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Thread: Suit Deployment

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    Suit Deployment

    Hey Folks. Still under my first twenty or so games with the Tau. Not going so great for me but its more my newbishness than army problems I believe. I've started to be smarter in my deployment and it's helping. Our local games have a ton of marines and the turn one drop pod is almost a guarantee. I have that under control more or less. My question I would put to you guys is this: How do you regularly deploy your suits?

    Are they in reserve ready for the DS? Do you have them boxed in by your vehicles for protection? How much does it depend on their load out? (I understand the torch squads or melta units are a given).

    Just looking for some input and a discussion. Thanks all!


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    I am a free man! number6's Avatar
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    786 (x8)

    I would argue that you should never put your army into reserves. A Tau army needs every gun firing each and every turn to win games.

    Deployment for a Tau army should almost always been a corner castle deployment. It's definitely the best way to stymie drop pod marines. But it's also the best way to protect your suits. And stacking a flank like that also makes it easier for you to focus fire on the bits of the enemy that are able to affect you. Being able to pick enemies apart one piece at a time is easier if you are relatively tightly focused in one smallish area of the table ... where there is only one way to get to you.

    See the video batreps linked in the first post of my tactica (see my signature below) for examples.
    ninjabackhand: point and click, again, really? even after i give you an military term "shock tactic" you still call it point and click.
    RIP Warhammer 40,000: 21 Sep 1998 - 24 May 2014

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    LO Zealot Rafici's Avatar
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    91 (x3)

    I agree with everything on the table ( i may hold a unit of FW of the table if i want to keep them safe (but they are sometimes better just to sit in the DF from the beginning.

    I dont DS anything although i have been considering it with the touch squad.
    Tau: 6K - W17-D3-L4, Orks: 4K - W9-D0-L2, SM: 7K - W7-D3-L4,CSM: 4K W5-D1-L1, Nids: 3.2K W3-D0-L2
    Apoc games (mixture of armies used): W5-D0-L1

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    Quote Originally Posted by number6 View Post
    I would argue that you should never put your army into reserves. A Tau army needs every gun firing each and every turn to win games.

    Deployment for a Tau army should almost always been a corner castle deployment. It's definitely the best way to stymie drop pod marines. But it's also the best way to protect your suits. And stacking a flank like that also makes it easier for you to focus fire on the bits of the enemy that are able to affect you. Being able to pick enemies apart one piece at a time is easier if you are relatively tightly focused in one smallish area of the table ... where there is only one way to get to you.

    See the video batreps linked in the first post of my tactica (see my signature below) for examples.
    Reserve's aren't always an option, or optimal. For example. you can't start dawn of war with certain things on the board, and they often lose their first shot even if they walk on 1st turn (such as pathfinders and broadsides). Sure, you can give broadsides A.S.S. but I really prefer targetting arrays because I tend to roll horribly. Another issue is certain units are only at their best when reserved, such as stealth suits (because of their range), and XV8's in a setup such as TL-flamer + AFP. Another thing is kroot in objective games. Sometimes you find yourself in a situation where you need to outflank onto an objective, because walking across the board with t3 no armour will get them killed easily. Another thing might be if you have firewarriors in a devilfish, and you don't play aggressively (as in get out and rapid fire, where they can die easily), you have a viable option of reserving them.

    I think it all depends on both your siituation and your strategy.

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    786 (x8)

    Dawn of War is exactly why your XV88s must have ASSs. Why purposefully cripple yourself in 1/3 of all games played? TL BS 3 provides a 75% hit rate. Most people consider straight-up BS 4 to be plenty reliable, and TL BS 3 is better than that.

    And you probably know that I am not a fan of flamer XV8s precisely because you can't ever use them at maximum capability. Either all you get is MP shots from range, or you have to wait several turns to hope to get a single shot in with flamers. Up close. Where you can be easily killed. Which may indeed mean reserves.

    That is guns you could instead have shooting from turn 1. Inefficient, it seems to me.

    Kroot's purpose is never to take objectives. If they happen to be able to do so, you must really be kicking serious ass! Kroot are too important as expendable screens to be used in actual tactical attempts to claim objectives. Using them in that fashion weakens your entire army.

