Follow-Up: Homing Beacons and Fusion Commanders

Discuss tactical and strategic development for 40K/Tau.
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Arka0415
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Follow-Up: Homing Beacons and Fusion Commanders

Post#1 » Jan 16 2018 11:02

Continuing my follow-up threads, I want to ask for people's opinions on the Homing Beacon + Fusion Commander combo. By themselves, Fusion Commanders are truly deadly, even moreso when aided by a Homing Beacon.

However, it's been several months since the Fusion Commander was a real topic of discussion here on ATT, and I'm not seeing Stealthsuits in too many lists anymore.

Now that we've been playing 8th Edition for half a year now, what are your thoughts on the Homing Beacon + Fusion Commader combo? Is it still worth it? Or do you feel that Fusion Commanders work well enough on their own?

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Shas'la Cali Nate
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Re: Follow-Up: Homing Beacons and Fusion Commanders

Post#2 » Jan 17 2018 12:34

My local metal runs heavily to mechanized lists. Using stealth suits to drop a commander in to disrupt the advance so that they can never bring all the forces to hear at once has been very helpful on multiple occasions.

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Arka0415
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Re: Follow-Up: Homing Beacons and Fusion Commanders

Post#3 » Jan 17 2018 02:54

Shas'la Cali Nate wrote:My local metal runs heavily to mechanized lists. Using stealth suits to drop a commander in to disrupt the advance so that they can never bring all the forces to hear at once has been very helpful on multiple occasions.

Do you feel the Stealthsuits are actually critical to getting the Commander drop though? Or would you be fine dropping at 18"?

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Kiran Tau
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Re: Follow-Up: Homing Beacons and Fusion Commanders

Post#4 » Jan 17 2018 03:04

In theory would it be possible to destroy two vehicles or severely damage them with a marker hit om each and two fusion blasters in each transport... with a little luck will all hits wound... relic and command reroll can greatly Help here... then two wounds within melta range are Very likely to deal severe damage... I had never considered this
Shas'el Au'taal Elan'B (Strong Shepherd)

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Arka0415
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Re: Follow-Up: Homing Beacons and Fusion Commanders

Post#5 » Jan 17 2018 03:25

Kiran Tau wrote:In theory would it be possible to destroy two vehicles or severely damage them with a marker hit om each and two fusion blasters in each transport... with a little luck will all hits wound... relic and command reroll can greatly Help here... then two wounds within melta range are Very likely to deal severe damage... I had never considered this

If you're willing to use the relic and a command point in that phase, I think this is still moderately unlikely. If we have two re-rolls available, and use them both on wounds, we should get roughly 3.4 successful wounds on T7/Sv3+, which equals roughly 15.5 damage. If you split-fired you'd statistically cripple two Rhinos or Chimeras but I don't think you'd really reliably kill them.

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Jhul'vol
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Re: Follow-Up: Homing Beacons and Fusion Commanders

Post#6 » Jan 17 2018 03:27

Most of the time I drop the QFC without a homing beacon.
The times I do he almost always dies after his turn of shooting, while when dropping further away it's easier to use LoS to keep him and his drones alive.

So while I do run stealth suits with a homing beacon, I only use it when the enemy has that one model that HAS to go down as soon as possible. Otherwise I'd rather see my commander live to shoot another round.

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Shas'la Cali Nate
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Re: Follow-Up: Homing Beacons and Fusion Commanders

Post#7 » Jan 17 2018 04:20

Wouldn't call it essential, useful certainly. Not essential.

I like prioritizing the transports, and sometimes without the beacon (the stealth team tends to get gone for pretty quickly) I can't nail them. But the commander will seriously damage or kill something else and draw attention. I do better when the stealth team gets a homing beacon out, but it's not required. Plus sometimes I need to use that beacon for a crisis team anyway

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JancoBCN
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Re: Follow-Up: Homing Beacons and Fusion Commanders

Post#8 » Jan 17 2018 04:36

Great topic to bring up, Arka! Thanks again for your great job in ATT!

Regarding that QFC Beacon thing, I see it like this:

When you try to design an all-comers list, I think is hard for me to justify on spending 110+ points (usually around 130) on the Stealth Team + Homing beacon only to have the chance (remember that this is dependant on who has first turn, if they are able to kill your Homing beacon bearers before your manta deployment, and also on the deployment zone and wether your targets are at range or even reachable for your QFC to get to melta range) to get into melta range and destroy a key vehicle. What if your opponent doest have any? or they have many light vehicles deployed separately.
I can picture too many scenarios where I would be better served with another QFC instead of that Stealth team, as it offers way more tactical flexibility and punch.
Another thing going on for the QFC homing Beacon plan is that you can actually destroy one vehicle and charge to another one from 2-5" to stop it from shooting. But even then it is way too situation dependant.

