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 Post subject: 6th edition Tau Tactics: the "Tau Bastion"
PostPosted: Nov 21 2012 09:54 
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Recently I've been noticing that the Tau synergize very well with the Imperial Bastion fortification that's now available in 6th edition 40k.

The Imperial Bastion fortification provides a strong (AV14) firebase. The Bastion itself can be garrisoned by a unit, which can employ both outer Fire Points and emplaced Heavy Bolters. Further, the top of the Bastion-- the battlements-- can be upgraded to hold an Icarus lascannon or a Quad-Gun. As these options are currently the only non-Forge World source of Skyfire/Interceptor firepower in the game, they are obviously strong choices for an all-comers list, providing both anti-flyer capabilities and good shooting power against non-Flyer based armies. The disadvantage to the battlements, though, is that they only provide a 4+ cover save to a unit on them, unlike the 3+ cover save granted by the sides of the Bastion. Further, units on the battlements will likely be very exposed to enemy fire.

Fortunately, Tau have an answer for this-- Crisis battlesuits. A Crisis suit located behind a Bastion can Jet Pack up to the battlements, fire the Quad-Gun during its shooting phase, then use its Assault Phase move to jump back off the battlements and hide behind the Bastion, protecting it from enemy fire. Note also that a suit equipped with a multi-tracker and two ranged weapons can fire one of its ranged weapons in addition to the Quad-Gun. The obvious choice for this weapon is the twin-linked missile pod, as it synergizes perfectly with the Quad-Gun's own firepower, providing a total of 6 powerful and accurate shots against any enemy unit within 36".

I find this works best with single suits, ideally lone Commanders or Team Leaders, as they can take a twin-linked missile pod, a flamer, a hardwired multi-tracker, and a hardwired blacksun filter, while a Battlesuit without access to the Armory will not be able to acquire all these systems.

This would already be a powerful technique, but things get even better, as Tau also have a unit that is uniquely suited to being inside the Bastion-- Broadside battlesuits! A unit of Broadsides inside a Bastion is highly difficult to kill even without purchasing Drones-- some armies, most notably certain Necron builds, are in fact wholly incapable of hurting it. The Bastion thus acts as a force multiplier for the Broadsides by greatly increasing their defensive resilience as well as providing Line of Sight advantages (the Bastion fire points are substantially elevated).

Pathfinders can also be a good candidate for Bastion duty, though they suffer somewhat from the three fire points provided, as only two to six weapons can fire from a given side of the Bastion, though a seventh Pathfinder can use one of the heavy bolters. However, I personally find Pathfinders less than hugely effective in 6th edition play, especially since their mandatory Devilfish is very underwhelming now, so I tend to prefer Broadsides in this role.

Lastly, note that the Bastion's edges provide 3+ cover saves as a fortification and thus that vehicles with Disruption Pods enjoy 2+ cover saves against many attacks while behind them!

So, has anyone else found Bastions effective for their armies? Any other tips that I missed?


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 Post subject: Re: 6th edition Tau Tactics: the "Tau Bastion"
PostPosted: Nov 22 2012 08:21 
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Just a note, according to the new tau FAQ, multitrackers allow the firing of 2 battlesuit weapons, not two weapons.


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 Post subject: Re: 6th edition Tau Tactics: the "Tau Bastion"
PostPosted: Nov 22 2012 08:24 
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shasolozo wrote:
Just a note, according to the new tau FAQ, multitrackers allow the firing of 2 battlesuit weapons, not two weapons.


Other way around-- the Codex says battlesuit weapons, but the FAQ overrules this to allow two weapons. I suspect GW was thinking of this specifically when they wrote that FAQ entry.

Games Workshop Tau Empire FAQ 1.1 wrote:
Page 26 – Multi-tracker. Change the last sentence to: “It enables the model to fire two weapons in the same turn.


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 Post subject: Re: 6th edition Tau Tactics: the "Tau Bastion"
PostPosted: Nov 22 2012 08:25 
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Fetterkey wrote:
shasolozo wrote:
Just a note, according to the new tau FAQ, multitrackers allow the firing of 2 battlesuit weapons, not two weapons.


