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Tactica: Aun'Va, (finished)
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Old 27 Jun 2006, 16:31   #1 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Tactica: Aun'Va, (finished)

Did this because of the topic, "New Ethereal Aun'Va?".

Let's take a look at Aun'va. When we first look at his stat bar, you can certainly tell he's old. Relatively no WS, so he's not too good at close combat, and his strength would barely do a scratch to a grot if he somehow managed to hit. His BS isn't more then average, but it doesn't matter as he has no long ranged weapons whatsoever. His magic staff aids his toughness quite a lot, (+2), but it still counts as normal towards instant kills, which really sucks considering how many wounds he has. he has to lowest initiative I've ever seen, and practically no attacks, so to hurt someone you have to get really, really, really lucky. His leadership is perfect, like all ethereals, and his save has quite a few things in store for combat, and long range.

First off, I need to point out his Paradox of Duality-

This thing is a pimp's charm. Not only does it sparkle with blue electricity, but it kicks some serious cover saves in the face of enemies. it gives all of them +2 toughness, (still counts as normal for instant kills), and gives them a twin-linked cover save.

Not an Armour Save, Not an Invulnerable Save, It's a Cover Save!

Sure, armour/invulnerable saves are great, but seeing as invulnerable saves really aren't invulnerable any more, a cover save is better. There is a certain type of weapon that is in the least common squad for negating certain saves. This is the cover save group. Most weapons today are focused in on taking out people with power weapons, and psycannons, (and other invulnerable save ignoring weapons), as I have only seen a few weapons that ignore cover saves, (most being in 2nd edition codexes). Not only this, but you rarely see a re-rollable cover save. I like it. So really all you have to stay away from are hordes of little guys, and those big scary guns that ignore cover saves, (as a Dark Eldar player I know we have a lot of these). The biggest problem with his cover save, is the fact that you don't get it in close combat. So he, and his guards are going to be forced to rely on their toughness only, (not enough in most cases).

Aun'va is protected by an honour guard of two Tau. These guys put the kick, in kick D'yi. They have a great WS, that of any space marine, and they have honour blades, (+2 strength), so they can take out a lot of tough foes. Their toughness is like Aun'va, concealed under the Paradox of Duality, so they can take a lot of strong attacks, and still manage their opponent a 4-6+ roll to wound them. But of course, instant killing weapons will count them as being their beginning toughness. This isn't as bad as with Aun'va, though, as he has a ton of wounds that can be gone with one strength 6 blow. They will usually go second, so their good toughness becomes handy again, and their re-rollable save helps a lot. If only these guys had power weapons...

Supremely Inspiring Presence-

This is both a good, and bad special ability. Any Tau units, (not Kroot, Vespids, or drones), with line-of-sight on Aun'Va become stubborn. They become fearless, which can help when attacking some units, but it's mainly wasted. Usually it's best for a unit of firewarriors, or other Tau to fall back from close combat, and with this they don't. And as they're not the best at it, they will probably die if they had to do the test in the first place. This ability would have been great except for the fact that you take pinning as normal. If you could ignore pinning, this would be a great rule, and given Aun'va a +2 in my book.

Ultimate Price of Failure-

If Aun'va dies, (pretty likely), all Tau models, (not Kroot, Vespids, or drones), that are not falling back, or in close combat, will automatically gain the preferred enemy special rule towards the enemy they're fighting, and gain furious charge, too. In fluff, this is easily the coolest thing ever. The Tau, seeing their fallen hero, become enraged, and charge the enemies, not afraid of loss, nor death. But in game, it isn't the best thing, as Tau, even with the preferred enemy special rule, are not that good at close combat. They are slow, and pretty weak in general, (the only exceptions being battlesuits, and Kroot). But they have to charge if they can.

Brief Summary of his Pros, and Cons-

Pros-
  • He, and his retinue are a nice little squad of models, that have some good stats, and wargear.
  • Paradox of Duality in general, (mainly the re-rollable cover save>armour/invulnerable save).

Cons-
  • His special rules are stupidity disguised as "bravery".
  • He has a ton of wounds, and is incredibly easy to instant kill.
  • Way too much point cost for the small amount of damage they do in battle.
  • Literally causes more damage on the Tau side, then the enemy.


