Can A Pure(ish) Battlesuit Army Be Competitive?

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Proiteus
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Can A Pure(ish) Battlesuit Army Be Competitive?

Post#1 » Oct 24 2013 04:51

Gotta say I've always been tempted to do a fully converted Battlesuit army due to my love of mecha and with the Farsight Enclave Supplement it's possible as Battlesuits can be taken as both troops (and elites?). But I'm not going to invest time and money into building and converting a Battlesuit heavy army that will be destroyed in most competitive games, so I'd like to discuss it in more detail.

I'm aware that while the army will be agile, flexible and pack a lot of firepower the biggest weakness is having units with 3 T4 models (without drones) and of course only having a ballistic skill of 3! Also while I'd prefer to focus on just mainly crisis suits) I know that I'll likely need to take Pathfinders or marker drones to aid the army especially regarding shooting.

The biggest problem is balancing gear with numbers and fitting it all into 1500pts which is the standard level for tournaments in the UK including GW's Throne Of Skulls which is the one I attend. Someone suggested fielding 6 full squads with the setup below for my troops which is tempting given that anything that charges them will be forced to deal with on average 12XD3 flamer hits, but while cheap I'm concerned with the range?

Crisis x3: x4 Flamers, TL Fusion (Target Lock), BKR- 114


So what are your thoughts? Can a Crisis Suit Heavy Farsight Army be competitive and if so what should I take?

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CoffeeGrunt
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Re: Can A Pure(ish) Battlesuit Army Be Competitive?

Post#2 » Oct 24 2013 04:58

I find the issue with pure Crisis Troops is that you remove the issue of what to make your enemy shoot at.

Consider this: A Fire Warrior team has been pushing up the field in a Devilfish, your enemy manages to put some AT fire on them, but you luck out on the Jink Saves. They're heading for a midfield Objective that is crucial for the game. They detach some Marines to meet you there and contest. Turn 2, your Plasma suits drop, wipe the Marines, and jet off to a position where they can intercept more units.

Your enemy would then have the problem. Shoot the Scoring unit - the Fire Warriors - or shoot the Crisis Team - the ones doing damage?

When those are both the same unit, that problem no longer exists. Crisis Troops are handy for last-minute contesting of points with their Jetpack move, and also for dropping en masse to tear up the enemy backfield. However, they're not significantly more durable against massed fire than Fire Warriors IMO, and every two Wounds is a suit lost and a big hit to their firepower output. Their Leadership is only slightly better, and they'll still crumble to Close Combat if a CQC unit charges them to contest the point. Only Missile Pods are really useful for standing on backfield Objectives to hold them, but they're not as good at Missile Spam as Broadsides, nor as durable.

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mattruh
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Re: Can A Pure(ish) Battlesuit Army Be Competitive?

Post#3 » Oct 24 2013 05:03

I honestly think that it can be competitive. I am working on a list that involves 4 crisis teams, two riptides, Farsight, a commander, and a single hammerhead as my only non-suit unit. My last will have a lot of drones in it though, to add models and utility to the various teams. You will have to really on your mobility to allow each team to engage the opponents they were built for and to avoid enemy attacks, while letting something else, such as a riptide, draw fire. I can send you my list, if you would like to see it.

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Re: Can A Pure(ish) Battlesuit Army Be Competitive?

Post#4 » Oct 24 2013 05:22

Hello Proiteus,

Please take a moment to read our membership primers and fill out a member template:
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It looks like you've been around a while, but we would still appreciate that effort to get to know you better.

After that you may want to read this article for some ideas:
Crisis Suit Deployment

Feel free to use the search button to look for more articles or discussions on your subject. :D

Kor'Vre modelglue

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Re: Can A Pure(ish) Battlesuit Army Be Competitive?

Post#5 » Oct 24 2013 05:33

Yay another Throne of skulls gamer, i'll be attending one this November myself! :biggrin:

I do believe that a full battlesuit army can be competative but you have to take into account certain factors with this, at least 3 drones per crisis team, as 2 instakillable suits will not be able to hold an objective, and that your weapons loadout may well be repetative as redundancy will need to play a large role in this army.

Thinking on this, if you really are looking for purist battlesuits, it would be the on time i personally would consider the Mark'o and maybe even 2 of these, but they are pricey especially with an army taking wholey pricey units.

