It it worth it to field small numbers of vehicles?

Discuss tactical and strategic development for 40K/Tau.
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Arka0415
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It it worth it to field small numbers of vehicles?

Post#1 » Jan 03 2018 06:26

Tau vehicles, unlike battlesuits, can neither be deployed via Manta Strike nor be protected via Savior Protocols. This makes Tau vehicles much less durable against alpha strike compared to battlesuits. In a 2000-point game, Tau armies can expect to face 15+ Lascannons or similar weapons, which could easily destroy a single Devilish or Hammerhead on turn 1. As such, small numbers of vehicles are uniquely weak in Tau armies. Before battlesuits deploy, vehicles are the only target for enemy anti-armor weapons.

Tau have no stratagem that allows vehicles to deep strike, no units that can repair vehicles, no units that can absorb wounds for vehicles, no invulnerable saves on vehicles, and no abilities that give vehicles stealth or -1 to-hit buffs. To protect vehicles, Tau armies can only do three things, it seems:

1. Deploy behind LOS-blocking terrain
2. Take redundant vehicles
3. Don't take vehicles at all

Do you think it's worth bringing a small number of vehicles in games? I'd be curious to hear people's thoughts on the matter.

TauGeorge
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Re: It it worth it to field small numbers of vehicles?

Post#2 » Jan 03 2018 06:43

I'd be interested in peoples ideas on this also.

However, what is the role of the Forge World technical drone? I have some I haven't used yet but plan on doing so very soon.

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Arka0415
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Re: It it worth it to field small numbers of vehicles?

Post#3 » Jan 03 2018 06:59

TauGeorge wrote:However, what is the role of the Forge World technical drone? I have some I haven't used yet but plan on doing so very soon.

Sadly the Technical Drone only repairs battlesuits, not vehicles. Further reason why battlesuits offer significantly better utility.

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bl4ckc00k1e
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Re: It it worth it to field small numbers of vehicles?

Post#4 » Jan 03 2018 07:34

Arka0415 wrote:
TauGeorge wrote:However, what is the role of the Forge World technical drone? I have some I haven't used yet but plan on doing so very soon.

Sadly the Technical Drone only repairs battlesuits, not vehicles. Further reason why battlesuits offer significantly better utility.


Well the Technical Drone are from ForgeWorld, and now they don't sell it any more... and this drones cant go directly with the battlesuits like a gun, marker or shield drone, true?

TauGeorge
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Re: It it worth it to field small numbers of vehicles?

Post#5 » Jan 03 2018 08:18

I'm not sure of its role on the battlefield other than the fact it can repair battlesuits as mentioned above. I'd assume it would have to maintain a certain proximity to a suit in order to do so. I'd also have to read the rules to see if it includes the saviour protocol wording.

But it would be nice if it included repairs to vehicles as making them more survivable would be a bonus.

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Arka0415
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Re: It it worth it to field small numbers of vehicles?

Post#6 » Jan 03 2018 08:51

I'm more curious about what people think about vehicles though. It could be the case that, unless we have some way to protect vehicles against alpha strikes, vehicles are simply not worth it in small numbers (1-2).

TauGeorge
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Re: It it worth it to field small numbers of vehicles?

Post#7 » Jan 03 2018 09:31

If someone is inclined to have vehicles what would your recommendation be going forward?

Reason being i'm planning on expanding in this area. Possibly more Hammerheads as I currently have one Hammerhead and one Devilfish.

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Arka0415
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Re: It it worth it to field small numbers of vehicles?

Post#8 » Jan 03 2018 09:57

TauGeorge wrote:If someone is inclined to have vehicles what would your recommendation be going forward?

Reason being i'm planning on expanding in this area. Possibly more Hammerheads as I currently have one Hammerhead and one Devilfish.

Most armies have a balance of anti-infantry and anti-tank/monster firepower. If you field only a couple of tanks they're easily killed, so armor redundancy is really important if you want a good chunk of your list to be vehicles. If you field one of each kind of tank it would be too easy for the enemy to single out whichever is the biggest threat.

I would recommend taking at least four hulls if you plan on doing an an armor list. You'll want to back up your vehicles with battlesuits and Pathfinders of course though. Focus on Hammerheads and Longstrike with Railguns, and mechanized infantry in Devilfish.

