1,000pts - Vior'la Fireblood Vanguard

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Alcohealix
Shas
Posts: 13

1,000pts - Vior'la Fireblood Vanguard

Post#1 » Oct 01 2017 08:52

Hi all,

For a few weeks now I've been slowly working on coming up with a 1k list to play to figure out what all I need. Some of the stuff here is limited by what I already have with needing to buy as little as possible (let's say <150$ to finish up). I wanted to build a very mobile army, something that can (hopefully) hit hard and re-position to hit again before the enemy can regroup and make a meaningful counterattack.

Also worth noting is that I do not play competitive at all and love to build fluff armies.

Spoiler!
++ Vior'la Fireblood Vanguard ++

Outrider Detachment +1CP (T'au Empire) [58 PL, 1000pts]

HQ - Cadre Fireblade [42pts]
Markerlight

TROOPS - Breacher Team [108pts]
DS8 Tactical Support Turret w/ Missile pod, 9x Fire Warrior, Fire Warrior Shas'ui, MV36 Guardian Drone

TROOPS - Breacher Team [108pts]
DS8 Tactical Support Turret w/ Missile pod, 9x Fire Warrior, Fire Warrior Shas'ui, MV36 Guardian Drone

ELITES - XV95 Ghostkeel Battlesuit [200pts]
2x Fusion blaster, Cyclic ion raker, 2x MV5 Stealth Drone, Stimulant injector, Target lock

FAST ATTACK - Pathfinder Team [104pts]
MB3 Recon Drone, 6x Pathfinder, Pathfinder Shas'ui, 3x Pathfinder w/ Ion Rifle

FAST ATTACK - Pathfinder Team [104pts]
MB3 Recon Drone, 6x Pathfinder, Pathfinder Shas'ui, 3x Pathfinder w/ Ion Rifle

FAST ATTACK - Tactical Drones [80pts]
10x MV1 Gun Drone

TRANSPORT - TY7 Devilfish [127pts]
2x MV1 Gun Drone, Burst cannon

TRANSPORT - TY7 Devilfish [127pts]
2x MV1 Gun Drone, Burst cannon

Total: [1000pts]


Fluff:
So the idea behind this army is that these are the troops that make initial contact with the enemy. These are the soldiers that get sent ahead of the expedition to soften up targets. As the vanguard for most expeditions this honor falls to one of the most aggressive Sept's: Vior'la. This battle hardened Cadre is designed to hit hard and fast.

Roles:
Breach teams - Loaded up in the devilfish transports, they head straight into the lines trying to draw as much attention as possible. Unloading from the transport, dropping support turrets and unloading everything they have.

Pathfinders - With vanguard trait they try to get a head start grabbing objects and enviable cover locations to try to control the map. Also marker lights.

Ghostkeel - Anti vehicle. Supporting the Breachers targeting heavier units they are unable to take down quickly. Honestly just wanted it in my list because they look awesome.

Cadre Fireblade - Cheapest HQ option.

Tactical Drones - Backup firepower.

--

Right now i feel the odd-men out are the Cadre Fireblade and Tactical Drones. Fireblade i took because hes the cheapest HQ option but i'm not sure how he fits into the army, aside of maybe sticking with the pathfinders for Volley Fire. Tactical drones fill the third fast attack slot requirement and they are all i have on hand to fill that role.

The only things i'm currently missing from this list to buy is the Ghostkeel, one devilfish and 10 breachers. Which puts me right about my budget for finishing off this list.

Any C&C is welcome on how i might tweak it while being able to stay on budget. Again i'm not going to competitive although i still want my army to be viable. Let me know what you guys think.

-Alcohealix

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 2155

Re: 1,000pts - Vior'la Fireblood Vanguard

Post#2 » Oct 02 2017 07:27

This is a solid start, and the fluff sounds good too! However, there are a few places where we can improve the efficiency.

