Wraithknights & Wave Serpents oh my...

Discuss both Auxiliary, Allied and Aliens tactics
Bolter&Rail
Shas
Posts: 52

Wraithknights & Wave Serpents oh my...

Post#1 » Apr 01 2015 02:56

I would like to get some help/thoughts on the best strategy for engaging Eldar when they are equipped with wraithknights and wave serpents (two very powerful units in my opinion). I regularly face an Eldar player that runs a wraithknight, 3 wave serpents, and a gaggle of warlocks that try to cast fortune on the WK (thankfully the Greater Good has prevailed and I have denied him fortune every time thus far). Still, I struggle to see strong Tau counters to these units.

My general strategy, which recently failed in the last game we played, is to have a robust high-yield missile broadside unit with a couple missile drones and a commander in iridium armour up front to tank incoming fire and grant monster hunter or tank hunter with his PEN chip. We can supplement this with riptides, kroot snipers and some crisis configurations as well as marker lights, but the meat of the punch is obviously with the broadside unit.

Regardless, a WK can have a terrifying assault range of 24 inches which means at best Tau have 2 turns to bring it down before you start to see your army scatter and get sweeping advanced. It is a hard challenge to bring it down by turn 2 and if you do the rest of the Eldar army has likely gone unchecked and has taken a toll on what you have left (this is what happened to me last game).

Any other ideas on how to approach these two disgusting units?
1. Ignoring the WK seems like it wont work given assault by turn 2 and they are equipped with strong firepower
2. Massive kroot snipers arent bad, but I figure you must need a solid 300pts of kroot snipers to maybe get a WK down by turn two and then they would be useless against the rest of an army in wave serpents

Must I taint my firecadre with an inferior race as an ally? :::(

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Angus Khan
Por'La
Posts: 75

Re: Wraithknights & Wave Serpents oh my...

Post#2 » Apr 01 2015 03:04

Missile spam with ignores cover will obliterate wave serpents. My go to unit is a buff commander with a deathrain crisis team, but broadsides work well too.

(I like missiles over something like fusion blasters because they don't rely on a lucky pen to destroy their target... Although have enough fusion blasters and your opponent may think twice about shooting the shield, so there are upsides to going the Melta route.)

As for wraith Knights... Melta and missiles work well, but my absolute favorite is sniper drones. Give them ethereal support and watch as they each fire 3 Sniper shots within 24 inches, hitting on twos. It's a thing of beauty.

Bolter&Rail
Shas
Posts: 52

Re: Wraithknights & Wave Serpents oh my...

Post#3 » Apr 01 2015 04:27

Definitely agree on the missile spam with a buffmander. That can take out a wave serpent a turn and maybe more if you optimize target locks.

I don’t see the fusion guns working great against WK given range and low quantity of shots. The missiles have the reverse problem and need 54 hits or so to bring him down on an unadjusted basis. I did underestimate the power of sniper drones though… between rapid fire and a local ethereal they could pump out something like 4 wounds on a WK for <200pts and combine that with some kroot or HYMP broadsides the WK could be first blood if adventurous. Just have to make sure they survive first round if going second and might be worth throwing the buffmander with them to start the game so A) they survive and B) with monster-hunter on top of ethereal they might be able to take down the mighty WK with just 9 little drones :P

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Myrdin
Shas
Posts: 403

Re: Wraithknights & Wave Serpents oh my...

Post#4 » Apr 01 2015 05:25

I too am a huge fan of Sniper Drones.
These guys are awesome, have incredible range, and pretty much obliterate any type of enemy that does not roll high caliber invul/cover saves - eg. Wraithknights.

If you wanna go for serious counter - two units of 9 +2 spotters in each (one is a backup spotter in case the first gets sniped). An Etheral with two Marker drones attached to one of the units. Storm of fire, and then just watch as they strip your opponent of his WK.
With this much firepower, you should be able to lay low one WK per round.
Get a unit of Missile suits and Buffmander close to them, while another unit of Missile Broadside deals with the Wave serpents.
Let the Buffmander use his Neurochip and jump from the suits to one unit of drones, giving them Monster Hunter. .... 2 WK dead per turn.
After that let him rejoin the suits and go hunting the squishy targets as by now most of enemy heavy tanky units should be dead. (though don't forget that even though squishy, the Eldar have still some nasty shooting and CC, so don't get to overconfident when closing in.)

