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Tau Characer Guide - Errata and Battlesuit Builds


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#41 Dan_of_Hats

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 05:30 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?


That's exactly why I'm making the point that the lore and the tabletop do not always match what goes into the RPG; the nature of game-balance for the wargame is completely different for the RPG, and the lore fluctuates depending on whose writing it and what GW is trying to push as the next big thing. Both can inform how something is reflected in the RPG, but drawing a direct comparison isn't possible while retaining internal balance within the mechanics the designers have created. I'm not suggesting they go out to make battlesuits better than, say, Space Marines, I'm just saying I don't believe that the current rules do justice to what even a balanced interpretation of their capabilities would indicate.
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#42 ak-73

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 05:43 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.

 

It should be noted that Deathwatch starting PCs are more like W2 40k models. DH Acolytes start with about 10 Wound Points, DW start with about double. Also double what most normal humans have. And one should add that DW PCs mostly stay at that level because SC is horribly overpriced in DW.

 

Also, the XV8 are T4, so Astartes-level (*at best).

 

Alex

 

*At best, because some people think the TT crunch weakens the Astartes as opposed to the fluff for game balance reasons.


Edited by ak-73, 10 June 2014 - 05:51 AM.

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#43 AtoMaki

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 06:00 AM

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.

 

The Crisis is just T4 (the Broadside too). The Hazard is T5. And I think the 2 Wounds are well represented by the Battlesuit Critical Damage table that negates a full-on-max-damage lascannon shot with 30% chance  :P

 

The battlesuits' main thing was never durability but the ability to zip around the enemy with the jet packs while pew-pewing them with dual plasma rifles. The battlesuits in the supplement are perfect to do this, so I cannot see any major problem with them. 


Edited by AtoMaki, 10 June 2014 - 06:06 AM.


#44 Dan_of_Hats

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 06:09 AM

It should be noted that Deathwatch starting PCs are more like W2 40k models. DH Acolytes start with about 10 Wound Points, DW start with about double. Also double what most normal humans have. And one should add that DW PCs mostly stay at that level because SC is horribly overpriced in DW.
 
Alex


Which is fine, as the number starting wounds coupled with a high Toughness Bonus, excellent armour and a range of abilities to shrug off the worst of most damage that gets thrown at them still makes them a formidable force. My point was that the Tau Battlesuits, despite lore and tabletop sources suggesting that they are, if not exactly comparable, at least in the same ballpark as the Astartes in terms of durability, do not stand up to muster in the rules FFG have presented in this supplement. As I've mentioned before there's a whole host of issues to balance for an RPG, but if the objective was to present a battlesuit capable of handling battlefield conditions while preserving the life of the pilot to a reasonable degree, as one would imagine is their primary purpose, then they have really low-balled it.

As high as their Armour Value may be, any suitably high-Pen weapon is going to be capable of giving them serious trouble; assuming a pilot with a Toughness bonus of 3 (not unlikely considering the Tau Explorer career), a Lucius-Pattern Hellgun, without any modifying factors or talents, needs above a 3 on the damage die to start dealing wounds to a Crisis Battlesuit, and it doesn't take a whole lot of those to put down the average Tau. The same shot on, say, a Toughness 40 marine (giving him a TB of 8) in standard Astartes power armour (lets call it the chest for argument's sake, so Armour 10) would need 8 or more on the dice to deal wounds, which the Marine can afford to take a lot more of than the Tau battlesuit pilot. And that represents the type of weapon a Rogue Trader character will likely have at the START of a game, before we get into the joys of modded plasma pistols and swanky power swords.

#45 Dan_of_Hats

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 06:13 AM

The Crisis is just T4 (the Broadside too). The Hazard is T5. And I think the 2 Wounds are well represented by the Battlesuit Critical Damage table that negates a full-on-max-damage lascannon shot with 30% chance  :P
 
The battlesuits' main thing was never durability but the ability to zip around the enemy with the jet packs while pew-pewing them with dual plasma rifles. The battlesuits in the supplement are perfect to do this, so I cannot see any major problem with them.


My mistake, I was looking at the profile for the Crisis bodyguard team. And as I say, these are my own thought and reflections upon the rules, everyone has their own take on them and some people will be perfectly satisfied with what FFG has provided in terms of rules. Personally, I still think they've missed the mark a little, but I've given my rationale over several posts for that already.

