Space Marine problems - Razorbacks for Everyone!

Discuss both Auxiliary, Allied and Aliens tactics
Shuragel
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Space Marine problems - Razorbacks for Everyone!

Post#1 » Jun 18 2015 01:38

I've been watching this pop up in game after game at the local store and wanted to know how we as Tau will deal with this new threat.
Double Gladius Strike Force at minimum points is roughly two thirds of one's army worth of points in a standard game of 40k. What it equates to is free vehicles for the entire army, which is a mighty pain in the rear for shooting armies trying to fight against it. The most common of these lists I have seen pop up so far has been 30 hull points worth of vehicles at, while at a armour value that is possible for our army to damage with our basic pulse rifles, no cost to the player in question. Our enemy can hide in Metal Boxes with no regrets.

The main problems this seems to be causing is a rapid removal of range and the weapons of the razorback on its own. In one turn our Space Marine fellows are able to move over a third or a fourth of the distance available on the table, depending on the circumstances of the game. In that same turn, they can move further to get even closer to melee range or fire heavy bolters (without paying for upgrades on the razorbacks), which while our army can deal with via cover or armor saves on the suits, is a big threat in large numbers. Ten of such vehicles firing all in one turn due to the range of heavy bolters is indeed a lot of damage aimed at our poor pathfinders or fire warriors. This gets exasperated further against all targets if the free vehicles spend some of that third remaining army points for weapon upgrades, in particular the dreaded twin linked lascannon option. It kills everything, from broadsides and crisis suits to Hammer Heads and Skyrays, in short order at a cost still under the original point cost of buying these vehicles in the first place in a regular army. If we blow up the razorbacks, the squad inside now has to walk and is exposed, but at the least is likely in shooting range of our forces. And worst of all, if the destroyed vehicle was close enough, they might then be in charge range on the Opponents' turn. We all know how much we love assault as Tau. Killing one vehicle full of troops is a nuisance, killing 6 to 10 of them is a nightmare.

Tau have great ways to deal with vehicles, though what we have against them are generally expensive on their own right and either suffer in range or numbers. Monat double fusion XV8s work well against common small vehicles with the chance to blow them up, but then said suits are out in the open against the troops that come out and the rest of our opponents army. Broadsides are extremely expensive, require target locks or MSU to shoot at multiples of these vehicles, and either fire a single shot that has similar chances to blow up as the fusion or require three glancing or penetrating hits to destroy a single one of these 0 cost vehicles. Our infantry can deal with them as well, but have more pressing targets to attack, namely the infantry inside these scrap heaps.

How would you, with whatever models you have at your disposal, handle such a force to be across the table from you? Do we turtle up, drop X amount of crisis just for vehicles, throw points away before even hitting the points costs of our enemy's army build? MSU everything so that whatever happens has to take care of one bite sized portion at a time? How does a take all comers Tau list take such a foe?

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shasocastris
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Re: Space Marine problems - Razorbacks for Everyone!

Post#2 » Jun 18 2015 02:10

It could mean a return to massed deathrains. This time with target locks. And possibly using Farsight and his large bodyguard. If you have 6 crisis suits, each with 2 missile pods and a target lock, combined with a CACN, PEN and MSSS, you can probably take out 3 rhinos (more if you DS and get the rear). Having 10 rhinos is also hard to maneuver with. Maybe nova charging riptides, hoping for a 5+ on the penetration table?

At any rate, is this really scary? They have to take six tactical squads to get it. I have always been less than enthused by their performance (both using them and playing against them). Also, how many points is a minimum double strike force? Is this feasible in 1500 points? 1000?

I'd be more afraid of drop pods. A bunch of heavy bolters I think Tau can deal with. A bunch of deep striking meltas and powerfists? Less so.

Cheers!

Shuragel
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Re: Space Marine problems - Razorbacks for Everyone!

