The TX-225 GAV/w or Occupier Tank is one of the many examples of the empire leveraging their wealth and technology to bring impressive warmachines to the field. The Occupier Tanks are well armored, mobile, and versatile weapons platforms making them terrifying and powerful war machines, but even more they often transport a unit of troopers with them who can support the armor or be deployed to hold down an area. The Occupier is the Empire’s second heavy unit introduces the Transport mechanic. when included in a list the Occupier is often one of the centerpieces of the army.
Base Unit Summary: (80 pt x2 unit comparison)
Damage Output - Ranged: Below Average: 3.75
Damage Consistency - Ranged: Above Average: Impact 2
Damage Output - Melee: Below Average: N/A
Damage Consistency - Melee: Average: N/A
Damage Resistance: Above Average: 50% + Armor (90% against non-impact weapons)
Wounds: Below Average: 8
Threshold: Average: 75%
Range: Above Average: 1-4
Speed: Below Average: 1
Role: Tank, Transport
The Occupier is a mobile weapons platform and troop transport. its primary job is to get troops safely into position and then to support them in place by soaking up a lot of focus that would otherwise be going towards them as well as putting out a large amount of firepower itself. It demands your opponent focus on it or give up the portion of the board that it has claimed.
Base Unit Analysis:
The Occupier is quite durable with armor and a red defense die - but its health is slightly below average and its weak points are highly exploitable, making the Occupier less durable than an AT-ST. The base damage output is also less than half of what you would expect to get from an equivalent point cost of corps units (although it is still better damage output than a base AT-ST). So what it is good at then is attrition, since the Occupier will be around a lot longer than corps units and its efficiency doesn’t degrade as it takes wounds. It’s also cheaper than the AT-ST but similar base output, so it is appealing in a slimmed down armor role. But its most intriguing as an armored transport, as it is unique in that role. The Occupier is able to load one unit of troopers and move them across the field quickly and safely and deploy them where needed. It is the first unit that can do this and opens up a lot of new strategies and play styles in doing so.
Unique Upgrade Analysis:
Pintle Mounted DLT-19: The DLT adds 1.5 damage and Impact 1 to the Occupiers weapon combinations at a range of 1-4 for 18 points, when combined with Arsenal 2 and the main gun its damage output is brought up to 4 and Impact 3 making it on par with average 80 point corps troops and quite efficient at vehicle killing. It is also not a fixed arc weapon and can be fired independently making the Occupier better suited to hold a position and not have to constantly pivot. When taking an Occupier this weapon should be the first upgrade consideration and it highly recommended.
Pintle Mounted RT-97C: The RT-97C also adds 1.5 damage to the Occupiers expected damage output also at a range of 1-4, however it loses the Impact keyword of the DLT and relies more on variance generating a possible 4 damage, but often just 1. The RT-97C is also a strong choice as an upgrade to the Occupier, as long as getting aim tokens onto the tank is part of your plan. The RT-97C is situationally recommended.
The Occupier has 1 hardpoint upgrade slot as well as a comms slot and a pilot slot. There are several ways to build the Occupier with its available upgrades, but in most cases the Occupier is taken with one weapon upgrade (most often the DLT) and a pilot. Which pilot you chose depends on how you plan to play the Occupier. First Sergeant Arbmab gives the tank tactical 1 (a free aim after each move)… While the Imperial Hammers Pilot gives the tank surge to hit. In practice they are about equal in value but depend more on play style. If you plan to keep the tank mobile and transporting troops then Arbmab is a better choice, but if the tank is more likely to sit still once it reaches its location or you have other ways of getting aims, like spotter, then the Hammers pilot is a better choice making more use out of your aims.
There are two ways to play an Occupier depending on what upgrades you give it, but in general the Occupier is going to be a fire support unit dealing large amounts of damage and demanding that your opponent deal with it or give up the section of the board it has claimed as its own.
The hardpoint gun the Occupier is equipped with is a personal preference and doesn’t change how the tank wants to operate. The pilots on the other hand can change how the tank wants to play drastically.
First Sergeant Arbmab is the ideal pilot choice for a mobile transport focused tank. Giving the tank Tactical one allows the tank to move forward, gain an aim token, take an attack, and then deliver a trooper unit - making it an incredibly efficient unit in terms of action economy. When playing this version of the Occupier you will want to keep moving and making the most use of your reposition to keep your main guns on target, while the pintle weapon can fire 360 on any targets of opportunity or add in on the main shot if desired.
Because of the size and mobility of the tank you may want to use its displacement ability offensively, which can add some stress and chaos to your opponents game plan, however be sure to keep the tank away from units with Impact Grenades, or allowing large attack pool units to get a shot onto the side of the tank. While the tank is quite quick, terrain can have a large effect on the tanks mobility, keep in mind that the tank must end its movements in a stable position and at no more than a 45 degree tilt, and it must move along its path legally at all times even when pivoting. This means that you will have to plan a path early for your Occupier and be hyper aware of the paths it can take.
With the Imperial Hammers Pilot you may or may not choose to deliver a unit, but this variation of the tank will want to find a spot to hunker down and spend the rest of the game aim/shooting to put out some huge damage attacks. Ideally this place will be pointed towards an objective as well as have its sides covered by terrain. If you are unable to find terrain to keep the tanks weak point sides safe you can also run flanks of troopers to discourage the opponents from placing troops where they can target the tanks sides.
Either way you play this tank the key skills in playing the tank revolve around position, both around terrain as well as troops, both friendly and enemy. The tank can live or die in how it is placed.
The tank has some interesting strategies and synergies that you can use to bolster your troops that aren’t explicit on its cards. Namely the size of the tank and that it can become mobile terrain that you can position to your advantage. Tracked and treaded ground vehicles provide heavy cover, and the cargo bed of the tank is the perfect height to provide a safe firing position for your troops marching in column behind the tank or if you are feeling brave, you can use the side of your tank to block your troopers and provide a secure firing positions against enemies flanking the tank.
When playing against an Occupier keep in mind that its primary purpose after delivering its cargo is to control a section of the board - so avoiding it entirely is playing into what the opponent wants. Although they do a lot of damage they are less efficient than an equivalent points worth of troop units, however unlike troops they don't slow down as you put wounds on it until it is almost dead. If you are going to deal damage to it it is best to do as much damage as fast as you can, otherwise the shots are more or less wasted (because you didn't decrease the output of the target where you could have elsewhere). It should be pointed out that the Occupier is also one of the best targets for Ion tokens at the moment - taking away one or two of its activations is the same as stopping 3 units worth of points and can be crippling for the opponent to come back from. If you can keep an Occupier Ioned for a turn or two during the game it is almost as good as killing it, especially if you can do so for less resources than killing it. When you do dedicate attacks to it, remember to get as many attacks into the side as possible to increase the damage going through armor. Those giant sides with weak point makes most units a viable option to target and attack the Occupier, even if they don’t normally have Impact.