Hammerhead Army

Discuss tactical and strategic development for 40K/Tau.
User avatar
SlipperyPeteED
Shas
Posts: 14

Hammerhead Army

Post#1 » Jan 06 2018 08:44

I am in the process of building a hammerhead army.
Warlord-Longstrike
HQ-Farsight
Troop-12 Fire warriors
Troop-12 Fire warriors
Troop-12 Fire warriors
Troop-12 Fire warriors
Elite- 3 Crisis Suits
Elite- 3 Crisis Suits
Heavy- Broadside (Kitted with nothing but missile systems)
Heavy-Hammerhead
Heavy-Hammerhead
Heavy-Hammerhead

all the available units take marker drones to easily get markerlight hits

Thoughts?

User avatar
joc-wi
Shas
Posts: 59

Re: Hammerhead Army

Post#2 » Jan 07 2018 03:26

I love the model and I am certainly interested on how to best use in in 8th.
But: this army has "only" 3 Hammerheads.
With the new rules we are allowed to use as many as we want, using the right detachmen(s).

Imagine an army were the opponent had nothing to shoot at besides Hammerheads and Hammerhead-equivalents. Their anti-infantry-weapons (and the units carrying them) would suddenly be "lost points".
Would that be more in the spirit of a "Hammerhead Army"?

User avatar
gunrock
Shas
Posts: 110

Re: Hammerhead Army

Post#3 » Jan 07 2018 04:27

SlipperyPeteED wrote:I am in the process of building a hammerhead army.
Warlord - Longstrike
HQ-Farsight
Troop-12 Fire warriors
Troop-12 Fire warriors
Troop-12 Fire warriors
Troop-12 Fire warriors
Elite- 3 Crisis Suits
Elite- 3 Crisis Suits
Heavy- Broadside (Kitted with nothing but missile systems)
Heavy-Hammerhead
Heavy-Hammerhead
Heavy-Hammerhead

all the available units take marker drones to easily get markerlight hits

Thoughts?


Hey Pete! I like the idea of a hammerhead army, and figured I'd take a crack at helping start this list. The starting list is a little bit wonky, but I'm assuming these are units that you have already that you want to work with. I don't know this build as well, but will try to start a foundation for the list.

First off, some of these units are slightly sub-optimal in the current meta/edition. Fire warriors are great still, but broadsides are generally viewed as over-costed. Additionally, the damage output on Hammerheads is actually comparatively low in large part because they greatly suffer from having only a single shot and limited secondary weapons. XV-8's are also in an odd spot as they're pretty objectively less efficient then commanders, but there are stilla few good builds and the compensate with other forms of utility.

Just based on what you posted I'm getting the sense that you were intending to build a more defensive oriented 'gun-line' style list so we can start there. I'll try to take it section by section:

Troop-12 Fire warriors
Troop-12 Fire warriors
Troop-12 Fire warriors
Troop-12 Fire warriors

Breaking this into smaller units will net your more squads to get a brigade/batallion and a big chunk of command points, so lets go ahead and do that. While we're at it we can partially address the issue of markerlight's which are the backbone of most tau armies. A common strategy is to imbedded them in Strike team to insulate against losing marker lights in later turns and adds a minimal cost of 3 points a squad. So we get this. Doing this also gives you enough infantry to field a battalion. The inclusion of so many strike teams makes a fire blade a logical choice so lets add him too.

Strike team 5x - 5x pulse rifle 1x marker light (43)
Strike team 5x - 5x pulse rifle 1x marker light (43)
Strike team 5x - 5x pulse rifle 1x marker light (43)
Strike team 5x - 5x pulse rifle 1x marker light (43)
Strike team 5x - 5x pulse rifle 1x marker light (43)
Strike team 5x - 5x pulse rifle 1x marker light (43)
Cadre Fireblade - pulse rifle, marker light (42)

(300 pts.)

