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Inspired by Mark of the Xenos: Tau Battlesuit brainstorming


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#1 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 09:51 AM

Mark of the Xenos contains a little information on the naming and numbering of Tau Battlesuits, expanding on a notion mentioned in Andy Hoare's novel Savage Scars and a concept mentioned in the Tau Empire codex (if memory serves).

Essentially, the term XV derives from a corruption of the Tau word "Hereks'vre" (or "Her'ex'vre"; Savage Scars uses the former spelling, MotX uses the latter) which means "mantle of the hero", adopted by Imperial xenologists during the Damocles Crusade. The numbers following the XV designation refer first to the suit's "mass class", with 1 referring to ultralight suits (barely larger than a normal infantryman), 2 referring to light suits (about Astartes-size), and 8 referring to the heavy suits (about the size of a Tyranid warrior, a little smaller than a Sentinel walker), and then to a specified role - no second digit means utility/variable-role, and there's a full list in MotX, on page 12, summarised here:

  1. Theoretical/developmental models
  2. prototypes in field trials
  3. suits not in mass production with prototypes permanently assigned to a pilot
  4. command and control
  5. stealth
  6. aerospace
  7. infiltration units
  8. fire support

Now, obviously, given that we only actually know of a handful of types of Battlesuit (and acknowledging that the numbering doesn't quite fit with the models produced by Forge World - by the MotX numbering, the XV81 would be an experimental/theoretical heavy battlesuit, while the XV89 is easier to deal with as 9 isn't defined in MotX, so we can assume it refers to a heavily-armoured suit, and the newer XV9 suits clearly represent the superheavy mass class, being bigger than the mass-class 8 Crisis Suits), this numbering system leaves a lot of room for other models of Battlesuit unseen in the wargame... given the Tau propensity towards technological development, this provides us with the opportunity to consider what those other suits might be like, potentially even to use them in game.

I've got a few ideas buzzing around (XV18 ultralight fire support battlesuits - tiny suits, but really agile with missile launchers for rapid-response fire support), but I thought I'd get the basic premise posted before I cook up anything more specific, see if anyone else can come up with something.


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#2 Black_Kestrel

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 01:34 PM

Well since I am an inveterate Tau fan, I'd be glad to contribute. Dusts off his copy of Imperial Armor Vol. III and Tau Codexes. Perhaps the first thing we should do is list the model types/roles that currently exist (ignoring the 161 year time gap between DW and The Taros Campaign).

Size

1 (just larger than man/Tau-sized)
2 (Astartes-sized power armor)
8 (2.8 meters according to Imp. Armor Vol. III, probably 3.8 meters based on model size)
9 (5 meters?)

Roles

Close Support/Assault
XV9 Hazard
XV9-01 (anti-armor, double twin-linked fusion guns)
XV9-04 (anti-infantry?, double twin phased ion guns)

Fire Support
XV8 Crisis Battlesuit (generic fire support 1x Plasma Rifle, 1x Missile Pod)
XV81 Crisis Battlesuit (technically an experimental fire support unit with shoulder mounted smart missile system and two weapon systems)
VX84 Crisis Battlesuit (C2 fire support with Markerlight, Target lock and three weapon systems)
XV88 Broadside Battlesuit (heavy fire support, twin-linked railguns and twin-linked smart missile system)
XV89 Crisis Battlesuit (extra-armored fire support with 3x weapon systems)

Prototypes
XV22 Shadowsun (probably an XV24 once it completes field testing)

Stealth Series
XV15 Stealth Suit
XV25 Stealth Suit

Looking at what has been published there is a quite a bit of room for design and. As to the types of battlesuits most likely to be employed in the Jericho reach, lets look at the two foes the Tau will face most often: the Imperium and the Tyranids. The tactics employed against each foe will vary greatly. Standard Tau doctrine of Mont'ka and Kauyon are effective against the Imperium. While Mon'tka can and be effective against Tyranids, their qauntity often overwhelms traditional Tau quantity.

Now not even designing for a specific foe there are some serious gaps in the existing Tau inventory. First off is the the XV24 Electronic Warfare and the XV26 Void Assault suits.