Back this up with two units of hounded Kroots for some outflanking. A unit or two of Plasma/BC suits, or Rippie and you should be able to deal enough pain, yet still keep most of your eggs outside the basket, so he cannot focus fire down one thing and completely neuter your army.

Nashie666
Shas
Posts: 9

Re: Wraithknights & Wave Serpents oh my...

Post#5 » Apr 26 2015 12:01

A very good point you bring up. I had a game two nights ago against triple wraithknight, 2 serpents. The serpents are cake as I run triple tide, double commanders and deathrain crews with markers, but the wraithknights were a rough cookie taking most of the game to kill. I kept him out of combat with the wraithKnights by making him double back or decide to be somewhere else.

With the new eldar codex wraithknights are an even bigger concern since they have gone to gargantuan creatures meaning your 4+ to wound just became a 6+, and a FnP5+ on top of the 3+ armour save.

Through my searching I really can't find anything in tau that can cost effectively bring them down. I keep coming back to possibly adding a pair of Imperial Knights.
Or so the story goes...

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AnonAmbientLight
Shas'La
Posts: 611

Re: Wraithknights & Wave Serpents oh my...

Post#6 » Apr 26 2015 01:28

I played against my friend's Eldar today. He effectively tabled me turn 2.

Both armies were 1750

Commander - 2x Fusion PEN, Stim, TL
Shadowsun - no drones
Body Guard Crisis Suit - 2x Fusion, TL - This group in reserve

Two Riptides - Ion, FB, EWO
Crisis team - 2x MP, TL / Crisis 'vre CnC MS3, DC - 6 drones

Three 12x Firewarrior teams - EMP

Two Sky Rays

Ageis Line with Quad gun.

He had

Two Farseers.
Five Warlocks.

5x Dire Avengers guys- Wave serpent
5x D flamer guys - Wave Serpent

Two Warp Spider squads of 5.

4x Eldar Jet Bikes with Scatter guns I think.

A Wraith Knight.

TURN ONE

He went first, and his warlord trait was infiltrate. So he infiltrated his D flamer guys in their wave serpent, his "seer council" (so the warlock and farseer), his warp spiders, and his bikes. Warp spiders jumped up and killed my Riptide in a turn of shooting. The bikes came to my left flank and killed 2-3 fire warriors on the side. His WK stripped 2 HP off one of my Skyrays and immobilized it. His Farseers and crew put doom on my other riptide, and buffed themselves with conceal and +1 to invuln, making them 3++ and sitting on my right flank. The council fired and wave serpent fired into my ripitde and brought him down to 3 wounds remaining.

TURN ONE

My missile crisis suits did some work and actually killed 3-4 of his warlocks because he got really unlucky saves. The Fire warriors and my riptide did together one wound or so on the council. The Skyrays unloaded all of their missiles and took 3 wounds off of the WK. The fire warriors on my left flank shot at the bikes but nothing else happened.

TURN TWO

I forgot how my Riptide died. I think he just shot more wave serpent shots at it. He kept debuffing it with doom. His council rolled up, fired on my fire warriors on the right flank and made them run. His bikes finished up my fire warriors on the left side. The WK killed my dead in the water sky ray, and missed the other. The Warp Spiders rolled up, and finished off my Fire warriors who began to run at 3 men left.

His other warp spider squad shoots at my crisis missile suits and kills all of them but the buffer and some drones.

TURN TWO

At this point I essentially lost. I had no answer to any of his tanks moving around, one of which had the D flamer guys in it. I only have MLs on my crisis suits, a squad of fire warriors (other two were down to 3 and 5 men) and a skyray with no missiles, shadowsun hadn't come in yet. Shadowsun and her group come in. I land right near the WK, almost mishap, and with PEN chip, I take off his remaining wounds. I pretty much just stopped caring at that point. My Fire warriors squad that was left scooted up, and the Sky ray that wasn't dead lit them up along with the crisis squad. I buffed them and shot up his remaining Farseers, finally killing them. And that was it.

