Shadowsun's Ghost Cadre

May 22, 2013 ·



I really want to make Shadowsun work in a themed list. An idea for a “Ghost Cadre” has been tumbling around in my head for a while, but I just can’t come up with a list I’m happy with. So, I thought I would throw it out to the community and see what we can come up with.

The concept is to create a list with a “special ops” feel to it. The sort of force a Commander might deploy prior to deploying the full weight of a Hunter Cadre. In concept its role is to destroy key targets, interdict movement, and prepare the ground for the Hunter Cadre. In practice I would like to use all the sneaky deployment tricks and strategies in the Tau Codex, to create something that was fun and tricky, and could at least hold its own. To stick with the theme, the units I want to work with are Stealth Suits, Kroot, Pathfinders, XV8s and Sniper Drones. I don’t think Fire Warriors, Riptides, Ethereals, Hammer Heads or Skyrays really fit in

I’m not expecting this to be a super competitive list! The theme is too restrictive to allow you to bring to the table all the tools you really need to reach the top tables. In my mind it’s the sort of list you might take to Throne of Skulls, rather than the GT!.

The way I see the list working is in 2 “waves” the first wave deployed, and the second wave in reserve. The first wave’s role is to pave the way for the second. The first wave sets up the strike and the 2nd wave delivers it. With that in mind, the first question is what do we need each wave to do?

As I see it the first wave needs to do 2 things – first it needs to “set up” the enemy to maximise the 2nd wave’s strike, next, it needs to take out key enemy units which might disrupt that strike. The 2nd wave needs to deliver a devastating blow.

It’s easier to work out the 2nd wave than the 1st! The obvious choice is tooled up XV8 teams with an XV8 Commander deploying via deep strike. With that in mind the first wave needs to set up the enemy for a deep strike assault coming in on turn 2.  To do that they need to counter anti deep strike defence e.g. bubble wrap, warp quake, Coteaz “I’ve been expecting you”, interceptor etc., and kill stuff that might annihilate your suits in response e.g. missile long fangs, plasma units etc. To do this I need accurate deep strike, and an ability to deliver a “surgical” alpha strike.

The key to an accurate deep strike is positioning a Homing Beacon exactly where you want it. You can take homing beacons on 3 units in the codex – on a Stealth Team Shas’vre, in a Pathfinder’s Recon Drone, and on an Ethereal.  An Ethereal doesn’t really fit the theme, which leaves the Stealth Team and the Pathfinder Team. Both are viable. You can infiltrate the Stealth team into position, and bring the XV8’s down on them, or you can outflank the Pathfinders and bring the suits down on them (in passing note that you CAN NOT attach Shadowsun to a unit that doesn’t have infiltrate and infiltrate both her and the unit. So you can’t attach her to a Pathfinder team and infiltrate both her and the team).

The problem is positioning and reliability. If you infiltrate the Stealth team you can only get the beacon within 18” of the enemy. If you outflank the Pathfinders you can’t rely on the team coming in on the correct board edge. However, if you give the Stealth Team a Positional Relay, and get them within 6” of a board edge, you can then bring in the Pathfinders anywhere along that edge…..!

This gives you lots of flexibility. If you can infiltrate your Stealth Team to within 6” of your opponent’s board edge, you can then bring on the Pathfinder team in wherever you like on their board edge. Because the Homing Beacon doesn’t need to be on the table at the start of the turn to use it, you can then deep strike the XV8s off the Pathfinders beacon.  Even if you can’t infiltrate into you opponent’s back field, you can set them up on your board edge within 6 inches of one side, and you know you’re pathfinders are coming in on that side.

So with a Positional Relay on the Stealth team, and a Recon Drone on the Pathfinders you have a degree of reliability and accuracy on your deep strike. What else do you need?

Next is a “surgical alpha strike” ability. I’m not talking about a devastating alpha strike here. I’m more thinking about the ability to kill the Justicar in a strike squad to make warp quake less reliable, or pick out a plasma cannon, so he can’t template your suits when they come down, or kill a Thunderfire Cannon so it can’t blast your Stealth Team with ignore cover rounds.

