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 a 1500 pt new player who needs advice

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buwumdi
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PostSubject: a 1500 pt new player who needs advice   a 1500 pt new player who needs advice I_icon_minitimeMon Jul 25 2011, 03:20

So i just recently started up with 40k again and thought id give the dark eldar a try as they had recently been updated and the new models caught my eye, and i've been working with them all summer and haven't quite figured out how to beat my two brothers who also play (mainly their tau).

my army has changed a lot but it tries to be a venom spam:

HQ-Archon with blaster, huskblade, combat drugs, soultrap, and shadowfield=160 pts (chuck norris)

Elites- 1 squad of 4 incubi to escort the archon and 2 squads of 5 incubi each in a venom with 2 SCs and night shields= 533 pts

Troops- 4 squads of 5 kabalites each in a venom with 2 SCs and night shields=480 pts

Heavy support: (usually) i take 3 ravagers with as many FFs as i can squeeze in to the points

this is how i run my army against him and have found that i may not quite understand the concept of venom spam, i understand that it is basically to present multiple targets for them, however with multi-tracking on the tau i seem to have lost this strategy. any suggestions at all would be helpful and appreciated
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Thor665
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Thor665


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a 1500 pt new player who needs advice Empty
PostSubject: Re: a 1500 pt new player who needs advice   a 1500 pt new player who needs advice I_icon_minitimeMon Jul 25 2011, 04:57

(I went *really* long with this, because you actually asked a really multi-layered question - you can skip ahead to the part after the triple line to get direct 'here's how you stomp Tau' advice, everything before it is very good stuff (in my 'humble' opinion) but might be more cerebral than what you really wanted as an answer.


Venom spam is more than multiple targets, it's also a way to control tempo and generate multiple shooting opportunities for yourself.

So we have a few questions to deal with, and I'm going to walk you through them quickly, but the basic gist is first we have to understand what Venomspam is (and isn't) and understand where, tactically and strategically you're perhaps going wrong;

Tactics and Strategy...they're synonyms, right?
No, they are not.
In the most basic sense Strategy is an overreaching goal.
Tactics are the specific steps to reach that goal.

In a 40k sense, Strategy is generally speaking - army design
Tactics is, generally speaking - specific moves on the tabletop.

When you build your army you are making very specific decisions on a strategic level that affect the tactical choices you must make. You're attempting to build a Venomspam list, because you have read enough to understand that Venomspam is "good" in the general sense that it's a strategy that opens up tactics that allow DE to win games. However, by your post I'm not sure if you specifically understand

What is Venomspam, really?

Venomspam is a phrase I, personally, am growing to hate. I actually prefer the term mech spam, or skimmer spam. Because really Venom spam is just a modification of the old codex's Raider spam strategy - and just because some people like to use Venoms it hardly means Raiders are bad (and indeed can be used just as well in the Strategic sense - they just change the Tactical setup)

What lets "Venomspam" win is the following.

1. It puts down a lot of vehicles - and forces the opponent to have multiple tools available to deal with so many vehicles.
2. It puts down lots of fast vehicles, giving it the power of mobility which helps it pick its fights.
3. Fast vehicles also help the entire army attack early - alpha strike (strong attack on Turn 1) is important to this list.
4. The speed also helps the army win objective games by having multiple and mobile troop options.
5. Having lots of equal danger threats so the opponent isn't sure what needs to die first.
6. Finally, by having so many vehicles and transports it generates a shooting advantage by being able to shoot at lots of targets.

In short - Venomspam wins because of two 40k strategies that are good;

1. MSU - the fielding of multiple small units.
2. Vehicle spam - the fielding of multiple vehicles to overwhelm the opponent's ability to deal with vehicles.

Venomspam is just one way the DE have for accomplishing the above two overall strategies.

MSU and You.

MSU is the important one - let's do a quick example.

What's better? 10 Ork Lootas *or* two units of 5 Ork Lootas? They cost the same, what's the difference?

The answer is two units of five is better. Why? Because, of a couple of reasons. First - they help you control tempo. You can shoot 5 of them at something (say a Rhino) if they manage to destroy or immobilize the Rhino then they have done exactly what you needed. Now you can have the other 5 man unit of Lootas shoot something else (like another Rhino) Yes, the 10 man squad could have fragged the Rhino, but they never could hope to frag 2 Rhinos. If the first 5 man squad fails to kill the Rhino you can always shoot at it with the second one, it's still a win.

Second big win - let's say your opponent wants to stop your ability to kill Rhinos and he has an Orbital Strike to use. If he has one 10 man squad he'll drop the strike and probably wipe out your ability to deal with Rhinos in one shot. However, i you have two units of 5 than he needs an Orbital strike on one and needs to...I dunno, get some heavy bolters or something to shoot the other one.

