Space Marine Drop Pod Assault

Discuss both Auxiliary, Allied and Aliens tactics
EmbraveYourInnerGeek
Shas
Posts: 41

Re: Space Marine Drop Pod Assault

Post#31 » Jun 19 2015 01:11

I play both Tau and Podding Marines, and have done so for ever. I'm building the Skyhammer Formation, and intend to use it in a large tournament in July, backed up by lots (and lots) of bikes.

As a Tau player, Im not convinced bubble wrap and castling is the way to defeat this formation

With the greatest of respect, I feel people are overestimating the power of EWO. There are many people far better at maths on ATT than I, but a unit of intercepting broadsides will kill maybe 3 marines (assuming they are part of the fire base cadre)? One could counter this by combat squading the dev squad, putting 2 grav cannons in each squad, and putting the bolter marines at the front, taking them off first, and then opening up with the grav cannons (assuming of course you pass your leadership test... but they're L8). Plasma rifles are perhaps more worrying, but not really. It should be reasonably straightforward to deep strike your marines into terrain for a cover save (contrary to what was said earlier in the thread, this is perfectly legal - you simply need to ask a dangerous terrain test). If there is no terrain, then the Tau player's bubble wrap will probably give you a cover save!

As for Riptides, their large blast can be countered with only a reasonable amount of luck. You simply deepstrike your pods as close to your opponent as possible (remember you can't mishap unless you go off the board) and deploy your dev 1" away from your opponents models. In that way the blast marker can not be placed, as it will overlap your own models. Harder to do with the assault squads, but I would be tempted to go for risky deepstrikes, other wise what's the point of the formation? Mishaps are much more forgiving now. And let's not forget, Riptides are only BS3.

And for all of them, it would be reasonably straightforward to put a character in front with a 2+/3++ to tank all the interceptor fire.

As for bubble wrap, that can be effective, but grav cannons have a 24" range so can reach "over" all but the most extensive bubble wrap.

But I think the biggest problem with castling is that you give up board control. Because you put all your heavy hitters on the board, to try and kill the alpha strike, and then wrap them in kroot, and then you opponent wraps them in marines, it's hard to then "breakout" of the castle. While you're locked in your castle dealing with the alpha strike, your opponent is running around the board taking maelstrom objectives and winning the game.

No, I'm afraid IMHO castling with kroot bubble wrap, is not the way to defeat this formation as a Tau player.

EYIG

Das'Kyman
Shas'Vre
Posts: 1160

Re: Space Marine Drop Pod Assault

Post#32 » Jun 19 2015 03:08

This is very true. Since we can only put Interceptor on our battlesuits, that limits the amount and effectiveness of hit-back. And bubblewrap can be a double edged sword when you try to shoot back with some intercepting AP2. It may not have the punch that our full shooting phases have when supported by markerlights, but our Intercepting fire is a lot better than most.

Depending on how close the Devs end up, targeting the Drop Pod could give you the flexibility needed to only hit Devs and none of your own Tau models. Yes, scatter happens, and it will probably be at least 4" but that is a choice you have to make.

But if bubblewrap isn't the answer, and EWO isn't enough of an answer, I am eager to hear what is.

The way I see it you have only 5 options (please add more if you think of some)
1- hit first (intercepting weapons)
2- block the hit (make your important models unkillable to the enemy attack. Shield Gen, Stims, Cover, etc.)
3- dodge the hit (protect your important things with throwaway units like Kroot bubble-wrap)
4- Absorb the hit (MSU out the wazoo so that he can't kill all your important models)
5- run away (refuse to play against a space marine player)

1 has been discussed and is the only proactive solution suggested thus far. 2 is almost impossible when the Devs are relentless and can take Grav guns. 3 is not likely to win you any games because the tradeoff is so weak (as EYIG pointed out). I am unsure on the prospects of 4, perhaps we could discuss that option next. 5 is obviously out of the question.

MSU doesn't seem like much of an option to me, since Space Marines are uniquely suited to countering MSU with Combat Squads. This whole formation can combat squad into 8 different units, plus two pods. That isn't including the other 2/3 of the enemy army that can also combat squad.

