How to make Pulse Carbines viable for Fire Warriors

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Shas'O R'Kai
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How to make Pulse Carbines viable for Fire Warriors

Post#1 » Dec 11 2017 08:35

As the title says, this is a thread on how to make Pulse Carbines viable on Fire Warriors. At the moment I don't think I've seen anyone(including myself) use the carbines for the last 3 editions. Sure they get used on drones, but on Firewarriors they are almost universally seen as worse. Thinking about the new Codex and what it may bring balance wise, I considered how they'd best be balanced against other options without making drones even more OP or outshining Pulserifles.

My suggestion comes from what I know about them in the fluff, where they are described as having an underslung grenade launcher. I think a great way to make them more appealing is to make use of this by letting the one model per unit that wants to use a grenade be able to fire it using the underslung launcher. Just increase the range from 6" to the carbines 18". This would let us have a much better use for them, and give us our own ability to make enemies have a -1 mod to shooting outside of our stealth. Combine this with the codex update(EMP's return?) and potential new stratagems it could go a long way to making the humble carbine a tactically flexible choice. Less firepower for more diversity on what we can do, without making Gun Drones any more powerful than they are.

I thought if we discuss it here and narrow down a specific change, we could add it to the thread where we send our feedback to GW. What does everyone think of this?

R'Kai
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Emberkahn
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Re: How to make Pulse Carbines viable for Fire Warriors

Post#2 » Dec 11 2017 08:34

Probably better to put this in general discussion, rather than Tactics. As you stated, under the SQ the Carbine is pretty much useless; it is only better than the rifle between ranges 15-18" which is pitiful.

Re improving it for the future... sure. But tbh I feel they have been superseded by breachers.

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Elphiel
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Re: How to make Pulse Carbines viable for Fire Warriors

Post#3 » Dec 11 2017 08:44

In the early days of our Codex the Pulse carbine had the special rule 'pinning' that would force a leadership test to see if the unit cant move the next turn if it lost any wounds from pulse carbine fire. That was the rule translation of the fluff underslung grenade launcher. Something like forcing the enemy to take cover from grenade explosions. Also rules for rapid fire and assault weapon types where very different during the first codex and its 40k edition (I think it was 3rd or 4th edition? can't remember now but doesn't matter anyways). Therefore the pulse carbine was a good choice if you wanted mobile firewarriors that went up close or get out of a devilfish. While the pulse rifle only worked well if the unit stayed stationary.

Sadly over the years and especially with the new 8th edition, GW has shifted from writing rules to represent the fluff to writing rule to create some more or less competitive stuff or better said something that just has to work simple like everything else in the game.

So we end up in todays 40k where there is no real advantage left of the pulse carbine. I also highly doubt the upcoming codex will bring something new here. The vibes i get from all the other codex is, that it's all about relics, warlord traits and stratagems. Stuff that influences the game in a more or less logical or even fluffy way.

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You_Father_Sky
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Re: How to make Pulse Carbines viable for Fire Warriors

Post#4 » Dec 12 2017 04:55

I miss pinning, I really do.

I love the carbines, which is why I use drones. They do everything a FW with a carbine would do, but better. Movement, toughness, fly, saviour protocols, DOUBLE THE SHOTS. I am not trading all of that to get rid of the targeting protcols limitation, which if played properly, isn't all that much of a problem.
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Shas'O R'Kai
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Re: How to make Pulse Carbines viable for Fire Warriors

Post#5 » Dec 12 2017 05:06

Emberkahn wrote:Probably better to put this in general discussion, rather than Tactics. As you stated, under the SQ the Carbine is pretty much useless; it is only better than the rifle between ranges 15-18" which is pitiful.

Re improving it for the future... sure. But tbh I feel they have been superseded by breachers.


Oh, I didn't notice I'd put this in Tactics! Thanks for pointing it out. I'm a very new poster so I'm a bit of a newbie. Is it possible to move a topic? If so could you give me instructions on how to do so? I'm not seeing anything at the moment.

Elphiel wrote:In the early days of our Codex the Pulse carbine had the special rule 'pinning' that would force a leadership test to see if the unit cant move the next turn if it lost any wounds from pulse carbine fire. That was the rule translation of the fluff underslung grenade launcher. Something like forcing the enemy to take cover from grenade explosions. Also rules for rapid fire and assault weapon types where very different during the first codex and its 40k edition (I think it was 3rd or 4th edition? can't remember now but doesn't matter anyways). Therefore the pulse carbine was a good choice if you wanted mobile firewarriors that went up close or get out of a devilfish. While the pulse rifle only worked well if the unit stayed stationary.

Sadly over the years and especially with the new 8th edition, GW has shifted from writing rules to represent the fluff to writing rule to create some more or less competitive stuff or better said something that just has to work simple like everything else in the game.