#3 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 11:37 PM

Black_Kestrel said:

Close Support/Assault

XV9 Hazard
XV9-01 (anti-armor, double twin-linked fusion guns)
XV9-04 (anti-infantry?, double twin phased ion guns)

The numbering of the XV9s doesn't seem to fit with any other numbering we've seen - the second number appears to refer to weapons configuration, but they're all still XV9 suits. It seems entirely possible, however, to introduce an VX98 super-heavy fire support suit mounting seriously big weaponry

Black_Kestrel said:

Now not even designing for a specific foe there are some serious gaps in the existing Tau inventory. First off is the the XV24 Electronic Warfare and the XV26 Void Assault suits.

Beyond even that, there are 5 mass classes unaccounted for (covering all things between the larger stealth suits and the crisis suit in size), and we've not even seen the "standard/utility" models of the smallest suits (XV1 and XV2)


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I no longer write for, or am employed by, Fantasy Flight Games in any fashion. All of my comments are my own, and do not reflect the opinions of any employer, past, present, or future.

#4 Black_Kestrel

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 03:46 AM

Deleted for formatting errors

 



#5 Black_Kestrel

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 04:06 AM

N0-1_H3r3 said:

 

The numbering of the XV9s doesn't seem to fit with any other numbering we've seen - the second number appears to refer to weapons configuration, but they're all still XV9 suits. It seems entirely possible, however, to introduce an VX98 super-heavy fire support suit mounting seriously big weaponry

I totally agree with you on a XV98 super-heavy fire support suit. I'd hate to see what kind of weapons the Tau would mount on it. I'd imagine it might carry a larger version of the pulse sub-munitions rifle that Commander R'Alai's carries and along with say a markerlight and racks of seeker missiles (though those might be still be too large to mount on a battlesuit).

N0-1_H3r3 said:

 

Beyond even that, there are 5 mass classes unaccounted for (covering all things between the larger stealth suits and the crisis suit in size), and we've not even seen the "standard/utility" models of the smallest suits (XV1 and XV2)

I know, I was just throwing examples off the top of my head after reading your post. I picked the XV2 series for the two I mentioned earlier based on their role and the existing suit inventory. Undoubtedly there is the XV1 (XV10?) utility suit and XV17 combat engineer suit derived from it in mass class one along with the better known XV15. The XV4 utility suit is a common sight in Tau rear areas where it provides logistical and maintenance support on Tau bases.

Interesting fact, the Tau stealthsuit in the core rule book is listed as the XV15, despite the picture being an XV25. I'd say it that is probably an error based on some stat block inconsistencies and the high amount armor it has.



#6 Surak

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 11:03 AM

bit of thread reanimation here

 

Has anyone stated up the 'missing' battlesuits that appear on the table top but have yet to be stated up in DH/RT/DW etc. Also has anyone done the rules for the missing battlesuit weapons and support systems?

 

Regards

 

Surak


Knowledge is power, and power corrupts.Therefore library's are the source of all evil.

My DH beta 2 aptitude calc is here https://drive.google...dit?usp=sharing

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#7 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 02:13 PM

BTW assuming we want to make the RPG Tau correspond with the ever-evolving ways of the TT Tau, Broadsides now have to be changed with the new Codex.

 

As do Kroot and some other stuff.

 

ooh ooh Riptides!


Edited by bogi_khaosa, 21 January 2014 - 02:16 PM.


#8 Calgor Grim

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 06:10 PM

As a former Tau player (converted to the ecclesiarchy), this interests me.

The new Broadsides are ugly atrocious pieces of tack from the empire. Bring back the glory of those two twin linked shoulder mounted death dealers. Seemed far more appealing, makes no sense why the advanced Tau would remove some of their most powerful very long ranged shoulder weapons and exchange it for a slightly less powerful shorter range gun. It's almost like they are inviting their enemies to come closer.

 

The Riptide, while nice seems a little bit cheesy. I would imagine though that the Riptide is roughly similar in strength and toughness or at least size wise to a Tyranid Carnifex which could be used somewhat as the basis.

 

With the necro in mind, if people want this I might be bored enough to write something. Anyone got any rough preferences for me to get my teeth into?


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#9 Surak

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 03:17 AM

Calgor

 

needless to say I wouldn't mind some extra Tau stuff to through at my slightly over-confident (and mildly heretical) DH group. So consider me happy to play-test whatever you put together. As far as I can see it the biggest ommission from DW so far is no standard XV8 crisis suits, just tricked out commanders, Braodsides, and stealths.

