Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Stealth Teams in 6th Edition
Moving about unseen and unscathed, the lone wolves of Tau Empire stalk their prey. When the trap is set, the enemy sees only dark shadows and the whirling death of burst cannon rounds.
It's fair to say Stealth Suits got a lot better in 6th Edition. And you all seem to have noticed. Back from the shelves of Tau collectors, Stealth teams are popping up here and there spinning out pulse rounds like the sudden rainstorms on Tau'n. Here's what's changed for them in 6th Edition Warhammer 40k..
1) Shrouding and Stealth USRs,
Together these URS give the suits +3 to their cover save. In the open, they have a 4+ cover save and in any other form of cover (including cover provided by intercepting drone units) a 2+.
2) Jet Pack rules
In addition to allowing an assault move after deep-strike, they now move 2d6 inches, which can be rather random at times, but overall good.
3) Infiltrate combined with Acute Senses
These two rules make them better at outflanking as you re-roll the dice roll for board edge. Good thing they can come with Fusion Blasters!
4) Improved shooting rules
Focus fire, overwatch and other new shooting rules make their weapons better.
5) Rapid Fire Rules
One change, you may not have noticed is that the changes to rapid fire rules means that Kroot guns, mounted on Kroot Ox, can now fire twice up to 24 inches. This gives you another source of that valuable S7 shooting you could only get on Crisis Suits during 5th Edition. This means if you really want stealth suits, you can make up for the loss in S7 armed Crisis Suits with your Kroot Oxen...sort of.
Side note: In some respects, what we might be seeing is a chance to break from the Tau monobuild...even without including allies.
Clearly, the 6th Edition rules have made them better, but the question is, are they now better than taking Crisis Suits?
The inherent problems are Stealth Suits are still there.
1) Their guns are incredibly short ranged and put them in danger of being assaulted.
Pre-measuring has mitigated this significantly, but 6th has also introduced incredibly fast cavalry, beasts, bikes and jet bikes. If you main targets are accompanied by any of these units, you'll have trouble getting to use those burst cannons without being assaulted in the next turn.
Ask yourself a question. Are 5 stealth suits with burst cannons as good as 15 fire warriors? I suppose that is a bad comparison as the two unit are different categories (elites vs. troops) and perhaps filling different roles.
However, consider 5 stealth suits at 150 points versus 150 points of Crisis Suits. You could get 3 Crisis Suits with twin-linked missile pods and blacksun filters and still have some points left over. The latter unit would likely last longer because it's got longer range and can stay out of harms way.
In the end you have to decide what units are worthy of your valuable points and elite slots. If you want Stealth Suits, you'll probably be able to find the points for them.
Even with an improved cover save, Stealth Suits only have 1 wound and a toughness of 3. This means most basic weapons - bolters, shootas, even lasguns - will cause tons of wounds that even a 2+ save can't save you from. And given their tendency to operating close to the enemy, they'll catch a ton of fire like this.
I'm not particularly psyched about Stealth Suits in 6th Edition but I certainly think they are better than they used to be. Careful placement and liberal use of pre-measuring will keep them alive a lot longer than ever. For safety's sake, be sure that you are exactly 18 inches away on each model when using your burst cannons so that even a whiffed roll on your assault move puts you out of harm's way.
Oh and don't forget to keep your drones out in front so that enemy shooting goes to them first.