400pt modified combat patrol element

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jade_angel
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400pt modified combat patrol element

Post#1 » Apr 09 2014 03:04

Greetings, ATT.

I'm putting together an element (not really big enough to be called a cadre, in my opinion) for use in a series of 400pt modified combat patrol games. The games are being hosted by a local gaming shop every Sunday, and are an interesting diversion from the typical large 1500-2500pt games that the other local shop usually hosts. They also look like a great way to quickly and cheaply test out small unit tactics, units I wouldn't normally consider, and even other armies that I'm curious about.

I'm starting with my Tau Empire army and maybe Farsight Enclaves, testing out different combinations to see what's effective. I intend to use the format to inexpensively try out some other armies, too, but that is, of course, not what this post is about :D This list is intended to be a take-all-comers generalist list, and then I'll branch out and try weird stuff from here.

I've talked to some other players who've played in these style of games before (but not at this particular shop), and the local meta consists mainly of Grey Knights, Dark Angels, Eldar, Tyranids and other Tau, with a smattering of others. I'm not completely sure what to expect as far as specifics go, though, so I'm trying to keep my element as generalist and take-all-comers as is reasonably practical.

I'll list the constraints/rules, as while combat patrol games are standard enough, there are enough variations to make the local ones worth mentioning.

Constraints:
400 points, as indicated above
No vehicles with AV above 11, even dedicated transports. D'Fish are permitted but treated as AV 11 front. (They outright ban Wave Serpents and Falcons, though.)
No models with more than 2 wounds except Tyranid Warriors and swarms.
No more than one unit with a 2+ armor save, though that unit can have arbitrarily many models.
No allies
No named, special or unique characters.

Force Organization
1-3 Troops
0-1 HQ
0-1 Elite
0-1 Heavy Support
0-1 Fast Attack
0-1 "swing" slot (this can be a Troop, HQ, Elite, Heavy Support or Fast Attack)

Anyway, on to my first draft list:

Elite - XV25 Stealth Team (110pts)
1x Stealth Shas'ui with burst cannon
1x Stealth Shas'ui with fusion blaster
1x Stealth Shas'vre with burst cannon, markerlight and target lock

Elite - XV8 Crisis Team (166pts) (Swing slot)
1x Crisis Shas'ui with burst cannon, cyclic ion blaster and target lock
1x Crisis Shas'ui with burst cannon, fusion blaster and stimulant injector
1x Crisis Shas'ui with burst cannon, missile pod and target lock

Troop - Fire Warrior Team (54pts)
6x Fire Warrior Shas'la with pulse rifle, Photon grenades

Troop - Kroot Carnivore Squad (70pts)
10x Kroot with sniper rounds

Total: 400pts on the dot

My thinking here is this: the Stealth suits will provide (admittedly minimal) markerlight support and will move to mop up or engage targets of opportunity. They can also Infiltrate to get where I want them. I'm unlikely to Deep Strike them, though. Because of their cover saves, they'll also move to engage any targets with AP3 or better weapons. With the fusion blaster, they can handle T4/W2 models, strong armor saves and vehicles. With luck I won't face much firepower that's both AP3+ and Ignores Cover, and if I do I can JSJ to kill it without taking much return fire.

The Crisis suits will provide the main survivability and offensive punch. With their varies array of weapons they should be able to take on most any targets: the fusion blaster serves the same purpose as in the Stealth team, the missile pod threatens most of the battlefield with high-Strength shots, the CIB has a blast in addition to good shot volume and strength, while the burst cannons are useful against most anything I'm likely to encounter. Target locks let them engage multiple targets, reducing my vulnerability to saturation. The single suit with the Stim Injector is there to allow me a better chance to tank large volumes of fire such as I might see from opposing GEQ/Gaunt blobs; I seriously thought about putting one on all three suits, and cost is the only thing stopping me. That said, I think I'll be fine as it is, using JSJ to hit and get back out of return-fire range.

I took two troop units instead of one larger unit of Fire Warriors thinking that my best defense is to be in multiple places with more models. I think trading off the pulse rifles and stronger armor of another six Fire Warriors to get the outflanking, infiltration and sniper rounds from the Kroot is a worthwhile trade, though apparently opinion on the internet seems a bit divided.

