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Sleazy
07-02-2009, 11:19
Quick question..

I used to play Tau when they were first released in 3rd (a Farsight enclave). I sold that army but bought various tau boxes during 4th with the intention of building a standard tau army.

I have finally started putting it all together but am undecided about carbines. Back in the day you could only take 1/2 carbines but now you can arm all you FW if you wish.

So which is better under 5th rules? I'm thinking the extra range and rapid fire is probably more useful than pinning and assault. What do the Tau players here reccomend? all rifle, all carbine or some kinda mix?

Cheers in advance

Thud
07-02-2009, 11:24
Depends on how you intend to use them. Stationary, or in a 'Fish, go for rifles. If you're going to have them knocking about on foot moving towards objectives I'd go for all carbines.

All, bar six, of mine are armed with rifles, but if I were to assemble them today I'd gone all carbines. But then again, I'm a bit unorthodox with my Tau (close combat and that) so feel free to take anything I say with a pinch of salt. ;)

Sleazy
07-02-2009, 11:30
ah. Objectives can only be won by troops now! I forgot about that (I've only played 2 games of 5th). In which case I reckon a couple of units all armed with carbines could be handy

Doppleskanger
07-02-2009, 13:48
Thing about carbines is though they cause pinning tests, so many armies have high Ld so you rarely ever pin anyone. Well that's my experience. Therefore I would go all rifles, as the long range for single shots and rapid fire when the enemy closes, or when you leap from a fish are very handy.

tacoo
07-02-2009, 13:58
but thats were marker light can help since you can use them to add a -1 midifiers to the enemy's LD for a pinning test. through a couple in that and theres a squad that wont bother you for a while

quigglebert
07-02-2009, 14:02
i've always found fish mounted firewarriors are good with carbines, attempting to pin the unit in front of the fish, then leaping back in next turn and hitting another unit a turn later, it depends whether you want to slow your tagets or to kill them, slowing a unit is always very useful as it will stop them reaching an objective that a single model can still claim now, pulserifles are my static firebase and thats where they stay unless they are making a withdrawal

carldooley
07-02-2009, 14:03
carbines are the way to go. If you take rifles you had better be static, potshotting at targets at least 13" away, which only gives you one shot per model. If you are unlucky, you will be shooting twice at a unit within rapidfire range, which means that you are going to be charged if you don't inflict enough casualties. with carbines, you can stay 18" away from the targeted unit, which keeps you away from charging distance (unless it is a fleeting unit). If you are being charged by a fleeting unit, you had best be willing to use more than just firewarriors to obliterate the unit.

Creeping Dementia
07-02-2009, 18:21
I personally see no reason to to take carbines on Firewarriors... ever. The Pinning argument sounds good on the surface, but if you've actually played games with the Tau before you start realizing that pinning, as a general concept, doesn't work. There are soooooo many units and even entire armies that are completely immune to pinning, and most of the rest of them have such high leadership that the odds are very low of actually pinning them. I have pinned one unit in the past year of playing.


If you take rifles you had better be static, potshotting at targets at least 13" away, which only gives you one shot per model. If you are unlucky, you will be shooting twice at a unit within rapidfire range, which means that you are going to be charged if you don't inflict enough casualties.

The entire concept of the Tau is to be concentrating fire and wiping out whole units at a time. You should be doing that anyway, regardless of what your Firewarriors are armed with. And if your 13" away, um... move up 2 inches and rapidfire. Basically, if your using one unit of firewarrior in an attempt to stop an enemy unit, your spreading out your fire too much and you're already in trouble.


but thats were marker light can help since you can use them to add a -1 midifiers to the enemy's LD for a pinning test. through a couple in that and theres a squad that wont bother you for a while

Those markerlight hits would be much much better used upping the BS of some rapidfiring rifle Firewarriors, rather than reducing a pinning check by 1 and praying for your opponent to roll poorly... assuming the opposing unit can be pinned.

