AWC tournament series metagaming

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AWC tournament series metagaming

Postby Generalissimo_Fred » Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:19 pm

The AWC tournament series has held enough games that I am starting to see a pattern of opponent army lists. This pattern has begun to affect my list building for future AWC tourney's. Here are a few key observations.

There are a core set of players who bring the same list, or almost the same list, each month. It is a safe bet to assume you will need to face any number of these specialized lists: Horde Orks, Nob bikers, Dark Eldar raider spam, Mechanized Marines and Seer Council. Any other army list can also be there, but these 5 are always there and played by competent players. If the goal is to win the overall title, then your army list will need to compete with these lists.

Horde orks need a ton of wounds to defeat them. There are some guns and units that can do that, but it would be better if those units were also survivable to enemy loota fire. Nob Bikers are defeated by multiple high strength weapons as are mechanized marines. DE raider spam falls to massed troop based heavy weapons fire. DE Raider spam eats vehicles and low numbers heavy weapons squads (such as obliterators). Seer councils fall to null zone and Daemonhunter weapons. Terminators also give them a problem, but the seer council does quite well vs. slow moving vehicles.

The most successful army list will need to take each of these differences into account in order to safely navigate through the AWC tournament field.
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Postby Redbeard » Fri Dec 18, 2009 6:33 pm

I agree with most of what you've said, but I'm not sure it's useful information. Meaning that, while you've posed realistic and meaningful questions, you've left them dangling.

I don't know about too many other people, but even if I could come up with the ideal army to handle these varied threats, I probably don't have the models to do it, and the lists that you mention (DE Spam, Ork Mobs, Mech Marines, etc) don't have the same weaknesses, and not all armies are even able to address all of the noted attendees reasonably.

I mean, I've got more painted daemons than anyone else I know of. I'm finishing up the last of 17,000 points worth, and include the crappy units like furies and beasts of nurgle, just to be complete. In spite of having these options, every time I've run them at a tournament, I hit a Null Zone army, or a fully-meched army (difficult for daemons), or (even worse) both together. (Not whining, I accept this possibility as part of playing the army, by the way). Unless I run an entirely different army, this is just how it is. I have no good answer for Null Zone, or Mystics and Psycannons for that matter.

To some extent the existence of the spam armies (all boyz, all skimmers, all mech, etc) undermines the ability for a lot of armies to try and handle them all. No matter how you run them, orks will have a hard time against Land Raiders, so perhaps you just say damn the torpedoes and don't worry about them when making a list, accepting that if you have to face one, you'll be fighting uphill.

If the criteria for a successful army has to be one that can handle both nob and horde orks, as well as DE spam and mech marines (and guard), which armies can successfully meet that criteria? Couldn't it just be a better idea to be one of the armies that other people have to cope with? (Why plan to beat nob bikers if you can be nob bikers??)

Better yet, why not just take your best painted models and score appearance points :)
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Postby VirusSD1 » Fri Dec 18, 2009 8:35 pm

If you look top five from the last 4 events you get the following spread.


5 Ork
4 Demon
4 Space Marine (and variants)
2 CSM
2 Dark Eldar
1 Imperial Guard
1 Eldar
1 Necron

Orks seems to have the most finishes in the top 5 followed by Demons & Space Marines. Armies we don't see much (if any) representation from Tau, Tyranids & Necrons. Granted with the release of the new Tyranid Codex we should expect a few nids to show up and it may change the style of armies people bring.

Overall I think if you bring an army which can deal with Mech & Horde reliably you should be able to have an answer to the other top armies (Demons & Dark Eldar).
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Postby Generalissimo_Fred » Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:32 pm

I'm not always interested in telling people how to make the best armies. I guess I don't want to give away all my secrets. I know of one army that can defeat those armies I listed above. Not always, but it gives me a chance against all of them. I've been trying to get another army to work against all 5 also. I have a problem in that I also tend to WANT to use units. I have to break that and not take the units I WANT, but the units I NEED. This is a big difference. There are a large group of people who take units they WANT. I enjoy playing with and against those armies. However I also want to win and in order to win in this environment I have to take units I NEED.

