Pathfinders... Not worth thier points?? What do you think

A review of past Tactics by commanders during the First, Second, Third & Fourth Phase Expansion.
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Pathfinders... Not worth thier points?? What do you think

Post#1 » Apr 07 2006 11:02

I have been playing Tau now for about a year. I have never used Pathfinders until now since the new codex has come out. Now after a limited usage of 5 games (1850 points and 1 2000 point game) I have come to the following conclusion. The 220+ points I put into a pathfinder squad is better spent on more Mech FW, BS or even GD. Sure they are a very novel idea and fluff wise they fit just right. But as far as practical game play goes I say jsut leave them at home!!! In fact I will take this one step farther and say when my opponents see them fielded they are happy because they know I had to pull points from my feared MechFW squads or HH or even thoose psky little frisbies of death.

Just a note I have never had a loss while using PF I guess they just don't fit my style.

Any thoughts on this or am I just not playing them right???

I am open minded for your opinions
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Post#2 » Apr 07 2006 11:34

Well, I never played PF in the old codex, so I may not be the best Shas to make an argument on their behalf. Obviously, the markerlights they bring to the table are worthwhile, but I'm of the mind that there are other, more survivable ways to get the MLs on the field.

However, there's one thing that the PFs bring that's available nowhere else in the army, and that's the Marker Beacon. Coupled with a Postional Relay, I feel this makes a deep-striking Helios or Sunforge truly a thing to fear.

Of course, that's a lot of points to pull that off, but it's something you can't do without PFs.

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kai'lore
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Post#3 » Apr 08 2006 01:46

Hey, it sounds like you don't need them so more power to you! :biggrin:

not really enough info there for constructive comment Upgrade, how about narrowing it down for us?

Have you gone to all the trouble of modelling them up and want to use them?

Myself, I am a fan of PF, have been since they first came out. No, they aren't as point and shoot as Hammerheads and no they aren't as survivable as Crisis teams.

In my army, they do their job for the first 2 turns and after that it's gravy.

kai

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Post#4 » Apr 08 2006 02:27

I'm not such a PF fan, they just die too quickly and aren't mobile enough. I much prefere Stealth ML teams, I swear by them right now.
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Post#5 » Apr 08 2006 03:54

[[[ I will use PF's in a large battle, where the enemy ios too worried about my other assets on the table to notice what they are doing. Longest they ever lived was to turn 3 in a battle. I learned to do without them.

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Post#6 » Apr 08 2006 04:02

what exactly where you marking for? if there not getting shoot you are clearly using them wrong. i cant tell how you using them wrong with out a batrep

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Post#7 » Apr 08 2006 05:05

Pathfinders suck. Not because they do nothing, but because they're so threatening that they're dead before they've had a chance to shoot their 'lights. On paper, it kind of looks like the power of the new ML rules make up for the cost of the unit, but the fact that it's eight T3 Sv4+ guys whom everyone wants dead doesn't factor in there.

Basically, in order for your pathfinders to even do anything, you'd need to take two units. Thanks to GW and their stupid mandatory Devilfish (why fix something when it's broken, eh?), that's impossible in anything under 2000+ points. A single unit will cripple you 250 points and die like flies at the first hint of enemy return fire, unless you can dedicate the rest of your list to their protection - which is impossible in 1.5k or lower, since you don't have a rest of your list.

In short, Pathfinders should be useful, but the fact that they usually die before they've had a chance to score a single ML hit means that they're not. The only instance when they can be and are useful is in games of 1750-1850 points, where you still have an army list besides the pathfinders to protect them with, and in anything above 2000 points where you can take a second unit.

Apart from Canada/US tournaments, how many of us play in 1850-2000 points that often? I know I don't. Good job GW on making them accessible. :roll: Can you tell I hate pathfinders yet?

Anyway, I've got two solutions to dealing with a lack of pathfinders:
- my current list was built in such a way that it doesn't need MLs. Twin-linked flamers, BS4+ plasma everywhere, enough BS4+ fusion that it can make up for missed railgun hits, etc.;
- Stealth markerlight team, which I plan on running one day if I ever find myself with a spare Elite slot. Only one ML hit less on average, only thirty points more, but incredibly resilient and they can move 6" in the Assault phase (despite what Fio'o Yr'doran says - and he should get on with posting his counter-argument to my ruling, or else I'm going to do it :P).

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kai'lore
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Post#8 » Apr 08 2006 05:12

:biggrin: tell us how you really feel about them ANSOB!

Sure, they aren't as much guranteed bang for your buck as many other units but... I find I see people come to grief with them either playing them too agressively -way out in front with good LOS to everything but that points back them.

Or too conservatively -an expensive Mech FW type unit sitting back and not taking part.

Perhaps you guys should now take this opportunity to develop some new doctrines for us. An army built around the hidden ML for example, on Stealth (and maybe FW) as Meph is doing or based on more T/L like ANSOB is suggesting.

