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Offline horizon

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Re: Tau Protection Fleet 2010 overview
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2012, 06:58:55 AM »
Hey Sig,

while not debating your math you forget one factor in the Warden vs Firestorm debate:
If I destroy 3 Firestorms I receive 120vps.
If I destroy 3 Wardens I receive 90vps, not 105vps (which is 3 Swords).
At that point it does not matter the Warden within the Tau fleet is technically 35pts.

Small side-effect: within range of a Custodian the 1 turret on the Warden gains a little value.

As for the speed 25cm vs 20cm in the Warden vs Orca debate:
The +5cm speed is more worth then it seems. The Warden can execute a 'gap-fill' role much better then the Orca (which is a good vessel!).
It has more wiggle room to stay behind the main fleet untill the lines meet and it needs to help out the larger vessels.

An Explorer cannot bring Wardens, A Custodian cannot bring Orca's.

Which does mean that giving math of 2 Explorers = 6 Orca's = 5 Wardens is in theory correct but in reality non evident.


And yes, the Custodian should be a Grand Cruiser. I do not mind 3 shields.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2012, 01:07:47 PM by horizon »

Offline Zelnik

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Re: Tau Protection Fleet 2010 overview
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2012, 01:03:08 PM »
So far as I can tell, horizon, the explorer can take wardens, nothing says it cannot.  Only the emmissary and the custodian are restricted in their deployment of ships.

Offline horizon

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Re: Tau Protection Fleet 2010 overview
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2012, 01:07:15 PM »
ah yeah, the small mention in the Warden box. One argument down. thnx.

Offline Zelnik

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Re: Tau Protection Fleet 2010 overview
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2012, 01:34:48 PM »
No problem... I always take an explorer in my fleets so I can lay down six wardens after all :), the additional lc is a great help too.

Offline AndrewChristlieb

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Re: Tau Protection Fleet 2010 overview
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2012, 05:20:31 PM »
A comparable number of Wardens should be at worse equal to Swords with anyone worth half a grain of salt. Even when they're not locked on 3 Wardens/Firestorms/whatever have an average of 2 hits against an abeam Sword, 3 Swords have an average of 3 hits on a closing Warden when locked on. Where this becomes tricky is when you actually put these in the hands of players. Basically its going to come down to who can get the first strike, discounting bad rolls, and that person will be locked on. When you compare them against what they're actually going to be doing for the most part (supporting capitol ships) you will find that the lance armed ships will often times outgun the Swords even when not locked on due to the effect of blast markers. The real benefit to having a ship like the Sword comes when your still learning how to play or against specific races that force you to adapt quickly (Eldar, Necrons, Etc) as it can more easily adapt to problems that might arise. In a typical game a good player will not have any problems getting several lock on opportunities with lance ships especially in a fleet such as this where you can have multiple torpedo salvos to force people into avenues of approach.

Also as Horizon pointed out it is actually cheaper if destroyed.

When you factor in that to take the Wardens you must  ::) have a boat load of ordnance to go with it the lack of a single turret really wont make a big difference against anyone but Nids.
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Offline Sigoroth

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Re: Tau Protection Fleet 2010 overview
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2012, 08:03:31 AM »
A comparable number of Wardens should be at worse equal to Swords with anyone worth half a grain of salt. Even when they're not locked on 3 Wardens/Firestorms/whatever have an average of 2 hits against an abeam Sword, 3 Swords have an average of 3 hits on a closing Warden when locked on. Where this becomes tricky is when you actually put these in the hands of players. Basically its going to come down to who can get the first strike, discounting bad rolls, and that person will be locked on. When you compare them against what they're actually going to be doing for the most part (supporting capitol ships) you will find that the lance armed ships will often times outgun the Swords even when not locked on due to the effect of blast markers. The real benefit to having a ship like the Sword comes when your still learning how to play or against specific races that force you to adapt quickly (Eldar, Necrons, Etc) as it can more easily adapt to problems that might arise. In a typical game a good player will not have any problems getting several lock on opportunities with lance ships especially in a fleet such as this where you can have multiple torpedo salvos to force people into avenues of approach.

Ugh, where to begin. Well, firstly, let's say that people get exactly as much out of a Warden as they could a Sword. I don't believe this to be the case as your simple maths above highlights and the Wardens are more fragile even when within tracking system range. But let's assume this is the case. So what? They cost as much as a Sword. No big surprise that they should pull the weight of one then. Oh, but you're forced to take them, since you've already spent 15 pts on the squadron by buying a Custodian. That's a downfall.

Also if you play by the original rules where BMs don't count all round then the Swords very rarely have their firepower reduced by BMs (or cause such a reduction for another ship) because they're excellent flankers. Escorts that have to point themselves at the enemy to shoot are not so good. If you don't play by those rules, well, you can always opt not to take any Swords. The Wardens on the other hand ...

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Also as Horizon pointed out it is actually cheaper if destroyed.

