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Why take the Cyclic Ion Blaster?
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Old 26 Mar 2006, 17:10   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 57
Default Why take the Cyclic Ion Blaster?

If you play constantly against tyranids or opponents with only toughness 3, then I understand this weapon, but against T4 this weapon really don't pay it's price. You usually can hit with 3-4 shots, then you roll for t4 trying to get 5 or 6 on dice. Most likely only 1 will wound. With luck you can do damage, but the average is that you make only 1 wound, ap4 is good, but missile pod is just better for the task and cheaper + has longer range.

I like with my tau, when I manage to hit my enemy, I want to easily wound him, so that most likely all my shots will wound on 2+ or worst case 3+. Making sure that lot of hits is lot of wounds. With CIB when you manage to hit, it doesn't guarantee in anyway that you will wound.

High cost weapon with low strength and range. Don't like it, have tried it now in 2 games and didn't make any high impact for me. You will have better luck with good strength and ap, so missile pods and missile pods and missile pods .

Comments and reasons, has it really made your game taking cyclic ion blaster? Against marines, okay 5 shots is good, but you really have to get good luck with your rolls to take those 6s so that you can kill 3+ save or better troops...
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Old 26 Mar 2006, 17:23   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why take Cyclic Ion Blaster?

On the commander, this weapon is nice. I use it specifically because it can kill marines (failed armor saves more often than ap1) and because it is also usefull against hordes. Versatility is the name of this weapon.
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Old 26 Mar 2006, 17:30   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why take Cyclic Ion Blaster?

The weapon: Cyclic Ion Blaster
Pros: [High rate-of-fire, pseudo-rending ability]
Cons: Weak
Summary: Good for hordes of low armoured, low toughness, infantry like tyranid termagaunts/hormagaunts, and imperial guardsmen. While the weapon is weak, it has several shots, and any 6's on the wounding roll, wound, and are at AP1.
My reason for using it:
I played around with a proxy before equiping my commander with the weapon, and I found it useful against not only hordes of low armoured infantry, but space marines, and commanders as well. It might not do much against a carnifex, but that's why you have supporting units of crisis, and broadside battlesuits. This can be a quick rid of lot's of enemies, from infantry, to a space marine chaplain.

no direct stats, please - Khanaris
Originally Posted by Falstead
Falstead: I don't think you can ever justify a T5 goat in a regular 40k game
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Old 26 Mar 2006, 18:07   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why take Cyclic Ion Blaster?


The C.I.B. is actually a wonderful weapon. However, you're correct, it's not the best choice against marines from a game point of view. You will hear different however, from someone only looking at the mathematical probabilities of it as a MEQ killing device. I would warn you however, that math is not a supplement for the actual game, because all those formulas that prove efficiency do not take into account the variables in the game, such as (1) escalation, (2) terrain, (3) valid targets, (4) not having 6 turns of shooting, (5) not being able to shield your character from being targeted, (5) etc. All of those things do happen, even to the best of players because not everyone plays against completely daft opponents.

So let's look at the C.I.B. from an experience view point, as well as a little probabilities in terms of it being useful:


- Lots of shots (dakka machine)
- Great AP value
- Not that expensive actually
- Takes great advantage of higher BS values on Commanders
- Decent Range (albeit short for a Commander)
- Couples perfectly with the Burst Cannon


- Only shines on a Commander
- Becomes expensive due to the Targeting Array, unless it's a Shas'O
- Puts your Commander in close enough range for some armies to assault, and opens the door to shooting
- Will not have many turns of shooting (due to range and limited target options; ie: can't shoot a vehicle)
- Isn't as good as a scoring unit of stealthsuits at effectively killing almost all infantry types

Never the less, it's a great gun if you love to throw down dice. It's impressive afterall to roll 8 dice from a single character, especially outside of the Chaos codex (hah)!

:: Ideal Targets ::

Putting the C.I.B. to use means you will want to take it for the purpose of having it shoot something you know you're going to kill. Firing it at T5 infantry for example would be a disaster. Firing it at infantry who can assault 19 to 24 inches (due to cavalry movement) would also be a disaster. But firing at T3 infantry who do not have a great reach beyond 24 inches may prove to be quite a good turn of shooting.

So let's assume you're firing at Eldar Guardians & Dark Eldar Warriors, Imperial Guardsmen, Storm Troopers, Ork Boyz, enemy Fire Warriors, Chaos Cultists, etc. They all have that nice and easy T3 that is ideal for the best use of our weapon. They also have relatively average and poor armor saves, which we are hoping to bypass in order to really get some kills, because if we don't, we may be in a bad situation where we may just get trapped or shot down.

Shas'el - 88 points.
-Burst Cannon
Targeting Array
-HW Multi-tracker

Let's assume that's our base suit for a Commander to use the item, maximizing our effectiveness via the Targeting Array. We won't have many turns of shooting, so making each one count is a good idea.

