2000pt general-purpose cadre with Eldar allies

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2000pt general-purpose cadre with Eldar allies

Post#1 » Apr 17 2014 12:02

Greetings all,

After several games where I tried out different things with mixed results, I'm mostly retooling my army list. I have a better idea now of who I'm fighting, what I need, what works and what doesn't, but I can't shake the feeling that I'm missing something. The intent is to build a list that can take on nearly anybody without excessive cheese (I get accused of cheeseballery just for playing Tau and Eldar). My local meta is very xenos-heavy: Orks, Necrons, Nids, Tau, Eldar of all three types, Chaos of both types, you name it. Most of the Imperials play armor-heavy Guard, except for one Blood Angels fan, a Dark Angels fan and a guy with a pile of Ultramarines that he usually uses either as or with Tau allies and one Grey Knights player. In any case, all of the armies bring a lot of vehicles (flying and not), and when they don't, monstrous creatures and flying monstrous creatures abound. Most of them are not WAAC players, but they're competent and cagey - they play armies that are fluffy and flavorful, but effective. That's what I'm going for too.

My aim is for a mobile, responsive army that's not locked into a tight gunline, based on mobile or tricky troops, suits and tanks. Here's what I have so far:

Tau Empire expeditionary strike cadre, 2000pts
Primary Detachment, Codex: Tau Empire
Allied Detachment, Codex: Eldar

HQ - Commander Shadowsun - 135 pts

HQ - Crisis Shas'o - 157 pts
C&C Node, MSSS, Neuroweb System Jammer, Onager Gauntlet, TL flamer, Stim Injector, Vectored Retro-Thrusters

Special - Crisis Bodyguard Team - 184 pts
Crisis Bodyguard with XV8-02 Battlesuit, Stim Injector, cyclic ion blaster, fusion blaster (Iridium Ionforge?)
Crisis Bodyguard with PEN, Vectored Retro-Thrusters, 2x fusion blaster (Sunforge)

Elite - XV104 Riptide - 235 pts
Riptide Shas'vre with HBC, twin-linked smart missile system, Stim Injector, Velocity Tracker

Elite - XV104 Riptide - 240 pts
Riptide Shas'vre with ion accelerator, twin-linked fusion blaster, Stim Injector, Velocity Tracker

Elite - XV8 Crisis team - 171 pts
3x Crisis shas'ui with 2x plasma rifle and flamer (Soulknife-D6)

Troop - Fire Warrior team - 70 pts
7x Fire Warrior shas'la with bonding knife ritual

Troop - Kroot Carnivore squad - 70 pts
10x Kroot with sniper rounds

Troop - Kroot Carnivore squad - 70 pts
10x Kroot with sniper rounds

Fast Attack - Pathfinder team - 55pts
5x Pathfinder shas'la with pulse carbines and markerlights

Heavy Support - Sky Ray missile defense gunship - 115 pts
Sky Ray with twin-linked smart missile system

Heavy Support - Sky Ray missile defense gunship - 115 pts
Sky Ray with twin-linked smart missile system

HQ - Farseer - 120pts
Farseer with Eldar Jetbike and Singing Spear

Troop - Windrider Jetbike squadron - 61pts
3x Windrider Jetbikes, one with shuriken cannon, two with twin-linked shuriken catapults

Troop - Windrider Jetbike squadron - 61pts
3x Windrider Jetbikes, one with shuriken cannon, two with twin-linked shuriken catapults

Heavy Support - Fire Prism - 140pts
Fire Prism with twin-linked shuriken catapults and holo-fields

Total: 2000pts

I intend to have one Kroot squad deploy as far forward as possible, infiltrating if it makes sense to do so. They'll be positioned to either threaten approach lanes or screen the Pathfinders, who will also be deployed forward. They provide markerlight support, obviously, but they're also intended to draw fire. Every turn my opponent spends digging the Pathfinders or Kroot out of cover is a turn they're not spending shooting at something more interesting, and because I have the Farseer, I can afford much less markerlight support than usual. For his part, the Farseer will start out in cover or hiding behind the other Riptide, zooming around as necessary to hand out psychic goodness. I can guarantee he'll have Guide and Prescience, and another useful power from Divination or Runes of Fate is probable.

Both Riptides will be deployed as fire magnets and screening units, positioned to threaten as much of the board as possible. If I'm deploying second, I'll deploy them to threaten specific enemy units - generally trying to demolish scoring units or threats to my scoring units. Between their psych-out factor, durability and firepower, they will tie the enemy up an awful lot. The Commander - probably my Warlord - will be attached to one of the Riptides to provide twin-link and cover ignoring, most likely to the HBC one. For the most part he'll stay there. His flamers are to help out against infantry blobs or to Overwatch, mostly as an afterthought. His Onager Gauntlet and VRS allows me to use melee to destroy enemy vehicles or depleted units, when combined with the Riptide's Smash attacks. The Soulknife-D6 Crisis suits will be in the backfield, intending to come forward as a second strike wave when the opposing infantry get close. Their flamers are for better effectiveness against objective holders up close, or for overwatch/supporting fire, while the plasma chews up TEQ/MEQ and light vehicles.