So we end up in todays 40k where there is no real advantage left of the pulse carbine. I also highly doubt the upcoming codex will bring something new here. The vibes i get from all the other codex is, that it's all about relics, warlord traits and stratagems. Stuff that influences the game in a more or less logical or even fluffy way.


Yeah, I remember those good ol' days! I'm happy with where GW have taken the game though, 8th edition is excellent. A lot of the lost fluff was to be expected when stripping the armies right back to a basic list and I'm happy with how the codices are going, but I fear you're right regarding this particular point. It's prettymuch stratagems, relics, points adjustments, and warlord traits. I really really doubt we'll see much of a difference in weapon profiles/abilities. I still keep hope though!
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Kakapo42
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Re: How to make Pulse Carbines viable for Fire Warriors

Post#6 » Dec 12 2017 06:11

Shas'O R'Kai wrote:
Oh, I didn't notice I'd put this in Tactics! Thanks for pointing it out. I'm a very new poster so I'm a bit of a newbie. Is it possible to move a topic? If so could you give me instructions on how to do so? I'm not seeing anything at the moment.


For future reference, if you ever wish to have a topic moved, simply post a request for it and a moderator should move it when they see it (or when an eagle-eyed Shas'Ui member brings it to our attention). The thread has now been moved to General Discussion.

Regarding the topic at hand, as already pointed out the key advantage of pulse carbines was always their suppresive pinning effect, which was the in-game representation of the grenade launcher. The idea was that the launcher was loaded with photon grenades and linked to the trigger, so whenever a Fire Warrior fired a pulse carbine it would launch a grenade along with the regular pulse shots. The resulting barrage of photon grenades would seriously disorient the target unit, and the resulting disruption was thus modelled with the Pinning rule.

Unfortunately as I understand it the Pinning rule was a casualty of the 8th edition core rules, and I am not aware of any universal rule that was included as a replacement. Given the advent of multiple 8th edition codexes, however, perhaps it could be wise to review the rules of other traditional Pinning weapons such as sniper rifles and mortars to see if there are any indicators of possible alternative mechanics for modelling suppression effects in 8th edition?
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Shas'O R'Kai
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Re: How to make Pulse Carbines viable for Fire Warriors

Post#7 » Dec 12 2017 06:18

Kakapo42 wrote:
Shas'O R'Kai wrote:
Oh, I didn't notice I'd put this in Tactics! Thanks for pointing it out. I'm a very new poster so I'm a bit of a newbie. Is it possible to move a topic? If so could you give me instructions on how to do so? I'm not seeing anything at the moment.


For future reference, if you ever wish to have a topic moved, simply post a request for it and a moderator should move it when they see it (or when an eagle-eyed Shas'Ui member brings it to our attention). The thread has now been moved to General Discussion.

Regarding the topic at hand, as already pointed out the key advantage of pulse carbines was always their suppresive pinning effect, which was the in-game representation of the grenade launcher. The idea was that the launcher was loaded with photon grenades and linked to the trigger, so whenever a Fire Warrior fired a pulse carbine it would launch a grenade along with the regular pulse shots. The resulting barrage of photon grenades would seriously disorient the target unit, and the resulting disruption was thus modelled with the Pinning rule.

Unfortunately as I understand it the Pinning rule was a casualty of the 8th edition core rules, and I am not aware of any universal rule that was included as a replacement. Given the advent of multiple 8th edition codexes, however, perhaps it could be wise to review the rules of other traditional Pinning weapons such as sniper rifles and mortars to see if there are any indicators of possible alternative mechanics for modelling suppression effects in 8th edition?


Ah, thanks for the clarification on how that works!

Yeah, I've had a good look at all the other pinning weapons and they all now serve totally different functions. Pinning used to usually be snipers, mortars or ordnance as I recall. These all just have different S and damage profiles. The snipers got MW on 6+ to wound but that's the only special rule I've seen any pinning weapon get. I highly doubt we'll get a special rule/ability for the carbine, I reckon GW will be ok with having it as a choice purely because some people have them modelled. If there is going to be a change to the carbine I'm almost certain it will come in the form of a stratagem.

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GND
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Re: How to make Pulse Carbines viable for Fire Warriors

Post#8 » Dec 12 2017 07:54

If I understand you correctly, the proposal is to be able to shoot Photon Grenades with carbines to give them extra range. This is a very minor buff (+ 6" range, our grenades are range 12") and not that useful at all since PG impose a negative modifier until the end of the turn. So you only ever use them in overwatch. Of course we could see a rework of PG, but that just further complicates things.

As far as carbines on Strike Teams go - Yes we have lost pinning, but pinning was a bad and highly situational rule to begin with. I really couldn't care less that its gone. What the carbines now offer is the ability to shoot and advance. I discussed this in this rather long thread http://www.advancedtautactica.com/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=26593.

