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Hello again. I would like to bring to your attention the Crisis suit configuration known as the Firestorm. It is equiped with a Missile Pod, a Burst Cannon (yes that's right) and a Multi tracker. It should be used for GEQ hunting, oppertunistic tank sniping, low toughness (T6 or less, any higher and the BC is almost useless) MC hunting and MEQ hunting (and TEQ hunting if you hav nothing else to hand). This long list of things may scream out "but it can't do any of those things well" but that is where you are wrong. It is one of the best MEQ and GEQ hunting suit the Tau can get and for the cheapest price (only 50 points! Less then a Deathrain! Unless you get Flamerrains). Enough of introduction.
The folly of the Stealth suit
The stealth suit is the only anti GEQ suit right? Wrong!
Heres some maths to prove it...
Both a BC and a MP kill on a 2+ against GEQs so effectively this is a competition on who has pays the most points per shot.
Stealth suit: 3 shots for 30 points=10 points for one shot
Firestorm: 5 shots for 50 points=10 points for one shot
That's right, Firestorms kill exactly the same number of GEQ as a Stealth suits (if you are shooting at anything with a toughness higher then 3 or a save of exactly 4+ then these results will change in favour of the Firestorm). So other factors must be looked at to choose which is the more effective. These are:
The Firestorm is clearly more survivable with more wounds, a better save and better toughness. The only dissadvantage the Firestorm has in the Survivability catogory is that it can be hit by a strength 8 weapon and be instant deathed and that it lacks the Stealth field of the Stealth suit which is usually useless because of the close proximity to the enemy.
- Other abilities (other tasks it can do other then anti GEQ)
Now this catogory is interesting, on the surface it appears Stealth suits are superior as they have infiltrate but when you delve deeper you realise that the Firestorm can fit it's models behind cover and into range more easily as they need less of them to get the same number of shots.
Stealth suit have no secondary abilities that do not cost an arm and a leg and lessen the effectiveness of their primary ability. The Firestorm can quite easily perform anti MEQ, light tank, MC and TEQ tactics as you will see later without buying anything extra or depleting their effectiveness against GEQ.
The Adeptus Astartes
The Firestorm can kill Space Marines admirably. This time the we must compaire the Firestorm with the ever popular Fireknife. The only difference between these to suits is one has a Plasma Rifle and the other has a Burst Cannon (and one costs 12 points more, can you guess which?) so it is really a competition of weapons not of suits.
These are all assuming a BS of 3 although BS changes won't effect the results.
PR vs BC: MEQs 18>12
BC gets 4/12 kills a turn, 2 kills in 6 turns
PR gets 5/12 kills a turn, 2.5 kills in 6 turns
Closer then you thought? The PR does however have more range then the BC and it's effectiveness doubles at less then 12 range.
PR vs BC: MEQs <12
BC gets 2/6 kills a turn, 2 kills in 6 turns
PR gets 5/6 kills a turn, 6 kills in 6 turns
So the BC doesn't outstripe the PR in anti MEQ, or does it...
Lets add in a 5+ cover save.
PR vs BC: MEQs 18>12 5+ cover
BC gets 6/18 kills a turn, 2 kills in 6 turns
PR gets 5/18 kills a turn, 1.67 kills in 6 turns
PR vs BC: MEQs <12 5+ cover
BC gets 3/9 kills a turn, 2 kills in 6 turns
PR gets 5/9 kills a turn, 3.33 kills in 6 turns
Gasp! The BC wins out! At 18>12!! But once again is beaten at <12
And finally, at 4+ cover
PR vs BC: MEQs 18>12 4+ cover
BC gets 8/24 kills a turn, 2 kills in 6 turns
PR gets 5/24 kills a turn, 1.25 kills in 6 turns
PR vs BC: MEQs <12 4+ cover
BC gets 4/12 kills a turn, 2 kills in 6 turns
PR gets 5/12 kills a turn, 2.5 kills in 6 turns
So in 4+ cover the BC is considerably better at killing MEQs then the PR but not when within rapid fire range.
These numbers show how the Firestorm can perform against MEQs quite well in relation to the stereotypically "be all and end all" Fireknive, although I would not suggest relying on the Fireknives ability to kill MEQ to be the best (exept in 4+ cover).
Opportunistic Tank Hunting
This speaks for itself, Firestorms can take potshots at sides and rears of tanks as they travel across the board. Although they are worse then Fireknives at this, the ability to destroy a tank should not be overlooked.
