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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have recently started a Tau army and one of the main stapled is naturally going to be pathfinders, fo their easy access to markerlights.

To me a unit of 10 seems a bit much as they all have to shoot at a single unit. What unit sizes do people normally run them at?

Being an ex-necron player, having wide access to low AP in an army kind of makes me go a bit OTT with it. As a result I am unsure whether Rail or Ion rifles are actually worth it in a pathfinder unit. I would rpesume that if they were to be taken then the unit should be a unit of 10 as then you can still have 7 markerlights available to use.

Then there are the drones. Pulse accelerator seems quite good for when the pathfinders have to re-position a they can shoot further away while they move. Grav drones seems a bit meh, but without having played them I don't know how often Pathfinders will get charged. Recon drone seems fairly nice witha free burst cannon and the ability to not scatter with suits coming in.

What are your thoughts on pathfinders? How do you normally run them?
 

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Hello there Falcoso.
To me a unit of 10 seems a bit much as they all have to shoot at a single unit. What unit sizes do people normally run them at?
Yeah 10 is way too many for one unit. Since markerlights are immune to night fight and cover you'll always average 5 hits and that really isn't needed. I would do 2 squads of 5 over one of 10. That said though I usually run squads of about 6 or 7 depending on how many points I have.

As a result I am unsure whether Rail or Ion rifles are actually worth it in a pathfinder unit. I would rpesume that if they were to be taken then the unit should be a unit of 10 as then you can still have 7 markerlights available to use.
I'm personally not a fan of the rail rifle or ion gun. They are good weapons, but they take away form the main reason your pathfinders are there, to buff your other shooting. IMO it's better to stick with markers and let your shooting units take care of the kill.

Then there are the drones. Pulse accelerator seems quite good for when the pathfinders have to re-position a they can shoot further away while they move. Grav drones seems a bit meh, but without having played them I don't know how often Pathfinders will get charged. Recon drone seems fairly nice with a free burst cannon and the ability to not scatter with suits coming in.
Unfortunately, the pulse drone can only affect the squad it's bought for and can only be bought by pathfinders. Pathfinders are never shooting their pulse weapons though. The grav drone is meh. The ability is cool, but not very useful in most battles. The recon drone is a bit too expensive for me and the pathfinders won't typically be in a place you'd want your suits to enter from anyway. I'd buy a few more members over drones.

Final thoughts: Pathfinders are fantastic and are a must for any tau army, but they do fill a very specific task. Make all that high strength, low AP firepower hit the target so it really hurts. For that reason alone I take 2 squads of 5-7 of them in every game with no upgrades. They want to sit back and light up all those things you want dead.

Hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Brilliant thanks for all your help. So do you often find that pathfinders are able to generally stay put for most of the game? As naturally the main issue with moving them would be the markerlights become snap shots or you shoot the pulse carbines instead.
 

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Any time! Yeah, they should be staying still for the most part. Just sit them in cover and light things up. Just remember that they do get a scout move if you need to get up to be in cover. It doesn't count as moving for your first turn so you can still use the markerlights, 36" should be plenty for any range you need.
 

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Personally, I go another way with them. More expensive, but rule of cool for me.

Commander, no weapons, with Drone Controller + 5 Drones (one from the commander, which is cheaper, 4 from a Fast Attack squad). It costs more than 5 Pathfinders, but it's actually more mobile, and fires at BS5 instead of BS 3, meaning you need less for the same affect.

Of course, I'm also building a mostly battlesuit army, so....
 
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