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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Did you enter this thread thinking I would explain how to kill lots of Marines? Sorry. My problem is that I usually play against marines - the Chaos kind in particular - and I'm still buying most of my list. I need to know what weapons and tactics are best geared to slaying the Emperor's finest.

So far, I've had good experience with marine vehicles; that is, I've been able to knock them out pretty easily. Stealthsuit burst cannons make short work of a Defiler, and I would assume they'd do the same against a dreadnought. My lone Broadside is the bane of Predators. It's the damn marines themselves that I can't seem to deal with. By carefully controlling their avenues of advance with rail guns I can draw them into a corridor where my Fire Warriors and whatever else happens to be nearby can annihilate them, and I tend to score a few kills when I knock out a transport, but I'm having lots of trouble actually finishing them. Jump marines in particular are really bad.

Also, my Chaos friend recently figured out that Daemon Prince + Lash of Submission = first turn charge lololololololololol.

How do you guys handle marines?
 

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I have trouble losing against marines. Out of all the servants of the emperor, I've only ever lost to the old blood angels. I can only recall a few games against the forces of chaos that have not gone well for me.

Whenever I face marines in a tournament, I write it down as a win before deployment. It mostly comes down to the fact that the lists I use and the tactics employed are impossible for marines to beat.

Here's a template of a tau list:

* Shas'el - plasma, missile/cib, array, hwmulti 97/100

* Shas'el - plasma, missile/fusion, array, hwmulti 97

* 1/2 Crisis 62-169
- plasma, missile, multi, maybe team leader with array, maybe 2 shield drones
- plasma, missile, multi

* 1/2 Crisis 62-169
- plasma, missile, multi, maybe team leader with array, maybe 2 shield drones
- plasma, missile, multi
OR
* 2 Crisis 106
- twin missile, array

* 1/2 Crisis 62-169
- plasma, missile, multi, maybe team leader with array, maybe 2 shield drones
- plasma, missile, multi
OR
* 4 Stealths - arrays 160

* 6 Fire Warriors maybe more maybe with devilfish with either decoys; or sms, decoys, multi, array; maybe 2 units; 60+

* Maybe 10 Kroot maybe more squads maybe with hounds 70+

* Hammerhead - railgun, burst/sms + lock, decoys, multi 165/180

* Hammerhead - railgun, burst/sms + lock, decoys, multi 165/180
OR
* Hammerhead - ioncannon, burst, decoys, multi 130

* Hammerhead - railgun, burst/sms + lock, decoys, multi 165/180
OR
* 2 Broadsides - ASS, team leader, 2 shield drones 195

The tactics involve shooting the marines, because they fail their armor saves. Gun drones from devilfish get in the way and prevent assault. They cannot assault the gun drones because they are firing under the devilfish at the fire warriors. Crisis work their jump shoot jump, however they do often risk fire to move towards an objective. Hammerheads are just bastards to kill, but my hammerhead does not even get shot these days.

Chaos fares better against Tau due to certain units like obliterators and lash. I deal with lash by using kroot, I deal with obliterators with crisis suits. It can be an uphill battle however, lash in particular gives me problems. I make sure I can kill the HQ at least the turn after they use the lash for the first time.
 

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In order to help deal with Space Marines in my take-all-comers list, I take 3 Sniper Teams as a Heavy Support choice and have 5 Plasma Rifles. I also have 2 twin-linked missile pods and 5 regular missile pods, but those aren't as reliable as PRs or rail rifles for downing Marines. A combination of PR shots, MP shots, rail rifles, and markerlights (from the Sniper teams) will usually take some serious chunks out of the army before it gets anywhere. Anything in a transport gets stopped pretty quick by pretty all those weapons and anything on foot gets pelted the whole way towards your army. The plasma rifles are also really nice for when some nasty Space Marine character with a 2+ save gets too close or somebody thinks a 2+ save is going to save that Terminator squad that just landed in front of your army.

If your making an army specifically to fight SM/CSM, take a couple hammerheads with ion cannons, 3 sniper drone teams (9 S6 AP3 shots are better than just 3 S7 AP3 shots in a single Heavy Support slot), Plasma rifles/Missile Pods/Fusion Blasters wherever you can fit them, pathfinders with rail rifles, and vehicles with seeker missiles. You won't be able to deal with anything Armor 14 at range (save for a very, very lucky hit with a Seeker missile), but if that's really an issue you can minimize your Firewarrior squad sizes, give them EMP grenades, and mount them in a Devilfish. 2 squads of 6 Firewarriors equipped with EMP grenades actually have pretty good odds of taking even a Monolith down. It's not a common tactic for Tau, but at least it'd have the advantage of surprise.
 