So, that's my plan for now. What do you think of the varied Crisis armaments? I know a highly diversified squad like that isn't the usual Best Practice, but I think with such a small list that I'm better off trying to cover all the bases minimally rather than laser-focus on one. I waffled on the CIB a bit, though - I want the blast and the Assault 3, but would I be better off with a missile pod or burst cannon? Would there be any merit in taking the airbursting fragmentation projector?

My biggest worries are survivability for the Kroot and Fire Warriors, and mobility for seizing objectives. I was thinking that a Devilfish could help a lot with that, but given its cost, I'm not sure if I'd have to give up too much to get one, and it might also wind up being Enemy Target #1. Of course, that would tend to draw lascannon, plasma and melta fire away from my Crisis suits and Kroot. (Hence my confusion!)

I'm not too married to this list, and I have a fair few other models available. I can also get most anything if they make sense - Pathfinders, Vespids, Krootox Riders and Piranhas seem like possible choices that I'm interested in trying out eventually anyway.
Last edited by jade_angel on Apr 09 2014 04:21, edited 1 time in total.

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AngryAlbatross
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Re: 400pt modified combat patrol element

Post#2 » Apr 09 2014 03:22

Sorry to burst the bubble but to run the list you have above you would need to play enclaves and take your crisis as troops. According to your rules you can only have 1 elite unit :(

Switching to enclaves then to make this list correct!
First the stealthsuits. Id say the fusion blaster is probably unnecessary. Since you don't have to deal with anything above av11 glance away with your burst cannons! Also one markerlight probably isn't going to help. If you want markers you should take a squad of pathfinders or give your suits marker drones. Otherwise these guys are great for small games like this!

Second the crisis team! Diversifying isn't bad, but again you won't be facing anything above av11 so you probably don't need the fusion blaster or missile pod. You don't have much ap1-2 stuff in this list and I wouldn't be surprised if someone else tried spamming termies or other 2+ models in this format (paladins maybe). I would humbly suggest you give these guys double plasma rifles. If you want you can give em flamers to deal with assaults or switch one guy's plasma for a CIB. Also adding gun drones will help them survive much longer and if you can find the points is definitely worth it.

Third. It might be best to drop the fire warriors, they aren't as the kroot and are really best when in numbers and paired with fireblades or etherials. I would use those points for plasma and more kroot! You could even put a positional relay on your stealthsuits and crisis suits to allow the kroot to outflank wherever you want them too. Then you can clear objectives with your suits and hold em with kroot. Or hold your kroot in ruins/forest by your objective while your suits do the dirty work.

Alternative units!
A unit that could satisfy your thirst for high powered weapons and markers is pathfinders, they were the first thing popping into my mind reading this post. 3 rail rifles and 5 or 6 pathfinders gives you some heavy firepower and markers if you need them. You could save points switching to ion rifles but then you might have trouble with enemy terminators. You might be able to swap them for the stealth suits.



BAH AWESOME IDEA!
If you want to be a huge jerk. Play Empire not Enclaves. Have the crisis team be your elites. Give them a shas'vre with Iridium and Stims and AFP or CIB. Watch him not die and laugh manically as those two wounds tank for your army!
Support him with firewarriors and kroot or pathfinders and kroot.

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jade_angel
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Re: 400pt modified combat patrol element

Post#3 » Apr 09 2014 03:58

AngryAlbatross wrote:Sorry to burst the bubble but to run the list you have above you would need to play enclaves and take your crisis as troops. According to your rules you can only have 1 elite unit :(


Not quite - that swing slot can be a Troop, HQ, HS, FA or Elite as necessary, which means you can take 2 Elites, but if you do that swing slot can't be used for anything else. But, using Farsight Enclaves to let me take the XV8s as scoring units is an attractive option anyway. You can never have too many scoring units.

AngryAlbatross wrote:Switching to enclaves then to make this list correct!
First the stealthsuits. Id say the fusion blaster is probably unnecessary. Since you don't have to deal with anything above av11 glance away with your burst cannons! Also one markerlight probably isn't going to help. If you want markers you should take a squad of pathfinders or give your suits marker drones. Otherwise these guys are great for small games like this!