The Fire Warriors are the unit I'm not sure about. I think I might be better off with another unit of Kroot, or else a bigger unit of Fire Warriors, but I don't currently have enough Kroot to field 3 units and my local shops are out. Either way, the other two Tau troops - along with the Eldar bikes - stay in reserves, hoping to come in later to grab and hold objectives, usually. If I'm facing a blob army, I'll bring them on to start with so I can use their firepower to cut down the blobs, but there's only one blob player that I know of (and the Tyranids, who have a lot of gribblies, but only two units worth).

That leaves Shadowsun and her bodyguards, and the tanks. The Skyrays are my other markerlight source and anti-flyer unit, plus being big hunks of AV13 fast, mobile armor for scoring units to hide behind. The Fire Prism can do that too, but its main purpose is to target and assassinate key units, either with dispersed fire against infantry, focused fire against TEQs or the lance against tanks and monsters. I took the Skyrays naked so I could get two; I'm not sure if that was smart or not. I could take a Hammerhead in lieu of the Fire Prism, but the Prism Cannon's versatility is hard to beat. Shadowsun's Raiders stay in reserve, Deep Striking or Outflanking as appropriate to threaten the opponent's backfield or to reinforce my midfield. They do a variation on the usual anti-armor Crisis suicide squad, but with majority T5, a bodyguard with a 2+ and FNP, unfailing LOS, plus all her cover shenanigans, they'll be a lot less likely to die. The PEN chip goes with them to maximize the chances of destroying a vital vehicle or monster. The CIB is there to improve shot volume and to give them a blast for use against heavy infantry, hence the weird Ionforge in addition to the usual Sunforge.

ETA: the idea with the Vectored Retro-Thrusters is so that I can possibly assault a relatively non-dangerous unit to keep Shadowsun's Raiders safe from return fire, then bug out at the end of my opponent's assault phase, ready to shoot some more. With the Commander and Riptide, it's more to be able to escape from a tarpit, although diving in to try to finish off a wounded monstrous creature, retreating if I don't kill it, is an option too.

The big question marks
There's a few things I wasn't sure about. First, the secondary weapons on the Riptides. My gut feeling says to put the dakka (SMS) with the dakka (HBC), but with the cannontide likely to be up in the midfield engaging oncoming transports and heavy infantry, would I be better served with a fusion blaster? And for the iontide, would I be better off with the long-range missiles?

The Fire Warriors are another one. Seven and the tal'issera ritual seem questionable, but it was a filler scoring unit. If I had more Kroot, would that work better, or would I be better off freeing up points somewhere to take either 10-12 Fire Warriors or two units of six? Or would four scoring units be enough? My experience tells me no, but with better use of reserves and denial, maybe.

Skyrays: Naked, or drop one to trick out the other?

Drones: I omitted drones on the Commander so the unit he's in stays at majority T6, and likewise for Shadowsun. Her command-link drone might be useful, but it would make the unit majority T4 (but with another model that can LOS, albeit not unfailingly). Another option might be to take drones on the Skyrays, detach them and fly them in front of things as mobile cover and harassing fire.

Pathfinders: Useful, or a waste of time? I think their tendency to be a fire magnet might take a bit of heat off my scorers, but if they die before the scoring guys come in from reserve, it's all pointless. Their markerlights are nice too, but with so little staying power, I'll be mostly relying on the Skyrays, Farseer and Commander for accuracy boosting. I figure if I put a unit of Kroot out there with them, they'll get intervening model cover, and between the two should have enough firepower to make digging them out a sufficiently difficult chore that maybe folks will leave them alone. Doubly so if I zip the Fire Prism or a Skyray out in front of them to screw up lines of sight. Alternatively, should I scare up the points to stick them in a Devilfish? I do have one just lying around...

Skyfire: With the Skyrays around, do I need Velocity Trackers on the Riptides? I do play against Chaos Daemon and Tyranid flyer-heavy lists (4-6 FMCs), though most of the others bring one or two flying vehicles. I suppose I could nix the Fire Prism for a Crimson Hunter, too, and keep the antitank fire as a bonus. 2 brightlances and a pulse laser is pretty mean, any way you slice it.

Beyond that, does anyone see any glaring weaknesses, stupid setups, great ideas, bad ideas or the like here? Anything I should have, but don't?

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