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View Poll Results: Are markerlights good or bad on static fire warriors?

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  1. #1
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    Firewarriors with markerlights

    I have markerlights and target locks in each of my fire warrior squads and some people have suggested not to use it and save the points.
    So, when you have static fire warriors is it a good idea to use the markerlights or not?
    Please explain why or why not to use markerlights on firewarriors.


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  3. #2
    LO's Shadow Captain Lost Nemesis's Avatar
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    In a squad of completely static Fire Warriors, the only tactically viable way to give a Markerlight to a Fire Warrior squad is to also add a Hard-Wired Target Lock, so you don't waste the shots of the rest of the unit. Personally, though, I don't like static Fire Warriors so I won't give Markerlights to mine. They have their uses, but one Markerlight shot per turn that hits on a 4+ (average of 3 hits per game) won't really give you that much use, in my opinion.

    I much prefer Pathfinders or Skyrays for my Markerlights, but I think FW's with Markerlights can have their uses. Just not for me.

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    The ORIGINAL Sniper Puss eiglepulper's Avatar
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    I tend not to use FW units with Markerlights too, mainly because mine are in DFs, but if I do decide to use such a unit, then it is always a minimum 6-man unit which is well ensconced into hard cover, giving them a good cover save. The thing I also find is that my opponent tends to ignore them because they are a small unit. It's when the Markerlight starts to cause his units problems that he takes steps to deal with the unit.

    I would not give all my units MLs though if I were ever playing Static Tau. FWs are reasonably easily killed, thus Morale Checks are required fairly regularly. If the unit falls back, then in its next turn the ML can't be used even if they rally.

    E.
    "Tau Commandment #226: Participants who use Velocity Trackers in the Tau Clay Pigeon Tournament will be disqualified"

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    The deep down truth Rikimaru's Avatar
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    724 (x8)

    Quote Originally Posted by Moondawg View Post
    I have marker lights and target locks in each of my fire warrior squads and some people have suggested not to use it and save the points.
    So, when you have static fire warriors is it a good idea to use the marker lights or not?
    Please explain why or why not to use marker lights on fire warriors.
    To give a Fire Warrior a marker light means upping him to Shas'Ui and then paying for the ML and also a target lock to enable its most efficient usage, this costs 25pts and a basic 6 man unit with the extras cost 85pts (that aint cheap).

    What do we get for that? one Marker light hit at BS3, so your going to miss on average 50% of the time, if your using static Tau then your going to want to set up as far away as possible to keep them safe for the maximum time, this means 1 or 2 turns that the marker light could be out of range, even with one turns loss your down to 2 hits a game, thats a pretty piss poor return for 85pts.

    Then we have the target lock, this needs a TP test to allow the ML user to target a different unit and if its failed the unit has to fire at the same (nearest target) so usually either the ML is wasted or the pulse rifles.

    Marker lights also severely compromise a FW units mobility, even in static lists movement is needed, to gain LOS, avoid the opponents units, tactical advantage etc etc and ML's make movement a wasteful exercise. If you move you cannot shoot that ML.

    If you have three units of FW, its going to cost you 75pts for a possible 9 marker light hits and thats optimistic. Just where do you find those points? and which units are compromised to allow their inclusion?

    If you consider LOS issues, the misses for the units who get a BS boost (even BS5 misses) and the fact that we have other marker light carrying units available (all of which do a better job) then why bother giving a FW unit a ML.

    Consider this 4 units of FW with ML's means 100pts on the ML gear and Shas'Ui upgrades. A six man squad will cost 85pts, so times that by 4, thats 340 pts for the minimum FW squad.

    For 336 pts you can take a Skyray (155pts) and a full Pathfinder squad with a Devilfish with decoys, Thats 6 ML's in the PF squad and 2 BS4 ML's on the Skyray which can fire at 2 separate targets a turn and it can move and shoot them, oh and it carries 6 seekers.

