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The purpose of this article is to dispel some of the misinformation circulated around the t’intanets about flamer equipped XV8’s and also to discuss the view put forward by more than a few that there is only one viable XV8 build and Tau list build
So flamers! A subject of much controversy mainly because the Flamer is a very much misunderstood weapon system. The new Nids codex made me realise just how valuable the unit can be in the Tau army and I with this in mind I wanted to try to clear up some misconceptions about the Flamer on the XV8 and as a consequence also look at the state of play regarding Tau list building.
Ok on the most basic level with the Flamer we have a weapon that needs no roll to hit and ignores cover. It is also a template weapon, which imparts a few other advantages. Lastly it is also a close range in your face weapon.
First thing to discuss is twin linked vs single flamer. The first and most important rule for taking Flamers on the XV8 is this ‘take two’. Twin linked Flamers offer a fantastic advantage, they re-roll all missed wounds. Now how many weapons can you think of in 40K that do not need to roll to hit and re-roll ALL failed wounds?
The most important thing you have to remember though is Flamers are close ranged weapons, there is no getting around this and it means they need to maximise the damage they inflict and single flamers simply do not cut it.
You will see XV8 builds that take twin linked Missile pods and a single flamer, this is simply not worth doing. If you have twin linked MP’s then you should be aiming to keep as far away as possible because even if an enemy does get close the flamers will not do enough to save the XV8’s. If you take Deathrains you need to do two things, ensure they hit and keep them safe, taking a targeting array means they hit at optimal levels for the build and that accuracy should ensure that opponent’s transports are stopped which ensures a bit more safety because the enemy is slowed down.
So back to the flame:
XV8 Flamer teams need two things:
(1)(1) Full strength squads
( (2) Twin linked Flamers
If you think flamer teams can work without the 2 points above the trust me you will be in for a rude awakening.
There is a third must have but I will get to that later. If you do not have 1 and 2 above then forget taking Flamers, they simply will not work.
Second thing to discuss is the actual game of 40K itself. 5th edition 40K wrought some quite large changes to the game, most obvious amongst these being a speeding up of armies and an improved cover system.
We have to be pragmatic and admit that armies will get into our lines a lot faster and more consistently then they did in the previous editions of 40K. We have cheap transports with damage rules that make it harder to actually stop vehicles, the run rule which gives any and every non-vehicle unit the chance to limit the amount of time they are exposed to fire. To compound this speed problem newer codex releases have all without fail given armies multiple means to close fast on opponent’s armies.
So basically we have to get it into our heads that we do not have the luxury of time we used to have pre 5th. Most Tau players know the value of blockading and castling tactics but they can only do so much and the newer codex releases are giving armies the ability to place multiple threats (often of equal threat status) either in our lines or very very close to them.
Whenever anyone mentions getting close to your lines it is always assumed we are just talking about close combat but what is forgotten is the quicker units can close the quicker they can bring shorter ranged weaponry to bear. Kroot screens are great (no argument there) but they do not last long when they are hit by massed bolter fire for example.
With this in mind it makes sense to have a unit that can be relied on to perform at short range and can add effective fire support to those hard pressed screening units but is something we are not scared to lose (can you say that about Plasma wielding units?).
Now another thing we need to get out of our heads is the idea we need to make the XV8 capable of taking anything down. It does not matter if a unit cannot reliably kill Terminators or Monstrous creatures just as long as it does do a valuable job well.
Deathrains cannot kill AV14 vehicles, neither can Fireknives, do we relegate them to the rubbish heap? No we do not. OK Flamers are less than impressive against Monstrous creatures or against multiple wound models in small number units and can only kill vehicles if they can hit AV10; however they are awesome against most infantry type units in and out of cover and one simple addition (wait for it) makes them as good if not better than some of the other popular suit builds.
Yes we do need some Plasma in our lists (more so with the new Nids) but Plasma has limitations.
Consider this If you face a 20 strong unit of Hormies who you know are going to assault something next turn, will hitting them with 3 Fireknives really be enough?
You have those Hormies really close to your valuable Fire Warriors (importance of troops in 5th remember) and you need to stop them or reduce their effectiveness fast, so how do you do it without risking valuable Plasma?
