1400 points vs Imperial Guard

Battles and discussion of tactics from the earliest days of our Academy.
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Ell'ran
Shas'Vre
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1400 points vs Imperial Guard

Post#1 » Jan 31 2011 05:58

Hey everyone. I recently played a 1400 point battle versus a common regiment of the Imperial Guard that I face often on the front lines. Without any further a-do, I will go ahead and spread out the army lists before you so we can begin.

My army is a hybrid of my own personal tried-and-true tactics and also some experimental theory that I am working on at this time. Before any of you ask, the reason it is 1400 points is because that is literally every model I own bar 2 Gun Drones and unassembled models (I received a Battleforce for Christmas so I'm slowly chipping away at it.).


Tau Empire Forces
HQ:
Shas'el Monat
CIB
MP
TA
HWMT
HWTL
HWDC/2 SD

Elite:
Shas'ui XV8 Monat
Team Lead
Twin Plasma
MP
HWMT
HWDC/1 GD

Stealth Marker Team (SMT)
Shas'ui Team Lead
Target Array
Fusion
Markerlight
HWMT
HWTL
HWDC/2 MD
HWBSF (yes that's right, I used all the hardwired systems on one suit. And what? :P)
Team:
2 DC/ 2 GD

Stealth Or'es Team (SOT)
Shas'vre Team Lead
Target Array
Fusion
HWTL
HWDC/1 GD, 1 SD
Bonding Knife
Team:
2 DC/4 GD
Target Array
Target Lock


Troops:
Fire Warrior Team
6 Fire Warriors
6 Pulse Rifles
Shas'ui
Markerlight
HWMT

Fire Warrior Team
10 Fire Warriors
5 Rifles
5 Carbines
Shas'ui
Markerlight
HWTL


Fast:
4 Pathfinders
Shas'ui
Transport:
Devilfish
SMS
Disruption Pod
Target Array
Sensor Spines


Heavy:
Shas'ui XV88 Monat
Team Lead
TA
Twin Plasma
HWMT
HWDC/2 SD

Hammerhead
Railgun
SMS
Disruption Pod
2 Seekers
Multi Track
Target Lock



Intelligence and battle reports from eyewitnesses suggest the following enemy forces were present during the engagement:
Imperium of Man
2 Valkyries
1 Leman Russ
2 Chimeras outflanking with Al Rahim(sp?)
1 Manticore
Sergeant Harker (Shotguns, Commissar)
Guardsman Marbo
1 Unit of Plasma Guardsmen
More troops? ((lascannons, grenade launchers) idk, between Rahim and Harker I kinda lost track of who was what, all I know is that he had 2 Commissars in there somewhere)

We rolled for a Capture and Control mission in Dawn of War deployment. I won the roll-off and decided to take the board edge that was closest to me (I didn't want to relocate).

The table was set up with a lot of buildings and lines of fire scattered here and there. We were playing with actual Buildings rules as detailed in the BRB, so it definitely added a twist to the flow of battle.

Tau Deployment:
I deployed my small Fire Warrior Team (SFWT) inside a building towards the middle of my deployment zone, the large Fire Warrior Team (LFWT) was deployed on the roofs of a building towards my right, ~14" from the table edge. The Shas'el was deployed with LFWT, but didin't stay with them. Everything else was coming in turn 1 except for the SOT Stealth Team

Imperial Deployment:
Harker was deployed inside a building that was later found to be 12" from both of my other units of Fire Warriors, which was awesome because Harker's entire squad was equipped with shotguns. Due to some shennaneginery(sp) he was able to put Al-Rahim into reserve and outflank with them. I didn't care too much, I just thought it was weird.

I won't be able to go on a complete turn by turn basis, but I will do my best and recap some the highlights.

Turn 1-2:
His Valkyrie tries to swoop in and pick up Sgt Harker from the rooftop of his building, and after a long discussion I convinced him (Read: I looked it up) that you couldn't go Flat Out and embark. Sgt. Harker then said, "Oh, crap," when he saw the Valkyrie crash not far from the building moments later, skillfully shot down by a Hammerhead gunner [during turn 2] lurking somewhere in the city.

