Ambushes and Feints

A review of past Tactics by commanders during the First, Second, Third & Fourth Phase Expansion.
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nic
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Ambushes and Feints

Post#1 » Nov 01 2015 09:33

Alongside the new command benefits for the Hunter Contingent the Hunter Cadre has special rules of its own one of which looks hugely interesting is helping to solve tough problems for the Tau but I have seen little discussion of it as yet - the Ambushes and Feints rule.

Anybody who has played with or against Eldar will have a pretty good general idea of how powerful a rule like this can be but the Tau variation has some significant differences and some interesting interplay with other rules - especially Coordinated Firepower. I do not want to get into yet another discussion of that rule if we can help it - watching this develop over the past week it seems unproductive - but it cannot be totally ignored.

Relative to Eldar what Tau get is
1. Restricted to within 12" of a Commander or Cadre fireblade
2. Restricted to members of the formation
3. Must move first then shoot so it is not a jump-shoot-jump substitute
4. Works on vehicles!

As for the Eldar Battle Focus rule there is no penalty to shooting when using this rule, unlike the Ethereal power this does not force the unit to make snapshots. This rule does not stack usefully with Zephyr's Grace - the wording of that rule merely permits the unit to snap-fire after running which is no benefit for a unit which can already shoot at full Ballistic Skill after running.

As for interactions with Coordinated Firepower the main interaction is a restriction, the wording of Ambushes and Feints means that of any units you intent to combine with Coordinated Firepower at most one can use Ambushes and Feints to move in the shooting phase.

Problems that Tau sometimes have that we can help to solve with this new trick we have.

Imperial Knights
As any self-respecting Eldar player knows being able to move after the Knight player has to declare their shield location is very powerful. Even a 1" run move is crucial if you successfully position less than 1" from the borderline between two facings. I have done a bit of mock-up work on the geometries here and I think that any Imperial Knight within 18" looking to set up a charge on a Stormsurge next turn is vulnerable to the Tau gargantuan moving onto that edge between facings and using the run move to put its D-strength shots through an un-shielded side for a very high kill probability. This is all much the same as Battle Focus but Tau can also pull this trick for vehicles and for a Hammerhead or Skyray the firing phase movement is a reliable 6" to put it into an un-shielded facing. A first mention of the piranha is due here, with an 18" flat out move a fusion piranha can reliably hit the facing it wants to hit after the Knight assigns its shield.

Wound allocation deathstars
What I am talking about here are deathstar builds which use Look Out Sir rolls on ICs to allocate wounds out to minimise the damage we can do to them. Some of the top tournament builds work this way and our firepower can be really ineffective against it. The ability to move further before shooting increases the chances of by-passing the positional defence of the deathstar..

Onrushing transports
The last problem I believe this can really help with is the age-old problem of onrushing transports, probably assault transports but not necessarily so. The excellent positional play tactics article gives some nice ways to block this with piranha long enough to bring the usual Tau fusion blasters into range (or for them to arrive from reserves). With Ambushes and Feints the tactic is no longer passive blocking, it can now include a point blank range Fusion Blaster shot which will have a respectable chance of damaging or stopping the threat altogether. In a related tactic we now have a 30" movement threat armed with fusion blasters which can get in a close range shot - probably on a side facing - turn 1 against an opposing vehicle before our deep striking crisis have a chance to arrive.


Not so much problems - more things which do not always Work As Planned and the new rule might help a bit

Deep strike inaccuracy
The ability to put a run move between deep strike and actual shooting can really help in bringing our weapons into range after a deep strike scatter. This in turn makes some of the shorter range weapons more viable on deep-striking units. Flamers and fusion blasters are both weapons I sometimes find scatter an inch or two out of effective range on arrival, that run move significantly improves the probability of getting in the quality shot you need.

Outflanking threat range
Useful for example with outflanking kroot or Stealth teams - adding a run move after the initial move in from the table edge puts a lot more of the table within effective range of mythe ambushing units. This leaves very little of the table properly safe from our outflanking units.

Mobile volley fire and heavy weapons
The restrictions on a Cadre Fireblade Volley Fire apply to moving in the movement phase, a unit with a Fireblade can make a run move to remain slightly mobile while still laying down the additional firepower.
Similarly non-relentless heavy weapon wielders such as Broadsides can move without penalty using this rule as they only have to fire snapshots if they moved in the movement phase, movement in the shooting phase is not penalised. A broadside using LOS blocking terrain to survive enemy fire can use even a minimal run move to pop out and deliver its firepower.

[Edited Nov '16 to reflect some of the FAQ changes since the original post]
Last edited by nic on Nov 25 2016 12:23, edited 5 times in total.

