Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Negating Nova Reactor Damage

Every Tau Commander loves the Nova Reactor on the Riptide and the R'Varna suits.

And what's not to love about allowing your Elite battlesuit to perform some truly amazing abilities?

The unfortunate downside of the Nova Reactor is of course that it will almost always end up blowing it's own brains out!

To recap the rules for the Nova Reactor:

You must declare if the pilot is going to attempt to use the reactor at the start of each of his Movement phases.

If he chooses to do so, roll a D6. On the roll of a 1 or a 2, something has gone wrong - the Riptide Shas'vre (or R'varna) suffers a single Wound with no saves of any kind allowed and the attempt fails. On any other roll, the attempt is successful, and you can choose one of the abilities listed for the Riptide Shas'vre (or R'varna) to have (until the start of its next Movement phase).

The most obvious manner of negating the possibility of causing a wound to itself is by using the Farsight Enclave Signature System: Earth Caste Pilot Array.

Models with battlesuits only. The model rerolls all rolls of 1 To Hit in the Shooting phase, and may re-roll the dice when using a Nova Reactor. However, their Weapon Skill is 1.

That's pretty simple.  You get to re-roll a failed attempt to utilize the Reactor.  It might still blow up, but at least you're reducing those odds considerably.  The great thing about this particular Signature System is that you can run two of them!  As long as you include Commander Farsight as your Warlord in a Farsight Enclaves army, you can choose an Independent Character called Honour Shas'vre O'vesa.  This 305 point badass pilots a Riptide which includes an Ion Cannon, Twin-linked Fusion Gun, 2 Shielded Missile Drones, an Early Warning Override, a Stimulant Injector and the Earth Caste Pilot Array.  And the best thing?  Look at this excerpt from the Codex Supplement:

They must be equipped exactly as described; the Signature Systems rule above does not apply to them.

The Signature Systems rule doesn't apply to O'vesa, so you can take the Earth Caste Pilot Array on a second Riptide!!  I personally recommend running a Heavy Burst Cannon on this other battlesuit, which will allow you to re-roll those pesky Get's Hot rolls when you Nova-charge your weapon for 12 tasty Rending shots!

But what if you're not running a Farsight list?

Well.... O'vesa has already given us a clue to a potential solution.... The Stimulant Injector.  This piece of kits gives a model the Feel No Pain special rule, which we find the details of here (Basic Rule Book p35):

When a model with this special rule suffers an unsaved Wound, it can make a special Feel No Pain rol1 to avoid being wounded (this is not a saving throw). Roll a D6 each time an unsaved Wound is suffered. On a 4 or less, you must take the Wound as normal. On a 5+, the unsaved Wound is discounted - treat it as having been saved.

Where people might argue is because the rules of the Nova Reactor state that a failed roll inflicts a Wound with no saves of any kind.  However, as you can see here, the Injector allows for a FNP roll because the rule states clearly that this is not a saving throw.

As luck would have it, the rules for the R'varna allow you to equip the Stimulant Injector too (one of only two items that it can take).

So there you go, although expensive at 35 points, the Stimulant Injector is very useful at giving you a way to negate wounds from the Nova Reactor (as well as from more conventional damage).  And if you're running a Farsight list, don't leave home without packing at least one Earth Caste Pilot Array.

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