I left my first post open ended to try and elicit possible solutions from the community. Taking one of those 5 armies is a possibility I rarely ever do. I don't want to play the rocks, paper, scissors game. I want to have a chance against everything and rely on my tabletop ability to get the win. If I don't at least have a chance to win, that will never happen.

I look at the five armies as a puzzle to solve. To defeat DE spam I need troop based heavy weapons. If I'm going to take armor I need them to be cheap so when I lose them to lance fire, I'm not crippled in my return fire.

Against Nob's I need dreads to pop the bikers and win the combat by enough wounds to cause a morale check at minus 4-6. Dreads, Defilers and termies can do that. A psyker battle squad and str 8 weapons can also do this, but not as well.

Horde orks are trouble. I need templates and lots of them. There will probably be a 5+ cover save so something to eliminate the cover saves is optimal. If I can't do that I need to ensure I get maximum wounds from my template weapons so the Orks fail more 5+ saves. Guard can produce lots of heavy flamers on their chimeras and big templates from the heavy slots. Marines have some flamers and the T-fire cannon. Chaos can Lash Ork units around the board, either away from me or in clumps so my template weapons cause more wounds, say from Defilers.

Mech marines need can openers. They usually take more armor so if I have a good mix of troop and vehicle weapons. str 7 or higher, I casn be effective. I also need to get rid of at least one unit of assault terminators. Massed fire has the best chance. He has to roll some 1's eventually.

A Seer Council can be a problem. I will need to stop the fortune or put a hideous amount of wounds on the unit. Armor 12 or under is less than useless in combat vs this unit. I think this unit is the biggest problem to face, when in combination with the other armies. Librarians can have stop Fortune and cast Null Zone. Inquisitors attached to Guard armies can stop the Fortune also. Chaos is in trouble.


In my opinion the answer must come from Marines or Guard lists. I really want the answer to come from Chaos also, but the Seer Council puts a damper on this.
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Postby Redbeard » Fri Dec 18, 2009 11:01 pm

Yeah, guard and marines are the two that jump out at me (unfortunately - I don't like playing Imperials).

One of the big advantages they have is the number of weapons they can pack that, while not optimal against either mech or horde, at last have some game against both. Missile launchers are a good example of this. Krak missiles pop raiders, and rhinos, are as good against wave serpents as anything else, and yet can cause a horde player problems too. And Marines can bring them in almost every slot if they want, whether troop-based, devs, dreads, typhoons...

Guard has a good number of options in this regard too. Some of their new toys are amazing, and they can fill out with a lot of cheap shooty squads. I played against a very non-optimized guard army this last round, and was staring down something like 14 S7 shots/turn, plus ordnance and a handful of lascannons.

One list idea I've seen posted about is the shooty SW army. Lots of Las/plas razorbacks, long fangs and/or dakka preds, dreads and typhoons, backed up with grey hunters packing meltaguns or flamers. But that's not something you just bring out one day. I doubt more than two people reading this have las/plas razorbacks built and painted, let alone SW ones.

The other issue is that all the lists that have decent matchups against all of the above tend towards a lot of long-range shooting, going for an alpha-strike, if not wiping out their opponent, at least crippling their ability to retaliate. When two of these lists meet up, the game is often decided with the first-turn roll. I don't know what I like the idea of less, losing a game to a r/p/s bad matchup, or losing because I lost the first-turn roll.

Still, not every codex can build a list that has a good chance against all these various types. Some need to play the rock/scissor/paper game, play to their strength, and hope they don't encounter their nemesis. If those are the models you own, that's how you have to play.
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Postby Chubs » Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:00 pm

The answer is and always will be the next best thing.

At the last tournament, we saw BC’s IG army (though the general was a bit shorter than BC  ) perform very well until it met the horde orks. Not knocking either general, but I think it could have gone either way with a little more practice from the IG side. In the next few months we will see in big increase in Thunder Wolf Calvary units, not something horde orks perform very well against. (VirusSD1 Space wolf army could have cause either the Guard or Ork major issues) As the point levels go up, so do the Horde orks list of nemesis. The horde army ork army typically uses 5 troops at 1500. At 1850, they can only add one more squad. There is a point where units get in each others way and loose effectiveness. That’s about 5 troops.

