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Imperial Armour 3 inspired Fast Attack Configuration
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Old 17 Aug 2005, 06:34   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Imperial Armour 3 inspired Fast Attack Configuration

Assumption warning! The following is based in-part on assumptions derived from information from Imperial Armour 3, and extrapolated to suspect that the upcoming Tau Codex will include a 10-point Drone-to-Burst Cannon upgrade.

Fast Attack Slot #1
Devilfish Gunship: Decoy Launcher, Burst Cannons, Targeting Array
8 Pathfinders, 3 with Rail Rifles

Fast Attack Slot #2 - Rail-Finder Squad
Devilfish Gunship: Decoy Launcher, Burst Cannons, Targeting Array
8 Pathfinders, 3 with Rail Rifles

Fast Attack Slot #3 - Tetras - 1 per Hammerhead (My personal preference)


Breakdown:
Item #1 - Devilfish Gunships
2 Devilfish, 18 5/5 shots at 18", BS 4 for 200 points (including Decoy Launcher and Targeting Array)
Analysis: Comparably priced with a full Stealth Squad of as many guns. The extra 20 points buys better accuracy. Overall survivability is a mixed bag. 2 tough skimmers is a bit of an 'all eggs in one basket' endeavor, but stealth suits can be particularly vulnerable CC and massed fire at close range. Overall, configured this way, the 'fish are every bit as effective and efficient as our beloved stealths. At the very least, it can no longer be said that these beasts are the wasteful consequence of including Pathfinders.

Item #2 - Rail Rifles
6 Rail Rifles at 22 points each - 132 points total
Analysis: Often considered an overpriced waste of an otherwise useful Pathfinder, however nowhere else in the Tau Codex can you get 6 Plasma-calibre AP3 weapons so cheaply. Light for these guys and you're taking down 4 SMurfs a turn at 36". Impressive.

Item #3 - Pathfinders
10 Pathfinders - 120 points
Analysis: An average of 5 marker hits lending BS5 to the Burst Cannons when against 'soft' targets, or lighting for the Rail Rifles vs. Power Armour. (Or whatever else it is you people do with your markerlights :-\)

Item #4 - Tetras
I love these things for marking for my tanks. They're accurate and can keep up with tanks on the run. In this case, 2 'finder squads are already making a large FA investment. However, with Burst Cannon or SMS upgrades for our 'fish, the FA section will actually start to accumulate some body count. It might be worth investing more points into.


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Old 17 Aug 2005, 14:27   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Imperial Armour 3 inspired Fast Attack Configuration

yeah, but 16 pathfinders to kill 4 marines? How is that economical? I'd rather take just the one full squad of pathfinders with no rail rifles, have them light up the marines, achieving 4 hits that can then be exploited by a set of fireknife-configured crisis suits. That's 3 nearly automatic hits with plasma rifles, 2 nearly automatic hits with missiles, plus 4 more potential hits with missiles (okay, statistically, that's 2 hits). So, assuming that all the markerlighted shots hit (as you assume in your math, as well), and assuming that half of the not lighted shots hit, you get the same 4 dead marines on average. Except next turn, when I want to target something else, my 3 fireknife crisis suits will be a bit more potent than your 6 rail rifles, and that's not taking into account that my markerlights don't have to shoot at the same thing as my crisis suits, while your markerlights are pretty much linked to the rifles. No, I don't believe in using pathfinders to kill the enemy, I believe in using pathfinders to make other units better at killing the enemy. It might seem like a waste of points to have such an expensive unit sit there and point lasers instead of blowing things up, but the increased number of hits that they can help units with more and better guns than their 3 potential rail rifles is a lot more damaging. IF they could spot for their own squad, maybe it would be worthwhile. Or, if you could take a 4 man squad with three rifles and a target lock for the 4th man WITHOUT taking the devil fish...There are a lot of ifs that would make rail rifles a good choice. But with the way the rules read, two eight man squads with three rail rifles in them is a terribly expensive way to zap 4 marines per turn.
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Old 17 Aug 2005, 14:49   #3 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Imperial Armour 3 inspired Fast Attack Configuration

Yes it is good idea to use devilfish as gunship, but i don't thing it would be possible to mount two burst cannons instead of drones. SMS is good enough, but it is expensive.

