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XV8 questions
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Old 26 Mar 2011, 16:55   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default XV8 questions

I'm rather new at playing Tau (been playing Fantasy Orcs before). I've read through several of the existing threads here and got some answers to many of the questions I have. But not all.

My specific thoughts here are about the gazillion XV8 configurations in specific. Of course I realize that the choices depend on whether one wants to have an anti-infantry, anti-tank or a broad variety of war gear.

For a 1500-1750 point army, I'm aiming for a Shas'el commander with 2 bodyguards for HQ choice and 3 XV8 elites:

(Weapon choices only)
1 Shas'el with CIB / Plasma Rifle
1 Bodyguard with Plasma Rifle and ...? Here I have no clue. Plasma rifle has a decent range and AP but the question is if Burst Cannon or Missile Pod are good choices?
2nd bodyguard-to-be is a Battle box XV8 which already is configured with a Flamer and Fusion rifle. Stupid choice maybe, but it was before I was entirely aware of practical tactics and all possibilities of the Tau.

I see the bodyguard's function simply to keep the rubble off the commander.

3 XV8 elites:
Plasma rifles and Burst cannons. Plasma rifles for decent AP and Burst cannons for the masses.

No more Fusion blasters you say? I aim for keeping my future 2 broadsuits and the markerlight/seeker missile function of the troop choices (and the marker drone/stealthies) for anti-tank purposes. That makes anti-tank choices of the XV8 suits rather pointless to me.

Grateful for all comments.
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Old 26 Mar 2011, 17:30   #2 (permalink)
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One of the important things about XV8 loadouts that most people agree on is that you need to equip all member of the same squad with similar wargear so that they all do the same job otherwise the unit becomes next to useless at dealing with most things as you've diversified the wargear too much. so either equip all the suits with low AP/high strength weapons (Plasma Rifle/Fusion Blaster/Missile Pod) or equip them with the mid strength/high shots weapons (Burst cannons/flamers/CIB/Airbursting frag)

so in the case of your units not a lot would have to change, just a little jiggling about.

Shas'el with CIB and Plasma rifle is fine (I run one of these as my commander and he does quite well) his bodyguards should both have plasma rifles and either missile pods or fusion blasters. This unit will laugh at space marines and terminators. Go for missile pods if you want to keep your distance, if you want to go terminator hunting the fusion gun is preferable.

For the crisis squad, you probably want a more anti infantry unit to compliment the commander's squad, so swap the plasma rifle for a missile pod, this will give you 2 shots at a longer range allowing you to unload 5 shots at 18" instead of having to move up to 12" to make use of a rapid firing Plasma. The strength and AP between the two is negligable for what you're using them for, which is horde bashing the AP of the missile pod will deal with anything that isn't a space marine and it will still wound on a 2+ (infact it will be more effective against tyranid hive creatures with its higher strength.)

Essentially a breakdown of XV8 options looks like this

Fusion Blaster = Terminators/Tanks
Plasma Rifle = Marines and Terminators
Missile Pod = Long range, all purpose
Burst Cannon = Weak troops ('Nids/Orks/Guardsmen)
Flamer = As above
Airbirsting Frag = As above

Cyclic Ion Blaster = Wildcard gun, can ignore terminator armour, otherwise best against light infantry. Most effective on a commander due to high BS.

As i said, the important thing is to keep each squad focused on one particular job, this is what the Tau do best. With the setup I suggested the commander and his guards will tear through space marines easily while the XV8 squad will put down lighter troops with weight of bullets from a safe distance.
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Last edited by KuroRyu; 26 Mar 2011 at 17:33.
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Old 26 Mar 2011, 17:48   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KuroRyu View Post
For the crisis squad, you probably want a more anti infantry unit to compliment the commander's squad, so swap the plasma rifle for a missile pod, this will give you 2 shots at a longer range allowing you to unload 5 shots at 18" instead of having to move up to 12" to make use of a rapid firing Plasma. The strength and AP between the two is negligable for what you're using them for, which is horde bashing the AP of the missile pod will deal with anything that isn't a space marine and it will still wound on a 2+ (infact it will be more effective against tyranid hive creatures with its higher strength.)
How about using the MP for keeping things at bay and swap the BC for a flamer for "close encounters"? My experience of 12"-or-closer battle is that the flamer is scary, especially with the XV8 ability to jump in and out. Even if the BS has higher str.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KuroRyu View Post
Essentially a breakdown of XV8 options looks like this