Let's see what we can 'expect' when firing at a GEQ type target:

5 CIB shots @ BS5 = 2 wounds on average (likely 2 casualties, unless there's a cover save).
3 BC shots @ BS5 = 2 wounds on average (again, likely 2 casualties unless there's a cover save).

We could probably reasonably expect 4 average casualties inflicted on a unit of standard GEQs. Many times, that's close to busting it right in half, nearing that average squad size of 10, and killing 6 of them would make them non-scoring. Pretty useful!

Now, to give you an example of an alternative:

Shas'el - 85 points.
-Missile Pod
-Burst Cannon
Targeting Array
-HW Multi-tracker

Let's see what we can 'expect' when firing at a GEQ type target:

2 MP shots @ BS5 = 2 wounds on average (likely 2 casualties, unless there's a cover save).
3 BC shots @ BS5 = 2 wounds on average (again, likely 2 casualties unless there's a cover save).

Looks pretty much like a very similar average casualty rate against those boys.

So what's the difference? - You can also shoot down vehicles and more flexible targets with Pods and you can cause damage all the way from turn one if you have sight, unlike the C.I.B.. But it's still a really fun gun. It's not necessarily meant to be incredibly powerful. It's meant to be fun, to throw dice, and they had to give it a strength and funny AP rule that balanced out the number of shots, knowing it will be fielded on a Commander with a high ballistic skill. So overall, no, it's not actually an impressive weapon. It's very specialized and doesn't really perform much better than other things we have, which are also more flexible.

:: Non-Ideal Targets / But ever-constant regardless ::

You can't escape a weapon in an army and not compare it to another for killing marines, or MEQs. It's just pretty much standard. The C.I.B. may not be your first choice when thinking of killing a MEQ (and rightfully so!), but it's an option. The difference is, by taking the C.I.B. you are literally making a choice to use your commander at close range and dedicate him to pretty much only attacking non-vehicle targets in order to have any sort of effectiveness.

Assuming the same configuration from above, to make the most of your weapon's range and what it matches with for the price, you could apply the same 'expected' results to a Marine target.

Let's see what we can 'expect' when firing at a MEQ type target:

5 CIB shots @ BS5 = 1 wound on average (likely to be saved against; but 17% of the time, it's AP1)
3 BC shots @ BS5 = 1~2 wounds on average (likely to be saved again; possibly 1 casualty though at best).

We're looking at somewhere around 0 to 2 casualties. On the high end, assuming great luck on all roles and great scores of the "6" you can 'hope' to see 2 casualties, but really, you will not see that often. Instead, you can 'expect' to have 1 casualty, or none.

Couple this with all the variables of the game, and ask yourself: "Is it worth paying this price, getting that close, just to try to kill a Marine?" You may think it's the best thing since sliced bread. I would recommend you use something else in your army to do that though--or a better gun which will cost you more. Because frankly, you'll get more results from a single plasma gun at 24 inch range.

So I should kill MEQs with it? - Only if you have no other possible means to shoot his infantry. You have better options on scoring units, elseware and you have better guns which would produce more MEQ casualties and still be flexible enough to bust other targets for a higher price, but overall more effectively due to increased range (and increased security) and an increase in how many turns you may have of actual firing.


"Heresy! Heresy! The C.I.B. is the best MEQ killing weapon!" I expect you've read this in a few places, even on other forums, but as you pointed out, you've played with it now, so you have an idea of why mathhammer cannot describe or make up for the variables in the game that only experience can give you. The CIB is a flashy gun. It's fun and isn't all that bad. It's certainly not the most game effective weapon though. It cannot match the kill power of a plasma gun against marines, and it's not as flexible as a missile pod and 2nd weapon against GEQs and vehicles. So the CIB is literally a fan weapon in the end.

I expect a lot of criticism for my examples, but I will say it now to avoid confusion: Decimals don't exist in warhammer.

Anyhow - I encourage everyone to try the gun. It's great fun! But don't expect it to win games on its own

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Old 26 Mar 2006, 18:22   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why take the Cyclic Ion Blaster?

Lets see...
Slaughters IG
Slaughters Tau
Slaughters Eldar
Scratch that...
Slaughters Basic Troops.
It is an anti-basic troop weapon.
With every kill I grow wiser, and with added wisdom i grow stronger.

you know? I found some faith in humanity lying in the street earlier. I looked around and didn't see anyone, so I kept it. However, if it belongs to someone, I'd just as soon return it.
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Old 26 Mar 2006, 18:27   #6 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
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Default Re: Why take the Cyclic Ion Blaster?

Good reply MalVeaux you said almost all that can be said and I had already thought exactly like you.

