Tactica: Lone Wolves - updated for the new codex, version 1.

A review of past Alien Tactics by commanders during the First and Second Phase Expansion.
ForbiddenKnowledge
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Tactica: Lone Wolves - updated for the new codex, version 1.

Post#1 » Oct 11 2006 09:51

Now, the humble stealth team has been talked about before but I would like to provide some in - depth tactics on the uses I have found for them. Hopefully these ideas are still new, and will help all who utilize one of the best units at our disposal.

Lone Wolves:
The Stealth Teams in the codex are described as being the "Lone Wolves," ranging ahead of the Tau army to sow disruption in the enemy. This can be done on the table top as well, in various ways. I will detail a few of the most effective uses I have found for stealth teams, since I started playing. Since the update to the new Tau codex, there have been a number of changes, most notably the XV-25's ability to mount alternate weapons, and support systems.

Distraction:
This is the simplest way to use a Stealth team. You usually infiltrate them towards a area of the opponents army containing a threat to your army, e.g. a Devestator Squad with Lascannons (if you are mech) or Heavy Bolters (static).
You opponent will see the team coming and will either ignore them, allowing them to neutralize the target, saving your army, or attack them with some of his men, which will therefore have taken a unit out of battle, while they deal with the resilient Stealths. What? T3 troops are resilient? Well, they can be. Thanks to the Stealth armor, J-S-J, and judicious use of cover, it can be hard to neutralize them, therefore meaning anything sent to deal with them is not touching the rest of your army. Now, our stealth suits have the ability to mount a fusion blaster, at a ratio of 1 in 3. This means, that they now have the ability to hit tanks a lot harder than they could in the past. Picture the scenario - your opponent has a land raider full of terminators. He deploys in the middle of the board, set to crash into your lines in 2 turns and do vast damage to your army. You infiltrate your stealths behind cover, and either wait for it to approach, or move towards it. If he doesn't wipe out your suits, you have now got 2 fusion shots into his big nasty at close range. Outcome - Tank destroyed, terminators pinned, ready for the rest of your army to shoot them.

Assasinate:
No, I don't mean send them after JFK, but Stealth Teams mount considerable firepower for a unit so small. Pick a enemy unit that is a threat, be it Devestators, a Leman Russ or an Ork Dreadnaught. Use cover to keep them out of sight and charge, and when the time is right, have them jump into fireing range, against the rear armour, or the Devestators. I won't reprint the maths, as others have done that better than I could, but it is safe to say, against a 5 man Devestator unit they can swiftly damage it, if not kill them all. Against a tank, 18 S5 shots on the rear armour of a russ is not going to leave much left, even if you only stop it from shooting for a turn, they can then repeat it next turn. Again, now we have the ability to mount fusion blasters, we do not have to worry as much about going against the rear armour, as our stealths are able to hit hard against any facing.

Drawing fire:
Under the new rules, a unit that tries to engage the stealths, and fails the night fight roll, cannot shoot that turn. Try taking a small team of 3, and using them to "bait" the enemy into wasting shots on them. The more shots that try and fail to hit your stealths, the less shots coming in to the rest of your army!

Assault Distraction:
A variation on Distraction, this tactic can mean the death of your Stealths. If the enemy does get close enough to your army to assault you men, making the Stealths a tantalising target will save the men, and by keeping your distances right, the men can then kill the enemy that charged the Stealths next turn. The stealths may even take down some of the enemy, as they count as in cover, and have S4. Or you can charge them, if the situation is desperate enough. What? Charge with Tau? Well yes, actually. I'm not going to lie to you, even Stealths are naff in CC, but with multiple attacks, and an assault weapon, and a S4, they can do some damage. If your fire warriors are already in CC, a charge by a Stealth team may save them. Although, I don't advise this against Terminators.

Disruption:
This is another of the Stealth Teams missions. Thanks to their multiple shot weapon, and the high strength of 5, there is very few transports they can't damage. If, for example, your opponent is sending a Rhino down a flank that you have a Stealth team on, then you can riddle it with burst fire, stopping if not destroying it, and leaving the men inside pinned, and walking for the rest of the game. They can also shoot against a pair of units readying for a combined assault, or by drawing a unit's attention away from your more squishy Fire Warriors.
If you are playing Imperial Guard, or Space Marines, or Orks et al, there is a chance of facing artillery. This ranges from the humble Lobba/Mortar to the devestating Basilisk. Now, most of the time, these will be deployed behind terrain, making it hard to stop the incessant rain of fire. This is where Stealth Teams come in. Thanks to infiltrate and jetpacks, they can get next to the artillery and open fire, usually annihialating them, thus disrupting their artillery. Yet again the use of fusion blasters mounted on the stealths can mean we can hit the transports a lot harder than before. Not many rhino's can withstand the massive hit of 2 fusion blasters into a side, and should, dice gods willing, stop the transport and the men inside, leaving them vulnerable to your other guns.

