Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Viper114

Tau Weaponry - Maybe a bit too strong?

Recommended Posts

Looking at the enemies in back of the book, I'm wondering if perhaps the Tau weapons may pose a bit of a problem to PCs compared to Chaos or Tyranid weapons.  Note I'm only really looking at the Troops and not at Elites and Masters (who should be able to really hurt the PCs).

Look at Fire Warriors and Gun Drones, armed with Pulse Rifles and Pulse Carbines respectively, each doing 2d10+2 E damage with Pen 4.  That seems kind of much compared to the Troops of Chaos or Tyranids, isn't it?  I know Tau weaponry should be stronger than most, but it seems kind of much, and potentially lethal to a PC if the GM ends up rolling well.  And the fact that these two might be made into Hordes with those weapons seems even more dangerous.  I know the obvious answer with Tau would be to engage in melee, as they suck in that regard, but they still might get some shots off before they're engaged in melee and could stop a charging Marine in his tracks.

I don't know, maybe I'm just blowing it out of proportion, but I still don't like the looks of the weapons of opposing basic troops cause that much damage.  What would players and GMs say about this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having not played against them yet (and this being more of a knee-jerk reaction), my speculations seem to concur with yours in that a standard Magnitude 30 Horde of Fire Warriors is doing 5d10+2 damage per attack. I think that this is somewhat unbalanced, in the sense that this represents the entire Horde firing upon a single target.

I may split their fire instead amongst multiple targets, spreading the extra d10's for Magnitude between multiple targets to reflect this.

I was actually hoping that instead of the Horde getting increased damage per shot, that they might instead get more shots with smaller damage bonuses. I suppose that we will only discover the ramifications through play.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember that the Tau are, in many areas, technologically more advanced than humanity is and are a closer approximation, in my opinion, to a modern army than the Imperial guard or Astartes. Tau should be able to man handle most threats at range but up close and personal they will get into trouble quickly. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 You said it yourself - Marines should get into melee with Tau as soon as they can or live with the consequences. Presumably, Tau would be rather reluctant to fire into melee.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

J-Tech said:

Having not played against them yet (and this being more of a knee-jerk reaction), my speculations seem to concur with yours in that a standard Magnitude 30 Horde of Fire Warriors is doing 5d10+2 damage per attack. I think that this is somewhat unbalanced, in the sense that this represents the entire Horde firing upon a single target.

I may split their fire instead amongst multiple targets, spreading the extra d10's for Magnitude between multiple targets to reflect this.

I was actually hoping that instead of the Horde getting increased damage per shot, that they might instead get more shots with smaller damage bonuses. I suppose that we will only discover the ramifications through play.

 

 

Most importantly there needs to be a rule for Hordes to reserve part of their fire, perhaps as a delayed action/overwatch. An Assault Marine charging a Horde would realistically receive some amount of fire in reaction to his doing so.

Alex

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Viper114 said:

Looking at the enemies in back of the book, I'm wondering if perhaps the Tau weapons may pose a bit of a problem to PCs compared to Chaos or Tyranid weapons.  Note I'm only really looking at the Troops and not at Elites and Masters (who should be able to really hurt the PCs).

Well, that's more or less appropriate to the nature of the weapons; in the tabletop game, a Pulse Rifle has a longer range and higher strength than a bolter, so it seems only fitting that it's a deadly weapon in the RPGs. Tau are known for their potent firepower; facing a Tau force takes consideration and cunning to limit the effects of their firepower and close the distance (as few Tau fare particularly well up close).

Many hordes are meant to be a considerable danger to the PCs, rather than just violent scenery; a swarm of Hormagaunts is - and should be - a deadly proposition in melee (at Mag 20 or above, 4d10+5 R damage, Pen 2 thanks to the Overwhelming trait), and a decent-sized team of Tau Fire Warriors is - and should be - a dangerous foe at long ranges.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ItsUncertainWho said:

Remember that the Tau are, in many areas, technologically more advanced than humanity is and are a closer approximation, in my opinion, to a modern army than the Imperial guard or Astartes. Tau should be able to man handle most threats at range but up close and personal they will get into trouble quickly.  

No they aren't.  They have nothing that is superior to high human technology such as vortex weapons or displacer fields or even human warp drives.  Tau high technology is more widely available throughout their civilization and their forces are better equipped on average than the Imperial Guard, but their technology does not surpass the Imperium.  The Munitorium arms countless billions every year over the entire galaxy, using communication and transportation systems that can easily go wrong.  That Tau have a total population less than one large Imperial hive world and an Empire that consists of part of one star cluster that is a small part of just one of the galaxy's spiral arms.  Of course their army is better equipped than the IG, but the shine comes off when compared to the Imperium's elite warriors like the Astartes or the Skitarri.