 

And personally I'm going to pretend that the broadsides haven't changed, but dropping a Riptide cheese-machine on my players as an end-of-level-boss-type-thing sounds like a giggle (or manical laugh take your pick)

 

Regards

 

Surak


Knowledge is power, and power corrupts.Therefore library's are the source of all evil.

My DH beta 2 aptitude calc is here https://drive.google...dit?usp=sharing

Part of the TeamACES youtube channel http://www.youtube.c...Ha0q8lrmTRGATFA


#10 Calgor Grim

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 06:27 AM

Maniac laugh. Stick one of them on the field, it's big enough to punch a terminator off their feet or just kick it in the face. Then cover it with a distant squad of broadsides. You'll be burning fate points in no time.

 

I'll see what I can throw together though.


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#11 Routa-maa

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:01 AM

m3560074a_99120113033_TauFirebaseSupportHere's something to inspire you Calgor Grim  ^_^

 

I think even most zealous Imperial Commander or Space Marine would think twice about attacking this formation.  :D


Muutokselle annamme Elämän, Elämälle annamme Muutoksen.

#12 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 11:46 AM

Well the game reason for the Broadside change was I think probably to keep them from being a must-pick.

 

Anyway, the next time FFG writes up a Broadside it's going to be this one.:)



#13 Brother Orpheo

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 01:06 PM

Keep the old and busted from being a must-pick so that Tau players will have to buy the new hotness.


=][=


#14 Calgor Grim

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 02:03 PM

Bearing in mind I've only hashed some of these together and haven't had chance to play test these yet I have a draft.

 

I'm a little rusty with movement rates. I never usually work with these when I GM and usually go on dramatic effect and what seems vaguely reasonable and allow movements to be roleplayed out.

 

All weapon stats and gear rules are referencing existing rules (where applicable) to avoid me giving away too much of the actual numbers and risk me incurring the wrath of FFG/GW. Anything customised has been added and fully written up.

 

I've mocked up some scratch brew XV8 and the riptides. One thing I loved about the XV8 from tabletop was the customisation of it so I'm thinking of allowing them the choice of any two weapons from a list (with a few new ones using Astartes weapons as a basic comparison) or two support systems. Alternatively they can forgo the extra two support systems for a third weapon which they can swap out. They still get limited to firing two of them though. However the ability to customise them I think allows the GM better scope than whats in the book. Numbers wise I've used a combination of the Tau Commander from core book and the Broadside rules from Mark of the Xenos to try and find something in the middle.

 

Meanwhile the Riptide is proving tough. The Ion Accelerator, all I can think of is to use the Vehicle Mounted Ion Cannon from Rites of Battle as a basis. Using the Assault Cannon as a replacement of its Heavy Burst Cannon. Trying to balance the Nova Reactor is proving troublesome. Taking this on, you might need a tank or some serious range and cover.

 

One last bonus, I've also taken a crack at the Forge World character, Shas'O R'myr.

 

https://docs.google....dit?usp=sharing

 

These are really basic, probably horribly skewed. Feedback appreciated, comments are allowed on the document but don't take the michael of course,


Edited by Calgor Grim, 22 January 2014 - 03:20 PM.

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#15 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 06:01 PM

Well the ion accelerator is basically a lascannon with Blast and a super version of Gets Hot! when in nova-charge mode.



#16 Surak

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 03:32 AM

I'll download these once I get home from work and give them a read over (damn work for blocking google docs). Absolute worst case I'll inflict them on my players tommorrow night as a 'play test' :)

 

Regards

 

Surak


Edited by Surak, 23 January 2014 - 03:32 AM.

Knowledge is power, and power corrupts.Therefore library's are the source of all evil.

My DH beta 2 aptitude calc is here https://drive.google...dit?usp=sharing

Part of the TeamACES youtube channel http://www.youtube.c...Ha0q8lrmTRGATFA


#17 Surak

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 04:14 PM

Bearing in mind I've only hashed some of these together and haven't had chance to play test these yet I have a draft.

 

I'm a little rusty with movement rates. I never usually work with these when I GM and usually go on dramatic effect and what seems vaguely reasonable and allow movements to be roleplayed out.

 

All weapon stats and gear rules are referencing existing rules (where applicable) to avoid me giving away too much of the actual numbers and risk me incurring the wrath of FFG/GW. Anything customised has been added and fully written up.

