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The Truth About Rail Rifles
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Old 03 Mar 2005, 21:59   #1 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default The Truth About Rail Rifles

Just to note this is not a "where can I find the Rules for Rail Rifles?" post > ...this is kind of a tactics/opinon post...ok, fine...the rules are here (Happy?):

Ok the Rail Rifle...there has been some complaints and praises for the Rail Rifle, and I'm here to point out the Pros and Cons.

The Good:
  • Sweet Weapon - With an awsome Str and AP, it is more than enough punch to take down everything from Marines to wounding a Carnefex-thingy (I'm not a Tyranid Player so I don't know what the biggies are called). Also quite effective against light vehicles such as Ork Trukks and SM Landspeeders (Thanks to AunLa for the addition of the point).
  • Range - The perfect range to find a markerlight from another squad (Thanks to MalVeauX...I'll talk about that one in a minute)
  • Free Game Move - The sweetest part of a Pathfinder Team is the Free Move so that they can hunker down into postion and snipe. Although PF Teams already get this rule, moving up 12" and then disembarking from the Devilfish is usually a wise thing to do, so essentially you will be able get off a shot first turn (Clarified for DZG).
  • Pin - You mean I can shoot 36" and cause pinning? ^-^ Now that beats the meager 18" of a Pulse Carbine!
  • The Kill Team - The one and only heavy weapon that a Kill Team can pretty much field with great results...

The Bad:
  • Hard-Wired Target Lock Interface - Although good to snipe in a different direction of the squad, it can cause mayhem as you start losing your models by rolling 1's and therefore throwing away a 29pt model...
  • Lack of Casualties - The lack of casualties that this weapon will bring is the downfall...with 3 Rail Rifles you will be lucky to have taken out 2 enemy models...
  • Price - By the time you field 6 PF with 3 Rail Rifles and HWTLI, and a devilfish, you are usually looking to pay upwards to 200 odd points

The Opinion Part:
Ok, now with the Good/Bad taken care of, I'm just rant on for a minute (as if we all don't like to ).

Rail Rifles and Markerlights seem to go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly...*sniff* if only that were some much better.* A quick example: A 6 man PF team with 3 Rail Rifles.* They decide to shoot at a SM squad. The 3 regular PF shoot with thier markerlights while the other 3 shoot with their Rail Rifles. The Rail Rifles cannot claim the markerlights of their squad, as they are shooting together.

I actually e-mailed GW and asked if the PF with RR could claim Markerlights if they were fired from the same squad...they answered that they could not becasuse they are firing at the same time, yet other squads that have not shot could claim markerlights (again, thanks to MalVeauX for the question in the old Kill Team FAQ post...I believe that this is the right answer now!)

The Tactics Part:
One good way to efficently use markerlights is to have another squad or two (like some FW Team Leaders with Markerlights and HW Target Lock) put down the markerlights for them, giving them a soild 2+ to hit on...one tactic used by my friend is by having 2 squads of 6 pathfinders, one without and one with 3 RR's...the one without RR would lead the other squad with RR to the targets, giving him a almost guarranteed (but not always) 3 casualties per turn...it was quite brutal.

Another good tactic is to go "light vehicle hunting"...anything with a Armour value of 10 should watch out (again, thanks AunLa).

The most common tactic found with PF's with RR's is they go objective claiming.* Players blast their PF's Devilfish toward an objective (utuallizing the free game move of course!) and start opening up on the enemy within 2-3 turns (depending on how far the objective is).

The other only Tactic I have is to stuff a PF with a RR in a Kill Team...perfect for those assassination missions...

The Ugly:
And after a 30-day Campain (every day was a 1500pt battle or so...and the PF made an apperance in every one!) that I just participated in...the 3 Rail Rifles took out 155 models...where as my hammerhead for about the same points cost, made an outstanding 654 models dead (Hurrah for hoard armies! ;D )

The Conclusion:
After all is said and done, I have come to the conclusion that RR are not worth it...around 2 casualties/turn for a upgrade price of 51pts for 3 Rail Rifles and 3 HWTLI!!! :-\ And not to mention the price of a 6 man team (the team size of 6 is used because it is the most common) and a Devilfish all equalling the price of a Hammerhead?

With the new additions added on (thanks to everyone who posted! ;D ), I think now the bad and good are pretty much equal...I know I said earlier that they didn't kill that many models, but know that I think about it, why was I comparing it to the Hammerhead? Of course the HH Sub-round will do more damage...I actually the PF Team was a little more efficent in staying alive too, as the HH had a big "Take Me Down" sign attached to it for the majority of the games...

Final word...I would believe that RR are worth taking in bigger games (1500pts+) and if your opponent likes to field lightly armoured vehicles. In smaller games, however, they will be a big points grab and generally not worth it as you need the points to be spent on more "core" troopers.
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Old 03 Mar 2005, 22:31   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Truth About Rail Rifles

Nice summary!

And it's good to have the final word on those rifle/markerlight rules. Quite annoying isn't it? Makes them less and less attractive.

[hr]

My one addition to this:

Pathfinders are only mediocre and sometimes plain rotten when used as a single squad that leads the rest of the army. They're expensive and many times to do perform well enough to be worth those points, compared to other choices the army has. However, Pathfinders used in multiples are actually very good. The same holds true for the would-be-awesome rail rifle. Two units of pathfinders increase each other's output and can use each other's lights for their rifles--which can mean a good 6 deaths by railrifles. The remaining lights wonderfully lead plasma shots. I've tried this a few times and it worked surprisingly well. I wouldn't recommend it often, but it's worth a try if someone wants to take an alternative to crisis teams for heavy infantry fighting (ie: pathfinders with rifles breaking 200 points; crisis team built for power armour eating taking up the same points). If you take multiple squads ( and don't skimp them, take the full 8 ) you'll see them doing enough damage to become worth while sometimes. However, they still suffer from not being able to withstand return fire--and that is problematic because when the markerlights are low, the rail rifles stop working well and the entire unit becomes a flop. But hey--it's fun when it works.

