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A Cannoness is eatting my army!
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Old 24 Jun 2005, 06:58   #1 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default A Cannoness is eatting my army!

I have a friend that just recently started playing a Sisters of Battle army after playing a T-sons army for nearly a year. Right now he's only got two troops, an Assiasin (the sniper one) and a Cannoness for an HQ. for the games we play, 500 pointers, he just uses the Cannoness with 2 troop squads. He uses the IC ablitity to no end so I can't target her. He also uses 3 (I beleive that's correct) Faith abilities. Every game I've played against this army I've lost, most miserably. To avoid confusions and unavailable tactics I'll provide my current available army.

HQ: 1 Crisis leader Shas'o/Shas'el
1 Ethreal

Elite: 5 Stealth Suits
2 Crisis Suits (an additional 1 at my disposal)

Troops: 12 FW(an additional 12 at my disposal)
12 Kroot (an additional 16 at my disposal)

Fast attack: 10 GD
6 PF (3 w/ML and 3 w/RR)

Heavy Support: 1 Rail/Ionhead
2 Broadsides

Because it's just friendly games I mounted my Hammerhead's weapons on magnets, and I'm being allowed to proxy in a DF(at the expense of my HH) if needed until my FW squad and DF orders come in. My current 500 point list is:

HQ: Shas'el TL-MP, PR, HWMT

Troops: 2x 12 FW

Heavy: Ionhead BC,TA, DL, MT, TL

Any help would be great! Thanks
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Old 24 Jun 2005, 07:22   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: A Cannoness is eatting my army!

if you keep markerlighting and submunitioning the squad the cannoness is in you should be able to remove the squad and get a good solid shot at her, also keep moving with your HH, you should have greater range than most of the sisters (i am not familiar with sisters but they are a lot like marines aren't they) so stay as far away as you can (outside her range but inside yours). I know Smurfs can be a pain but if you keep out of bolter range and keep plugging away you will drop a few each round.if you stagger your FW squads you should be able to use 1 squad while the other retreats and then swap rolls. this means you can move every turn and still fire.

hope this helps
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Old 24 Jun 2005, 15:16   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: A Cannoness is eatting my army!

Shas'bob:

The Cannoness is a terror to Tau, but only if she's configured certain ways. So we need to know just how she's effecting you. Does she have enhanced movement, due to a Jump Pack? I imagine she's rigged with a Blessed Weapon and the Cloak of St. Aspira for the 2+ save, which she then uses Spirit of the Martyr all the time, to have a 2+ invulnerable save where your plasma normally would have toasted her. If this is correct, we can help you. If she's just walking on the ground, then life is much easier.

Anyhow I'll wait for more information from you about his army before going on. Also, it would be helpful to know what he's doing in 500 points (Cannoness, 2 troops of sisters... that's it? How many sisters? Transports? Which special weapons, any meltas, or just flamers?).

Cheers!
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Old 24 Jun 2005, 15:30   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: A Cannoness is eatting my army!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX
Shas'bob:

The Cannoness is a terror to Tau, but only if she's configured certain ways. So we need to know just how she's effecting you. Does she have enhanced movement, due to a Jump Pack? I imagine she's rigged with a Blessed Weapon and the Cloak of St. Aspira for the 2+ save, which she then uses Spirit of the Martyr all the time, to have a 2+ invulnerable save where your plasma normally would have toasted her. If this is correct, we can help you. If she's just walking on the ground, then life is much easier.

Anyhow I'll wait for more information from you about his army before going on. Also, it would be helpful to know what he's doing in 500 points (Cannoness, 2 troops of sisters... that's it? How many sisters? Transports? Which special weapons, any meltas, or just flamers?).

Cheers!
He has equipped her with a Jump pack...so she can keep up with my Crisis suits. Blessed Weapon, yep, counts as a power weapon and allows him to reroll one to hit. Cloak of St.Aspira, yep, that too. Spirit of the Martyr, yep. As well as a faith that allows for his bolters and stormbolters to have AP 1 and another faith that makes them fearless. He's using (if my memory is correct) 10 sister squads with flamers, bolters and stormbolters. The cannoness also has a pistol that I beleive acts as a melta. The sister superior of each squad is out fitted with a chain sword and that same pistol. So far he hasn't gotten any transports, but he has an Exorcist on order...so I can only wait for that one (joy).
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Old 24 Jun 2005, 16:30   #5 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: A Cannoness is eatting my army!