EmbraveYourInnerGeek
Shas
Posts: 41

Re: Space Marine Drop Pod Assault

Post#33 » Jun 19 2015 04:30

Frankly I'm not sure what the answer is. The formation is a very hard counter to most Tau lists. I suspect null deployment strategies have a role to play. However, the problem is surviving the first turn alpha strike, so you don't get tabled and auto lose.

My current Tau list consists of 7, three man units of crisis suits and 3 skyrays. Nine times out of 10 I only deploy the skyrays, and deep strike all the suits. For anti drop pod deployment, I had enough kroot to bubble wrap the Skyrays, and push the marines more than 6" away i.e. out of melta range. It would be extremely unlucky if I lost 3 AV13 vehicles in one turn from melta weapons not in double dice range. My suits then come down and killed stuff.

However, that doesn't work with 24" range grav cannons. Up until now I was happy with the risk. Most tournaments only allow 2 detachments, and you would only ever face 2 units of podding centurions (Sentinels of Terra Allies taking them as elites and heavy support in Space Wolf or BA pods). Now however, you can face 3 units (in the new marine dex - 3 HS Cents, in FA pods), or more (combat squaded devs in the sky hammer formation). My 3 skyrays aren't looking so safe now.

However, what might work is an imperial bunker with comms relay. Bunkers are immune to grav weapons, so all the grav cannons just bounce off. If you take a couple of units of kroot you can push even multi meltas back out of double dice range. That way you survive the alpha strike and the rest of your army comes in turn 2 and kills stuff.

The big problem of course is that the Skyhammer formation can come in on turn 2. So, if he's going second, your opponent, might just decide to wait until your army comes in turn 2 and hit you then. That's where the comms relay comes in - re-rolling successful reserve rolls to keep your army off the table until turn 3.

It's not great, but it's the best I've come up with so far.

I should say I'm mostly a tournament player so my lists have to be TAC if at all possible, so tailoring specifically to take on skyhammer is not really an option - what I'm looking to do is tweak my list to give me at least a fighting chance!

EYIG

Silvtalon
Shas
Posts: 211

Re: Space Marine Drop Pod Assault

Post#34 » Jun 19 2015 04:43

Honestly people are thinking way to much about the formation and are getting a bit flustered. I have already played against it and done fairly well against it and all I had to do was do a few tweeks to my current army list by adding plasma rifles and ewo. So instead of doubling up on missile pods, I run missile pods + plasma rifles + ewo suits. Honestly our meta is gonna change slightly to counter act what formations space marines and soon Dark angles will be able to do. Honestly I more worried about a specific dark angel formation that makes this space marine formation child's play. I am having no real issue with the said space marine formation so long as I choose the right units to shoot at (depends on what is a bigger threat) with my EWO equipped units which will usually be the devastators. In all honesty the minimal they can spend on that formation is 496 points, no upgrades, no extra guys the complete strip down before buying anything. So by the time they are done tweaking it they will be spending a good chunk of their armies points on a very high risk formation in which tau over all have the best chance at neutering before it even does anything.

I really think we will see the re-emergence of the Missile Pod/Plasma rifle suit once again in the tau armies. A old'ie config that has not be run standard for some time due to doubling out our weapons was a great preferred bang for our buck. Granted doubling out our weapons still is but the question is comes down to how often do you expect to see space marine detachment used? Myself I expect to see it very often at any tournament as there is a good number of space marine players in my area. So I customized my list to deal with the problem. Although for those that would hardly see this formation used then don't worry about it to much until you see it being used to the point were you feel you need to make changes, in all honesty this will be the case for most of us tau players in a more casual atmosphere of game play.

Although the said formation I do not remember the name but what it does is "In the shooting phase dark angels bike squad shoots at a unit and mark it. During the shooting phase a terminator squad deep strikes in and assaults said marked unit during the shooting phase. Also take note most good dark angel players will equip homing beacons to their bike squads which is very cheap to do so. (As this happens during the shooting phase our EWO will not work as it states at the end of the movement phase.) This rumored formation is far more annoying to handle in my opinion we will hear a lot more about it when the codex drops in july (most likely) I am already hearing that's the next codex being released.