Take and Hold!
I realised this tactic the other week at our mega battle. On my side of the field, there was an objective halfway up the table that had to be captured. I was able to deploy my Stealth Team out of site, and in turn one, capture the objective, and hold it long enough for the rest of my army to roll up.
This tactic works best with multiple small objectives, as Stealths, good as they are, cannot hold off an entire army. Infiltrate them, preferably in cover, near the objective, and then simply roll up to capture it. With luck and skill, they can hold the objective long enough for you to get more support to them. In our game, in one turn I was able to claim 200 Vp's and hold them til the end thanks to this.
They can also perform a variant on this tactic to take a table quarter. They infiltrate in, and, with the support of some of your army kill every enemy in it then hold it til the end.

New options and the old ones I happened to miss......

Well, the humble XV-25, being a mass class higher than the good ‘ole 15's, can now mount a number of different support options.

Fusion Blaster: This thing is dirt cheap, and a full squad can take up to two of them. While it detracts from the stealths formidable firepower, if you specifically want your teams to be tank hunters, this can be a useful upgrade, as well as allowing us to instagib most enemy characters. However, some say, my self included, that quantity is better than quality for stealths, so I prefer not to have a fusion blaster. I would suggest, unless you want your stealths to engage tanks as a primary, you leave the fusion blaster back at cadre command.
Targetting Array: This is probably the next most common upgrade used for stealth suits. Increasing the BS, it means more shots on target, so is useful in some situations. However, again, I think it is highly overrated, as you can get the same, and better result by using markerlights, which do not add to the cost of the stealths. Taking the TA increases the base cost of your stealth by 33%, not worth it in my opinion. If you wish your stealth suits to be dedicated Tank hunters, then it might be worth while to ensure those fusion shots are on target.
Drone Controller: The third most common upgrade for stealths, this allows you to equip each suit with up to 2 drone types. Marker drones, I think, are far to expensive a way to take amounts of markerlights, and ruin the stealths ability to J-S-J. Shield drones, are, to be honest pointless. Gun drones allow the deployment of the "super Stealth Team!" Fielding a unit of 18 models, you get 18 burst cannon shots, and 12 pinning pulse carbine shots. The beauty of this is you also get stealth shielded drones! Problem is, this increases the base cost of the stealths by 66%, each! Not worth it in my opinion, as this is too much to be paying for a unit.
Target Lock: Short of having one stealth with fusion, or a Shas'Vre with a markerlight, this is not really worth it, as you will not often have the option of an ideal split fire situation.
Shas'Vre Markerlight: Not a bad upgrade, if you rely on a lot of guided fire, but when it is used it will stop your ability to J-S-J, and a stationary stealth is a dead stealth.
Blacksun filter: Not worth it, with such close range weapons, there is very little need for this.

Cover:
Just thought I'd add this section as well...
Right, cover for your stealths can mean life or death. With the ability to infiltrate, you don't always have to get as close to the enemy as possible - we're not Kroot you know! Try going up a lightly defended side, and attacking or harrying the flanks.
You should make the best use of cover available. The best, being area terrain. Jump over, open fire, then jump back to your nice untouchable position. Use of cover can also deny the enemy shots at your team, and the less shots coming in, the less chance of breaching the stealth armour and scoring kills. The more suits that survive into range, the more damage you can do to the enemy.


Lone Wolves:
As I said at the start, Stealths are the Lone Wolves of the army. While everything else must work in conjunction to bring about victory, with the Stealth Team you are better assigning a mission (like the examples given above) and allowing them to follow only that mission, with minimal support. Used correctly, they can easily earn their points back, hold a mission objective, or assasinate an enemy squad. Used incorrectly, and they will die quickly. They are an independant element in an army of unity, go on, give them a go and see what they can do for you. They have never let me down, and will always have a place in my army. I run with 2 units on most occasions, overkill I know, but I have found them to be worth their weight in gold. So go on, give our humble 15's and 25's a chance.

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Post#2 » Oct 11 2006 10:44

That's interesting, but most of it is odl news. Anyway, on to my point : I don't like your descritpion of the equipement options.