Monstrous Creatures, the killing of
This also speaks for itself, Firestorms can unlease high volumes of shots at a strength that can threaten most (T6 or less to keep the BC from having 6s to wound) MCs. They can do this at a range considered a luxury by FoFs and Helios (the other anti MC units commonly used). The Railhead however is superior to even the Firestorm due to it's immense range and ability to instant kill T5 (but not nids, dam those 6 legged abominations carapaces to Hades!).
I'll Be Back...
(Yes that was a reference to the movie terminator) The Firestorm can kill TEQs to some extent. This time the Firestorm (three of them infact, costing 150 pts) will be compaired to a FoF (200 pts minimum).
FS vs FoF: TEQs <12
FS gets 3/6 each turn, that means 1 kill per 300 points spent
FoF gets 4/6 each turn, that means 1 kill per 300 points spent
Hey deja vu, the Firestorm tied with something again. But it must also be remmebered that the Firestorms have more survivability then the FW and DF with a JSJ and more distance between them and the enemy. This is also the Minimum cost that a FoF can be.
So in conclusion the Firestorm is a suit configuration that is better then the Stealth suit at it's primary job (yes that means that of I see you field Stealth suits I will hit you), can kill MEQ especially when they are in cover, can kill tanks, can help kill Monstous Creatures and threaten TEQ.
Thank you to Xenophora who led me to a guide showing the merits of Firestorms.
my stealth suits give me one advantage that nothing else can:
an early harrasment unit.
If i win the infiltration role they can stop the enemy from infiltrating.
i can usually find a decent bit of cover to hide my 6 man stealth team behind.
my oppenent then needs to divert rescourses cause he's got a rat in his kitchen that can really ruin the rear armour of tanks.
they have made their points back in the first turn by taking out badly placed units or HQ's that thought they were safe until my suits jump over a load of cover and into burst canon range then jump back into safety.
with a team of 6 with TA and burst cannons thats 18 shits at BS4 for 240 points. that can be a real problem in your opponents half of the table.
I'll leave my suits to use high strength, low AP weapons thanks.
I am going to answer this in depth later, however a few points already spring to mind:
(a) The stealth field is not useless and cannot be dismissed flat out of hand, the Firestorm is not more survivable for a few reasons:
(1) The stealths have ablative wounds
(2) The stealth field
(3) The Firestorm is vulnerable to insta killing
(b) Your stats for the TEQ comparison are not actually a true reflection, you forgot to include the Devilfishes Burst cannon and the Drones. I will show you later that the points per kill are actually more favourable for the FOF.
Anyway like I said I am at work and I will discuss this at length later. This was originally raised on ATT and I look forward to really looking into this in depth.
White KNight on ATT did a great write up about 9 months back on the firestorm and it is in complete agreement with what you are talking about Kroxigor. Though insted of comparing the FS to SS it compares them to Fireknives.
Here is a link if anyone is interested:
First, I use Firestorms extensively. I love them for their posts cost, and their ability to cause havoc on light infantry. On AdvancedTauTactica.com, WhiteKnight wrote a good article on the Firestorm (you should read it). He covers the good and the bad. You really fail to point out that the Firestorm do have some serious drawbacks when compared to the stealth. I'm sure riki will come up with a clearer explanation, but let me start:
Your conclusion is a generalization at best, and a fallacy at worst:
"So in conclusion the Firestorm is a suit configuration that is better then the Stealth suit at it's primary job,"
Mathematically, they might be comparable (but so are any two units in the game), but realistically they are not well suited to be compared. Reasons to follow:
First: while the Firestorm's primary role might be taking out light infantry from range, the stealth suits primary role in my army (and many that I play gainst) is that of an infiltrating, havoc causing, hard to hit unit. Their roles in armies are inherently different because of their construction.
Second: The infiltration simply cannot be ignored. It is key to the role of the stealth suit. The Firestorm, at best, can deepstrike to match, but who does that? You are hitting from the first turn with the stealth, all guns blazing, and jumping back to relative safety.
Finally: the stealth field. I play a crisis heavy list (in fact, using stealths rarely because of fluff), and I often run out of crisis-protecting cover on my side of the board during deployment. The stealth suit (while not advised) can realistically be allowed to survive outside of the confines of cover for a turn or two, away from the rest of the army because of that field. Furthermore, the field can really prevent an enemy from using strong, long range guns against the suits for fear of losing the shot.
So, while I love the firestorm (I really do), it shouldn't be compared to the stealth. They serve different roles in the army. Outside of the fact that crisis are one of the few spots to get high-strength, low AP weaponry, crisis do what they do, and are designed for it. They are generally long range killers, even the Firestorm. Working in concert they take down all types of things. The stealth, on the other hand, poke and prod at your enemy, making a general problem of themselves often away from the rest of the army, diverting attention.
