XV8s Are they still good?

May 30, 2013 ·

Double Death Rain Shas'vre Team Leader

Crisis Suits were the default take in the old codex, however with Riptides being the new “hotness” I can’t help feeling the XV8s is being over shadowed a little. But they are so much better than they were…….!

I always think of XV8’s as Swiss army knifes. They are so flexible you can pretty much kitted them out to do anything. They are ideal for plugging gaps in your Cadre. But that in itself is a problem when trying to write anything meaningful about XV8 load outs. There is no such thing as the “best” load out, there is only the load out that best fills the gap you need to fill.

Which makes this article kinda pointless – but that never stopped me in the past, and certainly won’t stop me here! What I don’t want to do is “rehash” a guide to XV8s. I’ve already done this in my Codex Review over on Apostates Anonymous. What I want to do in this article is kick around a few ideas about load outs that strike me as particularly interesting, or unique, or different, to try and start some discussion on what people are using in their Cadre’s.

Double Death Rains

Now that suits can take 2 weapons systems that count as 2 separate weapons, you can bring even more fire power. This unit runs at 156pts for 3 XV8s each with 2 missile pods. The unit pumps out 12 missiles per turn. It’s only BS3, and it’s not twin linked, so needs Marker Light support to really shine, but that’s a lot of shots for not a lot of points. There’s also a spare hard point you can fill with another weapon or support system. Add in another missile pod making one pod twin linked is an option to increase the team’s accuracy. For an extra 15pts your average hits go from 6 to 7.5. Alternatively, add in a velocity tracker for some anti air if you’ve filled your heavy slots with hammer heads or sniper drones.

An interesting addition might be a Puretide Chip, giving the team Tank Hunter or Monster Hunter (and some other stuff you will never use!). However, I suspect most people will want to put this on an XV8 Commander for the flexibility of being able to move him from squad to squad.

The down side of this load out is that it’s a bit of a “jack of all trades master of none”. Deathrains were really good in 5th, when people spammed light vehicles, but now I’m not so sure.

Fire Storms

You can push out a lot of Dakka from an XV8 team. Three suits with 2 burst cannons each and 6 Gun Drones (give one of the suits a drone controller) puts out 24 S5 AP5 BS3 shots and 12 S5 AP5 BS3 Twin Linked shots. On average that’s 21 hits, or around 5 dead marines per turn. Not bad for 194pts. However, give them 2 marker lights and they’ll kill half a blob squad, and with 2 more marker lights they’ll do it even if the blob is cowering behind an Aegis.

That’s a lot of dakka!

Marker Team

One option for Marker Light support people are talking about is attaching a Commander to a squad of Marker Drones. But there is an alternative, which doesn’t seem quite so “wasteful” of the Commander.

If you give all the suits a target lock, one of them a Drone Controller, and each of them 2 Marker Drones, you get a team that can fire their weapons at one unit, while their Marker Drones fire at something else. The benefit of this over a dedicated Drone Team is that it doesn’t take up a Fast Attack slot, the Drones are BS3 rather than BS2, and they are 2 points cheaper per drone. You can load them out with whatever weapons you like, but missile pods seem best to me as they have the same range as a Marker Light so the team can hang back shooting stuff as well as lighting things up for other units.

Multi Tool

You can build a team to cope with almost anything. Give one of them 2 Fusion Blasters and a Target Lock, the other 2 Plasma Guns and a Target Lock, and the last one 2 Burst Cannons and a Drone Controller. Give each of them 2 Gun Drones and for 232pts you push out a lot of fire power that you can target at 3 different units if you need to.

This of course begs the question – is it better to have 2 units that can do anything, or one unit that does one thing really well, and another that does something else really well.  A topic for another day.

So how to use VX8s in the new codex?

I think the epitome of a Hunter Cadre has to be Fire Warriors supported by XV8s. The image I have in my head is of D’fish full of Fire Warriors pushing forward, supported by XV8 teams, with Broadsides, Skyrays and Hammer Heads providing long range fire support. The Heavy Support take out units that threaten the Devilfish as they move forward. The XV8s shelter behind the Fish until it’s time for the Fire Warriors to jump out and unleash hell. When that happens the XV8s deploy, using their drones to light up targets for the Fire Warriors, and hitting hard targets, which are beyond the Fire Warriors Pulse Rifles.

Great in theory…but will it work on the table top? Gonna be fun finding out!



Bottom Banana said...
May 30, 2013 at 5:47 PM  

Have you tested out the crisis with markers and target locks yet? Every game it seems my pathfinders have the worlds biggest target on them. But maybe two ish squads of crisis markers, one of which the commander could join would be just as effective with far more longevity?

Embrace Your Inner Geek said...
May 31, 2013 at 1:06 AM  

I have tested out the XV8s with markers in one game so far. They worked really well in that they are a tough, mobile ML platform. However, they have an even bigger target on them than a squad of pathfinders! The difference of course is that, with the Commander tanking wounds out front, they are pretty survivable.

I'm taking them to their first tournament this weekend (see my latest post), so I'll report back on how they go next week.


andy_divide said...
May 31, 2013 at 2:52 AM  

Crisis suits are better than ever! I'm currently running:
3x Double Plasma
3x Double Deathrain
1x Iridium HQ with Double Fusion, Target Lock, Drone Controller + 6 Marker Drones

The double plasma team have been laying down some serious hurt, as they tend to get priority for use of the 5 or 6 markerlight tokens left by the commander's drones - 12 BS5 STR6 AP2 shots that ignore cover make for some very dead marines!

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