Shas'bob:

That's what I thought. He has Cannoness; Inferno Pistol; Blessed Weapon; Cloak of St. Aspira; Jump Pack. Maybe grenades, but that's not very important. So yes, she is quite a beast to deal with and she costs around 130 points (minimum). As an Ind. Character, you're not able to target her unless she's the closest model, so that makes it tough to get to her until she breaks for her attack.

The thing is, without being mounted up in transports, it's very difficult to avoid her assaulting you, short of stopping her troops so that she has to come out of hiding. That's too difficult though. I would recommend dropping a squad of Fire Warriors, and loading up on Kroot. If you Keep little squads of Kroot near your battle suits, they work very well as counter-assaulting a Cannones, where they can actually hurt her (she's T3). That 2+ save will fail once in a while. Now for another chance, if you pound her with plasma, she can save against it on a 2+ with her inv. save (IF she casts spirit of the martyr). However, if she fails that save against any weapon of S6 or higher, then she's insta-killed and removed. So plasma may seem a bit of a waste on her, but it's not in the end because if she fails, she fails big time. But, a missile pod is cheaper and does the same thing from a longer distance, so I would consider missile pods against her. Stealthsuits have a great ability to pound down sisters, much better than Crisis suits. Sisters are low toughness, so Stealths can really dance around and cause some serious damage. But that's difficult to manage in this low of points, so instead you have your Hammerhead. Apparently your hammerhead is almost unkillable since he doesn't have any anti-armor against you and he has only a single fast unit (his cannoness). You could use your hammerhead to a great extent to really punish him and fluff out that Cannoness.

A submunition plate will probably cover at least 5~7 sisters if he has squads of 10 pretty easily. It wounds them on a 2+ and they roll those 3+ saves, making 2 casualties on average probably every time you through that plate out. If you add in burst cannons or smart missiles, you could get another casualty in there, for 3 total. If you use an Ion Cannon, you can get 2 casualties right away, adding another casualty if you have smart missiles or burst cannons - but even better, you may force him to use his Faith too early, which means no faith later, and no room for Inv. Saves later! So if you have an Ion Cannon, I suggest you use it.

Those Fire Warriors aren't doing much are they, except standing back and shooting at 30 inches in hopes to take down a few sisters, right? At 30 inches, 12 fire warriors will kill 2 sisters on average. That's not bad, so 2 squads of them will take down 4 sisters at 30 inches, but then the sisters are in stormbolter range, in which case you are still going to take on average 4 more casualties from him if you have 24 fire warriors. Those casualties, plus the ion cannon, is enough to push a squad of 10 sisters off the board quickly.

Anyhow - I think you could do everything you need to do with your current list, if you swap out for an ion cannon.

Here's some important notes to remember when playing against him:

Spirit of the Martyr: This allows him an invulnerable save instead of an armor save, but he has to cast it at the beginning of the phase, which means before you start shooting at him. He cannot just use it after you've already shot him with plasma to counter you. Nor can he do it after you've shot his troop squads with plasma or ion cannons in order to save against them as a counter. It specifically states that it is done at the beginning of the phase. So he may be cheating. This is very important, because using it as a counter is very effective, whereas using it and guessing where you're going to shoot is much more risky since he has few faith points. This small point will change the game drastically I'm sure.

Inferno Pistols are hand-meltas. However, they're very low range. The other thing is, he cannot use them on Veteran Superiors. This is a very powerful item and can only be used by Heroines (cannoness, palatine) and an Inquisitor. His Veteran superiors may not take that upgrade, so if he has those there, he's cheating again (not that it matters much there, but it matters for your vehicles). He can take a plasma pistol at best on those Veterans (or an eviscerator).

Overall - he has a slow sister force. You should be able to beat him just in the movement phase. Your single hammerhead would win this game I'm afraid, just because he cannot kill it very easily at all. Your XV8 HQ may be a tragic loss to his Cannoness attacks, but you could squeeze things into your army to make it better against him. For example, is the XV8 killing anything, or is it just getting killed? He costs a lot of points, so it's important to think if near 100 points as an HQ that can't kill anything is worth it. Also, consider your fire warriors - are they causing a lot of damage or not? If they were mounted, would it be better? Could gundrones add a serious bump to your army (pinning tests actually work on sisters nicely, since it's easier to wound them at T3 with our superior strength).