Note that armor isn't exceptionally good right now, but here's an example of a decent 2000-point armor list. I don't know if this is really good or not but it's an idea for how they can be built:

-

HQ - Commander w/ 3x Cyclic Ion Blasters, ATS; 2x Shield Drones (154)
HQ - Longstrike w/ Railgun, 2x Seeker Missiles; 2x Gun Drones (201)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
Troops - 6x Fire Warriors (48)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors (40)
Troops - 6x Fire Warriors (48)
Troops - 5x Fire Warriors (40)
Dedicated Transport - Devilfish w/ Burst Cannon, 2x Seeker Missiles; 2x Gun Drones (137)
Dedicated Transport - Devilfish w/ Burst Cannon, 2x Seeker Missiles; 2x Gun Drones (137)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 9x Flamers; 6x Gun Drones (255)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Heavy Support - Hammerhead Gunship w/ Railgun, 2x Seeker Missiles; 2x Gun Drones (181)
Heavy Support - Hammerhead Gunship w/ Railgun, 2x Seeker Missiles; 2x Gun Drones (181)
Heavy Support - Hammerhead Gunship w/ Railgun, 2x Seeker Missiles; 2x Gun Drones (181)
Flyer - Sun Shark Bomber w/ Markerlight, Missile Pod, 2x Seeker Missiles; 2x Interceptor Drones (167)

Total: 1998 - Command Points: 8 (1 Battalion Detachment, 1 Outrider Detachment, 1 Spearhead Detachment)

-

Should be an interesting list. The only real "focus fire target" is Longstrike, but you can probably try to hide him or at least put him in a nuisance position where it'd be hard to take him out.

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Draaen
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Re: It it worth it to field small numbers of vehicles?

Post#9 » Jan 03 2018 10:19

I'd say it depends on a lot of factors. What are your other units? Do you expect to get the +1 for the roll or automatic first turn? Which vehicle do you want to take? Some larger suits start on the battlefield and fulfill that las-cannon target category and so would add additional protection.

I personally love fielding 1-3 piranhas even if I have no other vehicles or big suits. I end up taking them partly because I just love the model. I can put them in the corners to bubble wrap or hide them easily enough. With their speed they can jump out and shoot/assault on turn 1/2. They can leave drones behind if they blow up or drop them off earlier to take up deep striking territory. If my opponent shoots at it and blows it up? Meh they aren't shooting at my stealth suits and it's not a major points investment. The stealth suits and their homing beacon are going to be more key to me winning then a piranha. If my piranha dies after I have moved that's fine too as I would have moved the piranha by my suits that just deep struck in and now there are two more gun drones for additional ablative wounds for the important guys.

So yeah I think 1-2 vehicles would be okay depending on your composition.
All empires fall you just have to know where to push

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QimRas
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Re: It it worth it to field small numbers of vehicles?

Post#10 » Jan 03 2018 01:26

In Matched Play T'au vehicles are generally more vulnerable than Battlesuits. Use of a Ghostkeel might actually make sense to absorb some firepower, since its big enough to be scary and tough enough to withstand firepower. Since it is likely to be closer it is also more likely to be a legitimate threat.

In Open or Narrative play, where Reserve rules are available, T'au vehicles do not have this vulnerability. Planetstrike in particular is of note as anything with FLY on the Attacker side has a native 6" Deep Strike.

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yuedai
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Re: It it worth it to field small numbers of vehicles?

Post#11 » Jan 03 2018 04:19

I myself use 3 hammerheads and 1 Longstrike in my list. You need to hide Longstrike behind terrain, and bubble wrap with other units. You can also consider EWOs against deep strikers. Crisis Body guards with stim injectors and a nearby ethereal and tenacious warrior on longstrike might work too.

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nic
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Re: It it worth it to field small numbers of vehicles?

Post#12 » Jan 03 2018 05:23

In anything resembling a competitive game I think you either go big or go home with Tau Vehicles.

Anything less than a full mech list just gives a typical Marine player a nice juicy target for all their Krak Missiles and Lascannon. With all the re-rolls they get that is a quick way to see your vehicle go up in smoke.

If you have a specific purpose for a vehicle and are confident you will be able to hide it then go ahead but my experience has been that any high wound target that does not benefit from Saviour Protocols is unlikely to see turn 2.

A full mech list on the other hand gives your opponent target saturation of vehicles; Hammerheads, Stormsurges, Devilfish, perhaps Tidewall fortifications. In this sort of list each individual vehicle is a lot more survivable because few enemy lists bring enough of the high-damage weapons that would threaten them all at once. I do not think this is the best list we can play at the moment but if you love the vehicles then I do believe that this is the way to go with them.

Bolter&Rail
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Re: It it worth it to field small numbers of vehicles?

Post#13 » Jan 04 2018 02:04

Vehicles in 8th are really the same as any higher toughness high wound model so I don’t think you need to differentiate much between vehicles and our big suits.

