swanky whoopee wrote:My opponent plays pure DH, with no allies/inducted units. His army is basically a Chapter Master, a squad of termies, two squads of Knights, a Dreadnought, and somewhere around 200 points that he hasn't designated yet. I expect that he'll take a Vindicare Assassin (the sniper one, right?), probably another squad of Knights, and whatever other heavy-duty stuff he needs to fill 1500-2000 points.
I shouldn't deconstruct this - a couple of my regular opponants have started reading ATT to figure out what I'm doing to 'em. :)
Let me see if I can help:
- Chapter Master.
I won't beat around the bush - these guys are, even for the points cost, the single best all-around unit in the whole of 40k. Assuming he kits him out to fight you, you're looking at a Grey Knight Termie that you /cannot/ target (as he's an IC) until he's in assault range, with psychic powers that can decimate entire squads, multiple attacks, and a force weapon.
The tradeoff? He /can/ deep strike, but he doesn't move very fast. 6", + 6" charge, 24" shooting range (w/storm bolter... and if he trades out SB/Nemesis, he's crazy). Stay out of the way, and he really can't do much to you - he doesn't have enough mobility. If he gets close, however, you're ... well.. trashed. Merrily.
Termies are /always/ mean, but like most grey knights, they're exceedingly expensive and exceedingly slow. IMHO, you don't play knights without a squad of termies, despite the cost - they're too pretty and too flavorful to ignore. If he's wise, he'll deep strike these against you - and, again, if he gets in HTH, you're completely ... well.. dead. Don't forget, these guys are STR-6 Power Weapons - they don't /need/ power fists - and are probably psychic as well.
They'll try to get close, though, and they move slow - you should be able, again, to outmaneuver them.
Exceedingly expensive space marines with a hatful of special rules and fearless. They die pretty much the same way marines do, though, and their increased HTH potential doesn't mean much against Tau. (STR6, +1 Attack regardless of charge... does it really matter? You were probably dead anyway.)
Truthfully, though, he's got about half as many as a marine player, and while their special weapons are tres cool, your complete lack of psychic ability works against the DH player, who by default is geared to face psychics, whether he wants to be or not.
Shrouding might hurt you, but not as much as you may suspect. Leave the carbines at home, though, these guys are /FEARLESS/, and they'll probably move relentlessly forward, unless he's living on Psycannons. Even then, they probably will.
Psycannons bear special mention: they are really hard hitting heavy bolters that can be used on the move and deny all invulnerable saves. THey're the hardest weapon in the arsenal, really, that he can put on a troop choice. They also completely stink for bringing down tanks. Completely and utterly.
This should suggest a strategy.
GK Dreads are almost required in a pure GK force without land raiders - and trust me when I say GK Marines are the /only/ marines where a land raider's actually a good choice.
The reason is simple: GK's have NO anti-tank ability. NOne whatsoever. They can't even work up a good sneeze against AV13 without trading significant advantages (SB + Nemesis = True Grit.. and you're /paying/ for true grit on every guy, why would you give it up?). So, this Dread's going to have a TL Lascannon on it, and probably a Missile Launcher. It will also have Aegis, and MAY have SHrouding.
However, like all marine dreads, a couple of railguns takes care of this problem. I DO NOT reccomend fusion - like all marine dreads, if your fusion doesn't work, for whatever reason, you're going to get assaulted or lascannoned in the next turn - and even without DCCW (Dreadnaught Close Combat Weapons), you can't stand up to assault from something that counts as 10 models and hits like a brick.
On the plus side - take this guy out and your tanks will have a field day.
You can only hope he takes a Vindicare. While Vindicare are fun, they're not particularly dangerous to the Tau, as we don't have a lot of special characters for them to target and destroy - just some not-very-expensive ICs and a couple of crisis suits. Given that the Vindicare only gets six shots, you can effectively ignore him for most of the game, provided you keep an eye on his lines of sight. If he gets troublesome, drop a plasma shot or railgun on him.. he'll go away.
If he takes a Callidus, that could be problematic. THey're tough, and need to die early to avoid their stupid neural shredder, which will do significant damage to your ground teams. Tau just don't have the LD to stand up to it - and yes, it's a weapon that attacks your LD.
Eversor? Shoot him. He'll die.
Culexus? In this particular case, the Culexus - unlike most times - will hurt him more than you. HOWEVER, the Culexus damages your leadership and brings AP3+ shots to the table - again, drop something big on it early. YOu should have capacity to spare.
Suggestions for beating him?
Tanks, crisis, and mobility. Go mech, and he can't catch you to actually hurt you, and his shooting will largely bounce off your armor. JSJ crisis, provided you can avoid his infiltrators and deep strikers, will mince him.
HElios fireteams will come in handy - they'll decimate the Grand Master and the Termies - that termie squad, just four strong, is over 260 points - probably up in the 300s. That's a significant chunk of change that's horribly demoralizing to lose in a turn. You can also counter-deep-strike with remarkable effectiveness.
Preserve your tanks, use your mobility, and claim objectives in the last turns. Grey Knights aren't any better than Marines at surviving - and they're hugely more expensive.
Should be a fun game.... for you. :) My GK's struggle against mech tau. Static tau they tear apart.