Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

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gunrock
Shas
Posts: 60

Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#1 » Dec 26 2017 10:46

Greetings fellow tau players! I am writing to get feedback on my current list, but also hopefully also spark a discussion on the larger archetype of tau list it draws from, and preface a discussion on the static, versus dynamic, versus evasive tau play style.

Origins:
I started collecting units, with the intention of building an FSE style cadre, around a two retaliation cadres supported by a drone net, and ranged support auxiliary. Consequently, some of those units are no longer viable (RIP riptides, and broadsides), so I set about building something with a similar feel and style as that list in 8th edition while preserving the general underlying style (i.e. an offensive deep strike suit-based strategy, supported by markerlights, and drones). Efficiency is important to me, and I want to feel confident that I can rationalize each choice. Unfortunately, it breaks my heart, as each step I take towards trying to produce an efficient list takes me closer to essentially running a homogeneous list of commander spam…

Sources:
Most of the choices I’ve made are based on the analysis, lists, and from this forum. Namely, some of the core lists I’ve been drawing from are, Arka’s list (love your list, mine is very close), R’kai’s list (also love it, I have questions!), Paul Mckevley’s BAO list, and many others. That said, we’re all essentially grappling with the same units, so it makes sense that these examples would be similar. The one strongly differentiating factor seems to be the inclusion of the Y’Vahra, which weights the list towards a definitively aggressive play style and necessitates complimentary adjustments.

Before continuing, here’s the list:

Battalion/Outrider/Outrider (8 CP) (2001 pts.)

Battalion Detachment: (967pts.)
HQ:
1x Cadre Fireblade – Pulse rifle/Markerlight (42 pts)
1x Commander – 4x fusion blaster +2 marker drones (180 pts.)
Troops:
5x Strike Team – 5x pulse rifle +1 Markerlight (43 pts.)
5x Strike Team – 5x pulse rifle +1 Markerlight (43 pts.)
5x Strike Team – 5x pulse rifle +1 Markerlight (43 pts.)
Elites:
3x XV8 Crisis Battlesuits – 6x Cyclic ion blaster 3x ATS +5 gun drones +1 Marker Drone (308 pts.)
3x XV8 Crisis Battlesuits – 6x Cyclic ion blaster 3x ATS +5 gun drones +1 Marker Drone (308 pts.)

Outrider Detachment: (366 pts.)
HQ:
1x Commander – 4x fusion blaster +2 shield drones (180 pts.)
Fast Attack:
5x Pathfinder team – 5x pulse carbine/markerlight +1 recon drone +1 pulse accelerator drone +1 marker drone (70pts.)
5x Pathfinder team – 3x pulse carbine/markerlight 3x ion rifle (60 pts.)
5x Pathfinder team – 3x pulse carbine/markerlight 3x ion rifle (60 pts.)
Outrider Detachment: (668 pts.)
HQ:
1x Commander – 4x fusion blaster +2 shield drones (180 pts.)
Fast attack:
1x XV 109 Y’Vahra - +1 stimulant injector +1 Target lock (412 pts.)
5x Tactical drones – 10x pulse carbines (40 pts.)
5x Tactical drones – 5x shield generators (40 pts.)

Models available:
This list contains basically everything I have at the moment except for a few extra fire warriors, pathfinders. The only parts I need to run this list are the Y’vahra (wanted to get some feedback on that), enough CIB’s, and possibly a few drones. I’m open to adding more models if I can rationalize them being a consistent part of the force. The strongest candidates are: stealth suits, breachers, a devilfish, technical drones, and additional commanders. My reservation is that the codex may (will) change this….

Strategy:
Most of the people here can look at the list and basically tell how its support to play, but for the sake of being thorough here’s a break down:

My general strategy is to play as aggressively as possible (Tau Blitzkrieg!). To that end, initially attacking with enough force and following through is important, and thus maximizing first turn shooting. Ideally, I want to maximize manta strike shooting and do as much damage as possible, reducing the damage of retaliation, reinforce the strike with fast advancing units. If this fails, the contingency plan is to fall back on decentralized ‘skirmishing’ strategy, staying at 18’’ range, and relying on my static elements for harassment/support.

The three strike teams, fireblade, and first pathfinder team form the core static element of the army. Basically, they are there to provide command points, overwatch support too the flanks, cover the rear of the Y’Vahra first turn, redundant marker light support, extra wounds for fireblade (warlord), and to ensure I don’t lose first turn. The ion rifle pathfinders are there to cover the flanks against alpha strike units, skirmish with medium/fast moving targets, additional markerlight support, and advance when needed.

The core of the army is offensive elements: commanders to attack heavy armor, CIB XV8’s to mop up light/medium/heavy infantry, and the Y’Vahra to create a sense of existential dread. 2nd turn the XV8’s are there to support the commanders/advancing drones/Y’Vahra. The Manta strike strategy is somewhat flexible, but the general idea is to use the XV8s and commanders to attack in tandem particularly when dealing with transports. Alternatively, the commanders can attack armor and fall back on the XV8 for support. Next turn, the Y’vahra will ideally move up, providing additional drone support and continuing the momentum of the attack.

Unit choices:
Strike teams – The consensus seems to be that they’re still efficient/strong in numbers, and provide a firm foundation of S5 shooting. Aside from breachers (which don’t synergize with the fireblade, and require additional support) they seem to be the only viable choice to get a battalion. That said, they don’t directly synergize with suits, have low mobility (if you want rapid fire), and limited durability. The alternatives seems to be gun drones which could cover the back field against deep strikers, offer greater mobility, and support the Y’Vahra/commander/XV-8’s through Savior Protocols, or running some combination of drones and stealth teams.

Fireblade – Is the designated warlord. He’s cheap and synergizes with anything with pulse weapons, and has an excellent markerlight. My biggest reservations are that his efficiency is dependent on running enough pulse weapons (at least 18), and that his benefit is primary at <15’’ (or 18 with drone), which competes with an offensive suit-based strategy.

Pathfinders – Cheap marker lights, but also important is cheap S7/8 shooting that synergizes with said markerlights. The independence from fireblade, frees them up to spread out and cover the flanks. I always want to run rail rifles, but have yet to find a setup that I can justify to myself (perhaps 1 per squad as a last man?). Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Crisis Suits – I like the model, I have a bunch of them and I do think they have some advantages (getting drones into the back field to support commanders/Y’Vahra). Math-hammer analysis seems to suggest two things: they get better much better with marker lights (though still not as good as commander), and that the 2x CIB + ATS is very nearly as efficient as 3x CIB (and saves points closing the gap with commanders). The clearest substitution for running them seems to be running three additional CIB commanders and drone squads to work in tandem with QFB commanders.

Commander – Should be obvious what his merits are.

Y’Vahra – the debate on whether this unit is worth it seems to be ongoing… It looks awesome, is big, scary, fast, powerful, can take a fair number of wounds, has nice abilities (psudo-deep strike/invulnerable save, etc.), and costs a crushing amount of points.

