Vespids + Sniper teams, or pathfinders, and making them useful. - Warhammer 40K Fantasy
 

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  1. #1
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    Vespids + Sniper teams, or pathfinders, and making them useful.

    The apparent uselessness of Vespids has been bugging me. For one thing, it reminds me of when Tau were new, and everyone thought this or that unit was complete rubish (both Kroot and Devilfish come to mind), but upon further inspection, and experience, it became apparent that when used in certain ways the unit was quite good, or even phenomenal.

    I don't have much hope for Piranahs, I think those were a horrible, we-don't-have-enough-Tau-vehicles-and-look-FW-already-has-a-model-sculpted derived mistake. But vespids seem like they really should be useful, and I retain hope for them.

    We have already in another thread come to the conclusion that Vespids might really do well in a cityfight environment, jumping among the upper stories of building with relative impunity, filling in holes in firing arcs, and generally getting where they're most need quite quickly.

    Another thing to consider is how, as with Tau in general, local fire supeiority might be required. It may take twice the number of vespids as marines to deal with the marines effectively, but once that's done, the marines will be dead and the vespids largely untouched. (keeping in mind that vespids should almost always be firing from cover) Those two squads can then move on to the next target.

    Also in mind of fire supeiority, you must remember that Vespids can use markerlight hits. 2 markerlight hits and suddenly your fairly destructive barrage of AP3 fire has become absolutely devastating. 11 Vespid at BS5 will almost completely destroy a tactical squad, with only 2-3 left. The Vespids can handle 2-3 marines, really, and those marines will be making lots of LD tests even marines won't like.

    And the last, and main point here, is sniper squads. I think everyone here realized early on that sniper squads were really about pinning, rather than destruction (though three full teams could really hurt something). One or two teams have a pretty decent chance of pinning even marines, and a great chance against almost everything else. The vespids don't have to worry about being counter-charged or shot back if the unit they're engaing is pinned.

    The thing is, one squad of Vespids versus marines is a bad time (except in City Fight), just as one squad of FW vs marines often is. But Vespids in combination any of several other things, either more vespids, pathfinders, or sniper teams, can be very destructive with little damage in return. Pathfinders and sniper teams are preferable, becuase those units can be used for other things that more vespids cannot, and canvas more of the board at once.

    All of this requires concentrated fire, carefully managed movement, and coordinated mixed-arms tactics. But isn't that what we as Tau are meant to do?


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  3. #2
    The deep down truth Rikimaru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir_Prometheus
    The apparent uselessness of Vespids has been bugging me. For one thing, it reminds me of when Tau were new, and everyone thought this or that unit was complete rubish (both Kroot and Devilfish come to mind), but upon further inspection, and experience, it became apparent that when used in certain ways the unit was quite good, or even phenomenal.

    I don't have much hope for Piranahs, I think those were a horrible, we-don't-have-enough-Tau-vehicles-and-look-FW-already-has-a-model-sculpted derived mistake. But vespids seem like they really should be useful, and I retain hope for them.

    We have already in another thread come to the conclusion that Vespids might really do well in a cityfight environment, jumping among the upper stories of building with relative impunity, filling in holes in firing arcs, and generally getting where they're most need quite quickly.

    Another thing to consider is how, as with Tau in general, local fire supeiority might be required. It may take twice the number of vespids as marines to deal with the marines effectively, but once that's done, the marines will be dead and the vespids largely untouched. (keeping in mind that vespids should almost always be firing from cover) Those two squads can then move on to the next target.

    Also in mind of fire supeiority, you must remember that Vespids can use markerlight hits. 2 markerlight hits and suddenly your fairly destructive barrage of AP3 fire has become absolutely devastating. 11 Vespid at BS5 will almost completely destroy a tactical squad, with only 2-3 left. The Vespids can handle 2-3 marines, really, and those marines will be making lots of LD tests even marines won't like.

