Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

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Shas'O R'Kai
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Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#19 » Jan 05 2018 04:32

Arka0415 wrote:
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.


I think this is a bit of a demonstration of how we can sometimes get caught up in being inflexible by only using units/builds we consider viable. Looking at a list as a whole like we have here can offer a lot of good alternatives. Sure, the flamer suits are devastating and burn infantry, but that would require a fairly substantial change to the list to be able to work them into it, not to mention change the tactics of how it would play. Using the CIB is maybe a bit less of a nuke in sheer mathematical power, but it's far easier to get the power down and make use of it on targets you want. I often forget that the flamer teams aren't actually as cheap as they seem due to the essential support they need from stealth teams.

Might be a bit off topic here, but have you had any success with flamer teams on foot? It doesn't suit this list because it breaks the tactic of presenting only one available power unit to shoot at for the first turn, but I kinda want to try them out with screening/advancing shenanigans. Seems like it's a discount way to get them into the list but you sacrifice precision and alpha strike potential. Seems like more of a defensive unit when taken on foot. They're also a good screen vs assaulting 1st turn armies, but I honestly love getting second turn against that kind of army. Getting to drop several crisis teams + Y'Vahra fire on their alpha units always puts the hurt on anyone I've played.

Would love anyone's insight/experiences with the footslog flamer suits!

R'Kai
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Arka0415
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Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#20 » Jan 05 2018 05:04

Shas'O R'Kai wrote:I think this is a bit of a demonstration of how we can sometimes get caught up in being inflexible by only using units/builds we consider viable. Looking at a list as a whole like we have here can offer a lot of good alternatives. Sure, the flamer suits are devastating and burn infantry, but that would require a fairly substantial change to the list to be able to work them into it, not to mention change the tactics of how it would play. Using the CIB is maybe a bit less of a nuke in sheer mathematical power, but it's far easier to get the power down and make use of it on targets you want. I often forget that the flamer teams aren't actually as cheap as they seem due to the essential support they need from stealth teams.

In a way, you could consider the 8x CIB team to include a +17pt surcharge to a little bit more anti-infantry firepower. Seeing as a squad of XV8s with 8x CIBs can take down sixteen Guardsmen with only one markerlight hit, that's excellent damage Compared to Flamers they do only a little less damage- 15.9 wounds against T3/Sv5+ versus 18.6. And CIB squads can do it at over twice the range too.

Shas'O R'Kai wrote:Might be a bit off topic here, but have you had any success with flamer teams on foot? It doesn't suit this list because it breaks the tactic of presenting only one available power unit to shoot at for the first turn, but I kinda want to try them out with screening/advancing shenanigans. Seems like it's a discount way to get them into the list but you sacrifice precision and alpha strike potential.

I think the reason Flamer XV8s aren't as popular now is because Panzer isn't around anymore, he was a big proponent of non-Manta Strike Flamer XV8s with Shield Drones instead of Gun Drones. They can be an effective answer to hordes, but they're tactically inflexible due to their inability to use Manta Strike.

Now, if a stratagem comes out that allows us to move after using Manta Strike, that could be useful.

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Shas'O R'Kai
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Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#21 » Jan 05 2018 05:58

Arka0415 wrote:In a way, you could consider the 8x CIB team to include a +17pt surcharge to a little bit more anti-infantry firepower. Seeing as a squad of XV8s with 8x CIBs can take down sixteen Guardsmen with only one markerlight hit, that's excellent damage Compared to Flamers they do only a little less damage- 15.9 wounds against T3/Sv5+ versus 18.6. And CIB squads can do it at over twice the range too.


From my calculations 8 CIB's cause just under 12 guardsman casualties vs the triple flamers causing 14. Those variants with ATS cause fewer (8 and 11.666 respectively). However I totally see your point! 17pts to be magnitudes more effective vs hordes is a bargain in versatility. Also, something people never take into consideration is that 3 CIB has way more damage potential! Sure average wounds are almost the same vs most targets, but 3 CIB could ruin something if you get lucky. The upper end of the damage being so much higher has actually tipped my opinion towards them. In addition, they're much more effective against Inv save targets like Harlequins/Dark Eldar than 2 CIB + ATS. In all honesty, I cant see a reason for taking the 2 CIB + ATS over the 3 CIB. Sure there's a minor points increase which may come into play, but the biggest factor for me would be that I think crisis with 3 weapons look daft!

Arka0415 wrote:I think the reason Flamer XV8s aren't as popular now is because Panzer isn't around anymore, he was a big proponent of non-Manta Strike Flamer XV8s with Shield Drones instead of Gun Drones. They can be an effective answer to hordes, but they're tactically inflexible due to their inability to use Manta Strike.


