Welcome to Librarium Online!
My name is Matt, and I've been playing warhammer fantasy since I was 13 and 40k for nearly as long. I'm now 22, and thinking back, I feel old. Anyhow, I feel kind of dirty making my first forum post in the Tau section as I am a Space Wolf player, but Russ's finest are going to the shelf until they get a new codex. I have decided to start a Tau army, close combat is fun and all, but gets tedious as the person I play the most has a BA army, and when we are practicing "combat manouvres(sp?)" the sheer amount of dice to rolled in melee combat can get ludicrous (i recall once rolling 60+ attacks). I am not claiming to be an expert on the Tau, but I've played the game long enough to see the tactical use of just about any unit there is (yes, i even see some merit to Vespids, but that's another thread).
Now onto my point, regardless of them being "Wolfy" or not I feel that Landspeeders are the greatest thing since the invention of the Holy Bolter, and rarely bring less than two to any battle (as space wolves leave little to be desired in the fast attack section of the Force Org. chart). I see many people comparing them to Land speeders, but they are two different units, in two different armies. Though are arguably used for the same purpose, both vehicles have their strengths and weaknesses.
This post may get longish, but I'm going to try and throw out as many different strong points as possible. The first thing to note is that the landspeeder has the same armor value on all sides while the piranha has a stronger front armor, which makes it all but immune to small arms fire. If we compare the landspeer and piranha against static tactical squad with bolters and a heavy weapon (hoping one wouldn't put the piranha in range of a meltagun), comparing numbers you will see that the piranha has a better chance of survival, i.e. 6-7 hits vs. 1. The only thing that hurts the piranha is being open-topped but even that is not as bad as it might seem. Though open top does add one to the result on the vehicle damage chart, there are still only two results on the table that will cripple the piranha beyond any usefulness (I have taken statistics, but don't count my knowledge as concrete, but a the average roll on a d6 would be 3.5, in actual game terms that cannot happen so it will roll to a 3 or 4, no?).
The second thing I would like to mention is the piranha's body design, I do not have a model in front of me, but it seems that the piranha's front is at least 4" wide. This makes the front armor cover a larger area than that of a Rhino, or other standard sized tank. The only question I have about this is whether attached drones or 'wings' actually count as part of the vehicle. I would think the answer is yes and it counts as front armor, at least to the corner of the wings where the drones attach. If anyone can clarify this it would be appreciated.
I'm am going to talk about the fusion piranha now, as I don't think I would ever keep the burst cannon on, just as I would never keep the heavy bolter on a landspeeder. Though the multimelta has a better range than the fusion gun, in most most missions, this will not make a huge difference. In most missions you will be deploying on the long table edge, and in most cases the table will be a 4 x 6. This gives you 48' between opposing board edges. If you deploy the piranha 6' from your edge and behind cover, they will be safe to move on your first turn. Ideally you want to be able to move 24" and still keep the piranhas safe on your first turn. This would then put you 18" from the board edge and with another 12' your fusion blaster will be within 6' of any armor. This is, of course an ideal situation and will most likely never happen in game terms, however you must take into account that tanks are 3+ inches long, and that they have a perfect firing position on turn 1, and if this the case Bad General!
There have been times where I have kamikazied my landspeeders rushing up for a first turn shot to hopefully drop a vindicator or the like, but most often they wait until turn 2 to blitz a tank, as very few people will knowingly put tanks in a first turn possible 12' multimelta shot, this is why I don't see the multimelta being all that much more useful on such a mobile vehicle.
Lastly is the loadout, I would suggest a squadron of 2, and giving them each a targetting array and buying the fusion upgrade (any other upgrades make these little guys more expensive than needed). This size is by far the most efficient, as it is not a huge chunk of points and at the end of the game will be able to take objectives as it will be either at full points, or at 50% which allows it to score, and only takes 1 spot on the force org chart, which allows for a pathfinders squad or two, and even the gun drone protectors for the IC if thats how your 'el or 'o roll.
I apollogize for the long post, and I promise that not all of my posts will be this long, but if i open someone's eyes to the potential of the piranha, then I feel I have done my job,
P.S.- I've been writing this for about 2 hours and have to get on with making dinner so I apollogize for any glaring grammar/readibility problems.
