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New Tau Firewarrior Tactic?
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Old 21 Jun 2005, 03:04   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default New Tau Firewarrior Tactic?

This is for all you static and hybrid players out there. I was thinking today about tactics and strategies when suddenly one came to me. I was pondering the benefits of having half squads of Firewarriors over having full squads of them, and what exactly I could do with such half squads. But then I realized, hey, I don't need to tell my opponent that my half-squads were actually half-squads. I could field them relatively close to each other, fooling my opponent into thinking that that was just one whole squad. Now, this got me thinking even more about the subject and I came up with a pretty limited use tactic that one might employ with such a set up.

xxx yyy
xxx yyy
E

x=FireWarrior Half Squad 1 Members
y=FireWarrior Half Squad 2 Members
E=Your Ethereal (or other IC unit, such as a Shas'el or Shas'O)

As the enemy advances upon your line, bent upon threatening your IC, he thinks he is advancing towards a whole squad of FW's. After all, why would it be any other way? Lets assume our enemy is the dreaded Space Marines, just for example purposes. Your two half-squads have been concentrating fire into his advancing line, but have only managed to kill a handful of the SMurfs. And now, inevitably, he is within assault range (12"). What do you do?

Utilising the versatility of the half squads, you can do something that will completely surprise him. Move your half-squads 6" in a way that they are moving in opposite directions but still within 12 inches of his squad:

SMs


xxx yyy
xxx yyy

E

What does this do for you? Well, first and foremost, it will surprise the crap out of him if he hasnt seen it before. The joy you'll get from seeing his face contort into a mask of confusion will be well worth it. Second, if you were able to get the range right, you will have two squads that can rapid fire into him (On average, this will give you about 18 shots, because you will probably have taken 3 casualties from their rapid fire... more on this later). The third, and perhaps the best, advantage is that you split up his assault. Now, instead of engaging 12 FW's and knowing he will probably win the combat, eliminating a whole unit, he has to decide which small group of units to attack. On the first turn after you split, your opponent will probably opt to engage the larger group in CC to cut down on units. After this combat is resolved, you have a unit 12" (or more, depending on how many turns you managed to stay in the fight) away from the newly targettable group of marines, meaning more shots (Make sure that you keep your IC farther away from the SMs than the FWs are). This will give you an average of 6 more shots at the SMs than you normally would have had.

The drawbacks of this tactic? Firstly, you will find yourself rolling a lot of leadership tests. Half-squads get beat up easier and take 25% casualty tests sooner than full squads. Having an Ethereal as your IC lessens the impact of this somewhat, but even still it is not all that reliable.

What are the advantages? They are many fold. One, your opponent can't eliminate 12 firewarriors in two squads in one round of close combat or shooting. Even if he is extremely good at rolling the dice, the highest number of FWs he can take with one squad is six, unless his race has a way to target more than one squad. Two, like I mentioned above, it is confusing, and the tactic alone will make many commanders worry so much about the manuever in that one small area, that he will have difficulty concentrating on the rest of his battlefield. Three, you get more shots. Even if the squad that he decides to assault gets massacred, you still have pulse rifles standing 12" or less away from him as his units consolidate. Four, its a fun manuever to try, even if it doesn't as well for you as it has for me.

Again, this is only useful in limited circumstances, and the rules regarding whether or not you should tell him that those are seperate squads from the get go are rather fuzzy. I'm normally not in the habit of showing others my army lists, but if you use this tactic, you should probably bring a printed copy of your list along, so you can show your opponent that those are, in fact, two seperate squads.

But, as far as taking half squads is concerned, it doesn't take any more points than fielding a single squad, so if you have an extra troop slot in your army, you should try this tactic out sometime and see how well it can work for you.

There are also a ton of variations on this that you can do, such as moving both squads in opposite directions but keeping him OUT of assault range, giving both of you an extra turn of Rapid firing. Give it a shot, and make sure you let me know how you liked it!
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Old 21 Jun 2005, 03:55   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Tau Firewarrior Tactic?

Go play dark eldar, you sneaky deceptive fiend!

It's a neat idea, but it is also VERY risky. You have to kill each and every one of them, or you will be ripped to bits in close combat next turn. There are a couple variations to this. One would be to have Farsight or Aun'shui as the Independant Character. Having a "full" squad split and a Monsterous Creature slamming into a squad that just suffered Rapid Firing pulse weapons can ruin anyones day.
Another drawback: If your oppenent sees your amy list, he immediatly knows exactly what you are doing.
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Old 21 Jun 2005, 04:11   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Tau Firewarrior Tactic?

Isn't there also the problem of deployment?
Don't you have to deploy your units seperately?
So then you'll end up deploying two six FW squads, which will make it pretty obvious.
Also, you'd need to mark the two squads differently, or else someone'll call you a cheapass for swapping wounds around or something, and you can't prove that you weren't.
Or am I just wrong, and my lack of actual experience is faultering -_-?
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Old 21 Jun 2005, 04:20   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Tau Firewarrior Tactic?