    This makes so much more sense to me, obviously the list would be totally different but I am illustrating the point that ML's can be taken in a much more points and usage efficient form than FW squads.

    Fire Warriors are mobile infantry, they are not pathfinders. the FW squad is meant to be the mobile application of Tau firepower, not sitting in a hedge waiting to maybe hit a target with its single BS3 marker light.

    ML + FW = ( then :cry: then finally the realisation at just how bad the idea is.
    1984

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    Member israfel420's Avatar
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    I use static FW ML teams and I think they are marvelous and superior to pathfinders for many reasons.

    First and foremost, static FW ML teams add offense in terms of pulse rifles. Pathfinders on the other hand only add in the offense generated by their DFish as they themselves would rather be markerlighting things. For this reason(and others) I often run my FW's in teams of 8,9, or 10. You see I don't think of them as markerlights with pulse rifles, I think of them as pulse rifles who happen to have a markerlight. So when viewed in this light, the more FW's you take in the ML squad, the less cost the ML's are in proportion to the team and the more you start thinking of them as dakka with benefits.

    Another reason I prefer Static ML teams is they can target multiple units. 4 squads of FW's with markerlights can potentially mark 4 seperate units. If they roll average and mark 2 units, that is still one more than said pathfinder team.

    Also consider that they can set up in multiple fire lanes thus giving greater board coverage. Pathfinders can only mark what they can see, and unless you are playing on planet bowling ball, opponents will use cover to deny LOS. FW's on the other hand will be able to see more of the board creating less oportunity to avoid those lights.

    The next reason FW's are better as markerlight carriers are their ablative wounds. Pathfinders lose one guy and they hae lost one light, FW's have to lose all their guys before their light is gone. Add bonding to this equation and that light will likely stick around for a good while. Pathfinders on the other hand only have to lose 8 guys max befoer there are no more markerlights left. How many times have I shook my head when my Pathfinders are killed by turn 3 and muhc of my army is now permanently BS3? With static FW's I may lose a light or two, but I almost always have lights at the end of the game. This is another reason I don't usually use minimum squads for ML purposes.

    Last but not least is the Force Organization Chart. FW's take up a troop choic of which we have 6, Pathfinders remove a valuable Fast attack slot better served with Piranhas, gun drones, or Vespid.

    So to sum up pros of the static FW ML team

    *Ablative wounds
    *Multiple fire lane coverage
    *More Firepower
    *FOC chart benefits
    *Able to target multiple units

    The Cons as mentioned by Rikimaru boil down to only 3 things
    *Added Cost
    *lack of mobility
    *less overall hits


    As far as the lack of mobility goes I say big deal. Static FW's shouldn't be moving most of the time anyway so they can take advantage of the 30" range on their pulse rifles. Also as far as LOS issues due to lack of mobility I think pathfinders suffer from exactly the same problem only moreso as there is only one team of them.

    When it comes to added cost which do you think is more costly? 25 extra points on a unit that adds offense on it's own, or paying around 200 points for a unit that does nothing more than markerlight.

    When it comes to the fact that those markerlilght from pathfinder teams almost always gaurentee at least a couple of hits, I say that is missing the big picture. I would rather have a 50/50 chance to mark up to 4 units with 1 light each as opposed to a near 100% cahcne to mark 1 unit multiple times. Sure when an enemy unit gets close you are going to want more hits on that one unit, but in that case the enemy unit is usually visible to more than one FW markerlight so it becomes a moot point. Plus less overall hits is really just related to the point about added cost, they are really one in the same.

    In the end, I guess it boils down to playstyle. I run a hybrid list using static FW's and sniper drone teasm to get my markerlights covering almost every conceivable fire lane on the board. I don't use mounted FW squads since I can't stand payin 85 points minimum for a non scoring transport that can just be shaken or destroyed easily and thus leaves the squad inside useless and stranded. I much prefer getting my skimmer walls from Hammerheads and/or Piranhas as they are either cheaper and scoring with better offense(Piranhas with fusion rock!!) or they are tougher and more resilient with better offense(Hammerheads rock too).