I don't claim to be an expert with any army; Truth be told I don't even -own- an army, all I have is the Tau Codex and the knowledge reading far too many posts in the Tau forum can offer (I read ALL of Our Mobile Forces ), and the Piranha comes up alot along with Vespid.
I see your points, and in my mind I can see the Piranha being a good choice for an army... However, three piranhas cost more than a stock Railhead. Their chances of being feilded increase in larger games, however...
The cost vs effectiveness ratio hast to be considered. No one will argue that a Piranha can be an effective unit, but effective for it's cost is another thing. Range seems (In my noobish eyes) to be everything in this game for the Tau, and a foot is next to nothing. That's spitting distance for all practical purposes. And a stray spit wad could easily send the brittle Piranha nose-diving into the ground.
The real problem with using Piranhas in an anti-tank role is that so many units in the Tau arsenal do it better and in a more cost efficient manner. Railguns have a 6ft range, a power of ten, and AP 1. A loaded Hammerhead with a railgun costs approximately the same as three Piranhas, and it has the coveted Submunition round. A standard Broadside costs slightly more than a single Piranha and is also armed with a railgun. One might point to the inherant immobility of the Broadside, but the fact is if it's presence is forcing the oppenent to position his forces around dealing with it then it's doing it's job. And if they chose to ignore it, bang.
Piranhas do have mobility, that's for certain, and they don't look as threatening as Hammerheads, therefor they may not take as much fire. If you could charge a squad up to a tank, destroy it, and then boost away they've made up their points (probably), and with fusion they can operate as anti-MEQ in dire situations. However, with so many shots directed against them from an infantry squad coupled with it's low armor the Piranha is not suited for this role.
Please note that I have NO experience in actual play, these are merely observations I've made by looking at the codex and comments made by others. If I'm wrong in any of these assumptions, please tell me so that I may be able to make better posts in the future.
You can't judge a unit by simply looking at it in a vaccum or camparing it to units in the arsenal of other armies. You have to consider the role the unit fills and how effective it is compared with other options. Without the fusion blaster upgrade, the pirannah doesn't do much that the rest of your army can't. The fusion blaster ship is kinda pricey when you can just throw a suicide suit with twin fusions and a targeting array for less points and he has better odds of killing a tank.
As far as the armor, 11 isn't horrible, but forces your opponent to use more dedicated anti-armor weapons which absolutely obliterate it. Open topped is pretty horrible mostly because the vehicle isa fast skimmer. Anything higher than a 3 is pretty much gonna remove it as a factor which only gives a 1/3 chance of surviving a hit and still being able to affect the game. Even with decoy launchers, your odds of making it out of the situation are still pretty bad. Have no illusions, the fusion pirannah is a suicide unit. It may survive, but I wouldn't bet money on it.
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Like you, I don't have the army yet either, but do have a lot of experience playing the marines, and as everything seems to be based off of them I have a bit more of the attitude that "everything can find it's use", one just needs to look for it.
I do agree with many of the points you had about more cost effective antitank, however I do think that the piranha still has merit, even being in the same list as a railhead. You mentioned exactly why I would still put these in with a railhead or two. The submunitions round, instead of spending a turn blasting tanks, you could drop two more submunitions rounds. The piranha also offers the opponent a tough choice of trying to knock the railhead out or the piranha, and as heavy support is deployed first, the piranhas can threaten any units your opponent was able to hide from the railhead/broadsides, not to mention the 'free' gun drones that can harrass heavy weapons teams/dev squads, it only takes one casualty to force a pinning test, and if they shoot them, no huge loss.
Also do not forget, if the opponent gets a weapon destroyed result, most will then totally ignore the speeder/piranha flying around the board as it doesn't directly threaten their units anymore, and will be free to grab an objective on the last turn of the game.
I was comparing it to the speeder because thats what everyone who says NAY usually compares it to, hence why I compared it too the speeder.
And yes the single suicide suit has a better chance of killing a tank, but there goes an elite choice for a pair of XV-8's that could have been a fireknife or helios suit, for the all important medium/high strength low ap weapons that are so important.