Oh is he not?! When did he leave? I do remember him having a thread about it I think. I actually take the shield drones with them and drop them down in front of where enemy assaults are going to be. My biggest pull towards them is the overwatch. My main opponent is a blood angels player so I think my meta makes me biased towards them. Against a horde army like orks I'd almost definitely be taking the gun drones. Although the shield drones always have a place. They are INCREDIBLY difficult to shift without mass anti infantry fire. The tactic I'm going to try in my next game is to hold them just behind my gunline as a counterpunch to inevitable assault. I really like taking 2nd turn vs an assault army because it lets me react and then dictate the flow of the game from there. Once he's dropped his assaulting units into my gunline chaff, I can move forward and burn his units and happily wait there to receive a charge and get even more burning done :D I think footslogging flamer suits are probably only viable if you know who you're playing and can plan accordingly. In a TAC list I doubt they'll ever have a place until we get stratagems.

Let me know what you think!

R'Kai

Now, if a stratagem comes out that allows us to move after using Manta Strike, that could be useful.[/quote]
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Arka0415
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Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#22 » Jan 05 2018 07:23

Shas'O R'Kai wrote:
Arka0415 wrote:In a way, you could consider the 8x CIB team to include a +17pt surcharge to a little bit more anti-infantry firepower. Seeing as a squad of XV8s with 8x CIBs can take down sixteen Guardsmen with only one markerlight hit, that's excellent damage Compared to Flamers they do only a little less damage- 15.9 wounds against T3/Sv5+ versus 18.6. And CIB squads can do it at over twice the range too.

From my calculations 8 CIB's cause just under 12 guardsman casualties vs the triple flamers causing 14. Those variants with ATS cause fewer (8 and 11.666 respectively). However I totally see your point!

Your numbers are a little low because you didn't include the Drone Controller, I think. The point of bringing 8 weapons rather than 9 is that you buff the Gun Drones as well. It's also important to remember that CIBs scale much better with Markerlights (given that Flamers don't interact with Markerlights very much at all), doing a bit better with 1 Markerlight hit and outperforming Flamers with 5 hits.

Shas'O R'Kai wrote:Also, something people never take into consideration is that 3 CIB has way more damage potential! Sure average wounds are almost the same vs most targets, but 3 CIB could ruin something if you get lucky. The upper end of the damage being so much higher has actually tipped my opinion towards them.

True, but hoping that you roll high is never a good tactic... unless we get some ability to re-roll wounds. That would make large numbers of guns extremely potent.

Shas'O R'Kai wrote:My biggest pull towards them is the overwatch. My main opponent is a blood angels player so I think my meta makes me biased towards them. Against a horde army like orks I'd almost definitely be taking the gun drones. Although the shield drones always have a place. They are INCREDIBLY difficult to shift without mass anti infantry fire. The tactic I'm going to try in my next game is to hold them just behind my gunline as a counterpunch to inevitable assault. I really like taking 2nd turn vs an assault army because it lets me react and then dictate the flow of the game from there.

Taking Flamer XV8s as a "counterpunch" unit is a great tactic- as long as you have larger threats on the field to absorb alpha strike fire, as long as you go second, and as long as the enemy comes toward you, they can be extraordinarly powerful. That's a lot of conditions, and (for example) if you end up going first against an Adeptus Mechanicus or gunline Primaris army, those Flamers might not do very much.

What I really want to figure out is a way to viably use Flamer XV8s when you're not on the defensive. The Stealthsuit combo is good, but flimsy... and it's all I can really think of. Hopefully stratagems help here in the future.

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Shas'O R'Kai
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Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#23 » Jan 05 2018 08:41

Arka0415 wrote:
Shas'O R'Kai wrote:From my calculations 8 CIB's cause just under 12 guardsman casualties vs the triple flamers causing 14. Those variants with ATS cause fewer (8 and 11.666 respectively). However I totally see your point!


Your numbers are a little low because you didn't include the Drone Controller, I think. The point of bringing 8 weapons rather than 9 is that you buff the Gun Drones as well. It's also important to remember that CIBs scale much better with Markerlights (given that Flamers don't interact with Markerlights very much at all), doing a bit better with 1 Markerlight hit and outperforming Flamers with 5 hits.


Sorry, I should've made it clear that I wasn't including gun drones in the damage calculations, only the crisis suits and with 1 markerlight. I almost always work out my calculations with 1 markerlight since I've never had a situation where I've not had one on what my crisis team is shooting at! It's a good point about the flamers not interacting with markerlights. Where I've found a strength for this is including them in very markerlight light lists. Where you only have a couple from a fire blade and another few squads. It means you have less investment in support and more in damage. Build the rest of the list around units that don't need them and you're golden. Flamers fit in nicely in that kind of list but I suppose the CIB suits with 5 tokens would be pretty damn strong!

Arka0415 wrote:True, but hoping that you roll high is never a good tactic... unless we get some ability to re-roll wounds. That would make large numbers of guns extremely potent.


Ah but my point is that you don't need to hope. The average damage is the same vs almost all targets. So the big advantage is that sometimes you'll get lucky and hit really hard with a big damage spike. That's something a lower volume of shots can't do. If you don't get lucky then you're still likely to do the same damage anyway. So really you end up paying 17pts for much more efficient horde killing and the potential for spikier damage.

