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Why to use Helios?
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Old 16 Nov 2005, 21:23   #1 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Why to use Helios?

Crisis suit configurations have gone through tons of generations. In the early days, we had Plasma Rifles with Missile Pods and Fusion Blasters combined with a Hard-Wired Multi-Tracker. While it was very versatile and able to take on tons of different opponents, it was economically unstable and extremely expensive for one model, and could not be used on all suits in a squad.. Then we had Fireknife suits, dropping the Fusion Blaster for a more ranged suit that can be fitted onto a Shas'ui and not restricted to Team Leaders and Commanders. But these suits were very inaccurate compared to the BS4 Elite choices of a plethora of other armies in the Warhammer 40k universe. To combat this, the Death Rain and Burning Eye suits saw more play. Now I believe the time has come for a new config to come into play, namely a suit with the Plasma Rifle, Fusion Blaster, and Multi-Tracker; the Helios suit.

The other day, I posted a battle report against Ultramarines which I won on this board. Reading it more closely, I realized how much damage my Helios Shas'el did. Based on my report, it killed between 2-3 marines in a single turn. The Fireknife suit, Death Rain suit, and Burning Eye suits cannot inflict as much damage as that. While the Helios is best at short-range (2 S6 AP2 shots and 1 S8 AP1 shot), I found it very easy to get into range, using terrain to escape the marines' heavy weapons. This underrated suit should get more attention, and would be close to beardy when the new Markerlights come out, causing a whole squad of them to hit on a 2+. That could kill an entire tactical marine squad in a turn if you have 3 Helios suits, which earns 75-150 points plus special and heavy weapons. This makes the suits make up almost all of their points in one turn of shooting, while 2 turns would be more common. Adding this, if you use the JSJ maneuver, you will not get shot at unless the entire army is sent to hunt you down, including tanks. But not only is the Helios anti-heavy infantry, it is also anti-vehicle. Get within 6'' and the Fusion Blaster's Melta ability will kick in, giving it a good chance of killing light, medium, and even heavy armored vehicles. If guided by a Markerlight, the Fusion Blaster has a higher chance of killing heavy vehicles, espeically if within 6'' of it.

Of course, the Helios is not for all boards, namely ones with little terrain. Without terrain to protect you, you will be torn apart by enemy firearms before you even get into range, maybe having the ability to shoot out one single Plasma Rifle shot before the suit bites the dust. It is also not a very good weapon versus Tyranids, especially Hormagaunts, which are extremely fast and kill Crisis Battlesuits in close combat. Against swarm Tyranids with no Monstrous Creatures, Helios are nearly useless as a Stealth Battlesuit can unleash the same volume of fire for half the points while still easily wounding Termagaunts, Hormagaunts, and Genesteelers.

Crisis Battlesuits have an ability often completely overlooked that can get you in Fusion Blaster and rapid-fire range on turn 2, deep-strike. If you deep-strike behind or in front of enemy lines, you will instantly be in range and can kick some really great behind, especially in large squads. However, the only problem with this is that if you Deep-Strike, they cannot hop behind line of sight of the enemy and might be ripped to pieces. If given back-up, however, this tactic can work quite nicely.

So you see, the Helios suit is just as, if not more, versatile than the Fireknife, able to hunt tanks heavier than the ones Missile Pods can kill, and can kill 3+ save infantry such as marines and Necrons at an alarming rate. While the Fireknife is better at longer range, the Helios suit outclasses it in short range and should really be used more. Even if you don't want to risk putting a WS2 Crisis Battlesuit in charge range, everyone should at least try it out just to watch marine players cry while their squads are cut to pieces.
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Old 16 Nov 2005, 21:35   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why to use Helios?

Excellent article. I've been a huge fan of the helios for some time now. The only thing I would add is that Helios works better for Tau players who are willing to be more aggressive. If you are a timid player who likes to stand back and shoot and not take risks, then helios might be too short ranged for you.
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Old 16 Nov 2005, 21:59   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why to use Helios?

I'm not saying anything about the helios until that experiment is over... although I have a feeling that the helios will come out on top compared to other crisis configs.
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Old 16 Nov 2005, 22:03   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why to use Helios?

I see Fireknives as being the mark of a green-behind-the-ears commander. Deathrains rain death of medium infantry and light vehicles. Helios are a new, risky suit that have serious potential. My anti-save squad has a Burning Eye and two Helios. I find them useful and flexible, but getting within 6" of a vehicle is hard. Still, a tagalong benefit not to be overlooked.

