Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Discuss every aspect of the Shadow War stand-alone game.
Jemini78
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Re: Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#11 » Apr 13 2017 03:43

yes, havign access to fire warriors and pathfinders would have made for a better list, even having our team leader essentially being a former ethereal body guard would have been nice as well, having someone starting with a BS of 4. We do sorely lack options compared to other lists, and our stats are low, especially when you compare the price of our team leader to other team leaders who tend to have way more bonus stats over their basic trooper (usually extra BS, attacks, iniative). Our only real strenght is the str 5 basic guns, which are short range, but we lack high strength weapons and we lack distance weapons which tau are usually known for. Again I feel that the lists were rushed, but yes, some armies like grey knights are a bit power ful, and harlequins excell in this game simply for the fact that their reliable armor save is an invunerable and can't be modified.

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Panzer
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Re: Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#12 » Apr 13 2017 05:00

Most of the list feel rushed tbh. Grey Knights have a whole lot other problems. In campaigns they can't recruit new guys without spending a promethium cache and their low numbers really hurt them if they happen to get one of their team captured by the enemy.
Sure they hurt a lot due really good weaponry and psychic buffs but they shouldn't be too hard to take out with proper special weapons.
I think if I can set up the Rail Rifle guy in a good position a Grey Knight player will have some serious problems. Give him the +1 to hit upgrade and a markerlight buddy and you have hit on 3+, wound on 2+ with a high impact weapon and he only has a 6+ save left. Oh and it does d3 wounds of course so you have an actual chance to down him. If you play smart with enough LoS blocking terrain you can do the same with the Ion Rifle but of course with higher risk and only hitting on 4+ because you don't want him to be stationary.

If all else fails you still have the option to rely on Overwatch. Set up your guys so he has to move to draw LoS and shoot him down in his own turn so you can shoot at him again in your turn without having to move yourself. (Be aware that we can't use Markerlights for Overwatch though).

On a sidenote: Just noticed the way Markerlights are worded is potentially broken and should get an Errata.
Instead of firing a ranged weapon in the shooting phase, a
Tau fighter with a markerlight may instead pick an enemy
model within 30" and in line of sight. If they do so, friendly
models firing at that enemy may ignore the To Hit penalties
for cover.

RAW you have to target an enemy model only once with a Markerlight for it to never have cover for the whole game. It's not restricted to the turn you actually marked him.
RAI is clear that it's not intended to work like that and I won't play it like that myself but it's always good to know with what kind of crap WAAC player can come up with, so be careful on events and maybe talk with a judge about it before the event starts.

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Rizzle
Kor'La
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Re: Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#13 » Apr 13 2017 07:34

Panzer wrote:...with a high impact weapon...


Sadly High Impact is reserved for S7, so our rail rifles are no more deadly than other small arms. In an ideal world I would have enjoyed something like "on a To Wound roll of 6 treat this as a hit from a High Impact weapon" to capture the unpleasantness that a hypervelocity slug can add to your day.

As it stands I actually like the restrained internal balance of the Tau Pathfinders Kill Team. It fits in neatly between the melée-centric and other shooting lists whilst mostly being all about guns, largely thanks to Supporting Fire and the ability to block a charge by pinning them on the way in.
Access to native BS4 or a short range bonus on any main gun would have made hand-to-hand a terrible proposition for anyone other than the Harlequins and Tyranids, both of which ignore pinning from 'low impact' weapons. Pulse pistols are then a mid to late campaign option for blunting charges more effectively, markerlights soften the blow of being BS3 and the drones give utility/punch/durability as a seasoning.

It all clicks together.

Which is lovely, but many other team lists are bonkers in comparison :D

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Panzer
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Re: Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#14 » Apr 13 2017 11:28

Rizzle wrote:
Panzer wrote:...with a high impact weapon...


Sadly High Impact is reserved for S7, so our rail rifles are no more deadly than other small arms. In an ideal world I would have enjoyed something like "on a To Wound roll of 6 treat this as a hit from a High Impact weapon" to capture the unpleasantness that a hypervelocity slug can add to your day.

Right. I forgot that the Ion Rifle got nerfed to S6 and thought the Rail Rifle got buffed to S7 instead. My bad. :D Not that high impact matters much most of the time though.

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Peregrim
Shas'La
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Re: Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#15 » Apr 13 2017 12:17

Calmsword wrote:ps: On reflection of this rant (sorry guys) I realize the simple solution to a lot of problems would have been to just give us access to carapace armor and initiative 3 (why it's 2 makes no sense).


