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New infantry options
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Old 20 Apr 2015, 21:25   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default New infantry options

Fire warriors are good, don't get me wrong. How would you feel about giving Fire warriors the heavy weapons choices available to pathfinders? I.E. Rail Rifles, Ion Gun, etc. And Maybe give us a fire warrior veteran squad that has the same statline as a fireblade?

Discuss.

Also would it work to field 3 pathfinders squads of 4 each but each squad has 3 rail rifles to deploy all 3 squads together for 9 rail shots? Then spread marker lights to other units.
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Old 21 Apr 2015, 03:25   #2 (permalink)
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As much as some of us would hope to have special weapons integrated into our Fire Warrior squads to add a little extra versatility, it's just never going to happen. It would be a complete violation of established Fire Caste doctrine. Which is somewhat unfortunate, since Pathfinders are an extremely poor platform for special weapons. They are too fragile to survive long on the front line, and in doing so their primary focus of providing markerlights is wasted.

Honestly though, Fire Warriors really don't need special weapons. The pulse rifle/carbine is an extremely effective tool for almost any combat role. The relatively high strength (for a standard issue weapon) with AP5 and high volume of firepower our squads are able to dish out will crush massed infantry, since essentially any large blob of troops (with some exceptions) will have 5+ armor or worse. Even heavy infantry (Marines and Terminators) will fall under the deluge of forced saves. These same points allow Fire Warriors to also threaten Monstrous Creatures and light vehicles. Equipping squads with EMP grenades will enable them to offer some menace to heavier vehicles, though this utility is extremely situational and should not be relied upon to replace our usual anti-armor capabilities, it is really more of a stop gap measure and a general deterrent against rushing the line with armor.
Additionally, Fire Warriors don't need to worry about special weapons since they can rely on our battlesuits for specialist support. In my opinion, the Crisis suit is the most versatile elites option in the entire game. They excel at tackling any foe if equipped properly. Fire Caste doctrine emphasizes the mutual support of all elements of a Hunter Cadre, in game terms depriving our troops of special weapons forces us to do just that.

In terms of what the rail rifle has to offer in combat, such a role is more suited to Crisis suits wielding plasma rifles. The AP1 on the rail rifle is fairly negligible considering that the reliability of one-shotting vehicles has decreased with 7th ed. Even so, massed firepower to glance out vehicles has always been the more effective option. Against light vehicles, the obvious answer is our abundance of strength 5 weaponry. Dual plasma rifles on Crisis suits also provide high strength weight of fire and the added benefit of a possible explodes! result, not to mention being carried on a more sturdy platform. Against heavier targets missile pods, fusion blasters and our other heavy hitting weapons will all outperform rail rifles, either brought to bear at close range by a unit capable of taking its licks (which is the range at which pathfinders would be forced to play if they want to be effective) or by units that can reach out from halfway across the table or farther. At best a Pathfinder squad operating at close range to the enemy would have one turn of good shooting before falling either to counterfire or assault, and would likely have to either outflank or bum rush the enemy in a Devilfish in order to reach a position to provide said effective shooting.

Overall I just don't see rail rifles as an effective option for Pathfinders, especially since it more than doubles their model cost. In order for the firepower to tell, you'll at least need to land 1 if not 2 markerlight tokens on the target. If you want the unit to remain effective for more than one turn, the squad will need to be maxed out (which is an expensive way of achieving such a goal) and also supported by units that your opponent will be forced to find either more dangerous or more worthwhile as targets for his vengeance. It's a lot of points, as well as a potentially large portion of your army, to risk on one play. That isn't to say that I don't support the idea of trying out new tactics, I'm all for it! I've toyed with the notion of loading up a full squad in a Devilfish, equipped with their recon drone and the pulse accelerator drone to provide a 24" killzone for an outflanking Fish of Fury attack. 20 strength 5 shots at 24" inches would be pretty nasty. Add in Darkstrider to lower the target's toughness value for greater effectiveness and deepstrike reserved battlesuits in a safe cluster around the devilfish to provide your opponent with the conundrum of what to focus his battered forces on next turn. I'm a big fan of mechanized infantry supported by outflanking Kroot and Stealth teams, so that idea fits into my current playstyle.

