How to make troops more survivable

A review of past Tactics by commanders during the First, Second, Third & Fourth Phase Expansion.
ZymurgySteve
Shas
Posts: 2

How to make troops more survivable

Post#1 » Dec 02 2016 09:31

Hi, I'm a new player and have a newbie question. Sorry if this is addressed in depth somewhere already--if so please point me.

I have only played a few gams and so far I tend to loose not because I can't wreck the other guy but because I can't take or hold objectives. My troops get destroyed and as I understand it my elites/heavy stuff aren't able to hold objectives themselves.

Should I be holding troops in reserve and waiting until later rounds to bring them in?

Should I be using troops more in conjunction with other resources?

In general, what works for you guys?

Thanks in advance for your patience.

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Czar Ziggy
Fio'Ui
Fio'Ui
Posts: 547
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Re: How to make troops more survivable

Post#2 » Dec 02 2016 11:08

Well, first off, last I checked in 7th edition, anything can take an objective unless the unit entry says otherwise. However, if you are running a Combined Armes Detachment (CAD), then your troops gain a special rule called Objective Secured which means other units cannot contest a troop held objective unless they also have this rule.

If your looking for a durable unit to do this, playing Farsight Enclaves is a good idea because Crisis suits become troop units. Otherwise, try using the turret upgrades for fire warriors if holding objectives in your backfield or Devilfish Transports if trying to take objectives from your opponents side of the field.

Hope that helps.

Czar Ziggy

ZymurgySteve
Shas
Posts: 2

Re: How to make troops more survivable

Post#3 » Dec 02 2016 11:11

Thanks, that's a huge help. I'll research.

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Jefffar
Shas'Vre
Shas'Vre
Posts: 1015

Re: How to make troops more survivable

Post#4 » Dec 02 2016 12:49

Troops are not meant to be survivable out in the open, particularly Tau troops.

Depending on what you need your troops to do, the best way to keep them alive is to keep them out of sight.

Hide them behind line of sight blocking terrain, place them in buildings, keep them on a Devilfish or stick them in cover giving area terrain.

Each if these methods have their strengths and weaknesses, so understand your battlefield, your army and the threat well to decide which method is the best fit for the situation at hand.

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nic
Kroot'La
Kroot'La
Posts: 766

Re: How to make troops more survivable

Post#5 » Dec 02 2016 03:41

Part of the Tau philosophy - which you can see reflected in the codex design - is that Tau troops do not go and camp on objectives like Space Marines might. They stand back to clear the objectives with firepower and then go get them when it is clear.

Now in games of Maelstrom this gets tricky because if you sit back off the objectives you lose the game. Fortunately everything can now score and we do have some more resilient units, particularly the big Monstrous Creature battlesuits.

As for the troops, they still want to sit in cover or inside their Devilfish. Or as you suggest they can come out of reserves, this is of course a classic role for outflanking kroot. If you expect them to break out the camp stools and sit safely on the objective like a power-armoured super-soldier they will disappoint you, even if they do go grab an objective they need to be ready to pull back to safety at the first sign of a significant threat.

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SomeTauGuy
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 84

Re: How to make troops more survivable

Post#6 » Dec 02 2016 04:29

How are your troops getting wiped out? Shooting, close combat, bit of both?

For shooting, cover saves are your friend and you can get them from sitting in terrain or from forcing your opponent to fire through other units. Ghostkeels are great in that they come with an excellent cover save and a unit of three of them, with their attendant drones, can create quite a line in front of the rest of your army, thus giving a 5+ cover save to those behind. Attach Shadow Sun to units behind them for more cover save goodness. There are a couple of formations that give Stealth to the units in them. Stack this as much as you can. A big unit of Kroot is the budget version of this screening tactic.

If your getting wiped out through CC set your troops up so they give each other supporting fire. That's 6" normally or 12" in the hunter contingent. When the enemy charges you should be rolling over watch with most of the units in you Hunter Contingent. Stay 18" away from your opponents units as much as possible as that's usually their max charge range. Give ground if required, don't stay in terrain, rely on the methods above to get cover saves.

