Tau Ghostkeel....is it a viable option>?

Discuss tactical and strategic development for 40K/Tau.
Rayzthedead
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Tau Ghostkeel....is it a viable option>?

Post#1 » Jun 15 2017 11:45

I want to first off and state I havent played since 5th, and I am brand new to tau. That being said I started up a tau army and snagged 2 ghost keels as they are beyond sexy models. As I go through my first couple games I find I like my ghost keels but I am torn on load out. Currently I run 2 GK with Ion rakers and 2 burst.. I find them a solid infantry harraser but the ion falls short on tanks.. should I be playing them as fusion platforms? I would like to hear a more experienced input on them. Thanks in advanced.
Side note im running 2 rail head and a rail long strike, and 2 4x fusion commanders so i feel my anti tank load out is solid in my list...

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Vector Strike
Shas'La
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Re: Tau Ghostkeel....is it a viable option>?

Post#2 » Jun 15 2017 12:13

With Quad Fusion Commanders (henceforth, I shall name it 'QFC': the best fryer of the 41st millenium!), I don't see much use of all-fusion ghostkeels - albeit they can come under 9" of a unsuspecting vehicle/monster. CIR + BC + ATS seems like a nice all-round skirmisher, or even CIR + Flamer + ATS for really aggresive play against infantry

Rayzthedead
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Posts: 11

Re: Tau Ghostkeel....is it a viable option>?

Post#3 » Jun 15 2017 12:43

I forgot to mention I equipped them with a EWO and TL, If im reading rules correctly he needs the TL so he can move and fire the heavy weapons without penalty. Also I used the EWO to protect my tanks from other DS units. is that a bad idea? or should i just run the ATS and TL?

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Vector Strike
Shas'La
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Re: Tau Ghostkeel....is it a viable option>?

Post#4 » Jun 15 2017 12:48

Rayzthedead wrote:I forgot to mention I equipped them with a EWO and TL, If im reading rules correctly he needs the TL so he can move and fire the heavy weapons without penalty. Also I used the EWO to protect my tanks from other DS units. is that a bad idea? or should i just run the ATS and TL?


Ah, in guard duty EWO is necessary. ATS isn't very good in Fusion builds because going from AP-4 to AP-5 don't give you much, but going from 0/-1 to -1/-2 is really good

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Dark Hope
Gue'La
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Re: Tau Ghostkeel....is it a viable option>?

Post#5 » Jun 23 2017 02:34

These are amazing mid field units. Stick a line or two of drones and suits in front of them and they're almost impossible to kill. The -2 to attack and the ability for a drone to take any big hits is enough to make any opponent ignore them, despite the fact they can wipe out a unit of terminators single handedly in one turn. Their only weakness are units that "always hit on x" skills, and I only know off one so far.
If kroot eat orks, doesn't that make them omvivores?

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Panzer
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Re: Tau Ghostkeel....is it a viable option>?

Post#6 » Jun 23 2017 02:38

Dark Hope wrote:These are amazing mid field units. Stick a line or two of drones and suits in front of them and they're almost impossible to kill. The -2 to attack and the ability for a drone to take any big hits is enough to make any opponent ignore them, despite the fact they can wipe out a unit of terminators single handedly in one turn. Their only weakness are units that "always hit on x" skills, and I only know off one so far.

Keep in mind the -2 to hit is only when the enemy is more than 12" away and only as long as the Stealth Drones exist. Once the Drones are gone or the enemy is within 12" it's only -1 and it also doesn't apply in melee at all unlike the Stealth Suit special rule.
Killing a whole unit of terminators in one turn is very unlikely as well.

devilfish
Shas
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Re: Tau Ghostkeel....is it a viable option>?

Post#7 » Jun 23 2017 04:01

Apologies if this has been covered, using Battle-forged army rules the unit cost for Ghostkeel is 82 pts. In the Datasheet is is noted the Ghostkeel is accompanied by 2 MV5 Stealth Drones.

The points value table for Tau Units states "Does not include wargear or Drones"

Is the total cost of this unit 82 pts (with 2 free stealth drones), or 102 pts (Ghostkeel + 2 stealth drones at 10 pts each)?

