XV9 Hazard Support Team - 8th ed. discussion

Discuss tactical and strategic development for 40K/Tau.
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Vector Strike
Shas'La
Shas'La
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XV9 Hazard Support Team - 8th ed. discussion

Post#1 » Jun 23 2017 11:04

Hey, folks!

I love the visual of XV9s and I'd like to make them useful for us.
So far, I've discovered that 2 XV9s with stock equipment are just plain better than 3 XV8s with 2 burst cannons; they cost exactly the same, but the XV9s will dish out more firepower (32 to 24 shots). Adding support systems will just increase the efficiency gap between them.

2 stock XV9s vs 3 XV8s with 3 burst cannons each hardly increase the efficiency gap (32 to 36 shots) - but you'll get enough points for a Drone Controller and 3 Gun Drones (giving the Hazard team 12 extra shots, alterating the ratio to 44 vs 36) or 2 ATS and almost 2 drones!
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But we already have so many S5 shots around (2 XV9s cost the same of 23 fire warriors, or almost 2 full teams)... how about the fusion cascade (it's worth noting this weapon was S6 in 7th - it's S8 now :D )?

2 XV9s with fusion cascades cost more or less 2 stock Coldstars. They fire on average 8 shots, netting 4 hits. Against T5-7, they'll do 2.68 wounds and vs T8, 2 wounds.

3 XV8s, each with 2 fusion blasters, will cost 10p less, but their performance will be quite worse. Against T5-7, they'll do 2 wounds and vs T8, 1.5 wounds.

you'll need 3 XV8s, each with 3(!) fusion blasters, to get a better results (but they'll break 300p), albeit at 18" instead of 12". Against T5-7, they'll do 3 wounds and vs T8, 2.25 wounds
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Darn it, the Commander does their job for 100p less!
Maybe the phased ion gun?

While its profile is closer to the airburst fragmentation projector, that weapon is simply a worse burst cannon, so no point comparing them. Let's do a (damage) PIG vs BC comparison (curiously, PIG average is 4 shots):

Code: Select all

Saves    XV9    XV9+ATS    XV8    XV8+ATS
T3 6+: 5.36    5.36       4.66       5.36
T3 5+: 4.45    5.36       3.59       4.45
T3 4+: 3.59    5.36       2.68      3.59
T4 3+: 2.00    2.68       1.77       2.68
T4 2+: 1.32    2.00       0.91       1.77
T5 3+: 1.32    1.77       1.32       2.00
T6-7 3+: 1.32    1.77       0.87       1.32
T8 2+: 0.45    0.68       0.23       0.45


As you can see, against most common enemies, 2 XV9s with 2 PIGs each simply supercedes 3 XV8s with 2 BCs each; with the point difference (16p more to the XV8s), you can add 2 ATS to the XV9s and even improve those numbers (as the 2nd column shows). If you give ATS to the XV8s (increasing the efficiency gap), they only surpass XV9 PIGs with ATS on T5 3+ (marine bikes), but are still worse against common infantry and big fellas, and on par vs footslogging marines.
Each ATS on a XV8 is one extra gun drone to the XV9s!

This comparison tells me that, in general, SX AP-1 is better than SX+1 AP0, everything else equal. Also, I'm not counting the AP-4 on a to hit of 6, which makes the PIG even a better deal.
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However, the double-barreled burst cannon is superior to the PIG in pratically all ways. It alone inflicts double wounds and in average 1.5x more damage (1.32x vs 2+ saves) than an ATS PIG! Again, not counting the AP-4 for the lucky 6 for the PIG, but with half the number of shots, they won't really matter much. So, sadly, I must confess the PIG isn't a worthwhile option for the XV9 while the double-barreled burst cannon exists - even if a XV9 with a PIG can get a drone or an ATS over one with the stock weapon.

The last contender is the pulse submunitions rifle. Once the most expensive XV9 weapon upgrade, it was a horde killer. Will it live up to such expectations when it's now, alongside PIG, the cheapest upgrade?