Even upgrading to combat armour (like our fire warriors have) would be great -- then you wouldn't need to change anything with initiative.

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Panzer
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Re: Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#16 » Apr 13 2017 12:34

Initiative is not so bad...just never move or stand at dangerous places. In fact just stay home. :P

Jemini78
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Re: Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#17 » Apr 13 2017 06:56

Well I just played my first game against my son and his immortals. We are definitely at a handicap with the rules. Lacking some of the miscellaneous upgrades that the 3 core rule factions get access to hurts. Not to mention, recon armor sort of stinks, we are not getting much in the way of saves at all.

A couple of fixxes I think would have helped would be allowing multiple marker lights to target the same target to give us a +1 to BS, similar to the 40k rules would be beneficial. Access to fire warriors would be nice, due to the carapace armor and pulse rifle access. The rail gun, should have been stronger, maybe have two fire modes, a more and fire mode that made it str 6, -2 save at 24 inches, and a sniper mode that makes it shoot at 36 inches, but str 7, -3 save. Also having access to breacher weapons as real nasty shot guns would have been nice as well. Camo cloaks are a must have. Telescopic sight would have been nice, as well as access to a targeting array that would give a bonus to our BS when standing still (hey our helmets have those systems anyways right) in place of the extra markerlight bonus. Also a shield drone upgrade, where any tau within 3 inches would benefit from a 4+ invunerable save. Lastly, the Carbine should be a sustained fire dice of 1, because well, it is a carbine weapon so it is suppose to fire burst shots.

Lastly, something expensive for a long term campaign, is maybe the team leader having access to a stealth suit upgrade, sure if could be like a 200 point upgrade option and not something they start with, but something they could buy later. The suit could give the stat bonus, but replaces their weapon with just a burst cannon option, or for more points on top of that, the fusion gun.

yes many of these are wishful thinking, but some of these suggestions would make us more competitive. We are not the only faction I think is lacking, but I may look at making some house rules to fix a few things. In 40k, we are a faction with ranged threat, but in SWA, we lack any real ranged threat. One of the other tau players has played 5 games and lost all of them. Against the scout army, he was brutally out ranged and taken out one by one.

As for the iniative, I don't mind that being low, we are Tau, and melee is simply not our area of expertise. If they want to give us melee options, they should have allowed us to field 0-3 kroot. Also I feel our warband size should be greater in size, 10 including the drones is small, I would settle for 10 and 3 drones, because as it stands, if our team members don't die, it wont take us long to cap out, and for example, the necron force I went against was just 5 immortals, who can cap at 10 as well. In the long haul, once they get to 10 strong, they will out power us easily while we are stuck at 10 for many rounds. Just from a math perspective, not including upgrades, 10 immortals is around 2000 points in SWA with upgrades easily anywhere from 2100-2300 points, while a 10 strong tau team is maybe at 1150-1300 points.

I know that is looking at a capped out team, but still, our odds of surviving the long term is slim. I rolled to see if my two downed players lived or died, and I would have lost one. Losing only nets me maybe one cache, possibly 2 or more, but if I spend the one cache, all I end up doing is replacing the one downed trooper who also took there armor and gun with them, so having to buy it all again each and every game could hurt.

I know my post here sounds negative, just trying to see a bright side. I really feel GW rushed out the extra factions without actual game testing or consideration to the rule books options. They got some rules, but rushed rules are just that, rushed, and some factions fare better, others not so much.

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Tael
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Re: Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#18 » Apr 13 2017 08:34

One interesting point to note - Tau were not out when 2nd Edition was around. So bringing them into Necromunda-esque situation required some thinking which may have been rushed or not playtested enough.

Also thanks for the additional insights beyond your WIP thread too :)

Jemini78
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Re: Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#19 » Apr 13 2017 08:54

yeah, well I am trying to contribute, add some perspective and opinions. I am trying to stay postive and stick it out with the tau. I was tempted after my first game to change factions before the campaign. It doesn't feel all that great going into a campaign with a faction that may lose every game, especially when you look at so many 3+ armor saves and Invunerables running around in other lists, or when you in good spirit helped a new to the 40k universe guy out build his scout team with the idea of having 6 scouts with a split focus, 2 guys at range, 4 guys closing ground, the 2 ranged guys being a heavy bolter and a sniper rifle (with 36-54 inch range depending on the guy), and the 4 closing being a bolter wielding scout with hellfire rounds (multiple wound goodness), a flamer (yes he is playing space wolves), and then two bolt pistol wielding scouts to protect the flamer from melee. I feel like I created the army to out range me and put a nail in my own coffin, but I was just helping a new players build his list before he assembled his models.