Insufficient space: The things I would of most liked to add was breachers, stealth team(s), and a cold star commander and/or a CIB commander. The most direct substitution I see is dropping the strike teams and one pathfinder squad for two stealth teams with Beacon/DC, but the loss of command points is disconcerting.

Discussion questions:

Markerlights – Specifically, how many/where are really needed? How often do you encounter the problem of not being able to get marker lights from your infantry on targets in the opponent’s backfield? How effective is a single markerlight embedded in a crisis suit team? My general strategy has been to spread them out (20 in total) to reduce the likelihood of losing support after turn 1. I’m inclined to run them over shield drones with my commanders to maximize damage after manta strike, after which they can move around evasively/grab objectives, but they compete for space with shield drones (or a loss of firepower running a shield generator). The one markerlight re-roll seems to offer the greatest increase in efficiency, but the new stratagem makes getting five plausible, but this depends on having sufficient command points… I’d love some empirical experiences with how this setup might play out. interrelated to this question…

Drones – Generally, how many and what type should I be running in this list? Is it a waste running the recon+accelerator+marker drone setup? Thoughts on possible alternative drone setups alongside CIB crisis teams (ex. 6x shield drones, or 4x gun/2x marker)? I desperately wanted to squeeze a DC into the list somewhere, but math-hammer analysis seems to suggest that dropping an ATS for a DC is less efficient (after first turn), or swapping Stims for DC on a Y’Vahra is a bad call. Additionally, technical drones, are the worth it? Theoretically, to compensate for Nova charging, and re-patching XV-8’s and commanders turn 2 and 3.

Y’Vahra –It’s a lot of points., and needs drones to ensure it survives turn 1 (412 with upgrades at a virtual cost closer to 500 points). There’s a pretty distinct opportunity cost in the form of commanders/stealth teams (where I could get some nice synergy with a DC and add marker drones).

Some strategies proposed for supporting the Y’Vahra based on the dedicated thread (summarized by turtlesoup):
- 4-6 shields for tanking turn 1, and some method of getting additional drones downfield turn 2.
- deploying alongside a cold star for additional for addition movement from Mont’ka
- Coordinating the first move with deep-strikers to provide additional drones
- Technical drones to counteract nova-reactor wounds (maybe?)
- Less discussed, using escape thrust to protect it turn 1.

What are people’s thoughts on the optimal setup to running the Y’Vahra?

Conclusions:
This list is not particularly original, but tries to use most of the units that have been empirically proven to be good and maximize synergy. Consequently, I am interested in how this general archetype could be optimized. Most of the other lists mentioned in the opening run some combination of similar elements: a core static element of Striketeams/Pathfinder/Fireblade, a strongly weighted offensive element of Commanders/XV-8’s/and drones, and some evasive elements (stealth suits). My hope is that there is a viable diversified Tau build outside of pure commander spam. Though I find that list distasteful, it may speak to a progressive shift in the tau play style, namely, obsolesce of the static elements. My inclination is that perhaps the static elements of tau should be abandoned, and the focus shifted towards minimizing available targets, and manta striking offensive elements. Such a list might aim to maximize the synergy of drones, stealth suits, commanders, and XV-8. Any general critique/suggestions are appreciated. I’m open to changes.
All the rivers run into the sea, Yet the sea is not full; Unto the place whither the rivers go, Thither they go again.

Watcher on the wall
Shas'Saal
Posts: 132

Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#2 » Dec 27 2017 07:21

I like the list!
Most of my lists also tend to be a gunline with a significant number of deepstrike elements, and I've recently tended towards making it as attacking as possible. I have a few observations to make (but won't be able to answer the formidable list of talking-points you raise!)

A cadre fireblade, especially with the exemplar of Mont'ka trait, should be able to hang out with the battlesuits and buff the drones' firepower if the fire warriors die.

On the pathfinder drones: I used to think they were worth it, but in my last game I forgot to take them - and I didn't even realise their absence until Turn 4. My opinion? Gimmicky but not really that good.

My opinion is that the Y'vraha needs to be better protected turn 1. Switch the 5 gun drones floating about to shield drones, and possibly add some more shield drones. Even then, you'll be lucky to have it come out semi-intact of a dedicated alpha strike (in my last game, my Y'vraha with 8 shield drones protecting it was left on 2 wounds after the first turn.) Accompanying XV8s, shield drones are generally too much wasted firepower IMO, so I'd stick with gun drones. I'm not a huge fan of marker drones on battlesuits either but if you are taking them then rather 2 marker drones per unit than one I think - otherwise it's a real gamble as to whether you'll get a single hit.

I think that a static element (fire warriors and pathfinders) are still eminently viable choices in a normal list, but there's also not much harm in dropping them for more mobile elements. With those saved points, a stealth team (with DC) would net you that third elite choice (and a Vanguard detachment), and you could also round out with some more shield drones to protect the Y'vraha.

(This is what my next list looks like, and it turns the list into a quasi-null deploy one - the only viable target on the ground is the Y'vraha, which is surrounded by shield drones. I'm not sure it's better than a gunline, but there's no harm in trying, right?) A Coldstar might also work as a warlord (exemplar of Mont'ka again), and could also provide a hyper-mobile DC.

gunrock
Shas
Posts: 60

Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#3 » Dec 28 2017 03:51

Thanks for the the feedback!

Watcher on the wall wrote:I like the list!
Most of my lists also tend to be a gunline with a significant number of deepstrike elements, and I've recently tended towards making it as attacking as possible. I have a few observations to make (but won't be able to answer the formidable list of talking-points you raise!)

A cadre fireblade, especially with the exemplar of Mont'ka trait, should be able to hang out with the battlesuits and buff the drones' firepower if the fire warriors die.

DC.


That's good to know that he still has utility outside of strike teams. Mont'ka does seem to improve his mobility, my only worry would be by the time he gets to the XV8's (2nd turn or later) there's a good chance your drones are already dead...

Watcher on the wall wrote:On the pathfinder drones: I used to think they were worth it, but in my last game I forgot to take them - and I didn't even realize their absence until Turn 4. My opinion? Gimmicky but not really that good.


I have similar mixed feelings about them. I really like running them in small games, but they don't seem to scale all that well. The general wisdom of 'if you take them take them take all of them plus two drones' so the whole squad doesn't die seems to restrict their usage, being that if you run them offensively they end up being limited to the firepower of three gun drones. The recon drone is only 4 points more then a gun drone and ends up functioning much like a gun drone (but doesn't synergize with with the pulse accelerator drone, bummer).

The pulse accelerator drone is what most interest me in that combined with the 8'' move and 18'' pulse rifle on a drone you effectively have a 32'' effective range (unfortunately with the targeting restrictions). a lot of the discourse around them seems to be around using them in static gun line for volley fire/36'' range), but using them along side another drone squad might be a good mobile strategy. Anyone tried this approach?