Arka0415 wrote:Taking Flamer XV8s as a "counterpunch" unit is a great tactic- as long as you have larger threats on the field to absorb alpha strike fire, as long as you go second, and as long as the enemy comes toward you, they can be extraordinarly powerful. That's a lot of conditions, and (for example) if you end up going first against an Adeptus Mechanicus or gunline Primaris army, those Flamers might not do very much.

What I really want to figure out is a way to viably use Flamer XV8s when you're not on the defensive. The Stealthsuit combo is good, but flimsy... and it's all I can really think of. Hopefully stratagems help here in the future.


I agree that it's quite a niche situation, but several of these factors I can control. I almost always have a bigger threat in the form of a Y'Vahra, against the type of army I want to use this tactic against I want to go second anyway, and the type of army I choose to employ this against is the type that want to get in my face quickly. I have the Y'Vahra and flamer team sitting just behind my gunline and invite them in to charge me. Sure I'll take casualties but I've never been wiped from it. If they don't unleash their alpha strike, I can feel free to take objectives since I usually have more points on the board. I'd never use this tactic against a shooty army, because as you rightly said, flamers ain't gunna do squat against them if I'm on the board! Unfortunately in a TAC list it means I still need the stealth team to make them versatile. But if I want to use them as a counterpunch, I have plenty of units that can make use of the beacon instead, so it's not really a waste/tax. It's a really interesting choice and actually one of the few hard list building decisions we need to make. The stealthsuit combo can be flimsy but I often deploy them out of line of sight and I try to have 2 squads of them. It's not perfect but I've yet to have both teams killed before bringing down the burn!
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Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#24 » Jan 05 2018 03:21

Shas'O R'Kai wrote: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


Hey R'Kai! Glad to get your input! I feel you on the vanguard move being essential. It's something the definitely inclines me towards pathfinders more generally. I think your point on markerlight support and flamer builds is very relevant. Dependency on markerlight seems to be a premise that underlies all of these CIB based builds and almost immediately warrants the inclusion of Pathfinders to be viable. Part of the issue I see is that those two designs pull towards different synergy's.

Arka0415 wrote:I think the reason Flamer XV8s aren't as popular now is because Panzer isn't around anymore, he was a big proponent of non-Manta Strike Flamer XV8s with Shield Drones instead of Gun Drones. They can be an effective answer to hordes, but they're tactically inflexible due to their inability to use Manta Strike.

Now, if a stratagem comes out that allows us to move after using Manta Strike, that could be useful.


I think panzer was on to something with the six shield drone flamer build, but I think it has totally different strengths that put it in an odd place. Flamer builds have limited alpha strike damage and want to work with stealth teams to compensate. One of the lines of play is to unload the DC/marker drones onto the stealth teams to synergize gun drones, but doesn't work with this build.

In my mind I think they most readily substitute for running other types of S5 shooting, something most of these lists get in the form of Firewarriors, and gun drones. Something that I alluded to at the beginning of this build is that all of these lists operate on a basic assumption of static units usually pathfinders and firewarriors. I was looking at commander-centric lists and I think flamers fill a particular niche in those lists.

I know one of the lists proposed was a multitracker based build. I think flamers would fit really well into that list building on their independence from marker lights. The six shield drone build also has really strong synergys with shield-hungry commanders and the unit acting as a massive pool of abilitative wounds for commanders somewhat minimizes the loss of first turn shooting. The defensive strength of also lends them a strange sort of utility as an additional screening unit for big first turn targets like the Y'Vahra. So far must of the discourse surrounding the xv-8 has centered around maximizing alpha strike damage, but I think the flamer build can do something completely different. I'm gonna mill on it, but here's a thought.

3x XV8 with 6x flamers 3x shield generators, and 6x shield drones is 252 points. It needs zero marker light support, does not benefit from DC, and has 15 wounds all on invulnerable saves.
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Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#25 » Jan 07 2018 06:45

gunrock wrote:3x XV8 with 6x flamers 3x shield generators, and 6x shield drones is 252 points. It needs zero marker light support, does not benefit from DC, and has 15 wounds all on invulnerable saves.

A small niggle, but the shield generators on the Crisis suits are not worth it in this set-up, given they are already very tough because of the shield drones and that shield generators will mean a 33% drop in firepower.

I've never tried it myself, but I think starting flamer suits on the board instead of deep-striking them down could be tempting choice. It exposes them to turn 1 firepower and they only have a limited threat range, but they can still advance (so on average a 19-20" threat range) and they don't need an accompanying stealth team.

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Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#26 » Jan 07 2018 06:10

Watcher on the wall wrote:
gunrock wrote:3x XV8 with 6x flamers 3x shield generators, and 6x shield drones is 252 points. It needs zero marker light support, does not benefit from DC, and has 15 wounds all on invulnerable saves.

