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The Manta

 Post subject: The Manta
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:56 pm 
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So I have been given the responsebility to be AC of Tau. Thanks for the confidence ERC. I will post an updated version of the Vior'la list which I'd like for us to discuss and focus on to get it to approval.

But here I'd like to discuss the Manta. When it comes to the third phase list, then I think it's functioning pretty well and don't really need any big changes. The one unit that I think is an exception and has received criticism a lot is the Manta for being undergunned and/or overcosted. I agree on this and haven't actually fielded it since I've always looked at it as to expensive for what you get.

We had some good discussion in the Vior'la thread I think. My first inclination would be to do as someone suggested to de-twin-link the rail cannons for 2x Heavy Rail cannons, MW3+, TK(D3) and also the Missile Pods for 2x Missile Pod AP5+/AT6+.
Coupled with also lowering the points. Would you take it with the newer stats for 600 point? 575?

Other suggestions? Old stats for weapons and just lowered price?

40k wiki wrote:
XV104s are usually deployed from the Tau transport aircraft called Mantas, where their Jetpacks allow them to descend from high altitudes safely.


I'd also like to amend the Manta to be able to choose to transport 3 riptides instead of 4 vehicles. This is obviously with the Vior'la list in mind. Below is a suggestion. I'd appreciate if someone who's a native english speak has suggestion for a cleaner version. Its transport section is getting very long.

Transport. May transport 20 infantry or broadside battlesuits; plus four vehicles (except broadside battlesutis); tetras count as a third of a unit each, rounding up; instead of four vehicles three heavy battlesuits (DC2) may be taken.


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 Post subject: Re: The Manta
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:36 pm 
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Congratulations on the new role Borka.
Looking forward to progress to approval.

On the Manta
Like the split for the Heavy Rail Cannons.
Please give it Co-ordinated Fire to reflect the Command Bridge.
With those changes perhaps 600 points each.
A bigger jump down from Third Phase Tau at 650 points with
improvements on the vehicle might be too much to swallow.

At 600 points you can get two in a 4000 point game.
Please also include a Shas'o or Ethereal upgrade to stop double BTS.
Shas'o, +50 points, Leader and Supreme Commander re-roll
Ethereal, +25 or +50 points, Leader and Inspiring
Without this my solution is to have a very large land formation which is also OK.

For the current Manta a units of Crisis Suits occupies two transport slots.

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 Post subject: Re: The Manta
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:50 pm 
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Congratulations on the position Borka.

* I think 575 is a good place to start.
*+1 to splitting the heavy rail cannons. Less concerned with the missle launchers but I'll play test it.
* +1 to adding coordinated fire.
* +1 to adding a Shas'o upgrade. I would suggest giving the base Manta a Shas'el and making the upgrade to Shas'o 75 pts. That's consistent with the upgrade value in crisis suits. Again, not as concerned with an ethereal upgrade, probably would avoid it because of the risk, but I would suggest 50pts for consistency with the fire warrior upgrade if it goes forward.
* I can tinker with the language changes for the Manta carrying larger suits if you'd like.

The group has a game day on Saturday. If we get stats ironed out, we can probably come back with at least 2 battle reports on the changes.

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 Post subject: Re: The Manta
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:02 pm 
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Thanks guys!

I don't see a problem with them having command bridge. My preference would be Gunslingers proposal of having one Shas'el included and with the option for upgrading to Shas'O. This gives a rather hard till kill Shas'o, but will also have the drawback of always being both BTS and SC. Probably shouldn't go below 600 though like you say Andrew. Sounds like we can agree on the weapons loadout. So then the proposal for new Manta would be.

