Friday, January 8, 2010

XV88s Ready for Action


Broadsides are one of the most iconic units in the Tau Empire. These heavy battle-suits are armed with the most powerful, long range gun in the game, ideal for taking out all manner of vehicles. With the Smart Missile System as their secondary weapon system, they can even thin out the crowds. If it's heavy infantry you want to take out, you can upgrade their secondary weapon system for twin-linked plasma rifles that will make Space Marine players cry.

I prefer to run 3 Broadsides with the Smart-Missile-Systems and Targeting Arrays, one XV88 upgraded to a Team-Leader with Drone Controller and 2 Shield Drones. The Shas'Vre upgrade simply isn't needed. I've recently ditch my usual Advanced Stabilization System thanks to Sholto's advice. I set my Broadsides up in the center of my deployment zone in cover.Then I sit back and watch the fireworks. Initially I'll target any Rhinos or Chimeras on the board as they are easy targets for my Railguns. What I hope to do is knock out any and all transports on Turn 1.

Broadsides tend to act fire and assault magnets. Opponents typically pour all their firepower into destroying my Broadsides. With a 2+ save and the two shield drones, the unit is a tough nut to crack. Leadership is an issue, so sometimes a lone Shas'El, Side-Striker for example, will join the unit for a boost.

People will throw nearly any unit into assault with my Broadside regardless of ability, just to get them to stop shooting. This is partly what I intend. With my opponent focussed on killing my Broadsides, the mobile elements of my army will being to move to attack weak units and holes in his offense. I generally ditch my Broadsides to take the brunt of the attack as the rest of my army moves away to attack from a better postion. The Broadsides probably won't survive the game but that is fine with me, as long as I have won the moving game and the rest of my army is intact.

Although it's almost impossible to use this unit incorrectly, one thing to note is that only under extreme circumstances will I target AV 14 vehicles with my Broadsides. I would much rather have my Piranhas moving out to attack those units as Fusion Blasters are much better than Railguns against AV 14. Against Land Raiders, my Broadsides tend to fail horribly and waste those precious Railgun shots.

19 comments:

Shas'O D'Narb said...

Mind I ask what's convinced you to ditch the stabilization? I would be concerned that I'm reducing my advantage in Dawn of War scenarios.

Old Shatter Hands said...

@Shas'O D'Narb, with A.S.S. you are losing out on one turn of shooting in Dawn of War Scenarios, but then again, you might be losing out anyway because of Night-fight rules.

I used to always run with ASS but recently I've been much happier with twin-linked BS4 Railguns. It's a huge advantage when you run without markerlights as I do. Especially when you have do some crowd-control with your SMS.

ASS is not a bad choice by any means. In my army, Targeting Arrays make sense. In your army, ASS might make more sense. Do you use pathfinders or skyrays?

Pete W said...

Good points on all of these OSH. My only issue is finding the cash to make up a broadside team but ain't that always the way?

I have to agree with OSH about the targeting priority thing. I find myself concentrating a lot of firepower on his broadsides in every game and they just soak most of it up. With the exception of dropping nasty blasts (demolisher or orbital strike) on them, they will just soak up so much of your attention.

Captain Yukka said...

Hmmm, interesting - that's quite similar config to how I run mine but I usually opt for Target Lock's so I can spread the fire about a bit more.

Pearlygates said...

I never use the stabalization system. Always thought it to be a waste of points.

I now tend to field two units of broadsides lately.

Unit 1: 3Broadsides 2GunDrones Target Array.

Unit 2: 2Broadsides Plasma Rifles Multitracker 2Gundrones.


Unit 2 is often sent forward for better positioning, taking on heavier units and taking the slack away from Broadside Unit 1.

Unit 2 doesn't require the TA (realistically neither squad does with twinlinked weapons, but better safe than sorry) as they have twinlinked weapons, and having a multitracker allows 2rail and upto 4 plasma shots in 1 turn on a squad.

So far I have only played against my friends doing this set-up; but the sheer shock of seeing a unit of broadsides doing the advancing up the table has proved to be a bit of a morale breaker for my opponents.

When I have two squads of Broadsides, I tend to field a Skyray in my Army instead of a 'RaiHead'.

I have lately concidered ditching the Hammerhead altogether in place of the Skyray (a tank I didn't really rate all too much) as the Skyray has, for me, proven to be more reliable.

Pearlygates said...

I made a mistake on unit 2. They have ShieldDrones to keep them alive longer when advancing up the table.

Unit 1 has GunDrones as I have never really suffered in the shooting phase when this unit is right back in my deployment zone (only by deepstriking/flanking units in assault phase)

Xanadu said...