First, the Support Turrets, Guardian Drones, Recon Drones, and Tactical Drones can go. Also, let's switch the Ghostkeel to a CIR build, as you can make use of that range advantage, and we can reduce the number of Pathfinders somewhat. Let's reduce this list to it's core and see how it looks:

Troops - 10x Breachers (80)
Troops - 10x Breachers (80)
Dedicated Transport - Devilfish w/ Burst Cannon; 2x Gun Drones (127)
Dedicated Transport - Devilfish w/ Burst Cannon; 2x Gun Drones (127)
Elites - Ghostkeel w/ Cyclic Ion Raker, 2x Burst Cannons, ATS, Targeting Lock; 2x Stealth Drones (181)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 3x Markerlights, 3x Ion Rifles (60)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 3x Markerlights, 3x Ion Rifles (60)

That's 715 points, just a little more to go. We desperately need anti-tank firepower though, so let's add a Commander for 176 points and use the remaining points to add a Stealthsuit squad with a Homing Beacon. Here's the final list:

-

HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
Troops - 10x Breachers (80)
Troops - 10x Breachers (80)
Dedicated Transport - Devilfish w/ Burst Cannon; 2x Gun Drones (127)
Dedicated Transport - Devilfish w/ Burst Cannon; 2x Gun Drones (127)
Elites - Ghostkeel w/ Cyclic Ion Raker, 2x Burst Cannons, ATS, Targeting Lock; 2x Stealth Drones (181)
Elites - 3x Stealthsuits w/ 3x Burst Cannons; Homing Beacon (110)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 3x Markerlights, 3x Ion Rifles (60)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 3x Markerlights, 3x Ion Rifles (60)

Total: 1001 - Command Points: 3 (1 Patrol Detachment)

-

What do you think?

Alcohealix
Shas
Posts: 13

Re: 1,000pts - Vior'la Fireblood Vanguard

Post#3 » Oct 03 2017 10:05

I like It! Now admittedly (and probably should have prefaced with this) the desire to run Outrider Detachment is to eventually combine with a Vanguard Detachment (or Spearhead depending on what looks more fun), which would hopefully fill the gaps of the Anti vehicle role.

So with that if you had to take a 3rd fast attack in a 1k points list what do you think the best option is? Again this is no where near competitive, just viable.

Also regarding recon/guardian/PA drones are they not useful, or simply a case of needing to trim down points?

Thanks for all the advice!

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Yojimbob
Shas'Saal
Posts: 427

Re: 1,000pts - Vior'la Fireblood Vanguard

Post#4 » Oct 03 2017 01:35

3rd fast attack is easy. Drones. They are superb at the moment in either gun drone or shield drone flavors. The general consensus is that the extra support drones tend to be a liability to some and in most cases they get targeted first since they are separate from the squad. For the pathfinder drones, you'd need to max out the drones with a recon drone, grav, PA, and two other drones, likely shield drones to add survivability. So is it worth having those drones for a handful of points? Possibly but in many cases they won't see anything past turn 1 against a savvy player.

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 2155

Re: 1,000pts - Vior'la Fireblood Vanguard

Post#5 » Oct 03 2017 08:20

Alcohealix wrote:Also regarding recon/guardian/PA drones are they not useful, or simply a case of needing to trim down points?

Yojimbob nailed it. Pathfinder drones are cheap and have powerful abilities... however, you need to spend 40+ points just to safeguard those abilities with extra wounds and armor. So, at the end of the day it's just better to buy more guns with those points.

Alcohealix wrote:So with that if you had to take a 3rd fast attack in a 1k points list what do you think the best option is? Again this is no where near competitive, just viable.

