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Tau Orbital Assault Force - a Titan List for Tau

 Post subject: Tau Orbital Assault Force - a Titan List for Tau
PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:10 pm 
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Lots of other races have their titan war-engine lists and I was thinking perhaps one was possible for Tau.
Suppose that a Tau force arrives in orbit and wants to land against significant ground opposition. What would they use?

The core of the force would be a flight of Manta Dropships with extra lift capacity based on the Air Caste.

So my proposal was to take any of the Tau lists and move the Manta from the one third Air Caste Section
to the Support Section and allow one of them to be upgraded with a command bridge (allowing the re-roll
of a failed initiative test, and coordinated fire) for 50 points. The force (list) selected would require that there
be enough lift capacity to carry all ground based units/formations to the battlefield (table). Being able to
transport all formations would apply significant restrictions on the force selection. I might allow Stealth Suits
and any accompanying drones to be additional due to their teleport option (call it a HALO jump capacity).

All the usual restrictions on core and support slot restrictions ought to apply. Was contemplating putting the
Mantas in as a core option (but think that might be overpowered and against the theme of getting boots on
the ground). Perhaps the Manta Dropship should also be reduced to 625 points (as in the Vior'la List).
Don't think that we should require a spaceship to allow the Mantas to planetfall onto the table. Getting
enough space transport would require bigger ships than some of the list provide. Also most of the aircraft
cannot be loaded on spacecraft anyway.

Do you think this might be balanced enough to play?

Possible 3000 points force lists include:

TWO MANTA FORCE
Manta Dropship, Command Deck [675]
FW Cadre, 8 Fire Warriors, Ethereal [275]
Armoured Group, 4 Railhead Hammerheads [225]
Manta Dropship [625]
Crisis Cadre, 4 Crisis Suits, Shas'el, 2 Gun Drones [275]
Pathfinder Group, 4 Pathfinders, 2 Devilfish [200]
Pathfinder Group, 4 Pathfinders, 2 Devilfish [200]
Custodian Class Battleship [225]
2 Barracuda Fighters [150]
2 Barracuda Fighters [150]

THREE MANTA FORCE
Manta Dropship, Command Deck [675]
FW Cadre, 6 Fire Warriors, Ethereal, 3 Devilfish [275]
Manta Dropship [625]
Crisis Cadre, 4 Crisis Suits, Shas'el, 2 Gun Drones [275]
Recon Group, 4 Tetras, 2 Piranhas [175]
Manta Dropship [625]
Custodian Class Battleship [225]
2 Barracuda Fighters [150]


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 Post subject: Re: Tau Orbital Assault Force - a Titan List for Tau
PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:35 pm 
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Looks interesting though Mantas rarely steal the show utility wise, and you might find the list a little underpowered as tau tend to normally function best with high activation count lists.
How will they be allowed to deploy? Set up as per usual, planet fall or self planetfall? Is planet fall a manditory set up type for the list? Sounds like you want this to be an invasion force so likely planet fall or self planetfall?

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 Post subject: Re: Tau Orbital Assault Force - a Titan List for Tau
PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:26 pm 
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Very interesting finally a reason to paint up my 2 last Mantas :)


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 Post subject: Re: Tau Orbital Assault Force - a Titan List for Tau
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:25 am 
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Considering they've got not-titans with the riptide and other big walkers now it seems off to not use them in the "Tau Titan List", no? This seems more a 4th sphere expansion theme. 2cents

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 Post subject: Re: Tau Orbital Assault Force - a Titan List for Tau
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:15 am 
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Some things to consider if you decide to make a list around a Manta invasion drop force. Tau generally suck bad in close as is their nature and a drop force by nature is to bring stuff in close. It'll need something extra to make it playable. The mantas will work well in close as engagement support or instigators but clipping assaults and other titans will tear you apart if you space out a bit. Barrage will be devestating if you pack in close.

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 Post subject: Re: Tau Orbital Assault Force - a Titan List for Tau
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:43 am 
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Corran_dk wrote:
Very interesting finally a reason to paint up my 2 last Mantas :)

This is exactly my motivation. At this stage my "true scale" [1:3000] Explorer Class vessel and the three Mantas [1:300] are all painted up ready for battle. Thought I'd try some advance warning before springing them on Mark.

jimmyzimms wrote:
Considering they've got not-titans with the riptide and other big walkers now it seems off to not use them in the "Tau Titan List", no? This seems more a 4th sphere expansion theme. 2cents

The Riptide, Stormsurge and Supremacy Suits are all DC2 and DC3 walkers. To my mind they are more Knight class than Titan class war-engines. Also the fluff suggests that by preference Mantas would not be deployed in frontline action against full size titans, so where they are available the Tau "Titan-Killer" walkers would be in the front line and the Mantas somewhere else out of the firing line. You can have a Manta [or even two at 4000 points] within the Vior'la list as it stands, along with lots of Riptides et al. So I'd perhaps best just remove the "Tau Titan List" subtitle tag.

Any of the nth sphere expansions would fit the theme. Hopefully labelling it as a 4th sphere expansion theme would not just lead to it disappearing off into a warp rift - never to be heard of again, . . .

atension wrote:
Looks interesting though Mantas rarely steal the show utility wise, and you might find the list a little underpowered as tau tend to normally function best with high activation count lists.

