Early Version of the Strike Team tactica 8e

Discuss tactical and strategic development for 40K/Tau.
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Vio'ra Mal'caor
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Early Version of the Strike Team tactica 8e

Post#1 » Sep 20 2017 04:52

Strike Team Tactica
The Tau Fire Warrior Strike Team is one of our most versatile units. Able to carry either the classic pulse rifle (Strength 5 with Rapid Fire) or the Pulse Carbine (Strength 5 with 2 shots per shooting phase), they remain the primary unit for any burgeoning army (or any army really). Their stats are comparable to the Astra Militarium Conscripts, but are slightly tougher and have a massively higher level of firepower compared to the flashlight-toting 'Grimdark Security Guards'. This article aims to provide a solid Tactica article for fielding this unit. Note that as our Codex is (as of the writing of this post) yet to be released, this article may become inaccurate if any changes are made to the index entry for the Strike Team.

Weapon comparison: Whether to take rifle or carbine
While the nature of battle in eighth edition is quite situational, the two weapon choices for strike teams each can play a role in many different scenarios. This section attempts to list and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each weapon choice for your brave Shas'la/Shas'ui.

Pulse Rifle: The Pulse rifle is a Rapid Fire S5 AP0 weapon with a decent range. As our standard infantry weapon, it greatly outranges and outshoots the Imperium Bolt weapons, Imperium Las-weapons, Ork Shootas, and many other primary weapons for other factions. It's main strength comes when fielding 9x Shas'la and 1x Shas'ui with Pulse Rifles. This squad arrangement allows you to fire 10 shots at 16-30" and 20 at 2-15". When fielding more than one unit, this allows a total of 20 shots at long range (30") and 40 shots at 15" or less. The main disadvantage of the pulse rifle is the lack of AP that seems to have proliferated our infantry weapons. In previous editions, our guns had decent AP. However, this is negated by the fact that the new wounding mechanic does not require the use of AP (as AP now affects the saving throw rather than the wounding mechanics).

Pulse Carbine: The pulse carbine is a Assault 2 weapon with other stats simular to the Pulse Rifle. It serves a role as either a devilfish-squad main weapon, or as a support weapon for Pulse Rifle squads. If you choose to give a entire 10 man strike team based out of a devilfish Pulse Carbines, you can output a total of 20 shots at a maximum range of 18". This is slightly more range than what a single team of 10 pulse rifle fire warriors would need to output the same number of shots. The alternative is assigning 3 Shas'la and 1 Shas'ui with Pulse rifles to a squad of 6x Pulse rifle shas'la to output 6 shots at 30", 22 shots at 18" and 28 shots at 15" or less.

Survivability
The standard fire warrior squad can survive for a pretty long time when given adequate support from other units. One of my personal favourite strategies is to advance a team of 5 strike team fire warriors under the cover of another 5 Breacher team warriors. This allows you to break up charges with the pulse blaster equipped breachers, while picking off approaching units out of charge distance with pulse fire. In terms of surviving fire, Dark Eldar splinter rilfes can eliminate a squad pretty quickly, and anything heavier than S5 to counter Tougness 5 will begin to wound on 3+ and 2+. However, compared to how quickly their closest imperial conterpart (imperial guard troopers) die, they're pretty well off.

Drone Support
Strike teams can take one of four drone choices in two slots. Unlike in 7th edition, you do not have to have a Shas'ui to take drones, nor do you have to remove drones and take morale tests for the said drones. The four drone types are the ubiquitous gun drone, the Shield Drone, the Guardian drone and the (unfortunately dubious) markerlight drone. Strike teams work best with support from either GUn Drones or Shield Dones. I would reccomend not taking the Guardian or Marker drones. The reason for not taking guardian drones is that they only confide a 6+ invulnerability save in Strike teams. They work best with Breacher teams for the 5+ save (which isn't much but is pretty fair). The markelight drone is a terirble option simply because of the bad BS and the fact it only bestows 1 markerlight hit for a expensive 7 points extra than taking a markerlight for a Shas'ui.

