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Vior'la Tau - Developmental V1.9

 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Version 0.7: Tournament Test Phase
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:17 am 
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In response to Apologist's post from a few months ago about the Hammerhead:

Apologist wrote:
Sounds great, Matt-Shadowlord :)
Rumours have the suit railgun being reduced to S8, AP2; I wonder whether this could translate to the Hammerhead Railgun (apparently retitled the 'Railcannon') being upgraded to being AT3+, as it would no longer be restricted by the usual Epic conventions of being related to the twin-linked Railguns on the Broadside?

I've seen quite a few notes that the Hammerheads aren't performing quite as well as players would like, so this might be an opportunity to upgrade them. A formation of six with this upgrade would be more closely comparable to the Leman Russ tanks, which are the obvious comparison – the HH having worse AP and no reinforced armour, but being faster, ignoring terrain and having a deeper AT bite.


What actually happened with the new Tau Codex was that the Broadside weapon dropped to S8 AP1 and was renamed the Heavy Rail Rifle, while Hammerheads retained the S10 AP1 Railgun.

The in-game effect was that the vast majority of Tau players simply dumped their railrifles from broadsides and replaced them with high yield missile pods instead, since 4x S7 shots are almost always better than just 1x S8.

So while it wasn't in the way you expected, you were correct in anticipating that the broadside's weapon would be decoupled from the hammerhead's in 40K.

There's a case to be made for the relatively fragile hammerhead to be made AT3 (I expect we've all seen it made several times!) but I wouldn't want to make that change in the new Vior'la list unless it was mirrored in Yme-loc's primary Tau list, because the goal isn't to create a 'better' army but a different one.

What I have done though is set a different price point for Hammerheads depending on whether they have the popular Railgun or the less frequently taken Ion or Fusion options, because having them all cost the same makes it a bit of an obvious pick.
4 Hammerhead gunships with Ion Cannon (AP4/AT5 60cm) or Twinfusion (MW4 30cm) = 175pts
4 'Railhead' gunships with Hammerhead Railgun (AP5/AT4 75cm) = 200pts

To be completely frank, even with a 25pt discount I'd be unlikely to take an Ion Cannon in an army that already drips with anti-personnel firepower, but it does make the twin fusion look more appealing for close encounters.


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 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Version 0.7: Tournament Test Phase
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 3:21 am 
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Quote:
Why not Give the cadre Fireblade an extra FF attack instead of the Plasma Rifle (which it cannot have in 40k)?


We did some playtests with it exactly as you described; no AP4+ shot, and +1 FF attack instead. The issue was the majority of players use Firewarriors as a shooting unit rather than assaulters and with that profile the Fireblade then doesn't contribute anything to the unit at all unless they firefight.

The current build has it with 1 AP4 shot, and increasing the unit's FF to 4. The alternatives that have been considered are:
Extra FF Attack instead of AP4+
AP4 and Extra FF Attack (ie the 50pt cost gets both)
Vior'la Firewarriors lose their Pulse Carbines (AP5 Disrupt) to gain FF4 without paying 50pts for it. This one is a dramatic change, reducing firepower for the sake of firefight, but I'd still be interested in opinions.

Quote:
Also why no Coordinated Fire?


It could gain CF.

Quote:
Edit: As an aside, you gave Crisis units FF 4+, is that correct?


Yes, one of the most requested changes, and one that seems very appropriate to the Vior'la background and art. They're still a firepower unit rather than a firefight one, but for this army's more aggressive theme having crisis suits firefight better than guardsmen is a plus.

Quote:
Edit2: Wondering if the Riptide would not be better with the following weapon loadout:
Twin Fusion guns 15 cm MW4+
Hvy. Burst Cannon 30 cm 3x AP5+/AT5+
It would make it very much a spearheading unit, but thats what the fluff indicates. Its firepower would be quite impressive once Markerlights are factored in.


It's built as a fast moving shooting unit; the most common loadout for it in 40K is the Ion Accelerator, which is one of the longest range weapons in the game (72", same as Leman Russ). While that suggested weapon selection would be deadly, having the Riptide operate at 45cm rather than so close up has been working well. Keep in mind it's not a fearless unit.

Quote:
I am also wondering why you chose formations of 2, when the Apocalypse Riptide formation is 3+?