Summarizing, I cannot see it as a dedicated plan.


But what I actually do al lot, is to play with 1 or 2 homing beacon teams (2 if I want to spread them around the battlefield for tactical and/or resiliency purposes) to feed a flamer Crisis team (actually 6xFlamer, 3xFB Teams, as I have stated many times). In those lists I always put at least 1 QFC as well.
While my plan is to use the homing beacon for my really needy flamer team, there have been some cases where my priority is to actually drop my QFC melta range and do some serious damage to a key target. I can definitely get behind on that fact as a tactical upside to an already great usage of my QFC (I tend to drop at exactly 18" from the target, or in the middle of a drone buble if able, to give him a lot of resiliency).


TLDR: I would not invest a Homing Beacon team only for the purpose of droping him in melta range, but I actually do consider this option if my list already has a homing beacon for another reason, and 1+ QFC.

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Shas'O Ora
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Re: Follow-Up: Homing Beacons and Fusion Commanders

Post#9 » Jan 17 2018 04:50

After the game, in which my stealthsuits brought in a QFC via Homing Beacon and both were killed in melee quite soon I use the Homing Beacon just for Flamer-Crisis.

For Fusion Commanders I choose to save the 110 points of the Stealthsuits with Homing Beacon and save another 60 points somewhere else to to be able to field a second QFC.

This QFC-Double deals more damage than one in half range and they are save from melee attacks.

:fear:

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Emberkahn
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Re: Follow-Up: Homing Beacons and Fusion Commanders

Post#10 » Jan 17 2018 05:14

My personal feeling is that for the points I would rather just have another commander.

In honesty that's all my competitive tau lists have really devolved to. Commanders with Pathfinders, and Drones+CFB or Yvahra as needed.

I find that at sub 2000 points it is exceptionally potent, but at larger points, where units can be screened more effectively it drops off dramatically.

I find that our biggest problem is our delivery. We can deepstrike damage; but if we can't get within 18" of their vehicles on the deepstrike you aren't going to fair well.

Homing beacons I feel would resolve this if they were multiple use; or even if we had ways of getting them central more reliably.

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Arka0415
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Re: Follow-Up: Homing Beacons and Fusion Commanders

Post#11 » Jan 17 2018 06:06

JancoBCN wrote:Great topic to bring up, Arka!

Thanks! I think it's important to keep re-visiting things in the meta- certain units tend to trend for a while due to synergies, and people write lists using them, then the discussion fades away. Revisiting these topics lets us assess whether the theoryhammer that seemed good initially was actually a good idea on the tabletop. Here are some examples:

- Longstrike and Friends: Popular initially but susceptible to alpha strike.
- Fireblade Droneport: Offers reliable Markerlight hits but easy to shut down due to the drones detaching.
- Mechanized Gun Drones: Huge firepower but ultimately less viable than just a huge Gun Drone swarm.
- Homing Beacon Fusion Commanders: Increased damage but more Fusion Commanders is better.

The lesson I'm seeing in these trends is that Tau have access to lots of synergies, but most involve too many moving parts, are hard to set up, and easy to shut down. In general, it's better to take more of the recipients of buffs, than it is to take buffing units.





Shas'O Ora wrote:For Fusion Commanders I choose to save the 110 points of the Stealthsuits with Homing Beacon and save another 60 points somewhere else to to be able to field a second QFC.


I feel like this is the consensus here. It's not worth risking Stealthsuits when you could take another Commander (isn't that the solution to everything, take more Commanders).

If the Homing Beacon trick isn't ultimately that viable, are people still using Stealthsuits? Objective holders, or cheap Drone Controller caddies, or for some other role?

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Re: Follow-Up: Homing Beacons and Fusion Commanders

Post#12 » Jan 17 2018 07:18

Arka0415 wrote:If the Homing Beacon trick isn't ultimately that viable, are people still using Stealthsuits? Objective holders, or cheap Drone Controller caddies, or for some other role?


Maybe it isn't that black and white to be honest, even if the HB trick with QFC isn't that viable the sealthsuits have other purposes also besides just that pony.

Like you said Stealthsuits are great for different other uses aswell.
1) I do use them for objective grabbing, wich is usefull on scenario's where you score points early on
2) Also for area denial to make a screen in front of the rest of your troops to extend the no-deepstrike bubble with their infiltrate rule.
3) Cheap drone Controller caddy (I do need to learn how to get them in position for my dronefish deployment/movement path, last game i messed that up..)
4) Maybe best alternative use (after Commander and poissible Crisis suits with flamer combi) for an extra Fusion Blaster to get some extra damage in somewhere?

