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Sept Variations (updated)
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Old 18 May 2007, 17:34   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Sept Variations (updated)

I updated my original post... after receiving input from several of you. The changes are italicized.

Feel free to move this to house rules... I did not know how to post it there.

I would also like feedback. I have tried hard to keep game balance in mind, but add some variety to the Tau Empire.


[size=12pt]Tau Tenets[/size]
As each of the major Tau worlds have developed, their war colleges have established Tenets that reflect the battle doctrines best suited for their homeworld and culture. Tau commanders from these worlds are often sent to do battle throughout the Empire and it’s expansion regions. Many commanders will at times fallback on more traditional methods and tactics. However, especially when defending their homeworlds they are more likely to employ these Tenets. Below are a list of the eight core Tau Septs, their Tenet, and the requirement and benefit of their tenet. (Also listed are the Second and Third expansion Septs that would also practice particular Tenets.)

[size=12pt]Tau: [/size]
Au’chayr (Wise Council)

As the center of the Empire, Tau Sept Commanders have greater access to the Ethereal Caste.

Requirement: Ethereal counts as 1 HQ (must take an Ethereal) This replaces the requirement to take a commander. However...
Benefit: If the army has both an Ethereal and a commander then the army receives a +1 Strategy Rating.


[size=12pt]Tau’n (and Vash'ya):[/size]
Ka’nuk (War Hawk)
Known for exploration Tau’n is populated by a high percentage of the Air Cast. Commanders from Tau’n often coordinate strikes with the Tau’n Fleet.

Requirement: 65 points and counts as an HQ slot
Benefit: Orbital Strike, see Daemon Hunter Codex

[size=12pt]D’yanoi (and Ksi'm'yen):[/size]
Kam'yen (Stealth Strike)
Inhabitants are regarded as somewhat rustic, however D’yanoi Fire Caste excel at stealth and night fighting.

Requirements:
  • Stealth Teams count as 1-3.
    Kroot, Vespids, Hammerheads, Skyrays and Broadsides all count as 0-1.

Benefits:
  • Commanders get a Blacksun Filter for free.
    All Shas’ui crisis suits may take a hard-wired Blacksun Filter for 5 points in addition to their 3 hardpoint weapons/systems.
    Firewarrior Teams not mounted in a Devilfish start the game concealed (see concealment in the Rulebook)
    Pathfinders gain the stealth universal special rule.


[size=12pt]Bork’an[/size]
B’mont (War Herder)
Bork’an is populated by a high percentage of the Earth Cast. Commanders often take advantage of Earth Cast Support and employ an advanced variation of the Patient Hunter Tactic that utilizes terrain to their advantage.

Requirement: 35 points counts as an HQ slot
Benefit: The Tau player may choose to do one of the following after each player has deployed their troops.
  • Move one piece of terrain that does not have models deployed on or in it.
  • May use ‘Obstacles’ (see Battle Missions in the Rulebook.)
[size=10pt] May place a 6x6” section of ‘Fortifications’ in the Tau deployment zone.[/size]
Note: if Obstacles or Fortifications are all ready in use according to the mission type they can not be used again.

[size=12pt]Dal’yth[/size]
Ar’ro (High Minded)
Many Water Caste merchants and traders come from this Sept. Tau from this world have contact with many offworlders. Dal’yth commanders have taken advantage of this and established extensive intelligence networks. This is often used to launch surprise attacks or force enemies to attack at the least opportune times.

Requirement:
40 points counts as toward the commander’s wargear.
Benefit:
  • In games that use the Reserves rule all Tau units gain a +1 to their reserve rolls.
  • In games that do not use Reserves the Tau player may force one enemy unit to start the game in Reserve. Roll a d6 to determine the type of unit. On a roll of:
1-3 Troop
4-5 Elite
6 Heavy Support
Note: If there is more than one of this type of unit then the opponent may choose the specific unit that is held in reserve.

[size=12pt]Fal’shia[/size]
El’ro Tau’cha (Believe in Our Destiny)

This Sept has the some of most advance technology in the Empire. They prefer to rely on their advanced technology instead of utilizing mercenaries.

Requirement: May not use Kroot or Gue’vesa selections.
Benefits: Fal’shia HQ battlesuits have additional Special Issue Systems to choose from.
  • Smart Missile System +20 points (Weapon System)
  • Heavy Flamer +12 points (Weapon System)
  • Flechette Discharger +15 points (Support System)
  • Marker Beacon (see Pathfinder Devilfish) +15 points (Support System)
  • Integrated Shield Generator +25 points (Wargear)
  • Integrated Stealth Field Generator +40 points (Wargear)

[i][size=12pt]Vior’la[/size]
D'Ka (Dual Strike)

Fire Warriors from this sept are particularly aggressive and skilled. They also demand a great deal from their alien allies.

Benefit: Once per turn any two teams that are bonded (or a Kroot Squad with a Shaper or Vespid team with a Strain Leader) may combined their fire to an enhanced effect.

If two of these teams fire at a single infantry, jump infantry or bikes unit they count as if they were the same team for all purposes including the 'torrent of fire' effect decided on page 26 of the rule book.

If two of these teams fire at a single Vehicle and the first team scores a glancing or penetrating hit, then the second team fires with the benefit of 'Tank Hunters' universal special rule.


[size=12pt]Sa’cea (and Ke'lshan)[/size]
Mont’ka (Killing Blow)

Fire Warriors from this Sept are particularly proud and skilled. They prefer not to use alien auxiliaries and prefer quick direct attacks.

Requirement: May not use Kroot, Vespids or Gue’vesa selections. Stealthsuits count as 0-1.
Benefit: HQ choices and Firewarrior teams that are not mounted in a Devilfish may use the ‘scout’ universal special rule for free.




