No Formations, Pathfinders or Drones?

A review of past Tactics by commanders during the First, Second, Third & Fourth Phase Expansion.
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Pogman
Shas'Saal
Posts: 46

No Formations, Pathfinders or Drones?

Post#1 » Mar 08 2017 02:57

Local league for this round has challenged us by not allowing formations, CADs only. 2k cap. In a world where I don't have access to tetras, what's my next best option for marker lights. Pathfinders? Drones? A mix?

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Panzer
Shas'La
Posts: 2188

Re: No Formations, Pathfinders or Drones?

Post#2 » Mar 08 2017 03:05

That one is easy. :D

Commander with Drone Controller in Drones. Done.

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Pogman
Shas'Saal
Posts: 46

Re: No Formations, Pathfinders or Drones?

Post#3 » Mar 08 2017 03:12

Hahaha, of course. I've already got that. But in a 2k list I'll need more than one source of lights, right lol?

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Panzer
Shas'La
Posts: 2188

Re: No Formations, Pathfinders or Drones?

Post#4 » Mar 08 2017 03:29

A second Mark'O? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Honestly without formations nor Forgeworld nor a Commander in the Drones both are pretty much equal to each other.
Pathfinder are more reliable but they also die a LOT faster and might suffer from having no Line of Sight due Markerlights being Heavy.
So it's pretty much personal preference.Go with what you feel better with or what fits your list theme better. The advantage of Drones would be though that once your opponent killed some of your Mark'O units Drones you could let him join the other unit. I for one however found them too unreliable with just BS2 so they were not really fun to play for me.


Of course there are some more exotic choices as well but imo they aren't that good.
- Stealth Suit Shas'Vre with Drone Controller and 2 Markerlight Drones
- Sniper Drone Team with multiple Marksmen (about as squishy and mobile as Pathfinder, however BS5)
- Skyrays

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Unicornsilovethem
Shas'Saal
Posts: 278

Re: No Formations, Pathfinders or Drones?

Post#5 » Mar 08 2017 04:36

Panzer wrote: - Sniper Drone Team with multiple Marksmen (about as squishy and mobile as Pathfinder, however BS5)

Sniper team on a Tidewall is not too shabby. You get a 3+ cover, some mobility, markerlights than never miss and majority toughness 4. Expensive, but since Droneports are 60pts and come with a unit of Marker drones (normally 56pts), you get the bonuses to the Sniper team essentially for free.

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Panzer
Shas'La
Posts: 2188

Re: No Formations, Pathfinders or Drones?

Post#6 » Mar 08 2017 04:37

Unicornsilovethem wrote:
Panzer wrote: - Sniper Drone Team with multiple Marksmen (about as squishy and mobile as Pathfinder, however BS5)

Sniper team on a Tidewall is not too shabby. You get a 3+ cover, some mobility, markerlights than never miss and majority toughness 4. Expensive, but since Droneports are 60pts and come with a unit of Marker drones (normally 56pts), you get the bonuses to the Sniper team essentially for free.


Can you get a Tidewall without using a formation though? And would it fit his playstyle and the rest of the army?
Those are kinda important factors as well ^^

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Unicornsilovethem
Shas'Saal
Posts: 278

Re: No Formations, Pathfinders or Drones?

Post#7 » Mar 08 2017 04:47

A Droneport is a standard Fortification, you can take it in any CAD.

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Pogman
Shas'Saal
Posts: 46

Re: No Formations, Pathfinders or Drones?

Post#8 » Mar 08 2017 06:34

I think i'm gonna go with Dual CAD, each Commander joining a squad of drones with 2 of his own, with the controller. A skyray. And then I'll see if I can find another piranha to have it "function as" a tetra to supplement the one I've already got.

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Panzer
Shas'La
Posts: 2188

Re: No Formations, Pathfinders or Drones?

Post#9 » Mar 09 2017 02:41

Pogman wrote:I think i'm gonna go with Dual CAD, each Commander joining a squad of drones with 2 of his own, with the controller. A skyray. And then I'll see if I can find another piranha to have it "function as" a tetra to supplement the one I've already got.