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Arka0415
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Re: Follow-Up: Homing Beacons and Fusion Commanders

Post#13 » Jan 17 2018 07:27

StealthKnightSteg wrote:
Arka0415 wrote:If the Homing Beacon trick isn't ultimately that viable, are people still using Stealthsuits? Objective holders, or cheap Drone Controller caddies, or for some other role?


Maybe it isn't that black and white to be honest, even if the HB trick with QFC isn't that viable the sealthsuits have other purposes also besides just that pony.

It's definitely true that things aren't black and white. I guess I just want to feel out a consensus if there is one.

StealthKnightSteg wrote:Also for area denial to make a screen in front of the rest of your troops to extend the no-deepstrike bubble with their infiltrate rule.

This is a good one. And Stealthsuits are vastly more durable than Kroot or Gun Drones which could be used for the same purpose.

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JancoBCN
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Re: Follow-Up: Homing Beacons and Fusion Commanders

Post#14 » Jan 17 2018 09:20

Arka0415 wrote:
JancoBCN wrote:Great topic to bring up, Arka!

Thanks! I think it's important to keep re-visiting things in the meta- certain units tend to trend for a while due to synergies, and people write lists using them, then the discussion fades away. Revisiting these topics lets us assess whether the theoryhammer that seemed good initially was actually a good idea on the tabletop.

Absolutely! I think is actually very important and usefull to do that, but as you have the iniciative to do so, and the also the wisdom to pick those key topics, I have to thank you again for that job! :D

StealthKnightSteg wrote:Like you said Stealthsuits are great for different other uses aswell.
1) I do use them for objective grabbing, wich is usefull on scenario's where you score points early on
2) Also for area denial to make a screen in front of the rest of your troops to extend the no-deepstrike bubble with their infiltrate rule.
3) Cheap drone Controller caddy (I do need to learn how to get them in position for my dronefish deployment/movement path, last game i messed that up..)
4) Maybe best alternative use (after Commander and poissible Crisis suits with flamer combi) for an extra Fusion Blaster to get some extra damage in somewhere?


And there you go, an awesome comment in an awesome post. That's why you bring those topics back!

Back to the topic, I used them for 3), 4) and Flamer team enablers, but never thought about 1) and 2)...

2) Those Stealth suits as deep-strikes denial.... what you can even do, is actually to use them in a first line (around the middle of the table, or a bit closer to your enemy DZone, always in cover), and with your cheapest vanguard movers (Kroot carnivores and naked Pathfinders) you can move forwards to end up between your DZone and your Stealth team, and this way you are basically denying Deep strike area all over your DZone, and in the central area of the map, and that even before starting to play!

1) Also, I didn't think of them as objective grabbers, but that is maybe because I tend to look for high model count, troop slot units to do so, but those early points can come in handy indeed.


I will definitely try those out, and I will try to post some feedback.


Again, thanks for the insight!

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StealthKnightSteg
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Re: Follow-Up: Homing Beacons and Fusion Commanders

Post#15 » Jan 17 2018 09:32

JancoBCN wrote:
Arka0415 wrote:
JancoBCN wrote:Great topic to bring up, Arka!

Thanks! I think it's important to keep re-visiting things in the meta- certain units tend to trend for a while due to synergies, and people write lists using them, then the discussion fades away. Revisiting these topics lets us assess whether the theoryhammer that seemed good initially was actually a good idea on the tabletop.

Absolutely! I think is actually very important and usefull to do that, but as you have the iniciative to do so, and the also the wisdom to pick those key topics, I have to thank you again for that job! :D

StealthKnightSteg wrote:Like you said Stealthsuits are great for different other uses aswell.
1) I do use them for objective grabbing, wich is usefull on scenario's where you score points early on
2) Also for area denial to make a screen in front of the rest of your troops to extend the no-deepstrike bubble with their infiltrate rule.
3) Cheap drone Controller caddy (I do need to learn how to get them in position for my dronefish deployment/movement path, last game i messed that up..)
4) Maybe best alternative use (after Commander and poissible Crisis suits with flamer combi) for an extra Fusion Blaster to get some extra damage in somewhere?


And there you go, an awesome comment in an awesome post. That's why you bring those topics back!

Back to the topic, I used them for 3), 4) and Flamer team enablers, but never thought about 1) and 2)...