Second the crisis team! Diversifying isn't bad, but again you won't be facing anything above av11 so you probably don't need the fusion blaster or missile pod. You don't have much ap1-2 stuff in this list and I wouldn't be surprised if someone else tried spamming termies or other 2+ models in this format (paladins maybe). I would humbly suggest you give these guys double plasma rifles. If you want you can give em flamers to deal with assaults or switch one guy's plasma for a CIB. Also adding gun drones will help them survive much longer and if you can find the points is definitely worth it.


My thinking behind the fusion blaster was more to be able to ID Paladins, Warriors and XV8/XV88s, rather than actually using it as a melta. The fact that it will turn AV11 into so much slag is a beneficial side effect. Though, on that note, one blaster per squad probably isn't enough shots, is it? I'll only see one unit with a 2+ armor save, but that one unit could cause me a fair bit of trouble. That said, I've used dual plasma or plasma/fusion in larger games to good effect, and the rapid fire will help to offset the loss of the burst cannons or missile pods. I'll mathhammer that one out, I think. I like the gun drones, though. Ablative wounds are nice, they're cheap, and everyone needs more dakka. I could use marker drones for much the same, using them to boost shooting from the Stealths or Kroot.

What do you think of a plasma/BC setup on two of the XV8s (with either target lock, advanced targeting system or counterfire defense system) and plasma/CIB on the third with a stim injector?

AngryAlbatross wrote:Third. It might be best to drop the fire warriors, they aren't as the kroot and are really best when in numbers and paired with fireblades or etherials. I would use those points for plasma and more kroot! You could even put a positional relay on your stealthsuits and crisis suits to allow the kroot to outflank wherever you want them too. Then you can clear objectives with your suits and hold em with kroot. Or hold your kroot in ruins/forest by your objective while your suits do the dirty work.

Alternative units!
A unit that could satisfy your thirst for high powered weapons and markers is pathfinders, they were the first thing popping into my mind reading this post. 3 rail rifles and 5 or 6 pathfinders gives you some heavy firepower and markers if you need them. You could save points switching to ion rifles but then you might have trouble with enemy terminators. You might be able to swap them for the stealth suits.


I was noodling on the Kroot, actually. Couldn't decide whether another unit of infiltrating snipers, or a unit that won't get barbecued by IG flashlights would be a better fit. And I keep meaning to try Pathfinders - seems like this would be a good format to try them in. Does putting them in a 'fish make any sense? To a zeroth approximation, I think maybe it does, for survivability and defensive fire, but that's a lot of points in this small a list.


AngryAlbatross wrote:BAH AWESOME IDEA!
If you want to be a huge jerk. Play Empire not Enclaves. Have the crisis team be your elites. Give them a shas'vre with Iridium and Stims and AFP or CIB. Watch him not die and laugh manically as those two wounds tank for your army!
Support him with firewarriors and kroot or pathfinders and kroot.


Hah! Trolololo, eh? I might try that, actually - a hard-to-kill fire magnet is surprisingly handy. It's why I love the Riptide or an allied Wraithknight in bigger games. (The Riptide makes the better tank, but there's nothing like seeing the look on an opponent's face when his precious regenerating, FNP, Rupture Cannon Tyrannofex gets splorked by a lucky Distort roll on Turn 1 :P)

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timb6ea
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Re: 400pt modified combat patrol element

Post#4 » Apr 09 2014 04:46

jade_angel wrote:What do you think of a plasma/BC setup on two of the XV8s (with either target lock, advanced targeting system or counterfire defense system) and plasma/CIB on the third with a stim injector?
I was going to suggest something similar but I'd recommend keeping the models cheep to help you get more guys into the list. 2x PR/BC + 1x CIB/BC/TL is what I had in mind.

With such a small element I think it's good to keep your crisis teams generalist but the thing is the list building constraints limit your threat types. Plasma "can" penetrate the toughest vehicles you will encounter and will be crucial against that one 2+ unit your opponent can field. I think the CIB is a good fit because of it's versatility.

