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Surak

Tau Characer Guide - Errata and Battlesuit Builds

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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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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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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.

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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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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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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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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

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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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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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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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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. 

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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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(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
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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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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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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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(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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?  

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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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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.

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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?  

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