Problem is that GW would need to change thieir plastic hammerhead kit in order to make that version possible, but with SMS you don't need that. So we will get probably only SMS.
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Old 17 Aug 2005, 15:42   #4 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Imperial Armour 3 inspired Fast Attack Configuration

tha would be so cool if we could add more brust cannon
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Old 17 Aug 2005, 17:27   #5 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Imperial Armour 3 inspired Fast Attack Configuration

Quote:
Originally Posted by march10k
yeah, but 16 pathfinders to kill 4 marines?* How is that economical?* I'd rather take just the one full squad of pathfinders with no rail rifles, have them light up the marines, achieving 4 hits that can then be exploited by a set of fireknife-configured crisis suits. That's 3 nearly automatic hits with plasma rifles, 2 nearly automatic hits with missiles, plus 4 more potential hits with missiles (okay, statistically, that's 2 hits).* So, assuming that all the markerlighted shots hit (as you assume in your math, as well), and assuming that half of the not lighted shots hit, you get the same 4 dead marines on average.* *
Yes, but then that's 8 Pathfinders and 3 Fireknife (~291 points - not counting DF) instead of 16 pathfinders, 6 with railrifles (~252 points, again w/o fish) for the same 4 kills. If we include the Devilfish Gunships, it's ~391 for 8 finders, 3 knife, and 1 gunship vs. 452 for 10 Pathfinders, 6 Railfinders, and 2 Gunships. The question then becomes: Is this additional theoretical gunship worth ~61 extra points? (Or, 3 additional Burst Cannons for the price of 2 Stealth suits). I guess that depends on your force structure. Speaking of force structure, the FA option doesn't take any elite slots. There's nothing stopping you from also taking your 3 Fireknife.

Quote:
Except next turn, when I want to target something else, my 3 fireknife crisis suits will be a bit more potent than your 6 rail rifles, and that's not taking into account that my markerlights don't have to shoot at the same thing as my crisis suits, while your markerlights are pretty much linked to the rifles.*
Not true. I already mentioned that this setup has the flexibility to have the marker finders light for the Gunships against soft targets. It's still simply 10 Pathfinders marking whatever best suits the moment. The Rail Rifles are just nice because they're the Tau's least expensive single AP3 piece in the list.

Quote:
No, I don't believe in using pathfinders to kill the enemy, I believe in using pathfinders to make other units better at killing the enemy.*
The way things stand currently, I completely agree. However, this is a forward-looking post of what may soon come. IA3 hints that the FA may soon be able to play more than a mere support role. That will fundimentally change the way we look at our Pathfinders

Quote:
It might seem like a waste of points to have such an expensive unit sit there and point lasers instead of blowing things up, but the increased number of hits that they can help units with more and better guns than their 3 potential rail rifles is a lot more damaging.* IF they could spot for their own squad, maybe it would be worthwhile.* Or, if you could take a 4 man squad with three rifles and a target lock for the 4th man WITHOUT taking the devil fish...There are a lot of ifs that would make rail rifles a good choice.* But with the way the rules read, two eight man squads with three rail rifles in them is a terribly expensive way to zap 4 marines per turn.
The points comparison done above illustrates that this is not necessarily the case. These 4 dead marines are from the pathfinders alone and do not include the production from the 18 total BS4 5/5 Burst-Cannon shots coming from the 2 gunships. Point for point, this configuration is very competative in efficiency with any other methodology at our disposal. - Assuming, of course, that we'll actually be able to mount 3 BCs on our 'Fish. The IA3 BC+SMS version of the Gunship is somewhat less attractive points-wise (my opinion), but the basic concept still holds true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogen
Yes it is good idea to use devilfish as gunship, but i don't thing it would be possible to mount two burst cannons instead of drones. SMS is good enough, but it is expensive.

