2000Pt List vs Blood Angels

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warlord577
Shas
Posts: 9

2000Pt List vs Blood Angels

Post#1 » Jan 11 2018 08:04

Hi,

I was hoping to get some advice from a more experienced player for this list I am planning to use against Blood Angels.

It is based on the lists described in the 'Archetypal Static/Agressive 2000pt. List' (thanks to everyone there for a great discussion, I love seeing Tau used aggressively like this), but with a couple of tweaks.

HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ Coldstar Battlesuit, Missile Pod, HOBC, ATS, Shield Gen, 2x Shield Drones (166)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 6x Shield Drone (306)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 6x Shield Drone (306)
Elites - XV9 Hazard w/ 2x DBBC, ATS, 4x Shield Drone (133)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Shield Drones (32)
Fast Attack - 4x Shield Drones (32)
Fast Attack - Y'vahra w/ Ionic Discharge Cannon, Phased Ion Flamer, ATS, Stimulant Injector (408)

Total: 2002 - Command Points: 8 (1 Battalion Detachment, 1 Vanguard Detachment, 1 Outrider Detachment)

I have a couple of specific questions:

- I have favoured Shield Drones over Gun drones because I don't think Gun Drones are effective enough against MEQ to sacrifice the defensive benefit of Shield Drones - is this a good decision?

- I sacrificed a QFB Commander for a Coldstar Commander, so that the Coldstar can start on the board, activate Mont'ka, allow for faster Y'Vahra movement - does this leave me with too few options for removing well armoured models?

- Have I spent too many points on Shield Drones? Maybe I could drop the XV9 and its drones in favour of something else? I suggest dropping the XV9 because I wouldn't want to drop shield drones from one of the Tactical Drones squads as they need to be on the board at the start to protect the Y'Vahra.

And in general, anything you think I have missed which is important to consider when facing Blood Angels? I haven't played them, or Marines in general, since 7th.

Thanks in advance for any comments!
Last edited by warlord577 on Jan 11 2018 08:56, edited 1 time in total.

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Arka0415
Shas'Vre
Shas'Vre
Posts: 3168

Re: 2000Pt List vs Blood Angels

Post#2 » Jan 11 2018 08:53

Honestly looks like a great list. Tau are best played aggressive this edition, as that thread detailed. A few things though- first, since the Coldstar is a character, it doesn't need the Shield Drones as it can't be targeted for alpha strike. Switch these over to the Cadre Fireblade to protect him against sniper units!

(If the enemy has a sniper unit so powerful it could harm the Coldstar, then just deploy the Coldstar near the Y'vahra's Shield Drones!)

By the way, does your XV9 have ATS equipped? It doesn't say in the list, but if I recall correctly an XV9 with ATS and four drones costs 133 points, so I guess you have it on there?

Edit: I forgot- about playing Blood Angels. Their whole theme is hitting hard and fast, with elite Jump Pack units, special dreadnoughts, and fast tanks. Your list will do well but remember to keep your aggression in check- you may outshoot them but they definitely outfight you. Target their mobile units first- Assault Marines, Interceptors, Sanguinary Guard, and Jump Pack Death Company. With these units dead you can easily harass their foot units. Your list's complete lack of long-range firepower may be a problem though, if they bring Devastators, Hellblasters, or Predators.

warlord577
Shas
Posts: 9

Re: 2000Pt List vs Blood Angels

Post#3 » Jan 11 2018 09:47

Great point about the Coldstar, and you're right about my XV9 (I've edited to reflect this).

Thanks for the tactics vs blood angels. What could I do about long range firepower? Maybe drop the XV9 in favour of something else?

I don't think I would want to try a tank of my own as a one of, as suffer from a few flaws for us in 8th when not in a group.

Watcher on the wall
Shas'Saal
Posts: 136

Re: 2000Pt List vs Blood Angels

Post#4 » Jan 11 2018 01:51

warlord577 wrote:I have a couple of specific questions:

- I have favoured Shield Drones over Gun drones because I don't think Gun Drones are effective enough against MEQ to sacrifice the defensive benefit of Shield Drones - is this a good decision?

