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Made in th
Oozing Spawning Vat

Hey all, this is my first post on Dakka, and was hoping for a bit of advice on starting a 40k army...

I'am returning to 40k after a long absence, i used to play Tyranids (with little success!). I'm looking to start a new army from scratch based around the following parameters;

Highly Defensive/powerfull in the shooting phase and hard to shift from an objective. (had enough of primarilly CC)
Can mount a strong counter-attack if/when assaulted.
Prefer fewer more elite models, rather than hundreds of them. (for painting purposes and transporting)
Some element of mobility for late game objectives.
Looking to start out at around 1500pts.

I've pretty much looked through all the codex's in depth and am still no closer to making a decision! Stand out armies for me so far have been Emperor's Children (love the background from the heresy books), pure Grey Knights, Tau (but hate the kroot models!), Was also toying with the idea of Tallarn IG cause love the models and tank possibilites but as i said i dont really want to paint tons of them. Think the Lysander model is awesome too...

Would like to get an army up to the standard where i could eventually start entering a few local tournaments...but 99% of the time i'll be playing against a few mates (who field Necrons, CSM, Eldar, and Tau predominatly)

Im swaying towards pure Grey Knights at the moment after reading their article on Dakka, 3 Land Raiders / Dreadnoughts would cause some havoc (i realise they're considered sub-standard by most but that wont really matter as im not after a world-beating list, just somthing i can have some fun with)

Any advice/ideas would be well recieved. I'm still keeping my options wide open... so whatever you reckon might be suitable really.
Lastly i hope this post is in the right place! Looking forward to hearing what the Dakka community has to say...
Made in au
Lady of the Lake

With gunline Tau you probably won't be using Kroot anyway. I've just started with Tau after playing SM, mostly defensive and shooting so I decided why not Tau it's basically how I was playing SM anyway XD

If you're swaying towards Grey Knights why not them. Having LR as scoring is quite good, just make it the Godhammer one (Not too sure on the variations the Grey Knights get, but it's the Lascannon on the sides and Assault cannon). Main problems gunlines have are infiltrators with melta stuff, outflanking and deep striking. You'd probably want to keep the entire force as one unit rather than splitting them up into smaller groups and sending them to do different tasks, that's for objective capturing and you should probably spend the first two turns taking out key units rather than rushing to objectives. Like I said outflanking can be annoying as most of the time they're going to go behind the army and into any cover. No problem for the Land Raiders, but for the other machines or even un-mechanized units it can be annoying.

If Grey Knights, try to use power weapons mixed with stuff like Power Fists (like I said I'm unfamiliar with Grey Knights, but my understanding is that they're mostly Terminators) that way you'll strike at a better inititive and still have enough power to take out the bigger things that come your way.

For Necrons that Monolith is going to be a pain, take out the little guys and force a phase out and try to stay at least 18" away (That's the range of that D6 attacks shooting attack, right?). For Tau their biggest strength is also their weakness, so you'll still want a slight CC element to the force. With IG I guess you could use a lot of troops with those tanks, but you did say you didn't want to paint heaps of stuff.

I'd go with either Tau or Grey Knights, however the Grey Knights are going to be less fragile than the Tau. But, they might be slightly less mobile. As a defensive army though either of the two is good and both are capable of launching good counter attacks, Tau ones should be done before the event they are countering. The strength of the Grey Knights will make them a slightly more forgiving army to play as.

Made in us
Fixture of Dakka

Feasting on the souls of unworthy opponents


5th edition has shifted heavily in favor of mechanized lists, which gives a significant boost to Tau because of the pure strength of their anti-tank. I'd suggest you go read this thread so that I don't have to wax on about how to "build" your Tau to be effective: I wrote a book of a post 4-5 posts down on the first page: http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/0/247349.page#825392

I'd tell you to go with Tau, and start with a gunline Tau. I have 3 devilfish and 2 hammerheads, but I don't often use them in a game. My Tau win an extraordinary number of games compares to their losses, and can absolutely mutilate any army you play against. The downside (and there is a clear one) is that Tau are a finesse army. They are unforgiving if you make a mistake. If you don't look at your opponent's army list and identify outflanking potential threats (particularly genestealers if you play against Tyranids) and deploy accordingly to minimize threats to your flank, you're setting yourself up for a beating. I love seeing opponent forces deploy across an entire board; a small application of basic military tactics puts them at a severe disadvantage.