Conclusion
The Strike team is a decent choice in 8e, simply due to the usefulness and cheap Pl/Points cost of the unit. They can take up to 12 models, with a choice for a Leadership 7 shas'ui and the option to take 2 drones. They can take either the efficient and long-ranged pulse rilfe, or the shorter rage but vastly shootier pulse carbine.
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Arka0415
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Re: Early Version of the Strike Team tactica 8e

Post#2 » Sep 20 2017 05:44

Vio'ra Mal'caor wrote:Their stats are comparable to the Astra Militarium Conscripts

For a tactica, I wouldn't make that comparison. Fire Warriors are vastly different compared to Conscripts. Fire Warriors have a higher BS, much higher LD, a better Armor Save; on their weapons they have better range and much better strength. Of course, a single Fire Warrior also costs more than double that of a Conscript- 166% more, in fact. Fire Warriors are a relatively expensive and comparatively elite troops unit that relies on offensive buffs.


Vio'ra Mal'caor wrote:They can take either the efficient and long-ranged pulse rilfe, or the shorter rage but vastly shootier pulse carbine.

I wouldn't call the Pulse Carbine 'vastly shootier' at all. It gets +1 shot compared to the Pulse Rifle within the 16"-18" range band. That's hardly an important difference, and imparts the Pulse Carbine with no more firepower than the Pulse Rifle (both weapons max out at two shots). If there's any benefit to using a Pulse Carbine, it's that you can advance and fire the weapon, as it's an Assault weapon.

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Glarblar
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Re: Early Version of the Strike Team tactica 8e

Post#3 » Sep 20 2017 09:52

On Pulse Carbines:
You should make a bigger deal about them being Assault so they can advance and shoot (at a -1), but 3 ML hits will negate that negative. Otherwise you gave a couple examples I hadn't thought of.

Also I agree they are not 'vastly shootier' they really only have 2 advantages: 15"-18" and being more flexible as Assault.

Support Turrets:
You forgot to include sections on Support Turrets (though I don't use them myself)

Also:
I would point out notes of the bonding ritual, Photon grenades, and how squad size interacts with Morale checks/ethereals/Bonding Ritual

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Arka0415
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Re: Early Version of the Strike Team tactica 8e

Post#4 » Sep 20 2017 07:04

Glarblar wrote:Support Turrets:
You forgot to include sections on Support Turrets (though I don't use them myself)


The thing with Fire Warriors is that almost all of their wargear options- Pulse Carbines, Markerlights, Support Turrets, Pulse Pistols, Gun Drones, Shield Drones, Marker Drones, Guardian Drones... are either pointless or downright bad. They're one of our most customizable units and yet most configurations just don't work very well. To equip a squad take 5 Fire Warriors or 10 Fire Warriors, upgrade one to a Shas'ui, and give them all Pulse Rifles. Done! :D

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Vio'ra Mal'caor
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Re: Early Version of the Strike Team tactica 8e

Post#5 » Sep 20 2017 08:44

Renember people, this is only a rough version of what I hope this tactica to be. In fact, just by posting these suggestions, you've improved the quality of the article. I'm going to post some stuff on the upgrades later. Just BT dubs Arka, I've found that some of the upgrades (such as the Gun and Shield Dones options) actaully improve the survivability and utility of the team. I guess that it remains a very situational thing. To be honest, I thought that the strike teams wouldn't play a great role in 8e. I eventually realised some things that at first appeared to be ruined from seventh actually worked slightly better in 8e, and others had been reduced, but not ruined. My friends and family always tell me that when things seem to be bad, things will seem better. I believe there there is always a spark of light in the dark. That applies to this, albiet slightly modified. We may have units that seem to play no role, but as Aun'ko Vash says in the novel Fire Warrior: 'Even when broken, a sword may still cut'. There is no purely terrible option for our strike teams. Everything has a purpose in some battles, while they have none (or very little) in others. So yes, we may have a few extremely sitational options. But they still have a purpose to play.

