Tau Weapons in 8th Edition

I really wanted to delay this again just for Prom :).

So finally – we have Tau weapons. We are going to start at the entire reason everyone plays Tau – the Crisis suit (if you don’t play Tau for Crisis Suits, I am not talking to you).

An interesting array of numbers that are… well rather low. Only one gets into the remotely green area and that’s the Fusion Blaster with the overchaged Cyclic Ion Blaster matching, and often exceeding, the Missile Pod. The flamer has strong stats compared to anything else in the anti-infantry department until we get to MEQ type units and the dual roles of the CIB actually make it decent against MEQ type infantry and light to medium vehicles. Range is an issue there though – same with the Fusion Blaster. It’s certainly the best at damage tougher targets but to get the extra damage, like all Meltaweapons they are getting close. The Plasma Rifle looks horrendous (remembering it’s on Rapid Fire mode in this table) and looks on par with the Burst cannon. The Missile Pod certainly isn’t blowing things away but has the best range and is the most expensive.

Let’s take a look at when we start adding Markerlights and ATS though.


Throw in a single markerlight (re-rolling 1’s) and we start to see some green creeping in for the CIB and Missile Pod with the Burst Cannon and CIB gaining some ground on the Flamer in the anti-light infantry department.

Get five markerlights for a bonus to hit (the only other one which would apply to is really going to be no cover but we are running these tables without cover regardless or when Advancing and shooting most of their weapons) and that green is becoming a bit more prominent. The Plasma Rifle still looks horrendous and the AFP, BC and Flamer will always be pretty bleh against 2+ Sv targets. I’m really impressed how the CIB is keeping in step, if not ahead, of the Missile Pod.

And finally we see what happens when we add in ATS (in order – no markerlights, 1 markerlight and 5 markerlights).

We see a strong increase in general damage with the ATS – probably the best 8 points you can spend on the smaller models, particularly given most of the weapons are Assault so you have less use for things like Target Locks. Picking out a few random numbers we see anywhere from a 20.2% increase in damage (Fusion Blaster against Land Raider, CIB overcharge against GEQs) to a steady 52.2% increase (Missile Pod against Mephiston) to a demoralising 90% increase (AFP against Mephiston). Certainly less useful for certain weapons such as the cheaper Burst Cannons / Flamers or the Fusion Blaster who is already ignoring all but the sturdiest of saves, but definitely strong options for the more expensive weapons such as the Missile Pod or CIB and across other bigger models with more damaging weapons. Edit: For clarity, getting three of a weapon on Crisis Suits over the ATS does more damage – you are just more efficient points wise with the ATS. 

Anyway, back to the tables at hand.

Time and time again though I’m looking at the CIB and thinking for six points less than a Missile Pod, you’re more flexible with the two firing modes and do more damage on average across every model type sans mid-toughness models were you are on parity. Make sure there is a single Markerlight on the target, you’re unlikely to take a mortal wound from the Overcharge as well. Half the range is a big negative though but with a standard Crisis Suit sporting two Missile Pods and an ATS being a staggering 98 points, shaving 12 points off for better damage may be worth it. Fusion Blasters as well seem like a solid choice – throwing some Markerlights on a target to allow for an advance after deep strike can get within that lovely 9″ bracket Edit: Cannot do this woops! though the ATS on them is far less needed except versus 2+ save models (particularly in cover; oh look Markerlights solve that as well).

Overall though for Crisis Suits, I’m having a hard time justifying them anymore. Missiles (and CIBs apparently) do damage – we all know this, the math back its up but a Broadside at 210 points does about 77.6-95.3% of the work of three suits with Missiles at 71% the cost. You lose mobility and some durability (T5/W9 vs T5/W6 though for every three wounds the Crisis firepower drops) but are more efficient shooting wise.

That being said, I’m growing more and more fond of the Crisis Commander (thank you everyone). At roughly half the cost of a Missile squad, he does more than half the damage thanks to his better BS and his lovely Master of War ability helps the army as a whole or a Commander with four Fusion Blasters can reliably wreck face on any tank, particularly if you land a single Markerlight hit (I’m sensing a theme…).

