Usage of PEN and Warlord Traits

Discuss tactical and strategic development for 40K/Tau.
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Aspiring Commander
Shas'Saal
Posts: 68

Usage of PEN and Warlord Traits

Post#1 » Feb 10 2018 08:11

Hi there all!

I'm having difficulty finding where to place the PEN relic and who to make a Warlord/what Warlord trait to use in my army.


As it stands, I'm placing the PEN on my fireblade for a couple of reasons:
-On table from the very start and usually guaranteed to be there at the end, to make full use of the gaining extra CPs. If he's been killed off, I've already lost in my eyes.
-If he misses with his markerlight first turn, its good not waste a command point reroll before you need to. I'd much rather use that command point to reroll a fusion hit/damage, etc.


I'm struggling with the Warlord trait more, however. I feel like the CA approved Kauyon and Mont'ka traits are wasted on any sort of manta striking commander, as they have assault weapons and are very rarely stationary. Mont'ka may be useful on a Coldstar Commander for stuff like Priority Orders received, but it minimises their usefulness as a character killer as I would have to trade my Warlord to kill their characters.

Although I don't use them, I feel that Kauyon works for backline commanders, but so would a single markerlight.


Does that limit us to either tenacious survivor on a commander or possibly inspiring leader on a fireblade?

What are everyone's feelings on warlords and warlord Traits that work for index Tau? And who is best to have the PEN?

Many thanks :)
'We act as one, and united we cannot fall'

-Commander Shadowsun

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Jhi'Myr
Shas'Saal
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Re: Usage of PEN and Warlord Traits

Post#2 » Feb 10 2018 10:30

The CA relic and warlord traits have brought me to thinking outside of the box. I tend to put the Puretide chip on a firesight marksman. The marksman is a cheap character unit that attracts less attention than a cadre fireblade, better armor save with cover, and lets me more easily split my warlord and my relic holder (so if the enemy gets one, they don't get both). I've been giving my cadre fireblade the mont'ka warlord trait (or if my HQ slots are full of commanders, another firesight marksman does the roll just fine) to give a nicely mobile markerlight source that can't be shot at so easily. Kauyon's warlord trait of a flat reroll makes slightly more difference in points efficiency, and small enough to be negligible difference in reliability, that I find it goes best on a firesight marksman.

Honestly, I'm kinda hoping for the codex to bring us The Eight as independent characters so I can give Kauyon as a warlord trait to O'Vesa and make riptides great again.

Muaddib195
Shas
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Re: Usage of PEN and Warlord Traits

Post#3 » Feb 10 2018 10:43

I have used the Coldstar Commander with Exemplar of Mont'ka to great effect. I usually run it with a multitracker and ATS to hunt low toughness characters. The ability to move 40" every turn (and still shoot at BS2+ w/ reroll 1s) is invaluable, and lets you threaten objectives if there aren't any easy characters to kill.

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Lostroninsoul
Shas'Saal
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Re: Usage of PEN and Warlord Traits

Post#4 » Feb 10 2018 09:41

I've used Mont'ka and Kauyon on longstrike and have been pleased (though I prefer Kauyon). I've used Mont'ka on a coldstar that was also really good. Pen is good on fireblade, but is also reasonable to be taken on a fusion blade commander (because the free reroll is valuable here). Exemplar of Mont'ka on darkstrider (fireblade works too), to make better use of markerlight support.

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GI-Redshirt
Shas'Saal
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Re: Usage of PEN and Warlord Traits

Post#5 » Feb 11 2018 12:23

To start this off, we should do a quick analysis of the PEN chip and the warlord traits, just so that we know what we're working with. Then, we will analyze options for each one and determine who is best suited for the relic/trait (if anyone) and whether or not it's worth taking. Note that I will be leaving Named Characters out of this discussion as once they codex drops they will have fixed warlord traits and relics, so any discussion of them with regards to this will be moot in a month.

The PEN chip is our only relic (obviously). It is free and our only relic option right now, so there is no reason not to take it. Fortunately for us, it's a rather good relic choice. Anytime either player uses a strategem, roll a d6 and on a 6 you get a command point back. In addition, once per game the bearer or another unit within 6" of the bearer gets one free reroll to hit, to wound, or for damage. This is a fairly run of the mill relic, every army seems to be getting a similar command point recycling ability. That doesn't mean it isn't still good. Now, it only works while the bearer is on the table, meaning that, whoever we put it on should start on the table and be survivable enough to last the entire game. So, a Manta Striking Commander is out of the running, as he is starting off the board and is most likely going on a suicide mission. Same with a Coldstar, though he is more likely to start on the board, his short range and harassment role puts him at too much risk of dying early on. So, our options are something more survivable, more insulated. That leaves Ethereals and Fireblades. Now, both can easily survive long enough to benefit fulling from the CP recycling, but thanks to his ML the Fireblade gets more use out of that free reroll the PEN chip provides. In terms of the PEN chip, I'd recommend sticking it on a Fireblade to maximize CP recycling throughout the game and to get that free reroll on an important ML shot.

