I got an e-mail from number6* earlier today pointing me in the direction of a known troll, Rikimaru, who has posted all kinds of horrible bullshit over on Librarium Online. Man, he is responsible for some good stuff. But by good stuff I mean mind numbingly bad stuff. He appears to be either retarded or executing the most brilliant misinformation campaign ever put into action.
Rikimaru started a thread called "The Torch Squad: Don't Believe everything you hear," in which he extols the virtues of putting flamers on your Tau Battlesuits. You can check out the whole thread over here, but I'll pick out the choicest bits for you to look at and ridicule.
So flamers! A subject of much controversy mainly because the Flamer is a very much misunderstood weapon system. The new Nids codex made me realise just how valuable the unit can be in the Tau army and I with this in mind I wanted to try to clear up some misconceptions about the Flamer on the XV8 and as a consequence also look at the state of play regarding Tau list building.
Wait, did you just say that flamers are misunderstood? Huh? Stop me if I'm wrong, but I think that this is how a flamer is used on the battlefield: get really close to your enemy and bathe as many as possible in cleansing fire, especially when your target is in cover. Is he also saying that you need to bring flamers against Tyranids? Wow, that's fucking brilliant, please allow me get right next to a unit that really wants to assault me and do a little bit of damage to it. Plus it's the big stuff you need to worry about with Tyranids, anyway. If you don't have enough raw firepower to deal with the little shit, you need to go back to Tau school. Since you seem to be unfamiliar with how your favorite army works, you might want to read about it in this thing called a codex. There you will find that all of your shit is bristling with anti-infantry firepower. Have you even looked at the pulse rifle's stat line for fuck's sake?
First thing to discuss is twin linked vs single flamer. The first and most important rule for taking Flamers on the XV8 is this ‘take two’. Twin linked Flamers offer a fantastic advantage, they re-roll all missed wounds. Now how many weapons can you think of in 40K that do not need to roll to hit and re-roll ALL failed wounds?
I actually just facepalmed. That really happened. If you put two close ranged weapons on a battlesuit, you're not only guaranteeing that you will be raped in an assault, but also that you will be reducing your overall fire output for the entire game. See there are costs besides points costs in 40k. This happens to be an issue of opportunity cost here. By not putting a ranged weapon on your unit, you are costing yourself balanced firepower over the course of the game. At least put plasma or a missile on there so that you can fire while you're waiting to get into flamer range. Plus instead of just being able to deal with infantry, you can smoke light vehicles and transports. That's called duality, or as I like to call it- not overspecializing your army into uselessness. Also, if you read the whole post, you'll note that he manages to contradict himself and suggest putting a missile launcher on your flamer suits.
number6 sums up nicely why this advice is horrible right here:
In "vacuum analysis", the TL flamer is a fantastic weapon for all the reasons you spell out.
But in the context of a Tau army, I really find it a suboptimal choice. I see no reason to put crisis suits -- very nearly the most important unit in the entire Tau army -- within 2" or 3" of the enemy. You are just asking for such units to die unless absolutely everything goes your way.
So it's not the TL flamer itself that I object to. It's the tactics required to reap the benefits of the TL flamer that I object to. I don't think they suit the Tau army very well at all. The only Tau units you should actually allow to get close to the enemy are piranha, Kroot, and any other units you might intend or need to sacrifice during the course of a game (e.g., one of your Devilfish/FW units).
There isn't a single Tau unit that can take a beating. Not one. So I find the idea of putting Tau units into harm's way that aren't slated for blocking/delaying/sacrificial duty (most of the army list, of course) ... a strange, odd, and counterproductive one. Why would our wussy tau ever look to unnecessarily risk themselves? I seriously just don't get it.
number6 pretty much hits the nail on the head there. The only thing I would have done differently myself is to resort to personal attacks and name calling. I would have said something like: 'Rikimaru, you should do us all a favor and stop polluting the interwebs with your shit advice, penis breath.' Now that is how you start an Internet fight.
Rikimaru then responds with more insanity to number6's reply and says the following regarding getting too close to the enemy with your battlesuits:
Which is why you do not simply put any unit in harms way. Did you actually read the article or just scan it because the point of the Torch is it can and does provide ranged firepower and the Flamers are there (rememeber that 18pts of Flamers) to provide highly effective firepower to kill anything that does get close. Again you are stuck in the mind set of Flamer equipped XV8's must always be played at close range, it is their main role, wrong! the Torch squad is first and foremost a ranged unit but it is equally as effective at close range. The Flamer is more effective against a wider range of units that a Fireknife at cloase range and against units in cover BUT it also provides extrremely effective ranged firepower.
Well he probably didn't read the whole article because you are a pompous windbag. Christ, you're almost as long-winded as I am. Good for a blog, maybe. Good for a forum, fuck no. This is also yet another point where Rikimaru contradicts his own advice and speaks of using your battlesuits at range, in spite of his earlier advice to equip them for close up confrontations. So now he's giving you a ranged unit that has reduced ranged firepower to give it very situational close up firepower. If this situation that he is planning for comes about, the flamers will probably not save you, you're already doomed.
*ahhhh number6, sexiest of the androids. Except that based on our e-mail correspondence this number6 appears to be a dude. Oh well....