    And the last, and main point here, is sniper squads. I think everyone here realized early on that sniper squads were really about pinning, rather than destruction (though three full teams could really hurt something). One or two teams have a pretty decent chance of pinning even marines, and a great chance against almost everything else. The vespids don't have to worry about being counter-charged or shot back if the unit they're engaing is pinned.

    The thing is, one squad of Vespids versus marines is a bad time (except in City Fight), just as one squad of FW vs marines often is. But Vespids in combination any of several other things, either more vespids, pathfinders, or sniper teams, can be very destructive with little damage in return. Pathfinders and sniper teams are preferable, becuase those units can be used for other things that more vespids cannot, and canvas more of the board at once.

    All of this requires concentrated fire, carefully managed movement, and coordinated mixed-arms tactics. But isn't that what we as Tau are meant to do?
    The main problem with vespids is that appaling 5+ save, these models are 16 points a piece and can be shot down by absolutley everything, take into account that most weapons have an 18" to 24" range and an AP of 5 or less then unless the Vespid hug cover they will get shot to pieces very very quickly.
    Now this reliance on cover is a real hinderence to the tactical effectiveness of Vespids, the simple fast is only so much of the field is under cover, so having a large percentage of the field effectively denied to them is a major disadvantage.
    One mistake in deployment/movement will result in a severly amaged Vespid unit and we are not even talking about a rare event here say like terminators running into a unit heavy on plasma weapons, but leaving the Vespids in range of any standard unit with a normal mid strength, high AP weapon will mean they are gone. AP5,4,3,2 all kill vespids.
    Most models with a 5+ save are usualy cheap or have other significant abilities or upgrades etc which act to make the save less of an issue.
    I for one am not going to nearly 180pts for a unit that can be taken out a unit of tarmigaunts or guardsman with lasguns.
    All the mixed arm tactics in the world are not going to change the fact that vespids have a 5+ save and a weapon that puts them in harms way and they cost 16 points each.
    Sniper teams are ok if you want to exchange a heavy slot for 3 mid strength shots and the rare chance of a pin, and they have the same basic weakness as XV88's, get any unit near them and force them to move and they are useless, you do not even have to destroy them, just put prssure on them, I can snipe nicely with my big subs template thanks.
    1984

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    I cannot agree on the 'total uselessness' of a Pirahna. The single 75 points Fusion Pirahna has always been a big concern to my opponents. It's true they are a tad-bit more expensive than a SM Multi-Melta Land Speeder, but this is the only Fast vehicle that a Tau can have .. for now. If it's used properly, the 24" movement distance can be used to dodge from cover to cover and finally setting up a 18" radius vehicle kill zone, where even a Land Raider would be threatened.

    Railguns are indeed way superior and surpass a melta weapon (range), but even I have experienced a game (which is yesterday) that my two Railgun hammerheads missed all 12 shots throughout the whole game. It was my Melta Pirahna that really made the fight balanced back.

    Anyways, I am never really fond of Vespid but I've have this idea that it may just work against mass-troop MEQ army like CSM Alpha Legion. Mass-troop MEQ army will tend to surround you upon deployment and thus reducing your area to escape even if you are using a mech list. Vespid would really come in handy in small groups of 5 (86 pt), where they hide behind terrain and spring out to assist when the line becomes breached. I dont know, I've actually never tried it, but it's just an idea like I said
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    Quote Originally Posted by rikimaru
    The main problem with vespids is that appaling 5+ save, these models are 16 points a piece and can be shot down by absolutley everything, take into account that most weapons have an 18" to 24" range and an AP of 5 or less then unless the Vespid hug cover they will get shot to pieces very very quickly.
    Now this reliance on cover is a real hinderence to the tactical effectiveness of Vespids, the simple fast is only so much of the field is under cover, so having a large percentage of the field effectively denied to them is a major disadvantage.
    One mistake in deployment/movement will result in a severly amaged Vespid unit and we are not even talking about a rare event here say like terminators running into a unit heavy on plasma weapons, but leaving the Vespids in range of any standard unit with a normal mid strength, high AP weapon will mean they are gone. AP5,4,3,2 all kill vespids.
    Most models with a 5+ save are usualy cheap or have other significant abilities or upgrades etc which act to make the save less of an issue.
    I for one am not going to nearly 180pts for a unit that can be taken out a unit of tarmigaunts or guardsman with lasguns.
    All the mixed arm tactics in the world are not going to change the fact that vespids have a 5+ save and a weapon that puts them in harms way and they cost 16 points each.
    Sniper teams are ok if you want to exchange a heavy slot for 3 mid strength shots and the rare chance of a pin, and they have the same basic weakness as XV88's, get any unit near them and force them to move and they are useless, you do not even have to destroy them, just put prssure on them, I can snipe nicely with my big subs template thanks.

