Sunday, 5 May 2013

The Unforseen Value of the Neuroweb System Jammer

The Neurweb System Jammer

Introduction:

In this article I hope to show people that the NSJ, the oft-overlooked Signature system for the Battlesuits is possibly one of the most cost-effective weapons in the Tau Arsenal, versus infantry. (It can have an affect on tanks, I know. I just don't care.) To understand its value, we must look at three issues: Its Cost, the Cost of its target, and the chances that the target will die as a result of the rule. I will then look at the Pro's and Con's of this weapon. 

Prices:

The Tau Battlesuit is notoriously expensive. However, this weapon is not expensive. It costs 2 points and takes up no space on a Tau Commander (where it should be taken.) That's all great and well, but what value does it have? Will it even make back its points? 

Most likely.

If the NSJ kills a Terminator, it's made back 20 times its cost. If it kills a Tactical marine, 8 times. A guardsman or Ork? 2.5 times. IT only has to kill one model during an entire game to do any damage. 

For future, I will be using these squads as examples:
5 Man Terminator Squad, 2+ save. with 12 shots - 10 SB, 2 CML.
10 man Tac Squad - 3+ save with 16 BG, 2 PG and a ML.
30 man ork squad - 5+ save with 60 Shoota Shots
10 man Guard squad - 5+ save with 20 Lasgun shots

Chances

the Beautiful thing about Gets hot! is that it doesn't need to wound. That means a Boltgun Getting Hot is just as dangerous as a plasma gun to a terminator. Consider the table above:
Grey Represents the Terminators I described
Blue the Tactical Marines
Dark Green the Guardsmen
Light Green the Orks. 

The highlighted value is an approximation of how many of that kind will die with one round of shooting, under the effects of an NSJ. (Note that the PG in the blue example already has Gets Hot! - I've done nothing to alter the example.)

That's a third of a terminator (so, 3 rounds may kill him.) - 13.34 points, or almost 7 times the cost of the upgrade.
That's 1 whole Tactical marine about 16.89 points, or 8 times the cost of the upgrade
2 and a fifth guardsmen - 11.11 points, or about 5.5 times the cost of the upgrade
and about 6 and 3 fifths of orks - 33.34 points, or almost 17 times the weapons price! 

I hope now that gamers can see some value in the NSJ as a tool. It is powerful in the right situations. I will admit, it may do nothing - but it isn't that likely.

Cons:

The only real con of this weapon on a commander or bodyguard is distance. The model has to be within 12" of the enemy to use it - you may have just killed 6 orks, and another 5 to overwatch (4 Battlesuits with plasma guns and 8 gun drones, the standard loadout to take the NSJ.) But will can you survive a combat against 19 orks? 

That's actually a silly example; because you can. You'll do about 5 wounds, then hi and run out of combat, hopefully not losing more than a few drones. An even better question is, when they're at a distance of about 11" (you want the commander in 12", not any closer - but you don't want your Shas'o to be the first hit necessarily, so you should have drones in ablative positions.)