In a

recent thread, players brought up various tactics for use against the deathless menace. It was informative, with standard tactics including Ion Heads and Sniper Drones, with Broadsides for potential Monoliths.

I would like to propose that the XV88 Battlesuit is better suited than a Sniper Drone team in fighting Necrons

*of all types*, thanks to its twin-linked weapon and denial of the "We'll Be Back" roll.

**Part 1: Mathhammer**
**A)** A single unupgraded XV88 Battlesuit costs 10 points less than a single Sniper Drone Team, but has the exact same chance of killing a Necron Warrior (toughness 4) if the Spotter's marklight misses (or is designated for another target, etc.)

**-** *Broadside w/o Targetting Array*: 75% chance to hit, 83.3% chance to wound, no armor save, no WBB =

**62.5%** chance to kill a Necron Warrior

**-** *Sniper Drone Team w/o Markerlight*: 3 x (50% chance to hit, 83.3% chance to wound, no armor save, WWB halves success) = 3 x (20.8%) =

**62.5%** chance to kill a Necron Warrior

**B)** A XV88 upgraded with a Targetting Array costs the same as a Sniper Drone Team, but has a ~12% less chance of killing a Necron Warrior.

**-** *Broadside w/ Targetting Array*: 88.9% chance to hit, 83.3% chance to wound, no armor save, no WBB =

**71.4%** chance to kill a Necron Warrior

**-** *Sniper Drone Team w/ Markerlight*: 3 x (66.7% chance to hit, 83.3% chance to wound, no armor save, WWB halves success) = 3 x (27.8%) =

**83.3%** chance to kill a Necron Warrior

**C)** When facing Necrons of Toughness 5 (Necron Lord, Immortal, Destroyer, Heavy Destroyer), an unupgraded VX88 has a 12.5% better chance of scoring a kill.

**-** *Broadside w/o Targetting Array*: 75% chance to hit, 83.3% chance to wound, no armor save, no WBB =

**62.5%** chance to kill a T5 unit

**-** *Sniper Drone Team w/o Markerlight*: 3 x (50% chance to hit, 66.7% chance to wound, no armor save, WWB halves success) = 3 x (16.7%) =

**50%** chance to kill a T5 unit

**D)** An upgraded XV88 has a ~5% better chance of scoring a kill against T5 Necrons than a Sniper Drone Team utilizing its markerlight.

**-** *Broadside w/ Targetting Array*: 88.9% chance to hit, 83.3% chance to wound, no armor save, no WBB =

**71.4%** chance to kill a T5 unit

**-** *Sniper Drone Team w/ Markerlight*: 3 x (66.7% chance to hit, 66.7% chance to wound, no armor save, WWB halves success) = 3 x (22.2%) =

**66.7%** chance to kill a T5 unit

**Part 2: Analysis**
**-** A Broadside can potentially fair worse than a Sniper Drone Team when dealing with Necron Warriors - but the Sniper Drone's better statistics are dependent on the spotter scoring a Markerlight hit, which has a 33.3% chance of failure. Furthermore, without a Targetting Array, the Broadside is 10 points cheaper than a Sniper Drone Team.

**-** A Broadside is statistically better than a Sniper Drone Team when dealing with T5 Necrons. Furthermore, its Strength 10 railgun will instantly kill a walking Necron Lord - something sniper drones can never do.

**-** Broadsides can handle Monoliths.

**-** If cost is no issue, a 100 point XV88 could fire, at BS4, its railgun and plasma rifle at the same target. While not a popular option, it is an option Sniper Drone teams do not have.

**-** **If a Resurrection Orb is within 6 inches of the Necron in question, the Broadside's chance of success if halved - its statistical success is dependent on denying the "We'll Be Back" save.** The Sniper Drone Team suffers no such qualms, as it alway allows "We'll Be Back."

**Part 3: In Defense of Sniper Drones**
**-** This is just number crunching. There's a good chance that a Sniper Drone Team will down more than one Necron in a turn. A Broadside does not have that ability.

**-** Sniper Drone Teams are far more effective than Broadside at dealing with Scarab Swarms. Their rail rifles have sufficient strength to instant kill the multi-wound models, and they have three shots.

**-** Furthermore, neither Scarabs nor Pariahs are "Necrons." Without the "We'll Be Back" roll, the effectiveness of a sniper drone is doubled.

**-** They have a stealth field, making return fire difficult. While the railgun has a range of 72", rarely does its long range remove it from harm's way.

**-** Flexibility. Each sniper drone can fire at a different target. Furthermore, three Sniper Drone Teams can be taken in one Heavy Support slot - that's nine shots that can be fired at different targets, with 3 BS4 markerlights to boot. Yes, three Broadsides can be taken in one team, but if each one is taking a Targetting Array, only one could fire at a different target.

*Response*: This flexibility is lost when facing the Necrons. Against them, concentrating fire is key. Furthermore, dispersed fire minimizes the positive impact of the teams' markerlights.

**-** Pinning.

*Response*: Leadership 10.

**Summary**: Broadsides are best at killing Necrons when the "We'll Be Back" save can be denied. If a Ressurection Orb is involved, if you can wipe out an entire squad in one turn, or if the unit does not have the "Necron" subtype, then Sniper Drone are

*far* more effective.

**Conclusion**
I understand how impractical this tactica may sound - it calls for the Broadside to be used in an anti-infantry capacity, firing the most powerful weapon the Tau have at troops. Don't be fooled by the Necron models! Immortals and Pariahs are elites, not "basic troops"! Would you use your railgun to fire at another army's Elite soldiers? Why is this different?

And consider this - if the XV88 can destroy 5 Necrons, it's paid for itself

*and* significantly contributed to a Phase Out. If facing Immortals, it need kill only 3 to equal its point cost. And two Pariahs equal the cost of one Broadside!

The Necrons are notoriously difficult for the Tau to deal with. I hope that this guide offers a useful and unique reevaluation of the standard operating procedure.

*Nice interpretation. (+1) - Khanaris*