You've now forced him to use twice the resources to deal with the same amount of points - that's creating tempo advantage.

Tempo advantage is when you create a situation where you can inflict more harm on the enemy, or limit his ability to inflict harm on you. Tempo advantage can build round after round, because once you get tempo advantage you can usually keep it and constantly diminish your opponent's ability to hurt you and do what he wants to do in the game.

DE win by controlling tempo and forcing the enemy to be reactive. This is why so many DE players crow on and on about 'alpha strike'


Fine Tuning of Lists.

So now that you understand the core of what Venomspam strategy is, it's time to look at your list and decide what pieces are helping you, and what pieces are hurting you. The core of listbuilding is to understand what strategy you are going for, and remove everything that isn't helping - everything that's left is "good" anything put in just because you feel like it is "bad" unless you can explain how it helps the strategy. I'll admit for games with your Brothers that you might not want to get too uber competitive, but it's at least good to understand your list.

In just a general assessment I see some big issues with your list, I don't want to totally tear it apart, but allow me to show you the tactics of each unit, and we can consider whether they're helping your strategy.

The Archon and Incubi support are built to Kill infantry via assault (but for some reason the Archon has a blaster meant to kill vehicles by shooting) He can't kill vehicles by shooting while the Incubi are killing stuff by assault - so within this unit there is already a conflict as it wants to do two totally different things.

The other 2 Incubi units want to Kill infantry via assault
Their Venoms want to Kill infantry via shooting

The 4 Warrior units have splinter rifles so they want to Kill infantry via shooting
Their Venoms want to Kill infantry via shooting

The 3 Ravagers want to kill vehicles by shooting.

An immediate consideration is this - your army is built *very* well to kill infantry.
It is built *very* poorly to kill vehicles.

Do your Tau opponents have a lot of vehicles and/or do you have problems killing the vehicles? This is why. A quick fix is that maybe you need more anti-vehicle tech. Another quick revelation is that you probably aren't getting maximum benefit out of the Blaster on the Archon - he's built to assault things, not shoot them.

Most Venom spam lists give the Warriors Blasters. They do this to let the Warriors hunt vehicles and the Venoms hunt infantry - since passengers can shoot at differeing targets than the vehicle they're in this is a great strategy and very affordable.
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Everything above has been STRATEGY, I'm trying to educate you in the general overarching goal of how to build your list in order to help your list help you. Now, we can get to the fun stuff, and that is TACTICS. Now, a great benefit in fighting Tau is that their Codex was designed in a way that dramatically limits their Strategic choices. Tau are designed to shoot things. They can do some mild shifts in this, and I've seen some Tau commanders do some very interesting things, but in the final analysis Tau shoot - they shoot very well, and they are one of the single worst armies in the entire game (probably the true worst, really) when it comes to h2h combat. So, let's understand our strategy, understand their tactical limitations due to a Strategy focused on shooting, and consider a few specific tools to help you win.

First off, just as a general sense of showing games versus Tau, I've got two I've done under the new Codex and did Batreps of, a 1500 and an 1850 matchup;

http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/30/333078.page#2270028
http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/371091.page

A lot of what I'm talking about will be shown in those two batreps.

So, Tau are GOOD at shooting.
Tau are BAD at assault.

Our goal than, is to get into assault with them fast and aggressively and to use our shooting to minimize the Tau return shooting.

Outshooting some of the best shooters in the game aka Target Priority and you
You're playing Venomspam, so you have a lot of things that can shoot, but you have to understand WHAT to shoot too. With Tau I break down the threats like this;

1. Broadsides (their ability to split fire is frowny face bad).
2. Hammerheads and Piranhas (they are basically a 'point and kill' unit versus DE AVs of 10-11)
3. Other Crisis suits with good range. (again, a 'point and kill' unit when shooting at Venoms or Ravagers)
4. Devilfish (take away the mobility of the Tau)
5. Everything else.
6. Kroot (lawl)

You also have to understand your shooting. Poison weapons are *great versus Broadsides and Crisis Suits - lances and Blasters are good too, but you'll need those versus the enemy vehicles where the poison weapons will be useless.

Primary target, in my mind, is Broadsides, if they are there pump poison into them till they are not there or there is only one.
Lances and Blasters should focus on enemy vehicles. Your goal is to shoot them *until they can't shoot you* this is different from blowing them up, a shake or stun result is actually pretty much just as good (this is all part of that tempo discussion from earlier)

Assaulty units should assault

Even Crisis Suits hate being tied up by Wyches or Incubi. A prime goal Turn 1 should be getting your boys into assault, I recommend the following strategy with assault units.