We don't compare the pirahna to the hammerhead for what I think are obvious reasons, nor should be compare the stealth and the firestorm. Just my two cents.
Good start to an article though.
"Listen up you primitive screwheads ... see this ... this is my BOOM-stick!" - Ash
"I told you, it's not Pink! It's Light Red!" Donut on his new power-armor.
Heh, nice to see you've made a similar post but looking at the Firestorm from a slightly different perspective, Kroxigor. Personally I don't use the FoF, but handy anyway.
From the very few occasions I've used Firestorms, I tried using them in much the same way as XV25s, harassing enemy infantry from the flanks asap, only having to jump their way up towards terrain firing missile pods until the BC is in range, being able to chuck out more higher strength shots, at good points value. Whether they work out as points per kill more efficient than a fireknife or not, I find it's more comforting to force several saves, rather than negating a single save and standing a strong chance of missing with your only shot.
Also, many a time have I blown up/immobilised my friend's rhinos with stealth suits, hopping away before the contained assault troops can get at them.
All in all... I concur with everyone's thoughts so far. (although I wouldn't be so daring as to say that they're better at their job than XV25s - I think Y'he Sha'is hit the nail on the head)
Last edited by Xenophora; October 16th, 2007 at 20:57.
Ok I have also read the ATT article by White Knight and found it interesting, though unconvincing. However lets have a look at what you stated.
The folly of the Stealth suit
Hmmm strong statement so lets look at it shall we. Now I have to resort to math hammer (aaaargggh).
OK so lets take a three man FS squad at 150pts and compare it to a 6 man standard Stealth squad at 180pts.
Stealths work out at 7.5 wounds at 18" (0.5 hit rate=9 hits, 2+ to wound = 7.5 dead GEQ with 5+ saves) 45 wounds over 6 turns nominal
Firestorms work out at 6.25 wounds at 18" (0.5 hit rate=7.5 hits, 2+ to wound = 6.25 dead GEQ with 5+ saves) 37.5 wounds over 6 turns nominal.
So at 18" the Stealths are better at Burst cannon ranges, so where do you get exactly the same kill rate from?
However here is another thing, every casualty the Fire storms lose means a 1/3rd reduction in overall shot volume. The Stealths only lose 1/6th for every casualty.
Aaaaaaaand here we come to the Stealth field you so glibly dismiss. The stealth field actually negates the wound advantage of the XV8. When combined with the jump shoot jump tactic it pretty much ensures immunity from enemy return fire.
The Fire storm can jump away for sure but the problem is if the unit is in a position where it is hard to find cover to prevent ANY shooting at it.
The Stealths field adds an extra layer of survivability to the Stealth unit that the FS simply cannot match, it is harder to take a single wound from a target you cannot shoot than two from a target you can.
Sure you can stand of and use the Missile pods but then your wasting the Burst cannons, also if you want to stand of then take the Plasma as its range is more in synergy with the Missile Pod.
So when you actually take the Stealth field into proper account by remembering that the Stealths are just as mobile as the XV8, and the fact that the stealth field actually makes it harder to obtain casualties from a Stealth squad; then that casualty = reduction in shot volume formula suddenly seems a lot more important and the wounds of the XV8's less of an advantage.
Stealth field useless, I think not my friend. The Stealth field when used by skilled players will actually make a Stealth team much more effective than a Fire storm unit.
Also the Stealths have more ablative wounds. Basically the unit as a whole is able to function for longer in response to casualties.
Also as Y'he Sha'is so nicely pointed out the Stealths have other benefits like Infiltrate.
Now lets look at the cover issue.
So you have a couple of Fireknives and you have a unit in cover. So what am I going to do? Use my valuable Plasma on the unit in cover or use them on something that is not? hmmmm or shall I use something that cover makes no difference to like for instance my Stealth unit. Who I believe out perform Firestorms at 18" (and cover makes no difference).
And there you have it. If I have a unit of Stealths I do not need to waste my Plasma on the unit in cover and even if I do the Firestorm only out performs the Fire knife by less than 2 kills over 6 turns.
This to me was the fault in White Knights argument and its the same in yours. Who cares if the Firestorm can kill half a MEQ more in cover. There is more to this game than kill rates.
If I have a unit of Stealths then I can take out those units in cover anyway and use my Plasma for what it should be used, taking down Monstrous Creatures, Mid range AV vehicles, Landspeeders, Bikers and Characters etc etc.