Elite- 3 Crisis Suits
Elite- 3 Crisis Suits

So there's only a few load outs that are conventionally used on these. 3x CIB, 2x CIB + ATS, 3x Flamer, and 2x flamer 1x fusion, all generally with gun drones. You can swap in a few marker drones or shield drones, but the conventional wisdom is to pack as much firepower into these squads as possible. CIB is very multi-purpose and works well against virtually all targets (hallelujah!), the two builds are slightly strong against different targets. 3x CIB is a it stronger against swarms for a few extra points. The flamer build is excellent for killing infantry, but requires a bit more skill to use because you can't land and shoot. Given that you have a plethora of S5 in the form of strike teams lets stick with the CIB loadout's loaded with gun drones.

XV8 3x - 6x CIB 3x ATS, 6x gun drones (306)
XV8 3x - 6x CIB 3x ATS, 6x gun drones (306)

Heavy-Hammerhead
Heavy-Hammerhead
Heavy-Hammerhead

TBH I don't have a well informed opinion on ion cannon vs. Railgun in the context of this build so I'll leave that to another member. I will say one of the perks of having so many hammerheads is being able to spam seeker missiles! Lets just start here:

TX7 Hammerhead gunship - Railgun, 2x gun drones, 2x seeker missiles (181)
TX7 Hammerhead gunship - Railgun, 2x gun drones, 2x seeker missiles (181)
TX7 Hammerhead gunship - Railgun, 2x gun drones, 2x seeker missiles (181)

I know you said you were planning on running marker drone squads within this list, but this is probably not the best idea. Point for point they are a less efficient the pathfinders, which your list is well set up to run. You also gain very little from the extra mobility, and savior protocols with comparatively few battle suits. The large number of striketeams partially displaces the need for pathfinders, and also makes special weapons more attractive.Conversely, you have a lot of markerlight hungry units in the form of CIB's and seeker missiles so we shouldn't skimp. Lets build a base of pathfinders:

Pathfinder 6x - 6x pulse carbine, 6x markerlight (48)
Pathfinder 6x - 6x pulse carbine, 6x markerlight (48)
Pathfinder 6x - 6x pulse carbine, 6x markerlight (48)
(144 pts.)

Other inclusions: to complete a battalion you need an additional elite slot. If you have access to them a stealth team might do some good and is relatively inexpensive. The team also provides a convenient drone controller to reinforce yours XV-8 teams. It also makes them a convenient platform to further diversify your marker light sources.

A common strategy is to use the homing beacon to get in sub 9'' range when manta striking, but seeing as your CIB's never want to be that close and you are not running fusion commanders we can use the points for something else.

XV 25 - 3x Burst cannon, 1x Drone controller, 2x marker drone (145)

Lastly, you need an additional HQ. Seeing as this is a gun line army lets add an ethereal to add a bit of durability to your infantry formation.

Here's a prospective list:

Brigade Detachment - (12 command points)
HQ: (288)
Longstrike -1x rail gun, 2x gun drone, 2x seeker missiles. (201)
Cadre Fireblade - pulse rifle, marker light (42)
Ethereal - Honor blade (45)

Troops: (258)
Strike team 5x - 5x pulse rifle 1x marker light (43)
Strike team 5x - 5x pulse rifle 1x marker light (43)
Strike team 5x - 5x pulse rifle 1x marker light (43)
Strike team 5x - 5x pulse rifle 1x marker light (43)
Strike team 5x - 5x pulse rifle 1x marker light (43)
Strike team 5x - 5x pulse rifle 1x marker light (43)

Elites: (757)
XV 25 - 3x Burst cannon, 1x Drone controller, 2x marker drone (145)
XV8 3x - 6x CIB 3x ATS, 6x gun drones (306)
XV8 3x - 6x CIB 3x ATS, 6x gun drones (306)

Fast Attack: (120)
Pathfinder 6x - 6x pulse carbine, 6x markerlight (48)
Pathfinder 6x - 6x pulse carbine, 6x markerlight (48)
Pathfinder 6x - 6x pulse carbine, 6x markerlight (48)