Manta
Edit: Comes with Shas'el 625 pts, Shas'o +75 pts
Manta WE 20cm 5+ - 4+
2x Heavy Rail Cannons 90cm MW3+ FxF TK(D3)
3× Heavy Ion Phalanx 75cm AP3+/AT4+ FxF
4× Twin Manta Burst Cannons 30cm AP5+/AA6+
2x Missile Pods 45cm AP5+/AT6+ FxF
2× Seeker Missiles 90cm AT6+ GM

Andrew_NZ wrote:
For the current Manta a units of Crisis Suits occupies two transport slots.
yeah that's an omission on my part, thanks for pointing it out.

gunslinger007 wrote:
The group has a game day on Saturday. If we get stats ironed out, we can probably come back with at least 2 battle reports on the changes.

Yeah please do if you have the time, that would be great!


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 Post subject: Re: The Manta
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:23 pm 
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Congrats. The Tau 3rd phase list is solid. Hopefully I will get the Manta on the table this weekend.

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 Post subject: Re: The Manta
PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:03 am 
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m_folais wrote:
The Tau 3rd phase list is solid.
Widely agreed and used, eg Epic UK approved, AS WELL AS, NetEA.


Looking at the Epic UK army lists sections there is ONLY ONE list with a Manta.
So clearly a sub-optimal choice as we have been discussing. Only point this out
since there are also data about the selection of Crisis Cadres.


I do think that the Crisis Suits are still currently a very sub optimal choice.
Keep taking them for fluffy reasons but every time the only crisis they deal
with is their own crisis of under performance. Otherwise only take them for
a supreme commander (and this rather less often than those who play in
Epic UK tournaments, see below).

Out of 28 army lists taken to Epic UK tournaments only 6 took more than one Crisis Cadre.
21 lists took just one Crisis Cadre, in essence to get access to a Supreme Commander re-roll.
Of the 6 lists that took more than one Crisis Cadre FIVE took at least 2 Fire Warrior Cadres.
The Win/Loss/Draw ratios for the armies that took more than one Crisis Cadre was:

35% (8) / 52% (12) / 13% (3)

This compared with the the W/L/D ratios for the other 22 Tau lists:

40% (35) / 28% (25) / 32% (28).

Twice as likely to lose with more than one Crisis Cadre with Shas'o upgrade. I realise that
this sort of analysis it biased by the results of a few good players but the army selection
decisions of good players is entirely relevant to the argument. 5 of 8 wins for the two plus
Crisis Cadre armies were by Steve Gullick (one a BYE).

EDIT - to add:
Over all those Epic Uk lists of the core choices: 68 Fire Warrior Cadres compared to
36 Crisis Cadres (again in 21 cases to give access to a supreme commander).

We got a small upgrade with the inclusion of a Shas'el in the Crisis Cadre basic formation.
I think it would be good to add an AT5+ shot to the Plasma Rifle of the Crisis Suit
making it a 30 cm AP4+/AT5+ weapon. Most plasma weapons have similar AT hit
numbers to the AP values. Having NO AT capacity on the weapon seems wrong,
currently 30 cm AP4+.

In the fluff "the Plasma Rifle can be considered the equivalent of an Imperial Plasma Gun."
Presumably with a longer range. Imperial Plasma Guns have 15 cm AP5+/AT5+.
The Crisis Suit weapon is twin linked hence the AP4+. I'll also admit that the fluff adds,
"the Tau favour a form of technology in their Plasma Rifles that uses lower overall temperatures
of plasma gas. This exchanges a degree of damage output for increased safety for the user by
almost completely eliminating the risk of a potential catastrophic overheat of the weapon."
But then they also impact "with the fury of a supernova and scything through steel, flesh
and bone as if they were nothing." So don't increase the AT5+ to AT4+ as might be warranted
by the twin linking. Even a conservative AT6+ to the stat-line would be a useful boost.

I realise that there is no traction for giving the Fusion Guns (small arms), MW. Despite
the modest FF5+ for the Tau Third Sphere list. It would put them on par with a Marine
Land Speeder in Fire Fight, hardly an overpowering engagement weapon. And the stat
could still Close Combated out.


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 Post subject: Re: The Manta
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:25 am 
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I think proper plasma stats for the crisis would do wonders for it, most tau units are specialists to one or other unit type so it could be very useful.