Drones! However, the points really aren't there to add them. We can't drop the Pathfinders (you need them for the Outrider detachment), nor can we drop the Commander (you need an HQ) or the Ghostkeel (it's your main threat). So, here's what I'm thinking:

-

HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
Troops - 6x Breachers (48)
Troops - 6x Breachers (48)
Troops - 6x Breachers (48)
Troops - 6x Breachers (48)
Dedicated Transport - Devilfish w/ Burst Cannon; 2x Gun Drones (127)
Dedicated Transport - Devilfish w/ Burst Cannon; 2x Gun Drones (127)
Elites - Ghostkeel w/ Cyclic Ion Raker, 2x Burst Cannons, ATS, Target Lock; 2x Stealth Drones (181)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 3x Markerlights, 3x Ion Rifles (60)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 3x Markerlights, 3x Ion Rifles (60)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)

Total: 1003 - Command Points: 4 (1 Outrider Detachment)

-

With this, we switch out the Stealthsuits for 10 Gun Drones in two groups (issues with Leadership in large groups), and we split the Breachers down from 2x10 to 4x6, so we can fit 12 Breachers per Devilfish instead of 10. Pick up a few single Breachers on eBay and you should be set there. Also, this list is easily-expanable to 1500 points, since with 4 Troops choices you have a ready-made Battalion once you add another HQ. What do you think?

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Panzer
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Posts: 3548

Re: 1,000pts - Vior'la Fireblood Vanguard

Post#6 » Oct 04 2017 12:25

Whenever you need more Fast Attack, definitely Drones. However if you don't want to spam Drones there are always Pathfinder as option as well. If you already have enough Markerlights just give them Ion or Rail Rifles for a bit more punch.

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Arka0415
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Posts: 2155

Re: 1,000pts - Vior'la Fireblood Vanguard

Post#7 » Oct 04 2017 02:22

Panzer wrote:Whenever you need more Fast Attack, definitely Drones. However if you don't want to spam Drones there are always Pathfinder as option as well. If you already have enough Markerlights just give them Ion or Rail Rifles for a bit more punch.

This is definitely true. Look at the list I just wrote though- there are Gun Drones in it, but they just feel... out of place. Not sure why.

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Panzer
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Posts: 3548

Re: 1,000pts - Vior'la Fireblood Vanguard

Post#8 » Oct 04 2017 03:12

Arka0415 wrote:
Panzer wrote:Whenever you need more Fast Attack, definitely Drones. However if you don't want to spam Drones there are always Pathfinder as option as well. If you already have enough Markerlights just give them Ion or Rail Rifles for a bit more punch.

This is definitely true. Look at the list I just wrote though- there are Gun Drones in it, but they just feel... out of place. Not sure why.

Probably because you are used to seeing lists that go all-in with the Gun Drone tactic by adding Drone Controller and Fireblades. Your list has neither. They are still good without DC and Fireblade support but considerably weaker. ;)

An option for that list would be to replace the Gun Drones with Shield Drones. One squad to rush towards the Ghost Keel to make him even harder to move and the other squad to rush to the Commander or sit on an unprotected objective on a flank or backfield once the Pathfinders are gone.

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 2155

Re: 1,000pts - Vior'la Fireblood Vanguard

Post#9 » Oct 04 2017 04:04

Panzer wrote:Probably because you are used to seeing lists that go all-in with the Gun Drone tactic by adding Drone Controller and Fireblades. Your list has neither. They are still good without DC and Fireblade support but considerably weaker. ;)

An option for that list would be to replace the Gun Drones with Shield Drones. One squad to rush towards the Ghost Keel to make him even harder to move and the other squad to rush to the Commander or sit on an unprotected objective on a flank or backfield once the Pathfinders are gone.

Ah, you're probably right about the Gun Drones. About the Shield Drones though, Tau as they are, taking squads that don't have any offensive firepower seems like misplaced points. I mean, if you're giving a Y'vahra a bunker to fall back to, or you're making an assault screen for a Stormsurge or Tau'nar, I understand, but Ghostkeels seem pretty durable as they are. Personally, I'd go with more firepower as every shot counts in 1000-point games. Have you had good experiences with Shield Drone squads in small games though?

