Fire Warriors are good again!

Discuss tactical and strategic development for 40K/Tau.
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Arka0415
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Fire Warriors are good again!

Post#1 » Nov 26 2017 09:13

I know the meta has been favoring Gun Drones- there's no question that they're not fantastic units. However, there's one thing that may shift the balance, if only a little:

The new Markerlight stratagem.

It's really good, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. This is one stratagem we're going to want to use every turn if possible, as it lets us do what Tau are supposed to do best- bring down big targets one at a time. If you want to use this stratagem, and have room for a few Command Re-Rolls on your Fusion Blasters and whatnot, you're going to need:

Battalions.

Remember that Gun Drones can't make Battalions. That means Strike Teams and Breacher Teams are much more necessary; in other words, Fire Warriors. Mechanized or not, from here on out Tau armies should definitely include at least one Battalion Detachment. Gun Drones are of course very useful inside Devilfish and guarding XV8s, but Fire Warriors have a new and highly-valuable role: they give us access to massively-higher accuracy across the board in the form of our new Markerlight stratagem.

What do you think?
Last edited by Arka0415 on Nov 26 2017 10:25, edited 1 time in total.

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Emberkahn
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Re: Fire Warriors are good again!

Post#2 » Nov 26 2017 09:54

Forgive me if I am mistaken, but don't drones benefit even more from the stratagem than fire warriors?

also what is your point regarding battalions? Sorry I must have missed the change.

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Gragagrogog
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Re: Fire Warriors are good again!

Post#3 » Nov 26 2017 10:02

Emberkahn wrote:also what is your point regarding battalions? Sorry I must have missed the change.


It's transitive change, command points are worth more -> therefore having detachment with more command points is more advantageous.

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Arka0415
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Re: Fire Warriors are good again!

Post#4 » Nov 26 2017 10:24

Gragagrogog wrote:
Emberkahn wrote:also what is your point regarding battalions? Sorry I must have missed the change.


It's transitive change, command points are worth more -> therefore having detachment with more command points is more advantageous.


Exactly. Drones don't make Battalions. Taking small groups of Pathfinders and Drones makes Outrider detachments, but... there's a good chance that Battalion + Battalion + Ourider (10 CP) or Battalion + Outrider + Supreme Command (8 CP) will be our best shots at getting lots of Command Points.

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namegiver
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Re: Fire Warriors are good again!

Post#5 » Nov 27 2017 12:06

I agree. I've had success with two 10-man Striker squad and a 10-man Breacher squad in a Battalion. Toss them a Fire Blade and markerlight hits and watch the opposition just melt. For added fun, add in a couple of 12-man Gun Drone squads (from an Outrider detachment) and a Commander with a Drone Controller. The result is an absolutely horrifying number of dice being rolled and hitting on 3+, rerolling 1's.

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Arka0415
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Re: Fire Warriors are good again!

Post#6 » Nov 27 2017 12:26

namegiver wrote:I agree. I've had success with two 10-man Striker squad and a 10-man Breacher squad in a Battalion. Toss them a Fire Blade and markerlight hits and watch the opposition just melt. For added fun, add in a couple of 12-man Gun Drone squads (from an Outrider detachment) and a Commander with a Drone Controller. The result is an absolutely horrifying number of dice being rolled and hitting on 3+, rerolling 1's.

Unless you're houseruling no morale or something, why not split the squads down? For me I field Fire Warriors in teams of 6-9, and Gun Drones in teams of 4-6. Any larger and you start getting perfectly avoidable morale losses. What do you think?

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namegiver
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Re: Fire Warriors are good again!

Post#7 » Nov 27 2017 12:32

Arka0415 wrote:Unless you're houseruling no morale or something, why not split the squads down? For me I field Fire Warriors in teams of 6-9, and Gun Drones in teams of 4-6. Any larger and you start getting perfectly avoidable morale losses. What do you think?


I think that is excellent advice and will give it a try. It'll make for more flexible target prioritization too. Thanks!

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DominayTrix
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Re: Fire Warriors are good again!