At BS3 that Fireknife unit will kill 5 Hormies on average and a maximum of 12 (perfect hit and kill rate). A unit of three XV8’s with twin linked Flamers covering a combined total of 16 models will easily kill 12 Hormies. Having 8 Hormies attack a unit is much more preferable than 15. Yes we can boost the FK unit’s accuracy with Markerlights but the fact is we cannot always rely on them being available and other more pressing targets may need the ML tokens, so realistically we have to factor in base BS.
This is the real beauty of the Flamer, its total and utter reliability, if you point it at a target you know it is hit, no reliance on BS or Markerlights. Remember the template only has to touch the model and it is hit, even just the edge of the template touching a model counts as a hit.
What also needs remembering is wound allocation; even if the templates cover only half a unit each model in the unit has to be allocated a wound before a second wound can be allocated to a model. So cover 4 of a 9-man unit with three templates and all the models are allocated a wound. This needs remembering when you position your unit before they shoot, it is often better to position the models so their templates all cover the same few models to maximise the hit manufacture.
Now I am not by any means saying Plasma is a bad weapon, it patently is not and it has its own range of advantages but it does suffer from one weakness ‘cover’. If a unit is in cover or is shot at through another unit it will get cover saves and the average is 4+. Fact is 4+ means your casualty rate just went down by 50%.
OK people will tell you forcing wounds on 2+ on things like Marines is always good and most of the time it is but when first you have to hit then wound and then your opponent gets 4+ cover saves it really loses its impact. Compare that with a Flamer unit hitting the same target, no roll to hit (better), re-roll of wounds (better) and no cover saves.
Six Rapid fire Plasma shots will kill 1.25 (2.08 with the MP’s added) Marines in cover, three Flamers hitting all 9 marines (only means each template hitting three) will kill 2.25 and that is utilising the Marines 3+ save. Range is only an issue for assault because to get the results above the FK unit has to be within 12” and that means they are in range of return fire. If you are hitting a Marine unit with a Torch squad alone (or even a FK unit alone) then you deserve to die in an assault anyway (tactics people).
Now the above is worse case scenario, a unit of Marines is not the ideal target but it shows that when push comes to shove the Flamer can do as much if not more damage than a FK unit when the target is in cover. However the 'important' part comes when you consider the same scenario against the multitude of other infantry units that have 4/5 & 6+ saves. If these are on cover they get no save, so those 9 wounds means 9 dead but the Plasma/MP is stuck with exactly the same kill ratio as it had against the Marines.
Consider that properly, we have a weapon system that is 100% as effective against 4/5/6+ save units in cover as it is against targets in the open.
So if we have Plasma carrying XV8 units and a unit of Flamer equipped XV8’s it actually gives us the ability to handle a much wider range of targets efficiently.
Another thing put forward is that XV8 units are to valuable to stick in the face of the enemy and most of the time this is true but a unit comprising three XV8’s with twin linked Flamers and a Missile pod (Torch squad) only costs 129pts. 129pts is hardly a massively expensive unit and when played properly will prove to be worth way over its points cost in value to the list, BUT it is cheap enough to be used as an offensive/defensive buffer unit. A unit of 10 Kroot and 6 Hounds costs 108pts and we consider them totally expendable, two Piranhas cost 150pts and again are considered expendable.
The XV8 Torch squad is cheap enough to expend if needed but is vastly more tactically & offensively varied and capable than either a Piranha squadron or a Kroot squad. We have a unit that can provide long range firepower, close range firepower and if needed is cheap enough to be thrown at the right time into the way of a dangerous unit to tar pit it for a few turns.
When you actually consider the weapons taken on the XV8 probably the most used and useful is the Missile pod and this leads us to that 3rd point I talked about earlier. The key to making the Flamer equipped squad an invaluable asset is the Missile pod, give each suit a MP and you have a pretty much perfect multi use battlesuit.
Lets consider how we should be playing Tau tactically to offer us the best chance of winning. First thing is deployment; this usually consists of corner deployment if possible to block of the rear and a flank. Kroot are usually offered up as a screen and Piranhas (and sometimes Devilfish) provide blockading screens. XV8’s and vehicles are usually set up well back providing long-range firepower preferably from positions of cover. The idea is to stall the opponents army to allow the Tau shooting to do its work and also to prevent ingress into the Tau lines and avoid close combat.