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GND
Shas'La
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Re: Tau Ghostkeel....is it a viable option>?

Post#8 » Jun 23 2017 04:03

You have to pay for the Drones. Also for the weapons you equip it with.

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
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Posts: 1947

Re: Tau Ghostkeel....is it a viable option>?

Post#9 » Jun 23 2017 04:18

devilfish wrote:Apologies if this has been covered, using Battle-forged army rules the unit cost for Ghostkeel is 82 pts. In the Datasheet is is noted the Ghostkeel is accompanied by 2 MV5 Stealth Drones.

The points value table for Tau Units states "Does not include wargear or Drones"

Is the total cost of this unit 82 pts (with 2 free stealth drones), or 102 pts (Ghostkeel + 2 stealth drones at 10 pts each)?


An 82-point Ghostkeel would be the most powerful unit in the entire game, I think!

Aside though, the Ghostkeel has its uses. However, it's outclassed by CIB XV8s or CIB Commander if it uses the CIR build, and outclassed by Quad-Fusion Commanders (Toaster Commanders?) if it uses the FC build I think.

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Panzer
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Re: Tau Ghostkeel....is it a viable option>?

Post#10 » Jun 23 2017 04:21

devilfish wrote:Apologies if this has been covered, using Battle-forged army rules the unit cost for Ghostkeel is 82 pts. In the Datasheet is is noted the Ghostkeel is accompanied by 2 MV5 Stealth Drones.

The points value table for Tau Units states "Does not include wargear or Drones"

Is the total cost of this unit 82 pts (with 2 free stealth drones), or 102 pts (Ghostkeel + 2 stealth drones at 10 pts each)?

It means that you have to add the cost of the main gun, the two secondary guns, the Support Systems and the two Stealth Drones by hand to get its final cost.
So a Ghostkeel with Cyclic Ion Raker, two Fusion Blaster, two Stealth Drones, a Target Lock and an Advanced Targeting System (just a random example of Support System and Weapons loadout of course) would cost 203 points in the end.

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Panzer
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Re: Tau Ghostkeel....is it a viable option>?

Post#11 » Jun 23 2017 04:23

Arka0415 wrote:
devilfish wrote:Apologies if this has been covered, using Battle-forged army rules the unit cost for Ghostkeel is 82 pts. In the Datasheet is is noted the Ghostkeel is accompanied by 2 MV5 Stealth Drones.

The points value table for Tau Units states "Does not include wargear or Drones"

Is the total cost of this unit 82 pts (with 2 free stealth drones), or 102 pts (Ghostkeel + 2 stealth drones at 10 pts each)?


An 82-point Ghostkeel would be the most powerful unit in the entire game, I think!

Aside though, the Ghostkeel has its uses. However, it's outclassed by CIB XV8s or CIB Commander if it uses the CIR build, and outclassed by Quad-Fusion Commanders (Toaster Commanders?) if it uses the FC build I think.

Yeah its damage output is seriously lacking. Its main selling point would be its durability against >12" shooting but with only 18" guns that's still pretty meh imo.

PJetski
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Re: Tau Ghostkeel....is it a viable option>?

Post#12 » Jun 23 2017 06:52

Ghostkeels make excellent flank protectors if you give them an Early Warning Override. If enemies deploy within 12" they get shot immediately, and if they deploy >12" they have -2 to shoot you. It's a win-win scenario for the Tau player.

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Panzer
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Re: Tau Ghostkeel....is it a viable option>?

Post#13 » Jun 23 2017 07:07

PJetski wrote:Ghostkeels make excellent flank protectors if you give them an Early Warning Override. If enemies deploy within 12" they get shot immediately, and if they deploy >12" they have -2 to shoot you. It's a win-win scenario for the Tau player.

True, that's a pretty neat synergy. The question though is what Support System to sacrifice?
Target Lock is pretty much a must have, especially when you want him to act a bit more independently.
If you're going with a CIR you kinda need ATS to deal at least a little bit damage and it also helps your secondary weapons greatly unless you go with the Fusion Blaster.
So that kinda only leaves the Fusion Collider. While I'd like to have a ShieldGen there, EWO should be good as well. I'd give him two flamer as secondary weapon then as well so you don't get overwhelmed that easily by Ork Boyz or Gaunts or whatever and the enemy would have to be within 12" but not closer than 8" if he wants to get the most out of a units shooting+melee.

