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Monday, June 28, 2010

Tau Piranha TX-42 Review

Continuing the the review of Tau units from Forgeworld we're going to look at the TX-42 now. We looked at the XV-9 previously and found it wanting in comparison to the standard Piranhas and Pathfinders in your normal Tau codex. What about the TX-42? It's essentially the same as the Piranha in its role but with some notable differences. So let's take a look at it and see if it's a competitive choice compared to Piranhas/Pathfinders and what changes could be made to encourage its use in the next Tau codex.

The TX-42 is essentially a Piranha upgrade so we'll look at the differences. The TX-42 automatically comes with a targeting array and a higher AV on their side (11 instead of 10) and instead of a single weapon system and drone passengers, the TX-42 packs a single twin-linked weapon system. The TX-42 can take twin-linked railrifles, twin-linked missile pods (free), twin-linked fusion blaster (free) or twin-linked plasma rifles. This is a good sign in spreading out the guns which are only available to Crisis suits normally (plasma rifles & missile pods) but the obvious choice here is the Fusion blaster much like the original Piranha due to their blocking potential. A normal Piranha w/targeting array and fusion blaster is the same points which makes it easier for us to compare. The differences are then are mildly better armor (which isn't going to matter too much with squadrons) and a twin-linked gun for the TX-42 compared to additional drones for the normal Piranha.

So which one should we take? I'm going with the original Piranha still. The extra blocking/bubble-wrap layer and shots provided by the Drones are worth the twin-linked gun and extra armor on the side. So, what changes would I like to see in the TX-42 which might make me take it over the Piranha? I think both deserve a price drop with the new book but I think the TX-42 needs a different role. Whilst I'm pounding the drum for drones with special weapons being allowed on vehicles (*cough markerlights cough*), I believe the Piranha is always going to be a blocker first and I think the TX-42 should be more offensively based. The ability to take two seperate weapon systems (ala Land Speeders) without twin-linking and potentially the scout rule would fit this bill perfectly. Like the Land Speeder it can still be used as a blocker when needed but is also much more offensively orientated. Imagine a 75-80 pt AV11 skimmer w/2x missilepods. Versusing an assault based army and shove it down their throat but against a more midfield/static army, suppression fire thanks which also takes the load off of Crisis suits. Enter diversity. The Piranha would then be relegated to the "cheaper" cousin of the TX-42 but maintain the same role of a fast blocker with melta weapon attached and potentially special drones.

What would others like to see? Do you think the TX-42 is a workable platform and should compliment Crisis suits in the Fast Attack role and be more akin to Land Speeders in their role and encourage Piranhas as cheaper alternatives? Or should we just stick with Piranhas and perhaps open their options there.

5 pinkments:

Heretic said...

I wouldn't mind seeing the TX-42 being introduced into the next codex as it's own unit, similar to the landspeeder storm in C:SM. I would keep them as different unit choices because of the different armor values, to avoid confusion. By keeping them different unit choices, it allows for more options, without an entry the size of the guard platoon. Either way adding the TX-42 would be a good way to diversify the arsenal of the Tau Empire.

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree. The av11 makes them immune to bolters (and other s4), makes s5 (heavy bolters anyone) much less effective. The TL makes the gun actually scary. I think the 42 is far superior for the same points

Kirby said...

@Heretic, they already are 2 seperate squads and I would agree to keeping them that way

@GWvsJohn; with turning you should be able to get AV11 quite broadly with your basic Piranhas. You obivously get even better coverage with the TX-42 but I think the lack of Drones hurts as it's an extra layer of defense you could be using. BS4 meltaguns are already scary but ya TL makes them scarier but remember Piranhas' primary goal is blocking and defense which is why I'd prefer to see the TX-42 be more offensive but can still block due to it's statline.

Evil-Termite said...

I do like the the idea of getting a twin linked fusion blaster on a piranha as it would make it much more useful in my army. And I do like that there are more weapon options available for it. But I don't like the TX-42 model very much. I think the normal piranha is a whole lot better. I would much rather them come out with an interchangeable system for the piranha similar to the burst cannons and SMS that the hammerheads get. That way I can have easy weapon swaps and try out lots of options.

But when it comes to bringing in a new unit for the Tau in the new codex, nothing would make me happier than to get barracudas in as fast vehicles weighing in at around 100 to 150 points. Oh yeah, they need a new $50 plastic kit for them too. : )

DavePak said...

While I know that piranha's are for blocking in some games (do I really want to give my enemy cover saves from my own skimmers?), I have to say that I have used the tx42 to great effect.

Either as VERY mobile missile pods which can get side armor shots much better, or as more reliable fusion blasters with better (AV11) survivability.

I see them almost as deathrains that can move 12" and shoot while being immune to small arms fire. Against, specific armies, the traditional blocking role is still effective however, I do agree.

Regardless of my opinions, thank you for the post!!!


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