True it is nice to have the ability to take down vehicles but we have a better suit to do that in the Deathrain. More accurate and only 3 points more expensive. That BS4 and twin linking makes for a near 90% hit rate, not 50%. This is why the Deathrain is more favourable then either the FS or FK. Who cares if it cannot handle GEQs or TEQS we have other stuff to do that with.
When you play Tau you learn one thing fast, multi tasking does not work. Thats why you will see lists with Deatrains and Helios commanders or Stealths and Fire knives etc etc.
Players know that having your units that can perform a specific role efficiently (in both points and performance) makes for better lists.
Deathrains are premier AV13 and under tank killers, so use em for that. who wants a suit that has a 50% chance of missing every MP shot just so it can kill a few GEQ's more a game than a stealths squad (not I says a small voice).
Monstrous creatures with 3+ save
FW at over 18" will take 0.66r wounds a turn
3 Firestorms at 18" will take 0.72r wounds a turn
Now at 12" the FOF will take 1.33 wounds per turn
So over 6 turns the 3 man FS team wounds a massive 4.32 times compared to 4 for the 30" range Fire Warrior team (WOW) and the FOF actually does a massively more efficient 7.98 wounds over 6 turns. Argument looks pretty weak there methinks.
The Helios at 12" does 0.92 wounds a turn for 5.5 wounds over 6 turns. Even at 24" it does 1.5 wounds over 6 turns. If the MC has an invulnerable then it makes a difference but then again I could just use my Fire Warriors (or my Railguns).
TEQs: Well again lets take a more accurate assessment of your scenario shall we.
3 man FS team 150pts minimum
12 man FW squad in Devilfish with decoys (becasue everyone takes em) 205pts
FS result = 0.92 wounds per turn = 5.5 over 6 turns
FW at 18" = 0.66r wounds per turn = 4 over 6 turns
FW at 12" = 1.33 wounds per turn = 8 over 6 turns
Ahhh but we forget the Devilfish
3 shots at 18" (BC) = 0.166r wounds per turn and 1 over 6 turns
Drones have a .12 chance of wounding a turn = .74 over 6 turns.
So add these to the FW squad at 18" and you get 1.002 wounds per turn = 5.74 over 6 turns.
So the FW/DF do better at 18" and at 12" rapid fire the result is 1.616 per turn and 9.7 over 6 turns (much better than a Fire storm).
So that is 21.14 pts a kill for the FW/DF combo at rapid fire range
27.27pts per kill for the FS team at 18" range
35.71pts per kill for the non rapid fire FW/DF combo
So basically the Firestorm out performs the Fire warrior squad only at 18". When the Devilfish is taken into consideration the FS squad is badly out performed at rapid fire ranges.
Now I am not saying the Firestorm is not a decent suit. It does perform reasonably well. However it does nothing massively better than the other units we use.
If you have Stealths and Fire Warriors then you do not need anti GEQ XV8 suits, and the Stealths out perform them anyway.
If you have Deathrains and Helios commanders (or even Fireknife commanders) then you do not need Firestorms.
If you have FireKnives and Stealths (or Fire Warriors in Devilfish) then you do not need Fire storms.
Ok they cost 50pts but I have Deathrains at 53pts and stealths that do the same job for the same points per kill as a 3 man FS team (but are not as hardy), so what am I gaining by taking them? nothing.
Really unless you are really squeezed for points, do not like the Fire knife or for some reason despise the Deathrain then I can see no real reason to ever put a Burst cannon on an XV8. We are over supplied with anti GEQ anyway and the Plasma has many uses, Deathrains offer a beautiful balance between accuracy, effectiveness and cost. Helios and Fire Knife commanders are excellent and event he AFP Shas'El version Israfel puts forward is a decent GEQ punisher if you want one (cheap and does not compromise the elites). Stealths are excellent at the GEQ job and the FS offers no real advantages over them in a balanced list.
Like I said I would not call anyone stupid for taking them but I just see no reason why anyone would.
What riki said
Thats what I'd have liked to have posted in the 'choice of points' thread if only I had the stamina to write such a long post and go into that much detail, oh well best leave long posts to Mr Tau guru.
BEN DIESEL FTW!!!
I concur. Riki, he was comparing a unit of 5 stealths to a unit of 3 Firestorms, as at those numbers they have an identical points cost. It's true that you can get the extra stealth to get an extra punch per unit.
And the mere numbers are not the only factor in the game, otherwise rapid-firing Burning Eyes and Broadside Battlesuits would reign our armies. I learned this lesson some time ago, and now the only time my Broadsides come out of the box is when I'm fighting megabattles against my IG friend's Baneblade.
My gaming group's new motto: That army you're using is overpowered because it hurts my guys, codex is broken and needs a rewrite.