Now, warlord traits. Let's start with Exemplar of Kauyon. As long as the warlord doesn't move, they reroll all failed to hit rolls. At first glance, this sounds really good. Then you sit back and think about it. This trait only works on shooting HQs, meaning that it is useless on Ethereals. So that leaves Fireblades, Coldstars, and Commanders. Fireblades seem like a decent option at first with their 30" range weapons, but then you realize that a Fireblade actually wants to be on the move fairly constantly so that our FWs can make use of Volley Fire for the extra shot, so Kauyon directly interferes with his premier ability. Coldstars are fairly obvious, these guys are built for constant movement, sitting still runs counter to their design. And finally, most of our Commanders' guns are short ranged and require constant movement to stay in range while staying out of charge range when possible. The only one that doesn't are MPs, which as we know are grossly overpriced. So again, too mobile and short ranged for Kauyon outside of a single, overpriced build (MP commander). Also, as the final nail in the coffin, all our HQs are BS 2+. Rerolls happen before modifiers, so no matter what you can only reroll 1s. You know what else lets us rerolls 1s? A single ML. By taking Kauyon, you are giving up your Warlord trait options for an ability you are already going to have anyway thanks to a single ML on target. Exemplar of Kauyon is garbage, and should never be taken.

Now for Exemplar of Mont'ka. Okay, this one also sounds good on paper, advance and shoot as if you had remained stationary. Again, Ethereals are out due to the lack of guns. Coldstars can benefit from this one quite a bit (40" move a turn while still hitting on 2+ is awesome), but doing so will likely give up an easy warlord kill due to them being isolated and alone in the enemy's flank/backline. Regular Commanders can see some usage from this, adding d6" to their threat range while still being under the protection of Drones, but they cannot advance the turn they Manta Strike in, meaning to benefit from this trait they either have to start on the board or hope to survive the counter attack from their drop. So, once again, we're back to the Fireblade. With Mont'ka, he is able to move with his FW blob to keep up Volley Fire while still hitting on 2+ with his ML (if he moves normally, he hits on 3+, if he moves and advances with Mont'ka, he hits on 2+. TAU LOGIC!). He is also well protected from any potential warlord kill thanks to the FW and probably Drone protection.

So, in conclusion, the clear winner from Chapter Approved (or perhaps I should call it Cadre (Fireblade) Approved) is the Cadre Fireblade. He is arguably the best option for the PEN chip, he's the only logical recipient of our only good warlord trait, and he is tailor made to utilize our strategem. Until the codex comes out, as long as we're running with post-CA Index Tau, I recommend running a Fireblade, making him warlord with Mont'ka, giving him the PEN chip, and enjoying the good life of Cadre (Fireblade) Approved.

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Aspiring Commander
Shas'Saal
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Re: Usage of PEN and Warlord Traits

Post#6 » Feb 11 2018 03:40

Thank you everyone for your feedback so far!

GI-Redshirt wrote:So, in conclusion, the clear winner from Chapter Approved (or perhaps I should call it Cadre (Fireblade) Approved) is the Cadre Fireblade. He is arguably the best option for the PEN chip, he's the only logical recipient of our only good warlord trait, and he is tailor made to utilize our strategem. Until the codex comes out, as long as we're running with post-CA Index Tau, I recommend running a Fireblade, making him warlord with Mont'ka, giving him the PEN chip, and enjoying the good life of Cadre (Fireblade) Approved


Thank you EDIT: Redshirt for the detailed analysis! I don't think much of CA Warlord traits for us. Codex Tau hopefully will bring us a variety to choose from. :)

Do you not see any merit in tenacious survivor or inspiring leader? I could see a free stim injector for a Commander, particularly a Coldstar, being potentially useful.

I think I'm still bitter, my second army is AM and they have some really useful Warlord traits in that book. Need some Tau love!
Last edited by Aspiring Commander on Feb 12 2018 03:54, edited 1 time in total.
'We act as one, and united we cannot fall'

-Commander Shadowsun

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GI-Redshirt
Shas'Saal
Posts: 33

Re: Usage of PEN and Warlord Traits

Post#7 » Feb 11 2018 04:15

Aspiring Commander wrote:Thank you everyone for your feedback so far!

GI-Redshirt wrote:So, in conclusion, the clear winner from Chapter Approved (or perhaps I should call it Cadre (Fireblade) Approved) is the Cadre Fireblade. He is arguably the best option for the PEN chip, he's the only logical recipient of our only good warlord trait, and he is tailor made to utilize our strategem. Until the codex comes out, as long as we're running with post-CA Index Tau, I recommend running a Fireblade, making him warlord with Mont'ka, giving him the PEN chip, and enjoying the good life of Cadre (Fireblade) Approved


Thank you Redstar for the detailed analysis! I don't think much of CA Warlord traits for us. Codex Tau hopefully will bring us a variety to choose from. :)

Do you not see any merit in tenacious survivor or inspiring leader? I could see a free stim injector for a Commander, particularly a Coldstar, being potentially useful.

I think I'm still bitter, my second army is AM and they have some really useful Warlord traits in that book. Need some Tau love!


