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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hammerhead Tank? SMS? List musings.

I've been working with my list lately, and I've started to notice... my Hammerhead tank is not pulling its weight. With the points I throw into my Hammerhead, I can almost afford another two Broadsides without Shield Drones, or I can definitely afford a squad of Deathrains, fully equipped, both of which would add to my firepower immensely.
Furthermore, the SMS on my Pathfnder Devilfish hasn't really come into play... not that I expected it to, I only tossed it on because I didn't have anywhere real to put the points. If I drop those as well, the prospective Broadsides can grab some Shield Drones and other goodies. Alternatively, the prospective Deathrains can bloom into fully armed Fireknives, giving me a massive amount of anti-infantry weaponry.

What to do? I'm leaning towards the extra Railguns from the Broadsides right now, as 5 Railguns in addition to all my missiles will solve any tank problem I have. It could be argued that the Crisis Suits bring effective anti-tank as well, with more infantry killing power, but I'm not sure that I feel entirely safe with only one unit holding Railguns. Despite cover, Shield Drones, and leadership boosts, I am terrified of my Broadsides being singled out and me losing my best way to deal with heavy tanks. With two Broadside squads, I can finally play a dual firebase list effectively as well.
On the other hand, against all but high AV vehicles, the missiles are more effective overall. The plasma would be an excellent addition as well, as it would make my offensive force overwhelming powerful.

My feel now is that I should take the Broadsides for the extra AT, and the Deathrains or Fireknives at 2000. I could easily reduce a Kroot unit to find the points for firepower..
Thoughts? I'd love suggestions here, I feel I'm close to maxing out my firepower.

I'm torn right now.


NockerGeek said...

Keep in mind the submunitions shot on the Hammerhead railgun. I manage to get a lot of use out of the Hammerhead, even after my opponent has been de-mech'd (or was never mech'd in the first place), thanks to the alt-fire mode on the Hammerhead. It's one reason why I'm not likely to switch over to Broadsides-only anytime soon.

Also, consider how much you're moving your Hammerhead. If you're going 6"-12" a turn, there's no real point in having SMS on it, which will save you 10 points as well.

As far as the SMS on Devilfish go, I prefer to save the points and just go with drones. Dropping SMS from both will net you 40 points, which would easily give you more Shield Drones for another unit of Broadsides. I'm surprised you're even running SMS without a Multi-tracker, but I guess you're assuming that you're running at combat speed only to keep your castle together.

Have you considered adding just one more Broadside and splitting them into two squads of two, and then keeping the Hammerhead? That might be a good compromise solution.

djdivide said...

Recently I've been coming to the same conclusion about my Hammerheads, they're just not cutting the mustard. It's become a running joke that I should paint a "1" on the side of one of them, and a "2" on the other, as that's what I almost exclusively roll for their railgun shots. I also fare little better with the submunition, which tends to scatter into ineffectiveness far too often.

As it happens, over the past few games I've left the 'heads at home and tried both your options - deathrains and extra 'sides - and had success with both. It's sad to say that the only thing I've missed about the 'heads is the way they look on the battlefield! They're my favourite models and what first drew me to the tau. *sigh*

Sheik Yoboddi said...

I'm recently leaning towards 2 two-man broadsides and a single hammerhead. I find that the xv88s always get targeted by deep strikes etc. By having two the opponent has to pick and you can split his forces.

On the SMS thing, I never pump that many points into my vehicles. One lucky lascannon and they're useless. Devilfish's drones are annoying to your enemy. The BC hammerhead is more sensible given its more of an anti troop unit in my eyes. Make it a fast vehicle and 6 s6 shots plus a blast cause a lot of hurt.

Firewasp said...

I thinking of heading towards a second unit of two broadsides rather then one unit of three. Unfortunately I tend towards the forgeworld models which get a little expensive after a while.
The dual broadsides would also allow you to engage four targets a turn with a target lock on the team leader.

Aloh'Nan'El said...

The Submunition is very lackluster for me on anything but bad horde players. If I need S6, the choices of more Fireknives or Sniper Drones seem to pop out at me as better.
My Hammerhead doesn't take advantage of its movement much in Kauyon, save for later tankshocks.
SMS on Devilfish were just to take up spare points, as stated in the above post. Same with the Flechettes on the Piranhas, really, though they have some use.
I am not keeping the Hammerhead. I hate it, gamewise. Two squads of two Broadsides may work for me, gotta look into that.

Same here, the model is cool, one of my first fully painted ones, tried a whole bunch of painting stuff with them. Their probably my favorite, fluffwise and modelwise, but I can't use them gamewise.

I don't normally take SMS. Just had a whole bunch of free points I didn't know what to do with at the time.
Also, the BC is not S6, nor can the Hammerhead be a fast vehicle.

I was never to huge on splitting fire, as I normally have a target I want to make sure is dead. But I see the potential in that.
I'm going to look into dual 2-man teams.

Gredus said...

Hammerheads as anti tank always make me cring when I roll that dice without Markerlight support. I've only played Orc, Nid and Eldar recently but all 3 of them were pretty worried about the templates dropping down on them.
You want to reduce the chances of the dice working against you with railguns. For me that means Broadsides for anti tank and Hammerheads for anti infantry.

