|Submitted By: Date: May 27, 2006, 01:54:17 PM Views: 3675
|Summary: <p class="body">The Fish of Fury is a tactic that many of us have heard of. But what exactly is it? No, it’s not a Kung Fu aquarium movie, though you wouldn’t be far wrong! Most us know that it’s got something to do with Devilfishes, and Fire Warriors, and most of us would be right. But how does it actually work? Well, for those of you new to this I am going to explain what this is and how it works, while referencing the pages of the 40k rule book which you should read and understand in order to help you carry this out.<br /> <br />
The Fish of Fury is essentially the rapid deployment of Fire Warriors from one or more Devilfishes who can then concentrate their firepower on unsuspecting victims!
Any Tau commander should know that getting their Fire Warriors into combat is generally bad news. So some might consider consciously manoeuvring them to within 12” of the enemy a death wish. True. In normal circumstances this is never recommended. But if used cleverly, your enemy will never be able to assault your Fire Warriors - even if any of those within 12” do survive your rapid fire onslaught! It’s all down to how you deploy your Fish of Fury and is what makes this tactic incredibly dangerous in the hands of a competent general.
So how is this possible!? You may ask... well, there is a little, but in this case, very important rule which essentially states that you must stay at least 1” away from enemy models during the movement phase. This rule can be found near the bottom of page 15 of the rule book. Couple that with the fact that your Devilfishes are skimmers, and so do not block line of sight, it allows you to basically keep your Fire Warriors a little under 12” from the enemy in order to rapid fire under your Devilfish. But even being within 12”, your targets will have to move the long way around your Devilfish and so in theory, not be able to assault your Fire Warriors.
What do I need? Well, it goes without saying that you will need one or more units of Fire Warriors mounted in Devilfishes. That’s about it really!</p>
<p class="subheader">Equipping your Fire Warriors.</p>
<p class="body">Well, the first thing you should do with your Fire Warriors is to give as many of them as you can Pulse Rifles. Remember, the whole idea of getting within 12” is so that you can rapid fire your target to death (or that’s the plan!), so the more rapid firing Pulse Rifles you have the better. I recommend equipping the whole unit with Rifles. If you don’t have the models to do this then never fear, a few Carbine shots in there can help you out by pinning the enemy in place. Though as a rule, the more shots the better. With that in mind you want to field as large a unit as you can, 12 Fire Warriors equipped with Rifles can churn out 24 Strength 5 shots after all! Whilst a minimum unit of six Fire Warriors armed the same can only bring 12 shots. I would say that the smallest unit size you should consider would consist of 8 Fire Warriors (for 16 shots). You can however, offset the lower end of the scale (including teams of 7) by using more than one Fish of Fury together. Often saving points to be able to field more teams, rather than fewer, larger ones, can be a good idea. In honesty, I tend to field units of 8, but often support my Fish of Fury team with some Stealth Teams if I can’t get another Fish of Fury in.</p>
<p class="body"><i>Fitting your Fire Warriors into the Disembarkation zone.</i></p>
<p class="body">With your push towards more rapid fire weapons, many often consider attaching Gun Drones to the squad a poor use of points. After all, a Gun Drone costs the same as a Fire Warrior, and so you are usually better off using the points to buy Fire Warriors. Remember that you can still equip just one or two Warriors with Carbines if what you are after is a few 18” range shots in order to cause casualties further into your target unit. As for other upgrades, some people tend to equip their Fish of Fury teams with Photon Grenades. Though a cheap option, if your team is used correctly, they should never need to use their grenades. However, should you have points to spare, and can’t fit any more Fire Warriors in, then they can be a useful addition.</p>
<p class="subheader">Equipping your Devilfishes</p>
<p class="body">There are a number of good options you can go for here, but the first one should always be a multi-tracker in my opinion. This will allow you to keep your Devilfishes moving very rapidly and still be able to provide fire support to your Fire Warriors. After a Multi-tracker, I would consider Decoy Launchers, which will give your Fishes that extra security to get their Fury into place! Following this, the third option I would think about would actually be Flechette Dischargers. These pieces of kit can help annoy opponents who decide to charge your Devilfishes in order to get closer to your Fire Warriors by giving them a nasty shock (quite literally!) If however, you are facing opponents less likely to charge into combat with a tank, then you can instead go for a Targeting Array, which can help with the Devilfishes portion of the shooting, or even Sensor Spines, which can open up lots of interesting Fish of Fury options as you exploit the benefits of terrain features to your advantage (if playing in a city fight then this option is highly recommended!). At the end of the day though, the options you choose are ultimately down to personal preference and often a measure of how aggressive a commander you are.
