Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

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Fokke
Shas'La
Posts: 133

Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#1 » Apr 10 2017 07:37

So somehow we have gotten a ship full of pathfinders and a few other guys somehow lost in one of our mini-jumps through the warp and coincidently ended up in the Armageddon system and for whatever reason, thought it was a good time to go easter egg hunting for promethium in the still occupied ruins of the hive. Sure.

So what kind of war bands are people planning on using? I have my box but haven't gotten any games in yet though not without trying, silly grownup responsibilities. Has anyone found any good combos of skills and equipment? I would include our guys but except for the specialist options and drones(which have no options) our guys are almost identical to each other. In fact I think our warband has some of the least options out there. We do have some cool specialists though, I love the fireblade and stealth team guy. Their firepower and buffs will be a big help.

Here is the band I was thinking for me(and what I have painted and finished) roughly, haven't fully finalized it.
Leader carbine
2 Regular guys with carbines
1 Regular guy with carbine and markerlight, clip harness
1 Specialist with rail rifle, photo-visor, clip harness
1 new guy with carbine
2 Recon drones

The recon drones are mostly for the burst cannon as we are sorely lacking on firepower although that's a first impression I haven't gotten away from. I actually think we have relatively even firepower to the box squads initially. Guard has a crapton of options but pay heavily for those options. Orks have nice options but are mostly very short range and close combat. Scouts have great stats but pay even more heavily for them. But in theory you can have an entire warband with sniper rifles, camo, and a heavy bolter or missile launcher so they can outrange any other warband in the game and stay almost completely hidden the whole time. I haven't more than skimmed the online PDF for the other warbands aside from ours. Chaos marines look like they could be very nasty, but each guy base is almost or above 200 points so it will be a tiny warband unless you bring cultists(which I hate) but like marines have the option of a terminator who will be nigh indestructible to us.

Fokke
Shas'La
Posts: 133

Re: Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#2 » Apr 12 2017 07:51

Wrote the above before realizing there was an actual forum for shadow war. Anyway, firmed up a list. Man we are nerfed in gear compared to others. No camo? Really? One of the only races in the 40k universe that regularly uses camo as standard practice sends its recon teams who rely on camo and we don't get to use camo? I would have to drop a drone to use it anyway but still. grrrr.

Anyway this is the force I will be fielding this weekend
Ui Carbine
PF x2 with carbines
Cadet with carbine and marker light(spotter for sniper)
Cadet with carbine
Specialist with rail rifle, clip harness, photovisor
Recon drones x2
Grav inhibitor drone

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Panzer
Shas'La
Posts: 2319

Re: Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#3 » Apr 12 2017 08:43

I'd say you need at least one more Markerlight. Keep in mind that you can always only target one enemy model with it and our BS3 really hurts when the enemy is at least partially in cover.

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Peregrim
Shas'La
Posts: 141

Re: Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#4 » Apr 12 2017 11:12

This may sound strange, but I'd consider giving a markerlight to the rail rifle specialist (replacing the photovisor). The idea is that when you want to shoot a target with your sniper you'd have your spotter mark it making the photovisor useless, and when you want to move your sniper he'd still be able to do something useful by marking a target for your other dudes.

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Lyi'ot
Por'O
Posts: 2730

Re: Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#5 » Apr 12 2017 10:29

I agree with Peregrim that a markerlight is more useful on the rail rifle specialist than a photovisor -- assuming you can keep the markerlight spotter alive.

Ko'Vash
Shas'La
Posts: 131

Re: Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#6 » Apr 12 2017 11:14

I think the idea, though, is that it makes the sniper independent. He's already not moving in order to use his weapon,so he's really capitalizing on that fact while using the markerlight to support the others in the kill team. The Recon Drones, for example, could really use the help with their BS 2, even if they are each firing 2d3 shots. Add any cover to that and they're really not going to hit much.

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Panzer
Shas'La
Posts: 2319

Re: Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#7 » Apr 12 2017 11:21

While it would be nice to have a Markerlight on him in scenarios where he is moving it still means that in an ideal scenario where he can camp and shoot stuff you'd still be lacking that one Markerlight for your other guys.
I just think 1 Markerlight supporting 6 shooting guys a bit few since you can always only target one enemy model with it and with our BS3 we REALLY need to get rid of those cover modifier. Shooting with your whole team at 1-2 models is no good unless you play against super elite teams.
Last edited by Panzer on Apr 13 2017 12:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Peregrim
Shas'La
Posts: 141

Re: Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#8 » Apr 13 2017 12:36

I think the value of the markerlight is that you need fewer shots to reliably hit and cause a wound, but this comes at the opportunity cost of potentially causing a wound instead. So you mark the high-priority targets, like enemy specialists and team leaders, which you think are most important to eliminate -- not every target you want to shoot at. If that target is still standing after your whole team unloads on it, then your problem isn't "not enough markerlights." :sad:

The way I see it, there's a tough balance between spending too many points on markerlights and not having enough shots to eliminate all your marked targets versus having too few markerlights and missing shots due to lack of support. Maybe this balance is closer to 3-4 markerlights than 2 -- I'm not sure yet. I'm also not sure on what to spend the leftover 5 or 15 points on when you buy an odd number of markerlights, and 4 seems like too many to me.