    As far as the skyray goes, I like it on paper, but the reality of the situation leaves muc hto be desired IMO. First of all it does not contribute nearly the same level of offense of en economy(130 point) Ionhead. Secondly, it's mobile markerlights are nice and BS4 on them is accurate, but again it can easily be shaken or stunned thus making them pointless yet again. Finally, I think that the Heavy support slot just has better options all the way around. Ionheads, Railheads, Broadsides, and sniper drones all take precedence over the Skyray in my book.

    A final note on sniper drones. Though they are nonscoring and I detest that, and they are small squads easily killed or run off with but a few wounds. I find that they almost never die since they have stealth fields combined with long range. Additionally, their antiMEQ output is simply awesome combined with pinning and the ability to shoot multiple units these are very potent offensive teams. Finally they have those nice BS4 markerlights that are networked and can set up in different fire lanes. I absolutely love these things and in any game 1500 up to 1850 points I usually run 2 while at games 1850 and up I always take 3. Combined with 3 or 4 static ML teams I can almost gaurentee I will have at least 1 or 2 markerlight hits on whatever unit I absolutely need to kill.

  7. #6
    The deep down truth Rikimaru's Avatar
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    724 (x8)

    Quote Originally Posted by israfel420 View Post
    I use static FW ML teams and I think they are marvelous and superior to pathfinders for many reasons.

    First and foremost, static FW ML teams add offense in terms of pulse rifles. Pathfinders on the other hand only add in the offense generated by their DFish as they themselves would rather be markerlighting things. For this reason(and others) I often run my FW's in teams of 8,9, or 10. You see I don't think of them as markerlights with pulse rifles, I think of them as pulse rifles who happen to have a markerlight. So when viewed in this light, the more FW's you take in the ML squad, the less cost the ML's are in proportion to the team and the more you start thinking of them as dakka with benefits.

    Another reason I prefer Static ML teams is they can target multiple units. 4 squads of FW's with markerlights can potentially mark 4 seperate units. If they roll average and mark 2 units, that is still one more than said pathfinder team.

    Also consider that they can set up in multiple fire lanes thus giving greater board coverage. Pathfinders can only mark what they can see, and unless you are playing on planet bowling ball, opponents will use cover to deny LOS. FW's on the other hand will be able to see more of the board creating less oportunity to avoid those lights.

    The next reason FW's are better as markerlight carriers are their ablative wounds. Pathfinders lose one guy and they hae lost one light, FW's have to lose all their guys before their light is gone. Add bonding to this equation and that light will likely stick around for a good while. Pathfinders on the other hand only have to lose 8 guys max befoer there are no more markerlights left. How many times have I shook my head when my Pathfinders are killed by turn 3 and muhc of my army is now permanently BS3? With static FW's I may lose a light or two, but I almost always have lights at the end of the game. This is another reason I don't usually use minimum squads for ML purposes.

    Last but not least is the Force Organization Chart. FW's take up a troop choic of which we have 6, Pathfinders remove a valuable Fast attack slot better served with Piranhas, gun drones, or Vespid.

    So to sum up pros of the static FW ML team

    *Ablative wounds
    *Multiple fire lane coverage
    *More Firepower
    *FOC chart benefits
    *Able to target multiple units

    The Cons as mentioned by Rikimaru boil down to only 3 things
    *Added Cost
    *lack of mobility
    *less overall hits


    As far as the lack of mobility goes I say big deal. Static FW's shouldn't be moving most of the time anyway so they can take advantage of the 30" range on their pulse rifles. Also as far as LOS issues due to lack of mobility I think pathfinders suffer from exactly the same problem only moreso as there is only one team of them.

    When it comes to added cost which do you think is more costly? 25 extra points on a unit that adds offense on it's own, or paying around 200 points for a unit that does nothing more than markerlight.

