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Plasma or Burst Cannon???
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Old 15 Nov 2006, 05:44   #1 (permalink)
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Default Plasma or Burst Cannon???

Been fine-tuning my list, and I've kinda hit a point I'm not sure which would be better.

I'm designing a Command unit for my Shas'O, designed for static support of my army (hence the squad, they sit behind other units most of the time) and I'm not sure if on the final suit I want a Burst Cannon or Plasma Rifle. Here's the unit:

Shas'O Dal'Yth Riyon Mal'Caor
Markerlight, Target Lock, CIB, Missile Pod, C&CN, Stimm Injector, Bonding Knife, Hard-Wired Multi-Tracker, Hard-wired Drone Controller, Marker Drone, Shield Drone
Shas'Vre Dal'Yth He Mont'Ken:
AFP, Missile Pod, Positional Relay, Hard-wired Multi-Tracker
Shas'Vre Dal'Yth Rai'Re:
Plasma Rifle/Burst Cannon, Missile Pod, Targetting Array, Hard-wired Multi-Tracker, Failsafe Detonator

I orginally put the PR on Rai'Re because I wanted the higher AP, but now I'm thinking the extra points on a model with a Failsafe (although I hope to never have to use it, it's a fluffy thing) might not be wise. Also the PR is kind of out of place amongst the other two 36/18 configs and would probably fit better with them, especially since they're supposed to sit 6" or so back from my main firing line (so that way the ranges are in line with the Pulse Rifles in front of them.)

Keep in mind my Shas'El also has FB/PR/VRT and Iridium Armour for DSing close to the high-armour enemies.

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Old 15 Nov 2006, 05:58   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plasma or Burst Cannon???

Well your commander has the PR and one in your team has the CIB, so I would say get the burst cannon for the extra shots. Its fluffy and effective, I admire that

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Old 15 Nov 2006, 06:19   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plasma or Burst Cannon???

The plasma has a AP of 2 and has a longer range
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Old 15 Nov 2006, 08:17   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plasma or Burst Cannon???

What kind of enemies to you expect these guys will be up against? I'm abit confused by the fact that all the weapon's you've chosen have different purposes. You have the AFP, CIB, and burst cannons (anti - horde), and then you have missile pods. They have wildly different ranges and purposes.

Can you explain for me please?

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Old 15 Nov 2006, 12:58   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plasma or Burst Cannon???

Well, I've more or less decided to go with the Burst Cannon now, as it's better to keep to the 36/18 range design.

They're basically serving a dual roll. Anti-Armour at range and infantry support up close. They'll hit light/medium armour as well as direct Seeker fire at long-range, as well as directing Firewarrior fire at key targets (remember, these guys sit just behind my firing line, so they will have almost the same range terminator as my Firewarriors with thier 30" guns)

Then, when things get closer, they contribute to the mass-fire of the Firewarrior's Rapid-firing to put as much pressure on the incoming enemy as possible so as to either destroy or demoralize them, at that range, using Markerlight counters to reduce Ld is actually MUCH more effective than upping BS. This unit, plus the other 3 8-man FW units with Markerlights would mean the incoming infantry unit would take a massive amount of fire, and -5 LD on the last volley, where they're almost garaunteed to be suffering 25% casualties (as there wouldn't be much of the unit left at that point)

Also, I knew from the start I wanted the XV-84 Markerlight suit. The Missile Pod was chosen because it matched the range of the Markerlight, so that no shooting with the Multi-Tracker would be wasted.
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Old 15 Nov 2006, 15:05   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plasma or Burst Cannon???

Originally Posted by Faolin
What kind of enemies to you expect these guys will be up against? I'm abit confused by the fact that all the weapon's you've chosen have different purposes. You have the AFP, CIB, and burst cannons (anti - horde), and then you have missile pods. They have wildly different ranges and purposes.

