Tanks or Tidewall?

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Wilson1989
Shas
Posts: 15

Tanks or Tidewall?

Post#1 » Feb 04 2018 02:14

Right so I’ve been looking into trying to make my army unique to my FLGS (when I actually get the time to go). Now I’ve seen many Tau players with Battlesuit (mainly commander spam), mechanised, Gunline and Drone based armies and it got my thinking do we have another option within our current rule set?

*enter Tidewall fortification*

Now I’m not sure if this has been discussed yet (if it has please direct me to it... if not let’s discuss it).
So I’ve been underwhelmed by the performance of our vehicles for some time now and have been looking in the index for something with a bit more to it.

Firstly let’s consider the Droneport against its similar tank counterpart the Devilfish...
So points wise a basic Devilfish with a burst cannon and x2 gun drones clocks in at a whopping 127 points.
Whereas the Droneport with x4 gun drones clocks in at 102 points. Now let’s add a firesight marksman to make it 126 points.
And when comparing the 2 the strengths of the Devilfish are;
Faster movement
More wounds (+2) - although it’s profile worsens as it is damaged in battle
Can attack in close combat
Better armour save (1 better)
Can bring seeker Missiles
Carries 2 more passengers (really 3 with the firesight marksman)
And the Droneport (with firesight marksman)
Opentopped so firewarriors embarked are not entirely bored
Better BS (due to the Firesight Marksman)
More shots (+4) with gun drones
Can upgrade the gun drones to market drones for a mere 8 points!)
Firesight marksman can also still shoot his Markerlight
More likely to be used as cover when moving forward with the rest of the army due to its slower speed.

Now it does look like the Devilfish has more going for it in the strengths department but I think what all of us have missed is that this gives us a firebase which is also mechanised!

Secondly, let’s consider the railhead against the Tidewall gun rights (with firesight marksman)... the basic rail head comes in at 161 points and the gun rig at 163 points.

Strengths of the railhead:
More wounds (+3) but again a degrading profile
Better armour save (1better)

And the gunrig;
2 railgun shots!
Transport capacity - not just a 1 trick pony!
Which is also opentopped!

Now this on paper does look better as it has the 2 anti large shots our railhead craves!

I was wondering if anayone has tried here options previously?
I think this could be a good suprise tactic against most of our opositions as most expect commander spam or gun drone spam.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers!

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Beerson
Shas'Saal
Posts: 214

Re: Tanks or Tidewall?

Post#2 » Feb 04 2018 03:07

Personally I would wait with such projects till after the codex drops

To me, only the shieldline seems interesting in list building now, as it doesn't explode

The droneport has seen lot of disscussion prior to CA release as somewhat effective way of delivering markerlights

Over all, if you like gunline gameplay you can go for strikers w/ fireblade, or breachers on the shieldwall, but generaly 2 hammerheads, optimaly FW ones, with Longstrike is the way to go

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Arka0415
Shas'Vre
Shas'Vre
Posts: 3168

Re: Tanks or Tidewall?

Post#3 » Feb 05 2018 07:34

Wilson1989 wrote:Now I’m not sure if this has been discussed yet (if it has please direct me to it... if not let’s discuss it).

We discussed Tidewalls quite a bit in... August? I can't quite remember but it was a while ago. Feel free to use the search function and sift through the old threads. Nothing huge came up, but the Droneport was discussed quite a bit. The eventual conclusion was that, while the Droneport offers decent "alpha" Markerlights it's ultimately too expensive to be really viable, since you could buy a pretty large number of Pathfinders for the cost of the combo.