Tau Turn 3:
The SOT outflanks and appears on my right table edge, with all the members able to get in the Valkyries rear arc. There were some pretty awesome explosions as the fireworks cooked off as the debris fell from the sky. I don't even remember how many penetrating and glancing hits I got, all I remember is that the Fusion Blaster really cooked off everything inside. A notable point, my opponent made a big mistake here in putting relatively important units on both of his board edges. Had the Stealths come in on the opposite edge they would have made very short work of the Manticore instead.

Imperial Turn 3:
Al-Rahim comes in and it is discovered that his other Chimera should not have come in with Rahim (for whatever reason), and so I tell him to roll for it and the unit comes in as well. He also cheeses his way into getting my Hammerhead Stunned (which effectively put him out of battle for the rest of the game. It's okay, read on.). What happened is that he was just barely inside of my front arc, and he said that his barrel was "angled this way so that I'm in your side arc". At this point, I honestly didn't care and I was already kicking his ass, so I said, "Sure fine whatever," and moved on back to kicking his ass.

Tau Turn 4:
Stealth Marker Team, who came onto the table during Turn 1 in the middle of my deployment zone, has finally moved up far enough to get a clear shot at the building with Harker in it. The building explodes and in the following moments many of Harker's troops die while trying to find a better position to carry the fight from. The SOT is kind of torn in which direction they want to go. The Shas'vre is pulling the squad along, trying to chase the Imperial battle tank, while all of his Shas'ui have used the drones to form a line of coherency so they can get out to a point where they can all set their weapons on full-auto and rip into the side of a Chimera that is attacking the "Alamo" type structure serving as the Tau objective. (I would tell you about the Imperial objective, but it doesn't come up in the game at all.) The Chimera explodes and the guys get out and start to run for safety. Simultaneously, the Broadside points his Railguns across the board (54" to be exact) and destroys the last Chimera threatening to overrun my flank/weak attempt at a castle.

Imperial Turn 4:
The Imperials have now entered my base by climbing over a wall that I thought was secure. The enemy Manticore fires its last volley and destroys the Railgun on the Hammerhead :( . Harker and his squad are trying to run across field to get into a trench (lets just say...they didn't make it).

Turn 5:
A lot happened but nothing so earth shakingly significant. I put a lot of hurt on his troops that were outflanking me and both of my vehicles helped hold the line there with their SMS. The surviving Commissar that was in Harker's unit gets blasted by my Stealth Team Shas'vre, while the rest of the team put fire into the outflanking units (yes, I'm spread out wide with that unit still).

Turn 6:
More shooting over on the flank, but the real big thing that happened is that the SMT is advancing forward and gets within Melta range of the Russ (finally!). The Shas'ui shoots with Networked Markerlight support and hits! However, a miserable roll of the dice prevents it from doing any damage. After that I say to myself, "Self, if he really wants to kill my Stealths then he probably will." So, I charged him and failed to do anything. Yay! So, in my mind the Stealths are either lucky or dead. My opponent then decides to tank shock my Stealths. I remind him that I have a Fusion in the team. I declare Death or Glory! My brave and faithful Shas'ui stands before the looming hulk that is a symbol for the ostentation of the Imperium. He fires off his Blaster and makes the tank explode a full 6", catching the entire team in the shockwave. After the dust settles, the SMT gets on their feet, check for casualties or equipment failures and find that they have been completely unscathed. Then I rolled a 3 and the game ended. Now THAT'S a way to end the game.

After an armistice was agreed upon, it was discovered that the units the Imperial army had remaining were: 1 Commissar, 1 Squad (with a grenade launcher, a lascannon and a lasgun), and a Manticore (oh and Marbo). The Tau cadre lost a Crisis Shas'ui, 5 Fire Warriors and an assorted number of Drones.

The awesome part is that, with this game only one of my experimental techniques got used in this game. Fortunately, it performed amazingly well, and allowed both of my Stealth Teams to act relatively aggressively, and support the line where needed. The Crisis Mes'me (Shas'el and Shas'ui) had attempted to reach the Manticore and silence the battery, but by the time they arrived its missiles were depleted, and the Shas'ui was killed by one of the volleys in the process.

A couple of notable points:
The Crisis team barely saw combat, and probably contributed >100 points worth of killing power.

The Broadside and Hammerhead were so occupied with the battle at hand that the SOT, and the SMT were actually key in disrupting the enemy armor. The only kills scored by Railguns were that of the one Valkyrie and one Chimera.

Guardsman Marbo survived the engagement, and put a wound on my Shas'el in Turn 6.

