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Ethereals: When GW remembers about the Tau
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Old 20 Feb 2009, 04:52   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Ethereals: When GW remembers about the Tau

In the grim darkness of the far future, when the Tau get a new codex, what do you think the rules for Ethereals will look like? I hope I'm not the only one who wants them to be developed. We've only got 2 HQ's, one is a boring Crisis Suit no different from out Elite units, and the other is the real flesh and blood of the Tau, fluffy and unique to the army. But no one uses them because they're wretched and the pros come nowhere near the cons.

Do you think the Ethereal as an HQ will come into its own right in the next book? If so, what would you like to see done to Inspiring Presence and Price of Failure?

I think the Price of Failure should be modified. After the whole army takes a leadership test (which I think we should, its fluffy and makes the enemy concentrate on killing your HQ), I don't think we should get something that helps in close com. I believe it said somewhere in the Original Tau Codex that at the death of an especially beloved Ethereal, the Fire Warriors would go into a battle rage, giving a general line advance and pouring any and all ammunition into the enemy. GW should figure out some way to better illustrate that, instead of Preferred Enemy or whatever.

I also think the Inspiring Presence needs to be modified. Night Fight should have nothing to do with it (not like it happens anymore, Dawn of War is only one turn 1 now...).

I like the Honor Guard, but I think they should be able to take options (wargear, other weapons, etc) a BS4 Fire Warrior (while amazing) is sort of bland. Giving the Honor Guard unique options would add appeal to the Ethereal. I think the Ethereal shouldn't have to pay for an Honor Blade in its current form, maybe if they made it Str6 w/ rending I could see paying 10pts for it but otherwise forget it.

The Ethereal represents unity in the Tau society. I believe that taking an Ethereal should allow the Tau player to call upon various support from the other Castes. Water Caste could affect reserve rolls, or move units before the start of the game. Air Caste would be the Orbital Bombardment or maybe a Barracuda/Tiger Shark attack run. Earth could reinforce terrain like the Master of the Forge does, or could suppy the army in other ways, to represent the heavy presence of workers/scientists/armourers.

And as for the Ethereal himself, I think he should have a -/4+save. Maybe an option for some light armor for a 5+ or 4+.

Things like this would make the Ethereal an attractive HQ choice, you would be buying a squad of Firewarrior veterans (awesome), support from the other Castes to turn the battle in your favor, and a decent or at least survivable HQ choice who could potentially turn an assault around.

Gimme your thoughts
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Old 20 Feb 2009, 05:10   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ethereals: When GW remembers about the Tau

I would like 2 things for the ethereals.
Removal of the Price of Failure. Space Marines put equal faith in their chaplains yet do not take a test when they die. The same goes for Eldar Avatars. We are the only race with a negative effect for our HQ dying.
Secondly, I would like the veteran Fire Warriors to be scoring. It just doesn't make sense that they aren't.
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Old 20 Feb 2009, 05:28   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ethereals: When GW remembers about the Tau

Actually, I think the ideas about having the other castes as support is a VERY good idea. Ditto to everything you said. As far as Earth caste support goes, something Techmarine/servitor-esque that could try to repair our vehicles would be great I think; something that could repair more easily than the TechMarine, but be more vulnerable in a way...I don't think it would have any aiding servitors, for example.
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Old 20 Feb 2009, 17:55   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ethereals: When GW remembers about the Tau

Quote:
Originally Posted by leatherback
Space Marines put equal faith in their chaplains yet do not take a test when they die.
Do I need to remind you of Ashtorain's favourite quote? :P

Quote:
Originally Posted by TimberwolfCY
... something that could repair more easily than the TechMarine, but be more vulnerable in a way...I don't think it would have any aiding servitors, for example.
Agreed - but I can see a few technical drones as his helpers.
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Old 20 Feb 2009, 18:17   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ethereals: When GW remembers about the Tau

it's not just ashtoruin's favorite quote.

I think something to help keep our units on the field a bit longer or give a unit FNP for a turn would be nice (warriors so devoted to keeping the ethereal safe they'll fight on even after taking hits) also there is a thing floating around here associating an ethereal with another caste. the air caste gives the ablility to use an obital shot once per game, water caste delays reinforcements (negotiations/red tape) stuff like that.
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Old 20 Feb 2009, 19:16   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ethereals: When GW remembers about the Tau

How about reintruduce Aun'shi with some kind of firewarrior armor or XV-stytlish or is it way against the fluff?
Another small idea is on front of the latest Tau codex with the Etheral using some kind of half armor type.
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Old 21 Feb 2009, 00:29   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ethereals: When GW remembers about the Tau

Change him to a firewarrior commander, giving him firewarrior armor and a pulse rifle. Politicians do not belong on the battlefield

Allow attachements of different cast like imperial guard command squads
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Old 21 Feb 2009, 00:37   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ethereals: When GW remembers about the Tau

Actually the closest thing the Tau have to politicians are the Water caste. Ethereals are more like religious leaders or inspirational figures.

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Old 21 Feb 2009, 01:42   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ethereals: When GW remembers about the Tau

oh and drop the CC weapons tau don't need to be having anything to do with a weapon that doesn't fire.
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Old 21 Feb 2009, 01:58   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ethereals: When GW remembers about the Tau

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tausand sun
oh and drop the CC weapons tau don't need to be having anything to do with a weapon that doesn't fire.
Or alternatively change his close-combat worthiness - say, give Preferred Enemy to any Tau (no Kroot, Vespid, or Drone) squad he joins, along with Feerless, to represent the joined unit's devotion/fanaticism in defending the Ethereal.

Price of Failure should definitely be reworked as well. An initial thought, with little awareness of the consequences of this change, might be to force all Tau units (again, no Kroot, Vespid, or Drone) to make a leadership check upon the ethereal's death - if they succeed, they are unaffected and move/shoot as normal. If they fail, they move TOWARDS the closest enemy unit they are capable of harming (through shooting or close-combat), but gain the Relentless special quality and can choose targets as normal.

Better, perhaps all Tau models (even those that succeed the leadership test) gain Relentless, but those that fail the test are forced to move to the closest enemy unit (no matter how capable of harming that unit they may be)...

Alternatively, perhaps they'd move towards the unit that killed the Ethereal?

You don't WANT the ethereal to die, bucause dangit, those Pathfinders are best hanging out in that bunker or in area terrain, milking that cover save... but if he DOES die, you end up with what is arguably a firepower increase (or at least not a firepower decrease) that still has significant enough downsides (lost mobility for some models) that you don't want to get your front-lines space-popes popped.




Frankly, ethereals need at least SOME sort of change - they clearly aren't worthwhile in the table, and fluffwise, they shouldn't be participating in battles all that often anyway.
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