Watcher on the wall wrote:My opinion is that the Y'vraha needs to be better protected turn 1. Switch the 5 gun drones floating about to shield drones, and possibly add some more shield drones. Even then, you'll be lucky to have it come out semi-intact of a dedicated alpha strike (in my last game, my Y'vraha with 8 shield drones protecting it was left on 2 wounds after the first turn.) Accompanying XV8s, shield drones are generally too much wasted firepower IMO, so I'd stick with gun drones. I'm not a huge fan of marker drones on battlesuits either but if you are taking them then rather 2 marker drones per unit than one I think - otherwise it's a real gamble as to whether you'll get a single hit.

I think that a static element (fire warriors and pathfinders) are still eminently viable choices in a normal list, but there's also not much harm in dropping them for more mobile elements. With those saved points, a stealth team (with DC) would net you that third elite choice (and a Vanguard detachment), and you could also round out with some more shield drones to protect the Y'vraha.

(This is what my next list looks like, and it turns the list into a quasi-null deploy one - the only viable target on the ground is the Y'vraha, which is surrounded by shield drones. I'm not sure it's better than a gunline, but there's no harm in trying, right?) A Coldstar might also work as a warlord (exemplar of Mont'ka again), and could also provide a hyper-mobile DC.


Thanks for the feedback, particularly on the Y'vahra and drones! Moving up or down to 0/2 markers on the XV8's seems like a good call depending on what else changes. My gut was telling me the same thing, that the Y'Vahra needs more protection, but I was hitting the points wall. Dropping the Strike teams/fireblade/pathfinders for more drones/coldstar/stealth teams was also very much in line with what I was thinking.

I am very interested in the null deploy Y'Vahra strategy your suggest! I think your getting at the logical extension of my concerns. I'd be very interested in your thoughts on that list if/when you get a chance to test it.

Outside of drones the static unit I'm most apprehensive to replace is Pathfinders, but in a null drop Y'Vahra list they will likely get completely shredded. Your list idea brought up a few a thoughts:

- I haven't looked at the math for this but my thought is that forcing the opponent to attack just the Y'Vahra is more efficient than basically any other 'tank' unit we have. I'm basing this off the idea that forcing them to attack a T7 model will produce less wounds then anything else, combined with the low cost of shield drones, and invalidating multi-damage weapons.

- You brought up surviving alpha strike being an issue. My thought is that there may be some way to turn this into an advantage. The efficiency of the Y'Vahra seems to be predicated on getting within range to use it's weapons and ideally, firing all of them every turn. Normally, to do that the Y'Vahra needs to move across the board, and risk losing drone support, but limiting the available targets for alpha strike to only the Y'Vahra necessitates getting into range.

- Again, really interested in that idea, and thanks for the feedback!
All the rivers run into the sea, Yet the sea is not full; Unto the place whither the rivers go, Thither they go again.

Watcher on the wall
Shas'Saal
Posts: 132

Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#4 » Dec 28 2017 10:24

gunrock wrote: I have similar mixed feelings about them. I really like running them in small games, but they don't seem to scale all that well. The general wisdom of 'if you take them take them take all of them plus two drones' so the whole squad doesn't die seems to restrict their usage, being that if you run them offensively they end up being limited to the firepower of three gun drones. The recon drone is only 4 points more then a gun drone and ends up functioning much like a gun drone (but doesn't synergize with with the pulse accelerator drone, bummer).

The pulse accelerator drone is what most interest me in that combined with the 8'' move and 18'' pulse rifle on a drone you effectively have a 32'' effective range (unfortunately with the targeting restrictions). a lot of the discourse around them seems to be around using them in static gun line for volley fire/36'' range), but using them along side another drone squad might be a good mobile strategy. Anyone tried this approach?

I have to say, I'd never thought of using the pathfinder drones as a support to squads of gun drones, but it's a promising idea. They could also work well as another unit to shield the Y'vraha: 2 shield drones and the recon drone (which has 2 wounds and so can tank two shots) gives you another decent bit of protection for really not that much more.
(Last minute change: boosting gun drones' range works, but will you really need it? You're not running gun drones on foot, and you'll be deep striking within 18" anyway for the CIB. It is a clever tactic which I don't think anyone has thought of, but I doubt it's applicable to this list.)

gunrock wrote: Dropping the Strike teams/fireblade/pathfinders for more drones/coldstar/stealth teams was also very much in line with what I was thinking.

I think it would push your list more towards a completely aggressive style of play, which could be what you're looking for. It gives you points to get some of the support units you are otherwise probably lacking for your battlesuits (homing beacon, drone controller, more drones), but you do lose (as you said) a good anchor for the list. Overall I think this is probably down to how you want the army to play and not really to mathhammer considerations.

gunrock wrote:Outside of drones the static unit I'm most apprehensive to replace is Pathfinders, but in a null drop Y'Vahra list they will likely get completely shredded. Your list idea brought up a few a thoughts:

- I haven't looked at the math for this but my thought is that forcing the opponent to attack just the Y'Vahra is more efficient than basically any other 'tank' unit we have. I'm basing this off the idea that forcing them to attack a T7 model will produce less wounds then anything else, combined with the low cost of shield drones, and invalidating multi-damage weapons.

- You brought up surviving alpha strike being an issue. My thought is that there may be some way to turn this into an advantage. The efficiency of the Y'Vahra seems to be predicated on getting within range to use it's weapons and ideally, firing all of them every turn. Normally, to do that the Y'Vahra needs to move across the board, and risk losing drone support, but limiting the available targets for alpha strike to only the Y'Vahra necessitates getting into range.

A 'null deploy' list would indeed make pathfinders very vulnerable turn 1. This would most likely mean a few things:
1. 2 marker drones (or more) per XV8 squad
2. Firesight marksmen? They're not as efficient as pathfinders(by a long way), but they can't be targeted and are OK for getting a hit or two.

The Y'vraha is one of the tougher units we have (although not for its points) and could tank quite well, but even better would not be needing a tank - not having a big target to shoot at means that all the multi-damage weapons are wasted (what if the enemy strips away the shield drones first?).

And the Y'vraha as bait is dependent on who you're facing. Forcing deep strikers to come down near the Y'vraha is undoubtedly a good idea, but (this is me being unclear) sources of long range fire power like a pair of Eldar Fire Prisms are very capable of doing horrendous damage from a very confortable distance. However, showing your enemy the potential of the Y'vraha before the game could result in him unwisely committing reserves to try and eliminate it - and play right into your hands.

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 2802

Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#5 » Dec 28 2017 08:59

This looks like a strong list, and thanks for the shout-out! By and large, I think you're doing everything right- Commanders, Gun Drones, the Y'vahra, Pathfinders, etc. Really, I only have a few suggestions.

