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A bit of an odd question I'll admit, but it's fairly straight-forward.
Basically I was wondering what you thought a Tau Battlesuit is the equivalent of in the modern army of today - is it say... the equivalent of an attack chopper? A Light Tank? Heavy Infantry? Commandos etc etc... just thought it'd be interesting to see how we see our battlesuits...
Over to you
If I were to state my opinion, I'd say it's a bit of a cross between an attack chopper, due to it's survivability, manouverability, and also it's ability to mount and use a number of specialised and heavy weapons, and also a commando/special forces soldier, since suit pilots have to have something like...8 years of experience before they can use it (and pass a trial first) - considering Tau retire after about 16 years, we're certainly talking veterans using these things... a bit like Special Forces of today.
Last edited by Blackadder; May 29th, 2012 at 18:37.
I'd say they aren't the equivalent of choppers because they aren't capable of independently (without a transport) rapidly deploying to the battlefield. If they could, then that comparison would be much better.
Because they require a transport, they share something with infantry fighting vehicles, in that they are airlifted to a combat zone and require a pilot once they have arrived.
The fact that they are exceedingly more mobile and agile than any ifv ever made however, definitely moves them towards their own category.
And I don't know about the rest of the world, but it is possible to join 'special forces' without having any experience in the united states. You just have to meet the physical requirements and pass training. Combat experience is not a requirement. Which doesn't seem that strange when you remember that special forces are those forces which are designed and trained to engage in asymmetric warfare. They are not front line fighters.
I would say that my best answer is that battle suits provide a tactical option which has not yet been deployed here in the real world. They possess greater mobility and agility than any fighting machine ever produced on earth. They are able to redeploy faster than any ground based weapons platform, yet retain the strength of arms and rate of fire that rivals most any dedicated war machines the world has ever seen.
They are their own class of weapon, their unique attributes bring tactical options to the battlefield that are unmatched and unparalleled by anything that exists currently.
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Rand since the XV-8 is also the same basic platform for the XV-88, it would be the same as a helicopter losing it's rotor blade and swapped out with a couple artillery cannons.
The role of the battlesuit is versatility. Deepstrikable, various weapon loadouts from anti-infantry to anti-tank to anti-walking fortress, having command role potential, communication upgrades, and the combination of mobility and resilience make it something that is unique in it's own right.
The 'special forces' analogy is broken. You can join the special forces right off the street, it's not something you have to work your way into. Besides that, stealth suits fit the bill a lot better. They absolutely scream "navy seal!"
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I don't see Battlesuits as being elite or specialist in the context of the Tau army, any more than the Abrams tank is elite in the US army. Suits roughly fill the role of heavy infantry or maybe an armored brigade. The only reason the Tau don't use them exclusively is manufacturing expense, I believe, which makes them very much a frontline unit. You don't put your best equipment in the reserves.
Even Stealth suits would make excellent assault units, methinks. What better way to get through a killing field than being almost invisible AND armored?
It's worth considering that modern special forces are often deliberately under-equipped compared to the average soldier. Many of their jobs can be done with only a radio, pair of binoculars and a sniper rifle...high-end firepower would only interfere with sneaking around. (This implies that Kroot are the real special forces of Tau!)
"My tanks have names, my men have numbers." -Col. Edmund Grahvess, 23rd Kronecker Prison Guard
I would say the Apache Longbow Attack Helicopter is the equivalent of the XV-8 Crisis.
It lurks around battlefields, engaging targets of high priority, often shooting at them from behind cover (hellfire missiles lobbed over hills, the dome on top of the chopper with the laser the only thing the target would see over a ridgeline), and specializes in anti armor interdiction.
It is also faster than any ground deployable force, is a stable hovering weapons platform, and is armed to deal with a variety of roles.
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