Greetings fella welcome to the madhouseOriginally Posted by TheLastHuzzahWell heres where I have to disagree straight away, the Landspeeder has a much wider selection of options they can take heavy flamers, assault cannon, Multi melta, typhoon multi missile launchers, they can deep strike. All these weapon options make the Lanspeeder a much more versatile vehicle.Originally Posted by TheLastHuzzah
The Assualt cannon alone makes the Landspeeder insanely dangerous, 4 STR6 rending shots mean nothing is safe from them, or give them Multi meters for double the range of the Pirahna, heavy flamers in CoD make them really dangerous.
The Landspeeder can sit at 24" with an assault cannon and take down vehicles, characters, monstrous creatures, try that with a pirahna.
The Landspeeder totaly outclasses the pirahna in tactical flexibility.Heh dont worry dude your talking to the master of long postsOriginally Posted by TheLastHuzzahThe Lanspeeder has some advantages the Pirahna does not have that effectively make the +1 front armour of the Pirahna a very negligable bonus:Originally Posted by TheLastHuzzah
The weapons it takes have a better range, assault cannon 24", Multi melta 24" (12" for 2D6 pen) so it can avoid quite a bit of return fire, yes your right if your facing a squad of infantry with str4 weapons with the AV11 your ok, but the simple fact is there are plenty of weapons at STR5 and above and the Landspeeder is not open topped and that makes a difference.
Roll a 3 and your armament destroyed, 4 and your immobalised, even rolling the dice means you cannot move or shoot, this may not seem a great but knowing even getting a roll on the glancing table means your pirahna squadron is usless for a turn or you lose a pirahna (you cannot move away from a stunned vehicle in a squadron or the stunned vehicle is destroyed).
So your a bit out with the couple of results that will cripple a pairahna, the fact is that even rolling a dice will screw up the pirahna for a turn and + will mean its basically useless ( a couple of gun drones hardly make it fearsome)
And one last thing open topped vehicles have the vulnerable to blast templates special rule so every hit counts as two, not brilliant eh, Landspeeders may be AV10 but I know which I would prefer to have in my list.I think your stretching things a bit with the drones as front armour, drones are not the vehicle they dont have armour, if you look at the diagram on page 65 of the BGB you will see that lines that define front armour actually miss the drones anyway.Originally Posted by TheLastHuzzahIn most missions the range of the fusion makes a big difference, the problem is that 5" for the 2D6 most players do not deploy there tanks in isolation so even if you get lucky and pop a tank your leaving the pirahnas open to a lot of return fire, and they have to get within 6" they can either boost which means they cannot shoot, or they can move 12" when they move they cant benefit from cover. Like you said ideal situations very rarely happen and the Pirahna needs ideal situations, unfortunately having to get within 6" of the opponents orces is not ideal.Originally Posted by TheLastHuzzahThe simple fact is that 12" does give you an advantage it means you have more choice about where to move a 12" range is a lot more forgiving than having to get within 6".Originally Posted by TheLastHuzzah75 points for one fusion shot at half range of the Multi melta and so very fragile, no thanks as for the 2 man squad well I would not bet on them lasting the game, unless you just run them around the edge of the field all game, like I said even a couple of glancing results will really hurt a pirahna squadron.Originally Posted by TheLastHuzzahDont aplogise it was a good post, dont agree with the sentiment but still a good attemptOriginally Posted by TheLastHuzzah
Last edited by Rikimaru; August 17th, 2006 at 00:07.
I've used Piranhas on several occasions and have had great success with them. What I don't like about people comparing them to landspeeders is that, while they fill similar tactical niches, they are very different vehicles and as such should be used differently. The SMs are technically designed so thaat each squad is an army unto itself, the Tau don't have that advantage and need to adapt to cover that weakness which makes Tau a much more difficult-to-master army than SMs. Also, too much importance is being put on to the armor, I've found that the Piranha works best when you hide it in cover then launch seeker missiles or dash out to hit the side/rear armor of tanks, then your back in cover on the next turn. Any infantry that was supporting the tank having been lured away or killed by stealth or crisis suits. The keyword to the Tau army is teamwork, no one unit can halt the entire enemy army the way SMs can, they become however much more effective than SMs when you include markerlights, JSJ, and harassment by suits in additon to those units. If you keep complaining about how Piranhas aren't as good as landspeeders, then play SMs and you can take as many ladspeeders as the FoC will allow.