Wilson1989 wrote:Firstly let’s consider the Droneport against its similar tank counterpart the Devilfish...
So points wise a basic Devilfish with a burst cannon and x2 gun drones clocks in at a whopping 127 points.
Whereas the Droneport with x4 gun drones clocks in at 102 points. Now let’s add a firesight marksman to make it 126 points.
And when comparing the 2 the strengths of the Devilfish are;
Faster movement
More wounds (+2) - although it’s profile worsens as it is damaged in battle
Can attack in close combat
Better armour save (1 better)
Can bring seeker Missiles
Carries 2 more passengers (really 3 with the firesight marksman)
And the Droneport (with firesight marksman)
Opentopped so firewarriors embarked are not entirely bored
Better BS (due to the Firesight Marksman)
More shots (+4) with gun drones
Can upgrade the gun drones to market drones for a mere 8 points!)
Firesight marksman can also still shoot his Markerlight
More likely to be used as cover when moving forward with the rest of the army due to its slower speed.

The Droneport and Devilfish do appear to be pretty similar in a few ways- the Devilfish is better at everything (faster, tougher, more transport capacity, more firepower, higher accuracy, more options) but the Droneport is open-topped, which makes it a very interesting option. A Droneport loaded with Fire Warriors should output about 15 S5 hits, while a Devilfish will output about 6 S5 hits. So the Droneport does offer a clear advantage in terms of firepower once you include the embarked infantry.

However, if you're looking for a durable S5 gunboat, we have plenty of options for that too. Stealthsuits, Burst Cannon XV8s, and Piranhas all output comparable amounts of firepower, while Commanders, Gun Drones, and Fire Warriors output much, much more.

Anyway, that's the analysis we reached through discussion some months ago. :)


Wilson1989 wrote:Secondly, let’s consider the railhead against the Tidewall gun rights (with firesight marksman)... the basic rail head comes in at 161 points and the gun rig at 163 points.

Strengths of the railhead:
More wounds (+3) but again a degrading profile
Better armour save (1better)

And the gunrig;
2 railgun shots!
Transport capacity - not just a 1 trick pony!
Which is also opentopped!

Now this on paper does look better as it has the 2 anti large shots our railhead craves!

The Gunrig is definitely one of the weirdest options in our army! It's an open-topped transport with the same statistical firepower as the Hammerhead (1 shot at BS3+ vs 2 shots at BS5+) but it scales fractionally better with Markerlights. The drawback is that you really need to keep it full of infantry, and you really don't want to move it unless it's well-supported by Markerlights.

At the end of the day, both the Droneport and Gunrig feel like they're held back by a few things. The Droneport's Drones are only buffed when disembarked from the Droneport. The Gunrig must be manned to fire properly, and has a very low Ballistic Skill. Both units cannot have their Fire Warriors buffed by Fireblades, and neither can contribute any Command Points to the army. It's the little things that make these choices non-competitive, but that's not to say that they're bad. Like many Tau units they will work fine in casual games!

And finally, your experience is what matters- if you've used these units to great effect on the tabletop, let us know! :biggrin:

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steelmanf
Shas'Saal
Posts: 43

Re: Tanks or Tidewall?

Post#4 » Feb 05 2018 12:19

I just got a droneport recently, so I'll throw my hat in here.

Wilson1989 wrote:Firstly let’s consider the Droneport against its similar tank counterpart the Devilfish...
So points wise a basic Devilfish with a burst cannon and x2 gun drones clocks in at a whopping 127 points.
Whereas the Droneport with x4 gun drones clocks in at 102 points. Now let’s add a firesight marksman to make it 126 points.
And when comparing the 2 the strengths of the Devilfish are;
Faster movement
More wounds (+2) - although it’s profile worsens as it is damaged in battle
Can attack in close combat
Better armour save (1 better)
Can bring seeker Missiles
Carries 2 more passengers (really 3 with the firesight marksman)
And the Droneport (with firesight marksman)
Opentopped so firewarriors embarked are not entirely bored
Better BS (due to the Firesight Marksman)
More shots (+4) with gun drones
Can upgrade the gun drones to market drones for a mere 8 points!)
Firesight marksman can also still shoot his Markerlight
More likely to be used as cover when moving forward with the rest of the army due to its slower speed.