I keep trying to see our potential but its hard after that first game. I will keep at it, losing for the greater good, dieing for the greater good, and trying to take down those who oppose the greater good all while trying to see the greater good in the list we are given. I will offer more feedback as I play more armies. Trying to see what works, where we failed at, and how brutal a comparison our list is to theirs. If anything I know the campaign will have a good mix of factions, so just about every one is covered.

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Tael
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Re: Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#20 » Apr 13 2017 09:04

Look forward to it - all helpful for presenting a quality case should we petition a 2.0

having 6 scouts with a split focus, 2 guys at range, 4 guys closing ground, the 2 ranged guys being a heavy bolter and a sniper rifle (with 36-54 inch range depending on the guy), and the 4 closing being a bolter wielding scout with hellfire rounds (multiple wound goodness), a flamer (yes he is playing space wolves), and then two bolt pistol wielding scouts to protect the flamer from melee. I feel like I created the army to out range me and put a nail in my own coffin..

Mmmm.. yeah, more optioned out than ever. That is disheartening. Rather stark contrast considering.

Jemini78
Shas'La
Shas'La
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Re: Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#21 » Apr 13 2017 09:07

yeah, and beware the flamer. Talked to him tonight, and he said he had one game where the mission deployment had his enemy bunched up in the center of the board, while he started on an edge, and he just worked his way up in cover with the flamer and dropped that template on the entire kill team, took them all out at once. Yes lucky dice and all, but the template auto hits anyone under it, and then has a 50% chance of hitting anyone partially under it, so it just comes down to wound rolls. Again, probably my biggest gripe that we don't have access to any template weapons, but then again...those are apparently only fielded on our crisis suits.

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Tael
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Re: Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#22 » Apr 13 2017 09:29

Ouch. Also preciely why Hand Flamers were great in Necromunda :D

We'll find a niche for the Tau - quite a think tank here :)

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Lyi'ot
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Re: Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#23 » Apr 13 2017 09:46

For those of you actively playing: how have the recon drones worked out for you? They come across as expensive and irreplaceable investments -- to replace one would each up your all of your resupply points and require you cash your promethium cache -- but investments that can really shred exposed enemies.

Furthermore: how has taking a stealth team shas'ui gone? It strikes me that these are the best investment of promethium caches possible and an incredible force multiplier for our teams.

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Rizzle
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Re: Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#24 » Apr 14 2017 01:19

After 2 games, one with a stealth suit, I'm ambivalent on Recon & Stealth models. Their heavy weapon makes them move or fire, which I missed on my first reading of the rules.

Both are strong counters to teams that want to get in close and provide potentially terrifying Supporting Fire. It's just a little tricky to use their firepower proactively.

The Stealth operative shines in any mission with an objective to grab though. The pre-game 20" Run move and built-in survivability mean you might be able to win before your opponent can even contest. If you do this, running drones towards the operative from turn one is worth it to get ready to screen their extraction.


But that's after minimal table time; I'm still learning how to use these as area denial threats. When a Recon Drone gets a little lucky it can gut a team outright....
I also don't plan on replacing it should it die.

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Panzer
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Re: Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#25 » Apr 14 2017 04:26

Okay yesterday I played my first SW:A games. With CSM instead of Tau though since my Team isn't fully assembled yet but I still could learn some things.

+++ Wall of text incoming +++
+++ If you don't want to know the details scroll down to the tl;dr, afterword and conclusion part +++


But first a short recap.
My list was fairly elite consisting of an Undivided leader gunslinger, a Tzeentch guy with Inferno Ammo, a Slaanesh guy with frag grenate and assault sword, a Khorne guy with Chainsword and Bolt Pistol and a Nurgle specialist with Flamer.
My opponent was playing AM with 8 guys in his team. One sniper guy with BS5, a shotgun guy, a grenade launcher guy and the rest normal lasguns. All with Carapace armor of course.

We randomly rolled for a mission and had to play the first one (simply killing eachother and whoever fails his bottle check first or has all his guys taken out or downed loses). I had to deploy first and he also had the first turn. All in all very unfortunate.

