[ATT Recommended] 500pt list help

Discuss and develop your army list amongst new players and veterans alike.
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Impulse
Shas'Saal
Posts: 74

Re: 500pt list help

Post#37 » Jul 17 2017 01:39

That's all well and good, but we're working within the constraints outlined in my OP.

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 2152

Re: 500pt list help

Post#38 » Jul 17 2017 06:28

Impulse wrote:You mentioned stealth suits so let's talk about them. My inclination is to put ATS on 2 Shas'ui with Burst Cannons, and put the big pew pew (and no equips) on the other one.

A good question, as always! Let's look at the ATS first. Three Stealthsuits cost 90 points with their Burst Cannons, and with all three carrying ATS cost 114. Six more points could, instead, buy us another Stealthsuit. So let's compare 4x Stealthsuits to 3x Stealthsuits w/ ATS.

4x vs.T3/5+ - 3.6 kills
3x + ATS vs.T3/5+ - 3.3 kills
4x vs.T4/4+ - 2.7 kills
3x + ATS vs.T4/4+ - 2.7 kills
4x vs.T4/3+ - 1.8 kills
3x + ATS vs.T4/3+ - 2 kills

As we can see, bringing more Stealthsuits is better against weaker units, equal against regular units, and worse against tougher units. Of course though, bringing another Stealthsuit doesn't just add more shots, but also more wounds (better durability) and more bodies (better at holding objectives). So, are more Stealthsuits 100% better than fewer Stealthsuits w/ ATS? Not necessarily, but I'd say that more Stealthsuits bring more advantages to the table, unless you're exclusively hunting Space Marines or Terminators. Stealthsuits are excellent and hunting weak units.

Should we bring a Fusion Blaster on a Stealthsuit though? The main reason would be that it's a cheap way to get an anti-tank gun. In your specific case, given your small collection, it's one of the few anti-tank options you have available to you. However, in more average-sized games I'd argue that Stealthsuits really aren't the right platform for that kind of weapon. It's usually best to bring squads that are dedicated to a single purpose, as I've mentioned before. With a Fusion Blaster, Stealthsuits are better at destroying tanks, but 50% weaker against infantry. If at all possible, try and make squads that can perform one or two tasks well, instead of splitting them up between different roles. A squad of Stealthsuits costs 101 points with a Fusion Blaster, and that Fusion Blaster only has a 50% hit chance too.

It's usually best to equip squads for a single purppse; in addition, for squads that have low accuracy (BS4+ or worse) it's usually best to equip guns with high rates of fire. With these points in mind, I'd say that Stealthsuits aren't the right place to get anti-tank.

However, in very small games (like 500 points) where you can only bring a few units, Stealthsuits with a Fusion Blaster might be the right choice. In your case, your only real anti-tank is on the Commander (and a Coldstar is more anti-elite anyway) and the Pathfinders w/ Ion Rifles, so the Stealthsuits do have a good role.

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Impulse
Shas'Saal
Posts: 74

Re: 500pt list help

Post#39 » Jul 18 2017 09:48

That makes a lot of sense. The part about extra wounds and durability was definitely something I hadn't considered. I really appreciate your math and statistics too.

What does anti-elite mean? How do we feel about weird drones like Pulse Accel and Grav (or even Guardian and Marker for that matter)?

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 2152

Re: 500pt list help

Post#40 » Jul 18 2017 11:06

Impulse wrote:That makes a lot of sense. The part about extra wounds and durability was definitely something I hadn't considered. I really appreciate your math and statistics too.

You're welcome! Using statistics is a big part of warhammer (we call the statistics part "mathhammer"), but using hard averages is a very rough way to describe unit viability, sadly. It takes many, many dice rolls for a unit to approach statistical average (the fewer the rolls, the more outliers, and the less clear the mean) so much more statistically complex methods are required to assess the probability of sucess across multiple rolls, not just the average. Anyway, I'm no mathematician, but this thread could help you if you're interested in advanced statistics: http://www.advancedtautactica.com/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=6482

Impulse wrote:What does anti-elite mean?

Anti-elite basically means "good at shooting tough stuff that isn't vehicles." Commonly, you'll see cheap infantry models often have poor defensive stats like the Kroot T3/Sv6+. A S4AP-1 weapon (like a Bolt Rifle, a gun common to our enemies in the Imperium of Man) is just as effective against these units as a S5AP-2 weapon (like a Snazzgun, a much less common Ork weapon). Both the Bolt Rifle and Snazzgun wound the Kroot on a 3+ and ignore its save, thus each weapon has 66% per-hit of damaging a Kroot. However, fired at an XV8, we find that the Bolt Rifle is woefully ineffective with just a 16% chance per-hit to damage, whereas the Snazzgun has a much better chance at 33% per-hit to damage an XV8. As such, we can see that while these weapons are equal against a weak target (due to overkill on the part of the Snazzgun), the Snazzgun is more powerful against stronger targets. As such, we can say it is "anti-elite."

Basically, anti-elite guns are too powerful against weak units, and too weak against tough vehicles, so they fall "in the middle" as guns dedicated to killing tough enemy infantry. Tau "anti-elite" guns are weapons like the Vespids' Neutron Blaster and battlesuit Plasma Rifle.