The important wording there is ‘from range’ and which weapon provides the most ranged firepower? Yes the Missile pod. Giving the Flamer unit Missile pods makes the unit effective throughout the whole of the game. Ahhhhh yes you say but they are only BS3, Oh are they and what BS are Fireknives?
Fireknives need Markerlights to be truly effective
Fireknives in elite slots without a Targeting array hit on 3+
Nobody who takes BS3 Fireknives can use the BS of the Torch squads as a reason to not take the unit, however the reverse does not apply to massed elite FK units for various reasons I m sure I will be called upon to explain. A Torch squad is exactly as efficient with its MP’s as a Fireknife unit FACT.
The argument is weak anyway because good list building will literally totally remove this problem. If you take a look at my 2000pt list you will notice a few things.
The FK units in my list do not need ML support, neither does the Deatrain unit which leaves the Markerlight units open to supporting my Torch squads MP’s. I can pretty much be assured that the Torch squad will be hitting at BS5 for at least two turns (more if the ML units survive longer).
- BS4 and BS5 XV8 Fireknife units
- BS4 Targeting array equipped Deatrain unit
- Three Markerlight units
Now one golden rule worth remembering for most 40K armies is the more strength 7 shots you can put out at maximum accuracy as quickly as possible the better. Another golden rule is maximising the alpha strike; do you think you can consistently win games without an effective alpha strike? Yes? Well you are wrong.
If you cannot stop or slow down armies in the first two turns you are in for a much harder battle, castling and blockading is all very good (really they are very good) but preventing transports from actually moving is better. Destroying transports is all well and good but it is not needed (desirable but not needed), stopping them moving is what is needed. Priority is stopping movement of transports and 22 accurate Missile pod shots a turn will accomplish that.
If you hit a transport and stop it moving, DO NOT try to destroy it with further units firepower; instead hit another transport and stop it from moving (if you destroy it that’s a bonus). Alpha strike is everything and my list is pure efficient alpha strike.
The Torch squad adds to that alpha strike ability, so surprise surprise we have a unit that according to others is useless yet provides valuable long-range efficient STR7 alpha strike capability; oh wait, wait which units do that? Yes Fireknives and Deatrains and these are considered pretty much as compulsory choices because they provide that MP firepower. Now we have a Flamer unit that funnily enough does exactly that same thing but is for some reason considered useless by many Tau players.
Some may argue that if the elite Fireknife and Deathrain can already do this then why do we need the Torch unit to do the same job. Well there are some solid reasons for the Torch unit’s inclusion.
(1)Cost: A basic unit of elite Fireknives with Multi trackers costs 186pts and they DO need effective and numerous Markerlight support. I am not saying Fireknives are not useful rather I am saying they need to be included more efficiently. A Torch squad coasts 129pts, provides MP support and close ranged firepower.
(2)Role: The Torch squad is a rare example of an effective multi role XV8 build. Elite Fireknife units are multi role but they are compromised multi role units. They suffer from a lack of accuracy and are not reliable anti infantry. The FK unit is good against MEQ and high toughness MC type targets and that role is best utilised by the higher accuracy HQ and Bodyguard units.
The Deathrain is a brilliant build but it has never been and never will be a multi role build. It is by far the best light transport stopper we have and this is what it should be doing. I like to have a unit because I know it will do its job but multi role it is not.
The Torch squad is true multi use and can provide the following:
Ranged STR7 firepower. Considering a twin linked Flamer costs 6pts so even if it is never used what have we lost? 18pts. Critics of the Torch squad need to lose the inaccurate idea that the unit is taken purely for the Flamers and is only a short-range offensive capable unit. WRONG the Torch is built to fit exactly what the Tau player needs when playing the standard Koot/Piranha/castling/blockade/slow em down and whittle them down from range list build. The Torch squad is the pure embodiment of what that list type stands for and fits the list like a glove.
Say we have a game where we have deployed in standard blockade/castling fashion.
First turn the Torch squad uses its Missile pods to provide accurate STR7 fire support. The HQ/BG and single elite FK squad adds their MP/Plasma firepower and the Deathrain squad provides ultra accurate MP firepower.
Second turn the Torch squad again provides accurate MP shots down range.
Turn three more of the same.