If you want to try out an alternate source of anti armor or horde control, you could deploy 2-3 small units of Pathfinders carrying Ion rifles. It's a good bit cheaper than the rail rifle, and three strength 8 blasts is nothing to sneeze at. Watch out for Gets Hot! though, as any rolls of 1 will likely lead to a dead Pathfinder. Even Fire Warrior armor wouldn't be dependable protection.

In regards to your suggestion of a "veteran" firewarrior unit, the ability to complement our army's firepower with markerlight support negates the need for a veteran level of ballistic skill. Going with what you proposed though, a unit with BS 4 and perhaps Ld 8 would be reasonable, a unit at BS 5 and Ld 9 would not. There is to my knowledge not a single elites or other "command support" squad that carries a similar statline. If you've ever read the old Tau Codex, you'd probably have noticed that our ability to equip our battlesuits and tanks with targeting arrays (which boosted BS by 1) were sadly removed. They were a fun option, especially since it only cost 5 points per model!
It's really interesting to go back and see all the neat options our codex had that got scrapped. I started collecting Tau before the 6th edition update, but I didn't actually learn the game or codex until afterward, so it was all new to me when I reacquired the old codex (I had traded it in for the most recent book).


Welcome to the forum, by the way! You'll unfortunately notice that it's not particularly busy here, the site's heyday was quite long ago and it's been a ghost town for the past few years. I haven't been on myself in many months, I usually make a quick browsing of Advanced Tau Tactica when I get the urge to think Tau thoughts. Rarely post there though, the "elevated" atmosphere is not particularly conducive of casual discussion without Substance! and Informed Opinion! in my opinion at least... but I digress.
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Old 21 Apr 2015, 05:25   #3 (permalink)
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If you want a squad of Fireblades, then go for it, they are 60 points a pop and their ability stacks. At one fireblade it's 60 points per shot. At 10 fireblades, it's 6 points per shot. And if you really wanted to, you could bring 60 and you'd be at 1 point per shot. It isn't cost effective to do that though.

As far as fire warriors with heavy weapons go, Wilderun is right, it'll never happen, it goes against the Fire Caste's principle of organization (all have their strength within the greater good and should dedicate their efforts towards it).

As for pathfinder weapon teams, I couldn't disagree more with Wilderun... well I could... but I think of all the pathfinder load outs the heavy weapons team is the best way to use pathfinders. As a markerlight platform they are too fragile, but as a unit of 4 models with 3 moderately ineffective heavy weapons they really don't take much fire so they do perform better. Still doesn't make them great, but if I were to take them I'd take them as a heavy weapons platform.
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Old 21 Apr 2015, 06:28   #4 (permalink)
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I actually love the idea of Pathfinders as heavy weapons teams, but only with the ion rifle. If I ever incorporate them back into my army it will likely be as two teams equipped as such. I tried them with the rail rifle and it never quite worked for me. The weapon is great, I just don't like it on Pathfinders for manifold cost reasons.

I've been considering fielding those ion rifle units of Pathfinders in concert with Fire Warrior teams as dedicated supporting artillery. As it stands though I have yet to build my second squad of Pathfinders (such a great kit!) though I could easily proxy the rail rifles as ion rifles and I wouldn't likely go above 5 man squads initially anyway. Plus I just haven't had time for gaming, so no opportunities for field testing! Sucks having a job, it gives me money but then I have no excuse to spend it on my little men.
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Old 21 Apr 2015, 15:44   #5 (permalink)
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Truth be told it would be nice to see a new infantry face for troop choices something like the sniper drone team that specializes in special weapons like the railgun, maybe one that utilizes plasma weapons that would be cool I think mak'm lets say


