[Troops] Devilfish Troop Carrier

A review of past Tactics by commanders during the First, Second, Third & Fourth Phase Expansion.
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[Troops] Devilfish Troop Carrier

Post#1 » Jan 13 2009 06:01

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[Transport] Devilfish Troop Carrier
Outline of the uses of the Devilfish Troop Carrier for Tau
armies in the 5th Edition of Warhammer 40,000

Authored by SpartanTau

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"214, Tank 214. Evac at W-1282-X. Repeat, evac at W-1282-X." Shas'Ui Kak'aloh turned down the volume before cycling the engines for take-off. The Devilfish's hull began to subtly vibrate as the power increased to both the main engines and the gravitic repulsion plates studded along the bottom of the craft. When full startup was complete, a process that only took moments, Kak'aloh began backing the tank down the ever-dropping rear ramp of the Manta.

The craft hit turbulence just as the nose exited the missile destroyer, but the years of training allowed Kak'aloh to quickly stabilize the craft. In most situations, the Manta would have slowed, even stopped, before deploying the up to four vehicles it could carry, but the enemy's AA fire had made that short stall too much of a risk for the Air Caste pilots.

Not like I've never done this before, Kak'aloh thought as he monitored the numerous readouts as the Devilfish began slowing its descent, lightly leveling out just over the tree line.

The Shas'Ui punched the throttle, dipping closer to the folds of the planet as he followed the waypoint marker to the distressed Fire Warrior team. Most of the fighting was still off to his right, and the range was such that the various visual distortion equipment would prevent any engagements until he neared W-1282-X. A warning indicator flashed on the screen: one of the Gue'La's primitive heat-seeking missiles was tracking the tank.

"Like that could stop this," he said while cycling the thermal drones almost absentmindedly. The reassuring shockwave from the explosion against the radiative defensive shield that momentarily shrouded the vulnerable thruster arrays came soon after, and Kak'aloh continued on.

On the final approach to the pick-up site, he loitered briefly behind one of the destroyed Gue'La buildings to pummel the attackers with a salvo of drone-controlled missiles before arching around to evacuate the beleaguered team.

"Thank the Aun you're here," Kak'aloh heard the Fire Warrior Shas'Ui say soon after the rear ramp dropped. The remains of the team quickly loaded up in the rear hold while the Devilfish continued raining missiles down on the now-pinned enemy infantry.

"Don't thank me," Kak'aloh responded through the intercom, "thank the technology of our Empire."

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The Devilfish Troop Carrier is the Fire Caste’s mobile personnel carrier, able to rapidly redeploy Fire Warriors on the battlefield behind a protective armored skin. That does not mean that the Devilfish is without teeth; its nose-mounted Burst Cannon and Gun Drone accompaniment are dangerous to enemy infantry, and it may replace its Gun Drones with a Smart Missile System.

As a Dedicated Transport, the Devilfish can only take part in a game of Warhammer 40,000 when purchased as a transport option for one of two units: Fire Warrior Teams and Pathfinder Teams. The Devilfish can carry up to twelve infantry models, usually either a Fire Warrior Team or a Pathfinder Team, but may carry any infantry unit (an Ethereal, Fire Warrior Teams, Kroot Carnivore Squads, Pathfinder Teams, Vespid, Drone Squadrons, and Sniper Drone Teams). Although Battlesuit Teams are classed as Infantry, they may not be transported as the Devilfish's own rules state that no bulky, very bulky, or extremely bulky models may be carried.

Certain sets of upgrades taken with a Devilfish have become more prevalent than others based on how they perform, the cost associated, and numerous other factors. The two following builds are explained in more detail later in the article but are alluded to in the upgrades section. These names are also commonly used as shorthand for the particular Devilfish, as it conveys the same information as a longer description.
    Warfish: A Devilfish that has replaced its Gun Drones with a Smart Missile System.
      Note: This particular Devilfish may also be called a 'Smartfish' due to the name of the added weapon system.
    Dumbfish: A Devilfish that is either completely devoid of upgrades or only has a Disruption Pod.