Getting back onto the matter at hand, I'm asking that some other people contribute some of their tactics to this topic. Please try and follow the format I have used (Large type for headings, Underline/bold for sub-headings and normal text for body text). Thanks ATT!!!
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Vio'ra Mal'caor
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Re: Early Version of the Strike Team tactica 8e

Post#6 » Sep 20 2017 09:22

Support Turrets and their role in the Strike Team
While the DS8 Support turret has been made slightly less of a choice for a team than it should, there are still advantages to taking this model as part of a unit. As it does not need to be set up at the start, and can be placed in a movement phase, it can help with armies that revolve around capturing and holding objectives. If you deploy a Strike team from a devilfish with the DS8 in reserves, and then defend that point till your next movement phase, you can then place the turret and use it to improve stationary firepower. In 7e, the DS8 was invincible, and could only be destroyed if the unit moved out of coherency (in which case it was removed back to the reserves as if a aircraft had redeployed the unit or taken in back to base for repair and rearmament). However, two things have changed in 8e. Firstly, the unit can now be attacked. Secondly, if the unit is destroyed in any way (whether by enemy fire or by the unit moving away), the turret is destroyed and cannot be redeployed. In other words, it can now be removed as a casualty.

However, there are some advantages to taking it. Firstly, the missile pod variant allows a unit of fire warrior to take out better armoured foes with it's AP -1 stat, and a higher strength. The main disadvantage is the low BS and the low number of shots. On the other hand, the Smart Missile System Variant can deliver 4 shots, and since it both cannot move and is firing a heavy weapon, there is no penalty to hit. I have found this variant invaluable at taking out Tyranid Hormagaunt units. However, I would not recommend taking this model all the time. If you can, look at your opponent's army list. If they have many 1 wound low toughness troops (e.g. Hormaguants), take a SMS Turret and devote that team to countering spam tactics. If your enemy has lots of high toughness high Save troops (e.g. Space Marines), I recommend taking the Missile Pod, and using that to either defend a objective, or provide fire support for something with a few more shots (liek a crisis suit!!).

Bonding Knife Ritual and For the Greater Good: Our special rules
Our two main special rules are Bonding Knife Ritual and For the Greater Good. The Bonding knife ritual special rule allows our troops to succeed on any morale test if the roll on the die is 6. This proves invaluable, as while we are a medium toughness army, we still take quite a few losses. This rule goes far to negating any further losses though morale.

However, we do have another rule that pretty much universally covers our entire army. For the Greater Good allows the majority of our units to provide covering fire during overwatch. While we can only fire once per unit during this, any unit within 6" can fire overwatch as if they were the target of the charge. When coupling strike teams with a 3 man crisis team or a commander crisis, your troops can lay down some pretty impressive overwatch even if they only hit on 5+.

Synergising with other units: Breacher Teams
Breacher teams are one of the recent additions to our forces, and also one of the ones to suffer in the transition from 7e to 8e. They are our urban combat specialists, and carry the extremely useful Pulse Blaster. Despite being one of our redshirt units (technically that should be goldshirt, as most gold-shirt wearing officers die in Star Trek than those wearing Red Shirts), they can provide useful cover for a strike team during overwatch. When coupled with a strike team, they can use their pulse blasters to break up charges during overwatch, and do that pretty damm effectively. Their only problem is their relative habit of dying during the enemy's shooting phase, and their tendency to be just out of minimum range when you need that high-strength high AP shotgun blast. However, if you're running a gunline with at least 2x 10 man Strike Teams, take a single 10 man breacher team, place them up the front and let them defend your close-range dropheads (my nickname for strike temas, due to the classic teardrop-shaped hemet they wear, and also due to the fact they are often deployed from Orcas in the fluff).

