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Author Topic: Sniper teams for markerlights  (Read 1952 times)

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Offline AXEBLADE

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Sniper teams for markerlights
« on: November 29, 2013, 03:26:49 AM »
So I was looking through the Tau codex trying to come up with the most broken TauDar list I could (someone challenged me)

And I only had enough points to take 2 tau HS choices. But I had 50ish points left over. So I looked for things to fill out the points and I noticed the sniper teams.

So you have to take 3 sniper drones and you can take up to 5 more.
  • They are twice the price of a kroot with a sniper rifle
  • The army already has plenty of high strength, not great AP weapons.
  • They have really long range
  • They are rapid fire
  • They are pulse weapons and so will benefit from the ethereals storm of fire
  • Thanks to the drone controller they have amazing BS
So they are ok and may have their uses. Particularly if you are a purist and don't want to use kroot.

But its the marksmen who really caught my eye. Minimum of 1 and max of 3
  • 2 points more than a pathfinder
  • Markerlight at awesome BS
  • Statistically 3 of these guys will get as many hits as a 5 man pathfinder unit (2.5 hits)

Plus they all have stealth.

So I was wondering why I don't see more of these guys around as markerlight support. These are the only reasons I could think of.
  • models are expensive and made of Failcast
  • people don't look at them in the codex and so don't know about them
  • I'm missing something about them that makes them crap
  • They compete in the HS slot and people always field 3 HS already (4 with allies) so there is no room in the FOC

Offline Wyddr

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Re: Sniper teams for markerlights
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2013, 08:48:18 AM »
You're right about the marksmen--they're golden. The sniper drones themselves are so-so.

The primary reason folks don't take them are slot competition. A Skyray is similar points and more useful, a Hammerhead has better firepower. They compare/compete reasonably well with Broadsides, but that isn't saying a whole lot.

The reason I don't usually take them is the issue of mobility. I like my army to be able to move, and Sniper Drones can't. I would take Sniper Drones over Pathfinders in almost every instance, though, assuming I had the slots to spare.

Offline Benis

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Re: Sniper teams for markerlights
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2013, 12:49:33 PM »
I quite like Sniper Drones, you can usually make it with only two tanks in the heavy support and what Broadsides bring can be gotten from Crisis suits so I find it alright leaving one slot for the Sniper Drones. They can move quite a bit given that they are jetpack, sure you have to snap shot the markerlights but it is useful when you do need to move and the addition of an Ethereal to boost the amount of shots is quite superb; one unit can pump out almost thirty sniper shots on the move and with a few markers to increase the BS they are very mean and will slaughter almost any unit with a toughness value. They also offer quite a good spot for the Ethereal to hang out if you do bring one.

I can see their lack of appeal if you lack the Ethereal or if you are in serious need of AA but they are surprisingly deadly with the added utility of the markerlights.

Offline Wyddr

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Re: Sniper teams for markerlights
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2013, 01:11:56 PM »
The jetpack move is pretty much inaccessible, though, so long as the Marksman is alive. So, yeah, they can walk and shoot sniper weapons, but I've always found sniper weapons fairly lackluster and, while they are bit better these days, they still don't exactly encourage much confidence.

I also worry about sticking an Ethereal with them. They are pretty easy to kill, stealth or no stealth, and risking an ethereal to get more sniper shots I would only consider worth it if you happened to be facing a pair of Wraithknights or something. 

Offline Benis

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Re: Sniper teams for markerlights
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2013, 12:20:42 PM »
I regularly use both Sniper Drones and an Ethereal and it isn't so sticky, the Ethereal usually supports more units to increase their fire power too and with over ten models Sniper Drones are about as safe a place to have the Ethereal as anywhere else, given Stealth and the increased toughness compared to Fire Warriors. Sniper Drones also have rending so they are quite good against units such as Terminators, especially since in those cases an unfulfilled killing usually means that you have a few markerlights from the Marksmen to finish the kill with. With the popularity of units such a Dreadknights, Wraithknights and opposing Riptides their inclusion ups from moderately useful to quite awesome.

From the sound of it it sounds more like it is a case where they don't fit your style or you simply haven't tried them enough, I find them useful and they usually end up considered quite scary after a round or two of shooting to most opponents, the main hindrance as far as I can see is that they take up a heavy support, it has little to do with their actual capacity but with what that capacity is aimed at; you might not need that sort of anti-infantry/monstrous creature fire power as badly as you need anti-tank or anti-air.

Offline Wyddr

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Re: Sniper teams for markerlights
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2013, 01:55:43 PM »
I've used them a fair amount, actually, just never in large units. I suppose if you take a full compliment then yes, the Ethereal is as safe as anywhere else while on foot. I generally think any Ethereal on foot is dead meat, though. Ten Sniper Drone wounds aren't all that great, though I suppose if you play the target priority game they can last.

As to sniper weapons' utility, you're right that they can kill things, but they aren't ideal against much beyond Monstrous Creatures. You'd get more mileage against most targets by devoting your points to different units that do the job better. Anti-infantry fire is well covered by Firewarriors, Hammerheads, various crisis suit builds, Riptides, Stealth Suits, and so on, and many of them also have utility against other targets, too.

I think Sniper Drones have a place, sure. I don't, however, think they're the strongest choice in the codex by far.

Offline Wiggus

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Re: Sniper teams for markerlights
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2013, 08:09:47 PM »
i always use a sniper team 6/2 ratio they sit with my ethereal a 2x10 firewarriors behind an aegis good solid fire base that anchors my army
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Offline Halollet

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Re: Sniper teams for markerlights
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2013, 02:50:20 PM »
Against monstrous creatures, there's not much better to take in the Tau army.

I had to face off against 2 wraithknights in a 1,500 tourny and I wished I had some sniper teams!

The range, BS, Toughness, Save, is all better then kroot and they get the ethereal boost.

Sniper drones can hit them turn one, most of the time, triple tap them 1-2 times and get overwatch on them.

Missile pods, Ion guns, plasma rifles have a hard time wounding a wraithknight. Fusions and plasmas get one shot before the knight steps on them.

Monstrous creatures seem to be the go to right now in tourny settings, so sniper teams seem to have their place!
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