You make a good point about the flaws of having your second markerlight on the specialist though. Perhaps it would be better to put it on a standard trooper instead, and when you need to move your sniper you can take the hide action to keep him safe. That would also make target priority for your opponent tougher because eliminating one model wouldn't remove both your special weapons guy and your support guy. However it also leaves the specialist rather useless whenever he fails the ammo roll.

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Panzer
Shas'La
Posts: 2319

Re: Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#9 » Apr 13 2017 12:48

Peregrim wrote:I think the value of the markerlight is that you need fewer shots to reliably hit and cause a wound, but this comes at the opportunity cost of potentially causing a wound instead. So you mark the high-priority targets, like enemy specialists and team leaders, which you think are most important to eliminate -- not every target you want to shoot at. If that target is still standing after your whole team unloads on it, then your problem isn't "not enough markerlights." :sad:

Well that much is obvious and actually not what I was talking about. The fact that you hit so much better with Markerlights makes you need less shots to do what you want to do with the target model. We both agree on that.
But we're not done there yet. You still have models left and the enemy still has models left as well.
So you maybe used 3 models to get rid of that one enemy model and have 5 models left who would struggle with any enemy in cover.
If you hade one more Markerlight you would have 4 more models left hitting on 4s/5s (most likely) instead of relying on 6s/7s to hit with 5 models.

Peregrim wrote:The way I see it, there's a tough balance between spending too many points on markerlights and not having enough shots to eliminate all your marked targets versus having too few markerlights and missing shots due to lack of support. Maybe this balance is closer to 3-4 markerlights than 2 -- I'm not sure yet. I'm also not sure on what to spend the leftover 5 or 15 points on when you buy an odd number of markerlights, and 4 seems like too many to me.

You make a good point about the flaws of having your second markerlight on the specialist though. Perhaps it would be better to put it on a standard trooper instead, and when you need to move your sniper you can take the hide action to keep him safe. That would also make target priority for your opponent tougher because eliminating one model wouldn't remove both your special weapons guy and your support guy. However it also leaves the specialist rather useless whenever he fails the ammo roll.

I never said to take 4 Markerlights. Imo 2 are good. Maybe 3 for late game teams with 10 models.
If you worry about your specialist being useless after a failed ammo roll, you could always give him a pistol. 12" is not that bad as secondary weapon in SW:A and you could always up it to 18" with a Pulse Accelerator Drone.

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Calmsword
Shas'Ui
Posts: 1504

Re: Shadow War: Armageddon tactics and warband make up

Post#10 » Apr 13 2017 01:56

I've played 4 games now and... Man is it rough on Tau.

Two things that I've realized is that the Tau never do well in specialist games (until an update makes us 'op') and that GW really doesn't think that much about us.

To begin with; We don't do anything 'unique', especially in this game: We don't have volume of shots, nor are our weapons very diverse, our drones don't advance, we can't get better armor and our initiative is the worst next to Orks. I'm still playing the Tau don't get me wrong, but we are sorely sorely lacking in a 'role' that is truly Tau.

I understand why our troops are so weak when compared to the other factions; Our battlesuits have become nigh unstoppable so pairing them with able troop options would be extremely dangerous... but the Pathfinders are not doing it for the Shadow Wars.

I run two recon drones, two cadets, two troopers (one with a rail rifle) and a Shas'Ui. Against cultists and genestealer cultists it's an exciting game but I'm now coming up against Grey Knight players and I'm getting creamed. Not 'what could I do better' kind of beatings just straight up 'oh my god-'. Amidst the small bible of special abilities the Grey Knights are unstoppable and there's indications that the Harlequinns are on the same level and I'm gaming that warband tomorrow.

I'm mixing up tactics, but I'd love some advice if anyone is holding their own out there.

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).
~Good Hunting

Jemini78
Shas'La
Posts: 28

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
Shas'La
Posts: 2319

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
Posts: 108

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
Shas'La
Posts: 2319

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
Posts: 141

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
Shas'La
Posts: 2319

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
Shas'La
Posts: 28

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
Fio'O
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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 :)

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