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Is Mech Tau powergaming in a sense?
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Old 20 Jun 2007, 11:47   #1 (permalink)
Ethereal
 
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Default Is Mech Tau powergaming in a sense?

Well, this started a few days ago...

When I bought my Tau army to test out the effectiveness of the list to my gaming community, I truly believe that I am bringing a rather balanced army of 1750 points of tau as I decrese some of their abilities and just try some other things that I don't usually use in my army.

I then just asked one of my gaming buddy to play with me. He obliged and we set up a game. As he sees my vehicles rolling one by one, another gamer coes in and says that my mech tau is a powergaming army for the sole reason of having just too much vehicles in my hand. Then another gamer comes in and say that no one use that number of vehicle in a game. They say that it is rather unbalanced and suggested that I should put in some static fire warrior firebase, or a bunch of kroots.

Here is my list that I used that day, for your judgement.

Quote:
1750 pts Mec Tau
HQ
Shas'el
Plasma rifle
Fusion blaster
Hw Multitracker
Shield Generator

total pts: 107 pts

Elites
1.* Xv 8 Team (fireknife)
2 x shas'uicrisis suit
Plasma rifle
Missile pods
Multitracker

Total pts: 124 pts

2..* Xv 8 Team (fireknife)
2 x shas'uicrisis suit
Plasma rifle
Missile pods
Multitracker

total pts: 124 pts
*
3.Xv 8 Team (fireknife)
2 x shas'uicrisis suit
Plasma rifle
Missile pods
Multitracker

Total pts: 124 pts

Troops
1. Firewarrior in devilfish - 210 pts

a. Fire warriors
Shas'ui x 1
Shas'la x 9
Bonding knife

Total pts: 115 pts

b.Devilfish
Multitracker
Decoy launcher
drones x 2

total pts: 95

2.Firewarrior in devilfish - 210 pts

a. Fire warriors
Shas'ui x 1
Shas'la x 9
Bonding knife

Total pts: 115 pts

b.Devilfish
Multitracker
Decoy launcher
drones x 2

total pts: 95

Fast Attack
1. Pathfuinders with warfish - 236 pts
a. Pathfinders

Shas'ui with bonding knife and HW target lock
7 x shas'la

total pts: 116

b. Warfish
Devilfish
Smart Missile system
Targetting array
Multitracker
Decoy Launcher

total pts: 120

2. Pirahna - 70 pts
Fusion Blaster
Targetting array

3.Pirahna - 70 pts
Fusion Blaster
Targetting array

Heavy Support
1. Hammerhead
Railgun
Burst cannon
Multitracker
Target lock
Decoy launcher

total pts: 170 pts

2.Hammerhead
Railgun
Burst cannon
Multitracker
Target lock
Decoy launcher

total pts: 170 pts

3. Hammerhead
Hammerhead
Ion Cannon
Burst cannon
Multitracker
Target lock
Decoy launcher

total pts: 135 pts

Total Pts for entire army: 1750 pts.
Although I lost the match,but that caught me thinking. Am I really powergaming? I despice powergaming at its best, and now I am worried that I am slowly becoming a powergamer.

And also I noticed that no one in the store uses as much vehicles as I do with the exception of the dark Eldar player that comes once every few months (That Dark Eldar army is powergaming for sure as he just have 6 dark eldar warriors in each one of the transport so that he can take more stuff with transports in it. Total vehciles in that army : 12). As I have now currently 8 vehicles in the army, and 7 crisis suits chucnk in as well, it is rather disturbing once people call the army powergaming as I can imagine myself in the eyes of my opponenet seeing the wave upon wave of transports.

Thus this leads to another train of though. If I have so much vehicles that it actually scares the opponent silly, is the actors of the number of vehicles that I use is called powergaming? Although in my own though, my army is balanced, but yet thinking about the dar eldar guy I started to see the connection of the number of vehciles on the table is quite scary indeed. Since most armies have not the number of anti-tank weapons to bring all my stuff down in one go, is Mech tau akin to min-maxing in a sense? The reason for my thoughs is because* mech tau alot of vehicles in proportion to troops on the ground, and thus this could account for a pseudo-min maxing.As for the other thing, it seems that my elites are badly maxed out, and according to the powergamer jargon, it is somewhat a sign of powergaming. There are also other factors, but this two stand out as the most disturbing things.

What is your verdict in regards to Mech Tau? Is it powergaimg? Is my list powergaming?







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Old 20 Jun 2007, 11:56   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is Mech Tau powergaming in a sense?

Hmm. I would think that with most armies (save say.. pure GK) - you could more or less set up to be 'powergaming'. In a tournament environment though - most lists are designed to win...

Anyway if you're worried, run your list through the purity test: http://www.geocities.com/newpaintbrush/puritytest.html

At first glance - it does look like you've certainly gone light on points spent on your Troops, and an equal amount if not more on your Elites and Heavy Support. Thats purely taking into account the distribution of points over your army - which would actually bump you up a few points on the purity test.