With that, to Broadsides (I’ve included the ATS here in base stats, same order of markerlights)!

I’ve also simply doubled the shots for the HYMP and SMS given you have to take two. The HRR is 77% the cost of the HYMP and is normally about 50% of the time worse off except against 2+ Sv models and T7 and up. Which is very interesting – that’s right in the wheelhouse for what you’d normally want Broadsides targeting. T7 vehicles. Your mid-range stuff – gets slaughtered by the HYMP while the HRR simply does not have the shot quantity to even bother them. Your light transports, flyers and light vehicles can quite easily be turned into lunch meat by a single Broadside but once we start hitting Rhino toughness, their damage output drops dramatically. Personally though, I hate relying on small dice numbers when there is randomness involved (damage table) so the more dice you’re rolling, even at D3D, appeals to me over the less D6D option of the HRR.

We can see the SMS is also miles ahead of the Plasma Rifle except against 2+ Sv models though it still takes the edge there. The significant advantages across the board though seem to warrant the double the points cost.

Markerlights really double the damage of the Broadsides though and allow them to move and shoot – super important these little buggers are.

Let’s check out the Hammerhead next (normal, re-roll 1’s and +1 BS).

Surprisingly the Ion Cannon does the same damage on standard shots compared to Overcharging along the lower durability lines. Not that shocking when you think about it but reminding yourself on occasion you don’t need to Overcharge unless the Toughness exceeds 7 or you’re looking to do the extra Wounds damage is quite important. D3 random shots will do that but the ceiling for Overcharging is obviously higher (potentially needing a Command Point re-roll to maximise those chances when you need it). If you force the Ion Cannon Overcharge to three shots, the damage is quite a bit more in the multi-wound model department.

Also surprisingly, the Railgun is consistently on par with the Ion Cannon across the multi-wound model durability. It is a little bit behind in the less durable area (i.e. light vehicles) but quickly takes the lead against anything with T7+ or a 2+Sv. Similarly to the HRR for the Broadsides though, I am not a fan of the limited rolls – one shot and one D6 roll is frustrating when you flub it (I had a game where I playtested Longstrike in a Railhead – missed all 3 shots, stupid Markerlights). Over the course of multiple games of course this will average out and the Railhead is certainly cheaper than the Ionhead… Edit: I completely missed the Ion Cannon got D6 shots against 10+ model units! This takes it’s damage up to just a little bit better than the Railgun submunition so they both have really good flexibility across target types though the Ionhead is unit size dependent. I did not include Longstrike here but suffice to say, his damage against anything that’s a vehicle goes up significantly.

The secondary systems are obviously identical, the SMS gets 12″ extra range and no LoS needed for double the price.

Riptide and Ghostkeel time!

My initial reactions of the Riptide are its too expensive for what it does so let’s see what the numbers say, particularly compared to its new (for me anyway) counterpart in the Ghostkeel. Firstly, there’s green across the board – these are good weapons guys. The HBC shreds lighter infantry but we have no need for that in Tau – the amount of anti-infantry shooting they bring is strong but if we move along into the mid-durability section, the HBC is comparable to Broadsides with HYMP – it drastically falls off though once things hit T7. The Ion Accelerator is pretty much the same across all three functions against weak infantry (leave it for the Pulse weapons!) but we see drastic improvements with Overcharging and then Nova charging along with the application of ATS (though ATS’ application for the Nova charge is only really seen against 3+ and 2+ Sv models). For close to double the cost of the HBC, you are getting more than double the damage at the higher end (Rhinos+). I hate that D6 shot though, there’s so many of these in the Tau army that you can only Command re-roll one.

