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  1. #1
    Senior Member lLonginus's Avatar
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    Sorting out useless equipment

    So with 5th edition's coming, a lot of our equipment has dropped to the bottom of the barrel. Some things are for most intents useless, while others simply don't do anything. Whether something is essentially useless is up to the player to decide, but at the very least consider what I have to say on this.

    For starters, the absolutely useless items that you may as well mark out of your codex:

    Command and Control Node: Target Priority tests no longer exists, therefore this support system might as well not.

    Decoy Launchers: The Glancing Hit Vehicle Damage table no longer exists.

    Now there are some things that have debateable uses, and if you really want to you can use them, however you'll often be better off saving the points on these upgrades:

    Blacksun Filter: Admittedly this is an inexpensive piece of equipment, and if you're trying to make a battlesuit extremely cheap then this will save you two points, however with the new missions only one out of every 18 turns you play will use nightfighting rules. If you want to equip your units to deal with this rare circumstance, that's fine, but remember that markerlights allow you to ignore this battle condition entirely.

    Positional Relay: When rolling for reserves, you'll have better average odds of getting a unit when you're rolling for more than one unit, without having to pay a good chunk of points for it. Units automatically come in turn five anyways (should your rolling be so unfortunate) and if you really do have only one unit that you want to deepstrike, chances are it'll be your commander who'll probably be the one equipped with the Positional Relay anyways, making its effect unable to be used.

    Bonding Knife: Now I know that this might be controversial, but hear me out. Squads numbering four models or less really ought to not even take a bonding knife, as they won't run off the board until they're brought down to one model, and if you pass that one model's morale check (there's a pretty good chance of it since there is no longer a -1 penalty for being below half strength) then the unit will stay in play until it dies. Units that we can take that consist of five or more models either can't take it (Kroot, Vespid, Drones) or won't really be worthwhile at their squad sizes if they do make their roll (Fire Warriors often hide in Devilfish and Pathfinders would have to be dropped to three or less models to run). It's a neat bit of equipment, and certainly effective for its cost, it's simply that the cost isn't worth the effect.

    EMP Grenades: Only available to our Fire Warriors and Pathfinders, neither of these units ought to be assaulting vehicles as their guns are much better used against other targets. We have countless weaponry that can deal with vehicles, and we have no need to orient a squad to be effective in close combat with them. Should you feel pressed to take EMP grenades, take them only on the team leader, because the cost of EMP grenades really stacks up fast.

    Photon Grenades: I may receive boos and hisses for this, but with the way combat works now if our Fire Warriors or Pathfinders lose combat, they may as well be dead. You may think that reducing your opponent's attacks may save your unit, but consider this: enemy units that will be assaulting you will, nine times out of ten, be equipped with frag grenades, and will be better at close combat than Tau (EVERYONE is), then the best chance you have is to tie combat. Then, in your assault phase you'll be crushed, and your opponent will get to assault another of your units without having received fire. It's better for the unit to die in one assault phase, as this leaves the assaulter exposed to return fire, allowing you to potentially eliminate the assaulter and save yourself some pain. And, once again, the points for these grenades stack up fast.

    And with an honourable mention, landing gear. It's great to block LOS with a tank, but to do so you'd have to land, and that takes a turn to get in position. We no longer crash when moving up to 12", so there's nothing to fear from being a skimmer.

    I could touch on some other things, but most items are useful enough to be reasonably included in some lists.

    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.

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  3. #2
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    Actually I think your point about the photon grenades is insightful. As units can no longer consolidate into your other units you are in fact better off just losing the CC and getting swept than letting the same thing happen on your turn. Rep!
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  4. #3
    Senior Member ZenGamer's Avatar
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    Two points just to argue... ^_^

    Decoy Launchers were revised in the Tau Errata and therefore they do have a use. They allow a reroll of any immobilized result. I'm not saying it's worth it, but just that they were revised so that they still at least do something.

    As for Landing Gear, I agree it would not be worth paying points for, but it's already on all Tau vehicles anyway, for no points cost, and you actually couldn't even get rid of it if you wanted to.

