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Why you should never use stealth suits
View Poll Results: After reading the below thread and considering your army carefully; would you change your stealth fo
Yes 7 12.73%
No 44 80.00%
Yes, but not to crisis. 2 3.64%
I don't use stealth suits. 2 3.64%
Voters: 55. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07 Jun 2007, 12:08   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Why you should never use stealth suits

Stealth Teams Need a Few More Tricks

For the last year I've used several stealth suits and one units of crisis suits. I've found myself slowly fading out of stealth suits and into crisis and doing better as a result. I spent the last day or so studying why in my free time and came to a conclusion; anything stalth can do crisis can do better. I'll look into three main areas that incorperate and compare all the benefits of each unit, attack, defence and tricks.

ON THE ATTACK
A crisis suit kitted as closely to a stealth suit has the same destruction numerically and only costs 10 points more. CSuit w/ BC,MT and BSF =40pts
but why would you kit a CSuit that way or bring one Stealth suit(if u could). So we'll kit the crisis as we see fit and match the Stealth to it. Now stealth suits major targets include light infantry and light vehicles. the most point efficient(kills per point) crisis suit for this task would be:MP, BC, MT costing only 50pts.
Just some examples of most common targets for stealth suits

3crisis(150pts) KPP 5SSuits(150pts) KPP
T4Sv3+ 1.857 0.012 1.680 0.011
T3Sv4+ 4.359 0.029 3.115 0.021
T3Sv5+ 6.225 0.042 6.225 0.042
Av10 1.350 0.009 0.853 0.006
Av11 0.711 0.005 0.218 0.001

So we see that against the stealth optimal targets(T3Sv5+) the crisis match them; but in every other category the crisis outgun them, especially versus vehicles.

Not only do we see the crisis outgun them but they also have one other advantage, range. The crisis can still fire at a safe distance of 36", allowing them more freedom and less retalliation fire.

ON THE DEFENCE
This is a section rarely looked at by mathhammer players but another area where the crisis exceed the stealth suits. first a quick table of the standard shots fired off at both units to see how well the extra toughness of the crisis helps.
number of shots needed to hit in order to deal a wound against the unit
Crisis Stealth Difference
S3AP- 9 6 50%
S4AP5 6 4.5 33%
S5AP5 4.5 3.6 25%
S7AP2 1.2 1.2 0%
S9AP2 1.2 1.2 0%

So against standard infantry fire the crisis suit needs to take an average of 36% more fire before taking a wound.
Another advantage is that a crisis team can take one wound without losing efficiancy. A stealth team of equal points(150pts) only has 5W to begin with in any case. Since stealth and avoidance are the key to survival for both other factors than resilience must be considered for defence. Such as mobility, where they are obviously just as fast as one another. The only downfall to the multiwound system of crisis suits is insta-kill. However it is rare to see lascannon fire hitting your suits if you move correctly, so that leaves only meltas to watch for.
So here we see a marginal advantage for crisis suits in that they have a lower pts/wound ratio as well as a higher toughness.

TRICKS
Here is where most people would see the advantage of stealthsuits, in their special rules; however their rules are not all they are cracked up to be.

Starting with stealth field:
Enemies shooting the stealth suits must test visibilty before firing. Sounds good, but really doesn't do as much as you would think. If you out of a 24" range from you enemy you can't shoot them but they at least have a chance to shoot you. Rolling over 24" has a 42% chance of happening(28% for27"+). This is usually enough to deter the enemy from shooting you but units with nothing else will try their chances. The only ones incapable of hitting for sure are long ranged weapons and none of them are interested in hitting stealth suits with a lascannon. It's best to use cover until you are within range. Stealth suits must be within 24" and 19" of the enemy to be effective, meaning the enemy must roll 21"+ to shoot back(58% chance). Essentially it is only reliable to prevent stray long range fire. Coveris free and just as effective for long range fire; at long range, alot can get in the way.

Secondly, infiltrate:
This is a useful tool for setting up late and close.
Setting up last compared to normal set up in elite time. Stealth teams are equiped to kill backsides of tanks and light infantry, both of which set up (in majority) before elites. So setting up later doesn't give you a placement advantage against them. You also only have a 50% chance of setting up before you opponents infiltrators to counter, or after to target them.
Secondly, being closer than your army isolates the stealth team to quick assault and enemy short range fire that would normally fall targetless in the first two turns. Without setting up closer, the stealth suits would have no one to shoot either. Being within you deployment zone as Tau, allows your units more time to cross the field to where they are needed before seeing any return fire.
Infiltration only ever puts your stealth suits in harms way, isolated from your support and without anywhere to run but backwards.

Deepstrike:
Well they both can, although not usually recommended it is circumstantial.