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Old 16 Nov 2005, 22:32   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why to use Helios?

The Helios: Plasma Rifle + Fusion Blaster + Multi-tracker

On a personal note, I'd rather have 2 Twin-linked shots (Deathrain is my personal favorite), that I know I can almost guarantee one hit...rather than the Fusion Blaster (also known as the "One-Hit-Wonder" in my gaming group) on my Shas'ui. Like you mentioned, the Helios is designed for "commander only" selection, for it is rather a waste praying for a 4 when shooting with 1 shot...50/50 chances are never good! Helios on the commanders are also great because they are cheaper than some of the other configurations that are stalking the Tau Empire...

A tip? I would keep the Helios only on Shas'o's, where I know that I will be hitting on 2's, whereas it is still sketchy to put on a Shas'el, where he is shooting on 3's...I like the first odds, thank you!
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Old 16 Nov 2005, 22:46   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why to use Helios?

As I said indirectly in the article, Helios, and Fireknife for that matter, work best when backed up by Markerlights. Since Markerlights are becoming better in the new codex, Markerlights are becoming more common and the Death Rain and Burning Eye suits will be nearly extinct. On a Shas'ui without having Markerlights, Death Rain and Burning Eye is more accurate and better but much less versatile.
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Old 16 Nov 2005, 22:47   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why to use Helios?

Ah the helios, this is the configuration of my commander. I chose the weapons long before I knew about the different configurations. I sat back and analysed what I wanted my shas'O to do, and the answer was simple: Destroy everything. So far he has done just that. Has not died once and has more high class kills than the rest of my army... combined (like I say often). However the helios is really best for shas'O. Twin plasma and a fusion would be my pick for a shas'el varient. Still the plasma and fusion make an amazing team especially combined with a shield gennerator. The shas'o with SG, PR, FB and HWMT is very expencive at 133 points but its well worth it, my commander nearly always at least breaks even in points earned and many times earns double or even triple... plus he always denies my enemy that 130 points, so for me it is points well spent but others may have experienced otherwise.

Helios is deffinetly underated in many places though numerous descussions on it here recently may have changed that some. My commander is very agressive and I find getting in range and staying in range is very easy, the 6" for tank busting is a bit difficult but it really exploits the slightest mistake of an enemy... like the SM player who is far too confident in their Land Raider or the IG player who lets his Leman Russ stray a bit too close.

Helios is a great configuration that can do a lot of damage but it is far and above the best configuration for a shas'o, decent on a shas'el but a risk on shas'vre and ui. I still see it rarely on commanders, much more often I see deathrain shas'el and fire knife shas'o. The Shas'O is the perfect mount for some of the most devastating weaponry in the Tau army, I see no reason why it should not be used.

Though like aunny said the helios is not for the faint of heart, you really have to get up there and in the thick of it. I find it accelerates the conflict in games and makes them more fun but for the sit back and shoot Tau players this may not be what they want to do at all.

It is best to think first on what you want your commanders to do before equipping them but the helios is deffinetly a powerfull option.
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Old 16 Nov 2005, 23:44   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why to use Helios?

I've been redesigning my Tau army recently, haven't played any games yet, and I'm planning on a pair of Helios Shas'els and a a team of three shas'uis with twin missile/flamer. This is a change from two teams of two shas'ui fireknives backed by two identical shas'els. My stealths, firewarriors, and kroot all excel at killing light infantry, so the extra shots were doing me no good. Now my two hammerheads aren't alone hunting the big tanks and I have superior firepower against light vehicles. This is at 1500 points. At 1750 I try to toss in some pathfinders to help out the suits even more.
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Old 17 Nov 2005, 00:19   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why to use Helios?

Ah the Helios. My first suit, the one my O has always used, and one which I find quite devastating. I take him in all points levels I play, cause well he represents me on the field mostly. Long before I descovered the Crisis variant names I called this suit the duelist because of it's character hunting abilities. Three low AP shots with decent strength from one model are nothing to scoff at, and I've often used this commander to charge with great effect. However I find the shield generator necessary because of how aggressive I play, but that;s just my style.
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Old 17 Nov 2005, 00:29   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why to use Helios?

On the topic of Fusion Blasters, something's always perplexed me. Why do FBs roll like meltaguns for taking out vehicles at close range when their AP value dictates they should score penetrating hits anyway?
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