Table of Contents
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Upgrade Explanations

Post#2 » Mar 17 2009 12:59

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Upgrade Explanations

As with all Tau vehicles, the Devilfish has access to the Vehicle Armory, complete with some of the best vehicle upgrades this side of a Craftworld. They are also automatically equipped with a pair of two Gun Drones, included in the cost of the transport, that have their own advantages and disadvantages. While the numerous options may seem daunting at first, understanding how they interact with a basic Devilfish makes the selection of upgrades that much easier. These upgrades have been grouped into three general categories based on the role the upgrade plays when taken with a Devilfish: Defensive Ordnance, Movement Systems, and Weapon Enhancement.

Gun Drones
A set of two Gun Drones comes standard on all Devilfish and are included in the points cost of the vehicle. In many ways, these two drones are both a part of the vehicle as a whole and a separate entity altogether. While attached, the Gun Drones may fire as passengers on the vehicle, using their own Ballistic Skill when rolling to hit and following all the regular rules for passenger shooting, but they must fire at the same target as the Devilfish. They also benefit from any Target Acquired abilities used by the vehicle they are attached to.
If the vehicle is destroyed before disembarking the gun drones, the gun drone pair will be destroyed along with the vehicle. They cannot, however, be removed due to a Weapon Destroyed result, as the Gun Drones are "treated as embarked passengers" (Codex: Tau Empire, Page 33).

The Gun Drones also have the option of detaching from the Devilfish, forming a separate unit. This does not grant an additional Kill Point in missions that award VP's for destroying units and detached gun drones do not need to be destroyed in order to gain a kill point for destroying the Devilfish. When detaching Drones, they are treated as disembarking from an Open-topped vehicle, from their drone racks on the Devilfish. This means they can assault targets in the same turn that they disembark, buying more time for the Devilfish's primary cargo.

In all missions, these detached Gun Drones gain all of the benefits of being a separate unit from the Devilfish. They can grant cover saves to units behind them (if the enemy chooses to shoot through them), block, distract, or tie up assaulting units or firepower that would've been directed elsewhere. However, the drones cannot contest or claim objectives (see Codex: Tau Empire, page 33). Keep in mind that with this fragile unit it can be forced to fall back relatively easily, or eliminated all together, by a single turn of shooting, making an aggressive use of these "free" Gun Drones more likely to spell their demise than anything else.

Defensive Ordnance
These upgrades enhance the defensive capabilities of the Devilfish by making the transport harder to destroy or incapacitate. Each upgrade only works in certain conditions, so understanding the threats placed against your Devilfish will aide in selecting the defensive upgrades for each vehicle. In the past, the upgrades have been called 'End Loaded' upgrades due to the fact that they are purchased for a Devilfish to prevent something that may not happen, similar to adding extra coal carts to a steam train. The train might not need those extra carts, but they are there just in case.

    Decoy Launchers: Decoy launchers are a situational piece of equipment that grants an invulnerable save against weapons with the Interceptor special rule. The 4+ invulnerable save ensures that your Devilfish will have decent protection, even against weapons Ignoring Cover and Intercepting on the turn it arrives. It is a cheap upgrade, but is better left off of the Devilfish, as Intercepting weapons are rare and usually reserved for more dangerous targets. Decoy Launchers are better utilized by fragile Tau fliers.

    Disruption Pod: Without a doubt, the most useful upgrade for a Devilfish, the Disruption Pod automatically increases your vehicle's cover save by 1. This is in addition to any other cover save the Devilfish has from Jink, Stealth, Shroud, buildings, etc. Giving our Devilfish a respectable cover save against anti-tank fire is key to their survival. The Disruption Pod, though relatively expensive, is a standard piece of equipment on most Devilfishes.

    Flechette Dischargers: A self-defense mechanism for Tau vehicles, the Flechette Dischargers shoot out against assaulting units before they attack the vehicle (initiative step 10). This can wither down a horde before they strike, as the attaching unit is hit with as many hits as there are models in base contact, giving our Devilfish a better chance of surviving close combat. All vehicles are vulnerable to close combat attacks, especially when it can be so hard to destroy them with shooting. The Flechette Dischargers do their part to even the odds in combat. Against MEQ (Marine Equivalent: T4, 3+ Sv) armies, Flechette Dischargers can struggle, but against GEQ (Guard Equivalent: T3, 4+/5+Sv) they have a much greater chance of seriously damaging the attacking unit. Though not a standard piece of equipment, it is a perfectly viable piece of wargear for Devilfishes operating in close proximity to enemy units.

