going to make you need a save, this gives you around 16% additional survivability against these hits Vs a firewarrior. The problem comes when the Ap value is taken into account, Vespids save just isn't high enough to allow them to make it against most shots coming their way, which is why getting into or behind cover is a necessity.

The communication helm is that crazy mask worn by the strain leader, and the reason I'm happy that he/she/it is mandatory in the vespid unit, it allows the unit to benefit from markerlight hits. The knock on effects to this are huge, boosting BS and lowering cover saves for their weapons. Also the strain leader benefits from LD9, if this is because of the helm I'm not sure but it's nice to have on a LD6 unit.

Talking of weapons, the neutron blaster is something of a marine killer, it has the same strength as a pulse rifle but a much lower AP, while not enough to scare terminators it makes a mockery of power armour as it is Ap3. The only downside of the neutron blaster is the range at a meagre 12" if you don't destroy the target or at least pull it below combat effectiveness your going to be receiving some punishment in return.

A vespid unit comes as a Strain leader plus between three and ten stingwings, the unit size chosen should reflect the role you want for them, a smaller unit of about 6 make for great area denial tool, but won't do much on an attack, a larger unit will cause a good few casualties but can be a points sink if they're not going after their targets.

Finally cost, We're paying the same price for a stingwing as a marine player does for a space marine. The strainleader costs an additional 6Pt's on top of that (which is worth the helm at least) this is the thing that puts lots of people off and there is no way around it, your going to pay a lot of points for a fragile unit.

The Vespids mobility gives them the ability to support many units on the field, they can reliably keep up with transports or battle tanks while keeping in cover to ward off enemy fire then when the transport disembarks they can move in and help finish off units. Or when the tank is assaulted move up to sweep off the assaulters. This has happened quite often with me, as assault marines jump at my tanks trying to stop them they break cover, making them perfect targets for the Vespids. You don't even have to stay overly close to the tanks, with a 12" move and 12" weapon they have an effective threat range of 24", meaning that your opponent is more likely to break cover and attack if your bugs seem to be far away and thus not a threat.

Deep striking while not one of my favorite uses for bugs is still pretty effective. With the dawn of 5th ed all units that are jump infantry can deep strike, granting this ability to Vespids. Now I don't use this tactic but I can see the advantage of dropping in and surprising your opponent with them as they break cover, using a positional relay will help ensure you come in just as they will make the biggest impact. The short range of the neutron blaster makes this a risky move though, and the pathfinder marker beacon won't help as it only effects Tau units. So you have to hope for a good result first time.

Keeping them as a mobile reserve behind static elements of the Tau force, such as broadsides or pathfinders helps to ward off fast assaulters. As many fast units are few in number the Vespids can make a very big impact on these units. Meaning that usually the fast elements keep their distance untill the slower elements can move up and support or they risk loosing them. Both have advantages as if they wait it gives your static units time to do their job and if the assaulters move up you can attack and remove the threat piecemeal.

The very thought of the neutron blaster can bring fear into Meq players. An entire unit of Ap3 weapons has, in my experience, made Meq players shy away from the areas near my stingwings. Parking them behind something that blocks LoS makes for a great area denial tool though in this use a large unit can be a big waste on points.

The Vespids alone are nothing, they lack the staying power of the other Tau units but have a punch that the other units can lack. So to get the most out of Vespids they need to be used alongside other units or they'll do nothing for you.

Crisis suits - I'm including the commander in this section for ease and that a commander does all the things a regular suit can do really. Right where to start, the crisis suit is such a diverse unit it's kind of difficult...so weapons on the suit give the Vespids I'll just highlight the main 3 suit weapons.
Fusion blaster - Need to get at that enemy character but he has a bodyguard? The Vespids work well Vespids can clear away them for you! Going after tanks? Vespid can keep enemy troops off your back while you work!
Plasma rifles - nothing says dead marines like a unit of suits with plasma firing alongside a unit of Vespids. Both weapons compliment each other very well.
Missile pods - When breaking open Rhino's and such like there is the problem with the cargo, a unit of marines will be very annoyed you blew up their transport. So while your suits are popping transports why not have your bugs cleaning up the spillage?

The positional relay as well comes on your suits, meaning that if your deepstriking and want to come in when needed they will benefit from this bit of gear.

