Possible backfield setup

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Orion7
Shas'Saal
Posts: 80

Possible backfield setup

Post#1 » Jan 04 2018 05:30

Hi, so I'm looking at getting some forge world units. Y'varha is on they list, but I'm also looking at possibly Shas'o R'alai. I'm not sure what points limit detachment layout I'll be using yet, but I'm considering trying to synergize him with some broadsides for a backfield section. So I'm hoping to get some feedback on a) this plan and b) the Shas'o in general.

Units:
Only certain front field unit: Y'varha. Will dump her missile drones to back field then do her thing


Back field:
Shas'o R'alai with blacklight marker drones

1 (currently owned) to 3 (maybe will get) broadsides with missile drones. Probably equipped with ATS hymp and SMS unless I'm on a huge board. Maybe one with the anti deep strike system

1 sensor tower.


The plan:
Fire as normal and play as normal, somewhat underwhelming missilesides, with the boosted drones providing reasonable missile support until a high threat unit falls for the weakness and enters range. Markerlight tower can provide reroll ones even if it's markerlight misses.

Declare Kayon to reroll misses
Fire markerlight tower, for three tokens. Use ML stratagem for on average 5 markerlights. If it rolls low them the blacklights can cover that deficit.
If the blacklights aren't needed they can cover secondary targets.
Unload everything, Shas'o R'alai, at BS2+ hymp at BS3+ with rerolls, missile drones at BS3+.

C'est ouch

I might also include my drone turret for further defence


Limitations? You mean you don't want Fido the kroot hound as a character?

User avatar
Arka0415
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 2679

Re: Possible backfield setup

Post#2 » Jan 04 2018 06:08

Broadsides aren't very good, but if you don't like using Commanders then they are the only other battlesuit option. To maximize the firepower of your Broadsides, a Commander using Kau'yon is useful, as are Markerlights.

However, R'alai ultimately isn't that good, nor are Broadsides, nor are Blacklight Marker Drones, nor are Missile Drones, nor are Sensor Towers. Synergizing a large number of less-than-competitive units together still doesn't make them good, sadly. Rather, consider using more viable units in the combo. Use a Missile Pod Commander instead of R'alai, Shield Drones to protect the Broadsides, and Pathfinders for Markerlight support instead of the Sensor Tower.

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Orion7
Shas'Saal
Posts: 80

Re: Possible backfield setup

Post#3 » Jan 04 2018 06:36

Yeah, commander spam just seems boring and unfluffy, so was looking for something a little different. I don't play competitive, so I'm only doing friendly lists- it just needs to be good enough to survive a fun game and not get tabled.

I'd considered using pathfinders as they're always my MVP in every game so far (rail finders are boss!) I'm just concerned that pathfinders won't survive long enough to spring the trap, considering they'll be front field supporting y'varha and other fast units.

As to the tower, I've actually had really good results using the sensor tower, it looks pants on paper but the ability to buff another unit to reroll ones before a markerlight is even fired is really good to start markerlight chains off-especially if you use it on itself. Also is crazily low threat profile means no-one ever seems to shoot it. I'm considering writing up a guide for the tactica in their use.

So, do you think it would survive a friendly game?


Limitations? You mean you don't want Fido the kroot hound as a character?

User avatar
Arka0415
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 2679

Re: Possible backfield setup

Post#4 » Jan 04 2018 08:29

Orion7 wrote:I'm just concerned that pathfinders won't survive long enough to spring the trap, considering they'll be front field supporting y'varha and other fast units.

They don't need to be up front though- keep them in the rear and in cover. Markerlights have very long ranges, so there probably won't be a need to send them closer to the enemy.

Orion7 wrote:I've actually had really good results using the sensor tower, it looks pants on paper but the ability to buff another unit to reroll ones before a markerlight is even fired is really good to start markerlight chains off-especially if you use it on itself.

The ability of the Sensor Tower is convenient, but my issue is with the High Intensity Markerlight. The Sensor Tower is not a drone, so it can't be buffed by a drone controller, so the BS can only be modified by Kauyon (once per game) or by other markerlights. Second, the High Intensity Markerlight, based on the weapon's rules wording, cannot be used with Uplinked Markerlight. It doesn't cause any Markerlight hits, but rather allows Markerlight tokens to be placed.

If you can work around those drawbacks, then it's honestly a decent, durable Markerlight source. However, it seems like it does little for its points and could easily be killed by a stray Lascannon shot.

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Orion7
Shas'Saal
Posts: 80

Re: Possible backfield setup

Post#5 » Jan 04 2018 08:55

Arka0415 wrote:
Orion7 wrote:I'm just concerned that pathfinders won't survive long enough to spring the trap, considering they'll be front field supporting y'varha and other fast units.

They don't need to be up front though- keep them in the rear and in cover. Markerlights have very long ranges, so there probably won't be a need to send them closer to the enemy.

Orion7 wrote:I've actually had really good results using the sensor tower, it looks pants on paper but the ability to buff another unit to reroll ones before a markerlight is even fired is really good to start markerlight chains off-especially if you use it on itself.