Movement Systems
The Devilfish, as a transport, relies on moving across the table quickly and reliably. These upgrades depend on the vehicle actually moving, otherwise they have no effect, so if the Devilfish in question will be controlling an objective and never moving, these upgrades will only add more points to an already expensive transport. In most cases, the Devilfish will be moving across the table, allowing these upgrades to change how it moves and acts.

    Sensor Spines: Allowing the Devilfish to basically ignore the effects of terrain, the Sensor Spines become a great upgrade in terrain heavy environments, such as Cityfight.

Weapon Enhancement
These upgrades, as the name suggests, increase the destructive capacity of the Devilfish by increasing the amount of damage the transport can inflict each turn and where that damage can be directed. Many of these upgrades work together as a sub-system within the greater Devilfish, such as the Smart Missile System. Other systems will work on their own, or regardless of the other systems chosen for the Devilfish, such as the Seeker Missile upgrade.

    Blacksun Filter: This gives the Devilfish an advantage during Night Fight battles/turns by allowing it to ignore the rule altogether. While this may seem great, understanding a few key concepts about how the upgrade works and in what situations will usually dissuade the player from spending the points.
    • Night Fight: Obviously, the Blacksun Filter will only aide the Devilfish during a mission/turn that is under Night Fight. However, as Night Fight can occur in the first or last turns of any mission, it is a common occurrence.
      Under the new Night Fight rules, the enemy unit will be granted Stealth at all ranges. Devilfishes are not intended for high damage output, with a relatively short range and threat level. Warfishes can be deadlier, but their upgrade weapon ignores the Stealth cover bonus anyways.
      Combining these facts, it is both rare that the Blacksun Filter will be needed and will change the outcome of the turn. Despite the absurdly low cost of a Blacksun Filter, it is wasted on Devilfishes.

      Seeker Missiles: These one-shot missiles require the Devilfish to slightly change the way it operates. Even without markerlight support, the Devilfish can fire these missiles using its own BS (see Codex: Tau Empire, page 66). While expensive, they can turn a Devilfish into a mobile protected missile boat, allowing it to endanger enemy tanks and monstrous creatures alike, especially when assisted by Markerlights. Adding these missiles do increase the cost of the Devilfish by up to 16 points, so bringing them on any vehicle must be carefully evaluated before the battle. Remember that only up to two such missiles can be added to a single Devilfish. In most cases, the cost will be too great, as a Seeker Missile is no longer capable of destroying a vehicle on its own (excepting an Open-topped vehicle, with a low rate of success)

      Smart Missile System: Equipping the Devilfish with a Smart Missile System turns a simple transport into a respectable gunship. Full details can be read below, as this radically changes how the Devilfish is used on the battlefield.

      Advanced Targeting System: The ability to use Precision Fire by a vehicle could be very useful, though the occasion would be rare. For most Tau vehicles, this upgrade is a waste, as they will be directing their fire against enemy vehicles instead of infantry. The Devilfish, however, will almost always be targeting infantry. This upgrade is not taken on standard Devilfishes, as its utility does not justify the cost, but it is a fair consideration for Warfishes and their focus on anti-infantry fire output.

      Point Defense Targeting Relay: Once a Devilfish's cargo has been delivered to its destination or is claiming an objective on its own (only for Devilfishes taken by Firewarriors), the PDTR helps continue protecting the objective. The Devilfish's secondary weapons (Drones or Smart Missile System) are also Twin-Linked, making them perfect weapons to be given Overwatch capability. The Devilfish can also fire ALL of its weapons, since they are all Strength 5 or below. Though not a standard upgrade for Devilfishes, it is a strong upgrade when combined with the Devilfish's specific armament.
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Battlefield Variants

Post#3 » Mar 17 2009 01:00

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Battlefield Variants

While the Devilfish cannot be as specialized as the Space Marine Predator, there are still three distinct battlefield “variants:" Standard, Warfish, and Pathfinder. While the Pathfinder Devilfish can be a Warfish or a Standard Devilfish, the existence of the Recon Drone is enough to warrant a distinction, as it changes how the Devilfish could be used.