People seem to fear Hammerheads more than Broadsides for some reason. Don't let them discover which one is more important to you. If they say that the Battlesuit is twin-linked point out that the vehicle is BS4 standard, and is more survivable, or vice versa. Naturally, this only applies against regular opponents that are familiar with your armies. One of the things that my opponents have said to me before is, "There were so many threats on the board, I didn't know what to shoot at first." The truth is that I love both units for different reasons, but if one dies then the purpose of the unit can still be carried on by another unit in the cadre. Even though this was against a Guard army, I would have no problem taking them against a Marine army and seeing how I fare. Actually, I'll do that and I'll post a report of that too.

Anyways, it is getting late/early. Comments, criticism or questions are always welcome.
-Shas'la T'au Ell'ran

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Samurai_Aly
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Re: 1400 points vs Imperial Guard

Post#2 » Jan 31 2011 08:02

Man it's been a while since i've read a new batrep on here :P. Sounds like a fun game, although it looks like your opponent was trying some wierd tactics and making some critical errors (read: the valkyrie pickup in turn 1 was a big mistake).

I like that you were using your stealth teams quite aggressively, and this is something that I have found effective in my games too, and I now deepstrike them every game when it's available. Sure it's risky, but in conjunction with a pathfinder devilfish more often than not you get your team in just the right place, and that often means a tank or two getting destroyed :D.

I think one of the reasons that people fear hammerheads more than broadsides is that they have a mobility advantage, as well as having all the firepower. That coupled with the fact that it has reasonably good armour and the gun is just so much bigger, which obviously doesn't have any real advantage but it looks scary anyway. :fear:

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marnepup
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Re: 1400 points vs Imperial Guard

Post#3 » Jan 31 2011 10:53

It really looks like you porked up on unneeded wargear (target lock on a crisis suit that's shooting basically the same weapons as his teammate??) to "fill" 1400 points. I would recommend limiting your games to maybe 1250 until you're able to get more models on the table. You want to be at the point where you're trying to find the points for that one more model that you think will win the day for you. You seem to be at the point where you're trying to find 50 extra points worth of upgrades to hit a target game size. That's really bad, it's like you're playing a 1200 point army against a 1400 point army, since the extra upgrades that you took didn't help.

Anyway, you did pretty well for fighting with one hand tied behind your back!
Dedicated to the advancement of the Greater Goose

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O'Dwyre
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Re: 1400 points vs Imperial Guard

Post#4 » Jan 31 2011 11:00

I love the way your wrote that, my imagination literally played the whole battle out leaving me highly amused and full of new ideas. I have always wondered as to how my fellow Tau fight against Imperial Guard, I don't get to very often if ever.
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Ell'ran
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Re: 1400 points vs Imperial Guard

Post#5 » Jan 31 2011 02:09

Thanks for the feedback guys. Yeah, my opponent was trying some weird tactics, but I think that he just really screwed up with his deployment mostly.

@Marnepup:
I actually wasn't filling up on points for this list. I was sitting very comfortably in a 1400 point bubble. The Target Lock on the Shas'el was for when he attaches to Fire Warrior Teams and stuff similar. Either way, the Crisis didn't really perform well in this match, and that's not their fault, the battle just played out that way.

I don't like Deepstriking units at all. I did it once early in my career but quickly decided that I didn't like it. It just leaves our suits far too vulnerable to return fire, and that doesn't sit well with me. Perhaps I will again experiment with deep striking units soon just to see how my perception may have changed.

As was said elsewhere on ATT, the Hammerhead really is a sort of psychological terror weapon. The big blast template is probably the most feared thing in my army by this particular opponent (actually he hates all templates, he was asking before the game if I brought an AFP). If he were a Marine player I'm sure he would dislike the Broadsides more, because of the Plasma Rifle that I have been equipping it with lately.

At any rate, I don't think I was fighting with my hand behind my back. If you look closely at my list construction, I am using a concept that I like to call "layered ablative wounds". Instead of making the entire team awesome, I just make the Team Leader really awesome and I give him a ton of ablative wounds. It just so happens that some of these ablative wounds have Burst Cannons or 4+ Invulnerables etc. Even the Crisis Shas'ui was (kind of) an ablative wound for the Shas'el. When I play, I don't particularly care about the Drone's survival, just the suits.