I'm liking that idea myself too, the T/L Vio'La Sept doctrine.

kai

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Post#9 » Apr 08 2006 06:15

A neutral shade of black. wrote:Anyway, I've got two solutions to dealing with a lack of pathfinders:
- my current list was built in such a way that it doesn't need MLs. Twin-linked flamers, BS4+ plasma everywhere, enough BS4+ fusion that it can make up for missed railgun hits, etc.;
- Stealth markerlight team, which I plan on running one day if I ever find myself with a spare Elite slot. Only one ML hit less on average, only thirty points more, but incredibly resilient and they can move 6" in the Assault phase (despite what Fio'o Yr'doran says - and he should get on with posting his counter-argument to my ruling, or else I'm going to do it :P).


I too, am considering if I need Pathfinders or not. What you've done is what I'm thinking about.. relying on twinlinks and arrays instead of taking Pathfinders.

So, I'm pretty sure I speak for more than just myself when I say, hey, please show us what you're using?
Warning: choking hazard.

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Post#10 » Apr 08 2006 08:04

kai'lore wrote::biggrin: tell us how you really feel about them ANSOB!


Heh. To tell you the truth (I've said this before, but here it is again), I suck at wargaming. My strategy with everything is "if you throw enough bodies at it, it's bound to break." Yes, I should be playing IG, but IG don't have Tau models now, do they? :P

I acknowledge the fact that pathfinders are useful in the right hands, but mine aren't those hands - and since I don't see myself as a real 40k new person - more like a semi intermediate-ish player - I'm guessing that most of the Tau players at large have roughly the same level of skill as myself (minus the part where I lost 90% of the twenty four games I've played in the past four years; yes, having no opponents sucks).

Anyway, the list is in the army list section (surprisingly) in my one thread I use for all my lists. I actually wasn't going so much for a new style at the time as a change of gameplay from my Stealth horde list (which I've refined thanks to Spooky giving me a copy of Torgoch's list, and which a guy I know is taking to this year's GTUK) which had started looking very boring. Bump my list thread up if you want to discuss it.

Edit: since we're into stupid names here (FoF and Feeding Frenzy anyone? ;)), I hereby dub that style of list "NoBS," though I mine's probably more of a hybrid regular/NoBS list.

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Post#11 » Apr 08 2006 09:43

OK here is how I would play my PFs.

Place them deployed on the table usually on a flank 12" away from table edge or where ever I see the largest threats. Then when possible I would light up my enemy on average getting 2 to 4 marks. Now I think wow got 4 marks great. but in real game turns thoose marker hits really don't make much of a difference since the PFs are now gonna die and did I really need that DF I had to bring inorder to field the PFs? I mean come on if I wanted a DF I will just field a 12 man FW squad in a DF since I know my FWs are going to unleash much pain to thier targets!

I guess for my playstyle PFs are not mobile enough and end up being a huge liability every game I have used them. Now I already have a 8 man squad painted and thier DF ready to go but why bother? They are a waist of time and effort since they just sit there and die by turn 3 anyway. Or if they don't die they get ignored becasue my opponents never give me a LOS for my PFs to be useful enough. The people I play against are not stupid they are actaully very savvy and stratigcally minded!

Like I said in my original post when my opponents see me pull out PFs they are relieved because they know I just waisted points for nothing and they know I actually had to drop somthing they fear much more inorder to field thoose PFs. Now I hear some of you say that people fear your PFs and go to kill them simply because they are so "great". But honestly in my limited play tesing that is just simply not the response I am getting. They are not feared because they are so easy to kill that they simply just die from anything my opponent wills to kill them with! To me more shots that can actually wound a unit is more valuable than flashlights that don't and mobility is king right now in the 40k universe somthing PF simply do not have.

my 2 cents
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success with pathfinders...

Post#12 » Apr 08 2006 09:54

I've had the most success with these guys by setting them up where they don't have anything to mark for the first turn or two, and nothing can see them. Then I just let them lurk for a while without looking at them or mentioning them. The 36" range on the markerlights then does one of two things, either it keeps the OPFORs out of a certain area, or they walk into range without realizing it. IF the latter, those sudden markerlight hits can steer them off target right at the point when they need to be most focused. If the opponent goes for them early in the game, they're focusing in the wrong direction. If they ignore them, the pathfinders are either VPs saved, of if their fish is nearby they can load up and zoom in to contribute either more pulse fire or grab objectives.

Does this mean that they are worth the points... debatable for sure. But you can get use out of those points even when the markerlights aren't firing (it's only 2 pts more per model than regular FW... with a little added threat at distance).

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Post#13 » Apr 08 2006 10:06

I certainly understand your position that Markerlights do not justify their expense, that those 200+ points would be better spent on models that actually kill things. While this is true, Markerlight carriers don't actually kill anything, what they do offer is versatility. Let me explain.