I do like the idea of firing 8 shots from 1 model, it's fun and I like to throw a lot of dices compared to heavy weapon, first rolling to hit with 1 dice and then rolling to wound with 1 dice. My luck is always that I roll that number 1 on hit or wound or vehicle damage. Hate firing 1 rail shot at leman russ, I always either miss or can't damage it or if I damage it, it will always just be stunned. But when I throw 2 dice at the same time some kind of miracle happens and rarely any number 1's come. Like overkilling annoying tanks =)

The idea I have toiled, would be infranty killing, but being commander he should be flexible. So Shas'el...

'el CIB, Burst, Missile Pod, Hw-Multi tracker, target array would be the most flexible and efficien HQ. You have option to fire ligh vehicles, but if swarm of infranty is coming taking 8 pot shots at them is good too.

UPDATE! Hups, I cheated, you can't make that kind of shas'el , but CIB, MP is a good choice 7 shots is good enough and having the option to shoot light vehicles and from long range.
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Old 26 Mar 2006, 18:30   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why take the Cyclic Ion Blaster?

Originally Posted by Thamor
'el CIB, Burst, Missile Pod, Hw-Multi tracker, target array would be the most flexible and efficien HQ. You have option to fire ligh vehicles, but if swarm of infranty is coming taking 8 pot shots at them is good too.
That's not a bad idea actually,

Shas'el - 90 points.
-Missile Pod
HW Multi-tracker

Kind of a "do it all" approach. It gives you the ability to cause damage from afar, and then pump up the volume up close. So why not right?

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Old 26 Mar 2006, 18:32   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why take the Cyclic Ion Blaster?

Decimals do exist in warhammer 2.5 wounds is the same as saying 5 wounds over 2 rounds. More importantly though it is really presenting a probability in an easier to compare fashion - its easier to compare 2.4 to 2.6 kills rather than something like 8/18 and 48/103). Over the hundreds of turns of warhammer you play those decimals will start to turn into significant whole numbers.

I'm not sure how you can bring those 5 points into it (here at least), whilst stats isn't the be all and end all of warhammer, it is still a very signficant factor if you are playing competitively (despite my ardent support for stastics, I do think burstcannons look really cool as shoulder mounts for Crisis suits. I could demostrate how the decrease in effectiveness if balanced by a threefold increase in cooltitude as soon as you have used them in 41 games - but this forum doesn't have the right symbols for that level of maths).
Oh yeah, the point I was trying to make - surely most of those points can be factored out as they will apply equally to any weapon set more or less (or you can look for a weapon set that performs the best under your preferred conditions).

The main problem I see with the CIB is that it isn't really doing anything that I can't do better elsewhere. Almost my entire army is set up for dealing with basic troops to some degree (with most of the units being Firewarriors, Pathfinders, Stealthsuits, Devilfish transports and gunships or drones). The Airburst Fragmention Projector (AFP) works with this (as most infantry will try to find cover) and has a fairly unique role, something that the CIB doesn't really seem to have, and something that it needs if it is not just a better option than an existing piece of equipment in an identical role.
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Old 26 Mar 2006, 20:02   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why take the Cyclic Ion Blaster?

Maybe this is a moronic idea...it's been a while since I've actually played on the table, but wouldn't a CIB be an interesting choice for a Mon'at Shas'vre to deep strike with?

XV8 Shas'vre
-Cyclic Ion Blaster
-Burst Cannon
-Targetting Array
-HW Multi-Tracker
-HW Drone Controller
-2 Gun Drones
-Bonding Knife

That's 98 points—fairly expensive. However, against an army like 'Nids or Guard, it seems like an excellent counter to an impending charge. Deep strike, blast away with 10 shots, then sacrifice your drones with the "Run like a Girl" tactic to avoid CC. The bonding knife will then allow you to regroup, even having lost your drones.


Let's see some math against T3 SV 5+ opponents:

CIB: 5 shots, 3 hits, 2 wounds
BC: 3 shots, 2 hits, 2 wounds
Carbines: 2 shots, 1 hit, 1 wound, pinning test

Not bad, but not necessarily worth 100 points, especially if you're going to get swallowed up in CC next turn. But I think it's fair to say that if you like some risk, this unit has the ability to hamstring a very big unit. I don't think I'll do it; I'm a cautious player. I could be a lot of fun, though.

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Old 26 Mar 2006, 20:15   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why take the Cyclic Ion Blaster?

Alternatively 2 stealth suits could do the same thing at more or less the same price couldn't they? Though suppose as they are competing for the same slot its less of an issue, depends whether the extra strength of the shots makes up for the decrease in accuracy (as targetting arrays would put them slightly higher).

On the otherhand I suppose the drone option gets you pinning, but seeing as this would be most of use against tyranids or orks this is less effective.
Rather than a defense against a charge, hunting out guard command stands and heavy weapon teams might be a better target (though again I would probably take the stealths, as they are at least protected against return fire from the rest of the IG army)
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