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Using Commander Shadowsun (Does anybody use her?)
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Old 23 Jul 2007, 15:22   #1 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Using Commander Shadowsun (Does anybody use her?)

I've been tossing about the idea of using Commander Shadowsun in my army for a while. I did a quick search and found a good post by Malveaux, but not much feedback from people using Shadowsun. Does she work for anybody out there listening?

The main reason I'd like to use her is the command drone. After that, I hate everything else about her. Lack of IC status, two very short ranged weapons, weird wargear, odd rules, super expensive... I think it's a very odd model.

The "advanced target lock" is odd. Most people are going on about killing two land raiders in a turn, but you'd have to declare your targets before rolling a dice to hit, so I couldn't see myself aiming at more than one vehicle in a turn, not if I need to kill it.

The command drone is awesome. So much so, it makes the C&C node look useless. The bad points are that it's a drone, although the only one in the game with a 3+ armor save. And while the C&C node requires only one model of unit within 12" to benefit, the command drone requires the entire unit in 18", which seems odd. I'm of the opinion that the command drone should be a hardwired wargear option for all commanders.

It's strange how this is the only Tau commander that isn't an Independent Character. Other commanders can have a drone or two and still join a unit. It's almost like Shadowsun was created before the rest of the book was written.

I notice she includes a bonding knife. I guess she and her drones cut each other up in the Ta'lissera ritual ["warning....drone....losing...oil....pressure. ..."]. She'd be an IC if she was below half strength. Do IC's have to make Last Man Standing tests? I don't have a rule book with me.

I'm thinking that she should have longer range weapons, as I see her as a firebase commander, not a behind the lines commando type, especially lacking Infiltrate and Deep-Strike. GW seems to have based her on the Marine idea of a commander. A leadership boosting model with a plasma-like pistol and, since we don't have power weapons, another pistol. I tend to see Tau as wanting to kill the opponent from as far away as possible, preferably from orbit.

I think I wanted to see something like this...

Cost: 175
WS: 4 BS: 5 S:4 T:3 W:3 I:3 A:4 Ld: 10 Sv: 3+
XV22 Battlesuit, Vectored Retro Thrusters, HW multi tracker, HW Target Lock, HW Command-Link, dual rail rifles, missile pod
Special Rules: Independent Character, Deep Strike, Infiltrate, XV22 Battlesuit, Command-Link
Dual Rail Rifles: Range 36", Str: 6, AP: 3, Type: Heavy 2, Pinning, Under 12": Assault 2, Pinning

This would be a special character! Someone that would work as either a firebase commander or ninja commando, though not quite as good as a typical O'Ninja. The dual rail rifles require the model to stay still for a long range shot, but at short range, she could "fire from the hip". Protected by a shield integrated in the XV22, stealth field, and IC status, which I don't think is unbalanced, given that Crisis suits can be made tougher than that. Command-Link integrated into the suit, instead of a drone. Can be used alone or attached to a team.

This gives up the "advanced target lock", shield drones, fusion blasters, bonding knife, and 1 point of initiative, but I think the cost should stay the same. The leadership boost is a pretty powerful ability, which transforms the entire army, and the long range weapons are pretty nice. If I was trying to go for the gold, I'd have added stim injectors and a hard wired positional relay, maybe irridium, but she'd be pretty resilient as it is. Actually, I like the idea of the hard wired positional relay. That's another good piece of wargear for a commander.

Did anyone every learn what the original weapons for Shadowsun did? I heard rumors of a "mass-core driver"...
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Old 23 Jul 2007, 17:08   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Using Commander Shadowsun

The article is in progress. Look for it by the end of the week. Many of the things you list as downsides are actually benficial when viewed from a different point of view.

As one example of this, you suggest she would be better off as an Independent Character. By NOT being an IC she cannot be picked out in close combat and is a scoring unit, two things which are quite handy in the right circumstances. Sure, she can be targeted with shooting attacks, but she has a Stealth Field and a plethora of 3+/4+ saves to protect her.