Unit Consists of 3 models @33pts , may add up to 5 Additional models @11pts/per model

Bulky, Scout, Jet Pack infantry, Zephyr's Grace, Supporting Fire, OverBoost(Special)
WS 3, BS 3, S 3, T 3, W 1, I 4, A 2, Ld 6, Sv 5+

Weapons
Plasma Pistols x2
Range 16", S 6, AP 3, Assault 2, Rapid Fire
Photon Grenades

Optional Parts
Blacksun Filter(1pts/per model), Multi-Tracker(2pts/per model), Vectored Retro-Thrusters(5pts/per model)

(Overboost): When all models in the unit take "Vectored Retro-Thrusters" roll 3D6 for thrust moves.

whatcha guys think about that?
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Old 22 Apr 2015, 01:14   #6 (permalink)
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What you've described sounds awfully similar to Vespid, although the cost you've given them is completely broken. 11 points per model for a jetpack infantry, assault 2 toting Marine and Monstrous Creature killer? That's ridiculous. Vespid are 18 points per model, which seems like a lot. But when you take into account that an Assault Marine is similarly priced (also jump pack infantry) but lacks fancy special rules such as Move Through Cover, Fleet, Stealth (ruins), Hit and Run and doesn't carry around armor voiding weaponry, the pricing is really not that bad. The biggest problem with Vespid is that Crisis suits perform their roll arguably more effectively and do not compete for our crowded Fast Attack slots.

Anyway, let's discuss the options you've included for this wishful unit. You've given them weapon skill 3, initiative 4 and 2 attacks base, which clearly indicates their intended role as an assault unit. However, they are only strength and toughness 3, have a 5+ save and have a leadership value of 6! Sure, they'll go simultaneous with Marines and even attack before Guardsmen... however, they are not strong enough to meaningfully damage MEQ units and lack the durability to fight even basic troops units, which will outnumber them by two at least, let alone dedicated assault units that will absolutely tear these guys apart. This coupled with their low leadership will lead them to lose combat and fail their morale check, and not even initiative 4 will reliably save them from being swept.

You have equipped them with a plasma pistol that is assault 2, rapid fire at a 16" range. Why? Firstly the inclusion of assault and rapid fire rules is mutually exclusive, just keep the weapon assault. Secondly pistols are quite standardly 12" range and single shot, a weapon like this more closely resembles the pulse carbine. It would be more reasonable to name it the Plasma Carbine and add 2". But then why call it a Plasma weapon when it lacks AP 2? Maybe strength 5 AP 2 would work?

The blacksun filter is a neat piece of wargear, but on a unit like this I don't expect it to see much meaningful use. They are going to have to be deployed at the very forefront of your lines in order to make their shots count. This could potentially put them 12" beyond your deployment zone (assuming use of Scout and that their jetpack ability was not taken advantage of.) Even if the unit jetpacks itself back to friendly territory it is an unnecessary risk to expose such a fragile unit on the front lines.

I don't quite understand the inclusion of the multi-tracker, although I did just now notice the Plasma pistols "x2" notation above. Does this mean that they have assault 2 through the use of two of these pistols, or is it intended that both of these weapons are assault 2? If the latter is the case, I have to again state how ridiculously underpriced this unit is. For that amount of firepower the models should be 20+ points each at the very least. I'd say that ~16 points per model would be more reasonable if they had a single assault 2 weapon, and that's still really cheap.

The vectored retro-thrusters is obviously intended to reinforce the unit's role as an assault unit, about which I've already stated my thoughts.

The unit is really just too similar to Vespid. If Vespid could be taken as troops or if they remained in fast attack and were upgraded to an assault 2 weapon I think many more players would consider them a viable option.

Last edited by wilderun; 22 Apr 2015 at 01:16.
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Old 22 Apr 2015, 02:20   #7 (permalink)
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You actually make a lot of valid statements, but let me make statement on explinations.