Why dual CAD for that though? You can take two Commander in a single CAD, you know? ^^

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Unicornsilovethem
Shas'Saal
Posts: 278

Re: No Formations, Pathfinders or Drones?

Post#10 » Mar 09 2017 04:58

Pogman wrote:I think i'm gonna go with Dual CAD, each Commander joining a squad of drones with 2 of his own, with the controller. A skyray. And then I'll see if I can find another piranha to have it "function as" a tetra to supplement the one I've already got.

Wait, you are allowed to use tetras? Go to an Eldar friend, borrow as many jetbikes as you can, and fill the board with count-as tetras. Always better. With Markmanders you can cost-efficiently drown a single enemy unit in markerlights if you want, but do you really need that many markerlights on a single target? You probably don't. And if you do, nothing prevents you from doing so with a bunch of tetras anyway. But normally, you want the ability to mark up several different targets, and Markmanders are a heavy investment (85+8+x*14) that don't let you do that.

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Panzer
Shas'La
Posts: 2188

Re: No Formations, Pathfinders or Drones?

Post#11 » Mar 09 2017 06:27

True lol.
I didn't mention Tetras at all because OP said he has no access to them in his first post. :D

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Pogman
Shas'Saal
Posts: 46

Re: No Formations, Pathfinders or Drones?

Post#12 » Mar 09 2017 11:37

The idea with the dual CADs is to have as many suits as possible in a FSE CAD for Obsec, while everything else is in the regular Tau CAD to avoid the tax.

And yeah, I'ma try that. Unfortunately i'm kinda new to the scene and I don't have anyone I can rely on yet to just borrow some bikes. Gonna try though, i'm sure someone at league night will have something they're not using. otherwise, may have to use some scenery lol...

As it stands right now, I'm thinking of running with this. Only things deep striking are fusion blaster suits and Frag Projector Suit. And the only thing I can't reasonably fudge from my collection is the second tetra.


+++ League List (Warhammer 40,000 7th Edition v2027) (2000pts) +++

++ Combined Arms Detachment (Tau Empire: Codex (2015) v2010) ++

+ Uncategorised +

Farsight Enclaves

+ HQ +

Commander [2x MV7 Marker Drone]
XV8 Commander Crisis Suit [Drone Controller, 2x Missile Pod, Target Lock]

+ Elites +

XV104 Riptide Battlesuits [Bonding Knife Ritual]
Riptide Shas'vre [Early Warning Override, Earth Caste Pilot Array, Ion Accelerator, Twin-linked Smart Missile System]

+ Troops +

XV8 Crisis Battlesuits [Bonding Knife Ritual]
Crisis Shas'ui [Advanced Targeting System, 2x Missile Pod]

XV8 Crisis Battlesuits [Bonding Knife Ritual]
Crisis Shas'ui [2x Missile Pod]

XV8 Crisis Battlesuits [Bonding Knife Ritual]
Crisis Shas'ui [2x Missile Pod]

XV8 Crisis Battlesuits [Bonding Knife Ritual]
Crisis Shas'ui [Fusion Blaster, Twin-linked Fusion Blaster]

XV8 Crisis Battlesuits [Bonding Knife Ritual]
Crisis Shas'ui [2x Missile Pod]
Crisis Shas'ui [2x Missile Pod]
Crisis Shas'ui [2x Missile Pod]
Crisis Shas'vre [Command and Control Node, Multi-spectrum Sensor Suite, Puretide Engram Neurochip]

XV8 Crisis Battlesuits [Bonding Knife Ritual]
Crisis Shas'ui [2x Fusion Blaster]

+ Fast Attack +

Drones [4x MV7 Marker Drone]

Tetra Scout Speeder Team [FW]
Tetra [Blacksun Filter, Sensor Spines]

Tetra Scout Speeder Team [FW]
Tetra [Blacksun Filter, Sensor Spines]