CONCLUSION
So we see that the crisis suit can outdo or at least match point for point the offensive capabilities of the stealth team. Although they may kill about the same amount of infantry, the crisis team can easily kill tanks and even damage AV of 12 and 13. The crisis suits also have a longer range allowing them to almost always be able to fire, even if it is half of their potential it's better than what stealth suits can do at 25 to 40".
It's also important to notice that crisis suits aren't restricted in their weapons, they can focus more on vehicle killing or heavy infantry killing, which is a versatility stealth units are without. Taking up to 2 FB does not compare to the arsenal of a crisis team.
On the defensive hand not much is noted except that the added toughness helps keep small fire off the crisis team. Small arms fire is the majority of return fire that this kind of sneak team would see.
We also see that the special abilities of the stealth suits are not entirely as useful as they sound and a crisis team without can do just as well, if not better.

Basically, it's easy to see that a crisis team can replace a stealth team in the elite slot and be much more effective for the same amount of points. Just because stealth teams are designed specifically for stealthy attacks doesn't mean they are the best at it. An aggressive crisis team can move up a flank and take it even easier than a stealth team. So before you buy those stealth suits to flank your opponent reconsider the crisis team.

(If you feel there is an area i have missed or would like to ask me some questions go right ahead. I would also love to hear feedback, especially from some admins who have an expert's look at Tau.)
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Old 07 Jun 2007, 13:04   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Why you should never use stealth suits

You're right on all accounts. The one thing you missed though is availability of terrain. Much of XV8 survivability depends on their assault move to end the turn behind terrain. Similarly, Hammerheads also depend heavily on terrain to shield themselves from the bulk of the enemy's anti-tank firepower while they play peek-a-boo with their main weapon. In an army that includes several Hammerheads and several XV8 units, LoS blocking terrain to hide these units behind is at a premium. If you're bringing this sort of list to a tournament, it makes sense to swap a unit of XV8's for one of XV25's in order to reduce your dependence on terrain (especially in an environment that is notoriously light on the stuff).
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Old 07 Jun 2007, 13:29   #3 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Why you should never use stealth suits

I agree with most of what you've said. I used to run stealths quite often but find myself using them less and less, especially in competitive higher point tournament games.

I do find the infiltration ability is more useful than you've given it credit for, especially when combined with the stealths ability to always be in cover when charged. In general though I'd often rather have an extra couple suits, or an extra fire warrior squad instead of a stealth team.

When I do run them I typically just take a five man team with no upgrades, I find any more members and the team is to expensive and difficult to hide. Fewer members means the team doesn't have enough shots to be worth it.

However one final note on the usefulness of stealths

Assault: A five man stealth team can be a surprisingly good assault unit. Think of them as Tau commandos. Now I'm not suggesting you go and charge at tactical squad with a veteran sergeant, but against smaller squads like minimum sized las/plas units, or even dark angels combat squads this can work well. It works especially well against GEQs. Guardians, Guardsmen (not stormtroopers!) and gaunts.

Shoot the squad with all your burst cannon furry and then charge em. It effectively gives each stealth suit 6 attacks that turn, something most people don't expect. You'll be striking last no matter what, but that's ok, it means you shouldn't be afraid of charging into cover! As long as the squad doesn't have a power weapon your 3+ save should let you weather most of their attacks.

Alternatively if the squad doesn't have grenades you can shoot them and then jump back letting them charge you. That way you get fewer attacks, but the opportunity to strike first, which is pretty handy.
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Old 07 Jun 2007, 13:40   #4 (permalink)
Ethereal
 
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Default Re: Why you should never use stealth suits

Quote:
Originally Posted by T0nkaTruckDriver
You're right on all accounts. The one thing you missed though is availability of terrain. Much of XV8 survivability depends on their assault move to end the turn behind terrain. Similarly, Hammerheads also depend heavily on terrain to shield themselves from the bulk of the enemy's anti-tank firepower while they play peek-a-boo with their main weapon. In an army that includes several Hammerheads and several XV8 units, LoS blocking terrain to hide these units behind is at a premium. If you're bringing this sort of list to a tournament, it makes sense to swap a unit of XV8's for one of XV25's in order to reduce your dependence on terrain (especially in an environment that is notoriously light on the stuff).
Ditto on that. I learned it the hard way.

The best combination is two squads of 2 XV8s and one full squad of almost bare XV25s.

Also it seems that they are often ignored if you have only one squad of them. This is actually very good as you can proceed to do your dirty little tricks with the stealth suits.

I am a full supporter of Xv8s, but sometimes they don't work in some situations. And that is when the Xv25s come it.
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Old 07 Jun 2007, 13:48   #5 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Why you should never use stealth suits

Pshaw everyone here keeps on talking about Xv25s.

I still use my gold old Xv15s. I love the retro look!
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Old 07 Jun 2007, 14:23   #6 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Why you should never use stealth suits

Quote:
Originally Posted by Falstead
Pshaw everyone here keeps on talking about Xv25s.

I still use my gold old Xv15s. I love the retro look!
Heh, my squad of 5 XV15s has done me well in the past, so I'll still be using stealthsuits in my lists. Though I did get 3 XV25s recently, now assembled.. more things to try out with the fusion blaster option.

Anyhow that analysis up there deserves a karma point IMO, at least for putting in the effort shasoshinova.