The advantage of Wardens giving away fewer VPs is made up for by the disadvantage of hooked vessels giving away more VPs.

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When you factor in that to take the Wardens you must  ::) have a boat load of ordnance to go with it the lack of a single turret really wont make a big difference against anyone but Nids.

No, this isn't true. A Custodian puts out 6AC at 330 pts and you can only have 1 per 1k points. Protectors only give 1 each. It isn't hard to out-ordnance a Tau CP Fleet. Aside from which, you don't need to have more or even equal ordnance in order to destroy some escorts. Unless he has 4 fighters protecting each and every target within range even a single Dictator can do some damage.

Hey Sig,

while not debating your math you forget one factor in the Warden vs Firestorm debate:
If I destroy 3 Firestorms I receive 120vps.
If I destroy 3 Wardens I receive 90vps, not 105vps (which is 3 Swords).
At that point it does not matter the Warden within the Tau fleet is technically 35pts.

Small side-effect: within range of a Custodian the 1 turret on the Warden gains a little value.

Firstly, Firestorms are overpriced and poo, though it will still be harder to destroy those 3 Firestorms for the most part, due to their extra turret. Secondly, if I destroy a Custodian I get 330 VPs, not 315 VPs. So the actual cost you pay for the Wardens (35 pts) can still be reaped as VPs by the opponent. You might consider the shift in the placement of those VPs beneficial, but it's only beneficial when the Custodian survives and the Wardens do not. If both are destroyed or both survive there is no difference. If the Wardens survive but the Custodian does not then it is a negative. All in all, I'd count this as a slight advantage to the Wardens (and any other hooked escort) compared to non-hooked escorts. However, the Orca also enjoys this slight advantage.

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As for the speed 25cm vs 20cm in the Warden vs Orca debate:
The +5cm speed is more worth then it seems. The Warden can execute a 'gap-fill' role much better then the Orca (which is a good vessel!).
It has more wiggle room to stay behind the main fleet untill the lines meet and it needs to help out the larger vessels.

I have no doubt that the extra speed of the Warden is a benefit. I've sometimes lamented the lack in Orcas myself. I just don't think that it is worth an extra 5 pts per escort. After all, destroying 3 Orcas will only grant 75 VPs vs the 90 VPs of the Wardens.  :P

Offline Zelnik

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Re: Tau Protection Fleet 2010 overview
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2012, 12:33:26 PM »
Just one edit Sig.

It's one custodian per 750, letting you have 2 per 1500 match.


Tell me, sig. How would you fix the tau fleet?

Offline AndrewChristlieb

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Re: Tau Protection Fleet 2010 overview
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2012, 03:16:41 PM »

Ugh, where to begin. Well, firstly, let's say that people get exactly as much out of a Warden as they could a Sword. I don't believe this to be the case as your simple maths above highlights and the Wardens are more fragile even when within tracking system range. But let's assume this is the case. So what? They cost as much as a Sword. No big surprise that they should pull the weight of one then. Oh, but you're forced to take them, since you've already spent 15 pts on the squadron by buying a Custodian. That's a downfall.

My "simple math" just shows that the Wardens would only be slightly worse when they are not locked on compared to a group of Swords that are locked on. The fact of the matter here is that when taken equally the Sword does not compare, it is cheaper than the Firestorm because it cannot cause damage as efficiently. With 5+ armor being the standard only against a closing capitol ship would you actually be better off with  the Sword and then only when locked on and even then just barely. I'm not trying to say that the Sword is bad here just that its a much more situational ship where as something like the Firestorm is more all comers, with the price differences the Warden is much better and the Orca is almost overpowered. If you think that its easier to get lock on opportunity with swords then ok that's fine clearly you haven't played enough with prow armed ships to develop the tactics required to use them effectively, I'm sorry, your right in that instance.
              Closing Cap  Closing Escort  Abeam Cap  Abeam Escort
               NLO  LO        NLO  LO           NLO  LO       NLO  LO
Sword     2.67/4.34      2.00/3.33        1.33/2.33     0.67/1.00
S/BM       2.00/3.33      1.33/2.33        0.67/1.00     0.67/1.00

Warden  2.83/4.33       2.50/3.67        2.17/3.00    1.83/2.67
W/BM     2.50/3.67       2.17/3.00        1.83/2.67     1.83/2.67

(I made it look more complicated just for you Sig but this actually removes a step  ;))

Now I hate to figure point costs for ships but the Custodian does come up actually 16.5 points over costed by Smothermans formula, assuming you don't take into account that they have much better bombers which should actually even them out a bit  :-\. Emissaries are over costed by only 5 pts, once again if you don't take those bombers into consideration. So I'm sorry to burst your bubble but they really are not 5 points more that they're listed as, if anything their "parent ships" are actually priced about right, maybe with a one or two point penality/ hook but definitely not 5pts :-X.


