Tactics Against Imperial Guard

Discuss tactical and strategic development for 40K/Tau.
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Ghostly Daemon
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Tactics Against Imperial Guard

Post#1 » Nov 07 2017 08:51

So I'm playing against Imperial Guard for the very first time tonight, so naturally I would like some help with tactics I could use against them, but I was also thinking we could use this as an article to gather all our thoughts about facing the Astra Militarum!

First impressions, their troops only have a 5+ save, so any amount of AP on weaponry will be devastating - I plan on using Crisis Suits with 3 CIBs on to eat through the Conscripts and Infantry squads.

Equally, Sentinels should go down reasonably quickly to CIB fire, especially if paired with an ATS.

Obviously, the way to deal with their tanks will be QFCs and Longstrike - I think this is a given.

Any other thoughts on the subject? Anything to expect or to avoid being bated into?
:fear: :fear: :fear: :fear: :fear: :evil:

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Re: Tactics Against Imperial Guard

Post#2 » Nov 07 2017 09:29

Ghostly Daemon wrote:So I'm playing against Imperial Guard for the very first time tonight, so naturally I would like some help with tactics I could use against them, but I was also thinking we could use this as an article to gather all our thoughts about facing the Astra Militarum!

First impressions, their troops only have a 5+ save, so any amount of AP on weaponry will be devastating - I plan on using Crisis Suits with 3 CIBs on to eat through the Conscripts and Infantry squads.

Equally, Sentinels should go down reasonably quickly to CIB fire, especially if paired with an ATS.

Obviously, the way to deal with their tanks will be QFCs and Longstrike - I think this is a given.

Any other thoughts on the subject? Anything to expect or to avoid being bated into?


Any ideas what sort of list he is running? AM codex is the most diverse in the game and you could be looking at massed infantry, mechanised, cavalry, monstrous infantry, artillery, Heavy tank list. Or my personal favourite a millitarum tempestus list where every weapon is atleast AP -2 with 4+ save and can deepstrike

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Yojimbob
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Re: Tactics Against Imperial Guard

Post#3 » Nov 07 2017 09:30

Tactics widely depends on your list, your opponents list, the board, and the mission. Yes, certain general things will help like make all their guys dead. :-P Charge their tanks with things like piranhas and devilfish or a deepstriking commander in a pinch. Coldstars and mobile Y'varhas could also tie up tanks and such.

Conscripts are less scary now that they are far fewer in number but they can still put out some hurt. Tie them up with a riptide, SS, or y'varha to prevent them doing extra damage or at least force him to use stratagems to gain an advantage back.

Focus down the things that are deadly to your important pieces of your list. Use your drones, kroot, firewarriors, and pathfinders to screen for your commanders or other deadly units. You shouldn't need to worry about guard in CC so feel free to move and advance to gain a tactical range advantage depending on your list.

Pay attention to what faction is being used and if multiple are in use, don't let their buffs cross over to the other faction unless they are specific to guard, not like Catachan or whatever they are running.

What is the list you are planning on running?

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Ghostly Daemon
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Re: Tactics Against Imperial Guard

Post#4 » Nov 07 2017 09:37

Nymphomanius wrote:Any ideas what sort of list he is running? AM codex is the most diverse in the game and you could be looking at massed infantry, mechanised, cavalry, monstrous infantry, artillery, Heavy tank list. Or my personal favourite a millitarum tempestus list where every weapon is atleast AP -2 with 4+ save and can deepstrike


I believe he's running a Company Commander with Power Sword, Lord Commissar with Power Fist, 3 Infantry Squads with Flamer, Vox Caster and Heavy Bolter each, Command Squad with Medi Pack, Standard, Grenade Launcher and Vox Caster, regular Commissar, 3 Armoured Sentinels with Plasma Cannons, Heavy Weapons Squad with Autocannons and a Leman Russ with Battle Cannon and Heavy Bolter. I also think he'll be running them as Vostroyans, but I'm not entirely sure on that.

Yojimbob wrote:What is the list you are planning on running?


I'm running a Cadre Fireblade, QFC, Ethereal, 2 5-man Strike Teams, 1 "Veteran" Strike team, Crisis Team with 3 x CIBs + Drones and 8 Pathfinders.