First, I'd give the Y'vahra an ATS- it may seem like overkill but the Y'vahra relies on massive AP, rather than Strength, to get the damage dealt. Also, if you want to run a Pathfinder drone support blob, I'd add Shield Drones for the extra survivabilty. Here's the list with a few tweaks:

-

HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 5x Gun Drones, 1x Marker Drone (308)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 5x Gun Drones, 1x Marker Drone (308)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights; Recon Drone, PA Drone, 2x Shield Drones (84)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 3x Markerlights, 3x Ion Rifles (60)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 3x Markerlights, 3x Ion Rifles (60)
Fast Attack - 2x Shield Drones, 2x Marker Drones (36)
Fast Attack - 2x Shield Drones, 2x Marker Drones (36)
Fast Attack - Y'vahra w/ Ionic Discharge Cannon, Phased Ion Flamer, ATS, Stimulant Injector (408)

Total: 1999 - Command Points: 8 (1 Battalion Detachment, 2 Outrider Detachments)

-

What do you think?

gunrock
Shas
Posts: 60

Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#6 » Dec 29 2017 12:41

Arka0415 wrote:This looks like a strong list, and thanks for the shout-out! By and large, I think you're doing everything right- Commanders, Gun Drones, the Y'vahra, Pathfinders, etc. Really, I only have a few suggestions.

First, I'd give the Y'vahra an ATS- it may seem like overkill but the Y'vahra relies on massive AP, rather than Strength, to get the damage dealt. Also, if you want to run a Pathfinder drone support blob, I'd add Shield Drones for the extra survivabilty. Here's the list with a few tweaks:

-

HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 5x Gun Drones, 1x Marker Drone (308)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 5x Gun Drones, 1x Marker Drone (308)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights; Recon Drone, PA Drone, 2x Shield Drones (84)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 3x Markerlights, 3x Ion Rifles (60)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 3x Markerlights, 3x Ion Rifles (60)
Fast Attack - 2x Shield Drones, 2x Marker Drones (36)
Fast Attack - 2x Shield Drones, 2x Marker Drones (36)
Fast Attack - Y'vahra w/ Ionic Discharge Cannon, Phased Ion Flamer, ATS, Stimulant Injector (408)

Total: 1999 - Command Points: 8 (1 Battalion Detachment, 2 Outrider Detachments)


What do you think?


Thanks Arka for the suggestions! Very much appreciate a veteran opinion.
I see your reasoning on the Y'Vahra, especially given that that flamer does not benefit much from target lock, and point for point seems to be the higher damage weapon, but ATS vs Target lock is a hard call. Generally, I really like ATS so I'll take your advice.

Shield drones in the pathfinder support blob seems like the right call especially given the lack of DC in that group to make the markerdrones worth it. It also makes me less apprehensive if I ever want to run rail rifles in my central blob. That said, it's the thing I'm constantly inclined to drop to fit other things elsewhere.

I like the idea of mixed drone squads and recall a similar point being brought up in the optimized tau list thread, and some of the other Y'Vahra-oriented list threads. The persistent issue seems to be finding space for a DC to make running marker drones viable. The other issue brought up by Watcher on the wall is that 5 shield drones is not quite enough to protect the Y'Vahra from first turn shooting, and the 1 off markers in the XV-8 teams being wasted. I would hate to loose mobility on a 400 point unit that could have been avoided by a few extra shield drones.

Here's the revised list based on feedback:

HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 5x Gun Drones, 1x Marker Drone (308)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 5x Gun Drones, 1x Marker Drone (308)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights; Recon Drone, PA Drone, 2x Shield Drones (84)
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 Shield Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 4x Shield Drones (36)
Fast Attack - Y'vahra w/ Ionic Discharge Cannon, Phased Ion Flamer, ATS, Stimulant Injector (408)

Total: 1999 - Command Points: 8 (1 Battalion Detachment, 2 Outrider Detachments)

Changes:
- Y'Vahra - Target lock switched to ATS (Arka)
- Pathfinder - drones switched to 2x shield + Recon + PA drone (Arka)
- 4x gun drones switched to 4x shield drones (watcher)

Compared to the starting list the central infantry blob should be a little more durable and the drones can transition to extra wounds for the Y'Vahra if needed. The switch from gun drones to shield should better protect the Y'Vahra from long range fire, but looses some S5 overwatch gun drone shooting and volley fire synergy against alpha strike.

The exact number of marker lights needed and their distribution is still a little bit up in the air. In the Xv-8 squads I think the one off is equivalent to running a 2 markers 4 gun in one squad. I'm tempted to just go 6 gun, but the 1 marker might be helpful in situations where there's LOS issues or if the squad strikes deep.

as it stands the marker light distribution is as follows:
1x at BS 2 = .83 hits
9x at BS 4 = 4.5 hits
2x at BS 5 = .66 hits
which works out to about 6 hits, which feels just bit low to be reliable if one assumes that the distribution is going to normalize around that and drop off after turn 1 (anyone remember how to do Variance/Standard deviation?). with the 18 ion weapons in the list the marker lights become more critical.The extra marker drones in Arka's revision are tempting, maybe just as a 1 off last man in the squad, but there's also the issue that they can't advance and shoot to try to keep pace if the Y'Vahra needs to advance...

Resisting the urge to Drop fusions for ATS just to save points.
Hmmm...

P.S. fingers crossed for a points reduction on the XV-8 when the codex drops, an extra 100 points to cram a stealth team with a DC and markers would really help to round out this list...
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Arka0415
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Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#7 » Dec 29 2017 01:56

gunrock wrote:Thanks Arka for the suggestions! Very much appreciate a veteran opinion.
I see your reasoning on the Y'Vahra, especially given that that flamer does not benefit much from target lock, and point for point seems to be the higher damage weapon, but ATS vs Target lock is a hard call. Generally, I really like ATS so I'll take your advice.

Actually, ATS tends to be the go-to piece of wargear, and the question is between the Target Lock and Stimulant Injector. In your list you have plenty of Markerlights, so I see no problem dropping the Target Lock, but you should always consider ATS as a "must-take" system on the Y'vahra, I think.

gunrock wrote:Shield drones in the pathfinder support blob seems like the right call especially given the lack of DC in that group to make the markerdrones worth it. It also makes me less apprehensive if I ever want to run rail rifles in my central blob. That said, it's the thing I'm constantly inclined to drop to fit other things elsewhere.

Now that you mention it, what benefits are being provided by the Pathfinders' drone unit? It might not be worth it.

gunrock wrote:I like the idea of mixed drone squads and recall a similar point being brought up in the optimized tau list thread, and some of the other Y'Vahra-oriented list threads.

The idea is that the units (maybe 3x Shield + 1x Marker?) have some semblance of usefulness if they're not all destroyed on turn 1. If you're worried about alpha strikes though, then every shield drone is worth it.

gunrock wrote:The persistent issue seems to be finding space for a DC to make running marker drones viable. The other issue brought up by Watcher on the wall is that 5 shield drones is not quite enough to protect the Y'Vahra from first turn shooting, and the 1 off markers in the XV-8 teams being wasted. I would hate to loose mobility on a 400 point unit that could have been avoided by a few extra shield drones.

