Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

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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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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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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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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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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.

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.

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.

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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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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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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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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Re: Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#29 » Apr 14 2017 11:29

Don't forget that Photo-Visors don't work if the user moved. Be sure he's not subtracting from your cover if he's moved.

That said, we're pathfinders. We're a scout force, not a front line fighter. Seems to me that we'll have to be sneaky about how we play. Lots of hiding and overwatch to set up ambushes. Are we better at it? No, but we're forced into it. I've a feeling that objective games versus just kill games will play a difference, too.

If we could at least get some Red Dot Laser Sights, that would really help us out, but we work with what we have. Camo cloaks, as well, would make a lot of sense. When Chaos Space Marines get Camo Cloaks and the actual scout force doesn't, GW is smoking something.

I'll be getting more games in tomorrow, hopefully. Only played the once vs Necrons. It didn't end well for me. My rail rifle sniper was the only one who did anything that game other than get shot. I aim to play smarter next time. It's kind of nice being the underdog again, in a way. No more complaining about being OP when I win!

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Re: Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#30 » Apr 15 2017 05:26

Ko'Vash wrote: I've a feeling that objective games versus just kill games will play a difference, too.

Oh yeah definitely. If we happen to be attacker in a raid mission or one where the enemy has to actually move around to claim objectives our lack of range won't be as bad as it would be in a pure kill game where the enemy can just camp and snipe away at our guys.
Defending a Raid mission would be rather tricky. The only thing we could hope for is for the enemy to set off the alarm without killing too many of our guys so we can go into hiding and wait for him to close in on us until we can jump out and unleash our own dakka.

And yes I think the teams with access to all the fancy Misc equip have a clear advantage over the ones who don't.

That being said, anything can happen in a campaign. A little example of how the first three games went for two others in our group. A Tyranid team and a Skitarii team.
The first mission is Hit&Run with the Skitarii as attacker. The Tyranids happen to be able to use all 3 of their models right from the beginning and the Skitarii only 4 iirc. The Skitarii had the hidden mission of killing the Leader (Assassinate).
The Leader is luckily the one standing right infront of the team.
In short: it looked really bad for the Skitarii, one gets killed, another gets downed. He thinks about retreating, kills the Leader with a luck shot. Skitarii win but ultimately have lost more. The Skitarii capture the Tyranid Leader, the Tyranids capture one of the Skitarii specialists.

Tyranid player buys a new recruit with help of his Promethium Cache, Skitarii fills his ranks a bit as well iirc.

Second game would be rescue since no one wanted to give up on their guy (bad decision by the Skitarii player in the end) and the Tyranid had no Promethium Cache left to exchange so they had to play two Rescue Missions.
Skitarii begin as attacker. All 3 Tyranids are there again and only 4 of the Skitarii again. Skitarii happen to down one of the Tyranids turn one (who also falls down from the new terrain) and charge that one in their next run to take him out. The Tyranids get off a multicharge against two Skitarii, down one and fail to harm the other. Skitarii shoots into melee and kills his own guy.
Who funnily rolls for hatred after the game and the way it's worded it's against one of the models of the kill team who took him now he has hatred against his own Leader. Means as long as his Leader is in Line of Sight he has LD10 basically. :D
Anyway, the Skitarii is down to two guys with one downed vs two Tyranids with one being a gunbeast and the other standing right infront of him. He chose to retreat.
Now this already means 100 extra points for the Tyranid player BUT he also rolled a 6 (Hidden Cache) on the Hunt in the Promethium Sprawl table so he got another 100 extra points. Yes, that's 300 points for the Tyranid player to spend without using one of his Promethium Cases while the Skitarii player just lost one of his specialists. Ouch.

Tyranid buys a Gunbeast without gun. Skitarii...not really sure. I think he fills his ranks a bit again.

Third game is of course the next Rescue mission then with the Tyranid as attacker this time.
Skitarii get their whole 6 (after recruiting some new guys) to defend this time, Tyranids get 3 guys to attack. Skitarii spread very well and have almost no blind spot with a sniper guy on a high spot. Tyranids roll for the only side they could deploy where they are in a blind spot PLUS can reach one of the Skitarii with a turn 1 charge (one of the Tyranids has M7 and the Gunbeast BS5 S5 by now...).
Long story short: the Skitarii retreated as soon as they could before getting wiped by the overly brutal attack of the Tyranids.
Fun thing...there was again a Hidden Cache, leaving the Tyranids with another 300p to use after this mission.

Now after just three games the Tyranids have a Team of 5 guys where two of them are Gunbeasts and almost fully equipped as well.
Of course the dice were very unlucky for the Skitarii (it's not very nice to play with 4 Skitarii vs 3 Tyranids) but I hope that shows how easily a campaign can tilt. A few lucky missions with random models available and suddenly you have a late game team early in the game.
Our only hope now is for more games with a random model count where the Tyranid player rolls low and we high. They might be well equipped but they are still handlebar if he has only like 2 on the field and the other 6 or more. :D

P.S. why do I write so much about non-Tau games? Just pure experience reports. There's a lot we can learn even in games without Tau imo

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