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Tau Characer Guide - Errata and Battlesuit Builds


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#21 Dan_of_Hats

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 09:54 AM

Having just picked this up today and made a brief scan of it, I can honestly say that I'm a bit disappointed in the battlesuit stats. I can understand FFG wanted to provide something very cool without breaking the balance of power, but I fear they went too far trying to fit them into the existing balance to accurately reflect their capabilities.

 

The main issue is that they are treated as armour, and there's enough high-pen weaponry floating around (not to mention stuff that can outfight ignore it) that the squishy little pilot doesn't stand a chance in any sort of really heavy fire-fight. Comparing them to the battlesuit profiles from Deathwatch, the ones in this book are just utterly outclassed. Sure, Deathwatch is a much higher power level than Rogue Trader might be, but there's certainly a few things they could have taken from their previous examples of battlesuits to make the ones in their latest PDF more appealing.

 

First off, unnatural characteristics for Strength and Toughness. Admittedly, the way UCs act in RT and DW make balancing them out a little trickier than, say, Black Crusade and Only War, as the bonuses can jump pretty quickly if you stuff a pilot into them with high base stats. Given the average Tau pilot isn't likely to have prioritised these however, it would certainly give them a little boost that would help a lot, and could easily be justified as part of the internal systems of the suit.

 

Another option is to treat them more like a half-and-half between armour and vehicles, a little like they did for Dreadnaughts. The player's statline still dictates most of the relevant abilities, with a few like Strength being boosted, but the armour has its own structural integrity rather than coming directly off the pilots wounds. There's already a table provided for critical effects on the suit, so it wouldn't be a difficult thing to amend, and there's the option for increasing the suits tactical/cruising speed beyond just the pilots Agility + size modifiers if you feel their ground speed was a little on the slow side. Doing that would alleviate much of the need for having Unnatural Toughness, but would still keep the battlesuit relevant in heavier combats.

 

There's not a lot I can add to the weapon loadout stuff since it's already been pretty heavily covered.

 

To be honest, the suits aren't terribly set-up, and with a little light tweaking I could see myself putting them in a game of Rogue Trader or possible Black Crusade/Only War (where adding Unnatural Characteristics would be a lot easier to do in terms of keeping power balance). I just think it's a shame FFG felt they had to low-ball them so hard.


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#22 Cail

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 10:06 PM

 

 

Drone Controller:

A drone controller acts as a hub for communications between the operator and a number of drones.  A model with a drone controller must take one or two Gun Marker or Shield Drones, in any combination from the Wargear list.

 

 

Note, that the old codex does not limit the number of drones controlled by any given controller - it only limits how many drones can be taken as Wargear before any further drones have to come out of a different part of the 40K tabletop FO.   There is nothing that prohibits a Commander from taking 2 drones as wargear, and then joining and controlling a Drone Squadron of 8 drones.

 

That is very clearly not how the rule is intended, and deep down you know that. Now go to your room :P
 


Edited by Cail, 07 June 2014 - 10:15 PM.

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#23 Walker00001

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 08:33 AM

Missing dodge +10 in the Fire warrior advances +20 is at rank 5 but nothing for +10, come on proof readers i found that in 5 mins.


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#24 AtoMaki

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 09:02 AM

Missing dodge +10 in the Fire warrior advances +20 is at rank 5 but nothing for +10, come on proof readers i found that in 5 mins.

 

It is in the Pathfinder Elite Advancement. 


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#25 Annaamarth

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 10:49 AM

So... a skill available to the standard fire warrior requires a hop over to the Pathfinder tree?  Bull.  Horsehockey.  Balderdash and nonsense.  No other career tree is built that way, is it?


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#26 AtoMaki

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 11:05 AM

So... a skill available to the standard fire warrior requires a hop over to the Pathfinder tree?  Bull.  Horsehockey.  Balderdash and nonsense.  No other career tree is built that way, is it?

 

Silent Move also needs a hop: you can take +0 at Rank 1 then +20 at Rank 5 and Silent Move +10 is in the Pathfinder advancement. 


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#27 Tenebrae

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 11:18 AM

 

Missing dodge +10 in the Fire warrior advances +20 is at rank 5 but nothing for +10, come on proof readers i found that in 5 mins.

 

It is in the Pathfinder Elite Advancement. 

 

..which is messed up design :P ;)


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#28 Chopper Greg

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 02:56 PM

 

 

 

Drone Controller:

A drone controller acts as a hub for communications between the operator and a number of drones.  A model with a drone controller must take one or two Gun Marker or Shield Drones, in any combination from the Wargear list.

 

 

Note, that the old codex does not limit the number of drones controlled by any given controller - it only limits how many drones can be taken as Wargear before any further drones have to come out of a different part of the 40K tabletop FO.   There is nothing that prohibits a Commander from taking 2 drones as wargear, and then joining and controlling a Drone Squadron of 8 drones.

 

That is very clearly not how the rule is intended, and deep down you know that. Now go to your room :P
 

 

 

Based on what data?  

 

No place in the last two Tau Codex, has it ever said or even implied that a Drone Controller is limited to controlling just 1 or 2 drones, nor has any of the FAQ or errata ever said that the controller is limited to controlling just 1 or 2 drones.