Turn four the enemy units are closing; the Torch squad can either sit back and use its Missile pods or move forward and provide support with its Flamers.
In addition it can move forward later in the game to hit units hunkered down on objectives in cover or it can move forward to provide another level to the screening units (Kroot/Piranhas), the basic Torch unit is cheap enough to provide a buffer but it has the advantage of packing some seriously hard firepower. Even a unit in a transport or a tougher unit will think twice about moving within range of a Missile pod equipped unit and unprotected infantry (even Marines) will think twice about getting in range of three twin linked Flamers. If for some reason the opponent does attempt to get past them they will need to kill three multi wound MEQ equivalent models to do so.
Do you rally care if a 129pt unit dies if it provides two or three turns of breathing space for other valuable units?
So consider the above, for 129pts we have a unit that has provided 3 turns of accurate long range STR7 firepower, then hits any unit that gets close with very effective close range firepower (possibly the most efficient close range firepower in the game) and if needed can provide a very effective buffer and deterrent screen to units getting to close.
Tell me can a Fireknife squad do all that? Would you be happy sending in the only Plasma equipped models we have to tar pit a unit or to attack a 20 strong Orks/gribblie Nid unit? No I think not.
Having the Torch squad there means you can use your Plasma suits more effectively.
We really do need to get past this “Yeah man the only effective Tau list build is three units of elite Fireknives” idea. Fireknives are awesome when they can reliably hit, if you have Markerlights coming out of your ears then by all means take elite FK units’ otherwise do the sensible thing and think. Fireknives work best as HQ/BG and as very limited elites choices (no more than two suits and one needs to be a team leader with Targeting array and HW multi) and the rest of the elites can then be used to provide balanced firepower and make the Fireknives and Markerlights you do take work much more efficiently.
The Torch unit is a truly fantastic XV8 suit build, one that is tragically underrated and unfairly ignored. It is a suit build that is criminally under appreciated purely down to ignorance and not understanding how Tau list building works. When you truly see all the subtle interactions between units, the unit builds and the synergy that underlies how Tau work you can see how totally and utterly indispensable the Torch unit can be to making Tau work.
My new 2000pts list has been something of an epiphany to me. The new Nid codex made me do something I have not done for a long time, think about building a truly effective all comers list devoid of all influence of what is “supposed” to be effective with Tau.
I looked at Tau with fresh eyes and saw where we have become bogged down, I love Deathrains and was convinced that the only way we can make Tau work is taking multiple units, I also tended towards less Plasma than most but the newer codex releases do mean we have to have a good contingent of Plasma in there (just not elite). The speed boost of 5th and the cover improvements mean we need reliable close range firepower that does not need ML support (and is even better if not BS reliant) and defeats cover.
Just dismissing any unit out of hand is self-defeating and seeing posts where the Torch or flamer is dismissed out of hand fills me with dismay. I have seen such posts recently on other forums and it made me realise that the level of ignorance displayed about the Torch unit, what it can add to a Tau list and by association how stagnated we have become with Tau list building still needed addressing.
Some out there believe we have one effective Tau build and that to be blunt is pure crap. True we have to play a certain way to get consistent wins but that does not mean we need to stick to one build and certain units to achieve that mode of play. Take my 2000pt list for instance, I love the Skyray but the list can get by with two units of Pathfinders, so for instance for those who love the XV88 it is easy to take a two man XV88 unit with A’S’S for 160pts just by dropping the Skyray and a Kroot hound. The list will be used pretty much the same way but the dynamic has changed somewhat.
Dismissing the Missile pod equipped Torch squad seems to be de-rigueur in various places at the moment but I would advise taking a good long hard look at this unit with unprejudiced eyes and see what a truly effective all round asset this cheap and simple unit is for any Tau list. When you have done that it may even make you take a fresh look at just what you have in your Tau list and the stale rut we have gotten ourselves into with this army. I hope this small article has made you even consider looking in more depth at what the Torch squad can offer.
Following the previous suggestions about taking Torch units in other threads, I did start to adopt one of them in my 2k Farsight Enclave army. My method of use is always the same: Deep Strike, using the Pathfinder Devilfish Marker Beacon. To date, this small unit (I actually only have a 2-man unit, and the T-Ldr sports a Burst Cannon rather than a Missile Pod, but brings his little Shield Frisbees along with him) has had a surprisingly sizeable amount of success.