Again, the burst cannon is the closest weapon to it, profile-wise (same 4 shots average from PIG). Similar deal than PIG vs BC: 16p cheaper per unit (2 XV9s vs 3 XV8s) and the PSR is better than the BC 1.24x vs T3, on par against marines and termies and increasingly better against T5-6 stuff (they equalize at T7+). With ATS, 2 XV9s with 2 PSR each can almost dent 1 wound on a Land Raider! Not their main target, but in desperation...

The biggest advantage of the PSR is range (30", 6 more than in 7th) and the S6 - but hey, there are plasma rifles for that!

However, to confirm my theory from PIG vs BC, let's do a PSR vs neutron blaster, Vespid's weaponry. 12 vespids (full unit) have a cost between 2 XV9s with PSR and 3 XV8s with 2 BCs each.
Vespids deal 1.2x damage on average over an ATS PSR! And up to twice the damage vs marines (S5 AP-2 do wonders vs them). Neutron blasters lose bite vs T7, but, again, not their main target. This solidifies my opinion that AP is better than strength, unless you're fighting hordes of high average Toughness t-shirt save enemies.
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After doing these comparisons, I might value XV9 weaponry as this:
1. double-barreled burst cannon. Easily its best weapon.
2. fusion cascade. Deal a lot of wounds and can be useful outside the common T4-5 bracket the other weapons do well.
3. pulse submunitions rifle. Not a bad weapon per se, but double-barreled burst cannon firepower is just greater.
4. phased ion gun. Only really good if your dice like to roll 6s. Double-barreled burst cannon is better than it in all other situations.

All those options are simply better than their XV8 counterparts, meaning small XV8 units with fusion blasters, airbursting fragmentation projectors and burst cannons aren't good cost-effective options. CIBs, flamers and missile pods still rule on XV8s, of course.
However, the Commander is better than the XV9 with fusion cascade and, with the double-barreled burst cannon being better than the other 2 weapons... I think this will be the most cost-effective build:

1-2x XV9, double-barreled burst cannon, ATS
101-202p. 16-32 S5 AP-1 shots at 18" and BS4+.
+
1x XV9, double-barreled burst cannon, drone controller, 4 gun drones
130p. 32 S5 AP0 shots at 18" and BS4+.

Total: 231-332p for 48-64 S5 shots.

The same point value would give you 29-41 firewarriors - able to fire 57-83 shots at 18" with pulse carbines or 15" with rifles. However, they don't have the means to come that close to the enemy unless the enemy comes to them or they advance (getting them on tidewalls or devilfishes will severely reduce fire output).
It's up to you if you rather condense such firepower in 6-7 models or divide between 30ish troops. The XV9s will help you with unit count to start the game (29 firewarriors are 2.4 full units, and 41 are almost 3.5 full units), but the Firewarriors will help with objectives and field presence.
---

What do you guys think? Feel free to comment, suggest, appoint mistakes on both my English and calculations! :)

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Vector Strike
Shas'La
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Re: XV9 Hazard Support Team - 8th ed. discussion

Post#2 » Jun 24 2017 12:55

Did a small mathhammering. Not counting MLs or enemy invuls.
This shows that 1x XV9 with DBBC+DC+4 drones and 2x XV9 with DBBC+ATS are better than 3x XV9 with DBBC and ATS
Image

heksagon
Shas'Saal
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Re: XV9 Hazard Support Team - 8th ed. discussion

Post#3 » Jun 24 2017 04:47

Wow, such a nice analysis. :)
I really like XV9 with Bursts, but I would field them as a solo suits.

3 solo Burst, with Drone Controllers + 4 Gun Drones = 96 shots with BS 4+, S5. In my opinion that sounds quite nice. :D
With this configuration you can Manta Strike them separately, in places where they're needed- or against single enemy unit (surrounding this unit should be easy. Enemy unit would be forced to charge only one Hazard unit of 3).