Example:

HQ - XV8 Shas'El; Twin-linked Missile Pod; Plasma Rifle; Hard-wired Multi-tracker (97)
Troop - Fire Warriors x 12 (120)
Troop - Fire Warriors x 12 (120)
Heavy - Hammerhead; Railgun; Burst Cannons; Multi-tracker; Decoy launchers; Target locks (170)

Notice all your points are contained in the HQ and heavy slot? Yet it's your fire warriors who can cause more damage, and they don't even have leadership upgrades, so it's too easy to force them to run away.

I also noticed you're over 500 points here...

Let's see what we can change:

HQ - HQ - XV8 Shas'El; Missile Pod; Plasma Rifle; Multi-tracker (85)
Troop - Fire Warriors x 8; Shas'ui (90)
Troop - Fire Warriors x 8; Shas'ui (90)
Troop - Fire Warriors x 8; Shas'ui (90)
Heavy - Hammerhead; Ion Cannon; Burst Cannons; Multi-tracker; Decoy Launchers (145)

500 points.

Now if this is not possible, due to not being able to swap your Ion Cannon for the Railgun, then you'll have to make up the 20 points from the Fire Warriors

HQ - HQ - XV8 Shas'El; Missile Pod; Plasma Rifle; Multi-tracker (85)
Troop - Fire Warriors x 8; Shas'ui (90)
Troop - Fire Warriors x 8 (80)
Troop - Fire Warriors x 8 (80)
Heavy - Hammerhead; Railgun; Burst Cannons; Multi-tracker; Decoy Launchers (165)

500 points.

Anyhow - let's discuss how to split up the Sisters, so that you can pull wins off without even changing your army list much.

Splitting up your squads / Splitting up his squads:

This seems simplistic, but it's very important. Sisters are a close range shooting army, that can beat you in close combat because you're Tau. The Cannoness uses the troops to keep herself safe, using the character rules just like we do for our Commanders. If you split up your army into many units, the sisters waste most of their firepower and we saturate their targeting abilities. We also force him to choose which units to focus on, which means he has to walk towards them. His cannoness will have to stick with a single squad in order to keep safe, so we can guarantee that she will be somewhere where we want her to be, if we split up into two big factions onto the board. This will force your opponent to choose which group of units of yours is the best target, and will go after them, or he will split his force into two in order to go after both of yours. Whatever he chooses, will be a good thing for you no matter what. The thing is, sisters can't hurt you from more than 24 inches away, most of the time less, due to that range only coming from a stormbolter. If he stands still the whole game, you win. But he will be moving, which means 12 inch danger zone after their movement (or 18 inches total) and you can ignore a single stormbolter here and there. If he splits his force into two, and has to chase down a single unit of yours, it's all the better for you. This is why I split your fire warriors into 3 squads (8 is still a good number, as it's between the high and low). This gives you a good chance to put 2 squads of Fire Warriors near each other with a hammerhead, and putting the other fire warriors squad and commander somewhere else. This effectively gives you two dangerous, long range squads with an element of movement, but an element of static fire too. He will have to split up to get both "forces" or simply go after a single one. Which ever he chooses, allows you to easier break his squads.

If he chases your Commander with the Cannoness, that leaves 16 fire warriors and a hammerhead to rip apart his sister squads from over 30 inches away. If he chases your fire warriors and hammerhead, this leaves your commander and 3rd fire warriors group to fire at the sisters as well from long range. Turn by turn, you can remove a sister until he has too low of numbers, in which case he loses all his power. The cannoness is a crutch for him, so if he can't rely on the Cannoness, his army will fall apart.

Another thing to try could be to keep 3 squads of Fire Warriors together, and constantly move away from him. Use the Hammerhead and Commander together, and keep them far away from the Fire Warriors, opposite of them really. Let him choose which group to go after, since he's slow and must walk. Your Commander and Hammerhead are fast, and you can quickly move along a flank and get behind him, after turn 2 probably and shoot at him the whole time. Your Fire Warriors on the other hand can be moving through cover, or forming lines to take 30 inch shots if possible, but keeping a distance. Effectively, you could sandwitch his force between yours using your speed to your advantage, which means he would have to split up, or ignore one of your groups. That's what you want him to do, because it's easier for Tau to focus fire on smaller, separated squads and kill them very quickly that way.