- I sacrificed a QFB Commander for a Coldstar Commander, so that the Coldstar can start on the board, activate Mont'ka, allow for faster Y'Vahra movement - does this leave me with too few options for removing well armoured models?

- Have I spent too many points on Shield Drones? Maybe I could drop the XV9 and its drones in favour of something else? I suggest dropping the XV9 because I wouldn't want to drop shield drones from one of the Tactical Drones squads as they need to be on the board at the start to protect the Y'Vahra.

I don't often face marine armies either, but I can contribute regarding the shield drones.

Against T4 3+ targets, 6 gun drones will do on average 2.07 kills, rising to 3.11 if they are next to a drone controller. It's not amazing, but certainly nothing to sniff at: to compare, the 15 fire warriors in your gunline will kill 1.95 a turn, rising to 5.83 if they're in rapid fire range - gun drones will do similar amounts of damage. As such, I'd recommend them on your XV8s, definitely, and maybe on the hazard. The drones protecting the y'vraha should stay as shield drones.

Regarding the Coldstar, it's tough. A coldstar is the funner choice and more versatile, but the fusion commander is probably the more competitive choice.

I do think you are lacking a drone controller, and a homing beacon would be nice, but apart from that you probably shouldn't drop the hazard. Actually, you could give the coldstar a drone controller, which would a) make it worth it and b) give those gun drones on the CIB battlesuits that lovely 4+ to hit.

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Arka0415
Shas'Vre
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Posts: 3168

Re: 2000Pt List vs Blood Angels

Post#5 » Jan 11 2018 06:45

Watcher on the wall wrote:Against T4 3+ targets, 6 gun drones will do on average 2.07 kills, rising to 3.11 if they are next to a drone controller. It's not amazing, but certainly nothing to sniff at: to compare, the 15 fire warriors in your gunline will kill 1.95 a turn, rising to 5.83 if they're in rapid fire range - gun drones will do similar amounts of damage.

Yeah, it's important to remember that 2-3 kills may not seem like all that many, but that could be 35-45 points worth of damage. And remember, if most Space Marine armies don't spam T4/Sv3+, so killing 3 Space Marines could represent a loss of 10% of their infantry base.

warlord577
Shas
Posts: 9

Re: 2000Pt List vs Blood Angels

Post#6 » Jan 12 2018 03:55

Watcher:

Thanks for your analysis.

It's not amazing, but certainly nothing to sniff at: to compare, the 15 fire warriors in your gunline will kill 1.95 a turn, rising to 5.83 if they're in rapid fire range


This is particularly insightful, now that I think of the Gun Drones effectiveness compared to the Fire Warriors, it doesn't seem so bad.

Actually, you could give the coldstar a drone controller


I think this is definitely the way to go if I want to swap out some of the Shield Drones for Gun Drones, and based on what both you and Arka have said I think I may well do that.

At this point then I think I have two questions:

- Is it wise to mix squads of drones? E.g. should the XV8s each come down with 3/3 Shield/Gun drones? Or would it be better to give the XV8s all Gun Drones and get Shield Drones from other sources, i.e. Hazard & Commanders?

- Do we have anything in our arsenal that can help me deal with Devastator squads with long range weapons? As noted by Arka:

Your list's complete lack of long-range firepower may be a problem though, if they bring Devastators, Hellblasters, or Predators.


Cheers!

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Arka0415
Shas'Vre
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Re: 2000Pt List vs Blood Angels

Post#7 » Jan 12 2018 07:49

warlord577 wrote:Is it wise to mix squads of drones? E.g. should the XV8s each come down with 3/3 Shield/Gun drones? Or would it be better to give the XV8s all Gun Drones and get Shield Drones from other sources, i.e. Hazard & Commanders?

Mixing Gun/Shield Drones honestly comes down to personal preference. For example, an XV8 squad that's arriving unaccompanied by Commanders and Stealthsuits might want a higher proportion of Shield Drones, since it's unsupported. On the other hand, a pair of XV8 squads supported by Commanders is a lot of eggs in one basket so to speak, and you really want to maximize firepower- in this case, Gun Drones all the way.

warlord577 wrote:Do we have anything in our arsenal that can help me deal with Devastator squads with long range weapons? As noted by Arka.