    As a counter point, the target lock got better than it used to be. You used to have to pass a target priority roll for it to work, but now there are no more target priority rolls so it works every time.
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  5. #4
    The ORIGINAL Sniper Puss eiglepulper's Avatar
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    Good summary, lLonginus. I agree totally about the Command and Control Node now being a waste of space in the codex.

    You make a good argument for not taking BKs in small squads. The only two counters I would put up here are:
    • 2-man BASS team with drones, where you want that TL Railgun hanging around as long as possible. A BK is definitely worth considering in this case.
    • 6-man Fire Warrior Markerlight team, just to protect that Markerlight. Not many people will perhaps field this sort of unit, but the BK is worth considering here again.

    Decoys are still effective, just not obligatory upgrades any longer. Disruption Pods have taken their place.

    As has already been said too, the comment about the Photon Grenades is insightful.

    E.
    Last edited by eiglepulper; September 4th, 2008 at 09:46.
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  6. #5
    The deep down truth Rikimaru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eiglepulper View Post

    As has already been said too, the comment about the Photon Grenades is insightful.

    E.
    Just a question, who actually ever took photons anyway?
    1984

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    Victorus aut Mortis Shad0w_Reaper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rikimaru View Post
    Just a question, who actually ever took photons anyway?
    Lol, I used to take them way back when I first started Tau and didnt know any better, but I soon realised either way, Tau are doomed when it comes to cc. lLonginus has made some very good points.

    After that, Ive never taken any type of grenade. Since 5th ed, I havent taken Decoys. I havent found the need for them as of yet. And like Eiglepulper said, D Pods have taken there place.

    Blacksun filters are generally something I will only get if I have some spare points left over and I cant get anything else. Ive only ever used them a couple of times, and to be honest they havent been all that game changing for me.

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  8. #7
    The deep down truth Rikimaru's Avatar
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    Command and Control Node: Always been useless, took up a valuable slot, no real difference.

    Decoy Launchers: Still have a use but nowhere near as useful as before. Only of any real use on Piranhas moving flat out. Worse in 4th than 5th.

    Blacksun Filter: Can be useful but only take if you have a few spare points or you want to make an extremely cheap XV8. No difference to 4th really

    Positional Relay: Always an absolute waste of time and still is. Even if you do get to deploy the unit you want, it does not mean it will work out as you want. All the rules for DS still apply and you have the additional drawback of not being able to deploy any other unit from DS. Utter waste of time now and before.

    Bonding Knife: These have always been overrated anyway. Take it on the units Eigle pointed out but other than that I have never found them to be required in 4th and the same applies in 5th.

    EMP Grenades: I have never met any decent Tau player who uses these. Expensive and like LLon said the FW should never be anywhere near any assault (vehicle or otherwise) if it can be avoided. This was the case in 4th and still is in 5th, so no real change.

    Photon Grenades: Already discussed these, who took them? who takes them? no real change in 5th

    landing gear: the option to land is OK, not as useful as in 4th but its a free benefit for Tau skimmers.

    Overall there is not much that has really changed in 5th, the only real loss has been to the Decoys; all the other stuff is pretty much as it was in 5th apart from the CC node which is now junk.
    Last edited by Rikimaru; September 4th, 2008 at 12:31.
    1984

  9. #8
    Senior Member MisterDutch's Avatar
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    I can't imagine a situation in which I would ever make use of Landing Gear...
    A Tau Ethereal was thought to have been killed today by a Bloodthirster. However, many Tau were seen fleeing the scene and are considered suspects.

  10. #9
    Member Ninja Skink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rikimaru View Post
    Just a question, who actually ever took photons anyway?
    I take photons on one small squad of firewarriors that hang back near the closest objective on my side. It helps keep them from getting wiped out on the last turn by enemy assaulters trying to grab an extra objective. It only costs 6-10 points, and has turned a loss into a draw on a few occasions.
    Why did the chicken cross the road?
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