Battlesuit loadouts, probably be going with Missile pods and 3 Shield Drones for back field objective holding as they have the range and the power to open up transports. Following with close range fire support teams of Duel Burstcannon suits with 3 Gun drones, as a full squd gives an impressive 24 shot load out (With Marker support this is amazing I use a squad like this myself), throw the advanced targeting systems on there you have 24 shots that can get a precision hit to remove any special weapons which is a must with an army like this as melta grav and plasma will be your bane in a big way.

Then your big guns, The Riptide, take 2, again with a Battlesuit army the targets are easy to read and so redundancy would have to play a big part to ensure the job gets done.

The flamers your friend suggested are an awesome idea, but with such a flexible army, if yuor getting into combat at all then somthings going a little wrong somwhere anyway.

Broadsides will be your saving grace too, High yeild pods with SMS and interceptor gives a lot of room to protect your flanks and rear whilst your high output suits dive forward. Again with a few Shield drones to stop those pesky lascannons.

But this is just one mans opinion :D I hope you gleam a little insight and i hope it helps.

If your heading to Throne of Skulls this November aswell the list i'll be fielding can be found here: viewtopic.php?f=48&t=21445 However i noticed i forgot the add 3 Early warning Overrides to the unit of Broadsides when typing this list, although they do have them in the list as a whole and are slowly working their way up my list of favoured units.

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Vay
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Re: Can A Pure(ish) Battlesuit Army Be Competitive?

Post#6 » Oct 24 2013 08:43

I am currently playing a full Battlesuit list. It is amazing, but you have to play it like a full Battlesuit list.
- Drones are part of their wargear and it would not make sense for them to be seen as something that should not be a part of a full Battlesuit list.
- Farsight's The 8 are freaking amazing for making this type of army work.
- You need JSJ cover and a way to JSJ back at all times.
- Mix weapons, plan for a way to shoot at everything (AV14 - T8 - sharks with lasers)
- Grey knights will look at your model count and think your small. Every model counts, no sacrifice tactics.
- The Riptide is the other missing link that makes this work (1 at 1000, 2 at 1500, 3 at 2000)
- XV88's - I need JSJ to make this army shine
Shas'O Kais Vay Shone’nan

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jkin6198
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Re: Can A Pure(ish) Battlesuit Army Be Competitive?

Post#7 » Oct 24 2013 08:55

A lot of gun drones and a lot of target locks will really amp up a suit army's effectiveness and fire output.

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davidmournestar
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Re: Can A Pure(ish) Battlesuit Army Be Competitive?

Post#8 » Oct 24 2013 09:05

A PURE Suit army imho is really hard to keep competitive at small points level. Unless you're a really seasoned veteran with the mechanics and placement of battlesuits you'll find some games very hard pressed to win. You have a bunch of elite suits on the field (think darkwing) that are HIGHLY mobile, however you have to overcome the T4 3+ and the fact that you may be fielding 8-12 suits at 1000 (I've found actually 8 suits including the commander and 1 xv105)

To help balance things out I decided that the suits that aren't running 1 + 1tl weapon are better off taking Stims. this overall boosted the potential of just getting mowed down by torrents of fire, or focus fire from high str weapons (heavy bolters are not your friend)

The games I have won are objective based, the games I tend to lose are against horde armies (tervigons...again not your friends) and kill points.
Meliora Cogito!

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Vay
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Re: Can A Pure(ish) Battlesuit Army Be Competitive?

Post#9 » Oct 24 2013 09:10

I strongly agree. This is an army that if you fail to shoot, move, communicate - you will die very badly. If your on your game, you will run almost 0% Battlesuit loss.
Shas'O Kais Vay Shone’nan

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Vash
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Re: Can A Pure(ish) Battlesuit Army Be Competitive?

Post#10 » Oct 24 2013 09:58

I too play a pure suite army. It has not failed me to many times. Over a dozen games and only one loss (first game).
What you need to do is what has been said already in here.
- JSJ is key to survive
- Mix in the eight into units to get more wounds and better saves.
- O'vesa boosts the toughness of a crisis unit to T6 (do not buy drones for the crisis!)

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Nevar
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Re: Can A Pure(ish) Battlesuit Army Be Competitive?

Post#11 » Oct 24 2013 01:10

Pretty much everything has been touched on, except one bit.

I have played a 'all suit list' since 5th Edition. I had two teams of x6 firewarriors to meet minimums and one hammerhead keeping from being pure, however I fielded 15 XV-8 chassis and 2 XV88 chassis maxing out the amount of XV-8 models I could have on the table by FOC limits.