Other way around-- the Codex says battlesuit weapons, but the FAQ overrules this to allow two weapons. I suspect GW was thinking of this specifically when they wrote that FAQ entry.

Games Workshop Tau Empire FAQ 1.1 wrote:
Page 26 – Multi-tracker. Change the last sentence to: “It enables the model to fire two weapons in the same turn.



Good catch!


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 Post subject: Re: 6th edition Tau Tactics: the "Tau Bastion"
PostPosted: Nov 22 2012 08:50 
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I have yet to try it, but I have been thinking of Broadsides in the Bastion and a Sniper Drone team on top.

The Sniper Drone team would have a 2+ Cover Save, the Spotter is BS 4 for better quad gun effectiveness and the Sniper Drones can engage a different target due to their inherent target locks.


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 Post subject: Re: 6th edition Tau Tactics: the "Tau Bastion"
PostPosted: Nov 22 2012 08:52 
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Jefffar wrote:
I have yet to try it, but I have been thinking of Broadsides in the Bastion and a Sniper Drone team on top.

The Sniper Drone team would have a 2+ Cover Save, the Spotter is BS 4 for better quad gun effectiveness and the Sniper Drones can engage a different target due to their inherent target locks.


Interesting idea....

Broadsides in the bastion is definitely the way to go it seems. They're such a huge target all the time, this would allow them relative impunity.


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 Post subject: Re: 6th edition Tau Tactics: the "Tau Bastion"
PostPosted: Nov 22 2012 11:58 
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Broadsides on a Skysheild should also work well, especially as you can fit quite a few of them on there along with a nice assault deterring Kroot blob. 4++ versus shooting plus a large assault screen is pretty hard to beat.


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 Post subject: Re: 6th edition Tau Tactics: the "Tau Bastion"
PostPosted: Nov 22 2012 03:09 
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Jefffar wrote:
I have yet to try it, but I have been thinking of Broadsides in the Bastion and a Sniper Drone team on top.

The Sniper Drone team would have a 2+ Cover Save, the Spotter is BS 4 for better quad gun effectiveness and the Sniper Drones can engage a different target due to their inherent target locks.


That sounds really good! I might have to convert up a bastion and try that.

Speaking of conversions, the entry for the Bastion has me wondering a few things. It's armed with 4 Heavy Bolters, but the text says "typically one on each facing". Does that mean I can model mine with all 4 pointing in the same direction? Similarly, if the access points and fire points are "as per model", does that mean it has whatever I model it with? Are there limitations to this? What do you think is reasonable to bring to a friendly game, or to a tournament?


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 Post subject: Re: 6th edition Tau Tactics: the "Tau Bastion"
PostPosted: Nov 22 2012 03:42 
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I think you may be reaching the modeling for advantage realm there, however as each firing port works for 2 models, 2 ports on one side are enough to give a broadside team complete freedom to fire.


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 Post subject: Re: 6th edition Tau Tactics: the "Tau Bastion"
PostPosted: Nov 22 2012 06:24 
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On the topic of the skyshield, I find they work great for crisis suits. Deepstrike with 100% accuracy and gain free 4++ for the whole unit? Yes, please.

One thing I have tried, is placing the skyshield as far forward as I can, and setting up stealthsuits near it. The stealthsuits will hold the pad, and their 2+ cover will keep them safe. That way, my crisis suits can be in the thick of the fighting, quickly.

Overall, however, I am not such a fan of fortifications. Spending some of your oh-so-important points on something your enemy can capture and use against you? Standing in cover that can be destroyed? No, not a fan.

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 Post subject: Re: 6th edition Tau Tactics: the "Tau Bastion"
PostPosted: Nov 22 2012 09:40 
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Jefffar wrote:
I think you may be reaching the modeling for advantage realm there, however as each firing port works for 2 models, 2 ports on one side are enough to give a broadside team complete freedom to fire.


