I've had good luck with my Ghostkeels so far in 8th. I typically run 3, but my mindset for taking them is from a slightly different angle then the other comments and Mathhammer analysis. As you're just starting I'll assume you're not too concerned with tournament level competitiveness of units, and just want to maximize what you have and like. While I do like to play in local tournaments and the occasional GT, I do prefer to use the units I like aesthetically, and I like to play fully painted (when possible).
Rayzthedead wrote:I find them a solid infantry harraser but the ion falls short on tanks. Should I be playing them as fusion platforms? 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...
I can speak what works for me in my local scene. The Ghostkeels work well in my list, and after playing with the loadouts, I only take Raker, double Burst, ATS, and TLock any more. FC/2FB just seems to be lackluster compared to the Commanders you have, without the benefit of range your Hammerheads bring to the table. They were good gap fillers in my list. I needed some 'all rounder' units that could be decent against the majority of enemy units, but were not expected to excel at any one thing and shining in mobility. Ghostkeels can threaten most infantry (as you noted), Monstrous Creatures and light/transport vehicles. They won't one shot or wipe things, but they can pitch in and mop up/soften something. I, like you, use other units for dedicated Anti-tank, but the Ghostkeel can help in a pinch. They are also good mid-field operators. When picking a fast moving unit to help move into the center of the battlefield to grab objectives, the Ghostkeel works well. The ability to Infiltrate is a massive buff this edition, and can give you a jump on progressive objectives where Tau can now struggle after losing JSJ. The range of it's weapons systems works well here, and harassing objectives makes it more of a target. Raising it's target priority for opponents is important for me. The Ghostkeel, when maneuvered correctly, minimizes the impact of enemy shooting, but often is not offensively threatening enough to rate highly on an opponent's list of things that they need remove. By forcing their hand by playing to objectives, you can induce your opponent to value the Ghostkeel as a problem. It's an annoying gambit to be in (and we have all felt it at one point or another), so do they prioritize what is scoring, or what is an offensive liability? This often can lead to two outcomes, they will dedicate more firepower than they want to to kill it with shooting (which can also be mitigated by Savior Protocols), or they will have to close distance to improve their shooting odds or assault. Either way, you have an advantage to capitolize on.
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.
That's a great way to look at it. I've got to play around with this, as my local scene has many Deep Strike heavy opponents. Grey Knight Strike Squads are very common now that their Codex is here.
I agree, but I'd like to leave FW out of discussions about GW units.
If OP has FW available, it's worth noting. I know every FLGS near me (North East US) and all the major tournaments are FW friendly. There are often restrictions on Titans, but even in 7th experimental rules were good to go in casual. But I loved me some Tetras last edition, so I'm biased!