Engaging the Fist of Medusa Dreadnoughts

Discuss both Auxiliary, Allied and Aliens tactics
GuidingOlive
Shas'Saal
Posts: 53

Engaging the Fist of Medusa Dreadnoughts

Post#1 » Aug 26 2016 01:08

So I have an SM player showing me a list he's built. I'll list it here.

Fist of medusa (1850 points)

Task force command

Chapter master
Artificer Armor
Gorgons Chain
Bike
Power Fist
Auspex

Command squad
4x vet
Bikes
4xStorm Shield
2xpower fist
2xpower axe

Apothecary
Bike

Armored task force

Tech marine
Bike
Ironstone

Pred
Auto Cannon
Sponson heavy bolter

Pred
Assault Cannon
Sponson heavy bolter

Pred
Auto Cannon
Sponson Las Cannon

Honored Ancients

Dread
Assault cannon
Drop Pod

Dread
Assault cannon
Drop Pod

Iron Clad
Hurricane bolter
Chainfist
Heavy flamer
Iron Clad assault launchers
Drop Pod

Contemptor
Kheres
Lucius pattern drop pod

Contemptor
Multi-melta
Lucius pattern drop pod


Now I have a few ideas of how to deal with this list but ultimately I don't know exactly where to go. It seems really simple, use a bunch of melta and finish the dreadnoughts off with interceptor. However, the Iron Stone on the tech marine means I have to make sure each one is dead and not just immobilized. So I give it to you good folks. How would you deal with a list like this? Thank you all for your time and feedback.

Syzygy
Shas
Posts: 10

Re: Engaging the Fist of Medusa Dreadnoughts

Post#2 » Aug 26 2016 01:50

What's available to you? Have any Stormsurges?

Looks like he's running a mini-star on bikes which is pretty typical of Iron Hands. No Psykers, but as you say, all those dreads in pods are going to give you a rough time.

Incidentally, I'm going against an IH star this weekend and I'm bringing the most 'Pacific Rim' list possible: two Stormsurges and three Riptides.

For only 5 points, interceptor is a given in most situations vis-a-vis Riptides, Stormsurges, and Ghostkeels -- it's a good plan, and I imagine you'll have at least a riptide or two. The star is going to be difficult to deal with using anything less than S10AP2 pie plates from the pulse driver cannon. Much will depend on his 3++ save rolls. You're better off ignoring the star for as long as possible and trying to clear up the tanks/dreads.

In my experience, a fully-loaded Optimized Stealth Cadre is fantastic at breaking apart Dreads/Preds (anything with AV10/11 in the rear armor.) Three Ghostkeels, two with target locks, will drain the HP on these vehicles easily enough with BS5 ignores cover. Three Ghostkeels in the OSC is one of the best markerlight-independent units in our Codex. Though this formation unfortunately can't reap the benefits while intercepting.

Ultimately, there's tons of options in our 'dex for blowing up things like Preds and Dreads -- you could bring a 52 point dual-fusion MONAT for each tank and dread and still have plenty points to spare. Dealing with his star on bikes will be the challenge: they're extremely mobile, and they're going to be getting in your grill T2/T3 to punch your damage dealers in the face. Fortunately he doesn't seem to have anything giving hit and run (Ravenwing Banner, a staple in other stars) so you'll be able to tarpit him a few turns. You could sacrifice cheap units each turn, wrapping them around the star to force the charge; you could use positional play to block movement with Devilfish or Piranhas; you could even play an aggressive SS with the blastcannon and get into assault. The SS is likely to survive a round or two of combat and get a couple of chances to roll a 6 on the stomp table.

I would focus on MSU against the list, especially if you're playing Maelstrom. Bring a farsight CAD and get some obsec crisis suits -- they don't even need weapons, necessarily, but if you make them fusion MONATs they'll be flexible to either take an objective or drop behind a tank. Ideally both.

Remember to give more details in posts like these regarding mission type, available units, etc.

GuidingOlive
Shas'Saal
Posts: 53

Re: Engaging the Fist of Medusa Dreadnoughts

Post#3 » Aug 26 2016 03:37

I honestly don't think this mission will be anything other than a "kill everything" mission because I doubt we'll make it to turn five one way or another. If we do I've won, if we don't I've probably lost.

I work for Games Workshop and this battle is dependent on when I buy all my new things. So if I don't have it, I can buy it. That's why I don't list all the things I have. Usually if something is important I talk to people on facebook. I go to the forums for far off events or theoretical situations. I would put myself as having every model that is necessary to work because of these reasons.

User avatar
nic
Kroot'La
Kroot'La
Posts: 755

Re: Engaging the Fist of Medusa Dreadnoughts

Post#4 » Aug 26 2016 04:02

There is not a lot of detail in your post about scenarios etc so I am going to answer in very general terms.

The first thing to note about that IH list is that most of the things in it are much easier to damage from one direction rather than another. The vehicles largely have AV10 rear armour and the mini deathstar has one tanking character you really want to avoid wasting your shots against.

In the absence of any more information I would anticipate that the IH player is looking to box opponents in with massed drop pods and dreadnoughts - this would pin you down ready for his turn 2 assaults and it leaves the relatively cheap tanks to hang around in the mid-table area gathering maestrom points unmolested while supporting the front line models with long range firepower.

While there are multiple ways to counter this with the Tau codex my preferred option would be to go for mobility and a decent beta-strike.

For the beta-strike you can choose between the Retaliation Cadre of a number of FSE Crisis suit teams. The Retaliation Cadre is obviously more reliable and in many ways better but you may have reasons why it does not fit your list build - in which case MSU crisis teams from a FSE CAD are a good alternative. I would definitely arm those crisis suits as you want them to harass the opponent and take advantage of opportunities to shoot at weak spots in the IH units. Some mix of CIB and Fusion Blaster suits would do the job nicely.

One of the surprising things to deal with those drop-pod dreadnoughts is Piranha. You can take these in a Hunter Cadre or a Firestream Wing - each has its advantages. The key thing is to be able to deliver your firepower onto their rear armour which is why on balance I prefer the Hunter Cadre as a way to take them. As for the Lucius Pods they are both a fortress and a trap for their occupants - if you have the mobility to surround the pod on the turn it drops then dreadnought cannot disembark and so cannot charge you. At this point if you can glance down the pod the dreadnought is eliminated for no additional effort. Hint: a Tau force that cannot strip 3HP from AV12 vehicles is a very strange Tau force indeed. This is why I suggest the Piranha over other more obvious options such as Optimised Stealth Cadre; they have the mobility to both hit rear armour and to surround an enemy transport in the classic Piranha Feeding Frenzy tactic.

Beyond that you need your mobility to spread out and to avoid being bunched up together where he can multi-charge you with that really rather small deathstar. Mitigate the damage it can put out and keep putting the damage you do onto any part of it other than the Chapter Master until via attrition or Precision Shots you manage to take out the Apothecary. Once the Piranha have done their initial jobs against the dreadnoughts expect them to be cleaned up in pretty rapid time by the bike star, that is fine as they are dirt cheap and using them for sacrificial screening units is for the greater good.

Even if you have EWO I would tend to avoid using interceptor fire as much as possible, on his turn he has control of the positioning and you will be shooting his best armour facings and tanking characters. Use it only on models that look like they are about to die in his shooting phase as then you have nothing to lose.

One last thing: cheap infiltrators (i.e. Kroot) can be used to keep his drop-pods off the objectives which can really cut down his scoring potential in maestrom games. An over-confident opponent who drops close in order to charge your more valuable units can find those kroot helping to trap his expensive dreadnoughts inside the Lucius pods.

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