TURN THREE

His wave serpent rolls up, and drops D flamers on my Sky ray, killing it and some fire warriors that were left. He jumps his spiders closer and tears up my last big fire warrior squad. They hold out with one or two guys left. The other squad of 3 firewarriors ran off the board. Shadowsun's group gets shot at by the other wave serpent and some dire avengers, He scoots his other warp spider squad towards shadowsun shoots at them and leaves 1 wound on all of them but they hold out. He charges and kills the last fire warrior. He charges shadowsun with his warp spiders. IIRC, I killed two of his guys, but I had one wound on each of my remaining guys left.

TURN THREE

I can't really do anything at this point. I have marker lights on a crisis suit team and shadowsun's group. I humor him so he can use his mans and continue to play. I do some silly challenges and try to get some more VP through maelstrom shenanigans. Works to some degree and I get some combat in on his warp spiders on my line. End up punching a one I believe, but I died. Shadowsun
and her group jumps over an obstruction to shoot at a retreating warp spider. I knew he could do his jet move during shooting and he just used it to jump LoS. The rest of the squad members shot at a wave serpent, killing it.


TURN FOUR

He finishes off my crisis suit team. Finishes off my commander team. Game over.

My Experience

The Eldar codex is very strong. His list was mainly detachments that offered him buffs for taking them. So for example, all his warp spiders were BS5, IIRC, wound on I, so he was wounding my riptide on 2s. AP 1. They have the best psykers in the game. There's little to no chance of an Eldar player ever having to take perils if they have enough warp charges. They get an ability that lets them expend WC to ignore perils. Arguably they are stronger psykers than Grey Knights are, with more options and better flexibility. This really made me upset. He took powers off of the Sanctic tree. This tree makes all of your doubles on a test count towards perils, not just double sixes. I play Grey Knights, and I'm like, oooh better be careful you might hurt your brain. NOPE, he can just expend a WC and the perils doesn't count. Eldar are better at using Sanctic powers than Grey Knights apparently.

Mobility. Warp Spiders are CRAZY mobile, and with the infiltrate warlord trait was easily able to reach, and one shot my Riptide with no problems. His warp spiders were MVPs and did the most work on the battle field. Bikes were hard to hit and pretty mobile too, but didn't really do too much. Still, they were a strong shooting platform and super mobile.

The WK was, I suppose, lack luster. He did some work on my Sky Rays, so points for points, he didn't actually get his points back in shooting. However, just like a Riptide, he was there to soak attacks, which he did well.

I really have no idea what I could have done differently. I suppose I could have ignored the WK and attacked something else with the skyrays, but the Farseer squad had 3+ invulns. I don't know how effective that would have been. My riptides didn't get a chance to do *anything* and my fire warriors were pretty useless.

I have no idea what to do to combat this army. I'm not a very good player, and I'm super frustrated. So much so that I think I'm just going to not play my Tau until the next codex drops, whenever that is. I can't beat my friend's Eldar. I can't beat my friend's Necron. It's just frustrating that an army like Eldar have SO MUCH BAD WORD BAD WORD going for them. They have no draw backs AT ALL.

And then my friend started talking about how Vipers are awful units. A fast attack 40pt 10/10/10 open top HP2 model base with normal guns that have like S5 AP4 and S4 AP6 guns? That for 10 more points can get a S8 AP2 48'' Lance gun. Let that sink in for a moment. That's a unit he thinks is awful in his codex and is *easily* better than a piranha for the points, and tow Vipers with that loadout could compete and probably do better than a BAD WORD Hammerhead with a rail gun.

:(
Last edited by AnonAmbientLight on Apr 26 2015 01:45, edited 1 time in total.

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AnonAmbientLight
Shas'La
Posts: 611

Re: Wraithknights & Wave Serpents oh my...

Post#7 » Apr 26 2015 01:40

Nashie666 wrote:A very good point you bring up. I had a game two nights ago against triple wraithknight, 2 serpents. The serpents are cake as I run triple tide, double commanders and deathrain crews with markers, but the wraithknights were a rough cookie taking most of the game to kill. I kept him out of combat with the wraithKnights by making him double back or decide to be somewhere else.

