Tau Barrage Madness (Novel or viable?)

A review of past Tactics by commanders during the First, Second, Third & Fourth Phase Expansion.
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Spray & Pray
Shas'Saal
Posts: 77

Tau Barrage Madness (Novel or viable?)

Post#1 » Oct 14 2016 11:01

So I like to mess about with various ideas, and one that seems particularly novel, albeit, perhaps not practical, is to make a Tau Pie plate battery out of a crisis suit unit. For example:

Shadowsun for her warlord trait and defensive buffs. A commander with tanky gear (iridium, shield Gen, Stim injectors) & some buff support, drone controller, vectored retro thrusters and command & control node (twin links units weapons).

Finally, the crisis suit unit itself. 9 crisis suits, two airbursting frag projectors and a target lock each, add in some marker drones for marker support for the rest of the army and ablative wounds.

This unit is fairly short range, but it would move fast due to Shadowsun. 18 twin linked barrage pie plates, ignoring cover and able to fire at separate targets due to target locks, is allot of anti infantry and sniping potential due to the barrage rule. The unit would be a fairly good middle finger to warp spiders or anything that tries LOS tricks.

On the other hand, as I said before, the unit is fairly short ranged, and rolling out 18 barrage shots a turn is going to be a pain in the rear. Allot of points in one unit as well, which is the nature of the beast when taking a crisis star.

Thoughts?

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CoffeeGrunt
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
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Re: Tau Barrage Madness (Novel or viable?)

Post#2 » Oct 14 2016 11:15

It sounds...interesting. I've been debating pairs of them with the Early Warning Override to scoot round and suppress incoming Genestealer Cults at a minimal investment. Nine of them seems like overkill given the short range of their guns, though.

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Spray & Pray
Shas'Saal
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Re: Tau Barrage Madness (Novel or viable?)

Post#3 » Oct 14 2016 12:17

The range is definitely a practical concern for sure, 18 inches is limiting! Shadowsuns 3d6 jetpack move for her unit and their resiliency helps as they can scoot up the middle. I've used the crisis star with other weapon load-outs, and it is very quick.But I can't say for sure how that will work with AFP's.

One upshot of the overkill potential though, is that against death stars in comps that allow template weapons to fire against invisibility, 18 twin linked barrage pie plates, ignoring cover, even at st4, is going to have allot of potential when it comes to sniping out the support characters, invisible or not. All the weapons are resolved at the same time, so it should generate allot of hits and bypass the tanking characters.

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nic
Kroot'La
Kroot'La
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Re: Tau Barrage Madness (Novel or viable?)

Post#4 » Oct 14 2016 12:30

I ran a couple of AFP suits in a fun game against an effectively unlimited swarm of zombies and infantry - I was pretty impressed with how much damage they put out. This could be one of the few lists that can chew through the badly under-costed zombies in that FW renegades list.

Similarly in ITC the sheer number of wounds you put onto an invisible unit would get work done, especially if you have Killing Blow for the re-rollable 5+ to wound as that nearly doubles your damage output. The obvious problem I see with this is that a smart opponent will see this coming and go fishing for the re-rollable saves on their deathstar instead.

It will be ridiculous against Genestealer Cults if they become a popular army. Although it does lack overwatch which could be an issue - it needs bubble-wrap against them.

Downside is that some armies will just laugh it off. Eldar and SM Battle Companies (and riptide wings) will be very hard to hurt with such a short ranged unit which is pure anti-infantry and yet still expensive. Also it has no way to hurt flyers or FMC so armies that depend on those will give you a hard time.

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Spray & Pray
Shas'Saal
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Re: Tau Barrage Madness (Novel or viable?)

Post#5 » Oct 14 2016 12:52

Generally speaking, I run a full OSC at 1850 (3 Ghostkeels & two min stealth squads), so i'm not too worried about tanks & fliers (marker drones with c&c node generate a few hits for the OSC vs the latter), but you'd definitely want to keep it in mind if running this the crisis star with AFP's, it comes to about 900pts, if you include 6 marker drones for ablative wounds. So you have room to cover other bases, but fitting in anti tank and ap2 in mass after such a big investment into AI, is going to be tough!

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Panzer
Shas'Saal
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Re: Tau Barrage Madness (Novel or viable?)

Post#6 » Oct 14 2016 01:50

As much as I want to like the AFP (even if it's just for the bit :D ) they are just too expensive. Flamer do pretty much the same, are more reliable and cost only a third of the AFP.

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Spray & Pray
Shas'Saal
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Re: Tau Barrage Madness (Novel or viable?)

Post#7 » Oct 14 2016 04:49

I think it is deceptively good, but I haven't used it enough to say for certain. Flamers have to get really, really close!

I don't see much barrage weapons around, but when I have faced it, urrrrrgh. It bypasses some common defenses & murders infantry by slinging enough mud at a wall. Funny enough, the crisis star hates barrage weapons, as they can bypass the tanking company and target out shadowsun & crisis suits. Thudd guns are no joke!

tehlegend
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
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Re: Tau Barrage Madness (Novel or viable?)

Post#8 » Oct 15 2016 08:54

This idea would be better in groups of the traditional 3 rather than the excessive 9... piles enough wounds on MEq's to overwhelm the power armor, but doesnt cross over into overkill against the typical 10 man units and has enough redundancy to cover the occasional barn-door-missing wideshots.

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Spray & Pray
Shas'Saal
Posts: 77

Re: Tau Barrage Madness (Novel or viable?)

