Comparing Mechanized Unit Builds

Discuss tactical and strategic development for 40K/Tau.
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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 1933

Comparing Mechanized Unit Builds

Post#1 » Oct 16 2017 12:58

At this point, it seems there are three popular mechanized unit builds. 1x10 Breachers + Darkstrider, 2x6 Breachers, and 11x Gun Drones + Fireblade (usually in two squads). These units all come out to similar costs, but I've had a hunch that the Drone synergy group is just as good if not better than Breachers.

1. Devilfish w/ 10 Breachers + Darkstrider: 20 BS4+ S6 shots, 12 BS4+ S5 shots, 1 BS2+ Markerlight (252)
2. Devilfish w/ 12 Breachers: 24 BS4+ S6 shots, 12 BS4+ S5 shots (223)
3. Devilfish w/ 11 Gun Drones + Fireblade: 66 BS5+ S5 shots, 16 BS4+ S5 shots, 1 BS2+ Markerlight (257)

The Breachers in Squad #1 count their targets' toughness as one lower than it should be. Anyway, here's the math against Imperial Guardsmen, Fire Warriors, Necron Warriors, Tactical Marines, and Terminators. Remember that Unit #2 is not benefiting from a Markerlight- they'll be even stronger if they benefit from one from a different source!

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Devilfish vs. Imperial Guardsmen
#1: 12.8 damage (19.7pt/w)
#2: 12.7 damage (17.6pt/w)
#3: 14.5 damage (17.4pt/w)

Devilfish vs. Fire Warriors
#1: 10.4 damage (24.2pt/w)
#2: 10.3 damage (21.7pt/w)
#3: 11.7 damage (21.9pt/w)

Devilfish vs. Necron Warriors
#1: 10.4 damage (24.2pt/w)
#2: 8.7 damage (25.7pt/w)
#3: 11.6 damage (22.2pt/w)

Devilfish vs. Tactical Marines
#1: 7.9 damage (31.9pt/w)
#2: 6.7 damage (33.3pt/w)
#3: 7.7 damage (33.4pt/w)

Devilfish vs. Terminators
#1: 5.6 damage (35.0pt/w)
#2: 4.7 damage (47.4pt/w)
#3: 3.9 damage (65.9pt/w)

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Unit #1, which adds Darkstrider, is significantly better against Terminators and othet T4/Sv2+ infantry. However, it is only ~4% stronger than the alternatives against Tactical Marines and worse than the alternatives against all other targets. As such, I would only recommend the Breacher + Darkstrider synergy against Terminators. Against all other targets I would recommend the Gun Drone + Fireblade unit.

Final Word: Always bring 11 Gun Drones and 1 Fireblade in your Devilfish. If you're hunting Terminators feel free to bring the Breacher + Darkstrider unit. Otherwise, in all other cases, if you absolutely must field mechanized Breachers choose the 2x6 Breacher unit instead.

What do you think?

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Panzer
Shas'Saal
Posts: 3548

Re: Comparing Mechanized Unit Builds

Post#2 » Oct 16 2017 02:25

Pff I just gonna play empty Devilfishes. Last time the Burst Cannon + two Gun Drones killed 5 Deathwatch in cover. God was my opponent pissed. :D

But yeah I agree with your conclusion. Gun Drones still have sick value even if you don't plan to ever use their Saviour Protocol during the game.
And yeah Darkstrider is just too expensive for what he does. I miss the option to let a unit of Breacher in a Devilfish outflank (or even get behind the enemy with help of Pathfinder).

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GND
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 112

Re: Comparing Mechanized Unit Builds

Post#3 » Oct 16 2017 04:02

I presume this is calculated without a drone controller present next to the drones (to lazy to check the math). If you manage to get a DC in the general area of the disembarked drones, while increasing the overall cost of the force, their effectiveness should skyrocket above the Breacher options. Stealth Teams, Coldstars, Manta-Striking XV8s or XV9s are all excellent DC carriers that operate mostly on the same areas of the battlefield.

