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The Fish of Fury: Why you shouldn't use it.
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Old 30 Aug 2005, 17:34   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default The Fish of Fury: Why you shouldn't use it.

There are a lot of folks these days who are jumping on the Fish of Fury bandwagon, touting it as the be-all, end-all Tau tactic. Many on this forum disagree with that conclusion, but I thought I'd lay out exactly why it is that I feel the Fish of Fury is a poor use of resources.

Let me preface this discussion by requesting that all commenters read (or have read) the description of what the Fish of Fury is here.

At it's heart, the Fish of Fury is a tactic who's goal is to move a lot of S5 guns within rapid-fire range while simultaneously avoiding assault on the following turn. The width of the Devilfish is used to lengthen the distance the enemy must move in order to reach your soft fleshy troops at the back. Seems like a good thing, right? Well, let's take a look at the situations when it's useful.

1. The Fish of Fury is only useful against standard infantry. Anything with a jump pack, fleet, or a 12" charge isn't going to care one bit about your dopey Devilfish sittin' there. That means that it's totally useless against Eldar, Dark Eldar, Tyrannids, Kroot Mercs, etc. That's 1/2 the armies in the game! And every other army (with the exception of Tau) has at least one unit they can bring which can move and assault farther than the standard 12".

2. You have to be exceedingly good at guaging distance. In order to get all your guns in range of the enemy AND ensure they're going to be safe from return assaults, you need to be able to guage 12" with +/- 1/4" accuracy. I don't care who you are, that's hard to do... and not exactly something I'd consider "reliable". Bringing 3 Carbines in your squad and deploying those at the back of your formation gives you an extra 3/4" of leeway (and another chance to pin!), but Carbines seem to be out of vogue at the moment.

3. Your opponent needs to be dumb. Seriously. With the rapid-fire rules the way they are, why would your opponent bother trying to assault you?! If they're smart, they'll just step up and return the favor, likely lending some support from a Landspeeder or other mobile firing platform. Bam. There goes 120 VP's and one of your valuable scoring units. Firewarriors are a LOT less durable than Marines.

4. You can't roll too well. If you wipe out the entire target squad (either from lucky Firewarrior shooting or because you supported them with other assets), then all your careful movement and deployment was for naught. No longer are you doing a "Fish of Fury", you're doing "Target Elimination". Remember, the Fish of Fury is about blocking return assaults. If there's nothing left for your opponent to assault with, well, good for you, but it's not a Fish of Fury anymore!


In conclusion, if you actually stop and think about it for a bit, the Fish of Fury is somewhat of an oxymoron. It's designed to block return assaults... which implies that you're NOT allocating the resources to eliminate the target completely. And if that's the case, the target squad can't be all that important. And if it's not that important, why are you worrying about it in the first place? Your Firewarriors would probably be better used moving against something that IS important!

The Double Fish of Fury seems to solve a lot of these problems, however, keep in mind that if one of the two 'fish gets shot down, you're back to square one with twice as many points invested in a tactic that is still an oxymoron. Therefore, if you want to do it right, you really should bring THREE 'fish mobile squads to be safe... but now we're talking about half your army, not to mention 300+ points invested in non-scoring transports. At this point the Fish of Fury moves out of the realm of "tactic" and into the realm of "army concept".

Thoughts?
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Old 30 Aug 2005, 17:45   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Fish of Fury: Why you shouldn't use it.

Well put.

In and of itself it's a valid choice of tactics if you're smart about it. It's an excellent way to finish off a unit, which in Cleanse missions is going to help. In other missions, it denies your enemy the use of that squad. You can win at objective based missions by simply slaughtering your opponent's force, but that's a brute strength approach.

There are a lot of risks in the tactic, but I primarily regard it as a fallback. It's something I use to make sure a squad gets wiped or at least takes enough casualties to force a morale check. If they're sitting on the objective you need, then you want them to break and the Fish is a good way to generate the necessary damage. Total wipeout is preferable where I play. Tau are very good at selecting a unit and pounding it into the ground. Unfortunately, after about half a game of this, my friends decided to do unto me as I did unto them. General result is a bloodbath.

Like anything else on the table of battle, you have to guage your chances. Not every situation calls for FoF, just like not every situation calls for a Railgun. Figure out what you need to happen, figure out how much force it will take to accomplish that, add a little extra, and you should be in relatively good shape.
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Old 30 Aug 2005, 18:04   #3 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: The Fish of Fury: Why you shouldn't use it.