This was also back when our codex was looking grey around the gills and all the newer 'OP' codex were coming out like Grey Knights and Necrons. Yet I never lost a game with my suit list.

Like others have said, JSJ is important, drones are important, proper weapon choices are important, and you need to remember you have an extremely low model count.

However, I would say the single most important aspect to an all Suit list is Target Priority.

Say it again with feeling. "TARGET PRIORITY".




Suits can remove pretty much any enemy unit in the game in one shooting phase if equipped and supported properly. Multiply that by two or three and you are talking about -wiping- enemy units out regularly. The key is -who- are you wiping out each turn? If you spend all of that -killy- on the wrong enemy target, the one you should have been focusing will make you pay dearly.

Situational awareness and enemy unit familiarity is very important to an all Suit list. You need to envision the arcs of enemy fire, judge the charge distances of nearby forces, and judge what enemy units or models are the biggest threat on any given turn. You also need to note which ones will cause the most pain in return once you have 'alpha struck' your intended victim.

As a working example let's take a back field or even advancing tervigon. Likely the MC will have gribbly guants close by or have spawned some recently, you can easily kill the guants, and hope to get a good thrust move to avoid assault by the tervigon... but is that a good move? Would it be worth the risk to the team? You cannot afford suicide strikes. A better option is to place a monster killing team and remove the tervigon, even if that means accepting an assault from the resident gaunts.

In that situation, the choice is obvious and the target priority is easy, but choices like that are what will spell doom your your mantled heroes, or glory for your cadre. Just realize that making target priority decisions can and will get hazy and vague when there is a lot of moving pieces on the table, or you are facing an army you are not familiar with.

One last time for everyone!

"TARGET PRIORITY"

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Proiteus
Shas'Ui
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Re: Can A Pure(ish) Battlesuit Army Be Competitive?

Post#12 » Oct 24 2013 04:40

So many success stories, I'd be grateful if some of you could post your army lists up for me to examine?
Vay wrote:- Farsight's The 8 are freaking amazing for making this type of army work.

So what are the Farsight 8 like, while I have a Tau codex I am not ready to throw out the £30 for the supplement unless I am 100% sure I'm doing this army as such I'm unaware of their capabilities?

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Vash
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Re: Can A Pure(ish) Battlesuit Army Be Competitive?

Post#13 » Oct 24 2013 04:59

Proiteus wrote:So many success stories, I'd be grateful if some of you could post your army lists up for me to examine?
Vay wrote:- Farsight's The 8 are freaking amazing for making this type of army work.

So what are the Farsight 8 like, while I have a Tau codex I am not ready to throw out the £30 for the supplement unless I am 100% sure I'm doing this army as such I'm unaware of their capabilities?


There are several of them in the Cadre Building section.

My current one (since the new rumoured FW FAQ/pdf is screwing up my build) is something like this (and has worked out well so far):

HQ (625)


Farsight

O'Vesa

Commander

Twin-linked fusion blaster, fusion blades, plasma rifle, target lock


TROOPS (567)


3 Crisis

Shas'ui: Plasma rifle, fusion blaster, vectored retro-thruster, bonding knife ritual
Shas'ui: Plasma rifle, fusion blaster, bonding knife ritual
Shas'ui: Plasma rifle, fusion blaster, bonding knife ritual

3 Crisis
Shas'ui: Missile pod, target lock, drone controller, two gun drones, bonding knife ritual
Shas'ui: Two missile pods, target lock, two gun drones, bonding knife ritual
Shas'ui: Two missile pods, target lock, two gun drones, bonding knife ritual

3 Crisis
Shas'vre: Two flamers, plasma rifle
Shas'ui: Flamer, plasma rifle, vectored retro-thrusters
Shas'ui: Two fusion blasters, target lock


HEAVY SUPPORT (549)



3 Broadsides

Velocity tracker x3, advanced targeting system x3, Bonding knife ritual x3

3 Broadsides
Velocity tracker x3, seeker missile x3, Bonding knife ritual x3



Not 100% done with it, but its a 1750 pts list.
This is how it is used:

Strike team
• Farsight
• Commander
• Crisis with flamers, plasma, fusion

Decoy team
• O'vesa
• Crisis team with plasma/fusion


The Strike team will deep strike with Farsight warlord ability. Flanking and working their way through the enemy. They are given all purpose weapons to be able to deal with most situations. I will never deep strike to get the "best" enemy unit. It is usually well defended. I will work my way there instead.
Farsight team grabs enemy deployment objective or denies it. Line breaker.