Also, probably not a huge difference, but the two drones from the fish are also more effective with the Fireblade present.

I tried the Fish Full of Drones (FFoD - I not sure if we have a nickname for this build yet) only once so far, and even with 5 drones dying in an extremely unlucky Devilfish explosion. the amount of dice you throw at your problems is insane. I need to build more drones, and buy more dice. :biggrin:

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
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Re: Comparing Mechanized Unit Builds

Post#4 » Oct 16 2017 08:21

GND wrote:I presume this is calculated without a drone controller present next to the drones (to lazy to check the math). If you manage to get a DC in the general area of the disembarked drones, while increasing the overall cost of the force, their effectiveness should skyrocket above the Breacher options. Stealth Teams, Coldstars, Manta-Striking XV8s or XV9s are all excellent DC carriers that operate mostly on the same areas of the battlefield.

Yeah, a Drone Controller wasn't factored in (though Pulse Carbines on the Devilfish getting BS4+ was) so that's another thing that makes the Drone 'fish better- the damage scales immensely once a Drone Controller is in range! Also, the 2x6 Breachers aren't re-rolling ones (the squad doesn't have a Markerlight) so that's another area where damage and efficiency can be increased.

GND wrote:Also, probably not a huge difference, but the two drones from the fish are also more effective with the Fireblade present.

Nope, that was included! Just another reason why the Fireblade is so efficient! :D

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Lostroninsoul
Shas'Saal
Posts: 175

Re: Comparing Mechanized Unit Builds

Post#5 » Oct 19 2017 05:21

I just got some mathhammering done myself. There is merit to darkstrider in a fish if attacking a 7 toughness, 3+ save model (vehicles), imo.

Fish has bs 4, and cadre buff for extra 4 shots factored when applicable. Drones natural bs calculated at 5. I added movement penalty for markerlight chance to factor proportional damage with markerlight and without markerlight support.

Here's the data:
Toughness 7, +3 save
------------
10breachers +fish+ DS(ML bs3)= 4.222 damage(59.684pts/ damage)

12 breachers+ fish= 3.370 damage (63.791 pts/ damage)

11drone +fish+ cadre(ml BS 3) = 3.205 damage (80.168)


While t7 isn't the ideal target , and mantastrike units are far more efficient. It's also good to know that the fish can work with mantatrike units to have better chances to delete a vechile when used together. No drones were factored.Here is some comparable data from units fresh from a manta strike (comparable mobility):

9 fb on 3 crisis suits=10.5 damage(31.5pts/D)
3ats,6 cibs overcharged crisis= 5.33 (47.25)
Fb x4, commander= 7.777(20.571 pts/dam)
3cib overcharged +ats commander=4.44(31.05)

So I think darkstrider package is good for terminators AND ok at softening t7 vehicles.

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Haechi
Shas'Saal
Posts: 118

Re: Comparing Mechanized Unit Builds

Post#6 » Oct 26 2017 04:59

Next Sunday I have a 1000pts tournament in which I'm fielding the... Dronefish? As well as a Coldstar with DC to land around when needed. I'll bring back some feedback on it next week.

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Haechi
Shas'Saal
Posts: 118

Re: Comparing Mechanized Unit Builds

Post#7 » Oct 30 2017 07:29

Damn, it worked so well. I finished 4th out of 14. Lost 5-20, won 20-0, 20-0, draw 10-10. I could have won the last one by just paying attention to where I disembarked my attached drones on the Devilfish, and therfore ended 3rd of the tournament. The drone carrier Devilfish is amazing. I was 2nd overall in kill points out of 4 games, and tabled 2 opponents, one of them being Astra Militarum with 40 conscripts.

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Sa'cea Mont'yr
Shas'El
Shas'El
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Re: Comparing Mechanized Unit Builds

Post#8 » Oct 30 2017 10:59

It's amusing to me that a tactic that originated in Dawn of War has made its way to the tabletop, and is so effective as well. Nice math, gents, and Haechi, thanks for the dash of practical experience.
Shas'el Sa'cea Cal'Ka Mon'tyr

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