TLDR: I was testing foot slogging Breachers and ended up liking them for the increased speed from advancing every turn while still shooting. This led me to try out strike Teams with carbines. I still need a couple of games to be sure, but so far it strikes me that carbines are a side-grade to rifles that can be useful for certain lists and play-styles. So far I don't feel we need a buff for carbines. The majority of people will probably keep using rifles and carbines will have a niche use, but that's fine. Not every option has to be/can be the top pick.

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Shas'O R'Kai
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Re: How to make Pulse Carbines viable for Fire Warriors

Post#9 » Dec 12 2017 08:12

GND wrote:If I understand you correctly, the proposal is to be able to shoot Photon Grenades with carbines to give them extra range. This is a very minor buff (+ 6" range, our grenades are range 12") and not that useful at all since PG impose a negative modifier until the end of the turn. So you only ever use them in overwatch. Of course we could see a rework of PG, but that just further complicates things.

As far as carbines on Strike Teams go - Yes we have lost pinning, but pinning was a bad and highly situational rule to begin with. I really couldn't care less that its gone. What the carbines now offer is the ability to shoot and advance. I discussed this in this rather long thread http://www.advancedtautactica.com/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=26593.

TLDR: I was testing foot slogging Breachers and ended up liking them for the increased speed from advancing every turn while still shooting. This led me to try out strike Teams with carbines. I still need a couple of games to be sure, but so far it strikes me that carbines are a side-grade to rifles that can be useful for certain lists and play-styles. So far I don't feel we need a buff for carbines. The majority of people will probably keep using rifles and carbines will have a niche use, but that's fine. Not every option has to be/can be the top pick.


That's really interesting, I always thought grenades had a range of 6/8". I also didn't realise that the photon grenades only worked on overwatch! Thankfully I almost never used them so no games have been affected by my oversight. I think that's a tad annoying, givin that most other armies have a grenade that's actually useful outside of overwatch. I suppose being able to prettymuch guarantee -1 at will per squad is too strong though. Perhaps a 6" range would be ok for it. Anyway, before I start getting too close to wishlisting, that's a great point you've raised about advancing and firing. The only problem for me is that if I'm advancing and firing, I'm taking breachers. The carbines on strike teams are redundant because of gun drones, and vs pulse rifles they get outshone when combined with a fireblade. I'll have to playtest it myself and see how it goes. I'll have a look at the thread you mentioned for tips on how to run them! Thanks for the insight,

R'Kai
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Arka0415
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Re: How to make Pulse Carbines viable for Fire Warriors

Post#10 » Dec 12 2017 08:21

GND wrote:...and not that useful at all since PG impose a negative modifier until the end of the turn. So you only ever use them in overwatch.

Here's a situation that has probably never happened, but it's theoretically possible for some units (like Chaos Helbrutes) to make attacks in their opponent's shooting phase. Obviously this is extremely situational but it could possibly happen that a Photon Grenade reduces a Helbrute's BS during the Tau player's shooting phase.

At any rate, as long as the design features of the weapons (30" Rapid Fire 1 and 18" Assault 2) stay the same, and no new abilities are added, I just can't imagine the Pulse Carbine getting any better. We could see a Pulse Carbine-only stratagem, but that would also be pretty situational.

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Shas'O R'Kai
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Re: How to make Pulse Carbines viable for Fire Warriors

Post#11 » Dec 12 2017 09:08

I think where we'll see a difference between the two is a stratagem for each, or if EMP grenades come back. Possibly could involve both. Could be that a stratagem for the carbines is something like "all models in the unit can launch an EMP grenade at 18", dealing <insert EMP grenade effect>". We've seen 'grenadier' type stratagems from AM so I think it quite likely that we'll see one for us. I've no idea what a stratagem for pulse rifles would be, so I won't speculate, but I wouldn't be surprised to see something for both guns.

For me, if the stratagem was something like what I suggested above, it would make me really consider Carbines. If it was a mortal wound per hit on vehicles that would make them suddenly quite dangerous if positioned well. My secondary army is Grey Knights, and I know I build my army around a weapon buff stratagem fairly often, so it could certainly be a real game changer for the humble fire warrior.

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Jefffar
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Re: How to make Pulse Carbines viable for Fire Warriors

Post#12 » Dec 12 2017 01:28

Photon grenades are also useful in our shooting phase if you plan on charging in the ensuing assault phase.

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Re: How to make Pulse Carbines viable for Fire Warriors

Post#13 » Dec 12 2017 04:33

Or kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Make pulse carbine 1pt each effectively making gun drones 25% more expensive and give firewarriors an ability for underslung grenade maybe not photon but an ability like 6+ to hit for firewarriors with pulse carbines counts as 3 hits instead of 1.

Makes pulse carbine warriors 1 pt more but the amount of hits with a fireblade close range would be well worth it.

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