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Black Sun Filter
Since I've finally started painting my Black Templar army, my interest has shifted, of course, to my Tau. This is probably why I have 300 models, and only 10 painted (sigh). Anyway, for my Tau, I run a type of Farsight Enclave list without actually always running the big man himself: so lots of crisis, firewarriors, no auxilliaries (kroot or vespid), few(ish) skimmers, few stealth, etc. It's based around his limitations.
Anyway, after my debate and thinking (and redebate and rethinking), I've decided to turn one of my 3-man crisis squads into a Deathrain squad. For those of you that don't know, the deathrain is a twin-linked missile pod on a XV-8 crisis suit, with one other hard point to fill. The suit is both cheap and effective at taking out light transports, and light(ish) infantry. Plus (and the reason I actually made the switch), I love the look of the suit with 2 missile pods on his back.
But, here is my crisis (pun-intended): what to put into the other hard-wired point? On other forums, there is a debate between putting a targetting array, a flamer, or a black-sun filter in the final point. Each has it's own use on the deathrain, but we always have to remember the primary use of this suit in my lists are to pop light transports, and it has to fit into the Fluff of a Farsight Enclave (which to me means aggressive application of superior firepower, whatever that means to you). The exact lists change constantly, but the role of each individual unit should center around the Farsight idea above.
The BSF is the cheapest upgrade, and allows you to more accurately fire in night situations. Simple enough for TL BS3 @ 46 points. However, night situations don't always occur, so at times it's wasted. This upgrade seems to fall to third place in my mind, but certain people swear by it.
The Flamer allows you, in an emergency, to fry up some infantry that might be assaulting your lines, or you can use your mobility to flame a heavy shooting unit that threatens your line. This also counters one of the biggest issues of the deathrain, which is after turn 3 or so, the suit has very little to do, so the flamer adds to its usefullness in later game turns. All this for TL BS3 @ 47 points. The issue here is that you cannot shoot both weapons at the same time (no multi-tracker), and they really, truly have different uses. Plus, if you are in range to use the flamer, you are in range of CC, which is never good for Tau. (As a side note, people have also suggested putting the Fusion Blaster on the suits for when terminators/infantry deep strike into your lines and cause havoc, but this is along the same lines as the flamer, in my mind. However, the BS 3 of the suit is not reliable enough in my opinion to count on the fusion doing anything, as the flamer template.)
The Targetting Array gives you +1 BS, which upgrades your hit ratio from 75% to 89%, a gain of 14% while increasing the cost for TL BS4 @ 53 points (up, ironically, 14%). With this upgrade, you are almost guaranteeing 4 hits per turn from a highly-mobile, 2 crisis suit team. The issue here is that it is expensive (relatively, anyway) and it sets a very specific role for the suit that is easier to for an opponent to break than a multi-tasking suit. It also tends to run out of things to do later in the game (turns 4 and on), and thus becomes a bit of a VP denial/objective claiming unit.
So, with those 3 outlines, which do you think is the proper course of action for my deathrains? And, more importantly, why do you think that is the right course of action? Did I forget something that could be beneficial to the deathrain unit? How does your suggestion fit into the Farsight Enclave theme (for your definition or mine)?
Thanks in advance for your help.
"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.
The last slot is open to opion, there isnt really a clear and acepted solution, my thoughts, in your case run:
Flamer - gah, if something has got that close you are in so much trouble anyway, I am dubious
TA - not really necessary with a squad of 3 suits with re-rolls
therefore I vote BSF
Everything you have been told is a lie!
i run a 3 man deathrain with TA's.
I think the worst number of hits i've ever had in 1 turn is 4. I think the jump from BS3 to BS4 is the biggest in the game. you can do all the calculations you want but I know from experiance that BS4 will hit ALOT!! and sometimes with BS3 just when you need the pod's to do their thing your gonna be rolling a whole load of 3's to hit.....you'll wish you'd have paid the extra points.
Its not unusual to get 6 hits a turn every turn. and with its high strength and long range the MP is affective on everything from the first turn.
if you play a falcon heavy eldar you can keep 2 of the stunned every turn with a 3 man deathrain with Team Leader and target lock. wraithlords and wriathguard are not gonna enjoy it either.
against marines you can pop rhino's all day. Dreads are gonna have a real bad time too and pred's aren't out of the questioon with 6 shots at bs4 with a reroll either! plus when you've run out of those targets wounding marines on 2's isn't to be sniffed at.