A small niggle, but the shield generators on the Crisis suits are not worth it in this set-up, given they are already very tough because of the shield drones and that shield generators will mean a 33% drop in firepower.

I've never tried it myself, but I think starting flamer suits on the board instead of deep-striking them down could be tempting choice. It exposes them to turn 1 firepower and they only have a limited threat range, but they can still advance (so on average a 19-20" threat range) and they don't need an accompanying stealth team.


It was a bit of a shot in the dark. Shield generators plus shield drones is a bit redundant. I suppose I'm still struggling to define the role of flamer squads. Part of that may be considering builds that are off from what we know in the hopes of finding an applications that they're uniquely good at. After a bit it starts to feel like searching for synergys for a mid-tier unit that fails to elevate it to a top tier pick. As it stands I consider them a tertiary pick after CIB and more CIB unless I can come up with a really compelling reason.

I do like the the idea of a the Y'Vahra and Flamers XV-8's opening together, advancing aggressively in a fiery wall of death. That sounds so very Mont'ka.
All the rivers run into the sea, Yet the sea is not full; Unto the place whither the rivers go, Thither they go again.

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Shas'O R'Kai
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Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#27 » Jan 08 2018 09:09

I think the flamers really fit the niche of having a commander centric army. Several commanders, a couple flamer squads, a Y'Vahra(or two :) ), many many drones and some stealth teams is completely independent of any markers. Maybe include a fireblade and 3x5 Strike teams for a Battalion and re-roll 1's. But this type of list is a really solid counter to any armies relying on -1 or 2 to hit and assault based armies. Against shooting It keeps all power units protected from alpha striking and is very mobile. Personally it's my favourite way to play! I love having fast moving, hard hitting armies that totally throw off opponents. I can't tell you the number of times an opponent has set up or started playing in a certain way because the expected me to be immobile and more like a gunline, and taking the fight right up in their face always takes them off guard. The look on your opponents face when you advance towards his Assault terminators is just brilliant.

One thing this style of army really does well is the 'Refused Flank'. This is when you have the large majority of your force all pile in on one side of your opponent. Force it so that it's 50% of your opponents army against 100% of yours. Deal significant damage (if not wipe out) that flank which neuters it. Then the other half is often out of range or rendered less effective. It can't be done against all opponents or in every game, but when you can pull it off it can be game winning. I might make a post of my experience with using this tactic with more specific and nuanced examples, but the main principle is as I've said above.

I highly recommend trying this style of army out! It feels so freeing not needing a single markerlight to make it effective, and regardless of how mathematically effective it is, I personally find it the most fun to play by far. Taking opponents by surprise can be a big tactical bonus all on it's own too.

R'Kai
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Arka0415
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Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#28 » Jan 08 2018 10:53

Shas'O R'Kai wrote:I think the flamers really fit the niche of having a commander centric army. Several commanders, a couple flamer squads, a Y'Vahra(or two :) ), many many drones and some stealth teams is completely independent of any markers. Maybe include a fireblade and 3x5 Strike teams for a Battalion and re-roll 1's. But this type of list is a really solid counter to any armies relying on -1 or 2 to hit and assault based armies. Against shooting It keeps all power units protected from alpha striking and is very mobile. Personally it's my favourite way to play!

I agree that this sort of list could be effective, however, there are two areas that I'm unsure about. As I see it, Tau need to follow three general rules in 8th Edition:

1. Use reserves. Simply put, Manta Strike beats alpha strike. We Tau are one of the few factions that can pull off an essential "null deployment" strategy, and it works wonders.

2. Be aggressive and feint. With our best weapons operating at 18" range, our Battlesuits and Drones should move forward (or drop in) quickly to get within 18" range, then steadily fall back while cutting down advancing opponents.

3. Fire on all cylinders. Tau suffer a severe mathematical disadvantage in the current edition. We don't shoot, hit, or wound with the same volume and chance as other factions, and we don't have strategems to help wit this. As such, Tau units need to be shooting and killing as much as possible, for as many turns as possible, starting on turn one.

It's the first and third points that I'm especially concerned about. Filling an army up with Flamer XV8s may be a great way to be aggressive, but you need to either deploy them manually (leaving them open to alpha strike and violating rule #1) or drop them in via Manta Strike, allowing only one squad to shoot on turn one (violating rule #3). The first two turns of the game are critically important, and usually the play and counter-play before turn 3 is hugely significant to the final outcome of the game. With that said, a squad of CIB XV8s firing twice is much, much more efficient (and not to mention much more deadly) than a Flamer XV8 squad that only fires once.

I can definitely see a place for Flamer XV8s in a Tau army list, however, I don't think multiple squads are all that viable currently.

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Shas'O R'Kai
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Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#29 » Jan 09 2018 04:34

Shas'O R'Kai wrote:I think the flamers really fit the niche of having a commander centric army. Several commanders, a couple flamer squads, a Y'Vahra(or two :) ), many many drones and some stealth teams is completely independent of any markers. Maybe include a fireblade and 3x5 Strike teams for a Battalion and re-roll 1's. But this type of list is a really solid counter to any armies relying on -1 or 2 to hit and assault based armies. Against shooting It keeps all power units protected from alpha striking and is very mobile. Personally it's my favourite way to play!


