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The beginnings of a Codex
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Old 03 Mar 2009, 19:50   #1 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default The beginnings of a Codex

So- ive kind of broken down and begun writing my own codex with fluff as the centerpoint to base of all rules. If it's broken or lacking any kind of playing power- i don't really care. I've a friend and a number of fellow gamers writing up their own race's codex's as well- but you get the point.

In essence, I want to take the info from this site as well as my own work and thus create a truer Tau rules set.

To begin with- I think that all Shas'O and Ethereal options should be special characters due to their rarity, with the Shas'El would take over the main HQ option with new choices.

Additionally I think we need more troop choices to reflect the operation's capacity.

I need to go back to class- but my final note!

I'm going to add a doctrinal system based off the Special character system you see in the Space Marine codex!

thoughts?
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Old 03 Mar 2009, 19:59   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: The beginnings of a Codex

While ethereals might be best in Special Character status, I don't see Shas'os following that requirement - they're roughly equivalent to a Chapter Master, and Chapter Masters are, in fact, represented in the Space Marine Codex.

I do think troops should be expanded somewhat, and I'm for either pathfinders or gun drones being made a Troops rather than Fast Attack choice, but not both.

Concerning doctrinal systems, there's an excellent post on ATT concerning 5th edition style special characters for Tau - the topic can be found here.

No idea if they are balanced or not, but they certainly seem fun and fluffy.

My personal recommendation, if transporting Anghor Prok, would be to make him an upgraded character, make him slightly cheaper in points, and have his abilities only affect his own squad.
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Old 03 Mar 2009, 22:19   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: The beginnings of a Codex

after a good reading of Imperial Armour Volume 3, which I recommend owning if you're anyone that like tau or who wants to play with them seriously I totally agree with you.

in that entire campaign there were somewhere between 10 and 30 manta cadres (which if you calculate out is 6000 points per cadre) and probably three times as many Orca groups (each orca sits at close to 1000 points fully loaded with troops) add in kroot and auxiliaries and the ground forces for the campaign sat somewhere around 300,000 points. for all of that force there was only one Shas'o, and one Ethereal. and according to the breakdown charts in the back the typical group was lead by Shas'el with two bodyguards.

Shas'o and all of the tau special characters need to be changed to not command a forec of less than 3000 points and to be honest 5000 would be a more realistic minimum. Though this would make most tournaments a nightmare if you are looking to bring special characters it would more honestly reflect the reality that there really are not all that many Shas'o out there.

for a similar comparison it would be like taking Marneus Calgar to every battle (what ultramarine player wouldn't). Cool and awesome, but unrealistic according to the way that their army fights. (imagine Marneus having to travel to every fight).

I would say that all Shas'el should be given the stat line of Shas'o, and the Shas'o given a independent character wargear list (like space marines or guard) such as by combining all of the special suit gear from the XV 81, XV 84, XV 85, and XV 89 and putting it on one list.

I would say that stealth suits (at least XV 25) need to be able to take smart missiles, missile pods, flamers, and possibly air bursters and ion blasters too (not sure yet) since they have one hard point. just open them up to take any one hard point weapon, especially since the XV 25 is only slightly smaller than the XV 8. this could be the difference between XV 15 and 25 with 5th edition, since XV 15 is smaller it can only carry burst cannons or fusion blasters, while its larger cousin can take any one hard point weapon.

the Farsight conclave needs to develop new experimental weapons exclusive to their group, specially designed for bringing down hoard armies. Possibly become a separate codex like Black Templairs and Blood Angles are to space marines.

in the same spirit the shadowsun force needs to become the fast stealth unit that shadowsun in the XV22 would actually lead.

someone somewhere needs to take heart and find their way into the tau war library and publish the chronicles they find there detailing a few more of the tau's campaigns. since they have been fighting for 5000 years they should at least have weapons. also, since the Tau have the greatest R and D of any race they need to constantly be able to adapt themselves in a campeign ie. there needs to be a way for the tau to steal an opponents common technology from them (this would be represented by having a science squad in a tournament and at the beginning of the game the tau can decide to steal one thing that is common to their opponent (such as Marine frag grenades and rockets, Guard plasma rifles{would only work on guard, since they would logically have many, unlike space marines}, Tyranid close combat knives {since that's what they do best}, Ork {see Farsight codex} Necron additional close comat weapons, or stronger armour save {no one can get gause weapons to work, except necrons, though Tau fire warriors armed with Necron gause gun would be amazingly powerful} chaos invulnerable save)

best of luck, can't wait to begin using you codex!
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Old 04 Mar 2009, 01:43   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: The beginnings of a Codex

I'm still curious why a Shas'o is so far-fetched as part of an army list when a Chapter Master, someone in charge of an entire Space Marine Chapter, can be customized and outfitted as the player desires in a game as few of as few points as 125 points + two 90 pt troops...
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Old 04 Mar 2009, 02:07   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: The beginnings of a Codex

I read that article- the Brightsword thing doesn't make sense, Brightsword uses more auxileries than any other commander to date. Es'tau was his mustering point and he had an entire Kroot kindred, weird aliens no ones ever heard of again and a table full of orks getting hammered...