The ability of the Sensor Tower is convenient, but my issue is with the High Intensity Markerlight. The Sensor Tower is not a drone, so it can't be buffed by a drone controller, so the BS can only be modified by Kauyon (once per game) or by other markerlights. Second, the High Intensity Markerlight, based on the weapon's rules wording, cannot be used with Uplinked Markerlight. It doesn't cause any Markerlight hits, but rather allows Markerlight tokens to be placed.

If you can work around those drawbacks, then it's honestly a decent, durable Markerlight source. However, it seems like it does little for its points and could easily be killed by a stray Lascannon shot.

Admittedly we have been playing RAI on the markerlight stratagem until forgeworld get back to me


Limitations? You mean you don't want Fido the kroot hound as a character?

gunrock
Shas
Posts: 52

Re: Possible backfield setup

Post#6 » Jan 14 2018 10:12

Orion7 wrote:Hi, so I'm looking at getting some forge world units. Y'varha is on they list, but I'm also looking at possibly Shas'o R'alai. I'm not sure what points limit detachment layout I'll be using yet, but I'm considering trying to synergize him with some broadsides for a backfield section. So I'm hoping to get some feedback on a) this plan and b) the Shas'o in general.

Units:
Only certain front field unit: Y'varha. Will dump her missile drones to back field then do her thing


Back field:
Shas'o R'alai with blacklight marker drones

1 (currently owned) to 3 (maybe will get) broadsides with missile drones. Probably equipped with ATS hymp and SMS unless I'm on a huge board. Maybe one with the anti deep strike system

1 sensor tower.


The plan:
Fire as normal and play as normal, somewhat underwhelming missilesides, with the boosted drones providing reasonable missile support until a high threat unit falls for the weakness and enters range. Markerlight tower can provide reroll ones even if it's markerlight misses.

Declare Kayon to reroll misses
Fire markerlight tower, for three tokens. Use ML stratagem for on average 5 markerlights. If it rolls low them the blacklights can cover that deficit.
If the blacklights aren't needed they can cover secondary targets.
Unload everything, Shas'o R'alai, at BS2+ hymp at BS3+ with rerolls, missile drones at BS3+.

C'est ouch

I might also include my drone turret for further defence


Hey Orion!

I've been considering if there are still good defensive builds with the current unit pool. Arka touched on some good points, and it's really unfortunate that the venerable broadside is in the position that it is in. You touched upon a pathfinder/broadside based list. In the previous edition there was a FSE formation specifically for broadsides and pathfinders I've been considering re-interpretting in 8th edition. I think that building a 'pure' defensive army is not really possible in 8th. The biggest impediment is the lack of decent long range high AP weapons which almost necessitates running some number of fusion blasters and building around it. That said, I think you can build something very functionally similar to the older broadside lists using missile pod commanders as virtual broadsides.

Here's a list I've been contemplating based on a modified ranged support auxiliary, optimized stealth cadre, and retaliation cadre in the broadside playstyle:

3x Outrider Detachment (6 Command points)

HQ:
Commander - 3x Missile pod 1x ATS (156)
Commander - 3x Missile pod 1x ATS (156)
Commander - 3x Missile pod 1x ATS (156)
Commander - 3x Missile pod 1x ATS (156)
Commander - 4x Fusion Blaster, 2x Shield drones (176)
Commander - 4x Fusion Blaster, 2x Shield drones (176)

Elite:
XV 25 Stealth team - 2x Bust Cannon, 2x ATS, 1x fusion blaster, 1x Drone controller (122)
XV 25 Stealth team - 2x Bust Cannon, 2x ATS, 1x fusion blaster, 1x Drone controller (122)
XV 8 - 6x CIB, 3x ATS, 6x Gun drones (306)

Fast Attack:
Pathfinder Team - 3x ion rifle 3x markerlight/pulse carbine (60)
Pathfinder Team - 3x ion rifle 3x markerlight/pulse carbine (60)
Pathfinder Team - 3x ion rifle 3x markerlight/pulse carbine (60)
Pathfinder Team - 6x markerlight/pulse carbine (48)
Pathfinder Team - 6x markerlight/pulse carbine (48)
Tactical Drones (4x) - 4x shield generator (32)
Tactical Drones (4x) - 4x shield generator (32)
Tactical Drones (4x) - 4x shield generator (32)
Tactical drones (4x) - 8x Pulse Carbine (32)
Tactical drones (4x) - 8x Pulse Carbine (32)
Tactical drones (4x) - 8x Pulse Carbine (32)

I don't think shas'o or Y'Vahra particularly belong in this list, but maybe it at least has a bit of the positives of broadsides, without any broadsides.
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
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 2679

Re: Possible backfield setup

Post#7 » Jan 14 2018 11:04

gunrock wrote:I've been considering if there are still good defensive builds with the current unit pool. Arka touched on some good points, and it's really unfortunate that the venerable broadside is in the position that it is in. You touched upon a pathfinder/broadside based list. In the previous edition there was a FSE formation specifically for broadsides and pathfinders I've been considering re-interpretting in 8th edition. I think that building a 'pure' defensive army is not really possible in 8th. The biggest impediment is the lack of decent long range high AP weapons which almost necessitates running some number of fusion blasters and building around it. That said, I think you can build something very functionally similar to the older broadside lists using missile pod commanders as virtual broadsides.