I also use Burst Cannons with my Hammerheads (mainly as my spare SMS get used for Deathrains haha)

Gredus said...

@ Aloh'Nan'El - Multitracker lets you fire as if the vehicle is a fast vehicle.

I get what you're saying though, it can't move 12 and fire both the Railgun and Burstcannons.

I would normally have SMS on my Devilfish but my recent objective game had my mate sacrificing shots at the drones (and saving my Crisis Suits)to stop the drones contesting objectives. I think i'll be taking drones more often!

Firewasp said...

With the surge in rhino/razorback spam in marine lists, the raiders and ravangers in the upcoming dark eldar codex. I think you'll be grateful for the ability to split fire between multiple units. With the +2 on the damage roll against DE (open topped) the potential to destroy two targets a turn for the sake of 5 points is pretty awesome.
Certainly a route I've been exploring with my Tau at the moment and liking the results.

Lord Lizard said...

I like the include one hammerhead for contesting purposes. Usually when I play objectives I start moving my hammerhead turn 1 towards the enemy objetive I will be tankshocking and contesting turn 5. I find that I never shoot well enough to actually shoot people off of objectives. Don't forget the speed and contesting cababilities a hammerhead brings. Point for point and efficiency-wise I would rather have broadsides though.

Harman Smith said...

The hammerhead is still an excellent tool with the pizza pie it tosses on the enemy. Strength 6 is still considerable. The hammerhead's purpose in general is what people don't find out easily.

You see, the broadside's greatest weakness is their lack of mobility. In games with good terrain that blocks line of sight, one can hide behind ruined buildings or cliffs or whatever great terrain the wise wargamer has built up. The hammerhead can counter such a thing by dashing forward and striking from an angle.
Think of it as half a broadside that can fly. Expensive, but very useful if one makes use of its own cover save (disruption pod) and the mobility to get those hard-to-reach enemies. Hiding from the broadside will be of little use in that case.

I found that sacrificing the hammerhead to get more of those wonderful battlesuits in can work too, but one no longer has the mobile S10, or the so-called "pie of sadness". This can get dangerous if the enemy is playing Orks or Nids.
Oh, not to mention dark reapers. Them Eldar Jack Skellington lads are a menace with their AP3, and their exarch weapon that ignores cover. Ends up killing my fireknife teams in one turn if I don't whoop them first.

Sheik Yoboddi said...

How do ppl feel about the skyray? Two pairs of broadsides and a skyray is something I've considered in the past. The sky ray isn't as obvious a target as ppl dont understand its roll. Mobile markerlights are great and I often find I kill more transports using it and some pathfinders than I do with a hammerhead.

Aloh'Nan'El said...

I'm well aware what the multitracker does, but coupled with the S6 statement I figured I should note Hammerheads are not actually fast.
The template isn't really as useful as people think it is, but I'll get to that when I post my revised list...

That's true, and my new list takes this into account; I've settled onto the dual 2-mans with Target Locks for now...

@Lord Lizard:
I know, that is why I've kept it this long. But it is not too easy to break, and the cost of it is atrocious, even with Ion Cannon, BC, and other such "cheap" options. It is easily killed by melta when it goes to contest.
My second Devilfish and my Piranhas can fill this role decently.

@Harman Smith:
The S6 isn't really that great, I'll explain why I think so when I get my next list up. The mobile S10 really doesn't help that much as it often fails to do something.
How precisely does a Hammerhead help against Dark Reapers?

I've used the Skyray, and it is a useful way to get some S8 on the field, but it is the most cost effective way to do so, especially because you lose the Seekers if it gets gunned down.
Also, after the Seekers are gone, it is effectively just an up-armored Devilfish without the transport capacity.
The general ineffectiveness of my old Skyray becomes even more apparent when you realize where Aloh'Nan'el's jump wings come from ;D

I've worked on my list and found ways to cut some corners and cheapen some units to fit in what I need.
I'll be posting 1850 and 2000 in a bit.

Sheik Yoboddi said...

Once the missiles are fired you can still use the markerlights to good effect. They hit better than pathfinder ones and are certainly more maneuvrable.

loudanddeep said...

While I do love broadsides, they have a few major conditional weaknesses which hammerheads over come;

1 - can be taken out by small arms fire
2 - depend VERY heavily on fire lanes (unless you have ass) but this is terrain dependant.
3 - Have a morale score.
4 - subject to assault from outflankers more easily (need screeners)
5 - cant give cover to other units.

Again, I LOVE broadsides...but I have found that the mobility (12" move and fire main with the right gear) of a hammer head is can be essential in many games.

Vs. Deathrains;
If you are fighting a lot of guard, or light armor, sure, this may work out well. Personally, the choice is railgun; the platform is the only consideration.

SMS - these can be amazing.
Again, perhaps there is just not a lot of terrain in your games.
You tanks have a decent range, throw in the 24" from SMS, and you can cover a very large area of the field. Those guys hiding behind a kan or a transport? Hit them. Those guys hiding behind something sitting on the objective? Hit them.
Now, a SINGLE SMS in your army does not do is when you have several vehicles with them, that you can deny your opponent a lot of tactical maneuvers.

May the dice be with you...
Dave Pak

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