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I've put this oni some other forums, but LO has been down so I this is the first chance I've had to bring this here.
Anyway on a whim the night before last I decided to run an AFP on my secondary Shas'El and I must say I was quite impressed with the combinations effectiveness.
Now I realize it may seem counterintuitive to run the AFP on a Shas'El since it wastes his ballistic skill but actually there were some very subtle benefits that turned out to be extremely potent.
The suit was configured as follows:
Shas'El, TL:MP, AFP, HWMT - 93 points
Using free drone teams and Kroot as screens to maintain IC status this guy was able to close to 18" on 2 teams of Eldar pathfinders that were infiltrated into the only piece of real cover on my left flank. With just one shot from the AFP he was able to kill 3 from one unit and 4 from the other. If I had not had the AFP, I would have had to extend significant resources to root those Pathfinders out of their 2+ cover. This would have been bad since they would have picked my Broadside team apart all game.
So the AFP was critical in this case and kept me from being at a severe disadvantage. I feel that without his IC status he certainly would not have lived long enough to delivery his payload and in fact my opponent did indeed attempt to target him. Whats even better is that when he tried to remove my kroot and drones to negate IC status he wasted a good amount of shooting and ultimately failed in his endeavors(Some Kroot survived).
This experience tends to make me think a little more open minded about my commander setup. Being able to reliably deliver a large blast template that removes cover is something I am quickly becoming enamoured with. And with STR4 and AP5 anything that relies on cover to survive bolter fire is quickly going to find itself in trouble not to mention possibly pinned the following round(Ratlings, Pathfinders, and Kroot are the first 3 that spring to mind). Even marines though will typically lose a few of their numbers against a STR4 large blast template.
Whats even better here is the turn it took the 'El to get into range of the Pathfinders he managed to shake a falcon and it sure didn't hurt that his missiles had 5-6% better accuracy than a Shas'O.
So what do you think? Is the opportunity cost worth it? I mean sure putting the AFP on the 'El sacrifices some accuracy you could have had on a different weapon but the ability to lay down those templates with certainty sure is nice. The suit also remains cheap and with the missiles, multi role should you not have the need or opportunity to use the AFP.
Of course with my beloved CIB gone I may have to think about reworking my 'O....
The current loadout of choice - which is still being evaluated - is an AFP on an 'El in an XV81 with SMS, allowing me to take advantage of the fact that neither weapon needs LOS. It's too early to say just how good it is, but it's worked OK so far ... ... ...
~ Ravenscraig ~