Synergising with other units: Cadre Fireblades
I don't care if you don't have these guys. I don't care if you feel you don't need them. Buy/Take. The. Gorram. Fireblade. This is probably one of the most deadly combos for the Tau, as you can get a extra shot when at 16-30". That gives you 2x shots at all ranges. As well as this, the fireblade lends a extra pulse rifle to the group, and can be buffed by his own ability. Seriously. You need one.

Synergising with other units: XV8 Crisis Battlesuits
With the advent of 8e, the mighty crisis suit has become pretty much worthless compared to the commander crisis. However, they do provide a good source of flamers in overwatch. Just roll 3 All-flamer crisis suits up behind the strike team, and enjoy the benefits of For the Greater Good. They also get the Bonding Knife Ritual rule, so that's good too. However, do NOT use the Airbursting Fragmentation Projector. If you want something simular but better, go for the Burst Cannon. I'll leave the specifics of this for any future articles on Crisis Suit Tactica.

Synergising with other units: Pathfinders
Another great combo. By combining pathfinders with Strike teams, you get a force that can markerlight foes effectively and also provide fire support via pulse carbines, Ion Rifles and Rail Rifles. In all honesty, build a block of forces with Breachers at the front, followed by pathfinders, followed by Strike. Advance them together, using the breachers to clear the way, the pathfinders to markerlight and mop up, and the strike teams to engage targets further out. Best unit composition is 7x Pathfinder Shas'la with Pulse Carbine, 1x Pathfinder Shas'ui and 2x Ion Rifle Shas'la. Also add the three special drones. The tac drone choices suck compared to the anti-cover ability of the Recon drone (and its extremely useful Burst cannon), the range-boosting abilities of the Pulse Accelerator (which luckily apply to any infantry using Pulse Weapons) and the charge repelling abilities of the Grav-Inhibitor (ditto).

Thats all for now, more coming soon.
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Newtauplayer2016
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Re: Early Version of the Strike Team tactica 8e

Post#7 » Sep 21 2017 04:57

Thank you for writing this up. Most was known, but you brought up a few good points.
Ill try to include more Fire Warriors in the future, and apply some of your suggestions.

Unless there are some rules I am aware off, then I think the math here is off (last sentence).
A total of 10 Fire Warriors can only fire 20 shots, even if you mix carbine and rifle. Or am I missing something?

Vio'ra Mal'caor wrote:Pulse Carbine: The pulse carbine is a Assault 2 weapon with other stats simular to the Pulse Rifle. It serves a role as either a devilfish-squad main weapon, or as a support weapon for Pulse Rifle squads. If you choose to give a entire 10 man strike team based out of a devilfish Pulse Carbines, you can output a total of 20 shots at a maximum range of 18". This is slightly more range than what a single team of 10 pulse rifle fire warriors would need to output the same number of shots. The alternative is assigning 3 Shas'la and 1 Shas'ui with Pulse rifles to a squad of 6x Pulse rifle shas'la to output 6 shots at 30", 22 shots at 18" and 28 shots at 15" or less.

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Re: Early Version of the Strike Team tactica 8e

Post#8 » Sep 21 2017 05:59

This is probably one of the most deadly combos for the Tau, as you can get a extra shot when at 16-30". That gives you 2x shots at all ranges.


Extra shot is in half range so 1-15"


Just roll 3 All-flamer crisis suits up behind the strike team, and enjoy the benefits of For the Greater Good.



When You put flamer crisis team behind FW with 8" range, You can forget about FtGG benefit.

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Arka0415
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Re: Early Version of the Strike Team tactica 8e

Post#9 » Sep 21 2017 07:57

I really appreciate your taking the time to make this extensive tactica! However, making sure your information is accurate is a very important part of tactica-writing, so let me clarify a few points:

Vio'ra Mal'caor wrote:As it does not need to be set up at the start, and can be placed in a movement phase, it can help with armies that revolve around capturing and holding objectives.