So it went like that: He placed his guys in some great camping spots and with his superior range and the mission forcing us to kill eachother forced me to come to him without he ever really having to move. 3 of my 5 guys were permanently pinned. The Tzeentch guy eventually got -1BS/-1WS, the Leader -2BS/-2WS and the Khorne guy eventually got downed and I rolled a 6 at the end of my turn so he simply died. Khorne wanted some blood after all.
That left me with a melee guy with a frag grenate and a flamer guy. The frag grenate hit two of his guys, wounded one and downed him. The flamer downed another. Both went out of ammo after their first shot leaving me with a pure melee guyy and a specialist with a combat knife. Yay. Oh right, he rolled some 6s but of course made all his ammo checks except for the sniper in the very last round before it ended.
Anyway, he easily managed his bottle checks and after my leader got killed as well I had to roll as well and of course failed my first bottle check and had to retreat. To be fair, there wasn't much I could have done at that point anymore anyway.

What did I learn? Of course that was no Tau list but it made me realise how incredibly good superior range and BS is. My Tau would've gotten slaughtered the same way or even faster due lack of range, only T3 and only a 5+ armor. Could have gone slightly better with more Bolter in my team but not much.

The next game was a really short one. I captured one of his guys in the last game and he wanted to rescue him so we had to play the rescue mission against each other. He had only 4 guys in his team, did nothing except for getting his leader pinned by jumping off of a building and set off the alarm in the first round by shooting a grenade at my Slaanesh guy without downing or killing him so 2 of my 3 reserve guys arrived turn 1 for me (stocked up to 5 guys again after the last match where my Khorne guy died for good. I basically spent the promethium case to get the very same guy back and some upgrades for others. Khorne wants to seem him die again :P ).
That's when he decided to give up on the captured guy. Yay easy victory with an additional 100p for upgrades and an additional promethium case for me and one less for him! Felt like a deserved victory after the last match where he got 3 p-cases. :D

Turns out the captured Guardsmen wasn't exactly captured but went with my team on his own after all (bought a cultist with the points). The rest of the points I spend to give all my guys Camo Gear and the Tzeentch guy a Photo-Visor, Red-dot laser sight and a Telescopic Sight. He now hits on a 2+, has 36" range and reduces cover by 1. For the small upgrade costs of 55p. Definitely worth it I think after seeing how the first match went. Seeing how I could easily do that for every CSM with a simple Bolter...damn that could get real ugly real quick. Oh right and everyone has Camo Gear so the enemy range is reduced by 4" as well.

tl;dr
first match I learned that superior range with good BS is devastating if you have nothing that can shoot back properly at that range. Second match I learned how easy it is for some teams to get access to long range high BS shooting.
Tau are pretty f****d so better load up on Rail Rifles, Pulse Accelerator Drones and cheap Carbine guys. Don't expect them to survive much. Hard cover might modifier the to-hit roll by -2 but that doesn't mean much if the enemy can outrange you, with BS4/5 weapons that reduce cover by 1.



Afterword
I honestly didn't expect other teams to have such easy access to long range high BS shooting.
Being able to use most of the misc gear makes one hell of a difference on the power level of teams and really hurts us not being able to do the same.
Sure we can get the Pulse Accelerator Drone to buff our range and Markerlights to ignore cover but that still gets us only to 24" range (20" range against Camo Gear which most can buy easily for 5p) so we most likely still have to get to the enemy.

Conclusion
As Tau player it's pretty much impossible for us to stay in cover and outshoot the enemy unless it's a rather melee focussed list. We HAVE to get to them and they WILL pin most of our guys if not outright killing them due T3 and 5+ armor. If our guys get pinned it's basically over for them since with I2 they can't even get up early most of the time and it's doubtful you'll pin the enemy with your short range low BS shooting so he can shoot at him next turn again.

We aren't even particularly fast with M4 and we can't climb or jump well to use the terrain to our advantage. In fact it will most of the time act against us since being close to some edge means most of the time he'll fall and take an additional hit at strength X without armor save.

We won't have a problem with teams that want to get close themselves but we will suffer a LOT against teams that just stay away.

The only thing we can do is relying on numbers buffed by markerlights and pulse accelerator drone so we have a chance to get in range and pin some some of enemy before he kills all of ours. Pathfinder are apparently supposed to overwhelm the enemy with a bigger number strong basic weapon (S5 -2 IS strong) without letting them hide in cover backed up by Rail Rifles instead of a rather sneaky and well equipped elite kill team.
Fully expect to lose a lot of your guys during a campaign just because we will have to roll way more often on the injury table than others.
I really don't like that tbh. It feels more like how AM would play. Send in a lot of guys in hope some get there and do something useful while they have some cover fire. It's news to me that Tau battle tactics include sacrificing their soldiers. Especially Pathfinder who are supposed to outsmart the enemy instead of relying on brute force and numbers. :sad:
I might have to rethink my list a little bit. I'd like to have 1-2 more Carbine guys in there...