IMO though Mech Tau can be balanced if that is what you aim for. My Pure Mech 2000 Point list has a one or two more vehicles than your list there, I'll run it through the purity test actually...

[hr]

Edit: ok well I had written the list with balance in mind - ran it through the test and it put me on 5 points - Regular Gamer.

Said 2000 Point list includes: 4 XV8s, 5 XV15s, 3 Max Fire Warrior Squads, 1 Max Pathfinder Squad, 1 Max Drone Squadron, 2 Piranha's, 4 Devilfishes, 3 Hammerheads. Heh, I don't even have that many models.

Point distribution is as follows:


Quote:
[size=larger]Army Composition[/size]
[table][tr][td]Slot(s)[/td][td]Points[/td][td]Percentage[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]HQ (1/2)[/td][td]134[/td][td]6.70%[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Elites (3/3)[/td][td]313[/td][td]15.65%[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Troops (3/6)[/td][td]660[/td][td]33.00%[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Fast Attack (3/3)[/td][td]432[/td][td]21.60%[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Heavy Support (3/3)[/td][td]460[/td][td]23.00%[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]
Total:
[/td][td]1999[/td][td]99.95%[/td][/tr][/table]
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Old 20 Jun 2007, 12:12   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is Mech Tau powergaming in a sense?

In a sense it is, and in a sense it's not. It's all in how you spin it to your opponent :P

Mech Tau is fluffy. Furthermore, static firebases are distinctly not fluffy. Here's a quote from the old Guide to Mech Tau:

Quote:
When reading through the Tau Codex, the image of a very well equipped Combined Arms force formed in my imagination. Honestly, the idea of "hording up" on Fire Warriors never occurred to me, and I thought the Codex was pretty clear about that. I very much wanted to put together and learn how to play with an "ultra-mobile" Tau army that "consisted of an extremely well-equipped mechanized infantry formation with armoured support".

To support this idea, I would like you to consider some excerpts from the Tau Codex:

Pg 2: "Their main strength lies in the different battlesuit equipped warriors"
Pg 14: "Unlike The Imperium, the Tau Empire cannot draw on limitless manpower, so the strategy of attrition is unknown to them"
Pg 15: "Each Manta carries a full Hunter Cadre of between fifty and 100 Tau. All the troops carried will either be mounted in gravitic vehicles or equipped with jet packs and, can deploy from the Manta Missile Destroyer at altitude."
Pg 58: The Damocles Crusade, "The Tau response was swift, and consisted of an extremely well-equipped mechanized infantry formation with armoured support."
Pg 60: "As the assault continued, it was countered by ultra-mobile Tau units deployed from the ubiquitous Manta Missile Destroyers"

So as you can see, by what I must admit is selective reading of the Tau Codex, you can see that in a number of instances, the fluff does make direct mention of the type of Tau Hunter Cadre that we have come to call a Mech Tau Cadre.
If you played this sort of army in 3rd edition, you would have been applauded for your bravery. This was before you could rapid-fire on the dismount, before the AP1 rule, and before every land based vehicle in the game got nerfed by the new transport rules and the new hull down rules. But when 4th edition came out, Mech Tau got a sizeable boost. Combined with the subsequent release of Codex: Tau Empire (which made XV8's cheaper, Devilfish more powerful re: Warfish, and Ion Cannon's cheaper) Mech Tau became one of the most powerful ways to play the army.

Is it power gaming?

Powergaming is all about intent. Have you selected a unit or combination of units purely for a percieved in-game benefit with no regard to fluff or modelling? One of the easiest ways to spot a power gamer is by looking for multiples. If I've identified the 180 pt Railhead as a "good unit" and feel that perhaps it's in-game benefit is slightly more than its point cost justifies, I'll bring 3 of 'em. Identical copies. That's power gaming. Similarly, if all my Devilfish are equipped the same, or if all my XV8 units are equipped the same, I'm likely a power gamer. Tau GT lists filled with Railhead spam, Fireknife spam, and Kroot spam are classic examples of this sort of power gaming.

Your list looks like you've got quite a few carbon copies.

I'd suggest sitting down with the objecting parties and pointing out the codex references above. Then, take some time and reformat your list to include a bit more variety in the Elites, Troops, Fast Attack and Heavy Support sections. It takes some willpower, but I think you'll find that you can retain 98% of your list's effectiveness while making it 200% more palatable to your gaming group. And you'll have more fun at it too!
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Old 20 Jun 2007, 12:23   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is Mech Tau powergaming in a sense?

I don't think your list is powergaming, further more, I don't think mech tau is powergaming.

In my ideal gaming world, people play to the fluff of the army - so marines with heavy weapons only at ten man squads, full guard platoons etc.

Tau fluff, on many occasions, states how their primary way of engagement is mobile infantry, mechanized infantry with armour support. Its how I used to have mine (yes, even in third edition) and it fits the fluff of the army.
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Old 20 Jun 2007, 13:03   #5 (permalink)
Xan
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Default Re: Is Mech Tau powergaming in a sense?