Problem is that GW would need to change thieir plastic hammerhead kit in order to make that version possible, but with SMS you don't need that. So we will get probably only SMS.
I'm not 100% sure here, but this would actually be more of a change to the Devilfish kit. Both the Drone-Turret mounted SMS and BC are on the Hammerhead Weapon sprue. They'd need to add SMS to the kit anyway, so including BC to the Devilfish kit could very well happen at the same time.

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Old 17 Aug 2005, 18:01   #6 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Imperial Armour 3 inspired Fast Attack Configuration

There are no rules for extra BC to be added to DF in IAVOL3. Only SMS.

I doubt they will appear in any codex update either. It would make the Devil-Fish into more of a front line Tank.

I personally don't like Rail-Rifles, the reasons for not taking them have been argued well enough for me in other threads so I won't repeat anything. Plus you won't always be playing power armoured armies.

Also, many none Tau players don't understand the danger Pathfinders pose. If you start being offensive with them and actively kill enemy models, rather than the player thinking 'Oh them Pathfinders aren't doing anything, I'll shoot down that battlesuit or Fire-Warrior squad instead' they will turn their guns on your small Pathfinder squads who really can't take much punishment.
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Old 17 Aug 2005, 20:14   #7 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Imperial Armour 3 inspired Fast Attack Configuration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arguleon-veq
There are no rules for extra BC to be added to DF in IAVOL3. Only SMS.

I doubt they will appear in any codex update either. It would make the Devil-Fish into more of a front line Tank.
Yes, that may very well be the case. On a Hammerhead, swapping SMS for BC is merely a matter of points. There doesn't seem to be any 'technical' reason for why that wouldn't be the case on an identically hulled Devilfish. After all, SMS is an upgrade from BC. That being said, this may simply be one of those seemingly arbitrary decisions made for the sake of 'balance'. It's a game, that stuff happens. However, as I've said before, the concept still basically works even with the IA3 BC+SMS config, only with 2 fewer shots per Gunship, 6" added range, no need for LOS, and 1 fewer 'lock' requirement.

Quote:
I personally don't like Rail-Rifles, the reasons for not taking them have been argued well enough for me in other threads so I won't repeat anything. Plus you won't always be playing power armoured armies.
No, but people do still sport Plasma weapons against non-power armoured armies. Same thing.

I agree. As pathfinders are currently configured I wouldn't consider using Rail-Rifles either - for many of the same reasons. However, could it be possible that the previous reasons may no longer apply once Devilfish become productive members of a Pathfinder squadron? Before our Pathfinders had to wear an 80 point 'albatross' around their collective necks. That made each 'finder cost an additional +10 each for a squad of 8. That made a Rail Rifle run an equivalent to 32pts! No way anybody is going to field that. However, if the 'fish suddenly become 'useful', then that variable changes. As I've said before, that humble little Rail Rifle is the least expensive AP3 weapon we've got. Once the variables change, it's time to reevaluate the equation.


Quote:
Also, many non Tau players don't understand the danger Pathfinders pose. If you start being offensive with them and actively kill enemy models, rather than the player thinking 'Oh them Pathfinders aren't doing anything, I'll shoot down that battlesuit or Fire-Warrior squad instead' they will turn their guns on your small Pathfinder squads who really can't take much punishment.
I can respect that. But you'll have to admit that's a fairly personal preference; and one that no longer works after people DO start to understand the danger of Pathfinders. Perhaps then it would be a good time to change things up and shove a pair of Devilfish Gunships down his throat while picking off his Power Armour from 36" away.

I'm not trying to say 'Do it this way.' I've simply looked at the numbers and concluded 'This is a viable option'.




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Old 17 Aug 2005, 20:42   #8 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Imperial Armour 3 inspired Fast Attack Configuration

I find this post very interesting, and your points sure have been taken (by me, at least) Shas lyn. For everybody that's had the slightest equations (x+y, maths ya know), you understand how much debates and effectiveness needs to be re-evalueted. perhaps only upgrading pathfinders devilfish with extra anti-infantry weapon will make them appear more often? It's all speculations, but Shas lyn has made a good point, and I find this post greatly amusing

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