With the advent of the Destructor cadre from IAAII, the broadside is now a unit to be really feared in the midst of an apocalypse rather than just shot at. With the inclusion of some shield drones and the targeting array upgrade, it will be a seriously nasty piece of work, if you so wish I can give you an update on a cadre's performance at a later date, as the post exam Apocalypse is coming up, and I'll be using one providing i can get hold of some more broadsides (Eldar and Tau vs Imperials)

@Pearlygates I agree, the railhead tank is for me one of the most unreliable pieces of kit (always missing), but with some games it has been a beast taking out way more than its points cost (first shot of the game land raider with assault termies :D) I will give my new forgeworld broadsides plasma rifles as that sounds nasty in a smaller game.

Adam said...

I think taking the Advanced Stabilisation System is quite forgiving so that you can move to get a better line of sight or just move away from a threat.

But when it's taking up a Hard Point that could be used to boost ballistic skill or take more shield drones, it also becomes a hinderance.

In Dawn of War it's best to accept that you'll never be able to fire on Turn 1.

However, the Broadside config I'm thinking of running with the twin linked plasma rifles would definitely benefits from the Advanced Stabilisation System. Time will tell after some plasytesting.

Old Shatter Hands said...

More and more, I've been thinking of giving my broadsides the twin-linked plasma...or at least the team-leader, because he can also get a hard-wired multi-tracker.

DaRkViPeR said...

That's a really good idea IMO. Give the team-leader the Hard-wired Multi-tracker and the TL Plamsa, maybe even a Target Lock... Of course I'm watching the points on them go up and up, but still....not a bad idea.

Swift Hunter said...

Mmmm... Broadsides. I play Tau just because of them. Ok, now not, but I started my WH40k adventure 'cause of their look.

Pearlygates said...

OSH I have not yet mixed the weapon config within the group yet (twinlink plasma for team leader, s/m/s for others) But if you DO take a second squad then I would insist that twinlink plasma rifles be given to the second.

Adam's comment hits it on the head about A/S/S; I don't think it's worth giving up a hard point for the chance of moving only a few inches a turn, you might as well stay where you are and shoot.

Hopefully the A/S/S will be standard for Broadsides in the next codex (not taking up a hard point)

Old Shatter Hands said...

I want relentless Broadsides!!! but I will settle for slow and purposeful ones, that's plenty fitting.

If we're talking about a Codex wish-list, just to amuse ourselves, I'd like to see a A.S.S as standard for the same points as now. SMS should ignore cover saves as well (watch out orks!).

Raptor1313 said...

The big reason I go for A.S.S is that it lets me reposition AND fire. Sometimes, you need to jog juuuust a little to get a clearer shot, or to hide from something.

I won't lie; BS4 twin-linked is pretty hefty.

I'm not such a fan of TL plasma (...honestly, the only time it beats out the railgun is within 12", or 'You're Hosed' range, and that's only for the number of shots.) However, in a 3-man team, I could see handing TL-plasma off to one guy just for wound purposes; you have a leader with multi-tracker and drones, you have a guy with SMS, and a guy with plasma, and the two drones.

Pearlygates said...

I certainly agree with SMS ignoring cover saves.

The overall unit that needs priority improvement though is the Ethereal.

They should do it so that what ever the Ethereal carries improves Characteristics for the army:

Symbols of Office - units in reserve re-roll for deep striking.

Honour Blade - All Units have improved Initiative and weapon skill.

Staff - Honour Gaurd rerolls to Hit

Jet Pack (or GravSeat like Aun Va)- Ethereal may have 3 Crisis suit Bodygaurd.

Council - May have multiple Ethereals each with different equipment.

Firewasp said...

I do like the image of a couple of relentless broadsides moving forward piling death into the enemy.
Although I have to admit that I much prefer the forgeworld broadsides to the standard GW ones.

slxiii said...

The way I run my Broadsides is usually with A.S.S., and team leader with a BLacksun Filter. My army is primarily set up to have a slight edge in night fighting, so it fits, but it also lets the broadsides move on to the board up to 6 inches, and fire 2d6x6!! inches. Don't forget that the suits have acute senses as well, so you can reroll this if it misses! Just today I rolled a 60" shot coming in on night fighting and blew away a land raider.... I'd say 33 points for the team to do that as opposed to walking in and doing nothing is worth it.

Gredus said...

I'd be tempted if I was running 3 broadsides in a unit to use target locks. That way you've got the option to split fire or concentrate it depending how your oponent sets up.
For me the benefit of the SMS is to drop them on any hordes approaching. I think i'd always take them over plasma as my XV 8's should have that covered.

Sholto said...

While plasma on the XV88s is the cheapest plasma upgrade in the codex, I think it is edged out by the versatility of SMS. I have a trio of FW broadsides kitted out with plasma, but rarely play them that way.

I also combine mine with pathfinders to get around cover saves, although it is enormously frustrating when you're hitting on a 2+ with a re-roll, ignoring smoke, penetrating on a 2+ and still only take off the damn storm bolter! There are some things even pathfinders cannot help with :P

I would take a target lock with a unit of three BSs for the added flecibility.