Standard Devilfish
Able to reliably move an infantry unit from one location on the table to another, the Standard Devilfish is the primary workhorse of mechanized and mobilized infantry lists. The moderate cost allows respectable number to be taken in mechanized lists, while the reliability gives them cause to be included in hybrid and some mobilized infantry lists. The Standard Devilfish benefits from the most useful vehicle upgrades without taking a huge dent out of the point allotment of the army.

The key for the Standard Devilfish is not to fully equip it with every upgrade, as it only hampers the entire army by taking points away from the much-needed Elites and Heavy Support slots. Using the above guide, the least expensive Devilfish is equipped with no upgrades, to serve as a bare bones transport. At the other end of the spectrum, the Devilfish may have a Disruption Pod, Sensor Spines, Flechette Dischargers, and Point Defense Targeting Relay depending on the specific battlefield conditions, although these are usually left at home for Take-All-Comers lists.
    NOTE: A Take-All-Comers list, usually abbreviated to TAC, is a list designed to handle any enemy, i.e. not designed to face a single enemy.

    Point Range: 80 to 110, depending on specific upgrades

Warfish
As stated above, the Warfish is signified by the inclusion of the Smart Missile System, replacing the Gun Drones with an array of Line of Sight-ignoring anti-infantry/anti-light vehicle/skimmer missiles. The cost for this upgrade is less than in previous editions, but is still quite substantial when you factor in the going rate for two gun drones. This variant is seen less often on the battlefield due to the new Jink rules.

With the vehicle firing rules in 7th Edition, the Warfish has a lessened effectiveness on the table, as it has to move less than six inches to fire just one of its weapons at full ballistic skill. Even then, it cannot rely on the Jink save without reducing all of its shooting to Snap Shots (a Snap Shot is resolved at Ballistic Skill 1). The Warfish, however, can still shoot when completely out of sight (the SMS does not need Line of Sight), and the Twin-Linked SMS helps mitigate the penalty of firing Snap Shots.
When using a Warfish, its main function usually becomes that of a light gunship or for holding objectives instead of a transport, which meshes with the lessened mobility of the vehicle. This in turn makes it less effective as a standard transport, meaning that deciding to take a Warfish usually means that your infantry will not have a speedy transport to move them across the field, unless you forgo shooting with the increased arsenal of the vehicle. While this type of transport doesn’t have a place in every army, it can be a major asset to those that do take it.

    Point Range: 90 to 125, depending on specific upgrades

Pathfinder Devilfish
While the Pathfinder Devilfish is either a Standard Devilfish or a Warfish, a single piece of wargear can change its battlefield role: the Recon Drone. This upgrade for Pathfinder teams carries the Positional Relay and Homing Beacon, allowing Deep Striking and Outflanking units to arrive with much greater accuracy. When embarked on a Devilfish, the Devilfish gaines these rules, widening its range of effect. In lists that depend on deep-striking units to eliminate threats or contest objectives, the Recon Drone (and the Devilfish transporting it) can become a huge asset. The only downside is the high cost (pathfinder team PLUS Devilfish) and short range of effectiveness.

Pathfinders have the Scout Universal Special Rule, allowing them to make a single move before the game starts. They may also choose to Outflank, which allows a unit held in reserve to arrive from one of the side table edges. When the Pathfinder Team is embarked inside of their Devilfish at the beginning of the game, the Devilfish gains these two special deployment options. This allows the Devilfish to arrive on a short table edge later in the game or make an extra move before the game starts. One such application of this Scout move is to keep the Pathfinders inside of the Devilfish when deployed. The entire unit may then make a Scout move after your opponent has finished deploying, and this Scout move can include the Pathfinder Team disembarking, allowing the team to be in a more advantageous position.

Seeker Missiles are an acceptable pairing with the Pathfinder Devilfish because of the fact that the army will already have Markerlights (from the Pathfinders) available to launch the missiles. As the Markerlight support is already included in the army, there is ample opportunity for the missiles to be launched before the transport is destroyed. Depending on its configuration (Standard or Warfish), the Pathfinder transport with Seeker Missiles may cost as much as 130 points--more than the standard Hammerhead--making Seeker Missiles a tricky choice for inclusion. In most cases, the Seeker Missiles are better off on other vehicles (Hammerhead and Piranha) to prevent the Devilfish from costing even more.