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Panzer
Shas'Saal
Posts: 3548

Re: 1,000pts - Vior'la Fireblood Vanguard

Post#10 » Oct 04 2017 05:11

Arka0415 wrote:
Panzer wrote:Probably because you are used to seeing lists that go all-in with the Gun Drone tactic by adding Drone Controller and Fireblades. Your list has neither. They are still good without DC and Fireblade support but considerably weaker. ;)

An option for that list would be to replace the Gun Drones with Shield Drones. One squad to rush towards the Ghost Keel to make him even harder to move and the other squad to rush to the Commander or sit on an unprotected objective on a flank or backfield once the Pathfinders are gone.

Ah, you're probably right about the Gun Drones. About the Shield Drones though, Tau as they are, taking squads that don't have any offensive firepower seems like misplaced points. I mean, if you're giving a Y'vahra a bunker to fall back to, or you're making an assault screen for a Stormsurge or Tau'nar, I understand, but Ghostkeels seem pretty durable as they are. Personally, I'd go with more firepower as every shot counts in 1000-point games. Have you had good experiences with Shield Drone squads in small games though?


Maybe it's because I play against AdMech a lot (mostly Skitarii with Onager but a few Kastellans as well and Techpriests as well) but my Ghostkeel never survived turn 1 with more than half his wounds remaining without having additional Drones nearby.
I mentioned it in other threads already but I'm really underwhelmed by its performance so far but others say it's not so bad so I think it's mainly a problem I have. Nontheless a few Drones nearby improve the performance of a Ghostkeel by a lot.

I'm a huge fan of Shield Drone units. I tend to use them with my Flamer Crisis, HRR Broadside and/or the Ghostkeel and it's basically the one thing my opponents hate the most in my lists. :D 40-56 points that make the opponent feel like he's wasting his big guns on targets he'd really like to shoot at with. Only works if you are able to roll at least a few 5+++ though of course. ;)
However I usually play 1.5k games and often 2v2 so if I'm unlucky it's basically a 3k army worth of shooting I have to survive somehow. That's quite a different matchup than 1k vs 1k so you might be right with Gun Drones being better than Shield Drones here.

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Arka0415
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Posts: 2155

Re: 1,000pts - Vior'la Fireblood Vanguard

Post#11 » Oct 04 2017 07:03

Panzer wrote:I mentioned it in other threads already but I'm really underwhelmed by its performance so far but others say it's not so bad so I think it's mainly a problem I have. Nontheless a few Drones nearby improve the performance of a Ghostkeel by a lot.

Interesting- I think we've come to the same conclusion from different directions. I don't field nor own Ghostkeels, but several local players do. I don't think I've ever seen one die; then again, I don't think I've ever seen one kill anything either. People hear about the number of wounds and the stealth effects, and ignore them outright. At least what I've seen anyway. In the end though, the Ghostkeel still has little effect on the game.

Panzer wrote:I'm a huge fan of Shield Drone units. I tend to use them with my Flamer Crisis, HRR Broadside and/or the Ghostkeel and it's basically the one thing my opponents hate the most in my lists. :D 40-56 points that make the opponent feel like he's wasting his big guns on targets he'd really like to shoot at with.

Do people use Neutron Lasers and such against your Shield Drones, or do they shoot small arms at them first and hope to whittle the Drones away that way? I feel like it'd be easy to kill the Shield Drones with smaller guns first, but then again, maybe it isn't? T4/4++/5+++ isn't bad I guess.

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Panzer
Shas'Saal
Posts: 3548

Re: 1,000pts - Vior'la Fireblood Vanguard

Post#12 » Oct 04 2017 07:15

Arka0415 wrote: I don't think I've ever seen one die; then again, I don't think I've ever seen one kill anything either. People hear about the number of wounds and the stealth effects, and ignore them outright. At least what I've seen anyway. In the end though, the Ghostkeel still has little effect on the game.

Do people use Neutron Lasers and such against your Shield Drones, or do they shoot small arms at them first and hope to whittle the Drones away that way? I feel like it'd be easy to kill the Shield Drones with smaller guns first, but then again, maybe it isn't? T4/4++/5+++ isn't bad I guess.