There are exceptions to this stuff but get in some low point games where you set yourself a strategy and follow it. Think of it as doing drill work with your Firewarriors. You'll get a feel for when a strategy works and doesn't work. Enjoy and reflect on your losses, you'll learn more from them than your wins.

Wow, that all got kind of deep :D
'Cause I'm a sucker for applying math to things - http://www.grimdarkmath.com

CommanderDeathrain
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 31

Re: How to make troops more survivable

Post#7 » Dec 02 2016 04:56

I've had good success running a unit of 11 fire warriors (strike team) + a ethereal in a devil fish. I always give the fish disruption pods

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AnonAmbientLight
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 793

Re: How to make troops more survivable

Post#8 » Dec 02 2016 05:02

ZymurgySteve wrote:I have only played a few gams and so far I tend to loose not because I can't wreck the other guy but because I can't take or hold objectives. My troops get destroyed and as I understand it my elites/heavy stuff aren't able to hold objectives themselves.

Should I be holding troops in reserve and waiting until later rounds to bring them in?

Should I be using troops more in conjunction with other resources?

In general, what works for you guys?

Thanks in advance for your patience.


Keep playing. It might suck and get a little discouraging, but the best teacher is experience. If you are playing with friends, ask them to help you understand the choices you make, and for them to give you some advice based on what their army can do. This game has a lot of strategies that you have to pick up on that is not taught in the rule book. You also have to figure out what each army excels at and ways to beat them. My friends play a combination of like 6 armies. I never usually go up against the same army twice so it is often difficult for me to "get good practice" against any of them. I always bring Tau so they know what to expect. :(

Every unit in your codex can take and hold objectives ***EXCEPT*** for drone squads. Drones do not hold objectives unless they are accompanied by an IC like a Commander. What this means is that if I have a Riptide on objective 1 and you put a crisis team on objective 1, we are both contesting that objective. Make sense? CADs have a special rule for troops called Objective Secured. Objective Secured allow them to "take" objectives from units that ARE NOT objective secured. So if I have Objective Secured Firewarriors on objective 1 and you put your Riptide on objective 1, I ***STILL*** have control of objective 1. If you replace the Riptide with Firewarriors from your own army that has the Objective Secure rule, then we would be contesting that objective. Make sense?

Should you be holding troops in reserve?

That's a tough question. It all depends on the mission. PLAY TO THE MISSION. I'll repeat that one more time because it's pretty important. PLAY TO THE MISSION. This is an important concept. This game is about getting Victory Points (most of the time). Victory Points win the game. It doesn't matter how badly you get beat, or how badly you beat up your opponent. If you do not score more Victory Points than they do, you don't win (most of the time).

For Tau, holding troops in reserve may not always be the best option. Tau is a shooting army and you will want almost all your guns on the board shooting from turn 1 onward unless you have a specific role in mind for units to be in reserve. You'll have to consider a few things to make that choice. You'll find most of your units on the board turn 1. If you do not have room for a Firewarrior squad (for example), it may be a good idea to put them in reserves so they don't get shot up immediately. Alternatively, you might also want to consider just hiding them from sight if they are not part of your overall strategy. Hunkering down and holding objectives is important too!

Should I be using troops more in conjunction with other resources?

Yes and no. It all depends on what you are looking to do with your army lay out. Troops are not necessarily important. Some army lists only have a couple of troops on hand. Some army lists do not use them at all. In general troops are great because they are typically cheap and plentiful. Firewarriors, while generally weak, are extra bodies (wounds) on the field that can also reasonably hold objectives. You'll have to strike a balance that is in line with what you are seeing in your meta though. Just keep in mind that too many troops, especially firewarriors, could weaken your army.
Sky IS Falling, T'au WILL Suck, Sell Me Your Models

CommanderDeathrain
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 31

Re: How to make troops more survivable

Post#9 » Dec 02 2016 05:36

Also a great way to stop your fire warriors from dying so quickly is to put a scarier threat on the board like a riptide for example or broad sides or crisis suits.

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Vector Strike
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 955

Re: How to make troops more survivable

Post#10 » Dec 03 2016 06:45

Imperial Armour 3 (2nd ed) has a nifty Troops unit, the Drone Turret. You can go 1-4 models in a unit and, with AV11, they're pretty hardy (unless the enemy packs S6+, melta or haywire). Sadly, they cannot be your compulsory Troops in a CAD.

