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Note: Lol, the diagrams aren't that good, but hopefully they give you the general picture.
I'm sure this has alreayd been talked about quite a bit, and I woudl've posted it in the Mech Tau thraed, but the thread was too old.
Sorry if this is useless spam I thought I'd open a discussion about it anyway. I searched the forums and articles, but didn't see any official discussion about the fish of fury. So, I decided to start a thread about it. Hopefully we can discuss it a bit, and get some opinions. It's somewhat of a tactica, but It could start some discussion. Also, this might belong in the 40k Tactics forum, I'm not sure. A mod can move it.
Fish of Fury, also known as FoF, is a somewhat common tactic implemented by varied Mech Tau generals. It involves the use of Fire Warriors and a Devilfish. Different variations can be set-up, and will be discussed later. Basically, it’s a way to move up the battlefield in and unload your Fire Warriors into a position where they can rapid fire the enemy and with correct ordination, not be assaulted in return. And you don’t want your Fire Warriors getting assaulted. Trust me. It’s a lot better to have them shooting, and rapid firing their enemy, then be stuck in combat. When you’re stuck in combat, your taking away what Tau is good at. Shooting. And not to mention, you’re squad will probably just die easily in combat.
There are also some important rules to this. Page 15 of your Warhammer 40k rulebook; it talks about the movement phase. Towards the bottom, in the second paragraph under “Movement Distance” has one of the key ingredients in this tactic working as well as it does. “A model cannot be placed so that it touches an enemy model during the Movement phase – this is only possible in the assault phase. To keep this distinction clear, a model may not move within 1” of an enemy model (ignore wrecked vehicles) during the movement phase.” So basically it’s saying that your enemy can’t come within’ 1” of any of your models in the movement phase. However, it can in the assault phase (obviously). I want to make clear, that you can’t move into/through the space occupied by your own models, or through a gap between friendly models smaller then its own base size. It states this rule in the same paragraph. These may come up, so I suggest you make a reference to this rule, or be ready to show your opponent, as many times they’ll question the legality of this tactic.
I suggest using this tactic to complement your mech force, but I would urge against it in a static force. Besides, a static force shouldn’t have a devilfish transporting around Fire Warrior troops, should it?
This tactic can be used by multiple devilfish units carrying fire warriors or a single devilfish carrying a squad of firewarriors. I find that a multitude of squads has the best results, as it’s easier to finish off the enemy, and with good positioning, it can be even harder for the enemy to assault you.
So you basically have your Devilfish and your Fire Warriors. As for weapons, I suggest you equip a majority of them with Pulse Rifles, but give a couple Carbines. These have more range then a rapid firing Pulse Rifle, but can also help pin the squad. Pinning the squad increases the tactical effectiveness even more. The point of the tactic is to position so you can disembark from the Devilfish so you can rapid fire on him, and the next turn he won’t be able to assault you. By pinning the enemy squad, this gives you more flexibility incase you mess up with your set-up, and it’s just more reliable. I suggest a squad size of about
8-12. You'll be getting anywhere between 16-24 shots coming from the one squad. At strength 5, ap 4, this can be quite significant. Although it's not as effective against MEQs, it's certainly worth it against hoardy armies. Especially against close combat armies where they will try to assault you, rather then shoot you, like Orks, or Tyranids. You also need to know how to equip your Devilfish. I always give it a multi-tracker. This way it can support your Fire Warriors when it moves into position. Having that extra fire support gives you more flexiblity, and reliability. I also like to have gun drones on the Devilfish. Why? Well, multiple reasons. One is sense they can disembark, they can position themselves to make it even harder for your opponent to get around the Devilfish to assault. If positioned in front of your vehicle it can force target priority tests. Sometimes your opponent will even shoot at them, which is very foolish, but can be tempting for your opponent if set-up right. If they do indeed shoot the drones, then they can't assault your devilfish, or your fire warrior squads, because you must assault the unit/squad that you shoot at, or attempt to shoot at.
So, now, you hopefully have your units set-up. Now, you're ready to use the tactic in game. I'll lead you through it.