DE Gun boat spam did NOT do very well again a fairly gunned up marine army. Triple dakka predators, triple dreads, triple speeder do make for a very good marine army. DE seem to play very well at 1K -1750 range, any more and they start to take units you might describe as… “wants”, not “needs”

Eldar wave serpent’s armies start to become much more powerful at higher point games. As do Guard. The chimera armies really start rolling armies at 1500+. What I don’t see from Chicago’s IG players are the 2 or 3 units that take Alpa strike to the next level. Yes, Vendetta with demo units. But where are the Griffon/Hydra batteries? Where are the Medusa tanks? And does anyone have a manticore or two… for real?

Should we build armies roll other armies or take armies that you feel provide you flexibility all comer?

• Or should core gamming groups get together and load a tournament with alternative rock, paper, scissor armies and build on winnings? (Considering there was a time I could fall into this category, I can say this)
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Postby Cptn_Snuggles » Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:29 am

I'm with you on the Guard army being the great counter to those top armies you picked. Especially with thunderwolves coming on to the scene, guard can pull enough strength 10 shots (or volume of fire of str 7/6) to take down wounds.

Makes me want to get back to painting guard to get together my manticores.

I love having heavy flamers on the front of each of my chimeras. The nice thing about chimera spam is that they weather the lance storm better then most since they're armor 12 already. Plus their multilaser does some damage to armor 10.

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Postby moonshadow13 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:56 pm

As i finnaly got a chance to add in my 2 cents I was actually questioning the same thing in some other posts. They tend to play the same thing and its designed to have the same outcome.

That being a tie or win due to their set up. Now being the Seer council eldar player that i am i have set up and made a few non Eldrad armies. (yes, alex its true i do have s few setups without Eldrad :lol: )

The biggest problem i see and the only reason i can be sucessful is that i play a 6 dimensional army. Now while this some times blows up in my face (if i end up agaist the anti-pyscer army). I have contiued to work on ways around it.

I design armies specifically to take on horde armies and mechanized. Daemons still give me trouble, but thats due to my poor planing a and setting up my army. Alex was sure to capitalize on my last BIG mistake.

Taking on these armies constantly made me start looking around at other possibilities and other factions that can be a handle all do all army. Believe it or not what i found to work the best was originally my first choice in factions when i started 40K.

The answer was the Tau. I posted a Tau army build for the next tournament that i think will have the highest success in dealing with pretty much any of those top armies listed. The one big thing is the EMP grenades as any Dread or defiler trying to hit that unit of 12 (with 2 drones for cannon fodder) will soon find out that Tau can take them with relitive ease.

Now while you made a valid point about seeing no Tau i have seen some in the past tournaments here, but they rely too heavily on shooting from range and just dumping a large amount of troops and equipment to through out the hurt.

Playing eldar i found this out quickly. A full unit with good gear has a higher survivability that several units of just walking moving guns (<cough> orks <cough>). Also playing 6 dimentional (which i have only seen Alex do) makes it so that even though you have some weaknesses verses certain armies you also expose theirs.

They tend to play the game trying to kill the very units that can own them in a bad way and that very often costs them the round. What i did to fix the null zone and the anti-wraithguard units is add a 15 point walrock spell.

Conceal is the fix all do all for Eldar. so when you shoot me with those psycannons or manage to get off a null zone for 1 round i can use my 5+ cover save in the wide open space X 2 which while is not the greatest it takes away from the instant kill.

So if you want an answer to how to kill all those armies without gimping yourself. Look at my Tau army set up in the rules discussion under Looking to start Tau. Yes, it will even crush or severly deplete my seer council and i set it up to deal with fast in your face armies.

I got the idea from playing a Tau player who didnt like my wave serpant with a council flying across the board in 1 round and unleashing the seer council of death and wiping 75% of his amry with just that unit in 3 rounds as they just would not go down and he could not get away from them.

My Tau concept focuses fiercely on mechanized units, hoarde armies, paper plane shooty armies (thats what i think of DE), and believe it or not Psyker armies with the concil.

