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The tau empire thrives on each warrior for the Greater Good working in unison to have each unit assisting those around it by doing whatever it is that they do best. For the Vespids, they are the marine killers, but, as any tau player will tell you, they stink. But what if we incorporate them fully into the greater good. What if we give them the support of another unit on the battlefield.
Instead of purchasing just a vespid unit, purchase along with them a 4 drone squad of gundrones. The gundrones will be positioned in front of the vespids closely packed enough to block any enemies from traveling through them to the precious vespids. Each turn, the vespids move up 12 inches and the gun drones 6. The vespid shoot at their targets, and the drones do likewise. In the assault phase however, the drones jump in front to block any assaults and give the vespids an extremely valuable coversave.
This tactic is really only viable in a mobile army because of the way the points work out.
I've run the numbers and compared to a devilfished firewarrior sqaud, vespids with gundrones perform slightly better.
10 firewarriors + one devilfish with multitracker= 185 pts
8 vespids (one strain leader) + 4 drones= 182 pts
FW(assumed to be in rapid fire range using fish of fury) against marines:
20 shots * .5 hit rate * .6666 wound rate * .3333 savefail = 2.22 kilss
add in the burst cannon: 3 shots*.5 hit rate*.666 wound rate * .333 savefail = .332 kills
TOTAL = 2.55 kills
8 shots * .5 hit rate * .6666 wound rate = 2.66 kilss
add in the drones: 4 shots * .75 hit rate * .666 wound rate * .3333 savefail = .665 kills
TOTAL = 3.32 kills
Both units would be protected from assault and both would get a 4+ save against shooting (vespids from cover) and the vespids with their toughness of 4 would fair better.
It doesn't fit all armies, but with this configuration, the vespids have found their place in the greater good.
It's a decent idea, but it faces one major problem. A 4-man Drone squad is a Kill Point waiting to happen. Do some searching on the Vespids, though, at the very least I have a tactica here and Rikimaru has gone over them in some detail as well (we notably disagree on their basic viability, though even I won't take them in a tournament list)
I fight for the Greater Good. Too bad for you it's MY Greater Good.
Snow Forces of T'olku W/L/D : 3-4-2... I like to think I'm learning, though.
A few problems with the tactic.
(1) The Drones are only any good as long as they are around (stating the obvious I know). With 4 Drones and the fact that they are there to provide cover (hence they will be shot), they have a 4+ save and they have poor toghness then they will take casualties fast. They will fall back fast because of thier poor LDS and then you have a Vespid squad with no protection.
(2) The Drones can only protect one side of the unit, it is rare for enemy units to operate in isolation and it is more than likely that another unit will be able to draw LOS to the Vespids.
(3) It is easy to simply engage the Drones in an assault and the units protection of the Vespids is negated and you lose a kill point.
(4) Fire Warriors usually have the benefit of protection from a Devilfish, they have a 4+ save and the numbers to soak up casualties. They also have access to Bonding Knives which niether Vespid or Drones do.
Finally and this is my re-occuring point with all these sort of tactics, where do you find the points for the Drones. 48pts is a fair chunk of points to take from any other part of the Tau list and can prevent you from taking units or compromise other units effectiveness (losing wargear or members of the team etc). I am loathe to ever take a unit solely to protect another unit, it limits the effectiveness of the protecting unit and the protected unit relies to much on the other unit.
So no I would disagree the Vespid have not found their place in the greater good, mores the pity.
i always found if i was going to use vespids to infiltrate a unit of kroot in front of them prvoiding them with a save. the best part is they hit assaut about the same time. but that just what i think
idk it always worked for me. when working together the 2 can put a hurt down
Vespid need support to perform and this one of thier biggest drawbacks. Kroot are better used as a unit on their own, infiltrating and harassing and not hamstrung by protecting another unit.
I too have used the Vespid-Kroot combination to reasonably good effect - infiltrating the Kroot up front (preferably in wooded terrain!) and then using the Skilled Fliers ability of the Vespid to move them up very quickly through the same terrain so that by Turn Two there is a nasty unit with combat ability allied to back-up from a "nasty gun" unit in the opponent's back yard.
Although Vespid could be Deep Struck instead of walked/flown forward to join the Kroot, I think that would be far too risky for what is an already weak-ish unit.
Having said all this in their "defence", I am reluctant to use Vespid too often unless we are talking huge point games where I can 'afford' to lose a unit like this (although I obviously try to keep them alive as long as possible)
"Tau Commandment #226: Participants who use Velocity Trackers in the Tau Clay Pigeon Tournament will be disqualified"