Honestly it sounds like a good plan. You have a solid backfield but then again this is still pretty aggressive, with two Fusion Commanders and a unit of CIB XV8s. However, it feels like this list would be pretty powerless against an infantry-heavy list, and has a lot of units that don't add a ton to the plan (Shield Drones and Ion Rifle Pathfinders). I'd try to build up more short-ranged anti-infantry (i.e. Gun Drones), use those to screen for the Missile Pod Commanders, and go fewer on the Pathfinders. Maybe something like this?

-

HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS (156)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS (156)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS (156)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS (156)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x Cyclic Ion Blasters, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drones (306)
Elites - 3x Stealthsuits w/ 3x Burst Cannons, Drone Controller (95)
Elites - 3x Stealthsuits w/ 3x Burst Cannons, Drone Controller (95)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Gun Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Gun Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Gun Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Gun Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Gun Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Gun Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Gun Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Gun Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Gun Drones (48)

Total: 2000 - Command Points: 7 (1 Vanguard Detachment, 3 Outrider Detachments)

-

Okay, it's a really spammy list, but the idea would be to put a sea of layer upon layer of Gun Drones to attack and soak infantry while the Commanders delete tanks or focus down big threats every turn.

Now, speaking of big threats, this would be the perfect list to add a Stormsurge to, since you're already playing the backfield game:

-

HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS (156)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS (156)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS (156)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x Cyclic Ion Blasters, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drones (306)
Elites - 3x Stealthsuits w/ 3x Burst Cannons, Drone Controller (95)
Elites - 3x Stealthsuits w/ 3x Burst Cannons, Drone Controller (95)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
LoW - Stormsurge w/ Pulse Blastcannon, 2x Burst Cannons, Shield Generator, ATS, Stimulant Injector (437)

Total: 2001 - Command Points: 7 (1 Vanguard Detachment, 3 Outrider Detachments)

-

Dropping from 56 Gun Drones to 35 isn't going to make a big difference since it's still a huge mob, and the extra Pathfinders will be helpful in keeping the 'surge firing every turn.

What do you think?

gunrock
Shas
Posts: 52

Re: Possible backfield setup

Post#8 » Jan 15 2018 12:03

Arka0415 wrote:Honestly it sounds like a good plan. You have a solid backfield but then again this is still pretty aggressive, with two Fusion Commanders and a unit of CIB XV8s. However, it feels like this list would be pretty powerless against an infantry-heavy list, and has a lot of units that don't add a ton to the plan (Shield Drones and Ion Rifle Pathfinders). I'd try to build up more short-ranged anti-infantry (i.e. Gun Drones), use those to screen for the Missile Pod Commanders, and go fewer on the Pathfinders. Maybe something like this?
-

HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS (156)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS (156)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS (156)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS (156)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x Cyclic Ion Blasters, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drones (306)
Elites - 3x Stealthsuits w/ 3x Burst Cannons, Drone Controller (95)
Elites - 3x Stealthsuits w/ 3x Burst Cannons, Drone Controller (95)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Gun Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Gun Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Gun Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Gun Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Gun Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Gun Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Gun Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Gun Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Gun Drones (48)

Total: 2000 - Command Points: 7 (1 Vanguard Detachment, 3 Outrider Detachments)
Okay, it's a really spammy list, but the idea would be to put a sea of layer upon layer of Gun Drones to attack and soak infantry while the Commanders delete tanks or focus down big threats every turn.
-


The pathfinder are somewhat vestigial, but I do think they serve an important role distinct from gun drones. Namely, the ion rifle can shoot reasonably effectively at 30'', and also take better advantage of cover. Spamming gun drones is powerful but really starts to push a build toward just a straight up offensive commanders+drone build. You definitely want some quantity of gun drones, but that's a lot of drones! In defensive list I'm conceptualizing gun drones doing something a bit different then shock troops. Namely, acting as skirmishers, as you fall back and try to take full advantage of the 36'' missle pod profile. But yes, there's some merit to more gun drones. I'm a little unclear as to why shield drones would be bad in a back line setup. I would think you would want to insulate MP commanders from powerful long range weapons.

Arka0415 wrote:
Now, speaking of big threats, this would be the perfect list to add a Stormsurge to, since you're already playing the backfield game:

-

HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS (156)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS (156)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS (156)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x Cyclic Ion Blasters, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drones (306)
Elites - 3x Stealthsuits w/ 3x Burst Cannons, Drone Controller (95)
Elites - 3x Stealthsuits w/ 3x Burst Cannons, Drone Controller (95)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
LoW - Stormsurge w/ Pulse Blastcannon, 2x Burst Cannons, Shield Generator, ATS, Stimulant Injector (437)

Total: 2001 - Command Points: 7 (1 Vanguard Detachment, 3 Outrider Detachments)

-

Dropping from 56 Gun Drones to 35 isn't going to make a big difference since it's still a huge mob, and the extra Pathfinders will be helpful in keeping the 'surge firing every turn.

