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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Turbo: Piranha strike forces

I've already posted stuff on Piranha units, but for the sake of having it all in one place I'm making a rehash. From my old post, "Speeding Up":

"Piranhas are useful in a wierd way to the Tau army as they don't bring a lot of firepower, and because of this their mobility seems rather useless; I can bring one Fusion Blaster and Targetting Array there for 70 points? And they seem rather fragile compared to most other vehicles. Weakest possible armor on the side and rear and overpriced compared to Landspeeders, as well as poorly armed in comparison.
So why use Piranhas? Because they make excellent roadblocks. Piranha roadblocks can be used in two ways; the Swordfish and the School of Piranhas.

The Swordfish tactic is simple; A piranha with a Fusion Blaster and Targetting Array rushes the enemy and parks directly in front of the enemy's vanguard vehicle, moving flat-out. The enemy can attempt to destroy it in his shooting phase, but the movement prior will be slowed by him circumventing your vehicle. If your vehicle lives, then you can hop to the enemy's rear armour and fire your meltagun, or plop down in front again.

The School of Piranhas uses two or more Piranhas (two are a cheap annoyance; three or more are a tank murdering unit that should be feared). Each Piranha is armed with a Fusion Blaster (you could use Burst Cannons, but I feel they are a waste of the Piranha), Targetting Array, Flechettes, and some should have Target Locks. The strategy begins the same as the Swordfish; rush a tank, block path, melta and then annoy. But this becomes much more effective; the space taken up by two Piranhas is enough to waste entire turns of movement, and three or more can easily block mulitple units. In addition, the Target Locks will allow you to attempt melta on multiple vehicles; an extremely useful ability. Finally, the Flechettes will allow you to block off infantry paths; putting them between you and an offending unit will force them to move around. Assaulting them will not help your opponent either, as the Flechettes will tear light infantry apart, while hurting even the heavier ones (two Flechettes in a squadron while statistically wound every model in the assaulting unit! That means only 5 Boyz from a full 30 man mob will live, or you can shred about three Marines from a full Tacsquad if they attempt to grenade your Piranhas to death). In addition, when moved at cruising or flatout speeds, the enemy needs 6s to even hit the vehicle, which is easily failed.

If you are having trouble stemming an enemy rush, try using Piranhas in your list; from popping mech to Flechetting hordes, these models can annoy or kill any would be threat that holds vehicular form."


NockerGeek said...

I prefer running my Piranhas Swordfish-style, although I often run them side by side as though they were a squadron. I can still get the blocking ability of a full squadron, but I still have the flexibility to split them up and go after separate targets. This can be especially handy around tight terrain where there isn't room for two side-by-side. They also aren't auto-destroyed if they're immobilized, which can make the difference between having a piece of terrain and a contesting/blocking unit with a meltagun.

Aloh'Nan'El said...

You know they don't have to be side by side... right? They can be within 4" of each other and be in coherency.
Plus, since moving through a unit is illegal, my opponent can't move through that gap, making blocking more effective; though the rules are fuzzy on where that line is...

NockerGeek said...

Oh, I'm perfectly aware. I like keeping them separate because they aren't forced to be together. If they're arranged in a column to block off a narrow gap, they're not being used as effectively as 2 separate Piranhas that can each block off a separate gap. It's all about flexibility.

What I mean about running them side-by-side is that I often run two separate Piranhas close together, as though they were a squadron, but then peel one off when it's advantageous to do so.

Aloh'Nan'El said...

That is useful, but there are a few things keeping me from that;
a) I can block a greater area with a squadron than I can with two Piranhas, thanks to the "moving through unit" rule.
b) Pivot blocking: with one Piranha you can't do this due to the "move within 1 inch" rule. But with a squadron you can sit right up on the front and side of something to stop it from pivoting or moving forward, forcing it backwards and around.
Granted this is doable with your two separate ones, but if they split off to block other places they may lose the ability. This isn't a huge difference though, the way you use them.
c) Pathfinder=Love: I need two slots for Pathies in Kauyon, to make my shooting to deadly for its own good.
d) One pod fits all: One d.pod for two Piranhas.
e) Kill points: Splitting them adds two.

The flexibility is GREAT, but not worth these to me.

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