Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Puretide Speaks: The Piranha Squadron
I am always surprised at how often the Piranha Squadron is scoffed at. People will tell you that they're worthless, they're weak, they're open-topped, and that their guns are too short-ranged. Until you start playing with them and using them wisely, you never realize how awesome they can be. I currently run 3 Piranhas in a squadron with Fusion Blasters, Targetting Arrays, Disruption Pods and Flechette Dischargers.
Because they're fast, you can turbo-boost to collect a 4+ cover save. Because they're a squadron you can position them to get AV11 all around (see vehicle squadron rules in the BRB). Because they have melta-guns, you're opponent can't ignore them or his mechanized army will get wrecked. Because they have 3 flechette dischargers you get 3 rolls per attacker if he assaults them. Meaning that your opponent will probably not choose to assault. So he has to shoot them. Basic weapons are useless because of AV11, so now he has to use heavy weapons to shoot them down. But then your getting a cover save so 50% of those shots will be wasted. Sure they might die over the course of the game, but there is no way he's gonna kill them all in one turn.
Move them out to threaten pricey, high-value units like Land Raiders, terminators or Battlewagons. This will end up taking the pressure off of the rest of your army. You've giving them breathing room. On top of that, you're forcing your opponent to react to you, rather than the opposite which is often the fate of Tau armies.
Sure they might die horribly, but it's a wargame, models get destroyed. The point is, they have created this huge distraction for your opponent. How many players expect that a Tau army is going to get up in their face like that? ZERO. Get up in his grill and surprise him. You know what you're doing but he has no clue. Once you've gotten in that position, you're a ready to win the game.
I like to send them out to attack pricey tanks on flanks or even those that have moved out into the center of the board. Remember you use Piranhas to shut down Land Raiders the Saim Hann Way.
Piranhas make one of the best distraction and screening units that the Tau have at their disposal. Need to block an assault from happening? Zoom your Piranhas in. Need to slow on-coming movement? Zoom your piranhas in to create a AV11 Skimmer Wall with a 4+ Cover Save. 3 Piranhas can create a Skimmer Wall 18 inches wide.
And we haven't even gotten into the uses of the drone squadron that come with them!