Edit- Just a small footnote, I kind of liked using a Fire Team of mixed Carbines and Rifles. We'll have to see how they perform in future deployments. On more than one occasion the Fire Warrior Team was able to pin enemy infantry, and it was glorious every single time. :)

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Crunchy_Monk
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Re: 1400 points vs Imperial Guard

Post#6 » Feb 18 2011 03:07

After reading your battle report, I am considering "re-tooling" my stealth team to more of a gun team than a stealth marker light team like mine have been performing as. Now, granted, the SMT has proven to be useful as is, but I wonder if they wouldn't prove to be more useful under another configuration. The only thing I have not liked about the SMT is their overall lack of mobility (needing to stand still in order to fire the marker lights), and as a result seem to die almost every game to enemy assault. Your stealth team appears to be not only highly mobile, but carries quite a bit of firepower as well.

I do love how they managed to take out the tank at the end though. :)
Aur'ocq shath'r'i tskan sha Tau'va

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Peregrine
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Re: 1400 points vs Imperial Guard

Post#7 » Feb 18 2011 03:52

Ell'ran wrote:I actually wasn't filling up on points for this list. I was sitting very comfortably in a 1400 point bubble. The Target Lock on the Shas'el was for when he attaches to Fire Warrior Teams and stuff similar. Either way, the Crisis didn't really perform well in this match, and that's not their fault, the battle just played out that way.


You really are overloading on upgrades, deliberately or not. You've got a lot of points (and units, TBH) that aren't really very effective. Sure, 5-10 points here and there might not seem like much, but then you add it all up and find that you could have brought an entire additional unit for the price of those marginally-useful upgrades.

In this case, you got lucky with an opponent who had a terrible list and some rather questionable tactics, but against better opponents (especially ones playing 5th edition armies) this kind of inefficiency really hurts.

Instead of making the entire team awesome, I just make the Team Leader really awesome and I give him a ton of ablative wounds. It just so happens that some of these ablative wounds have Burst Cannons or 4+ Invulnerables etc. Even the Crisis Shas'ui was (kind of) an ablative wound for the Shas'el. When I play, I don't particularly care about the Drone's survival, just the suits.


This is a really bad idea. A single "awesome" model with tons of extra wounds may be nice from a survival perspective, but the total firepower of the unit is going to be a lot less than a balanced unit of "good" models. And since Tau win with focused, efficient firepower instead of single uber-characters, your strategy just doesn't work.

Edit- Just a small footnote, I kind of liked using a Fire Team of mixed Carbines and Rifles. We'll have to see how they perform in future deployments. On more than one occasion the Fire Warrior Team was able to pin enemy infantry, and it was glorious every single time. :)


This really doesn't make much sense. Even if you actually want to use a significant number of Fire Warriors (you don't), mixing carbines and rifles just creates a unit that is mediocre at multiple things. You can't shoot effectively at long range, you can't move and shoot effectively at medium range, and you don't have enough firepower at close range. And once you consider poor Tau BS, inability to get through armor saves, and the low chance of a failed leadership test, pinning with a couple token carbines is just not a reliable strategy. It's a nice bonus if a gun drone pins a unit, but you really shouldn't be designing squads around it.

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Ell'ran
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Re: 1400 points vs Imperial Guard

Post#8 » Feb 18 2011 08:33

Crunchy_Monk wrote:After reading your battle report, I am considering "re-tooling" my stealth team to more of a gun team than a stealth marker light team like mine have been performing as. Now, granted, the SMT has proven to be useful as is, but I wonder if they wouldn't prove to be more useful under another configuration. The only thing I have not liked about the SMT is their overall lack of mobility (needing to stand still in order to fire the marker lights), and as a result seem to die almost every game to enemy assault. Your stealth team appears to be not only highly mobile, but carries quite a bit of firepower as well.

I do love how they managed to take out the tank at the end though. :)

@Crunchy:
Go ahead and read BRB Pg. 52. Long story short all Jetpack Infantry have the Relentless USR. My advice would be to play with the SMT the "proper" way before deciding how you want to retool it.

If you would like, I can break down my thought process behind the construction of my personal SMT configuration.


@Peregrine:
I don't see how you can say that my units aren't effective. You weren't there watching the game so how do you know? You can't just automatically assume that something is wrong just because it isn't a Fireknife spam. Ironically, the Fireknife-6 and Shas'el were the only unit that really failed me during this game. Even the Pathfinders made more of an impact on the final outcome of the game than the Crisis did.

