9x Flamer squads are useful for defending a gunline (killer overwatch!), attacking advancing hordes, and blasting T3/4 multi-wound models. Remember- don't use Manta Strike. Instead, advance them forward and use their 16+D6" threat range to bring the fight to your opponent.
Regarding Emberkahn's points:
Emberkahn wrote:In this edition there is a very clear hierarchy of unit effectiveness and taking anything further down the hierarchy is volunteering to be less competitive. Subject to minor disagreement it goes something like this:
Commander = Cold Star > Stealth Suit > Body Guard (Situationally) > Crisis Suits
The BS of crisis suits, coupled with their cost just makes them ineffective. The exception to this I think is with flamers. The problem that I have with flamers though is that you drop in at 9" with 8" range, meaning you can't shoot first turn. I think to maximise their effectiveness taking them with Stealth Suits to give them that marginally closer charge distance is a good idea.
I wouldn't try and argue there's a "clear" hierarchy when one hasn't been established yet. Coldstars and Stealthsuits have wildly different roles both compared to each other and to the other units in that list, and Bodyguards are less valuable for their cost than normal XV8s. Plus, it's clear that XV8s have their own niche too- they make excellent Gun Drone caddies when they use Manta Strike, able to dump an absolute bucket of firepower when armed with CIBs (or Flamers if you don't use Manta Strike) with only one deployment "drop." Commanders offer more firepower per point, but I wouldn't write off XV8s just yet- they still appear in many top players' lists, and for good reason too!
Emberkahn wrote:Regarding the big guys, I think the general consensus is that the Riptide is just straight up worse compared to the Storm surge and Ghost keel. I don't think it's likely however that most sub 2k armies will be fielding more than 1 of either of these. I haven't seen many lists but on paper they don't quite seem to have the firepower. But happy to be persuaded otherwise.
This is definitely true, I think. The Riptide is worse point-for-point than the Ghostkeel or Stormsurge, but those units aren't all that amazing either. Each has a different role in the army so I wouldn't compare them, but from a cost-firepower perspective the Stormsurge offers you the most firepower for its points and also has unique utility options (only model with Destroyer Missiles and truly scary EWO). The Ghostkeel has a nice niche but is hampered by low durability and high points costs, while the Riptide is absolutely crippled by its huge points cost. If Commanders got a 10/10, the Stormsurge gets a 6/10, the Ghostkeel a 5/10, and the Riptide a 4/10.