We're curently in a fluff-based campaign with a few special rules, so I can give one of my Strike Teams +1 BS for a 10% increase in points (Veterans), I can pay saved Command Points to bring an extra unit (the Ethereal), etc.
:fear: :fear: :fear: :fear: :fear: :evil:

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leo1925
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Re: Tactics Against Imperial Guard

Post#5 » Nov 07 2017 09:42

The two main problems when facing AM are their tanks and their characters, sadly Tau (at the moment) are ill equipped to deal with either of them.

Try to lock in the tanks with kroots, drones, devilfish etc and try to eliminate the things that their characters are supporting.

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Re: Tactics Against Imperial Guard

Post#6 » Nov 07 2017 10:22

Ghostly Daemon wrote:I believe he's running a Company Commander with Power Sword, Lord Commissar with Power Fist, 3 Infantry Squads with Flamer, Vox Caster and Heavy Bolter each, Command Squad with Medi Pack, Standard, Grenade Launcher and Vox Caster, regular Commissar, 3 Armoured Sentinels with Plasma Cannons, Heavy Weapons Squad with Autocannons and a Leman Russ with Battle Cannon and Heavy Bolter. I also think he'll be running them as Vostroyans, but I'm not entirely sure on that.

Well it's nice to see a list that should be easy to deal with.
The only real threats are the Russ, and Armoured sentinels, both of which you have a unit able to alpha strike able to deal with it, CIB xv8's drop and pop sentinels (with markerlight support use fireblade to get 1st then 8 finders to hopefully get to the magic 5, overcharge those CIB and let em rip)
QFC to drop and pop the Russ, no surprises there and then back off and take him at range with the infantry squads he can either sit still and use the heavy bolters or try and get close to use FRFSRF and flamers and get mashed with large amounts of str5 shooting.

Also grenade launcher vet? Seriously?

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Emberkahn
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Re: Tactics Against Imperial Guard

Post#7 » Nov 07 2017 09:57

I pretty much exclusively fight IG these days, 3 or 4 times a week in a competitive environment. The following are my 2 cents.

1) QFC QFC QFC QFC QFC. IG will ALWAYS bring minimum 3 tanks; you should take minimum 3-4 QFC. I have played 3k games where 2k of my army has been alpha struck turn one, and 6 QFC's have taken on his 3k and won.
2) Things to body block for your QFC. Ideal candidates need to be fast and tough: My go toos are

a) Tiger-sharks (HBC variant)
b) R'alai and Monat hazard suits with full drones
c) Devilfish with drones inside

If you have Tigersharks you can pretty much just take them and fusions commanders and something to hide at the back thats cheap, prevents you from getting tabled turn one, and increases your drop count so all the QFC can drop (like hounds). The Tigersharks will murder any infantry whilst simultaneously being near immune to return fire, and the QFCs will solve your vehicle problems as long as you can keep them up.

3) If you don't have tigersharks, take some CIB Commanders.

4) Regardless, always equip your commanders with max drones. They are shockingly tough against guard. I personally like marker drones because R'alai brings a DC and rerolling ones is wonderful for tigersharks and commanders, but the other two work fine as well. It's really about your priorities.

5) The exception to this is coldstars; its worth taking one and making it your warlord for objectives, but the drones can't keep up so aren't necassary. Don't bother deepstriking these either.

6) Also, watch your for their psykers. They are super cheap and WILL gib commanders if you aren't careful.

7) Otherwise I have found the following units to be ineffective, especially compared to alternatives, which I indicate in brackets

a) Fire Warriors (Drones)
b) Broadsides < Hammerheads < QFC's
c) Missile Commanders < CIB Commanders

NB: With the new commissar updates the only infantry guard usually take are deepstrike plasma command squads and heavy weapons teams, usually mortars, so you don't really need to worry about them so much, especially given how godly their tanks are.

8) Alternative idea is to take a supremacy, Aun'va (with the +1 LD trait) and a swarm of shield drones. Guard tend to take plasma tanks expecting you to come in close, so surprise outrange can be an effective way of neutralising them.

Anyway, that is my experience, definitely isn't mutually exclusive to other players here, and definitely just observational from experience.