++ Combined Arms Detachment (Tau Empire: Codex (2015) v2010) ++

+ HQ +

Commander [2x MV7 Marker Drone]
XV8 Commander Crisis Suit [Drone Controller, 2x Missile Pod, Target Lock, XV8-02 Crisis 'Iridium' Battlesuit]

+ Elites +

XV8 Crisis Battlesuits
Crisis Shas'ui [2x Airbursting Fragmentation Projector]

+ Troops +

Breacher Team [6x Fire Warrior with Pulse Blaster]
TY7 Devilfish [2x MV1 Gun Drone, Blacksun Filter, Sensor Spines]

Breacher Team [6x Fire Warrior with Pulse Blaster]

Strike Team [8x Fire Warrior with Pulse Rifle]
DS8 Tactical Support Turret [Missile Pod]

Strike Team [8x Fire Warrior with Pulse Rifle]

+ Fast Attack +

Drones [4x MV7 Marker Drone]

+ Heavy Support +

TX78 Sky Ray Gunships
TX78 Sky Ray Gunship [Blacksun Filter, Sensor Spines, Twin-linked Smart Missile System]

XV88 Broadside Battlesuits
Broadside [Early Warning Override, Twin-linked High-Yield Missile Pod, Twin-linked Smart Missile System]
Broadside [Early Warning Override, Twin-linked High-Yield Missile Pod, Twin-linked Smart Missile System]
Broadside Shas'vre [Early Warning Override, Twin-linked High-Yield Missile Pod, Twin-linked Smart Missile System]

Created with BattleScribe (http://www.battlescribe.net)

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Pogman
Shas'Saal
Posts: 46

Re: No Formations, Pathfinders or Drones?

Post#13 » Mar 09 2017 06:30

Unicornsilovethem wrote:Wait, you are allowed to use tetras? Go to an Eldar friend, borrow as many jetbikes as you can, and fill the board with count-as tetras. Always better. With Markmanders you can cost-efficiently drown a single enemy unit in markerlights if you want, but do you really need that many markerlights on a single target? You probably don't. And if you do, nothing prevents you from doing so with a bunch of tetras anyway. But normally, you want the ability to mark up several different targets, and Markmanders are a heavy investment (85+8+x*14) that don't let you do that.


Well, what I was thinking, and please correct me if i'm wrong, is that I wanted to use the markerlight saturation on the primary targets, the things that need to be dakka'd down. Every other markerlight source will go towards secondary and tertiary targets. I mean, in a world where I just don't have access to a ton of things that can pose as tetras. I could probably swing one, maybe two, but I'd rather not depend on having to borrow minis multiple weeks in a row.

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Vay
Shas'Ui
Posts: 852

Re: No Formations, Pathfinders or Drones?

Post#14 » Mar 10 2017 11:26

- Min 4 man Pathfinder team.
- Mark'O with drone cloud.
Shas'O Kais Vay Shone’nan

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Pogman
Shas'Saal
Posts: 46

Re: No Formations, Pathfinders or Drones?

Post#15 » Mar 10 2017 04:34

Vay wrote:- Min 4 man Pathfinder team.
- Mark'O with drone cloud.


Pathfinders Instead of the second Mark'o?

Also, how many drones is a cloud lol? Many as I can afford?

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Vay
Shas'Ui
Posts: 852

Re: No Formations, Pathfinders or Drones?

Post#16 » Mar 10 2017 05:09

Experience from a lot of battles:

4 man teams of pathfinders provide multiple small targets that are more or less not worth attacking. They can hide in almost any terrain available. And they can target with 2-3 successful markers. They also are not stuck shooting the same thing. 3 teams, 3 targets. 2-4 ML is enough to do what needs to be done. 2 for no cover and 1-2 for BS.

At closer range, pulse carbines and overwatch can also be used. They can also hold objectives.

They have a scout deployment that can be used.

They work wonders in a hunter cadre.

They are low cost.