Most players take rifles because they are better for your lure/firebase, and they are better in Devilfish, than carbine warriors. Firewarriors charging toward the enemy on foot don't last very long, mainly because they're an easy kill point, or they're a threat for objective claiming, and have little to no protection.

Bookwrak
07-02-2009, 18:32
You don't put carbines on FW and charge towards the enemy. Static gunlines have taken a hit in 5th ed, and carbines let you get a shot off at 18" while still maintaining mobility. Moving _away_ from an enemy while shooting is nice. They might even pin a unit, which is better, but not vital.

ZOMGBBQ
07-02-2009, 19:02
You don't put carbines on FW and charge towards the enemy. Static gunlines have taken a hit in 5th ed, and carbines let you get a shot off at 18" while still maintaining mobility. Moving _away_ from an enemy while shooting is nice. They might even pin a unit, which is better, but not vital.

Exactly. 2 Shots Rapid Firing is nice, but not so nice when your enemy assaults you next turn. 18" weaponry is the bane of any CC army.

carldooley
07-02-2009, 19:10
You don't put carbines on FW and charge towards the enemy. Static gunlines have taken a hit in 5th ed, and carbines let you get a shot off at 18" while still maintaining mobility. Moving _away_ from an enemy while shooting is nice. They might even pin a unit, which is better, but not vital.

agreed. pinning is a red herring. the 18" assault weapon is key.

Kyrios
07-02-2009, 19:19
Sorry to be OT, but what is a red herring? (except for a fish)

starlight
07-02-2009, 19:22
A misleading comment intended to distract the conversation from it's true topic.

quigglebert
07-02-2009, 19:24
pinning is a bonus when it occures but against current marines it aint gonna work with any reliablity unless your using markerlights too

Doppleskanger
07-02-2009, 19:31
Well I'm completely with Creeping Dementia on the pinning tests. You're definitely better off using marker lights upping BS or reducing cover saves. It just ain't gonna happen.

I see what people are saying about the 18 inch thing and retreating, it's how I use my two squads of 6 stealth suits all with burst cannons. I wonder about it in this case. Is it better for instance to use a squad of FW with riffles sitting near the back of the board, perhaps getting six shots off through the game, vs taking a squad with carbines up into range and then retreating away? How many shots do they get off 4? More if you put them in a fish, obviously, but a lot more points. I'm also not sure about unloading from a Fish. Surely 12 FW rapid jumping out of a fish and rapid firing, using the fish to block the charge and then getting a second turn to rapid fire is more effective than doing essentially the same move with an assault 1 weapon that might cause pinning, but probably won't. Admitedly by the third turn the Riffle armed FW's would get eaten if you haven't wiped the enemy squad out, but that's where supporting fire comes in.
Obviously there's a diffence in play styles here, and I'm not saying the carbine fans are wrong, just that I don't necessarily see it. But hey, we're all here to learn right ;)

carldooley
07-02-2009, 19:45
the thing is, if you elect to fish of fury, you are going to be giving your opponent's unit a 4+ cover save from your devilfish, which will require 3 markerlights to negate. add to that the 2 to increase BS to 5, if you FoF, you had best be packing a lot of markerlights.

Creeping Dementia
07-02-2009, 19:53
You don't put carbines on FW and charge towards the enemy. Static gunlines have taken a hit in 5th ed, and carbines let you get a shot off at 18" while still maintaining mobility. Moving _away_ from an enemy while shooting is nice. They might even pin a unit, which is better, but not vital.

Well I think you outlined the main difference right there, I didn't know that there were still static players out there. I play Hybrid using Kauyon tactics, and my lure is generally a couple small units of FW and some pathfinders, and once the opposing CC units get close my lure is sprinting away in a couple different directions to drag them in farther so my Hunter portion can eliminate them away from their own support. When my static elements are moving, they're running.

I think Doppleskanger has a point too though, won't rifles get more shots off then carbines in almost every scenario? Figure rifles get a shot or 2 as the enemy advances, while carbines are out of range, then get double shots when the enemy is close. Sure the carbines get a shot at 16-18 inches, then one more as they retreat, but your opponent is running and if your not you'll only delay the assault for one turn. And thats assuming that the opponent doesn't have fleet, jump packs or a Waagh.