 

As for the performance of their tech there's a lot of discrepency between how its treated on the table top and in the fiction.  Table top is ruled by the same game balance is greater than reality issues that allows cultists not to be mercilessly mowed down by automatic weapons before they reach melee range and C'tan to be fielded by someone's army and thus its stats are unreliable for a more realistic medium.  Table top Tau weapons are great, but in the fiction they're merely good.  FFG leaned closer to the table top interpretation and I can't hold that against them.  They did have to choose and while the pulse weapons are nasty, they aren't better than a bolter.  The fiction is quite clear that massed pulse weapon fire is quite dangerous to Marines and I would treat Fire Warriors accordingly.  I would tend to field them in small Hordes to represent their military small unit organization background and to minimize the chances of one shotting a player.  As Hordes go, Fire Warriors are top of the line critters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I doublt I'd use Firewarrior teams in very large magnitude hordes. Magnitude 20 seems about right for a Squad of 10-12. Gun drones too would be used in small numbers. Just use multiple small hordes instead of big ones to represent the Tau, that way they have more mobility and flexibility.

And remember, suppressing fire! If you can suppress a horde, it can only take half-actions, meaning those Firewarriors can only make single-shots, not full-auto.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Tau current technology is better than that of the empire, and its evolving, the bolter and so are 10's of thousands of years old and since they cannot improve on the design without pissing off the ad mech the Empire has become a stagnant pool, vortex grenades are not even manufactured anymore, the process lost so each one is almost a holy artefact from a lost era.

Pre-Heresy Empire had technology that would have made the Tau take notice, but compared to a bolter a Pulse Rifle (which is in essence a rail gun) is a nightmare of a weapon, the bolter while massreactive and all sorts of fun just doesn't compare something that rides on a tail of plasma, yups thats right your average Fire Warrior come equipped with a weapon that is in essence a very long range plasma rifle, not to mention those anime robot suits with guided weapons, satellite targeting and so on.

If you take them on codex and then apply "realism" (which has NO place in WH40K) then in theory the tau would probably be overwhelmed the first or second time they run into marines and go "whoa Nelly", after that suppressive fire (remember the horde can suppress as well) will pin the marines and then a few guided missiles popped into their chubby hole will take care of the rest, burst cannons will then finish any post human who tries to close in off. Marines are though and good fun to play, but confronted with a "modern" army they would die in droves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GalagaGalaxian said:

Personally, I doublt I'd use Firewarrior teams in very large magnitude hordes. Magnitude 20 seems about right for a Squad of 10-12. Gun drones too would be used in small numbers. Just use multiple small hordes instead of big ones to represent the Tau, that way they have more mobility and flexibility.

And more firepower. Due to the Fire Drill trait, 3 Magnitude 20 Fire Warrior teams will put out 9 attacks between them (dealing 4d10+2 damage each while still at full strength), compared to the 6 that a single Magnitude 60 horde can unleash.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

N0-1_H3r3 said:

 

GalagaGalaxian said:

 

Personally, I doublt I'd use Firewarrior teams in very large magnitude hordes. Magnitude 20 seems about right for a Squad of 10-12. Gun drones too would be used in small numbers. Just use multiple small hordes instead of big ones to represent the Tau, that way they have more mobility and flexibility.

 

And more firepower. Due to the Fire Drill trait, 3 Magnitude 20 Fire Warrior teams will put out 9 attacks between them (dealing 4d10+2 damage each while still at full strength), compared to the 6 that a single Magnitude 60 horde can unleash.

 

 

But more vulnerability too. First round the Kill-team should put at least one attack into each, dropping their magnitude into the teens, suddenly the Firewarrior teams have 3 less attack and have 1d10 less damage on every attack.

However, those 3 squads can also move independently. While two stand and engage in a shooting fight with the marines, the third runs to flank the Kill-team, to negate their cover and obtain enfilade fire.

Overall, I think the Tau's combat style is better represented by multiple smaller Magnitude groups.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GalagaGalaxian said:

But more vulnerability too. First round the Kill-team should put at least one attack into each, dropping their magnitude into the teens, suddenly the Firewarrior teams have 3 less attack and have 1d10 less damage on every attack.

