Tag Archives: 6th edition

Tau: 1000 Points, Second Draft

With the tournament on the 18th coming up soon, I’ve been working on revising my 1000-point Tau list, and I’ve decided on a couple of tweaks and revisions:

NOTE:  Thanks to Rathstar’s catching one illegal model which threw off the entire list, I’ve reworked this. Consider this draft 2.1. Thanks, Rathstar!

HQ (55 pts)

  • Ethereal [Honour Blade] (55 pts)

Elites (401 pts)

  • XV8 Crisis Team [2x Shas’Ui w/2x Missile Pod, Flamer; Shas’vre w/2x Missile Pod, Puretide Engram Chip] (191 pts)
  • XV104 Riptide [Ion Accelerator, Twin-linked Fusion Blaster, Early Warning Override, Velocity Tracker] (210 pts)

Troops (255 pts)

  • 10x Fire Warriors with Pulse Rifles (90 pts)
  • 10x Fire Warriors with Pulse Rifles (90 pts)
  • Kroot Carnivore Squad [10x Kroot, 1 Kroot Hound, Sniper Rounds] (75 pts)

Fast Attack (132 pts)

  • 6x Pathfinders (66pts)
  • 6x Pathfinders (66pts)

Heavy Support (156 pts)

  • Hammerhead Gunship [Railgun, Submunition Rounds, Twin-linked Smart Missile System, Disruption pod, Point Defense System, Blacksun Filter] (146 pts)

Total: 999 pts

The changes:

  • Dropped the two Stealth Suit teams in exchange for one Crisis Suit squad. Instead of Burst Cannons and a pair of Fusion Blasters, I’ve decided to pack a set of Deathrains instead. The Early Warning Override and Twin-Linked Missile Pods will allow the team to act as an almost-Skyfire anti-flier team, and the shas’vre with his Puretide chip allows them to be flexible and deadly to just about anything on the table. Bonding knife ritual? Technically useless (I’ll never be below 25% with 3 suits), but I had 3 points left over. The list could just as easily sit at 997 points. I know I could drop the EWO and un-twin-link the pods (and I still might), but for right now we’ll see how this does. I’ve got double missile pods on the suits to try to maximize their firepower, and a Puretide chip on the shas’vre to make the unit a threat to both MCs and vehicles. A pair of flamers gives the unit tools for overwatch as well.
  • Swapped the Riptide’s SMS for Fusion Blasters. Trading shots for armor-cracking capabilities.
  • Gave the Riptide a Velocity Tracker. Having a true Skyfire unit on the table can’t hurt.
  • Added a Blacksun Filter to the Hammerhead. No Hammerhead should be without it, and for only 1 point, why skip it?
  • Dropping the Fireblade. 2 HQs for 1000 points is a bit much, and I can use those points to improve the Crisis Team and the Pathfinders. I lose firepower from one unit, but gain the freedom to move that unit as needed.
  • Using up the extra points. A Point Defense System for the Hammerhead, and an Honour Blade for the Ethereal. I’m running out of things to spend the points on. I suppose I could add one Fire Warrior instead, but I think I’m good with what I’ve got.

I’m hoping that I can get a test game in this week. If not, this variation will go in cold, but I’m familiar enough with Tau toys that I think it’ll have a good run.

In other news, I’m planning on going to the Gateway Grand Tournament in June, and I need to put together a 2,000 single-FOC point list. I’m thinking about expanding upon the list we built on Preferred Enemies. After all, I should put my money where my mouth is, shouldn’t I? And it will be money, because the extra Broadside and Riptide, along with some Fire Warrior bodies to slap Pulse Carbines onto, will cost me a bit of cash.