The daemon armies could be troublesome, but being alot of them i see would basically come in and have to have a perfect drop and shoot or just die on the following opponents turn. Thats pretty much my thoughts on that. See you guys on the battle field Jan. 23 and let me know what you think of the concept.
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Postby Redbeard » Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:45 pm

I'm lost, what is a six-dimensional army?

I'm curious to see what you do with the tau. I'm not convinced that they're all that viable at the moment. Their glaring hand-to-hand weakness doesn't play well in a field where most people can deploy fairly close, and even foot-sloggers can run every turn. Their transports are overpriced for what they do.

I guess broadside spamming might have some legs, but they (and crisis suits too) have the weakness to things that instant-kill them... I dunno, I'm really curious to see what you've come up with for them.
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Postby Cptn_Snuggles » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:41 am

Redbeard, I'm with you on that one. I love my tau, but so much is dependent on how well the heavy support choices do. Hammerhead is an amazing tank, but when you need the railgun to work - it's a single shot weapon.

Kroot are great, but now overpriced when you look at what an ork gives you (it'd be different if their gun was an assault weapon rather then a rapid fire weapon).

Devilfish are way too pricey for what they can do.

Suits are more vulnerable now with true line of sight. No more jumping behind a forest.

In my experience though, Tau are so much fun to play. The random turn element really can hurt them though. They tend to play cat & mouse the whole game and need to "unload" all firepower the last turn (fish of fury, etc). Once they expose that firepower they're so easy to mop up with shooting and especially combat. If you're not absolutely sure it's the last turn, I've found many of my games end in a draw. Definitely not an army you can table your opponent with unless they're playing a highly elite army.

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Postby moonshadow13 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:22 pm

Ok new 1750 army concept:

Commander Shadow Sun

(1) Shas'O
airbursting frag projector
iridian armor
hard wire drone controller
sheild generator
burst cannon
(2) shield drones
hard wire multi-tracker
bonding knife

(3 units of) 12 fire warriors
hard wire multi-tracker
bonding knife
hard wire drone controller
(2) marker drones
shas'ui team leader
marker light
hard wire black sun filter
hard wire target light

(2 units of) 3 XV8 Crisis Battlesuits team
each unit has either (3) twin linked bust cannons or Fusion Blasters
(3) targeting arrays
hard wire drone controller
(2) shield drones
bonding knife

(1) hammerhead gunship
railgun
(2) burst cannons
blacksun filter
targetlock
disruption pod
decoy launcher
multi-tracker
(2) seeker misslies

either EMP grenades for my troops or
(1) Parana Light Skimmer Team
Fusion blaster upgrade
targeting array
decoy launcher
disruption pods

Now ia m getting info about missle pod units and the like, but if i was to change something i might have added a flammer to go with the fusion gun.

I used twin link because having a 3+ to hit can be a problem especially when you really need to kill something and having the re-roll to hit is key in this army build.

being that you advid Tau players i will explain my concept here. Using Shadow sun as she will be close by and near the troop units killing the big bad nasties with teh fusion gun unit. As i said i could change it up a bit with a flammer or plasman gun combo.

I had a extra 80 pts (aprox) and i was looking at giving 1 or 2 units emp grenades. Prpbably teh wing units of troops and they will use the drones as sacraficial lambs if they get into trouble.

instant kill was a issue that why i have shield drones in the unit that matter. i have 2 big templates in the army one on the tank and one on the 2+/4+ invl HQ unit with 2 shield drones.

keeping both hq with the elites will keep them from being picked off.

I didnt use transports. While they have their uses they eat points that i need for my spread army. i used the troops with marker lights rather than the patherfinders.

I am well aware of horde armies and running and all that good stuff. The key to this army is to control how they run or where they run too. We can talk more at teh tournament or in more posts. Take a look and let em know what you think.
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Postby moonshadow13 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:12 pm

Alex,

A 6 dimensional army has at least 6 solid ways to change or affect a game in definate terms.

For example: a 2 dimension army is a the basic tank and troop army with heavy transporsts and big guns then troops in their transports.

anther example is orks massive troop units with heavey weapons or bikers, nobs etc.

the 2 dimention army is a hard nut to crack and tends to be a favorite due to its defensive hardiness and offensive straight in your face kill All of my units or you die.

