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Some Thoughts on the New IA3
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Old 20 Aug 2005, 06:42   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
 
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Default Some Thoughts on the New IA3

Although I don't have this book as of yet (it hasn't reached my local GamesWorkshop or my neighboring city's GamesWorkshop :'(), I have heard many good things about it, thanks to the kind and sharing people who inhabit these forums. While I have pieced together most of what is in the new IA3 book, I haven't heard anyone mention the so called new army list that a staff member at one of the GamesWorkshop in my area informed me of. While I cannot quote him verbatim, his explanation of the list in a nutshell was that it was "more offensive and in your face" then a normal Tau list. As to how it achieves this method he did not delve into any further, so here I am, clueless as to what this list could possibly contain to make it so up-close-and-personal. Furthermore, I have seen no evidence as to the existence of this so called army list on these forums, so am I being disillusioned by an over-zealous GamesWorkshop staff member who needs the extra commission to feed his own fiendishly addictive Warhammer 40,000 habit, or does no one on this board seem to realize their $115 IA3 book contains a new army list type for the Tau?

Moving on to other matters, does anyone even think the new Crisis Battlesuit models are worth buying? Also, exactly how much more are the new Crisis Battlesuits compared to the original ones? Although I have to admit the new models do look quite impressive, their usefulness in battle should be just as much a deciding factor as to whether or not I want to buy them as well. To me, some of the suit configurations seem a trifle useless, such as the XV81. What is the point of having a unit that can only shoot light infantry with any efficiency when I could use XV15 Stealth Suits for a fraction of the cost, with better rules to boot. As rumours seem to indicate that these new suit types are for Commanders only, it would make more sense to me that the Commander would be equipped with weaponry suited for taking out more significant and high-priority based targets, not run-of-the-mill infantry. To add to its inefficiency, why bother purchasing a weapon that ignores line of sight when you can just jump shoot jump your way out of being seen by the enemy in the first place? The last two loadouts seem to have a bit more potential then their predecessors, both in the original "static" Tau armies and in the most recent (and apparently more popular) "mech" Tau armies. The "static" type armies can use the XV89 to great effect, as they will no doubt have filled all of their Troops slots full of Firewarrior Teams, providing the Commander with a cushy comfort zone of Independant Character goodness. Seeing as most static Tau generals will prefer playing on a much more open battlefield, the XV89 will truly be a gem in the eyes of a gifted static Tau player, allowing him to be much more daring in his tactics (i.e. forcing the enemy to footslog and/or get a transport to the location of the stubborn-footed Tau and at the right moment deploying a suprise Deep-Strike. This could create some interesting cross-fire situations with the right support...). The XV84 also appears to share a bond with a certain type of Tau army known affectionately by their generals as "mech". Since all true mech Tau generals (non-hybrid) will no doubt have very few Markerlights in their possession because of the trade-off of Pathfinders for Tetras, the XV84 will bring some much needed Markerlight-support to the battlefield. Although taking a Markerlight on a Commander may seem to dilute its firepower, Crisis Battlesuit Commanders will only need a 3+ if not a 2+ to hit with their weapons, so twin-linking is really less of an issue. That is unless of course the general is cursed by the dice gods (oh...how fickle they are...).

Alright enough with those crazy Crisis Battlesuits, although I do like winning games, a strong sense of theme usually fills me with enough vigor to keep my interest in Warhammer 40,000 long enough to avoid falling into a lapse of dark-spiritedness (or a Dark Age ). Having already mentally committed myself to using Tetras, I am also thinking about fielding Piranhas for some extra mech Tau fervor-induced shootyness >. One major thing I would like put out in the open, are Piranhas still 0-1 Troop choices, or has the 0-1 been removed? I really need to know, since if this unit actually does turn out decent, I would like to field them in relatively large numbers. OK, I have heard that now they are fast skimmers, which will stem the flow of my empathy induced sleep crying. Back to a serious note, I have heard that the existing Devilfish models are now able to trade their Gun Drones for a Smart Missile System. Can the Piranhas do this as well? If they can, why has no one lost their mind over the implications of such an upgrade? Coupled with some Seeker Missles, I could see this unit wiping the floor with just about any army. If the answer to this is no, let us move on. Piranhas seem to be a cheaper version of the un-upgraded Devilfish, which to me seems a bit out of place, as basically all Tau armies won't need anymore anti-infantry weapons. So, in this case, are Piranhas even worth getting, or are they just a theme element I can add to my army to make them a bit more characterful? Or are they so bad that I should just stay away from them, even if only for the sake of theme? Although I could probably just make a trial list and see for myself, the Piranha seems to be an unused unit in many an army list, and having heard no great success stories, have been deemed useless. Is this true?

