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Battlesuits and Such
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Old 20 Dec 2011, 19:40   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Battlesuits and Such

GAngeldb raised the point in another thread that we don’t really have much centralized discussion of the suits we use and how we use them effectively. This is a pretty important topic since outside of our railguns, our suits are really what make us what we are. So I figured I would shift the discussion to its own thread.
I’m pretty busy studying for exams today, so I probably won’t have time to look into different suit types too greatly… but here’s some food for thought cut and pasted from the previous discussion…

An analysis of which suits are best is not that easy…
Elite Fireknives should only really be considered effective at low points where their flexibility is not outweighed by their BS3 inaccuracy, or in occurrences when sufficient cost effective markerlight support has been brought for them (which is unlikely, but I will address this some other time).

A much more cost effective suit configuration for killing meqs with and without FNP without markerlight support is the burning eye+, and a much more effective light vehicle hunter is the deathrain+. Meaning, a 3 man unit of buring eyes and a 3 man unit of deathrains will trump 2 units of 3 fireknives when facing the average mechanized marine list without markerlight support (which is the trend these days since markerlights tend to come with a series of inherent problems such as high cost and low survivability).

The math looks something like this…
This is just a quick summary of a very extensive analysis which used teams of 2, so the numbers are based off that.
2 burning eye+ suits and 2 deathrain+ suits (let’s call them List 1) cost 87% the point cost of 2 units of 2 fireknives.
The fireknives have double the shots of the suits in List 1. However at BS3 they are only hitting 50% of the shots, while the TL+ suits have an approximate 89% hit ratio.
List 1: 1 shot – .89 hits
Fireknives: 2 shots – 1.0 hits
This analysis alone shows that the suits are equal on a point per hit ratio 87% the cost for 89% the firepower (a negligible result)… but we’re not done here.

While both suits have equal point per hit results, List 1’s suits are able to split their fire more effectively than the fireknives.
Shooting at a rhino as an example.
List 1: 1.19 penetrating hits
Fireknives: 1 penetrating hit
That’s a 19% increase in effectiveness per model against AV11 (common front armour of troop transports).
Or against marines.
List 1: 1.48 kills
Fireknives: 1.39 kills
Again, we see a 9% increase in efficiency per model.
What’s more, the deathrain+ team can still work at 100% efficiency as far as 36 inches back.

However, in the HQ section where BS can be boosted through TAs without giving up the weight of fire given by an MT, fireknives become effective again, though given the current trend of mechanized FNP meq/teq armies, I've been leaning more towards helios suits instead of fireknives to fill my HQ slots... but that only works if you can sufficiently de-mech your opponent using your elites and heavies.
Likewise, even though this analysis shows strong evidence that we should cast our multitracker suits by the wayside, I would still be leery about calling TL+ suits the most effective since it’s hard to factor in the opportunity cost of not having that flexibility or the weight of fire a suit with markerlight support can bring (this analysis becomes very difficult because you have to assign a weighted mean to each turn, and turn 1-2 have nearly infinite importance).

There is also the issue of wound allocation. 3 different suits > 3 same suits. So in this analysis we'd need to include differences between each suit for the wound allocation ridiculousness.
I'm partial to my deathrains looking like this…
-3 suits
-3 TL missile pods
-1 flamer
-2 TAs
-Team leader
-1 or 2 shield drones (depending on points)
One of those TAs is occasionally switched out for a positional relay depending on the list I'm running.
This way every suit is unique, so the chances of me losing 1 are pretty greatly reduced.
The same is true for my helios HQ unit, every suit is a little different so the whole thing lives longer.

The end result is that it will be very difficult to pin down what makes the best suit choices as they will change not only within the force organization sections, but even within a single unit, and will likely suffer from differing opinions on the matter like the argument of increased flexibility of fireknives over the increased accuracy of List 1.

I look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts!
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Old 21 Dec 2011, 19:03   #2 (permalink)
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Yes, hit the God damn ****ing back button and lost my whole ****ing stupid-ass post. **** this I'll come back later.
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Old 21 Dec 2011, 20:31   #3 (permalink)
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No worries, I've still got one more exam to study for today, so I wont be too active.

I've been thinking about discussing heatwave battlesuits... since they create the most effective objective sweeper that Tau have access to... but on the other hand, over the course of a game, a unit of deathrains with flamers will kill way more models than a unit of heatwaves with missile pods. I'll analyze this choice later.
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Old 21 Dec 2011, 21:39   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carrelio View Post
No worries, I've still got one more exam to study for today, so I wont be too active.

I've been thinking about discussing heatwave battlesuits... since they create the most effective objective sweeper that Tau have access to... but on the other hand, over the course of a game, a unit of deathrains with flamers will kill way more models than a unit of heatwaves with missile pods. I'll analyze this choice later.
Ya, the post I had half finished examined how Deathrains, Fireknives, and the other configurations (lumped together) affected your army on a strategic scale. Mathhammer is great, but for my part, I wanted to show how different suits change the big picture.

As an aside, and due to me forgetting what a Heatwave is, I would like to make a list of the most common configurations, the ones whose shorthand nicknames are accepted on a wide scale. I realize that there IS a stickied thread that goes over the "naming scheme" but I'm not really interested in explaining anything other than the few names that are seen often. In other words I don't think anyone cares what a Sunforge, or Blinding Spear, or Firesurge, or Meatspin, or Fire-flaming-sunforge-of-deathflame-that-spawns-burning-nuclear-weapons-and-blows-up-the-universe-in-a-blinding-heatstorm-flashfire is. So without further ado:

Fireknife=Plasma Rifle and Missile Pods
Deathrain=Twin-linked Missile Pods
Whispering Eye=Twin-linked Plasma Rifles (Just kidding, it's Burning Eye)
Helios=Plasma Rifle and Fusion Blaster
Heatwave=Twin-linked Flamers

I think those are really the only important ones. You can argue, but it really doesn't matter.