Quote:
HQ :
1# Shas`O CIB MP Positional Relay Hard Wired Multi Tracker =97

Elites
1 # 1x Shas`Ui Twin Linked Fusion Blaster Targeting Array =53
2 # 1x Shas`Ui Twin Linked Missile Pods Targeting Array =53

Troops :
1 # 12 Fire Warriors with Pulse Rifles mounted in Devilfish TA MT DP DL SMS Sensor Spines=255
2 # 12 Fire Warriors with Pulse Rifles mounted in Devilfish TA MT DP DL SMS Sensor Spines=255

Fast Attack :
1 # 2x Phiraniah FB TA=140
2 # 2x Phiraniah FB TA=140

Heavy:
1 # HammerHead Railgun SMS MT DL DP TL Blacksun Filter=190
2 # HammerHead Ion Cannon Burst Cannons MT DL DP Flechette Discharger TL BlacksunFilter=155
3 # HammerHead Ion Cannon Burst Cannons MT DL DP Flechette Discharger TL BlacksunFilter=155
Total 1493
HQ (1/2) - 6.46%
Elites (2/3) - 7.06%
Troops (2/6) - 34%
Fast Attack (2/3) - 18.66%
Heavy Support (3/3) - 33.33%

This is my current setup . Powergaming ? well 9 Skimmers may by harsh for opponent but still tau are mobile and shooty not just shooty army.
About copying units , if something is efficient or suits your play style you should go with it.
But seeing lists with 3x 180p railhead are screaming cheese.
In my case i have 3 copies 2x Troop choice (but I want full squads in IFV`s) Lawn Mowers ™ but i just love my Ionheads and it seems that 1 Railhead in list makes your opponent more... happy ?
My FA .. this might be considered bad but they are efficient as hell and give me anti tank punch I need.
Looking at your list i see only two bad things (and remember this is just my opinion):
Not maxing out firewariors , while `La and bonding knife are fluffy i would rather to have 12 FW`s in each team but my fishes are designed as IFV and yours as APC.
Elites , i understand that some tau players like fireknives but you are slight overdoing with them.
Maybe switching one slot for TL-MP`+ TA or TA-PR + TA x2 would make your list more acceptable.
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Old 20 Jun 2007, 13:20   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is Mech Tau powergaming in a sense?

Even if your army was power gaming...

If someone whines about too many vehicles, tell them to fight a guardsmen armored company.
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Old 20 Jun 2007, 13:39   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is Mech Tau powergaming in a sense?

My friends often complain about my Mech Tau - claiming that that many vehicles are "unfluffy". When I try to tell them that they have no idea about Tau fluff, they shrug and say that "tanks are for everyone else special", etc.

They also say that Tau are the only army where everything can be mounted in "combat Skimmers". When i mention all-vehicle Marines (razorbak), Guard, or Eldar, they shrug.

They say that the Decoy Launcers are cheese. When I mention the Holofield, they shrug.

Honestly, this is really getting on my nerves. My DA-friend (we have a quite even statistic) started Mech Eldar - (full complement: 2 falcons with Fire Dragons + Holofield/Spirit Stones, etc) and is STILL COMPLAINING - although he WON every single game we played so far.

One thing is true - Mech Tau can be very strong if played properly and the enemy makes the msitake of not fielding any anti-tank weponry (but then it`s THEIR fault). But they can als be very weak if you make mistakes.
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Old 20 Jun 2007, 14:22   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is Mech Tau powergaming in a sense?

Yes, in a way your list is powergaming. You did not reach the pinnacle of maxing out yet, but still.

I for myself ALWAYS try to bring the most powerful army possible when playing tau. Currently my army has two identical troopchoices, 3 identical elitechices and 2 identical heavy support choices. And I keep winning and crushing my enemies... But I will attend a tournament and plan to win.

What is it I want to say? Powergaming is not a bad thing. That is it.

When it comes to my tyranids, however, I use only CC-units... certainly not effective in all situations and mostly inferior to shooty units, but those are for the feeling of nibblin´alies^^

So neither powergamig nor "normal" gaming is a bad thing to do. Just make sure your opponent plays along the same mindset as you do.

And that "purity test" is a vile abomination, lurking around and being all preachy and full of itself. Never encountered someone as arrogant as the author of this crap in the whole community...

Greetz, Trogdor
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Old 20 Jun 2007, 14:27   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is Mech Tau powergaming in a sense?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trogdor
Never encountered someone as arrogant as the author of this crap in the whole community...

Mike Wong?
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Old 20 Jun 2007, 14:46   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is Mech Tau powergaming in a sense?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trogdor
And that "purity test" is a vile abomination, lurking around and being all preachy and full of itself. Never encountered someone as arrogant as the author of this Klkn in the whole community...

Greetz, Trogdor
The Author was propably SM fanboy...
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