Yes, I'll agree my opponent was an idiot of sorts, but he is a regular opponent and he fights against my cadre all the time, and so is quite familiar with my tactics and has learned the hard way to fear our suits (of all sizes). He knows his target priority quite well (sometimes. I try to hide which Railguns he should take out first) and is very good at winning games at any cost. Also according to him, the ablative drones are one of the most annoying things about my army, even more so than Disruption Pods (he has not told me this directly but his reactions have).

I do not play in tournament settings though. If I did feel the urge to do so, I would bring an equally fine-tuned list that would still probably have more stealths than Crisis in it. In short, I don't tell you how to play your game, please don't tell me how to play mine. You are more than welcome to engage in an intelligent discussion regarding tactics and strategy, just as long as your stance isn't dismissive in nature.

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Peregrine
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Re: 1400 points vs Imperial Guard

Post#9 » Feb 19 2011 12:36

Ell'ran wrote:I don't see how you can say that my units aren't effective. You weren't there watching the game so how do you know?


Because efficiency is universal. Nothing in the precise details of your game will make a heavily upgraded Devilfish a cost-effective unit (or a good idea at all), or make stealth suits get firepower even close to their point cost, or make Fire Warriors with markerlights an effective option.

You can't just automatically assume that something is wrong just because it isn't a Fireknife spam.


The efficiency I'm talking about is not fireknives vs. specialists, it's that you've got a lot of points invested in units/upgrades that are bad, not merely less ideal.

For example, your SMT. You start with stealth suits, already a really overpriced unit. Then you add both a fusion gun and a markerlight to your team leader, which pretty much guarantees that at least one of them will be wasted (remember, it's not a networked markerlight) since you want to use them against two different targets. Then you add a HWTL and HWMT. The HWMT will rarely be used since at least one of your weapons will be ineffective against any chosen target, and the HWTL will rarely be used since getting into an ideal position for your team leader's weapons often means that the rest of the squad won't have any good targets to shoot at. Finally, you add a HWBSF which will almost never be used unless you play non-standard missions, and brag that you have managed to get every hardwired upgrade in the codex onto that single model.

And just to make things even worse, you take gun drones instead of marker drones, resulting in a SMT that isn't even effective at markerlighting things. Just consider how much more effective your SMT could be if you spent those wasted upgrade points on turning your gun drones into marker drones. SMTs are still overpriced in general, but at least you'd have one that is as effective as a SMT can be.


Yes, I'll agree my opponent was an idiot of sorts, but he is a regular opponent and he fights against my cadre all the time, and so is quite familiar with my tactics and has learned the hard way to fear our suits (of all sizes). He knows his target priority quite well (sometimes. I try to hide which Railguns he should take out first) and is very good at winning games at any cost.


It doesn't matter how good his target priority is when (speaking as an IG player here) his list is a poorly-optimized mess with no synergy, no coherent plan for victory, and way less firepower than he should be able to bring at that point level. No matter how good a player is, his list is going to severely reduce his chances of winning.

Also according to him, the ablative drones are one of the most annoying things about my army, even more so than Disruption Pods (he has not told me this directly but his reactions have).


That may be his perception, but it's not accurate.

And in any case, I'm not talking about drones in general (which can be useful for stopping instant death wounds), but your plan of "take one really awesome model and everything else is expendable to protect it". Instead of over-investing in a single offensive model, you need to focus on optimizing your firepower per point ratio and bring the minimum amount of upgrades to get the job done. After all, you don't have to worry as much about defense if your offense has already killed the threats.

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Ell'ran
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Re: 1400 points vs Imperial Guard

Post#10 » Feb 19 2011 01:16

If you take a closer look you'll notice that the SMT has both Gun and Marker Drones. The HWBSF was only added because I had a few extra points, and I would hardly call what I said "bragging".

Peregrine wrote:For example, your SMT. You start with stealth suits, already a really overpriced unit. Then you add both a fusion gun and a markerlight to your team leader, which pretty much guarantees that at least one of them will be wasted (remember, it's not a networked markerlight) since you want to use them against two different targets. Then you add a HWTL and HWMT. The HWMT will rarely be used since at least one of your weapons will be ineffective against any chosen target...