So for the price I'd upgrade the BS and take a team leader with a target lock....just in case....and sometimes with BS3 just when you need the pod's to do their thing your gonna be rolling a whole load of 3's to hit.....you'll wish you'd have paid the extra points.
Since I am playing with 15 TARains I will have to vote TA FTW!
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Personally I'd NEVER take a flamer on my Deathrains. It would mean mixing your longest-ranged weapon with your shortest range one. If I ever get into a tactical situation where my Deathrains are in flamer range of anything then I'd feel I had made a massive tactical blunder.
OK, so if not flamers, what instead? Again given the range of the MP then a BSF would make sense, assuming night-fighting rules *might* come into play. My list for the 2 tournies I have coming up over the summer has my Deathrain squad and 2 of the 3 Hammerheads with BSFs, simply because I reckon that one game out of the 4 played is likely to be fought under some sort of night-fighting restrictions. If that IS the case then the 3 pts per XV8 and 5 pts per HH would have been points very well spent. If there is no night-fighting then it's a small enough amount of points as to be immaterial.
However ............ if I'm playing in games where I do not believe there will be any night-fighting in effect then my choice would be the TA. Sure it's 10pts but it almost guarantees you 4 hits out of 4 (currently I use 2 x 2 XV8s but I'm thinking of moving up to 2 squads of 3). Having that sort of certainty can be very helpful if you consider you just have to take out a particular target that turn.
In summary, then. Flamers - NEVER; BSFs - only if night-fighting is a possibility; and TAs on every other occasion.
As to how this fits in with a Farsight Enclave? I'm not sure I see that it has any bearing on the concept. I suppose if one were to be a doctrine purist then one should argue that a FE would eschew the use of Deathrains since they encourage engagement from afar, whereas the FE would appear to be more of an "in your face" sort of fighting style.
~ Raven ~
Last edited by Ravenscraig; March 28th, 2008 at 15:42.
Deathrains are only good at shooting--why would you not take the TA unless points were really tight?
"My tanks have names, my men have numbers." -Col. Edmund Grahvess, 23rd Kronecker Prison Guard
I suppose I'm going to be the odd man out on this one, but I voted for the flamer.
First things first I'm going to rule out the BSF. In the event that you are playing a mission that might have nightfight rules there is a 33% chance that there will be night fighting. However the BSF is almost useless if the night fighting occurs on turn six as your deathrains should be out of targets anyway, so of that 33% of night-fight games you are only going to be able to take advantage of the BSF half the time. Then, the BSF by no means guarantees that your suits are going to have range. You'll be at least 24" away from their targets and could easily still fail to reach your target with the nightfight roll, even after doubling. So if the game uses nightfighting, 17% of the time you will probably be able to see your target. Sounds like wasted points to me.
Now for the TA. Let me start by saying that I really like the TA as a choice on a Monat, or even a pair of suits. But with three suits taking six twin-linked shots at a target, I don't feel that it is worth it to spend the extra thirty points. The numbers don't lie and in the end you are actually getting your points worth out of the TAs, but I just feel that I like my odds as they are and want to keep my deathrain squad as cheap as I can get it.
This makes the flamer the lesser of three evils. As has been said, if you are in range to use the flamer, then something has gone awry tactically, but that's your opponents job. You simply can not keep all of your opponents squads at bay every game. No matter how prepared you are or how well thought out your tactics are, your opponent is going to pull one over on you occasionally and you will find yourself in some ridiculous situation that you didn't think would happen. Maybe its deep striking cadian stormtroopers or a variable turn game that makes it to 9 rounds and a group of genestealers has been slowly working through cover and has finally caught up to you, but it will happen.
The point is that at some point a situation will arise that the flamers will come in very handy. I know this is along the same lines as the BSF usefulness, but I would rather buy a weapon that can fire on any given turn of any given game than an upgrade that works one turn of less than 17% of the games I play.
Again, the TA is an excellent choice and every Monat I have, including my deathrains, have it equipped, but I wanted to make a case for the flamer, especially on a squad of three suits.
If it was a heavy flamer I'd could see the value of it. but a standard flamer is too weak and the AP too high.