Post#3 » Jun 18 2015 02:39

The double Strike Force is certainly feasible in 1500 points. A minimum of this detachment only requires a whopping: 30 tactical marines, 10 devastator marines, 10 assault marines, a Chaplain and a Chapter Master. Which adds up to slightly over 1000 points. Which leaves plenty of points for the rest of your army or for upgrades. Everything gets objective secured in the formations, and all rhinos, drop pods, and razorbacks are free for anyone in the formation who can purchase them, if they want. Drop pods are another one I am worried about, but at the moment, all I see are the razorbacks. 30 TL strength 5 AP 4 shots added to the list for no cost. Salamander doctrines for 6+ FnP makes everyone slightly tougher or Ultrasmurfs for the triple threat tactical doctrine (1 for the whole army, and one for each of the strike force formations)

While tactical marines can be underwhelming on their own, they do gain the security of the vehicles to get into double tap range and then charge range with far less worry. Drop Pods we have interceptor to help handle them, and half cannot arrive until turn 2.

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nic
Kroot'La
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Re: Space Marine problems - Razorbacks for Everyone!

Post#4 » Jun 18 2015 03:53

Shuragel wrote:The double Strike Force is certainly feasible in 1500 points. A minimum of this detachment only requires a whopping: 30 tactical marines, 10 devastator marines, 10 assault marines, a Chaplain and a Chapter Master. Which adds up to slightly over 1000 points. Which leaves plenty of points for the rest of your army or for upgrades. Everything gets objective secured in the formations, and all rhinos, drop pods, and razorbacks are free for anyone in the formation who can purchase them, if they want. Drop pods are another one I am worried about, but at the moment, all I see are the razorbacks. 30 TL strength 5 AP 4 shots added to the list for no cost. Salamander doctrines for 6+ FnP makes everyone slightly tougher or Ultrasmurfs for the triple threat tactical doctrine (1 for the whole army, and one for each of the strike force formations)

While tactical marines can be underwhelming on their own, they do gain the security of the vehicles to get into double tap range and then charge range with far less worry. Drop Pods we have interceptor to help handle them, and half cannot arrive until turn 2.


They do also have to take one of the auxiliary formations to make the detachment complete, so that is more points before any upgrades are available.

As for the countermeasures, if you do not have a load of S7+ shooting in your list already you must be running a pretty off-beat tau list. Massed S7 for the win here; my preferred delivery system are krootox but I am odd that way, I realise that saner commanders prefer missilesides and deathrain teams. Look at the terrain and try to pick out bottlenecks - pick out the lead tanks on those choke points and force the ones behind to deal with the blocking difficult terrain and their own disembarking troops getting in the way. If you immobilise one even better, stop shooting it as you just created an impassable roadblock.

Pretty much everything that gets out of those transports is a basic marine statline with a 3+ save, they will die to massed firepower.

I think ninja tau outflanking tactics are worth looking at here too - any razorbacks with weapon upgrades trying to hang back outside missile range should be prime targets. Alternatively skyrays outrange pretty much everything (including the table length) and are also great against plenty of other things that could trouble us. Dump the missiles turns 1 & 2 and now you have markerlights on a platform that heavy bolters can't touch for the close range firefight.

Oh and if they really do just spam heavy bolters go ahead and get a Void Shield Generator and laugh at them. It also laughs off grav weapons so its a multipurpose hard counter to some of the stuff that marine players are over-excited by right now.

In all honesty I was hoping someone would pull this out on me this week as I think it is fluffy as heck and would be a blast to play against. Yes it might beat me with sheer weight of obsec on the objectives game but I enjoy playing with and against armies like that so I say bring it on.

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Jefffar
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Re: Space Marine problems - Razorbacks for Everyone!

Post#5 » Jun 18 2015 05:12

Fortunately Tau have access to a formation that can spam up to 12 strength 6 and 52 strength 7 shots a turn and divide them up among three or more targets depending on wargear selected. This formation also happens to have Tank Hunters.

I expect a lot of Razorbacks and Rhinos won't escape their deployment zone.

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Myrdin
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Re: Space Marine problems - Razorbacks for Everyone!

Post#6 » Jun 18 2015 05:50

Some very good comments up here. I hope someone will get a game against this formation soon and post a battle report. It sounds scary, (though not as much as that Drop pod one I posted recently), but at least we have enough tools to deal with shenanigans like this.
Seems like good old R´Varna could sow quite some chaos into these lists. They are what ? AV 10 ? 11? Seems like a crunchy pie plate target for our big guns vielding unappreciated battlesuit.