I think Sniper Drone teams are pretty good at this. Up to 9 BS5 48” rapid firing sniper rifles (with stealth!) should be able to kill the odd Justicar or plasma gunner. If you give them 3 Marksmen each, you also get 3 BS5 marker lights in each team to help the XV8s when they come down. But what about armour? Well, that’s where Kroot come in!.

In the past I’ve used Kroot as speed bumps and cheap objective grabbers, however, in this list they need to pull their weight. Helpfully Kroot units are much more flexible now and can make more of a contribution. One of the issues the first wave has is a lack of Heavy Weapons. I can help this by bringing Kroot Ox with Kroot Guns. Also, taking sniper rounds for the Kroot Rifles makes them much more flexible. A pack of 10 Sniper Kroot with 3 Kroot Oxen costs 145pts. This gives me some pretty weak scoring units, but with 10 S4 Rapid Fire weapons, 10 24” sniper shots, and 3 48” Rapid Firing S7 Kroot Guns. Reasonably flexible, but pretty fragile.

So the first wave might look something like this

Shadowsun. C&C Drone, 2 Shield Drones

Stealth Team, Homing Beacon, Positional Relay

10 Kroot, 3 Kroot Oxen, Sniper Rounds
10 Kroot, 3 Kroot Oxen, Sniper Rounds
10 Kroot, 3 Kroot Oxen, Sniper Rounds
10 Kroot, 3 Kroot Oxen, Sniper Rounds

Sniper Drones team of 5 Drones and 3 Marksmen

This comes to 1,349pts

For the 2nd wave I want 2 squads of XV8s. The units need to be devastating and able to deal with any target. I want one with Fusion Blaster and one with Plasma Rifles, and all of them need to have Gun Drones. The idea is that one team comes down and can hit vehicles, while the Drones hose down light infantry, and the other one can come down and hit heavy infantry, while the Drones hose down more light infantry.

So the list looks something like

Shadowsun. C&C Drone, 2 Shield Drones

Stealth Team, Homing Beacon, Positional Relay

2 XV8s each with 2 Plasma Rifles and Target Locks. Add a Shas’vre with 1 Plasma Rifle, a Target Lock and a Drone Controller. Plus 6 Gun Drones.

2 XV8s each with 2 Fusion Blaster and Target Locks. Add a Shas’vre with 1 Fusion Blaster, a Target Lock and a Drone Controller. Plus 6 Gun Drones.

10 Kroot, 3 Kroot Oxen, Sniper Rounds
10 Kroot, 3 Kroot Oxen, Sniper Rounds
10 Kroot, 3 Kroot Oxen, Sniper Rounds
10 Kroot, 3 Kroot Oxen, Sniper Rounds

3 Sniper Drones team of 5 Drones and 3 Marksmen

Comes to 1,821pts, so maybe a couple of sniper drones or some more Kroot to make it up to 1850.

It’s far from ideal! It really needs a comms relay to make sure the 2nd wave comes in on turn 2. It’s a bit weak on scoring, and it has no answer to flyers what so ever …. but it could be fun.

The problem is, there is really no pressing need to have Shadowsun in the army! It would work perfectly well without her. Arguably it’s stronger if you swap her for an XV8 Commander with all the fixings. Even better might be an Ethereal to stop the Kroot running away and to boost their shooting.

So I still can’t work out a good way to run Shadowsun.

Thoughts?

EYIG

7 comments:

Yancy Small said...
May 22, 2013 at 11:30 AM  

why can't you attach shadowsun to a non infiltrate unit? Infiltrate requires one model in the unit to have it. An attached IC becomes part of the unit, hence the unit has infiltrate. Did I miss something?