Stealthsuits and firewarriors - fill the same role when used alongside Vespids, both lay down a hail of pulsefire and whittle down the squad the Vespids have in mind for the strike against. With firewarriors it's often best to buy them a devilfish to help them keep up with the Vespids and make the most of mobility. The Vespids can then also use the devilfish to hide behind if an area if a little light on cover.

Gun Drones - This unit can give your Vespids more time to finish off units thanks to its 6" move in the assault phase, simply move them in front of the vespid unit during the assault phase to grant them a cover save if your opponent shoots through them, and they also provide a lovely assault screen.

Kroot - This is my favorite unit to support Vespids. They advance together and the kroot charge what the Vespids have weakened. It makes for a deadly combination when kroot charge a weakened squad of Meq. This works best when the squad of kroot have a good complement of hounds...but I don't need to say that, you'd have them anyway, everyone takes hounds. Those things are brutal.

Pathfinders - This is why the Strain Leader is invaluable. Markerlights make that unit of Vespids a very, very big threat. A unit of eight pathfinders gives us about four markerlights. So why not spend them, two to make us hit on 2's? The other two drop their cover away to a 6+...or hit on 3's and give them no save? Pathfinders make that unit of Vespids the scariest anti-Meq unit in the game.

Hammerheads - The railhead doesn't sit overly well with Vespids past providing a very tough bit of mobile cover for them, but an ionhead gives works well with them, it can break open transports for the Vespids to get to the troops within and the ioncannon is also a very effective anti-Meq weapon.

Sky Ray - This tank can move 12" and retain full effectiveness (something I've only just found out about thanks to you guys), meaning the Vespids have a tank that keeps up with them and can fire to keep them safe. Also it carries a pair of markerlights so the Vespids can use them to gain their boosts.

Right that's my run down of Vespids. Giving a few ideas on what they're good for and what works well with them, seeing as they're effectively useless alone. Hope my thoughts help any bug lovers out there. If I've missed anything let me know, I'll add it in here.
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Old 23 Apr 2009, 18:53   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My First Tactica: Vespids

a valiant effort... I wont be taking vespid anyway, but good effort. It's nice that you put a lot of thought into this obviously. But still as far as I'm concerned about vespid you can polish a turd as much as you want but it's still just a turd. But hey, that's the great thing about forums. We can disagree with each other until the end of time but that doesn't mean that either of us are neccessarily wrong. It just means that we feel differently. But I respect your opinion and I'm very much impressed by the fact that you can make vespid work for you. I just dont like their lack of survivability, their short range, their lack of close combat ability and the fact that they're supposed to be space marine killers but statistically space marine are much more likely to kill them than they are likely to kill space marines and they're to specialized to use effectively against anything else. But hey, that's just how I feel.
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Old 23 Apr 2009, 21:18   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My First Tactica: Vespids

Aye, I figured I'd put a bit of effort into defending them. They work quite well for me and a lot of people don't like them. So thought I'd note down my ideas and let people do what they want. I understand that most people might ot have thier minds changed but hopefully those who like the unit will have a few ideas at using them.
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Old 24 Apr 2009, 04:22   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My First Tactica: Vespids

You missed what is IMO the most synergetic unit to be used with Vespid. That would be the gun drone team. As they come in about the same size, it is fairly easy to shoot with your vespid, then use the gun drones' assault movement to jump in front of the vespid, granting them a 4+ cover save. In my mind, the problem with vespid is that you really need at least two turns to decimate a marine squad to the point where the rest of your army can finish it off. The gun drone team grants this extra time, as the player can either choose to shoot at the vespid with halved efficiency (due to the 4+ coversave), or assault/shoot the gun drones, giving you time to redeploy your vespid for a second volley.
Honestly, I don't see any of your suggested synergetic units helping the vespid team drastically (with the exception of pathfinders and kroot (but only if the enemy is severely weakened, which it probably won't be after one turn of shooting). The others just seem to have similar weapons, which would actually decrease the effectiveness of the Vespid, as unlike the other units mentioned, they have no role beyond MEQ hunting, and would be quite useless if the role was completed by another unit. Gun Drones, on the other hand, actually increase the efficiency of the Vespid team, as they give it extra time to shoot before being destroyed.