I tried it with 3 using DC1, but 2 with DC2 has seemed a better representation of the units resilience. I also tried it with formations of 2 that can be upgraded with a third, but it seemed unwieldy.
I'm quite happy with the way it has been shaping up; two riptides with sheilded missile drones can operate well as a spearhead unit, but for Tau the tip of that spear always wants to be a little further from the enemy.

Thanks for the feedback.

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 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Version 0.7: Tournament Test Phase
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 2:27 am 
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There is a new Vior'la battle report up.
This game was against a Minervan tank regiment, which is hardly an ideal matchup --- but then, that's the point of playtesting :D

Battle report viewtopic.php?f=84&t=26330

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Version 0.7: Tournament Test Phase
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 7:21 pm 
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LordotMilk wrote:
Quote:

Quote:
Edit2: Wondering if the Riptide would not be better with the following weapon loadout:
Twin Fusion guns 15 cm MW4+
Hvy. Burst Cannon 30 cm 3x AP5+/AT5+
It would make it very much a spearheading unit, but thats what the fluff indicates. Its firepower would be quite impressive once Markerlights are factored in.


It's built as a fast moving shooting unit; the most common loadout for it in 40K is the Ion Accelerator, which is one of the longest range weapons in the game (72", same as Leman Russ). While that suggested weapon selection would be deadly, having the Riptide operate at 45cm rather than so close up has been working well. Keep in mind it's not a fearless unit.

Quote:
I am also wondering why you chose formations of 2, when the Apocalypse Riptide formation is 3+?


I tried it with 3 using DC1, but 2 with DC2 has seemed a better representation of the units resilience. I also tried it with formations of 2 that can be upgraded with a third, but it seemed unwieldy.
I'm quite happy with the way it has been shaping up; two riptides with sheilded missile drones can operate well as a spearhead unit, but for Tau the tip of that spear always wants to be a little further from the enemy.

Thanks for the feedback.



Riptide have Heavy Burst cannons as base, and need an upgrade to get Ion Accelerators.

Also, the Fusion guns on the Ritptide is no different that on the Crisis. If your personal preference is for the longer range, then maybe you should consider using the missile pods instead of fusion guns in combination qith the Ion Accelerator.

Alternatively, you could have two weapon options for the Riptide (à la Dreadnought), one with fusion and burst, the other with missiles and Ion.

With any of those loadouts perhaps a trial at 300 for 3 (à la Eldar Knights) might be worth a trial.

Personally I really appreciate the intent of including more recent 40k additions to Tau, but if that's the case, I would rather see those additions tie closely with with their 40k incarnation than not. Otherwise we could just make up stuff and have as much legitimation.


(OoH Wouldnt it it be cool to have the Evilside XV 8754320997564352 swimsuit special armor that is as big as a Warlord Titan? :D )

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 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Version 0.7: Tournament Test Phase
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:27 am 
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Thanks for the feedback LordotMilk.
The list is going through playtests at a 4000 point tournament today (an ideal opportunity to try a scaled up version). After that I'll make some changes requested by Joe (standardising broadside costs, decreasing gundrones to allow a more unique drone list to be created later etc) and I'd like to try out a couple of the suggestions you've made.

The list will go up as Developmental rather than Experimental later in the week. Do you have a Tau army, and if so are you likely to be interested in helping with a bit of playtesting?


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 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Version 0.7: Tournament Test Phase
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:29 pm 
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Matt-Shadowlord wrote:
Thanks for the feedback LordotMilk.
The list is going through playtests at a 4000 point tournament today (an ideal opportunity to try a scaled up version). After that I'll make some changes requested by Joe (standardising broadside costs, decreasing gundrones to allow a more unique drone list to be created later etc) and I'd like to try out a couple of the suggestions you've made.

The list will go up as Developmental rather than Experimental later in the week. Do you have a Tau army, and if so are you likely to be interested in helping with a bit of playtesting?

That's great news, I mean about getting developmental status. I'm planning on going to a 1-day tournament in january. I'd like to test this list at the event and I hope/think they will be allowing developmental list.


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 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Version 0.7: Tournament Test Phase
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 8:00 pm 
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We will for sure!

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 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Version 0.7: Tournament Test Phase
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:39 pm 
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I do have a (small) Tau army. Another player in our group has a moderate sized one.