#46 Dan_of_Hats

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 06:23 AM

I had another random though while I was typing the last few messages; do people feel making called shots on a Tau Battlesuit would be possible, considering the pilot is contained entirely within the chest component and their limbs and head don't conform to the relevant positions on the suit itself? Certainly you could shoot at the "head" of the suit, or its limbs, and cause specific damage to the structure, but would they still cause wounds given they're simply treated as armour as the rules suggest? I'm curious as to what people think here.

#47 AlphariusOmegon7

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 07:00 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.  

 

18 bolter shots?  That seems to imply it takes a while!  

 

Let's assume that these are simply shots, rather than hits, and that our BS 50 DW marine is therefore only hitting with half of them.  That's 9 bolter shots, each doing an average of, in DW, about 16 pen 4 damage.  That's a lot of damage to kill one suit!  

 

Now let's apply these 9 bolter shots to our friendly Crisis Battlesuit from this supplement.  Let's assume our brave pilot rolled maximum toughness and got every toughness and sound constitution advance up to Rank 4/5 to make him as durable as possible.  Let's also assume he's got a shield generator, cancelling a further 40% of the incoming shots.  So he's got T 55 and 15 Wounds.  

 

5.4 of the bolt shots make it through the shielding - let's round that down to an even 5.  Each one must now contend with the vicious 10AP of the Crisis battlesuit.  Which it punches through with ease.  Each shot now deals 5 damage.  5 shots have gotten through.  25 damage to 15 wound character, down to -10.  Given that this is explosive damage, he probably could've easily died one shot earlier.  

 

And this is the toughest Crisis Battlesuit Pilot I could make.  A more reasonably built one would require even fewer shots to be killed.  And as soon as actual anti-armour was brought into play, he'd be completely ******.  

 

This problem only scales when you look at Riptides and the like.  These things are meant to be able to stand up to Carnifices.  Can they?  **** no.  

 

Also the Heavy Railgun barely scratches a Leman Russ's paintjob.  Lelwut?  What happened to the good ol' MoX stat of 3d10+30I Pen 15?  



#48 Magellan

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 07:09 AM

The battlesuits have always been considered infantry, so it's hardly strange that they die to anti-armour weapons - you know, just like everyone else.

 

Meanwhile, the Tau pilot smoked the space marine several rounds ago with his cyclic ion blaster. Or possibly even earlier, using his drone controller ability to effectively attack eight times a round. Surely, that's not unbalanced.


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#49 AtoMaki

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 07:30 AM

5.4 of the bolt shots make it through the shielding - let's round that down to an even 5.  Each one must now contend with the vicious 10AP of the Crisis battlesuit.  Which it punches through with ease.  Each shot now deals 5 damage.  5 shots have gotten through.  25 damage to 15 wound character, down to -10.  Given that this is explosive damage, he probably could've easily died one shot earlier.  

 

You forget that the pilot will only take 20% of the critical damage because of the Battlesuit Critical Damage rule.



#50 AlphariusOmegon7

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 07:33 AM

The battlesuits have always been considered infantry, so it's hardly strange that they die to anti-armour weapons - you know, just like everyone else.

 

Meanwhile, the Tau pilot smoked the space marine several rounds ago with his cyclic ion blaster. Or possibly even earlier, using his drone controller ability to effectively attack eight times a round. Surely, that's not unbalanced.

Allow me to put it another way then.  In five shots from a bolter, the average SM will do just enough damage to a fellow SM to get them down to 0 Wounds.  In the mean time, against a battlesuit which in TT and fluff is more durable and harder to kill, they'll do significant to catastrophic damage with the same number of shots.  

 

Why the **** is this a thing?  



#51 AlphariusOmegon7

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 07:34 AM

 

5.4 of the bolt shots make it through the shielding - let's round that down to an even 5.  Each one must now contend with the vicious 10AP of the Crisis battlesuit.  Which it punches through with ease.  Each shot now deals 5 damage.  5 shots have gotten through.  25 damage to 15 wound character, down to -10.  Given that this is explosive damage, he probably could've easily died one shot earlier.  

 

You forget that the pilot will only take 20% of the critical damage because of the Battlesuit Critical Damage rule.

