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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going adress a very uneasy topic. What is the point of railrifles? At first i thought like most of you that wow these guys are really cool. But, the truth is they aren't that different from an Ion cannon! The guns shoot almost the same, taking away from the fact that its 3 guys shooting the rail guns, and you say the range is different but that wouldn't matter because the pathfinders are up front while the Hammerhead is in the back of the army.

Take a look

Hammerhead 80
Ion cannon +30
Burst cannons +10
Total= 130

Devilfish 80
Pathfinder+12
3Pf w/ RR+66
Total=158

I look at it this way you choose the pathfinder road were you get one markerlight dude to go w/ your "little warriors of destuction" and the devilfish, of course that having the useless shots of gun drones. But the 3 shots are not quite as good!

You see the Hammerhead has a BS of 4 making it easier to hit so each of the Ion Cannon's shots are better and the same amount of points.(28 pts for the other pathfinder and drone evens it outright?) I would much rather roll a 3+ then a 4+ thats tons better odds and for 3 shots. The ion cannon to me just seem like it's so much better! Prove me wrong. ;)
 

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im using them for the extra marine killing power... the hammerhead with ion cannon would be better but i always use 9 broadsides in every 2000 point game i play.... its like having a mini-hammerhead in my fast attack section.... that is where they are usefull... at least for me... and about thier bad BS... i usally have 4 to 6 firewarrior squads of 6 with markerlights in each group dispersed about the whole board... so theyd hit and would on 2s. most likely....

I am constantly playing marine/chaos armies... and an occasional eldar.... i think the little dudes are worth it.... especially in the bigger battles..... i usally play 2500
in bigger battles i need all the firepower i can get... and if i can get it in the fast attack section its all the better.........

there is nothing wrong with having a hammerhead with ion cannon in my fast attack section........
 

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additionally.......... the points cost comparason would come out even..... you may think the hammerhead is cheaper... but....you didnt put proper upgrades on it! how could you forget a multitraker.... i think that is a must on hammerheads.... on mine i put disrution pod and decoy launchers... i always have SMS.... burst cannon isn't good in this case...


Hammerhead 80
Ion cannon +30
SMS+20
Multi-Tracker +10
Decoy Launchers + 5
Disruption Pod +5
Total= 160

Devilfish 80
Pathfinder+12
3Pf w/ RR+66
Total=158

its even in my book.... i always equip my hammerheads like so.... if i use them....
 

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I think there's a reasonable explanation for this. I'd say the game constructors have chosen to add the rail rifle-models (probably mostly because they're so cool) and modelled them cost-wise after the Hammerhead, keeping the tank a bit cheaper than the rail rifle-models. Why would they just add a "super"-unit when they have repeatedly tested and decided to set the cost for the Hammerhead? I think the game constructors are aware of these cost-issues and just realesed the rail rifles as new, cool models - but hey, I'm going to buy 'em! :p
 

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On the pro side w/ Pathfinders, you only have to expose 66 points to use their firepower. With a Hammerhead all 160+ points are exposed to fire.

On the con side more weapons can damage Pathfinders and their range is shorter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
qwerter4, good point i had never considered high point battles when I had come w/ this idea, mainly because money come easy. :( But yeah if ever had the chances to play in a 2500 point battle i mean they would almost be a must.

SockMonkey, it takes a pretty lame shot to kill a pathfinder and takes a considerible shot to take out a hammerhead, so when i wrote this topic i thought that was totally bogus because he two balance each other. ;)
 

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i dont often play below 2500............. 3000 up is my cup o' tea....... if you examine the tau closely, they actually excell in smaller battles... 1500 they can really conquer...... i dont think small battles are quite as satisfying though........
 

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I find the Ion cannon is a waste, the railgun is much better, the ordance will kill about as many marines as the Ion Cannon usually, plus it has the standard shot, the reason the rail rifle is made is because the Railgun is so far superior. I use three hammerheads with rails, so use pathfinders as your ion cannon.
 