Interestingly, we Tau have no mathematically-efficient solution to backfield single-wound models. Missile Pods are overkill with D3 damage, and Smart Missile Systems don't come on any good chassis. Therefore, interestingly, the best solution might be long-range potshots with Pulse Rifles or Ion Rifles.

That said though, our best long-range unit is the Missile Pod Commander. It's fantastic against multi-wound targets such as Hellblasters, Predators, Whirlwinds, etc. While it excels against multi-wound targets, it isn't bad against single-wound targets either.

So, to engage backfield units, you have:

#1: Clever deep strikes. You can safely deep strike behind them, that's the best.
#2: Missile Pod Commanders. Fantastic against multi-wound targets, good against single-wound targets.
#3: Pathfinders. Use Ion Rifles and hope for high rolls on your D3s.
#4: Fire Warriors. Shoot at 30" range and hope for the best!

warlord577
Shas
Posts: 9

Re: 2000Pt List vs Blood Angels

Post#8 » Jan 12 2018 08:16

Bearing all these great suggestions in mind, here is an updated list (changed units in bold):

HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ Coldstar Battlesuit, Missile Pod, HOBC, ATS, Drone Controller (147)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drone (306)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drone (306)

Elites - XV9 Hazard w/ 2x DBBC, ATS, 4x Shield Drone (133)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Fast Attack - 5x Shield Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Shield Drones (40)

Fast Attack - Y'vahra w/ Ionic Discharge Cannon, Phased Ion Flamer, ATS, Stimulant Injector (408)

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

- XV8 teams now drop down with full Gun Drones
- Coldstar has Drone Controller to maximise efficiency of the added Gun Drones, and no longer has redundant Shield Drones
- Tactical Drones squads have an additional Shield Drone each.

This means that in deployment the Y'Vahra will be protected by 10 Shield Drones from the tactical Drones squads.

When the Y'Vahra outpaces those drones he will be joined by 8 Shield Drones (4 from XV9, 2 from each Commander), and 12 Gun Drones from the XV8 teams.

My main concern with this is placement when Manta Striking. I will be forced to deep strike everything together, with at least one drone from each unit within 3" of the Y'Vahra.

Do you generally use careful placement to ensure all the drone squads can saviour protocols for the Y'Vahra? It's not feasible to have all the drones squads able to saviour protocols for each deployed battlesuit is it?

In which case, how do people usually arrange their manta'd units? E.g. Y'Vahra in the middle, with XV8 squads either side? Or first Commanders then XV8s further out?

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Arka0415
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Re: 2000Pt List vs Blood Angels

Post#9 » Jan 12 2018 08:30

warlord577 wrote:Bearing all these great suggestions in mind, here is an updated list (changed units in bold):

HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ Coldstar Battlesuit, Missile Pod, HOBC, ATS, Drone Controller (147)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drone (306)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drone (306)

Elites - XV9 Hazard w/ 2x DBBC, ATS, 4x Shield Drone (133)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Fast Attack - 5x Shield Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Shield Drones (40)

Fast Attack - Y'vahra w/ Ionic Discharge Cannon, Phased Ion Flamer, ATS, Stimulant Injector (408)

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

Looks wonderful!

warlord577 wrote:When the Y'Vahra outpaces those drones he will be joined by 8 Shield Drones (4 from XV9, 2 from each Commander), and 12 Gun Drones from the XV8 teams.

My main concern with this is placement when Manta Striking. I will be forced to deep strike everything together, with at least one drone from each unit within 3" of the Y'Vahra.

By and large, you don't want all of the squads to drop in together. Yes the XV9 and Y'vahra are a good pair, and probably an XV8 squad, but remember that there's such a thing as too much firepower. Imagine that you put the XV9, and XV8 squad, and the Y'vahra together. You have enough firepower there to kill a Land Raider and all of the Terminators inside it. That's probably 600-700 points worth of kills.

Your Fusion Commanders may not be needed- use them instead to hunt down out-of-position monsters, or crack transports to allow Gun Drones or CIBs to kill the occupants.