Important note: The Tenets reflect the tactics that are most used by the Commanders from particular Septs. Commanders will often fall back on traditional Codex formations and tactics. Also it is not uncommon for Commanders, especially those on Expansion Missions, to use tactics that are new to them. For example a Dalyth Commander opporating on a New World that is mostly dark and heavy populated by enemy forces may change to the Stealth Strike Tenet even though that is not traditional to his Sept. A Commander from a Third Phase Sept maybe looking to establish his own Identity and practice one of Tenets.

What do you think?
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Old 18 May 2007, 19:43   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sept Variations

I like this a lot, And I think it would be a nice addition to the codex
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Old 18 May 2007, 19:54   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sept Variations

so which sept is gonna be the 'vanilla' one? Every race needs their own iteration of the ultramarines.
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Old 18 May 2007, 20:52   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sept Variations

I'm liking the suggestion in general, but the idea of a 'Sept' variation is quite ridiculous in terms of the Tau. These are not Space Marine chapters of only a thousand (super) men, but whole worlds of often hundreds of thousands of Tau (of all castes) and auxilliaries. The implication that it is the *sept* that is varied is...well, I'd have difficulty believing it.

Removing the explicit reference to the Septs themselves and simply leaving this as 'Cadre Variation' makes a hell of alot more sense. The mechanic is rather nice, but the fluff pinning it is difficult to grasp. The Sa'cea Shas *prefer* not to have the Ethereals along? Yes, I can see the other castes stomaching that. In The fluff dynamic seems lost with it.

Putting it in terms of a doctrinal/school-of-thought/pragmatic-variation-for-this-operation makes a ton more sense (and is more plausible, for the Tau) than major discrepencies between 40k-sized forces at Sept level. Simply stripping back the Sept Titles and keeping them as 'Cadre Variations' or 'Cadre Specialisation' seems wiser.

As an aside: The Bork'an choice's use of obstacles, simply note that they'rew often 'dropped' obstacles, usually by Tigershark, deliberately just for the battle. They don't actually lay down trenches or tank traps for extended lengths, but they do deploy them rapidly for immediate skirmishes and battles where possible.
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Old 19 May 2007, 00:00   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sept Variations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Floobosaurus
so which sept is gonna be the 'vanilla' one? Every race needs their own iteration of the ultramarines.
The Tau Sept is the vanilla one.

There is no real variation from the codex... Just makes the Ethereal a little better.
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Old 19 May 2007, 00:18   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sept Variations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xisor
I'm liking the suggestion in general...

Putting it in terms of a doctrinal/school-of-thought/pragmatic-variation-for-this-operation makes a ton more sense (and is more plausible, for the Tau) than major discrepencies between 40k-sized forces at Sept level. Simply stripping back the Sept Titles and keeping them as 'Cadre Variations' or 'Cadre Specialisation' seems wiser.
I get your point. But if you think of the worlds like countries... it is a little easier to grasp.

Our world is very diverse... but we live in different cultures and governments. Each Tau world is under the same government and originated from the homeworld. A Sept world is far more likely (than our 20th century earth) to have the same culture/philosophy.

Infact the biggest arguments against Traits or Doctrines for Tau in the past is that the Tau are so young. Others argued in the old GW forums that the Tau were SO NEW that they would have No variation at ALL.

They also argued that the Tau are focused on unity within the Greater Good. AND that Tau are all about coordinated battle strategy, therefore they would not havevariations between Cadres.

I allways thought that was ridiculous. But along time ago I settled on the idea Sept Variation. Making the distinguishing characteristics at the largest level. Since people were so opposed to the idea of Traits or Doctrines for Tau I limited the Variations to the planetary scale. Buying into the idea that variation between cadre's was too UN-Tau.

I also suggested in my very brief fluff description:
That these reflect ONLY the majority or the Cadres on the Sept Homeworlds. I purposefully allowed each Sept to still use the traditional Codex, especially when away from their Homeworld where they might be fighting alongside other Septs in a major Campaign.
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Old 19 May 2007, 00:22   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sept Variations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xisor
As an aside: The Bork'an choice's use of obstacles, simply note that they'rew often 'dropped' obstacles, usually by Tigershark, deliberately just for the battle. They don't actually lay down trenches or tank traps for extended lengths, but they do deploy them rapidly for immediate skirmishes and battles where possible.
Good point... but wouldn't the Earth caste still construct those obsticales for the Fire Caste to drop?

I was trying to find a battle Field effect that would come from having a lot Earth Caste members on your homeworld.
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Old 19 May 2007, 00:30   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sept Variations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xisor
The Sa'cea Shas *prefer* not to have the Ethereals along? Yes, I can see the other castes stomaching that. In The fluff dynamic seems lost with it.
Well I was trying to reflect the idea of "highly militarize... disciplined and honorable." Raising their leadership seemed to be the best way to do that. But to maintain game balance I felt I needed to drop the Ethereal. Giving the whole army upgraded leadership and still letting them have the Ethereal re-roll seemed unfair.

I did not mean to suggest that they disdained the Ethereal but that they just do not bring them too the front lines.
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Old 19 May 2007, 01:30   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sept Variations

This is some very nice work, well thought out.
A couple of tweaks, points and rules-wise, are needed, but overall this is very balanced and 'fluffy'.

As the others said, I'd suggest removing any reference to individual septs and just calling these Battle Tenets/Doctrines/Arts of War or something.
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Old 19 May 2007, 01:56   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sept Variations

In the future, try not to double/triple/quadruple post. The 'modify' button is there for a reason.

Anyway, I really like this idea. However, I agree with Xisor in that they shouldn't really apply to the whole sept, just specific cadres.
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