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Ghostly Daemon
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Re: Tactics Against Imperial Guard

Post#8 » Nov 08 2017 04:56

This is all great stuff - we can really make this a useful thread for sure!

To add some experience from my game last night:

1) Sentinels are tough. They're very resiliant and survivable (3 Crisis Suits with 3 CIBs had a hard time taking them down) ... until a QFC shows up. In that case, they die in seconds.

2) Make sure you cripple the tanks as early as you can, but you don't necessarilly need to kill them. A Leman Russ on it's middle profile couldn't do a thing, so just ran away and hid. I ended up killing it for sport really, but it wasn't necessary at all.

3) Infantry squads (and by extension, Conscripts) go down like paper, especially to massed Pulse Rifle fire. A Fireblade, Ethereal and a squad of 10 Fire Warriors with Markerlight support completely destroyed 2 full Infantry Squads with ease.

4) Heavy weapons teams hit hard, but obviously tend to stay still so they're extremely vulnerable to an alpha strike by Crisis Suits, Commanders, etc.
:fear: :fear: :fear: :fear: :fear: :evil:

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Panzer
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Re: Tactics Against Imperial Guard

Post#9 » Nov 08 2017 05:47

Ghostly Daemon wrote:
3) Infantry squads (and by extension, Conscripts) go down like paper, especially to massed Pulse Rifle fire. A Fireblade, Ethereal and a squad of 10 Fire Warriors with Markerlight support completely destroyed 2 full Infantry Squads with ease.

Yeah, to be honest only against AM and Skitarii infantery did my Pulse fire ever feel satisfying.
Sure I had occasions where my Devilfish killed 5 Deathwatch in cover because he wiffed his saves and it felt great and sure I can drown targets in wounds with Gun Drones, but those are either exceptions or just don't feel satisfying to me. I'm just no horde player I guess so drowning targets in wounds is not my style (unless it's with Flamer Crisis! :D ).

Nymphomanius
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Re: Tactics Against Imperial Guard

Post#10 » Nov 08 2017 10:18

Anyone got any experience / tips for dealing with the Militarum tempestus?

They're very expensive infantry amd hot shot volley guns not only destroy GEQ but thanks to their unique order ruin vehicles and monsters too, I've seen a 10 man squad with 4 volley guns drop a Dreadnought in 1 round of shooting ( was a very lucky round but could reliably do it in 2)

I know I said if I was going to play AM a Militarum heavy/exclusive list would be my first choice.

Also the ability to drop 8 plasma/melta guns for around the same points as our Commander and give them orders is frightening.

So has anyone encountered them in high volume or any tips for killing them?

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Ghostly Daemon
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Re: Tactics Against Imperial Guard

Post#11 » Nov 08 2017 11:17

Nymphomanius wrote:Anyone got any experience / tips for dealing with the Militarum tempestus?


I have no personal experience, but looking at their stats, they're a nasty bunch! I would imagine picking them off from range with a squad or 2 of Fire Warriors would be a safe bet. Manta Striking a team of Crisis Suits would also work well but you'd have to be damn sure you can kill every single one of them, or that's going to hurt when they retaliate :-(
:fear: :fear: :fear: :fear: :fear: :evil:

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Re: Tactics Against Imperial Guard

Post#12 » Nov 08 2017 12:08

Ghostly Daemon wrote:
Nymphomanius wrote:Anyone got any experience / tips for dealing with the Militarum tempestus?


I have no personal experience, but looking at their stats, they're a nasty bunch! I would imagine picking them off from range with a squad or 2 of Fire Warriors would be a safe bet. Manta Striking a team of Crisis Suits would also work well but you'd have to be damn sure you can kill every single one of them, or that's going to hurt when they retaliate :-(


Yeah you also have to consider the Militarum tempestus get a 1CP stratagem to fire as if they had EWO but with -1 to hit so if using CIB make sure to drop >12" away because even with -1 to hit 4 hot shot volley guns give 16 str4 ap-2 shots, there goes your drone support or 1-2 suits if you didn't bring drones to assist :eek: :dead:

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Ghostly Daemon
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Re: Tactics Against Imperial Guard

Post#13 » Nov 08 2017 12:11

Nymphomanius wrote:Yeah you also have to consider the Militarum tempestus get a 1CP stratagem to fire as if they had EWO but with -1 to hit so if using CIB make sure to drop >12" away because even with -1 to hit 4 hot shot volley guns give 16 str4 ap-2 shots, there goes your drone support or 1-2 suits if you didn't bring drones to assist :eek: :dead:


Precisely, fun times for our deep strike!