Aun'va in fluff is a great character, and he has his moments in battle, but all in all, he costs too much for the small amount of damage that he can do. Not only this, but he dies quite easily, and once this happens, your Tau strategies will have gone to the dogs, (I mean no offense towards dogs).

Taking a Normal Ethereal Over Aun'Va?

With the release of the new codex, I personally think Ethereals are pretty damn good.
They're not too expensive, and are skilled in combat. And have a lot of good wargear items that they can take. First off I want to state a few things about their combat roles. You have to major weapons you can take. The symbols of office, which are normal close combat weapons, that add +1 attack to your profile, and Ethereals start off with quite a few attacks in the first place. However, symbols of office leave you with low strength, taking a 5+ to wound any marine. I think the best weapon to go with on an Ethereal would be the honour blade. It's better against all enemies, and that +1 attack isn't going to do that much, (just for fun, when an important character rolls to hit in close combat, roll an extra die without counting it, see what it does). The honour blade offers you +2 strength, giving you a giant leap in wounding ability, (3+ to wound a marine, rather then a 5+, and a 2+ to wound a guardsmen, rather then a 4+), but it still does not get over enemy saves. So an Ethereal is no power house. You'll be lucky if you even kill one marine on the charge.

Not a Celebrity-

This is a good thing. The normal ethereal has a better version of the price of failure then Aun'Va. An Ethereal when brought to death, influences all of the surrounding Tau models, (not Kroot, Vespid, or drones), so that they get preferred enemy against whoever they're fighting. But, they are not so pissed off that they would simply charge into battle and get themselves slaughtered. They will stand and fight, but still have a preferred enemy rule if the times get bad.

The normal Ethereal actually has a much better honour guard then Aun'Va. While Aun'Va has two wildcats for a bodyguard, the normal Ethereal has 12 pissed off squirells with some giant pulse rifles. Not only this, but the firewarriors in his retinue get +1 BS, at only +2 points each. This retinue may not be the best in close combat, but it can sure as hell fight off anybody at long range.

MEQ KILLS-
7.8/12 pulse shots hit
5.1/7.8 pulse shots hit
1.7/5.1 MEQ models fail their armour saves.

That's 2 dead marines on the average. Not bad for some angry squirells.

The normal Ethereal also has a different form of inspiring presence. It doesn't automatically make all Tau units with a line of sight to the Ethereal fearless, it always them a re-rolled morale check, that you don't need to take. So, with the average Tau unit's leadership, (not Kroot, Vespids, or drones), you should be able to pass it, or fail it whether or not you want to, (unless you pass the need first one).

The wargear list is up for grabs, too, (or at least the infantry side of it)-

The first item I need to point out is the hard-wired drone controller. Without a save, an Ethereal is quite vulnerable. However, with two shield drones buzzing around his head, he's got some good defense, (especially since their average save blocks half of all wounds taken). And, while it may be a bit more easy to block by some weapons, it is also easier to avoid flamers, (something Aun'Va can't do, AT ALL). It costs thirty points, which is ten points cheaper then two shield generators, (although they can only take half as many wounds).

Next is the bonding knife, which is almost pointless with an Ethereal, as any unit he joins becomes fearless, and won't need to regroup.

EMP grenades are a great upgrade for an Ethereal, though. They are cheap, costing a mere 3 points extra, and will allow your Ethereal's unit to have some vehicle fun, (in the form of death).

A black sun filter is a great option for, not the Ethereal, but for any squads wanting line of sight towards him in a night fight battle. They will get their seeing distance increased two fold, and on average, is quite enough to see across the average board.

Drones: Shield drones have already been talked about, so I will talk about with other drone units. Marker drones are good, but as the Ethereal doesn't have any long ranged weapons he won't need it. And even if he is joined by a honour guard, they already have enough BS to protect their commander, (plus, for 30 points there is only a 50% chance of hitting). Next are regular gun drones. On the average, these do not do too well, unless in great numbers, as they have extremely low BS, and their guns are shorter ranged. Plus, an honour guard offers much more help in the form of pulse weaponry.