The Ghostkeel’s weapons on the other hand are decidedly less deadly but their durability with the -1 to hit benefits is a lot higher (plus no wounding self with Nova charging). They are cheaper though with a Raker/Fusion Keel being 183 points (plus drones) and Fusion / Fusion Keel being 188 compared to 324 for a HBC / SMS Riptide and 376 for a Ion / SMS Riptide (all with target lock and ATS). The Fusion Collider hangs out with the Nova’d Ion at the upper durability range in terms of damage so is a far more efficient option there, quite often not needing the half-distance to keep it’s damage potential up. The CIR is definitely the weakest of the lot though and doesn’t appear to be doing it very efficiently. It is probably around half the damage of the Nova’d Ion in the mid-range durability but the Nova’d Ion just keeps on trucking as the durability increases. Based on this I will have to give an Iontide a go but 3FKeels (Fusion Collider, 2x Fusion Blaster) seem like a solid option for tougher armor as well at half the cost.

And just for consistency, here’s the tables with markerlight (re-roll 1s and +1 BS). Important to note here that all these weapons are heavy so Target Locks are being used to ignore that though markerlights can be used as well freeing up the option for other support systems. I feel like ATS / TL is the best combination though.

The amount of damage increases Markerlights provide is staggering.

Okay Stormsurge just to look at it’s gaudy numbers and then everything else that has not been looked at.

And this is without the potential +1 to hit from standing still. I also forgot to include ATS sorry – just imagine those numbers being even higher. The Blastcannon is great, even at medium range while the Driver Cannon’s numbers are misleading. Rarely do we see units of 10+ models that are good targets for something with a S10/AP-3/D6D profile – so keep your eyes peeled on the normal version. The Cluster Rockets pick off infantry like no tomorrow though obviously fall sharply as soon as there is some armor involved. The Pulse Blastcannon and Pulse Driver Cannon do comparable damage to the Iontide but, the Blastcannon need you to be really close to get those numbers and the Driver Cannon is 82 points more expensive for less damage across the board. Throw in you cannot move if you want that beautiful extra BS without the need for markerlights and the Riptide wins out I think (though I’m bloody tempted to buy one and see what that Pulse Blastcannon can do up close…

Okay, final set – everything else!

The Quad Ion turret seems an interesting option but I am much more partial to the Bomber with its Pulse Bomb which also has two Ion Rifles from the Drones. Otherwise, nothing really unexpected here – most of the weapons are terrible at damaging anything with some sort of durability but put enough shots down and damage can be seen. I’m sorely tempted to try a Breacher squad with Pulse Blasters and Darkstrider… The Railrifle is also surprisingly damaging against medium vehicles – if only it had the sniper rule, we’d have a half decent sniper weapon in the game!

So. Thoughts.

The make up of a Tau army is going to look vastly different. We see huge drop offs in damage potential for a lot of the old hats once we hit T7+. All but the lightest of vehicles are T7+ so those Missiles you love from 6th edition onwards, may not be the best bet here. I certainly don’t think HRR Broadsides are the way to go but they are getting a serious playtest and while Deathrain Crisis Suits and Plasma Suits may be gone the way of the dodo, this opens up some interesting options for other weapon loadouts (CIB and Fusion) to be popular, particularly I think on the originally Kirby maligned, Commander. I’m rekindling my love for the Riptide – I will just have to suck it up and pay that many points it seems, but the 3FKeel is tickling my fancy as well.

Markerlights are so key though. The damage increase appears to be 55-56% ballpark. Fifty. Five. Percent. And your whole army can use that on the particular target.

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90 responses to Tau Weapons in 8th Edition

So looking through this table, how do you see your army composition / armament possibly changing Kirby? And, how do you integrate the data about wound percentages against range, platform mobility, and platform cost variables?

I missed the last couple table articles, so I feel like I've got some catching up to do. But I am curious about your current thoughts. Now that grad school is over enough for you that you seem to be posting again 🙂

Less Crisis – Commanders for sure though. Not sure on Broadsides yet but without them, there's a lack of high ROF middle strength weapons.

That's always a bit tricky – there's no exact formula and I often go on gut feel to begin with but then it's just playtesting and trying out different variants.

Pretty sure you can't Advance after deepstrike (the deepstrike is considered to take place at the end of the turn, after all movement). Otherwise melta and flamers in general would be way more powerful.

I wouldn't compare CIB and Missle Pods. The different ranges just lead to very different patterns of use. If you're at 18" and you want to kill a tank, why aren't you using a Fusion Blaster? Also, I imagine a lot of folks like me have just one lonely (metal) CIB from back when only commanders could take them. I'd compare them to plasma and the like.

