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Author Topic: XV9s - Redheaded Stepchildren of the Tau Empire  (Read 3800 times)

Offline Unusual Suspect

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XV9s - Redheaded Stepchildren of the Tau Empire
« on: February 07, 2014, 06:28:15 pm »
Hello, everyone!

As a result of a discussion concerning the XV9 Hazard battlesuits whose current incarnation in the rules is found in the Forgeworld supplement Imperial Armour 3, The Taros Campaign, 2nd ed.

They are, in my eyes, lackluster in many respects.  I can see their intended goal and I can even see how they've attempted to apply it, but what the suits are capable of for their point cost, even taking their durability into account, is simply too point inefficient to be competitive in the 6th ed Tau Empire codex.

There will be plenty, here and elsewhere, who will not share my views.  That is totally acceptable.  I kindly request that such a discussion take place on another thread, so as to avoid clutter and divergent discussions in the same thread.








So to start, I don't believe the model's statline itself needs to change much.  They're almost all appropriate for an experience pilot in an advanced battlesuit of that size.

I would prefer to bring the battlesuit's worth up to its points rather than make XV9s cheaper, as they ought to reflect an appropriate level of "elite of the elite".  I want them bridging the gap between XV8s and XV10s, and focused on skirting the edges of enemy lines, enticing enemy movements to engage in Kauyon, and generally capable of causing mayhem and, most importantly, equipped to potentially survive being a distraction or even charge into a melee when called to do so.  In the Tau arsenal, I'd envision them as the hammer to the Stealth Team's scalpel, a mobile and durable disruption unit perfect to lead gullible foes into a trap.

So, how do we do so?

In terms of placing the Hazard's stats, I think an extra wound helps justify some of the point efficiency issues I have with the suit as is, and helps represent the sort of wound step up you'd expect for a suit model a tier above the previous (Like the step from TDA to Centurion, or even Centurion to Dreadknight.

The default weapons and suit systems alone are not really enough, in my mind.  Though filled to the brim with technology already, I can't think of a more appropriate upgrade to give an XV9 as default than a Counterfire Defense System.   I feel the XV9, as the Tau's most blunt attempt at CQC specialization, should be most comfortable sitting juuuuust within move + longish charge range of an enemy CQC unit, blasting away and hoping they'll attempt to make the charge and recieve your Overwatch (and maybe some supporting Stealth suit or Crisis suit nearby) for their troubles.

I think there are a few choices for what to do with the other weapon systems.  We could probably port them all straight from the book as free upgrades (seriously, none of the choices are really significantly better than the other... well, maybe 5 points for a Pulse Submunition Rifle).

Alternatively, we could come up with updated stats for the old weapons that brings them in line with their upgrade cost!  That sounds a lot more fun to me.

First, the Phased Ion Gun.  As an Ion weapon, it really ought to have an alternative fire mode, and the existing fire mode could use a little beefing up.  Maybe Str 6, AP 3, 18", Assault 2, Rending, Gets Hot! could work.

Second, the Fusion Cascade.  An increase in range could seem reasonable, to keep it in line with the Fusion Blaster, but I'd rather see a progression in range from the fusion cascade to the fusion blaster to the fusion cannon.  I'd rather buff something else, and cascade is such an awesome word, I'm going to use it as inspiration.

Cascade: For every unsaved wound, glancing blow, or penetrating blow this weapon inflicts, an additional hit on the same target is applied.  This occurs only once per

Might want to change the weapon to to be just Assault 2.

Finally, the Pulse Submunition Round.  I'm not really sure on this one.  Pinning, perhaps?  Give it better AP?  Tau have such easy access to Ignore Cover, it seems like this weapon really doesn't need to be THAT much more expensive.





Anyway, I'm open to your thoughts, 2S!
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Offline The Man They Call Jayne

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Re: XV9s - Redheaded Stepchildren of the Tau Empire
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2014, 04:10:46 am »
In my experience, the XV9 is a great unit as is, if a little over costed, however, inkeeping with the theme, lets see what we can do.