Arka0415 wrote:I agree that this sort of list could be effective, however, there are two areas that I'm unsure about. As I see it, Tau need to follow three general rules in 8th Edition:

1. Use reserves. Simply put, Manta Strike beats alpha strike. We Tau are one of the few factions that can pull off an essential "null deployment" strategy, and it works wonders.


I subscribe to this line of thought! I don't think I've played a game where I havn't manta struck everything I could. Unless it's a coldstar starting in my backlines to Mont'Ka advance.

Arka0415 wrote:2. Be aggressive and feint. With our best weapons operating at 18" range, our Battlesuits and Drones should move forward (or drop in) quickly to get within 18" range, then steadily fall back while cutting down advancing opponents.


Again, you earned another subscription! In general this is the tactic I try to use once I've come in and dropped everything. I've only actually had 2 games with the flamer team as I only recently got them. But in those two games they were perfect for dropping infront of a combat squad to ensure they got charged and not any other suits. The hope there was to reduce nearby squads to only a couple models which would then eat a lot of overwatch goodness. Then everything else fires and fades back to my gunline if I'm up against assaults, or continues down the flank I'm attacking if they're shooty. This worked pretty well for me so far!

Arka0415 wrote:3. Fire on all cylinders. Tau suffer a severe mathematical disadvantage in the current edition. We don't shoot, hit, or wound with the same volume and chance as other factions, and we don't have strategems to help wit this. As such, Tau units need to be shooting and killing as much as possible, for as many turns as possible, starting on turn one.


Yeah, I really feel you on this one. We have to really squeeze for every bit of efficiency that we can. This is why the only tactic/playstyle I've found to work is to be hyper aggressive with a refused flank/null deploy strategy. We are one of the few armies that have the means of almost guaranteeing that all our power units are hitting their preferred targets. That's what swings it for us in my opinion.

Arka0415 wrote:t's the first and third points that I'm especially concerned about. Filling an army up with Flamer XV8s may be a great way to be aggressive, but you need to either deploy them manually (leaving them open to alpha strike and violating rule #1) or drop them in via Manta Strike, allowing only one squad to shoot on turn one (violating rule #3). The first two turns of the game are critically important, and usually the play and counter-play before turn 3 is hugely significant to the final outcome of the game. With that said, a squad of CIB XV8s firing twice is much, much more efficient (and not to mention much more deadly) than a Flamer XV8 squad that only fires once.

I can definitely see a place for Flamer XV8s in a Tau army list, however, I don't think multiple squads are all that viable currently.


When you mention those three points, I agree that more than one flamer squad just wouldn't work unless very specific conditions are met. I still love the flexibility and counter potential that one brings though. CIB suits are more effective and killy against more targets, but they are 80+pts more expensive and the flamers offer a totally different role. They help reduce Marker dependency, and can be used as a phalanx unit to take charges. I think using both teams in concert with each other is really effective, but only if you can land 5 lights on the CIB teams target. Otherwise you're better off with 2 commanders(commanders are still more efficient though, even with 5 tokens) or a Y'Vahra. A triple CIB team plus 9 pathfinders is the same cost as a Y'Vahra, and I think that the Y'Vahra is just too deadly and effective to pass up for a CIB team. The stratagem helps heaps though, and has made it a much harder choice. It's probably more down to preference and playstyle really. I can't wait for the codex to fix the fact that a full crisis team with max markerlight benefits is STILL less efficient than the same points in commanders.

What dyou think?

R'Kai
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Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#30 » Jan 10 2018 09:36

Shas'O R'Kai wrote:When you mention those three points, I agree that more than one flamer squad just wouldn't work unless very specific conditions are met. I still love the flexibility and counter potential that one brings though.

It certainly does offer a ton of flexibility. Right now I'm really hoping we get a battlesuit mobility-enhancing stratagem that we can use after Manta Strike, for example the ability to advance after Manta Strike for 1CP, or something like that. Flamer XV8s are great but it's the Homing Beacon part that gets to me.

Shas'O R'Kai wrote:CIB suits are more effective and killy against more targets, but they are 80+pts more expensive and the flamers offer a totally different role. They help reduce Marker dependency, and can be used as a phalanx unit to take charges. I think using both teams in concert with each other is really effective, but only if you can land 5 lights on the CIB teams target.

I've really been enjoying running CIB squads in pairs, it costs almost 650 points but it's essentially guaranteed removal on any target short of an Imperial Knight. However, if the Stealthsuit squad can stay alive, I could imagine some really effective synergy between a CIB squad and a Flamer squad, especially in an infantry-heavy meta.

