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What's with the armour?
Old 20 May 2007, 07:40   #1 (permalink)
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Default What's with the armour?

I was just looking around the sight and suddenly the thought hit me. why the armour of the tau so crap? for example. a battlesuit is far more buff and thick than a space maring in power armour yet their armour value is the same.

I've read the fluff and i know obviously that the tau are very technically advanced, so why do fire warriors have such crap armour? if the tau scientists are so smart then why dont they make a suit of armour that is just as light yet far more effective?
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Old 20 May 2007, 08:45   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: whats with the armour?

Well, for one thing it would make the game terribly un balanced in favour of the tau (not necessarily a bad thing ). But things like power armour were made back in the day when the Imperium had better technology than the tau and more manpower to make more of it. Also, a lot of the crisis suits buffness is accounted for by the extra wound i.e you can blow off its leg and you still get burst cannon-d in the face.
Plus, do you know how strong you have to be to walk around in power armour without being crushed by its weight? even marines with their super strength have to rely on motors in the armour its self to help them move about.
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Old 20 May 2007, 10:48   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: whats with the armour?

you get a extra W with battlesuites to make up for that. for fire warriors to have a 3+ would be great. id love that but it would be a little bit to heavy i tihnk. they are light troops a 4+ save is great any ways. but a 3+ would mean no death from heavy bolters =P

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Old 20 May 2007, 11:09   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: whats with the armour?

Well, the reason FWs are 4+ is simple, I guess.

First off all, 4+ armour is far more easy to construct than 3+

Second, 4+ armour is more lightweight than 3+, making movement easier.

Besides, the battlefield roles for Marines and Firewarriors are different: Space Marines are designed to walk into the middle of the enemy line, ignoring incoming fire, shooting the enemy, then charging into the thick of battle (at least that`s the archetype).
Tau Firewarriors are light infantry, their job is to sit back, and pour pulse fire at the enemy. They don`t NEED 3+ armour, as they shouldn`t be in the thick of the battle (just like Marine Scouts). Mobility is the key to their success.

I doubt that a Crisis Suit is better armoured than a Marine - after all, it still has to be able to fly! So they need to be not only armoured, but also lightweight. Again, to preserve mobility, they don`t have as much armour as they possibly could have.
The Boradsides, on the other hand, don`t need to be mobile, hence their 2+ armour save.

The Tau DO have the technology to make armour which can stand up to Marine and Terminator standards - they just don`t use it everywhere, favoring mobility over thick armour plating (after all, the only thing better than being able to withstand enemy fire is not getting shot at at all).

You can either be heavily armoured, or mobile - not both.
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Old 20 May 2007, 12:15   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: whats with the armour?

Originally Posted by CmdrBonesaw
You can either be heavily armoured, or mobile - not both.
I reject your reality and substitute my own.
Broadside with A.S.S. – Armour and (limited) mobility. :P

Otherwise, good points about Tau preferring to not get shot in the first place over having invincible armour.
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Old 20 May 2007, 13:08   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: whats with the armour?

Or iridium armour + the awesome ability to roll sixes when you need em XD (My firends hate my Black Templars RZ for that reason^^)
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Old 20 May 2007, 15:28   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: whats with the armour?

XV8's were originally playtested with 2+ armor, but were found to be too powerful.

The reason they have 3+ armor has nothing to do with the fluff... it's pure game balance.
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Old 20 May 2007, 16:01   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: whats with the armour?

Originally Posted by T0nkaTruckDriver
XV8's were originally playtested with 2+ armor, but were found to be too powerful.

The reason they have 3+ armor has nothing to do with the fluff... it's pure game balance.
This is true, they originally had 2+ armour and a 12" move but the designers found it made them way to overpowered, i think the XV8 battle suit is fine as it is for a standard elite choice.
One thing I would have liked to have seen in the new codex special issue wargear would be a toughness upgrade for the XV8 to TGH5, I think a TGH 5 XV8 suit would actually be more valuable than a 2+ save.
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Old 20 May 2007, 16:01   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: whats with the armour?

Space marine

Fire warrior

Please notice how the Space mainre has HUGE BULKING ARMOR! its nice they even have a 4+ save.
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Old 20 May 2007, 22:43   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: whats with the armour?

I agree that it would be a game balance issue, and that's the "real" reason why Tau battlesuits don't get thicker armor.

From a fluff standpoint, I use the following reasoning (purely made up).

Tau Earth Caste scientists are extremely good at working with systems that involve energy and energy manipulation, but they are not nearly as good at metallurgy. As a race the Tau just don't have the same "knack" for it. Maybe they had fewer minerals or examples from their past, who knows. But for whatever reason, the Tau are on the fast track when it comes to developing energy technologies, but when it comes to metallurgy they're par for the course - which as a younger race puts them behind the human empire's space marines.

From this perspective, how would Tau solve the need for stronger armor? Answer is to use your strength to overcome your weakness. Can energy be used as armor? Yes! Hence the Tau develop shield generation technology. They haven't miniaturized it yet to where a single firewarrior can use it, but through more dedicated platforms, such as drones or battlesuits, the technology works quite well.

Now you don't need inspiration to solve every problem and the Tau have recently employed a brute force tactic of piling more and more armor onto a single battlesuit than it is really rated for. Enter the Iridium armor, which improves the armor save, but slows the jetpack ready suit significantly. I envision this is what Broadside suits do. They move more slowly and can't use a jetpack at all because of all the weight of layer after layer of armor.

If Tau metallurgy makes some serious breakthroughs, then they might discover lighter materials with which to make armor just as strong, but that's not their research and development strength. Their time and effort is better focused around energy systems.

I can't wait for them to develop the shield generator mark II - which improves the invuln save to +3.

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