I'll post my other crap later tonight probably, once I work up the resolve to retype that whole post /headdesk
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Kor'vre, we are being overrun by the enemy's super heavy armor and need localized fire support. You must maneuver into close orbit and prepare to release the XV102...

That's correct, we need the Exigency.


"Men of Tanith! Do you want to live forever?"
-Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt


Tanith First and Only Codex

YTTH School of Strategy and List-building

Last edited by Exigency102; 21 Dec 2011 at 22:38.
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Old 21 Dec 2011, 22:04   #5 (permalink)
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Heatwave is a twin-linked flamer suit.
Off to write my exam now.
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Old 21 Dec 2011, 22:33   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carrelio View Post
Heatwave is a twin-linked flamer suit.
Off to write my exam now.
Ah, oops. I'll fix that up then.

I'm realizing that the whole "Naming Scheme" in the stickied thread is actually quite stupid. They tried to reverse engineer a system from a few nicknames that did not have an inherent pattern, when all they had to do was make a list of the common names and what configurations they stood for. What they came up with isn't very good, either; the keywords they came up with make no sense and all the "new" names (the ones that they came up with after they "found" the "pattern") sound like crap. It's pretty obvious what happened when you look at it because the rule gets broken by the most common (or at least most recognizable) names, namely Deathrain. They started with Fireknife and decided that Plasma means the name includes some sort of blade, and missile pod means it includes fire (Fire? Really? Then what do Flamers get? Oh ya, nothing. This is clue number one that they were working backwards.). However, TL Missiles is Deathrain, which includes no fire at all (unless it's a euphemism for a supernova or fireballs falling from the sky, which is stupid) and Helios (Greek God of the Sun) includes neither a blade, nor mention of a "Surge" (another stupid word to use, does the Fusion Blaster increase the number of troops on the table?) or "Forge" (I can't argue with this, it actually makes the most sense out of wall of them. Then there's Burning Eye... all I can say about this is that it obviously was an original because it has no relevance whatsoever to the "pattern" and also that it's a pretty awful name anyway. Most of the originals are at least better than the scheme names, but Burning Eye is worse. The way this works is just like the way making a language works. There are exceptions to the rule because the rule is made after some "words" are already established. In this case, it wont work with this though because there aren't enough "words" for the exceptions to actually BE exceptions. Instead the rule is just broken.

There, I think I said all I was going to, but I stopped for a while close to the end so I may have forgotten some things. I'll mention them later if I think of them.
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Kor'vre, we are being overrun by the enemy's super heavy armor and need localized fire support. You must maneuver into close orbit and prepare to release the XV102...

That's correct, we need the Exigency.


"Men of Tanith! Do you want to live forever?"
-Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt


Tanith First and Only Codex

YTTH School of Strategy and List-building

Last edited by Exigency102; 22 Dec 2011 at 01:50.
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Old 22 Dec 2011, 19:21   #7 (permalink)
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I didn't want to bash a sticky but yeah.

I was builing a list last night with Carrelio's idea of different suits in a unit for wound allocation and such. I have two units of 3 XV8 mixed with a fireknife and two Deathrains. I fitted the two Death rains with target lock and the fire knife with target array.

Since the two Deathrains are able to fire at other units, as long as I fire with the fireknife first I can hit three separate targets. So one gets a bonus to BS while the other two can fire separatly and are twin linked anyways. There is the other option to take multracker instead of TA, or upgrade to leader and hardire it and take TA. But very pricy. To save five points you can give Target lock to the Fire knife and drop it from the Deathrain and still fire at three separate targets.

I also, in low point games, do like to take a Hq Shao'o with Vectored retro-thrusters mixed with Flamer and ion cannon. Allows me to hit the unit with flamer and cannon, killing units with rending and failed saves, and then charge in with 5 attacks. Then after assault phase is complete move 3d6 away.

It is really only good for troop units for each army. Nothing like a squad of Terminators or Nyds warriors. I used to mix it with Iridium armor or shield generator since he is alone. If not then he is Insta-death with a dash of clean up for Wall-e.
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Old 22 Dec 2011, 22:02   #8 (permalink)
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Done exams for the semester.

I think the general idea behind the naming thread works in principle, but I agree there are far too many exceptions to make much of a steadfast rule out of it.

I'm not sure how well that plasma rifle will work for you in the squad of deathrains, since the plasma and the missile have different battlefield roles and ranges, but since the other two are target locked, it may work out. I've never run that set up for myself though. Do the two deathrains have differences from one another?

Using you commander aggressively in combat has been steadily falling as the availability of anti-armour weapons has become greater. One powerfist attack and your Monat commander is going to eat it hard. Just be really careful about what you're charging in to.

Really for all suit configurations I'd be tempted to suggest running a couple of shield drones (commander included) to soak up heavy weapon fire that would otherwise break them quickly.

Another common suit for consideration is the sunforge, with TL fusion blasters. At some point running a comparison between it and pirhanas might be interesting.
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Old 24 Dec 2011, 18:57   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah in high points games I stick with drones and body guards. The mix of weapons were successful against some tough troops. My buddy played thousand suns and the 3+ sv\4+ inv was a mess. Relentless helps with the full 24 in range\plasma.
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