    Point Range: 80 and up, depending on configuration and specific upgrades
Last edited by Das'Kyman on Jul 01 2014 02:05, edited 4 times in total.
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Battlefield Roles

Post#4 » Mar 17 2009 01:01

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Battlefield Roles

As the Tau Empire’s only transport, the Devilfish’s main reason for being on the table is to carry troops across the table safely. It can, however, be used for many different situations that you may encounter during a battle.

Battlefield Taxi
As a skimmer transport, a Devilfish can quickly cover ground to pick up or drop off a unit. With the rules for Dedicated Transports, a Devilfish can carry any infantry unit during the game. This allows the Devilfish to quickly relocate a Sniper Drone Team to a better firing position, a Kroot Carnivore Squad to a different piece of terrain, a Firewarrior Team to a better firing position, or a Pathfinder Team to protect them from being assaulted.

Keep in mind, however, that only one unit may be embarked at one time even if the total model count is less than twelve, so you can’t have a Sniper Drone Team and a Pathfinder Team embarked at the same time. The exception to this rule is the Independent Character. An Ethereal can join a squad within the Devilfish during Deployment, but is not required to disembark at the same time as the other occupants. The Firewarriors can complete their mission while the Ethereal stays safe inside of the Devilfish.

Capturing an Objective
With the relatively weak Fire Warriors and the essentially armor less Kroot being the only Objective Secured units available to a Codex: Tau Empire army, they are the only ones that can capture or contest another objective held by an enemy unit. As such, you should keep them alive and protected in order to win an objective-oriented game. The armor of the Devilfish, coupled with the defensive upgrades available, allow you to protect those fragile and important scoring Troops choices. Since a Devilfish can carry any infantry unit, you can embark a Fire Warrior Team or a Kroot squad on a Devilfish to protect them from most return fire, allowing you to capture an objective much more easily.

In 7th edition, the Devilfish not only protects the unit in transit to the objective but is capable of contesting or capturing the objective itself! The Devilfish can also be used to quickly relocate the Objective Secured unit into another position should your opponent swarm the objective. This can add to the resilience of the Objective Secured unit not through sheer strength and toughness but by making the target difficult to track down and destroy.

The Sensor Spines upgrade is a benefit to any Devilfish undertaking this role. Many objectives will be placed in pieces of terrain, primarily because the player placing the specific objective will want to grant his units a cover save while they are protecting the objective. Bringing Sensor Spines allows the Devilfish to move into the terrain, potentially Tank Shocking the enemy unit off of the objective, without needing to roll a difficult terrain test. Depending on the location of the objective and how much cover is available, the Devilfish may even be granted a cover save.

Fish of Fury
The Fish of Fury, also shortened to FOF, is a tactic where a Devilfish and embarked squad move right in front of an enemy unit, the embarked unit disembarks then fires at the enemy unit. In most cases, the disembarked unit will have to be within 15 inches (Rapid Fire range for a Pulse Rifle) to have this move be effective. The embarked unit will usually be a full Fire Warrior Team with Pulse Rifles, but a Kroot Carnivore Squad can perform the roll as well, albeit at a reduced Rapid Fire range. Using this tactic requires some forethought before the battle about the height of the flying base and which of the Devilfish’s three access points the unit will disembark from, and this changes based on the opponent. Two loaded Devilfish can also be brought to the same location to perform a "Double FOF," increasing the amount of damage the enemy has to weather, and this requires even more forethought before the game. For an increased FOF effect, adding an Ethereal to the team can be very potent. The elemental power "Storm of Fire" increases the FOF damage by approximately 30% and can benefit the Devilfish's gun drones as well, but only at half range, increasing the need to be within Rapid Fire range.

With Standard Devilfish, the Gun Drones can be detached when the unit disembarks, taking care not to have them positioned in between the unit and the target. Due to the Jetpack rules, the Gun Drones can then use their Thrust move to move in between the disembarked team and the target, should they survive the encounter, to grant a cover save from return fire and act as an assault shield, forcing the target to assault the Gun Drones instead of the more dangerous Fire Warrior Team.