With the new eldar codex wraithknights are an even bigger concern since they have gone to gargantuan creatures meaning your 4+ to wound just became a 6+, and a FnP5+ on top of the 3+ armour save.

Through my searching I really can't find anything in tau that can cost effectively bring them down. I keep coming back to possibly adding a pair of Imperial Knights.


6+ on sniper and poison. He's still T8. Fusion and Seeker Missiles will do the job. The game before the one I detailed above, I had shot at his "old" WK (essentially the same profile right, it had 5++ invuln, today it had just 3+/5 FNP) and with two full Skyrays left one wound remaining on him. So it's not totally hopeless.

Also WK are expensive to take and are only really good at shooting tanks and MC. The meta might evolve into smaller units where WKs become *very* awful in shooting. We will have to see.

The problem I have with the Eldar codex is that, as far as I can see, pretty much *everything* is good in this codex. They have units that can excel at something and do it well. Need CC units? Take some banshees, striking scorpions or the D flamer guys. Need some D weapons? You have several choices, take your pick. Need some psykers? You have the best psykers in the game. Want to pretend to be Tau? Take some warp spiders or jet bikes and become even more mobile than they are. Want to shoot really well? Nearly every single model in their army is either BS4 or BS5 depending on the detachment.

They literally have an answer for everything now, and detachments just make them that much stronger. From what I understand, every army has a strength and weakness. Tau are really good at shooting but don't get psykers or CC people. Grey Knights are good against psykers, and have durable units, but they cost a lot of points. Orkz are durable, spamable, and good in CC, but they suck at shooting and need to get there first. I don't see Eldar's weakness.

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Vector Strike
Shas'La
Posts: 656

Re: Wraithknights & Wave Serpents oh my...

Post#8 » Apr 26 2015 07:32

AnonAmbientLight wrote:I don't see Eldar's weakness.


Probably finding games :P

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shock_at
Shas
Posts: 114

Re: Wraithknights & Wave Serpents oh my...

Post#9 » Apr 26 2015 07:52

I would like to point out that "Master of Ambush" gives the warlord and 3 non-vehicle units infiltrate. So at maximum, there can only be 3 groups infiltrating but your opponent had 4 (farseer with council, bikes, spiders and wraithguard/transport). A unit with no infiltrate cannot infiltrate with an infiltrating IC.

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jade_angel
Shas
Posts: 185

Re: Wraithknights & Wave Serpents oh my...

Post#10 » Apr 26 2015 10:58

Warp Spiders shouldn't be that horrifically broken, though - wounding on I really hurts Tau and Necrons, but their guns aren't AP1 across the board. They're basically Bladestorm/Rending except for the Exarch's Spinneret Rifle, so if he was resolving all the hits at AP1, he was doing it wrong. That said, taking stims on Riptides if you don't already might be a helpful counter. I never leave home without them, since the Riptide's greatest advantage is being difficult to kill.

Also, the new Seer Council is Brotherhood of Psykers, not a pile of individual ML1 psykers - this is essentially a fairly large nerf. Farseers did see a moderate buff, though.

The Wave Serpent's Serpent Shield is now shorter ranged and One Use Only, and if fired, loses the defense. That, and no more Laser Lock means that Wave Serpents got a major-league nerf.

The Vypers aren't actually awful, but they're not massively OP, either. Piranhas are a bit more durable, and the gun drones make them surprisingly versatile. You can get a brightlance for 10 points, true, but that's got 36" range. That's not any more broken than XV8s, when you get down to it. Doubly so because the minute someone points something scarier than a bolter at them, they'll have to jink or die. Pulse rifles can explode them.

It does sound to me like he was playing fast and loose, and you got hosed when you should not have. Eldar are strong, but they shouldn't be unbeatable. (Though my Wraithguard may not see the table for a while - that kind of volume with D-weapons does worry me more than a little.)

Another thing to remember - if you can get behind an Eldar tank, pulse rifles/burst cannons can chew it to pieces.

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