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Unicornsilovethem
Shas'Saal
Posts: 278

Re: How to make troops more survivable

Post#11 » Dec 03 2016 06:56

It's totally fair to pay the minimum cost for Troop choices and just use them as expendable suicide units to capture objectives. If you want them to do damage, you can beef them up with deployable turrets, an ethereal and/or fireblade. Your troops are good at holding positions, since they have fairly strong armor and can go to ground and still fire relatively well next turn (markerlights). If you go this route, try to capture with more mobile units like Piranhas, Tetras or suits.

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Reaper13
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Re: How to make troops more survivable

Post#12 » Jan 02 2017 05:37

I would either say bring a devil fish and use it as cover, or use natural cover. Mostly blocking your line of sight is going to be your main goal here, because with toughness 3 and a 4+ save, fire warriors are very squishy. :-( Farsight enclaves is also a good option, as crisis suits are more durable, having a better save, toughness, and wound count. Just try to hide behind cover and stay out of assualt! :D
Who says we don't have assault units... Drones :crafty:

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Panzer
Shas'Saal
Posts: 3172

Re: How to make troops more survivable

Post#13 » Jan 03 2017 01:41

Not being able to camp objectives properly is one of the (few) main problems Tau have. We usually have to almost wipe the enemy before we can feel rather save with our troops.
So far I had no game where my Firewarrior survived long unless I was dominating the opponent from turn 1 on. Then again my Outflanking Pathfinder are usually left alone once they come in even if they wipe 1-2 units with their Pulse Carbines....seems like many opponents have a hard time to switch their mind to focus to some T3 infantry that just came in later. :D

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Overheal
Shas'Saal
Posts: 177

Re: How to make troops more survivable

Post#14 » Jan 04 2017 02:06

My suggestion would be to draw fire away from the troops, either by putting them in cover, obscuring them from Line of Sight, or using other targets. Particularly, I always have at least 1 stealth team on the table at the start of a game. Nothing distracts an opponent more on turn 1 then shooty things in their deployment zone.

Natural terrain concerns are between you and your opponent. In most cases I never see most players in my local stores playing on a table thats less than 40% terrain or so, with objectives being placed by you and your opponent you can elect to place these in locations where you benefit from cover. Additionally you can take Breacher teams as troops and use guardian drones to give them an invuln save.

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Reaper13
Shas
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Re: How to make troops more survivable

Post#15 » Jan 05 2017 12:17

Bring a "fire magnet" something big, scary, and hard to ignore.
*Looks at riptide*
Who says we don't have assault units... Drones :crafty:

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Overheal
Shas'Saal
Posts: 177

Re: How to make troops more survivable

Post#16 » Jan 05 2017 01:05

Even a Devilfish will do the job in some cases. Both as a transport for the troops and packs a punch in its own right, esp. if you tack on some seeker missiles, it will make your opponent consider taking shots at it.

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Panzer
Shas'Saal
Posts: 3172

Re: How to make troops more survivable

Post#17 » Jan 05 2017 01:40

Overheal wrote:Even a Devilfish will do the job in some cases. Both as a transport for the troops and packs a punch in its own right, esp. if you tack on some seeker missiles, it will make your opponent consider taking shots at it.

I agree. Putting your guys in a Devilfish protects them against everything that's usually killing them without a problem. AV12 with a 3+ Jink is fairly hard to kill without concentrating a good amount of dakka on it (or assaulting it of course) and so it easily protects your troops against those dreaded Drop Pod flamer squads.
It's especially fun if Breacher survive such turn 1 Drop Pod assault, and then stand toe to toe with Space Marines...up to 20 S6 AP3 shots hurt a lot even without Markerlight support. :D

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Overheal
Shas'Saal
Posts: 177

Re: How to make troops more survivable

Post#18 » Jan 05 2017 04:01

Yep. You can also take advantage of an ethereal's special abilities as a force multiplier. Firewarriors can go to ground, if needed, and then automatically pass their check to get back up. And don't underestimate going to ground, I have lost games because of models GTG on objectives. God, I was livid too, because I mis-did the order of units shooting, totally forgot to paint them with markerlights first -_-

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