XV109 Y'Vahra Battlesuit
The XV109 Y'Vahra Battlesuit was an idea that popped onto a Tau's head that sometimes, not even a Hazard Battlesuit is enough to cut it when it comes to dealing with a horde of CQC fuckwits. Sometimes, you gotta go big. The Y'Vahra Battlesuit is the answer to this.
Rushed into deployment after the success of the R'varna Battlesuit, the XV109 Y'vahra is a Class 10 battlesuit designed for devastating shock assault. To facilitate this role, the Y'vahra is equipped with a triple barreled Phased Plasma Flamer capable of vaporizing hardened ceramite, and a massive EMP Discharge Cannon designed to incapacitate enemy war engines. The complex vectored thruster array incorporated into the Y'vahra's impressive armor allows it to traverse the battlefield in long distances before unloading its junk on the target and fucking right off.
The Y'vahra battlesuit originates with the same Earth caste Mad Scientist engineer as the R'varna, Fio'O Ke'lshan Sho'Aun, infamous for his resistance to the will of the Ethereal Council as much as his genius at weapons design. The Y'vahra represents a disturbing paradigm shift in the tactics of the pragmatic Ke'lshan Sept, in whom long years under near constant attack by alien forces has bred a stubborn pragmatism and siege mentality. The new XV109 is clearly a design intended to carry the fighting to the enemies of the Ke'lshan, perhaps marking a new stage of expansion on the Tau Empire's neglected eastern border.
When 7th Edition came out, the Y'Vahra was the Tau's quintessential blob-fucker supreme. With its S6 Torrent (at 6") Plasma Flamer that goes either AP3 Heavy 1 or AP2 Heavy 2 Gets Hot, and its S8 AP3 Haywire Cannon that also blinds, it can effectively total entire enemy units in one volley, and even more so with the Nova Reactor on (which gives it some more tricks, like the ability to Jink or move back into reserves while in close combat).
When 8th dropped, the Riptide and its variants got a point hike up to roughly 400 points. This left the Riptide pretty much unusable, but the Y'vahra quickly proved to be worth every point. Chaanges to flamer and AP rules gave 2d6 strength 6 ap-2 autohits dealing 3 DAMAGE APIECE. Terminators? Melt them. Centurions? Kindling. A certain Spiritual Liege? Just 3 failed saves and he's charcoal. The Ionic Discharge Cannon is nothing to sneeze at either with strength 8 and -3 AP. Even the shield is better, granting a 4+ invuln when within 12" (Which it will be, given the loadout). The Nova Reactor effects are where this baby really shines though. You can either give it the usual 3+ invuln, the ability to move it off the table and deep strike it (Not recommended for anyone but Bor'kan sept players) and buffs to the weapons. The last one is what you'll be using most of the time, the flamer is bumped up to 3d6 autohits while the Discharge cannon gains a whopping 3d3 shots, 10 strength and 3 points of damage per shot. The 8e Codex gave the Riptide a much needed price cut and a stratagem but the Y'vahra is still pretty common on competitive lists... they are just that damn strong.
Nowadays, 9th Edition nerfed all Riptide variants including this one. At the very least, the Y'Vahra got off better than most. In it came some very big changes.
First thing, a considerable points drop down to 300 points base. For this drop, the Y'vahra isn’t nearly the close-range deleting machine (though now has an all round increased shooting of 12"-24" range guns) it was in previous editions, along with changes to its shield generator (standard 5++) and Nova movement abilities. Nova Reactor can now add 12" of movement (for a total of 30"), and allow for fallback and shoot. For infantry? The Phased Plasma-Flamer is ideal for light-medium infantry killing as it’s damage has now dropped to 1, with 2d6 S6 Ap-2 (3d6 shots with Reactor). The Flamer can reactor charge to 3d6, which lasts into your opponent's phase, so a 3d6 overwatch (with the 12" range), will threaten most things that's T6 or less.
For heavy infantry/monsters/vehicles? Heavy 6 S8 Ap-1 D2 (now at 24" instead of the previous 12"), isn't the most glamorous thing but this is where Nova reactor gets the most value, boosting to S9 D3 (Ap-2 with ATS). Finally, the always forgotten (mostly useless?) Flechette Discharger also gets a profile change to 12" Assault 5 S3 AP0 D1. While not doing much against anything better than GEQ, the 12" range means you can at least remember to reflexively shoot the weapon whenever you're in range of shooting your flamer or getting charged! This is the Riptide variant with the best reactor buffs for guns, though you can instead Reactor upgrade your 5++ to 4++. Dump this and keep in supporting fire range of stealthsuits/ghostkeels or give it a coldstar (Y'vahra is M18 and coldstar is M20) as a partner and enjoy your god tier Sonic fast tag team. If you're feeling extra cunty take three and keep them in 6" range of each other, enjoy having literally nothing less than a knight charge you and survive, as your overwatch phase becomes 6d6 to 9d6 flamers on steroids.
|Forces of the Tau|
|Command:||Cadre Fireblade - Ethereal - Ethereal Guard - Tau Commander|
|Troops:||Drone Squadron - Fire Warrior Team - Pathfinder Team - Stealthsuit Team|
|Auxiliaries:||Gue'vesa - Kroot (Great Knarloc - Kroot Carnivore Squad - Kroot Hound |
Krootox - Lesser Knarloc - Shaper) - Nicassar - Vespid Stingwing
|Battlesuits:||Battlesuits (XV02 Pilot Battlesuit - XV15 Stealthsuit - XV22 Command Suit |
XV25 Stealthsuit - XV46 Vanguard Void Suit - XV-8 Crisis Battlesuit
XV88 Broadside Battlesuit - XV9 Hazard Battlesuit - XV95 Ghostkeel Battlesuit
XV104 Riptide Battlesuit - XV107 R'varna Battlesuit - XV109 Y'Vahra Battlesuit
KV128 Stormsurge Ballistic Suit - KX139 Ta'Unar Supremacy Armour)
|Vehicles:||Devilfish - Hammerhead - Hover Chair - Piranha - Sky Ray - Tetra - Swordfish|
|Flyers:||Barracuda - Razorshark - Remora - Sun Shark - Tiger Shark|
|Kor'Vattra:||Manta - Orca - Automated Fighting Drone |
Automated Barge Drone - Automated Bombing Drone