Monday, February 1, 2010

The Deathrain XV8

Could it be the best, most versatile Crisis Suit configuration?

Think about it. Strength 7, 36” range. AP4 leaves much to be desired but with the two shots you get per pod, your rate of fire will make up for this. I believe what makes this configuration the best is that it plays to the Tau’s strength. It has range so you can keep your distance without losing rate of fire, unlike the plasma rifle. There is something about being armed with plasma rifle that makes you want to close in and move your troops closer to get that extra shot, even though this can often spell doom for that unit. With the Missile Pod, you can confidently move away from the enemy and maintain the same rate of fire.
Its range is also a bonus if you decide to deep strike your suits. With 36 inches, you can land a safe distance away and not have to worry about deviating out of range.

Its high strength of 7 makes it a no brainer. Rhinos, Chimeras, Wave Serpents beware! Here come 6 missiles flying at you. Although I’ve been away from the tabletop a bit lately, I know all those monstrous creatures are popping up with the new Codex: Tyranids. For the most part your going to be rolling 2s and 3s to wound. That coupled with twin-linked, you’re going to be putting lots of wounds on thing. Sure your opponents going to get his armor save, but we all know that when you roll dice, bad things happen.

Then there is the cost. Armed with twin-linked missile pods and a flamer (that's how I roll), each suit comes at the discounted price of 47 points vs. the 62 you'll pay for a Fireknife (which is BS3 mind you). A squad of 3 comes in a 141 points. Not bad, not bad at all. 

Over the past year or so of always fielding at least one unit of Deathrains, I’ve found them to be versatile and deadly. To my surprise, they often cause more damage than my Fireknives. 


NockerGeek said...

I'm in complete agreement with you. Don't get me wrong - I love my Fireknives - but for consistent damage against light armor (both vehicle and infantry), you just can't beat a Deathrain, and the price is fantastic. I also run with flamers on mine, which has come in very handy in a pinch (my friend's Eldar Pathfinders hate my Deathrain suits). I know some players like to put Targeting Arrays on them to guarantee hits, but I find that to be overkill and an inefficient use of points; twin-linking on BS3 tends to be more than sufficient.

Pete W said...

You won't see me arguing against Deathrains any time soon. I think they really play up the Tau strengths nicely and you can count on them to be able to move around and keep sending those missiles out turn after turn at range.

I am thinking that for my tau suits I'll go for a combination of Deathrains and Helios (plasma/fusion) suits so that I can do long range death or close in low-AP work. The fireknife is a nice config but I think a little more specialisation might work for me.


PS: Thanks for the loan of the suits etc. for the game on sat. I have to admit that I unintentionally cheated though as I was supposed to roll dangerous terrain when the fire warriors disembarked on the rapelling lines. My bad :-(

Rathstar said...

Totally in agreement about the effectiveness of the deathrain. The range of the missile pod makes it a good weapon to put in any crisis suit loadout.

However the two areas the missile pod falls is it's slow rate of fire (only 2 shots a suit) and heavy infantry (eg. terminators, the misile pod still is good against 3+ save marines from it's weight of fire).

I always include deathrains in my list now, but also include other units to help against hordes and heavy infantry.

Crisis suits bring the best anti-transport (missile pods) and anti-terminator (plasma rifle) weapons our list has. Anti-heavy tank is covered by railguns, Submunitions and str5 shots are good against hordes. I think a crisis suit build without plasma or missile is a bad build, and the deathrain does it's job so cheaply it's great.


Anonymous said...

From the point of view of my gaming doctrine for Tau, to a large degree, versatile = best. Therefore, I don't think the Deathrain is better than the FireKnife configuration.

That said, I do believe every suit should be armed with a missile pod because the weapon itself is the most versatile. Compared to the plasma rifle, the pod can simply do much more. It's better against monstrous creatures overall, it's better against light armour, and its range is far superior. Unfortunately, it simply can't deal with heavy infantry quickly, much less 2+ armour... and let's be honest: with the Tau, sometimes being able to deal with something quickly is crucial.