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Ninja Snarl said it right. Invest in some battle suits and give them plasma rifles. I play marines and Tau and those plasma rifles just hammer my troops. Make sure to get the marines foot slogging across some open ground, so go for their transports early. SIt back and hammer them with you armour negating guns because each space marine is dearer than you fire warriors and if you wipe them all out you can take down large points worth in specail weapons. Also bring kroot because if there is something you must fear its a veteran seargent with a power weapon, lol. they go mad hacking weak fire warriors to pieces. lol.
 

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pathfinders with rail rifles,
OK this is where you're going wrong, first off DO NOT swap out those ML Carbines, the benefits that they bring is worth their weight in gold because ML hits are a great advantage to be had with their additional effects.

the best way to go with marines to to keep moving, for a static Tau is a dead Tau when it comes to games in the 41st millenium unless you're the luckiest person on the planet (for that, I severely doubt at this moment). If you've got static elements such as Broadsides and Pathfinders etc. use them to your advantage here, for 9/10 your opponent will probably go for the most vulnerable and closest squad you've got.

Use that as an anchor for your rapidally deployable force to separate straggling enemy squads and eliminate them under weight of fire. Your first target; Ground all enemy troops and slow them to a crawl which means that fast units have got to go within the first few turns. If you can't get rid of them, slow them down instead probably by pinning or distracting them with a squad of kroot or drones by throwing them into combat if you have to!

When your opponent's fast moving squads are eliminated or otherwise taken out of the game, you can concentrate your fire on the slow moving elements and thus, also avoiding combat with your superior maneouverability.

That is all i could think of at the moment lol, but hey, it's a little something for you to build your strategy on :)

-Kai-Itza-
 

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The ORIGINAL Sniper Puss
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All very good points so far. I too would tend to field weaponry which negates the armour save of the marine, or at least has me wounding on a 2+ against them, so that's MPs and PRs. Fusion is great, but the range is a problem in that it gets you in too close to the return fire/assault if you don't wipe out the Marine unit.

Mobility was also mentioned: this does not necessarily mean the FoF style of play (although it is my favoured method), but including Piranha squadrons with the odd FB thrown in too can cause a lot of hurt mainly because the AV is beyond the capabilities of the boltgun/bolt pistol, so the Piranhas can afford to take on a Tactical squad and have a real go at it. The "freebie" Drone Squadron is nice too for reasons already mentioned by Onlainari, I think. Also, keeping those Crisis suits on the hoof with the J-S-J move is important. It also benefits you greatly if you can learn to judge the 12"/18"/24" distances accurately, as this can help to pick off the front row(s) of the Marine unit or even take out a character model like the powerfist-wielding loony already mentioned!

Although I love Broadsides, I would tend to take two Hammerheads with Railguns, or one Railgun and one Ion Cannon for my Heavy choices. If the game is reasonably big, then I would also include a Skyray to get the two mobile MLs on an AV13 chassis.

Hope some of this was of use to you.

E.
 

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OK this is where you're going wrong, first off DO NOT swap out those ML Carbines, the benefits that they bring is worth their weight in gold because ML hits are a great advantage to be had with their additional effects.

the best way to go with marines to to keep moving, for a static Tau is a dead Tau when it comes to games in the 41st millenium unless you're the luckiest person on the planet (for that, I severely doubt at this moment). If you've got static elements such as Broadsides and Pathfinders etc. use them to your advantage here, for 9/10 your opponent will probably go for the most vulnerable and closest squad you've got.

Use that as an anchor for your rapidly deployable force to separate straggling enemy squads and eliminate them under weight of fire. Your first target; Ground all enemy troops and slow them to a crawl which means that fast units have got to go within the first few turns. If you can't get rid of them, slow them down instead probably by pinning or distracting them with a squad of kroot or drones by throwing them into combat if you have to!

When your opponent's fast moving squads are eliminated or otherwise taken out of the game, you can concentrate your fire on the slow moving elements and thus, also avoiding combat with your superior maneuverability.

That is all i could think of at the moment lol, but hey, it's a little something for you to build your strategy on :)
I was merely pointing out that if someone is dying for more anti-SM firepower, Pathfinders provide an additional offensive option. If you're switching Pathfinders over to rail rifles, you'd have to be pretty desperate. Personally, my main anti-SM weapons are Crisis Suits, Sniper Drone Teams, and submunitions (yeah, they get a save against it, but getting multiple marines to fail a save happens plenty).

Frankly, if you have a number of suits with Plasma Rifles (Missile Pods are also nice, as always) and some Sniper Teams, you should have enough to deal with most SM armies. Between 7 (two squads and a Shas'el) Suits with Plasma Rifles/Missile Pods (and varying combinations of the two), downing 7-8 SMs a turn at 24" is pretty easy. At rapid-fire range, you can get more like 10-12 a turn. The Sniper Drone teams can down another 4-5 per turn; more if you use the Markerlights for their own shooting. I usually play games at 1750 points, so even against purely infantry-based SM lists, the suits and and snipers alone can wipe out several squads over the course of the game with the enemy having great difficulty destroying them.