Decoy team will push forward towards the middle. Supported by the armies only marker support. The toughness of the unit is 6 due to the shielded missile drones. This unit has never died on me so far.
O'vesa and his suits grabs midfield objectives.

Crisis team with pods sits back and shoots at transports and various units. Grabs home objectives and stay out of sight.
The marker drones here shoot at a different target to support the O'vesa unit.

Two units of broadsides. Only had one before, but had to rebuild the list. So this might change.
But the Missilesides are all purpose. Not depending on markerlight as much, and have almost always outperformed.


General tactic.


I usually go second to counter deploy my opponent. I have JSJ with my whole army or long range. I don't need to go first... So I usually deploy so he can't see anything or reach anything.
I first target his close combat units, if he has any, or in the case of a pure close combat army, I go for what is most threatening.
Push forward with the O'vesa unit.

When Farsight flanks in turn 2 or 3, I have seen a tendency from my opponents to kind of boxing them self into a corner. O'vesa from their front and Farsight from the flank.
Of course, it doesn't always go that way, but generally I can make my opponent back off.

It takes a longer message to really explain the tactic I am using, and several times to practice it to make it work. So I wont try to convince you.

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Kael'yn
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Re: Can A Pure(ish) Battlesuit Army Be Competitive?

Post#14 » Oct 24 2013 05:23

Vash wrote:3 Broadsides
Velocity tracker x3, advanced targeting system x3, Bonding knife ritual x3


These Broadsides have 2 support systems ? I don't recall Farsight Enclave can do that.

Wise tactics, but you may suffer from deep-striking + backfield armies (like SWolves, Nidzilla with Trygons, Tau, GK), I think.

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Vash
Shas'Ui
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Re: Can A Pure(ish) Battlesuit Army Be Competitive?

Post#15 » Oct 24 2013 05:29

Kael'yn wrote:
Vash wrote:3 Broadsides
Velocity tracker x3, advanced targeting system x3, Bonding knife ritual x3


These Broadsides have 2 support systems ? I don't recall Farsight Enclave can do that.

Wise tactics, but you may suffer from deep-striking + backfield armies (like SWolves, Nidzilla with Trygons, Tau, GK), I think.


ah thanks. Not 100% done with the list as noted. I am still figuring out what to do with my last points.

yah, deep striking armies will prove to be a challenge. Hence I wanted to get EWO on a unit. I guess that will be transferred to another unit.
But then again, I think a pure battle suit army will suffer from this in any case. We will always have low numbers, and we can't really equip all suits with EWO just in case of that one army who deep strikes big parts of his army.

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Proiteus
Shas'Ui
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Re: Can A Pure(ish) Battlesuit Army Be Competitive?

Post#16 » Oct 25 2013 05:37

So I'm thinking Farsight Bomb as my spearhead because a large unit with a geared up Battlesuit that buffs the whole unit is priceless. With allied Farsight Enclave with Battlesuit teams for support, the 6 Fire Warriors can come on from reserve and grab something.

Question now is squad loadouts; Flamer teams like the one I posted eariler are tempting as they'll be excellent for protecting against assaults but very limited range and mostly suicidal. I also want to invest in at least 1 Missile Pod team, true Broadsides are superior but it will be nice to have one of these sitting on an objective hidden in cover doing JSJ. Plasma Rifles and Fusion Blasters teams seems the best midfielders. Also how good are Burst Cannons I don't see many teams with them these days?

Also I've posted a thread in the modelling section displaying the basic Battle Armour conversion I plan to use for this army, I'd be grateful for any feedback regarding it: http://advancedtautactica.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=21585
Soon as I've got the list written I can start obtaining the parts, mainly the weapons for the units for when I start the project.

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Proiteus
Shas'Ui
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Re: Can A Pure(ish) Battlesuit Army Be Competitive?

Post#17 » Mar 28 2014 05:43

First off sorry for the thread necromancy guys. :dead:

But in the most recent Throne Of Skulls I fought against a Farsight Enclave Battlesuit army which was a fun and enjoyable game as the suit's mobility and firepower won out against my Imperial guard army.
Here is a rough idea of what he took, also just to point out that he took 3 of each weapon on his battlesuits allowing 1 twin linked and 1 normal volley from each suit...