Heavy Support: (543)
TX7 Hammerhead gunship - Railgun, 2x gun drones, 2x seeker missiles (181)
TX7 Hammerhead gunship - Railgun, 2x gun drones, 2x seeker missiles (181)
TX7 Hammerhead gunship - Railgun, 2x gun drones, 2x seeker missiles (181)

Commander far sight will really struggle in this list and also restricts the usage of an ethereal. On his own he has really low damage with his single plasma rifle. The primary reason to run him is the double Monk'ka ability which in the right list can be really cool, but does not benefit this build much. You shouldn't take him unless you have other commanders/deep strike units that benefit from his ability. That said, I can understand wanting him for thematic/flavor reasons and we can figure out how to build around him.

I should note that despite having 4 tanks this build will struggle against armor heavy builds. The single rail shot despite its strength/AP/perks just does not do much damage and consume a huge chunk of points. If you get a chance, look over the math hammer weapons tables on the forum and you'll see what I mean.

I still like this style of list thought, but it is something of an anachronism. In previous editions the rail gun was an absolute beast of a weapon, but disproportionately suffered with the changes to vehicles and armor.

This is not polished, but if you really want to run a fleet of hammerheads lets work on that. If your contemplating another direction there's a lot of other directions (Stormsurge builds come to mind).

What are your thoughts?
All the rivers run into the sea, Yet the sea is not full; Unto the place whither the rivers go, Thither they go again.

User avatar
SlipperyPeteED
Shas
Posts: 14

Re: Hammerhead Army

Post#4 » Jan 07 2018 01:12

joc-wi wrote:But: this army has "only" 3 Hammerheads.
Would that be more in the spirit of a "Hammerhead Army"?

So while this would be cool, i feel like i would have a very hard time winning or even competing. this is definitely not a competitive list but i feel like if i enter every game severely under gunned i wont have that much fun. The point is to have a hammer head focused army :P



gunrock wrote:What are your thoughts?


So this is very interesting and insightful. While this list is meant to be fun and not competitive i do like the possibility of winning.

I chose farsight because i like his fluff and model. Also not a ton of useful tau melee units :::( . i already have a broadside hence why he was included (hes more filler than anything) i really like the idea of breaking apart the fire warriors into smaller squads. i cant believe i forgot to include cadre on this list he is a must in almost all tau lists.

I already own 2 hammerheads, 2 ethereals, stealth suits, the crisis suits, broadside, firewarriors and pathfinders. i really like the list you presented and i definitely think i am going to use it as the outline for my list :D

i understand the utility of pathfinders but i don't love them as i think they are expensive markerlights (hence all the drones).

Anyway thanks for the input it has been super valuable and useful

User avatar
NumberM
Shas'Saal
Posts: 37

Re: Hammerhead Army

Post#5 » Jan 07 2018 06:32

I noticed you took both Farsight and Longstrike in your original list idea. Because Farsight is Farsight Enclaves and Longstrike is Tau Sept you can't take both in the same detachment and since you would want the Hammerheads to be buffed by Longstrike none of them would benefit from Farsight's auras because he only affects FE units. So there is really no point in including him.

Otherwise go nuts, Hammerheads with Longstrike are probably the best unit Tau have to offer, at least until the Codex hits in the coming months.

