Combating White Scars in 7th Edition

Discuss both Auxiliary, Allied and Aliens tactics
ramman2004
Shas
Posts: 1

Combating White Scars in 7th Edition

Post#1 » Oct 14 2014 10:44

I have a tourney test game scheduled. I know he plays White Scar bikers with tons of Grav and Melta weapons. He also run thunderfire cannons. I'm looking for deployment and general stratageytips. My list is below so you know what I'm working with. I like my list the way it is not looking for suggestions on addition of models. Just tips on how to use it.

+++ Tau 1850 Competitive List (1850pts) +++
+++ 1850pt Tau Empire: Codex (2013), Tau Empire: Codex (2013) Roster (Combined Arms Detachment, Formation Detachment)) +++

Selections:

Tau Empire: Codex (2013) (Combined Arms Detachment) Selections:

+ HQ +

* Commander (Codex: Tau Empire p98)
(Independent Character, Supporting Fire, Very Bulky)
Command and Control Node (15pts), Crisis battlesuit, Drone controller (8pts), XV8-02 Crisis 'Iridium' Battlesuit (25pts)


+ Elites +

* XV104 Riptide (Codex: Tau Empire p100)
(Nova Reactor, Supporting Fire)
Early warning override (5pts), Ion accelerator (5pts), Riptide battlesuit, Riptide Shield Generator, Twin-linked fusion blaster


* XV104 Riptide (Codex: Tau Empire p100)
(Nova Reactor, Supporting Fire)
Early warning override (5pts), Ion accelerator (5pts), Riptide battlesuit, Riptide Shield Generator, Twin-linked fusion blaster


+ Troops +

* Fire Warrior Team (Codex: Tau Empire p99)
(Supporting Fire)
6x Fire Warrior Shas'la with pulse carbine (54pts), Photon grenades
* Devilfish(Codex: Tau Empire p99)
Burst cannon, Two Gun Drones


* Fire Warrior Team (Codex: Tau Empire p99)
(Supporting Fire)
6x Fire Warrior Shas'la with pulse carbine , Photon grenades
* Devilfish (Codex: Tau Empire p99)
Burst cannon, Two Gun Drones


+ Fast Attack +

* Barracuda Air Superiority Fighter [FW] (IA 3 SE: Taros Campaign p185)
(Agile, Deep Strike, Supersonic)
2x Auto-targeting burst cannon (Auto-targeting), Ion cannon, Twin-linked missile pod


* Drone Squadron (Codex: Tau Empire p101)
(Supporting Fire)
* 8x Marker Drone
8x Markerlight


+ Heavy Support +

* Hammerhead Gunship (Codex: Tau Empire p103)
Blacksun filter (1pts), Railgun with submunitions (5pts), Twin-linked smart missile system


* Sky Ray Missile Defense Gunship (Codex: Tau Empire p103)
Blacksun filter (1pts), 2x Networked markerlight, 6x Seeker missile, Twin-linked smart missile system, Velocity tracker


Tau Empire: Codex (2013) (Formation Detachment) Selections:

+ Formation +

* Firebase Support Cadre (Tau Firebase Support Cadre Dataslate)
(Bane of Angels, Tank Hunters)
* XV104 Riptide (Codex: Tau Empire p100)
(Nova Reactor, Supporting Fire)
Early warning override (5pts), Ion accelerator (5pts), Riptide battlesuit, Riptide Shield Generator, Twin-linked fusion blaster
* XV88 Broadside Team (Codex: Tau Empire p103)
(Extremely Bulky, Supporting Fire)
* Broadside Shas'ui
Broadside battlesuit, Twin-linked high-yield missile pod, Twin-linked smart missile system
* Broadside Shas'ui
Broadside battlesuit, Twin-linked high-yield missile pod, Twin-linked smart missile system
* Broadside Shas'ui
Broadside battlesuit, Twin-linked high-yield missile pod, Twin-linked smart missile system
* XV88 Broadside Team (Codex: Tau Empire p103)
(Extremely Bulky, Supporting Fire)
* Broadside Shas'ui
Broadside battlesuit, Twin-linked high-yield missile pod, Twin-linked smart missile system
* Broadside Shas'ui
Broadside battlesuit, Twin-linked high-yield missile pod, Twin-linked smart missile system
* Broadside Shas'ui
Broadside battlesuit, Twin-linked high-yield missile pod, Twin-linked smart missile system

Grumpyhen
Shas
Posts: 9

Re: Combating White Scars in 7th Edition

Post#2 » Jan 14 2015 05:43

I know this is a rather old topic, but I was looking up discussions surrounding the same question. I might as well give my 2 cents to hopefully get the discussion rolling. Enough rambling on why I am posting on an old post. Onto furthering the greater good!

Introduction to the White Scars

White scar bike armies are one of the top armies out there, in fact it won the bay area open in 2014.

A general list will look like this: http://bloodofkittens.com/wp-content/up ... rines-.pdf
The army pretty much consists of a command squad on bikes, 4-5 bike squads. Each bike squad consists of 3 bikes, 1 sergeant and 1 attack bike.