    Reserving FWs is definitely something worth considering. But don't reserve their devilfish! You need them all the time, every time. If you place an objective deep in your deployment zone, by all means reserves a unit of FWs to walk onto it later in the game. But you can't afford to go without a shooting/blocking/cover-providing vehicle.
    ninjabackhand: point and click, again, really? even after i give you an military term "shock tactic" you still call it point and click.
    RIP Warhammer 40,000: 21 Sep 1998 - 24 May 2014

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

    Quote Originally Posted by number6 View Post
    And you probably know that I am not a fan of flamer XV8s precisely because you can't ever use them at maximum capability. Either all you get is MP shots from range, or you have to wait several turns to hope to get a single shot in with flamers. Up close. Where you can be easily killed. Which may indeed mean reserves.

    That is guns you could instead have shooting from turn 1. Inefficient, it seems to me.
    Well if you have no idea how to play 40K effectively then yes indeed your Flamer suits may indeed last one turn when using Flamers (I use you as a generic term and it is not referring to number6), for us players who do actually know how to play 40K this is not a problem, why? Because of things called tactical awareness, unit synergy, focussed fire power, deployment and oh yeah movement.

    Lets take a look at the much vaunted Fireknife number6 raves about, 1 shot from the Plasma at anything over 12", according to six the XV8 should always be at range so we get three shots from a three FK unit with Plasma between 12 and 24". BS3 that means 1.5 hits and dependent on toughness around 1,25 wounds over the Missile pods of the Torch unit he mentioned. Yep game turning performance from turn one there (this is why I aim to take BS4 FK's by the way).

    Funny thing is 5th is Mech biased and a lot faster, yes we can provide a certain amount of blockading/speed bumps etc and we also have outflanking, Deep strike, Mycetic spores, Drop pods, flying units, running units. All those things mean one thing enemy units get close (often protected by vehicles) and that means close range weaponry gets used.
    I have had games where I have used the Flamers three or four times (funny that, should I not have lost them after the one use?). I know how to deploy effectively, I know how to use Kroot and Piranhas (Devilfish as well when needed) to slow down armies, I know how to utilise terrain and corner deployment to stifle outflank, I know how to deploy to dissuade and make DS/DP deployment and yet I still get units closing fast because it is the nature of 5th and is unavoidable, we can soften its impact but not 100% prevent it (yeah we know Six can ).

    number6 please stop dismissing a unit you do not use, have probably never used more than once and have no idea how to integrate into a Tau list. I know you do not use them so if you have next to no experience of them in true gameplay situations you should refrain from knocking them as much as you do.

    I have used the FK extensively and I still do so I speak about them from direct gameplay experience, I also use the Torch squad and have done so extensively so again I speak from experience and not conjecture.
    I use FK's and the Torch squad together in the same list and they work beautifully together. In other words I can talk about both the Torch and FK because I use both, you do not use the Torch/Flamer yet you somehow are expert on them.

    Any unit only works as part of an overall list, the Torch squad is no different, it works in my list because it gets ML support because the other XV8's don't need it, which means their MP's usually hit on 2+. The Flamers work well because they are twin linked and are used with intelligence, they hit targets they can hurt (more than you would think), they work with other units and most of all they are taken because enemy units will and do get close and then close range is a moot point as an argument against them.

    Torch units should never be held in reserve, they should be on the table using their Missile pods and when needed using their Flamers. I am not afraid to actually move the cheapish Torch unit forward to actually attack and if needed be sacrificed, depends on the game circumstances.

    I usually deploy my XV8's in or behind cover/vehicles and all of them are on the table. I cannot remember the last time I DS'd an XV8, why would you risk getting two or three turns stuck in reserve and not adding to your shooting.
    Cheap Flamer only suits are cheap enough and can be effective enough to DS but they will usually be out of range of support from the rest of the Tau army (this is why they die, not just because they use Flamers).

    Remember the key to any Tau unit is the support of the rest of the army. If you look at the Torch unit as a stand alone unit then it does not look that good but look at it as part of the whole, using its MP's to pop transports, hurt high toughness units (doing what a FK does with its MP's), using its Flamers to clear massed infantry, units in cover, units that have got close and are threatening other valuable Tau units and so on. You can see they work very well.

    Six is right about the Devilfish, if possible they should always be on the board, I use them as active blockading units and LOS blocking. I also use them as objective grabbers (with FW inside of course) for which they are extremely good. Either way I usually start with my two DF on the table.