Post#8 » Nov 27 2017 01:31

I have had some success prior to CA using my firewarriors as deep strike denial squads spread across my deployment. Tuck them into ruins/cover and just let them deny a 9 inch bubble of deep strike. While a gunline provides significantly better overwatch protection against melee armies, usually area denial can be just as effective by forcing footslogging into a kill zone for your stronger units (Commanders, Gundrones+Fireblade, Stealth Suits etc). Against shooty armies like the Guard, overwatch protection is even less relevant, but a typical shooty player would much rather not use their high strength long range firepower to remove GEQ in order to deep strike next turn. Best part is it feels incredibly fluffy to send infantry on "
small patrols" to deny deepstrike, while your main force lies in wait like the patient hunters they are.

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nic
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Re: Fire Warriors are good again!

Post#9 » Nov 27 2017 03:15

I think this is a hint of the future but the future is not here yet.

We currently have one really good Stratagem and I might still want to grab a re-roll every now and again. If I am happy enough to grind it out by turn 6 without CP then I might want 10CP.

On the other hand we have a new Relic which gives me a free re-roll and a 1/6 chance of a CP every time I or my opponent uses a Stratagem. That is probably worth another 2-3 CP per game.

So now to get all the Stratagems I am likely to want is costing me 6-7CP. I can manage 6 without troops so those troops had better be able to pull their weight on the table to justify their place in my list. As it happens I will usually want a unit of Kroot and I am not averse to the odd small Strike Squad so a basic 3 troops might be good even if I am tuning for competitive play.

Perhaps more relevantly I want to get a feel for those troops again because when our Codex drops my desire for CP is almost certain to get stronger. At that point the benefits of Troops get all the more tempting. If only we had any Heavy Support that I can stand - then we could really get *lots* of CP. Here's hoping.

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Re: Fire Warriors are good again!

Post#10 » Nov 27 2017 03:45

nic wrote:
Perhaps more relevantly I want to get a feel for those troops again because when our Codex drops my desire for CP is almost certain to get stronger. At that point the benefits of Troops get all the more tempting. If only we had any Heavy Support that I can stand - then we could really get *lots* of CP. Here's hoping.


Have you tried heavy gun drones? A question to the whole room at 62pts for 2 w BC+ Markerlight each isn't too bad but sniper drones are still cheaper so either way your looking at a "tax" of 162 pts for 4 extra CP (compared to Battalion, vanguard, and outrider)

Also heavy gun drone has 3 wounds each so that's 6 wounds you can pass onto them from any suits or infantry they support I suppose :P

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QimRas
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Re: Fire Warriors are good again!

Post#11 » Nov 27 2017 04:25

Just to weigh in...

I am a primary infantry player. The majority of my lists are centered on many small fire warrior squads with Fireblades providing HQ slots, Pathfinder with special weapons acting as heavy weapons squads, and Marksmen as marker support. I am looking forward to our strategems, and the markerlight one is going to get a whole lot of use for me.

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Draaen
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Re: Fire Warriors are good again!

Post#12 » Nov 27 2017 05:01

Fire warriors get outshone by gun drones on the table but I think that is only because gun drones are way ahead of the power curve. I've run fire warriors quite a bit and think they are very serviceable when compared to other armies troops. With a 4+ save they don't just disappear in a breeze and have range to be effective in their cover so they are often at 3+. For 3 points I get a markerlight with a lot of ablative wounds. For that alone they are great for me but are often overlooked by my opponent as just being fire warriors. With a fireblade for support they can be quite mean.

The big thing though is their cost to me. 3 fire warrior squads and 2 fireblades is a steal for 3 command points and all can do quite well on their own while being relatively sturdy. Plus we like commanders anyways so it's not like we are hurting to fill out HQ slots for the most part meaning the only "tax" is the fire warriors. If sniper drones become reduced in cost or better brigades will be quite accessible to Tau.

Like other people have said these guys can really take up a lot of space in your deployment zone. Ideally in ruins to gain cover and deny cover to your opponents deep strikers. This can really help protect important units and mess with your opponents tempo.

Plus Fire Warriors are one of my favorite sculpts ever. I'm painting 24 more now lol and have another 12 on the docket after that.
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AnonAmbientLight
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Re: Fire Warriors are good again!

Post#13 » Nov 27 2017 08:38

If you are going to get Firewarriors, it might also be worth it to grab some Pulse Accelerator drones and at least one Fireblade.
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Arka0415
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Re: Fire Warriors are good again!