You're right- and this list doesn't have enough drones to make a dedicated DC unit viable. Maybe drop the Marker Drones altogether?

gunrock wrote:as it stands the marker light distribution is as follows:
1x at BS 2 = .83 hits
9x at BS 4 = 4.5 hits
2x at BS 5 = .66 hits
which works out to about 6 hits, which feels just bit low to be reliable if one assumes that the distribution is going to normalize around that and drop off after turn 1 (anyone remember how to do Variance/Standard deviation?). with the 18 ion weapons in the list the marker lights become more critical.The extra marker drones in Arka's revision are tempting, maybe just as a 1 off last man in the squad, but there's also the issue that they can't advance and shoot to try to keep pace if the Y'Vahra needs to advance...

You have more Markerlghts than that- one at BS2+, 15 at BS4+, and 2 at BS5+. That's a huge number already, and you could probably dump the Marker Drones from the XV8 units if you needed to.

gunrock wrote:Resisting the urge to Drop fusions for ATS just to save points.

If you want to drop Fusion Blasters that's okay, but switch to Shield Generators if you do that, not to ATS. ATS helps in only the rarest of cases.

gunrock wrote:HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 5x Gun Drones, 1x Marker Drone (308)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 5x Gun Drones, 1x Marker Drone (308)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights; Recon Drone, PA Drone, 2x Shield Drones (84)
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 Shield Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 4x Shield Drones (36)
Fast Attack - Y'vahra w/ Ionic Discharge Cannon, Phased Ion Flamer, ATS, Stimulant Injector (408)

Total: 1999 - Command Points: 8 (1 Battalion Detachment, 2 Outrider Detachments)

At the end of the day, is the Pathfinder drone unit actually useful? You get to ignore cover on the Ion Rifles and add 6" of range on 13 Pulse Rifles for 36 points. It doesn't really seem worth it to me now that you mention it. Also, 9 Shield Drones seems like too many (it would take 27 Heavy Bolters to get rid of them!) so maybe it would be better to go to 2x4 Shield Drones, drop the Pathfinder drones, and spend 44 points on something else?

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Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#8 » Dec 29 2017 02:48

Arka0415 wrote:At the end of the day, is the Pathfinder drone unit actually useful? You get to ignore cover on the Ion Rifles and add 6" of range on 13 Pulse Rifles for 36 points. It doesn't really seem worth it to me now that you mention it. Also, 9 Shield Drones seems like too many (it would take 27 Heavy Bolters to get rid of them!) so maybe it would be better to go to 2x4 Shield Drones, drop the Pathfinder drones, and spend 44 points on something else?


Hmmm, good call on my miscount of marker lights. You're right about the recon drone squad which is detracting from filling out the drone squads, so lets drop it and use the points to round out everything else.

Here's another revision:

HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drones (308)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 2x ATS, 1x DC; 6x Gun Drones (308)
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 Pathfinders w/ 3x Markerlights, 3x Ion Rifles (60)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (36)
Fast Attack - 8x Shield Drones (36)
Fast Attack - Y'vahra w/ Ionic Discharge Cannon, Phased Ion Flamer, ATS, Stimulant Injector (408)

Total: 1995 - Command Points: 8 (1 Battalion Detachment, 2 Outrider Detachments)

Changes:
- Dropped the PF drone team
- Switched 3x marker light for 3x ion Rifle
- Dropped 1x marker drone for +1 gun drone on XV-8 teams and 1 ATS for a DC on one team

I just kinda crammed the DC into one of the Crisis teams, donno if I really want to do this, but my thought is that if the two teams land close I can space it so all 12 gun drones get the benefit. Alternatively, if I get alpha striked, that team can link up with the 5x gun drone squad and clean house. This puts me at 13 Markerlights.

What do you think?
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Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#9 » Dec 29 2017 04:48

gunrock wrote:Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drones (308)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 2x ATS, 1x DC; 6x Gun Drones (308)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (36)
Fast Attack - 8x Shield Drones (36)

These points are all slighty off, but the good news is that your list actually comes up to exactly 2000, which is a welcome surprise.

I also don't really see why the shield drones should all be in one big squad of 8 - splitting them up into 2 squads of 4 would reduce any potential morale losses.

If you could find another 20 points, you could change the loadouts on the XV8s with DC to 8xCIB, 1xDC, so that all the weapons have the same profile - this loadout is about as good as the 2x CIB, ATS one, but if you can extend the buff to the 12 gun drones, it becomes considerably better.

I think that excepting a major reworking of the list (dropping the infantry and adding a coldstar and a stealth squad) this is pretty much there - good luck!

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Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#10 » Dec 29 2017 04:58

I actually liked the single Markerlight-only Pathfinder squad. Personally I use a similar 18-Pathfinder setup, but I have two Markerlight-only squads. These squads are great for using Uplinked Markerlight, and I use two for redundancy. If you use three squads with Ion Rifles that's okay, but it means you have no Markerlight-only units.

Here's the issue I'm seeing- on your turn, which squad fires first? Your goal is to have units like the XV8s and Ion Rifle Pathfinders fire at a priority target (a monster or squad of elite infantry), but you have no way to mark up that target without also firing other weapons. In an ideal situation, you'd like to lead with a Markerlight-only squad first, then follow up with Ion Rifle Pathfinder squads split-firing their Ion Rifles at the marked target and their Markerlights at new targets. This is why I feel that Markerlight-only squads are so critical.

gunrock wrote:I just kinda crammed the DC into one of the Crisis teams, donno if I really want to do this, but my thought is that if the two teams land close I can space it so all 12 gun drones get the benefit. Alternatively, if I get alpha striked, that team can link up with the 5x gun drone squad and clean house. This puts me at 13 Markerlights.

The Drone Controller can be viable, but you might find that the benefit (+4 S5 hits from an undamaged Drone unit) is less useful than the opportunity cost (-1 AP on two CIBs). A Stealthsuit unit may actually be quite useful in this list, and it wouldn't be too hard to fit in. What would you think about this revision? Here are two options:

-

Budget Commander List:

HQ - Commander w/ 3x Fusion Blasters, Multi-Tracker, 2x Shield Drones (157)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Fusion Blasters, Multi-Tracker, 2x Shield Drones (157)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Fusion Blasters, Multi-Tracker, 2x Shield Drones (157)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drones (306)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drones (306)
Elites - 3x Stealthsuits w/ 3x Burst Cannons, Drone Controller, Homing Beacon (115)
Fast Attack - 5x Pathfinders w/ 5x Markerlights (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Pathfinders w/ 2x Markerlights, 3x Ion Rifles (52)
Fast Attack - 5x Pathfinders w/ 2x Markerlights, 3x Ion Rifles (52)
Fast Attack - 5x Shield Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Shield Drones (40)
Fast Attack - Y'vahra w/ Ionic Discharge Cannon, Phased Ion Flamer, ATS, Stimulant Injector (408)

Total: 2001 - Command Points: 8 (1 Battalion Detachment, 2 Outrider Detachments)

-

Budget Pathfinder List:

HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drones (306)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drones (306)
Elites - 3x Stealthsuits w/ 3x Burst Cannons, Drone Controller, Homing Beacon (115)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 3x Markerlights, 3x Ion Rifles (60)
Fast Attack - 4x Shield Drones (32)
Fast Attack - 4x Shield Drones (32)
Fast Attack - Y'vahra w/ Ionic Discharge Cannon, Phased Ion Flamer, ATS, Stimulant Injector (408)

Total: 2000 - Command Points: 8 (1 Battalion Detachment, 1 Vanguard Detachment, 1 Outrider Detachment)

-

Either of those look interesting? What do you think?