Also if you play by the original rules where BMs don't count all round then the Swords very rarely have their firepower reduced by BMs (or cause such a reduction for another ship) because they're excellent flankers. Escorts that have to point themselves at the enemy to shoot are not so good. If you don't play by those rules, well, you can always opt not to take any Swords. The Wardens on the other hand ...

Why would you play the original rules? These were clearly flawed as they assumed that a blast not in line with the firing ship and the defending ship would not affect their targeting, even tho the ship that was just hit would be tossed about quite a bit by the force of the impacts. Of course explosions and debris also tend to wrap around something when its been hit further distorting its appearance, even on the side where it wasn't hit.

The advantage of Wardens giving away fewer VPs is made up for by the disadvantage of hooked vessels giving away more VPs.

Once again they really don't  ::)

No, this isn't true. A Custodian puts out 6AC at 330 pts and you can only have 1 per 1k points. Protectors only give 1 each. It isn't hard to out-ordnance a Tau CP Fleet. Aside from which, you don't need to have more or even equal ordnance in order to destroy some escorts. Unless he has 4 fighters protecting each and every target within range even a single Dictator can do some damage.

If your escorts are seen as a bigger threat than your carriers then you must be very good with them, of course the way you talk about them it sounds more likely that you just throw them away. A Tau CP fleet can throw down 22 wb@45cm 8 LB and still have 6 wardens making closing with them very dangerous... @750pts ::)

Firstly, Firestorms are overpriced and poo, though it will still be harder to destroy those 3 Firestorms for the most part, due to their extra turret. Secondly, if I destroy a Custodian I get 330 VPs, not 315 VPs. So the actual cost you pay for the Wardens (35 pts) can still be reaped as VPs by the opponent. You might consider the shift in the placement of those VPs beneficial, but it's only beneficial when the Custodian survives and the Wardens do not. If both are destroyed or both survive there is no difference. If the Wardens survive but the Custodian does not then it is a negative. All in all, I'd count this as a slight advantage to the Wardens (and any other hooked escort) compared to non-hooked escorts. However, the Orca also enjoys this slight advantage.

I'm not even going there ::)

I have no doubt that the extra speed of the Warden is a benefit. I've sometimes lamented the lack in Orcas myself. I just don't think that it is worth an extra 5 pts per escort. After all, destroying 3 Orcas will only grant 75 VPs vs the 90 VPs of the Wardens.  :P

This I could agree with if they were 30cm speed I could see the points increase but not 5cm.



This whole argument is moot at any point because the Tau do not have Swords they have Wardens and Orcas and the pure CP fleet can only take Wardens. If you don't like them so be it, but don't try to dissuade others from making use of them because of your flawed belief that they are "poo".
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Offline Sigoroth

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Re: Tau Protection Fleet 2010 overview
« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2012, 02:39:58 AM »
My "simple math" just shows that the Wardens would only be slightly worse when they are not locked on compared to a group of Swords that are locked on. The fact of the matter here is that when taken equally the Sword does not compare, it is cheaper than the Firestorm because it cannot cause damage as efficiently.

There is no reason why it is cheaper than a Firestorm. Yes, it cannot cause as much damage, having less firepower, but it has advantages over the Firestorm that see it being as good. The Sword is a decent escort and is actually used. The Firestorm is not a decent escort and only newbies use it. Or people that bought the model and are sick of it sitting on their shelves. It does not compete with the Sword, despite its extra firepower.

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With 5+ armor being the standard only against a closing capitol ship would you actually be better off with  the Sword and then only when locked on and even then just barely. I'm not trying to say that the Sword is bad here just that its a much more situational ship where as something like the Firestorm is more all comers, with the price differences the Warden is much better and the Orca is almost overpowered. If you think that its easier to get lock on opportunity with swords then ok that's fine clearly you haven't played enough with prow armed ships to develop the tactics required to use them effectively, I'm sorry, your right in that instance.

The Sword sucks against Space Marines. The Firestorm sucks against Corsair Eldar, Craftworld Eldar and Dark Eldar. The Sword excels against those 3 races, whereas the Firestorm only performs adequately against SMs (40% of its firepower is still WBs). The Sword excels against Necrons (4+ braced armour), Orks (4+ rear armour), Tau (4+ rear on explorers, or 5+ prow on Explorers/Merchants), Chaos (juicy 5+ prows) and Tyranids (5+ prows). The Firestorms perform more evenly across all those fleets. They also rarely get to use their WBs against rear armour, because they're too busy trying to keep a target to the fore. So you can take a Sword against any blind fleet and you'll only be hosed if it happens that you're fighting SMs (which is a bit of a laugh anyway). Only against IN or the Tau CPF do they go a little flat.

This is their advantage. Having mixed weaponry is a downside. It makes you less versatile. On a highly mobile weapons platform (ie, escorts), the best weapon direct fire weapon is WBs firing LFR. This makes you a raider. If you're going to have forward firing lances then you're basically an artillery ship. To have both types on the one ship is just bad.