Now there is the 3 dimensional army: What this does is adds a clear added 3rd dimension or something that will effect a game. Using Sam's SW set up he uses the typical mechanized units with tank and skimmer support. He added the caster with a small unit for a meat sheild and that one unit has a definate effect on the game

that is a 3rd dimesion which needs to be delt with. he even added the mounted wolves but they became part of the 2 dimension and he took away from his other units to add it, but it can in a sence be a 4th dimension as it has its own clear affect to a game if it was large enough and played in a certain manner.

Now Eldar have a unique ability about them. Some units alone can have 2 destintive dimensions. 1 such unit is the Warp Spiders: They can deep strike, move 12", hit you with a mass of str 6 weapons that can both drop a tank or wipe a unit.

A space marine or chaos jump infanty have only 1 real dimension as they have bolters, fast moving, and close combat weapons. But they can really only effect 1 type of unit and having a single power fist while helpful is limited.

I realize my process of thinking is different as i use both my combat military training and my engineering math and geometric skills to disect these armies into parts or dimensions. I did want to point this out though. The more dimensions to an army the more is is weakend and though it give you more options it also give you more weaknesses.

You played a daemon army against me before: It was clearly seperated into clear dimensions. when i counted it they showed 6 dimensions. Your any being a all deep strike gives you 1 clear dimension.

You broke up the horrors into little units of 15 shots each. Efective and clearly 1 dimension.

then you had soul grinders heavy weapons, walkers, and can bring 2 dimensions to an army as you had several of them.

adding in the other big damons, those troops of plague bearers, and those scorpion tailed suckers was all set up for one thing. tie up and slow to fight in melee. Again a clear effective and all bundled together give you 1 dimension.

Now lastly you has the fast moving charroits. Having more than one with all those neat abilities gave you a unit with a clear 1 dimension.

Combinding them all together gave you a 6 dimension army. With me not going all defensive in one spot and putting the dire avengers behind the Wraithguard where the 2 biggest mistakes i made and truthfully cost me the game. had i put eldrad and his boys spread out on the table would have been able to counter all but one dimesnions.

So did that help you at all ? :lol:
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Postby Redbeard » Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:59 pm

How is a chariot considered a separate dimension, when a land speeder (in your typical marine army) isn't? The land speeder and tzeentch chariot serve very similar roles.

I guess it's just a different set of terminology that I'm not familiar with.


As for your tau list, you've got a lot of fusion blasters, but just the one railhead. If it gets disabled, what else do you have that can reliably stop an assault vehicle (whether it be a DE raider, a land raider, or an ork trukk) before it's close enough to let its troops assault you? And, once they do, how do you stop anything else, as your guns will be tied up in combat?
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Postby Skrivus » Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:42 pm

As a Tau player myself, I'm going to agree with Redbeard. Large foot-slogging firewarrior squads are just too vulnerable to enemy fire and susceptible to being assaulted to be worthwhile. Right now you're going to get out-gunned by any shooting army at range and you don't have enough firepower to stop enemies coming in with land raiders and such.

The best ways to protect them are to put them in devilfish (quite expensive) or if you really want to foot-slog, get some sniper drone teams, place them in front of the firewarrior units, so that they provide a cover save to the firewarriors behind. To shoot at the sniper drones requires a sealth field check, and if you have an enemy setting up to assault, they can just get the snipers and then be open to shooting the next round.

The crisis suits are kinda nice, but you don't need three twin-linked fusion blasters in the same unit, because its redundant against vehicles and doesn't put enough wounds against other infantry. If you wanna use the fusion blasters, either do a plasma rifle/fusion blasters (for more ap2/1 shots) or do a unit with a single suit with twin linked fusion blasters, deep strike them near an enemy vehicle for a suprise hit.

The problem with this setup is that it gives up lots of kill points quite easily.

At 1750 with Tau, you're going to need more than 1 railgun, whether it comes in the form of broadsides or two hammerheads. Just having that ability to knock out land raiders from a comfortable distance is nice.