In terms of secondary weapons the Smart Missile System can add a fair few strength 5 shots to your Devilfish, but I tend to keep Gun Drones on mine. I find their ability to disembark and force enemy units to take priority tests very useful. Drones can be used to tempt enemy units into shooting or even charging them, keeping them from getting anywhere near any Fire Warriors or Devilfishes, this can be a particularly naughty tactic against opponents who have to charge the nearest enemy unit. If nothing else, they increase the distance an enemy unit must travel around them and thereby decrease their chances of assaulting your Fire Warriors even further.</p>
<p class="subheader">Deploying your Fire Warriors</p>
<p class="body">When deploying your Fire Warriors you must consider two things. The first is the deployment rules found on page 62 of the rule book (which you should read thoroughly, taking particular note of the Disembarkation rules). The second thing you must be aware of is that you must be able to judge the distance pretty well... with your furthest Fire Warrior being no further than 12” from the enemy (this will come with more practice).
The Disembarkation Zone (of the rear hatch) is shown in the image below with a red area. According to the rules on page 62, as long as some part of your models bases are touching this zone then you can legally deploy there. With 12 Fire Warriors this can be tricky to do! With less Fire Warriors your goal is to keep as close to the rear hatch as possible.
As a rule of thumb, if you have any Carbine equipped models then they should always be deployed at the rearmost rank of troops. With their additional range they will not be disadvantaged here.</p>
<p class="body"><i>Deploying your Fire Warriors and the 1" zone.</i></p>
<p class="subheader">Carrying out the Fish of Fury</p>
<p class="body">The great thing about the Fish of Fury is that you can do it with only one Fire Warrior unit in a Devilfish. With a move of 12”, the Devilfish is able to move rapidly to key positions and deploy its furious cargo! However, with only a single team (or for that matter any teams acting on their own) there is a limited variety in carrying out the Fish of Fury.</p>
<p class="subheader">The Head on Attack</p>
<p class="body">With a head on attack the idea is pretty straightforward. Quite simply, to park your Devilfish in front of your target and jump your Fire Warriors out of the rear hatch. The image below shows you an example of this. The lightest zone represents the 12” area which all of your models can shoot into, including the rearmost Fire Warriors. The medium green represents the furthest reach of your 12”, only the forward Fire Warriors will be able to target enemy in this zone. Meanwhile, the darker zone represents the range of any carbine equipped models, assuming they are deployed in the rear rank.</p>
<p class="body">Now, although all shooting is carried out simultaneously for rules purposes, I tend to begin with the furthest of my models and work up from there. This is mainly so I don’t get stitched up by my opponent taking casualties from victims I couldn’t have killed. I will always leave any carbine equipped models until last, so that they can take full advantage of their added range.
In an attack like this one, assuming I had a unit fully equipped with rifles, I would be bringing to bear 16 strength 5 shots against 10 of the rather tightly packed victims! Of course, the kill rate will depend largely on the foe, but light infantry such as Guard or Orks could expect to lose about seven models at least. Heavier infantry such as Marines would be tougher of course. In either situation, always remember to lend support from your Devilfish where possible, which can contribute between 5 and 7 additional shots.