Wow, this post definitely turned out a little longer then I expected it to be. I could have probably made a shorter version in a quarter of the time using 1337/msn chat speak, but as I wish for quality responses, I will try to question in a respectable and organized way as well. Thanks for all the time spent reading this unfortunately [painstakingly] long rant, hopefully you will find something useful from the result of this post.

P.S. If there is anything important that a mech Tau general (such as myself) might deem useful, please include it so that all the spots can be filled in IA3-wise. Thanks.
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Old 20 Aug 2005, 08:03   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some Thoughts on the New IA3

The post was good and easy to read, not to long methinks

I ain't got IA3 either, but you'll learn pretty much of it on this forum nowadays! I agree on certain points, when I first saw the IA3 rules (posted by TonkaTruckDriver) for Tau, I was very impressed, but when I sat down and calculated efficiency and battlefield roles, it seemed to me that well above 90% were useless upgrades/options, as they are simply too expensive!

On the matter of piranhas, I think many people don't use 'em 'cause they don't have anything especially needed, + their forgeworld stuff...
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Old 20 Aug 2005, 09:23   #3 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Some Thoughts on the New IA3

Well I've ordered my copy so should arrive some time in the next week (or by the end at the very latest) so i should be able to give you some more in depth info about its contents.
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Old 20 Aug 2005, 14:54   #4 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Some Thoughts on the New IA3

i got my book 2 days ago (insert stretchy pat on my chest move here...), and have been SOAKING it up!

sure, first i went to the specific vehicle diescription section (Tau and Imp), saw the barely mentioned changes in stuff (if its official, then all crisis weapons got cheaper, but plasma got more expensive.. and OOH OOH 'HW targetting arrays' for suits?? +1BS??.. 'advance weapon stabalization' for Broadsides?? ), saw neat apparently built in rules (all Tau hover tanks have automatic 'landing gear' rule.. basically any tank that doesnt move is considered a non-skimmer from that point on untill it moves again), and extra Fluff to go with the Codex descriptions... really kewl! right now im digging page by page through the actual War commentary (on pg.55 now)

there is indeed army lists, but the introduction explained that the lists took a hit and were whittled down to a few pages due to space reasons... thumbing through it the only real near codex-ey army list is for the Elysian Drop Troop Army, while Imp Guard and Tau only get 1 page addendums.

the new thing i like about the book is how they decided to approach the war as a full genre: using all the GW game systems: BFG, Epic, 40K... all are implemented in the commentaries (from Tansport ship to Dropship to Groundside to the Battle... blow by blow).

and they really do go battle by battle through the entire conflict. the point is to entertain, but also set up scenarios we can play.. with a solid Before and After storyline. Scenario rules are provided to re-create some key battles, and they ARENT evenly matched duels..... theyre 'real' events that happened, one side may have been totally overwhelmed in numbers/resources... the game is to see if you can recreate the results, and actually 'live' through it in a personal way. that strikes me as seriously NEAT.

one downside of the $133 i spent on the book is all the typos. MAN theres a lot! at least one every page-spread. oh-well, not a big deal.. but there IS the $133 factor to it. another minor gripe is that its ALL told through the imperial point of view. you get full army lists and regimental dokkets for IMPs.. but just in-story descriptions of the Tau side.... bummer!

anyway, im happy i got it, you should get it too, if only you wanna learn more about Tau Long Barreled Burst Cannons, and Plasma Cannons, or Heavy Drones!
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Old 21 Aug 2005, 04:11   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some Thoughts on the New IA3

Thanks for all the replies so far guys, but I most of my questions remain unanswered. To make things easier for those people who would rather just cut to the chase and see what it is I'm after rather then reading my first post, I will list a brief summary of the questions I need answers to.

1) Is there a new "army list" for the Tau? If so, what changes have been made to make it unique?

2) Does the XV84 (Markerlight variant) lose its effectiveness because of high point cost, or is it a reasonable purchase? Also, since the Markerlight is normally a heavy weapon, can the XV84 move and fire with the Markerlight and one of its other weapons?