My ideal Tau list is a static Tau gunline, without inferior alien allies, with crisis suits serving as screening skirmishers. In a game where I need to worry about outflanking units, I tend to use a firewarrior squad on each flank, with 2" coherency to act as a suicide buffer against assaults on my valuable units.

Tau crisis suits with JSJ can provide late game mobility, but aren't scoring units. Firewarriors and kroot are the only scoring units in the Tau army, and both are abysmal. I'd venture a guess that 90% of people who take kroot only do so because they need infiltrating scoring units. In an objective game, I have a couple of guarantees. In a capture and control scenario, I will own one objective. It will be in the middle of my gunline firebase, and it would take a miraculous event to dislodge me away from it. At that point, my focus is on killing enemy troop choices and mobility. In a seize ground scenario, objectives on the back table edge let me control 1-2, and again...work on killing enemy troops and mobility.

The perfect board setup for Tau involves terrain on the back table edges and a wide open killing ground in the middle. When I'm setting up terrain with an opponent, I typically put a big piece on the back center of one table edge, and another big piece on the back center of the other table edge (forest or area terrain) so that regardless of which side I get, I have a firebase that will be in area terrain getting 4+ cover saves. Firewarriors need it and broadsides benefit from it against the really mean templates. Read that other thread I linked; I think you'll find your answer in Tau.

Made in th
Oozing Spawning Vat

Thanks for the reply. Using Tau i could definatly get the mobility i need for seizing late game objectives with Devilfish etc. Guns appear to be the best in the game too!....was just worried about getting overrun and slaughtered if i did'nt take any Kroot, that was the main thing that put me off them... Dont reckon i'd have any problem taking out that Monolith with railguns though...

If i opted for Grey Knights however; are Lascannons still viable for taking out a Monolith at range?

@Dashofpepper: Awesome advice dude, just the kind of thing i was looking for. You guys are rapidly pushing me towards gunline Tau, think i may be better off with them as the list is gonna be much more flexible than anything i can wean from the Daemonhunters codex!

Much appreciated, both of you!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2009/07/13 15:15:25

Made in au
Lady of the Lake

The idea of a Monolith is to give the opponent a large target to shoot at. Best to avoid it if possible and cause a phase out, glancing it should be alright. As for Lascannons S 9 vs armour 14 means 5s to glance and 6s to penetrate. Rail gus are S 10 so 4s to glance 5s and 6s to penetrate and add one to the damage result because of AP 1. You won't kill it with the Lascannon, but you could slow it down. Don't bother using meltas on it though and if you stay out of the range of the D6 attacks weapon, it loses a fair bit of it's power. As for the Fire Warriors, if you're worried about about assaults keep them in devil fish. Tau usually leaves objective hunting to the last couple of turns and with Firewarriors inside the devilfish, they're able to capture the objective safely from the inside of the tank.

But like I said the normal guys for the Grey Knights are a fair bit more durable than the Tau. As for Land Raiders, this topic is really good for them http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/245840.page

Also bonus tip
iirc if you buy the sky ray you get the sprues for the hammer head and the devilfish included. Useful if you want to take broadsides instead of hammer heads and need an extra devil fish.

Yeah Dashofpepper that's really useful, thanks.

Made in us
Sneaky Sniper Drone

Highly Defensive/powerfull in the shooting phase and hard to shift from an objective. (had enough of primarilly CC) - Plague Marines
Can mount a strong counter-attack if/when assaulted. Khorne Beserkers or Slanesh Termies
Prefer fewer more elite models, rather than hundreds of them. (for painting purposes and transporting) CSM = Fewer Elite Models
Some element of mobility for late game objectives. Winged Demon Princes, Raptors, Bikes, etc
Looking to start out at around 1500pts.

I would advise you to play Chaos Space Marines.

2009 Ard Boyz Finalist ( )
(6k total, 1k painted) : 37-3-7 v
(codex only) : Will start once Tau are fully painted 
Made in us
Foolproof Falcon Pilot

Somewhere in the unknown universe.

Eldar are a strong defensive army they have incredible firepower when used as a gunline force, and their counterattack units (Striking Scorpions, Howling Banshees) are extremely elite and powerful.