Shas'O R'Kai wrote:Otherwise you're better off with 2 commanders(commanders are still more efficient though, even with 5 tokens) or a Y'Vahra. A triple CIB team plus 9 pathfinders is the same cost as a Y'Vahra, and I think that the Y'Vahra is just too deadly and effective to pass up for a CIB team. The stratagem helps heaps though, and has made it a much harder choice. It's probably more down to preference and playstyle really. I can't wait for the codex to fix the fact that a full crisis team with max markerlight benefits is STILL less efficient than the same points in commanders.

This is less about playstyle and more about "Commanders and Y'vahras are better than everything else by a mile." :D Every competitive player should field every Y'vahra and every Commander they have in their collection. In fact, the only reason I even use XV8s in the first place is because I only have three Commanders. Let's hope that the Codex fixes this imbalance somewhat.

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Shas'O R'Kai
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Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#31 » Jan 10 2018 09:54

Arka0415 wrote:It certainly does offer a ton of flexibility. Right now I'm really hoping we get a battlesuit mobility-enhancing stratagem that we can use after Manta Strike, for example the ability to advance after Manta Strike for 1CP, or something like that. Flamer XV8s are great but it's the Homing Beacon part that gets to me.


Something like that would be amazing. It would help offer the fire and fade type of playstyle we had in editions past with JSJ. God I really miss that. I know it's never coming back in full, but I can definitely see it coming back in the form of a stratagem. Along the lines of "Vectored retro thrusters - 1 CP: Use in the assault phase. Pick any battlesuit unit with the FLY keyword. That unit can move X amount as if it were the movement phase.". A stratagem like that would be excellent and would really bring a whole new level of tactics for us. Well, it would bring some of it back anyway. I agree that the need for a beacon is a bit of a bugbear. I like stealthsuits but they just don't kill enough for me to love them.

Arka0415 wrote:I've really been enjoying running CIB squads in pairs, it costs almost 650 points but it's essentially guaranteed removal on any target short of an Imperial Knight. However, if the Stealthsuit squad can stay alive, I could imagine some really effective synergy between a CIB squad and a Flamer squad, especially in an infantry-heavy meta.


I've actually yet to run them in a game. I've just not got the parts/time to convert some up unfortunately! Taking them in pairs seems like a really nice strategy. Such a versatile unit is so good in any game type. They're the definition of TAC for me. The flamer team is nice when combined with any unit you want protected really. Provides plenty of drones, a charge deterrent and a nice big scary unit for your enemy to freak out over and try pummel. Leaving your ludicrously points efficient commanders or CIB teams safe to kill things!

Arka0415 wrote:This is less about playstyle and more about "Commanders and Y'vahras are better than everything else by a mile." :D Every competitive player should field every Y'vahra and every Commander they have in their collection. In fact, the only reason I even use XV8s in the first place is because I only have three Commanders. Let's hope that the Codex fixes this imbalance somewhat.


I think you're right. The unfortunate reality is that until the codex Y-tides, commanders and Gun drones would make up 90% of every list if we were going full on competitive cheese. Which makes me sad. I really feel for the newer players to our army. They'll be trying lots of stuff out and be getting stomped by their friends with the competitive armies. The reason I still win all of my games with my friends is that I'm much more experienced. Anyway, fingers crossed for a Codex soon!

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

gunrock
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Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#32 » Jan 11 2018 06:19

Shas'O R'Kai wrote:I think the flamers really fit the niche of having a commander centric army. Several commanders, a couple flamer squads, a Y'Vahra(or two :) ), many many drones and some stealth teams is completely independent of any markers. Maybe include a fireblade and 3x5 Strike teams for a Battalion and re-roll 1's. But this type of list is a really solid counter to any armies relying on -1 or 2 to hit and assault based armies. Against shooting It keeps all power units protected from alpha striking and is very mobile. Personally it's my favourite way to play! I love having fast moving, hard hitting armies that totally throw off opponents. I can't tell you the number of times an opponent has set up or started playing in a certain way because the expected me to be immobile and more like a gunline, and taking the fight right up in their face always takes them off guard. The look on your opponents face when you advance towards his Assault terminators is just brilliant.

One thing this style of army really does well is the 'Refused Flank'. This is when you have the large majority of your force all pile in on one side of your opponent. Force it so that it's 50% of your opponents army against 100% of yours. Deal significant damage (if not wipe out) that flank which neuters it. Then the other half is often out of range or rendered less effective. It can't be done against all opponents or in every game, but when you can pull it off it can be game winning. I might make a post of my experience with using this tactic with more specific and nuanced examples, but the main principle is as I've said above.

I highly recommend trying this style of army out! It feels so freeing not needing a single markerlight to make it effective, and regardless of how mathematically effective it is, I personally find it the most fun to play by far. Taking opponents by surprise can be a big tactical bonus all on it's own too.

R'Kai


Hey guys! Really enjoying the dialogue. In particular the 'empty' opening tau lists are really intriguing to me. The whole discussion has also been on my thoughts when thinking about commanders lists, flamers, CIB, markerlight independence and a range of other topics.