    THe XV8 and XV88 should be on the table unless scenario dictates otherwise, make sure they are protected (in/behind LOS blocking cover or behind vehicles) in case you lose that first turn. Place them where they can jump shoot and then jump back behind cover. XV88's should be deployed with LOS to enemy units foremost in mind, I usually aim to get them on top of buildings. XV88's should have shield drones to offer them some protection but remember the XV88 should have done its job by turn three latest but your XV8's need to be around for all the game. If it comes down to it make sure the XV8's get the bast cover because the XV88 with its 2+ and shield Drones can weather a lot of fire power than an XV8 unit.
    Make sure you use Kroot units and DF, Piranhas to offer cover saves to your XV8's and XV88's.

    Sorry for the sidestep into the old Torch unit territory but it annoys me just how much ignorance there is out there about this extremely effective, cost effective unit.
    1984

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    LO Zealot Rafici's Avatar
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    91 (x3)

    For once i agree with Riki, well put.

    After questioning you for a while a 3 man touch squad is always in my lists. very effective and in a recent game they proved themselves against nids and SW in a 2v2 - killing troops and bikes in one turn and in the turn before killing 2 of a 3 man ravorners squad ( both SW and nids it killed were not even the easy to kill things like ternagaunts - i so wanted to be able to flame them)
    The squad then also fired MP with ML support in the first and later turns.

    BUT - Riki you take about No6 dismissing the touch squad yet you are the same towards the special weapons HQ can get. I fielded in the same game a HQ with both special weapons and normal upgrades + HWTL and attached him to the touch squad. They never really fired at the same target but the touch gave him protection + his SD, from shots. Now im not gonna say the CIB is great as i still question that but i would pull off between 2-4 wounds a turn from it but the AFP is amazin - in one turn it took out 15 of 18 gargoles. (they shot after DS and didn't run) and that was just one turn it done plenty of damage against the SW as well earning over 2x its points back.
    Tau: 6K - W17-D3-L4, Orks: 4K - W9-D0-L2, SM: 7K - W7-D3-L4,CSM: 4K W5-D1-L1, Nids: 3.2K W3-D0-L2
    Apoc games (mixture of armies used): W5-D0-L1

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Rafici View Post
    For once i agree with Riki, well put.

    After questioning you for a while a 3 man touch squad is always in my lists. very effective and in a recent game they proved themselves against nids and SW in a 2v2 - killing troops and bikes in one turn and in the turn before killing 2 of a 3 man ravorners squad ( both SW and nids it killed were not even the easy to kill things like ternagaunts - i so wanted to be able to flame them)
    The squad then also fired MP with ML support in the first and later turns.

    BUT - Riki you take about No6 dismissing the touch squad yet you are the same towards the special weapons HQ can get. I fielded in the same game a HQ with both special weapons and normal upgrades + HWTL and attached him to the touch squad. They never really fired at the same target but the touch gave him protection + his SD, from shots. Now im not gonna say the CIB is great as i still question that but i would pull off between 2-4 wounds a turn from it but the AFP is amazin - in one turn it took out 15 of 18 gargoles. (they shot after DS and didn't run) and that was just one turn it done plenty of damage against the SW as well earning over 2x its points back.
    I never dismiss anything unless I have played it for quite a while to get the feel of them on the table. The CIB just never performed that well and I have played against it and never seen it do that much either. Now I have played my Els using the FK or Helios and they always do well and whenever I face a Tau list with those El builds they are far more of a worry for me. The AFP is not as bad as the CIB but I simply do not use my Shas'El's for anti infantry and I love my Missile pods on the Torch squad to much to drop one for an AFP. My Deathrain unit has the TA to maximise their hit rate and the FK squad I use usually works with my FK El and they are anti transport/tough target killers. So basically I have no place for an AFP and to be quite honest I do not like scatter weapons (that over reliance on luck again).
    It comes down to the fact that I see no real place for the AFP or CIB in a Tau list, they do nothing that other units can do better. I do see a place for the Torch squad because it is effective at long and close range. I know if I use the TL Flamer I get auto hits and re-rolls to wound, the AFP relies on avoiding scatter and the only way to reduce the scatter is to up BS and that means either a TA on Vre's or usign the HQ (HQ are better of with the Plasma because they have the accuracy to make it count).
    The Torch squad can contribute 6 MP shots a turn and I do not want to lose two of those for the AFP, the Torch squad can cover a lot of models with three templates but if I take an AFP there is a chance it will scatter badly. Like I said I never dismiss anything unless I put a lot of thought and play testing into the decision as I hope I have illustrated with the explanation above about why ah AFP is not in my Torch squad.
    I am glad you find the AFP useful but I can pretty much guarantee that you will have lots of games where it will do very little, if you are comfortable with that then that is fine. I prefer to take units/weapons/wargear that I know will contribute something to every game reliably.
    1984

