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Nerdynick

Tau Character Guide opinions?

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Okay, so after a hiatus, I come back to the game and there's a PDF for playing tau fire warriors. I look on the boards and, perhaps as a failure of search-fu, I can't find anything on them. What are general opinions on this new addition?

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Coming from a table-top Tau player, it wasn't great, but it wasn't bad.  It's worth what you pay for it.  My biggest complaint was that it's not really a Tau Character Guide, its a Firewarrior Character Guide.  There are no rules for Water, Earth or Air castes despite the fact that a Water Envoy would really be the most likely to work with or act as point-of-contact representative with a Rogue Trader.  It also then makes it impossible to fill any role on a ship other than Arch Militant.  The secondary effect of this single-caste method is that they tried to shoehorn in a few of the more "Tau-y" things into the Firewarrior that would have been more appropriate as Water or Earth caste talents.  So it's cool, but it's not everything some of us (myself included) were looking/hoping for.

 

Mechanically, it seemed alright, though I haven't had a chance to field test it.  At glance, however, it doesn't appear any more broken then you can already do with Rogue Trader.

 

On the other side of the coin, it's a cheap way to get rules for making a wide variety of Tau enemies, without having to buy a Deathwatch book.

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Not really.  There are decent PC aliens in some settings (e.g. Traveller, GURPS Space, even Star Trek and Star Wars if you can get past the schtick), but 40K?

 

No.  A resounding no.  You'd need a novel's length of ratonalizations to pull it off, by which time you'd have had time to draw up several campaigns' worth of decent human PCs.

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That's actualy one thing I'd been hoping to do with the Tau Guide, play a Tau Explorer Vessel, but the lack of anyone other then Fire Warriors means back to the House-rule board.

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A xeno-centric campaign is completely different.   Never done it, but I like the idea.

Yeah, when everyone's the same species and race, no-one's really a xenos.

 

That being said, the idea doesn't appeal to me in the least, but at least it's less stupid.

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Tau have no special abilities at all, they are physically inferior to humans and not superior in any way, and do not have a much different psychology. They are for all game intents and purposes human beings with lower than average stats who will get burned on sight by Imperials. So I'm not sure what the point was in making separate rules for them.

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Tau have no special abilities at all, they are physically inferior to humans and not superior in any way, and do not have a much different psychology. They are for all game intents and purposes human beings with lower than average stats who will get burned on sight by Imperials. So I'm not sure what the point was in making separate rules for them.

 

Because they have better gear and more rigidly defined class structures. You could make a pretty neat game out of the Tau Empire including all of their subspecies I think, especially if your mission is Cultural Genocide Diplomacy.

 

Also they behave oddly when the Warp is involved. I'm sad that didn't get delved into more. Also there's barely even a hint that they're the reborn Necrontyr.

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I actually used the guide (with some adjustments) to make a Tau characters for Deathwatch. Please note, I said Character, not npc or opponent. ;P

Call me a heretic, but I love my Shas'vre Kara.

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My opinions on the Tau addition? Mixed. They definitely seem interesting to play, and the plethora of gear (especially the battle-suits) looks like it could be fun to play with and abuse. However, unless you do an all xeno campaign (which I would also like to do one day), it just seems too difficult to include them. You'd have to shoehorn them in somehow, and much like Dark Eldar characters, it doesn't seem like it'd be easy to do. Orks and Kroot, yes, under the correct circumstances, but Tau are a bit too difficult for a proper Rogue Trader game to me. They are too at odds with both the Imperium and the standard greedy RT party ideologically, and it would really take a considerable mutual threat to reconcile that, unless you go the heretical Rogue Trader group working for the Tau route.

 

That said, it seems like a great source book that can be used for other games, much in the same way as the Enemies of the Imperium book for Only War is. I could see them easily being used in a Dark Heresy game based along the border of the Imperium and the Tau Empire, where both sides need to work together to root out the mutual threat of Chaos Cultists or Genestealers nestled in both empire's planets.

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Actually, one of the things I like about using Tau in Rogue Trader (presuming you are playing over on the fringe, instead of in the Koronus Expanse) is that you could actually have a xeno-member of the crew who's not totally at odds/cut off from their original civilization.  The Tau as a nation are known to work extensively with Rogue Traders, so it's entirely reasonable that the Ethereals might assign a more 'mavrick' of a Fire Warrior to work with one of their Merchant Friends.

 

Someday, when I get a bit of time, I'll sit down with the new guide and try and house-rule out the other three castes, and maybe a Gue'la alt rank.

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After reading through it some more, I am generally unimpressed by the strength characteristics of the battle-suits. They seem like they should be much higher. The Hazard Battle Suit is less than a decent rolling human RT character with a maxed Strength Characteristic, and an average Space Marine is easily as strong, or stronger, than the Riptide, with their Unnatural Strength (x2) and their Power Armour. Hell, even a decent rolling human could arm-wrestle a Stealth Suit by at least Rank 2.

 

Unless I don't understand a difference between vehicle strength vs. character strength, I figured each would be far higher, with the Stealth Suit adding a strength bonus to the player's existing strength, and then the static strength value of the others being at least +20 higher each than what they already are.

Edited by Crow Eye

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I'm sure that they were just trying to balance them against Human characters, many of which who wouldn't be wearing Power armor, but Crisis Suits in DW are 50+, as are Broadsides, and even Stealth Suits are over 40. That said, minus Farsight and this, NO Crisis Suit has ever wanted to be in melee combat, so maybe it's to reflect the glass that is sometimes the suits.

Erathia likes this

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The Tau looked at melee combat and said "We're a super advanced Federation-type race that may or may not have a pheromone controlling ruling class, and are possibly the Necrontyr reborn, but also believe really strongly in technological advancement and hyper-advanced weaponry. Why the Ethereal-absent Hell would we ever fight anything in Melee? That's what Kroot are for."

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In DW, all the Battlesuits have Unnatural Strength x2. The Crisis and Broadside also have Unnatural Toughness x2. To me, this makes complete sense, and I don't understand why it would be removed. These things are supposed to be lethal, and by removing the Unnatural Strength, they can get arm-wrestled by a regular character. Granted, Tau aren't supposed to get into melee combat, but you'd think by their size a Crisis or Broadside could break a man with a single hit. With Unnatural Strenght x2, they would.

 

 

My suggestion then, would essentially be to just add Unnatural Strength x2 to each battlesuit. This would let the Stealth Suit function like a suit of Power Armour (which it pretty much is, just the Tau version), give the Crisis and Broadside equal strength characteristics in both games they feature in, and let the Riptide punch through walls with a damage of +16, as a towering mech that big and stompy should be able to do

 

 

Although, the more I get into the Battlesuit rules, the more off they seem to me. They all wear like Armour, but any bigger than a Stealth Suit should function like a vehicle to some degree. A Crisis should have Hull Integrity for certain body parts (Head, Arms), while with an Enforcer or higher, the pilot should only be able to be hit with a shot to the body (the arms, legs, and head all being mechanical with Hull Integrity). It seems off that shooting a Riptide in the leg with a Blast Pistol would hurt the pilot.

 

Screw it, I'm starting to complain all over again. Tau Battlesuit rules are not well written, at all. Not that it really matters to me, as I'm not like to have a Tau player, or play with one, but still...

Edited by Crow Eye

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