Armament
Each squad will pack a multi-melta (attack bike), 2 grav/melta/plasma (bikes) and a combi weapon with the sergeant. Their close combat capabilities is actually not that great, with only 6 attacks per squad when charged. However they do get s5 HoW attacks on the charge.

Movement
The most deadly thing about the white scars is that it can cover distances faster than any army out there. This as you can imagine, poses a huge threat to our great tau empire. Bikes can deploy right at the edge of their deployment zone and scout move 12 inches up due to their chapter master. So even before the first turn (which I sure hope you are going first) the bikes can be only 12 inches from your deployment zone.
Also remember that white scars ignore all dangerous terrain tests and have 3++ jink save!

Possible Counters
I have to state that I am definitely NOT a great 40k player, maybe not even above average.... but I was hoping that this thread can fuel more discussion so I can gleam some knowledge from it too.

Objective Placement
Bikes take up a lot of space, and the white scars commander would want to deploy them as far forward as possible. The result would be one straight line of bikes across his board at the forward edge of his deployment zone.
Hence you would want to place objectives heavily on one side of the field so that it makes the other side practically irrelevant. All the bikers that gets deployed on the empty side will have to come all the way to your board edge and swing around, which would take them an extra turn to start shooting you.

Reserves
That goes without saying you want to reserve troops vulnerable to alpha strike (no *BAD WORD DELETED!* Einstein)

Infiltration
I think this is the most important part to counter the enemy's 12" scout. The cheapest unit to do so would be kroot. Infiltrate step occurs before scout moves. If you are able to infiltrate your kroot 12" from the enemy front line, then they cant make any scout moves within that 12" bubble around your kroot. You would want the kroot to infiltrate on the side loaded with objective markers.

Close Combat
Believe it or not close combat is probably one of the weakest aspect of the bike army. Each squad only has 6 standard attacks when charged. I guess that is why all bikes have the hit and run ability. You can charge in with a squad of kroot and kroot hounds. The bikes will probably hit and run away at the end of combat, but they will have to run backwards!

Vehicle Road Blocks
If you have a piranah or devilfish that has off loaded its troops, they can be used to block the enemy advance. Run your expendable vehicles right into their faces so the bikes wont be able to move without destroying the vehicles. This is intended for useless vehicles, don't run your hammerheads or what nots in their. The melta fire will eat that vehicle up.

I hope their will be a bit more discussion after this to help our might empire to victory against these marine bikers clad in cheese white armour.

User avatar
ArttesThePerishable
Shas'Saal
Posts: 120

Re: Combating White Scars in 7th Edition

Post#3 » Jan 16 2015 08:09

My only experience with bikes comes from Dark Angels, which is maybe why I'm surprised that such a force would be difficult? Typically my 20 kroot w/ sniper shots, combined with broadsides (usually mine are armed with HRR, but I imagine HYMP would potentially work better) can effectively ruin 2 squads of 5 bikes in turn 1. Then anything left behind I mop up with a little air support from my sunshark bomber. A skyray alpha strike of our own also seems like it could effectively destroy a squad and then act as a vehicle road block without much remorse. I'm willing to admit though... my Dark Angel opponent's tactics greatly lack imagination so I'm sure that's a factor in how easy they feel.

Also, would perhaps a clever tactic, as far as objective placing, be placing your objectives on or closer to the white scars deployment zone? If they are using their bikes as scoring units that should leave them torn between coming at us full steam, and trying to stay comfortably close to the objectives. I imagine this would lower our stress too and let us perform long range hunting (a tau specialty, or so I'm led to believe :D ).

Again, I have 0 experience with White Scars so please correct me if you or anyone feels I'm fundamentally misunderstanding the White Scars force.
Blood for the Blood God? No! Fire for my FireBlade!

User avatar
Ollelta
Shas
Posts: 18

Re: Combating White Scars in 7th Edition

Post#4 » Jan 16 2015 04:14

I've played against white scars with a number of xeno armies (I'm a strictly xeno player) and I've found that they suffer in a couple of key areas.

Predictability. A white scars bike list is big, physically big. It takes up a lot of table space and that makes it's deployment highly predictable. In Vanguard or Hammer deployment a white scars player is likely to struggle to get all of his bikes on the table in the nice neat forward line he wants (Any bikes that are anywhere near the table edge risk getting targeted first turn, breaking, and running off the table). This means outflanking reserves. In most of your games against white scars you can pretty reliably expect this same pattern to emerge. Now, you may say that a rolling line of power-armoured death with the threat of flanking pincers is not really a weakness, but it's your job to turn it in to one with your deployment. You can, if you want, try to limit the scout ability of the scars with infiltrating kroot, but honestly I've found that you're generally better off keeping kroot blobs further back to bubble wrap your big guns and protect your flanks, the scars are so mobile that they can easily do without the scout move and still be on your doorstep a turn or so later (just in time for the reserves to turn up). You're often better off letting them come to you piecemeal and picking them off as they arrive.

