I used to play 40k as a secondary interest to Fantasy since second edition. I've had marines, dark eldar, necrons and nids.

However I've yet to properly read the 40k rules in entirety. I've only peeked at the new 40k rules. I have no idea about metagame/what is currently cheesy*, and I know that you now **NEED** troops to capture things.

(*to an extent...I know that drop podding 6 dreads on top of you and having 2 minimsed squads of sniper scouts for my core as my army is cheeseballery)

What is the generally friendly ratio of HQ/E/T/FA/HS ?

When I played (not counting 2nd ed) from 3-mid 4th ed the standard army used to be HQ1/E1-2/T2/FA0/HS3 in terms of minimum troops and tonnes of HS and power weapon melee elite. Now I'm told it's about troops being able to capture things. So is 3 units a good idea as a minimum ? What about transports are they totally useless like last edition? if not what has changed to make them a decent choice?

I'm thinking of pathfinders + skyray and then having a markerlight drone with stealth teams all over the place to try and tag and bag units reliably rather than go pure JSJ mecha tau that was prevalent in last ed. (maybe it's still prevelant now?)

Assuming that the older units function the same (eg previous codex) what are the use of parhanas, skyrays and drone sniper teams and they are effective?
I know the skyray can mark stuff and throw smart missiles around corners in addition to seeker missiles so keeping in line with the markerlight theme.

To me the Parhanas seem quite weak as they are open topped skimmers with a short ranged gun and don't seem to be good value for money unless 2 of them with fusion blasters went tank hunting.

Drone sniper teams - are they useful? Better than giving rail rifles to pathfinders?

If I get a commander and a battle box I'll have 650 points give or take. That means that I'll need another 1150-1350 to give a good 1800-2000 pt selection which I would like to aim for. But as I understand 1800 is a 'standard' game where I am. However I do not wish to double any units until I have at least one of each.

I was thinking :

Battleforce + Commander - That gives me 650 points

Shas'la, Cyclic ion blaster, TL plasma rifle, ejection port, combat stims, hard wired multi tracker {anti marine}
XV8 Suit - Team Leader, Airburst Launcher, TL burst cannon multi tracker {anti troop/pleb}
3 Stealth suits - leader with marker drone
12 kroot
12 fire wariors - inc shas'ui, bonding knife and 2 gun drones
Devil fish with disruption pod.

to bring it to 1000 add:
6 path finders - 3 rail rifles, shas'ui bonded, target lock, 2 gun drones
{rail rifles can tag one target, 2 MLs to another with gun drone pinning at -2 or -2 cover save agaisnt the rifles, and sepeate ML for seeker missiles if necessary}

Although it may be better to have just 6-8 normal pathfinders and take a sniper team for the rail rifles?

and a Skyray w/ SMS, Disruption pod and targeting array


What would be recommended next? (Assuming I have 1HQ, 2E, 2T, 1FA 1HS)

Should I get more troops - I imagine that I would need more fire warriors anyway as 1 unit is hardly enough yes?

Assuming I have the above I can spend about 80 more on the initial army and I think I need some anti armour like broadsides or a TL fusion blaster/missile pod XV8 unit. If I did get another battle box then I have enough left for about one or two more units - 2 broadsides, or a hammerhead or some vespids.

So in that regards would it actually be best to get a second battlebox which would give me lots of useful things? - like another stealth team, fire warriors, another XV8 to accompany the first one on its vehicle/armour killing and drones - all of which are useable and the saving over buying each bit of it separately works out about same cost as the 12 kroot anyway (might as well take em if its for free!) I could possibly use the extra bits from the skyray to convert the devilfish into a hammerhead (or just use it as a devil fish if it would be better).

So assuming 2 battle boxes, leader, 6 pathfinders and a skyray equates to about 1575.

The only thing is that in terms of the army itself I dont know how effective it would be though, as I've perceived a trend in warhammer fantasy that the best units are the pricey metal ones.... and the best army lists are usually more expensive to purchase. I dont know if 40k has gone that route yet although I know in the past lots of vehicles were necessary . But there is no point shooting myself in the foot either by being cheap because that is a waste as well. However the 2 battle boxes gets 4 units of troops out there ready to go and I understand that troops are important. Plus I like reasonably biggish armies. [as opposed to the condensed, min/max tourney armies. One or two good hits and they die!]

Assuming that 2 battle boxes + leader + pathfinders + skyray are the way to go (I think I've convinced my self while writing this) what would be the most efficient use of the remaining funds? 2 Broad sides to add some anti tank and a balanced 2nd Heavy Support That would be ~1700pts and 1 HQ, 3E 4T 2FS 2 HS

I do have Aun'Va - I got him at a games event for doing the photography. I could use one of his bodyguards as an ethereal and give him some drones... that's 50 pts. Leaving me with 1750.. 250 shy of 2000 but still large enough and its a feasible 1800 pts. I have thought of a way of converting a sniper team should I need the extra 80 points (though it will really be +50 as then the 3 rifles would be dropped from pathfinders to dedicate them to marking/pinning [+80-30=+50])

So can anyone provide feedback as to this army building idea and also the warhammer 40k new edition questions I've posed?