Monday, November 30, 2009

The Ethereal Council: The Pulse Carbine

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about pulse carbines. With a large unit of drones being dropped off by my Piranhas, I’ve been getting more use out of them than usual. Sure, our little Kor’vesa have a BS of 2 and more often than Marines are going to roll their saves, but the beauty is when they a wound gets through, causes a casualty and the unit fails their pinning test. It’s a moment to be celebrated.

What this post is really about though, is my Fire Warriors. I normally roll with 3 units of 6 Fire Warriors, armed with a trusty pulse rifle, and mounted in a Devilfish. They rarely get out of their ‘fish but when they do it is to rapid fire. I try my best to do this in tandem with another squad so I’ll be getting around 24 shots on the target unit, without the burst cannons and pulse carbines of the attached drones. Surprisingly, it rarely causes as much damage as I hope (unless guided by markerlights that is). With that in mind, I’ve been thinking of switching those rifles out for carbines. This gives me a wider reach with my Fire Warriors and gives me a chance of pinning the target.

I know most armies these days are fearless or have some leadership buff, but often times there is a chance of pinning. Force enough rolls and your opponent will fail. There are some armies more vulnerable to this. Space Wolves, for example, have Leadership 8 unless lead by Wolf Guard. Guard have troubles too. When they do fail, it can really throw your opponent off balance. Honestly, who prepares for getting pinned? Who expects it?

Unfortunately I doubt I will ever do this as after painting 48 of the suckers, I am absolutely done with painting more Fire Warriors.


Firewasp said...

Pulse carbines do look good on paper. I think they'd be better in drone squads though. Where the 18@ range is offset by the jetpacks. Plus the small size means they are easy to hide.

I vividly remember my first game against Tau, my black templars squad pinned for two turns running. in spitting distance of the firewarriors.

However with the relatively large amounts of fearless enemies in the game, pinning becomes less of a problem.

I'll probably get round to painting a squad of drones at some point though, especially since GW were kind enough to put 29 of the things in my rapid insertion force instead of the customary 14.

If you have a few minutes:

cheers !

Pearlygates said...

OSH I did that a while ago, I have two squads of 10 to 12 F/W's armed with pulse carbines.

I still tend to field at least one to two units of 10 to 12 F/W's on foot armed with carbines; I usually have them forward ahead of other units so that when an opposing unit comes at them, they start falling back to my table edge shooting at them.
This leads the enemy unit into a deadly cross-fire trap! as the carbines manage to pin the enemy, I usually then kill off the suqad with either my sniper drones or my vespid swoop in and mop them up.

It's just a ploy I tend to use for them due to the fact that ALL Tau NEED to be mobile and pulse rifles become ineffective if you move the squad.

I tend to focus on F/W's in a devilfish armed with pulse rifles, and F/w's on foot with carbines as this balances out their performance.

I feel the need to have more F/S's in a unit on foot in order to increase their survivability.

Unfortunately I don't concentrate somuch on my gun-drones when they deploy. They simply float about as a distraction for my opponent; though even as a distraction they prove helpful when they take oncoming fire away from my main force! So I don't knock 'em down so much as I used to.

Pearlygates said...

Firewasp, I would just like to take this opportunity to say "DAMN YOU" for gatting a rapid insertion pack!!!

When I decided to go out to pick up two boxes they had pulled them from the shelves 2weeks earlier! and to top it off, half a year later they bring out Planetstrike when you really want them most of all!!!

UltraLemming said...

Pulse Carbine firewarriors, vespid, AND sniper drone teams in one army! Oh my!


Pearlygates said...

UltraLemming, yeah I tend to field a variety of stuff that others don't seem to appreciate; Saying that, I don't tend to play games smaller than 2000pts.

I've been playing a few 'capture and hold' games lately, and haven't really been fielding my vespid in these games as they are a bit of a hit and miss unit! Their wepon range lets them down.

Sholto said...

I really wish pinning was a more viable mechanism in 40k, but with the prevalence of Fearless and Ld10 it's effectively broken and GW don't seem to be in a mood to fix it. I would rather have more shots than fewer shots but with a chance of pinning.

Old Shatter Hands said...

I think pinning is one of those things that if it got any better than it is now, it would get spammed and everyone would be complaining about pinning. When it happens it is the single most annoying thing in the game.

Fritz's harlequin army uses a lot of pinning weapons and he seems to love them. The cool thing about pinning is you can cause multiple pinning checks in the shooting phase while you can only cause one morale check on a unit per phase.

In theory, pulse carbines are a waste on fire warriors but I'm wondering if I started fielding them in every game, would I have a different perspective? Overtime, would experience prove them to be another hidden gem in the army list?

Pearly, don't let 'em bring you down. Keep playing those vespid, snipers and pulse-carbine armed warriors.

Pearlygates said...

Does nobody else here ever use markerlights to bring down your opponent's leadership test????

I know that during a match it's probably the last thing you would use your markerlights for;
- Balistic skill increase first
- Cover Save second/third
- Seeker Missile second/third
- Leadership last

I'm beginning to think I play my Tau completely differnt to everyone else!! I mean COMPLETELY!!!!

This tends to be why I favour trying to keep my Pathfinders alive in comparison to Sholto who is willing to sacrifice them on turn 1 to 2 provided they've done their job!

Speaking of Pathfinders, Stealthsuits have become the new Pathfinder unit for me.
- Infiltrate
- Relentless
- Stealth
- Jumpack
- plus being able to use Bursters and Fusions at the same time as markerdrones!

Old Shatter Hands said...

Ah the Stealth Marker Team...It's a nice unit. I used to field one fo them. Served me well for a little while but then...I went for more guns rather than markerlights.

I should try to go back to markerlights...I could include an 8 man pathfinder squad in my list instead of the kroot...hmmm