Anyway- The reason why using a Shas'O is rediculous is that they are so rare- dare i say it, probably rarer than the amount of Chapter Masters running around the galaxy. Someone's collection can easily equal 1000 space marines, that's an entire Chapter... A Chapter Master's not that far fetched. A Shas'O meanwhile is the supreme commander of an operation- thousands of Tau of all Castes, he even has power over some fleet elements- worthy enough to be a special character.
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Old 04 Mar 2009, 02:13   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: The beginnings of a Codex

Also, Chapter Masters are only represented as "generic" characters in the widely-reviled 5th Edition Marine Codex. In the more balanced Dark/Blood Angels books, only Captains can be customized.
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Old 04 Mar 2009, 02:37   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: The beginnings of a Codex

The article is just as important for the concept of how to approach making 5th edition special characters as it is for the individual examples - the process seems much more important than the individual results that he came up with.

Concerning a Chapter Master and its 1000 troops, there are clearly going to be SM Chapters of more than 1000 troops, and a minimum-sized 10 Manta Cadre would represent 60000 points.

At 15-40 points per troop, with sufficient vehicles, drop pods, Dreadnaughts, etc., I wouldn't be surprised to see a Chapter easily reaching the 60000 point mark.

Its your new codex, though, clearly... your decision to make.
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Old 04 Mar 2009, 03:02   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: The beginnings of a Codex

Unusual Suspect... Read the codex. A Chapter of Space Marines is bound, by the Codex Astartes, to not be more than 1000 space marines strong. That's as canonical as you get. The only chapter that is suspected of being more- are the Space Wolves. I'm a fluff nazi Unusual- this isn't just me making a foray into masturbatory imaginings...

Ideas:

Equipment: So- there's some stuff that doesn't work.
Bonding Knife: although the team leader holds this item, it should be conferred to the entire team as they have ALL accomplished the ritual. (right now this is a debated issue with new 5ed rules.)

Cyclic Ion Blaster: I'm gonna say the field testing for this has been a failure. Either make it standard issue or just give it an F. I don't think it should be tweaked however.

Things that should be added: I don't think we should make new weapons, just take old ones. Adding new weapons is a bit much, and always seems to get complicated- that being said: Heavy Flamer (don't know why we don't have it) and bring back the experimental Rail Rifle from the Dark Stars campaign.

The Command Control node doesn't do anything in the new edition: that being the case, either nerf it or just allow it to do something involving leadership. I don't think it should be as big as a units within 12 thing- like the guard and space marines- but something more Tau(ish). One unit within line of sight may take a leadership test with the Shas'Els leadership once a turn.

Units:
Shas'El- Cadre Leader
A Cadre leader operates in a crisis suit, able to take experimental weapons, he coordinates his forces to accomplish specific missions that make up the greater plan of the Shas'O. This is basically a Shas'O by stats, just changed the name. This 'El leads from the front.

Shas'El- Operations Coordinator
From a Command Devilfish, the Shas'El takes the leadership role from a coordination level. This is the 'Lusha type commander we saw in Firewarrior- which means less direct firepower, more army positives.

The Devilfish is standard, nothing special about it. It can, however, take a Positional Relay and an ejection system for the 'El, usually found on crisis suits. This would be in the style of kauyon.
I also think it would be interesting to give him 3 commands.
-Coordinate Fire: place D3 Markerlights and place them on one unit or vehicle.
-Tactical Redeployment: Units gain fleet for 1 turn.
-Accurate Arrival: Units that have been in reserve specifically to deep strike may ALL come in within 6 inches of the Command Devilfish.


So that's it for Shas'El.

Bodyguards are all the same, but we need some kind of alternate HQ-right? I was thinking about something 'made up'- i'll get to that at the end- but what do you think for the El?
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Old 04 Mar 2009, 04:16   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: The beginnings of a Codex

I happen to really like your changes to the 'El, CalmSword, especially the "Lusha" aspect...its very interesting. I wouldnt mind trying it out and maybe help contributing ideas.
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Old 04 Mar 2009, 07:40   #10 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: The beginnings of a Codex

id really appreciate that Hell Blade- plus any additional ideas.

The units in the current codex stay the same, with the following tweaks.

Shas'Vre- honestly, the +1 initiative is... well it's just silly. Opening them up for special gear, honestly, it just doesn't match the cost. A Shas'Vre should be more- if they don't won't to mess with the BS which seems to happen with every attempt to redo the codex, consider this: if a unit upgrades to be lead by a Shas'Vre they can:
Reroll one leadership test.

or- a little more fluffy: Shas'Vre are the elite of the elite, capable of directing smaller actions, reacting to situations on point rather than waiting for orders. If a Shas'El is not present- or within line of site, those Shas beneath the rank of Shas'Vre within line of site to one in a crisis suit can be ordered to Tactically Redeploy (units get fleet for one turn).

Something has to be given though- it's just silly so far.

That's elites.

Moving on to troops- well we've got Kroot and Tau Firewarriors. The only remedy will come in Special Characters. The only thing I can think of is to reinforce 'ideas.' Mobile devilfish squads already have what they need, but static units could still get something.
Heavy weapons are a No. But what about shield drones? Take a pg from Dawn of War. Units with shield drones get a +1 cover save for each drone (so 5+ at a max for a squad). Just a little boost, make it more interesting.

Fast Attack: Pathfinders: they should get such a revamp.
Move through cover (+1 to cover save) with 5+ armor.

The last tweak should be the Skyray- that mass strike from DoW should totally be added (especially with the new Guard dex coming out). The Skyray can opt to launch 3-6 of its missiles in a single strike after markerlighting.
3=St. 8 ap 3 blast
4=St. 8 ap 4 Ordinance blast
5=St. 8 ap 4 Ordinance blast-barrage
6=St. 8 ap 5 Ordinance blast, barrage, reroll wounds

It's fluffy too.

I think that's it for tweaking- the rest is Special Characters.
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