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Ionhead or crisis team?
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Old 28 Jul 2005, 10:00   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Ionhead or crisis team?

I often read tha ionhead is less effective than railgun against marines and less than crisis with Pl or TL Pl.

So is the ionhead interesting or not? Because i just read that a SM player is afrait to see an ionhead ... (ok nice i need it) althought the railgun template is more effective ... ???

So is possible to have an advice on these ionhead ??? Interesting or not ???
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Old 28 Jul 2005, 10:28   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Ionhead or crisis team?

Against SM or Chaos marines the Ion head is superb as it has 3 shots (i think) and negates there armour save. the Railhead has 1 shot (solid) that also negates armour or 1 shot (sub) that is large template but allows that pesky 3+ save so in most cases the ionhead will kill more marines per turn than a railhead.

that said i would only take an ionhead if i also had a railhead on the ionhead is not as good against armour.

crisis with TL plasma are also good against marines but only get 1-2 shots per turn and if you are at rapid fire range (>6") you may risk assault in the next round

that's my take on this

BTW i usually field 2 HH - one Ion 1 rail when facing 3+ saves or 2 rail when facing nids, guard etc.
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Old 28 Jul 2005, 10:30   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ionhead or crisis team?

No, Ion cannon is more effective than railgun - it denies the marines saves, and I think can't instakill them too. Same as a plasma gun... Whereas with the railgun template, marines still get their saves..

I'm not sure if this is all correct, seeing as I haven't played many real games against marines.. do a forum search and see what you can find, this has been discussed a bit before, and I think someone went and did the mathematical/statistical calculations as to which one is more effective.

Also have a look at the 'Tau Tactics Index' listed in the 'Important Topics' sticky on this board, and look for vs space marines..

Regarding the above post, rapid fire range is 12".
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Old 28 Jul 2005, 12:01   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ionhead or crisis team?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave
I often read tha ionhead is less effective than railgun against marines and less than crisis with Pl or TL Pl.

So is the ionhead interesting or not? Because i just read that a SM player is afrait to see an ionhead ... (ok nice i need it) althought the railgun template is more effective ... ???

So is possible to have an advice on these ionhead ??? Interesting or not ???
Ion Cannons are more effective than Rail Guns at destroying Marines. Railguns are better at destroying (A) enemy armor (B) crushing hordes of infantry with poor saves. You can cause casualties upon Marine squads with the Submunition plate, but you should know that it's totally based on their chance to fail a 3+ save (as in, it's no different than unloading a bunch of pulse rifles into their squad). You can kill marines this way, but it's not efficient and definitely not the best way to go about it--it just works now and then is all. The other thing is, the Railgun will be used to destroy most enemy armor early on, meaning you only have a few turns to place the submunition template against the infantry sometimes. In that regard, it's a great alternative as you get to do two things. Having the ability to do both of these things is what makes the Railgun the superior over-all weapon, and that's why people tend to herald as "best." However, if you just want to kill marines, the Ion Cannon is superior. The thing is, when you go for versatility (ie: railgun) you pay more points and you lose power against something. The Ion Cannon is cheaper because it's far more dedicated to one thing: marine destruction. Sure, you can glance some armor now and then with S7 Ion Cannon shots, but really why waste that when you can use Missile Pods for the job. The whole point of the Ion Cannon is to smash through power armor for cheap. And just as a note, Ion cannons do not insta-kill marine characters, it's only Strength 7 (only? heh).

Anyhow here's why the Ion Cannon is better at killing marines:

If you were to take a railgun submunition plate, just for dedicated marine destruction, you would have 6 turns to fire usually. That's 6 turns at BS4, meaning you will only hit 4 times out of 6 on average. If each submunition plate can successfully wound 6 marines, then on average, you would have 2 casualties on the marines each turn. However, this is assuming you even get 6 marines under the template and that they haven't spread out to avoid your template damage. Over 4 turns, this would result in 8 dead marines, and that's assuming your Hammerhead survived the entire game, without losing it's weapon and being able to fire each turn. It's not very efficient for the points and we could do better with Crisis teams actually or even humble Fire Warriors.