3) Are Piranhas still 0-1 Troop Choices in a Standard Force Organization Chart? Can they be equipped with a Smart Missile System in exchange for their Gun Drones?

4) Is there anything else I should know about IA3 in relation to starting a mech Tau army?

Alright that's pretty much it, I still don't know why I never posted a summary of the questions I wanted answered in the first place :-\.
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Old 21 Aug 2005, 04:28   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some Thoughts on the New IA3

Welcome to the forum. Next time try a search—there was recently a pretty in-depth discussion of Imperial Armor 3: http://forums.tauonline.org/index.php?topic=10089.0

The bottom line is that Forge World models are for collectors, modelers and enthusiasts who want extra flavor in their army and are willing to pay a premium for it. None of the new models or rules provide earth-shaking differences for the Tau; mathematically I believe a Piranha squadron has equal cost and fire power and mobility as a squad of fire warriors with a Devilfish. The commander-only suit varients have different combinations, one of which might fit your play style, while the rest will seem useless.

If you want to power game, you're not going to find it here. But if you want a painting and modeling challenge (I'm a huge fan of Tallarn series FW put out for the Taros campaign), some pieces from Imperial Armor 3 might suit you. The cost ($133) is only worthwhile if you enjoy the storytelling, background and richness of the detailed conflict. It is simply too expensive to just be a rules suppliment.
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Old 29 Aug 2005, 10:30   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some Thoughts on the New IA3

Well got my copy, and after reading through it there are a few...discrepancies...which would suggest that they will be fixed in an updated codex.

For one, we have some new options for various units, like the ability to give Fish's smart missile systems, but some of the upgrades aren't covered, for example advanced stabilising unit on the broadsides has no description and no rules (or maybee it does and i haven't found them yet : ) There are a lot of nice modifications that make battlesuits cheaper and alter the weapon costs as have been discussed, but it is mostly fluff related, the "new" tau list is more additions to the human auxiliaries that are based on the world of taros, so its a real nice themed campaign and i look forward to playing through it (also its nice to have all the rules for tau vehicles under one book - the Manta is to put it frankly a MONSTER)

More of a review when i cat the chance to read it properly.
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Old 29 Aug 2005, 16:29   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some Thoughts on the New IA3

Quote:
Originally Posted by D-Nob
Thanks for all the replies so far guys, but I most of my questions remain unanswered. To make things easier for those people who would rather just cut to the chase and see what it is I'm after rather then reading my first post, I will list a brief summary of the questions I need answers to.

1) Is there a new "army list" for the Tau? If so, what changes have been made to make it unique?
No - there are a few units with slightly different points costs, but overall, there is no "list" per se. Just the individual vehicle decriptions - as well as two more infantry units (Human Auxilleries - worse than the chapter approved version (no Tau weaponry at all), and Taros miners - who do have access to some toys)

Unless they were talking about the Epic or BFG lists...

Quote:
2) Does the XV84 (Markerlight variant) lose its effectiveness because of high point cost, or is it a reasonable purchase? Also, since the Markerlight is normally a heavy weapon, can the XV84 move and fire with the Markerlight and one of its other weapons?
That's a personal preference thing. Without giving away too much, it may be a bit pricy for some people's tastes. I still haven't tried it in battle though....

Quote:
3) Are Piranhas still 0-1 Troop Choices in a Standard Force Organization Chart? Can they be equipped with a Smart Missile System in exchange for their Gun Drones?
Nope - Piranhas became fast attack fast vehicles. No weapon options other than the chin turret.

Quote:
4) Is there anything else I should know about IA3 in relation to starting a mech Tau army?
Buy lots of Smart Missile Systems for your Devilifish...
I kinda like the Tetras for a Mech army - they give the abilty to move Markerlights around that normal Pathfinders just can't do. Because you have to focus firepower more with a mech army - the fast moving Tetras go with it amazingly well.

Dave Gaidasz
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Old 29 Aug 2005, 17:47   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some Thoughts on the New IA3

I should add here that although the book is extremely interesting and has a lot of good content, it is probably the single poorest example of editing I have ever seen in a published book (particularly in one so expensive). There are typos and outright errors all over the place. My advice is wait for a second edition if you are bothered by that type of thing. I just hope Forge World uses the money they are making from this book to hire an editor for the next one.

new impetuous? Really.
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