I could certainly see people taking issue with putting all 4 heavy bolters on one facing of it, but I don't think the GW model looks very "Tau" and was hoping to make my own. Best to make sure it has the exact same features in the same places, just to be safe, I suppose?

As to the Skyshield, the ability of jetpack infantry to move freely over it while others treat the step up as difficult terrain is certainly handy, but I'm not sold on the use of it to deepstrike. Unless you're trying to set up a killing ground, I'd think you'd usually want your deepstrikers to hit the enemy where they are most disorganized, not where they'll likely direct the bulk of their force. I can see some tactics of using the Positional Relay to delay reserves, then drop all of them onto the Skyshield, but any opponent worth their salt will probably just stay away from it.

Actually, that could work. Use the Skyshield as a deterrent; put one important "bait" unit (Broadsides, perhaps?) in it, and keep them safe from short-range units with the threat of a mass Crisis drop, but don't bother actually dropping units into it unless it's threatened.


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 Post subject: Re: 6th edition Tau Tactics: the "Tau Bastion"
PostPosted: Nov 22 2012 11:03 
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SparkSovereign wrote:
Jefffar wrote:
I have yet to try it, but I have been thinking of Broadsides in the Bastion and a Sniper Drone team on top.

The Sniper Drone team would have a 2+ Cover Save, the Spotter is BS 4 for better quad gun effectiveness and the Sniper Drones can engage a different target due to their inherent target locks.


That sounds really good! I might have to convert up a bastion and try that.

Speaking of conversions, the entry for the Bastion has me wondering a few things. It's armed with 4 Heavy Bolters, but the text says "typically one on each facing". Does that mean I can model mine with all 4 pointing in the same direction? Similarly, if the access points and fire points are "as per model", does that mean it has whatever I model it with? Are there limitations to this? What do you think is reasonable to bring to a friendly game, or to a tournament?


In a friendly game, you can do anything you want as long as your opponent is okay with it. In a tournament, you will most likely be required to use an official model - or at least one that is functionally equivalent - but speak with your tournament organizers to see what is and is not allowed.

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 Post subject: Re: 6th edition Tau Tactics: the "Tau Bastion"
PostPosted: Nov 23 2012 10:33 
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Broadsides do seem to be the most natural fit for the bastion garrison. Offensively, they can maximize damage from limited firepoints. Defensively, since all of the wounds that get assigned to a garrisoned unit are AP-, broadsides will always be able to take armor saves, until the bastion is destroyed. The bastion will also provide excellent LoS and arcs of fire.

Additionally, if you plan to use broadsides as a garrison in this way, shield drones should be included, since like the broadsides they will be able to take armor saves, but more importantly the owner of the garrison allocates wounds as they see fit. So the drones will always die first, and always take 2+ saves.

The quad gun (or icarus) is pretty much an auto include for flyer deterrent of course.


Keeping the bastion intact may be an issue; it may be possible to confer a cover save by positioning vehicles in front of it (someone with a bastion model can test that one). I'm also not sure where the rules come down on this; the buildings section in the rulebook doesn't seem to weigh in on whether or not buildings can get cover saves, and there is no FAQ, either. I'm operating under the assumption that they be treated like vehicles in this regard and would need 25% coverage to claim a cover save.

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 Post subject: Re: 6th edition Tau Tactics: the "Tau Bastion"
PostPosted: Nov 24 2012 08:26 
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This has potential, and may have me converting up Sniper Drones and Bastions for Apoc. The question I only have is the points cost for a bastion, and how much of a target it'll be. I'm guessing the bastion will cost around 100-200 points and in addition, the units that'll be occupying it.

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 Post subject: Re: 6th edition Tau Tactics: the "Tau Bastion"
PostPosted: Nov 24 2012 08:36 
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Yeah, me too. I whipped up a makeshift bastion today. Looked pretty good until I basecoated it with spray paint. On a related note, don't spray paint HD foam. :dead:

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 Post subject: Re: 6th edition Tau Tactics: the "Tau Bastion"
PostPosted: Nov 24 2012 08:40 
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VK-Duelist wrote:
This has potential, and may have me converting up Sniper Drones and Bastions for Apoc. The question I only have is the points cost for a bastion, and how much of a target it'll be. I'm guessing the bastion will cost around 100-200 points and in addition, the units that'll be occupying it.