I really don't understand what you're talking about here. Nothing will be wasted because this isn't one of my main offensive units. It can be, but there is another Stealth Team that operates as an offensive unit. The SMT is designed as a support/interdiction unit. As for the HWMT rarely being used because of some kinda ineffectiveness, well, If I'm firing a Fusion Blaster at something then it's probably important enough to be shooting a Markerlight at too, and I'm only spending an extra 7 points to add the Fusion and HWMT to the model. As I said, this is a support unit, meaning that if it does come into that situation where something is big, scary, and deadly, then I want to be able to bring some additional firepower if my team leader misses with the Fusion.


Peregrine wrote:...and the HWTL will rarely be used since getting into an ideal position for your team leader's weapons often means that the rest of the squad won't have any good targets to shoot at.

I typically use the HWTL to split the markerlights fire, or continue marking stuff while the rest of the team engages a separate target (rare occurrence). But even if I didn't have a single markerlight in the unit, the Target Lock was still used. Refer to the other Stealth Team (the one with 6 drones in it), it was spread out over about 24" of table space and engaged Harker and the Leman Russ with the Fusion Blaster, while all the rest of the Pulse and Burst Cannon weaponry engaged the outflanking Chimeras. The HWTL in that team was most definitely used to good effect.

In my list construction, it's not that everything else is expendable, it's that there are different levels of expendableness (sp???). Using my SMT as an example, there are essentially 4 levels.
1) Gun Drones. Cheapest and least useful model in the team.
2) Suits w/ DC and no drones. That way there are no major concerns about losing Drones to a lost operator.
3) Marker Drones. Only if there are no other options available.
4) Team Leader. Typically has a Bonding Knife so that if he is the last one left then I can still use all those points that were invested in him. Very important in Ta'ro'chas. Although, if this ends up being the case I've probably already lost. I rarely have a Stealth Team get so battered that only the Team Lead is left.

Sometimes I'll switch up the order depending on the needs of the situation, but this is the basic outline that I go by.

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Samurai_Aly
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Re: 1400 points vs Imperial Guard

Post#11 » Feb 19 2011 01:44

2) Suits w/ DC and no drones. That way there are no major concerns about losing Drones to a lost operator.

Just one thing: If you take a drone controller you have to take at least one drone with that model.

A model with a drone controller must take one or two...drones, in any combination, from the wargear list. (pg. 26 Tau Empire Codex)

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Peregrine
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Re: 1400 points vs Imperial Guard

Post#12 » Feb 19 2011 06:02

Samurai_Aly wrote:
2) Suits w/ DC and no drones. That way there are no major concerns about losing Drones to a lost operator.

Just one thing: If you take a drone controller you have to take at least one drone with that model.

A model with a drone controller must take one or two...drones, in any combination, from the wargear list. (pg. 26 Tau Empire Codex)


I think what he was talking about there was removing models whose drones have already been killed (since drones are his first choice of casualties). Obviously these models would have started the game with 1-2 drones.

===================================================


Ell'ran wrote:I really don't understand what you're talking about here. Nothing will be wasted because this isn't one of my main offensive units. It can be, but there is another Stealth Team that operates as an offensive unit.


Even if it isn't an offensive unit (I'll save the wisdom of having that kind of support unit at all for another argument), every point spent on your support unit is a point not spent on your vital offensive units. If those points are spent on marginally useful upgrades, you're just wasting them.

I typically use the HWTL to split the markerlights fire


Markerlight, singular. Remember, the drones do not benefit from the controller's target lock and are forced to fire at the same target as the rest of the unit. The only markerlight you can split is the one carried by the team leader. Which goes back to my point: you've paid for upgrades that don't give very much benefit.

In my list construction, it's not that everything else is expendable, it's that there are different levels of expendableness (sp???). Using my SMT as an example, there are essentially 4 levels.


Again, target priority is not the issue. Obviously some models are more valuable than others, and everyone is going to have an order in which they would prefer to remove casualties. The problem is your stated plan of spending a lot on a single model, and then bringing expendable wounds to protect it. Instead, you should be maximizing firepower per point, which means (usually) taking multiple less-expensive models with greater total firepower.