Sounds pretty gimmicky, but I think I'll try that one out in my next game.

PJetski
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Re: Tau Ghostkeel....is it a viable option>?

Post#14 » Jun 23 2017 07:44

If the Ghostkeel is just protecting your flank then you don't need a Target Lock. It's a good support system for a more aggressive kind of Ghostkeel, but a defensive type doesn't need to move as often. Don't forget that you can also negate the penalty for moving with heavy weapons using Markerlights, and in that situation the TL is not doing anything for you.

The problem with Flamers in this setup is that they are only 8" range so your shooting may not be threatening enough and the enemy will still deploy within 12".

For EWO Ghostkeels I have been experimenting with these loadouts:
1. CIR + Burst Cannons + ATS - Good all purpose loadout, with 6 shots at AP2 and 8 shots at AP1. Quite bad if they deploy something with a 2+ save.
2. FC + FB + Target Lock - Models WILL die if they deploy near this ghostkeel. Bad against ork boyz and gaunts, but good against most other units like Terminators.
3. FC + FB + Velocity Tracker - People tend to move planes and other Fly units into flanking positions, this lets the Ghostkeel do some extra damage against them. Deploy Ghostkeel last, after you see where they have deployed their Flying units.

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Panzer
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Re: Tau Ghostkeel....is it a viable option>?

Post#15 » Jun 23 2017 08:01

PJetski wrote:If the Ghostkeel is just protecting your flank then you don't need a Target Lock. It's a good support system for a more aggressive kind of Ghostkeel, but a defensive type doesn't need to move as often. Don't forget that you can also negate the penalty for moving with heavy weapons using Markerlights, and in that situation the TL is not doing anything for you.

The problem with Flamers in this setup is that they are only 8" range so your shooting may not be threatening enough and the enemy will still deploy within 12".

For EWO Ghostkeels I have been experimenting with these loadouts:
1. CIR + Burst Cannons + ATS - Good all purpose loadout, with 6 shots at AP2 and 8 shots at AP1. Quite bad if they deploy something with a 2+ save.
2. FC + FB + Target Lock - Models WILL die if they deploy near this ghostkeel. Bad against ork boyz and gaunts, but good against most other units like Terminators.
3. FC + FB + Velocity Tracker - People tend to move planes and other Fly units into flanking positions, this lets the Ghostkeel do some extra damage against them. Deploy Ghostkeel last, after you see where they have deployed their Flying units.

If you don't have a Target Lock on your Ghostkeel most enemies will simply ignore it. Hitting on 5s is laughable.
Sure you could negate that by hitting 3+ Markerlights but then he would be very dependent on the rest of the army again and you could always fail to get 3 Markerlights which would suck because you have to move before you know how many Markerlight hits you got.

Valid concern about the Flamer. I'll take that bet though. Better than getting overwhelmed by a bigger unit due your low amount of shots with a Fusion Collider. And a Burst Cannon without ATS is not that good either.

1. As enemy I'd simply stay out of its range until I have to kill it. If it wants to hunt me it has to hit on 5s or the T'au player has to dedicate a lot of Markerlights to that flank which takes off pressure from the rest of my army.
2. Yeah as said it only works against more elite armies. If there's something spammable on the other side, the Ghostkeel would just get overwhelmed by targets it doesn't want to shoot at.
3. Very expensive unit just to exploit an enemy who doesn't pay attention to his flyers position. Also doesn't work if the enemy has more units to deploy than you since he could just deploy the flyer on the other side of his zone.
I'd much rather take a Commander and drop it near a flyer. Heck even if he advances he still hits airbourne units better than a moving Ghostkeel without Target Lock (4+ compared to 5+). If your local meta consist of a lot <FLY> units then it's worthwhile (since you'd hit non-airbourne <FLY> units on 3+/4+) but if not it's kind of a gamble.

Anyway, I gonna try the FC/Flamer + TL/EWO Ghostkeel in my next game and see how it goes. Either he gets close and I can flame him or he stays away and can't hit me properly or he is limited to a 4" space around him.

