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Broadsides or Sniper Drones?
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Old 02 May 2009, 00:19   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
Join Date: May 2009
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Default Broadsides or Sniper Drones?

Hey,

I'm in a dilemma when it comes to choosing the 3rd heavy support (along with 2 Hammerheads) in games of 1500 points upwards: 3 XV-88 Broadsides or 3 sniper drone teams? I'm aiming for an all-comers list, and since Tau lack the amount of Spess Muhreen killing weapons other armies can bring onto the battlefield, I thought the 9 S6 AP3 pinning shots the sniper drones provide can be very satisfying....especially when the Marines' cover save gets reduced to 4+ or their LD sunk to 7 with the leader's markerlight. Couple this with their stealth generators and it's near impossible to even scratch them with guns from long range. However, they have two vulnerabilities: 1) close combat. 2) if the leader dies (which is a distinct possiblity with 5th ed wound allocation), the drones die.

On the other hand, Broadsides give me - much to the dismay of opponents - more railguns (yay!) and thus, provide good monstrous creature killing capability. Couple this with the anti-horde cover-ignoring SMS and you have a unit that (with a target lock) can intercept nasty infiltrators and still continue blasting away at enemy tanks. Did I mention that the models look amazingly cool?

Cheers,
-Silver
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Old 02 May 2009, 00:21   #2 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Re: Broadsides or Sniper Drones?

I am always in favor of broadsides.

The nice thing about broadsides is they can soak wounds like crazy if you need them to. Saves on 2 and you can supply them with up to 6 shield drones (overkill).

I always run 3 with 2 shield drones and either ASS or TAs.

Snipers unfortunately do not perform well with how mobile most armies are.
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Old 02 May 2009, 01:49   #3 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Broadsides or Sniper Drones?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bavius


The nice thing about broadsides is they can soak wounds like crazy if you need them to. Saves on 2 and you can supply them with up to 6 shield drones (overkill).

I always run 3 with 2 shield drones and either D'yi or TAs.
I do the same. Additionally, sometimes I put Plasma's and a multi-tracker on a team leader.

I've tried sniper drones (proxies) and want to buy some and paint them up. And will likely use them for fun games in the future. But any serious all comers list I make usually has 3 broadsides. They perform very well.
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Old 02 May 2009, 05:23   #4 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Broadsides or Sniper Drones?

In all honesty, I would recommend taking both and dropping a hammerhead. However, if you don't want to do that, take the broadsides. You can never have to many railguns and you can pretty much get the equivalent of an SDT by buying 4 pathfinders, 3 with rail rifles.
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Old 02 May 2009, 05:56   #5 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Broadsides or Sniper Drones?

If you go with the sniper drones, be careful! Easy kill points/victory points. Why? Because if the enemy either soaks the squad with light arms fire power or blast a tank gun at them they will die fast. Yes the stealth generator helps but be careful.

For anti-marine I would either use plasma rifles or mass pulse rifle fire. They have to fail their armour save sometime "haha". Missile pods are a good choice too because they can be used to do alot of things with their high strength and range.
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Old 03 May 2009, 00:32   #6 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
 
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Default Re: Broadsides or Sniper Drones?

easy answer, three hammerheads.
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Old 03 May 2009, 00:41   #7 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Broadsides or Sniper Drones?

I was thinking that the sniper drone teams are more survivable than the single triple broadside team for the following reasons:

1) they are 3 separate units. Not only does this mean that they can have better line of sight than a single broadside unit, but it also means that the enemy has to take them out one after the other and cannot pour all fire into them if they were 1 unit (unlike the broadsides)

2) stealth field generator at such distances makes picking them off with long range weaponry nigh impossible. The best that broadsides have to offer is a 2+ save, but most S8/9/10 weapons have AP2, thus they'll still be insta-killed.

3) The broadside team has a total of 6 wounds, the sniper drones a total of 12 (including spotters).

4) If you want to kill them in close combat, you either need 3 assault units or you need to destroy them one after the other, while the broadsides can be engaged by a single unit and thus, be dealt with.



P.S: Is this the recommended broadside setup: 3 Broadsides w. Multi-trackers, team leader w. targeting array. (because I don't see the significance of the Adv. Stab. sys., as moving D6'' per turn isn't such a great thing, given that you then cannot fire both weapons due to lack of multi tracker. And I prefer the array over the target lock for the team leader, as for 5 points more, you have +1 BS compared to the ability to send either 4 shots or 1 railgun shot at another unit/tank than the rest of your squad...

Cheers,
-Silver
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Old 03 May 2009, 01:00   #8 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Broadsides or Sniper Drones?

Team Leads can take Hard-wired gear as well remember that.
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Old 03 May 2009, 01:02   #9 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Broadsides or Sniper Drones?

Try playing games with 3 Broadsides. And play some games with 3 sniper teams. And tell us what you like more.
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Old 03 May 2009, 03:12   #10 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
 
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Default Re: Broadsides or Sniper Drones?

Silver,

Regarding your proposed standard broadside team configuration: honestly, I would leave the multitrackers at home. When I started I thought the same thing you did, and loved the idea of being able to fire all my weapons. What I think you'll find, though, is that the strength/ap/range differentials between the railgun and the SMS are so big that you don't get much use out of firing them at the same target. Your SMS is useless against most railgun targets, and while your railgun will make anything you might shoot the SMS at very very dead, is one extra kill really worth it?

There are exceptions of course, DA raiders and such, but generally I think you'll find the MT isn't worth it. The only time it really can be is with the twin-linked plasma arrangement, for the extra MEQ/TEQ lovin'.

If the ASS doesn't float your boat, then I suggest going with a TA - twin-linked BS4 railguns are very reliable, and the extra hits you'll get with the SMS are worth it too.

Sorry to thread-jack - I know you are asking about SDT vs. 88s, not 88 configs. In that vein, I don't have much to add that hasn't been said already. The general consensus seems to be that 5th edition hit the SDT squarely with the nerf-bat due to wound allocation and cover saves. The stealth field is useful but their lack of mobility is a real hinderance.

That being said, three SDTs can put out a lot of MEQ hurt, and good markerlight support to drop cover saves can make them very effective. Of course, the problem with that approach is that your spotter ML only has a 50% chance of hitting each turn, and if you want to give the teams external ML support then you have to treat each team as a separate unit. Whereas if you field the 3 broadsides, a single markerlight hit can enhance the firepower of your entire heavy support slot.

Another useful thing I've noticed is that Marine players tend to hate the SDT. Many Marine players are phobic of any weapon that can pierce their power armour, and if you know the person you're playing against you might be able to use some psychology to your advantage. Depending on your opponent's personality, he/she could either avoid the SDT's line of sight or assign a ridiculous amount of firepower to taking it out. Either one could play to your advantage.

Sorry for rambling so long and for not giving you a concrete answer. The advice above is the best - play some games with each as proxies and decide which you like more. Also check out the matthammer articles about each unit's effectiveness against specific targets.

Good luck!

J.J.
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