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shasocastris
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Re: Space Marine problems - Razorbacks for Everyone!

Post#7 » Jun 18 2015 06:26

Jefffar wrote:Fortunately Tau have access to a formation that can spam up to 12 strength 6 and 52 strength 7 shots a turn and divide them up among three or more targets depending on wargear selected. This formation also happens to have Tank Hunters.

I expect a lot of Razorbacks and Rhinos won't escape their deployment zone.

Said formation also happens to have preferred enemy space marines :D

And thinking about it, a full broadside team can be split four ways (the drones and each broadside). And you have a tank hunting riptide. So fire that nice large blast first (ordnance if you're bored?) into the inevitable large grouped up parking lot and do some damage. Then end some razorbacks with broadsides. Problem solved.

For some numbers, a tank hunting missile side will do:
4 TL HYMP * 3/4 hit * 3/4 glance (* 2/3 aren't saved by cover) = 2.25 (1.5 HPs)
4 TL SMS * 3/4 hit * 11/36 glance = .9 HPs

So a single missile side with tank hunter shooting at a razorback kills it (or almost kills it if it's in cover). I like those odds. Something similar happens with railsides b/c of the chances to explode:
3 TL HRR * 3/4 hits * 5/9 pen * 1/3 explode = .42 explodes (or just 2 HPs)
4 TL SMS * 3/4 hit * 11/36 glance = .9 HPs

Also, if they are shooting those heavy bolters with any semblance of accuracy, they aren't getting close to you. Which is a win for Tau. And I'm still not afraid of 50 space marines. That used to be worth something (in 3rd?). Now, the amount of plasma and missiles we can get forces marines to be a bit more clever.

So, now we have an excuse not to feel bad about taking the firebase support cadre. The Gladius Strike Force. (Or that much scary deep striking web exclusive one. Can anyone say preferred enemy interceptor?)

Cheers!

hiddencamel
Shas
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Re: Space Marine problems - Razorbacks for Everyone!

Post#8 » Jun 19 2015 04:18

Shuragel wrote:And worst of all, if the destroyed vehicle was close enough, they might then be in charge range on the Opponents' turn


The disembarkation rules are that if they disembark because of vehicle destruction, they aren't allowed to charge on their subsequent turn unless it was an assault transport. Razorbacks are normal transports right?

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ShampocalypseWOW
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Re: Space Marine problems - Razorbacks for Everyone!

Post#9 » Jul 31 2015 11:44

Railsides and ADL. Fire warriors with emp's. Kroot with sniper rounds. Sniper drones. Riptides. FW riptides. Deathrain suits with buffmander. Ethereal buffing infantry fire. Piranhas with FB's. Gun drones to screen.

There are so many options to deal with this stuff. Railsides will make short work of 11 armor. Get a riptide with HBC and send it forward to smash armor and marines. The Y'Vahra riptide would have a field day, popping any tank in one shot and melting any marines unlucky enough to be in range of its flamer. The R'Vahna would be similarly devestating. Any 11 armor death boxes dumb enough come near a squad of fire warriors will get a face full of glances.

So yeah, I see this razorback spam nonsense as a trap for SM players.
Sham'WO

tomahawk
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Re: Space Marine problems - Razorbacks for Everyone!

Post#10 » Dec 07 2015 07:59

I've played this formation two times in a row and I must say, biggest concern when fighting them is not that you will get killed but rather that you will loose on points. They have obsec on literally everything. If you are not using CAD, you have no obsec. This gives tremendous possibilities in board control, because even if you pop a transport sitting on objective, marines inside will disembark to hold it. Taking objectives from the opponent is very hard, holding your own is also hard as they will drop on top of it and you will be rather focusing on anything coming out rather than cleaning a drop pod of the objective.

Another concern I had was not Heavy bolters but rather Grav cannons. To pop transports you need your broadsides and riptides. In my second game my opponent was able to take down my riptide turn one and all of my broadsides turn two. This hurt a lot, leaving basically only troops and drones to fight. It hurt a lot...