If only we could have "may" instead of "must" in that sentence about the transport...
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Old 03 Mar 2005, 23:04   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Truth About Rail Rifles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shasel_Aunat
The Good:
  • Sweet Weapon - With an awsome Str and AP, it is more than enough punch to take down everything from Marines to wounding a Carnefex-thingy (I'm not a Tyranid Player so I don't know what the biggies are called...)
  • Range - The perfect range to find a markerlight from another squad (Thanks to MalVeauX...I'll talk about that one in a minute)
  • The Kill Team - The one and only heavy weapon that a Kill Team can pretty much field...excells in KT missions
To point 1, I feel the need to add "light vehicles". Speeder squadrons are in trouble as are Trucks and even Rhinos once a S6 weapon gets a line on them. This is the ideal use of the risky HWTL system. Very nicely and easily done, too, with the Pathfinder "Free Move" pre-game. Point to speak sto the RR as a long range heavy weapon, and that should be it's role. It's great for dropping a Marine because of the good AP and all that, but I think that stat is deceptive. The versitility of the gun is really nice because of the moderate Strength, long range and capabilty to fire separate from the rest of the PF unit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shasel_Aunat
The Bad:
  • Heavy Weapon - Not being able to move and fire is bad, but not that bad...I just needed something to add to the bad...
  • Hard-Wired Target Lock Interface - Not worth the points...only causes the Rail Rifle to go hay-wire and kill the bearer...
  • Lack of Casualties - The lack of casualties that this weapon will bring is the downfall...with 3 Rail Rifles you will be lucky to have taken out 2 enemy models...not worth a 10pt/model upgrade.
  • Price - By the time you field 6 PF with 3 Rail Rifles and HWTLI, and a devilfish, you are usually looking to pay upwards to 200 odd points
Point 1: As you say, not that bad, particularly in a unit conprised, effectively, entirely of heavy weapons, No one is going to move so they can fire off the Markerlights, so not moveing so they can fire the RRs is hardley a downside.
Point 2: That's true, but as I pointed out above, they're very handy against light vehicles and even better against Bikers. Bikers are usually small, fast units with above average fire power that ammount to a real problematic thing for Tau to deal with quickly enough. Since Biker units are typically small, around 3-5 models typically, the RRs can make them quite wary and even nearly ensure the squad's elimination with concentrated fire from the PF markerlights on top of it. Think about it, 2 RRs can drop 2 Bikers, with the rest of the PF markerlights guiding in seekers or a Railgun or some other nasty weapon. Good by enemy harass unit.
Point 3: True, but Pathfinders are expensive anyway. I recommend that RRs be kept to a 2:1 ratio in the unit. If you take the minimum 4 plus the DF, take 2 RRs. Dont' take 3 RRs until you have 6 or more PFs and if you take 3, don't bother with the HWTL because of the expense. Keep in mind you only need 5 PF to have 3 RRs.
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Old 04 Mar 2005, 00:26   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Truth About Rail Rifles

I concurr on all points, 8 ML is under 200pts so they arent exactly busting the bank, but dont pay dividends till large games.

I personally belive that as Crisis are strictly better than RR they should be left at home, exept for KT gotta love that sniper for the boss .
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Old 04 Mar 2005, 03:23   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Truth About Rail Rifles

I don't play Tau, but I've played against them enough to recognize Railguns for what they are.* They are the Battleship guns of your army list, capable of taking down other players `Battleships' such as Carnifexes, Landraiders and Monoliths. To me, it seems that having more then three in a 1500 point list is in excess.

Don't get me wrong, Rail Guns are terrible to face.* But if a Tau player loads up on Railguns at the expense of Fire Warriors and Kroot, my Footsloggin' Orks will swamp `um.

Best Regards,

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Old 04 Mar 2005, 03:30   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Truth About Rail Rifles

unless they are HH Rails, in which case submunitions death is adequately qualified to go for a few rounds in the ring w/ the Boyz
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Old 04 Mar 2005, 03:41   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Truth About Rail Rifles

Well put by both Dizzy and IVEATCH, Railguns are only really usefull for blowing up other battleships, excepting of corse the nasty nasty Sub round off those beautiful Hammerheads. Broadsides are just about useless fighting Orks, unless you see something that you -need- to pop, like a warboss in a warbuggie. If i was the type to talor my lists agaisnt certain armies, I would leave my Broads' at home and take anouther Hammerhead.

The sub round is -very- effective agianst Orks. I killed 40 boyz in three turns with just my Sub rounds before a rokkit finaly took it down.
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Old 04 Mar 2005, 03:56   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Truth About Rail Rifles

I almost always leave the BS at home, between the HH and some MP's there really isnt any need for BS vs' most normal armies, 3 HH pay big dividends.
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Old 04 Mar 2005, 04:15   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Truth About Rail Rifles

I tend to play a lot of dread, LR, and other big nasty tank heavy armies qhere I play, so I take a squad of two, usualy
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Old 04 Mar 2005, 04:17   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Truth About Rail Rifles

I see a large amount of dreads, no SM army is without one, but no Lr, people have realised that everyone has enough Las or Rail so thatthey are just rolling coffins

and dreads drop to a MP in the side oddly easily >
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