Counter-Strike Cadre and Scatter Free Deep Strike

A review of past Tactics by commanders during the First, Second, Third & Fourth Phase Expansion.
Dal'yth Shas'len'ra
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 208

Counter-Strike Cadre and Scatter Free Deep Strike

Post#1 » Jan 23 2016 12:03

Recently I was looking at Pathfinder Drones and I discovered that the Turret Mounting rule of the Recon Drone, works amazingly well with the Counter-Strike Cadre, either in the Dawn Blade Contingent or separately, and combines well with the Retaliation Cadre. Giving no deep strike scatter within 6" of the Devilfish with a potential 30" move on the first turn, the Devilfish can get almost anywhere on a 6'x4' board, then the Retaliation Cadre comes in turn 2 around the Devilfish, with no scatter.

If anything shoots at a Devilfish turn one it will most likly end up jinking to either save the large scatter free zone for the Pathfinder Devilfish or used as a jinking Devilfish to block other units from shooting or assaulting the Pathfinder's Devilfish.

I recently tried this tactic verses a Necron player, who brought a CAD with wraiths, Lychguard with Shields, two doomsday arks and one of the FW models(forgot the name) and a C'tan, two immortal units and 2 Cryptek. I brought a Dawn Blade Contingent, with Retaliation core and Counter-strike auxiliary. First turn I moved flat out to put one Devilfish with Breachers in from of the Lychguard and the other to block on ark shot at the Pathfinder Devilfish, which moved close to his main army blob of an Ark, Lychguards with a Cryptek and a unit of Immortals, while the Strike team Devilfish stayed back. Then turn two the Retaliation cadre comes in and removes the Lychguard and one Ark. After that he was too spread out to get an effective counter strike against my army, since we where playing the Supply Drop alter of war mission, which randomly places one objective on turns; 2,3 and 4.

Most games this should allow a very precise deep strike to clear out a section of the opponents army. While they may focus all their fire the Pathfinder's Devilfish with a 3+ cover save, outside of other Tau armies there are few that I know of that has enough high strength, ignores cover to wreck the Devilfish quickly.

Thoughts? Will this tactic work well in most other situations? Which will it not work in?

I can also post a more detailed battle report if requested.

Blade Runner
Shas'Saal
Posts: 63

Re: Counter-Strike Cadre and Scatter Free Deep Strike

Post#2 » Dec 05 2016 09:29

Thanks for posting this, I've been considering these cadre choices, retaliation & counterstrike. I wast to hit hard and fast. It's good to know this is an option.

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AnonAmbientLight
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 791

Re: Counter-Strike Cadre and Scatter Free Deep Strike

Post#3 » Dec 05 2016 05:59

Dal'yth Shas'len'ra wrote:If anything shoots at a Devilfish turn one it will most likly end up jinking to either save the large scatter free zone for the Pathfinder Devilfish or used as a jinking Devilfish to block other units from shooting or assaulting the Pathfinder's Devilfish.


I'm not sure what you mean with this statement. Could you clarify your intent?

Dal'yth Shas'len'ra wrote:Then turn two the Retaliation cadre comes in and removes the Lychguard and one Ark. After that he was too spread out to get an effective counter strike against my army


It seems like your opponent did not fully understand how this formation worked since his units were too spread out to counter attack. What I mean is, if I understand how this army functions, I know that the Pathfinder's devilfish will be the "hot spot". Therefore I can deploy and maneuver as needed. How do you think you would have fared had he been close enough to make a difference here?

Dal'yth Shas'len'ra wrote:Most games this should allow a very precise deep strike to clear out a section of the opponents army. While they may focus all their fire the Pathfinder's Devilfish with a 3+ cover save, outside of other Tau armies there are few that I know of that has enough high strength, ignores cover to wreck the Devilfish quickly.


You are putting all your hopes onto a lowly devilfish and you will get burned. The devilfish has pretty weak armor. AV12/11/10 is not very resilient in a game where S7 shooting is the norm and glancing hits count towards wrecking vehicles. This is exactly why you do not see Dreadnoughts anymore. If you go flatout and suffer an immobilized result your devilfish will blowup, adding to the weakness.

This list will suffer against any army that is highly mobile, can ignore cover, or runs a gun line where 4+ cover saves are common (remember, you lack marker support for the most part).

I will say this though, this list is is going to be a bloodbath however you decide to run it - both for your troops and your opponents. You may not win ever match, or most matches in this way, but it seems like it would be a nice change of pace to the normal Pacific Rim Tau / Gunline Tau that you normally see.
Sky IS Falling, T'au WILL Suck, Sell Me Your Models

Dal'yth Shas'len'ra
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 208

Re: Counter-Strike Cadre and Scatter Free Deep Strike

Post#4 » Dec 05 2016 10:10

AnonAmbientLight wrote:
Dal'yth Shas'len'ra wrote:If anything shoots at a Devilfish turn one it will most likly end up jinking to either save the large scatter free zone for the Pathfinder Devilfish or used as a jinking Devilfish to block other units from shooting or assaulting the Pathfinder's Devilfish.


I'm not sure what you mean with this statement. Could you clarify your intent?