On the stealth team, if you keep everything as is I would put the FB on the 'vre with the markerlight. Remember stealths also have multitrackers.

If you can find the points I'd put gun drones with the Crisis and Stealth teams, even if you have to drop a suit to do so.

As for the devilfish, I don't think you can afford it at 400 points, especially with the nerfed armor. Quite honestly I don't understand maxing at 11 armor since this seems to favor some armies over others.
Will Flak'O for food.

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jade_angel
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Re: 400pt modified combat patrol element

Post#5 » Apr 10 2014 02:57

timb6ea wrote:
jade_angel wrote:What do you think of a plasma/BC setup on two of the XV8s (with either target lock, advanced targeting system or counterfire defense system) and plasma/CIB on the third with a stim injector?
I was going to suggest something similar but I'd recommend keeping the models cheep to help you get more guys into the list. 2x PR/BC + 1x CIB/BC/TL is what I had in mind.

With such a small element I think it's good to keep your crisis teams generalist but the thing is the list building constraints limit your threat types. Plasma "can" penetrate the toughest vehicles you will encounter and will be crucial against that one 2+ unit your opponent can field. I think the CIB is a good fit because of it's versatility.

On the stealth team, if you keep everything as is I would put the FB on the 'vre with the markerlight. Remember stealths also have multitrackers.

If you can find the points I'd put gun drones with the Crisis and Stealth teams, even if you have to drop a suit to do so.

As for the devilfish, I don't think you can afford it at 400 points, especially with the nerfed armor. Quite honestly I don't understand maxing at 11 armor since this seems to favor some armies over others.


Well, I ran the points and some preliminary mathhammer for dropping the Fire Warriors and a suit to pick up a 'fish with some Pathfinders, and I have to agree. Not worth it. It would get me two gun drones that I could then use as mobile screening cover for the Stealth suits, with the extra shots and possible pinning from their carbines as a bonus, but I'd have to give up six Fire Warriors and an XV8, which is usually a weak trade. Moreover, one little wing of Eldar Jetbikes with a shuriken cannon, and the 'fish goes down the loo. So yeah, scratching that idea. (And I see those jetbikes all the time. Lots of Eldar, DE+Eldar, Taudar and Eldau in my meta, and people love the bikes. For good reason, I love 'em too!)

I retooled the Crisis unit - two shas'ui with plasma/burst and one with plasma/CIB/TL so I can put the blast somewhere else if needed, then I used the spare points to bolt on two gun drones. I considered marker drones or shield drones, and haven't fully made up my mind on those. The gun drones are cheap and effective, provide much needed extra shot volume for GEQ blobs and overwatch, and might pin something if I get lucky. I think marker drones are a net loss - this list is too small to benefit as much from the marker support as it would from the simple, Ork-inspired "more dakka" technique.

Shield drones are less clear. As mobile cover in front of the Stealths, they'd make sense - hard to kill, don't shoot so they don't draw fire. But attached to an XV8 unit? Well, at best they buy me the ability to shrug off a plasma or melta shot, and I probably need a shas'vre so I can use LoS for maximum effect. Though, they are slightly useful in assault. My gut feeling is that I should just stick with the guns.

I also decided to drop the fusion blaster in the Stealth squad and replace the shas'vre with a shas'ui (because, as I puzzled above, the low probability of getting a marker hit combined with the limited things I could use it for makes more guns a better choice), then drop the Fire Warriors in favor of another 10-man Kroot squad with sniper rounds. The additional four models, Infiltrate and Sniper (plus Outflank, but I don't think I'll be using reserves most of the time, and if I do, it'll be to Deep Strike the XV8s) seem to be worth more than the FW's range, armor and photon grenades. Plus, the AP5 in assault actually might matter.

I also doodled up a Kroot-less Enclaves list based entirely on battlesuits. This one I'm mostly just going to try for the heck of it - I think the low model count will be a problem, but I might have enough firepower to win anyway.



So, without further ado, here are my two list ideas, one Empire and one Enclaves, retooled.