If your opponent set up right on his deployment line...I'd actually try to assault him right on Turn 1, DE can do this (24" between deployment lines - 12" Venom move, disembark 2" 1-6" run 6" assault = 21-26") it's risky, and counts on your roll, but it's sometimes worth it to prevent the Tau having a turn of shooting.

If he set up back from the line this is your play;

Turn 1 - Move flat out, get a 3+ cover save for your vehicle and move 24" towards the enemy, maybe hide behind some blocking terrain if you have the chance, if not just kind of grin and bear it - DE need to play ballsy and angry.

Turn 2 - Move 12" the vehicle shoots something up, the guys inside disembark 2", and run/assault into combat with someone. With a threat radius of 24"+12"+2"+1-6 run+6" assault your threat radius is...the entire board. So get into assault.

Turn 3 - laugh as he's probably already dead and go assault something else.

If you look at my batreps you'll notice a recurring theme - aggressive Turn 1 with Wyches and other assault options to get them up in his face combined with a *lot* of shooting at Broadsides, Hammerheads, and other Tau units. As the fight proceeds you can see the dividends paid by locking Tau up in h2h combat where DE can murder them easily and they can't shoot our precious vehicles.

Hope that helps,
Thor.
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buwumdi
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PostSubject: Re: a 1500 pt new player who needs advice   a 1500 pt new player who needs advice I_icon_minitimeMon Jul 25 2011, 12:46

...Well then, first off thanks for this, i read all of it and have to say that it will help me a lot.

First off, i understood most of these strategies (not quite the tactics) from the start and have been trying to work with them but have felt limited by my army list. Yet from reading this it seems like i should try using raiders instead of venoms for some units, which ones in your opinion should i use?

And about the archon... as stated i use him as a "chuck norris" so that in times when i might have played a game in which all of my anti tank wep is destroyed i have his blaster so i dont have to forfeit the game (And his shadow feild will keep me in for a LONG time with my usual rolls).

Also i really appreciated the tactics and battlereps on the tau, they have been bugging me all summer and maybe if i work out this anti tank defficency i can see a victory
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Thor665
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Thor665


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PostSubject: Re: a 1500 pt new player who needs advice   a 1500 pt new player who needs advice I_icon_minitimeMon Jul 25 2011, 16:28

buwumdi wrote:
Yet from reading this it seems like i should try using raiders instead of venoms for some units, which ones in your opinion should i use?
Personally I field a mix of Raiders and Venoms depending on what the rest of my list is doing. The primary goal is to make sure your army can inflict enough damage in the way you need it to.

In the most basic sense, I'd probably convert some (probably not all) of the Warrior Venoms into Raiders. The Incubi Venoms should be moving fast and hard to get them into assault, and so might not be able to shoot on Turn 1. Turn 1 is where you need anti-mech the most and anti-infantry the least - therefore the anti infantry should be vehicles carrying assault units, and the anti-mech should not.

Quote :
And about the archon... as stated i use him as a "chuck norris" so that in times when i might have played a game in which all of my anti tank wep is destroyed i have his blaster so i dont have to forfeit the game (And his shadow feild will keep me in for a LONG time with my usual rolls).
Understandable - but in a perfect world your goal should be to have him in assault all the time, even if you need the Blaster how much can he use it? Once, maybe twice a game?
Easy solution, drop the Blaster off him and put one Blaster on one of those 5 man warrior squads. Now your blaster is in a unit that can shoot it pretty much every turn of the game (so 5-6 rounds versus 1-2 rounds of shooting) - giving you a Blaster for the same cost that is 300% (or more) Blaster shots per game. That's value.

Quote :
Also i really appreciated the tactics and battlereps on the tau, they have been bugging me all summer and maybe if i work out this anti tank defficency i can see a victory
Nice to know my wild prediction was actually correct.
Very basic strategy - if 'X' is giving you problems ('X' in this case being you lose games because you lose all your anti-tank too early0 than the solution is, bring more of whatever solves 'X' (in this case, more anti-tank weaponry) It's a simple, yet very effective way to adjust lists.
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buwumdi
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PostSubject: Re: a 1500 pt new player who needs advice   a 1500 pt new player who needs advice I_icon_minitimeMon Jul 25 2011, 20:11

Hah yeah its just been me gettin used to a new army (and for that matter getting back into the game...) but i appreciated all of the help and ill try to get some battle reps up once my camera works
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PostSubject: Re: a 1500 pt new player who needs advice   a 1500 pt new player who needs advice I_icon_minitime

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