Note: There's one thing weighing on me about these lists though, which is that more than 75% is anti-tank/anti-monster. You may want to switch one of the XV8 squads to an all-Flamer loadout to deal with a horde opponent. Here's that list for you- it has much more room to "breathe" so to speak:

-

Flamer XV8 List:

HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drones (306)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 9x Flamers; 6x Gun Drones (255)
Elites - 3x Stealthsuits w/ 3x Burst Cannons, Drone Controller, Homing Beacon (115)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 3x Markerlights, 3x Ion Rifles (60)
Fast Attack - 4x Shield Drones (32)
Fast Attack - 4x Shield Drones (32)
Fast Attack - Y'vahra w/ Ionic Discharge Cannon, Phased Ion Flamer, ATS, Stimulant Injector (408)

Total: 1997 - Command Points: 8 (1 Battalion Detachment, 1 Vanguard Detachment, 1 Outrider Detachment)

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Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#11 » Dec 29 2017 08:31

Watcher on the wall wrote:These points are all slighty off, but the good news is that your list actually comes up to exactly 2000, which is a welcome surprise.


Good catch! I have it correct in battlescribe, will check my work a bit more carefully.

Watcher on the wall wrote:I also don't really see why the shield drones should all be in one big squad of 8 - splitting them up into 2 squads of 4 would reduce any potential morale losses.


Squad splitting is an easy fix, with no shortage of fast attack slots, will fix that for sure.

Watcher on the wall wrote:If you could find another 20 points, you could change the loadouts on the XV8s with DC to 8xCIB, 1xDC, so that all the weapons have the same profile - this loadout is about as good as the 2x CIB, ATS one, but if you can extend the buff to the 12 gun drones, it becomes considerably better.


The inconsistent profiles irks me just a bit too if I can avoid it. There are definitely some free points from the removal of the Pathfinder drones. My hesitation with switching to full CIB is that from a points per wound perspective the 2x cib/ATS setup compared to the 3x CIB is painfully close. I'm not sure what I'm really getting for the extra points (more shots but basically the same wound rate?).

Watcher on the wall wrote:I think that excepting a major reworking of the list (dropping the infantry and adding a coldstar and a stealth squad) this is pretty much there - good luck!


Thanks! It feels really close to about as good as its gonna get. I'm interested in that other list too but this one contains basically what I have to play with at the moment, except the Y'Vahra (looking forward to my birthday in Febuary!). This process has quelled my some of my hesitation, with all the interesting things I could do with a Y'Vahra.

Arka0415 wrote:I actually liked the single Markerlight-only Pathfinder squad. Personally I use a similar 18-Pathfinder setup, but I have two Markerlight-only squads. These squads are great for using Uplinked Markerlight, and I use two for redundancy. If you use three squads with Ion Rifles that's okay, but it means you have no Markerlight-only units.

Here's the issue I'm seeing- on your turn, which squad fires first? Your goal is to have units like the XV8s and Ion Rifle Pathfinders fire at a priority target (a monster or squad of elite infantry), but you have no way to mark up that target without also firing other weapons. In an ideal situation, you'd like to lead with a Markerlight-only squad first, then follow up with Ion Rifle Pathfinder squads split-firing their Ion Rifles at the marked target and their Markerlights at new targets. This is why I feel that Markerlight-only squads are so critical(...)

The Drone Controller can be viable, but you might find that the benefit (+4 S5 hits from an undamaged Drone unit) is less useful than the opportunity cost (-1 AP on two CIBs). A Stealthsuit unit may actually be quite useful in this list, and it wouldn't be too hard to fit in. What would you think about this revision? Here are two options:

Budget Commander List:

HQ - Commander w/ 3x Fusion Blasters, Multi-Tracker, 2x Shield Drones (157)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Fusion Blasters, Multi-Tracker, 2x Shield Drones (157)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Fusion Blasters, Multi-Tracker, 2x Shield Drones (157)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drones (306)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drones (306)
Elites - 3x Stealthsuits w/ 3x Burst Cannons, Drone Controller, Homing Beacon (115)
Fast Attack - 5x Pathfinders w/ 5x Markerlights (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Pathfinders w/ 2x Markerlights, 3x Ion Rifles (52)
Fast Attack - 5x Pathfinders w/ 2x Markerlights, 3x Ion Rifles (52)
Fast Attack - 5x Shield Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Shield Drones (40)
Fast Attack - Y'vahra w/ Ionic Discharge Cannon, Phased Ion Flamer, ATS, Stimulant Injector (408)

Total: 2001 - Command Points: 8 (1 Battalion Detachment, 2 Outrider Detachments)

-

Budget Pathfinder List:

HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drones (306)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drones (306)
Elites - 3x Stealthsuits w/ 3x Burst Cannons, Drone Controller, Homing Beacon (115)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 3x Markerlights, 3x Ion Rifles (60)
Fast Attack - 4x Shield Drones (32)
Fast Attack - 4x Shield Drones (32)
Fast Attack - Y'vahra w/ Ionic Discharge Cannon, Phased Ion Flamer, ATS, Stimulant Injector (408)

Total: 2000 - Command Points: 8 (1 Battalion Detachment, 1 Vanguard Detachment, 1 Outrider Detachment)

-

Either of those look interesting? What do you think?

Note: There's one thing weighing on me about these lists though, which is that more than 75% is anti-tank/anti-monster. You may want to switch one of the XV8 squads to an all-Flamer loadout to deal with a horde opponent. Here's that list for you- it has much more room to "breathe" so to speak:

-

Flamer XV8 List:

HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drones (306)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 9x Flamers; 6x Gun Drones (255)
Elites - 3x Stealthsuits w/ 3x Burst Cannons, Drone Controller, Homing Beacon (115)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 3x Markerlights, 3x Ion Rifles (60)
Fast Attack - 4x Shield Drones (32)
Fast Attack - 4x Shield Drones (32)
Fast Attack - Y'vahra w/ Ionic Discharge Cannon, Phased Ion Flamer, ATS, Stimulant Injector (408)

Total: 1997 - Command Points: 8 (1 Battalion Detachment, 1 Vanguard Detachment, 1 Outrider Detachment)


Wow! I'm amazed you found a way to cram the Stealth team in there! I quite like ion rifles (whats not to like), but I see your point on firing order.