But this is coming from an Eldar player, so I'm bound to be biased.

Manchu wrote:
Agamemnon2 wrote:
Congratulations, that was the stupidest remark the entire wargaming community has managed to produce in a long, long time.

Congratulations, your dismissive and conclusory commentary has provided nothing to this discussion or the wider community on whose behalf you arrogantly presume to speak nor does it engage in any meaningful way the remark it lamely targets. But you did manage to gain experience points toward your next level of internet tough guy.
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka

Feasting on the souls of unworthy opponents

ObiFett wrote:

I would advise you to play Chaos Space Marines.

I saw someone's signature somewhere; I don't remember who to give credit, but it was true: Friends don't let friends start MEQ armies.

Made in th
Oozing Spawning Vat

Some awesome advice being dispensed people...@Dashofpepper: You might aswell copy and paste those mammoth Tau posts and make them into an article, definatly worthy of it.

I was really keen on CSM and was pretty much set on making a Nurgle Death Guard army, cause of the ace toughness, FW models and fluff, until i realised i was reading the old codex! The new codex did'nt really do it for me. Did'nt CSM get toned down quite a lot in the latest codex? Same thing with an Emperor's Children army, felt like there was quite a bit missing somehow...

My mate that i play often is well into his Eldar, so i'm gonna steer clear of them purely for that reason alone. Love the models though!
I think im gonna have an investigate into starting a Tau gunline as suggested, think it fills all my requirements nicely, and should easily be able to go up against any of the other armies that im likely to encounter..

Cheers again everyone!
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka

Feasting on the souls of unworthy opponents

Glad to be of help. I tend to copy and paste what I've written because it feels like the bulk of people don't bother reading what others ask and get answers to, they just make a new post and ask again. laziness I guess.

Made in ca
Fresh-Faced New User

Just don't forget to throw the added element of surprise and unpredictability. I find gunline Tau usually fall prey to the idea that their guns will win fights for them. Against an Eldar player (such as myself), it won't take me long to realize and exploit this weakness. Don't be afraid to move up when you need to.

Gotta be unpredictable! The Tau players I play with (all 3 of them), generally use the same tactics every game (gunline), and as an Eldar player, I usually come out on top. Not necessarily because of my tactics, but because I can prepare for the gunline.

Kroot may be useless in some peoples eyes, but they give me something cheap to shoot at, and have to worry about. After seeing Kroot take down a Daemon, I no longer ignore them as much as I used to!

Made in gb
Sister Vastly Superior

Kroot are pants.

Having to kill the kroot instead of the Tau that're shooting your face off? A problem

Forgetting and shooting at Tau, then watching those pants kroot rip something expensive a new one? Totally worth the points.

I collect:
Guard - 2k of mostly infantry
DA - 2k of deathwing, 2k of other bits (no vehicles)
Sisters - mostly converted/proxy because I'm waiting for therange to go plastic.
Tau - 2k with no riptides because I can. 
Made in th
Oozing Spawning Vat

If i was gonna use Kroot as a meat shield i think i'd convert some Lizardmen models from fantasy and use those instead. Just think the Kroot models as they are look terrible...!
I'll see how it pans out though...
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka

Feasting on the souls of unworthy opponents

The reason I advocate gunline Tau is because you can literally immobilize an entire opponent army. Having 4-6 broadsides can nuke pretty much all vehicles that could transport troops up to the line, having a squad of fusion/plasma suits means deep-striking terminators / dreadnoughts / anything else is insta-killed, having a couple of flamers and an airburst launcher means that outflanking genestealers and cover-hugging troops get no cover, and that leaves you with markerlights, sniper drones, pathfinders, rail rifles, and lots of markerlight + pinning goodness to attempt making elements of an enemy army get pinned; which makes them approach you at variable speeds.

That leaves the rest of your army (firewarriors, suits) to pour fire into one, maybe two units per turn that are advancing ahead of everything else....because if an army is going to have a shooting match with you, you're going to win. When I play a gunline, I focus on taking away enemy mobility, pinning things that get to close (or killing them). I've never really worried about objectives until late game, and by virtue of how objectives are placed, I will usually own one, and then other deny the other with a suit team, or kill threatening troop choices.

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