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Rizzle
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Re: Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#26 » Apr 14 2017 07:13

Thanks for the after action thoughts, Panzer, lots to chew on. Your conclusion matches my current assessment of the Pathfinder Kill Team rules. They are very fair.

I don't think it would take much to lift Tau up to a level, but it is galling to see even the Astra Militarum bringing hardened vets laden with kit. What I can't decide is whether the lists were rushed, or if the designers were gun shy done of them.
Pulse accelerators and markerlights give us abilities that other teams can access with miscellaneous equipment that requires them to be stationary - advantage Tau! - but requiring a whole fighter to gain them hurts. In a system where a BS4 lasgun is fearsome from pinning alone, it's a rough bargain.

The Fire Caste fear of heights isn't ideal, either ;)

That said, I'm very much invested in using a Pathfinder team and there are details like the Bonding Knife Ritual that I greatly enjoy. We've been told about the high attrition rates in the background, and now we can see it first hand :smile:
I suspect I'll be proposing a few tweaks for my friend's campaign though.

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Panzer
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Re: Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#27 » Apr 14 2017 07:41

Maybe as an additional note: I don't think Pulse Carbines are bad at all. We are just lacking the means to get in range against teams that outrange us + have lots of bodies + have good BS. If we had access to Pulse Rifles and were Pulse Carbines not just worse Pulse Carbines Tau would be in a much better place.
So my easy fix to make Tau more viable would be to give Carbines Sustained Fire:1 (maaaaybe even +1 to hit at short range) and Pathfinder access to Pulse Rifles as well so we don't have to rely on super expensive Rail Rifle as our only long ranged weapon.

I also think AM could potentially be one of the strongest teams in missions where they don't have to move if they all get the red-dot laser sight.
BS5 when not moving at 24" with an ammo roll of 3+ on a 105 model is huge compared to our BS3 at 18" for 90p.
If we add a Markerlight to that we would hit just as well if the target is in hard cover....for an additional cost of just 65p and a team slot! (Cadet with nothing but a Markerlight).
Sure our weapons are S5 Mod -2 but I really think pinning the enemy this reliably is worth more than having it easier to down the target.


A thing for the tactica:
I noticed I made a big mistake. I spread out my 5 guys and was too careful (as ridiculous as this sounds). I had 2 on the left side and 3 on the right side and had no real plan where to position them. If I had put them all close together and just brute forced my way through out in the open I would've done much better.
He could've always only shot at the closest guy even if he pinned him since if he's not in cover no one of my other guys behind him would be easier to hit. Forcing him to focus all his shooting at one guy per round. If he doesn't get up...fine, let the next guy take his place at the front to tank shots but if they all run i would be at the enemy turn 2, ready to wreck havoc turn 3 if he deployed really far back.
It's a potentially devastating tactic if there are some really heavy weapons but should work well if you have barely a save anyway or if the enemy has only weapons with low modificator in his team. I'll keep that in mind for the next time I play him. :D

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Shas
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Re: Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#28 » Apr 14 2017 11:17

I played about six games today at my house. Had a group of guys over with various armies. My first game was versus a Skitarii army. Felt fairly balanced at first moving up and us trying to get all the rules down but after about 5 minutes of playing and losing guys left right and center because of 5+ armor saves and everyone of his guys having the subtract one cover save item. I started to think our little guys don't stand a chance. Rail Rifle only having -3 and no rapid fire on any of our weapons is kind of a slap in the face.

Next game I played guard and they can take camo cloaks on everyone which makes our 18 inch range feel even worse than it already does. Plus he pays ten points and gets BS4 on everyone which means he has less problems hitting then we do. Sacrificing a guy to only ignore cover is hardly good in comparison considering we have the same max numbers as space marines with less than half the value. When those guardsmen can send a specialist with a flamer running up to your guys covered by snipers that out range us it feels a little ridiculous. I even bought the stealth suit for that game and i got unlucky and the gun ran out of ammo. I figured what the heck i will just charge them he has decent move a few attacks it won't be so bad. I lost close combat and get stomped out. Sad day indeed.

All in all i feel we are far to weak and over priced for what we get. Our Special Operatives are far weaker than everyone else and really don't feel impactful even though the is cost just as much as everyone else. I am very disappointed and am thinking of just house ruling some new guys like a stealth suit as our leader (paying 140 for a guy with one more LD is ridiculous) and allowing us to bring in fire warriors strike teams and Breachers and maybe a crisis suit as an operative instead is a idea my friends and I were thinking.

We all agreed Tau were by far the weakest no matter how we played them at the end of the day.

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