I've actually been using Stealthsuits more for their psychological effect, it really annoys the opponent when they waste a turn of shooting not being able to see the stealthsuits.
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Old 07 Jun 2007, 16:14   #7 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Why you should never use stealth suits

I understand that alot of your stealth suits survivability relies on your opponent's ignorance of them and three big guys look scarier than 5 little ones.

tonka I know exactly what your talking about with cover. I run 2 DF 3 HH and 11 crisis in my tourny army and terrain is hard pickings. that's why my team of guys equiped with burst missile move on a flank with one DF loaded with FW and a HH. they move aggrassively to take forward while leaving behind another HH to guard the piece behind them. The other side of the map is where its tight and i have to fit the rest. however there is alot more cover than people think and even crisis suits can stand in the "open".

I've attached an example picture. It's important to remember that initially heavies are usually all the can shoot you. then you move along sides of buildings killing whats in front with focus fire to leave the survivors unable to return fire. i understand that on deployment i could put my stealth suits right in the open, but I'm in no real need of more cover. besides most weapons can't even down a hammerhead when you give them the shot. Eaxmple, 2 marines with lascannon:
2 x 4/6 x 3/6 x 2/9 = 15%
You and i know both know that seeing 2 lascannons isn't too uncommon. throwing your opponent what seems like an open target lets the crisis slip through unchecked. It's easy to find protection from select enemies and in reality it's all you need. stealth suits are "immune" to anything about 27" away. if that's the distance between us i can usually find something to put in between us.

i didn't think it necessary to cover melee but there are the occasional charges, especially when you think you can take them out
MELEE
it depends entirely on what your fighting but lets say marines charge you and hormogaunts charge you
the stealths can do
Defensive(SS) Their hits Them hitting crisis
10Marines 10x0.5x0.5x0.33= 3(9.175)x.66x.66x.33= 3(10)x.66x.5x.33=
kills 0.825 3.96 3.267
20Hormo 10x0.33x0.66x0.83= 3(18.193)x.66x.5x.33= 3(20)x.66x.33x.33=
kills 1.807 6.00 4.312

manipulate the numbers of your attackers however you want, one fact remains: tau cannot fight in close combat. If we get charged by anything we are either taking casualties or being locked up. Low initiative means im not charging anything. I know my Tau are weak in CC so i don't charge. You say you would charge a weak group to mop up but any group goes before you and risks causing casualties. leave a weakened group, chances are they are even weaker in the shooting phase than in CC.

it was also mentioned that ignorance of the stealths also lends to their survivabilty. the enemy is just as likely to ignore three suits as it is to ignore 5 small suits on it's flanks. especially when they see the crisis are equiped with "weak" guns. it seems enemy players are only afraid of AP.

despite their slight advantage in melee, it's not enough to win in combat or even enough to cause severe casualties before death. Also stealth suits who live longer are neglected obviously pose no threat to the enemy. every good player know stealth suits as a signature tau unit so they know if they will hurt them or not and that is what decides if they ignore them.

At any rate no matterhow you play the ignorance of your enemy or the stealth field it cannot make up for a loss of 1T and 1W from the group not to mention the shooting advantages that the crisis bring. there is nothing these suits can do to make up for that.
Attached Images
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File Type: bmp Deployment.bmp (103.4 KB, 150 views)
File Type: bmp Deployment.bmp (103.4 KB, 150 views)
File Type: bmp Deployment.bmp (103.4 KB, 150 views)
File Type: bmp Deployment.bmp (103.4 KB, 150 views)
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Old 07 Jun 2007, 16:27   #8 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Why you should never use stealth suits

Ironically, I find myself running in the opposite direction. The truth of the matter is that people are quick to underestimate stealth suits, and over estimate crisis suits.

Its true that a fireknife can potentially kill twelve models in a turn, but on those same grounds, a properly equipped squad of stealths can kill sixteen.

Want to see how devistating stealths can be? run them like this.

Six stealth suits (xv 15, with an xv 25 as shas'vre), one fusion blaster on the shas'vre. Give them all targetting arrays, give the shas'vre a HW TL and DC. Take two shield drones.

Deploy them on an exposed flank, OR if the enemy has no exposed flank, deploy them alongside your commander or pathfinders/tetras as fire support.

If you have tetras, keep at least one with the squad at all times. It not only provides a markerlight, but a target as well.

Don't forget, stealth suit generators mean you attack at I 10 on the assault, and 12 St 4 attacks can be brutal
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Old 07 Jun 2007, 16:58   #9 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Why you should never use stealth suits

Not sure about any analysis that disputes the value of infiltrate. For quarters and for recon infiltrate is pure candy. Combine this with a 12" movement that jumps cover and you have a turn 1 charge if there is anywhere the enemy can't see.
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Old 07 Jun 2007, 17:11   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why you should never use stealth suits

Grogalmighty
Don't forget, stealth suit generators mean you attack at I 10 on the assault, and 12 St 4 attacks can be brutal
O rly?
where is that? I just looked through my codex and rulebook(they were conveniently located) and could find nothing of the sort. Although that would be very very nice.
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