User avatar
SlipperyPeteED
Shas
Posts: 14

Re: Hammerhead Army

Post#6 » Jan 07 2018 07:51

NumberM wrote:I noticed you took both Farsight and Longstrike in your original list idea. Because Farsight is Farsight Enclaves and Longstrike is Tau Sept you can't take both in the same detachment.


this is only true if i do choose longstrike to be my warlord. I could always use farsight as my warlord. this is a good point however so i guess i wont be fielding him. RIP

User avatar
yuedai
Shas'Saal
Posts: 16

Re: Hammerhead Army

Post#7 » Jan 08 2018 02:33

Hi there,

I am glad there are tank lovers out there. I also run a tank heavy list, let me share with you my current army:

Total 2000 Points, 13 Command Points

=== Brigade Detachment ===

HQ
Longstrike - 1 Railgun, 2 Smart Missile Systems, 2 Seeker Missiles (225 Points)
Ethereal on Hover Drone (50 Points)
Cadre Fireblade (42 points)

Troops
Strike Team - 5 Pulse Rifles, 1 Markerlight (43 Points)
Strike Team - 5 Pulse Rifles, 1 Markerlight (43 Points)
Strike Team - 5 Pulse Rifles, 1 Markerlight (43 Points)
Strike Team - 5 Pulse Rifles, 1 Markerlight (43 Points)
Strike Team - 5 Pulse Rifles, 1 Markerlight (43 Points)
Strike Team - 5 Pulse Rifles, 1 Markerlight (43 Points)

Elites
Firesight Marksman (24 Points)
Firesight Marksman (24 Points)
Firesight Marksman (24 Points)

Fast Attack
Pathfinder Team - 3 Ion Rifles, 2 Markerlights, 2 Pulse Carbines, 1 Pulse Accelerator Drone, 2 Shield Drone, 1 Recon Drone (88 Points)
Pathfinder Team - 3 Ion Rifles, 3 Markerlights, 3 Pulse Carbines (60 Points)
Tactical Drone Squad - 4 Gun Drones, 1 Marker Drone - (42 Points)

Heavy Support
Hammerhead Gunship - 1 Railgun, 2 Gun Drones, 2 Seeker Missiles (181 Points)
Hammerhead Gunship - 1 Railgun, 2 Gun Drones, 2 Seeker Missiles (181 Points)
Hammerhead Gunship - 1 Railgun, 2 Gun Drones, 2 Seeker Missiles (181 Points)


=== Outrider Detachment ===

HQ
Cadre Fireblade - 2 Shield Drones (58 Points)
Commander - 3 Fusion Blasters, 1 Drone Controller, 2 Shield Drones (160 Points)

Fast Attack
Tactical Gun Drone Squad (4 Models) - (32 Points)
Tactical Gun Drone Squad (4 Models) - (32 Points)
Tactical Gun Drone Squad (4 Models) - (32 Points)
Tactical Gun Drone Squad (4 Models) - (32 Points)

Dedicated Trasports
Devilfish Transport - 1 Burst Cannon, 2 Gun Drones, 2 Seeker Missiles - (137 Points)
Devilfish Transport - 1 Burst Cannon, 2 Gun Drones, 2 Seeker Missiles - (137 Points)

===========================================
Total 2000 Points, 13 Command Points.

General Tactica:
1. Longstrike and 3 Hammerheads stay in back line as far as possible. Longstrike completely hidden from line of sight if possible. Longstrike needs to be in buff range of the other 3 Hammerheads. Longstrike can still use Smart Missile System when not in line of sight. Goal is to protect Longstrike at all cost if we do not get to go first.

2. Strike Teams x 6, Cadre Fireblade x 1, Ethereal x 1, Pathfinder Teams x 2 and Firesight Marksman x 3 form the Gun Line and are also positioned to bubble the Hammerheads from Deep Strikers.

3. The two Devilfishes will carry a total of 20 Gun Drones, 2 Shield Drones, 1 Marker Drone and 1 Cadre Fireblade (plus 4 more Gun Drones embarked). The use of this unit is flexible. They can either advance quickly for a LOT of dakka, or can move around the field for objective grabbing, or to support the Hammerheads. They also serve as distractions against your opponent's alpha strike. Your opponent has to choose to target the Devilfishes our your Hammerheads. It is not easy to take out 6 Armoured Vehicles.