Post#14 » Nov 27 2017 09:08

AnonAmbientLight wrote:If you are going to get Firewarriors, it might also be worth it to grab some Pulse Accelerator drones and at least one Fireblade.

With the Fireblade you really want to get into rapid-fire range... how much better is 18" than 15"? I'm not being sarcastic, do you think there's a real benefit there?

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AnonAmbientLight
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Re: Fire Warriors are good again!

Post#15 » Nov 28 2017 01:23

Well not necessarily for that purpose, but you might as well throw in those force multipliers while you are at it. The Fireblade is a +2 markerlight which you can use the stratagem on in a pinch or to "top off" a markerlight stack. The Pulse Accelerator drone is for an extra 6'' shooting, which is helpful just in general.

Mass S5 shooting is nothing to sneeze at either. I play Grey Knights and you'd be surprised how effective bolter spam can be. Storm bolters are S4 Rapid Fire 2 24'' range. Most Grey Knight units operate within that rapid fire range. A five man Strike Squad (PA) squad gives you 20 bolter shots hitting on 3s (reroll 1s with a Grand Master nearby). You're going to force saves with that kind of firepower.

I think one of the issues with T'au has been getting enough markerlights out on the table. The stratagem that we get with CA really helps in that regard. It means you can hide a character like a Fireblade, Darkstrider, or even a Firesight Marksman and get the equivalent of a small pathfinder squad. A "squad" that cannot be easily taken out.

It also gives flexibility to smaller lists as well. You won't have to spend as many points on markerlight generators.
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leo1925
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Re: Fire Warriors are good again!

Post#16 » Nov 28 2017 03:28

Draaen wrote:The big thing though is their cost to me. 3 fire warrior squads and 2 fireblades is a steal for 3 command points and all can do quite well on their own while being relatively sturdy. Plus we like commanders anyways so it's not like we are hurting to fill out HQ slots for the most part meaning the only "tax" is the fire warriors. If sniper drones become reduced in cost or better brigades will be quite accessible to Tau.


I, on the other hand, think that strike teams are quite expensive at 8pts per fire warrior. If the cadre fireblade was a better force multiplier and/or we had a markerlight table that did anything serious to help the strike teams*, but as they are now they are a bit overcosted.

*as it stands now the makerlights help the strike teams on the 1st markerlight, situationally on the 4th and then on the 5th.

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Yojimbob
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Re: Fire Warriors are good again!

Post#17 » Nov 28 2017 03:45

leo1925 wrote:
Draaen wrote:The big thing though is their cost to me. 3 fire warrior squads and 2 fireblades is a steal for 3 command points and all can do quite well on their own while being relatively sturdy. Plus we like commanders anyways so it's not like we are hurting to fill out HQ slots for the most part meaning the only "tax" is the fire warriors. If sniper drones become reduced in cost or better brigades will be quite accessible to Tau.


I, on the other hand, think that strike teams are quite expensive at 8pts per fire warrior. If the cadre fireblade was a better force multiplier and/or we had a markerlight table that did anything serious to help the strike teams*, but as they are now they are a bit overcosted.

*as it stands now the makerlights help the strike teams on the 1st markerlight, situationally on the 4th and then on the 5th.


I know BS 4+ isn't good but getting those shots at 30" with the potential of 2 shots at 15" unbuffed with str5 weapons on a chassis that has a 4+ seems pretty good to me for 8 points. If anyone has the points of other basic troops I'd like to see them for comparison but I feel like our basic troops is definitely not overcosted. Lots of cheap battalions with hidden lights everywhere.

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CDR_Farsight
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Re: Fire Warriors are good again!

Post#18 » Nov 28 2017 03:58

Arka0415 wrote:
AnonAmbientLight wrote:If you are going to get Firewarriors, it might also be worth it to grab some Pulse Accelerator drones and at least one Fireblade.

With the Fireblade you really want to get into rapid-fire range... how much better is 18" than 15"? I'm not being sarcastic, do you think there's a real benefit there?


It may not mean too much in a shooting war since most rapid fire weapons are 24'/12' and either distance means they can usually close to rapid fire on the next turn however...

15" means a close combat unit can get to a doable 8' charge after movement whereas 18" means the same unit would have to pull of a lucky 11' charge to get into your lines.
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