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handsomemenace
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Re: Tau Ghostkeel....is it a viable option>?

Post#16 » Jun 23 2017 09:39

IMO 6 Stealth Suits are better than a single ghostkeel.

Here's why:

Ghostkeel is a technically divided unit from the Stealth drones. Meaning, that he gets -2 to hits as long as the drones are up, but the drones can be targeted separately. Your enemies cause just shoot down the drones and make GK only offer a -1 to hit when being shot at. Likewise, when you are within 12" of a GK, he loses his to-hit penalty rules.

GK has 12 wounds total, with a 3+ save, T7.

Let's compare to the Stealth Suits.

If you take 6 Stealth Suits, your cost is about 200 pts compared to the GK cost of ~170 (I don't have my index in front of me so my numbers are no precise at all).

Let's gear both of the units for maximum output. That means, the GK has the Cyclic Ion Raker with 2 Burst Cannons, and the SS unit will have all BCs. GK is going to output 14 shots. Six of them at S7 -1 AP, 30", and then 8 shots at S5 18" 0AP. Comparatively, the S7 shots from the GK are still only going to wound vehicles on a 5+, which is the same as the BC firing at vehicles. The only advantage being that he will wound infantry on 2+, and that it has -1 AP (which honestly isn't THAT much of an advantage when you're only firing 7 of those rounds).

Now we look at the SS unit. You have 6 SSs firing 4 times each. You're up to 24 rounds total compared to the GK's 14. You've almost double your potential wounds vs vehicles, since they are also wounding on 5+.

Here's the math to compare the two more clearly.


VEHICLES ARE ASSUMED TO HAVE THE MEAN TOUGHNESS OF 8.
GK---------
7 Rounds with 4+ BS from the CIR
Avg. 4 hits (rounded up)
Avg. 1 Wound vs vehicles. 3 Wounds vs infantry. (Ignoring saves)

8 Rounds with 4+ BS from the BC
Avg. 4 hits.
Avg. 1 Wound vs vehicles. 2 Wound vs infantry. (Ignoring saves)

SS-----------
24 Rounds with 4+ BS from the BCs
Avg. 12 hits
Avg. 4 Wounds vs Vehicles. 5 vs Infantry

As far as maximum output, for only 20 extra points, taking 6 SSs will on average do more wounds to vehicles, and the same wounds to infantry. As well, they get -1 to hits against them ALL THE TIME, regardless of range, compared the GK losing that at <12".

Likewise, the two units have the same armor save, the only problem is that the SS unit has a toughness of 4, compared to the GKs 7. So Bolters are going to wound on 4+, and anything bigger than that on a 3+ vs the SS unit, whereas the GK will only be wounded on 5+ against most things that aren't vehicle or elite weapons. As well, the 6 SSs will have the same wound pool as a GK.

Because of all this, my favor tips to the SS unit as far as infiltrator units go. GK might be harder to wound, but his output is sub-par. Considering he loses his -1 to hit rule when he gets in melta range for his 2 FBs. As well, if you DO take those 2 FBs instead of the 2 BCs for the GK, his output is EVEN LESS compared to 6 SS with 4 BCs and 2 FBs.
If missiles can't kill it, it will never die.

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Panzer
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Re: Tau Ghostkeel....is it a viable option>?

Post#17 » Jun 23 2017 10:23

handsomemenace wrote:IMO 6 Stealth Suits are better than a single ghostkeel.

Here's why:

Ghostkeel is a technically divided unit from the Stealth drones. Meaning, that he gets -2 to hits as long as the drones are up, but the drones can be targeted separately. Your enemies cause just shoot down the drones and make GK only offer a -1 to hit when being shot at. Likewise, when you are within 12" of a GK, he loses his to-hit penalty rules.

GK has 12 wounds total, with a 3+ save, T7.

Let's compare to the Stealth Suits.

If you take 6 Stealth Suits, your cost is about 200 pts compared to the GK cost of ~170 (I don't have my index in front of me so my numbers are no precise at all).