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boomwolf
Shas'La
Posts: 1751

Re: Space Marine Drop Pod Assault

Post#35 » Jun 19 2015 05:23

Intercepting broadsides kill about a marine and a half each (1.555), without the formation or other bonuses. It's rather effective if they try to combat squad some bolter devs to run pin tests, as you counter by eliminating most if not all I'd the weapons team before they get to shoot...

At the very least intercepting broadsides prevent the combat squads - but are answered by a non-squadded Dev team using the bolter boys as meatshield and proceeding to grav/melta the broadsides to death. Not an optimal answer, and too restrictive to my tastes.
We need to look for more solutions.

What's the grav range again? 36 right?

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shasocastris
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Re: Space Marine Drop Pod Assault

Post#36 » Jun 19 2015 05:28

boomwolf wrote:What's the grav range again? 36 right?

No, it's only 24" inches.

Cheers!

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boomwolf
Shas'La
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Re: Space Marine Drop Pod Assault

Post#37 » Jun 19 2015 05:50

24?that's something you can work with....

Crossfire HRR broadsides/riptides with interceptor, too far apart for a single pod to target both, close enough that each can target the weapon team next to the other - focus on eliminating a single weapon team entirely, worse case you cannot lose more than one group.

Ca'Tau'la
Shas
Posts: 55

Re: Space Marine Drop Pod Assault

Post#38 » Jun 20 2015 05:29

Sa'Ran'Sha wrote: Remember that he can only place the drop pod where there is room for it to go - which includes folding out the doors - and that it must remain 1" away from your troops and cannot land in terrain.



Hi fellows,

Just a question about this affirmation from Sa'Ran'Sha: I am not able to found this rule neither on the Deep Strike page (162) nor in the vehicles section (pgs 82 to 98). It is eluding me, or am I looking to the wrong place? Everyone arround here seems to DS their Droop pods with the closed doors where needed, only opening the ones they have enought room...

Thanks in advance

Edited; I've made a name error quoting, sorry Sa'Ran'Sha :)

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Myrdin
Shas
Posts: 403

Re: Space Marine Drop Pod Assault

Post#39 » Jun 20 2015 06:26

Ca'Tau'la wrote:
Sa'Ran'Sha wrote: Remember that he can only place the drop pod where there is room for it to go - which includes folding out the doors - and that it must remain 1" away from your troops and cannot land in terrain.



Hi fellows,

Just a question about this affirmation from Sa'Ran'Sha: I am not able to found this rule neither on the Deep Strike page (162) nor in the vehicles section (pgs 82 to 98). It is eluding me, or am I looking to the wrong place? Everyone arround here seems to DS their Droop pods with the closed doors where needed, only opening the ones they have enought room...

Thanks in advance

Edited; I've made a name error quoting, sorry Sa'Ran'Sha :)


It is only accessible on internet. Here you go:
http://elite40k.blogspot.fr/2015/06/ana ... 000%29&m=1

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J'Kaara Nan
Shas'Ui
Posts: 621

Re: Space Marine Drop Pod Assault

Post#40 » Jun 20 2015 07:24

@Ca'Tau'la

Doors of drop pods are treated as "pass through" for model movement and sight lines. They basically count as always down. You can see through the drop pod even if some doors are not deployed down. Models can disembark from any point on the drop pod as long as they can stand of their own support.

Hope that helps.
Enclave of the 7 Swords: 12-5-2

Ca'Tau'la
Shas
Posts: 55

Re: Space Marine Drop Pod Assault

Post#41 » Jun 20 2015 09:27

Thanks Myrdin, but I was refering to the specific rule about the drop pods in general :D
Nonetheless Thanks for the link, I was talking to a friend yesterday abot this formation and I can give him the link too, so it has benn helpfull too! :)


Thanks too J'Kaara Nan. However a written source is preferable, I can use this point next time I have to deal with the case.
:fear:

Das'Kyman
Shas'Vre
Posts: 1160

Re: Space Marine Drop Pod Assault

Post#42 » Jun 22 2015 09:19

The grav cannon is a 24" salvo weapon, so it really needs to get within 12" to have the insta-killing-a-Riptide-every-turn power. Outside of 12" it will still murder most things though.