First off I felt that with the low cost and fragile unit was a balance to having the semi-powerful weapon and ability strategy wise yes the reason for the multi-tracker is because he infact has two seperate plasma pistols which I figured small range because of the pistols.
The higher attack and ap due to having plasma, with the assault 2 per pistol plus if they are within 8" of the enemy they would get rapid fire so essentially 2 shots per pistol standard range and 4 per in rapid fire equaling a what I thought was balanced for them being essential glass cannons.
The strategy is that you want to bring the vectored retro-thrusters so you can get the benefit of 3d6 thrust moves which on a basic unit of them would cost an extra 15 points bringing to 48 pts plus multi-trackers to get both weapons would be 54 so yes I can see they are way too cheap, but yes I was thinking of the fragileness maybe if it was 5pts per multi-tracker would be more appropriate? it would effectively bring it up to 63 so only a little cheaper than vespid and Vespid really arn't used because they arn't good enough for their cost so this might bring people to use them.
How about we raise the Initiative to 6? I feel giving the weapon ap 2 would be overpowered, but maybe giving them str 5 wouldn't be too bad. For clerification he has two pistols so without the multi-tracker he can only fire one.

So how about this update

Unit Consists of 3 models @36pts, may add up to 5 Additional models @12pts/per model

Bulky, Scout, Jet Pack infantry, Zephyr's Grace, Supporting Fire, OverBoost(Special)
WS 4, BS 3, S 3, T 3, W 1, I 6, A 2, Ld 6, Sv 5+

Weapons
Plasma Pistols x2
Range 16", S 6, AP 3, Assault 2, Rapid Fire
Photon Grenades

Optional Parts
Blacksun Filter(1pts/per model), Multi-Tracker(5pts/per model), Vectored Retro-Thrusters(5pts/per model)

(Overboost): When all models in the unit take "Vectored Retro-Thrusters" roll 3D6 for thrust moves.

This a little bit more balanced and would be more used in battle?
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Old 22 Apr 2015, 02:43   #8 (permalink)
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That's still outrageously cheap. Here, first tell me about what this unit actually is. You said Mak'm in your first post, what is that? Are they an alien race that the Tau are fielding as auxiliaries? They clearly must be wearing some form of battlesuit armor to have access to these upgrade options.

I think that when you create your own hypothetical units, you really have to consider the way GW has designed the units in the Tau codex as well looking at options in other codices from which you can draw similarities. The sort of unit you propose would never be introduced by GW, not even via Forgewold. The stats and rules are just too imbalanced. You should also really think about the battlefield role of the unit and how that affects both their points cost as well as what slot in the army list they would occupy. A unit like this is much too aggressive to exist in the Tau troops section. This is definitely a fast attack type of unit, but Tau already has so much competition in that category.
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Old 22 Apr 2015, 04:56   #9 (permalink)
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well mak'm was more of a make them just brain was not working at the time of writing, and what he would be based off of closely would be closest to stealthsuits and Vespids.
where they are not quite stealthy, but they run on the same line as essentially having a sort of "Bulky" battlesuit equipped, but having the abilities of a vespid. the closest thing I can think to compare would be Starcraft 2's Reapers. By the lore I would say they would belong to the air caste.
I do get that the price is way cheap I for one am not great at the whole points cost thing even with standard army so what something like this would be lets say Fast attack or elite and lets say what 35pts per model would be more appropriate? So a stack of three would be 105pts? thats almost the amount for a hammerhead with just the basic glass, but thats the vibe i'm getting from the evaluation.
As far as the forgeworld and GW stuff they actually released something not so close, but similar, it was the y'vhara battlesuit which forgeworld made a fast attack riptide that was made for fast attack and was made for close combat so I think under the right balances this could be possible.
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Old 22 Apr 2015, 05:53   #10 (permalink)
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The Y'vahra is certainly capable of unleashing devastating firepower. However, it is a 4 wound Monstrous Creature that costs 230 points.

I do actually like the basic idea of your unit, it just needs some good tweaks.
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