What do you think?


That's cool that you fit the stormsurge! The rockets + PBC seem like a reasonable trade for the loss of a few fusion blasters and gun drones, and fits with a backline setup. I think stormsurge still has the persistent problem of not being a battlesuit. I'm wondering if the R'Varna maybe has a role in this type of list, but I hardly ever see a build that uses it.

This is mostly theoretical as I don't own stormsurge or R'Varna, but I think its worth considering if there is a 'good' defensive build or if we're relegated to being a offensive deep strike army for the time being. You said it before and it's mostly true, that our best weapons are all at 18'', but I think there are still a few good medium range weapons (ion rifles, and missile pods), it's not exactly the rail gun of old, but it might be enough to still build something reasonable.
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
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 2679

Re: Possible backfield setup

Post#9 » Jan 15 2018 12:26

gunrock wrote:The pathfinder are somewhat vestigial, but I do think they serve an important role distinct from gun drones. Namely, the ion rifle can shoot reasonably effectively at 30'', and also take better advantage of cover.

True, but I see those Pathfinders as 180 points that might be able to take down a couple of Marines or a few wounds off a Rhino, but not a whole lot else. If you needed a dependable unit to take the last wound off a vehicle that'd make sense, but with four Missile Pod Commanders I don't see the need for any more than one (maybe two for redundancy) sniper squad.

gunrock wrote:Spamming gun drones is powerful but really starts to push a build toward just a straight up offensive commanders+drone build. You definitely want some quantity of gun drones, but that's a lot of drones! In defensive list I'm conceptualizing gun drones doing something a bit different then shock troops.

Remember that Gun Drones don't have to dash forward and get within 18". They can stay as a huge, flying, semi-liquid skirmish screen with horrifying amounts of shooting and overwatch firepower. Honestly Gun Drones are especially good in a defensive list, as they're such an excellent defensive unit with their T4 and powerful overwatch.

gunrock wrote:I'm a little unclear as to why shield drones would be bad in a back line setup. I would think you would want to insulate MP commanders from powerful long range weapons.

I mean, unless your opponent is spamming Vindicares, Stalker Bolter Killteams, and Scout Snipers then there's just no way they can pick off a Commander, let alone a Commander sitting behind dozens and dozens of Gun Drones. Remember Commanders are characters, they'd be very hard to kill even without the Gun Drones. With the Drones? All but impossible.

gunrock wrote:That's cool that you fit the stormsurge! The rockets + PBC seem like a reasonable trade for the loss of a few fusion blasters and gun drones, and fits with a backline setup. I think stormsurge still has the persistent problem of not being a battlesuit. I'm wondering if the R'Varna maybe has a role in this type of list, but I hardly ever see a build that uses it.

The R'varna is one of the most under-appreciated units in the Tau roster, since it is one of the only things we have that borders on being completely unkillable. With 60" of range it can sit in the furthest back corner, surrounded by layers of Gun and Shield Drones. The only drawback is that its firepower, surprisingly, isn't all that good. It shoots 6D3 shots at S6AP-3 that deal 3 damage, a profile very similar to that of the Y'vahra's Phased Plasma Flamer (which is identical but fires 3D6, not 6D3). However, without the auto-hitting profile it's less accurate, and it has no "second" gun- both of its weapons combined essentially equal the Y'vahra's Flamer. With Nova Charge active and full Markerlight buffs, the R'varna should be able to kill 4-5 Terminators, 2-3 Custodes, a Rhino, or a 60% of a Land Raider in one turn of shooting. Definitely a solid unit, but its 442-point cost and the fact that it looks like a Tau version of this) makes me realize why most people don't take it.

gunrock wrote:I think its worth considering if there is a 'good' defensive build or if we're relegated to being a offensive deep strike army for the time being. You said it before and it's mostly true, that our best weapons are all at 18'', but I think there are still a few good medium range weapons (ion rifles, and missile pods), it's not exactly the rail gun of old, but it might be enough to still build something reasonable.

While I did open the subject of ranged superiority in the other thread, I think a "defensive" build can't be competitive right now- you essentially yield tactical control to your opponent. However, having versatile, defensive firepower as an integral part of a mixed defensive/interdiction list sounds like a winning combination to me.

gunrock
Shas
Posts: 52

Re: Possible backfield setup

Post#10 » Jan 15 2018 04:14

HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS (156)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS, 2x Shield drones (172)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS, 2x Shield drones (172)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x Cyclic Ion Blasters, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drones (306)
Elites - 3x Stealthsuits w/ 3x Burst Cannons, Drone Controller (95)
Elites - 3x Stealthsuits w/ 3x Burst Cannons, Drone Controller (95)
Fast Attack - 5x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones (32)
XV 107 R'Varna - ATS, Multitracker, Stimulant Injector (444)

2000 points - supreme, vanguard, outrider (6 CP)

Tried a couple different variants, and this is the best I could come up with...
I think maybe you could slot it into the static/aggressive list with some slight modifications, and have a decent backfield setup. (i.e. drop strike teams for drones, drop ion for markerlights, switch the second XV-8 team to CIB+ATS, Add a fourth missile commander, and switch one fusion to missiles, etc.).

