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Ethereals, not so great?
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Old 17 Jun 2006, 00:00   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
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Default Ethereals, not so great?

Does anyone even use ethereals anymore? I mean, they aren't great units, and they can only assault, which isn't the Tau's strong point, and the ethereal is'nt very good at assault either. He's ok, but could still easily lose to most other armies. Plus, he's an HQ choice, and for and HQ i'd much rather have my Shas'o, who is better at close combat anyway, even though I probaly would try to avoid close combat with any Tau unit. In any case, not the greatest unit. But does anyone actually use them? If you do, tell me how they are sufficient to a Tau force.

Feel free to comment on this.

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Old 17 Jun 2006, 00:19   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ethereals, not so great?

They are cheap, give a moral bonus (though this is now badly nerfed) and the Etherial can take an honor guard of BS 4 Firewarriors at only +2 pts. So the Etherial can make an effective anchor for a firebase helping to solidify the troops.

Think of it this way for a CoD battle. Fortified structure and ammo dump/power generator and fill it with an etherial with honor guard and two full squads of Firewarriors. One fearless and all get to re-roll moral tests. That would be a hard nut to crack.

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Old 17 Jun 2006, 00:20   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ethereals, not so great?

I really like Ethereals. They really have a lot of class and fluff behind them. One of my favorite HQs out there.

And knowing that, I can honestly tell you that No. I do not use them anymore.

Just just don't offer anything anymore. No longer can they be a cheap HQ to allow more points elseware, while still benefiting the whole army. We now can only take the Ethereal as a 2nd HQ choice. Well count me out if I have to buy a Commander and then take the Ethereal. That's a huge investment. If I want an Ethereal, he's generally my only HQ. Anyhow, not possible anymore, and as much as I like them, I don't bother now. Even the moral rules aren't that great. They have to have him in line of sight. That kills so many units from using his ability, making him not worth it.

The only reason to take an Ethereal now, in my eyes, is for the chance to get a FireWarrior Honor Guard team, and even then it's not for the Fire Warriors--it's for the Devilfish. That's one more skimmer on the board. And with the SMS upgrade, it's a WarFish. That's the only way I'd probably do it now. But even then, I won't.

Anyhow, that's just me. And I like Ethereals. :-\

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Old 17 Jun 2006, 00:34   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ethereals, not so great?

For the cost, their stats and abilities aren't impressive at all in my mind.

For 10 points more a SM player could have a Captain, which gives 9 instead of 10, but to the ENTIRE table on his side, as long as he's alive. other than LD he's got better stats, including actually having an armor save (and a good one at that), doesn't require LoS, and won't send half your troops running off the board if he dies. Oh, and those stats are unequipped; he doesn't just choose equipment, he'll also get to pick his weapons.
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Old 17 Jun 2006, 00:37   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ethereals, not so great?

Thereals were ofte questioned by tau players before the new codex. It was a risk, but if you could protect him, it was one that had a great benefit. Hiding him usually involved sticking him behind a hill, but still joined to a unit so that he couldn't be hit by "conveniently" placed templates, but still couldnt be shot by conventional weapons. This was my favoured method of keeping the dignitary safe (apart from yelling "Diplomatic immunity!").

Now that LoS is required to use his rule, my ethereal is going to relaxe in a comfy chair with a mildly alchoholic beverage and await the time where he is needed as an objective. The Fire Warriors on the other hand are now getting their morale boosts from their steel-alloy pimpmobiles (aka Devilfishes. I just wanted to think of a funny name for em)
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Old 17 Jun 2006, 02:09   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ethereals, not so great?

well in the days before the butchering, i used to use Etherals all of the time, hell you would rarely see an army without one if it was mine. now i loved my etheral every bit, from the conversion work, all the way to the final battle we played. all in all the model was actually one of what i would call "friends" because of all of the work i poured into him.

now that the butchering had finally come he rarely sees the light of day anymore. i have only used him once, and he is still recovering from the Tyranids claw wounds and rending attacks. he was such a valued bit in my army and i loved him so much, but he is now just a near~useless chunk of well painted metal that used to represent something powerful and fearsome.

Old 17 Jun 2006, 04:14   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ethereals, not so great?

The Ethereals are the 'special effects' HQ choice, like Haemonculi, farseers, etc.

Only problem is, they don't come with any of those psychic powers or special weapons. Their special rule is severely a watered-down and downright risky version of the standard SM captain (and others I'm sure), and even their 'boosted' retinues aren't as impressive as found in other armies. Unfortunately, they're in the same points-cost range as the rest of them.

Even the 'mitigation' on that price-of-failure rule of getting prefered enemy is of little help, as the initiative and strength of our regular troops still mean you'll get slaughtered almost helplessly in close combat.
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Old 17 Jun 2006, 04:28   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ethereals, not so great?

come on, come on who dose not have the ethereal model ?

It is a wate of point but we all get one just to model and some time even feild it.

the only time I use it is if I play 6 units of fire warriors for my ld checks
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Old 17 Jun 2006, 05:25   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ethereals, not so great?

I don't use them anymore. The first time I used one, it got charged by a Carnifex (one of the Tyranid player's last units on the board). He died, and all my Battlesuits and a unit of Fire Warriors fled the battle. A major victory was changed to a draw. Not fun.

With new LOS rules they just aren't worth it. I don't usually fail that many Leadership tests.

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Old 17 Jun 2006, 08:19   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ethereals, not so great?

i was writing a big reply and my computer crashed, so I'll just give the abridged version.

I have always used an etheral and below are my views from my experiences:

1) Only unmounted fire warriors (and occassionly broadsides) need the etheral morale abilities (everything else either doesn't need it, has good leadship, uses J-S-J tactics to minimise return fire, or is likely to be out out line of sight)
2) Having an etheral and shas'uis in fire warrior squads is over the top, who needs the equivilant of better than ld10
3) You need to be able to protect the etheral while using his ability. Only hybrid/static armies with a good firebase can do this
4) From this an etheral is only really useful if you have atleast 4 (if not more) unmounted fire warrior squads without shas'uis
5) The real benefit of etherals is to reroll passed morale test in the enemies close combat phase (and then it's only important in armies with a firebase where the enemy would otherwise move from unit to unit killing the whole firebase).

In 1500 pts I use 46 fire warriors, unmounted without shas'uis, split into 5 squads. Now it has been a very very long time since I have seen a list with so many fire warriors on the web, and I have never seen one in real life, and even then I'm considering of getting rid of my etheral, combining the fire warriors into 4 squads and buying shas'uis for them (giving me 10 pts to spend).

With the changes in the new codex (line of sight requirement) the etheral has joined dark eldar helions, eldar shining spears and other units as great looking models that no one uses (for very good gaming reasons).


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