Ofc. that configuration in not-that-cheap, because it's 390 points (so, a Riptide...). I suppouse that 2 solo suits and 8 drones should work just fine too (260 points).
Adding a Coldstar to this combo would be great too in my opinion. ;)

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Lord Mayhem
Shas'Ui
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Re: XV9 Hazard Support Team - 8th ed. discussion

Post#4 » Jun 24 2017 12:59

I've always liked XV-9s, so the fact that they compete effectively against several crisis configurations this edition makes me quite happy.

Mathhammer aside, the XV9s do have a couple of advantages not accounted for in the raw damage.
First, they're the only Monat option left, other than a commander. They're expensive still, but a Manta strike with just one has too much firepower to be ignored, and they are pretty tough, especially with attached drones.

Second is the Photon casters; making it harder for enemy units to charge is always a good thing. If you can move a grav inhibitor drone over to work with them then enemy charges become a lot trickier. A squad of 3, with CDS and grav drones nearby could make a remarkably effective screening force; 48 shots, rerolling misses on overwatch, AND a charge distance of 0-9" (averaging 3") would make me think twice.

Third is the fact that they effectively have 5 hardpoints. Each support system effectively does double duty, since it supports the equivalent of 2 XV8, allowing flexability while keeping the rate of fire
The improved durability is a nice touch, even without drone support; even Las cannons have only 1/3 of doing enough wounds to oneshot them, and with a stim or shield genie they could tank pretty well. While you can pass wounds to drones, as has been pointed out a canny opponent will bolter them to death, before engaging the suits they were supporting.

The primary roles/configurations I can see using them for are

Antitank; 2 Fusion cascade and probably a multitracker to reduce markerlight dependency, or a shield genie to increase survivability. Drop as 3 monats and put a hurting on most units.

Screening; 2 double burst cannon and CDS

General anti infantry: 2 double burst cannon and ATS; while drones and FW can put out more shots, the improved armor penetration makes this useful, especially for TEQ

Ultimately for me it's not a straight up wounds to points math issue. I WANT to field the Knight sabers and Black howling units again

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gmaleron
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Re: XV9 Hazard Support Team - 8th ed. discussion

Post#5 » Jun 30 2017 07:56

Great analysis! Always have wanted to run these guys again and I'm especially happy to hear that the double Burst Cannon suits are the way to go. Anyone tried the fusion Cascades out? And have people found the Drone Controller or ATS better with the dual Double Burst Cannon Suits?

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Glarblar
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Re: XV9 Hazard Support Team - 8th ed. discussion

Post#6 » Jun 30 2017 09:00

I think it depends on the list (as per usual). My plan is to use suits in monats: the Fusion Cascade in place of the Commander in the Homing Manta Strike combo. Then use the DBBC has a DC and drops in on a unit of gun drones for significant burst and protection.

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Arka0415
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Re: XV9 Hazard Support Team - 8th ed. discussion

Post#7 » Jun 30 2017 10:36

gmaleron wrote:Great analysis! Always have wanted to run these guys again and I'm especially happy to hear that the double Burst Cannon suits are the way to go. Anyone tried the fusion Cascades out? And have people found the Drone Controller or ATS better with the dual Double Burst Cannon Suits?


A 2x Fusion Cascade suit costs nearly the same as a Commander, outputs the same number of shots at shorter range, and has of course half the accuracy. Once again, the Commander wins out. That just can't be right, but it is what it is I guess.

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Glarblar
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Re: XV9 Hazard Support Team - 8th ed. discussion

Post#8 » Jun 30 2017 12:33

I guess the only benefit would be a 2" reduced enemy charge range, and a support system?

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Shas'Bro
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Re: XV9 Hazard Support Team - 8th ed. discussion

Post#9 » Jul 01 2017 08:20

Arka0415 wrote:
gmaleron wrote:Great analysis! Always have wanted to run these guys again and I'm especially happy to hear that the double Burst Cannon suits are the way to go. Anyone tried the fusion Cascades out? And have people found the Drone Controller or ATS better with the dual Double Burst Cannon Suits?


