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Reconsidering the Helios
Old 08 Sep 2008, 06:33   #1 (permalink)
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Default Reconsidering the Helios

Let me say that no one loved their helios more than I did. I adored them. However, in light of the 5th ed rulebook, I wonder if a unit of stealthsuits would do a better job.

Helios deal with Marines, making 5-man squads impotent in a single turn. However, I am worried by the new 5th ed rule that makes hiding much harder. Furthermore, marines have new, wonderfully awful Ap3 things to hit us with. That means a 2-man team, may, with luck or markerlight support, take out 4 marines, and then die. Fair trade? I certainly miss being able to JSJ with impunity.

Enter the stealth suits. Unlike the Helios, who operate at 12", the stealthsuits operate at 18" - and thus have more hidy-cover available to them. They also have their amazing stealth-effect, which gives them remarkable tactical leeway.

But damage per turn? 18 shots, 9 hit, 6 wounds, two kills! For twice the cost of a single Helios team. Furthermore, we (and I mean all Tau in general, but especially mechanized lists) need to worry about scoring units.

Do Note
  • Helios are much better point-for-point against MEQs, but stealthsuits have more range and more durability
  • Stealthsuits only get better when playing against armies with worse armor saves
  • Helios can harrass from 24" with their plasma
  • Helios can pose a credible threat to Monstrous creatures and transports, Stealthsuits cannot. (Ok, they can with fusion blasters, but you'd be doing something entirely out of agreement with the whole stealth-field)
  • A large-point list can easily accommodate both a Helios team alongside a full stealth team.
  • Stealthsuits really benefit from one markerlight.
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Old 08 Sep 2008, 06:44   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Reconsidering the Helios

I'm just looking forward to our New Codex (not for a long time).

The power creep is apparent for everyone to see by now (I have been warning of it for a bit though)...Hopefully we'll get our share of the pie when it's our turn. Before the next edition and balancing cycle.

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Old 08 Sep 2008, 08:11   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Reconsidering the Helios

Hopefully. I'm not so optimistic.

But anyway, in my 2000 point list I'm running a helios command squad and a full team of BC-equipped stealths. So like you said, in high point games it'd be a good idea to try and take both, although in my experience the stealth field hasn't really done much for me. My opponent always rolls high enough to spot them and the squad almost always is forced to run after taking casualties from as little as one turn of shooting. But that could be due more to my tactical ineptitude than anything (and a couple big pieces of terrain that were a bit difficult to jump around).

Anyway, you can still JSJ with impunity, but it takes some good, solid cover to do it. My 3-man squad was untouchable and fit perfectly behind a piece of building terrain at the store (or they would have been untouchable, but I had ignored his fast approaching terminator lord to wipe out the 5-man termie squad he summoned in one turn of shooting, which posed a much greater threat at the time). LOS-blocking terrain is a necessity for 5th edition games.

But yeah, overall I'd say the helios is still better at taking out Marines. Like you said, while you're looking at more shots with a stealth team, their guns don't have the punch and without markerlights, luck, or TAs (which would make the squad pretty damn expensive) they won't be scoring many hits with them, and won't kill as many outright.

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Old 08 Sep 2008, 16:26   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Reconsidering the Helios

Just few notes of my own for this.
***Besides obvious of +6'' range for any suit : ***

Both are valid choices.

Stealth can
- Open transports with relative ease (AV10-11 is doable or at least stunnable ^_^)
- Stay alive longer when used at 22-24'' (he needs 8-7 on 2 dice to see you)
- Outflank & infiltrate thus not risking with deep strike
- Can be used as Marker drone stealth team
- Best used in 3x3 (3 suits 3 drones) teams which do NOT cost a lot (only 120(130 bonded) points) and are pain to deal with. Plus having 6 wounds and not loosing lots of combat efficiency when taking casualties at first
- Its still 6.2 S5 hits from 3x3 team. Its not bad at all
- Offers 3 deployment options which makes them unpredictable for an opponent

- Benefits LOT more from marker light then XV25s, because it costs MORE and NEEDs all the shot on target
- Best used as HQ team. Granted costs 266 points (bonded and with no drones) but hitting on 3+ (2+ for El) and with single light will hit on 2+. With more lights will reduce cover (FAR more important then for XV25s)
- Most of time kind of needs to deep strike... Which is very bad since they cost a ton. If pathfinders are present then they will give both a beacon and lights
- Works lot better when properly "set up"
- Can be killed fast when caught of guard or in middle of battlefield... Too fast IMO... and if not deep struck, might really need some drones (granted can be hardwired) which is kind of a pain...

Over all, I find that decision is better based up on the army over all. Recently I myself though about cheap Burning eyes(TL PR + BSF or Drones) for burning FNP targets. But I am not sure.

Anyhow just my opinion on this ^_^

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