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The thread started by Israfel420 titled 'Jack of all trades' has raised some interesting points.
My main argument in the thread is that the CIB equipped Shas'El/O is mainly targeted towards infantry hunting and I raised the point that Tau have no need what so ever for another unit to hunt infantry (we have plenty I think you will all agree).
Now I firmly believe that a Shas of any grade is best utilised to handle the targets that other units have trouble with or to carry weaponry we do not have much of an option to take.
Take for example our lack of mid strength, Low AP weaponry, other armies have the option to take low AP high/mid strength weaponry in multiple force slots, Marines can take lascannons in troop choices for instance in Elites, heavy, transport etc, we Tau players though are actually very limited.
Stealth’s can take fusion but it’s not a good idea.
Piranhas can take fusion however they do have problems and limit other fast attack options if taken in great numbers.
XV8's are the obvious choice, however taking plasma on a lot of suits (especially with MP/fusion and mult) can get expensive quickly and the suits are limited to BS4 at maximum.
This leaves Tau with a serious problem, how do we provide effective mid range weapons support and to my mind there is one perfect solution, the Shas'El
The Shas'El with either Helios multi or Fireknife Multi is the perfect workhorse, it has survivability due to its IC status, it has (with the addition of a targeting array) the best BS in the Tau list, has good mobility and with fusion can handle absolutely any target no matter how tough, well armoured or AV value.
This to me is a resource to valuable to waste on anti infantry, if you have more than enough to handle any infantry that is thrown your way, what is the point of taking a superfluous unit that is not going to be needed?
It makes more sense to use the Shas'El in a role that is less well provisioned, for instance the inclusion of an effective anti vehicle Shas'El allows the Hammerhead to perform with more versatility by allowing use of it submunnition option (which is a more efficient anti infantry option then a CIB equipped Shas'El/O).
So my questions are these, what in your various opinions should a Shas'El/O be used for?
What is its battle field role?
Does anti infantry seem a good role for a Shas'El or do you like me believe its inherent pluses should be used to provide effective firepower against targets we are ill equipped to deal with and for anti armour?.
Please be aware that this is not a CIB is better than plasma or fusion is better than MP thread, it is asking what you think the best role of the Shas'El/O is and how is it best utilised.
Please respect this, I do not mind explantions as to why the weapons are good for a role or comparisons that add to the thread but save the needless weapon comparisons for another thread.
I take 2 Shas'El helios pretty much all the time. they are MC/Termie/IC hunters/Tank hunters. If i need any of the above dead I send these boys to do the task.
I tend the run one down one board edge backup by a team of XV8's with tl plasma rifles and TA, and the other one down the middle with a squad of gun drones or behind my skimmers.
I have a team of Deathrains somewhere around the middle who's job it is to take out transports, bikes and Dreads.
I also tend to infiltrate a team of 6 XV15's with TA's pretty far forward to deal with fast assualt units that breakaway early or just to hinder my opponent into thinking whether he needs to engage a squad thats so far forward it may get rear armour on his tanks or take out his stationary heavy weapons teams.
for infantry killing I use FOF and Subs from my Railhead (once they have dealt with any AV14 armour they need to kill)
seems to work for me.
My Shas'el tends to be Fireknife+ (yeah yeah I know - booooring!) and is used as a long range fire supporter for the first couple of turns, moving around as deemed necessary to enable the pot-shotting at opportunistic targets while maintaining the IC status protection as long as possible. I tend not to run a second 'El, preferring to keep the points back for other units.
However, in relation to my always using the FK+ set-up, I was interested by the CIB/TA/HWMT and MP config which Israfel was putting forward in his article (I read this on ATT, by the way - haven't read the one here yet) and also the concept of Deep Striking the 'El to get side shots on armour with the MP at BS5.
Not totally sold on the idea yet though, but a trial or two may sway me one way or the other.
"Tau Commandment #226: Participants who use Velocity Trackers in the Tau Clay Pigeon Tournament will be disqualified"
I use dual Helios as well. Where I play besides a lone orc and lone 'nid player (and helios are great for hunting those synapse creatures as well...) I play against marines. Marines, marines, marines, both Chaos and Loyalist. And at the end of the day, I use my HQ suits to drop marines. It's the combination of number of AP shots and BS skill that I really love, because let's be honest, when you have termies deep strike right in your axis of advance, or have those pesky jump marines storming down on you , you really want a unit that can tear the damn space morons apart.