Most of the times I have deployed Mantas they have been somewhat smashed up, and not just because they have encountered lots of TK and MW firepower. It is good to see some consensus that they will likely be underpowered as a force - as a starting point. The slight points drop [to 625] and perhaps giving all of them Coordinate Fire therefore seems reasonable.

atension wrote:
How will they be allowed to deploy? Set up as per usual, planet fall or self planetfall? Is planet fall a manditory set up type for the list? Sounds like you want this to be an invasion force so likely planet fall or self planetfall?

An invasion force theme could also be delivering more troops into a beach-head [planet-head, surface-head, ground-head]. I had thought of adding restrictions about garrisoning and so forth but thought one restriction [total lift capacity] was enough. Given the comment about functioning best with high activation counts AND the fluff associated with strategic redeployment of forces from region to region AND the fact that Mantas have a limited warp-drive/skip capacity, THEN giving Mantas in this list Self-Planetfall might be an interesting addition.

atension wrote:
Some things to consider if you decide to make a list around a Manta invasion drop force. Tau generally suck bad in close as is their nature and a drop force by nature is to bring stuff in close. It'll need something extra to make it playable. The mantas will work well in close as engagement support or instigators but clipping assaults and other titans will tear you apart if you space out a bit. Barrage will be devastating if you pack in close.

I have tried some two Manta forces [at 4000 points] sometimes with a larger BTS on the ground and readily recognise the problems you highlight. My fairly frequent losses with a single Manta developed because I did not just try and hide the thing. Hard to do with a support craft always popped up and somewhat of a waste of points! They are pretty robust as battle taxis for a round or two of heavy incoming fire (including barrages) and then you can get troops out on one of the double moves when they break, if you need to. So keeping some troops in them helps mitigate against clipping attacks. I am wondering whether having more and being able to support them with air-landing assets might help, . . .

Any ideas on something more to make them playable?
(1) Points drop to 625 points
(2) Command Bridge (reroll initiative once per turn, Coordinated Fire)
(3) Coordinated Fire for all Mantas
(4) Self-planetfall
(5) Withdrawing to orbit/air-reserve when/if they break, move once and drop troops, then to orbit on the second break move, to return after they recover (after a delay). Say broken T1, self-planetfall back on T3. If they don't come back then the most expensive formation on the table counts as BTS as per normal rules.


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 Post subject: Re: Tau Orbital Assault Force - a Titan List for Tau
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:19 am 
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Nice idea for a list! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Tau Orbital Assault Force - a Titan List for Tau
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:32 am 
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Nice one! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Tau Orbital Assault Force - a Titan List for Tau
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:50 am 
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Just played a game using the Vior'la list with this list in mind. Played with a space ship and PF Manta loaded with troops. Played against Squats V1.6. Had almost perfect scatter on my drop location and caught a large formation of zerkers and a overlord intermingled in an assault. Wiped them out completely at the cost of 6 firewarriors. The firewarriors and manta put out a whopping 20 hits and just obliterated the poor squats. Though my opponent got pay back with a well placed MW barrage. Looking forward to what you come up with.

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 Post subject: Re: Tau Orbital Assault Force - a Titan List for Tau
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:12 am 
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Your previous points:
1) Point drop sounds reasonable, already president set by the Voir'la list.
2) Command bridge is an excellent idea
3) Coordinated fire yeah this could be useful since they'll be plant falling
4) Self planetfall could be good but I think it would be more fluffy if you were required to take a spacecraft.
5) An interesting idea but a very messy and maybe not the most necessary special rule. I really like the theme, it's already unique no need to make it unduly complicated. Maybe instead allow the player to take two spacecraft with the stipulation that they can't activate on the same turn.

Will the list include kroot or vespid? Are you going to include the WE suits (riptide, supremacy, etc).

Things to watch out for:
-Cheap assault centric formations. They will make this idea very powerful as it'll play to the lists strengths and allow for a higher activation count.
-Flyer spam.

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 Post subject: Re: Tau Orbital Assault Force - a Titan List for Tau
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:56 am 
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The supremacy mech was designed for defense of the core worlds, so from a fluff thing, is weird. Neato unit to have around regardless.

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 Post subject: Re: Tau Orbital Assault Force - a Titan List for Tau
PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:50 am 
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Something else to think about. Planetfalling 8DC war engines is a daunting thing to face. Just keep in mind when generating your list structure that 3 manta lists the strategy may turn a little stale. As the Tau player you'll simply drop them on the objectives, entrench and just sustain action. The opponent will have to come to you and the mantas will mark everything it'll be like shooting fish in a barrel. The manta lists will have a little lower than average activation but a crazy amount of firepower in the form of guided missiles and TK. Also if you adopt the Voir'LA characters you'd be looking at an unbelievably powerful combination of shooting and good FF infantry being able to start on the board where ever you want.

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 Post subject: Re: Tau Orbital Assault Force - a Titan List for Tau
PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:35 pm 
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also even w/ scattering, planetfalling with a little luck , sets up plenty of crossfire opportunities too.

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