2) Those Stealth suits as deep-strikes denial.... what you can even do, is actually to use them in a first line (around the middle of the table, or a bit closer to your enemy DZone, always in cover), and with your cheapest vanguard movers (Kroot carnivores and naked Pathfinders) you can move forwards to end up between your DZone and your Stealth team, and this way you are basically denying Deep strike area all over your DZone, and in the central area of the map, and that even before starting to play!

1) Also, I didn't think of them as objective grabbers, but that is maybe because I tend to look for high model count, troop slot units to do so, but those early points can come in handy indeed.


I will definitely try those out, and I will try to post some feedback.


Again, thanks for the insight!


Your welcome :)
Now I already invalidated the role of the stealthsuits a little for HB - QFC combi as I use them as a flamer squad enabler as you also pointed out, and those need the HB more then the QFC in my opinion, but that is indeed another (mostly similair) use for them

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Arka0415
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Re: Follow-Up: Homing Beacons and Fusion Commanders

Post#16 » Jan 17 2018 09:41

You could even do hybrid Stealthsuits that perform all of those roles. Stick some Stealthsuits with a Drone Controller in front of your army with wings of Gun Drones to either side. Stealthsuits and drones help with screening, Stealthsuits buff the drones, and if the enemy comes charging forward with a bubble-wrapped Land Raider or something, the Stealthsuits jump forward and drop the Homing Beacon. Not something you'll do every game though, which makes the 20-point Homing Beacon feel all the more expensive.

Lots of utility on Stealthsuits... now, if only they did a little more damage!

JancoBCN wrote:I didn't think of them as objective grabbers, but that is maybe because I tend to look for high model count, troop slot units to do so, but those early points can come in handy indeed.

Yeah, Stealthsuits certainly aren't objective holders. But they can be great at sitting on an objective that's forgotten, far away, or otherwise less than tactically-relevant. If the opponent wants to shoot them off, they may find them to be a tougher target than they imagined.

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CDR_Farsight
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Re: Follow-Up: Homing Beacons and Fusion Commanders

Post#17 » Jan 17 2018 10:01

I recently used an odd combo just because of the game mode (CA mission where you split your forces into equal thirds and deploy one at random). The force that got picked was my Ethereal (Aun Shi for all of you people who like to point out my username in every convo), My drone support loaded Devilfish, my secondary Breacher Devilfish, and my stealth team

List (pretty strange, I know, but I wanted to try out new things)

QFC w 2x Shield Drones
QIC w 2x Shield Drones
Aun Shi
Darkstrider
Cadre Fireblade
5 Man Firewarriors
10 Man Breacher with Guardian Drone
10 Man Breacher with Shield Drone and Guardian Drone
3x Devilfish
Crisis Team with 6 Gun Drones
Hazard suit with Phased Ion, ATS and 4 Gun Drones
Drone Squad with 4x Gun Drone and 2x Shield Drones
Tidewall Droneport with 4 Marker Drones
Pathfinder team 6x Pathfinder with markers and 3 with Ion and full Drone Support and 2 shield drones

I think that's it

The strategy during normal games was to rush my devilfish all into position turn 1 then form a layered defence line using Darkstrider to boost my breachers and allow them to fall back and shoot. This game mode plus hammer and anvil deployment turned that strategy on its head pretty quickly.

Because my stealth team was in the first set of drops and I had no idea where his units would go or if I would have first turn (he was using a typical Astra Militarum list), I decided to put them in the devilfish with 6 drones and Aun'Shi next to cover so they could disembark there if he popped my transport first turn. Luckily he did not. My QFC came in turn 1 and I was able to get my stealth suits 11" of movement and place the beacon an inch away giving my QFC a total threat radius of 26" for melta range. Pretty nifty trick that I would not have used had it not been for the wonky rules for that mission.
To secure victory, the wise must adapt ~ Puretide

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Draaen
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Re: Follow-Up: Homing Beacons and Fusion Commanders

Post#18 » Jan 17 2018 10:05

For me the value of the homing beacon is that it allows you to generate guaranteed assaults and lock enemies in combat. So I use the combo a lot but more for the added protection then anything else. But I take two squads of 5 which I am guaranteed to keep around and so that I can deploy them close together or separate them so that I can out position my opponent and get my guaranteed assault where I want it. That way I can dictate where the major clashes will be when I drop my suits.

QFCs work just fine without the stealth suits though and hardly need them.

I think as a community our list building advice has become a bit monotone. Most of our advice to people asking for help is more gun drones, QFC, Ion Blaster Commanders, Ion blaster/flamer crisis suit teams and maybe an Y'Vahara if they are okay with FW. It is effective and good advice but seems to me to make the recommended lists all very similar. Which I think is part of the reason why you don't see stealth suits as much on this forum.
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