All of the other oddities you mention also have tangible upsides as well. All in all, she's a very well rounded choice. These days I rarely leave home without her.
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Old 23 Jul 2007, 22:23   #3 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Using Commander Shadowsun

What I hate about here is that she has a lower toughness then a Shas'o commander and can be insta killed by a Tau plasma rifle. Besides that if she had long range weapons then it would be kind of cheesy since she has the stealth generator (no one can see her most of the time when she is 36 inches away most of the time). But I wish you had an option to change out her war gear though.
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Old 23 Jul 2007, 23:19   #4 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Using Commander Shadowsun

Quote:
Originally Posted by orkkrusher
What I hate about here is that she has a lower toughness then a Shas'o commander and can be insta killed by a Tau plasma rifle.
Yea, but she's not wearing a bulky XV8 suit either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orkkrusher
But I wish you had an option to change out her war gear though.
Why and what would you change? She got a lot of fancy do-hickeys.
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Old 24 Jul 2007, 01:27   #5 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Re: Using Commander Shadowsun

I would definitely prefer her to have a choice in weapons, or at least better ones. Maybe not rail rifles (although it'd be sweet), but like Scottish Gecko said, something with better range. Then she could sit back with her army and let her command drone do its work, like it's supposed to.
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Old 24 Jul 2007, 01:34   #6 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Using Commander Shadowsun

Yeah. The way I use fusion blasters is an isolated suit stalking its prey, how are we supposed to use her bonuses with such a short ranged weapon? If we could fire and get the bonuses, th 12'' range means the enemy is already too close...
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Old 24 Jul 2007, 01:56   #7 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Using Commander Shadowsun

I've played around with her in a few battles, but ultimately she really didn't do the greatest job, so I opted her out for a Ninja'O. I agree the range on her weapons is sorely debilitating to her potential. Personally, an 'O or 'El can do just as well, if not better.
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Old 24 Jul 2007, 04:08   #8 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Using Commander Shadowsun

I'm not going to post articles in multiple places any longer, it makes fixing errors too difficult. :-\ Here's a link to my Shadowsun writeup.


As a sidenote, if anyone who's tried her out and decided that they don't like her is interested in getting rid of the model, I need several of them for some conversions I'm working on. Please PM me and we can negotiate a trade!
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"i like to think of playing against my list as being like punching jelly. you put all your effort in but it just moves out of the way and you cause no damage. then your arm is covered in jelly. and the chicks come out and start wrestling in the jelly, and i drink a beer with stone cold steve austin, and we watch the chicks jelly wrestling, and then the slap-bass funk starts wakka chakka wakka wakka woh" -- Spooky, describing Mech Tau

"You can of course make a list that attempts to work via fragility and easy VP donation and Pathfinders fit into that just fine." -- kai
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Old 24 Jul 2007, 14:42   #9 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Using Commander Shadowsun

Thanks for the reply, Tonka. I've read your Shadowsun tactica. I still disagree that she's a "hidden gem". Expensive like a gem, maybe...

Regarding the CLD: The CLD doesn't really have a 6" range bonus over the C&C. The C&C requires one model of a unit within 12", the CLD requires the unit to be within 18".

Regarding your notes on the dual fusion blasters: It seems that the advanced target lock could be utilized as long as a contingency plan exists. For example, if you have two targets, Shadowsun can take a shot at each, possibly destroying both. Broadsides can mop up what's left, or choose another target. If Shadowsun focuses both weapons on a single target, it's possible that one shot would be wasted. In "reality", I don't think this tactic is worth risking an expensive unit on and positioning Shadowsun for such ideal shots takes the focus off playing defensively, all for the possibility of "wasting" a fusion blaster shot.