Tau Empire

Elites - XV25 Stealth Team (90 pts)
3x Stealth shas'ui with burst cannon

Elites - XV8 Crisis Team (170 pts) (Swing slot)
1x Crisis shas'ui with BC, CIB, TL
2x Crisis shas'ui with BC, Plasma Rifle
2x gun drone

Troops - Kroot Carnivore Squad (70 pts)
10x Kroot with sniper rounds

Troops - Kroot Carnivore Squad (70 pts)
10x Kroot with sniper rounds


Farsight Enclaves version

Elites - XV25 Stealth Team (93 pts)
3x Stealth shas'ui with burst cannon, bonding knife ritual

Troops - XV8 Crisis Team (183 pts)
Bonding knife ritual
3x Crisis shas'ui with plasma rifle and fusion blaster (more for multi-wound ID-able opponents than vehicles)
2x gun drones

Troops - XV8 Crisis Team (81 pts)
Bonding knife ritual
1x Crisis shas'ui with burst cannon and flamer
1x Crisis shas'ui with burst cannon, flamer and target lock

Troops - XV8 Crisis Team (43 pts)
Bonding knife ritual
1x Crisis shas'ui with cyclic ion blaster and flamer

I separated the CIB-wielding suit into his own unit for greater positioning freedom and to give my opponent more targets to worry about. The BC/flamer suits are for combination blob control, anti-assault buffering and general utility (since S5 hurts most anything I'm likely to see). The plasma/fusion suits are there to counter the one unit of TEQs that I'm almost sure to see, while retaining the capability to drop XV8s and Tyranid Warriors in one shot (which plasma alone doesn't do). The big hole is any kind of long-range shooting - maybe I could drop the fusion blasters or plasma rifles in favor of missile pods? Or would the loss of AP not be worth the gain in range?

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AngryAlbatross
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Re: 400pt modified combat patrol element

Post#6 » Apr 14 2014 10:38

jade_angel wrote:
What do you think of a plasma/BC setup on two of the XV8s (with either target lock, advanced targeting system or counterfire defense system) and plasma/CIB on the third with a stim injector?

I was going to suggest something similar but I'd recommend keeping the models cheep to help you get more guys into the list. 2x PR/BC + 1x CIB/BC/TL is what I had in mind.


I agree with this assessment. Gives you enough firepower to deal with anything. The only gripe I have about plasma/burst cannon or plasma/fusion is I always get annoyed by the range disparity when I field them. The plasma works best at 12" and bursts at 18" so you always have to be in 12" anyway to get maximum effectiveness, and at that point why not take a flamer? Still unsure as to how best to combine weapons with the plasma rifle, so I usually just run them doubled up.

Remember stealths also have multitrackers.

Blew my mind, I can't believe I have missed that all this time! Much analysis must be done to figure out how to use this for the greater good!

As for the devilfish, I don't think you can afford it at 400 points, especially with the nerfed armor.

I agree. Your suits will provide you with plenty of mobility. The pathfinders would be a good backfield holder in this situation or outflanking but thats about it.

And I keep meaning to try Pathfinders - seems like this would be a good format to try them in. Does putting them in a 'fish make any sense?

I find that pathfinders can be either really terrible or really great depending on the situation. If deployed on the table normally in the backfield, mine almost always die in the first turn or two because everyone knows how useful they are. I have had ggrrrrreat success with them in a devilfish with a homing beacon, but only with a certain fish of fury list. I put the etherial in the pathfinders squad and have 4 other devilfish filled with firewarriors. Turn 1 I flat out towards the enemy (or away if theres a screamer star!). Turn two I drop 2-3 crisis teams (with flamers/fusion!) within 6 of the pathfinder fish and everyone gets out to rapid fire all enemies within 15. If the enemy leftovers assault this they get markered by the pathfinders and obliterated by 144 Pulse rifle shots (48*3). The reasoning behind this is it keeps opponents from claiming the etherial has to be outside the fish to use his homing beacon (which someone claimed the first time I tried this at GW minus the pathfinders). The pathfinder recon drone has specific wording saying it does work when embarked. Also having 3 rail rifles in their squad is fun.