The multi-tracker worries me only in that the conventional wisdom seems to be 'never take the multitracker.' My worry with running anything less then the 4x fusion load out is that even on really hard targets four fusion blaster is just enough damage. I also tend to view these things in compounding terms, in that every bit of damage that I can front-load takes pressure off my my heavy units (Y'Vahra) in subsequent turns with the hope that I can strip away all my opponents answers.

The second list looks closest to a realistic way to fit a stealth team and allows for that nice stealth team/XV-8/Commander synergy.

I understand the advantages of running the flamer loadout on XV-8's, but my worry is the a pretty steep drop off in efficiency. Taking it I'm sure I'll hit some games where it's absolutely amazing, and some where it's completely wasted. CIB always appeals to me in that it will never be wasted, it's alright against swarms, heavy armor, and KILLS medium targets.

Deep down I know that the easier way to go if I absolutely must fit a stealth team is to drop a crisis team for a 4x CIB commander who has almost the same efficiency and use the saved points for more drones/stealth team.

This sort of brings be back to a circle of the point you raised, which is 'how much am I actually benefiting from drone controller in general?' and could I be doing something more constructive just by adding a more drones.

Your other point is very relevant, whatever the approach, I should find some way to bolster this list against swarm armies.

[update: laying in bed starring at at battlescribe, totally at an en passe, all of these lists look good in some way or another, just slightly different. Maybe just double down on shield drones and buy an extra turn of plasma face melting]
Last edited by gunrock on Dec 29 2017 09:15, edited 1 time in total.
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Arka0415
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Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#12 » Dec 29 2017 08:49

gunrock wrote:
Watcher on the wall wrote:If you could find another 20 points, you could change the loadouts on the XV8s with DC to 8xCIB, 1xDC, so that all the weapons have the same profile - this loadout is about as good as the 2x CIB, ATS one, but if you can extend the buff to the 12 gun drones, it becomes considerably better.


The inconsistent profiles irks me just a bit too if I can avoid it. There are definitely some free points from the removal of the Pathfinder drones. My hesitation with switching to full CIB is that from a points per wound perspective the 2x cib/ATS setup compared to the 3x CIB is painfully close. I'm not sure what I'm really getting for the extra points (more shots but basically the same wound rate?).

Personally I prefer the 2xCIB+ATS build, as it offers near-similar firepower and some nice points savings. The 3xCIB loadout is stronger against hordes though, and could be the key to diversifying your list to take on both swarms of units and tougher vehicles.

gunrock wrote:The multi-tracker worries me only in that the conventional wisdom seems to be 'never take the multitracker.' My worry with running anything less then the 4x fusion load out is that even on really hard targets four fusion blaster is just enough damage. I also tend to view these things in compounding terms, in that every bit of damage that I can front-load takes pressure off my my heavy units (Y'Vahra) in subsequent turns with the hope that I can strip away all my opponents answers.

You're absolutely right about the Fusion Blasters- it's rarely a good idea to take a Multi-Tracker. However you mentioned the fact that you were open to 3x Fusion Blasters + ATS, so I figured you were thinking about budget Commander loadouts.

gunrock wrote:The second list looks closest to a realistic way to fit a stealth team and allows for that nice stealth team/XV-8/Commander synergy.

I understand the advantages of running the flamer loadout on XV-8's, but my worry is the a pretty steep drop off in efficiency. Taking it I'm sure I'll hit some games where it's absolutely amazing, and some where it's completely wasted. CIB always appeals to me in that it will never be wasted, it's alright against swarms, heavy armor, and KILLS medium targets.

I think you're right about the Flamers- it was just an idea to help your army deal with hordes. Pay attention to your local meta and figure out if your army might be skewed too heavily toward anti-vehicle/monster equipment. If you do face an army that min-maxes large creatures and hordes (for example, Hormagaunt spam + Exocrines), you may end up in a tough spot where you need to use your CIBs to deal with hordes of units, leaving the large monsters undamaged. Just something to watch out for.

gunrock
Shas
Posts: 60

Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#13 » Dec 29 2017 09:41

I think this list is basically where I want it to be, it's a small question of what to do with the last 50-60 points, which sits in that odd space. This is more for reference if anyone else uses this as a starting point, but I really think that all of these are strong in slightly different ways.

Options:
- cut to add stealth team/flamers - (Any of the three lists proposed by Arka)
- fill out CIB loadouts - (Watcher's suggestion with room for a DC)
- Add more drones - (gun drones against swarms or Shield for Y'Vahra)
- Add more pathfinders - (extra squad for firing order or an extra ion squad)

Here's the core:
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drones (336)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drones (336)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 3x Markerlights, 3x Ion Rifles (60)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 3x Markerlights, 3x Ion Rifles (60)
Fast Attack - 4x Shield Drones (32)
Fast Attack - 4x Shield Drones (32)
Fast Attack - Y'vahra w/ Ionic Discharge Cannon, Phased Ion Flamer, ATS, Stimulant Injector (408)

Total: 1951 pts. - Command Points: 8 (1 Battalion Detachment, 2 Outrider Detachments)

Here's the slot ins:

Full CIB Loadout: (note: -1 CIB +1 DC will trim 13 pts.)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x CIB, 2x Shield Drones (164)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 9x CIBs; 6x Gun Drones (336)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 9x CIBs; 6x Gun Drones (336)
Total: 1999 pts.

More Drones: (or any combination of 14 drones)
Fast Attack - 5x Shield Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Shield Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones (32)
Total: 1999 pts.

More Pathfinders:
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Total: 1999 pts.

Or some combination of the above.
All the rivers run into the sea, Yet the sea is not full; Unto the place whither the rivers go, Thither they go again.

Watcher on the wall
Shas'Saal
Posts: 132

Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#14 » Dec 30 2017 05:04

gunrock wrote:Options:
- cut to add stealth team/flamers - (Any of the three lists proposed by Arka)
- fill out CIB loadouts - (Watcher's suggestion with room for a DC)
- Add more drones - (gun drones against swarms or Shield for Y'Vahra)
- Add more pathfinders - (extra squad for firing order or an extra ion squad)

How about this?:
- 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drones (-306)
+ 3x XV8s w/ 8x CIBs 1x DC ; 6x Gun Drones (+323)
+ 4 Gun Drones (+32)

Leaving the final list as:
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drones (306)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 8x CIBs 1x DC; 6x Gun Drones (323)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 3x Markerlights, 3x Ion Rifles (60)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 3x Markerlights, 3x Ion Rifles (60)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones (32)
Fast Attack - 4x Shield Drones (32)
Fast Attack - 4x Shield Drones (32)
Fast Attack - Y'vahra w/ Ionic Discharge Cannon, Phased Ion Flamer, ATS, Stimulant Injector (408)