Now, here comes the fun part, because even assuming that I had a disastrous round of shooting, my Fire Warriors are protected from assault by my Devilfish. The enemy has to move 6” around the front of the Devilfish to get any chance of charging the Warriors, but having to go the long way around the Devilfish takes them beyond their 6” charge range.
Assuming that the enemy had managed to sneak just within 6” they are then impeded by yet another problem. The Devilfish is still in the way! They can attempt to charge the Fire Warriors, but then must stay 1” away from the Devilfish as detailed on page 38. They can even try to charge the two units at the same time, but in this case, some models will be drawn to the closest point of the Devilfish, whilst others will be prevented from reaching the Fire Warriors as they will still have to avoid the Devilfish because they want to assault the Fire Warriors (thanks to the 1” rule). In short, it should be very difficult for the enemy to charge your precious Fire Warriors!</p>
<p class="subheader">The Side Swipe</p>
<p class="body">The other variation on this attack is to pivot your Devilfish so that it exposes its’ side to the target, deploying your Fire Warriors out of the other side hatch. It works in much the same way, giving a wider frontage and so can force the enemy around when they are closer. However, it exposes softer armour and so makes the Devilfish more vulnerable to attack. Of course, this might be a good option should your Devilfish be vulnerable to attack from the sides, presenting the thicker front armour to that location. Despite this I also find it even more difficult to deploy larger units.
In the Side Swipe it is often a good idea to use cover to protect your soft rear armour and deploy your Gun Drones to the front to force an even wider route. Slotting your Devilfish between two pieces of terrain can also be a great use of the tactic, preventing the enemy from passing at all without going through terrain.</p>
<p class="subheader">What to do after your wrath</p>
<p class="body">If the enemy do decide to charge your Devilfish then don’t worry, they will require 6’s to hit (as it is a skimmer, see page 71), they will also have to contend with its pretty thick armour. Having no doubt moved over 6” in your movement phase, they will still only be able to get glancing hits.
Let us assume the enemy has decided to charge your Devilfish, being unable to get at your Fire Warriors, several things can happen and you should be prepared to react to them;
If the chargers do nothing, or just prevent it from shooting, then your best bet is to jump onboard again and move the Devilfish well away ready for another attack, protecting it behind terrain is a good idea. If you feel you can finish off the target, then you can risk staying put to rapid fire again.
If the enemy stop your Devilfish from moving or shooting then your Fire Warriors should begin their retreat. You need to move them away from the enemy, still using the Devilfish location to force the enemy to go the long way around. You will still be able to rapid fire under your Devilfish. If you are worried about enemy directing shooting at your retreating Fire Warriors then simply land your Devilfish and block the line of sight. Your Devilfish can catch up later to pick up its troops.
Finally, if the enemy destroys your Devilfish, but you think your Fire Warriors can take them, then you can move into the Devilfish wreck. Not only will this give you a spot to rapid fire at them again, it will give you hard cover against enemy shooting and allow you to strike first should the target assault you (every little helps). Otherwise, leg it as described above.</p>
<p class="subheader">Using Terrain</p>
<p class="body">In order to further protect your Fire Warriors you can use impassable or difficult terrain to your advantage. Deploying close to such features can force the enemy in a particular direction. Impassable terrain provides excellent defence, and anything that can block the enemy line of sight to your Fire Warriors is very valuable. Just remember that some units are not slowed by terrain, and your goal here can be to prevent enemy line of sight.</p>
<p class="body"><i>Using terrain for cover.</i></p>
<p class="body">You should begin to look for such locations as you deploy, and be ready to pounce on these as the enemy advances. Remember that all of the rules described above still apply when in terrain features, so if you have equipped sensor spines, you can move into large terrain pieces for that extra cover... (this might prove a common sight with the new Cities of Death expansion).</p>
<p class="body"><i>Using terrain with sensor spines.</i></p>
<p class="body">Of course, the use of terrain does not stop at the Fish of Fury, you can often stop enemy movement simply by using an empty Devilfish. Sometimes, your goal will be to stop the enemy using terrain, so moving your Devilfish over a terrain feature, forcing your opponent around it, means that your previously deployed Fire Warriors can take easy pickings at the enemy in the open.</p>
<p class="heading">Advanced Applications</p>
<p class="subheader">Doubling Up</p>
<p class="body">Things can really get interesting when you start doubling up on Fish of Fury teams. With two teams, you have the capability to unleash a truly devastating amount of firepower from two separate teams at one target. The great thing about using multiple teams is that thanks to their speed, they can act separately and move together at the very last moment.