Thoughts?
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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Shas'Ui
Posts: 2679

Re: Possible backfield setup

Post#11 » Jan 15 2018 05:32

gunrock wrote:HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS (156)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS, 2x Shield drones (172)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS, 2x Shield drones (172)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x Cyclic Ion Blasters, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drones (306)
Elites - 3x Stealthsuits w/ 3x Burst Cannons, Drone Controller (95)
Elites - 3x Stealthsuits w/ 3x Burst Cannons, Drone Controller (95)
Fast Attack - 5x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones (32)
XV 107 R'Varna - ATS, Multitracker, Stimulant Injector (444)

2000 points - supreme, vanguard, outrider (6 CP)

If you're running a R'varna list a few things will need to change I think. First the R'varna only gets two Support System slots and isn't allowed a Multi-Tracker, so its cost is basically 442 fixed. Also, you'll definitely need Shield Drones, T8/Sv5++ won't hold up too long against Lascannon fire etc. Second, I'm not really seeing the function of the two Stealthsuit squads, since they're ultimately not all that good at anti-infantry, which is what this list lacks a ton of. With that in mind, I guess here's what I'd do:

-

HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS (156)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS (156)
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/ 8x Cyclic Ion Blasters, Drone Controller; 6x Gun Drones (323)
Elites - 3x Stealthsuits w/ 3x Burst Cannons; 2x Shield Drones (106)
Fast Attack - 5x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Shield Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Shield Drones (40)
Heavy Support - R'Varna w/ 2x Pulse Submunittion Cannons, ATS, Stimulant Injector (442)
Flyer - Sun Shark Bomber w/ Markerlight, 2x Missile Pods, 2x Seeker Missiles; 2x Interceptor Drones (191)

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

-

The idea here is to have two Commanders, the infantry, the drones, and the R'varna castle up somewhere while the XV8s, Fusion Commander, and Sun Shark run interdiction. The Stealthsuits should offer a decent objective-holding unit too. I ultimately added the Fire Warriors because this list will need more Markerlights and Command Points.

What do you think?

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Orion7
Shas'Saal
Posts: 80

Re: Possible backfield setup

Post#12 » Jan 15 2018 09:29

I like the idea of this! Playing commanders but fluffing them as broadsides. It makes a slightly different play to the commander spam that's normally seen.

In that list you presented with not a lot of anti infantry firepower, perhaps replace some pathfinders with a fire support Hammerhead with SMS and twin heavy BC.
That beast is so versatile it's unreal, and just chomps through infantry. It's out of print but a legal unit, and very easy to convert a normal Hammerhead


Limitations? You mean you don't want Fido the kroot hound as a character?

gunrock
Shas
Posts: 52

Re: Possible backfield setup

Post#13 » Jan 15 2018 08:02

Arka0415 wrote:
If you're running a R'varna list a few things will need to change I think. First the R'varna only gets two Support System slots and isn't allowed a Multi-Tracker, so its cost is basically 442 fixed. Also, you'll definitely need Shield Drones, T8/Sv5++ won't hold up too long against Lascannon fire etc. Second, I'm not really seeing the function of the two Stealthsuit squads, since they're ultimately not all that good at anti-infantry, which is what this list lacks a ton of. With that in mind, I guess here's what I'd do:


I didn't realize that about multitracker on the R'Varna. I was going off of battlescribe which will usually flag if you've added too many support systems, and does not let you remove multitracker, but lets you 'pick' ats and stims, so I was under the impression that multitracker was some sort of special case default, like marker light+target lock on a stealth suit. Either way, no biggie, the multi tracker is not terribly important.

Shield drones. Yes, lets add shield drones.

The idea with the stealth teams was that the list needed some ways to score and hold objectives, as most of the other units were either intended to stay on the back line, or do interdiction. They definitely don't add a lot of firepower, but they're good at sitting near objectives while you wait for your long range weapons to deal with threats. The other issue I was hitting is finding a decent candidate for a drone controller, as most the other good targets want to be far forward. The other good choice for that job (XV-9) who wants ATS. I actually think they can be dropped entirely without too much of an issue.