 

Might have misread the rule - the way I read it you still GOT the damage, it's just that the effect was rolled from the table rather than the standard chart.  If this IS the case the battlesuit is considerably more durable assuming you don't roll terribly (and even then those +10s from 01-30 will add up eventually).  



#52 Magellan

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 07:54 AM

Allow me to put it another way then.  In five shots from a bolter, the average SM will do just enough damage to a fellow SM to get them down to 0 Wounds.  In the mean time, against a battlesuit which in TT and fluff is more durable and harder to kill, they'll do significant to catastrophic damage with the same number of shots.  

 

Why the **** is this a thing?  

Well, in the tabletop, plasma weapons are so much better than bolters that it isn't even funny. In Rogue Trader they're only marginally better and hardly ever worth the risk. Why is this a thing?

 

Also because Rogue Trader and Deathwatch are extremely poorly balanced in general. If you nab the SM rules from Black Crusade, I'm sure you'll get much closer to what you want.

 

Regardless, I'd worry far more about what happens when all this overpowered crap ends up in the hands of the players. Then again, if you already play with the Faith & Coin and Lathe Worlds stuff and whatever else has been released lately, then I suppose this stuff is basically nothing.


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#53 Erathia

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 08:07 AM

Fired on Maximal there's no question to me that Plasma weapons are better than Bolters. They actually have improved range and bonus damage - the pistols will do 2d10 + 9 Pen 8 at 40m versus 1d10 + 5 Pen 4 at 30m. The extra die you lose from Tearing is annoying, but you're rolling one extra die and get to keep it, so you'll do more damage on a single shot.

 

Plasma guns do lose out on mostly not being able to full auto, but if your Space Marine is being hit 5 times by a Bolter then they're probably doing something wrong.


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#54 AlphariusOmegon7

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 08:08 AM

 

Allow me to put it another way then.  In five shots from a bolter, the average SM will do just enough damage to a fellow SM to get them down to 0 Wounds.  In the mean time, against a battlesuit which in TT and fluff is more durable and harder to kill, they'll do significant to catastrophic damage with the same number of shots.  

 

Why the **** is this a thing?  

Well, in the tabletop, plasma weapons are so much better than bolters that it isn't even funny. In Rogue Trader they're only marginally better and hardly ever worth the risk. Why is this a thing?

 

Also because Rogue Trader and Deathwatch are extremely poorly balanced in general. If you nab the SM rules from Black Crusade, I'm sure you'll get much closer to what you want.

 

Regardless, I'd worry far more about what happens when all this overpowered crap ends up in the hands of the players. Then again, if you already play with the Faith & Coin and Lathe Worlds stuff and whatever else has been released lately, then I suppose this stuff is basically nothing.

 

I don't mind overpowered stuff in RT PC's hands.  RT PCs SHOULD, in a sense, be overpowered in terms of equipment.  The key is then giving them challenges that they can't simply solve by one application of said equipment after another.  But that's beside the point.  

 

All of the rules I have given apply equally to BC marines, and to NPC OW CSM antagonists.  You can't deny the stats (though BC marines would, possibly, have slightly lower health, though the BC/OW True Grit would more than make up for that).  Plasma weapons...yeah, fair point, but it's an oft discussed point of contention that most people agree is a Bad Thing.  So by drawing the parallel, aren't you agreeing with me and saying that the Battlesuit rules are as accurate a depiction of battlesuits as the plasma weapons are of plasma weapons?  And as for balance, while I agree on Deathwatch I actually find RT one of the MORE balanced 40krpgs, not veering wildly from TPK to roflstomp as BC does, or being insanely hard to balance without becoming dull like OW (at least, that's been my experience as both player and GM).  

 

All I'm trying to say is that I find these rules a little mystifying - I'm not sure who they're for, or how they're meant to help balance things for the GM or players.  To be honest, there are far more important issues I could raise, like the fact that this appears to have given the Tau time travel, or the fact that the RT team is continuing its trend of throwing more dice at weapons to make them more powerful despite this clearly not being the case, or the fact that Overcharge seems to be complete and utter bull (+X damage for a slight chance to hurt myself that with FP rerolls and decent quality becomes nil AND no extra ammo cost?  Yes please!).  