It's been put forth that Pinning is a red herring, so I'm just not seeing why Assault1 18" is worth giving up 12" of range and rapid fire if as Bookwrak said, you're not advancing toward the enemy.

Slaaaaaanesh
07-02-2009, 19:54
I would definitely recommend equiping rifles, using markerlights to improve BS is more useful than trying to lower the enemy's leadership.

Gimp
07-02-2009, 19:55
My friends use rifle armed fire warriors in devil fish as mobile fire bases to kill enemy units and kroot to take and hold objectives (which in big units and cover are pretty good at)

ehlijen
07-02-2009, 23:30
I say rifles as well.
- The longer range gives you better fire support ability when sitting in a good position
- When you're moving you often want to run as well, so 18" assault means nothing
- As said, pinning...no thanks.
- Rapid fire!
- Rifles look cooler, especially when you, like me, think of the Tau as the colonial british empire

MrBigMr
08-02-2009, 00:15
I have a question regarding carbines. If one does a small combat patrol force with a single Fire Warrior squad (along with Kroot and some suits), shoud one take carbines or rifles? At first I was gonna go for 11 rifles and a carbine Shas'ui, but I've been thinking about an all carbine squad too.

ehlijen
08-02-2009, 00:36
Especially in combat patrol I'd go for rifles. The small size of the game means that you have little other room for long range support and the small table usually means that you cannot maneouver as effectively making 18" assault weapons less potent than on a larger table.
Between the kroot and the suits you have mobile elements but you're lacking long range volume of fire.

Doppleskanger
08-02-2009, 00:45
Yeah again I'm not sure the Devilfish giving cover saves away is that big a deal. Neither weapon are high AP so it's only a benefit when the target has poor armour like an ork mob or something. In that instance be brave, take the Fish out the way, 24 strength 5 shots with improved BS from a marker light or two, plus a few shots from the drones and the burst cannon...how many orks or gaunts etc would be left? And if it's marines or somesuch leave the fish there, they'll be taking armour saves not cover saves and it will still take two turns to get at you.
It's an intersting point though, I'd actually like to watch a someone playing with the carbine squads and see how it works in practice.

Bookwrak
08-02-2009, 01:24
Or you want to move because something coming at you has an 12" assault range, which you want to stay out of. You then lose all shooting if you have pulse rifles.

AngryAngel
08-02-2009, 05:20
the thing is, if you elect to fish of fury, you are going to be giving your opponent's unit a 4+ cover save from your devilfish, which will require 3 markerlights to negate. add to that the 2 to increase BS to 5, if you FoF, you had best be packing a lot of markerlights.

?? Ok ? If your shooting at any meq army, the 4+ cover save doesn't matter at all. As the ap 5 of the rifle isn't going through their armor anyways. If the armor is 4+ the cover save under the devilfish still doesn't matter at all as their armor save is just as good.

So why would you need to nullify that cover save exactly ? Answer is you wouldn't, so your point means nothing there.

As for armies with worse armor saves that would get ripped through by pulse rifles, you could always manuver and disembark in such a way that the only squad that could get to um would will die to the rain of pulse rounds and combined fire. Like orks or nids. If they wouldn't, then your in trouble anyways as orks may wagggh and nids fleet all the time. So you should only engage them in that 12inch range when you will destroy them.

Lets say you then give them the 4+ cover save anyways. All you need really is the 2 marker lights to hit on 2's. I'll take my chances with a 4+ save when I'm hitting on 2's and wounding on 3's or 2's. Thats alot of saves and I'd be sure thats not the only unit eating them up that turn.

So yeah ya should have alot of markerlights, but none of them are needed, normally to take away that cover save.