Arka0415 wrote:
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS (156)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS (156)
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/ 8x Cyclic Ion Blasters, Drone Controller; 6x Gun Drones (323)
Elites - 3x Stealthsuits w/ 3x Burst Cannons; 2x Shield Drones (106)
Fast Attack - 5x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Shield Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Shield Drones (40)
Heavy Support - R'Varna w/ 2x Pulse Submunittion Cannons, ATS, Stimulant Injector (442)
Flyer - Sun Shark Bomber w/ Markerlight, 2x Missile Pods, 2x Seeker Missiles; 2x Interceptor Drones (191)

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

-

The idea here is to have two Commanders, the infantry, the drones, and the R'varna castle up somewhere while the XV8s, Fusion Commander, and Sun Shark run interdiction. The Stealthsuits should offer a decent objective-holding unit too. I ultimately added the Fire Warriors because this list will need more Markerlights and Command Points.

What do you think?


I think this is interesting. The shield drones are a definite improvement. Switching to the CIB8+DC loadout makes sense for better covering against infantry and also nets a drone controller that can be useful elsewhere. I can't speak to the sun shark bomber as I have little experience with it, but ion weapons, more missile pods, and seeker missiles seem good. Seeker missiles are one of the things that there really was not a particularly good platform to put them on and made the storm surge build more appealing. I suspect that running a lot of backfield units will make games go longer which justifies building towards more CP and robust marker light support, but I find myself reconsidering the drone heavy build.

This also feels weird to say (because it's a great gun), but how much does this list really need CIB? By that I mean there's a functional overlap between the overcharge profile, and missile pods. the 8 CIB + DC is undoubtedly going to be better at addressing infantry and provides important support for the fusion commander, but perhaps XV-9 paired with a missile commander could fill the same role and provide the flexibility of smaller squads.

I think there's also a question of play style with this build as I'm starting to view the role of the missile commanders as more trans-positional. In 7th, with FSE rules you could run Missilesides as deep strike units combined with relentless, which gave you option of using them offensively, plopping them in a corner of your opponents deployment and effectively controlling a 36'' bubble. Missile commanders can still do that, but I feel dropping the shield drones forces you to place them on the back line, where they might otherwise be able better able to switch roles.

Orion7 wrote:I like the idea of this! Playing commanders but fluffing them as broadsides. It makes a slightly different play to the commander spam that's normally seen.

In that list you presented with not a lot of anti infantry firepower, perhaps replace some pathfinders with a fire support Hammerhead with SMS and twin heavy BC.
That beast is so versatile it's unreal, and just chomps through infantry. It's out of print but a legal unit, and very easy to convert a normal Hammerhead


Hey Orion7, glad you like these builds. I was looking at the broadside model and thinking it would actually make a really great looking commander with some modification. I feel you on getting away from the pure commander spam, we know what that list looks like as well as the good mixed gunline+deepstrike setups, but 'defensive' lists always get the short end of the stick.

I didn't find the HBC variant under battlescribe, but I'm assuming its the same gun as on the riptide. I can see it shredding light and medium infantry pretty effectively, but I think it still has the problem that basically all of our back line units have in that can't take advantage of savior protocols to extend it's durability. The R'Varna is one of the few heavy support choices that can do this, which is why it's an perhaps a better pick for a backfield build. The other thing is that it there are a few other ways to get a similar profile (without the range), burst cannon + ATS is only slightly worse, and CIB can do similar things to the HBC. I did another draft and there's actually enough room to fit a hammerhead, but I think it's niche is somewhat displaced by drones, CIB, and ATS burst cannon.

Here's another revision going back to some of the previous ideas:

HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS, 2x shield drones (172)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS, 2x shield drones (172)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, 1x DC (153)
XV9 Hazard Suit - 2x DBBC, ATS, 4x Gun drones (133)
XV9 Hazard Suit - 2x DBBC, ATS, 4x Gun drones (133)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 4x Shield Drones, 2x marker drones (52)
Fast Attack - 4x Shield Drones, 2x marker drones (52)
Fast Attack - 4x Shield Drones, 2x marker drones (52)
Heavy Support - R'Varna w/ 2x Pulse Submunittion Cannons, ATS, Stimulant Injector (442)

1835 pts.

So we re-add the commander shield drones so they can function far forward, and split the XV-8 CIB team for two teams XV-9 with drones, which gives us two nicely balanced interdiction teams with fusion + missile + DBBC. The last DC+missile commander functions as part of the 'gun-line'. I also think dropping fireblade makes sense in this setup as it limits the mobility of the cluster which can skirmish much more effectively. Losing an ATS sucks, but feels better then wasting a stealth team, XV-8 or XV-9 for the same job. The character rule is also a boon over the alternatives. I understand the desire to drop fusion commanders, but I think having only one full-power interdiction team (XV-8 + fusion commander) is not enough. There's almost enough room to re-add the sun-shark, a stealth team, build in more marker lights, or fit another drone controller somewhere.(maybe adding an XV-9 with a DC that can work either front or backline, or adding firesight marksmen?)

