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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tau Codex Review: XV9 Commander R'Alai


Continuning with the Tau codex review (on request this time) we're going to check out the Forgeworld rules for the XV9 Commander R'Alai (O' rly?). We've covered the XV9s before and they are a bit on the expensive side overall but there is some merit in the unit. T5 + some new weapons and in the Fast Attack slot opens up a lot of possibilities for the Tau army and whilst they are a bit expensive, they are certainly workable for the future. What does their special commander bring to the table then.

First off, the guy is expensive. Hugely expensive, more than twice the cost of your regular commander. This gets you the improved statline (importantly T5 and W4) but is very dear for Tau. So what does this steep cost get you outside of a very shiny T5. You get the assorted rules of the XV9 suits, defensive grenades, deep strike, acute senses and Hit and Run through Vectored Retro-Thrusters. Could be useful if this would transfer to units (you can go figure the logic lol) but (hit and run kroot!!!) instead O'Rly has Stubborn and passes it on to any unit he leads...which well sucks. Stubborn is only of use in combat when large Ld modifiers are likely to take effect and Tau don't want to stay in combat! Whilst Kroot would love the Ld10 to not run away from shooting, Stubborn Kroot are bad in combat as they are very likely to stay which means your awesome shooting can't actually shoot the evil combat units.

So what about O'Rly's shooting? He gets a special gun (ooo) which has got some fairly impressive anti-infantry power with 2 ignore cover blasts but Tau don't really need help in that regard, especially for the price tag of O'Rly. His gun also gets 3 special ammunitions which each have the Gets Hot! rule. None of these are particularly great but provide O'Rly with some moderate level of anti-tank through the Hyper-Denisty Sabot and a wide ranger of anti-infantry potential with the Cluster-Beam shell (though his basic ammunition is generally better here). So all in all...not that great and he doesn't have a target lock either so can't shoot at a different unit though he does come with 2 Marker Drones which are of minimal use to O'Rly with his BS5 and cover ignoring basic gun.

O'Rly also has a special shield generator which provides a 4+ invul and stealth field generator as long as he didn't move...yay for not moving in 5th edition. The Stealth Field generator is nice for someone with ranged guns of 24" plus but not being able to JSJ is just stupid for Tau. 4+ Invul is only really needed in combat as 4+ cover should be pretty easy to get.

Overall? Over-priced and abilities that don't mesh well with how Tau works. Whilst his main gun's abilities and being able to change ammunitions is nice, needs a bit work before it comes anything close to the awesomeness of Sternguard special ammunition. The stealth field with 24"+ guns is perfect but...you can't move if you want it to stay in effect which means the 24" is just a little bit too short. Stubborn is also not want Tau want nor are defensive grenades. Hit and Run though is nice but if O'Rly could transfer it to a squad, would be great (maybe with some limitations). Streamlining of his gun would also be needed, as well as a target-lock and a significant points drop.

7 pinkments:

Polymorphine said...

Ya rly.

Here's to hoping they (XV9's in general) get reworked in the next Tau Codex. Assuming they make it in there at all.. sigh.

Zarticus said...

Long time lurker, first time commenter (Does it smell like cliche in here?)

Mr O'rly here, to me, opens up possibilities for Tau's next 'dex. The special ammo he uses can very well be made to be similar to psyker abilities, giving us a cool equivalent, without destroying the predefined fluff. Though failing on a 1/6 is much harsher than a real psyker test. =/

Yet another "great" commander that looks at all the things Tau are, and ignores it for things that don't work in our synergistic force.

VT2 said...

He's like a sternguard marine in a hazard suit.

Old Shatter Hands said...

Pretty much my accessment as well, expensive both in game terms and in real life. for not a whole lot.

Sage said...

I was hoping for speculation on turning the guns into Hazard/Stealth Suit equivalents. VT also suggested a range of up to 12" would work, then placing the flame template, when I suggested a ranged flamer for Tau, for the purposes of new/changed weapons.

DavePak said...

Thanks for the post!

I have to say, even with my limited experience (only played him once) I think your analysis is spot on.

Yes, the special weapon is nice...but, all of your other points really add up.

Ok, so defensive grenades, stubborn and hit and run...so, that means he is a CC guy...where is his power weapon?

Oh, he is a shooty guy...where is his target lock?

Marker drones? What? Can I at least have an option to trade them for shield drones?

Thanks again for a post, for a while I thought I just did not "get" this guy. Now I realize that its GW that doesn't get him.

Davepak

Kirby said...

NP DavePak, do you actually have the model? Would lovepics if you do.

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