As I said in the last post, there are a number of new units in IA2, and in the recent update “approved” for 40k. Now, I’m not going to discuss whether this means you are “allowed” to play them, or whether tournaments should allow them in general play. It seems to me the answers to these questions are pretty obvious (“yes” and “yes” respectively, but that’s just me!)
First up we will look at the new troops choices. There are 2 – Sentry Turrets, and Sensor Towers.
For 25 points you get a sentry turret, which is an immobile AV12 vehicle with BS2 twin linked burst cannons. You can upgrade it with plasma rifles, missile pods or Fusion Guns. You can also give it a disruption pod, a shield generator (4+ invulnerable save!), or the ability to deep strike. They come in units of 1-4.
Now at first I thought these weren’t particularly impressive. Even when twin linked, BS2 is pretty rubbish (unless you have a marker light!). But I’m thinking of a different use for them.
Any Tau list will have Broadsides. You need to protect your Broadsides from assault (they are pretty resilient to shooting). “Traditionally” one does this with Kroot Bubblewrap. The big problem with that is your opponent can tank shock through Kroot. They can’t however tank shock through Sentry Turrets!
Where I can see the Turrets working well is as a “shield” for Broadsides. For 120 points you can get 4 of them with Dpods and space them out around your broadsides. I don’t know what their foot print is, but on the FW web site they look to be about 3 inches across. So with a 2.99 inch gap between each of them that’s a line of Sentry Turrets around 20” long. AV12 with a Dpod is pretty hard to kill at range, and AV12 is pretty hard to kill in an assault unless you have a power fist or something similar. So, as long as you keep your Broadsides more than 3” behind the Turrets nothing can assault through your Turrets to get to the Broadsides. Before anything can assault your Broadsides they have to destroy at least one Turret. And because they are not locked in combat you can still shoot at them while they are trying to get past your Turrets. And if there is a squad of Kroot between the Turrets and the Broadsides, you can counter assault with the Kroot.
The other option is to give them something a little bit more exciting than Burst Cannons. Fifteen points swaps in plasma rifles. That might be interesting if you could guarantee marker light support. With even one marker light that would be 180 points for 4 TL BS3 plasma shots at 12 inches, on an AV12 platform that are also protecting your Broadsides. Not bad.
I think these have potential.
For 40 points you get an immobile AV10 vehicle with a twin linked BS3 marker light and a positional relay. Any unit within 6 inches can use the tower to make their weapons twin linked once per turn.
I could be persuaded by this. I would save points on the Commander not needing to take a Positional Relay, which makes the tower effectively 25 points. Making one unit twin linked and a BS3 twin linked maker light for 25 points is OK. If you put it behind a sentry turret, it would probably get a cover save, the turret could use the marker light and a commander with a team of Fireknives would be twin linked every turn.
Add in a squad of Kroot, and that would make a very resilient fire base.
Next up Fast Attack.