So yeah, without experience obviously, I'd say firstly try and take them out at range with Fire Warriors. Failing that, drop in some Crisis Suits >12" away and be sure you get 5 Markerlight hits on them and use your rerolls wisely :P
:fear: :fear: :fear: :fear: :fear: :evil:

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Panzer
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Re: Tactics Against Imperial Guard

Post#14 » Nov 08 2017 12:45

Militarum Tempestus should be easily dealt with an EWO Stormsurge. Now their supporting units (especially tanks) which could kill the Stormsurge beforehand are the real problem. ^^

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Re: Tactics Against Imperial Guard

Post#15 » Nov 08 2017 05:47

Panzer wrote:Militarum Tempestus should be easily dealt with an EWO Stormsurge. Now their supporting units (especially tanks) which could kill the Stormsurge beforehand are the real problem. ^^


Not all Militarum tempestus alpha strike though the ones that deploy 3 squad with 4 HSVG would kill a Stormsurge in a turn if they were within 24" so depends what gun is on the Surge.

Edit: also not everyone has a Stormsurge :D

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Emberkahn
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Re: Tactics Against Imperial Guard

Post#16 » Nov 09 2017 02:02

Nymphomanius wrote:Anyone got any experience / tips for dealing with the Militarum tempestus?

They're very expensive infantry amd hot shot volley guns not only destroy GEQ but thanks to their unique order ruin vehicles and monsters too, I've seen a 10 man squad with 4 volley guns drop a Dreadnought in 1 round of shooting ( was a very lucky round but could reliably do it in 2)

I know I said if I was going to play AM a Militarum heavy/exclusive list would be my first choice.

Also the ability to drop 8 plasma/melta guns for around the same points as our Commander and give them orders is frightening.

So has anyone encountered them in high volume or any tips for killing them?


I play against them a lot; the command squads are particularly punishing as they can take pure heavy weapons.

You really have three options
1) Cop the alpha strike: This sucks but there are ways you can mitigate it
a) Screen your important stuff so that it has to drop outside of rapid fire range, where they are far less effective
b) Use drones; I am getting to the point where I just take 20 drones in every game to body block my important stuff
c) Try and subtly persuade your opponent to drop it away from stuff you want to protect. Lines like "ah but if you drop there no-one can contest that objective," or "omg the cover in that building is vicious if you could get an infantry squad into it."

2) Stormsurge with EWO pushes them out beyond 12" or forces them to be shot. I am not really a fan of the stormsurge though, so up to personal preference

3) Don't drop the commanders until the tempestors drop; but i don't recommend this.

Ultimately your best option is to just screen against them and mitigate their impact. Drones work wonders. After they drop you are essentially just facing an expensive block of guard out of range of a commissar so you can make quick work of them with pulse munitions.

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nic
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Re: Tactics Against Imperial Guard

Post#17 » Nov 09 2017 12:49

I am going to start out by saying that anything we discuss about counter-AM tactics has a pretty short shelf life right now. AM players are still trying out all their new toys so what we will see on the tables will be changing pretty quickly over the next few weeks. Then in a few weeks we can expect some changes to Tau in Chapter Approved.

Given that after playing a few games against AM I would add to the previous comments
    * AM are more cost effective than Tau, they will benefit from playing an attrition game.
    * AM have lots of new toys (warlord traits, relics, stratagems) that enable them to adapt to challenges on the table
    * The different regiments really are different enough that you cannot safely give counter-AM tactics without taking this into account

So for the first part it is crucial that a Tau player makes the game into a war of maneuver and does not get bogged down into static attrition warfare that better suits the AM player. The keys to this are some of the great deployment tricks and highly mobile units we have combined with the victory conditions for the scenario. If the scenario victory conditions are "sit tight and grind it out" then the odds are most definitely stacked against us.