    I guess I'm just advocating a more open mind. To me, the 5+ save just reads "must always be in cover." On the up side, a full 12" move plus fleet, and relative immunity to terrain checks makes this not so hard to do.

    You're making the "screw up once with them and they're dead" argument, but frankly, that's the deal with a lot of Tau stuff, though perhaps it's not so starkly outlined.

    Whe I use my stealth suits (and I do, a lot), I'm basically playing with 3". Closer than that, and I'm dead. Farther than that, and I just missed 18 beautiful shots. I don't know tht people were so fond of stealths before they learned the trick of them (though no one said they sucked). Is this really all that different?

    Some boards are also much more terrain heavy than other, too the extent that jet pack units have difficulty avoiding terrain checks, and having open lines of fire. Vespids don't really have that problem.

  6. #5
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    You mention the 5+ save alot, but most Ork players can attest to how far a decent toughness value ,like what the Vespids have, can take you even with a crappy save. As a former marine player, I can tell you that bolters really aren't amazing when they need 4's to wound. As for the whole hugging terrain thing, how many units in the Tau army list don't need to do that? Terrain often makes or breaks the Tau as battlesuits are all but worthless if they can't avoid incoming fire and the Tau skimmers, as well armored as they are, simply can't afford to sit out in the open and get into a strait fire-fight. I think the real issue with vespid is their weapons, it just needs something more impressive as it can't hurt any of the really big stuff and doesn't wound as easily as it really needs to. An extra point of stength or AP or an extra shot would do wonders for the neutron blaster.

    Railguns missing all 12 shots is a fluke and doesn't justify anything. I had a hammerhead shoot at a single necron heavy destroyer all game and fail to kill it, sometimes sh!t happens, that's just how it goes in a dice based wargame. The pirannah just fails to fill any new roles in the Tau army list. It's like a 60 pt stealth team or devilfish. The only unique aspect is its movement which only really makes it useful for objective grabbing. The tank hunter pirannah is just too expensive compared with suits that can fill the same role but better.
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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir_Prometheus
    I guess I'm just advocating a more open mind. To me, the 5+ save just reads "must always be in cover." On the up side, a full 12" move plus fleet, and relative immunity to terrain checks makes this not so hard to do.

    You're making the "screw up once with them and they're dead" argument, but frankly, that's the deal with a lot of Tau stuff, though perhaps it's not so starkly outlined.

    Whe I use my stealth suits (and I do, a lot), I'm basically playing with 3". Closer than that, and I'm dead. Farther than that, and I just missed 18 beautiful shots. I don't know tht people were so fond of stealths before they learned the trick of them (though no one said they sucked). Is this really all that different?

    Some boards are also much more terrain heavy than other, too the extent that jet pack units have difficulty avoiding terrain checks, and having open lines of fire. Vespids don't really have that problem.
    Not really dude most units in the Tau list have 4+ or better save, the stealths have JSJ and stealth field protection but also have an 18" weapon and the ability to use the assault move to extend this to 24" and thats a 100% increase to the range the stealths are left at when finished shooting compared to the 12" of the vespids.

    Kroot are cheap but have amazing abilities for such a cheap unti and Kroot hounds are awesome in CC, so the Kroot unit is cheap has good cover benefits can infiltrate, have 24" range weapons and decent BS but can perform in CC as well and all for less than half the cost of a vespid.