Mobile Terrain
Since Warhammer 40,000 is played with True Line of Sight, a unit needs to actually be able to see a unit to shoot at it. As the Devilfish is one of the larger tanks in the game, it can act as a great piece of mobile terrain when combined with a low flying stand. You can use a Devilfish or two to block off firing lanes against some of your more expensive or important units (Crisis Teams, Fire Warrior Teams, etc.) by deploying the transports in a tight wedge formation or similar. When equipped with a Disruption Pod, the enemy fire now directed at your Devilfish will have its effects diminished. Even if that unit succeeds in immobilizing or destroying the Devilfish, the wreck will still block Line of Sight but, of course, you can't relocate it.

You can also use it in conjunction with an advancing unit, such as a Crisis Team, to block Line of Sight while protecting the advancing unit. This is a more aggressive approach to the mobile terrain idea, as you are both protecting a unit while advancing them forward to damage the enemy forces. This formation also has the added benefit of protecting your advancing units from fast assault elements which become more dangerous the closer you get to the enemy army.

    Using this tactic to shield infantry not capable of a jetpack Thrust move requires a bit more finesse and is known as the Sea Turtle tactic.

    Note: 7th Edition has ruled that True Line of Sight can be drawn from anywhere on the target model to anywhere on the targeting model. This makes it nigh impossible to completely block line of sight using a Devilfish and standard bases and, at best, can only provide your unit cover.

    Another specialized use of this role is the aged IR Interference Locus tactic. (note that this tactic has not been updated for 7th edition use)


Battering Ram
As the Devilfish is a Tank, it has access to the Ramming special rule (see Rulebook, Page 86). This last-ditch tactic should be undertaken against light vehicles, due to the rules for determining strength, and preferably when there isn't an embarked unit and the Devilfish’s weapons have been destroyed.

To ram, the Devilfish is moved directly towards an enemy vehicle as fast as it can. The strength of the hit against the target vehicle then will be less than or equal to seven (+1 for being a tank, +2 for having front armour 12, and +4 for moving twelve inches), depending on exactly how far apart the Devilfish and the target vehicle are. Due to this relatively low strength, lighter vehicles and rear armor are the best targets for this attack. The Devilfish will also be hit back, usually with a strength of four or five. This prevents your Devilfish from being harmed by its own attack, although when used against tanks with an armour value of 11, the Devilfish may be affected by a glancing hit.
Last edited by Das'Kyman on Aug 01 2014 09:36, edited 6 times in total.
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Synergistic Units

Post#5 » Mar 17 2009 01:01

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Synergistic Units

While the Devilfish can, in some instances, be effective on its own, it benefits greatly when paired with another unit. The cooperation between the two or more units benefits all involved, due to the mutual protection of the formation with the armored bulk of the tank and the weapons of other units. While any unit in the Tau army can work effectively with a Devilfish, there are those that lend themselves to be used alongside the transport more frequently, as discussed below.

Fire Warrior Teams/Kroot Carnivore Squads
Being the two most commonly transported units in a Tau army, these two Troops choices are practically expected by most opponents. The combination of reliably reaching an objective with a tank, the increased firepower from the occupants when they deploy, and the speed that the group can move across the table makes a Devilfish with one of these choices a very effective segment of a Tau army. A Fire Warrior Team is also only one of two ways to get Devilfish on the table, so taking them is almost required if multiple Devilfish are needed. Keep in mind, however, that a unit that did not buy a Devilfish (such as a Kroot Carnivore Squad) cannot begin the game embarked in a Devilfish; the unit must wait until the first turn to embark. A unit also cannot arrive from Reserve embarked on someone else's Devilfish (Independent Characters excepted of course).

Pathfinder Teams
The only other way to get Devilfish on the table is by bringing Pathfinder Teams. A Devilfish can be used in various facets when paired with a Pathfinder Team. It can act as a separate gunship, operating completely independent from the Pathfinders. When equipped with Seeker Missiles, the Devilfish and Pathfinders will still be working closely together, as Markerlights are needed to launch the missiles with acceptable accuracy. It can be used as a defensive measure, either by loitering close to the Pathfinders to relocate them should the enemy get to close or by blocking and adding its own firepower to the Pathfinders' Overwatch with the Point Defense Targeting Relay.