I too would have been in the Old Guard of "Flamers? You're kidding, right?" but now I am definitely persuaded that they do indeed perform a significant role in my Farsight list. Their raison d'etre is to deal with units which are left "guarding the home fires", ie holding objectives, or which are laying down the smack on other lements of my army. In other words they have a specific purpose, and for my style of play I find that being held in Reserve and then dropping in from a great height suits me. Yes, this can mean that the unit may not arrive from Reserve until later in the game - possibly even as late as Turn Five, as has occurred at least once - but this in itself is not actually that disadvantageous. Usually by that time, enemy units in the backfield have been reduced in number by my other firepower units, or else have moved forward to capture/contest more objectives if we are playing "Seize Ground". Whatever the mission, a unit of twin-linked flamers with a little extra ballistic weaponry to boot suddenly arriving and causing merry hell in the back field has paid dividends for me in a number of games.
For less than 100pts if my mental arithmetic serves me, I can have 2 suits with a lot of nastiness in weaponry and also with a modicum of invulnerable protection who are quite capable of taking down an entire squad of enemy troops. The twin-linking on the template weapons also means that even MEq squads will have a lot of armour saves to make.
In short: I am now a fan of this type of XV8 unit. It's cheap, it can arrive pretty much where you want it, it doesn't have to rely on "to-hit" rolls for its main weapons, you get re-rolls on failed "to-wound" rolls and generally there's a lot going for it.
"Tau Commandment #226: Participants who use Velocity Trackers in the Tau Clay Pigeon Tournament will be disqualified"
I totally agree (except that a 2+ to wound is technically better than re-rolling a 4+, but it's close and you are rolling a lot more chances to wound). The Torch Squad has long been one of my favorites in the Tau army.
I actually think the unit is better starting on the board though. Positioning is crucial (can't overstate the word "crucial" here) and the unit will dependably get where you need it, when you need it if not deep striking. The only time it doesn't is when the enemy shoots them up. In which case, no big deal. They're cheap enough to have a couple, and are expendable. Also, they are not needed until the enemy closes in, so they can be hidden effectively until that time.
I actually don't have a problem with the MP+TLFlamer build. MPs are so versatile that they are good everywhere. The cost in points is not wasted if the unit can help take down transports/MCs in the opening turns.
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I'm not sure what "misinformation" there you're trying to dismiss.
In "vacuum analysis", the TL flamer is a fantastic weapon for all the reasons you spell out.
But in the context of a Tau army, I really find it a suboptimal choice. I see no reason to put crisis suits -- very nearly the most important unit in the entire Tau army -- within 2" or 3" of the enemy. You are just asking for such units to die unless absolutely everything goes your way.
So it's not the TL flamer itself that I object to. It's the tactics required to reap the benefits of the TL flamer that I object to. I don't think they suit the Tau army very well at all. The only Tau units you should actually allow to get close to the enemy are piranha, Kroot, and any other units you might intend or need to sacrifice during the course of a game (e.g., one of your Devilfish/FW units).
There isn't a single Tau unit that can take a beating. Not one. So I find the idea of putting Tau units into harm's way that aren't slated for blocking/delaying/sacrificial duty (most of the army list, of course) ... a strange, odd, and counterproductive one. Why would our wussy tau ever look to unnecessarily risk themselves? I seriously just don't get it.
The rewards for doing so are relatively limited on two axes.
* It's only good against infantry. The entire Tau army can kill infantry. Do we really need a super-specialized infantry-killer? IMHO: no. Anything will do. It's much more important to find ways to kill infantry and MCs and vehicles all in the same go, as efficiently as possible against all those targets simultaneously. Then you're prepared for anything.
* It's only good once -- maybe twice -- per game. So you're sacrificing 3, 4, or even more turns per game just hoping to hit the jackpot once. That doesn't strike me as a "reliable tactic".
eiglepulper mentions reserving his "torches" for accurate deep striking later. I wince thinking that there is at least one turn I won't be firing more weapons (i.e., plasma and missiles) downrange at the enemy.
And if you start them on the board as Krovin-Rezh recommends, you have at least two turns where you will only be able to fire missiles downrange. That's two (or more) turns where you could also have been firing plasma.