Here's a simple bit of theory tactics. Of course adjust as the battlefield conditions require:

1. Identify three hard targets A, B, and C, in order of threat posed to your army.
2. Near major threat A move the Y'vahra, and drop in the XV9 and one squad of XV8s.
3. Near semi-major threat B drop in the other XV8 squad and one Fusion Commander.
4. If you feel the Fusion Commander's extra firepower is needed against A or B, deploy as needed.
5. Otherwise, drop in the Commander near threat C.

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JancoBCN
Shas'Saal
Posts: 106

Re: 2000Pt List vs Blood Angels

Post#10 » Jan 15 2018 06:36

warlord577 wrote:Bearing all these great suggestions in mind, here is an updated list (changed units in bold):

HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters, 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ Coldstar Battlesuit, Missile Pod, HOBC, ATS, Drone Controller (147)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (43)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drone (306)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x CIBs, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drone (306)

Elites - XV9 Hazard w/ 2x DBBC, ATS, 4x Shield Drone (133)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Fast Attack - 5x Shield Drones (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Shield Drones (40)

Fast Attack - Y'vahra w/ Ionic Discharge Cannon, Phased Ion Flamer, ATS, Stimulant Injector (408)

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


It looks like a great list. I have played twice againts Blood Angels, and I think it is a pretty good matchup for T'au, and specially lists like yours.
They can use some vehicles (Stormravens, Predators?) but it is not common, given that those players love to get close ASAP to get to combat phases. They tend to rely on Thunder Hammers/Power fists to really kill some monsters, so your Y'vahra will shine there, as they will face the Plasma Flamer overwatch problem, as well as your many extra wounds on your Shield drones.

You mentioned earlier if Coldstar was a good option here vs a 3rd QFC. Definitely! With an Y'vahra and 2 QFC you will be very well suited to pop all enemy tanks vs almost every opponent, but more so vs a Blood Angel player. Also, you have those CIB Crisis teams for extra S8, multi-damage shots. The extra mobility of the Coldstar is huge in my experience, and it is one of the best bearers of our Relic, as well as the perfect Mont'ka caller to help the Y'vahra out in T1.

warlord577 wrote:When the Y'Vahra outpaces those drones he will be joined by 8 Shield Drones (4 from XV9, 2 from each Commander), and 12 Gun Drones from the XV8 teams.

My main concern with this is placement when Manta Striking. I will be forced to deep strike everything together, with at least one drone from each unit within 3" of the Y'Vahra.

Do you generally use careful placement to ensure all the drone squads can saviour protocols for the Y'Vahra? It's not feasible to have all the drones squads able to saviour protocols for each deployed battlesuit is it?

In which case, how do people usually arrange their manta'd units? E.g. Y'Vahra in the middle, with XV8 squads either side? Or first Commanders then XV8s further out?


The key on your game will probably be wether the Y'vahra is living or not, and while I tend to swarm the field with as many shield drones as I can, and drop my manta ones close to her too, vs an elite army you will be better served by trying to damage them as fast as possbile to hugely reduce their firepower (Hellblasters, Predators..).

Once that done, there is another thing you have to bear in mind: Deep striking jet pack bubles. They can (and usually do) build some really expensive (600+ points) bubles coming at you from 9", and they can use a stratagem to roll 3D6 for charging instead of 2D6. You have to just know that and drop your manta drones sorrounding (occupying as much space as you can) your Y'vahra, while your slowest guys (Firewarriors) try to deny some good spots on your back while advancing. Your pathfinders can be really key here in denying deepstrike zones, as they can move 7" when you know if you will be 1st, or second.
Remember that if they charge a non-flying unit and they don't kill it, they can make so that you cannot fall back, so you would not be able to shoot and kill it's main melee unit. Trying to outpace them can be tricky, as those jump-pack guys move 12".
The good thing is that the overwatch should be deadly for him, althoug they have a Relic that avoids overwatch of any kind, as well as re-roll failed charge rolls for the character.

The last thing I wanted to mention is that, if your opponent has some scouts, they can be really annoying for your plan of droping manta units close to your Y'vahra. Keep that in mind during deployment if your know their list.


TLDR: While keeping your Y'vahra alive (some drones with her all the time), try to pick their key expensive shooting units. Be prepared to hold a wrekking ball charge from 9", and even hold some deepstrikers to counter theirs.

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