Expense. Space marine lists in general are expensive, scar bike lists are even more so. Points wise each model is a big hit, and the scar player wants to keep his bikes alive and avoid as many break tests as possible. Because of this, when you point anything at him that has AP3 or better he is going to want to jink. Yes, I know you're going to be pointing anti-armour weapons at infantry to do this, and I know that makes you feel all weird and icky (like some sort of new person) but it really is a must. Lets face it, the scars are not bringing a lot of armour, so distribute your AT widely, make sure you've got lots of little pockets of fusion goodness. Single piranhas are fantastic for this as they have the mobility to get into a position to pick off the most valuable members whilst not really being worth wasting the shots on to take them down. On your turn try and force as many of his squads as possible to make that tricky decision to jink or to do without their magic 3+. "Oh look, those stealth suits with that one fusion gun are firing at your combat squadded multi-melta unit. You know, if you don't jink, and that melta shot gets through, that's one less ablative wound for your only real chance at taking out my hammerhead!" Marine players don't like taking their models of the table. They will jink. And once they do that, well you can breath easy. If you can get most of his army snap shooting you've won easily. And if not, well your AP3+ is going to be doing it's job whittling down his nastiest squads. (I've not tried, but I can almost imagine that against scars MSU vespids might actually not be a completely awful choice, 80 or so points to reliably force jinks could work).


As for what units to bring, well, I'm a bit unorthodox, I don't run crisis or riptide, but I do fine. My most effective bike killing (tau) squad so far has been a 20 man sniper Kroot squads with a commander with C&Cn and M-SSS and Shadowsun thrown in. With a couple of marker lights you can neuter pretty much any bike squad that's looking threatening (two markerlights buys you 20 shots, hitting on twos, re-rolling, rending on 6s and ignoring cover, likelyhood is 2-3 dead bikes from rends and a LOT of saving throws to make). Your squad has 4+ cover in the open, a huge number of ablative wounds and if things get dicey I'm sure you've got another blob near by the commanders can jump towards.

P.s. the most effective bike killing squad in the game is possibly Eldar Dark Reapers, they have ap3 guns that specifically ignore jink and spam str5 shots. If you really get stuck with the scars try a little allied detachment with a Mantleseer, a squad of windriders and a big lump of reapers and watch a bike squad fall over each turn. If you get first turn you may even manage to scare a full squad off the table by forcing that 3d6 retreat move. If that happens, remember to grin.

I hope any of that was some use to you

Grumpyhen
Shas
Posts: 9

Re: Combating White Scars in 7th Edition

Post#5 » Jan 17 2015 04:28

Thanks for the replies guys that was very helpful!

I asked my local store manager who plays white scars bike army for a game yesterday. I have learnt a few things. Close game but I lost :'(

The kroot infiltrate to prevent them from scouting doesnt really work :'( As the above post said it only really delays them slightly. I tried using my kroot to bubble wrap too, but I took a small squad so they bikes were able to charge through the small gaps since they ignore difficult terrain.

As mentioned above the white scars army dose leave their home objective empty, so if you have deep striking units you can send one to secure it. This will divert one of the scars bike squads back towards it. Not super effective but it bought me some time.

My local store manager runs numerous grav guns on his bikes. They will shred a riptide into tiny little pieces. So if you expect them to shoot you 3++ charge your nova reactor. Suprisingly riptides do quite well in close combat against the bikers, however they will hit and run away at the end of the combat phase.

I didnt force the bikes to jink since I removed cover from everything. Maybe someone should try what Ollelta said, try forcing the bikes to jink. Since the bulk of their killing power is from their melta/grav weapons.

Jarrid
Shas
Posts: 21

Re: Combating White Scars in 7th Edition

Post#6 » Jan 24 2015 07:44

Hi there, first post on the forum.

I've played against white scar bike lists a good few times now, and Ollelta's comments are dead on. Because of the jink, your heavy low AP shots are going to be wasted unless you have 2 marker lights per shot to remove his cover saves. A tonne of shots work best, simply to force saves and whittle them down.

The hardest bike squad to take down will always be the one lead by the Chapter Master, who will invariably have 2+ armour, 3+ invul, eternal warrior and feel no pain to tank damn near everything you can throw at him. The best way to neuter that squad is to throw a tonne of marker assisted snipers or a few flanking crisis suites armed with Fusion at it. Kill the apothecary, remove the feel no pain save and the squad's survive-ability drops through the floorboards. Focus fire with the rest of your army and they should drop.

Be careful not to be fixated on this unit however, as they may not be as dangerous as the rest of the army you're ignoring while you're taking them down. If it's easier to bump off smaller squads of bikes, do it first. Try to bubblewrap his big scary command squad in kroot or piranhas and take care of it when you don't have the rest of his army breathing down your neck.

In terms of deployment, most bike lists don't have too many flamers/blast templates. If that's the case, bunch up in one corner. This way all your firepower can be brought to bare at the same time, and forces his army to bunch up and take a number in the queue to get at you. Make them come at you piece-meal, kill each squad completely before moving on to the next one, and you should be fine. If however he does have templates or blasts, spread out but try to line up your unit so they can still support fire each other.

Remember; Quantity of shots not quality kills bike lists. ;)

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