Total: 2000 pts. - Command Points: 8 (1 Battalion Detachment, 2 Outrider Detachments)

I am tempted by the option of swapping out a CIB squad for a flamer one and using the resulting points savings to get a stealth team, but I think that is dependent on your local meta - against some armies this list will be better, against others the flamer one.

gunrock
Shas
Posts: 60

Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#15 » Dec 30 2017 07:00

Watcher on the wall wrote:
gunrock wrote:Options:
- cut to add stealth team/flamers - (Any of the three lists proposed by Arka)
- fill out CIB loadouts - (Watcher's suggestion with room for a DC)
- Add more drones - (gun drones against swarms or Shield for Y'Vahra)
- Add more pathfinders - (extra squad for firing order or an extra ion squad)

How about this?:
- 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drones (-306)
+ 3x XV8s w/ 8x CIBs 1x DC ; 6x Gun Drones (+323)
+ 4 Gun Drones (+32)

Leaving the final list as:
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drones (306)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 8x CIBs 1x DC; 6x Gun Drones (323)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 3x Markerlights, 3x Ion Rifles (60)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 3x Markerlights, 3x Ion Rifles (60)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones (32)
Fast Attack - 4x Shield Drones (32)
Fast Attack - 4x Shield Drones (32)
Fast Attack - Y'vahra w/ Ionic Discharge Cannon, Phased Ion Flamer, ATS, Stimulant Injector (408)

Total: 2000 pts. - Command Points: 8 (1 Battalion Detachment, 2 Outrider Detachments)

I am tempted by the option of swapping out a CIB squad for a flamer one and using the resulting points savings to get a stealth team, but I think that is dependent on your local meta - against some armies this list will be better, against others the flamer one.


I do like stealthteam's and flamers, and they can be quite good, but I think this list is a bit more centrist and keeps with the offensive orientation. My worry with the flamer/stealth combo is always that your depending on the survival and placement of the stealth team to keep the flamers relevant. If your opponent knows this, killing the stealth team or just avoiding getting within 9 inches nerfs the combo and you've just wasted a turn of alpha-strike damage which curbs the efficiency of flamers.
[I just had a thought I might be misinterpreting the timing/order of the stealthsuits/homing beacon combo]

Hallelujah! I really like this list! I think it creates some nice lines of play. This list addresses some of the minor issues such as, minimum squad size for morale, markerlight order, better protecting the Y'Vahra, and strengthening against alpha-strike and swarms. The full CIB squad will help against swarms while also giving me the option to turtle up with the fireblade/DC/Drone. The two teams can also land in proximity or the gun drone squad can advance to keep the DC relevant. Alternatively, I still get the benefit of the ATS profile when the AP matters. I'm also hoping the gun drones will also give the strike team bubble a bit more firepower for protecting the Y'Vahra from Alpha strike, and providing an extra 4 wounds for savior protocols if needed. The only gripe I have is now I have mixed weapon profiles, but I think in this case it could be advantageous.

Open to changes/tweaking/variations, but this is my favorite so far.
All the rivers run into the sea, Yet the sea is not full; Unto the place whither the rivers go, Thither they go again.

User avatar
Arka0415
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 2802

Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#16 » Jan 03 2018 09:09

gunrock wrote:The full CIB squad will help against swarms while also giving me the option to turtle up with the fireblade/DC/Drone. The two teams can also land in proximity or the gun drone squad can advance to keep the DC relevant. Alternatively, I still get the benefit of the ATS profile when the AP matters. I'm also hoping the gun drones will also give the strike team bubble a bit more firepower for protecting the Y'Vahra from Alpha strike, and providing an extra 4 wounds for savior protocols if needed. The only gripe I have is now I have mixed weapon profiles, but I think in this case it could be advantageous.

Frankly the mixed weapons would bug me, but I can see how the mix would be tactically useful. Try it out!

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Shas'O R'Kai
Shas'Saal
Posts: 80

Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#17 » Jan 04 2018 08:12

Hi Gunrock, thanks for the shout out and apologies for being late to the party!

This has been a really interesting thread to go through, making me evaluate and re-evaluate again most of my opinions on each variant. The most up to date list seems really strong. Having played a tonne of games with my beloved Y'Vahra, I can say that the best way to play is to make protecting it priority number 1, which this list is really well poised to do! Surround it with the 3 drone squads and it should survive most turn 1 alpha strikes. Using the crisis teams to act as 'wound batteries' for the Y-tide is also a great tactic to ensure the big guy is deleting units every turn.

A small note on what to do to keep your pathfinders protected, is that you can make good use of their vanguard move. Deploy them well out of sight if you're against a shooty opponent to deny them easy kills on your marker/special weapon sources. Then if you get first turn, use the vanguard move to get into position. If you go 2nd, then don't use it and then they're protected. It means taking a -1 to hit in your first turn from having to move into position, but most(if not all) of your pathfinders will be alive which is well worth it.

My take on the flamer vs triple Ion crisis team you have designated to help with hordes is that taking the flamer team reduces the need for markerlights by some margin. It essentially means that you only have 1 alpha unit that actually needs markers, which I've found to really help with versatility. What I mean by that is that rather than being forced to use all your markers on the targets of 2 ion crisis teams, you can dedicate half of them to one of the Y'Vahra's targets, a unit that gets too close to your strike team gunline, or spread out more re-roll 1's. If you want a flamer unit it does mean sacrificing a little more from the rest of the list to get the stealth team in, but its a trade off that could be worth it. If you go for flamer teams I'd suggest double flamer + ATS to keep them a threat vs heavier infantry too. All that being said and done, I actually like the 2nd Ion team better. It relies less on one lynchpin unit(stealthsuits) and keeps the idea of presenting them one real target to go for (Y'Vahra).

Overall, I think this might be the 'best' list I've seen (certainly for my style of hyper aggressive play)! It's versatile, efficient and counters a lot of Alpha striking lists I've seen. It lets us dictate how we want to play by limiting the opponents options and I love that :) Excellent work by Gunrock and all involved in coming up with it!

R'Kai
Playing with a short reach since 2007 :crafty:

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 2802

Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#18 » Jan 05 2018 12:18

Shas'O R'Kai wrote:This has been a really interesting thread to go through, making me evaluate and re-evaluate again most of my opinions on each variant. The most up to date list seems really strong

...

All that being said and done, I actually like the 2nd Ion team better. It relies less on one lynchpin unit (stealthsuits) and keeps the idea of presenting them one real target to go for (Y'Vahra).

I agree here- I'm re-evaluating things too. When it comes to min-maxing XV8 and Commander builds, tuning the XV8s to be stronger against infantry may be a good idea. The 2xCIB+ATS build is better against armor, while the 3xCIB build is better against lighter infantry. However, both are equally effective against vehicles, which makes the 3xCIB build a bit more flexible. In a heavy infantry meta I'd still stick with the 2xCIB+ATS build, but I can really see a role for 3xCIB XV8s especially if the list does not contain flamers.

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