You can go ahead and try out the tau the way you had it listed. Let us know how it goes, but Tau is definitely not an army that can adequately address the various types of enemy armies very well.
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Postby moonshadow13 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:56 pm

I wanted to see what question you have and explain the tactic used. Not every army can be easily beatable by a Tau army or everyone would be playing Tau. However, set up, tactics, sticking to your game plan, adjusting to what your facing, and making them play your game is key in every battle you play. Tau are a great army for this specific reason.

Now i can sit here and dispute every discuss on how this does now work, but as i said before in building a diverse army or a 6 dimensional army you will ahve weaknesses. The thing is so does your opponent and having the ability to counter act and exploit thiers is also key in this set up.

OK First i am not stick my units in the wide open spaces. I will initaly set them up in or behind cover in a 3 prong assult back at the 12 " line using my 30" range for single shots and 15" for rapid fire. The 2 outside teams will have at least 1 member of the unit withing 18" of the center of the board.

This is the intial set up when i set up first mind you there are things that can adjust your setup slightly but the fact remains a set line with 30" range in cover as your friend. Setting up counters will be no differnt as i will ahve 2 safe within my lines and its about controlling or killign those that i do not.

this set up with work great for my (9) 36" range marker lights (3 in each unit). Using them to target specific units and at teh same time i can still use my 11 other guys to shoot at som,ethign else if need be.

The fusion gun unit is not only nessasary but is teh very reason why Tau fail without it. I did mension about using a flammer or something else in tandum with the fusion guns, but you have to keep other factors in mind when you play.

If i go at a unit that i failed to marker light but must not be able to survive to the next round i need a guarentee it will die. I play the % of rolls then and lets be honest how many times have you needed a 3 and rolled all 1s and 2s. then there is the final outcome of the glancing or penetraiting.

The elite unit has 3 fusion guns or 3 (twin Linked) fusion guns. Yes, its specific and limited and all that jazz, but i will have shadow sun with them giving them 2 more fusion guns (not sure if she is twin linked it does not say that in the book). What this does is give me a 95% chance to immobilize or destroy whatever i shoot.

The second use is a hard unit like terminators i will have 4 shield drones and i shield generator going. I will hit them with 5 fusion guns then jump away. most terminator units out there run only 5 so again 80% kill ratio vs they possibly killing a drone or 2 returnign fire.

Also ther is teh HQ hiding in the big mob scenario. i shoot teh crap out of the unit with my long range guns and (2) large templates and when there are a few left its pop and drop.

The burst cannon unit with the HQ is set for killing heavy weapon teams, elites, and sniper units. again with teh 4 shield drones and personal shield generator.

I dont need the transports my army will sit and kill from range with the troops. guarding a counter if need be. and having EMP grenades on the outside units for those fast vehicles or drop pod vehicles that survive the fire phase.

Why only 1 tank? Well this set up only allowed 1. its int eh back in a corner and if i marker light a unit that has a must die now tag i will add teh 2 seeker missles so its not just 1 gun then poof its over.

If i get flanked by fast movers or units it uses its burst guns, rail in either template or single shot and the 2 seekers missles. I gave it enough gear to make it hard to kill at range. So either my oppenent uses specific units to try and kill it or it just keeps on shooting every round.

I had points left over for a parana or emp grenades and there is still the trade off with dropping 1 fusion gun for a flammer.

If you look at the army there is nothing complex about it. that will be your opponents mistake too. It is designed to control the flow of your opponets moves, maintain a sound dissapline to your units rank and file, it has 2 units of hit and run that can decide a game, and my favorite its got a nice artilery gun that can fire 2 differnt types of ammo and stay in cover while being in the wide open spaces.

Again nothing is guarenteed in this game there can be some devistating factors that can come to play. I thought long and hard about fighting Daemon armies and what i came up with would work against them too.

I looked at orc armies on foot and in trucks. I looked at your typical SM mechanized armies, i hashed out how to fight the many tactics i bring as an eldar player that normally can tear apeart a Tau army with my eyes closed. This i looked at and using the numbers, tactics and placement feel this could be that answer you were looking for.

Now i do not have any Tau, for i was looking to start them soon. What i was looking for was continued info and for someone to give this army a while :D
The new Tau = Death at 30"

Time to bring the Pain!!! For the greater good :)
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moonshadow13
 
Posts: 618
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:07 pm
Location: Clinton, Wis.

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