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I'm just getting into Warhammer 40k, though I'm no stranger to miniatures. I really like the idea of space marines, especially the Ultramarines. I'm hoping you can offer me some advice on what models i should buy first. Eventually I will end up with a large, varied army, but for the enxt few months, I'm on a budget.
Now here's my situation. My two best friends (who will also be my two primary opponents) play Tau and Tyranid, respectively. I have no idea what kind of army i could put together that would be able to take them both on, as they both seem to be the extreme end of the spectrum (Tau being exclusively shooty, and Tyranid being masters of CC). Any advice on what to put in the core of my army and tactics for dealing with these two extremes would be appreciated.
You are right, that Tau and Tyranids are on opposite ends of the 40k spectrum. But they have (from a SM point of view) a few things in common.
Depending on the army set up of your opponents you will encounter lots of troops with low(-er) armor.
That means you can make good use of Heavy Bolters (aginst fire warriors and 'nid warriors) so try to get a Devastator Squad with Heavy Bolters. You will also find that you can make great use of Whirlwinds. They have big templates to kill Genestealers and 'gaunts and their indirect fire is great against Stealth suits ( and infiltrating 'stealers).
EDIT: the WHirlwind template can potentially kill a lot of Fire warriors, too.
Personally I like to use Lascannons (Devastatorsquad of 4) against both, too. They work very nicely against the big 'nid critters (Tyrant, Tyrant Guard and Carnifexes) and they do quite well against all those Tau tanks and Broadsides (instant kills).
HTH is a bit of a problem here, as here it gets tricky.
Against Tau you want to go in HTH as quickly as you can, so an Assault Marine Squad led by a Chaplain with Jump Pack is very efficient. They can work against nids, but I foudn I prefer Assault Terminators against them. Maybe you can deepstrike the Termies against the Tau.
Oh and avoid Genestealers like the plague. Make sure you always kill them first.
Welcome to LO.
EDIT: Special weapons can be tricky as well. For 'nids you might want to go for flamers to kill a lot of the smaller critters (and swarm basses, although I haven't seen many of them in a long time) but against TAU you probably want to gor for Meltas and Plasmas to fight the suits.
Last edited by Lamenter; January 4th, 2007 at 14:32.
Shut up and play.
What you should get first is.
1. Tactical squad x2 70$
2. Hq unit. I would go with a chaplain.
Now for the tactics against these armys.
Tau are really shooty like you side so what you will want is a well rounded army. Some assault squads would work good and some land speeder tornadoes. Then you should get a regular troops with heavy bolters in there squads or a rocket launcher. Don't bother putting one of the short range weapons on there because you won't be getting that close to likely. Even infiltrating scouts will work well with a rocket and snipers if you want. That way you can destroy some of his devilfish or battle suits fast.
Tyrnid: Shotty with some decoy close combat units. I'de say two assault squads with a squadron of land speeders. So when your two assault squads are in close comat you will be able to shoot at the rest of the squads coming to get in close combat with you.
Well that is everything that I would do.
I play Tau.
First of all, they're your friends, presumbably you know what they have, telling us might help.
Never, ever take land speeders vs Tau. Masses of Str 5 weaponry (not neccesarily pulse rifles) bring down landspeeders waayyy too easily. Tau also tend to have a good bit of missle pods (str _) which are practically designed to kill AV10. Tau are mobile enough they can probably get in LOS no problem.
Don't count on AP4 weaponry. The only main thing that has a _+ save is FW. Yes, it's their basic troop, but most tau players either don't take a lot of them, or they take a bunch in the devil fish, and they're only getting out at opportune moments. Heavy bolter in a scout squad might be good to mess up a pathfinder sqaud if he has one, that's it. Don't see a lot of drone squads.
Scout squads in general I think will serve you pretty well. Snipers are good vs tau for the pinning, and they're also good vs tyranid MCs as they can actually wound the things. CC scouts are only going to be good vs tau, and then only if you can catch them (which is often unlikely).
In general, just avoid vehicles. Most Tau lists have enough to kill just about anything you bring. indirect fire vehicles like whirl-winds are pretty good, but you really do need to keep them completely out of LOS, or they are gone.
For similar reasons, avoid terminators, tau kill them very easily with plasma rifles, and if there's no vehicles left, he woun't hesitate to shoot railguns at them. MCs will also kill terminators very well, though assault termies can do very well against a canrifex, the same unit is just slaughtered by tyrants, and everything else on the nid list.
You do though, need anti-tank, obviously lascannons work great. Missle launchers are also great for killing crisis suits (instakill). Basically think of a Hammerhead as a more-mobile Land raider, cuz of the skimmer rule, they wind up about that hard to kill.
A lot changes depending upon whether or not he takes kroot. The only pt effective way to kill kroot is with flamers. I'm serious, a squad of kroot in a forest can both out shoot and outfight you, but flamers will kill them by the hundreds. Conversely, if he has no kroot, flamers aren't much good for anything. Also not good vs 'nids, the small light stuff will always be chargin you, not the otherway around, you'll never get to fire them.