An Ethereal over Aun'Va-

Pros:
  • Much less cost.
  • Honour Guard is much better at protecting, (there are just more models, with pulse weapons).
  • In general, weapons ignore cover saves are more common then weapons ignoring invulnerable saves, (flamers are in almost every army).
  • Special rules are a bit better.
  • The Ethereal has a fighting chance on its own.

Cons:
  • Less effective in close combat, (Aun'Va's guard is tougher, stronger, and more skilled).
  • Less chance of passing saving throws.
  • To my awareness, there are no close combat weapons that ignore cover saves, there are however, weapons that ignore invulnerable saves.

If you're going to take an Ethereal into battle, it might as well be a normal Ethereal, their abilites are better in most cases, they have a wider selection of wargear, giving them an edge in a lot of battles, they're cheaper, and they can be used in battles of less then 1500 points.
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Old 27 Jun 2006, 16:35   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tactica: Aun'Va

Heres something for the article. Keep him the hell away from hellhounds!
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Old 27 Jun 2006, 16:43   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tactica: Aun'Va

Nice write-up, but to me this makes the mediocre Aun'va seem even less beneficial.
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Old 27 Jun 2006, 17:17   #4 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Tactica: Aun'Va

Aun'va has always been a generally useless character. Besides wishing he was Xavier and the Pope he is a special character that can easily get killed in every field of battle. It's as if GW wants to use him in a big campaign and kill him over during a game, simply because it would be easy.

Fish Ead said it, flamers, hellhounds, and a bunch of other template based weapons ignore cover. Many of them have strength 5 (or god forbid 6) and Aun'va and his buddies would have no save and be toast. They also have a cover save which I believe disappears in combat so even the mediocre combat ability of his Guards is wasted because they will die...and fast.

I don't know what GW was thinking. People probably complained that Tau are cheese and GW gave us possibly the worst character in the game to get rid of the argument.
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Old 27 Jun 2006, 19:07   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tactica: Aun'Va

wow what a great post i still like the model for fluff
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Old 27 Jun 2006, 19:27   #6 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Tactica: Aun'Va

they should have given him a fusion blaster on his hover chair, Regret had one and he kicked ass!
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Old 27 Jun 2006, 20:14   #7 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Tactica: Aun'Va

Reading the title, I was worried for a second you were gonna try to convince us that he's worth taking for us (plenty worth it for our opponent)...

What would've been even cooler is some sort of "ethereal" model.... drone. Undying antennae or something, with some twisted story as to why the damn thing would have honor guards in the first place. Preferably because its com systems spit out wierd sayings instead of telemetry...
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Old 28 Jun 2006, 01:30   #8 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Tactica: Aun'Va, (finished)

Wow is aun'va the only creature in existance to have a WS of X???
I reckon GW should have let Aun'va carry a ancient really strong weapon found in misterious surcontances.
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Old 28 Jun 2006, 02:02   #9 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Tactica: Aun'Va, (finished)

well the only thing hes carrying now is a flimsy stick ;D

I got the same impression as Nova at first but how could it honestly go that way. I cant say ive seen a more worthless character, i mean its like giving John Howard (prime minister of Australia) a gun and sending him to iraq.... except our men wouldnt go crazy when he died..... they would laugh and walk away
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Old 28 Jun 2006, 02:31   #10 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Tactica: Aun'Va, (finished)

Yes, why did they give us the space pope? What was the alterior motive for GW? Were they hoping to get sales off the Pope change / Prophets of Halo 2? Did they add him just for the sake of coining the term 'Space Pope' ingame?

They could have done some things to make him better. I mean, what if you could add more honor guards for additional points? With maybe five honor guards and a better save you could hide him back and have the muscle men clobber any deepstrikers looking to kill your Etherial and have your army toss their rifles. And the price of failure could have been better by giving any Tau that pass their morale checks super-tau strength in addition to super-tau bravery. I mean, aren't berserkers feared because they use every ounce of strength in their body without concern of injury or exhaustion? How would you react if you saw someone close to you die?

I actually thought about taking the Etherial myself just to have the super sniper squadron as his bodyguard. Since they can hit things better with their super weapons anyway, it would give anyone a nasty shock. Especially if they were all in cover, or managed a FoF with 11 warriors and your etherial. Drop that on the enemy.
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