On top of that, you have your FW teams, tanks, Kroot, Broadsides, whatever. To be honest, my list isn't even built to specifically combat SM/CSM lists and I haven't lost to one those armies in ages. In fact, I can only remember one game in the last ten or so where I won but didn't manage to completely destroy the enemy SM army.

Tau may not be able to spread around anti-MEQ weaponry like other armies, but the units that do have the capability are very good at what they do and tough to destroy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the great ideas.

I had the opportunity to try some pathfinders with rails tonight and I was very pleased with their performance. In the first short round we had, my two railfinders managed to drop Kharn at 15"!

I'm working on a list that should be nicely suited to taking marines or about anything else. I'm just roughly juggling points at the moment, but tell me what you think:

Two Shas'el, possibly with bodyguards later on, for leading infantry and general ass-kickery 250+

Superbly equipped Stealth team for tank hunting and a little anti-infantry support 130+

Crisis team for hunting elites and heavy support 160+

Required fire warriors to shoot things 180+

Two Pathfinder teams (5 carbines and 3 rails with a fish) to mark and pin MEQs 400-450+

Two Hammerheads, swap up ion gun and railgun, to shoot tanks/massacre infantry 300+

By the most conservative estimates, this all adds up around 1500 points. Those pathfinders are ungodly expensive, but you can't deny they get the job done. Obviously this will have to be tweaked a lot, but it's in progress after all. I'd love to mechanize my army fully but the devilfish, while great transports, are just too expensive in terms of points.

Thoughts?
 

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I would say cut the rail rifles out of the Pathfinder teams and actually cut out one of the Pathfinder teams entirely (or split one full team into two smaller teams). Then take Sniper Drone Teams to fill in for the rail rifles you cut out.

If you do that, then you get Pathfinders focusing strictly on marking targets for the sniper drones. If you're putting rail rifles with the Pathfinders, they don't get to benefit from the markerlight hits of their own squad when firing the rail rifles (you need networked markerlights for that, which are only on marker drones and sniper teams). Plus, the sniper teams are stealthed, which helps protect the markerlights and rail rifles they carry. Pathfinders are fragile and have to sit out in the open (relatively speaking), so they get pasted pretty quick if the enemy makes them a priority.

On the other hand, if those Pathfinders teams are working just fine for you then there's no point in dropping more cash on Sniper Teams. Just keep in mind that if you need to boost the effectiveness of rail rifles or markerlights, it'll help to split up the tasks instead of using specialist units to do different things.
 

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The ORIGINAL Sniper Puss
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If the OP splits his existing Pathfinder unit into two smaller ones then he will have to fund another Devilfish. Non- cost-effective, methinks?

E.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Pathfinders are fragile and have to sit out in the open (relatively speaking), so they get pasted pretty quick if the enemy makes them a priority.
That's what I'll use that ridiculous required devilfish for.

I had a strange idea. If you've got two pathfinder teams in range of one marine squad, what happens if you use full markers from both squads then try to claim that one squad's lights are working for the other squad's snipers, and vice versa? I don't figure it would work, but target lock is kind of a strange concept.
 

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Since all firing from a squad happens simultaneously (except for networked markerlights, which can fire before the rest of the squad and thus the same squad can benefit from the hits), the Pathfinder markerlights only benefit whatever fires after them.

In other words, PF team 1 fires it markerlights and rail rifles since all firing happens at the same time. The rail rifles and markerlights from PF team 2 can then fire at PF team 1's target and use the markerlight counters already there to help the rail rifles. Basically, only one team can benefit from the markerlight hits (the second team that fires). That's why I wouldn't recommend splitting up the Pathfinders (I was just saying that you could) or give them rail rifles. 9 rail rifles from 3 sniper drone teams can take full advantage of 5-6 markerlight hits as opposed to only 2-3 of 4-5 rifles. Plus, as eiglepuper wisely pointed out, splitting the teams forces you to buy another Devilfish. One full Pathfinder team plus a basic Devilfish is almost exactly 80 points less then two minimum Pathfinder teams and their requisite Devilfish. Using those 80 points to buy a Sniper Drone Team not only gives you a BS 4 networked markerlight (which means the sniper team can use it for their own benefit), but a Stealth Field and 3 rail rifles.

Also, the Devilfish that comes with the Pathfinders is largely useless for shielding them although it can help prevent them being assaulted (by physically getting in the way) and provide some fire support. Markerlights are Heavy 1, which means that Pathfinders work the best when they start in a good spot and stay motionless the entire game. Every time they move, you lose 4-8 markerlight shots (depending on team size) since they are then unable to fire the markerlights. I find that Devilfish serve me best by putting a hard shell around my Firewarrior teams, blocking movement lanes, and getting scoring Firewarrior teams onto objectives. If you deepstrike units, Pathfinder Devilfish are very useful, but otherwise you're better off relying on Firewarrior teams to get Devilfish.
 
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