The Ion Cannon on the other hand starts pounding marines to begin with. Over 6 turns, we have 18 shots, which is quite a bit more. Unlike the railgun, it's not likely that we'll miss a shot each turn, but instead, we may only miss a few shots of our 3, but in general we will at least hit once or twice per turn. So the Ion Cannon is friendly to you in that you can miss and hit in the same turn, keeping the tempo, keeping the damage flowing. When the Ion Cannon hits a marine, that marine dies; no armor save thanks to beautiful AP3. So what we have is 18 shots at BS4 over 6 turns, meaning 12 hits on average over the game and 10 dead marines over the course of the game. Granted, that's not much more than the railgun's kill potential, but that is because we're assuming averages on everything.

On average the numbers are better for the Ion cannon.

If you inject real game experience though, it changes. The railgun doesn't kill as many marines, because it's usually stunned or loses it's railgun mid-game and never gets to fire more than 3 times if it's pounding the marines. No one just allows a Hammerhead to lurk the whole game (usually).

The Ion Cannon is no exception either, once the marines start taking casualties very quickly from that Ion Cannon it will feel the pulse of the lascannons every turn and probably be destroyed eventually mid-game as well. The difference though, is that you are guaranteed to kill some marines with that Ion Cannon, for cheaper than the Railgun and you won't need luck to get those casualties. The other thing in real game experience, is that Ion Cannon hammerheads tend to last longer than Railgun hammerheads, simply because of the "big scary gun" syndrome. If you have railguns on the board, the marines will focus on those (well, not the good player) while your Ion Cannon liberally rips through their squads, taking 2 marines per turn.

If you need to, and I'd recommend it, try this out yourself. Take railguns and ion cannons. Keep a tally on both weapons and see how often you hit, miss, how many kills you get with it, and mainly how long they last on the table. Which ever one lasts longer and kills more, use more often!

Just remember; the railgun is more versatile and will help you crush armor and take a few marines down in the end. But if you want to solely punish the marines on foot, the Ion cannon is the way.

Cheers!
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Old 28 Jul 2005, 12:03   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ionhead or crisis team?

You'd need S8 to insta-kill a Space Marine character, so Ion Cannons are one short. *They can still mince Marines with ease though, and insta-kill Imperial Guard and Inquisitors

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Old 28 Jul 2005, 13:19   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ionhead or crisis team?

For my 1000-point league, I have two lists: Power Armor and not-Power-Armor. The Power Armor list gets the Ion Cannon and the other gets the rail gun. The reasoning is simple: If your oppenent spends his points on a Monolith or Land Raider, he's wasting them and you'll kill everything else on the table first. I do take a Helios suit just in case, but against marines and necrons I've never missed the Rail Gun; I'll take a sure thing to a percentage chance any time.
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Old 28 Jul 2005, 15:19   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ionhead or crisis team?

I'd say an Ion cannon hammerhead, which costs a bit more than 2 fireknife suits, it a better value for killing marines. More firepower, better range and tougher.

That said, heavy support slots have your only really effective anti-tank weapons, so you may not have the luxery of taking an ion cannon, as you need to get enough railguns to deal with enemy armor. Additionally, the submunition is key to defeating hordes, so it sees much more use.

Trying to get 6 marines under the template can be tough, and that's what you'll need to match the ion cannon's effectiveness. The bonus is that the ion head is less effective against marines in cover and terminators, while those are irrelavent to the submunition blast.

In the end, I usually max out on railguns, and use suits to counter +3 save troops. They aren't as good as an ion head, but the railgun is too critical to pass up for an ion cannon, regardless of how good it is.
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Old 28 Jul 2005, 16:36   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ionhead or crisis team?

The submunition does not defeat cover. They still get their cover save.
On the other hand, if you take advantage of a markerlight, then the effectiveness of both weapons goes up, but I think the Ion pulls out in sheer SMurf killing again if you do this, plus wave "bye bye" to the cover save.

But then, I still think that volume fire is better for SMurf killing.
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Old 28 Jul 2005, 17:14   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ionhead or crisis team?

Take a Fb/MP/MT Commander& a ion head, and you're set for Vechilceds armor and marines. v.ery anonyignto any marine palyers anyways.

SqurielLord.

But plasma is the guarnated anti-amrines.

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Old 28 Jul 2005, 20:08   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ionhead or crisis team?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SqurielLord
Take a Fb/MP/MT Commander& a ion head, and you're set for Vechilceds armor and marines. v.ery anonyignto any marine palyers anyways.

SqurielLord.

But plasma is the guarnated anti-amrines.

I'm sorry, but my 130+ point commander is not getting any where near a Land Raider.
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