All of the above principles apply, that goes without saying, but having two Devilfishes means that you can be bolder in carrying out your attacks. You can make good use of each vehicles 1” Safe Zone, which will create an unreachable zone allowing troops to be set up without fear of assault. This idea can be further modified against faster moving opponents.</p>
<p class="body"><i>The double head on attack.</i></p>
<p class="body"><i>The double side swipe, in V formation.</i></p>
<p class="body">This zone can be filled with any number of units, such as Stealth teams, or XV8 suits for example. However, it can also be used to protect fleeing units, giving them time to regroup and destroying the chasers.</p>
<p class="subheader">Fast Moving Opponents</p>
<p class="body">Up until now we have been looking at the Fish of Fury in terms of opponents that can only move or assault 6”. However, there are many opponents which can move or assault faster than this. Units that fleet can move up to 18”, and are not as worried by terrain, there are numerous units such as bikes which can also reach 18”, but are much more wary of terrain. Beasts are incredibly fast, with both a fleet move and a 12” assault giving them a maximum range of 24”!!! Let us also not forget about units such as Black Templars, Blood Angels or models with the Mark of Khorne which can also benefit from additional movement. So, how can we deal with such quick opponents that run the risk of bypassing our safe zones?
While it is mostly advisable to target fast moving opponents from afar this is not always possible. I mean, with lots of points invested in your Fish of Fury teams your army may well lack sufficient ranged firepower. You can of course deploy your Fire Warriors separately and target the fast movers at a distance, or you can attempt the Fish of Fury on them!
Well, when carrying out a Fish of Fury on fast moving opponents you have to be able to do one thing, destroy them utterly in the first volley of fire. This way they can never bring their speed to bear. Once you have decided your attacking units, you need to move them into position, using terrain is even more important now, anything that will help slow the enemy down should they survive. Whilst using terrain, you also want to broaden your safe zone, this will force the enemy the long way around. To do this, I often deploy my Gun Drones and spread them between my Devilfishes. Should the enemy decide to shoot them down, there is still another two causing confusion, and you have still succeeded in preventing the enemy charging your Fire Warriors (the enemy must charge the unit it shot at). With the Gun Drones in place, you should be able to deploy a unit within a safe zone behind them, my personal preference is a Stealth Team, as they have a high shot count, a moderate range and can often pack a punch in combat should they be required to. The important thing here is that they stay more than 6” away from the Gun Drones (remember if the enemy massacres the Gun Drones then they will get a maximum of 6” movement). This has proved itself a great tactic against Khornate opponents, who get very frustrated by Gun Drones!</p>
<p class="body"><i>Double attack with wide zone and supporting unit (stealth team).</i></p>
<p class="body">The Fish of Fury is a very effective tactic which opponents may well get very frustrated with! It is aggressive and promotes a mobile Tau warfare. However, it is important to remember that you cannot rely solely on a single tactic to get you through a game and your army selection is paramount in order to maximise your advantages. Some other units you may wish to consider include the Piranha, which can help to increase your safe zone as well as provide fire support. Stealth Teams can give a huge volume of supporting fire and Vespid can provide you with low AP shots, using safe zones to offset their short range. Even Kroot can be used to either give added Fire support, to charge or counter-charge the survivors, holding them up in combat. In other words, whilst the Fish of Fury can be used as a separate entity it is much more effective when combined with other units, working together. Rather fitting they should be more effective together given the concept of working for the “Greater Good”.</p>
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