1000 Point Tau: First Draft

I’ve got a 1000-point tournament on May 18th at our local store, so I think it’ll be a good opportunity to take the new Tau codex out for a spin. I’m wanting to do something a bit different than my older Tau lists, so I’m thinking about going Crisis Suit-less. Fortunately, this is pretty easy to do with the new book. I also want to make sure I have plenty of Markerlight support and a fair amount of anti-infantry firepower while still being able to handle vehicles should they appear. Right now, this is what I’m toying around with:

HQ (110 pts)

  • Cadre Fireblade (60 pts)
  • Ethereal (50 pts)

Elites (380 pts)

  • 3x Stealthsuits [2x Burst Cannon, Fusion Blaster] (95 pts)
  • 3x Stealthsuits [2x Burst Cannon, Fusion Blaster] (95 pts)
  • XV104 Riptide [Ion Accelerator, Twin-linked Smart Missile System, Early warning override] (190 pts)

Troops (255pts)

  • 10x Fire Warriors with Pulse Rifles (90 pts)
  • 10x Fire Warriors with Pulse Rifles (90 pts)
  • Kroot Carnivore Squad [10x Kroot, 1 Kroot Hound, Sniper Rounds] (75 pts)

Fast Attack (110pts)

  • 5x Pathfinders (55 pts)
  • 5x Pathfinders (55 pts)

Heavy Support (145 pts)

  • Hammerhead Gunship [Railgun, Submunition Rounds, Twin-linked Smart Missile System, Disruption pod] (145 pts)

Total: 1000 pts

The Fireblade and Ethereal support the Firewarrior gunline that’s holding the backfield (or moving up, as necessary), the Pathfinders mark targets as needed and stay nearby as well, and the more mobile elements – the stealth teams, Riptide, and Hammerhead – go where needed and put as much fire out as necessary. The Kroot serve either as infiltrating snipers or outflanking objective grabbers, depending on the mission and board layout.

I’m still kicking around ideas and tweaks, though. I’m not sure about 2 HQs in a 1000-point game, but considering how inexpensive these are and how much they support the rest of the force, I think they’re worthwhile. Still, I could maybe drop either the Fireblade or the Ethereal and use the points savings elsewhere. For example, I could a drop the Fireblade, a Pathfinder from each team, and one Stealthsuit (merging the two squads into one) and use the points to drop in a Skyray for some Skyfire capability. Or, even better, just drop the Fireblade and Stealthsuit and put in a single Broadside with Missile Pods, a Velocity Tracker, and a Seeker missile. I’d trade off the Fireblade’s Volley Fire, but It’d trade it for much stronger, more versatile firepower overall.

Anyway, still tossing around ideas. Meanwhile, I have a halfway-built Riptide sitting on my hobby table (waiting for some magnets) and a couple of new Broadside boxes on my hobby shelves waiting to be assembled, along with some plastic Pathfinders. I just need to track down an Ethereal, and I should be golden. I’ve never actually owned one  – there was no point before the new codex!

Fireknife 2.0?

Tau_Fireknife_Team_by_nockergeek

 

We’re two days out from the new Tau codex, and info and photos of the English codex are starting to pop up everywhere. I’m not going to post any here for legal reasons, but you can easily find them online at this point. There’s enough info now to start figuring out how the new rules change our existing army. One thing I want to start looking at is how the new book affects one of the workhorses of the Tau army, the “Fireknife” suit (or the Missile Pod/Plasma Rifle suit, for those of you who don’t go for Tau fan nomenclature).

Let’s look at an old MP/PR suit:

Crisis Suit, Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Multi-Tracker: 62 points

Compare that to a new MP/PR suit:

Crisis Suit, Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle: 52 points

The combo of cheaper plasma and the free multi-tracker included in all battlesuits makes the new version more reasonable. A squad of three is now only 156 points, rather than 186 points from the old book. The new suits also come with free blacksun filters, so they’re even more capable than their predecessors. Most importantly, though, the new suit has one more slot available for weapons or support systems. This gives us some interesting options, such as:

  • Doubling up on either the Missile Pod or Plasma Rifle and twin-linking that weapon for 5 points more
  • Adding a Counterfire Defense System to get BS2 in Overwatch for 5 points
  • Adding an Early Warning Override to get Interceptor for 5 points

