12 Fire Warriors
Upgrades: Shas’Ui. Either 100% Pulse Carbines or 100% Pulse Rifles
Upgrades: Disruption Pod (gives your tank 4+ cover save at any shots past 12 inches away), Multitracker (allows you to move at cruising speed and shot your burstcannon and drones) and Gun Drones.
No Upgrades yet.
3 XV25 Stealthsuits
Upgrades: Team-leader armed with a Markerlight, Hard-wired Drone Controller and 2 Marker Drones. (XV25s have relentless and therefore you can move, fire markerlights and jump in the assault phase)
1 XV8 Crisis Suit
Upgrades: Weapons of your choice, acts as your commander.
So you’ve got markerlight support, mechanized infantry and outflanking Kroot. What’s next? This army right now lacks some firepower. You need to get some big guns in there. At this point I recommend getting at least one Railgun. Assuming you’re willing to spend 50 bucks, you have two options: 1 Hammerhead or 2 Broadsides. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each and then I'll give you an idea on what you should be upgrading them with
The Hammerhead. - "Mark us a target and we shall destroy it."
Tough: The Hammerhead is an AV13 vehicle, making it a durable mobile weapons platform. Upgrading it by purchasing a Disruption Pod makes it even more durable.
Firepower: For your first Hammerhead, I suggest you put a Railgun on that bad-boy. This is weapon can be fired on two settings: solid shot at S10(!) and submunition as a large blast. The Ion Cannon is nice, but for now, let’s get a Railgun.
Mobile: With a Multitracker, your Hammerhead can fire its main weapon while moving at cruising speed (7-12 inches). You can tank shock with it, ram other vehicles and contest objectives. It is relatively fast and ignores terrain as long as it doesn’t end it move on it.
Not a reliable anti-tank unit. Even though you get an S10 Railgun, the weapon is not twin-linked so if you miss you miss. Plus it is only one shot, so if you hit and roll a 1 for penetration, you’ve wasted your shot. Alternatively, if you fire your submunition at troops, even if you miss you might hit something. Broadsides are much better at tank-hunting because a Broadside unit of similar points-cost has 2 Twin-Linked Railguns.
Mandatory Upgrades: Disruption Pod, Multitracker.
2 Broadsides - "XV88s ready for action."
Tough: With a 2+ armor save and the option to attach some shield drones, your Broadsides are a rock-solid unit that can withstand all but the most determined torrents of fire.
Best Long Range Anti-tank Gun available to the Tau: With Twin-Linked Railguns at S10 and AP1, you’re going to be trashing tanks from very far away. Do not forget that because it is AP1, you get +1 on vehicle damage rolls.
Scary: Because of their big Railguns, people hide like the dickens from Broadsides. This can be used to influence your opponent’s movement on the board. Be sure to draw attention to your Broadsides to protect the rest of your from being targeted.
Extra Bits: with the Broadside set you will basically get another set of XV8 weapons, so you’ll have extra missile pods for making some Deathrains. Turn the Gun Drones into shield drones by gluing Shield Generators to the bottom of the drone.
Static: Even with the (mandatory) Advanced Stabilization System Upgrade, Broadsides are static. They will never contest objectives, escape assaults and will get chewed up by outflankers, Snitgrot and Space Wolf Scouts (however, they can be used as bait for these units too). They are very vulnerable to fast moving units like bikers and Deffkoptas.
Expensive: Broadsides aren’t cheap. They cost 70 points a pop even before the mandatory support system upgrade. Compared to similar units like the Chaos Obliterator they are over-costed, but who cares? You get a Railgun.
Assembly: Broadsides are a pain in the @ss to assemble. Be sure to reinforce the Broadside’s ankle connection by shoving some green-stuff in there.
Manditory Upgrades: Advanced Stabilization System, Shas’Ui Teamleader, Hard-Wired Drone Controller, 2 Shield Drones.
What would Old Shatter Hands choose? Tough call. I think I would get the 2 Broadsides as this will give me the added pieces it takes to make my next unit, XV8 Deathrains. But then again, Hammerheads are a lot more fun to play because of their mobility. Still racking up on Railguns early on is a good idea. Yep, I'd stick with getting the 2 Broadsides. Your choice may be different. It depends on what kind of force you hope to build and either choice is a good one to choose. Both units will make you happy as they pummel your enemy into submission.
Happy Hunting, Shas’la