Either way: that strikes me as a terribly inefficient use of your points ... and the best units in the entire codex.
I also think you misunderstand the purpose of the deathrains I build (TL MP/flamer). It's purely a points-savings suit. TL MP/TA is more expensive and not really that much more accurate for the points being spent. The flamer is the cheapest hardpoint you can take that isn't a blacksun filter ... which is why I favor it. Once in a blue moon I actually find a use for the flamers, too, so it's not a total waste. But for the additional cost of just 1 pt, that extra bit of flexibility is worth it.
I still always prefer more plasma, though.
Last edited by number6; February 28th, 2010 at 02:47.
ninjabackhand: point and click, again, really? even after i give you an military term "shock tactic" you still call it point and click.
RIP Warhammer 40,000: 21 Sep 1998 - 24 May 2014
Nice article. Like the idea of inexpensive Crisis suit units. That and wound stacking templates. On the other hand, ineffective against armour and small, elite squads, which is what we're all looking at playing nowadays. I'm sure you've said it yourself, somewhere. We have enough anti-infantry capability, XV8's fill the "hard-hitting" role.
Rumor dispelled, but I'll stick to my Plasma Rifle, cheers
"Show 'em the gunline, Boss"
Also I went to great lengths to show how the Torch works within the game, not in a vacuum.
If you want to stick to the Fireknife elite spam then fine, that is your prerogative but your constant dismissal of the Torch squad is utterly unsupported by the facts you supply to try and show the unit does not work. You are so stuck in the massed Fireknife mindset that you simply cannot see beyond any build that does not use them. The fact is the unit does work and works extremely well. I have a 2000pt list that uses Fireknives 'efficiently', uses Deathrains with a TA efficiently and uses a Torch squad extremely efficiently.
I saw your post on Steleks blog and I quote "NEVER EVER TAKE FLAMER BATTLESUITS! As in NEVER! Never never never NEVER." which really says everything about your views on the Torch doesn't it. I see this sort of stuff all the time and it annoys me because it shows an inherent lack of understanding of how Tau work, yes we can spam Fireknives and get success but the fact is that it is not the only XV8 unit that works and when you understand how Tau units work together and how to build to exploit this synergy you will see that there is more to the XV8 than FK spam. My article is there to show that we have choices that work.
It is obvious you have just read this article and just dismissed everything I provided that shows the Torch does work well at all ranges against a large amount of targets. It would be nice if just once you admitted that there are other effective lists and builds other than the ones you take.
My point is that it is obvious you hold no truck with Torch squad use, we get it. None of the points you posted really provide any real constructive counter points to what I posted and it is obvious you are simply going to carry on insisting they do not work backed up by repeated use of the points you have raised here. The point of this article is to show what the Torch squad can do, it does have uses and it provides valuable firepower at all ranges. it is not meant to be a Fireknife v Torch thread and indeed I even mentioned that I use Fireknives and they are good in the right place. So i would respectfully ask that if you have nothing to add other than re-hashing what you say here then leave it and let us discuss how the Torch CAN work and show how it does indeed work, show that you do indeed want to help Tau players beyond just saying that what is in your list is what works.
Snotling: Re-read the article, the Torch squad is effective against infantry and vehicles (tough targets). The Flamer is not effective against vehicles but that is the reason you take a MP. Also yes we do have anti infantry but the fact is in say my 2000pt list for instance I have very little anti infantry. Kroot are bubblewrap, Subs are good but I only have two, FW's are usually in the Devilfish and they are minimum sized units, so where is the anti infantry? In older lists with more FW's and Stealths etc that argument held weight but not now.
Last edited by Rikimaru; February 28th, 2010 at 17:28.
I personally think this is a valid point, i take a torch squad in many of my lists, and they've become an invalueable (and if i do say so cheap) asset to my army. even if its space marines the fact that its easily possible to cover an entire squad and then re-roll wounds means your bound to have something killed, if you force enough saves they will fail.
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Well well! I made someone wince! Usually it's because they've looked at my ugly mug!Originally Posted by number6
Let's see: for the cost of my Torch unit, a single Fireknife could be purchased. Even with T-Ldr upgrade it's not going to guarantee all shots hitting every time. When it fails to wound, there's no re-roll.