With all of these, we’re still cheaper than the old suits. If we don’t mind digging a bit deeper and making the unit more expensive than before, they can get Stimulant Injectors (Feel No Pain), Shield Generators (4++ saves), or Velocity Trackers (Skyfire as needed). The last option will probably end up getting added to Twin-Linked Missile Pod suits rather than MP/PR suits, but there’s still plenty of possibilities. I’m thinking of the Counterfire Defense Systems myself, since the multi-tracker bit can be renamed for a CDS in a pinch, but I’d be lying if the idea of twin-linking that plasma rifle isn’t tempting.

Anyway, just this little glance into what the new book brings with its tweaks and realignments has me excited to see what the rest of the army will look like!

Slaanesh: Observations from the Weekend

Played at a small tournament – well, ran a small tournament, and played to fill in the odd number spot – with my Slaanesh CSM/Daemons army, and I’m pretty satisfied with the results. I ended up going 2-1, with wins against Khorne CSM and Nurgle CSM, and a loss against my friend (and cohost) Dennis and his Eldar. This is not surprising; he can never beat my Tau with Eldar, and I’ve yet to beat his Eldar with my Chaos armies. After three games with the new force, I feel like I’m in the right direction for the most part. Here’s what I took:

HQ: Chaos Lord w/Mark of Slaanesh, Sigil of Corruption, Power Sword, Chaos Bike, Gift of Mutation, Veterans of the Long War – 155
Troops: 9 Noise Marines w/8 Sonic Blasters, 1 Blastmaster; Noise Champion – 234
Troops: 9 Noise Marines w/8 Sonic Blasters, 1 Blastmaster; Noise Champion – 234
Troops: 19 Cultists w/17 Autoguns, 2 Flamers, Mark of Slaanesh; Cultist Champion – 137
Fast Attack:
 4 Chaos Bikers w/Mark of Slaanesh, Icon of Excess, 2 Meltaguns,Veterans of the Long War; Biker Champion w/Combi-Melta, Meltabombs – 195
Heavy Support: 4 Chaos Havocs w/4 Autocannons, Mark of Slaanesh, Veterans of the Long War; Aspiring Champion – 130
Fortification: Aegis Defense Line w/Quad Gun – 100
HQ: Herald of Slaanesh w/Transfixing Gaze, Soporific Musk, Pavane of Slaanesh – 90
Troops: 16 Daemonettes of Slaanesh – 224

Here are my take-aways from the weekend.