TheGraveMind said...
May 22, 2013 at 12:16 PM  

This argument has been going around for a bit now. 5th specificly said you join before deployment, now it is unmentioned.but if you look at shrikes faq, it mentions a unit he has joined before deployment, which I would use as a reference. No where does it say an ic cannot attach to a unit and give them infiltrate.
By strictest raw, there is not a limitation, just people interpreting it how they think.

Almaeron said...
May 22, 2013 at 1:13 PM  

What if you took a XV8 commander with bodyguards instead of one of those regular XV8 teams? I'm not looking at the book so I'm not sure how many points that eats up out of your remainders though.
Does Shadowsun's shield drones add any survivability to the stealth team as a whole? Would they survive a round of shooting they may not otherwise weather because of her presence? She's probably worth it if they do and you infiltrate them pretty close to the enemy, and once they bring in the XV8s she can go tank hunting with a bodyguard herself.

Embrace Your Inner Geek said...
May 22, 2013 at 3:17 PM  

To confer infiltrate on a unit without inflitrate, Shadowsun must join that unit. However, ICs can only join a unit at the start of the game by deploying with them, or joining them in reserve. If you attach shadowsun to a non infiltrating unit by deploying with them, then the non infiltrating unit has already deployed, so cant infiltrate. If you attach shadowsun to a non infiltrating unit in reserve, then they are in reserve and have missed the chance to infiltrate.

EYIG

Bottom Banana said...
May 22, 2013 at 3:51 PM  

Staying within the constrains of the "Spec Ops" vibe would you be opposed to the Sun Shark Bomber? In my eyes, There is nothing more tactical then your snipers calling in airstrikes. Keeping to the theme Id run it more like this.

Shadowsun. C&C Drone, 2 Shield Drones

10 Kroot, 3 Kroot Oxen, Sniper Rounds
10 Kroot, 3 Kroot Oxen, Sniper Rounds
10 Kroot, 3 Kroot Oxen, Sniper Rounds
10 Kroot, 3 Kroot Oxen, Sniper Rounds

Stealth Team, Positional Relay

3 XV8s - 1 with 2 Plasma Rifles/TL the other 2 with double Fusion Blasters.

3 XV8s - 1 with 2 Plasma Rifles/TL the other 2 with double Fusion Blasters.

Sniper Drones team of 3 Drones and 3 Marksmen

Sniper Drones team of 3 Drones and 3 Marksmen

Sniper Drones team of 3 Drones and 3 Marksmen

Sun Shark Bomber with Twin Linked SMS

Sun Shark Bomber with Twin Linked SMS

Aegis with Comm Relay


All together its 1849 points.

I like the bombers not just cus they fit the theme, but because they give the army some flyer defense, as well as some much needed STR 7/8 from the drones/missiles. Also the drones can make use of Shadowsun by detaching and becoming part of her unit if they want.

Still not sure on the load out for the Crisis strike teams, I'm hoping there is enough snipers to run fusion for vehicles as my meta has more of them than 2+'s

Skyler Hoeft said...
May 22, 2013 at 3:58 PM  

What EYIG said.

If you were to take a regular commander instead, how would you equip him?
And was there any reason in particular you for your SDT's configuration? I was guessing the extra 2 SD's were for extra protection for your spotters.

Embrace Your Inner Geek said...
May 23, 2013 at 4:52 AM  

@BB - never thought about the Bomber, that's interesting... particularly when rumours area that the Barracuda is rumoured to be much better in IA3 2nd Ed. (BTW, threw my wallet at FW "take my money", book ordered, review in coming shortly...)

@Almeron. Your right of course about shadowsun making the stealth team more survivable... But they are pretty survivable in the first place. Not sure it's worth the cost.

@skyler. The commander would go with one of the XV8 teams. I would probably go with fusion, plasma, target lock and Puretide chip.

EYIG

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Warhammer Tau is a group of wargamers who feel that they have a little something different to offer other Tau Empire, Kroot, and allied players... even if it's just a starting point for discussion! Our goal is to produce at least one article per week to inform and encourage the Tau and Warhammer gamer community. For the Greater Good, of course!


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