Fusion Blaster = Terminators/Tanks
Plasma Rifle = Marines and Terminators
Missile Pod = Long range, all purpose
Burst Cannon = Weak troops ('Nids/Orks/Guardsmen)
Flamer = As above
Airbirsting Frag = As above
Hmm, good list. Actually, I pretty much see the Plasma rifle as a standard choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KuroRyu View Post
Cyclic Ion Blaster = Wildcard gun, can ignore terminator armour, otherwise best against light infantry. Most effective on a commander due to high BS.
Yeah... I know it's a wild card, but still. It still seems better for a commander choice than the AFS gun, despite the large blast area.

Thanks for all the tips
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Old 26 Mar 2011, 19:30   #4 (permalink)
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You want to avoid close encounters with Tau as they tend to fare badly when charged. While the crisis suits have a high strength stat they easily get caught and bogged down in close combat if you aren't careful, at which point they become nearly useless to you.

I would never take a missile pod and flamer together because of the difference in range, they contradict each other slightly. Generally I take flamers with burst cannons but experiment with it and see, I may be wrong and the MP/Flamer combination works.

The thing about plasma rifles is that they're expensive so unless you're going against space marines or a similar opponent the Missile pod is more cost effective.
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Last edited by KuroRyu; 26 Mar 2011 at 19:35.
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Old 26 Mar 2011, 19:57   #5 (permalink)
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I concur with kuroryu you should heed his advice
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Old 27 Mar 2011, 01:33   #6 (permalink)
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i'm currently testing a 3 man xv8 team with twin linked flamers. will let you know how that goes.
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Old 27 Mar 2011, 06:35   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the answer, Kuroryu.
Tarzan: it sounds exciting, let us know how it turns out for you
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Old 27 Mar 2011, 20:40   #8 (permalink)
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it'll turn our badly flamers are too weak against most units and far far too close range he'll get one shot off if even that then get into CC and destroyed.
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Old 27 Mar 2011, 22:50   #9 (permalink)
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The twin-linked flamers are a fun idea and have the potential for alot of damage... atleast on paper. In practice, they are far more difficult to get their points worth out of than the standard builds, and it is rare that you'll get them close to a clustered mob before they can spread their models out. It's something that would only truly be threatening to the new ig/tyrannid/ork player. The only exception I can offer is when you run them in tandem with alot of pinning weapons. This buys you a full turn to move the suits into an optimal position with less threat of assault.

As for the rest of the options...

The thing about the Tau guns is that the closer you get to them, the more dangerous they become. Weapons like the missile pod and railgun are regarded as standard in our army, but when you look at the rest of our guns, they were all intended to reach peak deadliness somewhere between the 12-24" range, (exceptions being fusion blaster vs vehicles, and flamer being some odd 8-ish inch template)

For sure, find a weapon set that compliments each other for the given task you want it to perform, but also find something that compliments what your army needs. A fire warrior based list has loads of shots at the 12" range, but lacks armor piercing power, vehicles or stealth suit based lists will have a ton of 18-24" range fire and be mobile to boot. Of course if you're running a crisis based list, you'll be wanting a team to tackle each threat level unless you know you're only going to be dealing with hordes or terminator armor or something...

Figure out how the rest of your army was intended to perform and where that 'sweetspot' in your army's range is, and what type of fire power is lacking.
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Old 28 Mar 2011, 06:33   #10 (permalink)
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well i'm aiming for a balanced sort of army list. the prob with that is you eliminate 1 piece and you lose your balance, but im giving it a chop anyway. the plan for the flame team is kinda like a mini tank wall tactic. have them packed in behind a hammer head and go directly towards what i want to toast using it as cover. i would imagine this would be easier to do with a group of piranahs in front, but i don't have any. so i'll go with what i have. i can see it working or panning out as a 1 or 2 turn distraction lol. but im hoping the twin linking will cause max wounds on tough targets.

completely agree that the closer we are the more dakka.
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