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tau air superiority?
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Old 01 Apr 2008, 04:49   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default tau air superiority?

hello anybody ;D

i'm sure this has been mentioned before, but it only recently started bugging me, and i wanted to voice this concern myself. the tau seem to have no real air superiority fighter or strong anti-air unit. i know about the barracuda, but it only seems like a mediocre air-to-air fighter and it is more expensive than its parallels in other armies. i also know about the imperial armour AA skyray rules, but its dependence on markerlights severely reduces its effectiveness. i just think the tau lack any reliable means of countering enemy flyers, specifically interceptors, and i wanted to see what others thought.

thanks
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Old 01 Apr 2008, 07:15   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: tau air superiority?

Simply, don't mix rules with fluff. Both don't translate well into each other, and well...lets just say many Tau players weren't happy with the Apocalypse rules that were given to the Barracuda.
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Old 01 Apr 2008, 07:52   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: tau air superiority?

Well Tau pilots are meant to have better abilities, stronger tolerances, can't remember what.. but it gives them a slightly better edge in air combat.. apparently :P
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Old 01 Apr 2008, 08:23   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: tau air superiority?

Well Air Superiority is really in the realm of Aeronautica Imperialis. In game rules are more written for comparison to ground forces (so mainly bombers or ground attack units). Anti-air rules aren't brought forward nearly as much. The Barracuda for instance is supposed to excel at air to air combat, but it can be used for Ground attack in support of Hunter Cadres which is probably how the 40k rules detail it.

"The Barracuda air superiority fighter" as described in AI, is faster than the Marauder Bomber, but lacks the top speeds of the Thunderbolt and Lightning. However, "it makes up for this due to its sophisticated electronic systems and pilot's natural talents*. In a dogfight, Thunderbolts and Barracuda are very closely matched, with the Thunderbolt having the edge on speed, and the Barracuda having the manoeuvrability."

*The Air Caste have better tolerances than a normal human and they are "able to make tighter turns and hold them longer, and push the gravitational envelope further."

The Barracuda is a small, mobile aircraft that excels at dogfighting, and isn't too hard to produce making it a good option for the Tau. They also use more speciliased aircraft, and the Tigersharks, despite being bombers (or ground attack depending on the version), are also fighters to some extent (let's not mention the Manta...), meaning all aircraft can hold their own except the Orca.

Ruleswise, the Barracuda and Thunderbolt are fairly similar and both fill similar roles. The Sky Ray I can't really compare to the other ground defences but it's a little similar to the Ork 'eavy flak cannon or SM Hyperios...

If you want a comparison between the Thunderbolt and the Barracuda, the Barracuda is better at close range, the Thunderbolt is better at mid range and equal at long. (Though the Cuda has more ammo). The Cuda can drop to lower speeds but the Thunderbolt has a special rule which gives it a save on its last wound.


Of course, this is all a completely different game system. I'm just pointing out that the Barracuda is about the same as a Thundebolt in air to air combat and the Sky Ray isn't too bad either. I've heard the Apocalypse rules are pretty bad, but I haven't looked at them. Nor do I know how the aircraft rules work in Apocalypse...
One has to remember that 40k is designed as ground related combat though, so aircraft rules aren't always going to be accurate of how they can perform up in the sky in dogfights etc.
One question though, does the weaponry remain the same between the two systems? In the AI rulebook they have an Ion cannon, Missile pods and drone burst cannons.

I don't know if any of that was particularly relevant but maybe it will help some people that want to know about the Barracuda's capabilites and comparison to the Thunderbolt
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Old 01 Apr 2008, 08:46   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: tau air superiority?

Lets's compare game characteristics. A Thunderbolt fighter is 180pts, with 2 twil linked auto cannons(4 S7 Shots /w Reroll) and twin linked lascannon(1 S9, /w reroll).

A barracuda has 3 S7 shots, 6 S5 shots, 2 S7 Shots(twin linked.) and costs 220pts.

Using the rules in IA, a Thunderbolt can chuck 5 shots that hit on 6 and always glance(all twin linked). A barracuda can throw 11 shots that hit on 6.

Which one seems better?
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Old 01 Apr 2008, 08:49   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: tau air superiority?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timjim
Well Tau pilots are meant to have better abilities, stronger tolerances, can't remember what.. but it gives them a slightly better edge in air combat.. apparently :P
And the Experience of the Imperial Pilots make them very even in combat with the Tau in dogfights.
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Old 01 Apr 2008, 15:34   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: tau air superiority?

Also keep in mind that according to the Epic rules, the Barracudas and other Tau aircraft utilize pretty advanced air-to-air missiles (non-Seekers) to accompany their Ion cannon(s).
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Old 01 Apr 2008, 18:32   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: tau air superiority?

oh, sorry, i was talking about 40k/apoc specifically, where it seems would lack any reliable means of dealing with, say, a nightwing, or even a thunderbolt.
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Old 01 Apr 2008, 18:43   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: tau air superiority?

No one has a reliable means of dealing with a Nightwing (although the Dark Eldar probably would if they had rules). In terms of the background the Eldar are balanced by the difficulty they have in replacing pilots and aircraft. For them, losing a pilot with centuries of experience and a hand-crafted interceptor is basically the equivalent of the Tau or Imperium losing an entire wing of veteran pilots. And they are not so good that they won't occasionally take casualties against particularly talented (or lucky) pilots among their lesser adversaries.

The Barracuda is basically just a match for the Thunderbolt. Where the Tau really excel in the air is their flying fortresses. When it isn't using the bulk of its engine power to hover close to the surface, the Manta is a beast in the air. Only the Chaos Harbinger really comes close to it, and that is more of a dedicated bomber. Tiger Sharks are also pretty nice, as are some of the more exotic options like the Remora.

In-game, your best with aircraft is to spam lighter weapons or use the Forge World Skyray rules.
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Old 02 Apr 2008, 03:04   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: tau air superiority?

I'll take the Cuda over the Thunderbolt. The Cuda can pump out more shots, therefore more hits. The Cuda has a handful of weaker hsots(BCs), but they make up for it in the fact that they're more than enough to glance enemy armor.
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