 

I've mocked up some scratch brew XV8 and the riptides. One thing I loved about the XV8 from tabletop was the customisation of it so I'm thinking of allowing them the choice of any two weapons from a list (with a few new ones using Astartes weapons as a basic comparison) or two support systems. Alternatively they can forgo the extra two support systems for a third weapon which they can swap out. They still get limited to firing two of them though. However the ability to customise them I think allows the GM better scope than whats in the book. Numbers wise I've used a combination of the Tau Commander from core book and the Broadside rules from Mark of the Xenos to try and find something in the middle.

 

Meanwhile the Riptide is proving tough. The Ion Accelerator, all I can think of is to use the Vehicle Mounted Ion Cannon from Rites of Battle as a basis. Using the Assault Cannon as a replacement of its Heavy Burst Cannon. Trying to balance the Nova Reactor is proving troublesome. Taking this on, you might need a tank or some serious range and cover.

 

One last bonus, I've also taken a crack at the Forge World character, Shas'O R'myr.

 

https://docs.google....dit?usp=sharing

 

These are really basic, probably horribly skewed. Feedback appreciated, comments are allowed on the document but don't take the michael of course,

 

managed to test these on Friday night, although it wasn't much of a test in the end with a sanctioned psyker wandering around the place (he literally managed to walk upto a crisis suit and knock on it chest plate and the Tau could do nothing to spot him). That being said the Crisis Suits and Riptide (when it eventually decided to put in an appearence) were scary enough simply by being there that most of the player characters wouldn't go anywhere near them.

 

From my read through the stat blocks you came up with I can't see any obvious problems, but only more testing will tell.

 

Regards

 

Surak


Edited by Surak, 27 January 2014 - 07:12 AM.

Knowledge is power, and power corrupts.Therefore library's are the source of all evil.

My DH beta 2 aptitude calc is here https://drive.google...dit?usp=sharing

Part of the TeamACES youtube channel http://www.youtube.c...Ha0q8lrmTRGATFA


#18 Calgor Grim

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 05:15 PM

This sounds promising. Shame that the Tau don't have a lot written for Psyker detection! Glad that the Riptide did it's job though. Which one did you go for; standard with Burst Cannon/Ion Accelerator or the R'Varna varient?

 

I'm working on it though as I go. Will slip some of the codex special characters in there at some stage. Farsight might be a giggle...


Edited by Calgor Grim, 26 January 2014 - 05:15 PM.

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#19 LordBlades

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 01:18 AM

I've also done some work on Tau Battlesuits for my gaming group. I've tried to stick as closely as possible to what's already in the game stats wise. Most weapons are ported from tabletop (I looked for weapons with similar Str and AP values that are already in the game and used same damage value, same for armors when possible).

 

Most of it is done from a player perspective (I play a Tau in a Rogue Trader game; from that point of view Stealthsuits work as Power Armor, while all other suits work as Dreadnaughts (you wire yourself in and you get to have the suit's own HP pool and physical stats).  Of course, they can be easily converted to enemies by putting a Tau NPC inside. Most entries have a 'based on' section which explains the thought process behind their stats.

 

https://docs.google....YUE&usp=sharing

 

Take a look :D


Edited by LordBlades, 27 January 2014 - 01:20 AM.


#20 Surak

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 07:20 AM

Calgor.

 

I was using the standard Riptide, and it was scary enough that it didn't need ot fire a shot to have the PC's hiding.

 

Farsight could be a laugh.

 

One thing that did come up, and I thankfully didn't need to sort out in the end, was the interaction between the DH minor psi power Weapon Jinx and Tau battlesuits/technology in general. The reason it came up is the groups Sanctioned Psyker Jinx'd the Riptide the turn they party decided to run like hell, but due to sneaky psi powers and a lot of luck he managed to get away without being spotted and so the Riptide never got chance to fire.

 

So what are your thoughts people? Does Weapon Jinx work on Tau kit? Does it have different/unintended effects? and please for the love of the Emperor please can someone come up with some anti-psyker Tau stuff, I've got a nearly-ascended Sanctioned Psyker who can currently walk through a Tau base without anyone actually noticing, he is effectily one of the Silence from Dr Who.

 

Regards

 

Surak


Knowledge is power, and power corrupts.Therefore library's are the source of all evil.

My DH beta 2 aptitude calc is here https://drive.google...dit?usp=sharing

Part of the TeamACES youtube channel http://www.youtube.c...Ha0q8lrmTRGATFA





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