Ethereal + 2 Marker Drones + Sniper Drone Team = Win ?

A review of past Tactics by commanders during the First, Second, Third & Fourth Phase Expansion.
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555ea
Shas'Saal
Posts: 35

Ethereal + 2 Marker Drones + Sniper Drone Team = Win ?

Post#1 » Mar 17 2017 09:12

I somehow came to this scheme and thought that it is extremely point effective.
It's like 50+24+58 = 132 points. You get 3 marker lights at BS5 from drone controller, 2 of which have target lock. You get a majority toughness of 4 and a stealth, so they are twice more survivable than pathfinders. And moreover they can shoot up to 9 sniper shots at 24" with Storm of Fire. You can even get extra marker lights/sniper drones for extra sauce.

What do you think of it ? I think it's much more point effective than Buff'O.

The only biggest problem I see is a detachment. CAD is only good up to 750-1000, cause you'd want to benefit from extra +1bs, 12" support fire and etc.

Is there a way to include an Ethereal inside a Hunter Contigent without 2 compulsory commanders ?

TauMinded
Shas'Saal
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Re: Ethereal + 2 Marker Drones + Sniper Drone Team = Win ?

Post#2 » Mar 17 2017 10:10

Etherials don't have drone controller and where did BS5 come from?

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Rizzle
Kor'La
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Re: Ethereal + 2 Marker Drones + Sniper Drone Team = Win ?

Post#3 » Mar 17 2017 10:22

TauMinded wrote:Etherials don't have drone controller and where did BS5 come from?


Each Firesight Markesman (Markstau?) has BS5 and a drone controller, which is the trick that makes this a 2 way synergy.

I can't speak to its effectiveness in 7th edition, but I thoroughly enjoyed this pairing at the centre of a 6th edition firebase. The 2 extra BS5 markerlights are gravy compared to the survivability boost to the ethereal. I suspect it is more of a trick to remember when the terrain and opponent suit it, rather than the core of a list though.

It makes me nostalgic for the first Tau codex, where ethereals made great companions for broadsides - the ethereal gained majority toughness and armour boosts and the suits gained LD10 for Target Priority tests :D

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555ea
Shas'Saal
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Re: Ethereal + 2 Marker Drones + Sniper Drone Team = Win ?

Post#4 » Mar 17 2017 10:28

Sure, it's not a core, but it's better than Point'O, he's 85+8+56=149 points for 4 BS5 MLs with 0 firepower and without great LD10+Invocation of Elements of an Ethereal.

So, anybody knows a way to pick an Ethereal in a Hunter Contigent without 2 compulsory Commanders ?

Dal'yth Shas'len'ra
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
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Re: Ethereal + 2 Marker Drones + Sniper Drone Team = Win ?

Post#5 » Mar 17 2017 10:45

I like this idea, I've used Ethereals and sniper drone teams in the past, but never thought of giving the ethereal marker drones. I agree that if you want firepower and markerlights then you would go with this combination (I know I would).

Unfortunately, there is no way to take an Ethereal inside the hunter contingent without 2 commanders. I still wish that the contingent command had an Ethereal as required and a commander as optional, instead of the other way around.

If you don't want 2 commanders but don't mind 3 HQ choices you could take Shadowsun instead of a commander. But that still takes up 300-400 points.

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Unicornsilovethem
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Re: Ethereal + 2 Marker Drones + Sniper Drone Team = Win ?

Post#6 » Mar 17 2017 11:31

555ea wrote:You get 3 marker lights at BS5 from drone controller, 2 of which have target lock.

Target lock? How?

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555ea
Shas'Saal
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Re: Ethereal + 2 Marker Drones + Sniper Drone Team = Win ?

Post#7 » Mar 17 2017 11:34

Marker Drones have Target lock by default, am I wrong ?

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Elphiel
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Re: Ethereal + 2 Marker Drones + Sniper Drone Team = Win ?

Post#8 » Mar 17 2017 12:52

you are. marker drones don't have target lock.
Also biggest flaw in my opinion is, that an ethereal is a easy victory point for your enemy. if he is the warlord too, thats two easy victory points.
Fielding an ethereal is always risky and his abilities, namely storm of fire, should be used to the best way possible. And thats one or better two striker/breacher teams.

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555ea
Shas'Saal
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Re: Ethereal + 2 Marker Drones + Sniper Drone Team = Win ?

