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-   -   Joy with stealth marker lights? (http://forums.tauonline.org/tau/69083-joy-stealth-marker-lights.html)

hobgnoblar 28 May 2009 13:45

Joy with stealth marker lights?
 
Ok, so until recently I was definitely in the 'Pathfinders are the best marker light option' camp, due to points, secondary role as (non-obj claiming) carbine FW, devilfish deep-strike re-rolls & FW can hitch a ride.

Whereas 3 stealth markers cost ~15% more than 6 Pathfinder markers (both taking account of minimum overheads). I also argue that the XV25 also need target locks to prevent much of their overhead being redundant (else can only target same unit as XV25 Bursts, in which case Targets Arrays or extra models are more efficient than marker drones). The PF Devilfish on the other hand is not a points-sink, being useful in its own right.

BUT...

My pathfinders are almost always reduced to 2, run & don't come back in the 1st turn (2nd on a good day!). Whereas stealth markers I suspect would last alot longer (assuming wary of Turn 1 & 2 assaulters) with their JSJ & stealth abilities.

Hence, does anyone have experieince of putting stealth markers to really effective use? If so, how and what configuration please?

I'm toying with the idea of seeker missiles on my vehicles, so probably need more markers to pull this off given the early loss of said Pathfinder squad (yes I know this is a high points cost with a chain of dependencies that could go wrong, in contrast to the Marine's free missile launcher that achieves much the same thing (for example), but hey it sounds like fun!)

Thanks for your time :)

Mister Kay 28 May 2009 14:45

Re: Joy with stealth marker lights?
 
What units are toasting your pathfinders so quickly usually?

Exokan 28 May 2009 15:04

Re: Joy with stealth marker lights?
 
I don't have much experience with the set up, but I am using it tonight. Stealth team with leader with markerlight and two markerdrones. It costs as much as 6 Pathfinders and the Transport. Here's my personal rational.

-As much Pulse Equivalent shooting. Plus one fusion for flanking tank killing if needed.
-3+ save
-Relentless, Jetpack, with Stealth field mean that the markers have an effective range of 42" and can generally never be targeted if they are maneuvered and place correctly throughout the game.
-Higher Leadership and Bonding.
-One (potentially two) less killpoint(s)
-Less markerlights (by half) but one is BS4.

I'd rather have three lights that last for four turns than six that last for one. Pathfinders are the most bang for you buck but not a solid enough choice for me at this point. It's also important to note that I distribute lights throughout my list with Tetras and an XV84 and the rest of my army is very elite centered and generally has an acceptable BS to get the job done. Also pathfinders can get killed by even the slightest breeze and I'd rather not waste the points.

I'll see how tonight's game plays out and see if the unit is worth it's points.

hobgnoblar 28 May 2009 16:13

Re: Joy with stealth marker lights?
 
Exokan, great - I'd be interested to know how they fair. I recently painted-up much the same set-up (though they all have target locks too) but have not yet fielded.

Mister Kay, generally long range shooting such as heavy bolters, frag missiles and the like get the pathfinders. They once got hit by drop-pod dreadnaught with heavy flamer (though that one wasn't so bad since I fusion-gunned it on my turn 1). Because they can't move & shoot, they need to be deployed (in cover) within 30" of key target units ready for the following turn. That typically puts them within range of long-range anti-infantry fire, even if I set up 2nd. If I deployed them out of LOS then they can't fire themselves, largely denying the point in having them. And in this case, if they were to come out in subsequent turns to fire on units approaching my side, again they can still be shot at before they get to fire. Oh and they always fail cover saves!

Finally, there's little point in attempting to neutralise such long range threats as: (a) they don't die much due to cover/armour & never fail Ld tests to fall back if I do manage 25%; (b) there are always bigger wolves closer to the door (fast assaulters) that would cause much more damage than the long-range shooting.

Cheers for responses.

Sunscreem 28 May 2009 16:45

Re: Joy with stealth marker lights?
 
Just like anything else, there is a learning curve involved. I use PF's and while they do take a lot of fire once on the board, unless I'm seriously unlucky they usually survive the battle. But I may play them differently then most. I usually don't start them on the table, instead I bring them in as flankers. This way they can be a slight 'surprise' unit and most opponents will turn their anti-infantry weapons on them, leaving my FW's to hold & contest objectives w/ less interference from my opponent. I may only get 2-3 rounds of markerlights from the PF's, but markerlights are elsewhere in my list, so it's not horribly detrimental - they come in to help finish the game. By the time they arrive, most of the opposing units are in cover, so the en masse markerlights from the PF's are what I use to strip the cover saves from my opponents.

