Dealing with Space Marine Drop Pods - Wargaming Forum and Wargamer Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-08-09, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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Default Dealing with Space Marine Drop Pods

I'm having a lot of difficulty dealing with sternguard veterans/dreadnoughts in drop pods when I'm playing as tau, and I'm sure any ranged army doesn't like having drop pods thrown at them. I read the old 4e versus thread but now that half the SM pods come down on turn 1, seeing 3 drop pods has become incredibly common in SM armies.

For sternguard they're 10 guys with meltas or combi-meltas and will absolutely destroy tanks they land near and then have incredibly good shooting with their special ammo as well as the CC ability of an assault marines since they get 2 attacks each base. I've also seen them all with flamers and combi-flamers. IMO dreads are better for flaming though.
This accompanied by dreadnoughts who each have a heavy flamer and a twin-linked heavy flamer, for utter annihilation of infantry. Typically a dread of this type just eats a fire warrior or stealth team when it comes down, nearly regaining its points on the turn it comes down.
Then both kinds can have AV 12 pods with str 5 large blasts popping out within short range of the pod. Cripes.

Admittedly the sternguard are a little pricey but it feels like I spend the first 2 turns of the game (1850 points) dealing with 2 or 3 drop pods while the rest of his army goes willy-nilly. And that's not even killing the pods, that's just dealing with the dreads and sternguard.

I've tried messing with my deployment to keep my tanks from getting shot up and that's worked fairly well but still I'll have 1 sternguard guy left in the combat squad charge a unit of crisis suits and wipe them off the board. I've basically got to waste an entire unit's worth of shooting cleaning up the 1 or 2-man squads left of sternguard after I've fired everything else. I've taken to just moving everything away from the flame dreads once they wipe out the 1 squad they were near if possible so I can focus on other things.

Against marines it just feels like Tau lack the firepower to get the job done.

Tips? Tricks? Strategies?

Oh, here's the 4e thread
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-08-09, 10:31 PM
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Try and get some of your units to outflank, so they come in later.. giving you more room to maneuver Maybe? Since they can't assault in the first turn they land, unless they have some special character ( I believe ), you should be able to move your crisis suits out of 12" range while shooting them to bits.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-09-09, 11:22 AM
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Half the pods come in first turn no matter what. If all your guys are in reserve this is great. You can essentially create Dawn of War if Tau have an HQ that increases reserve rolls.
They get to walk on and fire.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-12-09, 03:51 AM
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Have you tired using kroots? they are cheap and will buy you some time against assulting space marines. If placed correctly they could either tie up marines, or counter assuslt a unit and do some damage with the charge. I'm not to familiar playing as tau, but i have played them with my orks as well with Boss Snikrot (unit can come from any board edge) and boss Zagstruk (ork boys can deep strike and assult in one turn). Using these it pretty much mirrors a drop pod. Any way, even though i can usually do some crippling damage, my friend can usually tie them up with kroots and kroot hounds and prevent having to fight on two fronts. just my 2 cents, hope the info helps.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-12-09, 09:59 PM
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I took a look at my friends Tau codex. I play him a lot so Tau tactics are of interest to me.

So here's the combined plan (my buddy agreed with hockey dudes kroot screen idea)

Commander and Bodyguard with Positional Relay and whatever other goodies (plasma and missile pods) but shield drones for the body guard will boost the deep strike resistance factor is that's what you're going for.

20 Kroot and 10 Kroot Hounds

Heavy Support
Broadsides w/ awesome railgun!!! again shield drones ensure first round survival.

So anyway, start the HQ and broadsides units in a corner, hopefully elevated, keep the kroot spead out so much that a pod can't possibly land in rapid fire range of the suits. The kroot are a meat shield here, no shaper or other stuff. 32 models a maximum distance apart can cover a huge amount of space!!

Go second if you can!! Pods come down, either near the kroot or farther away if they figure out what you are up to and since they have to come down turn one the rest of your army is in reserve and they can just hit the Kroot.

You could then use the glass sledge hammer of more deepstriking suit teams or just drive on firewarriors in their devilfish. If you are rolling for everything on turn two chances are you'll get some stuff. Or you can use the positional relay.

Either way the shooting from the drop pods is seriously hindered by your meat shield and then you get to arrive and shoot. Obviously railguns will can blazing after dreadnoughts wherever they may stand, or you can force the dread to land far away and you'll get a chance to shoot at other vehicles before the dread is a threat.

Hope that all made sense
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-13-09, 01:01 AM
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The key thing with Tau is to not be on the table when the silly marines fall down. You want to see idiots shooting melta guns at empty space, wondering where your army is.

You are, or should be, a fast moving army with long ranged guns. You don't really need to be anywhere in particular on the table, so just be in the safest possible place. Turn up a couple of units at a time and pick on the anything of his that threatens you, which should not include whatever fell out of the drop pod. Hit any long ranged stuff he has from far away from his melta guns and then shoot his infantry when you feel like it.

Sometimes you will get a bunch of suits arrive at the same time, giving you the option of rapid firing at a sternguard squad with plasma rifles and stuff. You can do that, but remember that there's a risk it could go wrong and they may not be the highest priority for you. Coming on from reserve gives you the great luxury that you can see where the enemy are, and negate a load of them simply by being somewhere else.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-13-09, 07:06 AM
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The problem with keeping your entire army in reserve is that you give your opponent time to get everyone else to the other side of the board.

Unless you can get the vast majority of your army on the board turn 2, then you're just asking to be assaulted the turn after they come on.
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