So what should you take?
*Well, as a tau player, I fear first and foremost, just masses of tactical marines. We don't have enough AP3, and trying to take enough FW to shoot down that many basic marines is a losing battle in the end. Plus those marines can have so much horrible stuff in them like lascannon and missle launchers and plasma guns. Plasma guns are good because they can basically hurt everything Tau have.
* Assault marines are horrible for Tau, obviously. As a Tau player, I've become very practiced at killing an assault squad before it hits me, it's just that important, but it takes a lot concentrated firepower to do it, and I'd be hard pressed to kill two. Bikes serve exactly the same purpose. Don't take attack bikes though, they're expensive enough to be worth a railgun shot (instakill).
*take at least one devastater squad with lascannons. You need them for hammerheads, and also crisis and broadsides.
***** A deep striking librarian with FOTD will absolutly, straight-up, pwn tau. I have literally been just annilating an enemy (deathwing, lots of tasty, high pts per wound termies), to only have my entire army run off the board. Tau have no counter, and it's pretty unfair. It is so brutal a tactic, that if you were to use it routinely on your friend, he would not want to play you anymore. Conversely, this power will do bascially nothing to 'nids.
I hope that helps.
Last edited by Katie Drake; January 5th, 2007 at 02:44.
Your poitns about Terminators however is valid. Tau easily kill them, there are simply too many AP2 or AP1 weapons in the Tau arsenal. But with regards to a unit that can work well against both Tau and Tyranids they should work slightly better than Assault Marines.
Shut up and play.
Lots of FW just out on the board is frankly a very newbish thing to do, it doesn't work well, and it's not how tau are supposed to be played. An assault squad or two, if there's sufficient cover, can usually wreck this sort of army very easily.
FW in DF, conversely, tend to stay in the DF, only popping out once or twice to take a shot of opportunity.
Librarian for Tau and a whirlwind for nids.
Librarian FOTD is DEADLY for tau. Especially since you can infiltate with a Command Squad. I destroyed all of my friends kroot with just FOTD.
Whirlwinds are amazing at killing Nids because of their strength AP_. Most nids don't even get a 4+ save and some of the better creatures do(Warriors, genestealers) The bigger creatures get 3+ or 2+ depending on biomorphs, so lascannons or plasma weapons are a must. The whirlwind is great at taking out the large squads of gaunts.
SHOOT THE GENESTEALERS
They are the bane of any Space Marine player.
Hammerheads are a real pain so I would kill those quickly as well. My favorite combo is a suicide squad. Its a command squad, and though some people may think this is a dumb I dea, I happen to like it. I infiltrate a Command Squad (Commander and Librarian both with meltas) Librarian uses FOTD and Captain assaults hammerhead with meltas (as well as the librarian) THen they assault everything in sight and take as many modls with them as possible.
*NOTE* If your tau friend is good, dont do this. I only use this cuz my friend is horrible.
Last edited by Katie Drake; January 5th, 2007 at 02:46.
Shut up and play.
Assault squads are great against tau but make sure you take enough to reach close combat. (I'm fielding like 2 full squads on a normal day....so never had problems)
And this actually works against nids. Just take flamers....jump, flame, deny charge (I don't care if genestealers wipe me in CC if 3/4 of of them die by two flamers and bolt pistol fire before combat is struck). Taking furious charge helps but being Ultramarines thats not an option for you.
The Librarian will be the best HQ for you as pointed out by kshrike. Yes FOTD is abusive against any tau army and the force weapon can help kill off giant MCs. And Fury of Ancients can easily hurt a tau offensive with those pinning checks. Have fun with this guy. (I drop him with a termi command squad but I've seen others use a bike and jump pack to get in)
Avoid vehicles all around but a predator tank with three lascannons can be nice against the nids once in a while....but majority of the time you are better off with a devestator squad (with rocket launchers...lascannons are overpriced on my part) and besides....they can help instakill the crisis suits.
For a balanced list against both, take what is above and a lot of tactical squads to provide firesupport (with lascannons of course)
if you need to kill nids in particular, landspeeders with assault cannons are mean.
if you need to kill tau get some more assault squads (its mean with 3 entire squads)
Raven Claws Space Marine Chapter........2500 points
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Member of the Fluffmaster Clan
3 entire squads Zephyr? That is running almost 750 points on models with nearly no ability to fire or damage vehicles. Bad idea.
Pheonix, I would suggest a balanced list. No gimmicks, or specific strategies. A balanced list opens you up to every form of play, shooting and closecombat strategies. It's a whole lot of fun too. You'll win some, and you'll definately lose some, but you'll get better in all fields of play at the same time.
Don't underestimate tactical squads. They offer quite a bit of fire support and they can, basically fill any role; from tank hunting to infantry mowing, and they are tough in close combat. They are the backbone of a balanced list, because they are balanced themselves.
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