Yes, I basically meant that any Devilfish in the formation would probably be jinking 1st turn, and that the non-pathfinder Devilfish would most likely be used to block LoS and interfere with assaults.

AnonAmbientLight wrote:What I mean is, if I understand how this army functions, I know that the Pathfinder's devilfish will be the "hot spot". Therefore I can deploy and maneuver as needed. How do you think you would have fared had he been close enough to make a difference here?


This game was quite a while ago, but if he had bunched up I would have played it differently, probably maintaining more of a distance and playing the mission since his army was a slow one. A lot of how I would use this list depends on the mission and my opponents army, if they spread out I would play it aggressively, if they bunched up with a slow army I would play the mission while they slowly moved out from where they started. If they bunched up with a fast army I would probably mix it up play most of it aggressively, but drop a few retaliation cadre units elsewhere on the battlefield to get objectives they abandon when the bunched up.


AnonAmbientLight wrote:You are putting all your hopes onto a lowly devilfish and you will get burned. The devilfish has pretty weak armor. AV12/11/10 is not very resilient in a game where S7 shooting is the norm and glancing hits count towards wrecking vehicles. This is exactly why you do not see Dreadnoughts anymore. If you go flatout and suffer an immobilized result your devilfish will blowup, adding to the weakness.

This list will suffer against any army that is highly mobile, can ignore cover, or runs a gun line where 4+ cover saves are common (remember, you lack marker support for the most part).


Yeah that could be a problem, I would hope to block off the line of sight of a few S7 (or more) units with the other Devilfish, but even if the PF fish is lost there is still the team inside with the Recon drone they would need to kill then, granted that is not a survivable unit. Unless the Devilfish exploded they can hide behind its wreck. Crisis suits can take AFP which can help verses those 4+ cover spamming armies.

For the flat out problems, are you referring to enemy fire, or something else? I understand several of the issues coming from enemy fire, but I am not familiar with any other problems from moving flat out.

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AnonAmbientLight
Shas'La
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Re: Counter-Strike Cadre and Scatter Free Deep Strike

Post#5 » Dec 05 2016 11:03

Dal'yth Shas'len'ra wrote:Yes, I basically meant that any Devilfish in the formation would probably be jinking 1st turn, and that the non-pathfinder Devilfish would most likely be used to block LoS and interfere with assaults.


It is very likely that your pathfinders (pathfinder here on refers to them and the devilfish) will be shot regardless of how you run your fish unless you box the pathfinders with the other fish. If 25% of the Pathfinder hull is covered, then you get a 5+ in the open, 4+ with disruption pods. You could jink with the pathfinders though, which would make it 4+ and 3+ with disruption pods. Even still, the only requirement to shoot at a vehicle is being able to see any part of the hull.

If you box the pathfinders in, then you no longer have any space to set your reserves in since reserves come in before your movement phase begins on turn two. You'll have a difficult time completely LoS the pathfinders in this way.

Dal'yth Shas'len'ra wrote:This game was quite a while ago, but if he had bunched up I would have played it differently, probably maintaining more of a distance and playing the mission since his army was a slow one. A lot of how I would use this list depends on the mission and my opponents army, if they spread out I would play it aggressively, if they bunched up with a slow army I would play the mission while they slowly moved out from where they started. If they bunched up with a fast army I would probably mix it up play most of it aggressively, but drop a few retaliation cadre units elsewhere on the battlefield to get objectives they abandon when the bunched up.


What I mean to say is that he only has to focus his units in a "close" area and move towards your pathfinders generally. Necron in this case do not need to chase you down, they just slowly walk to the other side of the board killing everything in their path. He knows that the rest of your army is coming in on turn 2, and more than likely right on top of your pathfinders. He just has to head towards them. Basically, if he knows what you can do then your strategy shouldn't be a surprise especially if you go first.

Dal'yth Shas'len'ra wrote:Yeah that could be a problem, I would hope to block off the line of sight of a few S7 (or more) units with the other Devilfish, but even if the PF fish is lost there is still the team inside with the Recon drone they would need to kill then, granted that is not a survivable unit. Unless the Devilfish exploded they can hide behind its wreck.


S7 is a problem because it's pretty common in most codex these days. Remember, they only need to be able to see any part of the hull to shoot at it. Even if you get a 3+ cover it won't save it against all that shooting. Keep in mind that there's really nothing else on the board for your opponent to shoot at and since you are coming to him, a lot of their anti-tank or high S weapons will be more effective and more plentiful.

Dal'yth Shas'len'ra wrote:Crisis suits can take AFP which can help verses those 4+ cover spamming armies.


You misunderstand. I'm suggesting that your crisis suits drop down turn 2 and get favorable positions, but lack markerlight support to be able to take away cover saves. Consequently, the units you shoot at will likely either enjoy an armor save, or 4+ cover against AP2 weaponry. AFP isn't going to make up for that. Crisis suits are not really made to take any amount of return fire.

Dal'yth Shas'len'ra wrote:For the flat out problems, are you referring to enemy fire, or something else? I understand several of the issues coming from enemy fire, but I am not familiar with any other problems from moving flat out.


