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What's best to take out heavy armor?
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Old 12 Aug 2006, 08:02   #1 (permalink)
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Default What's best to take out heavy armor?

The tau arsenal has some of the best anti infantry and light vehicle weapons in the game; burst cannons, pulse rifles, missile pods, seeker missiles, the submunition blast, even the modest kroot rifle. However, the tau armory only has two weapons that can even dent the heavier (13-14) stuff; the railgun and (at extreme close range) the fusion blaster.

At first glance, the railgun would seem to be the ultimate tank busting weapon of all time. With the best str and ap characteristic in the game, with an excellent range to boot, the mighty railgun can deal serious damage to vehicles... but at what cost? If a commander can get 10 lascannons for the price of one railgun, the railgun isn't really the best weapon to use, now is it? To follow is a close examination of the tau arsenal, and a rating (scale 1-4, 4 being absolute best) for each of

1) offensive firepower (efficiency wise)
2) flexibility/mobility (higher rating= more mobile/flexible)
3) defense/toughness (points lost, on average, per lascannon hit)
4) ease to use

for railheads, broadsides, fusion suits, and piranhas.

Depending on the commander, certain characteristics may be more or less important than others, especially when considering the type of tau army. (more later)

First, let's take a look at the all time favorite tau unit, the Railhead; Offensive;1
Mobility/flexibility; 2
Defensive; 4
Ease to use; 4
Overall; 11

The resilient hh chassis, combined with the glancing only rule, and the 12" movement to use LOS blocking terrain, makes the railhead one tough beast to take down. However, against vehicles, the railhead's large points cost (170-180ish) per shot makes it less than an ideal tank hunter, because you can bring so few. IMO, the submunition, combined with the sms, make the railhead a spectacular infantry squasher, and its anti infantry capabilities are not to be underestimated. Perhaps other options, besides the railhead, can be relied on to hunt down heavy armor?

Broadsides;
Offensive; 4
Mobility/flexibility; 1
Defense; 2
Ease to use; 2
Overall; 9

The broadside is THE best choice for destroying tanks at range... if it is deployed correctly, in cover, and with LOS to choice parts of the table. If the broadsides are deployed in the open, making use of the A.S.S., and a lascannon or two happens to hit them, things won't be pretty... even worse if enemy assault troops get to them. Broadsides walk a knife's edge between completely dominating the table and simply giving free vp's to your opponent.

Battlesuits with fusion blasters;
Offense;3
Mobility/flexibility; 3
Defense; 1
Ease to use; 1
Overall; 8

Our poorest scorer overall, the battlesuit is none-the-less able to mount fusion blasters, and thus make a dent in the heaviest of vehicles. In a dedicated tank hunting role, they have the advantages of cheap cost, deep strike, infiltrate, and JSJ (able to move just as far as a hh, but more flexibly). Even better, pathfinder devilfishes make deepstrike a less risky option. However, they are vulnerable to any troops that may be lurking near the target, they have terrible range, and unless armed with a shield generator, are very vulnerable to plasma, missiles, lascannons, and even sustained bolter fire. In short; big payoffs, big risks... although with the new codex, the risks are fewer. IMO, it's probably better to bring crisis in a dedicated light tank hunting role, with twin missile pods.

Piranhas;
Offensive; 2
Mobility/flexibility; 4
Defensive; 2
Ease to use; 3
Overall; 11

Compared to the railhead, the piranha sacrifices defense and range to gain mobility and a more economical cost. The decreased range means that it will take a sneaky and clever commander to get them by the enemy's ranged weapons and into range of their target, but their increased speed makes sneaking, and contesting, much easier. However, it must be noted carefully that railheads will probably end up getting in more shots with a railgun than a piranha will with its fusion blaster... but this might be countered by the fact that piranhas will be getting side/rear shots more often.

The point? To allow commanders to figure out what the best unit(s) is(are) for them. IE; which units have the style and strengths/weaknesses that they can best take advantage of.

For a mechanized army, the complete lack of mobility in broadsides is crippling. Piranhas and railheads will be the order of the day, perhaps backed up, in an emergency, by Helios crisis. If you're feeling adventurous, deepstriking crisis with twin fusion, shield generators, and a pathfinder fish in LOS could be devastating... but they should not be relied on alone to get the job done.