In a take-all-comers setting, it's necessary to bring a list which is capable of engaging the largest variety of opponents. We need to include enough AP 2/1 to deal with Deathwing and enough massed pulse fire to deal with swarm Tyranids. However, after a bit of practice building and playing these take all comers type lists, you'll soon realize that it's very difficult to build a list which can cover all extremes. It's just not possible with the points allotment we have available. So how can we have a chance against these "fringe armies" like Armored Company and Deathwing? The answer is Markerlights. By bringing a balanced force, with moderate amounts of anti-heavy infantry, anti-light infantry and anti-vehicle shooting and then tossing a smattering of Markerlights into the mix, we can effectively tackle all lists thrown at us. Markerlights allow us to drastically boost the effectiveness of our shooting in one area of our choosing. Therefore, by dedicating our Markerlights to guiding Stealths in the game against Nids, guiding XV8's in our game against Deathwing, and guiding Broadsides in our game against Armored Company, we can have a fighting chance without having to overload on weaponry specific to killing those armies.

By way of example, last night I played against big-bug nids. 2 walking Tyrants (both with Tyrant Guard), and 3 Carnifexes in 1500 points. That's something like 25 wounds. With only 3 Railguns, and 1 Plasma/Fusion Commander there's no way I'd be able to chew through that many T6/2+ wounds without Markerlights. Turn 1 the Pathfinders lit up the Hormagaunts (the immidiate threat) and the Stealths took care of them, and from then on out the Pathfinders dedicated themselves to guiding AP2/1 shots against the MC's. Even in 6 turns, I didn't get through everything, but there was only a single 'fex left on the table at the end.

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Post#14 » Apr 08 2006 10:47

Well I understand what you are saying Tonka. Tau definatly works better as a combined force list. I am not completly giving up on PFs I guess I just need to give them more play and maybe they will grow on me and more importantly I will learn how to use them better. But on the flip side of that coin I have been playing so long without them and with very much success it is hard to give up somthing I know how to use in order put PFs on the table to be disappointed in thier performance every game (only 5 of them so far). But keep in mind have have yet to play against a giant 'Nid army or a Deathwing list, so PFs have not bene needed yet. but I know many players are working on thier DW at the venue I visit so it would be nice to know how to deploy and use PFs to thier fullest potential.

This is why I posted this thread, Not to bash PFs and write them off permenantly but to get a concensus of how others feel about them and how they perform for others. I guess my hope was I jsut don't know how to use them and they are so much better than I know. So far I am not completly convinced that they are better than I believe but maybe some of you can help change my mind.

And to answer Kai'lore yes I do want to use them that is why I painted them.

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Post#15 » Apr 08 2006 12:30

The best success I've had with them has come from holding them back for a turn, then moving in to mark from the second turn on. I tend to play fairly aggressively, and the idea is to give my opponent other things to worry about so that the Pathfinders aren't their first priority. By the time second turn rolls around, my mounted Fire Warriors and Kroot are getting into position, my Stealths, Hammerheads, and Broadsides are already picking away at them, and any deep-striking units are starting to come in. It's a much more chaotic environment, and that works to the Pathfinders' advantage by forcing target priority checks and making threat assessment more difficult.

Still, they're an expensive unit, so I'd agree that they're best suited to 1750+ games.

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Post#16 » Apr 08 2006 12:45

Another option in the new codex is sniper teams... ok 3 teams cost about the same as your pathfinder unit (including DF...), but only has 3 Markerlights, but these are at BS4... so call it the same as a mininimum PF team (4 pathfinders) and you get the same effect. The big diference is the Sniper teams have stealth generators, so are much more difficult to take down...
I've used them in my first 2 'Empire army list' games and they have worked well for me... thier versitality with the drones Target Locks, helps big time... It's as tonka was saying about pathfinders... you use the markerlight hits where you need them dependant on the enemy... you don't always use them with the Drones shots...
It's an alternative, albeit, a non Mech alternative. :eek:
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Post#17 » Apr 08 2006 03:09

Upgrade wrote:Place them deployed on the table usually on a flank 12" away from table edge or where ever I see the largest threats. Then when possible I would light up my enemy on average getting 2 to 4 marks. Now I think wow got 4 marks great. but in real game turns thoose marker hits really don't make much of a difference since the PFs are now gonna die and did I really need that DF I had to bring inorder to field the PFs?


right so you run away form the big problems but this leaves you with out targets. do you run 8 pathfinders? just asking about the scores on the door. i think if your running 8 its just bad luck you get bettwen 2 or 4

now if you dieing from shooting land the devilfish in the way of the biggest offender of Pathfinder death. i usally stock 2 gun drones with the pathfinders to give extra wounds. also allway land them in cover. if your lossing them from assult it is all right to move the pathfinders into the fish and move.

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Post#18 » Apr 08 2006 03:32

I just had a game against a Chaos player. I infiltrated my Stealth ML team in his flank about 26" away from his nearest unit. This had two advantages, first of all he couldn't infiltrate into that quarter and in the end that team bagged me 437.5 VPs on top of all the units is marked to death. Secondly it had a nice view over half his army and combined with a MechFW unit and 9 Vespid tore through half his army.
Being able to move them 6" a turn and still marked kept them alive and out of range of his guns for the whole game while still dealing out 4 BS3 and 1 TL BS4 ML hit per turn.

Nice please tell me how PFs are supposed to accomplish even half as much ?
Mephet'ran

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