You keep on saying the Plasma looks "horrendus" and I'll grant it looks worse than you'd think, but it still looks the best in most cases at killing MEQs. Which granted is a very specific, but also very common target. And they're cheap.

Why no comparisons against T4, 2+,2W? (i.e. terminators).

Woops, fixed.

The Missile Pod is certainly unique in it's range bracket for Crisis Suits and it's still a very good weapon – it's just very expensive now. The CIB has the variance of targets over the Fusion Blaster (though you can often take 2x FBs and a Flamer to cover that) – I'm not sure it's the right weapon to go with but I'm intrigued by it enough to give it a go.

8th changed the PR a lot – S6 no longer wounds all infantry on 2's and AP2 is only a -3 in the new edition so it's not shredding Marines like it used to (though Marines in cover are at one worse save now compared to last edition as well). It got a points decrease in comparison to other weapons which is important but I think with the above, the average vehicle being T7 (so its less useful for plinking off hull points) plus doubling / trebling in durability and the lack of JSJ has hit the PR the hardest. Getting into 12" and jumping out was a lot easier and while all the other weapons sans the MP have a short range as well, that extra 6" is another turn of avoiding combat I feel.

I was lazy and made no changes to Neil's sheet – I would say though that Mephiston is a good example except for the S4/5 weapons of comparison.

Plasma Rifles: Yeah I saw that and was ticked (especially considering how good Imperial plasma is now), right up until I saw it was 11 pts. Then I'm like OK, it's a specialist weapon, but that's a wide niche and it still does it well.

They are definitely cheaper which is a nod in their direction but their platforms just make me twitch – Crisis are way too expensive. I could see Broadsides taking them to be cheaper and throwing in EWO to be some backfield defenders though.

I wouldn't call them exceptional performers on Broadsides, but I haven't been terribly unhappy with them so far. Railgun + Plasma is cheaper than the Missile loadout and is good at putting wounds onto tougher targets.

If you're finding CIBs to be in short supply check out reddogminis they make some 3rd party ones.

Just because they are too bright for you does not ruin the spectacle of awesome that is the brightest of armies, blinding of foes, winner of many brightness awards.

I'd like to see these numbers with invulnerable saves involved. This is also missing a T4 2+ column

Still a great job!

This is an excellent point. While I do indeed love many of the high damage output weapons – bolstered even more with ATS, when those enemy paladins/termies big demons make their 5++ ….the lower shot volumes really show their weakness.

Still a good article – but there are a lot of other factors at play in any game (as mentioned – range is a HUGE aspect).

The full Excel sheet does implement invul saves, dowbload it & have a play if you’re interested.

Going from 3+ to 2+ save isn’t the great leap it used to be. Invul saves rarely matter; a Terminator doesn’t even need to use it’s Invul versus a plasmagun now! It is relevant for targets like Knights, though.

Did you account for mortal wounds with Heavy Rail Rifles, Rail guns? Not that that would be an easy calculation, but it does matter. (Especially on Longstrike)

Wasn't really thinking ATS on Broadsides with Heavy Rail Rifles (which was my planned loadout), you need a 2+ save for it even to come up. Still useful with SMS but I was thinking Target Locks. (part of this is that my Broadsides are from 3rd or 4th edition)

ATS on SMS is interesting impressive – makes Marines in the open whine.

Target Lock on HRR might certainly be worth it though – the HRR will only need ATS when poking vehicles out of cover or the 2+ save models.

Interesting, ATS is never more efficient on Crisis Suits. Getting the third weapon is – all it becomes for them is a cost saving exercise while still upping the damage output.

I hadn't done that comparison but it's good to know. I assume that means ATS is also a waste on commanders?

Pretty sure ATS is fucking boss on Riptides and Ghostkeels, though. But if what you say is true that makes them the only ones. Surprising.

Its more plausible on the Commander given it's buffing three weapons. Taking a random look, the MP / CIB with ATS is better than 4 MPs / CIBs against 2+ Sv multi-wound models while the 4x PR is better across the board.