I was just doing an analysis of the CA specific stuff for Tau, but I can bring in the generic traits as well. Obviously we can ignore Legendary Fighter. Nothing in our army wants nor cares about +1 attack on the charge. I'm sure once the codex drops as we get the Onager Gauntlet and/or Fusion Blades people will come up with silly builds for a melee Commander, but the opportunity cost will always be too high for a melee build.

Inspiring Leader isn't terrible. It just isn't really something Tau need, thanks for Bonding Knife and Ethereals. Our battlesuit teams are all but immune to morale (Thanks for 'Vre leadership of 8, you have to lose 4 models from a battlesuit unit before you can even possibly fail morale, so it's only a threat to maxed out Stealth Teams and Crisis Teams). Plus, we have Ethereals giving Ld 9 to everything within 6". Any Tau unit around an Ethereal has to lose 7 models before they even have a 50% of failing a morale test. Sure, we could boost up those numbers a bit with Inspiring Leader, but outside of niche situations (running a list of large squads with no Ethereal Support, facing an army with psychic powers that work based off of leadership, etc.) Inspiring Leader really just isn't necessary for us. Useful, sure. Nice to have, yeah. Necessary, not for Tau.

Tenacious Survivor is, of course, the best generic warlord trait for us, just like it is for almost every army. 6+ ignore damage is always good, no matter what model you take it on. Prior to CA I always took Tenacious Survivor on my Coldstar as my warlord trait. Post CA, I try to run with the Tau stuff more often just for the hell of it, leading to me usually taking my Fireblade as my warlord with Mont'ka, but when I do run my Coldstar as my warlord, you better believe he's getting Tenacious Survivor. This is the best generic trait for us, and I would say the second best trait overall for us right now. I do fully believe that Exemplar of Mont'ka is more useful for us and gives us more utility. Allowing a Fireblade to move up with his FW to keep up that Volley Fire buff without losing his ML accuracy is huge, especially when combined with the Networked Markerlights Strategem. If you're gonna take a Commander warlord, its a bit closer as to what you should take, but I think the added mobility from Mont'ka is worth more, and will do more to keep your warlord alive, than statistically 1 "extra" wound.

As for that last bit, I have to recommend tempering expectations. I'm assuming you are referring to Guard with AM and not Ad Mech, and if you are, don't assume Tau are gonna be that good or well off. Guard are one of the top 3 armies this edition, only Tyranids and Eldar can properly match them. It's gonna take some massive improvements in the codex for us to reach that level. Don't be bitter if we don't get to Guard levels of good post Codex.

Also, it's Redshirt, not Redstar. ;)

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Aspiring Commander
Shas'Saal
Posts: 68

Re: Usage of PEN and Warlord Traits

Post#8 » Feb 12 2018 07:53

Yeah that's what I thought was the case with Warlord traits, I'll try some play testing with Mont'ka fireblade and either Mont'ka Coldstar or tenacious survivor Coldstar and see how I get on. :)

GI-Redshirt wrote:As for that last bit, I have to recommend tempering expectations. I'm assuming you are referring to Guard with AM and not Ad Mech, and if you are, don't assume Tau are gonna be that good or well off. Guard are one of the top 3 armies this edition, only Tyranids and Eldar can properly match them. It's gonna take some massive improvements in the codex for us to reach that level. Don't be bitter if we don't get to Guard levels of good post Codex.


We can always dream!

On a serious note, I don't expect to be on a par with the Astra Militarum codex in terms of Warlord traits or stratagems. (My personal favourite being 'crush them!' On a baneblade)

I think it's a level of frustration most users on this forum are experiencing while we're in limbo. But CA was essentially an entree to our codex and our patience is about to pay off!


GI-Redshirt wrote:Also, it's Redshirt, not Redstar. ;)


Apologies! :) I post a lot on my phone and it autocorrected it!
'We act as one, and united we cannot fall'

-Commander Shadowsun

Kerrygan
Shas'Saal
Posts: 117

Re: Usage of PEN and Warlord Traits

Post#9 » Feb 12 2018 09:59

GI-Redshirt wrote: ;)


Hello, I'm not understanding.
You say you not give Coldstars the Mont'ka trait for if doing that will give a free Warlord kill on your opponent, but after that you say that you use to use the Tenacious Survivor trait in your Coldstar.
Is not like a 6+++ will prevent from giving the Warlord kill to your enemy.
I mean, I think that you justification of not giving the Exemplar of Mont'ka to Coldstar (not give a free Warlord kill) is not real, and feel that you say that because you prefer give it to Cadre Fireblade, and try to straight the reasoning to that.
You say that you use the Tenacious Survivor trait on Coldstars, so you use the Coldstars as Warlords, so...

Personally, often I run Mont'ka in my Coldstar and I like it.

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Iron-Fist
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 327

Re: Usage of PEN and Warlord Traits

Post#10 » Feb 15 2018 05:43

I always use the LD bubble generic trait on a commander. This is especially important if you fly with a drone cloud, that extra LD really makes a difference in keeping drones around.
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