It's also a fear thing. After a few games where you have your HQs butcher those big costly units (for me it was a game where I dropped a jump cmd squad, followed the next turn by killing DSing termies, followed the next turn by dropping an A/T squad that was trying to block my tanks in) the marine players will really start to fear those suits. And that is the real use of the HQ slots I've found. Those SM players really don't have any second thoughts as they maneuver normally since they have their big fancy 3+/2+ save. Give them something to fear, put a little doubt upstairs. Model your HQs with some random space marine bits (I have one of my 'els stepping on a dead space marine head), make then flashy, make them stand out, then use them really well for a few games. Now watch how much fear you can generate with your little 97pt HQs. And the worst part for most opponents, if you use IC right, they can't do anything about it. And if you can cause a player to hesitate, to maybe put a little extra distance between him and your suits, well, then it's all good, since distance is our friend.
So my two rolls: killing MEQs & objects of fear and terror.
Roles for my Shas'Os are:
1. AV 11-13 vehicles (fireknife)
2. AV 14 vehicles (helios, deepstrike if desperate)
3. Anti infantry (fireknife, 4 shots to 12")
4. Anti marine (helios, 3 AP 2 or better shots at 12")
5. Anti MC (helios or fireknife depending on saves)
6. Anti Character (helios for the potential instant kill on T4)
They are my main roles for my Shas'Os and that is why I go for the Tri-weapon Shas'Os as it covers all my bases. Key word for suits is; flexibility.
Mid stregth low AP weapons are not hard to find in a Tau army on places other than crisis suits.
Piranha with Fusion
Broadside with plasma
Seeker missiles(skyrays, devilfish,hammerheads of any flavor)
But I"m tired of arguing with you Riki about what units "have" to do to be effective.
I am not saying your methods are not effective in fact I'm not saying that at all. What I am saying is that they are not the only effective methods out there and your continuing disagreement with that fact is most nettling.
Perhaps you should take me up on my repeated offer of a nice game of 40k on VASSAL instead of hiding behind your keyboard and being what I consider to be an internet forum bully.
Or perhaps if you can't figure out how to get VASSAL to work on your computer then you could ask any of the the several players in the LO online VASSAL campaign I am competing in as to the validity of my methods and tactics.
Oh yeah I'm winning BTW and 3 out of my 10(ish) games have been against Necrons at 2000 points 2 of which I won by victorious slaughter and one of which I lost by solid victory. And BTW that was my only loss out of my 10(ish) games I've played in this campaign and Necrons are one of the tougher opponents for Tau especially in larger games. And I am in first place despite the fact that I missed the first week of league play and thus started behind as I have won every single won of my games by victorious slaughter except the one I lost to said Necron player.
So basically Riki, put up or shut up since I know my tactics work and I'm sick of you always telling me that they don't.
Infraction to Israfel. Carry on gents, so long as its civil.
"It fits like clothes made out of wasps!"
Sniper drones AP3
Broadsides, limited mobility, try catching some termies with them or a dread.
Seeker missiles AP3
AP3 is not low AP, low AP is anything that will cancel out any save.
Plasma and Fusion AP2/1 respectively are low AP, fusion can be taken on Piranhas or stealths, both have problems, stealths should never be given fusion and I explained Piranhas in my first post.
Plasma can be taken by two units (normal codex units) XV8's and XV88's, on XV88's its a waste of points, so what are we left with XV8's
Like I keep saying the only viable platform we have for plasma and fusion (or MP though I do not really count these as low AP) is the XV8, if you take Deathrains like I do then your left with the HQ, most lists have plenty of anti infantry so why reduce effectiveness in an already limited area to reinforce an area which is already over equipped with units.
I have never said that your methods are ineffective, what I have said is why use an anti infantry Shas'El when in the vast majority of lists its not needed, I have seen your list and you have handicapped your FW with Marker lights, you have no railheads (so no subs) you have lots of Piranhas which are crap at anti infantry, you have snipers which are OK but only have limited shots and poor BS, the only real anti infantry you have is Kroot, so yes YOU may need the CIB but the vast majority of players simply do not play a list like yours (if any) so they do not need an anti infantry Shas'El, its as simple to understand as that.
Its not bullying its simply stating a fact.
Oh and by the way I have a problem with Java on my computer, I will try again to install it and vassal, if I succeed I will play you but not under my Riki name, thats to easy I will let you know when I beat you and then give you the name.
Thats why my HQ's fill in the middle gap between my anti-infantry and anit-heavy armour without making it an either/or choice.