I disagree with your definition of the Fish of Fury. I don't see it as a "assault avoidance technique". I see it as a fast rapid fire dismount of a large number of Firewarriors with the intent of eliminating or severely damaging the enemy squad with a hail of 5/5 shots. Just because the entire enemy squad got eliminated, doesn't mean I didn't pull a Fish of Fury. In fact, I would consider that a very lucky FoF attack. Your other points are fine with me.
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Old 30 Aug 2005, 18:10   #4 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: The Fish of Fury: Why you shouldn't use it.

Single fish of fury is dumb, so I will be talking about double for the course of my post.

If the enemy is bearing down on you, are you going to get into a fish that can still get shot down, and spend 3+ turns running away, or are you gonna pull right up in two turns and smack them with everything you've got?

So far I don't understand the idea of keeping your troops locked up in their transport for most of the game. Of course, I haven't run more than one transport yet.

Warriors are made to kill and die. Not dying is great, but if you're not killing something.... It just seems like such a waste to try and preserve scoring units at a cost of them being useless.

24 Firewarriors rapid firing something over two turns is going to be pretty close to killing whatever it is. If I eliminate the target in one turn, GREAT! I'm not going to feel bad just because I didn't get to inhibit my opponent's motion so he couldn't charge me. He's dead. It's not like you commit any resources by putting your two fish next to each other. Absolutely nothing says you need to block the assault for the tactic to be successful. With a 12 inch movement and a turn to get into position beforehand (one to load, one to land) you really should be able to pull it off without too much trouble.

If I stand and shoot, I get a turn of long range firing and a turn of rapid firing. If I move up, I get two turns of rapid firing and slightly more risk of losing a devilfish, based on what I'm using this move on. I'm not going to FoF a squad with a meltagun. I'm not going to FoF into line of sight of a dev squad. That would be stupidly misusing the tactic.

No, it is a useful tactic. There are many cases in which the risk outweighs the benefit, but there are plenty where it is tactically sound as well.
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Old 30 Aug 2005, 18:29   #5 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: The Fish of Fury: Why you shouldn't use it.

Tonka,

Your basic premis is correct to a T, however....

Using the FoF is beneficial if and when the commander understands basic tactical doctrines and the employment of strategems.

No one should try to use it in the face of enemy fast movers like jumpers or fleet of claw--or the newest one you forgot turboboosting bikes. *the distance gained by the fish is only enough to stop 6 to 8" movers.

No one should use it in the face of a battleline (frontal attack) since it means allowing the enemy to concentrate fire on you rather than the other way around. *For example, you move forward and drop FW in the face of an enemy SM line where 2 or 3 SM tacticals are within 18". *You shoot one with say 12 FW and drop 2 or 3 SM, now he will be returning fire with 16 or more SM in his turn. *Just as you said.

To use it effectively means to understand and use terrain, time, and tactics.

Terrain: a fish that is employed near terrain allows for a quick FoF, and the terrain can be used to reduce the visability of the FW by up to 66% of the board. *Terrain can also be used to limit the enemies options in responding to the FoF. *For example, if firing into a SM squad that is crossing an open area, from a position next to a partially intervening wood, the FW can dismount to one side of the rear of the vehicle and prevent the enemy from clearing the open area. *The fish will be partially obscured which means glancing hits only, and the wood prevents other enemy units from supporting the SM return fires.

The beauty of terrain is the ability of the fish to move behind and around it thus ignoring the enemy shooters. *Dropping off and picking up FW is like a free move, so moving them around in order to split enemy attention is key....more below.

Time: *I've come to realize that 40K is a game of time. *It doen't matter how much you kill or how powerful your units are, it matter how effectively you manage timing in the 6 or so turns available to you. *If you try to kill everything in an enemy army in order to secure the objectives, you have made the game far more difficult. *What you want to do is limit the enemy's use of time to gain distance (either to assult you or secure an objective), and one of the best methods in doing this is by using the diversion of a FoF repeatedly. *The object is not to gun down the enemy, but to make him react to you. *By reacting he surrenders the initiative and leaves you free to act. *If he, conversly ignores your fire and continues on his designated axis of advance, the FW just continue to atrit *his forces. *He must divert resources to go after the FoF in order to maintain a scoring unit on the objectve.