Speaking of lists primarily composed of Commanders, Y'Vahra and drones, I've been tinkering with how to best build 'empty' list. Here's something I came up with:

Commander - 4x Fusion Blaster, 2x shield drone (176)
Commander - 4x Fusion Blaster, 2x shield drone (176)
Commander - 4x Fusion Blaster, 2x shield drone (176)
Commander - 4x CIB, 2x shield drone (166)
Commander - 4x CIB, 2x shield drone (166)
Commander - 4x CIB, 2x shield drone (166)
Coldstar - 1x HOBC, 1x missle pod, 1x shield generator, 1x ATS (148)
XV-8 Crisis suits 3x - 8x flamer,1x drone controller, 4x shield drones, 2x markerlight (255)
XV109 Y'Vahra - +ATS, + Stimulant injector (408)
Tactical drones - 3x shield generator, 2x markerlight (44)
Tactical drones - 3x shield generator, 2x markerlight (44)
Tactical drones - 3x shield generator, 2x markerlight (44)
Tactical drones - 3x shield generator, 1x markerlight (34)
1997 pts.

I know the whole Idea was one of the starting premises of this thread. I'm really interested to hear people's thoughts on these types of builds and explore different variations, but I feel like it deserves it's own thread, with a dedicated primer. I wrote down some of my thoughts, but I'm not really an expert. If anyone is interested in collaborating on a primer or maybe looking over a draft I'm super open to that, all for the greater good!

I don't know if anyone would recognize this analogy, but there is a whole archetype of MTG decks called 'Solidarity' that function in a similar playstyle, where you build the deck to as completely minimize your board presence. Usually, it's something like four turns of appearing to do nothing but draw and shuffle cards, and right when on your on the verge of losing you do everything to decisively win. They also are called 'tide' decks (high tide, spring tide, spiral tide). So that's r whats on my mind, how to translate that play style into war-hammer terms.

Total unity of purpose.
All the rivers run into the sea, Yet the sea is not full; Unto the place whither the rivers go, Thither they go again.

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Arka0415
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Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#33 » Jan 11 2018 06:57

gunrock wrote:Hey guys! Really enjoying the dialogue. In particular the 'empty' opening tau lists are really intriguing to me. The whole discussion has also been on my thoughts when thinking about commanders lists, flamers, CIB, markerlight independence and a range of other topics.

Not sure how long you've been playing 40k but from previous editions this is known as a "null deployment", and was really, really effective. We can basically pull off the same thing, which is fantastic- Drones and Fire Warriors cowering on the ground while the enemy's big guns are useless, then the vast majority of the points of the army (though only 50% of the units) come thundering down for an alpha strike. At least from my point of view it's the way to play Tau now in 8th Edition.

gunrock wrote:Speaking of lists primarily composed of Commanders, Y'Vahra and drones, I've been tinkering with how to best build 'empty' list.

As far as null lists goes it looks great. If the enemy gets firs turn though that Y'vahra is going to be taking a lot of heat, especially if they have deep-strikers. A few more screening drones might be useful. Otherwise though, any list that just spams Commanders and a Y'vahra is going to do well, that's pretty clear already :D

gunrock wrote:I know the whole Idea was one of the starting premises of this thread. I'm really interested to hear people's thoughts on these types of builds and explore different variations, but I feel like it deserves it's own thread, with a dedicated primer. I wrote down some of my thoughts, but I'm not really an expert. If anyone is interested in collaborating on a primer or maybe looking over a draft I'm super open to that, all for the greater good!

The other Academy article writers and I have all basically decided to wait until the Codex comes out before we write anything. It's not really worth the effort right now since things will change soon. If you want to join that team, feel free! I'll be contacting interested users once the Codex is released.

Null deployment lists (or, because of the 50% rule, practically-null deployment lists) are going to do well in 8th Edition. My list (in my signature) is technically a mixed-gunline list, but with 1100+ points (and all the real value) deep-striking it's effectively null deployment. Getting Markerlights into reserve, though, is much trickier.

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Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#34 » Jan 11 2018 02:21

Arka0415 wrote:
gunrock wrote:I know the whole Idea was one of the starting premises of this thread. I'm really interested to hear people's thoughts on these types of builds and explore different variations, but I feel like it deserves it's own thread, with a dedicated primer. I wrote down some of my thoughts, but I'm not really an expert. If anyone is interested in collaborating on a primer or maybe looking over a draft I'm super open to that, all for the greater good!

Null deployment lists (or, because of the 50% rule, practically-null deployment lists) are going to do well in 8th Edition. My list (in my signature) is technically a mixed-gunline list, but with 1100+ points (and all the real value) deep-striking it's effectively null deployment. Getting Markerlights into reserve, though, is much trickier.