So, when combined with the plasma rifle, a suit is able to do anything except deal with heavy armour, which suits should never be tasked to deal with in the first place. That's why we have railguns and piranhas, after all. Moreover, the benefits of a single markerlight hit, combined with the increased total volume of fire, is going to pay dividends.

Don't get me wrong: Deathrains are nice but when it comes down to crunch time against hardcore heavy infantry, I still think the FireKnife is king. Yes, some folks will still say they're overrated because of the amount of available cover, but I'd rather an enemy be forced to take a 4+ instead of 3+ or 2+. Besides, during emergencies, when plasma rifles are needed most, the enemy tends to be in rapid-fire range and out of cover anyway.

Old Shatter Hands said...

Good thoughts here all around. I think FireKnives are needed in most tau lists. Come to think of it, Deathrains make a good build-out for Tau newbies. You don't to mess around with markerlights to make them effective, nor do you have to be exrta careful about distances as you're not rapid firing.

I'm also beginning to think a good army build would contain deathrains and helios...

Flekkzo said...

Having painted Assault Marines recently I realized that the top of their jump packs reminds me of the Tau suits. Same kind of pattern. Just thought that I share:)

Seems to me that deathrain is a better way to go than fireknife by what you mention. Do you use one or the other or do you run one of each?

Old Shatter Hands said...

@Flekkzo, I actually run one squad of Deathrains as an elites choice and then I have a fireknife command squad as HQ. They have Targeting Arrays for BS4.

Funny, you mention the jumppacks. I have some conversions for you to check out. Tomorrow I'll try to post them.

Flekkzo said...

@OSH Not sure if I should be happy or sad about that :) On the one hand it will more than likely be cool, on the other than it might "inspire" me and make me want to try something on my own, which might be dangerous territory from a time-perspective :)

I do have a few extra backpacks that I could play with though :)

Rathstar said...

I'm not sold on helios yet, I tried them out in 3 games recently, and i think fireknifes would have been better.

The fusion gun range is a killer. I may try fusion guns again, but this time on pihranas.

Anyone have good experiences with helios ?


slxiii said...

I don't believe in tau melta-sure it's great, but tau don't actually NEED it... missile pods and railguns should fit together in a list in a way that allows you to destroy any tank. Melta usually means you're either running Piranhas-which are great, but i find they get expensive quick-or you are running suits with melta, which means they get close and that they die. Considering melta is best against av14, and most av14 things you see carry troops, a successful or failed melta attempt still means death for the team.
That said, i prefer a BSF on my Deathrains, with a few target locks every once in a while. splitting fire to hit 3 rhinos simultaneously reduces chance of overkill and increases the chance of multiple kills at once, which is pretty sweet!

Old Shatter Hands said...

@slxiii most definitely. I can see why you don;t like fusion-suits. I love piranhas and I can see what you mean about the target locks.

Mon-keigh Reaper said...

When I play against Old Shatter Hands my first target always seems to be the deathrain suits when I play my mech Eldar. The range and the reliability is what is key about them. When you are not running marklights the TL seem to be a god send. The Fireknives seem okay but they always seem to get to close and need a bit more help to hit things. And against fast armies like mech eldar means 24" is just not a safe enough distance.

Of course I run with 4+ saves so AP4 is more then enough, against MEQ the plasma are great, they made my Ravenwing cry.

Xanadu said...


A squad of helios suits saved a game for me the other day when they DS'ed next to an earthshaker :D. Deathrains are greatly feared, but always attract Lascannon fire in my experience!

I take the following normally:
Deathrain suits in Elites, Helios Elites and a Fireknife HQ (AFP on Shas'o) with the obvious roles being used there. Against hordes though I suffer greatly unless I use a heatstorm (TL flamer and BC) squad, which are used as bait for mobs using Kauyon.

In my mind however crisis suits are still way overpriced in points.

Old Shatter Hands said...

@Mon-Keigh Reaper, welcome! see you tonight at the Club...

slxiii said...

I agree with Xanadu, suits are very overpriced, which is why i usually tailor mine to fill holes in my army rather than to be the bulk of it.

ASUSunDevil said...

I am looking for some help Creating my army and would really like your expertise

Thank you for your time