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    LO Zealot Rafici's Avatar
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    91 (x3)

    See now i disagree with you but understnad where your coming from I'm thinking of removing the CIB and putting a MP with the AFP.

    I do not put this weapon on my touch squads but on a HQ. I then add this HQ to my touch squad. With a HWTL the HQ can fire at assulting troops the turn before they get close enough to use the flames
    this means i can weaken that unit (massively if they are a horde or as much as the TL-flamer would if they are more MEQ (number of roles to wounds vs the almost garentied to wound of the flamers) whilst this is happening the touch squad would be MP a veh or something big.
    Then the next turn the flamers have their turn if the enemy is still attacking and the HQ turns his AFP + MP on the next target coming that way (or just MP if nothing is close)
    I find this is very effective.
    I play in a 1500 point game these 4 plus a 3 man FK elite and a HQ FK + 2 bodyguard FK. with the usual pathfinders, hammerhead, 2 broadsides, and kroot+ 6 FW.
    I have played this against nids, SW, SM, IG so far and have found that the HQ with AFP always makes more points back than the HQ fireknife. against orks, IG, nids etc that will always happen, against more MEQ armies the FK does a bit better but that is why i have both - so i can take all comers - I find that TAU struggle in the horde type armies cos we are to focused at getting those high powered thinks with MP, railguns and plasma guns.
    The use of this HQ attached to a flame squad ( or even a FK squad as he has a TL and works with simular distances with the MP for long range and the AFP (18") and the plasma (12" RF or 24") as well as that flame squad and the sub shots on the hammerhead really allow me to take on Horde as well as MEQ.

    As only HQ or bodyguard can take this weapon i could understand in a 2500 point game where you may have both HQs as fK with bodyguard FK that you would not want this but in my 1500 when i have only one of them i find it so worth while.

    As to agreeing with you
    - Yes i dont like using small blast markers as there is a high chance of missing BUT the AFP is a large blast marker and ith only a select coice of units able to take it unless you role 11+ you are still likely to hit (unless you put it over 1 model which is not what its meant for) anything under 10 you are still gonna hit.
    This weapon killed 1.5x the units cost in one shot in my last game.
    - I do agree with the CIB i have tried that a number of times and it just doesn't do the job well enough and i can see the value of adding a MP with the AFP to give it the long range just like the touch squads do.
    For an all comers list of 2K or lower a 'el with AFP, MP, TA, HWMT, HWTL, HWDC and SD at 112 points will always be in it attached to another squad (most like a touch squad but maybe a FK squad)
    p.s i always make sure all battlesuits have SD - either themselves or from the HQ i attach to them (only 1 per unit)
    Last edited by Rafici; June 6th, 2010 at 18:37.
    Tau: 6K - W17-D3-L4, Orks: 4K - W9-D0-L2, SM: 7K - W7-D3-L4,CSM: 4K W5-D1-L1, Nids: 3.2K W3-D0-L2
    Apoc games (mixture of armies used): W5-D0-L1

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    Stirling haddatt's Avatar
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    91 (x2)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rikimaru View Post
    Well if you have no idea how to play 40K effectively then yes indeed your Flamer suits may indeed last one turn when using Flamers (I use you as a generic term and it is not referring to number6), for us players who do actually know how to play 40K this is not a problem, why? Because of things called tactical awareness, unit synergy, focussed fire power, deployment and oh yeah movement.

