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N0-1_H3r3

Inspired by Mark of the Xenos: Tau Battlesuit brainstorming

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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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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.

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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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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.

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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

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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

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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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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

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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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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

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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.:)

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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.com/document/d/1cvXTCYX3KJ_fjhRi3fERBWo7Jz0xgSg2by_TbN2ZdSs/edit?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

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I'll download these once I get home from work and give them a read over (**** 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

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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.com/document/d/1cvXTCYX3KJ_fjhRi3fERBWo7Jz0xgSg2by_TbN2ZdSs/edit?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

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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

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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.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AnMNEfkfJJocdGNCSEtxUHp2M3h6M0lRN2VTcWFCYUE&usp=sharing

 

Take a look :D

Edited by LordBlades

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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

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Surak:

Glad he did his job then. 

 

Regarding Weapon Jinx: the ability by itself is somewhat overpowered in this context. While it works when heretics are fighting scattered thugs with possibly primitive weapons and can jam those, I don't agree with it being massively crippling against highly advanced suits full of technology, AI and secondary systems. I would perhaps state that due to superior engineering or it being Xenos technology that it is a little exempt from the confusing ways of the warp or slightly resistant (maybe a D10 roll to shrug it off). Anyway, jam the weapons all you want, it's a battle suit the same size as a dreadnought. It can do just as much damage kicking you across the base back and forth.

 

Your counter though, is that the while the Tau don't have any psykers and have limited understanding of psykers and the like, they do have allied races who are psykers. The select Kroot who eat Eldar or Tyranids, the Nicassar. A good argument that I read on the Tau forums (spelling errors and all):

 

 

 

At the end of the day other races in 40K can save against psychic powers using inv saves, and technology helps fight psychers (psyche out grenades etc) so why would the Tau not be able to develop a force field generator that dispupts psychic energy, (because thats all it is a form of energy). The Tau would have no trouble analysing and adapting other races solutions to the problems of countering psychics with techno.

Tau could in theory develop something somewhere which can start to work against Psykers using knowledge gained from allies. They likely also get hold of the odd bits of human technology and while perhaps not able to reverse engineer, may still be able to bolt a null rod onto their armour.

 

 

LordBlades:

Might I ask why you have made the damage for when a Riptide goes wrong toughness damage? Surely this should be physical damage as the suit overloads. I understand that when a Riptide fails its reactor, its the radiation and exhaust venting therefore heat and such damage key components. Was this a mistype? Additionally I made my variant a straight damage roll, no toughness check to shrug it off. This is arguably the trade off for the immense power one of these suits has.

 

Also don't get me started on that AV20 for a R'Varna...pain. I would consider reducing that a little. I used a Carnifex as a basis for when I generated my variant of the Riptide since (AFAIK, not seeing new Nid 6th ed), Fexes are roughly the same armour and toughness as a Riptide and are both monstrous creatures hence should have similar stats in that department. These should be able to go toe to toe with a fex and make for a semi ok punch up but the problem is, your AV 20 and total toughness bonus of 18, this means that the 1D10+23, Pen 3 of Scything Talons cannot break through. Also without Touched by Fates, the fex cannot RF to even remotely crack that armour. Technically this is a blow to monstrous creatures in general that they cannot crack these even though they can smash vehicles up on table top. I made my riptide variants around 12-16 each.

 

May want to bump their sizes up from Enormous to "Massive". If Enormous is a standard XV-8 and riptides are roughly double their height it could put them into that size bracket.

 

Love the XV-22 by the way. Might have to augment it a little though. Their Armour 8 is also a little low. Since you're using DoW as a basis for that, DoW did have an armour type of "Commander" which was higher than Infantry_Heavy (Terminator type). At your discretion you may want to raise that a little. Also DoW allowed an option for Iridium Armour. I might make that to be an Equipment upgrade (add X to armour, reduce movement slightly or something). Will definitely need to use that.

 

Overall though I love much of the sheet. Might redo a few of those for my own ends because a few things just don't sit right with me but thats just me :)

Edited by Calgor Grim

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LordBlades:

Might I ask why you have made the damage for when a Riptide goes wrong toughness damage? Surely this should be physical damage as the suit overloads. I understand that when a Riptide fails its reactor, its the radiation and exhaust venting therefore heat and such damage key components. Was this a mistype? Additionally I made my variant a straight damage roll, no toughness check to shrug it off. This is arguably the trade off for the immense power one of these suits has.

 

Also don't get me started on that AV20 for a R'Varna...pain. I would consider reducing that a little. I used a Carnifex as a basis for when I generated my variant of the Riptide since (AFAIK, not seeing new Nid 6th ed), Fexes are roughly the same armour and toughness as a Riptide and are both monstrous creatures hence should have similar stats in that department. These should be able to go toe to toe with a fex and make for a semi ok punch up but the problem is, your AV 20 and total toughness bonus of 18, this means that the 1D10+23, Pen 3 of Scything Talons cannot break through. Also without Touched by Fates, the fex cannot RF to even remotely crack that armour. Technically this is a blow to monstrous creatures in general that they cannot crack these even though they can smash vehicles up on table top. I made my riptide variants around 12-16 each.