The Support Turret isn't all that helpful in this case, as Fire Warriors have the "objective secured" ability being a Troops choice.

Vio'ra Mal'caor wrote:If you deploy a Strike team from a devilfish with the DS8 in reserves, and then defend that point till your next movement phase, you can then place the turret and use it to improve stationary firepower.

Why wait? You can deploy the Support Turret as soon as you get out of the Devilfish, on the same turn.

Vio'ra Mal'caor wrote:Firstly, the unit can now be attacked. Secondly, if the unit is destroyed in any way (whether by enemy fire or by the unit moving away), the turret is destroyed and cannot be redeployed. In other words, it can now be removed as a casualty.

It can't be attacked though- it's treated as part of the squad like any other Fire Warrior. The only way for the enemy to destroy the turret is if you decide to remove it as a casualty.

Vio'ra Mal'caor wrote:The main disadvantage is the low BS and the low number of shots.

The BS of the Support Turret is the same as all other Tau units though, and its number of shots is the same as all other Missile Pod-equipped units.

Vio'ra Mal'caor wrote:If you can, look at your opponent's army list.

Don't do this. Excluding the most casual of casual games, you can't design your army after having seen your opponent's.

Vio'ra Mal'caor wrote:If your enemy has lots of high toughness high Save troops (e.g. Space Marines), I recommend taking the Missile Pod

The Smart Missile System is better against Space Marines than the Missile Pod is. Plus the Smart Missile System ignores cover.

Vio'ra Mal'caor wrote:When coupling strike teams with a 3 man crisis team or a commander crisis, your troops can lay down some pretty impressive overwatch even if they only hit on 5+.

I'm pretty sure overwatch hits on a 6+ and cannot be modified.

Vio'ra Mal'caor wrote:However, if you're running a gunline with at least 2x 10 man Strike Teams, take a single 10 man breacher team, place them up the front and let them defend your close-range

10 Breachers, at optimal range, will succeed in killing one Space Marine during Overwatch, assuming they took no losses until this point. That isn't an effective trade for a unit that will do nothing until that point.

Vio'ra Mal'caor wrote:I don't care if you don't have these guys. I don't care if you feel you don't need them. Buy/Take. The. Gorram. Fireblade. This is probably one of the most deadly combos for the Tau

Here I agree with you! Fireblades are great! However...

Vio'ra Mal'caor wrote:you can get a extra shot when at 16-30". That gives you 2x shots at all ranges.

...Fireblades don't work like that. They specifically only give bonus shots at half range.

Vio'ra Mal'caor wrote:Just roll 3 All-flamer crisis suits up behind the strike team, and enjoy the benefits of For the Greater Good.

I guess you could do this. The XV8s would need to be touching the Fire Warriors, and the enemy charge would need to start within 7" of the Fire Warriors since they have 1" bases. This strategy isn't impossible to pull off, but it just seems so situational.

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Panzer
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Re: Early Version of the Strike Team tactica 8e

Post#10 » Sep 21 2017 08:10

Eh. I basically agree with everything Arka wrote above.

I just want to highlight a few things:
- looking at your opponents list before building your own and using that knowledge is called list tailoring. It's a terrible thing to do. Nothing good comes from list tailoring unless you and your opponent write both lists together to get the most balanced game possible (won't happen ever). The people who do that are usually called WAAC player (win at all cost) or "That Guy".
- Overwatch is still only on 6+.
- You got the Fireblade effect backwards.
- Taking Breacher just in case your opponent charges your gunline is a terrible waste of points and quite bad considering that you still only hit on 6s and need to be within 5" of the charging unit to be of any real danger to them.
- Same with Flamer behind your gunline due their high cost and short range.

Honestly I'm not impressed. A lot of rule mistakes and bad advices for a tactica even if it's just an early version.