Torch unit doesn't need to roll to hit with the twin flamers, and if placed correctly (read "deep strikes accurately" ) the templates will hit as many models as possible in the enemy unit. With re-rolls to wound, that can end up with quite a considerable number of wounding hits *per Torch model*. Last match saw the two guys get 16 wounding hits on a Marine Tactical squad, plus another 2 from the Burst Cannon on the T-Ldr.
Fireknife can't match that if we go by comparing cost-effectiveness of the points.
It works for me. If the idea of a Torch squad being 2-3" away from the enemy worries someone, then fair enough. Don't use it. I however don't have a problem with it. It has proven its ability in the four consecutive games - possibly more than that; I can't remember - to cause major hassles for my opponents in the backfield. This is what I want it to do. It does it. Case closed as far as I'm concerned. Other folks may obviously not agree, and that's their privilege.
Last edited by eiglepulper; February 28th, 2010 at 18:09.
"Tau Commandment #226: Participants who use Velocity Trackers in the Tau Clay Pigeon Tournament will be disqualified"
Number 6 and riki are good examples of two guys with different playstyles, their lists will be different. Neither is wrong, they have just worked out what suits them.
The torch squad is not my cup of tea. I have no problem with the math on it, I just think that Tau players in general tend to mathhammer their army to death and it does not suit my style of play.
But take my opinion with a grain of salt; I use Vespid.
That's right kiddies, Uncle Skar uses VESPID!
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The "A Smart Player Will..." theory is a complete paradox. If we make an assumption that everything we do is outsmarted, then theoretically we can never win.
A full Torch squad has three Flamer templates and three of those covers a large area. They will easily cover the majority of models in a target unit. The old "oh yeah but you can just spread models 2" apart" holds very little water.I cannot think of many occasions where I have seen units perfectly spread out with neat 2" spacing other than in deployment, in fact I can hand on heart say I have never hit a unit with the Torch squad that has been set out with all models at 2" spacing.
As soon as units start to move and game pressure starts then units moving over the field and opponents tactics will usually mean units tend to bunch up.
The damage a full Torch squad does to 4/5/6 save troops is better than any other Tau unit can achieve other than a rapid firing BS5 FW squad.
Torch units are versatile, effective, are usable throughout the game, are cheap enough to suicide Deepstrike and tar pit units, they are fantastic dissuasion units. Ask any Ork player or Nid player who has been on the end of a Torch squad roasting if they will chance moving a big assault unit close to a Torch squad and they will always answer in the negative, even a Marine player will think twice after they lose 4 or 5 Marines to a Torch squad. Watch a player throw everything they can at a Torch unit closing in on their unit on that important objective because they know that the cover saves count for squat and to top all that of when the Flamers are not in range the unit is throwing STR7 shots down range. Like I said ultra effective, useful, cheap value for money versatile unit.
Skars: You are 100% correct in that you need to choose what fits your playstyle. What annoys me though is the fact that I keep seeing wholesale dismissal and derision of the Flamer equipped XV8 usually based on ill advised and quite frankly outdated, outmoded and blinkered thinking. Yes the golden rule with XV8's has always been do not get close and in all the other builds this still applies; but this should not mean we should just dismiss an XV8 unit that DOES work at close range.
You are a perfect example of 'outside the normal Tau thinking" with your list, I would not use your list in a thousand years but that does not mean I dismiss it (I know that sounds contradictory) because you obviously have success with it and there is always something to be learned from success.
In my opinion an elitist Tau attitude is apparent around the internet and with the those who think they are the 'intelligentsia' amongst Tau players, it happened in 4th with Mech. In 4th if you were not Mech you lacked and were looked down on as some sort of idiot, Hybrid could never work. Same thing is happening again, if you don't have the carbon copy Tau list (we all know the one) then you are not a 'proper' Tau player and you will lose.
Well sorry but no, I used Hybrid and Helios when the only list that could ever win was Mech and I funnily enough I won more than I lost and this elitist crap needs showing up for what it is.
The Torch squad is a powerful, useful unit and everyone and anyone should give it serious thought, same goes for the Fireknife squad, in the right place it kicks ass, so give the FK unit some thought as well. There is no reason to dismiss any unit, hell I have an elite FK unit in my 2000pts list.
Last edited by Rikimaru; February 28th, 2010 at 22:56.