XV88 Broadside Battlesuit
88mm guns IN SPESSS!
The XV88 Broadside Battlesuit is a modified, heavy version of the XV8 (the original model was more blatant with this, since it just looked like a regular Crisis Suit with BIG GUNS on its back) that trades lightness and maneuverability for two smart missile systems (or plasma rifles) and twin railguns. They provide Tau infantry with anti-armor, and now anti-air, fire support. 6th Edition changed these twin-linked railguns into a Rail Rifle; whilst the rail rifle boasts the fact that it looks freakin' sweet, it's a nerf from the double-barreled railguns. Broadsides can also carry loads of seeker missiles now. A single 3-suit team of Broadsides entrenched in cover is enough to deter all but the heaviest of tanks from getting in range, lest those war machines become overpriced bricks of burning cover. They are as well armored as a Space Marine Terminators, but thanks to the bulk of their weapons and portable generators needed to charge them, Broadsides are one of the few battlesuit models to lack jetpacks. In a similar way to a space marine devastators, Broadside team is usually the first assignment for the freshly promoted Shas'Ui battlesuit pilots, largely for the same reason: as observing the battlefield from the relatively safe distance is a good learning experience, most pilots would definitely find a use for once they move to piloting Crisis, Stealth or more advanced suit.
Since the models for broadsides were once quite similar to standard XV8 which were cheaper than Broadsides (a unit of three costed about 30% more than a single Broadside), a Tau player on a budget could buy a trio of Crisis Suits and then convert the railgun and missiles out of tubing and plasticard. GW figured out that players were doing this, so of course they started manufacturing a different model for Broadsides which naturally costs half of your monthly salary to buy. It looks kick-ass, but we all know Games Workshop never shakes your hand without also giving you the finger!
Forge World had heard your prayers for a while. Old style Broadsides were brought back in the shape of the XV88-2, swapping the locations of the Rail Rifles and Missile Pods around. Swapping back to the original configuration doesn't take too much kitbashing, either. Sadly, they're gone from the store now.
Loadouts and Tactical Applications
Heavy Rail Rifles and Plasma
The most damaging loadout; this loadout sacrifices pretty much all of the XV-88's firing rate for Strength and AP, with the model barely squeezing out 3 shots a turn which are plenty capable of killing any heavy infantry or Light vehicles, while still being able to threaten AV14 tanks.
Heavy Rail Rifles and Smart Missile System
The default loadout; a balance between damage and fire-rate with the HRR's still threatening anything on the field with their one shot a round, while the SMS protects against basic infantry using cover to get close.
High Yield Missile Pods and Plasma
The other balanced loadout; While having a higher fire-rate at close range than the HRR/SMS loadout, this set-up doesn't ignore cover and can't threaten AV14. It will however shred light vehicles and infantry with a 4+ armor save.
High Yield Missile Pods and Smart Missile System
The high fire rate loadout for Missile Storm fans; this loadout sacrifices damage for pure volume of fire and more than capable of decimating light infantry squads in a single round. It does however suffer from lacking the scare factor of being capable of taking down anything if lucky that the other loadouts benefit from.
Slow, Slow, Slow
As previously stated the XV-88 Broadside is one of the few battlesuits to lack Jet-Packs. This means it doesn't have Relentless, or Jump-Shoot-Jump; thusly it is far, far slower than any other Suit as it can't move and shoot accurately. Positioning is key with these guys and depending on what you want to do with them (especially Infantry hunting) they may work better as the teeth of an ambush, or objective holders. Just don't expect them to tear up the battlefield with the other suits.
Every XV-88 has the option to take a single Seeker Missile for an extra 8 points, this allows even the HYMP/SMS loadout to have a single anti-tank shot. While not the most reliable of tactics, it is still there and allows for greater flexibility.
XV-88's are the only Tau model that can take Missile Drones after the FAQ stopped Fire-warriors from taking them. Taking a pair of these Drones for 24 points total will add 4 more S:7 AP4 shots per Broadside model. At max numbers and proper loadout this means 24 S:7 AP4 missile shots, half of which are Twin-Linked making them perfect for infantry hunting.
Buying three XV-88 and their Drones costs about 25 points more than a Riptide and it's drones, but they have the same armour saves. Add to this that they can be joined by a commander with a drone controller. Equip the XV-88's with HYMP's and SMS's, and you can use them for bombardment while the commander and the drones can pop out, shoot, and then jump behind them for 2+ meatshields.
|Forces of the Tau|
|Command:||Cadre Fireblade - Ethereal - Tau Commander|
|Troops:||Drone Squadron - Fire Warrior Team - Pathfinder Team - Stealthsuit Team|
|Auxiliaries:|| Great Knarloc - Kroot Carnivore Squad - Kroot Hound |
Krootox - Lesser Knarloc - Vespid Stingwing - Gue'vesa
|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 - Piranha - Sky Ray - Tetra|
|Flyers:||Barracuda - Manta - Orca - Razorshark - Remora - Sun Shark - Tiger Shark|