If you assume that the marines will receive a 5+ cover save on the turn they arrive, then plasma rifles may not actually be all that helpful on the broadsides. I did some math checking and this is what I came up with.
    Broadside w/ PR <12" - 45 points per dead marine
    Broadside w/ PR >12" - 60 points per dead marine
    Braodside w/ SMS <30" - 46.67 points per dead marine.
The SMS seems like the clear choice since it gives you almost the same hitting power as the PR at more than double the range, allowing you to hit the marines no matter where they land. Of course, if they marines don't have the cover save it is another story:
    Broadside w/ PR <12" - 36 points per dead marine
    Broadside w/ PR >12" - 51.4 points per dead marine
    Braodside w/ SMS <30" - 46.67 points per dead marine.
If they have no cover the PR are looking more attractive since if the marines DO land within 12" three broadsides will kill 6 marines. Of course, against a 10-man squad of devastators this will only kill off the bolters. This just shows that even under ideal circumstances, you need more than just one team of Broadsides to counter a full squad of Devastators.

I do like the idea of the Bastion or a Bunker. Grav weapons are all the rage and it would be hilarious to be impervious to them. However, Kroot bubble wrap really would be mandatory. Otherwise the melta-bomb/powerfist assault squads could easily charge in and wreck it. Then all you'd have is whatever was in the Bastion and hope that your reserves roll well.

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ShasODerpy
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Re: Space Marine Drop Pod Assault

Post#43 » Jun 22 2015 12:25

Da Skyman wrote:The grav cannon is a 24" salvo weapon, so it really needs to get within 12" to have the insta-killing-a-Riptide-every-turn power. Outside of 12" it will still murder most things though.

The devastators gain Relentless due to one of the Formations special rules "First the Fire, then the Blade".
This means they count as stationary when firing Salvo weapons.


Do Salvo weapons that have to fire their lowest number even exist now?

-Derp
Shas'O 50mm, the Foresighted
WIP Tau

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nic
Kroot'La
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Re: Space Marine Drop Pod Assault

Post#44 » Jun 22 2015 01:57

Da Skyman wrote:If they have no cover the PR are looking more attractive since if the marines DO land within 12" three broadsides will kill 6 marines. Of course, against a 10-man squad of devastators this will only kill off the bolters. This just shows that even under ideal circumstances, you need more than just one team of Broadsides to counter a full squad of Devastators.


Perching a monat Broadside on top of a building is working nicely for me at the moment, I have been working on ideas to model up my next one with plasma rifles for just this reason. The key threat is a melta in range of busting my building and plasma counters that threat strongly.

As I found last week, sometimes you do not have to kill all the marines to get the job done because if you force enough morale tests you might see a key unit break and fall back. In any event if the mere threat of interceptor has prevented the devastators from combat-squadding it has cut down the number of units they can suppress with their annoying formation rule and that is worthwhile anyway.

Da Skyman wrote:I do like the idea of the Bastion or a Bunker. Grav weapons are all the rage and it would be hilarious to be impervious to them. However, Kroot bubble wrap really would be mandatory. Otherwise the melta-bomb/powerfist assault squads could easily charge in and wreck it. Then all you'd have is whatever was in the Bastion and hope that your reserves roll well.


I would add the Void Shield Generator to that list if you are going to consider taking enough kroot bubble-wrap. Hilariously good against grav weapons, so good that you can effectively ignore them as a threat on the turn they drop. Unlike a bastion it happily protects your Riptides and even your kroot.

That means you can focus your interceptor fire onto
a. Weapons that might drop your Void Shields (probably melta in various forms)
b. The imminent assault

If the grav weapons are useless in that first shooting phase you can leave them until your next turn, with any luck your opponent got all aggressive with their drop pods and your kroot can rapid-fire the devastators.