Oh, and as for my tactics, or lack thereof, we'll just leave that comment alone, eh? Let's move on to the fact that it's easier to get a firing solution for LO for a Sword than it is for a Firestorm. Example: enemy in front arc, their turn, they move into your side arc. Firestorms' solution: turn to present prow weaponry. Swords' solution: LO, fire to the side.


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              Closing Cap  Closing Escort  Abeam Cap  Abeam Escort
               NLO  LO        NLO  LO           NLO  LO       NLO  LO
Sword     2.67/4.34      2.00/3.33        1.33/2.33     0.67/1.00
S/BM       2.00/3.33      1.33/2.33        0.67/1.00     0.67/1.00

Warden  2.83/4.33       2.50/3.67        2.17/3.00    1.83/2.67
W/BM     2.50/3.67       2.17/3.00        1.83/2.67     1.83/2.67

(I made it look more complicated just for you Sig but this actually removes a step  ;))


These numbers aren't quite correct. For example, a squadron of 3 LO Swords at normal range into a closing cap ship with 5+ prow armour average 4.44 hits, not 4.34. Against an abeam capital ship under the same circumstances (normal range, no BM, 5+ armour, on LO) the average is 2.22 hits, not 2.33.

However, let's consider a fairly typical situation. On their way to the rear of the enemy lines a Sword escort squadron (strength 3), in passing, goes on LO and shoots at an abeam capital ship at close range. Let's say 5+ armour, as it's most typical. Average of 3.33 hits. Now consider the Wardens. Well, they could perhaps move a shorter distance to get a shot at the ships prow (6+ armour) and so manage to LO since they don't need to turn. In that case they could do a nice 3.78 hits on average. Their position is a little weaker to return fire though, and they're not really on their way to the rear of the enemy lines and their minimum movement may not allow for this. Alternatively they could move forward and LO as per the Swords, getting only 2.25 hits on average, since they'd be unable to bring their WBs to bear. Or they could move forward as per the Swords and turn to present their prow, granting 2.5 hits on average. The Sword seems to perform fairly reasonably compared to the up-gunned Warden here.

Now let's consider a move that puts the escort squarely behind the target. Both the Swords and the Wardens would have to turn to present guns in this case, so no LO. The Swords would average 2.67 hits vs the Wardens 1.5 hits. OK, so what about if they went on CTNH? That allows both ships to point their prows at the enemy rear and gives 1.33 hits for the Swords and 1.67 hits for the Wardens. Now that they're tailgating, what about LO for the next turn? That's 4.47 hits for the Wardens and 4.44 hits for the Swords. A barely noticeable difference.

So what does all this mean? It means that the Sword is a better flanking vessel and the Warden a better artillery vessel. The Warden gains no appreciable bonus when tailgating on LO. The Sword on the other hand gains significantly if it's a 4+ armour rear (Orks, Tau Explorer). The Warden would of course perform better against SMs, but much worse against Eldar of any type.

So it's much of a muchness really. Except that the Sword generally presents a more resilient aspect to enemy gunnery and it is much more resilient to enemy ordnance. Advantage Sword.

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Now I hate to figure point costs for ships but the Custodian does come up actually 16.5 points over costed by Smothermans formula, assuming you don't take into account that they have much better bombers which should actually even them out a bit  :-\. Emissaries are over costed by only 5 pts, once again if you don't take those bombers into consideration. So I'm sorry to burst your bubble but they really are not 5 points more that they're listed as, if anything their "parent ships" are actually priced about right, maybe with a one or two point penality/ hook but definitely not 5pts :-X.

Oh dear. Firstly ditch Smotherman and don't ever use it ever again. Ever. It's rubbish. Secondly, if there were no hooks on the Custodian it would cost 315 pts. The price has remained consistent of 5 pts per hook across all iterations. Check the cost of Nicassar rigs and defence stations hooks. In fact it has been specifically stated by SG that a part of the hooked ships cost is paid by the parent vessel. How much of that cost do you think is being paid then? 3 pts? 2?

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Why would you play the original rules? These were clearly flawed as they assumed that a blast not in line with the firing ship and the defending ship would not affect their targeting, even tho the ship that was just hit would be tossed about quite a bit by the force of the impacts. Of course explosions and debris also tend to wrap around something when its been hit further distorting its appearance, even on the side where it wasn't hit.

Why? Because those rules are superior. The only reason why BMs came to be counted as all-round was because of the introduction of the massed turret rules and the problems that arose with the attendant downside introduced to balance them. The downside being that the attacking player could shift the BM off the line of fire to make it touch other ships in base contact. This was abused by shifting it to the far side of the target giving a clear line of fire for the rest of the fleet. A better solution would have been to add an extra BM in contact with all ships in base contact with the target, placed on a line to the firing ship. But anyway.