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KuroRyu
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Re: Ambushes and Feints

Post#2 » Nov 01 2015 09:59

Something i noticed about this, if your fireblade and firewarriors stand still in the movement phase, they can use ambushes and feints to move and shoot in the shooting phase and still benefit from the volley fire rule since it specifies they only have to stand still in the movement phase.

Sunaj
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Re: Ambushes and Feints

Post#3 » Nov 01 2015 10:02

Just a mention, it says shoot, not snapshot. Unlike the ethereal power: Zephyr's Grace; which says snapshots.
Very powerful when properly executed.

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M'yen
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Re: Ambushes and Feints

Post#4 » Nov 01 2015 10:18

My question is: How many weapons may a vehicle fire at normal BS when using this rule? Normally this depends on how far they moved in the Movement Phase.

Could you, for example, move you Hammerhead at Combat Speed and then move Flat Out to fire 1 weapon at full BS? Or will the Hammerhead always count as Stationary when using this rule, allowing it to fire all weapons at full BS?
/M'yen

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Vector Strike
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Re: Ambushes and Feints

Post#5 » Nov 01 2015 10:29

Ambushes and Feints, in my view, is awesome with vehicle squadrons. It is only of the few reasons I'll field Coldstar, albeit a cheap Fireblade inside a Devilfish could as well.

M'yen wrote:My question is: How many weapons may a vehicle fire at normal BS when using this rule? Normally this depends on how far they moved in the Movement Phase.

Could you, for example, move you Hammerhead at Combat Speed and then move Flat Out to fire 1 weapon at full BS? Or will the Hammerhead always count as Stationary when using this rule, allowing it to fire all weapons at full BS?


If the Hammerhead was still until the Shooting phase, it will be all its weapons. As the secondary weapons are just S5, I don't think people wil become too dramatic with that.

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nic
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Re: Ambushes and Feints

Post#6 » Nov 01 2015 11:10

KuroRyu wrote:Something i noticed about this, if your fireblade and firewarriors stand still in the movement phase, they can use ambushes and feints to move and shoot in the shooting phase and still benefit from the volley fire rule since it specifies they only have to stand still in the movement phase.


Well pointed out, OP amended.

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nic
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Re: Ambushes and Feints

Post#7 » Nov 01 2015 11:12

Sunaj wrote:Just a mention, it says shoot, not snapshot. Unlike the ethereal power: Zephyr's Grace; which says snapshots.
Very powerful when properly executed.


True, worthy of an edit to make explicit in the OP.

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Ell'ran
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Re: Ambushes and Feints

Post#8 » Nov 01 2015 11:29

If the vehicle remains still to fire all its weapons then would it lose its jink save as well?

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Vector Strike
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Re: Ambushes and Feints

Post#9 » Nov 01 2015 11:42

Ell'ran wrote:If the vehicle remains still to fire all its weapons then would it lose its jink save as well?


No. Jink only ends at the end of your turn.

EmbraveYourInnerGeek
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Re: Ambushes and Feints

Post#10 » Nov 01 2015 12:14

So hold on a moment - let me get this straight.

Lets say I have 3 units of strikers and a piranha in front of a wolf star. The sensible chap has positioned the wolf lord with a 2+ save, and a bunch of fenrisian wolves at the front to tank wounds. I can flat out the piranha to the rear of the wolf star, and as long as it's the closest model to the star, I can use Coordinated Firepower to "link" the strikers and the Piranha together, and wounds are taken from the Piranha?

That's pretty damn powerful.

The more I think about it the more I'm beginning to think that the Coordinated Firepower rule was specifically designed to defeat death stars.

EYIG

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nic
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Re: Ambushes and Feints

Post#11 » Nov 01 2015 12:23

EmbraveYourInnerGeek wrote:So hold on a moment - let me get this straight.

Lets say I have 3 units of strikers and a piranha in front of a wolf star. The sensible chap has positioned the wolf lord with a 2+ save, and a bunch of fenrisian wolves at the front to tank wounds. I can flat out the piranha to the rear of the wolf star, and as long as it's the closest model to the star, I can use Coordinated Firepower to "link" the strikers and the Piranha together, and wounds are taken from the Piranha?

That's pretty damn powerful.

The more I think about it the more I'm beginning to think that the Coordinated Firepower rule was specifically designed to defeat death stars.

EYIG


That is exactly what the rules say happens when resolving the wound pool from shooting. It works differently when shooting vehicles of course, that is dealt with on a model by model basis if necessary.

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Ell'ran
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Re: Ambushes and Feints

Post#12 » Nov 01 2015 12:36

Only problem is you have to have a Commander or Fireblade pretty close to the target in order to use that extra movement.