I used to play an exclusively null deploy list in 7th, but in 8th I moved to a mixed gunline set-up, although I'd like to get a null deploy list to work. I think if you want to get one as 'pure' as possible you have to go only drone setup - that way no Tau lives are lost :P . How about this for 2000 points (and I am cooking this up as I am typing):

HQ: Coldstar, Shield Gen, Drone Controller: 147
HQ: QFC, 2 Shield Drones 176
HQ: QFC, 2 Shield Drones 176
HQ: QFC, 2 Shield Drones 176
FA: 4 Shield Drones 32
FA: 4 Shield Drones 32
FA: 4 Shield Drones 32
FA: 4 Shield Drones 32
FA: 4 Shield Drones 32
FA: 4 Shield Drones 32
E: 3x XV8s, 8 CIB, DC, 6x Gun Drones 323
E: 3x XV8s, 8 CIB, DC, 6x Gun Drones 323
E: XV9, 2x DBBCs, ATS, 4x Gun Drones 133
E: XV9, 2x DBBCs, ATS, 4x Gun Drones 133
E: Firesight Marksman 24
E: Firesight Marksman 24
Total: 1827

The drones and marksmen start on the ground, everything else manta strikes.
I've left it unfinished because it has several options now and I'm not sure where to take it. It's main flaw is markerlights, which you can fix by:
-3x XV8s, 8 CIB, DC, 6x Gun Drones -323
+3x XV8s, 8 CIB, DC, 6x Marker Drones +335
- Adding more firesight marksmen (at least 2 more, then use the spare points to add some vespids?)
- Adding some pathfinders (but they will most likely get slaughtered turn 1)
And I think it could do with a Y'vraha to round out the list - this would most likely involve dropping the hazards or a commander and a hazard.
Any thoughts?

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Yojimbob
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Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#35 » Jan 11 2018 03:37

Watcher on the wall wrote:
Arka0415 wrote:
gunrock wrote:I know the whole Idea was one of the starting premises of this thread. I'm really interested to hear people's thoughts on these types of builds and explore different variations, but I feel like it deserves it's own thread, with a dedicated primer. I wrote down some of my thoughts, but I'm not really an expert. If anyone is interested in collaborating on a primer or maybe looking over a draft I'm super open to that, all for the greater good!

Null deployment lists (or, because of the 50% rule, practically-null deployment lists) are going to do well in 8th Edition. My list (in my signature) is technically a mixed-gunline list, but with 1100+ points (and all the real value) deep-striking it's effectively null deployment. Getting Markerlights into reserve, though, is much trickier.

I used to play an exclusively null deploy list in 7th, but in 8th I moved to a mixed gunline set-up, although I'd like to get a null deploy list to work. I think if you want to get one as 'pure' as possible you have to go only drone setup - that way no Tau lives are lost :P . How about this for 2000 points (and I am cooking this up as I am typing):

HQ: Coldstar, Shield Gen, Drone Controller: 147
HQ: QFC, 2 Shield Drones 176
HQ: QFC, 2 Shield Drones 176
HQ: QFC, 2 Shield Drones 176
FA: 4 Shield Drones 32
FA: 4 Shield Drones 32
FA: 4 Shield Drones 32
FA: 4 Shield Drones 32
FA: 4 Shield Drones 32
FA: 4 Shield Drones 32
E: 3x XV8s, 8 CIB, DC, 6x Gun Drones 323
E: 3x XV8s, 8 CIB, DC, 6x Gun Drones 323
E: XV9, 2x DBBCs, ATS, 4x Gun Drones 133
E: XV9, 2x DBBCs, ATS, 4x Gun Drones 133
E: Firesight Marksman 24
E: Firesight Marksman 24
Total: 1827

The drones and marksmen start on the ground, everything else manta strikes.
I've left it unfinished because it has several options now and I'm not sure where to take it. It's main flaw is markerlights, which you can fix by:
-3x XV8s, 8 CIB, DC, 6x Gun Drones -323
+3x XV8s, 8 CIB, DC, 6x Marker Drones +335
- Adding more firesight marksmen (at least 2 more, then use the spare points to add some vespids?)
- Adding some pathfinders (but they will most likely get slaughtered turn 1)
And I think it could do with a Y'vraha to round out the list - this would most likely involve dropping the hazards or a commander and a hazard.
Any thoughts?


Drop the firesights and hazards for a Y'varha. Also, 3 DC's for 20 gun drones seems a bit much. I'd throw a marker drone in a few squads of the drones to get mobile, untargetable, ML support.

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CDR_Farsight
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Re: Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List

Post#36 » Jan 11 2018 03:55

Arka0415 wrote:Null deployment lists (or, because of the 50% rule, practically-null deployment lists) are going to do well in 8th Edition. My list (in my signature) is technically a mixed-gunline list, but with 1100+ points (and all the real value) deep-striking it's effectively null deployment. Getting Markerlights into reserve, though, is much trickier.


Take a look at my "Shadow of the Manta" list. It is practically null deployment. Shadowsun and some stealth suits with about 1450 pts dropping in from Manta Strike.
To secure victory, the wise must adapt ~ Puretide

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