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How often do you use Sensor Spines?
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Old 08 Oct 2013, 07:33   #1 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default How often do you use Sensor Spines?

I've read something from Tau tactica that makes it sound like sensor spines are pretty indispensable for most vehicles.

Since all of our ground vehicles are skimmers, we can cruise right over any kind of terrain no problem. The only times our vehicles have to make dangerous terrain checks is when the vehicle begins or ends in difficult, dangerous, or impassable terrain. Since all of this is treated as dangerous terrain, there is a chance of the vehicle becoming immobilized.

Sensor spines allow you to auto-pass these checks. The Marine equivalent siege shield that also grants auto-pass lets them plow through ruins or forests but they still cannot cross impassable terrain. Since skimmers can do so, sensor spines not only let you cross any terrain, but begin or end in any terrain with no dangerous terrain checks at all.

The games I've played thus far have not been on tables with formal cover and buildings, we've improvised. That said, in your experience is there plenty of terrain that would make you think twice about moving a vehicle because of the check? Are the dangerous terrain checks too little a chance to really worry about, or spend 5 pts per vehicle to counteract? Have there been games where you wished you had equipped vehicles with that support system?
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Old 08 Oct 2013, 09:33   #2 (permalink)
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I've used Sensor Spines in lieu of Disruption Pods on cheap vehicles, like Tetras and Piranhas. This lets me put them in a building if they need a better Cover Save in a pinch, but with D-Pods being an auto-take on my Hammerheads/Skyrays, they get a 4+ wherever they are, and I don't come across a need to put them in Difficult Terrain very often. When I do, it feels worth the risk of a 1 in 6 chance that it might Immobilise.
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Old 08 Oct 2013, 16:53   #3 (permalink)
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i use them on devil fish and pirahna, ive notcied my tanks dont really ever need them, but thats my personal experience
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Old 08 Oct 2013, 19:17   #4 (permalink)
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I never take them - I only move my skimmers in dificult terrain as a last resort - usualy that means I screwed up big time if the other guys units get that close
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Old 08 Oct 2013, 19:34   #5 (permalink)
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I never used them and only had a problem once. Albeit that problem lost me the game (my devilfish crashed in a choke point preventing any of my other units getting away... got pinned down and slaughtered to the last man)... but the amount of times I can't just avoid driving my tank (which already gets a 4+ cover save without being in terrain) through trees just isn't worth the tiny point costs involved (which should tell you how frequently I actually run into the issue of needing to drive through terrain).
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Old 08 Oct 2013, 19:55   #6 (permalink)
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I can see the use with lighter, cheaper vehicles to let them use area cover. The question I had was whether or not it was really necessary on most vehicles, and how often something valuable was lost from terrain checks.

It sounds like that's a fairly rare occurrence, which is good. Does the threat of losing a vehicle prevent you from putting something like a hammerhead into terrain? Say, if you didn't need the cover save but it was the easiest way to line up a shot on something.

I typically run disruption pod and blacksun, so one of those would have to go to fit sensor spines on a hammerhead. Devilfish are already too expensive really, but being able to go into terrain with no check to drop troops might be useful. I just don't know how much terrain that would cause a check there is on a typical map. I have yet to play on a really well made terrain board.
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Old 08 Oct 2013, 20:05   #7 (permalink)
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I will only put a vehicle into terrain if the risk is outweighed by the reward; if the gamble is between losing the vehicle in an assault the next turn or becoming immobilized for a better chance of avoiding the assault, I'll risk the immobilized, but that's about it. There has never been a target juicy enough that the thought of shooting it would make me risk damaging my own unit (slowing down enemy units by drip feeding them death-fodder, sure... but death-foddering for purposes of offense just doesn't balance out in my mind).
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Old 08 Oct 2013, 21:06   #8 (permalink)
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Well, the tanks only need to be partly obscured to get a 4+, 3+ if you have Disruption Pods, (and you do have Disruption Pods!)

I literally have only tried this a handful of times, and it doesn't require me to actually enter terrain, just hide behind it. I only used it when an IG player's Reserved Leman Russes rolled on the field after I'd lost a Hammerhead trying to clobber the first two. They really gave me hell, so a lot of stuff was forced to bunker down.
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Old 08 Oct 2013, 22:06   #9 (permalink)
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I know that for vehicles line of sight on the weapon is what matters. For infantry units in cover, their targets do not get a cover save. If you had a hammerhead behind a ruin wall positioned so that you could still fire, a target vehicle would not get cover unless more than 25% of it was obscured correct?

For area terrain this makes more sense. Ruin cover is based on line of sight though, so I'm guessing if you can fit the vehicle behind a ruin wall, you don't need to make a dangerous terrain check.
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Old 08 Oct 2013, 22:22   #10 (permalink)
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Area Terrain only gives you a 5+, the same as your Jink. If you play with the foresight of a Tau general, your Hammerheads shouldn't be forced to take such risks.
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