Impulse wrote:How do we feel about weird drones like Pulse Accel and Grav (or even Guardian and Marker for that matter)?

Simply put, we don't think too highly of them for the moment. Just taking one or two drones in a squad is just asking for them to get killed- Grav-Inhibitor drones are cool, but useless if the enemy kills them with pistols before they charge! These "utility drones" (the ones you mentioned, plus the Recon Drone and Commander Shadowsun's drones) have nice abilities, but are simply too flimsy to stay on the table for more than 1-2 turns.

The one exception to this rule is taking a Pathfinder team with 4-5 drones. All the drones form a unit, so you can make a fairly durable squad of 2 Shield Drones, 1 Pulse Accelerator Drone, and 1 Grav-Inhibitor Drone. It's a decent little group that, while not exactly tough, is much, much more durable than just a single Grav-Inhibitor Drone.

So, in short, never take Drones in groups of 3 or fewer. This means no Guardian Drones, no lonely Pathfinder drones, no Shadowsun drones. But, if you can field a big squad (like Marker Drones embedded in a larger Gun Drone squad) or 4 drones or more, I'd say that's viable.

The one exception is 2x Gun Drones on a (non-Coldstar) Commander or Stealthsuit team. These units can only take two drones maximum, and sometimes you'll want that extra durability depending on your list. Not amazing, but viable I'd say.

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Impulse
Shas'Saal
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Re: 500pt list help

Post#41 » Jul 18 2017 11:13

I guess I'm having trouble imaginging scenarios where the increased range or the lessend charge distance are relevant. Do they ever matter in-game?

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Yojimbob
Shas'Saal
Posts: 427

Re: 500pt list help

Post#42 » Jul 18 2017 11:58

Impulse wrote:I guess I'm having trouble imaginging scenarios where the increased range or the lessend charge distance are relevant. Do they ever matter in-game?


The increased range is useful in situations like where your maximum range of a pulse rifle is increased by a further 6" but it also increases your range on your ability to get a second shot at half distance (or 3 with a fireblade!) from 15" to 18". Yes it's only 3 inches but pairing that with a grav drone and you can get your extra shots off without opening yourself up too much to charges from units that have a swift 8" move. You even have a decent shot at keeping 12" movement stuff from charging with the grav drone and being AT 18" for your rapid fire shots. The problem is keeping the drones alive as a savvy player WILL shoot them first.

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Impulse
Shas'Saal
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Re: 500pt list help

Post#43 » Jul 18 2017 12:07

I totally hadn't considered adding 3in to Rapid Fire. That seems awesome.

I mostly play against my friend's Orks, and they charge me like crazy. Like I can't even believe the distance they cover.

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Yojimbob
Shas'Saal
Posts: 427

Re: 500pt list help

Post#44 » Jul 18 2017 01:13

Impulse wrote:I totally hadn't considered adding 3in to Rapid Fire. That seems awesome.

I mostly play against my friend's Orks, and they charge me like crazy. Like I can't even believe the distance they cover.


Orks gain their reroll to charge and the ability to charge after advancing from their warboss. Kill it if you can to slow them down. A helpful way to deal with armies that want to just crash into you; spread out. If you can split your army into two or three and force him to pick one side or the other. I like to ALSO deep strike in from behind because they usually clear off their side of the board except for some kannons and/or lootas. Drop in and unload forcing them to at least THINK about coming back to rescue some troops to spread them out.

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
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Re: 500pt list help

Post#45 » Jul 18 2017 07:42

Yojimbob wrote:
Impulse wrote:I totally hadn't considered adding 3in to Rapid Fire. That seems awesome.

I mostly play against my friend's Orks, and they charge me like crazy. Like I can't even believe the distance they cover.


Orks gain their reroll to charge and the ability to charge after advancing from their warboss. Kill it if you can to slow them down. A helpful way to deal with armies that want to just crash into you; spread out. If you can split your army into two or three and force him to pick one side or the other. I like to ALSO deep strike in from behind because they usually clear off their side of the board except for some kannons and/or lootas. Drop in and unload forcing them to at least THINK about coming back to rescue some troops to spread them out.


This is the exact advice you want to follow. Split up, screen your units with Gun Drones or Kroot, and deep strike behind your enemy. If you can charge into Lootas or other backfield units, you can deal damage, tie up shooting, and possible force the horde to split into three directions- two toward your split gunline/firebase, and one back toward the rear. If they choose to keep a mob of Ork Boyz in the back, capitalize on the inefficiency and do a forward alpha Manta-Strike. Remember, keeping enemy units irrelevant for as many turns as possible is really important.

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Impulse
Shas'Saal
Posts: 74

Re: 500pt list help

Post#46 » Jul 18 2017 07:51

Is there a benefit to being behind a unit/does model facing matter? What constitutes tying up a unit?