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#55 ak-73

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 08:35 AM

Here's the thing: I think FFG's interpretation of Astartes makes them more durable than in the TT. If so, the stats for armour and Toughness are not way off.

 

It's my interpretation that in the world of Warhammer, one of the trademarks of being a champion or even hero is having unusually high Wounds or here (in RPGs) Wound Points. If so, then this is where things would need to be rectified: Battlesuit pilots are champions among the Fire Warriors. So if you want to house rule that problem away in the spirit of Warhammer, add Sound Constitution to every Firewarrior rank that doesn't have it and require x Wounds to take the Battlesuit Pilot Career. At least 3 SCs should be required.

 

If this makes the PC too powerful, well, there need to be some nerfs as counterbalance.

 

 

 

Fired on Maximal there's no question to me that Plasma weapons are better than Bolters. They actually have improved range and bonus damage - the pistols will do 2d10 + 9 Pen 8 at 40m versus 1d10 + 5 Pen 4 at 30m. they're probably doing something wrong.

 

In DW 1.1, Plasma Pistols and Plasmaguns are underpowered by 1d10 damage. Plasmacannons are fine.

 

Alex


Edited by ak-73, 10 June 2014 - 08:37 AM.

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#56 AtoMaki

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 08:43 AM

 

 

5.4 of the bolt shots make it through the shielding - let's round that down to an even 5.  Each one must now contend with the vicious 10AP of the Crisis battlesuit.  Which it punches through with ease.  Each shot now deals 5 damage.  5 shots have gotten through.  25 damage to 15 wound character, down to -10.  Given that this is explosive damage, he probably could've easily died one shot earlier.  

 

You forget that the pilot will only take 20% of the critical damage because of the Battlesuit Critical Damage rule.

 

Might have misread the rule - the way I read it you still GOT the damage, it's just that the effect was rolled from the table rather than the standard chart.  If this IS the case the battlesuit is considerably more durable assuming you don't roll terribly (and even then those +10s from 01-30 will add up eventually).  

 

No, you don't suffer the critical damage, just roll a result from the table. And you can roll anything between 01 and 80 as losing a few weapons and support systems isn't that a big deal.



#57 Magellan

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 10:21 AM

Only once a round, though. If someone else shoots you in the same round and you've already rolled on the battlesuit table, it's game over.

 

Erathia: and then you halve the damage per round based on the fact that the plasma weapon can only fire once every other round. While I myself am a fan of carrying a dozen-or-so plasma rifles with fire selectors just to make sure I can Quick Draw something new when the old one runs out, the logistics are somewhat inconvenient.

 

Additionally, unless Organgrinder rounds are banned, I'm still putting my money on the bolters.

 

Alpharius: I'm saying that there are so many things that are messed up about the rules, the fact that the Tau suits aren't overpowered *enough* is the least problem in that pdf. I can't be assed to reply to everything else you said on a case by case basis, but I also want to add that I disagree with you so hard, terminator armour is soft and pasty when compared to my disagreement.


Edited by Magellan, 10 June 2014 - 10:59 AM.

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#58 AtoMaki

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 10:44 AM

Only once a round, though. If someone else shoots you in the same round and you've already rolled on the battlesuit table, it's game over.

 

Once each turn and not round. 



#59 Magellan

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 10:55 AM

Oh, right you are.


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#60 AlphariusOmegon7

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 11:02 AM

Only once a round, though. If someone else shoots you in the same round and you've already rolled on the battlesuit table, it's game over.

 

Erathia: and then you halve the damage per round based on the fact that the plasma weapon can only fire once every other round. While I myself am a fan of carrying a dozen-or-so plasma rifles with fire selectors just to make sure I can Quick Draw something new when the old one runs out, the logistics are somewhat inconvenient.

 

Additionally, unless Organgrinder rounds are banned, I'm still putting my money on the bolters.

 

Alpharius: I'm saying that there are so many things that are messed up about the rules, the fact that the Tau suits aren't overpowered *enough* is the least problem in that pdf. I can't be assed to reply to everything else you said on a case by case basis, but I also want to add that I disagree with you so hard, terminator armour is soft and pasty when compared to my disagreement.

To be fair, one of my other issues with 40krpgs is how soft and pasty Terminator Armour really is...but that's an argument for another day.  






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