 

May want to bump their sizes up from Enormous to "Massive". If Enormous is a standard XV-8 and riptides are roughly double their height it could put them into that size bracket.

 

Love the XV-22 by the way. Might have to augment it a little though. Their Armour 8 is also a little low. Since you're using DoW as a basis for that, DoW did have an armour type of "Commander" which was higher than Infantry_Heavy (Terminator type). At your discretion you may want to raise that a little. Also DoW allowed an option for Iridium Armour. I might make that to be an Equipment upgrade (add X to armour, reduce movement slightly or something). Will definitely need to use that.

 

Overall though I love much of the sheet. Might redo a few of those for my own ends because a few things just don't sit right with me but thats just me :)

 

Regarding the Riptide and Toughness damage: I wanted to keep existing mechanics where I found them. AS far as I could find from the fluff, the main danger of nova-charge is potentially dangerous levels of radiation for the pilot (I've found nothing to imply actual battlesuit damage). The only place where I could find radiation damage was the Rad grenade in Rogue Trader, so I use the mechanics from there (Toughness test or take Toughness damage).

 

Regarding R'varna: In tabletop R'varna has 2+ armor save (like the Riptide, despite having 'much heavier armor'). I modeled the Riptide's armor based on fluff (on par with terminators, which reflects the 2+ it has in tabletop), then added Unnatural Toughness x3 to get the effect I wanted (strongly resistant to all but heaviest anti-tank weapons of the Imperium, based on the description of the assault of Agrellan). I don't think I could have gotten much lower with the R'varna and still keep the 'much heavier armor fluff'. In the end, I ended up with something a bit more powerful than a Dreadnought, which is all right in my book.

 

Regarding the size: On the one hand, they're significantly larger than Crisis and Broadside, which would point toward massive. On the other hand. I don't see a Riptide as larger overall than a Land Raider (which is Enormous). I went with Enormous, but I can see some good arguments for Massive too.

 

Regarding the XV22: glad you like it :D  In tabletop it has 3+ armor save, which puts it between Fire Warrior Armor (4+ save) and Broadsides (2+ save). In Deathwatch this would mean any value between 7(Fire Warrior Armor has all 6) and 11 (Broadside has all 12) could be appropriate. I went with 8 for game balance reasons (all of this was written for a hybrid RT/DW game) and I didn't want an XV22 to be strictly better than power armor in every way because then everybody would start plotting to get one.

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Strictly translating the TT stats in the way that Deathwatch usually does it, the Riptide should be something like

 

Strength 60, Unnatural Strength x2

Toughness 60, Unnatural Toughness x3

All other stats appropriate for Fire Warrior veteran

Wounds 160

Armour 12 (all)

 

Heavy burst cannon = same as pulse rifle, but higher RoF

Heavy burst cannon in nova mode = same as heavy burst cannon + Storm + Overheats

 

Ion accelerator = same as Astartes plasma gun on Maximal  but semi-auto RoF3 and no Overheats

Ion acceletrator in nova mode = range something, RoF S/-/-, 5d10+10ish, AP10, Blast (5) + Overheats

Edited by bogi_khaosa

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I suppose FFG have nerfed Tyranids a fair bit. Still would consider their armour a little lower though and raise their height a notch. The Black Crusade charts are not far off:

 

Enormous (6) (Sentinel Walker, Krootox)
Massive (7) (Battle Tank, Greater Daemon)
 
If battlesuits count as a 6 and a Riptide is larger than a battlesuit by about double, this roughly would make them around the same size as a greater daemon etc but yes there are arguments for both. RE the reactor, this comes from some of the wording from the codex. The reactor is described as:
 

 

 

...producing energy on scales closer to small stars...

 

This means they must surely be giving out masses of heat unless Tau have mastered cold fusion or something. It mentions that the suit can suffer dangerous power vents. These I would imagine are probably the core venting heat and such out of the system before it overheats and goes boom. Radiation would yes likely be kicked out but the description suggests more like heat or an electronic overload. But again this is up to the GM to interpret. Considering these things dish out a metric plasmaton of damage anything to balance it in player favour is worth it.

 

Also to bogi, I disagree. The Ion Accelerator is MORE powerful than the vehicle variant (having better AP and extra range with the same number of shots than an Ion Cannon in the codex). Hence using the vehicle version actually makes sense. I have actually adjusted range and RoF down to give players a chance of survival.

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Also to bogi, I disagree. The Ion Accelerator is MORE powerful than the vehicle variant (having better AP and extra range with the same number of shots than an Ion Cannon in the codex). Hence using the vehicle version actually makes sense. I have actually adjusted range and RoF down to give players a chance of survival.

 

I'm converting over from memory. Isn't it S9 AP2 in nova mode? That's the same as a lascannon, so I just gave it those stats.

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