I do use the stealth markerlights, but mainly to increase the BS of the stealth team (networked markerlights on the drones), it's cheaper than outfitting the entire team w/ TA's.

~Sunscreem

knightperson 28 May 2009 22:23

Re: Joy with stealth marker lights?
 
They only way I've found to keep pathfinders alive long enough for them to do much of anything is to attach both crisis commanders and their shield drones to the squad. If I'm really worried about them I can give the pathfinder squad-leader a couple of gun drones for two more ablative wounds. It's a disgusting amount of points in one squad (like 400!) and a real headache for wound allocation, but forcing the enemy to chew through 6 models with a 3+ save or better (2 of them multi-wound) before actually killing any pathfinders makes for a very tough nut to crack. I've used this trick successfully in my last several games and it's worked very well. If only squad toughness averaged wounds rather than models, then the unit would be toughness 4 instead of 3!

I've rarely used the stealth marker team, but I see where it could be useful. It's mobile and fairly safe at markerlight range, but awfully expensive for the number of lights you get. I prefer a skyray for my secondary source of markerlights.

Exokan 29 May 2009 02:27

Re: Joy with stealth marker lights?
 
Just a quick post-game note...

Didn't get much of a chance to experiment with the Stealth Team. The game was over in the first dice roll. Speed Freak Orks, Spearhead Deployment, and stolen initiative. Turn One the Orks were about 6" away from my lines. Bottom of one saw every Force Field save successful. Game Over.

The team got a few turns of shooting, the two BS3 Markerlights did as well as they ever do (read they missed a bunch) but the BS4 one was spot on. I'm now wondering if my current list warrants the squad though. I might not have enough units that benefit from their BS increase and in situations where cover is not an issue, I'd almost rather have more firepower. (For what it's worth the whole reason I'd like the lights are cover save denial).

I'm not going to write the squad (or my list) off just quite yet. I'll have to play another one or two games (not against Orks) to get a feel for them.

hobgnoblar 29 May 2009 11:47

Re: Joy with stealth marker lights?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sunscreem
I do use the stealth markerlights, but mainly to increase the BS of the stealth team (networked markerlights on the drones), it's cheaper than outfitting the entire team w/ TA's.

I don't agree with that, unless you've a 6 XV25 unit with lots of gun drones. Because if the unit size is 6 XV25 then the cost is equal (6 TA = 2 marker drones) & if 3 to 5 strong then TA are cheaper.

Buzz 29 May 2009 14:13

Re: Joy with stealth marker lights?
 
Hijacking the thread a bit here, but If I have a 6 man stealth team, one upgraded to team leader and I've purchased Markerlight and a Marker drone for him, If he marks a different unit then the one I'm firing at while the Marker drone marks the one the unit is firing at is he unable to fire at the firing unit or needs to stick to his marked unit?

Or is that all wrong being he has to mark the unit being fired at by his squad?

Starting up my Tau army lately lol Hopefully I'll post some pictures up soon, New to the forums :) lot's of neat stuff flying around here.

Rplank 29 May 2009 14:52

Re: Joy with stealth marker lights?
 
I played a 2500 point game last week against my Eldar buddy. I used a stealth squad of two plus Team Leader (with markerlight) with Target lock. Each stealth had DC and 2 ML drones. That made for three ML's with the team leader, and four ML's with the rest of the team. Horribly expensive, pointswise, but effective. I positioned them just outside their 36" range for the drones, and jumped within range every turn to fire. My intent was to equip markerlights with stealth field generators, and only use the stealth team firepower if he managed to get himself close enough to be a threat. I averaged 2-3 ML's on each of two targets each turn. My XV-8's, Skyray, and hammerhead ate two of his three tanks and most of two ranger sniper squads the first three turns. The third tank he kept out of range and behind cover. Once the tanks were gone, ML's stripped coversaves for my railgun submunitions and XV-8 missile pods on his guardians and fire dragons. He only took out one ML drone the whole game from that stealth squad.
To be fair about the effectiveness of the tactic, my buddy is still learning to play his army effectively, but I will use the tactic again in high points games.


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