As for the rest, sure, you can come up with scenarios where each upgrade could be useful. My point is not that they do absolutely nothing, it's that they do not provide enough of a benefit to justify the cost. IOW, if you play 1000 games against a wide variety of opponents with two lists, one with the upgrades and one with more offensive units instead, the one with more offensive units will win more of them. Listing situations where they provided a benefit is missing the point entirely.

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Crunchy_Monk
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Re: 1400 points vs Imperial Guard

Post#13 » Feb 19 2011 11:15

You know, I do not know why I have forgotten that jump infantry have the relentless rule. Not that they have failed to do their duty previously, I think perhaps remembering this rule will certainly extend their average lifespan in future games.

I will play them more, and properly, before I make any further decisions along that line of thought.

Thanks for the reminder.
Aur'ocq shath'r'i tskan sha Tau'va

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Ell'ran
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Re: 1400 points vs Imperial Guard

Post#14 » Feb 20 2011 12:02

Peregrine wrote:I think what he was talking about there was removing models whose drones have already been killed (since drones are his first choice of casualties). Obviously these models would have started the game with 1-2 drones.
This is correct.



Peregrine wrote:Even if it isn't an offensive unit, every point spent on your support unit is a point not spent on your vital offensive units. If those points are spent on marginally useful upgrades, you're just wasting them.

Hmmm. I see your point, but I am not an offensive player by nature. It's not that I don't know how to, it's that I prefer not to. Either way, as can be seen in this report, I use Stealths as the main offensive portion of my cadre. SMTs will join that portion of the battle if necessary, or they will intervene on behalf of friendly beleaguered models that require assistance.

Peregrine wrote:Markerlight, singular.

I was referring to the total number of the markerlights in the unit, which is 3. I split them so they can fire at 2 separate units if the situation demands.


The problem is your stated plan of spending a lot on a single model, and then bringing expendable wounds to protect it. Instead, you should be maximizing firepower per point, which means (usually) taking multiple less-expensive models with greater total firepower.

But in my case, it means bringing a team leader that is above average, and surround him with a bunch of mediocre suits, and surround them all with drones. I maximize firepower per point by maximizing survivability of crucial models. After all, what good are my maximized firepower if they are KIA? With my current models, this would just not be a viable solution for me.


...it's that they do not provide enough of a benefit to justify the cost.

And in my humble opinion I have justified the costs.

My main problem, as marnepup alluded to, is that I kinda am fighting with a hand behind my back (just not in the way he pointed out). These are more or less all the models I have (although I do have more that I am assembling). I am merely doing the best with what I have, and if that means I have to use lots of drones and upgrades then I will do it for now.

But at any rate, I am simply having fun with the hobby. Lord knows I didn't choose Tau so I could win every game I play (that part just comes naturally (jk)), I chose Tau because I enjoy almost everything about them. If I wanted to have the "extreme best list evar" then I would do exactly like everyone else does and load up on Fireknifes and Piranhas and Broadsides. But that's not who I am, so I adamantly refuse to do so. Instead, I am going to explore the 40k universe in my own way, through my experiences. I appreciate your concern for my perceived inefficiency though.

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Peregrine
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Re: 1400 points vs Imperial Guard

Post#15 » Feb 20 2011 01:29

Ell'ran wrote:Hmmm. I see your point, but I am not an offensive player by nature. It's not that I don't know how to, it's that I prefer not to.


Two problems with this:

1) In 40k, as in real life, the best defense is a good offense. You don't win games by not losing, you win games by making the opponent's stuff die as quickly and efficiently as possible. By playing defense, you just surrender the initiative and have to hope that your opponent's plan (or dice luck) isn't good enough to get the job done.

2) The Tau are an offensive army. We can't just drop plague marines/FNP terminators/etc on an objective and laugh as our opponent tries to remove them. Even a pure gunline Tau army that never moves forward wins by applying focused, efficient firepower to the opponent's key units. Our defensive screening units are useful of course, but their job is to die and buy time for our offense to do its job, not to win the game by themselves.

Either way, as can be seen in this report, I use Stealths as the main offensive portion of my cadre. SMTs will join that portion of the battle if necessary, or they will intervene on behalf of friendly beleaguered models that require assistance.


Unfortunately, stealth suits just aren't an efficient offensive threat. By relying on them, you're crippling your own firepower.

But in my case, it means bringing a team leader that is above average, and surround him with a bunch of mediocre suits, and surround them all with drones. I maximize firepower per point by maximizing survivability of crucial models. After all, what good are my maximized firepower if they are KIA?


