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*Edit: First of all it should be "Jack of all trades Shas'el
Recently on my cheap Shas'El, I've been making them even cheaper.
I was running Centurion loadout ('El, PR, CIB, TA HWMT 100 points) but I was getting anoyed with the fact that the first 2 turns were largely spent doing nothing so I dropped the plasma rifle for a missile pod saving 8 points and gaining more early offensive contribution in the process.
Now my Shas'el is only 92 points and starts hitting targets turn 1. He loses a little in terms of anti TEQ firepower, but makes gains in anti armor, and anti medium-llight infantry. Additionally, I feel that this suits performance against MEQ is on par with the centurion since opponents often use cover anyway and the higher rate of fire/greater range forces more saves in general. Plasma on the other hand is really only better at killing TEQ, something the CIB can still do.
Thus we have a jack of all trades able to dish out 7 anti infantry shots that remove all armor saves 4+ or worse. This hurts Eldar, Gaurd, Dark Eldar, Orks, most nids, Tau, and selected units from the MEQ based armies. The CIB additionally adds extra punch fairly reliably when facing MEQ and TEQ while the missile pods are accurate and strong enough to deal with light armor up to AV12(even AV13 can be affected in a pinch).
The only thing this 'El can't affect is AV14. And it is unreliable against MC's 7 or greater toughness(though it still has a slim chance to harm them). against MC's with T6 it is still effective due to the variable AP1 on the CIB and the good wound rate of the missiles. TEQ are similarily affected decently. But as mentioned the unit really shines against anything with a 4+ save and/or light armor.
And I've found yet another use for him...Deep Striking!!!
Yes thats right, against certain stand and shoot armies that use lots of indirect fire, I have found missile pods to side armor hitting on BS5 to be most effective.
What makes this unit effective is it's defensive capabilities while deepstriking. For while a team of 2 cheaprains may fost only 2 points more and deliver more hits statistically, they also are forced to stand in the open and take return fire on the turn they DS'ed.
But with the range of missiles being what they are I can often deepstrike this Shas'El at long range on opposite end of the enemy deployment zone thus making him typically not the closest target and thus upping his survival probablitities greatly. This is simply due to that fact that when he is deepstruck he will likely not be the closest target and therefor his IC status will protect him until he can start moving the following round. In fact I can manipulate my other units in such a way as to virtually assure he is not the closest unit when he does come down. VP worthless Piranhas and Kroot are perfect for such tasks as they are easy to get to forward positions early and are either worth no VP's(Drones), little VP's(minimum Kroot) or are difficult to score off of(maximum Kroot units in cover).
Whats even nicer is that with him hitting the enemy from the flank they will have to divert forces in an effort to root him out effectively splitting his army and taking at least one whole unit out of the fight while it hunts him down. And with his CIB for closer range engagements no matter what is sent his way he is gonna put the pain on it. Any backup at all from your own line will further up his chances of survival. And if the enemy ignores him they now have 2 BS5 missiles hitting side armor from the flank for the rest of the game. It's a win win situation for you.
Now don't get me wrong I don't use this tactic all the time or even all that often. But the 15-20% of the time it is usefull, it is very usefull. And as a deepstriking unit a 92 point HQ is golden since it is cheap and sets up late, thus allowing you to view the majority of the opponents deployment before commiting the El to said tactic. So try out this versatile and cheap alternative to the centurion and/or FK. You just may be surprised how good it is in a variety of situations.
I've never thought of DSing an HQ and using his IC status in that way, inovative thinking, I like it. I may just have to try it some day and see how it works for me. I know on many occasions my opponent will try to get as many units as close to me as possible, leaving large areas open on the sides and behind him, perfect areas for said DSing HQ.
Problem on this is the same problem as the normal Centurion, the CIB, the problem was never the plasma that was the only good thing about the centurion. I think removing the Plasma is making the config even less attractive.