On another note, these builds don't look much weaker then a similar Y'Vahra build, In some ways I think they might be a bit more flexible in that if you can't win right away, you can still very effectively turtle and grind out a game, but there's still enough deep strike elements to go an offensive route.
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: Possible backfield setup

Post#14 » Jan 15 2018 08:24

gunrock wrote:This also feels weird to say (because it's a great gun), but how much does this list really need CIB? By that I mean there's a functional overlap between the overcharge profile, and missile pods. the 8 CIB + DC is undoubtedly going to be better at addressing infantry and provides important support for the fusion commander, but perhaps XV-9 paired with a missile commander could fill the same role and provide the flexibility of smaller squads.

The idea of the CIB XV8s was that they'd be an effective all-purpose companion unit to the Fusion Commander, since they can either clear out infantry around the Fusion Commander's effective target, or assist with anti-vehicle firepower. The idea of splitting up the Missile Pod Commanders is interesting- basically making a less-decentralized backfield, or even deep strikes in the opponent's deployment zone. The Tau backfield will always have a "core" though with the giant R'varna sitting there.

gunrock wrote:So we re-add the commander shield drones so they can function far forward, and split the XV-8 CIB team for two teams XV-9 with drones, which gives us two nicely balanced interdiction teams with fusion + missile + DBBC. The last DC+missile commander functions as part of the 'gun-line'. I also think dropping fireblade makes sense in this setup as it limits the mobility of the cluster which can skirmish much more effectively. Losing an ATS sucks, but feels better then wasting a stealth team, XV-8 or XV-9 for the same job. The character rule is also a boon over the alternatives. I understand the desire to drop fusion commanders, but I think having only one full-power interdiction team (XV-8 + fusion commander) is not enough. There's almost enough room to re-add the sun-shark, a stealth team, build in more marker lights, or fit another drone controller somewhere.(maybe adding an XV-9 with a DC that can work either front or backline, or adding firesight marksmen?)

I think it's a solid start- XV9s and more Fusion Blaster commanders will be an effective counter to infantry and vehicles, while the R'vahra will hopefully work against monsters, light vehicles, and heavy infantry like Custodes, Terminators, and Centurions. I'd definitely add more Markerlights and more Command Points though, they're so important in a list like this. The Fireblade may not be necessary but I think the Fire Warriors are, at least three minimum-sized squads.

I don't have time to write out a new list but I'll get to it later. For now consider ways to increase Markerlights, defenses, and uses for those Markerlights.

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Arka0415
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Re: Possible backfield setup

Post#15 » Jan 15 2018 11:03

So here's what I've been thinking about. This sort of list is so utterly different from regular meta Tau lists, that I think it needs to get built in parts. The whole idea is to use a Shield Drone-supported R'varna, so this would be the core chunk:

HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS (156)
Fast Attack - 5x Pathfinders w/ 5x Markerlights (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Pathfinders w/ 5x Markerlights (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Shield Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Shield Drones (40)
Heavy Support - R'varna w/ 2x Pulse Submunition Cannons, Stimulant Injector, ATS (442)

That's 758 points and has the Commander for turn one Kauyon, the Shield Drones to defend the R'varna, Pathfinders for Markerlights, and of course the R'varna itself. Next I think backup Markerlights and Command Points will be critical, so we'll add some Fire Warriors:

Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)

This brings us to 887. The R'varna isn't great at killing heavy tanks like Land Raiders, so we should add some solid anti-tank firepower too:

HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)

Now that's 1239 points, and we're lacking in two areas: screening and anti-infantry firepower. That's why I feel that Gun Drones could be critical here, as they offer both. I'll add three squads, to hang out in front of the Fire Warrior squads as extra screening:

Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)

In total that puts the list at this:

-

HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS (156)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Fast Attack - 5x Pathfinders w/ 5x Markerlights (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Pathfinders w/ 5x Markerlights (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Shield Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Shield Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Heavy Support - R'varna w/ 2x Pulse Submunition Cannons, Stimulant Injector, ATS (442)

Total: 1359

-

Still plenty of room to fill out the 2000 points. Personally I think the answer would be more deep striking units, possibly Flamer XV8s if you're feeling risky.

What else would you use?

gunrock
Shas
Posts: 52

Re: Possible backfield setup

Post#16 » Jan 17 2018 02:15

Arka0415 wrote:So here's what I've been thinking about. This sort of list is so utterly different from regular meta Tau lists, that I think it needs to get built in parts. The whole idea is to use a Shield Drone-supported R'varna, so this would be the core chunk:

HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS (156)
Fast Attack - 5x Pathfinders w/ 5x Markerlights (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Pathfinders w/ 5x Markerlights (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Shield Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Shield Drones (40)
Heavy Support - R'varna w/ 2x Pulse Submunition Cannons, Stimulant Injector, ATS (442)

That's 758 points and has the Commander for turn one Kauyon, the Shield Drones to defend the R'varna, Pathfinders for Markerlights, and of course the R'varna itself. Next I think backup Markerlights and Command Points will be critical, so we'll add some Fire Warriors:

Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)

This brings us to 887. The R'varna isn't great at killing heavy tanks like Land Raiders, so we should add some solid anti-tank firepower too:

HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)

Now that's 1239 points, and we're lacking in two areas: screening and anti-infantry firepower. That's why I feel that Gun Drones could be critical here, as they offer both. I'll add three squads, to hang out in front of the Fire Warrior squads as extra screening:

Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)

In total that puts the list at this:

-

HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pods, ATS (156)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Fast Attack - 5x Pathfinders w/ 5x Markerlights (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Pathfinders w/ 5x Markerlights (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Shield Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Shield Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Gun Drones (40)
Heavy Support - R'varna w/ 2x Pulse Submunition Cannons, Stimulant Injector, ATS (442)

Total: 1359

-

Still plenty of room to fill out the 2000 points. Personally I think the answer would be more deep striking units, possibly Flamer XV8s if you're feeling risky.