  • Bikes work as a Lord delivery system, but… Being on a bike ensures that the Lord will get somewhere quickly, and it keeps him alive due to the increased toughness. The rest of the bikes provide melta for cracking open vehicles and act as ablative wounds. They don’t bring a whole lot else, though, besides someone carrying an Icon of Excess. They just don’t have enough attacks to make a sizable dent in an enemy unit when assaulting. Still, the speed and toughness are really nice. I’m going to keep trying these guys for a bit longer and get used to them before I decide their fate. Putting the Lord on a Steed of Slaanesh is tempting to give the whole unit Outflank, but then I lose the extra toughness.
  • Shooty Noise Marine units are great. Fearless. Power armor. Cranks out tons of shots. Ignore cover. High Initiative if they get assaulted. What’s not to like? Also, the Blastmaster is fantastic now, because of two reasons: ignoring cover and being able to keep it stationary while the rest of the squad moves. It’s totally worth the points now, especially when you consider how easy it is for vehicles to get cover now. If I can see you, I can kill you, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Also awesome for killing other power armor units.
  • Shooty Cultists are good. Okay, their guns aren’t great, but with so many shots you can manage a lot of mischief. I actually managed to have them shoot a Bloodthirster to death (results not typical). They’re risky to assault, especially with the flamers, and with the Mark of Slaanesh they’ve got a good chance to attack in kind once you close. In combination with a decent piece of cover, like an Aegis Defense Line, you can keep them nice and safe. Out in the open, though, they’ll take wounds and likely run off the board, so use them wisely if you don’t want to babysit them with a Lord.
  • Havocs are great. Especially with autocannons. A lot of strong shots for a low cost. Sure, they won’t scratch AV14, but that’s what the bikers are for. Setting the champ at the defense line’s Quad Gun almost doubles your firepower and gives you access to a Skyfire Interceptor weapon. I had faith that they would serve me well, and they delivered.
  • Daemonettes worked! The Daemonettes did exactly what I’d chosen them for – a fast assault unit that I could drop into my opponent’s back lines to cause havoc and assault scoring units camping in the rear. They’re fragile, but with the sheer volume of attacks they can put out makes up for their deficiencies. I never did use Hit and Run, so the Herald’s Musk might be on the chopping block, but Gaze and Pavane are staying. The only game where they didn’t directly contribute was against the Eldar (ironic, that), but they still pulled Dennis’s entire army’s attention for that one turn, leaving the rest to act without being bothered for a turn. Even against a tarpit unit like Plague Zombies, they managed to just out-wound their opponents. They don’t stand up to shooting, but I knew they wouldn’t. If nothing else, though, they forced my opponent to make bad decisions: keep pressing forward and ignore the blender I just dropped in your lines, or turn around and deal with it and let me stall out your momentum. I wouldn’t run them much smaller than I have them in this list; they need the bodies to get where you want them.

I will say it’s odd to run an army devoid of vehicles, but at higher point levels (1750-2000), I might figure out a way to pad out that involves metal boxes of one form or another, or maybe pick up a Heldrake and fit it into the list. Also, possibly more Daemons; they’re just fun to play around with.

New Chaos Marines Codex: First Impressions for Slaanesh

The new Chaos Space Marine codex is upon us, and while the basics are roughly the same as the last version, there’s been a lot of changes in the specifics. What does this mean for Slaanesh CSM players like me? Let’s take a look at the changes for those followers of the Dark Prince of Excess:

  • Daemon Princes are out as must-takes, Chaos Lords are in: Let’s face it – in the old CSM codex, Daemon Princes were very underpriced for what they offered. They’re now priced a bit more appropriately, and they have an awesome statline and some nice mark-specific benefits to boot. They’re not bad choices by any means. However, as a sole HQ choice for a Slaanesh CSM army, they’re a poor choice because they don’t shift around your FoC at all. To make Noise Marines troops, you have to take either a Slaanesh-marked Chaos Lord or Lucius the Undying. In a larger game, a Daemon Prince isn’t a bad choice for secondary HQ if you have the points to spare.
  • Lucius is awesome now: Speaking of Lucius, he went from kind of lackluster to all kinds of neat. Mostly, he functions similarly to how he did before – his wargear still causes hits if he makes saves, still reduces his foe’s attacks by 1, and still gives him a doom siren – but with the addition of his challenge-specific rules, he’s now better than your average Chaos Lord. Having as many attacks as his opponent’s weapon skill in a challenge gives him a solid opportunity to whittle someone down in a challenge, and at Initiative 6 he’s going to hit before most enemies. Throw in the addition of Shred (making those hits more likely to count), Hatred for Space Marines, and that he moves the FoC like other Slaanesh lords, and you get a nasty package that can cause some real hurt for your opponent’s characters.
  • Marks and Icons are much better: This codex fixes one of my biggest gripes with the previous version – marks are no longer tied to icons. You don’t have have to worry about losing the Initiative bonus from your mark if the icon bearer bites it. It also opens up more units to being marked, which at this point is pretty much anything that’s not a vehicle. On top of that, the Slaanesh-specific Icon of Excess is easily the best one in the book, and makes large squads more resilient than ever. Why should Nurgle get all the Feel No Pain fun? It’s fluffy and fantastic. Combine the Mark, the Icon, and Fabius Bile (also thematically appropriate) on a 20-man CSM squad, and you can get a very nasty scoring close-combat squad that will be all but impossible to dislodge from an objective.
  • No more Lash, but still some good psychic powers:Yes, Lash of Submission is gone, so old-school Slaanesh psychic shenanigans are off the table. Warptime’s gone as well, but it had lost a lot of its bite a couple of FAQs ago. Instead, we get a Slaanesh-specific psychic power selection that, while random, is still solid. We’ve got Hysterical Frenzy, a nice set of random close-combat buffs; Symphony of Pain, a handy debuff that also makes our sonic weapons better; and Ecstatic Seizures, a power that makes the entire enemy unit hit itself. The last one is Warp Charge 2, so your base sorcerers don’t have to worry about accidentally getting it. If you don’t like either of those, or you already have the one you want, the Primaris power isn’t bad either. Having an Str 4/AP 4/Assault 4/Blind/Concussive/Pinning power at 24″ gives you a chance to lock down an enemy unit for a turn. Once you’ve got your required Slaaneshi powers, there’s always Biomancy and Telepathy. Oh, and Pyromancy, but it’s definitely the weakest of our options. If you still want that Lash-like ability, though, you can always try allying in a Herald of Slaanesh with Pavane.
  • Noise Marines are more affordable: Another important change is that Noise Marines got priced closer to where they should be. 17 points each is much more reasonable, and while I’d love to have seen sonic weapons made into a free swap for a bolter, it wasn’t likely to happen. A 3-point charge is much more reasonable, though, getting them kitted out for the price of a stock Noise Marine in the previous codex. Champions aren’t optional, but since they’re thrown into the base unit cost, you barely notice. They’ve also got the option to take the Icon of Excess, so you can get them FNP if you desire.
  • Sonic Weapons are better and worse: While I like the reduced cost of Noise Blasters, I do miss them being Assault weapons. While making them Salvo weapons standardizes their functionality with the ruleset, it does nerf them a little bit by not allowing you to fire them on the charge. Of course, the trade-off is that they gain Ignores Cover, which might actually be worth it; there’s no hiding from these guns. Blastmasters are functionally identical, and they’ve also gained Ignores Cover, but they’re still a bit overpriced at 30 points. Not as horribly overpriced as before, true, but still more than I’d likely want to pay. Doom Sirens, of course, are still awesome and almost a required upgrade. While it’s not technically a weapon, I’ll also throw the Dirge Caster into the mix. Whereas before they were related to tank shock and barely useful, they’re fantastic now, since they prevent Overwatch for enemy units within 6″. Sending a tank with a Dirge Caster ahead of an assaulting unit lets you charge in without taking fire. Defilers can also take them, so if you can get within a 6″ charge range during movement, you can safely charge in with it without having to fear the random melta shot killing it before it arrives.

One thing I will note, however, is that just converting your old list to the new codex won’t work. For example, take an old 1850 list of mine:

HQ: Daemon Prince w/Mark of Slaanesh, Sorcerer, Warptime, Wings (160)
Elites: 5 Terminator Champions w/Lightning Claws, Icon of Slaanesh in a Land Raider (485)
Elites: 6 Chosen w/2 Flamers, 3 Meltaguns, Icon of Slaanesh in a Rhino (203)
Troops: 6 Noise Marines w/Blastmaster, Personal Icon in a Rhino (200)
Troops: 5 Noise Marines w/Sonic Blasters, Noise Champion w/Doom Siren, Power Weapon, Melta Bombs in a Rhino (230)
Troops: 5 Noise Marines w/Sonic Blasters, Noise Champion w/Doom Siren, Power Weapon, Melta Bombs in a Rhino (230)
Heavy Support: Predator w/Autocannon, Lascannon Sponsons (130)
Heavy Support: Predator w/Autocannon, Lascannon Sponsons (130)
Other: 6 Summoned Lesser Daemons (78)

There’s already a few problems with this as is. Summoned Daemons are gone, Noise Marines aren’t troops, Daemon Princes don’t make them troops, my Terminator squad is all wrong (too many champs), and a couple of squads have no champs at all. Trying to make it legal, well, here’s what you end up with.