I would still prefer a Helios multi or even a Fireknife over this suit fit, the plasma would actually be more useful when DS'ing then the CIB as it has greater range and still has two shots at 12" but with better AP.
I admire your persistence with the CIB, but it simply has to many deficiencies for my tastes, I do not like relying on luck any more than I have to and the CIB is to luck reliant. I think I will stick with my 97pts Helios thanks, the 5pts are more than worth it when I pop any vehicle and kill near anything I point the Helios at.
The DS is a decent point, I like the point about the IC status preventing shooting, however I would still be wary of DS'ing near the opponents deployment zone, you would have to be really sure that no fast (fleet etc) units were near as he cannot move at all when DSing and be really sure no transport units are near which may allow a unit to get close enough to avoid the IC benefit.
I am not a fan of DSing HQ's but its an idea worth toying with, (though not with a CIB, kudos on some lateral thinking dude.
LOL thanks Riki though I'm not sure why you hate the CIB so much. I've used it in every game for the past 3 or so months and it never fails to deliver. At least once it is in range.
But oh well to each his own. But yeah deepstriking missile pod toting IC's is a worthwhile tactic in certain situations, especially considering that by the time it deepstrikes(usually turn 2 or 3) most of your opponents mobile elements are already well on their way to your own DZ.
Now all of a sudden he is fighting on two fronts. And the range of the missiles and our other big guns(railguns/Ioncannons) means whatever is DS'ed is not totally without support.
Riki I honseslty wish you'd give the CIB a second chance so you can see how truly versatile it is.
Like I said it could work but you would have to be seriously careful because as you said the opponents forces will be all over the field and that means it will be hard to avoid them.If you want the enemy fighting on two fronts DS drones they work just as well.
The CIB, I do not hate the CIB, I just think its a flawed weapon, the strength and reliance on luck just spoils it. Anything that needs a 4+ to wound a guardsmen does not cut it in my book.
I definately think it has no place on an HQ XV8, we have very little in our army that has decent BS as standard and we lack platforms for effective mid strength/low AP weaponry, I feel strongly that we have no need of another infantry killer, I use the commander in a very targeted fashion to take down tough units and vehicles and he is the best thing in the list for doing this, the CIB is no good at this, I need to be certain of the weapon (if it hits it kills) and CIB does not have that certainty.
Its not about hating the COB, its more about having no use for it, it does nothing that 6 or 7 existing units in my list do well, yet losing the fusion or MP to take the CIB leads to a less effective list and loss of redundancy.
I would not even use it on an elite XV8 becuase the BS makes it even worse to use unless a TA is taken and then you cannot take a multi (unless you pay for the team leader upgrade and then it gets expensive).
Lastly the weapon is to expensive for what it can do.
Anyway this is not a for/against CIB thread but I do not think CIB is a good choice for the valuable resource that is the HQ XV8.
lol ok then your points are made but remember the suit I'm proposing only has deepstrike as an option
One that should only be used with care and forethought.
The option is there for any XV8/XV25 suit anyway, but I am not a fan of DS for Tau anyway, I do not think we have the units to really pull it of as a high damage DS option like Marines or IG drop lists.
Drones can be used against armies with rules that specify charging towards the nearest unit (merry dances ensues:party, but for destroying things like Basilisks I really have not seen it done effectively.
I have never played a game where it is impossible to draw LOS to a bassie, Ok it may get obscured but as long as its not shooting who cares.
I find Deathrains useful with the range, strength and accuracy but it usually takes two turns to get LOS.
Deep striking is not usually effective either because it is hard to guarantee LOS or range due to scattter and for close range fusion equipped XV8's it is usually to dangerous because other units will usually be close.
I find with mobile lists it is easy to get under the 36" minimum range anyway and the Basi can only hit one target a turn, so I whether the storm and usually with scatter they are not overly effective anyway, I really do not get to bothered when I face them and I do not take them in my IG force, simply because they are unreliable.