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KuroRyu
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Re: Ambushes and Feints

Post#13 » Nov 01 2015 01:42

EmbraveYourInnerGeek wrote:So hold on a moment - let me get this straight.

Lets say I have 3 units of strikers and a piranha in front of a wolf star. The sensible chap has positioned the wolf lord with a 2+ save, and a bunch of fenrisian wolves at the front to tank wounds. I can flat out the piranha to the rear of the wolf star, and as long as it's the closest model to the star, I can use Coordinated Firepower to "link" the strikers and the Piranha together, and wounds are taken from the Piranha?

That's pretty damn powerful.

The more I think about it the more I'm beginning to think that the Coordinated Firepower rule was specifically designed to defeat death stars.

EYIG


Just read random wound allocation rules

BRB page 35 wrote: If you cannot determine the direction of an attack to determine which model in a unit is closest - paraphrase- randomly determine a model in the unit, that model is treated as being the closest...


An argument can be made that when using combined fire in such a way that the shots come from several different directions, you'd use random wound allocation. Not ideal but still better than all of the shots being tanked by the front line.

Using random wound allocation makes the most sense since you're setting up a crossfire meaning casualties will be taken from all sides.

After all, the shots are being resolved together like a single unit doesn't mean the piranha is firing all of the shots in your scenario.

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Jefffar
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Re: Ambushes and Feints

Post#14 » Nov 01 2015 01:55

This can also be used in Fish of Fury type tactics. A Cadre Fireblade in one of the teams involved opens up a few options (especially if you need to get those Breachers in extra close).

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Ell'ran
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Re: Ambushes and Feints

Post#15 » Nov 01 2015 01:59

However this would still be a house-ruling, as you stated before you edited your post. RAW, what they are doing is correct, however it is extremely cheesey and I would suggest against it in any friendly game. I don't have the rulebook on hand, but there should be something somewhere about firing with models using multiple weapon profiles or something about taking different saves. Honestly, if you really wanted those Breachers to get their shots around whatever deathstar wouldn't it be best to do what Jeffar said and use it in a FoF style move?

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KuroRyu
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Re: Ambushes and Feints

Post#16 » Nov 01 2015 02:06

RAW says that when you can't determine the direction of an attack you use random wound allocation.

If there are many directions of attack which direction is the correct one?

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nic
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Re: Ambushes and Feints

Post#17 » Nov 01 2015 02:31

KuroRyu wrote:RAW says that when you can't determine the direction of an attack you use random wound allocation.

If there are many directions of attack which direction is the correct one?


You can determine direction as per the rules, just measure to the closest model. It is really no different to when one of my kroot blobs envelops a target on more than one side, nobody has ever suggested random allocation there because a closest model can be worked out by wielding the tape measure. For each wound pool measure distance to the closest model and apply wounds starting from there, it can change for subsequent wound pools due to casualties removing models. There is no need and therefore no cause to resort to random allocation - I agree that in some ways it would nicely reflect all sorts of cross-fire situations but whoever wrote the rules did not agree with me on that one and that is not a situation covered by this rule.

The only likely use for random allocation in the new Tau rules that I can think of is the Neutralisation Lattice rule of the Infiltration Cadre - that appears to fit the description of attacks that might be randomly allocated. Even so I suspect that for simplicity and consistency most groups will just regard this as coming from the unit that fired the marker lights rather than randomly allocating.

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jay170788
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Re: Ambushes and Feints

Post#18 » Nov 02 2015 04:15

nic wrote:
EmbraveYourInnerGeek wrote:So hold on a moment - let me get this straight.

Lets say I have 3 units of strikers and a piranha in front of a wolf star. The sensible chap has positioned the wolf lord with a 2+ save, and a bunch of fenrisian wolves at the front to tank wounds. I can flat out the piranha to the rear of the wolf star, and as long as it's the closest model to the star, I can use Coordinated Firepower to "link" the strikers and the Piranha together, and wounds are taken from the Piranha?

That's pretty damn powerful.

The more I think about it the more I'm beginning to think that the Coordinated Firepower rule was specifically designed to defeat death stars.

EYIG


That is exactly what the rules say happens when resolving the wound pool from shooting. It works differently when shooting vehicles of course, that is dealt with on a model by model basis if necessary.



That is not strictly true, there is now no longer a grouped wound pool, each weapon is resolved separately so all burst cannon shots would come from the piranha's, but as soon as you shoot your pulse rifle's then the wounds come from the nearest model with a pulse rifle and so this strategy IMO is flawed unless you plan on making use of crisis with twin burst cannons to lump all the wounds into one pool and thus coming from the burst cannon equipped piranha.
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