    When it comes to the fact that those markerlilght from pathfinder teams almost always gaurentee at least a couple of hits, I say that is missing the big picture. I would rather have a 50/50 chance to mark up to 4 units with 1 light each as opposed to a near 100% cahcne to mark 1 unit multiple times. Sure when an enemy unit gets close you are going to want more hits on that one unit, but in that case the enemy unit is usually visible to more than one FW markerlight so it becomes a moot point. Plus less overall hits is really just related to the point about added cost, they are really one in the same.

    In the end, I guess it boils down to playstyle. I run a hybrid list using static FW's and sniper drone teasm to get my markerlights covering almost every conceivable fire lane on the board. I don't use mounted FW squads since I can't stand payin 85 points minimum for a non scoring transport that can just be shaken or destroyed easily and thus leaves the squad inside useless and stranded. I much prefer getting my skimmer walls from Hammerheads and/or Piranhas as they are either cheaper and scoring with better offense(Piranhas with fusion rock!!) or they are tougher and more resilient with better offense(Hammerheads rock too).

    As far as the skyray goes, I like it on paper, but the reality of the situation leaves muc hto be desired IMO. First of all it does not contribute nearly the same level of offense of en economy(130 point) Ionhead. Secondly, it's mobile markerlights are nice and BS4 on them is accurate, but again it can easily be shaken or stunned thus making them pointless yet again. Finally, I think that the Heavy support slot just has better options all the way around. Ionheads, Railheads, Broadsides, and sniper drones all take precedence over the Skyray in my book.

    A final note on sniper drones. Though they are nonscoring and I detest that, and they are small squads easily killed or run off with but a few wounds. I find that they almost never die since they have stealth fields combined with long range. Additionally, their antiMEQ output is simply awesome combined with pinning and the ability to shoot multiple units these are very potent offensive teams. Finally they have those nice BS4 markerlights that are networked and can set up in different fire lanes. I absolutely love these things and in any game 1500 up to 1850 points I usually run 2 while at games 1850 and up I always take 3. Combined with 3 or 4 static ML teams I can almost gaurentee I will have at least 1 or 2 markerlight hits on whatever unit I absolutely need to kill.
    I think the thing you miss Israfel is how ML's are best used, yeah a Pathfinder unit can only ML one target unless a Shas'Ui is taken with a target lock and then two units can be ML'd, however thats missing the point.

    The point is how are ML's best used and the way they work best is by using multiple ML hits on ONE target, the ML hits are best used to improve BS and most units in the Tau list are BS3, so two ML hits are needed to give the best return from a units shooting (BS5) then its always prudent to have either the ability to reduce cover saves or to have the option to help up the chances of failing a pinning test, this can only be done with a unit that provides multiple ML hits, something FW units can never do.

    4 FW teams with ML's have a miss rate of 50%, even if all 4 hit they have to all be in LOS and range to provide 4 hits on a unit to provide the multiple hits a pathfinder squad does. One single ML hit often does very little.

    Also the multiple hits caused by a pathfinder team can be used by multiple units, so a dangerous enemy unit can be wiped out by concentrated improved shooting.

    I tend to use my Skyrays ML hits to up the BS of my 2 Hammerheads railguns (usually for Subs) as they are BS4 to start and the strength of the Subs means a hit and wound on 2+, the pathfinders are used to ML for FOF units and for seekers, this is the most efficient use for these units.

    I agree that the static nature is a problem for all ML teams, however the Pathfinder team does have the benefit of a scout move and also the ability to soak up some 7 wounds before it is in the same position of a FW ML squad (1 ML) and they can take bonding to, so I do not realy see your point there.
    Also Pathfinders do have offensive capabilities, they have pulse carbines and there is no reason they cannot be used.

