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Specialization of XV8 pilots
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Old 05 Feb 2006, 14:05   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
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Default Specialization of XV8 pilots

Fluffwise, I was wondering if XV8 pilots specialize in the tactics and the habits of the prey for their particular suit configuration. Or, are pilots generalists who switch tactics along with weapons to match the changes in the nature of their enemy.

One arguement would be that XV88 pilots seem to be a relatively specialized group, as are stealth suits. So, Sunforge "Tank Hunters" or Bladestorm "Sharpshooters" might make a degree of sense.

However, the mark of a great hunter may be the ability to adapt to a large number environments and prey. So, the mark of promotion to XV8 pilot may be adaptability.

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Old 05 Feb 2006, 14:13   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Specialization of XV8 pilots

XV Pilots in my Cadre specialize. In fact, they specialize to such a degree that they customize their suit to fit their battlefield role. I have no idea if such a notion is supported in the official fluff though ???
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Old 05 Feb 2006, 14:15   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Specialization of XV8 pilots

I would imagine that they are probably generalists. Pilots of aircraft can usually attack ground targets, conduct reconnassaince, engage enemy aircraft, and supress enemy air defence with equal proficiency. I would imagine that VX8 pilots are similarly skilled. Also-- the suits would probably not be made in a modular fashion if they pilots were highly uncomfortable in switching between systems.
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Old 05 Feb 2006, 14:27   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Specialization of XV8 pilots

I suppsose it varies for each tau, but I would say the generalist idea works best. They say "the one constant is change, the wise adapt," so the best tau XV8 plot would be one comfortable with all systems, or at least competent enough to alter his tactics for them. The tau don't have the Imperium's number, so they can't specialize as readily.

On the other hand, in all tau armies, the number of crisis suits is very small. Even in mechanized armies with predominantly suits, the army size (in models) is much smaller than a static list. Each crisis suit is made to handle certain situations, and so each is played with different tactics. One could imagine that because Crisis Suits are indeed made for Crisis situations, each school of battle - Sunforge, Helios, Fireknife, Deathrain - might have its own Planetary temple/dojo for training. Perhaps some Pilots know more than one style. This gives each suit's equipment a martial art style feel, which does work with the tau empire (the martial art of mechs).

In summary:

Points for Generalisation:

- Tau dictum "change is one constant, wise adapt..."
- Tau number (much smaller than imperium)

Points for Specialisation:

- Small number of Crisis Suits
- Suits made for certain situations
- Speculation: possible "martial art" mech styles
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Old 05 Feb 2006, 16:59   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Specialization of XV8 pilots

I figure that crisis squads change when they need to but might still use their lucky gun in different places.

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Old 05 Feb 2006, 17:21   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Specialization of XV8 pilots

... if they are going against Tyranids, they are going to switch out their TL Fusion Blasters for Flamers Missile Pods.

Generalists. They take extra training when they switch, but its not like the sworn defenders of an Aun are going to insist on a using a highly specialized config against the wrong foe.

Wise adapt.
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Old 05 Feb 2006, 17:53   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Specialization of XV8 pilots

I reckon they're all generalists.

Ok, so the pilots probably specialise in different types of suit Stealth, XV8, XV88 etc. but i would expect XV8 pilots to be proficient in all the possible weapon systems even if they prefer specific combinations.

There was something on the GW UK site about Tau XV8 weapon combinations and the preferences of the various planets and septs.

Found the URL:

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Old 05 Feb 2006, 18:14   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Specialization of XV8 pilots

As a general rule I would say that they are generalists that train in many suit configurations in may different scenarios.

However as with all general rules there are exceptions. Think about the new smaller Tau out post that keeps getting hit over and over my Dark Elder Raids. Or the jungle planet that is infected with Orks. The same warriors fight year after year using the same suit in the same configuration because it is what works best for them in that reoccurring situation.

So Yes and No.

Shatter Song
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Old 05 Feb 2006, 18:24   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Specialization of XV8 pilots

i think that they specialize in one configuration (say fireknife example) but they can still use other configurations to a special extent
Old 05 Feb 2006, 19:53   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Specialization of XV8 pilots

hmmmmm I'd imagine that they train and specialize in specific hunter roles.... and that the Shas'O assigns the right XV8 specialists to each hunting Cadre mission. I say this because the gameplay style of the suits play out substantially differently lets lookit:

DeathRain: this Hunter never gets close, and out of sight, and works on his JSJ long range missile fire accuracy. He operates solo, and often on a far flank, unsupported.

FireKnife: This Hunter plays it a little more loosely.. Sometime he JSJ snipes, sometime he tank hunts in back areas, and so on. His skill set is the Medium ranged dual weapon approach, and being in the right place at the right time at key moments. This guy is about as generalized as Crisis pilots get, but he would still be at a loss in how to use a Burst Cannon, or any other weapon beyond his twin weapon babies..

Burning Eye/Helios: This Hunter is hot blooded, up close and personal! His jumpjets are to get as close as rapidfire/2d6 range asap, and shoot shoot shoot until they fall or he does. This Hunter is often mixed in directly with the troops, supporting and being supported in return.

these are rough and quick style descriptions, but you get the idea. So I say Specialized, but the entire Tau force has many and equal varieties of suit configs and appropriate Hunter skills. If theres not that many suits in actuality, then there are that many hardpoint weapon technicians, and extra pilot seats in the Manta up in orbit.
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