I have to agree with your thoughts on her role. She's definitely suited for firebase command, with the exception of the fusion blasters and huge price. It sure blows that GW didn't give her the weapons to support the firebase troops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orkkrusher
What I hate about here is that she has a lower toughness then a Shas'o commander and can be insta killed by a Tau plasma rifle. Besides that if she had long range weapons then it would be kind of cheesy since she has the stealth generator (no one can see her most of the time when she is 36 inches away most of the time). But I wish you had an option to change out her war gear though.
I don't think the long range weapons would make her cheesy. It would be the same as a Shas'O with a missile pod, protected by IC status, or a Tau Sniper Drone Squad, or a Librarian with FOTA, or a Whirlwind behind LOS-blocking terrain. There's lot's of examples of units that are hard to hit for one reason or another, yet can strike out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SUUPAH
I've played around with her in a few battles, but ultimately she really didn't do the greatest job, so I opted her out for a Ninja'O. I agree the range on her weapons is sorely debilitating to her potential. Personally, an 'O or 'El can do just as well, if not better.
I suppose that's an alternative I never considered. 'O's with target locks could be attached to firebase units like Broadside or Pathfinder squads and give them Ld 10. I don't like the option, as I love my Ninja'O.

So, we have 1 vote saying she's good (Tonka) and 1 against (SUUPAH). Anybody else have any war stories?

I'm thinking I screwed up on Shadowsun's "ideal" profile. Definitely shouldn't have had the vectored retro thrusters on a firebase commander. And I added the HW Positional Relay.

Cost: 175
WS: 4 BS: 5 S:4 T:3 W:3 I:3 A:4 Ld: 10 Sv: 3+
XV22 Battlesuit, HW multi tracker, HW Target Lock, HW Command-Link, HW Positional Relay, dual rail rifles, missile pod
Special Rules: Independent Character, Deep Strike, Infiltrate, XV22 Battlesuit, Command-Link
Dual Rail Rifles: Range 36", Str: 6, AP: 3, Type: Heavy 2, Pinning, Under 12": Assault 2, Pinning


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Old 24 Jul 2007, 16:52   #10 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Using Commander Shadowsun

It sounds to me like your biggest hangup with her is the guns. An Ethereal doesn't have any guns at all; two Fusion Blasters are a lot better than zero Fusion Blasters. As I suggest in the article, the proper alternative you should be comparing her to is an Ethereal, not a Stealth Suit and certainly not an XV8.

To argue the point though, when you're playing against most "balanced" forces, you'll frequently find that they include some hard, fast assault unit. Whether it's a Flying Tyrant, Speedy Demon Prince, or an 8-man Assault Squad. All of these enemies come to you (so range isn't an issue) and generally give you one turn to shoot at them before they assault you. Against any of these targets, a pair of BS5 Fusion Blasters is just what the doctor ordered. It's like a rapid-fire Plasma Rifle except that it's S8 so is better against Monstrous Creatures and can insta-kill Marine characters. Great for range sniping the attached Chaplin or Librarian.


The other thing you seem to be hung up on is her cost. Try specc'ing out a similar "Support" Commander and see what it runs you. Here's one example:

Shas'O (180)
- [Plasma Rifle, Shield Generator, Command and Control Node, Iridium Armor, HW Target Lock, HWDC + 2 SD's]

Sure, he's not quite the same as Shadowsun, but they both fill a similar "role" in a Tau army. The idea is that you join him to a unit of Broadsides for some additional protection and to help with the occaisional morale check. He's got a longer ranged gun, a better armor save, and some beefier stats, while Shadowsun has a better C&C Node, a higher strength gun, a Stealth Field, is a scoring unit, and costs 10 points less.

I suppose it depends what else you've got in your army but for me, Shadowsun is the better deal. The CLD is just too cool for school...
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"i like to think of playing against my list as being like punching jelly. you put all your effort in but it just moves out of the way and you cause no damage. then your arm is covered in jelly. and the chicks come out and start wrestling in the jelly, and i drink a beer with stone cold steve austin, and we watch the chicks jelly wrestling, and then the slap-bass funk starts wakka chakka wakka wakka woh" -- Spooky, describing Mech Tau

"You can of course make a list that attempts to work via fragility and easy VP donation and Pathfinders fit into that just fine." -- kai
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