Good point Tsumishi.* Where I play, the one unit at a time thing is pretty loose, so you're able to get away with some stuff like that.* If someone raised an eyebrow at me, I usually said, "Oh, forgot half my squad over here!", and place it as my next unit.* But now they know my tricks, so it lost its element of surprise, but even without that, it still has its advantages. About the different squad markings, they can be there, but unless they are radical most people won't notice a difference untill they look up close. Then, when I spring the surprise, they can look at the models I removed and tell that they are all from the same unit. Something like a small red line or two isn't too noticable till you get the model up close.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auin'Myrrath
Go play dark eldar, you sneaky deceptive fiend!
LOL I was actually considering it, but ... I just *don't like their models... I dunno, too... wierdo for me. *And I think their vehicles are wierd too. *Good army, ability and units wise, but if I don't like modelling my army and painting them, then... there's no use buying the pieces in my opinion

And yeah, it is risky. *There are soo many things you'll have to worry about, and if you're set up with half-squads, but find out mid game that that's not the best *set up to face your opponent with, you're stuck with what you have. *I was just trying to liven up the static side of things a little. *Mecha has their awesome FoF, so what do us lowly, vehicle light Tau have to offer in the way of sneakiness and trickery? *Well, this tactic is a start.

Good suggestion on Aun'shi. *Heck you could even have Aun'shi join with one of the squads after the Split, in order to either deter your enemy from (or attract him to, depending on what you wanted to do) assaulting a particular squad. *His extra attacks and initiative would be useful against certain races. *Farsight is another good choice for this tactic. *His movement, plasma rifle, and Dawn Blade gives you a wide range of options when it comes to playing against your opponent.

Taking Carbines might be a good option too, as you can Split outside of his 12" assault range and still get in some attacks, fewer yes, but you can keep moving that way, and make him chase you while your IC runs with whichever squad he isn't chasing.

This tactic has worked for me in a limited number of situations even when my opponent knew what I was going to do. *It's easy to counter if you bring more than one unit to bear on this section of the army, but then you have made him put more points in that section of the table than he probably would have other wise, allowing you more freedom with YOUR other units. *Firewarriors are the best basic troop type on the defense, it's about time we start coming up with strategies that take advantage of this, rather than just relying on the ole "Stand Back and Shoot" technique.

As a side note, what do you think I should call this? *I have already referred to it as "the Split" on a number of occasions, so that's a possibility. *Have any suggestions?
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Old 21 Jun 2005, 04:28   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Tau Firewarrior Tactic?

That doesn't really sound deceptive, just borderline dirty - saying "I forgot half my squad" to put two choices down at once?
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Old 21 Jun 2005, 04:31   #6 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: New Tau Firewarrior Tactic?

Not at once, just as my next unit.* I made sure it was always legal.* Let them place before I placed my second unit.* Yeah, it's shady, but it's not illegal.* Besides, unless they're in a tourney, the locals are pretty relaxed about everything.* We often try to find ways to outwit each other both with in game maneuvers and out of game distractions.

Anyways, the surprise was only one of the advantages.* The tactic will still work even if your opponent knows there are two squads there.* For no extra points you've just forced him to figure out what he's going to do.* And if you disrupt his battle plan right off the bat, that's always a good thing.

If he decides to take on your HQ with a different set than he originally planned, well, bonus for you. If he takes two squads to tackle that area instead of one, bonus for you too, because that's one less unit you have to deal with elsewhere on the table.

Most likely though, even if he knows there are two units there, the opponent is thinking "That's just 12 FW's. One of my squads can easily take that on." FW's in small groups are pretty underrated, use that to your advantage.
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Old 05 Jul 2005, 01:26   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: wot about leadership ?

Hey guys ,

I dunno what leadership to roll in this instance.

If the ethereal is w'in 2" of the

xxx yyy
xxx yyy
E

Set-up, can both squads then roll with his 10Ld ?
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Old 05 Jul 2005, 03:15   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Tau Firewarrior Tactic?

No, the Ethereal actually has to join the squad to give it his leadership, and he can't join two squads.


Technically, that type of hidden-unit meta-gaming shouldn't work. You do have to deploy them seperately, but you also have to fire each unit seperately, declare shooting seperately, etc. With the surprise left aside, there are a few flaws. The first is that the small unit sizes make it easier to take both units below half-strength or break them in the shooting phase. The second is that once the first unit is charged, the rear unit won't have LOS on anything and is at risk of being engaged by a massacre or consolidation move. Possibly a more effective tactic is to put a squad of Kroot behind a Fire Warrior team, giving you a credible counter-charge.

Also keep in mind that your opponent can charge both squads under 4th edition rules, as long as both are in range. You would need to be very careful to protect your flanks. Multiple-combats are very dangerous for Tau. We do pretty well when we can break and run, and when we hold, but multiple-combats present more of a problem, with the potential for one unit to fail while the other is stuck behind.

It's a good thought, but I would be careful to make sure that your opponents don't figure out ways to exploit its weaknesses.
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Old 05 Jul 2005, 07:24   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Tau Firewarrior Tactic?

BUt I thought with the 4th ed independent Character rules, any squad in 2" of the IC is joined automatically or something like that. ???
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Old 05 Jul 2005, 15:28   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Tau Firewarrior Tactic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeboy77
BUt I thought with the 4th ed independent Character rules, any squad in 2" of the IC is joined automatically or something like that. ???
no you chose to join
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