Yeah exactly. The Ghostkeel rarely does anything. It's just there desperately trying to convince everyone of it being a big bad bully. And when the enemy actually shoots at him he goes down rather quickly without Drones to sacrifice nearby (really only needs one good Lascannon damage roll to make him even worse than he already is).

Since I usually play a lot Pathfinder and sometimes Breacher and/or Vespid as well they don't shoot as often at the Shield Drones with small arms as they should and the few times they do, they get discouraged by the T4 Sv4++/5+++. Or they just take the gamble and try to shoot at the actual target directly.
I also usually charge shooty units with them if they are near enough to stay in range with my Ghostkeel/Crisis. You won't believe how "happy" the AdMech player was to have his two melee Kastellans getting charged by 6 Shield Drones from the Crisis unit and killing only one of them in Overwatch. :D

Alcohealix
Shas
Posts: 13

Re: 1,000pts - Vior'la Fireblood Vanguard

Post#13 » Oct 05 2017 05:50

Thanks for all the tips guys!

Like i said mianly wanted a ghostkeel because...well they look so awesome. And the people i play with are not at all competitive so i don't want my list to be strong and just win every time, thats not fun.

Ill post an updated list when i have time but sounds like crises commander, 2 6man pathfinders with drones as 3rd slot and ghostkeel. Along with 2 breacher teams with transports.

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
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Re: 1,000pts - Vior'la Fireblood Vanguard

Post#14 » Oct 05 2017 06:52

Alcohealix wrote:And the people i play with are not at all competitive so i don't want my list to be strong and just win every time, thats not fun.

That's one thing you really don't need to worry about- unless you're spamming Commanders and Y'vahras, strong Tau lists will match up with decent lists from other factions in many cases. A few tweaks like going from 20 to 24 Breachers are great benefits, but they aren't going to make your list "overpowered".

Alcohealix wrote:Ill post an updated list when i have time but sounds like crises commander, 2 6man pathfinders with drones as 3rd slot and ghostkeel. Along with 2 breacher teams with transports.

Okay! Something like this then? Assuming you stick to 20 Breachers:

HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
Troops - 10x Breachers; 2x Gun Drones (96)
Troops - 10x Breachers; 2x Gun Drones (96)
Dedicated Transport - Devilfish w/ Burst Cannon; 2x Gun Drones (127)
Dedicated Transport - Devilfish w/ Burst Cannon; 2x Gun Drones (127)
Elites - Ghostkeel w/ Cyclic Ion Raker, 2x Burst Cannons, ATS, Target Lock; 2x Stealth Drones (181)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 3x Markerlights, 3x Ion Rifles (60)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 3x Markerlights, 3x Ion Rifles (60)
Fast Attack - 6x Gun Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Shield Drones (32)

Total: 1003 - Command Points: 4 (1 Outrider Detachment)

-

This is a little different, but it gives you a solid unit of 6 Drones, a smaller Shield Drone unit to help protect the Ghostkeel or Commander (whoever you can advance up to reach), and the Breachers get bonus Gun Drones to fill the extra slots in their transports and give them a little extra punch. You want to make sure that you claim First Blood (or make sure that it already has been claimed) when you get out of your transports, since those two-Drone teams will make easy targets for a player that wants First Blood. Mitigate that by claiming First Blood for yourself though and those Drones become bonus firepower with no real drawback.

What do you think?

Alcohealix
Shas
Posts: 13

Re: 1,000pts - Vior'la Fireblood Vanguard

Post#15 » Oct 06 2017 01:54

Hah looks like our lists are pretty close! Only real thing i took different was guardian drones for the Breachers, i thought it might make them a little more tank-y for a round. And more gun drones. I like the idea of some extra shield drones to plug holes where needed. What do you think of guardian drones, are they not worth it?