Post#9 » Mar 17 2017 03:53

Oops, you are right. Haven't played tau yet, last time I played 5ed blood angels.

Sure, they are easy victory points, but they are great for small format games, and the Sniper Drone Team can be easily enlarged with up to 2 marksmen and/or up to 6 sniper drones for extra wounds.

I think this build is good for 750 points and for something like 1500-1850 with 2 commanders. Need to look for a good way to use two commanders though. Maybe a Tank Hunter+Ignores Cover Buff'O and a Point'O with a single bodyguard.

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Elphiel
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Re: Ethereal + 2 Marker Drones + Sniper Drone Team = Win ?

Post#10 » Mar 17 2017 04:25

If it comes to Tau you have to keep in mind that Tau play style is a lot different to space marine play style.

1. Our HQ choices are not the big solo fighters and army centrepieces but more a support unit for the rest of our army. To me it happens pretty often, that i would prefer not to pick any HQ choice at all while building my army, but the CAD/formation/detachment forces me to do so.

2. Tau units are all about specialisation. Mixed roles in a singe unit are problematic. Thats why we tend to put all one weapon setups on crisis units for example. A sniper drone team itself is already very specialised, with sniper rifle rules being best against high toughness targets. If you put three marker lights into a units that is very picky with its targets you will come to situations where either the marker lights are wasted, or the sniper rifles are.

3.Because you can add up to three controllers into your sniper drone unit, you get the same benefit of three marker lights with BS5 if you want to. Also if you want more Sniper drone shots, just add more sniper drones, that add more shots at full 48" instead of just 24". So that is 129 points for 3 controller and 6 sniper drones. Compared to the 132point setup of your proposal you will get: more shots in every sittuation, more wounds/life points in the unit. BS5 drone controller backups, no free victory points for your enemy. The only thing you won't have is LD10.

My consulsion: Don't mix combat roles in a single unit and don't waste powerful support abilities at very small specialised units.

Watcher on the wall
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Re: Ethereal + 2 Marker Drones + Sniper Drone Team = Win ?

Post#11 » Mar 17 2017 04:38

Seconded

Bolter&Rail
Shas'Saal
Posts: 65

Re: Ethereal + 2 Marker Drones + Sniper Drone Team = Win ?

Post#12 » Mar 17 2017 05:52

Ya the marker lights being forced to shoot at the same target as the sniper drones is not that attractive. That said an ethereal in a sniper drone team is still strong. I used to put an ethereal in a devilfish with some warriors and station them nearby a sniper drone unit. Before the FAQ nerfed the Etheral aura out of the transport then when something got <15 inches away you could pump out a lot of shots.

The sniper drones with storm of fire from ethereal can put nearly 4 wounds on a riptide from 24 inches away if they don't have their invuln/FnP up for example. I just don't face regular way MCs that often so have stopped running it.

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Panzer
Shas'La
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Re: Ethereal + 2 Marker Drones + Sniper Drone Team = Win ?

Post#13 » Mar 18 2017 04:20

I sign everything Elphiel said above. Plus another huge flaw with a Sniper Drone unit as Markerlight Source is that it's not mobile at all. It can't run around the field, dodge enemies do JSJ shenanigans or even walk around terrain to get a better line of sight without having to do snapshots with every marksmen in the unit due Markerlights being Heavy.

Bolter&Rail wrote:Y
The sniper drones with storm of fire from ethereal can put nearly 4 wounds on a riptide from 24 inches away if they don't have their invuln/FnP up for example. I just don't face regular way MCs that often so have stopped running it.

Not quite. 3 Sniper Drones with Storm of Fire put 3.75 wounds on a Riptide BEFORE doing any saves. Keep in mind that it still has a 2+ armor and with that amount of wounds you get only a 0.625 AP2 wounds on average.

In the end 3 Sniper Drones in Rapid Fire range and with Storm of Fire will only with some luck and without FnP on the Riptide take a single wound from a Riptide on average. ;) (0.625 wounds without AP2 and no FnP)

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nic
Kroot'La
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Re: Ethereal + 2 Marker Drones + Sniper Drone Team = Win ?

Post#14 » Mar 18 2017 04:44

A sniper drone team is a decent place to put an Ethereal. With their superior range you can happily put that team behind the main gunline yet well within range for the Ethereal to apply the elemental power of your choice. Majority T4 and Stealth are both helpful in keeping your Aun alive.