All the new toys that the AM have are currently a bit of a mixed blessing for them. Even good players are still getting the hang of every new twist on their old army so if you can really pile on the difficult decisions you have created a situation where your much longer familiarity with your force should be an asset. If you know how your army works better than your opponent (and you should at this point in time) you need to force the game out of the run-of-the-mill to create lots of tricky decision points. Now obviously you run the risk of them pulling a trick you did not know about but i think that is a risk whether you are moving all over the table or just sitting still - but sitting still plays their game and gives them the perfect circumstances to maximize the tactical tricks they had in mind when they put their list together.

None of this is to suggest blind aggression. It very often makes sense to wait a turn or two before committing to decisive action if the scenario forces your opponent out of their deployment zone to win. An AM army can squeeze the space off the table like almost no other - and deny us the room to use our mobility and deployment. We need to use a combination of the scenario causing them to move and our awareness of creating space with the attacks we do make. Dropping in all your Crisis/Commanders/Vespid too soon will just let you kill some worthless chaff and then lose a unit you will be needing later.

On the other hand if for example the enemy Leman Russ line is pushed too far forwards, as I have seen a couple of times with Punishers in particular, then by all means charge into nearby infantry in order to pile-in on the tanks to shut down their shooting. I find that while AM might technically dish out more damage in the assault phase than Tau the ability of Tau to tie up crucial enemy units without sacrificing our own firepower is the key to success (or at least survival). The charge phase is your friend, learn to use it well and to lock units in so they are unable to fall back. The charge phase gives us hidden mobility that most opponents will not anticipate - doing the unexpected creates more difficult decision points for them. You are unlikely to damage an AM heavy-hitter in combat but if you prevent it shooting next turn and/or prevent your key advance units from being shot at then this is all the reward you need.

One last comment on some of the regiments I have faced and how they change some of the above

Tallarn : Really mobile and with deployment tricks to rival our own. The good thing about this is that a player bringing Tallarn wants to play a war of maneuver just as we do so skill in the movement phase will decide the game far more than the raw mathammer of points efficiency.

Cadia : If you let them stand still and shoot you will get shot off the table. Against Cadia it is really important to force them to move with anything you have. The Coldstar was my star here with her ability to tie up a Punisher before it had a chance to ever unleash its 40+ shots per turn - which shifted the firepower balance enough for me to turn that flank. With a flank collapsing my opponent had no choice but to move, leaving me openings to exploit whilst losing them much of the benenefit of their regimental bonus.

Valhallan : Really incredibly durable, its like Commissars never went away :fear: Also note that trying to degrade the tanks is almost futile, if you fail to finish them off they rarely degrade and if they do a cheap CP for jury-rigging will often bring them back to full capability. Also they have an order to shoot into combat so you can tie units up but you may pay a heavy price for doing so even if you master the art of the pile-in so that a target unit cannot fall back. On the other hand they feel the least aggressive of the regiments that I have faced and a Valhallan player probably wants to play the grinding attrition game *really* badly. If the scenario or your play can force/tempt them into a more fluid game you might be able to create local areas of superiority even if across the whole table your opponent has more bodies and guns.

So far I have been playing nice balanced AM forces with lots of good units and good synergy without going into heavy spam. Against that I have done pretty well, although I had to play a bit of blinder to grind out a draw against Valhallans because I had not fully understood how differently they play until well into the game. Unless you are playing against a full-on tournament spam list in the hands of a good tournament player I do not think AM are unbeatable but they are definitely hard to beat.

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mason8ah
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Re: Tactics Against Imperial Guard

Post#18 » Nov 16 2017 06:20

I just want to add that I've faced Guard a few times recently and cannot get the hang of them. By my experience they're a better shooty and CC army than Tau, and their diversity makes them impossible to plan for, so with a balanced list half my army ends up being quite ineffective. I never end being able to beat them. I've drawn at best. And my god those orders are SO annoying, and that strategy where they can gain Command Points is hilarious.
Tau's sheer lack of any good Snipers and their sheer numbers makes it very hard to take out characters and psychers to stop these seriously powerful orders.
Needless to say I'm lurking this topic!

Edit: I'm not massively experienced so thay doesn't help!
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