ATS I would say is 100% mandatory for Riptides / Ghostkeel / Stormsurge. Probably almost automatic on the Broadside but good cases can be made against it.

I would always take ATS on the Stormsurge; on the Riptide or Ghostkeel, it would depend on weapon loadout. The Ion Accelerator and Fusion Collider don't have strong reasons to want the ATS, ditto the Plasma Rifle and Fusion Blaster for secondaries. On the other hand, many of the other weapons (like the Heavy Burst/Ion Raker) make excellent use of it, especially the secondary weapon systems. Support System slots are at a premium on those suits, so you have to carefully consider what you're trying to do with them and what roles need filling in your army.

Ion accelerator is only -3, meaning that it's only bringing a MEQ in the open out to 6+. Basically always useful, even on that. And yeah, 8 SMS shots with ATS is awesome.

Agree with Prom here, -4 AP is a nice break point, takes 2+ to 6+ and 3+ is gone so a lot of vehicles either don't get a save or just a 6+.

I am generally both surprised and gratified the Railgun came out ahead of Ion Cannon in so many situations.

But…..I'm thinking you didn't account for d6 shots against units of 10. (maybe you did, I was impressed you accounted for mortal wounds)

Personally, I wouldn't worry about reliability in the just one shot- with Longstrike and even one markerlight you're looking at 2 and a reroll.

Hmm this didn't post. Trying again.

Submunition is always D6 – cannot see anything saying it gets extra damage against larger units.

Ya the reliability is there with either Longstrike or Markerlights but I hate one shot weapons that are so expensive – that's just me as the statistical variance backs up that it's a really solid choice. Throw in also the one D6 on the damage table…

I did not include Longstrike damage output but would love to see what that +1 looks like for both the Railgun and Ion Cannon on him.

Fuck me. Missed that completely. Finally something I got wrong which is beneficial!

Ion Cannon Overcharge 10+60''HeavyD68-231.461.460.971.941.752.922.922.331.751.31

Better across the board against infantry than the Railhead.

Well, that's no surprise- Ion's role has always been against heavy infantry and light vehicles. It is a little riskier than the Railgun, though.

It did look to me like the only weapon really worth putting on crisis suits was the fusion blaster, and even then they've got some significant competition from the ghostkeel. Commander is just way better than normal suits at using missile pods and I don't know that you need enough of them anymore to worry about volume too much.

And yeah, markerlights. They're just good.

Can someone with better Excel-Fu than me make a version of this sheet for Space Marine mêlée weapons?

Does the Quad Ion cannon account for the -1 to hit from mandatory movement with a heavy weapon?

Many of the real flyers suffer from this problem, making them appear better at first glance then they actually are.

No – I did not apply any movement limitations to them (the original spreadsheet has that option) but of course, with markerlight support at level 3, it's irrelevant.

Yeah, the fact that the Razorshark is never gonna be better than 4+s, even with its bonus, is pretty disheartening.

I have liked the Cyclic Ion from the very beginning; its cheaper price compared to the Missile Pod is very nice when so many things are expensive already, and if you're planning on Deep Striking the unit anyways the range is less of an issue. It's risky, but 8E is a game that happens at short ranges a lot of the time.

Rail vs Ion on the Hammerhead is interesting; I feel like I'd want the Ion for normal HHeads and Rail for Longstrike just to have some flexibility in weapons. In practice, I've found Overcharging to be quite useful, and something I do with both the Ion Cannon and Cyclic Ion pretty consistently.

Pulse Blastcannon is just way better than Pulse Driver Cannon. More consistent shots, more consistent damage, choice of multiple profiles against different targets, and while the range isn't fantastic it's usually enough; very rarely have I found it to not get to shoot at what I want, even with the Stormsurge's reduced movement.

So maybe I just missed it, but did you cover the burst cannon and fusion blaster of stealth suits? At around half the cost of a crisis suit, and with much improved durability over their last edition incarnation, I think they might have a big step up in power from last edition.