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Re: Early Version of the Strike Team tactica 8e

Post#11 » Sep 27 2017 08:54

And don't forget if your playing with power level then always take the support turret because it costs 0 extra power (a.k.a it's FREE) :D

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Re: Early Version of the Strike Team tactica 8e

Post#12 » Sep 27 2017 09:44

On the subject of comboing up with a fireblade. It's probably worth noting that another point in the pulse rifle's favour over the carbine is that with a fireblade, rifles get that extra 3rd shot between 2"-15". Carbines get 3 shots at 2"-9".

Newtauplayer2016 wrote:Unless there are some rules I am aware off, then I think the math here is off (last sentence).
A total of 10 Fire Warriors can only fire 20 shots, even if you mix carbine and rifle. Or am I missing something?

Vio'ra Mal'caor wrote:Pulse Carbine: The alternative is assigning 3 Shas'la and 1 Shas'ui with Pulse rifles to a squad of 6x Pulse rifle shas'la to output 6 shots at 30", 22 shots at 18" and 28 shots at 15" or less.


I was thinking this as well. The suggested unit makeup of 4 carbines and 6 rifles would have;
6 shots at 30"
14 shots at 18"
20 shots at 15"

or with a fireblade (for science and thoroughness)

6 shots at 30"
14 shots at 18"
26 shots at 15" ( here you'd have 30 if you had all rifles)
30 shots at 9"

The loss of the pinning rule has made carbines less attractive as a weapon option for our strike teams (not that it added much in the last couple of editions). The only real benefit as others have pointed out is that carbines are assault.

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Re: Early Version of the Strike Team tactica 8e

Post#13 » Sep 27 2017 01:18

Nymphomanius wrote:And don't forget if your playing with power level then always take the support turret because it costs 0 extra power (a.k.a it's FREE) :D


If you look closely at the power level costs the turret is included in the cost of the basic unit, this is why a further 5 Fire Warriors in a Strike Team are cheaper than the first 5.

So yes, in a power level game you already paid for it so take it.

Nymphomanius
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Re: Early Version of the Strike Team tactica 8e

Post#14 » Sep 27 2017 02:17

nic wrote:
Nymphomanius wrote:And don't forget if your playing with power level then always take the support turret because it costs 0 extra power (a.k.a it's FREE) :D


If you look closely at the power level costs the turret is included in the cost of the basic unit, this is why a further 5 Fire Warriors in a Strike Team are cheaper than the first 5.

So yes, in a power level game you already paid for it so take it.

I had not noticed that nicely spotted :smile:

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Re: Early Version of the Strike Team tactica 8e

Post#15 » Oct 03 2017 04:45

KuroRyu wrote:On the subject of comboing up with a fireblade. It's probably worth noting that another point in the pulse rifle's favour over the carbine is that with a fireblade, rifles get that extra 3rd shot between 2"-15". Carbines get 3 shots at 2"-9".

Newtauplayer2016 wrote:Unless there are some rules I am aware off, then I think the math here is off (last sentence).
A total of 10 Fire Warriors can only fire 20 shots, even if you mix carbine and rifle. Or am I missing something?

Vio'ra Mal'caor wrote:Pulse Carbine: The alternative is assigning 3 Shas'la and 1 Shas'ui with Pulse rifles to a squad of 6x Pulse rifle shas'la to output 6 shots at 30", 22 shots at 18" and 28 shots at 15" or less.


I was thinking this as well. The suggested unit makeup of 4 carbines and 6 rifles would have;
6 shots at 30"
14 shots at 18"
20 shots at 15"

or with a fireblade (for science and thoroughness)

6 shots at 30"
14 shots at 18"
26 shots at 15" ( here you'd have 30 if you had all rifles)
30 shots at 9"

The loss of the pinning rule has made carbines less attractive as a weapon option for our strike teams (not that it added much in the last couple of editions). The only real benefit as others have pointed out is that carbines are assault.


Actually the suggested unit make up is compromised by a typo (I guess)
4 pulse rilfes combined with 6 pulse rifles?
I guess it should be 4 pulse carbines with 6 pulse rifles

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