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Doesn't the rail rifle pin? Because if it does, than it makes it a must against space marines. You can stop an advance for a WHOLE TURN if you hit and they fail leadership. And seasoned tau commander knows that an extra turn may just be all they need to obliderate the enemy's front line attackers!
 

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If you'll pardon the acronyms, I quite like the PFs with RRs and usually take a full squad of 8.

The 5 with Markerlights can 'ping' your targets for the 3 guys with the RRs, increasing their chances of making a kill quite considerably.

There is some debate over whether or not this is allowed, but I don't see why not. Especially as the Pathfinders are the closest Tau equivalent of a 'sniper' unit. I think it seems quite apt that their mates 'las' the targets for them.

The cost is a nuisance I'll concede, it's the fish that's the problem. I like to send it off on it's own as something of an expendible fire magnet. They can be surprisingly tough although the damage they can actually dish out is somewhat limited. If nothing else it makes good cover for the Crisis boys.

I think I like the 'idea' of the PFs more than the actual unit in the game, but there you go, a sucker for fluff.
 

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One thing that a realised but never put to the test when the squad came out was their usefulness.

Because of their free move at the begining of the game your opponent will NEVER get a penetrating hit on the Devilfish as long as they move over 6" because even if your opponent gets first turn you moved it just before it. That for me is a very good plus.

The way i figured it would be deploying the Pathfinders at the very back of the line making use of their long range but deploying the Devilfigh at the front.

Once in battle the Devilfish would be best used arrasing the back line of the enemy while using the matkerlight on the Pathfinders to either improve the chance on one of the railrifles of the smart missiles.

With three squads of Pathfinders like this and the ammount of fire power you can get per turn there is a good chance you can take a squad per tun out just by placing the Devilfish in the fall back corridors of your target squads. 3 Devilfish should be able to cover at least 3/4 squads.
 

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Originally posted by Splan@Apr 28 2004, 02:49
The 5 with Markerlights can 'ping' your targets for the 3 guys with the RRs, increasing their chances of making a kill quite considerably.

There is some debate over whether or not this is allowed, but I don't see why not. Especially as the Pathfinders are the closest Tau equivalent of a 'sniper' unit. I think it seems quite apt that their mates 'las' the targets for them.
Unfortunately, the Tau FAQ at GW doesn't address the issue but on another page regarding Tau Tactica I pulled the following quote:

The newest option for Pathfinders are of course the deadly Rail Rifles. This weapon has the same range and pinning effect as a Sniper Rifle. By following another squad's Markerlights, the Rail Rifles will hit on a 2+. from GW -> Tau Tactics -> Fast Attack -> Pathfinders...

Technically we shouldn't have to see a "ruling" on this, since it is just a matter of the rules. If I fire 9 Bolters and a Heavy Bolter from a Space Marine squad, I declare a target and fire all 10 weapons at the same time using dice of a different color for the Heavy Bolter, or rolling the dice a moment later, but it is still Same Target at the Same Time.

Therefore, when my Pathfinder unit declares a target they fire at the Same Target at the Same Time, so the Rail Rifles will already have fired when the Markerlights "resolve".

It would be nice if it worked though.

Jon
 

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They can also punch through some light armor vehicles.
One thing i do with them is use my free turn to get the pathfinders in some cover and use my fish to either provide cover or screen my hammerhead, not to mention you can give the fish a seeker missle to take out some terminators or other vehicles. I play against mainly spacemarines and by using the HH to take out the big vehicles and usig pathfinders and other firewarriors to shoot up the marines i get some good results, unfortuanly i havent been able to get broadsides yet :( but thats my next unit i am going to get, then after that i will get my firewarriors some fishes. The PF get to move through cover like infantry instead of taking a chance of crashing in the woods that the hammerhead can do.
Tau'Va :a
 
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