In a hybrid list, broadsides and piranhas can be a devastating combination. (more on this in a later article) In short; the piranhas can hunt down whatever is avoiding your broadsides.

In a static list, broadsides are probably your best bet. Their lack of mobility isn't all that crippling, and you may even want to take more than one squad of them. backed up by railheads, railguns will dominate the enemy armor.

These are just a few suggestions of how these units can be combined to best utilize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses.
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Old 12 Aug 2006, 08:16   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's best to take out heavy armor?

I like it tell me more... ;D
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Old 12 Aug 2006, 08:28   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's best to take out heavy armor?

Very nice post. Has given me a new perspective on the heavy weapons. Somebody give this guy some karma!
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Old 12 Aug 2006, 08:36   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's best to take out heavy armor?

Interesting, I definatly have to get some broadsides and pirahnas.

I have also found that in a pinch fireknife broadsides can cause some pain if they can get an angle.
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Old 12 Aug 2006, 08:38   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's best to take out heavy armor?

Khaldun, would you mind rating a stealth suits ability to take out heavy armor. After all, it can be equipped with a fusion blaster for only 2 points, infiltrates, and sets up after heavy armor. ;D
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Old 12 Aug 2006, 09:43   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's best to take out heavy armor?

I wouldn't rate'em high in practice. Fusion range hurts both offense and defense due to the stealth-field.

2x TL-Fusion crisis suits with shield generator: 126 points, 2 twinlinked shots (75% hit chance each). Invuln. Saves and T4

2x Stealths with fusions (before equip): 184 points [4 other guys]; 2 shots with 50% hit chance. T3, minimal stealth-field efficiency at fusion range.

If those 4 other stealth burst-cannons can make a difference against that tank, then that means you're hitting armor soft enough that you didn't need fusion in the first place. Rears, for example, except against monoliths (fusion no good there) and landraiders (fusion ok there but much lasery death)
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Old 12 Aug 2006, 14:57   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's best to take out heavy armor?

I would make HHs "3" in Mobility and Flexability. It's as fast as a Battlesuit (not as agile though), and it's RG make a mess of anything not in power armour too.
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Old 12 Aug 2006, 15:30   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's best to take out heavy armor?

ok to me hammerheads are all i am ever gonna take and i am never gonna bother with broadsides. i take 1 sky ray as well. realisticly, how many monoliths/landraiders is your opponent going to take? 1 or less usualy. this is where yes broadsides are more effective than a hammerhead. basicaly because both of them have to move twords you so the broadsides are likely to get shots off on them. however, broadsides make tank go boom then they are worthless. shooting at immortals and terminators is ok as far as things could go, for example shooting at scouts. now the hammerhead, two of them concentrating on 1 landraider/ monolith will probobly bring it down and they will get to shoot at them before a broadside ever would. mobility. should you encounter more than 1? well fusion blasters are good against landraiders because, landraiders are usualy full steaming it strait at you. so they will get in range and eventualy be taken down. so to me, i realy don't need any broadsides. against anything else like lemun russ and such i use hammerheads as operation distractor and ping the sides with missle pods and guess, the sky ray. the hammerheads are gonna sub those heavy weapon teams on outah there and the lovable crisis are more than enough to handle the hammer of the imperium.

what about 3 monoliths you ask. well i am gonna go for hammerheads again, cause they can move the hell away from the monolith and keep on pinging it from far away where the broadsides have it drop right next to them and start partical whipping on top of them or some crazy such nonsence. to me mobility saves the day over having twice as many. also by taking the broadsides you run the risk of some beakie boy creaming himself when he lands a demolisher round right on the little broadsides heads.






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Old 13 Aug 2006, 01:38   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's best to take out heavy armor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stargazer Zero
I would make HHs "3" in Mobility and Flexability. It's as fast as a Battlesuit (not as agile though), and it's RG make a mess of anything not in power armour too.
Hammerheads came in second to crisis suits, as the crisis suits can move just as far as the hh, but have the advantage of JSJ and deep strike to boot.

When I find the time later today I'll try and post more.
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