A 2x Fusion Cascade suit costs nearly the same as a Commander, outputs the same number of shots at shorter range, and has of course half the accuracy. Once again, the Commander wins out. That just can't be right, but it is what it is I guess.



I don't know how the new Codex will fix this but I have a gut feeling towards a nerf on the commander side or making him more expensive. If we luck out, then crisis suits get cheaper to use melta or get a BS3+ buff.

I'm running 2x2 fusion cascades to see how they fare...I think they should put out plenty enough fire to be able to focus down one big thing a turn without support.
*As your Rules Laywer, I advise you against that action

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Panzer
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Re: XV9 Hazard Support Team - 8th ed. discussion

Post#10 » Jul 01 2017 08:25

Keep in mind the XV9 also has a -2" charge range ability which stacks really nicely with Wood/Ruins terrain rules and the Grav Inhibitor Drone from Pathfinder. It also protects them nicely from enemy counter reserves since they'd need a 11" charge to get into melee.
That's actually the real value of that unit for me. ;)

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Shas'Bro
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Re: XV9 Hazard Support Team - 8th ed. discussion

Post#11 » Jul 01 2017 08:31

Panzer wrote:Keep in mind the XV9 also has a -2" charge range ability which stacks really nicely with Wood/Ruins terrain rules and the Grav Inhibitor Drone from Pathfinder. It also protects them nicely from enemy counter reserves since they'd need a 11" charge to get into melee.
That's actually the real value of that unit for me. ;)


I completely agree! Part of me is wondering if I should have them on the board if I start T1 or Manta strike them if I have T2 in front of my firewarrior/cadre/pathfinder gunline to kill big stuff and debuff charges with their -2 and the grav drone's ability. 9" charge you say? Yeah it's now a 12" charge :P
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Arka0415
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Re: XV9 Hazard Support Team - 8th ed. discussion

Post#12 » Jul 01 2017 08:34

Panzer wrote:Keep in mind the XV9 also has a -2" charge range ability which stacks really nicely with Wood/Ruins terrain rules and the Grav Inhibitor Drone from Pathfinder. It also protects them nicely from enemy counter reserves since they'd need a 11" charge to get into melee.
That's actually the real value of that unit for me. ;)


Are you actually planning on getting/using some? I'm on the fence.

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Panzer
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Re: XV9 Hazard Support Team - 8th ed. discussion

Post#13 » Jul 01 2017 08:39

Arka0415 wrote:
Panzer wrote:Keep in mind the XV9 also has a -2" charge range ability which stacks really nicely with Wood/Ruins terrain rules and the Grav Inhibitor Drone from Pathfinder. It also protects them nicely from enemy counter reserves since they'd need a 11" charge to get into melee.
That's actually the real value of that unit for me. ;)


Are you actually planning on getting/using some? I'm on the fence.

No. I don't fancy resin models and don't like FW much anyway.
Maybe if GW would sell them in plastic lol

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Shas'Bro
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Re: XV9 Hazard Support Team - 8th ed. discussion

Post#14 » Jul 01 2017 08:40

Arka0415 wrote:
Panzer wrote:Keep in mind the XV9 also has a -2" charge range ability which stacks really nicely with Wood/Ruins terrain rules and the Grav Inhibitor Drone from Pathfinder. It also protects them nicely from enemy counter reserves since they'd need a 11" charge to get into melee.
That's actually the real value of that unit for me. ;)


Are you actually planning on getting/using some? I'm on the fence.