We do plan on trying out this list of course.

My only regret at this stage is that the différences between this list and the 6.6 approved list are pretty minor.


I was hoping Viorla Shas'ui formations would get 1+ initiative and a corresponding price difference. Their Leadership stat (if thats any reference) is the same as Space Marines and they are trained vétérans. This would definitely be a nice change from the usual unimpressive stealth suit effect on a battlefield (and I know not everyone agrees with me here, though I have yet to see Stealth suits in a competitive list).

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 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Version 0.6. Battle vs 1K Sons
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:16 am 
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yme-loc wrote:
The Cadre Fireblade looks hard to price as an upgrade, at 50pts I would probably not bother even though it's probably a reasonable price to pay for FF4+ Firewarriors. It just adds up to another formation very quickly and having learnt to play and win with FF5+ Firewarriors I would leave it at home. However at 25pts for FF4+ and leader it would instantly be broken. Not sure what the solution to that is.


Several months of playtesting later, I agree that I'd not bother at 50pts - or rather, that in a dozen games I have simply not been bothering at 50pts. It's too much for what remains a defensive upgrade; you're still rarely going to launch an assault rather than shoot, so it generally only has an effect when you are defending against enemy assaults (who may then be in CC with much of the unit anyway!).
(Or when you're fighting titan or tank lists and firewarrior guns are completely purposeless)

So the solution in the latest version is 25pts for FF4+ without leader or coordinated fire. It's a simple, single-purpose upgrade option with no secondary effect that needs pricing in, and from the comments on the forum imagine a lot of Tau players would rather FF4+ was free but would consider taking it at that price point.
How does that sound?


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 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Version 0.7: Tournament Test Phase
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:44 am 
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It sounds great.

However, I have not tested it, but have you not found that at 50 it was worthwhile on an upgraded FW large FW formation?

I suppose you tried, but are assault Tau armies are not made viable with Fireblades?

2x 6 FW with Devilfish and Fireblades, one doubling and firing and the other assaulting, Eldar-style isn't viable?

If thats the case, an alternative to maing the Fireblade cheaper would perhaps to facilitate assaults with the addition of an upgrade to FW that might give them units to "soak" up retaliation fire without dying, a bit like Wraithguard? I am thinking cheap shield drones.

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 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Version 0.7: Tournament Test Phase
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:07 am 
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I think 25 pts is a better price. I've been list building a lot the last few days and wanted to include the upgrade in a 15 infantry formation, that I planned to act as a garrison/roadblock on overwatch up the field at the start of a game. Something the opponent will have a hard time to shift but can't ignore. And also quite hard to destroy BTS.

But every list I tried I it always ended with me scrapping the upgrade in favor of 4 more gun drones, as four more units felt better for the formations purpose. I also feel that the fearless of the ethereal is better for such a formation than FF4+.

At 25pts I think it's a lot more viable. It would be a good move.


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 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Version 0.7: Tournament Test Phase
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:20 am 
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LordotMilk wrote:
It sounds great.
However, I have not tested it, but have you not found that at 50 it was worthwhile on an upgraded FW large FW formation?

I suppose you tried, but are assault Tau armies are not made viable with Fireblades?

2x 6 FW with Devilfish and Fireblades, one doubling and firing and the other assaulting, Eldar-style isn't viable?

If thats the case, an alternative to maing the Fireblade cheaper would perhaps to facilitate assaults with the addition of an upgrade to FW that might give them units to "soak" up retaliation fire without dying, a bit like Wraithguard? I am thinking cheap shield drones.


I found I took it at 50pts in the first few games, and got all excited about using the Elite Firewarriors... and then shot with them instead. Against every opponent except armies of Titans and Tanks, FW are still better at shooting -hardly surprising, since that's supposed to be their role.

The result was the upgrade was frequently removed during the army building process to save points. Making it 25pts without also giving leader or coordinated fire seems a lot more equitable.

Regarding Drones, I was asked to reduce rather than increase the amount of drones that can be added to a unit in order to make a future drone list more unique.


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 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Version 0.7: Tournament Test Phase
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:46 pm 
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All I am saying is that, if I understand correctly, the point of this list is to give an alterantive playstyle to Tau, whereby firefight assault is emphasized rather than straight-up shooting.