There are 2 ways you can look at the turn. Simultaneously or sequentially. In the first since it's all happening at once there is no "order" of fire so BMs placed this turn should not interfere with subsequent fire this turn. I dislike this method. In the latter instance then the order of fire does matter, but one could assume that subsequent firing will wait until their target has resolved. In other words, the target being impacted by a few hits should not interfere with you gunnery. Also, we're dealing with ships with a good deal of momentum. A few impacts aren't likely to "toss it about" much at all. Even if destroyed the wreck is going to travel pretty much in the same direction was going. As for explosions "wrapping around" the target, well that is just nonsense really. To be honest, an explosion on the left side of a ship is more likely to highlight its position to those on its right than obfuscate it. But assuming that the explosion does "wrap around", we're talking about a moving vessel. It's going to move away from the explosion. So the explosion will only ever be on one side (ie, the rear).

But apart from all that, the WBs and lances were originally balanced around the original rules. This stupid sweeping change that the HA brought in unbalanced them in favour of lances, while doing nothing to alter the costs of these weapons. Furthermore, and more importantly, this change removed an excellent tactical mechanic from the game. This decision was, and still is, inexplicable.

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If your escorts are seen as a bigger threat than your carriers then you must be very good with them, of course the way you talk about them it sounds more likely that you just throw them away. A Tau CP fleet can throw down 22 wb@45cm 8 LB and still have 6 wardens making closing with them very dangerous... @750pts ::)

If you are not destroying your opponents escorts as soon as possibly then you're doing it wrong. They are too fast and pack too much focusable firepower to ignore. Not to mention they're easier to destroy. I don't "throw them away" but I don't expect them to survive either. My opponents aren't stupid enough to let me have my way with my escorts.

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This whole argument is moot at any point because the Tau do not have Swords they have Wardens and Orcas and the pure CP fleet can only take Wardens. If you don't like them so be it, but don't try to dissuade others from making use of them because of your flawed belief that they are "poo".

Gah, where to begin. Firstly, my belief is not "flawed". My belief is that they are flawed. I have shown evidence of my belief, whereas you have not shown evidence that my belief is flawed. Secondly I have not attempted to dissuade anyone from taking Wardens. Compared to what you could previously bring with hooks (ie, Orcas) the Wardens will cost you 15 pts more for essentially the same ship. However, if you don't take them then you're wasting 15 pts worth of hooks. Since you're going to be throwing away 15 pts whether you take them or not I actually suggest taking them, as you do get a slight advantage for those 15 pts (the increase in speed). I do not, however, recommend them for Orca-capable hooks, such as on an Explorer or Merchant, as I believe the Orca is superior value.

Thirdly, I can attempt to dissuade anyone I like from doing anything I like. It is my right to make the attempt, and others' rights to take or ignore my advice as they see fit. YOU may not think my argument is convincing and so choose to ignore it or present a counter to it, but don't presume to tell me who I can advise to do what.

Fourthly, regardless of whether or not the point is ultimately moot, since we're in a moot (ie a conclave given to discussing the merits of a particular issue for which we have no direct ability to change) then it is appropriate to actually discuss the issue. Moots aren't held only for someone to say "this is moot, let's go home". Given that we're in a thread discussing the flaws of the CPF and ideas of how to fix them comparisons to Swords are perfectly fine. There are only two ways to make comparisons, either internally or externally. Internal comparison are made against the next best option, which in this case is the Orca. The Warden was supposed to supersede this ship and it hasn't, in role or function. External comparisons are made against known examples (whether good or bad). When discussing the hook dynamic it is appropriate to compare it to the non-hook paradigm. The Sword is a known good example of a non-hook paradigm escort with a comparable total cost. The Firestorm is useful also in its similarity in weapons load and the fact that it's a known bad design.


Offline Sigoroth

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Re: Tau Protection Fleet 2010 overview
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2012, 03:46:49 AM »
Just one edit Sig.

It's one custodian per 750, letting you have 2 per 1500 match.

Ah, yes, yes, but that is per 750 pts of Tau ships. So it does not include Fleet Commanders, re-rolls, Nicassar, Kroot (neither of which I would use) or Demiurg (which I would use, at least with a reduced price tag on the Bastion). So if you wanted a Stronghold in a 2k list you could actually only fit one Custodian in. You can only fit 1 Custodian into a pure Tau 1500 pt list too. So it's much more like 1 per 1000 pts.

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Tell me, sig. How would you fix the tau fleet?

Well I think I've already given a bit of an outline. For the most part I think that the Tau are actually pretty much on track. From an examination of the models and the Tau philosophy of war as well as a reasonable approximation of where their technological abilities would lie, based upon their heightened rate of advancement and their previous level, they're pretty much on track.

Some glaring inconsistencies are the Custodians turning circle, the Protectors poor comparison with the Hero, the Wardens comparison with the Orca and the speed of the Emissary.

The Custodian can be "fixed" fairly simply by recategorising it as a cruiser. Even if it doesn't get the 4th shield this will go a long way towards fixing it, both thematically and balance wise.

The Emissary can be fixed by increasing speed to 25cm. I would also tinker a little with the weapons load out, but this is unimportant.