Loading up a fish and rushing to the objective on the last turn is a perfect way to frustrate an enemy that has used one or two turns to divert resources in your direction.

Tactics:

As described above, tactics are all about imposing your will on the other player's plans. *FW are relatively cheap. *You only need to keep 6 of them alive in order to score them on the objective. *But most importantly, the FoF never works in a vaccuum. *The role of the fish mounted FW in a battle is not game winner, but resource consumer. *Every shot your FW take from an enemy unit, is a resource not expended on your real resources: Crisis suits, tanks, and other FW units.

In using a FoF it is imporant to follow the combined arms doctrine. *That is, for Tau, to use it in conjunction with other resources such as crisis suits. *I have found that a single crisis and a FoF is enough of a threat to keep a tactical Sm squad at bay and divert others to it's aid. *This is perfect, since what the Tau loose in sustainability they more than make up for in mobility. *Again, you want to keep the enemy player off the objective, period. *The fish gets in and drops 24 shots (+whatever the fish can add) and a a crisis pops out 24" away to shoot MP and plasma rifle. *Now the enemy is looking at some serious casualties that will reduce him to non-scoring in 2 turns. *He will divert resources, but since you've used terrain to mask fires and jumped the crisis back from danger they will arrive too late to shoot or assault. *Then it repeats next turn in another location, always seeking to draw the enemy into favorable kill zones that other units can join into.

Just some thoughts

Wanax
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Old 30 Aug 2005, 18:42   #6 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: The Fish of Fury: Why you shouldn't use it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UN17
I disagree with your definition of the Fish of Fury. I don't see it as a "assault avoidance technique". I see it as a fast rapid fire dismount of a large number of Firewarriors with the intent of eliminating or severely damaging the enemy squad with a hail of 5/5 shots.
The Fish of Fury is what it is. It's for avoiding return assaults. What you're describing is a simple "Rapid-Fire Firewarrior Drop", which involves a lot less finagling of distances and worrying about exact placement of models, and serves a fundamentally different purpose. The fact of the matter is that "Rapid-Fire Firewarrior Drop" is a lot tougher to type than "FoF", and has therefore gotten confused with the Fish of Fury in popular internet circles.

I think we need a catchy new name for "Rapid-Fire Firewarrior Drop" *




Quote:
Originally Posted by DireStrike
Warriors are made to kill and die. Not dying is great, but if you're not killing something.... It just seems like such a waste to try and preserve scoring units at a cost of them being useless.
That's pretty much the paradox of Mech Tau. You won't get it until you try it. Here's my clumsy attempt at conveying it to you... but I can pretty much guarantee it's not going to make sense until you see it in action

Quote:
Originally Posted by T0nkaTruckDriver
In missions that use Victory Points, a common misconception is that units must “make their points back.” In reality, the only time a unit must “make its points back” is if it dies! If 3/4 of your army stays buttoned up behind a huge forest doing nothing the entire game and your two Hammerheads kill 7 marines over the course of 6 turns, you win! Any time you stick your nose out (or deploy your Firewarriors), you risk taking casualties whose points must be “made back.” Therefore, if we are careful about when and where we pick our fights, we can be sure to always take more Victory Points than we give up.

In short, AV12 fast-moving skimmers (with Decoy Launchers) are good at minimizing casualties, and a minimum number of casualties means less Victory Points for our opponent, and less Victory Points for our opponent means less Victory Points that we need to collect to win the game. This is the principle of Victory Point Preservation.
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Old 30 Aug 2005, 19:21   #7 (permalink)
Ethereal
 
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Default Re: The Fish of Fury: Why you shouldn't use it.

The single-fish Fish of Fury isn't even a particularly good assault avoidance technique. A far simpler and more effective technique is just to unload about 9-10" away from the front enemy models. When you rapid-fire, your opponent must remove the models within range (12"), which means he can't assault next turn if you score more than 2 or 3 casualties. Ideally, you should be killing just enough to force a leadership check. This is a far better use for a single Devilfish.

Using two Devilfish, you can form a plow between two area terrain features or structures. This is a much better use of the resources if they are available.

Turbo-boosting is irrelevant against a FoF. Bikes can't shoot or launch assaults when they do it. You will have already picked up and moved on by the time they are in position behind you. They may use their normal movement, which is more of a threat.