You start out on your board edge, like always. In your movement, use cover as much as possible. You want to be at full power when you arrive at your opponent. You should be able to get into position behind cover so you can use the Fish of Fury tactic the next turn. After you're into position for the Fish of Fury, the following turn move within' about 12" of the enemy. Choose your targets wisely. I will touch on this later. Then, disembark your fire warriors from your Devilfish. This can be tricky. You must stay within' 2" of the hatch of the Devilfish. Try to set up so all your models are there. Set-up your longer ranged weapons (probably the carbon) towards the back, being most far away from the enemy, and your rifle bearing fire warriors closest to the enemy. This way you maximise the amount of rapid firing fire warriors you get, and your longer-range weapons take advantage of their…well, longer range. Do this with your Devilfish between your Fire Warrior squads and the enemy. There are multiple ways of setting up, and using terrain, but again, I will touch on this later.
It would look something like this (copy the url into your web browser): http://myspace-762.vo.llnwd.net/0133...37550762_l.jpg
The T's represent the enemy squad, the X's the firewarriors, and then there's the general drawing of the Devilfish.
After you have your units positioned correctly, it will be your shooting phase. Shoot your Tau rifles furthest away, first. Then shoot the other Rifles that are closer. This is so your enemy doesn’t remove models that you couldn’t of been able to hit normally. Finish, with your Carbon(s) shooting last. This takes advantage of their range, which is greater then the range of a rapid firing rifle.
With 8 fire warriors, you’ll have 7 rifles and 1 carbon. That’s 14 rapid-fire shots, and 1 carbon shot, which has a chance to pin the enemy! That can be quite devastating verse any opponent – but in particular, hoard infantry, and low leadership enemies (because it will be more likely to pin the enemy). Even verse MEQs it can be effective, but of course, it won’t fair as well. Add in the Devilfish (with multi-tracker) fire support, and your opponent will be lucky to survive that first round of shooting.
Now you might be thinking, oh great. I didn’t kill the whole squad, and now I can just be assaulted next turn. Nope. If you set-up correctly, you can’t be assaulted by normal enemy infantry that move and assault 6”. Your opponent must stay 1” away from the devilfish. He’ll be about 6” away from your Devilfish in the first place. So, he moves up. He’ll be around the front area of the devilfish. He’ll attempt his assault move, but not being able to come within’ 1” of the Devilfish, he won’t be able to reach the fire warriors. The next turn you should be able to finish them off, quite easily, with the help of the Devilfish and it’s Burst Cannons. If you’re afraid that you won’t be able to finish them off, then you can simply jump back into your Devilfish, and retreat, preferably getting behind some cover. Don’t panic though. It will only cause you to make more mistakes.
If you chose to disembark your gun drones from the Devilfish, then it’s likely that your opponent will shoot the gun drones. In doing so, he won’t be able to assault your fire warriors or your devilfish.
When using this strategy, your opponent will likely use lots of other fire to take down that Devilfish so he can assault. Your Devilfish has quite good armor, so it should be difficult for them to take down. The rest of your army should support your devilfish units. It’s not a standalone tactic. You need support. Hopefully the rest of your army can provide enough support and cover fire that they can’t afford to direct too much of their firepower into your Devilfish(s). Stealth Suits, or JSJ battlesuits can work well in cooperation with the Fish of Fury.
And lets say they decide to assault your Devilfish. So what? They need 6’s to hit, and you have strong armor. It’ll be rare that they take it down. If your Devilfish did indeed get destroyed, then you have 2 options. Either start retreating whilst still firing at the enemy, or, you could hide behind the destroyed devilfish using it as cover, and hope to finish off the enemy unit that turn.
Now, lets say that the fish of fury was a success. You destroyed the enemy squad via shooting, and you didn't get assaulted. Your Devilfish and Fire Warriors are still alive and well. Just hop back into the Devilfish, and move onto your next position to use the same tactic again, if needed. Don't always use this though. Or, you could go support another area of your army. Use cover, as always.
I mentioned choose your targets wisely. I’ll expand on that a bit. Some squads will be particularly hard to destroy. You’ll have to be careful with these. Examples would be large power armored squads, terminators, command squads, ext. These will be considerably hard for you to destroy. You have other things in your army to deal with these types of enemies: Battlesuits, Hammerheads, Plasma Rifle’s, etc. If you have no other choice but to target a heavily armored squad, then try to support your fish of fury with other units in your army, if possible.
Other enemy targets to watch out for would be fast units. These include things like jump packs, fleet on foot, bikers, cavalry, etc. To perform against these models well, it requires specific movement, and use of terrain. The best thing to do against these would be to avoid them all together with the Fish of Fury, and leave it to other parts of your army. But, even if you do have to target a fast enemy squad, it shouldn’t be too bad. By the time they assault, they should be almost dead, and even a squad of fire warriors should be able to take down a marine or two. After assault, make sure you get back into the safety of the Devilfish.
The Fish of Fury tactic isn't limited to one Devilfish and one fire warrior squad. Of course it isn't! Here's some manuvers which involve numerous devilfish's.
First off, is quite simple. You just use two devilfishes, in the standard formation that you would use them. Leave just around 2"-2.5 between the two devilfish's so the enemy can't sneak through the middle. Position your fire warriors in the same fasion as you would normally - packed right behind the Devilfish's back hatch. It's basically uses the same principle as one fish of fury devilfish uses, except it's just with more firepower. The drones could either detach and make some extra distance the opponent has to move around, or could stay in place, and just provide extra support fire.
It would look something like this: http://myspace-415.vo.llnwd.net/0133...37598415_l.gif
This one's a little more tricky. It sitll involves 2 devilfish's and their fire warrior squads. This time, the Devilfish set up in the shape of a U, or V. Not so sharp though, more outward. Something like a 110 degrees angle. The Tau Firewarriors disembark behind the Devilfish. The two Devilfish's will form a small gap where the fire warriors can unload. Just make sure to stay in your disembarkment zone. They still fire as normal, but again, with the 2 devilfish's they have much more fire power. The gun drones can go on the outsides, again, making it longer for the enemy to move around to get to the fire warriors. Or you could position them between the two devilfish's. If you did this, you'd want the devilfish's a little further apart.
It would look something like this: http://myspace-009.vo.llnwd.net/0133...37641009_l.gif
The sad attempt at circles on the outsides are the drones.
I encourage anyone to experiment with differnet variotions and set-ups with the fish of fury tactic.
There's lots of other ways to use terrain which can make the tactic even more effective.
If possible, I always like to do the fish of fury near impassible, or difficult terrain. This makes it so your devilfish and fire warirors aren't as vulnerable to fire from the flanks, as they normally would be. It can also make it harder for enemies to assault you, including faster enemies like mentioned above.
You can also position between two peices of relativly close terrain, so you're devilfish can just squeeze through. This is an excellent position. Not only does it protect both flanks, leaving only the front av of the devilfish open to fire, but it makes it so the enemy has to go all the way around the peices of terrain to assault you. Sense the Devilfish is a skimmer, it's easier to move into positions like these, where as a Chimera, or Rhino would have to weave through terrain to get into the position they want.
So, what do you think of the fish of fury? Do you think it's effective? Is it worth taking? Discuss.
Edit: BTW, please let me know of any errors. There's probably a lot >.>, but oh well.
Last edited by brushman; October 26th, 2006 at 02:02.
All diagrams are now up. Just click the links to see them.
Last edited by brushman; October 26th, 2006 at 03:47.
I know you mention this might not work as well against MEQs, but uhm, what keeps your target from just rapid firing you back the next turn instead of assaulting? I'm sure Space Marines with bolters would rather do that, and chances are they will still have a few fellows left after 14ish shots from the pulse rifles... those 3+ saves are killer. It sounds like a good tactic but like you said, you have to pick your targets wisely. A good SM commander will not have his units more than 7" away from each other and you better believe they have high range weapons that will tear the Tau to shreds.
While I applaud your effort and I believe it's well written, this would be much better for the main page tacticas section. Except for extremely new players, most everyone in the tau forum understands the subtleties of fish of fury. By putting it in the beginners guides, you would insure that new players have a resource to draw on. But where it is now it really is just spam.
Last edited by mephistophales; October 26th, 2006 at 05:19.
Ask yourself why in the world would you trust a win loss record? Playing them yourself is the only way to tell.
The true joy in the game is playing down to the last model, no matter the odds.
In this setup surely the devilfish blocks LOS?
It's a Skimmer, so no. That's why the Firewarriors can shoot under it at the enemy. The enemy must take a leadership when shooting at the firewarriors.
Ooooh, more rules I have been playing wrong... hmmmmmmmm...
Might it be an idea to have that one trooper in your squad with the pulse carbine be the squad leader, upgraded to to a shas'ui with a markerlight, h/w multitracker and h/w target lock... that way he can shoot at another squad slightly further way, hopefully pin them AND leave a markerlight on them for another squad to fire at (of course you could just forget the multitracker & markerlight and the ability to pin another squad would be oh so useful!?)
Last edited by Mystweaver; October 26th, 2006 at 16:00.
The only problem I see with this tactic. The turn you disembark and fire you cannot take advantage of rapid-fire as you are counted as moving.
That's the whole reason for this tactic, get max fire power in close with a chance of blocking an assault.