They'd be the same as on the Crisis Suits just no ATS option in terms of damage output. Defense and cost though certainly make them worth looking at but Tau generally do not have an issue getting S5 firepower which is why Crisis Suits have always been so important.

Alright, so I've got 9 crisis suits, a commander, and 3 ghostkeels plus a ton of marker and gun drones. What's the best loadout I'm looking at for all these? It seems, from what I could make of the article, that the crisis should just be loaded with the cheap anti-infantry weapons, and my ion-fusion ghostkeels aren't as good as the double fusion loadout. The commander I'm tempted to go quad fusion, I can't remember off the top of my head what the support systems do now.

Ghostkeels IMO should be triple fusion at this point but this does depend what else your army has. I think Crisis Suits for me won't get a lot of look in but I would look at Fusion Blasters or CIBs currently. I will definitely be running Commanders for the firepower though – not needing to buy two bodies, being easy to hide and having 2+ to hit are big movers on the damage scale. Quad fusion does seem a good idea.

I would not take Crisis with anti-infantry weapons when you can get them a lot cheaper everywhere else in the Tau army.

I haven't experimented with Fusion on my Ghostkeels a lot so far, but I have had good success with Ion Raker + Flamers on them (using ATS, obv.) I think you can make a potential argument for 3xFlamer Crisis suits as well, though I haven't been exceptionally impressed.

Commanders probably want Fusion, Missiles, or CIB; make them heavy hitters. One thing to note is that the Commander (as well as Longstrike) is one of our better ways to handle Airborne targets, since the -1 to hit affects them less than it does our BS4+ units.

Crisis I think should be Fusion or CIB; make them a unit to drop in and kill something in the backfield.

Support Systems are very clutch these days; almost all of them are great. Learn them, love then, use them.

I don't think Fusion/Fusion Ghostkeels really need ATS though, right? -4 on Fusion is already reducing practically everything to 6+ or worse. I've played three games with my Fusion/Fusion Ghostkeel and it's been great. Aside from one game I let it get charged turn 1 by a 10"+ charge.

Does CIB/CIB Crisis need a support system or third CIB? Really expensive. ATS shaves points. Problem is, I really don't want to have to order aftermarket CIBs, but they're looking really good.

I'm probably looking at running a bunch of stuff.

MP/MP/MP/ATS Commanders
4xFusion Commander
Crisis with MP/MP/ATS, Drone support.
Crisis with Fusion/Fusion, Drone support.

I also have a unit with 3x Burst each for horde clearance, but they're garbage against Marines in cover. Play more Markerlights I guess.

Suits, so expensive.

You guys think Stealth Teams are worth it? With Smite so common, I'm leaning towards no.

Well, no, Fusion with ATS serves basically no purpose. I can definitely see Fusion as a secondary for the Ghostkeel, but I'm not sure how I feel about it for the primary gun- d3 shots just isn't a lot, especially with 18" range. I need to give it some more play, though.

Hmm. I feel like triple-CIB is better than twin + ATS, and it's not _that_ much more per suit. The savings is a lot more noticeable with Missiles, but CIB/CIB/ATS is workable as a way to shave some points if you had to do that.

I don't think Burst is a good choice on Crisis these days; as Kirby notes, you can get S5 guns almost anywhere and with the price increase for Crisis and the cost drops for Drones/Strike Teams, I don't really favor them much anymore.

Stealths seem decent, though they suffer from some of the same issues as Burst Crisis do. However, the -1 to hit and deployment options are both nice, and since they stayed the same price while gaining survivability (T4, W2) I think that they are a pretty alright unit. I've used them as caddies for a Drone Controller already and been reasonably happy with them, since unlike some of the other suits you don't have a strong reason to give them a support system otherwise.

So Rail Broadsides work out better than Missile ones right?

But noted; 3 weapons better than 2/ATS. But ATS saves points.

I didn't think about using Stealth Team as a controller caddy. Good point.

Gonna see if I can find some CIBs locally.

Statistically yes but their openness to variance is higher. Over the course of a 6 game tournament, they will generally do slightly better but their reliability in a single shooting phase relies on a lot less dice (i.e. two to hit dice, a to wound dice and one D6 damage die compared to the weight of dice HYMP bring).