------
Mark'O is none of these things.

it is more defensive, but also more costly.

It has maneuverability, but I find it works best for when you NEED the marker lights to land. Not for general support.

I often cloud with 2 (natural) - 6 ( XV + drone team)

More takes to much room, makes it a bigger target, or is wasted hitting one target.

-------

I love the Tetra. I would say my ML choice is:

T1: Tetra / 4 man Pathfinder team
T2: Skyray
T3: Mark'O, XV team with BS boost and drones on MPOD team
T4: Full pathfinder teams / FW leaders with ML
T5: Drones with ML

Skyrays are great ML platforms that are often overlooked.


------------------


Types of battles: you need to know movement, defense, and range limits of your armies to figure out the best fit.

I farsight....I use mark'O. Mass fires on hard need to kill targets.

I Tau Mech... I skyray/Tetra. Mech support ML'ing.

I Tau straight leg.... I pathfinder min 4 team. Infantry support ML'ing.

---------------

Points:

How much of your army needs to be ML'ing?
How many ML do you need?
What needs the ML'ing?
What is the balance?

1000 points, Battlesuit, I might have 1-2 sources with 2-4 ML per source. 2 teams , 3 XV MPOD with 2 drones each and one with a controller.

All mobile, all 36 inch, all synched, and they support the Riptides on main targets.

So, that 2-6 ML hits from each team. The riptide uses those to finish the team's target.

ML source needs to be linked to what it supports.
Shas'O Kais Vay Shone’nan

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Pogman
Shas'Saal
Posts: 46

Re: No Formations, Pathfinders or Drones?

Post#17 » Mar 10 2017 06:32

Thanks for the really in depth answer there! So, given your suggestions and seeing the list I posted above, what would you suggest changing for maximum efficiency?

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Neffarious
Shas
Posts: 17

Re: No Formations, Pathfinders or Drones?

Post#18 » Mar 21 2017 11:02

Unicornsilovethem wrote:
Pogman wrote:II'll see if I can find another piranha to have it "function as" a tetra to supplement the one I've already got.

Go to an Eldar friend, borrow as many jetbikes as you can, and fill the board with count-as tetras.


While I would not support a flood of "counts as" models (the dimensions are not always accurate), Tetras are, IMO the best source of mobile marker-lights barring the Drone-Net and outside of the obvious Mark'O. *But* they lack an offensive presence.

Sure, you can bring a Skyray to use as a dedicated marker platform, and a good source of anti-air, but other than its early game (Alpha Strike) capabilities, I find that its utility tapers significantly late game after being reduced to a single TL SMS that has to shoot the same target as the networked Marker Lights. Furthermore, unless it is parked in ruins, it's an easily prioritized target (for its uncommon anti-air firepower), which means it is not scooting around to find an optimal firing angle for those two marker lights or grabbing objectives (like Tetras).

The Sniper Team is another (better) option, especially when paired with the Tidewall drone-port because it basically guarantees that your marker-lights hits. At 108 points (cheaper than a Skyray), a drone-port + marksman nets you 4 additional, (separate and non-scoring) marker drones, and a mobile platform that gives your immobile marksman 6" movement every turn, plus a 4+ cover save that is improved to 3+ because of his Stealth. Additional Marksmen cost 13 points and you can fit a total of five on the drone-port. So, with two marksmen you can get a mobile marker platform that has a 3+ save without having to sit in ruins or jink, which fires the same amount of marker lights as a Skyray (with a better BS that may as well be twin-linked since you can re-roll the only way it can miss) an additional 4 MLs that can shoot (albeit poorly) at something else, and three sniper drones that can, although they have to shoot at the same target as the Marksmen (just like the SMS on the Skyray), Jump out from behind the drone-port, shoot, then thrust move back out of LoS. All that for 6 points more than the cost of a Skyray. Those 4 little Marker Drones that come with the Drone-port also offer a backup squad of MLs for your Mark'O to command.
:D You can't spell slaughter without laughter :D

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