If you are going to do that then going heavy on the markerlights is a viable choice. So long as you add marker drones to keep the majority T4 you could also add in a couple more marksmen. Of course they will not be very mobile if you are relying on markerlights from the marksmen but there are a couple of potential fixes for that. If you take the sniper team in a Hunter Cadre they get Ambushes & Feints which lets them run and shoot without penalty. Alternatively you could take one of the tidewall components and drop the team on there, that can move 6" per turn and re-rolling 1's to hit is rather sweet at BS5. A droneport (or gunrig) could be a tight squeeze for a larger unit but will work well for a minimal unit such as you suggest; larger units would probably need a shield line.

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Neffarious
Shas
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Re: Ethereal + 2 Marker Drones + Sniper Drone Team = Win ?

Post#15 » Mar 18 2017 01:54

The synergy is indeed clever, as the marker drones can benefit from the marksman's Drone Controller and BS5, while the Sniper Drones will benefit from the Ethereal's "Storm of Fire" but it is cheaper to just add Marksmen to the Sniper Drone Team and the Ethereal doesn't have to join the unit for the drones to benefit from his elemental invocations.

I guess the real question is WHY do you want the Ethereal to join the Sniper Drone Team?

If the goal is to "hide" an Ethereal, there are other (more secure) places to hide him. Leaving him embarked on a devil fish keeps him safe, allows him to retain mobility, and his invocation of the elements is actually boosted when measuring its AoE from the vehicle's hull.

If the goal is to get more marker lights into of the Sniper Drone Squad, the Marksmen themselves only cost 13 points, whereas the Ethereal costs 50.

If the goal was to "splitfire" some BS5 markerlights, you will have to try something different, as I do not think there is any way to get a Sniper Drone Team where the Marksman can Markerlight something that isn't being shot at by the drones, though that would certainly be nice.
:D You can't spell slaughter without laughter :D

Dal'yth Shas'len'ra
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
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Re: Ethereal + 2 Marker Drones + Sniper Drone Team = Win ?

Post#16 » Mar 18 2017 02:24

Neffarious wrote:Leaving him embarked on a devil fish keeps him safe, allows him to retain mobility, and his invocation of the elements is actually boosted when measuring its AoE from the vehicle's hull.


This will no longer work as of the last FAQ, since Ethereal abilities do not function anymore while embarked. I've found if you don't want your Ethereal embarked, then a sniper drone team is one of the best places to put them, majority T4, stealth, all in a unit that doesn't rely on their jet pack move. The other though option would be battlesuits, but then the Ethereal hinders the suits movement, since he lacks a jet pack.

I've put Ethereals in sniper drone teams multiple times with good results, but I've never added marker drones to the Ethereal. I like the idea, especially if you have the extra points. I'm thinking of trying it the next time I use a sniper team.

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shadow kat
Shas
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Re: Ethereal + 2 Marker Drones + Sniper Drone Team = Win ?

Post#17 » Mar 19 2017 08:55

just as a response to the earlier question of how to get an ethereal into your force without the need for two commanders;

If you are willing (and able) to take a second formation/detachment, the "start collecting Tau Empire" box set comes with its own formation which at minimum strength can consist of nothing but the ethereal, a single suit and a handful of plucky young shas'La. The ethereal honour guard formation can be a cheap way to field an ethereal while avoiding the second commander tax. It is important to note that NONE of the units placed in this formation will benefit from any of the special rules given by CAD or a hunter contingent though so keep that in mind.

if you MUST have the ethereal be a part of your hunter contingent, then im afraid your commander is going to have to share his comm channel with a second Shas'O that is also(?) in command :roll:

Ricordis
Shas'La
Shas'La
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Re: Ethereal + 2 Marker Drones + Sniper Drone Team = Win ?

Post#18 » Mar 19 2017 10:50

Dal'yth Shas'len'ra wrote:Unfortunately, there is no way to take an Ethereal inside the hunter contingent without 2 commanders. I still wish that the contingent command had an Ethereal as required and a commander as optional, instead of the other way around.


Funny, my problem is the bodyguard I have to take.
Our possibilities to take Ethereals are so strict:
CAD
Contingent HQ as part of a Hunter Contigent
(With a commander and a bodyguard)
Ethereal Honor Guard
Ethereal Council

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