However, those 3 squads can also move independently. While two stand and engage in a shooting fight with the marines, the third runs to flank the Kill-team, to negate their cover and obtain enfilade fire.

Overall, I think the Tau's combat style is better represented by multiple smaller Magnitude groups.

Agreed; forces like the Tau and the Eldar suit smaller hordes (supported by a decent number of elites) better, using their mobility and independence to perform more complex manoeuvres than a single large horde (appropriate for Orks and Tyranids) could.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Grand Inquisitor Fulminarex said:

Sorry, but the canon I have read in the Deathwatch book state that Tau technology is better in some areas. Perhaps you have not read the book yet?

 

I have read the book, but stop a moment to read and analyze that statement.  Tau technology is better in some areas, but some areas is not overall superiority.  Pulse weapon technology?  Clearly the Tau have superior pulse weapon technology to the Imperium.  Tau rail gun tech is also excellent and they make much better use of drone and smart weapon technology.  But that's not overall technology.  Forcefields, warp drives, power armour, genetic engineering , bolt weapons, power weapons, and cybernetics are some of the areas where the Imperium is superior.  The Tau are certainly a more technologically orientated society and a quite formidable local power, but to say that they are technologically superior is simply not supported by the background material.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 @Cynical Cat

Forcefields, warp drives, power armour, genetic engineering , bolt weapons, power weapons, and cybernetics are some of the areas where the Imperium is superior.

I'll grant you most of those, but... power armour? Seriously?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cifer said:

 @Cynical Cat

Forcefields, warp drives, power armour, genetic engineering , bolt weapons, power weapons, and cybernetics are some of the areas where the Imperium is superior.

I'll grant you most of those, but... power armour? Seriously?

 

Well, imagine if fire warriors had a 3+ save in TT.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tau weaponry, on an infantry scale, is on the whole better than the Imperium.  There's just no getting around that. Their robotics are fairly superior as well, at least in my opinion, and a lot of their vehicle technology is as well. The imperium has essentially forgotten how to make skimmer vehicles aside from Landspeeders, after all. Nothing comparable to the pirhana or any of the Tau's hover tanks. Beyond that, while what they have for Power Armor might be huge, the crisis suit is still nothing sneeze at. It's a hardy beast, difficult to bring down without using anti-tank weapons (multiple wounds in the TT, best way is to just try and double out their toughness). Add to that the fact that cybernetics are actually highly developed in their culture and, on the whole, widely more available (represented by hard wired systems, though those can also be provided by technology miniturized enough to fit in jewelry!) and I find that the only reason the Tau are incapable of overrunning the imperium is because they simply lack the numbers. Oh, and by the by, the only reason they don't have power weapons is because the Tau military has, largely, forsaken close combat in favor of range combat. It's their combat doctrine. I have no doubt that if they chose too, however, they could develop something akin to the Divine Light of Sollex's energy sword things... (See Inquisitor's handbook).

Oh, and quick edit: The Tau don't have warp technology because they don't want it. They decided they'd rather skim the warp than actually delve into it. It's safer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cynical Cat said:

Grand Inquisitor Fulminarex said:

 

Sorry, but the canon I have read in the Deathwatch book state that Tau technology is better in some areas. Perhaps you have not read the book yet?

 

 

 

I have read the book, but stop a moment to read and analyze that statement.  Tau technology is better in some areas, but some areas is not overall superiority.  Pulse weapon technology?  Clearly the Tau have superior pulse weapon technology to the Imperium.  Tau rail gun tech is also excellent and they make much better use of drone and smart weapon technology.  But that's not overall technology.  Forcefields, warp drives, power armour, genetic engineering , bolt weapons, power weapons, and cybernetics are some of the areas where the Imperium is superior.  The Tau are certainly a more technologically orientated society and a quite formidable local power, but to say that they are technologically superior is simply not supported by the background material.

It is clearly stated in several areas of the Deathwatch book that the Tau are technologically superior. Even the Inquisitor in the GM screen wants to bring the Imperium to the tech level of the Tau but does not have the support to do it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fulminarex, translating what is said 'in fiction' as the true word of god does not counter the point of simply looking to the setting and knowing the history of mankind and the universe.

 The Tau are a young race. Highly motivated and cohesive they have yet to have such a mighty fall from grace that humanity descended from after the end of the Golden age of technology, and again after the Heresy. Mankind has reached far greater heights in many fields of science that the Tau will never be able achieve with their selected path of guided advancement, By the time they even manage to push past some of humanities most crowning achievements of the past they too will face the great horror that is the universe beyond their control and fall victim to it the same as the aliens they now condemned for their ignorance and mysticism.