Fwiw I just ordered two XV9 cascades and I'll likely get 1-2 DBBC in addition to R'alai (if he counts too lol) :roll:
*As your Rules Laywer, I advise you against that action

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Lord Mayhem
Shas'Ui
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Re: XV9 Hazard Support Team - 8th ed. discussion

Post#15 » Jul 01 2017 02:40

I have 3 XV9 with burst cannon, 2 with Fusion Cascades, 1 with Ion, and of course O'Ralai, My default 2k list includes the 3 with burst cannon (the Black Howling) and CDS as a screening unit.
Last time I fielded them was I think 5th Ed; They did a good job, but just weren't as cost effective back then

Rathstar
Shas'La
Shas'La
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Re: XV9 Hazard Support Team - 8th ed. discussion

Post#16 » Jul 07 2017 06:41

Another benefit of the XV9 is that they can take 4 drones each. Unfortunately its 4 drones per unit, but you can have units of 1 and then place 2 near each other so they can both benefit from each others drones.

I was thinking of 2 XV9s with Fusion Cascades, both monats, with 8 drones between them. Now after the manta drop the enemy has to kill the 8 drones before it can start attacking the 5 wound hazard suits.

Unfortunately Quad Fusion Commanders are still the most efficient fusion drop, but the Hazard Suits have a better chance of surviving to attack a 2nd turn, plus the drones can help clear away some infantry with 32 shots.

Rathstar

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Arka0415
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Re: XV9 Hazard Support Team - 8th ed. discussion

Post#17 » Jul 07 2017 07:21

Rathstar wrote:Another benefit of the XV9 is that they can take 4 drones each. Unfortunately its 4 drones per unit, but you can have units of 1 and then place 2 near each other so they can both benefit from each others drones.

I was thinking of 2 XV9s with Fusion Cascades, both monats, with 8 drones between them. Now after the manta drop the enemy has to kill the 8 drones before it can start attacking the 5 wound hazard suits.

Unfortunately Quad Fusion Commanders are still the most efficient fusion drop, but the Hazard Suits have a better chance of surviving to attack a 2nd turn, plus the drones can help clear away some infantry with 32 shots.

Rathstar


I agree that XV9s make good Fusion monats, and let's compare them with the Commander and the (illegal) hypothetical XV8 monat. Let's shoot a T8 vehicle.

XV9: 2D3 Fusion shots at BS4+. 4 shots > 2 hits > 1 wound, yielding 3.5 damage for 131 points.

XV8: 3 Fusion shots at BS4+. 3 shots > 1.5 hits > 0.75 wounds, yielding 2.6 damage for 105 points.

Commander: 4 Fusion shots at BS2+. 4 shots > 3.3 hits > 1.7 wounds, yielding 6 damage for 160 points.

The Commander wins out, with a points/damage efficiency of 26.7, compared to the XV8's 40.4 and the XV9's 37.4. The XV9 does have a number of extra benefits, including the 2" reduction in enemy charge range as well as the option to take a support system (VT against DE Raiders anyone?) and more Drones although these options cost points.

If there's a points rebalance in the future, or Markerlights become more viable, it wouldn't take much to see the XV9 eclipse the Commander as the go-to Fusion monat. It's not there yet, but in the future it might be.

There is one more thing though! The XV9 is the only (non-titanic) model in the Tau Empire army roster capable of taking out a Baneblade or Imperial Knight in one round of shooting... if it gets lucky of course :P

derelictwinter
Shas
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Re: XV9 Hazard Support Team - 8th ed. discussion

Post#18 » Jul 07 2017 07:40

Arka0415 wrote:The Commander wins out, with a points/damage efficiency of 26.7, compared to the XV8's 40.4 and the XV9's 37.4.


Just as a nitpicky note, while you did a great job showing the point considerations, the point cost ratios cant really show another important factor in the decision. In that we have a lot of great HQ options and the xv9 is the only current legal monat alternative to the commander. It can be an important note, particularly if you're playing in a tournament format that forces everyone to use the patrol detachment (relevant to a local tournament just held at my FLGS).

If you have a need of other command slots and are including markerlights in your list anyway, it can be a relevant point.

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