Ya I'm not a fan of the D3 shots either and I think a lot of the options I'm considering, Iontide, Ionhead, 3FKeel all have that in them. I think this will really play into how Tau do as other armies seem to have more consistent, if less powerful overall, options.

Agree if you have the points, 3x CIB or MP is better but if you need to shave a handful of points, certainly worth it.

I'm going to use them as drone controllers, too, but it only makes sense to make one of them that, and then you have to remember only one of your suits doesn't reroll 1's. :/

Stealth Suits also seem like good ways to get Crisis Suits down the field. Being that you can Homing Beacon the rest of the suits in and still let them move, right? (It says during the movement phase) It upsets me that it seems they took our Onager Gauntlet and Fusion Blades. For as useless as Crisis are now, we should at least be able to get off a hidden power fist if were are for sure going to be rushed without our sweet, sweet JSJ.

$12 shipping for the entire order, right? That doesn’t seem too bad if you’re ordering multiple items. Those infantry back banners look pretty spiffy…

Yeah, it's 3 USD/CIB and then 12 USD postage. I'm Australian. The exchange rate is murder.

I’ve seen ‘Animal Planet,’ every form of flora and fauna down there is murderous too. Why shouldn’t the economy be?

Well sadly my ghostkeels are already built as ion+fusion and weren't magnetized since I got them a couple months after they came out.

I'm gonna need the crisis to do something, they're my fave units. And seeing as I don't have a ton of str5 outside of gun drones I figure why not.

Specifically I've got:
1 commander (magnetized)
9 Crisis (magnetized)
3 Ghostkeels (ion+fusion)
3 Broadsides (all missiles)
20 marker drones (used to be a drone net)
a lot of gun drones, I need to take stock of how many
1 Riptide (Ion+fusion)

Drones are the most efficient place to get your S5 these days, and the double as ablative wounds for the suits (which shouldn't be underestimated.) Marker Drones are also a good source of MLs, comparable to Pathfinders in terms of efficiency.

I think that's more suits than you "want" to run in an army there, but if you were going for it anyways I would say bring one squad of Crisis with CIB, one with Fusion, and one with Flamers. (Arguably, the Fusion could also be another Flamer team.)

Alright, how does 2 vanguard detachments sound?
-quad fusion commander
-the crisis squads
-2×4 marker drones
-the broadsides
-extra gun and marker drones bought with the crisis squads
=2nd commander or maybe Longstrike
=the ghostkeels
=2×4 marker drones again
=hammerheads? if going Longstrike

Actually, what even would be ideal squad sizes for drones?

I usually run my Drones in units of 6-8. Large enough that they can easily gain the benefits of DC, small enough they aren't crippled by morale.

Absolutely golden. Four shots at BS4+ just cuts down infantry like no one's business, and those T8/3+ units have good reason to fear them as well.

I'm doing the Ion Raker and Burst Cannons with ATS on my Ghostkeel. (though I magnetized the big gun) I just want a longer standoff range to work with the 12" stealth bubble, and I have enough Fusion and Rail-things, generally. Needed things to take out heavy troops more than I did vehicles.

I like the Ghotkeel enough I might get a second though.

I actually think they are potentially workable on foot now. You get -1AP at 10", which makes your basic gun pretty scary, and the ability to advance and shoot shouldn't be underestimated when it comes to mobility. Markerlights can easily shrug the penalty, and Darkstrider makes getting stuck in combat less of an issue.

That said, I'm not sure how good Breachers actually are these days, but they can at least put wounds onto things.

I just don't get the advocating rg18" weapons as a good option….. Have you seen what the assault from 120 orks looks like…. With FF and disruption units like buggies+bikes infiltrating/speeding at you you can't be afford to be not shooting from 36" from turn 1.

With alot of fast units now moving 12-16" +2d6" they can easily come from outside your range and assault (with rerolls or CP reroll 1 dice) very reliably….

Yes there will be some armies setting up for 9" deploy and alphastrike and you're 18" will still not kill everything that turns up and the game will flip on a few lucky assault fails or bad dice.