With this in mind, perhaps other measures to incentivize assault should be taken, instead of just having a Tau shooting army with a never taken upgrade to their firefight ability...

Options that would increase firefight ability could be (in no particular order):

- Better firefight values
- better assault resilience (grotdrones, soaking units, etc.)
- Commander ability
- Infiltrating units (vespids maybe?)
- short ranged devastating shooting
- better initiative values for the assaulting troops

I am sure other things could be found.

The other alternative, which might be more in line with the current proposed list, is making a "new style" Tau list (à la Red Corsairs). In this case, you might want to rework the 6.6 completely to fit the current evolution of the Tau list. I am not certain the current AC would approve of it however.

I believe this list, in order to keep its attractiveness, is going to have to make some radical design choices, which will impact greatly on the way it is played (à la Steel legion vs. DkoK) if it is going to be a real alternate list to 6.6.

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 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Version 0.7: Tournament Test Phase
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 5:44 am 
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LordotMilk wrote:
All I am saying is that, if I understand correctly, the point of this list is to give an alterantive playstyle to Tau, whereby firefight assault is emphasized rather than straight-up shooting.


That's not quite correct, so I had better answer that first to put the other answers in to perspective. The goals are to create a new list that adds the new 40K Models to the game of Epic, to allow a more aggressive playstyle, and to allow firefight assaults to be a viable option.

A Tau list that can be played aggressively doesn't require that the list is truly proficent in assault.

To follow the example you used, it would be possible to do a Tau-Assault list using the same principle that was used when the designers created the Kreig list; the infantry lost their ranged weapons (dropped to 1 Heavy Stubber per 20 stands!) in order to gain CC5+ and became purchaseable in large formations of up to 30 stands (plus up to 3 Gorgon war engines). The Tau analogue would be for Firewarriors to lose a one of their ranged weapons to gain FF4+ instead of paying for it, or to commit to the Krieg approach where they lose all ranged weapons to gain FF4+ and get larger formations (eg 10 Firewarriors or 8 and 4 Devilfish for 225).

Here's the profile I tested at the current price of 225 for 8:
Vior'la Fire Warrior unit Infantry 15cm A5+ CC6+ FF4+ Pulse Rifles 30cm AP4+
Pulse Assault Carbines (Small Arms 15cm)
(the change is simply the Pulse Carbines 15cm AP5+, Disrupt is dropped up for the FF4+)

Since the goal wasn't to make a full on Assault version of Tau, this was changed back to the purchaseable Cadre Fireblade upgrade. Tau players get the option to have troops that represent the more elite Vior'la fighters with their higher muscle-mass than other Tau, without making a list that doesn't play Tau-style.

So why do I claim this is a list that better rewards aggressive players than most Tau armies? It's the sum total of minor changes.
[] Firewarriors and Crisis suits can buy FF4+ upgrade
[] The Commander can be bought for units other than Crisis Suits - this isn't detail; it's hard to play Crisis as an aggressive unit when their one delivery system starts off the table, is 2+ and has their reroll inside it!)
[] Ethereals gain Inspiring (trial to see if players will actually take them; it seems very 'thematic')
[] Riptides are resilient, operate at medium ranges and can hold the line vs average opponents
[] Sunsharks bombers add blast templates to the army, encouraging enemies to spread out and allowing Tau a better chance to clip a target
[] There's a 25pt discount per formation for closer-ranged tanks (trial, to see if people take them instead of railgun hammerheads)
[] Orcas can buy a Tau Deflector Shield upgrade to make loading them with expensive troops less suicidal

Add that all together and it creates a Tau list that can push forward in turn 2 as long as units support one another, while hitting enemy backline units.

I am considering adding the following unit since it is often requested and doesn't currently exist in Epic:

Vespid Stingwings 0-1 or 0-2 Support Choice
Type: INF Speed: 30 cm Armor: 6+ CC: 5+ FF: 4+
Weapons: Neutron Blasters (15cms) Small Arms
Wings (count as Jump Packs)
6 stands for 150pts (perhaps 175 if they get infiltrate)

I hope that clarifies what the goals of this list are, why it hasn't followed the whole Kreig approach, and why I still consider it a more aggressive army.
Comments questions and playtests are welcome :D


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 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Version 0.7: Tournament Test Phase
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:18 am 
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Any news on the update Matt? Last week has come and gone... :P


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