Post#9 » Oct 16 2016 08:08

The crisis star can cast a large footprint between drones & suits, so I think it could threaten a chunk of the board with target locks if you spread it out, of course that has risks & downsides though. I tend to play it more conservatively when going conventional star (plasma/missile pods).

I think the biggest issue as already pointed out, is covering all the other bases when you have about 900pts dedicated solely to killing infantry, marker lighting and not much else. You have about 950pts to play with, to fill out the army @1850pts.

Plus, i'm not sure how practical it is to roll out 18 barrage pie plates a turn, that can split fire. I'm guessing, it could be time consuming & tricky to keep track of?!

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CoffeeGrunt
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
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Re: Tau Barrage Madness (Novel or viable?)

Post#10 » Oct 17 2016 03:53

The main problem I have is that AFPs are hardly a weapon that sets the world on fire. 3 suits with them would be potent, but 9 wouldn't really do much. I'd rather have those other 6 equipped with Plasma or Fusion, (or CIBs.)

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Spray & Pray
Shas'Saal
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Re: Tau Barrage Madness (Novel or viable?)

Post#11 » Oct 20 2016 10:17

I don't know about setting the world on fire, when I've faced barrage myself, it is the sheer volume of saves that kills you, especially as it generally bypasses any tanking characters or cover saves.

I may try the unit out, i'll have to proxy the AFPs of course, as I only own two of them! Doing a wee bit of math, I think the unit with duel burst cannons instead of AFP's and a buffmander with all the gear, is probably the better all rounder unit & cheaper. The st5 of burst cannons with tank hunter/monster hunter threatens Rhinos & monstrous creatures. I'm interested in experimenting with both though, I can always revert back to tried & tested plasma+missile pods.

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Panzer
Shas'Saal
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Re: Tau Barrage Madness (Novel or viable?)

Post#12 » Oct 20 2016 10:49

The only barrage you usually see are Wyverns though and those come for 60p (iirc) with 4 shots twin linked and with shred. For 4 shots we would need to pay at least 104p. Those have less range, aren't twin linked and have no shred. Okay they are 5" blasts instead of 3" but they still fall far behind a Wyvern....especially for that point cost.

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CoffeeGrunt
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
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Re: Tau Barrage Madness (Novel or viable?)

Post#13 » Oct 20 2016 11:10

Also Wyvern has 48" range, AFPs are 18". AFP is AP5 though, so that's...something.

By all means, try it and see though. :)

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Spray & Pray
Shas'Saal
Posts: 77

Re: Tau Barrage Madness (Novel or viable?)

Post#14 » Oct 20 2016 12:23

Aye, Wyverns are a beast. I've had the misfortune of playing against space marine quad mortars as well.

I guess the upside of the crisis suits vs Wyverns, is that they are much more mobile, objective secure and more durable in a crisis star. Wyvern dies pretty fast and tank squadrons can't split fire. Plus the C&C node twin links the AFP's.

Maybe i'm grasping though, hard to argue against Wyverns when it comes to pts efficiency!

mothyy
Shas'Saal
Posts: 32

Re: Tau Barrage Madness (Novel or viable?)

Post#15 » Oct 21 2016 03:14

I don't think the C&C node gives the AFP twin-linked; it only lets you reroll failed to hits, which doesn't affect template weapons.

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Unusualsuspect
Kroot'Ui
Kroot'Ui
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Re: Tau Barrage Madness (Novel or viable?)

Post#16 » Oct 21 2016 03:33

See, I thought the same thing when I saw the setup, and my curiosity is piqued (as I recall, potentially incorrectly, that previous editions didn't allow that).

Nevertheless, the only thing directly applicable in the Blast rules is the following:

Blast Weapons and Rerolls:
If a model has the ability to re-roll its rolls To Hit and chooses to do so after firing a Blast weapon, the player must re-roll both the scatter dice and the 2d6.


Looking at the rest of the Blast rules, I don't see anything preventing abilities that "re-roll its rolls To Hit" like the C&C from applying as above.

Can someone enlighten me on this?

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Spray & Pray
Shas'Saal
Posts: 77

Re: Tau Barrage Madness (Novel or viable?)

Post#17 » Oct 21 2016 06:03

Honestly, i'm not sure. One of those funny one's, where in my head c&c node twin links your guns, which it effectively does, but does not say it explicitly. I would assume it does work with template weapons though.

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Kael'yn
Fio'Ui
Fio'Ui
Posts: 1088

Re: Tau Barrage Madness (Novel or viable?)

Post#18 » Oct 22 2016 02:33

AFP is more potent than BC (ignore cover USR natively even with 1S lesser) or Flamer (longer range and wider template effectiveness area).

Against any swarm army, the AFP is very lethal (it have the same math effectiveness than flamer, but you get more shots). I had some success in 6th against rear objective with holed up guards, termagants and gretchins by throwing a "fireball" at them: a DS monat with dual flamer and AFP. Now with the AFP unlimited, I may want to change it to 2xAFP+Flamer for distance shooting (DS mishap occured almost 1/4 of time with the short-ranged fireball). It is a 60-ish pts invested that can clean very quickly some battleground area vs some armies.

More than 3 crisis with dual AFP in an unit seems overkill: if you put an average of 5 MEQ under a pieplate, they will mathematically die in one round of shooting of 6xAFP.
Against GEQ, the efficiency is better: 20 kills average (with 5 men under each pieplate), but some of your shots will be wasted.
I would prefer getting 2 crisis with dual AFP that fires first, cleaning most of the weak models, and a third crisis firing after with dual BC or PR to kill the resilient/remaining/scattered ones.

CCN has better uses on other crisis team (plasma/fusion/missile, where each shot must land to have the best efficiency)

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