HQ: Daemon Prince w/Mark of Slaanesh, Psyker Mastery 1, Wings, Armor Save (240)
HQ: Chaos Lord w/ Terminator Armor, Power Weapon, Combi-Melta, Veterans, Mark of Slaanesh (132)
Elite: 3 Terminators, 1 Terminator Champ w/Lightning Claws, Mark of Slaanesh, Icon of Excess in Land Raider w/Dirge Caster (457)
Elite: 5 Chosen w/2 Flamers, 3 Meltaguns, 1 Chosen Champ, Mark of Slaanesh, Icon of Excess, Veterans, Rhino (242)
Troops: 5 Noise Marines w/Sonic Blasters, 1 Noise Champ w/Doom Siren, Power Weapon, Veterans (163)
Troops: 5 Noise Marines w/Sonic Blasters, 1 Noise Champ w/Doom Siren, Power Weapon, Veterans (163)
Troops: 5 Noise Marine, 1 Noise Champ w/Power Weapon, Veterans, Rhino w/ Dirge Caster (173)
Heavy Support: Predator w/Autocannon, Lascannon Sponsons (115)
Heavy Support: Predator w/Autocannon, Lascannon Sponsons (115)
Allies: Chaos Daemons
HQ: Herald of Slaanesh w/Soporific Musk, Transfixing Gaze (70)
Troops: 5 Daemonettes (70)

That’s 1,940 points, and the smaller unit size across the army is going to work against it, especially for assault-only units like the tiny Daemonette squad. I’ve also lost the Blastmaster, since I don’t have 10 Noise Marines in the squad carrying it anymore (although as I noted above, that’s not necessarily a major loss). I also have precious little to work against flyers, larger assault units will eat me alive, and as awesome as the DP is, it doesn’t bring enough to the table for its point cost and slot. What can we do to switch this around, make it a bit nastier, and still keep it nice and fluffy? How about something like this:

HQ: Lucius the Eternal (165)
Elite: 4 Terminators w/2 Lightning Claws, 1 Terminator Champ w/2 Lightning Claws, Veterans, Mark of Slaanesh, Icon of Excess (262)
Troops: 9 Noise Marines w/Sonic Blasters, 1 Noise Champ w/Doom Siren, Power Weapon, Veterans (247)
Troops: 9 Noise Marines w/Sonic Blasters, 1 Noise Champ w/Doom Siren, Power Weapon, Veterans (247)
Troops: 8 Chaos Marines w/Close Combat Weapons (no Bolters), 1 Aspiring Champ, Mark of Slaanesh, Veterans, Icon of Excess, Rhino w/ Dirge Caster (224)
Heavy Support: 4 Havocs w/Missile Launchers (2x Flakk Missiles), 1 Aspiring Champ, Veterans (160)
Heavy Support: Predator w/Autocannon, Lascannon Sponsons (115)
Heavy Support: Land Raider w/Dirge Caster (235)
Allies: Chaos Daemons
HQ: Herald of Slaanesh w/Transfixing Gaze (55)
Troops: 10 Daemonettes (140)

This is what a 6th-Edition version of that same list might look like. It’s not necessarily a killer tournament list, and we’ve made a couple of trade-offs here and there, but it’s much more tailored to the newer rules. You’ve got a couple of dedicated shooting units, a couple of dedicated assault units with Feel No Pain (with Lucius the Challenge Machine riding in the Rhino), some anti-air support, and a larger unit of Daemons to work with. We’ve also moved the Land Raider to being a Heavy Support slot so it counts as scoring in Big Guns Never Tire. This list can surely be tinkered with and improved, but it shows a start for where Slaanesh CSM armies could go in this edition. We haven’t even gotten to some of the other toys, like Bikers and Raptors and the Fiends and such…