So give that a try a few times before swapping your army list around, and remember to check his Faith usage, because a lot of players do that incorrectly and are cheating here and there. Also check his wargear because he can't take those inferno pistols so prolifically as he wants.

After a few games of dividing and conquering, you'll have it down to an art and he'll start to complain to you

Good luck!
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Old 24 Jun 2005, 17:02   #6 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: A Cannoness is eatting my army!

Wow, excellent post. Just to clarify on my Hammerhead, I have been using the Ion cannon, it has been working beautifully, about 2-3 sisters dead each turn. It is true that the TL Shas'o hasn't been killing very much. The missiles have the range and power true...but he makes those 3+ saves very often (darn that power armour lol). Decreasing the points to the Shas'el sounds like a good idea, Often he hits both times anyways, thus negating the need for the TL. Honestly I never thought about spliting my troops into three like that. Simple yes, but very cleaver. Even if he assualts one of the squads, that would tie up the Cannoness for hopfully 2 turns if im able to make my moral. And rather then her then tying up 12 of my FW, with only 8 in it, that means i still have the other 16 pounding away at his sisters. I will definately try these tactics! I do realize that my HH is a great asset in this game. For the last two turns before he got very lucky (rolled glancing hit on side armour and got another 6 to destroy) I was zooming the HH around the board using my BC...lol oh ya, he was able to destroy the Ion a turn prior, so no heavy power. He has to chase the HH around, and because I'm using a vehicle in a 500 pointer, he doesn't like it and often directs his attacks toward it. Thanks for the help, I might just have to print that one off and keep it with me. I'll definately let you know as to the outcome of it.

Again, thanks
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Old 25 Jun 2005, 13:42   #7 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: A Cannoness is eatting my army!

Shas'bob:

The reason the Commander's don't do much to their infantry is because they've got better power armor... plentiful and cheap. Spirit of the Martyr just breaks them for the Tau. But the Commander is still excellent at denying their vehicles, so he excels at destroying their mobility, which in turn is what you want to do. The hammerhead will be relatively safe, moving much faster and out-ranging most of their anti-tank weaponry, which is typically no more than 24 inches, but mainly only 12 inches in the form of the two melta types (meltagun and multi-melta). So the hammerhead will just be a mean machine against them. It may seem harsh to have it, but he's using a nasty Cannoness himself, too, who is tooled for beating you in combat, specifically.

Would love to see a little battle report of your next fight

Cheers!
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Old 26 Jun 2005, 00:31   #8 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: A Cannoness is eatting my army!

Simple answer to your problem; don't play SoB at such low point games. That canoness in 500 pts vrs tau is like taking a hive tyrant, there's not all that much you can do with that few points. Tau have many specialized units, and they need at least 750 to get that diversity; unlike all of the marine branches, who can do just about everything per tac squad. Also, building a SoB army is usually quite a long process, money being the biggest problem. What this means is that if you can convince your friend to stop challenging you at 500 pts, it will be a while longer before he has a playable army that you can actually strategize ahead of time for.
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Old 26 Jun 2005, 03:28   #9 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: A Cannoness is eatting my army!

Actually I prefer his new SoB army to his old one. His old one was a Chaos SM Thousand Sons Tezentich army. It has a Chaos Defiler, Predator (in Annilaiter config), FW T-sons Dread as well as his troops. Slow, very, but at 2 wounds a piece and 3+ saves...its like shooting water. Plus they are fearless. So this new army the Sob is smaller yes (against the t-sons I could play up to about 1500), but I'll take his Toughness 3 sisters with 1 wound ANYDAY over that. Besides, I'm actually helping him to buy more stuff. He and I kinda have this favor thing going on, he gets me stuff that I want when he has the money and I get him the stuff he wants when I have the money. Plus we do buy our own stuff. It's all friendly competition but it still kinda sucks when you play a t-son army and the other guy is raining battle cannon on top of you. :-X
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Old 26 Jun 2005, 03:56   #10 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: A Cannoness is eatting my army!

Sounds like he enjoys a bit of cheese with his game . Find another opponent. Just tell him you're sick of playing him.
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