The other point is that it is completely up to you what units you use this tactic on. While most armies in the game have units capable of effectively charging over 12", you don't have to use this tactic anywhere near them.

Victory-point preservation is a poor plan in The Gauntlet. I learned that the hard way last weekend. Those 24-36 Fire Warriors are sometimes needed to minimize threats to the Devilfish.
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Old 30 Aug 2005, 19:24   #8 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: The Fish of Fury: Why you shouldn't use it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khanaris

Turbo-boosting is irrelevant against a FoF.* Bikes can't shoot or launch assaults when they do it.* You will have already picked up and moved on by the time they are in position behind you.* They may use their normal movement, which is more of a threat.

yes, my point being that the abundance of bikes now in SM armies boosting around make it difficult to out manuver enough to keep them in front of you. But your point is taken.

Wanax
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Old 30 Aug 2005, 21:50   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Fish of Fury: Why you shouldn't use it.

T0nkaTruckDriver,

I think it's noble of you to point out the inherit flaws of the FoF tactic. As a Tau player who found his niche in the very strategies you helped promote, I'm astonished you would turn and cast them away so quickly.* Despite your thread's subject, I considered this more an article to consider the dangers of solely relying on the FoF as the definitive means of Tau victory... which it is not* But, I believe the FoF in it's truest form allows an intelligent Tau player to see the sparkle in the gem that this strategy is based on.

I believe the very concept of the FoF is the ability to provide a Tau offensive posture without being completely defenseless in the recourse.* Whether you do it to trim 3 enemy models from the squad in the hopes of them failing a leadership check, or whether you create the congo line of Dropships and play rapid fire Pulse Rifle volleyball against the enemy on the other side it's still a solid tactic.

But as you specified all the weakness in the FoF, you must understand ALL tactics have a weakness.* That does not mean we should stop using them.* The core of most armies is still 6" move infantry.* So* this tactica by and large is applicable to all armies.* FoF is like beer, it must be used responsibly.* FoF can do a lot of things, but it's wise for any Tau Commander to know it's limitations.

Heck sometimes FoF is just a last ditch effort to push through a Tau firepoint.* I can't tell you how many times I had to sell a squad's life dearly in a FoF manuever. Even if the plan didn't work, it still would cause casualties and reduce the enemy's overall effectiveness.* And I don't care who ya are... moving around a Devilfish takes time and distance, something that is measured in GOLD in the game of Warhammer 40k.

Fish of Fury is a tactic that allows the Tau player to control the tempo. In most situations, only assault armies can control the flow of a game as they will rush units and force drastic and almost panic moves to get out of their way.* FoF denies this, and puts most assault armies in a 'waiting queue' to get to our forces.* Until enemy models can pass through vehicles, Tau still have one of the longest vehicles in the game.* 2nd only to the Marine Land Raider and maybe (though I doubt it with the burst cannon) the Necron Monolith.

Using the FoF requires timing and strategy, just like any other tactic.* I consider the Fish of Fury just another sharp blade in my swiss army knife of Tau tactics.

-SaturN
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Old 30 Aug 2005, 22:31   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Fish of Fury: Why you shouldn't use it.

Those are all valid points but just because it is not the most reliable tactic that doesnt make it bad.

I imploy one mobile firewarrior squad atm and plan on adding another. It is useful for taking objectives and moving to a forward fireing point but the FoF is always an option. Sometimes I am faced with a marine player that is just determined to try and out shooty me. Instead of trying to show up those 3+ armor saves at long range I simply hunker down temporarily and get ready to go in close. Assisted by drones and battlesuites as well as any static units I have in place the squad will zoom forward and hit the enemy with everything. Usually the enemy is several squads of marines that will try and get up close or perhaps try and shoot back. The drones make them take leadership tests and pinning tests and the devilfish helps insure they cannot get to you the following turn. By the second turn of fire there is almost no way they will still be alive and the Tau will have suffered cassualties yes, but mostly drones if done right.

Its a gamble but it turns the table on your opponent, is a good way to deal with static powergamers and is an unanticipated move. That is just one situation that the FoF can be used and utilized in a greater strategy. It is not perfect but it is a tool the Tau can use and it should not be ignored. It has its place like everything else.
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