It may have been changed because I cannot find it in the 7th edition codex. Basically, if you move flat out and then get the immobilized result from your opponents shooting phase, your vehicle blows up. The idea being that you were going super fast, then got shot up and crashed because of the speed. BUT disregard that since I cannot find it anywhere in the codex!
Sky IS Falling, T'au WILL Suck, Sell Me Your Models

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Unicornsilovethem
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Posts: 278

Re: Counter-Strike Cadre and Scatter Free Deep Strike

Post#6 » Dec 06 2016 06:17

Tetras can do the same thing but better since they come with a built-in Homing Beacon, are much cheaper, have an 18" Flat Out and are easier to hide in terrain. I also find them to be better markerlight sources than Pathfinders. All you need is a CAD+Retaliation.

Dal'yth Shas'len'ra
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 208

Re: Counter-Strike Cadre and Scatter Free Deep Strike

Post#7 » Dec 06 2016 08:45

One thing to consider would be that some locations or tournaments discourage or ban forge world. But in the end I think that we could go back and forth for quite some time on the theoretical strengths and weaknesses of this setup. In the end however it is how well it does on the table, very few battle reports has been presented on either side so far so a final determination cannot be reached. More battle reports would be interesting if anyone has used this multiple times.

Commander Puretide wrote:In the end, the final arbiter is victory.

FrogPrince
Shas'Saal
Posts: 26

Re: Counter-Strike Cadre and Scatter Free Deep Strike

Post#8 » Apr 06 2017 02:18

I was interested in this post due to possibly running a similar set up myself.

My concern with the Counterstrike Cadre is it removes a lot of firepower, 2 strike teams normally, and markerlight support from your first turn. My understanding being that once you have taken advantage of the extra reach benefits of being fast, the devilfish cannot be disembarked for the first shooting phase.

This means, unless you have even more units of strike teams or pathfinders on foot, one of the Tau's greatest strength is not unleashed until turn 2. This would allow the enemy to close up the distance, possibly, or clear out your unsupported few units on the table in turn 1 that can shoot.

Watcher on the wall
Shas'Saal
Posts: 89

Re: Counter-Strike Cadre and Scatter Free Deep Strike

Post#9 » Apr 06 2017 04:37

I usually use tetras, but this is definitely something fun to try out. Also markerlights shouldn't be too much of a problem as you can fit a Ret cadre + Counterstrike + Drone Net in 1850.

Fokke
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 133

Re: Counter-Strike Cadre and Scatter Free Deep Strike

Post#10 » Apr 06 2017 01:42

Couldn't you do the same thing with an Infiltration cadre? I don't remember it saying you couldn't bring a transport(could be wrong) You bring three squads of pathfinders anyway, plus two stealth teams and a piranha. I think it would be more effective support wise unless you really want to bring a bunch of fire warriors. Plus with this one, say two devilfish with recon drones and a markerlight team you still get the opportunity to call in offboard seeker missiles, plus have heavier support from the stealths and skimmer. I always let my opponent go first and put my minimal stealths way forward to take the brunt of turn one fire. Its possible they will leave the PFs in DFs alone and concentrate on the easier stealths and on foot PFs giving you several good DS positions for your ret cadre.

Personally I find I have far too many targets for my DSing suits to really effectively use homing beacon type equipment, mostly because my opponents tend to spread out,(I play elder a lot) thus I have to spread out. Both of our turn ones tend to be lethal onslaughts of fire wiping multiple units off the board. My last game for example, I lost both stealths and a PF team, he lost 3 scat bike squads, a viper unit, and most of a warlock bike unit. That first turn deep strike with the infiltration cadre is nasty against other multi-tier deployment armies who go first.

Thus unless you wanted the fire warriors over suits, why would you ever bring the counter-strike cadre over an infiltration cadre? Its a little more expensive but you get way more effective units and rules.

Watcher on the wall
Shas'Saal
Posts: 89

Re: Counter-Strike Cadre and Scatter Free Deep Strike

Post#11 » Apr 07 2017 04:23

In the counterstrike cadre devilfishes get Fast meaning that they can move a total of 30", perfect for rushing a defensive position and bringing in a deadly turn 2 deep strike.
Howvever that is the only advantage (I can think of) and an Infiltration cadre may be a good idea.

FrogPrince
Shas'Saal
Posts: 26

Re: Counter-Strike Cadre and Scatter Free Deep Strike

Post#12 » Apr 09 2017 03:04

If keeping a large unit Strike Team as the main infantry gunning option in the deployment zone, would it be a worthy option to take 3 Breacher teams in the Counterstrike Cadre?

As the idea of the fast bonus is to help the embarked units to close the distance to enemy, maybe, running a unit equipped specially to be dangerous up close could be the way to maximise it's benefit without losing the firepower of the strike team by them being locked in a transport for the first turn.

As almost everyone takes breachers is this a good use for them?

Could 3 be used to slow down an enemy's advance, even if only for 1 turn, and as the rest of the Tau army don't like it close, be overall beneficial when the Retaliation or Rapid Insertion formation comes in to tie the enemy up further?

Or, is 3 Breacher units just too many?

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