Thursday 19 September 2013

The Beauty of Broadsides Part I

How badass is that picture!?

Okay guys - wow. Just wow. Broadsides are amazing. Lets look at some history.

Broadsides copped a LOT of flak when Tau were first rereleased, as they had no more str 10 guns. Enough said, that was definitely a shame. The Railgun basically died in the arse and was replaced by the "Heavy Rail Rifle" (wtf is that thing!?). That's a shame isn't it. So the release of the new Tau codex came, and people went crazy over the Riptide, and just really hated on the Broadside. You see a lot of Riptides these days - people ask me "You have a Tau Detachment? Why aren't you using a Riptide!?".

Well I'll damn tell you why. Lets crunch some numbers. The unit analysis below is only talking about Broadsides using both missile variants - taking High Yield Missile Pods and Smart Missile Systems.

The above load out (Missile + Missile) gives you 8 twin-linked shots per Broadside - fair dinkum. 4 of these are ignoring cover at strength 5, AP 5. The other 4 are strength 7, AP4. On average, you will be hitting with 3 missiles per system (BS3, twin linked). Thats six HITS per Broadside, without any Marker Light support... :)

Lets keep going, using Toughness 4, 3+ Space Marines (Marine Equivalents - MEQ's) for our wounding example.

On the roll to wound, you will wound (these are all statistical averages people) 2 Marines with your 3 strength 5, AP 5 hits. You will wound 2.5 Marines with your 3 strength 7, AP 4 hits. That's 4.5 wounds against MEQ's every shootings phase, averaging 1.5 MEQ dead per Broadside.

In a squad of 3 Broadsides, that's 4.5 Marines dead every shooting phase. Awesome, no?

But of course, the Beauty of Broadsides doesn't come from their ability to wipe out half a squad of marines per turn. Their beauty comes in the form of being supported by a Tau Commander with a Puretide Engram Neurochip. This thing does absolute wonders for the unit, and makes Broadsides one of the most effective Tank- and Monster-Hunter units in the game.

Lets crunch some numbers.

If we shoot at say, a vehicle with armour (AV) 12 (of course only with our Str 7 Missiles) with a squad of 3 Broadsides, we're hitting 9 times on average and doing an average of 4.96 damage results (before cover, unfortunately).

If we shoot at say, a vehicle with AV13 with a squad of 3 Broadsides, we're still putting out an impressive 2.75 damage results.

If we shoot at a Toughness 6 model that is a Monstrous Creature, we hit (you guessed it!) 9 times with our Str 7 missiles, and 9 times with our Str 5 missiles. That's 8 wounds with our Str 7 missiles on the Monstrous Creature, and 4.96 wounds from our Str 5 missiles. That's 12.96 wounds total from just those three broadsides. Pair that with say, our Tau Commander that's helping out with the trusty PENchip firing a Missile Pod and a Quad Gun, you're outputting 17.92 wounds on that Toughness 6 Monstrous Creature - roughly 3 wounds after armour saves (and I'm SURE you've got enough firepower to knock off that last wound with just a group of fire warriors or two).

That's an absolutely INSANE amount of output for a unit.

There are just so many things you can do with Broadsides, and that's why this is only the first post in a series of 2 or 3 that I plan to write about these things. Our next post will look at some different unit setups you can utilise, and our 3rd post will look at a few army list examples with some Broadside Spam.

Our friend Optimus-Prime-Time has also agreed to do a post on one of his favourite units, Tau Sniper Drones - you should all look forward to that!

Part II coming on Sunday!

Alles gute,


  1. Great write up, i'm glad i'm not the only one who still likes their broadsides.

    1. Thanks mate! Glad you enjoyed it :) I hope you look forward to tomorrow's post!!!

  2. I have 9 Broadsides, each with a shield drone in my 2000 point army. :)


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