What else would you use?


This is a really great analysis! Looking at it in blocks really helps to clarify what this list should be doing.

641 points is also a pretty perfect amount to build in a variety of things. Here's some of the slot-ins that come to mind:

XV-8 Teams:
XV-8 (3x) - 6x CIB, 3x ATS, 6x gun Drones (306)
XV-8 (3x) - 8x CIB, 1x DC, 6x Gun Drones (323)
total: 629 points

Covers a huge range of scenarios, provides full support t both fusion commanders, adds an extra drone controller which has nice synergy with all the gun drones. The primary 'con' that I see with this setup is that CIB is marker light intensive, and this leaves no room to add. Also, presumably the R'Varna needs to stick around to be efficient, and wants markerlights to do so. The 11 points is enough to build in some number of marker drones.

XV-8 (3x) - 6x CIB, 3x ATS, 6x Gun Drones (306)
XV-8 (3x) - 6x CIB, 3x ATS, 6x Gun Drones (306)
Cadre fireblade - Pulse rifle, marker light (42)
Total: 656 points

Goes slightly over, but buffs the whole gun line, can work with the gun drones, adds a resilient markerlight that should stick around in later turns. The loss of drone controller irks me.

Commanders + XV-9:
Commander - 3x Missile Pod, 1x ATS, 2 Shield drones (172)
Commander - 3x Missile Pod, 1x ATS, 2 Shield drones (172)
XV-9 - 2x DBC, 1x ATS, 4x Gun Drones (133)
XV-9 - 2x DBC, 1x ATS, 4x Gun Drones (133)
Cadre Fireblade - Pulse rifle, marker light (42)
Total: 652

I think the pair might be able to cover a lot of the same territory as the CIB ATS, but with more flexibility in range IDK? The commanders also care less about markerlights, as they only really benefit from single hits. Thoughts?

These are just the obvious one to me, maybe someone else can think of something more creative..

Other thoughts:
- All the fireblade setups could be swapped for a 3rd pathfinder team.
- The markerlight base still seems a bit weak, the strike teams help, but It seems likely to lose marker light support pretty early. In a purely offensive list this seems like less on of an issue?
- How bad is a MP commander without ATS? Having a backfield DC would be nice and also allow you to build in marker drones similar to strike team to hopefully extend markerlight support into the later turns?
- Shadowsun?!?!?!?
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: 128

Re: Possible backfield setup

Post#17 » Jan 17 2018 04:19

How about this for the last 641 points?
-XV-8 (3x) - 8x CIB, 1x DC, 6x Gun Drones (323)
-5 Vespids 75
-5 Vespids 75
Crisis suits to accompany the commanders and generally provide interdiction, and vespids for additional firepower/ screening / mobility
A unit of markerlights to balance things out
-5 Pathfinders 40
And then a hazard
-XV9 Hazard, 2x DBBC, ATS, 4x Gun drones 133

This sits you at 646 points, so where we want to be. There isn't much structure in this section of the list, just units I thought would fit in. If we compare it to gunrock's option, I think his third one (2x missile commander, 2x hazard and a cadre Fireblade) could be better - it sacrifices utility for more firepower.

gunrock
Shas
Posts: 52

Re: Possible backfield setup

Post#18 » Jan 18 2018 04:28

Watcher on the wall wrote:How about this for the last 641 points?
-XV-8 (3x) - 8x CIB, 1x DC, 6x Gun Drones (323)
-5 Vespids 75
-5 Vespids 75
Crisis suits to accompany the commanders and generally provide interdiction, and vespids for additional firepower/ screening / mobility
A unit of markerlights to balance things out
-5 Pathfinders 40
And then a hazard
-XV9 Hazard, 2x DBBC, ATS, 4x Gun drones 133

This sits you at 646 points, so where we want to be. There isn't much structure in this section of the list, just units I thought would fit in. If we compare it to gunrock's option, I think his third one (2x missile commander, 2x hazard and a cadre Fireblade) could be better - it sacrifices utility for more firepower.


I've been really weighing the pros and cons of vespids as it was something I hadn't really considered. They compete for a slot for another commander/stealth team/XV-9, but offer two high mobility deep strike units with a weapons profile not readily available in any other form that is less redundant than then a second XV-9 package. I'm really struggling to gauge whether they're good or not. Maybe, it's a thought to keep in mind.
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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