#29 Erathia

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 03:31 PM

There's also no limit on a Tech-Priest exterminating the population of Ritammeron, turning their remains into servo-skulls each with a small melta-bomb inside, and then declaring war with his millions of flying tank-busting bombs.

 

Other than a GM's flat, dead stare telling them that there's such a thing as practicality.


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#30 Chopper Greg

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 04:54 PM

I do agree than there should be a practical limit, but the original issue was that there should only be a limit of 2 drones because that was what the Tau Codex rules say all a Drone Controller could control in the 40K tabletop game.  

 

My objection, is that based on the last 2 Tau Codexes - not only is there is no such rule listed, but documentation that a controller can control more than 2 drones, so there is no reason to implement an '2 drone limit rule' in the 40K RPG.

 

 

Now, in Drone Handler under Other Requirements ( in the Tau supplement ), it specifically states ".....must display an aptitude for technology and undergo the proper training to guide and coordinate the actions of one or more drones...", in addition, under New Talent: Swarm Protocols, it states "Whenever this Explorer takes and Action that that gives directions to one or more of his drones, he may have it affect a number of drones up to his Intelligence Bonus instead."   In the Armory section there is documentation that "A character with a drone controller is typically assigned one or more drones....."

 

So, we not only have supplement confirmation that a Drone Controller can control more than 1 or 2 drones, we also have a practical limit as to how many drones can be controlled by any single character, and any excess should should revert to their base stat levels and only have the options listed in Programed Intelligence, under the Drones listing - and perhaps the Tau with drones in excess of this practical limit should loose the For The Greater Good trait unless the excess drones were authorized by a superior for the purpose of a specific mission or as replacements for expected losses.  

 

 


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#31 Fgdsfg

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 01:08 AM

So... a skill available to the standard fire warrior requires a hop over to the Pathfinder tree?  Bull.  Horsehockey.  Balderdash and nonsense.  No other career tree is built that way, is it?

It's very odd. I wouldn't have minded if other careers at least partially worked the same way, but it would've necessitated making a lot of alternate career ranks as part of the core rulebook career build considerations.

So it's extremely odd, if you ask me, to suddenly break the pre-existing mold.

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#32 Magellan

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 01:55 AM

But the suits have always been considered armour in the tabletop...

 

And aside from the ones that fly, they were never any faster than the other infantry.


Edited by Magellan, 10 June 2014 - 01:56 AM.

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#33 Surak

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 03:10 AM

I think the biggest problem I have with the battlesuit builds (after a little time to thing it through) is they yet don't seem to fit the fluff and table top as well as the npc versions in Deathwatch. A battlesuit SHOULD be a threat to Space Marines, not just from the ridiculous firepower (which we have in these rules) but from the fact they are difficult to kill. At the moment I don't think the PC Tau match up to the level set by the NPC's.

 

Purhaps we should take some inspiration fom the Dreadknight in the DH Daemonhunter's book and toughen up the suits whilst keeping them as armour.

 

Regards

 

Surak


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#34 AtoMaki

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 03:34 AM

A battlesuit SHOULD be a threat to Space Marines, not just from the ridiculous firepower (which we have in these rules) but from the fact they are difficult to kill.

 

On the TT, an average Space Marine can kill a Crisis suit with only his boltgun and combat knife and it isn't even that super-duper hard to do (you need some 18 boltgun shots/melee strikes). Stealth suits drop even easier and Broadsides are only better armored than the Crisis suits. These suits are pretty much glorified power armors rather than pseudo-walkers like the Dreadknight. 

 

Now, on the other hand, Hazard and Riptide suits are a much different deal. They are much more durable than the other three suits (especially the Riptide) and not just because they have more armor. For anything, I think only the Hazard and the Riptide are problematic in this supplement. They both should confer Unnatural Toughness or have some sort of special rule that would allow them to soak up damage with impunity.  


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#35 Fgdsfg

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 03:45 AM

Another oddity that may not qualify as an "Error", but I feel it's worth to bring up: All Pulse-weapons have the Gyro-Stabilised Special Quality. Except the Longshot Pulse Rifle.

Why? I have no idea. I don't see a reason for it, myself. All of the Pulse weapons are lumped together in a single description and it doesn't even mention the Longshot Pulse Rifle. It's not like the Gyro-Stabilised Special Quality is stellar or something, it simply makes all ranges above Long-Range count as Long-Range.

Would Accurate and Gyro-Stabilised together be mildly powerful? Sure, but not overly so, and far away from broken, and definitely not reason enough for breaking the mold on how all Pulse Weapons are supposed to be.

Also, why doesn't the Kroot Hunting Rifle have a Melee profile? Kroots are supposed (afaik) to be the melee beasts of the Tau forces, and the description and depiction of the weapon clearly includes melee attachments.

At the very least, the Kroot Hunting Rifle should count as a spear or axe. Going by OW/BC rules, I was personally thinking 1d10+1 Rending Pen 1, Unwieldy; loses Unwieldy and gains Defensive when used with both hands. A basic Kroot Rifle (from RT Core) counts as 1d10 Rending Pen 0, Balanced in melee, so I think it's reasonable.