The Protector can, to some extent be hand-waived. The Hero was really too good for what it was meant to be. Assuming that the Hero was "fixed" to sub-Lunar level of utility then the Protector could be seen as an improvement. The loss of hits can be considered the price the Tau pay for being able to finally accommodate their preferred method of warfare, i.e., highly mobile. This can be a theme throughout the Tau fleet. So the Protector has to give up some hits compared to a normal line cruiser to be able to get its 90° turn, the Emissary has to give up some hits compared to a normal light cruiser to be able to maintain its speed, manoeuvrability and shielding (6+ prow). The Custodian has to give up some of its hits in order to get a tighter turning circle (i.e., cruiser status).

This is all fine and good, but where the problem lies is that the Protector becomes a support ship. The only way to fix this problem is to either lower its cost so that it becomes so good that it doesn't matter that it's only 6 hits or to allow some other ships to be used as the line ships.

To some extent this is done by allowing Kor'vattra ships in the Kor'or'vesh fleet. This could actually justify the Hero's stat-line as an updated  and refitted ship (i.e., 'Mk XXV', etc, maybe make some nerfed earlier 'Mk I' version to slot into the old Kor'vattra). The problem with doing this is that the Kor'or'vesh ships are meant to replace the Kor'vattra ships, not rely upon them. It is possible of course that this was the intent of the Tau but that they found that in practice the Protectors weren't strong enough to be used as warships, thus relegating them as primary raiders while using Heroes to protect key areas.

This all makes sense fluff wise and in game play too, but presumably you'd want to be able to take a pure Kor'or'vesh fleet and have it hold its own. Possibly some slight imbalance for doing so would actually be expected if you were to take the view that the Tau just "aren't quite there yet". Alternatively you could make special rules for pure Kor'or'vesh fleets, such as dropping the points cost of the Protectors, though what justification there could be for doing so I can't imagine.

Another alternative would be to allow free use of Custodians. This would bolster the line considerably, essentially turning the Tau fleet into one that focuses on its Custodian contingent with attendant light craft (Wardens, Protectors, Emissaries). Unfortunately the stance has been taken that Custodians are rare and Protectors are the mainstay of the fleet.

Yet another option would be to simply allow Bastions to fulfil this role. However, these ships are considerably overpriced and again they're not pure kor'or'vesh. Assuming that their price was fixed and that the argument that the Tau have never been "pure" holds sway, even then the limitation on 'Tau only' ships for the Custodian should be lifted.

I myself would like to see the Bastion price fixed and the 'Tau only' limitation removed from the Custodian. I also wouldn't mind seeing an old 'Mk I' Hero profile that justifies the belief that Lunars were superior. Would make for some interesting 'period' games using a pure Kor'vattra list and the nerfed Hero.

The Warden, which has sparked off so much debate, I would personally like its profile completely changed so that it cannot be so easily (or unfavourably) compared to the Orca. I would say drop it to 20 pts, give it 4WBs@30cmLFR, 30cm movement and 4+ armour. The ship itself looks very fast and very fragile. Hell, possibly drop it to 15 pts with 3WB@30cmF. Either way, make it a real raider and different to the Orca.

As for the ancillary escorts, for the most part they just need a moderate to large points decrease across the board. The Defender, Dhow and Castellan should have at least 5 pts lopped off their price and the Messenger should have at least 10 pts cut.

The Castellan reminds me of the Idolator. Good ideas individually that when married gives a conflicted design. For example, if you had 2 Idolators you'd have 4WB@45cmLFR with no range shift and 2L@30cmF for 90 pts. If you could split these down to 1 vessel with 4WB@45cmLFR with no range shift for 45 pts and another vessel with 2L@30cmF for 45 pts they'd be probably worth their high costs. You wouldn't take them in the same squadron of course. You'd make up specialist squadrons that had different roles, and that's the point. Mixed together in a squadron (short range ships to the fore, long range to the back) they're sucky. Mixed together in the one ship it's just downright stupid. Certainly not worth 45 pts each.

For the same reason the Castellan seems conflicted to me. To make the most use out of its range you have to be near a tracking system for a start, which is a bit of a downside. Apart from that it doesn't really have a very strong gun battery, meaning you need significant numbers. That isn't likely since they cost so much and rely upon a nearby tracking system. They do have torpedoes of course, but they really don't combine well with their guns. Again, a single escort with 4WB@45cmLFR plus one with 4TT would be better than 2 with half each. The 50 pt price tag is just ludicrous. They have a lot of stuff for an escort, but even at 45 pts they're a large risk. The same is true of the Defender too. It's like an Infidel, but even more expensive. Really, when ships start getting compared unfavourably to Chaos escorts it's time for a rethink.

Offline Sigoroth

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Re: Tau Protection Fleet 2010 overview
« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2012, 04:09:39 AM »
Also, I'd like to include a note on the supposedly favourable reversal of swing for the Warden compared to the Orca (and Firestorm/Idolator, et al.). There is actually a situation where this reversal of swing is a disadvantage. That situation is where you've gone straight past the enemy lines and turned perpendicular to their ships with the intent of firing upon 2 ships (perhaps to drop shields from behind to allow the rest of the fleet unmitigated fire).

