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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Stalwart Markers: Pathfinder Uses

As promised, a short article on my uses of Pathfinders.
Pathfinders have a unique battlefield role. They are unable to deal any real damage by themselves, and must remain stationary to be effective. In an army built upon combined mobility and firepower, this is a strange combination of traits to have.
Pathfinders, as any good Shas'el knows, are of the utmost importance to an army's success on the field. Able to plot out the optimal firing paths against enemy units, they are capable of bringing the best out of your true firepower.

On the field, Pathfinders are useful when given forward firing positions. While useful in supporting positions, they rank below both Crisis and Broadside battlesuits in terms of survival priority. They are likely to be targeted by the enemy, and likely are going to be among the first of your units to go down. This can be used to your advantage, however.
By positioning your Pathfinders in a forward positioning, you ensure them two roles. First, they act as powerful early fire support. Second, they guide more than your own guns, as they will be lit up by whatever your opponent can send their way. By placing them forward they are able to absorb assaults for your main firing units.

All in all, it is most important to remember that Pathfinders are support, not your mainstay. They should be sacrificed for your true fire units when needed. Their value comes in their early support to your firepower, and in their ability to draw enemy fire away from your damaging units.


Rathstar said...


I'm not sure on using pathfinders in a forward position. There has to a balance between survivability and having the best field of fire to support the rest the army.

Having them in a forward position will get them killed early, not just from enemy firepower but also it's quicker for the enemy to assault them.

A 96 point pathfinder unit will normally normally double the effectiveness of another unit (which is normally a broadside unit or a crisis suit unit). I'd rather have the pathfinders further back in cover, meaning the enemy has to put much more effort to remove them.

After all the pathfinders are static if they want to fire the markerlights, while the rest of the army can use mobility to avaoid the enemy.

I've also used the pathfinders as a good lure. By putting them quite far back, away from any objectives in cover will sometimes cause the enemy to divert a unit to deal with them. This enemy unit will probably out of place after they eventually get to the pathfinders and kil them. Normally the pathfinders only need to be firing for the first 3 or 4 turns to have big impact on the battle.


Aloh'Nan'El said...

The problem is that they will literally die to a stiff breeze, even in cover.
By placing them in a forward position, you make them more able to move out and block for you like a miniature Kroot wall. Any enemy that is up to snuff will simply shoot them down first anyways, meaning that giving them an excellent field of influence (a forward position with 36" range) gets more out of them than you'd expect, as it allows nearly free targeting.

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