The big hole is any kind of long-range shooting

Im not sure this is such a big hole. If you are playing on a standard 6x4 board, crisis are pretty mobile and you should be able to get into range of anything too far away by turn 2. If you want to supplement your long range grab some pathfinders with ion rifles or rail rifles instead of your burst cannon flamer team. Ion would probably be best and has 30" range. Overcharge them against a blob for 3 blasts at strength 8! Also could 'potentially' ID any nasty paladins or termies if you get lucky.

Also sniper rifles being rending can glance/pen anything up too av13 I believe, if you roll a 6 and then another 5-6!

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timb6ea
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Re: 400pt modified combat patrol element

Post#7 » Apr 14 2014 02:49

AngryAlbatross wrote:I agree with this assessment. Gives you enough firepower to deal with anything. The only gripe I have about plasma/burst cannon or plasma/fusion is I always get annoyed by the range disparity when I field them. The plasma works best at 12" and bursts at 18" so you always have to be in 12" anyway to get maximum effectiveness, and at that point why not take a flamer? Still unsure as to how best to combine weapons with the plasma rifle, so I usually just run them doubled up.
In mosts lists I'd be doubled up also. But at this points level versatility is key. I think the BC is more versatile than the flamer but I'd normally recommend FireKnives but, with the maximum AV of 11 and only one 2+ unit I think the ROF will win out over the S7 or the second AP2 shot.
AngryAlbatross wrote:Blew my mind, I can't believe I have missed that all this time! Much analysis must be done to figure out how to use this for the greater good!
:) well there's only one way to use it, get the markerlight and shoot it along with whichever weapon you have on the 'vre.
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boredwithtnt
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Re: 400pt modified combat patrol element

Post#8 » Apr 15 2014 08:11

Has anyone thought of using a commander with a full squad of drones?
Give him a drone controller and you have a bunch of drones twinlink BS 5
Yeah its a boat load of S 5 shots, but thats a huge amount of them...jumpjet to boot.
Would be pretty nasty at such a low point level.

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jade_angel
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Re: 400pt modified combat patrol element

Post#9 » Apr 15 2014 10:13

boredwithtnt wrote:Has anyone thought of using a commander with a full squad of drones?
Give him a drone controller and you have a bunch of drones twinlink BS 5
Yeah its a boat load of S 5 shots, but thats a huge amount of them...jumpjet to boot.
Would be pretty nasty at such a low point level.


I thought of that, but since the Commander has 4 wounds, he's banned. The only models with more than 2 wounds permitted are Troops, which only Tyranids have AFAIK. (Warriors are explicitly permitted, and when I went by the shop on Saturday, they have an erratum up that allows Tervigons too, if and only if you take one as a Troop with its 30 Gaunts.) If I *could* have a commander, I probably would: T5/W4/2+/4++/FNP (shas'o with XV8-02, shield generator, stim injector, CIB and plasma or fusion, maybe with CCN, MSSS, PEN, possibly with RIF) would be nearly invincible in this format.

That's also why I'm so concerned with T4/W2 enemies, since those and TEQs are almost sure to turn up as the heavy components of a patrol element, soaking fire to anchor the rest. That's why I want some fusion blasters around - they both AP the TEQs and double out Paladins, Spiritseers, Crisis Suits, Broadsides, Warriors, etc.

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AngryAlbatross
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Re: 400pt modified combat patrol element

Post#10 » Apr 15 2014 11:04

:) well there's only one way to use it, get the markerlight and shoot it along with whichever weapon you have on the 'vre.

What I have been thinking of lately is trying to do a cascading markerlight list instead of using target locks and thats what having this screams to me.

That's also why I'm so concerned with T4/W2 enemies, since those and TEQs are almost sure to turn up as the heavy components of a patrol element, soaking fire to anchor the rest. That's why I want some fusion blasters around - they both AP the TEQs and double out Paladins, Spiritseers, Crisis Suits, Broadsides, Warriors, etc.


A good mix up would be fusion/burst cannon if you really want to ID some paladins and crisis suits. I would maybe twin link the fusions though (mine seem to miss an awful lot if I only have one). Also keeps your optimal range at 18".

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jade_angel
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Re: 400pt modified combat patrol element

Post#11 » Apr 17 2014 09:44

Good idea, actually... Gonna give this a shot this week, or whenever my Stealth models finally arrive.

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