I have some notes here. I love the open-topped rule for these fortifications as they are what makes them even slightly usable. But the Devilfish has some further advantages:
-It can Advance
-It can Charge. As many of us know, this is a great way to tie up some enemy tanks for a round of shooting (and it can technically hit, but that's not important enough to include in a separate bullet)
-The Droneport is automatically hit in the fight phase, meaning it's durability will drop significantly.
-The Droneport can only move while manned

All that said, it still remains an interesting option. Let me throw another idea at you; instead of a Strike Team, what about transporting Pathfinders? In a decently large game, you'll want more than just the Firesight and 4 drones for ML sources, and a Droneport could be a good way to help keep your Pathfinders alive through the first round Alpha. If your enemy really wants them dead, they'll have to use anti-tank AND anti-infantry to kill off your MLs, potentially leaving the rest of your forces untouched. Downside is that a large portion of your Markerlights will be located in one place, and you'll lose their vanguard move, but it's something to think about.

Wilson1989 wrote:Secondly, let’s consider the railhead against the Tidewall gun rights (with firesight marksman)... the basic rail head comes in at 161 points and the gun rig at 163 points.

Strengths of the railhead:
More wounds (+3) but again a degrading profile
Better armour save (1better)

And the gunrig;
2 railgun shots!
Transport capacity - not just a 1 trick pony!
Which is also opentopped!
Cheers!


As Arka said, 2 shots good! 5+ BS, bad! Wouldn't it be cool if the gunrig could benefit from a drone controller, though? In addition to my notes on the Devilfish/droneport comparison above, though, add that the other thing you're missing from a Gunrig that the Hammerhead has 2 gun drones or SMS (at 3+ BS) in addition to the main gun. I mention that specifically since while the droneport has drones to compare against the devilfish's guns, the gunrig's cannon is the only weapon it has. Hammerheads can also be buffed by Longstrike!

If I ever get my hands on enough full Ramparts, though, I would be morally required to do so many Onslaught/Meatgrinder missions as the defender.

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Megildur
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 68

Re: Tanks or Tidewall?

Post#5 » Feb 05 2018 12:38

In a 2 thousand point game I’m finding great success by putting a squad of pathfinders with drones and rail rifles and a fire blade in a drone port with marker drones.

It makes an excellent objective holder with so many wounds and the normally fragile pathfinders are safe making the pricey rail rifle upgrade worth it. Plus because you disimbark 3” before you move, your effectively giving all the drones a longer move which has enabled me with a good advance roll to have quite a few drones keep up with a Y’Vahra. 4 markers at bs2 is awesome as well. :)

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Wilson1989
Shas
Posts: 15

Re: Tanks or Tidewall?

Post#6 » Feb 05 2018 02:45

Thank you guys for the advice, I will try some things out with this and report back on how it performs. Hopefully this could be an option which slows us to further ourselves with meaning data.
Ps. Looks like I missed out on the gunrig BS not improving with a unit on board. Jumped the gun a bit there, but I am interested to see how the drone port performs with a fill compliment of marker drones and firewarriors as well as a set of gun drones.

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Arka0415
Shas'Vre
Shas'Vre
Posts: 3168

Re: Tanks or Tidewall?

Post#7 » Feb 05 2018 07:33

Wilson1989 wrote:Thank you guys for the advice, I will try some things out with this and report back on how it performs. Hopefully this could be an option which slows us to further ourselves with meaning data.
Ps. Looks like I missed out on the gunrig BS not improving with a unit on board. Jumped the gun a bit there, but I am interested to see how the drone port performs with a fill compliment of marker drones and firewarriors as well as a set of gun drones.

Yeah, there are a few odd interactions with embarked units:

- The Droneport can only move if a unit is embarked
- The Droneport's Drones only get a BS buff if a unit is embarked and the Drones are disembarked
- The Gunport fires at the nearest target unless a unit is embarked
- The Gunport's railgun is not buffed even if a unit is embarked

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