And my point is that you are simply wrong. Do the math. Your approach of focusing on a single key model leads to less firepower per point.

And sure, stuff dies. That's the whole point of redundancy, you can afford to take losses but still keep firing thanks to your superior efficiency. Meanwhile, your maximized firepower is quickly destroying the threats, meaning there's a lot less return fire coming back at you.

My main problem, as marnepup alluded to, is that I kinda am fighting with a hand behind my back (just not in the way he pointed out). These are more or less all the models I have (although I do have more that I am assembling). I am merely doing the best with what I have, and if that means I have to use lots of drones and upgrades then I will do it for now.


And marnepup also gave the solution to your problem: play smaller games.

You're just making the common newbie mistake of playing the largest games your model collection will allow, even if it means throwing in a lot of inefficient stuff just to maximize your point total. Instead, why not just play 1000 point games until you have enough models to build a proper 1500 point list? Or even go down to 750 if you have to?

Textbook example: my IG army is brutally efficient at 750 points, because I came up with an optimized list first and then gathered the models for it. It's very light on upgrades, and optimized for exactly the kind of firepower per point efficiency I'm talking about with Tau. In the escalation league I made it for, out of three games so far I've tabled one opponent, nearly tabled one opponent who only salvaged a draw because the store had to close early, and forced a concession from the last opponent. Meanwhile, in all three games, my total losses have been a couple suicide units that I expected to die.

Now, if I used every IG model I own and added a bunch of upgrades (which, like yours, would still provide a benefit. A 4+ save for vets is still an upgrade, even if it's not cost-effective), I could bring it up to 1000, maybe even 1250-1500. However, I simply don't own the models to do it properly at that point level. I'd lose all of my focus and optimization, and my chances of winning would drop sharply. So I am perfectly happy with playing low-point games where my army is effective, and I do not at all feel the need to get to a larger game ASAP.

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TheAmbit
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Re: 1400 points vs Imperial Guard

Post#16 » Feb 20 2011 04:10

Without arguing to efficiency of particular units I will agree that a beginner mistake (or eager mistake) is to play large games with friends how already have lots of toys. If your basic models only allow you to play at point cost xxx don't add 30% of your army value in upgrades just to play with someone else. Make them drop down to you since they actually have the selection to do so. It will make for way more balanced games in your favour.

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Ell'ran
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Re: 1400 points vs Imperial Guard

Post#17 » Feb 21 2011 01:43

With no offense intended, I grow very weary of your extensive, adequately backed, and relentless rebuttals. Yes, I may play over my points limit but for some reason I'm comfortable with that and I still pull off victories. I must also mention that I am not merely throwing every model I own into the fray. I carefully select which model I would like to include in my list next when expanding (unless they were gifts, in that case I inform them which models to select from). What may appear to be a hap-hazard grouping of units is actually a carefully constructed list that is fine-tuned to my personal playstyle. If you don't like the way I play then I'm truly sorry, but I can't help it and no amount of convincing arguments will get me to change who I am. I do listen to my elders, and advice from sources outside of my own experience, but just because I listen doesn't mean I'm required to apply anything.
Peregrine wrote:In 40k, as in real life...

40k as in real life, is also part math, and part art. You can know all the science behind the game and you can mathhammer things to death if you so desire. I, however, don't have the patience for that kind of extensive point-mongering.

Peregrine wrote:The Tau are an offensive army

The Tau to you are an offensive army. We are all, of course, allowed to come to our own conclusions though.

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hownowbrowntau
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Re: 1400 points vs Imperial Guard

Post#18 » Feb 21 2011 12:20

It sounds like you two are examples of two fundamentally different theories, the back loading and front loading approaches to list design. Peregrine is extoling the concept of hitting your opponent so hard that he hasn't got anything to chew you up with, whereas the original poster's apporach is to concentrate more on defensive capacity, so he can't chew on you as much.

And yes, Peregrine, I agree: offense provides a form of defense all of its own, and no, the original poster hasn't optimised for either approach. Not all players are interested in min/max'ing out their lists. It's hard to get your head around that sometimes, but they still have fun.

Thank you Ell'Ran for posting your battle report. I play regularly against an IG player, and we often have massively fun battles. I'm mentally exhausted by the end of them!
Wait a sec...there are rules for Chaos?

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