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 Post subject: Re: The Manta
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:04 am 
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Thanks for your thorough analysis of the statistics Andrew. This is how it's been for me as well, I also almost exclusively just take one small formation for the Shas'o. They seem to only work if you go heavy on them with several formations. preferably in an orca or two.

I think this is a minor change that I could probably take directly to the ERC, especially if we like you say take the more conservative AT6+, but I have also brought the proposal to the list testing group that mordoten has set up to see what that can give us. viewtopic.php?f=4&t=32973


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 Post subject: Re: The Manta
PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:32 am 
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I took the Manta to New England Epic weekend. The 575 version with the saved 75 points up grading a Recon formation. I got Cadian IG with Death Strikes. Lost the Manta right away. The second game was Eldar. The Manta stayed around to the bottom of two. It soaked up about 5 activations to kill it. Manta only killed about 400 points in return.

We should look at changing from War engine to Air craft. Or allow planet fall without a space ship.

Giving up BTS by taking it. It is playing with a handicap.


It is way way too many points. It is 3 activations worth of pain for 1 activation of blah. It is so bad not only do I not want to take it, I am thinking of selling it.

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 Post subject: Re: The Manta
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:45 am 
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I have been thinking about planetfall being a problem too as it just doesn't work as a transport without double retain, and is also way too much of a points sink to have any hope of paying it back. Especially since the spaceship is also a bit situational and at the expensive end of the spaceship spectrum. 850 points is a joke, but as you say its main prbplem is lacking a viable role. It wouldn't be a terrible thing to land in the corner of the enemy deployment zone to occupy them if it wasn't also your BTS. It's 8 DC but not as good armour as 4+ RA, no void shields and crucially is at a +1 to hit penalty compared to any titan because it cannot be in cover.

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 Post subject: Re: The Manta
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:48 pm 
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I don't have my original edition of IA3 where the Tau 3rd phase list came from to check but didn't the Manta originally have self-planetfall back them? Or am I having a senior moment?

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 Post subject: Re: The Manta
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:30 pm 
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No you are correct it did have self planetfall

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 Post subject: Re: The Manta
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:38 pm 
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Ok thought so. Didn't have it handy to check. When was that removed and why? I don't play Tau and don't particularly like them (why my head cannon is M38) but it's a turd unit and didn't seem like it needed a Nerf bat.

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 Post subject: Re: The Manta
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:01 pm 
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Overall I think the Tau list has been very well developed so I hope you pretty much leave it as is and focus on developing a second battlesuit focused variant as well. The current list is also unique in that it's used by both Net-EA and Epic-UK communities which is nice. The Manta could do with a bit of a boost I agree, though I have used it and played against it and think it's ok. I'd much rather just drop the points 25 rather than double the main gun though

I'd love the option to upgrade a Manta with a Supreme Commander too. Mantas are mostly used as a transport but sometimes one will act as a mobile command post when appropriate as well. As per it's background "the front of the upper deck contains an access way and a ladder to the Manta’s own sophisticated command bridge. From there, a Tau commander or Ethereal can oversee battlefield operations while being relatively close to the site of conflict. In this way, a Manta also serves as a mobile forward command post and can act as a fire control and communications hub."

I'd want it to be a very expensive upgrade as a Shas'O is relatively not that hard to kill while a Manta is much more survivable. I'd suggest perhaps +125 points to give the Manta supreme and obviously as an alternative to a Shas'O, not allowing both. One positive side effect of it would be it would make taking more than one Manta more viable in a larger game, as currently they'd suffer by jointly being BTS.


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 Post subject: Re: The Manta
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:33 am 
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Think that's an over egged cost for reroll on the manta considering it's 75 for a shas o which includes an extra weapon, and taking the manta option has the downside of putting your SC in your BTS. It's not even that much more survivable, it's a war engine so can be nuked from orbit, is support craft so always visible, and massive.

If the manta got a reduction I would say the command bridge could be worth taking if it was coordinated fire and leader too but is still a cost sensitive unit so needs to be reigned in. To be honest it should have coordinated fire anyway.

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