By far my favorite weapon on this suit is the Fusion Cascade, and with the loss of our XV88 Railguns (GW I will never forgive you), good AT stuff is very important now. We have to measure this weapon against the fact that a Crisis suit can now carry 2 standard Fusion Blasters. Same range, better strength. However our Cascades can fire more shots. 2 each on average. So 4 shots per Hazard. Could we improve this weapon? 24" would be a nice offset to the weaker shots I feel, and the d3 shots thing I find very fluffy, as it is a very experimental weapon system at this stage.

As for the Cascade rule, that sound very similar to the rule for Volkite weapons in Heresy. For every unsaved wound, another wound is caused. This effect is not repeating. Given the AP1 nature of the Cascade, this means you will almost certainly eradicate any troop unit you fire at that isnt over 10 men, and if you roll enough 3s, over 20.

It could work well, although their may be balance issues. I'll do some dicehammer a little later.

Phased Ion Gun. My First Assault Cannon. As an anti hoarde weapon its is pretty damn good, and with enough shots per suit to almost garantee some of those rending shots count. As for an alt fire mode, sure, stick with what we know and make it a Blast shot at +1 S and let it keep Rending for the Blast. OR you can fire them both as a Blast, in which case you can have an S6 AP3 Large Blast with Rending that will Get Hot on a 1 or a 2. Bigger rewards, Bigger Risks.

Pulse Submunition Rifle. Take a cue from the slightly OP R'Varna and tone it down a bit. For each template on target, increase the total Strength by 1.

Example:

10 Space Marines are hit by a template at 5/5. The second Template also score a direct hit and the shots become 6/5. The next template scatter a little and 4 marines are hit but the rest are not. Those 4 marines are hit at 7/5 and the rest at 6/5. And so on, untill you have used up all your templated. The number of template will cause a good number of wounds too.

This gives us the bonus of dealing with MCs with a nice Strength boost as well.
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Offline CoffeeGrunt

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Re: XV9s - Redheaded Stepchildren of the Tau Empire
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2014, 10:43:40 am »
Fusion Cascades are only 12", which is most of why they feel so crappy. That and the random shot count.
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Offline The Man They Call Jayne

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Re: XV9s - Redheaded Stepchildren of the Tau Empire
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2014, 12:06:25 pm »
I thought they were 18" already. Making them 18" would be fair then.
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Offline Unusual Suspect

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Re: XV9s - Redheaded Stepchildren of the Tau Empire
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2014, 04:02:51 pm »
The intent behind my suggested Cascade rule was to copy exactly the Volkite weapons of the Horus Heresy.  Good catch.  ;)

With an average of 4 shots and 2 hits (and no guarantee you won't roll a 1, or the enemy is in cover/has an invul save), I'd guess that an unsupported XV9 with Cascades will be putting out around 3-4 unsaved wounds, assuming the target is in the open with no ++ save.  With Markerlight support, that could nearly double.  With lucky rolling and support, it could probably end up nearly wiping a 10 man squad...

But then, the same points in Lootas can pretty much do the same thing!  And a squad of Plasma-totin' crisis can probably match this sort of firepower, and with the ability to shoot past 12".  Oh, and Crisis suits don't have to worry about rolling double 1s for the number of attacks.

Both extremes are partially why I wanted to drop the randomness of the rolling, actually.  Tau experimental weaponry tends to run hot, but reliably... random shots seems more Orkish  or Imperium style to me.  And wildly swinging effectiveness even against the same targets seems like it violates the needs of the suit:  Sure, having 6 melta shots is great on occasion, but having 2 weaker-than-fusion-blaster shots at a paltry 12" range could easily get the suit killed, instead of allowing the suit to do what it needs to do.

But then, I prefer to minimize my army's randomness factors.  I want to be able to rely on units, not forced to be hopeful.  ;)

Make sense?
« Last Edit: February 08, 2014, 04:06:53 pm by Unusual Suspect »
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