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#36 AtoMaki

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 03:58 AM

Also, why doesn't the Kroot Hunting Rifle have a Melee profile? Kroots are supposed (afaik) to be the melee beasts of the Tau forces, and the description and depiction of the weapon clearly includes melee attachments.

 

Kroots are no longer melee beasts in the new codex (they are slightly worse in close-combat than a DKoK guardsman) and I guess you are supposed to equip the Kroot rifle with a melee attachment to have a melee attack. 



#37 Fgdsfg

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 04:09 AM

 

Also, why doesn't the Kroot Hunting Rifle have a Melee profile? Kroots are supposed (afaik) to be the melee beasts of the Tau forces, and the description and depiction of the weapon clearly includes melee attachments.

 

Kroots are no longer melee beasts in the new codex (they are slightly worse in close-combat than a DKoK guardsman) and I guess you are supposed to equip the Kroot rifle with a melee attachment to have a melee attack.

So I guess those hooks, edges and spikes are all just for show? :rolleyes: Like I said, even the basic Kroot Rifle in RT Core has a melee profile, and the Kroot Hunting Rifle not having one is just as odd as the Longshot Pulse Rifle not having Gyro-Stabilised.


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#38 Dan_of_Hats

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 04:54 AM

(This was supposed to be a quoted reply to Magellan's post, but I messed up the quote function somehow)

 

What works on the tabletop does not always translate effectively to the RPG; a regular Space Marine on the tabletop has 1 wound and a Toughness of 4, while a Crisis Battlesuit has 2 Wounds and a Toughness of 5. With the rules as presented here, even factoring in a Tau player character who has maxed out their Toughness advances, gotten a solid roll for both the initial characteristic and the number of starting wound, and taken every Sound Constitution advancement along the way, they wouldn't even come close to the durability of the average starting-level Marine character in terms of durability. I feel the armour values presented are correct for the relevant suits, but giving the suits their own Structural Integrity would permit them to be more survivable in combat, and certainly in the case of something like the Riptide and the Broadside could be upped a bit beyond something comparable to a Marine's wounds to reflect their far more durable design.  

 

The Battlesuits (with the notable exception of Stealth Armour), by lore and by practical application, are not suits of armour; the Tau pilot these things, they are not dependent on their own range of motions in order to operate them like the Imperium's power armour. The Tau being a diminutive species, they lack the means to effectively move in something that is even larger than a Space Marine in full battle armour. Having a movement value based upon the pilots Agility therefore seems a little off to me, which is why I also made the suggestion to give them a Tactical and Cruising speed value much like vehicles do (which also reflects the ability for the suit to maintain its own speed without tiring, certainly in the case of its Cruising speed).

 

These are, of course, unplaytested suggestions, so if you feel the stats as given work for you, then they work for you


Edited by Dan_of_Hats, 10 June 2014 - 05:00 AM.

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#39 Dan_of_Hats

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 05:14 AM

A battlesuit SHOULD be a threat to Space Marines, not just from the ridiculous firepower (which we have in these rules) but from the fact they are difficult to kill.

 
On the TT, an average Space Marine can kill a Crisis suit with only his boltgun and combat knife and it isn't even that super-duper hard to do (you need some 18 boltgun shots/melee strikes). Stealth suits drop even easier and Broadsides are only better armored than the Crisis suits. These suits are pretty much glorified power armors rather than pseudo-walkers like the Dreadknight. 
 
Now, on the other hand, Hazard and Riptide suits are a much different deal. They are much more durable than the other three suits (especially the Riptide) and not just because they have more armor. For anything, I think only the Hazard and the Riptide are problematic in this supplement. They both should confer Unnatural Toughness or have some sort of special rule that would allow them to soak up damage with impunity.


As I mention in the post above, what works on the tabletop does not always translate to the RPG; the way Space Marines are portrayed in the lore and various novels, they are almost universally presented as one-man armies capable of laying waste to whole mobs of foes individually, and taking on hellish punishment while remaining combat effective. Given the profile of a typical space marine is Toughness 4, 1 Wound and a +3 armour value, a Tau Crisis battlesuit with Toughness 5, 2 Wounds and the same armour value should be even tougher if you make a direct translation to the RPG.

Personally, I think giving something like a standard Crisis battlesuit Structural Integrity equivalent of the wounds of a typical Marine NPC, somewhere between 20-25, suffices to make them suitably more daunting, upping it for heavier models like the Broadside and Riptide, and lowering it for smaller examples like the Stealth suit. There are prons and cons to giving it Unnatural Characteristics in addition to that, but in more high-powered games I can see it giving them the extra degree of durability to survive those high-Pen weapon blasts the party will likely be tossing out by that stage.
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#40 Magellan

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 05:18 AM

Actually, I will never use this supplement in my life, I'm just commenting because I honestly don't have anything better to do.

 

And Dan, doesn't the latest novel state that a single Tau combat suit can take out an entire tank company by itself without breaking a sweat, while simultaneously making a lobotomized Archmagos weep actual tears and literally wet himself with fear and shame?


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