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Tautica: Commanders

Submitted By: Date: September 21, 2005, 07:59:10 PM Views: 2885
Summary: <p class="body">Welcome once again to another badly-named and horribly pun-titled Tau article. I hope that this will come in handy for those of you deliberating over what to do about taking a Commander in your Tau army. For more information on using your Commanders, see my Crisis Battlesuit Tactica which involves the use of other models in XV8 armor.<br /><br />

This article is set out to answer a series of possible queries a Tau player may have about using a Commander, being; whether to use a Shas'el or Shas'o, how to equip their Commander, and what to do about giving that Commander a Bodyguard. <br /></p>
<p class="subheader">Shas'o or Shas'el?<br /></p>
<p class="body">The first major choice when you pick a Commander is probably whether or not to make it a Shas'el or Shas'o. There are benefits to each, as follows:<br /><br />
<b>a)</b> The Shas'o has the higher BS - and as such will be hitting more often with whatever guns he chooses. Note however that the Shas'el has an increased Ballistic Skill compared to most XV8s, but the Shas'o will still miss only half as many shots as the Shas'el will.<br /><br />
<b>b)</b> The Shas'o has a better profile, with an extra Attack (yes, just what you were after I know) and an extra Wound (nice for keeping him alive longer). That said, the extra Wound will only come into practice in times where the Commander is neither being over-killed by a mass of opponents nor Instantly Killed by S8+ weapon.<br /><br />
<b>c)</b> The Shas'el is the cheaper option. This makes it a good choice to have two of, especially as the Shas'el isn't particularly more expensive (points-wise) than a Shas'vre, and is definitely worth it when you see the extra stats you get for the points.<br /><br />
Personally I still favor no option over the other, as they each have their good and bad points - first seeing which would fit best into the rest of the army being used at the time.<br /></p>
<p class="subheader">What outfit?<br /></p>
<p class="body">No, before some wise-cracker says it, I'm not about to discuss what color clashes with your Commander's eyes or any of that malarkey. This section is about what equipment your Commander should be outfitted with, or rather which equipment is likely to be most effective.<br /><br />
Remember that with the Independent Character rules (especially as they stand in 4th Ed) your Commander should be fairly safe from enemy shooting and, with his Jetpack and your disdain of it, he won't be getting into combat that much. Therefore a Shield Generator or Drones for protection aren't as necessary as you might think, but if you have the points spare then there's no harm in it.<br /><br />
In addition, the Blacksun Filter only comes into use in the odd Night Fighting situation, and the Target Lock if you've bothered with Bodyguards (see below).<br /><br />
Other than that, your basic Shas'el can happily take just about any item available to him - although remember to take two Drones if you bother with any, as otherwise there is no way that they will take any hits before your Commander, and with Gun Drones you're getting a slightly cheaper version anyway so you might as well make the most of it.<br /><br />
However, with a Shas'o it's best not to bother with any twin-linked weaponry. With his high BS you won't be missing often and the Hard Point slot is better used certainly to take a second gun and possibly with a Shield Generator or other Support System option. Also, remember that currently you get guns for your Commanders for the same price as for your regular XV8s, and the Commander will be hitting more often and so getting the most use out of them - try to take two guns to get the most out of this. Some schools of thought would also recommend taking guns with more shots, so as to get more possible hits out of your higher BS (such as with a Burst Cannon), but personally I'd say that it can be important to be hitting with those more potent guns (e.g. Fusion Blaster) as well.<br /><br />
As far as picking guns go, look at what your army is missing. If you're low on anti-tank and really need a Fusion Blaster that hits (not to mention if you don't mind putting your Commander on the very front lines) then by all means pop it on the Shas'o. If your Commander is going to be hovering around behind your firing line then a long ranged Missile Pod could make a good choice.<br /></p>
<p class="subheader">What about some Bodyguards?<br /></p>
<p class="body">A lot of Tau players just pop a couple of Shas'vre suits with their Commander to keep him company and have it at that. Whilst this isn't that bad an idea, and in some cases it can be a good one, you can often end up spending ten to twenty points that you don't need to. If you really want some Crisis Suits to hang around your Commander, it can work out cheaper to just buy them as Elite Shas'ui choices and just keep your commander with them.<br /><br />
Of course if you've already filled all of your Elites slot and really want some extra Suits then by all means go ahead and get some more - there's never anything wrong with more Suits!<br /><br />
I hope that this has proved to be somewhat useful,<br />
Fish</p>

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