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SniperTau
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 187

Re: 500pt list help

Post#47 » Jul 18 2017 08:03

Tying up a unit is when you stop it from charging next turn. For example, if a character charges a blob of kroot, he will be unable to kill more than 4-5 himself, possibly less, meaning the rest of your army can retreat and deal with other things while that single melee character is tied up.
That is the basic concept. Keeping things like devastators or other shooty units in combat is another common application of this strategy.
Devilfish or other tough vehicles can also tie up big infantry units.

Tau'va

Sniper

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 2152

Re: 500pt list help

Post#48 » Jul 18 2017 08:31

Impulse wrote:Is there a benefit to being behind a unit/does model facing matter?


Unit facing is only relevant for vehicles- somewhat long vehicles (like Necron Ghost Arks or Ork Trukks) lose a little bit of move distance if they turn. There's a good explanation here:
https://www.miniwargaming.com/content/The-Movement-Phase-How-Play-Warhammer-40k-8th-Edition-Ep-2

Impulse wrote:What constitutes tying up a unit?


Here, SniperTau has the right idea. To us Tau, "tying up a unit" means two things:

1. To prevent a ranged unit from shooting at us. Usually, this means using a less-than-ideal combat unit (like an XV8) to charge for one turn, force the enemy to fall back (or stay in combat, we don't care as long as they're weak) and thus not be able to shoot.

2. To prevent a melee unit from charging at a certain target. By charging screening units (like Kroot or Gun Drones) at a dangerous enemy melee squad, that squad still gets into combat but doesn't necessarily get into combat with the squad it wants to be in combat with. We can use this tactic to, for example, sacrifice a squad of Kroot to keep some Fire Warriors from being charged for at least a turn.

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Impulse
Shas'Saal
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Re: 500pt list help

Post#49 » Jul 18 2017 09:06

But if my people are tying up a unit, doesn't that mean I can't shoot at it? I guess I don't understand how that's helpful with so many gun lines.

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SniperTau
Shas'La
Shas'La
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Re: 500pt list help

Post#50 » Jul 18 2017 09:27

It is helpful because if it is a shooty unit with powerful guns, such as a devastator squad, it can't shoot either. And then on your next turn, you disengage and obliterate them. Tau tanks have the fly keyword, so they can disengage.
This tactic makes that other unit essentially skip a turn except for combat.

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 2152

Re: 500pt list help

Post#51 » Jul 18 2017 10:00

SniperTau wrote:It is helpful because if it is a shooty unit with powerful guns, such as a devastator squad, it can't shoot either. And then on your next turn, you disengage and obliterate them. Tau tanks have the fly keyword, so they can disengage.
This tactic makes that other unit essentially skip a turn except for combat.


Exactly- you fall back in the movement phase, then shoot afterward. Here's an example: A squad of 10 Ork Lootas stands 10" away from a squad of XV8s. It's the Tau player's movement phase.

1. The XV8s move up so they're 2" away from the Lootas.
2. The XV8s shoot at the Lootas.
3. The XV8s charge the Lootas, tying them up in combat.
4. Now it's the Ork player's turn. All he can do is have the Lootas fall back; now they cannot act for the rest of the turn.
5. The Tau player's turn starts again. The XV8s took no fire from the Lootas, and can repeat the whole process again!

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Impulse
Shas'Saal
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Re: 500pt list help

Post#52 » Jul 18 2017 10:02

I should clarify - I'm confused about "sacrifice kroot to keep fire warriors" bit. Won't the fire warriors just stand around?

Edit: I know about fly+fallback=pew pew pew

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
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Re: 500pt list help

Post#53 » Jul 18 2017 10:12

Impulse wrote:I should clarify - I'm confused about "sacrifice kroot to keep fire warriors" bit. Won't the fire warriors just stand around?

Edit: I know about fly+fallback=pew pew pew


Ah, I see what you mean. Imagine this- an squad of Ork Boyz is standing in front of a squad of Kroot and a squad of Fire Warriors. In this case, the Ork player will want to charge the Fire Warriors, as they are a much more dangerous unit. If the Ork Boyz fail their charge or are otherwise out of range, the Tau player has two options:

Option A:
1. Shoot with both units.
2. Do not charge with the Kroot.
3. On the Ork player's turn, the Ork Boyz charge the Fire Warriors.

Option B:
1. Shoot with both units.
2. Charge the Ork Boyz with the Kroot.
3. The Ork Boyz are "tied up in combat" and cannot charge the Fire Warriors.
4. On the Tau player's next turn, the Kroot fall back.
5. The Fire Warriors shoot again.

Of course, Option B is the ideal choice in this situation!

We would consider the Kroot "sacrificed" in this case because they'll take a lot of damage in combat, and cannot shoot afterward as they'll have fallen back. We sacrifice weak models to give strong models more turns of shooting.

Oh, there's an Option C too...

Option B:
1. Shoot with both units.
2. Charge the Ork Boyz with the Kroot and the Fire Warriors.
3. Tau'va!
Last edited by Arka0415 on Jul 18 2017 10:20, edited 1 time in total.

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Impulse
Shas'Saal
Posts: 74

Re: 500pt list help

Post#54 » Jul 18 2017 10:19

Gotcha. I keep forgetting you can shoot AND charge. This game is hard.

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