++ Outrider Detachment +1CP (T'au Empire) [1003pts] ++

+ HQ +
Commander [176pts]: 4x Fusion blaster, 2x MV4 Shield Drone

+ Troops +
Breacher Team [88pts]: 10x Fire Warrior, MV36 Guardian Drone
Breacher Team [88pts]: 10x Fire Warrior, MV36 Guardian Drone

+ Elites +
XV95 Ghostkeel Battlesuit [181pts]: 2x Burst cannon, ATS, Cyclic ion raker, 2x MV5 Stealth Drone, Target lock

+ Fast Attack +

Pathfinder Team [60pts]
. 3x Pathfinder: 3x Markerlight
. 3x Pathfinder w/ Ion Rifle: 3x Ion rifle

Pathfinder Team [60pts]
. 3x Pathfinder: 3x Markerlight
. 3x Pathfinder w/ Ion Rifle: 3x Ion rifle

Tactical Drones [96pts]: 12x MV1 Gun Drone

+ Dedicated Transport +

TY7 Devilfish [127pts]: 2x MV1 Gun Drone, Burst cannon

TY7 Devilfish [127pts]: 2x MV1 Gun Drone, Burst cannon

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Yojimbob
Shas'Saal
Posts: 427

Re: 1,000pts - Vior'la Fireblood Vanguard

Post#16 » Oct 06 2017 03:18

Guardian drones are basically worthless. I recommend just dropping them and making two tactical drone squads of 7. Really I also recommend not taking two breacher squads in fish in 1000 points but hey, your list.

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Panzer
Shas'Saal
Posts: 3548

Re: 1,000pts - Vior'la Fireblood Vanguard

Post#17 » Oct 06 2017 03:57

Unfortunately that's true. Most anti-infantry weapons have only AP-1 or AP0 even so they wouldn't need to use their invul save even if the Guardian Drone wouldn't die super quickly.
Plus T3 4+/5++ is not exactly hard to kill anyway. Consider them more of a suicide unit unless you are already dominating that part of the board.

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 2155

Re: 1,000pts - Vior'la Fireblood Vanguard

Post#18 » Oct 07 2017 02:43

Alcohealix wrote:Hah looks like our lists are pretty close! Only real thing i took different was guardian drones for the Breachers, i thought it might make them a little more tank-y for a round. And more gun drones. I like the idea of some extra shield drones to plug holes where needed. What do you think of guardian drones, are they not worth it?

Guardian Drones aren't worth it, and also, remember- units that have low LD and don't have Bonding Ritual should never be taken in large groups. Do what I did- throw Gun Drones into the Devilfish (free firepower that doesn't add more drops and doesn't risk First Blood!), and use more than one squad of Gun Drones. Here's your format with those updates:

-

++ Outrider Detachment +1CP (T'au Empire) [1003pts] ++

+ HQ +
Commander [176pts]: 4x Fusion blaster, 2x MV4 Shield Drone

+ Troops +
Breacher Team [96pts]: 10x Fire Warrior, 2x MV1 Gun Drone
Breacher Team [96pts]: 10x Fire Warrior, 2x MV1 Gun Drone

+ Elites +
XV95 Ghostkeel Battlesuit [181pts]: 2x Burst cannon, ATS, Cyclic ion raker, 2x MV5 Stealth Drone, Target lock

+ Fast Attack +

Pathfinder Team [60pts]
. 3x Pathfinder: 3x Markerlight
. 3x Pathfinder w/ Ion Rifle: 3x Ion rifle

Pathfinder Team [60pts]
. 3x Pathfinder: 3x Markerlight
. 3x Pathfinder w/ Ion Rifle: 3x Ion rifle

Tactical Drones [40pts]: 5x MV1 Gun Drone

Tactical Drones [40pts]: 5x MV1 Gun Drone

+ Dedicated Transport +

TY7 Devilfish [127pts]: 2x MV1 Gun Drone, Burst cannon

TY7 Devilfish [127pts]: 2x MV1 Gun Drone, Burst cannon

-

Look good?

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