With that said, I am personally not a fan of vespid. When I want MEQ killing power, I take an equally disliked (by most people) unit, the sniper drone team. Though after writing this reply up, I feel like I should add some in my next 500 points (If only my fast attack choices weren't taken up by 180 points worth of gun drones).
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Old 24 Apr 2009, 09:27   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My First Tactica: Vespids

You know I looked at drones and couldn't see anything useful in them. Forgetting all about their assault move, I'll add that in. Cheers.
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Old 24 Apr 2009, 11:12   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My First Tactica: Vespids

First of all I would like to say hello since it's my first post.

I see I'm not the only one who opt for fielding this bugs. I just would like ad some examples of how I do use them. Sorry if I do not apeare clear. I'm much better at showing my ideas then explaining them in written form.

OK, let me show You what army I usually field (will not write exact costs only a brief as short as possible)


'El with CIB, Plasma, MT and bounding knife
2x5 and one 4 of stealth
2xkroots + 2x5 Hounds
3x6 Vespid
3x3 Xv-88 with TL


'El with CIB, Plasma, MT and bounding knife
2x4 stealth
2xkroots + 2x5 Hounds
2x6 Vespids
3x2 Xv-88 with TL

As You can see it's static and this is where vespids shows what they have the best.
Keeping them behind FW lines improve their Sv to 4+ and they are wonderfully counter assaulting units. Do not pay attention to their weapon range because it's only a gadget.
Even the best CC units can be at lest bumped for one or two turns if You use them wisely giving XV-88 so needed time to eliminate vehicles and monsters.
Vespid as support unit for outflanking/infiltrating kroot units are obvious and a lot have been written about it already so I will not mention this here.
How about sending vespids to add stealth? This idea suits me the most. It just perfect for patient hunter style. Put them behind stealth and You have 4+ cover. You landed to close to enemy witch is good at CC do not worry vespids will hold them a bit give You time to retreat. Play against IG with a lot of heavy weapon? Fine You have, depending of showed variant, from 4 to 6 units witch can quickly disturb them with aiming to Your FW and XV-88.
You see that I do not have any markers so You can think it's wasting a potential of Strain Leader. Hell no. This little guy have Ld 9! Witch makes from vesps, in my opinion, the best bumper in our army.

If You have an idea to field static Tau force do not hesitate to take bugs. Treat them like You will kroot. They are expandable and relatively cheep and they can do as much damage as kroot thou they are easier to hide. Maybe I'm to enthusiastic but I've found task for them at my army witch thanks to them is a bit harder to beat.
If You are thinking about fielding Mec or hybrid however, better leave bugs ant home.

El'Sho'ya - Master of Blades

Whether it is a Land rider, Leman russ or Monolith I haven't seen one hard enough to withstand volleys of nine paired rail guns. Trust me young 'EL nine XV-88 are good for everything.
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Old 22 Apr 2010, 01:58   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: My First Tactica: Vespids

I hope this post doesn't get considered thread necromancy. If you look at the date stamp of the post before mine its not even a year old yet! I'm posting in this thread because I wanted to know more about Vespids and instead of make a new thread searched for one already existing.

I see the usefulness of Vespids but what really kills it for me is that 12 inch range. I feel if their range was 18 inches this unit would be amazing and would be in more armies. Tau have a problem dealing with lots of heavyly armored units. The AP 3 is needed, its either that or take a Helio team which can lob 3 insta kill shots and 6 ap 2 shots a round, then GTFO. The problem is a helio team is somewhere like 200 points 3-6 shots a round and takes up one of your elite slots, and still only has an effective range of 12 inchs.

I like the idea of Stealth teams to take out MEQ's but thats going to take away one of your much needed broadsides.

So that leaves me here. Vespids? Sniper team? Helio team? Broadsides with plasma rifles and multi trackers?

What do you think?
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Old 22 Apr 2010, 02:36   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: My First Tactica: Vespids

As a rule a thread is dead after 2 months of no activity.

It may be better to start you own thread about this. Also, you can probably find your answers in some of the other Tacticas litterd about
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Old 22 Apr 2010, 02:39   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: My First Tactica: Vespids

@ Leighbar and Tovash: Good sum-up for this topic. Karmaed. I know it's too late, but here you go.
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