First FB are far from being the number one option. It does almost nothing, and reduce their effectiveness 80% of the time. Remember that against AV10 like Landspeeder and like, Burst Cannon is actually more effective. Not to mention that each time you really effectively use the FB, you are not only wasting the BC shots, but also putting the team in grave danger. Because most ennemy will be able to get back within 12 inches and shoot at you, and at that range, Stealth Field is useless. So FB usually weakens your unit, and is only useful for specialized roles.
TA on the other hand, raise the firepower by 33%, and is 33% of the Stealth base cost, meaning you don't loose any point effectiveness by using them, but you gain total firepower and footprint. And that's the same for Gun Drones, you have to pay 30 points for 3 pulse shot with the Stealth, and 10 points per shots with the drones. But you have three time more ablative wounds. So this give them more firepower, don't reduce their point efficiency, and give more durability : far from useless. What's more, their are playstule with the Stealth that rely on their Stealth Field meaning an increased footprint isn't that big of a problem. So even a 18 (or 9) man team can be used efficiently.
And saying that Markerlights/marker drones are useless ... This is just insane. Lots of people agree to say that Stealth are the way to take marker light. I would agree with them, except for Tetra. Any use of Markerlights is supposed to make the unit completly immobile, and Stealth Marker Team only suffer from a halved movement.

And finally : what is this about taking and holding terrain ? First Tau don't do that, they can't, and they don't want to, that's just their style. Next, why would you want to take it early ? is the Quarter table any easier to take if you are infiltrated on it at the start of the battle ? Is the central hill any easier to get if you got your Stealth there ? If you had your Stealth jumping around the hill, mowing down the ennemy, to jump on it at the end that would be just as effective, if not more.
Now if I am mistaking about that, I would like to know, because this would be a huge change.
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ForbiddenKnowledge
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Post#3 » Oct 11 2006 11:02

This is the ways I personally have found, and they have never let me down.


Ok, so Tau don't take terrain - so they automatically lose any take and hold game as it is against "their style"?

Depending on the mission, using infil stealths to take terrain is a good idea, and as I think I said, won our team the game.

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Vior'la Suam
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Post#4 » Oct 11 2006 12:02

the super stealth unit of 6 and 12 G-drones is the ultimate in markerlight bait...just think of 18 bs5 shots and 12 bs 4 shots twin linked....thats what i call fun.

the look on yoru oponents face when he losses a unit to pulse fire on the first turn....its quite good for a psycological advantage and i can guarentee that stealth team is going to become target numbero uno, plus the stealth field... mmmmmm....pulse fire....

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Post#5 » Oct 23 2006 04:40

I LOVE my stealth suits. I run 2 full squads in 1850, and I'm considering running 3 squads. My last game the OWNED my opponents right flank and kep pressing in.

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Post#6 » Oct 23 2006 04:50

And is there a point outside claiming that Stealth are good ?

If not, I will join you : "Stealth are fun !" I like to use 12 of them, and I've a 6 SS 12 GD in a little marker list ... I think it is going to reduce everything to ashes : 26 S5 hits on average. That's 6 Meq kill, or over 4 glancing on AV11.

And the models are cool, isn't that just perfect ?
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Post#7 » Oct 24 2006 01:22

The best is running 18 SS with Tetra back-up (in 1500pts) in CoD. Pure carnage.
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Post#8 » Oct 26 2006 08:38

I agree that equipping a team with gun drones does make them effective, but it reduces the armour save of the unit to 4+, making it easier for heavy bolters and other AP4 weapons to kill them. On the flipside, the stealth marker team makes the Stealth team vulnerable, as 3 SS and 4 marker drones won't stand up to any significant attention from the enemy.

If you take gun drones, go the whole way, 6 SS and 12 GD. However, I have found the following setup to be preferable, as it solves many of the issues of the alternatives.

XV25 Tm L, TA, markerlight, hw tl
3 x Stealth Shas'ui, DC + 1 marker, bonding knife

The SS are still in majority, so its a 3+ save across the unit. After the Tm L gets his marker shot in (which 2/3 times he will) the others will get 1-2 marker hits themselves. At the same time, the unit has the same firepower as a FW team to call on at 18", and at BS4. So it can as a unit produce 1 target locked markerlight, and 1-2 markers on a single unit for others to utilise. If the enemy sends in assault squads to take them out, the Stealths can open up with 12 pulse rounds, decking about 3 Marines on average, before they jump 6" away.

I realise this is expensive, but it does make for a very potent marker unit. In doing so, it still has enough firepower to handle any MeQ squads sent its way. So, what do the rest of you think? It seems to follow the Lone Wolves style, as the SS can light up for other units, while remaining capable of defending themselves.
Strike hard, strike fast.