ReveredChaplainDrake
08-02-2009, 06:57
Lets say you then give them the 4+ cover save anyways. All you need really is the 2 marker lights to hit on 2's. I'll take my chances with a 4+ save when I'm hitting on 2's and wounding on 3's or 2's. Thats alot of saves and I'd be sure thats not the only unit eating them up that turn.
Actually, the best statistical use of Markerlights there is to reduce the enemy's cover to a 5+ and your BS to a 4. Directing all your Marker hits in one direction (all-BS-bonus or all-Cover-penalties) triples your kill rate either way you go.

All BS-upgrades:
5/6 hit
2/3 wound
1/2 dead
5/18 casualties per shot

All Cover-penalties
1/2 hit
2/3 wound
5/6 dead
5/18 casualties per shot

1 BS upgrade & 1 Cover penalty
2/3 hit
2/3 wound
2/3 dead
8/27 casualties per shot

5/18 = 135/504 per shot
8/27 = 144/504 per shot

difference: 9/504 = 1/56 more kills per shot by splitting Markerlight effects; not much, but it's there.

In a practical sense, if you want to make your rolls easier, take all-BS. If you want to make your opponent's rolls harder, take all-cover-penalties. If you want the (though only marginally) most efficient pattern, take one of each.

To the topic of Carbines vs Rifles, I go Rifles every time. Nothing against the Carbine, though. It has it's place and all. However, Rifles are unique to Fire Warriors only. Gun Drones can also have Carbines, and not only are they marginally more accurate, they're way better at getting into positions than Fire Warriors. The Fire Warriors need to be throwing the dakka.

march10k
08-02-2009, 08:31
Thing about carbines is though they cause pinning tests, so many armies have high Ld so you rarely ever pin anyone.

Ugh...what is it with carbines and pinning? Just because an ability is there...doesn't make it the purpose of the weapon. Pinning is an afterthought. If you stop focusing on the pinning and think of a carbine as an assault 1 18" pulse weapon, it opens up a whole new world. Compare 3 stealth suits to 9 FW with carbines (same points cost!):

Range: Push
Firepower: Push
Wounds: 3 vs 9 >FW
Save: 4 vs 3 > Stealths
Stealth: Y vs N > Stealths
JSJ: Y vs N > Stealths
Scoring: Y vs N >FW
Pinning: Y vs N > FW
Slot: elite vs troops> FW

Overall, I think for mobile firepower, the carbine-armed fire warriors are at least as good as stealth suits, especially when you consider what stealth suits are competing against for an elites slot. Therefore, I'd use firewarriors for traditional stealth suit missions and use steath suits for traditional pathfinder missions (with 3 suits and 3 STEALTHED marker drones per team).

starlight
08-02-2009, 09:22
But the Stealths are still competing against the same Elite options, whereas the Pathfinders aren't...unless I'm missing something...which is possible at 01:30...:p


It looks like FWs and Pathfinders are a better mix...although I agree I'd take Stealths over Pathfinders, if only the Stealths weren't Elites...:(


*needs to re-examine planning for Tau force...* :(

march10k
08-02-2009, 11:03
Well, wasn't so much talking about stealths as a substitute for pathfinders (I did mention the concept), I was more talking about FW as a substitute for stealths in the mobile fire support role.

When I get back and get some marker drones painted, I'm going to start fielding:

6x6 carbines
2x3 stealths with 3 markerlights each

as the core of my army, seasoning to taste with various HQ, and a mix of heavy support...No fish and no elite crisis suits. Maybe I'll increase (some of) the FW teams to 8 models per...especially if I have leftover points, since HQ and heavy choices rip off huge chunks of points per slot.

ruttman15
08-02-2009, 16:53
RIFLES!!! but maybe have one unit of carbines?? you could definately find a use for them. Theyd get chewed up in CC much faster.

Lord Damocles
08-02-2009, 16:56
I'd go for big squads with rifles (to actually kill stuff) and small squads with carbines (to run about and die / take objectives).

StareAtTheSuN
08-02-2009, 17:16
I'd go for big squads with rifles (to actually kill stuff) and small squads with carbines (to run about and die / take objectives).

This seems to be what I see the most of.