Opponent's Army List wrote:Commander - Cyclic Ion Blaster, Burst Cannon X2 Gun Drones

3 Battlesuits - Each with 3 Burst Cannons and 2 Gun Drones
(With the commander this formed a solid anti-infantry unit that shredded a veteran squad and then my command squad after deep striking.)

3 Battlesuits - Each with 3 Plasma Rifles
3 Battlesuits - Each with 3 Plasma Rifles
(These units remained in the middle of the board and proved very effective at destroyed my chimera mounted units)

3 Battlesuits - Each with 3 Fusion Blasters
(This unit deep strike near my Baneblade and despite scattering managed to take 8 hull points off it with some Markerlight support!)

3 Battlesuits - Each with 3 Missile Pods
3 Battlesuits - Each with 3 Missile Pods
(These remained at the back hopping in out of cover while providing support fire.)

Hammerhead - Railgun and Smart Missile System
Skyray
(He told me the Skyray was taken for mostly anti-air and to provide markerlight support to ground units, the Hammerhead is there to deal with AV14 units and was what finished off the Baneblade.)

From what I remember he didn't take any squad leaders or support systems (maybe a drone controller or shield generator on the commander), but despite that it was a good game.

Afterwards I found myself once again thinking of taking a Battlesuit army, having played against it and seeing him be fairly successful in a competitive tournament. So I'd like to hear your thoughts on his list and how you would improve it?

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AngryAlbatross
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Re: Can A Pure(ish) Battlesuit Army Be Competitive?

Post#18 » Mar 28 2014 11:30

Commander - Cyclic Ion Blaster, Burst Cannon X2 Gun Drones

3 Battlesuits - Each with 3 Burst Cannons and 2 Gun Drones
(With the commander this formed a solid anti-infantry unit that shredded a veteran squad and then my command squad after deep striking.)

3 Battlesuits - Each with 3 Plasma Rifles
3 Battlesuits - Each with 3 Plasma Rifles
(These units remained in the middle of the board and proved very effective at destroyed my chimera mounted units)

3 Battlesuits - Each with 3 Fusion Blasters
(This unit deep strike near my Baneblade and despite scattering managed to take 8 hull points off it with some Markerlight support!)

3 Battlesuits - Each with 3 Missile Pods
3 Battlesuits - Each with 3 Missile Pods
(These remained at the back hopping in out of cover while providing support fire.)

Hammerhead - Railgun and Smart Missile System
Skyray
(He told me the Skyray was taken for mostly anti-air and to provide markerlight support to ground units, the Hammerhead is there to deal with AV14 units and was what finished off the Baneblade.)


This list is pretty good from what I can see if you don't like using markerlights. But I find them to be too effective.
I suggest that the commander is underutilized in the burst cannon squad. I believe (especially for farsight lists) he is much better used in a missile pod team with target locks and 4-6 marker drones. They sit in the back and light up heavy targets for your other suits and destroy vehicles themselves. Not as powerful as a similar configuration with mss and C&C but they can still get the job done, and you can always ally with TE to get that functionality. In my last game I had a squad like this that gave support to a HBC Riptide with ECPA. I gotta say the combo worked great, never had a gets hot due to the markerlights, always ignored cover and his hbc was always rending due to nova charging ecpa. Just the riptide took out two vipers turn 1, turn two he obliterated the eldar jetbike character with the 2+ re-rollable cover save (due to markerlights negating said cover), and we called the game turn 3 because he wiped half my opponents big jetbike squad of 8-10 that was heading for my ADL. The commanders squad killed two war walkers and a wave serpent plus some other guys here and there.

----Sidenote, if you do bring TE Allies, one great squad I have been using is 3 double fusion suits with a iridium'o who has fusion/ion blaster and pen chip (target locks optional). Drop em behind enemy lines to wreck tanks or use em to defend your gun line from pesky MC's. They can almost always drop a MC or anything with high toughness/heavy armor as long as they have 1-2 markerlights. I only wish the ion blaster was still rending.

For plasma rifles I would go with flamers or vrt and gun drones instead of twin linking. Their optimal range (12 inches) is just so short and I feel like they don't do a whole lot past that, hence the flamers and drones to deal with assaulting enemy's.

Also I feel like missile pod suits in enclaives should always have marker drones, give one guy a drone controller and then you have some jsj bs3 markerlights. Target locks are great for this. Expensive but in my experience they last much longer than pathfinders.

I have yet to really try out sky rays, but broadsides are just so good. I don't think you even need velocity trackers on them due to twin linked, but thats a personal choice. I find myself usually torn between target locks and ewo for them.

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