I'll try to demonstrate visually:

 8)   8)   8)   8)  <---- your fleet (facing down)

     :o       :o  <---- enemy ships (facing up)
     >:(   <---- your Wardens (facing right)

So, you can't fire all weaponry to the rear of the ship you're behind because its not in your front arc. You could fire all weaponry at the ship to the right assuming you passed a leadership test. However, that ship is more than 15cm away and is presenting an abeam profile to you and you want to be able to drop shields of both targets if at all possible. A typical arrangement of fire (Orca, Firestorm, Idolator) would allow the WBs to fire at close range into the rear armour of the nearer ship and the lances to fire at the target to the fore. The Warden however will be forced to fire its WBs at the abeam target at normal range and so, therefore, will fire its lances at the nearer target. I'd rather be firing at rear/close than abeam/normal with my WBs. Weapon batteries depend most upon aspect and so they're the ones affected most by poor positioning. The reversal of swing is not always favourable.

Offline horizon

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Re: Tau Protection Fleet 2010 overview
« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2012, 04:23:06 AM »
A note:
Quote
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sigoroth:
Also if you play by the original rules where BMs don't count all round then the Swords very rarely have their firepower reduced by BMs (or cause such a reduction for another ship) because they're excellent flankers. Escorts that have to point themselves at the enemy to shoot are not so good. If you don't play by those rules, well, you can always opt not to take any Swords. The Wardens on the other hand ...

andrew:
Why would you play the original rules? These were clearly flawed as they assumed that a blast not in line with the firing ship and the defending ship would not affect their targeting, even tho the ship that was just hit would be tossed about quite a bit by the force of the impacts. Of course explosions and debris also tend to wrap around something when its been hit further distorting its appearance, even on the side where it wasn't hit.

I am with Sigoroth here, the original v1 blastmarker rules are far superior to the current ones. It makes a lot more of tactical gameplay.

Offline AndrewChristlieb

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Re: Tau Protection Fleet 2010 overview
« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2012, 06:24:54 AM »

I really do think that from the way you talk about escorts your thinking is flawed. You talk of how good the Sword is against the prow of enemy ships even tho as an escort it really should never be there. You also mention a lot how advantageous it is that the Sword can present its side, the downside to this is that your opponent should not be sitting still and shooting at your side, by presenting the side on your turn it opens your front or rear for the enemy to move into *situational once your in their rear you should be fairly safe.  Of course the whole point is that you are allowing them to return fire at all which should rarely happen with escorts. You must not let yourself get into the position where you are responding to what they're doing, you must instead force them to do what you want.


Quote
Let's move on to the fact that it's easier to get a firing solution for LO for a Sword than it is for a Firestorm. Example: enemy in front arc, their turn, they move into your side arc. Firestorms' solution: turn to present prow weaponry. Swords' solution: LO, fire to the side.

When taking on a capitol ship the best path of approach (assuming open space with no screening capitols ships of your own) is prow on to the side of the enemy with an approach angle towards their stern preferably  about parallel with them. This is actually usually very easy to accomplish as most players believe this is exactly what they want ::). You should at this point be locked on but with no cover this may be the difficult part. Now if you lined up right your ships front fire arc should be just over the stem of their ship. Now during their turn they have 2 options: move and shoot at an abeam escort likely either outside of 30cm, in a position requiring a turn to keep them in the side arc, or a combination of both. They can also burn retros and shoot at a closing escort with half effectiveness. Either way there's very limited effectiveness. At this point your next move would be into their rear arc preferably near the limit of your effective range to limit any counter attack they can muster. This is the only point the L/F/R weaponry comes into effect. The enemy then can move and turn, firing if your ships are in range once again at an abeam escort each turn after this your approach should be to bring yourself just into your effective range at the rear of their ship and pointed slightly in the opposite direction of the enemy so that all tho you are presenting your prow, they should only be able to see your side during their shooting phase. By turn 3 of this its obviously game over for the capitol ship, unless they still have other ships of course. Neither really sees a big difference here, excusing space marines/necrons (I include necrons just because I have never know one to brace against escorts ::)) or Eldar (any type) even vs Orks there's so little difference as too be a non issue (1 hit give or take) an explorer of course would wipe out either squadron with ordnance so that's a wash too (slight advantage to the extra turret on the sword tho, not that it would really matter).


Quote
Oh dear. Firstly ditch Smotherman and don't ever use it ever again. Ever. It's rubbish. Secondly, if there were no hooks on the Custodian it would cost 315 pts. The price has remained consistent of 5 pts per hook across all iterations. Check the cost of Nicassar rigs and defence stations hooks. In fact it has been specifically stated by SG that a part of the hooked ships cost is paid by the parent vessel. How much of that cost do you think is being paid then? 3 pts? 2?