4. A lone Commander serves as a Drone Controller Carrier, as well as a close range tank buster unit with 3 Fusion Blasters. It will survive a long time when surrounded by all our forward Drones. It can also be used to bust targets that are not in the line of sight of our hammerheads.

5. This list sports a total of 12 Seeker Missiles. This list has plenty of marker lights, with 5 of them being characters.

6. This list is very flexible. It can play a gunline game, or it can play an aggressive mechanized advancing game. it can also play an objectie based game.

7. Potential Weakness of this list is Elite Infantry like Terminators. This list fields 6 Ion Rifles and 12 Seeker Missiles for this reason. Submunition Rounds from the tanks might also help here.

8. And best of all. This army feels like a REAL army in real life, and is tonnes of fun to play. Fielding 6 Flying tanks is freaking AWESOME.


What do you think?

Shas'O Dais

User avatar
Yojimbob
Shas'Saal
Posts: 573

Re: Hammerhead Army

Post#8 » Jan 08 2018 11:31

NumberM wrote:Hammerheads with Longstrike are probably the best unit Tau have to offer, at least until the Codex hits in the coming months.


Only if you're excluding Commanders, gun drones, shield drones, y'varha, and pathfinders.

User avatar
Arka0415
Shas'Vre
Shas'Vre
Posts: 3213

Re: Hammerhead Army

Post#9 » Jan 09 2018 12:50

If you're looking to run a Hammerhead Brigade list then Gunrock's list is great. Personally I'd add a few tweaks to the XV8s and Stealthsuits but otherwise it will work very well.

Maybe consider something like this?

-

HQ - Darkstrider (45)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
HQ - Longstrike w/ Railgun, 2x Seeker Missiles; 2x Gun Drones (201)
Troops- 6x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (51)
Troops- 6x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (51)
Troops- 6x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (51)
Troops- 6x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (51)
Troops- 6x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (51)
Troops- 6x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (51)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 8x CIBs, Drone Controller; 6x Gun Drones (323)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 8x Flamers, Drone Controller; 6x Gun Drones (251)
Elites - 3x Stealthsuits w/ 3x Burst Cannons, Homing Beacon; 2x Shield Drones (126)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 3x Markerlights, 3x Ion Rifles (60)
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)

Total: 1993 - Command Points: 12 (1 Brigade Detachment)

-

A bit of room left for some wargear if you feel its necessary. Anyway, what do you think?

Personally I wonder if a Hammerhead/Battlesuit list might be viable too but I'm sure the Brigade would work as well.

User avatar
NumberM
Shas'Saal
Posts: 37

Re: Hammerhead Army

Post#10 » Jan 09 2018 03:24

Yojimbob wrote:
NumberM wrote:Hammerheads with Longstrike are probably the best unit Tau have to offer, at least until the Codex hits in the coming months.


Only if you're excluding Commanders, gun drones, shield drones, y'varha, and pathfinders.


In my experience you always need to deal some mortal wounds otherwise things like Magnus, Mortarion etc. become a problem and Hammerheads with seekers do just that. Sure Commanders are great but this they can't do. The Y'varha is FW so I wouldn't recommend it (price, accessibility) and the rest are support units that don't do enough damage on their own.

User avatar
Orion7
Shas'Saal
Posts: 97

Re: Hammerhead Army

Post#11 » Jan 09 2018 10:27

Because the broadside is so overcoated, try mounting his missiles onto a magnetised Hammerhead chassis. You'll find the stats for this vehicle in CA or Imperial armour xenos.

That fixes your broadside issue.
Next, include a fire support Hammerhead for anti infantry with twin HBCs. You'll need to convert a model for this. Same index as above.

Run a sky ray or two as well for markerlight support and for an insane mortal wound alpha strike with all those gorgeous seeker missiles.

Boom, fill Hammerhead army (SKY RAY STILL COUNTS I DON'T CARE WHAT THE KEYWORD SAYS :D )


Limitations? You mean you don't want Fido the kroot hound as a character?

Return to “Tau Tactics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests