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Forgive me if I've got anything wrong.. I'll buy a codex soon but right now I'm just working on what I've picked up from playing against Tau players (and they're pretty rare where I live.) Basically.. I'm very confused about what army to do next, and playing far too much Dark Crusade has made me wonder about Tau.
I think the whole idea of markerlights is very cool, and I was wondering about the feasability of doing an army themed around using them. Pathfinder squads would seem a logical choice, but I've heard they can be rather expensive.. What about attaching marker drones to other units?
In short, which units work best with markerlights, and how would you best recommend taking advantage of them?
I'm sure I'll regret such a nooby question once I've bought the codex, but I'm greatful to you all for indulging me in the meanwhile.
I personally love markerlights. I usually have somewhere between 3 and 11 in a game. I almost always use them with snipers or HH's, then I move onto crisis suits, or if im targeting a low armor squad, then I FoF it with FW's or shoot at it with kroot, whichever is closer.
i need to find something interesting to put here
Ok Scotty, jokes over... NOW BEAM UP MY CLOTHES!
UN-fortunately pathfinders are really the only good way to get a bunch of markerlights. Marker drones cost more than twice as much as a pathfinder. Of course you gotta figgure in the cost the the transport we're hamstringed into buying but at least that can run around the field and shoot something. Either your gonna buy skyrays (some people like em) or pay 20 pts to upgrade a squad commander and replace his pulse weapon with a markerlight.
But as for Markerlight tactics/stratagems, I feel I can spell out a couple. :yes:
Before the new Codex, there was the Turn 1 Seeker Alpha Strike, wherein each vehicle had the (then) max load of seekers thats twice what it is today, and 2 pathfinder units for max markerlight hits. The the dice fly, followed by the missiles.. usually resulting in 2 entire units wiped off the board (Meq units at that). This was actually worth the points when you considered the near guarantee of immediate results... for 160 points, you could wipe out a LOT of enemy units for the investment, and there was a magic margin where the one shot cost would be outweighed by the results. But if you did it halfway, it just wouldnt pan out. BUT, now with the new Tau Empire Codex, the Seeker missile capacity was reduced by a full half per vehicle, perhaps showing you the devastating nature of this Tactic, if it got Nerfed so much. But, nowadays, you can diversify with newer units, like the Piranha and Skyray, and maybe get back those seeker numbers needed... I havent looked into it yet, though.
Next, There is a sort of "Markerlight Buff" Strategy, where you use all the markerlights to 'buff' up your own units stats (typically BS.. duh), or 'debuffed' enemy units (coversaves/leadership checks) to Give the Tau side of the battle the biggest advantage.
There is a more specialized tactic to use Markerlights for; the 'joke' weapon ability: Pinning! Pairing Carbine Firewarriors and Gun Drones with Markerlights can feasably pin even mighty space marines again and again (I can feasably hear a game quote of "OK, thats 1 wound.... now make a pinning check at -7 leadership"), while the Crisis suits merrilly knock out everything else before closing in on the kill. Pinning is a lovely ability, but no one really sees it in use all that much. In effect, you make them do absolutely nothing their next turn. How can you beat that?
Hmm what else? Well, I cant think of any more stratagems than that, so I'll move on to possible deployment options, and how/when they would be deployed as such:
Pathfinders. Duh. This is where you get large groups of markerlights that will help with the 'stacking' markerlight abilities. One downside of this option is that all those markerlights go to a single target. But, it is the cheapest way to get them in numbers.
Embedded Shas'Ui Markerlights. This is a good option out of general principle, since even one markerlight token is immensely usefull. The Markerlight gains some 'ablative' wounds, and can weather lots of damage and keep on Marking. Additionally, the Shas'Ui can buy a Target Lock, so his light can target something else, while the rest of the squad focuses on targets closer to hand. There are 2 units that can have embedded Markerlights: Firewarriors, and Stealth Suits. Stealth Suits sound like a waste of an option, given the Heavy weapon restrictions, but you should consider that this markerlight has a stealth field, and at markerlight range is utterly unspottable.
Then there are Marker Drones. People will say that they are overly expensive, and in a sense they are: they are way too expensive as a simple armory upgrade to any given unit. But the point is that when you purchase Marker Drones, you need to specialize that unit as such, shifting it from a general purpose unit to a markerlight support unit. Shifting a 12 man FW team (with a shas'Ui Markerlight embedded) to a 6 man FW team with 2 marker drones, in fact costs the same amount. A 5 man stealth team can shift to a 3 man, 2 drone team for the same price as well, and both of these units roles' will be different with the markerlight inclusion: The Firewarriors want a smaller footprint and will lurk in cover like snipers now, and the stealth team will set up shop taking full stealth advantage.. forgoing their primary weapons until they are truly needed. Broadside units, and to a lesse extent Crisis units, can be upgraded with markerlight drones as well (Broadsides will stand on a hill in plain view anyways, and DeathRain suits can launch missiles from across the board with their markerdrones lighting things up (with the same range) as well.)
All in all there are many many applications for the Markerlight, and many choices to make regarding them. I hope that my discussion on most of these options has gotten the point through that Markerlights, in whatever form, have to be purchased and deployed with a reason behind them, and they have to be a focused element in a Taus army and plan of battle to be the most effective.
Teams of sniper drones are also great Markerlight carriers. First of all, they have a marines Ballistic Skill on the Markerlight so they hit 66% of the time.
Secondly, the 3 rail rifles with target locks and a stealth field are potent weapons in and of themselves, protecting themselves, while filling the role of MEQ destruction as well as pinning.
I like to avoid pathfinders if at all possible because of the prohibitive costs involved with a single unit of PFs, and they take up a Fast Attack slot I would rather use for Piranhas.
A stealth Markerlight squad with marker drones is also a nice option since they can infiltrate for good positioning and use their assault move to jump into cover after firing their markerlights. unfortunately, they are expensive, and use up an elite slot.
Thus I like to use lights on my sniper teams and also on static fire warrior teams with a Shas'ui and a markerlight with a target lock.
Aw man, your sounded so credible until you mentioned using piranhas. ^_^ heh j/k
Instead: 5 stealth suits ALL with drone controller with one drone each (2-3 markerligt and 2-3 shield drones). then you start your turn BEHIND cover (not in cover) and 'WALK' forward into the terrain. Then JUMP out in the assault phase (not ending the the move in the terrain.
Last edited by cebwj; December 5th, 2006 at 08:11.
-lurking in the shadows of LO.
Officially diagnosed by TekoreMelkhior, Necrarch Lord
You know that tourney I was just whining about in another Thread? ("Got Schooled") The one thing that did work very well is that I managed consistently pinn marine units. I even pinned the Chaos Undidved player (Ld Re-rolls).
I was using 4 ML pathfinders and 2 Rail Rifles. Various people have used Mathhammer to cousel against this, but I tell ya, so far it's worked great.
Hmm.. Well, I now have my codex.
Although Calaban said that the seeker missile tactic got nerfed, they still seem quite impressive (on paper) to me.
How about taking two pathfinder choices (6 men each, no rail rifles.. I'm considering buffing to 8 for statistically more marks) and mounting the maximum number of seeker missiles on each devilfish, perhaps with sensor spines so they can skulk in terrain (am I reading it right that they don't need line of sight to fire the seekers.. that seems kind of fun.)
Then try and mark a TMC or a Wraithlord and smack it with 4 krak missiles.
As I said, it sounds like it could work on paper.. and the cost of a TMC or Wraithlord, or heck, even most transport options would balance out the points of the seekers. I know there are lots of other options to deal with these kinds of targets, but, by destroying them early with non-dedicated units frees up other units to do other things.
Besides.. at this rate I'd want to take pathfinders anyway. The transports may as well help with something.