Let's gear both of the units for maximum output. That means, the GK has the Cyclic Ion Raker with 2 Burst Cannons, and the SS unit will have all BCs. GK is going to output 14 shots. Six of them at S7 -1 AP, 30", and then 8 shots at S5 18" 0AP. Comparatively, the S7 shots from the GK are still only going to wound vehicles on a 5+, which is the same as the BC firing at vehicles. The only advantage being that he will wound infantry on 2+, and that it has -1 AP (which honestly isn't THAT much of an advantage when you're only firing 7 of those rounds).

Now we look at the SS unit. You have 6 SSs firing 4 times each. You're up to 24 rounds total compared to the GK's 14. You've almost double your potential wounds vs vehicles, since they are also wounding on 5+.

Here's the math to compare the two more clearly.


VEHICLES ARE ASSUMED TO HAVE THE MEAN TOUGHNESS OF 8.
GK---------
7 Rounds with 4+ BS from the CIR
Avg. 4 hits (rounded up)
Avg. 1 Wound vs vehicles. 3 Wounds vs infantry. (Ignoring saves)

8 Rounds with 4+ BS from the BC
Avg. 4 hits.
Avg. 1 Wound vs vehicles. 2 Wound vs infantry. (Ignoring saves)

SS-----------
24 Rounds with 4+ BS from the BCs
Avg. 12 hits
Avg. 4 Wounds vs Vehicles. 5 vs Infantry

As far as maximum output, for only 20 extra points, taking 6 SSs will on average do more wounds to vehicles, and the same wounds to infantry. As well, they get -1 to hits against them ALL THE TIME, regardless of range, compared the GK losing that at <12".

Likewise, the two units have the same armor save, the only problem is that the SS unit has a toughness of 4, compared to the GKs 7. So Bolters are going to wound on 4+, and anything bigger than that on a 3+ vs the SS unit, whereas the GK will only be wounded on 5+ against most things that aren't vehicle or elite weapons. As well, the 6 SSs will have the same wound pool as a GK.

Because of all this, my favor tips to the SS unit as far as infiltrator units go. GK might be harder to wound, but his output is sub-par. Considering he loses his -1 to hit rule when he gets in melta range for his 2 FBs. As well, if you DO take those 2 FBs instead of the 2 BCs for the GK, his output is EVEN LESS compared to 6 SS with 4 BCs and 2 FBs.

Ghostkeel is only T6. ;)
Also a Ghostkeel with Fusion Collider+2BC and a Stealth Suit unit with 2FB+4BC would be a better comparison due similar weapon profiles.
1 Ghostkeel with 166p for T6/4 W10/2 8xS5 AP0 + 1d3xS8 AP-4
6 Stealth Suits with 202p for T4 W12 16xS5 AP0 + 2xS8 AP-4

So maybe it's better to compare a Ghostkeel with 5 Stealth Suits instead:
5 Stealth Suits with a Fusion Blaster = 161p
Reduces it's statline to T4 W10 16xS5 AP0 + 1xS8 AP-4

Things to note:
- the Ghostkeel is way more durable at the beginning but once he lost his Drones and the enemy got within 12"/melee it should equal out due it's higher Toughness stat
- the Stealth Suits can benefit from Cover way more easily
- the Stealth Suits can hold objectives better due higher model count
- the Ghostkeel gives more easily first blood/a killpoint due its two Stealth Drones
- the Stealth Suits can carry a Homing Beacon
- the Ghostkeel gets a -1 to-hit modifier on its main gun if it moves without having heavy Markerlight support or a Target Lock and can't advance+shoot with it at all (aka Stealth Suits have more mobility if you care about damage even though the Ghostkeel has M12)
- it's easier to screen units with Stealth Suits (still not good with just 6/8 models though)
- Stealth Suits can carry one Markerlight per unit
- Ghostkeel has a degrading profile (W10 models really suck with that mechanic, W9 would've been better actually!) which causes it to lose BS and M (and A lol)


TL;DR yes I think Stealth Suits are slightly better BUT the Ghostkeel has more damage output for its points as long as it still has 6+ wounds left and is more durable against long range shooting.

PJetski
Shas'Saal
Posts: 22

Re: Tau Ghostkeel....is it a viable option>?

Post#18 » Jun 23 2017 10:28

I think the Ghostkeel benefits greatly from the new Technical Drones from ForgeWorld that can repair battlesuits

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