Yes but you have to remember assault units other than specific ones (generally with lots of backup) do a LOT less damage in combat now and Tau have lots of combat retreat options. 18" is short but if there's 3 layers of Kroot or Fire warriors between you, it's not that easy to get to you.

There is actually a really high quality Points Per Unsaved Wound Table by AenerIT on ATT.
The numbers seem to line up with yours kirby (he also has a wounds inflicted table).

What's interesting is, that he compares complete units.

It shows that the commander is superior to a crisis team, and the worthy loadouts are Quad Fusion/CiB/MissilePod. Plasma is bad unless you rapidfire marines all day.
Riptide is far too expensive for his output.
Gun Drones are the new black.
MissileSide is still better than Railside unless you shoot at T7 2+
Railhead is better than Ionhead 98% of the time (surprised me too), and bring longstrike.
Stormsurge good, both main weapons viable

Can be found here: http://www.advancedtautactica.com/viewtopic.php?f

Broadside damage section: Shouldn't you have double shots for plasma rifles too as you are forced to take two of them?

From curiosity for the Hammerheads: Was the fact that getting +1 to hit from Markerlights taken into account for the greater chance to cause the extra Mortal Wounds effect of the Heavy Railgun?

For example: If you have 5 Markerlights with Longstrike near the Hammerhead then it would get +2 to hit, thus causing the extra wounds on a 4+ rather than a 6+.

It also means that Hammerheads in the same situation are literally incapable of missing. 1+2 meets the 3+ BS of the Hammerhead.

For Reference on the basis of this question: https://17890-presscdn-0-51-pagely.netdna-ssl.com

First page on the right hand side.

Out of curiosity, how did the various Commander loadouts perform? It will look similar to the Crisis Suits but it would be cool to see just how much the flat 2+ BS changes the game and used as a point of comparison against the Ghostkeel, for example.

Hi Kirby, thanks for the excellent data! I think some of the calculations might be off, though. At least some of the weapons with variable damage (e.g. Missile Pod) seem to be defaulting to 1 damage instead of an average of the dice roll, so they are leaning more toward the red than they should be.

For example:

Missile Pod vs T4 w/ 6+ save, assuming BS 4+

To Hit: .5
Shots: 2
To Wound: .667
No Armor Save
Damage: 2 (Average of D3 = ((3 + 1)/2))
.5 x 2 x .667 x 2 = 1.33 (chart shows .67)

This puts it on par with the Burst Cannon for average damage (though at a drastically different point cost, obviously).

Let me know if my numbers are off, and thanks again for all the information you're sharing!

Nevermind. Those calculations were vs models with 1 wound, so the variable damage didn't apply.

Fusion Blasters, either with a Manta Strike on a Crisis Team each carrying 3x Fusion Blasters (an extra gun is more Wounds than gained via ATS), or on a Riptide who's equipped with either main gun. The 3x Fusion Blasters Crisis suits will deal around 2.5 Wounds per Crisis firing at the Terminator unit, and the Riptide will be dealing 2.3 Wounds with either main gun during OC/NC, plus an additional 1.6 wounds when within Fusion Blaster range. Both Riptide main guns suck without OC/NC active, but the range on the Ion Cannon lets you keep the fire up without risk of the Terminators charging and tar-piting it.

And don't try to get into the 9" Fusion Blaster Range, go for max range. The base damage only has a 1 in 6 chance of not killing the Terminator in a single hit, being at 9" puts you within Charge range of the Terminators. Both the Crisis and Riptides can out-maneuver the Terminator unit (through higher Movement and the Fly keyword), effectively kiting them indefinitely and remaining in a shooting match until either unit is dead or the game ends (or until a second enemy unit chases you down).

Ya totally agree, but never ever crisis suits, total waste of points, commanders are always better. Commanders should be coldstar or 4 fusion, the other weapons are not exactly bad, but these vastly outperform them.

Sorry if I missed it elsewhere in your description, but is the output value the number of Wounds inflicted on the described unit, or is it the number of models killed?