What is not clear - and I would like a FAQ but probably will not get one - is whether the void shield becomes the target of the attack for the purposes of the new suppression rule. The wording of the Void Shield rule where it says "...further hits strike the original target instead." imply that the void shield does become the target until it drops but I am sure I might meet players who think otherwise.

Das'Kyman
Shas'Vre
Posts: 1160

Re: Space Marine Drop Pod Assault

Post#45 » Jun 22 2015 02:57

Yes, they are relentless, so they can fire the weapon to full effect, even on the move. But they really do need the 5 shots instead of the 3 if they are going to be killing Riptides, hence the need to be within 12".
However, 3 shots each should be more than enough for most stuff, especially with the chapter tactics shenanigans.

The VSG is another thing I hadn't considered. It would be the perfect companion for the null deploy method. The only downside is that you cannot put a comms relay on it, but that is not a huge deal imho.
It really does necessitate Kroot bubble wrap though, to make sure the marines stay outside the VSG bubble.

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nic
Kroot'La
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Re: Space Marine Drop Pod Assault

Post#46 » Jun 22 2015 03:14

Da Skyman wrote:Yes, they are relentless, so they can fire the weapon to full effect, even on the move. But they really do need the 5 shots instead of the 3 if they are going to be killing Riptides, hence the need to be within 12".
However, 3 shots each should be more than enough for most stuff, especially with the chapter tactics shenanigans.

The VSG is another thing I hadn't considered. It would be the perfect companion for the null deploy method. The only downside is that you cannot put a comms relay on it, but that is not a huge deal imho.
It really does necessitate Kroot bubble wrap though, to make sure the marines stay outside the VSG bubble.


You *could* bubble-wrap with Fire Warriors but it would cost more points and would limit where you put the VSG because they cannot infiltrate beyond your deployment zone. Kroot work better in my opinion not only because they are cheaper but also because a lot of armies will resort to assault to deal with the Void Shield protected army and kroot are better (and less expensive) speed bumps vs assault.

If you put the VSG right in a corner to limit the total area protected you might be able to fill that 12" adequately with a mixture of battlesuits and drones. I have not tried it but it should be feasible, especially if you add in some Skyrays (or similar) which have a pretty large footprint.

Personal experience is that with a VSG you need both bubble-wrap and an adequate amount of Interceptor fire if you want to withstand a decent drop-pod alpha strike. I am still experimenting to try to find the perfect balance.

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ShasODerpy
Shas'Ui
Posts: 742

Re: Space Marine Drop Pod Assault

Post#47 » Jun 22 2015 05:32

Da Skyman wrote:Yes, they are relentless, so they can fire the weapon to full effect, even on the move. But they really do need the 5 shots instead of the 3 if they are going to be killing Riptides, hence the need to be within 12".
However, 3 shots each should be more than enough for most stuff, especially with the chapter tactics shenanigans.

I'm not sure I understand the train of thought here... (do tell me if i'm being a complete idiot :P )

Salvo weapons (more specifically Grav Cannons) allow you to:
Move, and fire 3 shots at half range ('12)
Or,
Whilst statioinary, fire 5 shots at full range ('24)

Combined with Relentless, you always count as stationary, and will therefore always fire 5 shots at full range


-Derp
Shas'O 50mm, the Foresighted
WIP Tau

Das'Kyman
Shas'Vre
Posts: 1160

Re: Space Marine Drop Pod Assault

Post#48 » Jun 23 2015 07:43

You are not. I am the one who is a complete idiot. And I even read the rules for Salvo weapons before posting that! My apologies. I feel rather sheepish.
Yes, the grav cannons have a 24" range at full fire. For some reason in my mind Salvo weapons worked like a Rapid Fire weapons of old (stand still fire once at full range or twice at half range. move and fire once at half range). So there is no escaping grav death. I have little experience with the grav-centurions. When I did play them they landed within 12" so I never knew the difference!

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