    Yes the 12" move is great if you kill the unit your shooting at, with BS3 and 1 shot per weapon thats not going to happen often, but if you fleet out of cover ignoring dificult terrain in the process you cant shoot (brilliant for a unit with a 5+ save), so you have to end up in or behind cover to avoid being targeted (and these things die if anything as much as sneezes in their general direction).

    Yes cover does vary from game to game but on average only 30 to 40% of a board is covered and that leaves a 60% vulnerability to any weapon and a real tactical disadvantage what good is 12" movement if it leaves you open to being shot.

    Also your putting way to much emphasis on the abilities of the Vespids to use cover, they only get a re-roll for dangerous terrain tests, and XV8's have to roll a 1 on a D6 and they have two wounds, so its going to be a rare event to lose them to DT tests, and fleet can only be used if not shooting.

    Nope sorry no body is gonna convince me that outside CoD these are any good, at least not good enough to divert 180pts from the rest of my list, I can find something usefull withnthat many points.

    I am not dissing them for the sake of it, I honestly believe these and Pirrahnas have no place in a Tau list, the perform no role that cannot be covered by other units and they divert points from other more usefull parts of the army.

    Hey if anyone wants to use them thats totaly fine, I just find it hard to justify taking them
    Last edited by Rikimaru; August 31st, 2006 at 00:34.
    1984

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    The 3" on stealths was to end up more than 21" (svg sight range) away after assault move. They often can't get back behind cover. I deal.

    Translating only 3-40% cover in 60% vulnerability seems a bit of strech........suffice to say that if the board was 40% covered, I could be in cover almost all the time.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir_Prometheus
    The 3" on stealths was to end up more than 21" (svg sight range) away after assault move. They often can't get back behind cover. I deal.

    Translating only 3-40% cover in 60% vulnerability seems a bit of strech........suffice to say that if the board was 40% covered, I could be in cover almost all the time.
    Its not a stretch, to shoot the vespids have to be within 12", this will mean they will usually have to move out of cover and after their shooting phase they remain out of cover, so if you want to shoot with this unit you cant be in cover most of the time. Thats the main problem with this unit 12" range weapon, Kroot can sit in cover and shoot out to 24", if the Vespids stayed in cover they would have to rely on units moving within 12".
    To attack the vespids have to be to close and this basically means leaving cover and having no means to return to it like JSJ XV suits.

    I always keep stealths behind cover if possible, jump them over the cover the full 6", the 18" plus 6" usually means something is in range and the 6" assault move gets me back behind cover
    1984

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    I could envisage using a small unit as a mop-up squad. But I would never take more than the bare minimum and only in games where I had filled all my elites with suits and had points left over.

    To be honest, they have the same flaw as the piranha. They don't have a unique role.

    XV8's kitted out in helios can do the same job (better), with better range and more survivablity than the Vespid. For the same points as a squad of Vespid you can get 2-3 helios suits with JSJ and 3+ armour. The suits can also penetrate 2+ armour and hammer tanks.

    A modest upgrade to 4+ armour could see them being more useful, but I don't see tht happening.
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    I don't know but I don't really see 16pts as hugely expensive even with 5+ save as it is exactly the same as a genestealer with no upgrades. I have seen bare naked genestealers work before and they are usually top priority targets for the enemy so why should a unit that no one usually sees not be able to survive (not to mention they can move heck of a lot faster then stealers with fleet of wing). So the whole 16pt and 5+ save really doesn't bother me since I'm a nid player and I'm used to losing some expensive models to shooting (stealers or hormagaunts at 12pts a piece and I lose all but one...).

    I just think that with ML support these guys can do some really mean damage to any 3+ save unit such as wraithguard (not sure but I'm pretty sure these guys are expensive so vespids could easily get points back). Not to mention they have the speed to jump out from behind cover and blow away a said unit that threatens the lines or badly damage it so the FW can finish it off or kroot.
    Is it me or does any other necron player get annoyed when they see people saying "Necrons eat souls". How is that even possible as souls are part of the warp and necrons want nothing to do with it? Eh probaly me just me being picky.

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