After those two battles I have such thoughts:
1. Interceptor on everything possible of having one
2. EMPs on troops to take down drop pods and/or Dreadnoughts
3. If troops do not pop drop pod, charge him with Riptide/Ghostkeel
4. All suits should have drones (riptide + 2 drones = wounding from grav cannon on 4+ instead of 2+) and they should be hidden behind the suit (you do not want to loose this 4+ wounding, it hurts)
5. One should bubblewrap objectives on own table half to do not give possibility for pod to drop and obsec one's objective
6. One needs some efficient road blocker (piranhas/drones)
7. Fliers could help yet I need to try them out

As I consider Double Gladius as cheese in pure form I would also fight it with new fish flavoured cheese. I thought about such 1850 list:

Riptide Wing
Riptide w/ ion + SMS + 2x drones, interceptor
Riptide w/ ion + SMS + 2x drones, interceptor
Riptide w/ ion + SMS + 2x drones, interceptor

Retaliation Cadre
Commander in Coldstar suit with interceptor and 4++
Crisis w/ double ion cyclic + 2x drones
Crisis w/ double ion cyclic + 2x drones
Crisis w/ double ion cyclic + 2x drones
Missileside + 2x missile drones
Riptide w/ ion + melta + 2x drones, FNP

Drone-Net VX1-0
4x Marker Drones
4x Marker Drones
4x Marker Drones
4x Marker Drones

Piranha Firestream Wing
4x piranha

I cried when setting up such list but it feels right when fighting double Gladius. Each unit has it's tasks:

Riptide wing - stationary artillery, sitting as far as possible, placing double S9 ordenance blasts to explode those transports
Piranha Firestream Wing - drone factory to flood and block opponent with constant wave of drones
Drone net - ML source and +1 BS source to make other drones more effective
Retaliation Cadre - DS on the other side of the table and try to grab those objectives

It could be just great to also include Stealth Optimized Cadre but then it will be about 2250.

I think such list is very resilient for obsec drop pods, could withstand massed bolter fire and even handle grav cannons spam. Drone factory will deliver constant roadblockers and harassment units. Retaliation Cadre could even give possibility for some counter attack.

Please, give me some comments on what you think about such army composition. It requires significant investment in models (4x riptides + mass of drones) so I want to be really sure that this investment will be worth it's cost.

PS. It is possible to have double Gladius in 1k battle. I've fought it in my first battle. I find it impossible to handle in such low point value battle. It is not the case that you will be shoot down as in such army there are no upgrades different than flamers. It is just about table control. With 1k army you will be able to defend max 2 objectives with almost no possibility to fight through wall of bare bones space marines and rhinos to retake any other. You just do not have enough bullets because you fight blob 3+ armor army.

Xeones
Shas
Posts: 416

Re: Space Marine problems - Razorbacks for Everyone!

Post#11 » Dec 07 2015 12:28

Tomahawk has some very good points about fighting cheese w/ cheese. As others have noted however, Tau have so many options to deal with rhinos and razorbacks, it's actually more difficult to narrow down your options.

My own inclination in dealing with this would be at least one Optimized Stealth Cadre for vehicle killing. Supplement this with Crisis, Broadsides, Ionheads, Riptides... whatever you want. I'd also recommend Piranhas. They are relatively cheap and while you can certainly use them with fusion blasters and/or seekers, I think their main benefit against hoards of razorbacks are their ability to block and channel your opponent's vehicles to force them to make tough choices. The more metal boxes they have, the more their own numbers will begin to work against them. Block easy avenues to your units with some cheap Piranhas and target key razorbacks in his formation in order to use their wrecks to your advantage. Between terrain, Piranhas, and wrecked Razorbacks, it shouldn't be all that difficult to lock him into his own deployment zone.

From there, you can use your Riptides, crisis, overcharged Ionheads or whatever other anti-marine weapons you have available to pound those 5-man squads into the dirt.

It's not an auto-win but you've definitely got options.
SPRUE FOR THE SPRUE GOD!!!

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