Rules for the bastion are in the 6th ed rulebook, including points cost. You can see about how big it is on the GW website, the picture shows a few Space Marines for comparison.

I do see an issue with opponents deciding it's easier to blow up the Bastion rather than kill the units inside, but that means they'll have to devote anti-tank fire to that, instead of your other units. Deploying it in "cover" (either Hammerheads or existing terrain) will help.


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 Post subject: Re: 6th edition Tau Tactics: the "Tau Bastion"
PostPosted: Nov 24 2012 08:57 
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BabaGanoosh wrote:
Yeah, me too. I whipped up a makeshift bastion today. Looked pretty good until I basecoated it with spray paint. On a related note, don't spray paint HD foam. :dead:


You didn't coat in it glue? Tsk. Tsk.
Rule 1 of Applied Tech class. I always coat my scratch built foam/cardboard stuff with wood glue or PVA just in case.

@ Spark

I know about size, and I have the 6th edition book, I just don't remember the points cost. The problem I see with this idea is the fact that my friends give Las Cannons and Missile Launchers to their units like candy, that could easily destroy the bastion.

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 Post subject: Re: 6th edition Tau Tactics: the "Tau Bastion"
PostPosted: Nov 24 2012 10:08 
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Using the Sniper Drone spotter to fire the Quad-gun seems like an idea with definite potential, but you have to ask yourself whether sacrificing a railgun slot in favor of Sniper Drones is a worthy option. I personally don't think that it is, but your mileage may vary. The other downside of this tactic is that it is extremely vulnerable to Ignores Cover attacks, most notably Hellhounds, Colossus Siege Mortars, Dreadknights with Heavy Incinerators, and Heldrakes with Baleflamers. If you anticipate facing those units, I would definitely recommend using a JSJ Crisis suit to fire the Quad-gun rather than a Sniper Drone team.


VK-Duelist wrote:
I know about size, and I have the 6th edition book, I just don't remember the points cost. The problem I see with this idea is the fact that my friends give Las Cannons and Missile Launchers to their units like candy, that could easily destroy the bastion.


The Bastion is almost immune to Missile Launchers (it is AV14 and glancing hits inflict one wound on the unit within, armor saves allowed), and lascannons definitely need some luck to take it down. I wouldn't worry too much about them in the context of a Bastion unless you anticipate facing very large amounts of lascannons in configurations that you cannot easily neutralize, and in those situations lascannons will likely be a serious threat to Broadside teams anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: 6th edition Tau Tactics: the "Tau Bastion"
PostPosted: Nov 24 2012 10:17 
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Let's see, if my memory serves correctly:

Space Wolf player:

2 TL Las Cannons on a Land Raider, 4-6 Missile Launchers on his Long Fangs

IG player:

Leman Russ Demolisher, 4 Heavy Weapons Teams with Las Cannons

Chaos Space Marine player:

4 Havocs with Las Cannons

Those are my threats and I mainly use my Broadsides (3) for the Land Raider and Leman Russ, while using Sniper Drones for the Havocs, Long Fangs, and HWTs.

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 Post subject: Re: 6th edition Tau Tactics: the "Tau Bastion"
PostPosted: Nov 25 2012 11:18 
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Fetterkey wrote:
Using the Sniper Drone spotter to fire the Quad-gun seems like an idea with definite potential, but you have to ask yourself whether sacrificing a railgun slot in favor of Sniper Drones is a worthy option.


I wouldn't recommend spending the points for fortifications at anything below 2000, where the double FOC makes taking all the HS goodness you want fairly easy.

Another option for it, in case you really want 3x6 broadsides, is to take a monat deathrain+ Team Leader with a HWMT to fire 6 TL BS4 S7 shots a turn.

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