    Lets take a look at the much vaunted Fireknife number6 raves about, 1 shot from the Plasma at anything over 12", according to six the XV8 should always be at range so we get three shots from a three FK unit with Plasma between 12 and 24". BS3 that means 1.5 hits and dependent on toughness around 1,25 wounds over the Missile pods of the Torch unit he mentioned. Yep game turning performance from turn one there (this is why I aim to take BS4 FK's by the way).
    I am actually a fan of the torch squad and less of one with the fireknife. I do tend to do the FK with my commander though. Definitely smarter to have bs4 on them if you use them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rikimaru View Post
    Funny thing is 5th is Mech biased and a lot faster, yes we can provide a certain amount of blockading/speed bumps etc and we also have outflanking, Deep strike, Mycetic spores, Drop pods, flying units, running units. All those things mean one thing enemy units get close (often protected by vehicles) and that means close range weaponry gets used.
    Based, not biased as you seem to be toward your particular army build my simian friend


    Quote Originally Posted by Rikimaru View Post
    I have had games where I have used the Flamers three or four times (funny that, should I not have lost them after the one use?). I know how to deploy effectively, I know how to use Kroot and Piranhas (Devilfish as well when needed) to slow down armies, I know how to utilise terrain and corner deployment to stifle outflank, I know how to deploy to dissuade and make DS/DP deployment and yet I still get units closing fast because it is the nature of 5th and is unavoidable, we can soften its impact but not 100% prevent it (yeah we know Six can ).
    I also have had many games where my flamers have been used several times.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rikimaru View Post
    number6 please stop dismissing a unit you do not use, have probably never used more than once and have no idea how to integrate into a Tau list. I know you do not use them so if you have next to no experience of them in true gameplay situations you should refrain from knocking them as much as you do.
    What works for your style of play may not necessarily work for others. However I do agree with the don't knock it till you try it philosophy. Thats why I tend to try out different ideas even if they seem really odd. Like my stealth suit/sniper drone list from a couple weeks ago.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rikimaru View Post
    Torch units should never be held in reserve, they should be on the table using their Missile pods and when needed using their Flamers. I am not afraid to actually move the cheapish Torch unit forward to actually attack and if needed be sacrificed, depends on the game circumstances.
    I disagree with this. I regularly hold my torch squad in reserve depending on mission, enemy deployment or the enemy army I am facing. I also use positional relay in conjunction with this and usually 2 pathfinder devilfish that allows me a much more reliable reserve roll and deep strike. It has been a great tactical tool in my experience. Again, it works for me and my style of play. While I recommend trying it, it comes down to knowing when to use it and using it properly to be effective.

    On the other hand I start the game with them in play as often as not and found the mpods are very effective in the light armor department and in other situations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rikimaru View Post
    I usually deploy my XV8's in or behind cover/vehicles and all of them are on the table. I cannot remember the last time I DS'd an XV8, why would you risk getting two or three turns stuck in reserve and not adding to your shooting.
    Cheap Flamer only suits are cheap enough and can be effective enough to DS but they will usually be out of range of support from the rest of the Tau army (this is why they die, not just because they use Flamers).
    Again, back to my positional relay and pathfinder devilfish. It still has an element of risk but those two things help greatly with that. Sometimes, just sometimes, having a shock troop effect is worth it even if they die. Also, they are good for knocking out rear units, especially ones that have stealth and are set up in cover.

    As to having advanced stabilisation, I always use it now. I loved the better chance to hit as I ran into a lot of games where they missed more then they should but the ability to reposition or come in from reserve shooting is just too handy. Nothing I like more to do to a drop pod army or demon army then let them have first turn and keep everything off the table (especially dawn of war) Make them do their first drops with no idea where I am going to come on the board at. Then come on and hammer them sespecially if they split their forces to try to cover more of my deployment.

    Again, there are several reasons why I will put units in reserve. Kroot for example are put into reserve often as well as my torch squad. If an out flank manuever is possible and to my advantage I will. Also using positional relay, I have often done a delayed reserve on purpose. Bringing in 1 unit at a time. It works when they have objectives in their back field or units you are waiting to be more isolated by their advance onto your lines. This is a trick I rarely do but it is a very handy one to have up your sleeve in my opinion. I took a win using this in my first year of doing Ard Boyz against a nidzilla army. It was a round 3 game and we were on the top table. He advanced everything onto my lines. Pulled my torch squad round 2, a kroot sqouad round 3, a firewarior (6man) round 4 and then my last kroot squad in round 5 which ran to his unprotected objective. I contested mine (barely) and had his free and clear because he had nt realized what I was doing.
    - Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.

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