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Post#9 » Oct 26 2006 11:28

It doesn't matter if the majority save is a 4+. Even against such a squad the fact that you have 3 4+ saves instead of 1 3+ makes the unit more resilient.
Work it out yourself, if a HB shoots the unit, gets 2 wounds, so 2 drones die. Thats two shots per turn lost. If a HB shoots a pure SS unit and gets two wounds between 1-2 SS will die, thats a loss of either 3 or 6 shots per turn.
More bodies is almost always a better protection than a higher armour save.
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Post#10 » Oct 27 2006 05:33

ANd think about it : majority save 3+ means that Steath will die first. So that means that all of his Marker Drones will die with him. It's a recipe for disaster, and it his more expensive (because you are buying a SS that won't do anything).
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Post#11 » Nov 17 2006 02:37

Hey, I'd been wondering: if you keep a unit of stealths stationary in the movement phase so that their marker drones can fire, the unit definitely still gets its 6" jump in the assault phase? Just making sure.

And if they DO get to shoot and jump, that rocks. I think I would probably make a (admittedly, stupidly expensive... around 290 pts) 3-stealth team with 2 marker drones each, and a 'vre with a seventh markerlight so as to waste as little shooting opportunity as possible when outside of 18". Markers with 36" range, stealth field, and the unit can infiltrate. Tasty. :nice:

BTW, hi, I'm new to the site. Can you tell? :roll:
Tau: our empire ISN'T striving for xenocide!

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Post#12 » Nov 17 2006 04:37

J'alta the Mantis wrote:Hey, I'd been wondering: if you keep a unit of stealths stationary in the movement phase so that their marker drones can fire, the unit definitely still gets its 6" jump in the assault phase? Just making sure.

No. The codex doesn't say anything about wether it is possible or not, so we are not "definitely" sure; But in hte old codex there was nothing either and the GW staff ended up issuing a FAQ saying that they could. Since no more has been said about it, that's what we go by : latest official comment.

J'alta the Mantis wrote:BTW, hi, I'm new to the site. Can you tell? :roll:


Yes, because this is written in all your posts :
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Soji, as always at your service

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Post#13 » Nov 17 2006 05:36

Yep, the Stealth Marker team has been around for quite a while and is imo the best ML carrying team in our codex (Tetras are better, but they're only in the Imperial Armour books).
My favourite SSML team goes like this:
3 SS @245pts:
TmLd w/ ML, TA, TL, BK.
2 'ui w/ 2 MLDs each.

Gets you 2 ML hits at one target and one BS4 shot at another. This way you can be sure of not getting Ml overkill on a target and you have a single Ml shot for guiding units like HHs, BASS, Seekers, etc. And because of the 6" jump in the assault phase and infiltration you're almost guaranteed a good position.

In my Ml list I run of these squads and a Skyray and they complement each other perfectly providing mobile Ml support for my other squads. With the 6 seekers from the Skyray I don't need MPs, so I can take Bladestorm Crisis, who are by far the best unit to benefit from ML support.
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J'alta the Mantis
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Post#14 » Nov 17 2006 10:45

Yes, yes it does display that in every single post... >smack forehead<

Anyway, that's as close to RAW as I need, thanks.
Tau: our empire ISN'T striving for xenocide!

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Post#15 » Nov 18 2006 06:39

Something I always wanted to say about Stealth :

Their Stealth Field isn't a foolproof protection. Against the ennemy the fight, at 18 inches if they advance on them, the chance of the SF to actually do anything is pretty low. Standing still to shoot at you at 24 inches range is harder though, but that's still 42% chance of managing to nail the Stealth. So is that 58% protection all that the Stealth Field is good for ?
No !
Because the Stealth are good at harassing the side of the opponent's army, so while your current target is pretty close, the rest of his army is much farther, especially the Heavy Weapons. icking on isolated elements is hard because you risk getting nailed by the long ranged weapons inside the core of the opponent's army, and here the SF helps. Furthermore you can use them to go through the "controlled fire lanes". F0r example a Broadside team is controlling a firelane, but a bit over 30 inches they have 92% of missing you. That means that you can go through the lane that are supposed to be controlled by the opponent's heavy weaponry far back in his territory. So for exmple if the opponent is advancing inside a lane and controlling the adjacent one with his heavy weapons (Devastator, Las Cannon team, shooty 'fex ...), then Crisis can't fire at the advancing ennemy then hide inside the second lane, because they would be teared apart by the opponet's heavy weapons. Stealths, on the other hand, can do that without taking that much risks, having a Steallh Field (and not fearing the Instant Kill).

What do you think about that ?
55/1/0

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Shas'O Taij
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Post#16 » Dec 08 2006 06:01

Soji wrote:Something I always wanted to say about Stealth :

If you've got any more of this stuff, write a tactica! :smile:
"The Y2k virus will be the Tau's downfall."

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Post#17 » Dec 12 2006 10:59

Shas'O Taij wrote:
Soji wrote:Something I always wanted to say about Stealth :

If you've got any more of this stuff, write a tactica! :smile:


Im still waiting for Tactica: Love Wolves.

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