Can you explain for me please?
Actually Faolin, the missile pod is one of our best all around weapons. Sure it "only" has two shots and the Burst cannon has 3, but those 2 shots are out to 36 and the strength and the AP make it the best anti-hoard weapon the Tau have. It also is nice to damage transports, side armor of tanks, and those pesky Gene Stealers.
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Old 15 Nov 2006, 17:24   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plasma or Burst Cannon???

if the squad is made to sit behind the main part of you're army for fire support, then the PR and missle pod sound best, however if they are also made to gaurd the rear from depstrikers and the like, the BC would be best.
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Old 15 Nov 2006, 17:38   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plasma or Burst Cannon???

Either way you look at it I never, ever give burst cannons to my battlesuits. Why? Because the rest of the army has so much str 5, ap 5 fire, Devilfish, Hammerheads, drones, Firewarriors etc there is no need to get even more especially when the Crisis Suits are the only things that can take str 6 ap 2 weapons and they also have access to missil pods and fusion blasters.

Plasma Rifles and Missil Pods are great for fire support crisis suits, they can add a decent number of high powered shots to the mix. The AFP is too dangerous on a fire support suit, scattering you dont know if its going to hit its target or scatter onto some of your own troops.

I also do not suggest giving a command squad to a commander. Its almost always better to have the commander as an IC especially in the fire support role, a Shas'el with a targeting array or Shas'O will be able to put BS5 shots into a target and that can be very useful. For rate of fire the Plasma and CIB work great, Plasma and Missils are also good for taking down tough targets and light vehicles and Plasma and Fusion are excelent for Deep Striking Dreadnaughts, Terminators and other badies.

The Tau really do not need more str 5 ap 5 firepower. Just leave the burst cannons at home when equipping your crisis suits. Great on tanks but not so good on our few units who can take better kit.

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Old 15 Nov 2006, 18:25   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plasma or Burst Cannon???

If you're pressed for points take the Burst Cannon. If not take the Plasma Rifle.
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Old 16 Nov 2006, 04:06   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plasma or Burst Cannon???

Like I said, I've pretty much decided on the Burst Cannon, for a few reasons listed above, but the other reasons:

1) I mostly play Orks or Eldar, sometimes Guard or SMs. The difference between S6 AP2 and S5 AP5 vs. those two: not a whole lot.

2) it allows me to pick up a Rail Rifle for my PF team. The difference between S6 AP2 and S7 AP3? Not much vs. marines (except Termies) and it causes pinning, oh and it lets me take another Burst Cannon. I'd rather have 1 S7 AP3 shot and 3 S5 AP5 shots than 2 (max) S6 AP2 shots. Do the math, it works out better.

And I know it's not that smart to have a large blast landing that close to friendly infantry, however, if you just keep the edge from being positioned within 6", there's nothing to worry about, is there. That's the game you have to play as a commander. I may consider swapping the AFP for a Plasma, but at the same time, there comes a point where these guys will be jumping forward to get an early strike on incoming infantry that I don't want to miss out on.

As far as the "don't put your commander in a unit" is concerned, again, the choices we make. I find 3 units of Stealths highly useful, put it leaves me with no slots for Crisis. So I made a choice, group up my roving Stealths to make room for a few Crisis, or put the Crisis into a unit with my Shas'O to help hold the line. I weighed the pros and cons, and I went with the unit in the HQ slot. The way I plan to use them makes it very unlikely my Shas'O will die. They're behind at least 3 units, forcing priority checks. There's a shield drone incase a deadly shot gets through. There's a Marker Drone and the two other suits to stop any other kills, plus a failsafe to stop him being picked out in combat. Then he's got stimms to save him if anything else gets through. There's gonna be more important things to shoot at aside my commander, not to mention the Shas'El that'll be wreaking havoc behind their lines. The forward elements of my army will be more than enough of a distraction to let me kill the things that can really hurt my commander before they get to that.

Maybe it's the size of our command squad that makes you afraid to use them, because many other races use them without any thought. But I like the idea of a command squad, especially one that can be so tailored to a specific role as the Tau. They will do what they do, and do it better than any other command unit from any other army, except maybe IG. Fire support and support for the rest of the army, too.
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