I personally have run a single devilfish and 2 big suits (stormsurge and a Yvahra) and believe me those enemy lascannons will be ignoring the devilfish for most the game...

I would agree with the concept of either run multiple high wound models or none though. But I don’t think just vehicles fit that role for Tau. That said if you go super concentrated high wound models and spam vehicles or suits you currently struggle in the meta against a lot of lists I think.

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Arka0415
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Re: It it worth it to field small numbers of vehicles?

Post#14 » Jan 04 2018 02:17

Bolter&Rail wrote:Vehicles in 8th are really the same as any higher toughness high wound model so I don’t think you need to differentiate much between vehicles and our big suits.

Yeah, in terms of unit profiles they are the same- the Stormsurge is a vehicle the same as the Devilfish or Hammerhead.

Bolter&Rail wrote:I personally have run a single devilfish and 2 big suits (stormsurge and a Yvahra) and believe me those enemy lascannons will be ignoring the devilfish for most the game...

That's exactly my point- single non-battlesuit units are essentially guaranteed losses unless you have redundancy or larger threats on the field. Running a Devilfish alongside a Stormsurge is great- the enemy can either soak firepower into the big walker, or take out the Devilfish and leave the real threat largely unscathed.

The Y'vahra though is a battlesuit, not a vehicle, and so is essentially immune to (or at least, well-protected against) alpha strike. Give it two units of Shield Drones for protection and the enemy would need to sink a lot of firepower before they could even touch the Y'vahra.

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Lostroninsoul
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Re: It it worth it to field small numbers of vehicles?

Post#15 » Jan 04 2018 05:49

I like vehicles. I run 2 stormsurge and longstrike in a 2 k list. A stormsurge is a very durable unit. I have the ats/shield/stim at 437 points. If the average lascannons shooter has BS+3 and fires 2 shots for each las gun, it would take 15.5555 twin las gun shots to take it out(not factoring command reroll on an invulnerable save). So I will agree with the idea, go big or go home with tau vehicles.

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nix0n
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Re: It it worth it to field small numbers of vehicles?

Post#16 » Jan 04 2018 06:48

I might as well tell my two cent's on this topic if Arka is so keen on hearing other's opinion.

My tabletop experience is still pretty nonexistent but I must admit that I always liked the idea of troops being deployed onto the battlefield through dedicated APC's. My future cadre that I'm working on already has two d'fishes and I am keenly awaiting for codex updates to see if a third one to add would be beneficial.
In regards of other vehicles I never felt any interest of owning one. Witnessing in previous editions how Piranhas go wiped off the table was sad and hearing that Hammer heads lost their potential in this edition has steered me even further away from any vehicles from Tau range other than transports.

Nowadays I feel like a lot of our bigger suits can easily replace our vehicles.
Cheers!
Nix

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nic
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Re: It it worth it to field small numbers of vehicles?

Post#17 » Jan 04 2018 07:37

Bolter&Rail wrote:Vehicles in 8th are really the same as any higher toughness high wound model so I don’t think you need to differentiate much between vehicles and our big suits.



In profile that is true but lacking the Battlesuit keyword really hurts our vehicles - because we cannot throw a hapless Shield Drone in front of any heavy weapon hits like we can with the suits. Locally I have a lot of Marine players with a lot of heavy weapons doing the "we re-roll everything, just because" trick so taking just one or two vehicles does nothing more than let them show off their trick to its best effect. Even the painfully over-costed Broadside does better simply because it has the Battlesuit keyword so is vastly more survivable and actually gets more than one shooting phase :-(

One possible exception is the Skyray, it is a one-shot vehicle anyway so if you are fortunate enough to go first it puts all its heavy firepower downrange before the enemy have a chance to wreck it - after which it is a very unappealing target.

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Arka0415
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Re: It it worth it to field small numbers of vehicles?

Post#18 » Jan 04 2018 08:07

nic wrote:Locally I have a lot of Marine players with a lot of heavy weapons doing the "we re-roll everything, just because" trick so taking just one or two vehicles does nothing more than let them show off their trick to its best effect. Even the painfully over-costed Broadside does better simply because it has the Battlesuit keyword so is vastly more survivable and actually gets more than one shooting phase :-(

Exactly why I started this thread. Battlesuits get access to drones, Manta Strike, and more/better guns. This isn't about the Index or the upcoming Codex, but rather given Tau design features. I'd be willing to argue that battlesuits are largely superior to vehicles especially given the danger of alpha strike in 8th Edition.

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