The Tau simply have not forgotten the science they have achieved and understand the mechanisms behind the construction of their tools of civilization, allowing it to be constructed and applied freely across their empire.

Their Pulse weapons are a form of plasma weapon highly refined and tuned to the tolerances and current limitations of their diverging avenues of technology and their own understanding of physics which differs from humanities chosen path for such size and application. Mankind achieved a similar weapon system of equal size that gives a greater and far more powerful yield through a different application of energy compounded with heavy gas.

The drawbacks that Imperial plasma weapons suffer are from are the compounded error of misunderstanding of it function over thousands of generations due to the fact the science is no longer understood in the same manner as it once was. The descendents of the original design are the product of downgrade after downgrade, stopgap after stopgap. This was in order to continue on its manufacture and keep it in the hands of Imperial warriors when the original could no longer be provied.

Everything the Tau have now, humanity has as well and had reached to achieve in greater heights. The technology of the Tau only appearance more advanced simply because they are not building copies of copies and hiding flaws behind the mask of faith and ceremony or discarding in favour of more easily produced 'lesser' technology to equip is armies of billions. They work within their limitations while probing at the edges of their confines, and share knowledge within their 'manageable real of a mere hundred worlds.'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TK-4117 said:

Their Pulse weapons are a form of plasma weapon highly refined and tuned to the tolerances and current limitations of their diverging avenues of technology and their own understanding of physics which differs from humanities chosen path for such size and application. Mankind achieved a similar weapon system of equal size that gives a greater and far more powerful yield through a different application of energy compounded with heavy gas.

 

I agree with most of this.  However, Imperial plasma weapons utilize Hydrogen "suspended in a photonic state" (whatever that is supposed to mean) as their ammuniition/fuel.  Hydrogen is by far not a heavy gas, being as it is the lightest known element. 

-=Brother Praetus=-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And in the Whispers on the storm campaign book that comes with the GM screen for Rogue trader they say plasma fuel is heavy and extracted from simliar elements found when harvesting promethium gas, such as harvested from the Svard Prime Gas Giant.  Point being, the means on how something operates for the Imperium is never consistent. Some planets might use cordite and gunpowder for their slug weapons, others might fill their brass casings to the brim with a propellent gel, but in the end its the same and often glossed over. So in the future, to help a point move forward that you agree with in essence, don't inspire haters with a means to discredit with the most annoying aspect of the internet... the nit-pick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I repeat, the book and every other book, say the Tau are technologically more advanced in some areas.  Being more advanced in some areas does not mean the Tau are generally more advanced.  Sure their pulse weapons are superior to their Imperial equivalents, but they have crappy warp drives and no teleporters.  Which makes a culture more technologically advanced? 

Power armour is one of the few areas where Imperial technology has advanced since 30K.  While the Tau aren't incompetent in the areas they don't have personal power armour that's as good as the Imperium's.  Sure their Broadsword and Crisis Suits are impressive, but they're somewhere between Terminators/Dreadnoughts in size and arnament and a single Marine took several suits head on and won in Kill Team

Tau Plasma weapons are one area where their tech is superior.  If you compare it straight against cheap and durable lasguns, they're superior in destructive power although inferior in logistic sustainabilty (hard to beat a weapon you can recharge by throwing its ammo clips in a fire).  Compared to weapons that equip the Imperium's more elite forces such as bolters and hellguns and its still an excellent weapon but not so supremely destructive.    We are  talking about a race whose FTL system is a warp drive salvaged from a crashed alien ship and then reverse engineered.  The Tau use a skimming drive because they can't make one that allows full immersion despite trying (Battlefleet Gothic).  They're FTL speed is a fifth of the Imperiums and thats before we get to the subject of Navigators.  It doesn't matter much because their empire is so small, but it will cripple their ability to expand unless it is overcome.

As for grav vehicles, the Imperium has them as well although they aren't widely used by the Imperial Guard.  If one wants to say the Tau ground forces field better technology than the Imperial Guard then one would be correct.  If one wants to say they field technology superior to the Adeptus Sororitas where every soldier wheres a suit of power armour and carries a weapon that fires sophisticated bolt ammunition, that's not so cut and dried.  If one wants to say they field better technology than the Imperial Navy whose ships are equipped with teleporters, superior warp drives, and often superior shield arrays then one has his work cut out for him. 