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Definitely some great points to counter mine, and I am well aware that you are the king of long posts, I've been doing my homework the last few days on the members here and the tau army itself. However I'll recirprocate and try to counter counterpoints. I've never gotten used to the quote commands on these so I'll go point by point.
1. Tactically, yes the landspeeder definitely has more options, and yes, assault cannons got a huge boost this time around, but I still don't like outfitting them with much more than a multimelta, especially since they are so fragile. 24' assault cannon for me usually = dead landspeeder. Yes the multimelta is only 24' but I take the Landspeeder fully expecting it to not survive the game (as i would with the piranha, and don't yell "but the greater good!", those two pilots live's are worth the sacrifice if it saves 3 other tau =P ). I have been meaning to play CoD but haven't gotten the opportunity yet, but I have the book and can definitely see the heavy flamer goodness. The two speeders I take run me 130, the piranha run me 150 and even killing one tank will often make back what I put into them (though perhaps not as easily as the speeders will.)
2. I'm still a fan of the AV 11, yes there are plenty of strength 5 weapons out there, but more often than not are mixed with Str <5 weapons, though a few exceptions do come to mind, devastators, another tau player, and i'm sure there are others, but can't say for sure as i don't have the cash to buy every army book. Depending on how tank heavy my army was I probably wouldn't spend an entire turn of shooting to drop a skimmer, usually there are juicier targets. From my experiences you aren't really negating all that much fire with a 12' melta range, as like you said people don't leave their tanks all alone.
3. I didn't mean put the speeder in cover, but behind cover such as trees or a building, and outside of the "footprint" so it is not a legal target unless of course you move into said cover. I'm still getting used to 4th ed. rules, but I didn't see anywhere that said that skimmers don't benefit from being behind cover. If there is point it out and we'll never speak of this again =)
3. There is an effect of them that doesn't have numbers attached and that is the psychological effect of them. As said in a later post, most times they'll be ignored or an unecessary amount of fire plowed into them, and even minus a fusion gun, the piranha can claim objectives, and this is often overlooked. I said 2 man squadron, because if they want victory points they'll need to wipe out both vehicles (as you said not very difficult, but my landspeeders seem to do all right for themselves). Even one glancing hit on a landspeeder will make it useless for a turn, and I don't see the piranha squadron being that much different.
I promise I'm not trying to start a fight, but there are things outside of numbers that impact the game. I'm going to assume we're both grizzled vets (perhaps you're a bit more grizzled =P) and neither of us will change each other's mind, but there's nothing wrong with some friendly discussion.
P.S.- some quick reply =)
Well... I love me piranhas and field 2 of them on 2000 points... I'm still trying to shoehorn one into my 1500 list... But I digress.
I think they're quite useful against marines and nids when you use the FB/TA upgrade... While your Railheads/Basses are out gunning for the predators your piranhas can go for a Dread or another high value target... Just don't expect them to live much!
Against nids I like to use them for those last few high ST, low AP shots needed to down that flyrant thats near your lines on turn 2/3. And they're good for blocking those bugs for a turn (my friend who plays bugs runs a all genestealer army plus a flyrant and two gunfexes).
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I would merely like to put this in for consideration. I've never actually seen someone play against a Tau army (well, sort of... but it was a game without tanks. Don't ask, I'm not sure what the deal was...), but when you say the word Tau what's the first thing that comes to mind?
The Hammerhead tank is a beast, no matter how you look at it. And then you have Devil Fishes, which aren't as devastating but in a mech Tau list provide a good solid peice of metal between your Firewarriors and the enemy weapons. My point with this is when an oppenent knows they're facing Tau the normal reaction I would expect would be to load up everyone with as many heavy weapons as possible because they know that no matter what, they're only going to get a glancing hit anyway. That, and/or charge with the close combat troops.
But I have to agree... It's a hit or miss thing really, like most Tau strategies. Between Skyrays, Broadsides, Hammerheads, Crisis Suits, Stealth Suits, and Fishes of Fury, Piranhas are reletively small fish (Pun! Hah!), so they won't attract as much of that heavy fire. Not that they need to... It doesn't take a whole lot.
I really don't know. I'll just leave it to preferance and how much of a risk you're willing to take.