    Pathfinders are best used in conjunction with a Skyray, the Skyray provides mobile marker lights and will often be ignored, it is a fantastic unit to avoid the very LOS issues you mentioned, set up the pathfinders in a central position, use the DF's drones to provide a target priority screen and anti assault unit along with their Devilfish and they will survive very well (especially if placed in cover) and then use the Skyray to provide the markerlight hits on units that are out of LOS of the Pathfinder unit.

    I have used this combo in my 1500 and 2000pts list for a fair while and it works brilliantly.
    The Skyray cannot be compared to an Ionhead it is a totally different unit used in a totally different way, plus it only costs 25pts more but for that your getting the ML benefits plus significant firepower.

    The fact you seem to mis is that Ion, railheads and XV88's all benefit from the Skyrays presence and it is quite obvious you have not used one or you would know this, 6 seekers is hardly a bad weapons payload, add this to the benefits the ML's offer to the units you listed and it becomes a very sensible option.

    You also have to remember that the Skyrays seekers can ALWAYS be fired and thats another reason the pathfinder/Skyray combo works well, Ok stun the Skyray but it still provides an offensive capability, stun a Hammerhead and it does nothing, so basically your wrong when you say if the Skyray is stunned its pointless, this only occurs if there are no other ML's in the list, however the useless when stunned thing also applies to your economy Ionhead does it not.

    Sniper drones are actually OK but they suffer from the same problem all other ML units do, lack of mobility, you can guarantee 1 or 2 hits a turn, so can I with the pathfinders and Skyray but I have mobility and all my units are scoring. Also and heres an important point my Fire Warriors are doing what they should be doing providing a mobile source of fire power and not just stuck on their arses providing ablative wound for a ML that will miss 50% of the time and not be used for 2 turns anyway..

    You are entitled to use your army in anyway you see fit, but I know you have already admitted you play a quite limited range of opponents (MEQS mostly) and your list suits the way you play and your opponent mix, however in a list that is going to deal with all types of list then I firmly believe that FW need to be doing what FW do best provide mobile applied fire power and pathfinders and Skyrays provide the best solution for ML coverage against a wide range of opponent types.

    One last point Pathfinders do not work that well in tournies, unless you really know what your doing, I prefer the Skyray, massed ML's are actually best avoided in tournie lists as they eat up points and most opponents will deal with them quick, the Skyray is a good unit for tournies as it is survivable and mobile and has offensive punch and is not widely understood in its role as a ML provider and will often be ignored, the same cannot be said of pathfinders or FW ML teams.

    Last point are you actually trying to say that Vepids are a better fast attack option than a Pathfinder unit, come on lets be serious eh, also we know you take Piranhas so you have no real choice but to nerf your FW squads to provide ML's (as you don't use a Skyray) and take up a valuable heavy slot with non scoring snipers.
    Well at least you haven't advised using Stealth marker squads.
    1984

  8. #7
    The ORIGINAL Sniper Puss eiglepulper's Avatar
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    Hmm....and on the topic of Stealth Marker Teams....

    *ducks*

    E.

    (Sorry Riki, couldn't resist!)
    "Tau Commandment #226: Participants who use Velocity Trackers in the Tau Clay Pigeon Tournament will be disqualified"

  9. #8
    The deep down truth Rikimaru's Avatar
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    724 (x8)

    Quote Originally Posted by eiglepulper View Post
    Hmm....and on the topic of Stealth Marker Teams....

    *ducks*

    E.

    (Sorry Riki, couldn't resist!)
    :w00t:Watch it son or I will have to resort to the use of the 'Dude' word and you do not want that:cry:

    I am sure someone will bring up the use of stealth ML's though.
    1984

  10. #9
    The ORIGINAL Sniper Puss eiglepulper's Avatar
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    *quivers* Not the 'Dude' Word! Noooo...

    ^_^

    E.
    "Tau Commandment #226: Participants who use Velocity Trackers in the Tau Clay Pigeon Tournament will be disqualified"

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    Member israfel420's Avatar
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    SMT's rock (sorry couldn't resist) :shifty:

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