 

The big deal with the Tau is that they are a young, technologically advanced race that is

1) still advancing its technology

2) their high technology is widely available

3) Is aggressively expanding and the Imperium has greater concerns in the area at the moment (namely the Tyranids)

 

What the Tau are at the moment is just another star faring race the Imperium intends to grind under its heel and take their stuff.  What makes them different than the endless line of humanity's victims is that Tau have the chance of changing that.  If they survive, grow, and develop they could be one of the great races of the galaxy.  They aren't there at the moment, but they could be.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TK-4117 said:

 

And in the Whispers on the storm campaign book that comes with the GM screen for Rogue trader they say plasma fuel is heavy and extracted from simliar elements found when harvesting promethium gas, such as harvested from the Svard Prime Gas Giant.  Point being, the means on how something operates for the Imperium is never consistent. Some planets might use cordite and gunpowder for their slug weapons, others might fill their brass casings to the brim with a propellent gel, but in the end its the same and often glossed over. So in the future, to help a point move forward that you agree with in essence, don't inspire haters with a means to discredit with the most annoying aspect of the internet... the nit-pick.

 

 

 

The facility described in that adventure is a refinery for starship grade fuels.  A starship's plasma drive needs fuel with a greater reaction mass to both propel and power themselves.  Ammunition for Plasma weapons, on the other hand, utilize Hydrogen because it is light and abundant.

If you want to think I was nit-picking you, fine, since you're correct to a degree.  But you know what, you came back in a very similar way.  Here, let me point out some references which support my view;

  1. Each and every corebook for the 40K RPGs states Plasma Weapons use a Hydrogen fuel.  Dark Heresy page 134, Rogue Trader page 123, and Deathwatch page 147.  I do admit that in the case of Rogue Trader and Deathwatch they are pretty much cut and paste between the two.
  2. Installation 23 is a Promethium and Heavy Plasma fuel refinery.  Fuel for vehicles and starships.  Not "weapons grade" promethium or ammunition flasks/canisters for plasma weaponry.  Could they make those things there?  Probably.  But such is not the facility's primary function.

There is a distinct difference here. 

If you want to claim nit-picking, fine.  However, pointing out an error in a statement to keep the known background facts straight is far from nit-picking, really.  This was a discussion in which something stated was not wholly correct, and I pointed it out to prevent confusion for people who are not necessarily as well-versed in the materials.

As to inspiring "haters," your own post  above is more inclined to do that then mine was.  I am more than happy to keep things civil on these boards, ask any of the myriad users who've seen me post here over the past 3+ years.  But if civility cannot be maintained, then we will simply have to agree to disagree on a point and I will go on about my existence as though you were not there.

To Viper114 and others who have been following this thread, my apologies if anything I have said here was offensive or inflammatory.  I will no longer take up any of your time in regard to this particular matter.

Thank you,
-=Brother Praetus=-

Post-script EDIT:  Sorry, realized there wasn't really anything here pertinent to the thread.  Tau plasma weaponry is superior to the Imperiums, and likely on par with that of the Eldar.  Imperial weapons tend more towards brute force, Eldar more finesse (even their heavy weapons), the Tau fall in between the two.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cynical Cat - I think it's important to remember that the reason why the Tau don't have all those things given to them is to make the tabletop war game fair.

It doesn't mean that in an RPG that their technological level isn't superior - it's just different. Remember, a lot of tech that the Imperium has developed is to deal with the warp... what do the Tau need a "Gellar Field" for? Just because they didn't develop it - doesn't mean they must be inferior.

Concerning things like force fields - the Tau likely have them - but you can't just bring a new race into the war game and give them everything. They needed to be balanced - so they weren't present. Why aren't they in the RPG books? Well - perhaps because the writers wanted to cover the core technology and familiar "classes".

===

However - the Tau "seem" to have achieved technological superiority by "inheriting" it from a race called the "Bentusin (or Demiurge - I've heard both names used).

That is certainly where they got their pulse weapon tech - and, if my Tau history serves - the Imperium passed over their planets because they were inferior primitives at the time - but when they got back only a few centuries later, the Tau were in space and had huge mechs, etc.

It's possible that they don't seem superior because the tech they used "technically" isn't theirs to begin with - it might be the Bentusin/Demiurge that are the far superior group.

((Note: I don't know a whole lot about Tau - I may be way off on some of this stuff. Never read the Codex or anything - but basic research reveals some of this info.) )

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...