It can also be used to directly protect the Pathfinder Team. Since units with the Scouts Universal Special Rule grant that rule to any transport they are embarked on, a wide range of deployment possibilities are now given to the Pathfinders (see Rulebook, Page 41). The combined unit may choose to Outflank later in the game, taking Markerlights and Pulse Carbines backfield as a harassment measure. The embarked team may also make a scout move before the game starts, and this can include embarking or disembarking from the Devilfish. As this move is performed before the game begins, the Tau player has a certain degree of flexibility with this unit. The Pathfinder Team can begin outside, but near, the Devilfish, allowing the player to embark them should he/she lose the first turn to protect the team or relocate them. The player can also begin the team inside of the transport; in this case, the Devilfish would relocate depending on how the enemy deploys and potentially disembark the Pathfinder Team. This lets the team get into a more advantageous position without wasting a turn by moving.

Crisis Teams
The synergy between Devilfish and teams of Crisis battlesuits (and Stealth Teams, in many cases), depends first on how the unit is deployed and second on the role of the battlesuit team. Crisis Teams may be screened as they advance upfield, giving the battlesuits a fair amount of cover. The team can then use the Jetpack assault move while shooting to effectively negate return fire. This is especially helpful for battlesuits with short-ranged weaponry (Flamers and Fusion Blasters), as they need to get close to the enemy, but all Crisis Teams can equally benefit from the movable cover.

Should the Devilfish be brought with a Pathfinder Team accompanied by a Recon Drone, however, the role of the transport in relation to the Crisis Team changes slightly. Yes, it can still be used as mobile cover, but it also has the special piece of wargear: Homing Beacon. This is of huge benefit to Deep Striking teams, since they can arrive more accurately due to the beacon's special rules (see Codex: Tau Empire, Page 69). This can help prevent losing an expensive unit to an unfortunate scatter, or allow them to scatter/arrive into a more advantageous position.

Sniper Drone Teams
The Sniper Drone Team, consisting of 1-3 spotters and 3-9 Sniper Drones, is an Infantry unit with Heavy weapons. Should the enemy avoid the sight of the Longshot Pulse Rifles, this mildly expensive team will be all but useless in regards to dealing damage to the enemy. A Devilfish can then be used to quickly relocate the team, as it is an Infantry unit, to a more advantageous position mid-game. The transport can also be used to relocate the team should their initial position be compromised by the advancing enemy. While two or more turns of shooting are lost, the Devilfish allows a certain degree of flexibility for this otherwise slow unit.

Ethereal
A Devilfish, equipped with a DPod, offers some of the best possible protection for our fragile leaders. Not only will your opponent have a very difficult time getting that extra VP for killing the Ethereal, but your Ethereal's elemental powers also greatly benefit from being cast from inside the Devilfish. As the Ethereal's powers do not require line of sight, the Devilfish effectively increases the range of the leadership bubble as well as the elemental powers since it is so much large than the Ethereal's 1" base. In addition, the Ethereal can quickly relocate to use his powers where they are most needed as the bubble of elemental and leadership effects is maintained even if the Devilfish moves Flat Out in its shooting phase!
Last edited by Das'Kyman on Aug 01 2014 08:43, edited 3 times in total.
Reason: updated for 7th edition

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Conclusion

Post#6 » Mar 17 2009 01:02

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Conclusion

Being the Tau Empire’s only transport, any mechanized Combined Arms detachment must include at least two Devilfish (Farsight Enclaves require none). This should not be seen as a disadvantage, as Devilfish are among the better transports in the game. They can be very difficult to destroy (a medium front armor value coupled with the protection of the Disruption Pod upgrade), can bring a respectable amount of firepower to bear, and are effective at what they are designed to do: transport troops. Since Third Edition, the Devilfish has been a great asset to the Tau commander. In 7th Edition, their usefulness has only increased.
Last edited by Das'Kyman on Aug 01 2014 09:37, edited 4 times in total.
Reason: updated for 7th edition

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