Smotherman works for this purpose which is to compare one thing to another (I believe it was actually 313.5 points for an Imperial ship with the same stats as a Custodian and 105 points for one similar to the Emissary  but of course that doesn't take into account the Tau bombers) I did state that approximately 1 to 2 points is close to the price actually payed by the custodian/ emissary (if that ::)). Its one thing to say a ship has an extra 10 points added on but really does anyone think a Dauntless comes any where close to an Emissary, even with out escorts? The Custodian is quite close to accurate for its point cost.

Quote
There are 2 ways you can look at the turn. Simultaneously or sequentially. In the first since it's all happening at once there is no "order" of fire so BMs placed this turn should not interfere with subsequent fire this turn. I dislike this method. In the latter instance then the order of fire does matter, but one could assume that subsequent firing will wait until their target has resolved. In other words, the target being impacted by a few hits should not interfere with you gunnery. Also, we're dealing with ships with a good deal of momentum. A few impacts aren't likely to "toss it about" much at all. Even if destroyed the wreck is going to travel pretty much in the same direction was going. As for explosions "wrapping around" the target, well that is just nonsense really. To be honest, an explosion on the left side of a ship is more likely to highlight its position to those on its right than obfuscate it. But assuming that the explosion does "wrap around", we're talking about a moving vessel. It's going to move away from the explosion. So the explosion will only ever be on one side (ie, the rear).

Hum... of course not really knowing the true effects of an expanding explosion on a surface of an energy barrier we can only make assumptions here however the chances seem much more likely that the edges of the ship would become more blurred than highlighted as in any explosion. Of course anything with enough force to actually cause damage to a vessel of any size would by its nature cause the ship to move away from the point of impact.

A note:
Quote
Quote
sigoroth:
Also if you play by the original rules where BMs don't count all round then the Swords very rarely have their firepower reduced by BMs (or cause such a reduction for another ship) because they're excellent flankers. Escorts that have to point themselves at the enemy to shoot are not so good. If you don't play by those rules, well, you can always opt not to take any Swords. The Wardens on the other hand ...

andrew:
Why would you play the original rules? These were clearly flawed as they assumed that a blast not in line with the firing ship and the defending ship would not affect their targeting, even tho the ship that was just hit would be tossed about quite a bit by the force of the impacts. Of course explosions and debris also tend to wrap around something when its been hit further distorting its appearance, even on the side where it wasn't hit.

I am with Sigoroth here, the original v1 blastmarker rules are far superior to the current ones. It makes a lot more of tactical gameplay.

I too prefer the tactics of V1.0 despite the problems it had, and most players I know still use that system for los. I think on this scale ideally there should be some combination of the original (for play ability) and the current (for fairness) Or for example bm still must intersect los to cause a shift with blast markers placed in a direct line from stem to stem fanning outward, ships in base (or near base <1cm) contact will only be affected if the blast markers touch their base due to the natural placement. Ordnance attacking the ship must roll D6 to survive the blast markers no matter where they attack from. This actually allows ships to be protected a bit by staying on the far side of the ship.

Quote
Gah, where to begin. Firstly, my belief is not "flawed". My belief is that they are flawed. I have shown evidence of my belief, whereas you have not shown evidence that my belief is flawed. Secondly I have not attempted to dissuade anyone from taking Wardens. Compared to what you could previously bring with hooks (ie, Orcas) the Wardens will cost you 15 pts more for essentially the same ship. However, if you don't take them then you're wasting 15 pts worth of hooks. Since you're going to be throwing away 15 pts whether you take them or not I actually suggest taking them, as you do get a slight advantage for those 15 pts (the increase in speed). I do not, however, recommend them for Orca-capable hooks, such as on an Explorer or Merchant, as I believe the Orca is superior value.

Thirdly, I can attempt to dissuade anyone I like from doing anything I like. It is my right to make the attempt, and others' rights to take or ignore my advice as they see fit. YOU may not think my argument is convincing and so choose to ignore it or present a counter to it, but don't presume to tell me who I can advise to do what.

Fourthly, regardless of whether or not the point is ultimately moot, since we're in a moot (ie a conclave given to discussing the merits of a particular issue for which we have no direct ability to change) then it is appropriate to actually discuss the issue. Moots aren't held only for someone to say "this is moot, let's go home". Given that we're in a thread discussing the flaws of the CPF and ideas of how to fix them comparisons to Swords are perfectly fine. There are only two ways to make comparisons, either internally or externally. Internal comparison are made against the next best option, which in this case is the Orca. The Warden was supposed to supersede this ship and it hasn't, in role or function. External comparisons are made against known examples (whether good or bad). When discussing the hook dynamic it is appropriate to compare it to the non-hook paradigm. The Sword is a known good example of a non-hook paradigm escort with a comparable total cost. The Firestorm is useful also in its similarity in weapons load and the fact that it's a known bad design.

However wrong you may be your right I should not have said that you shouldn't attempt to do what ever you want and I'm sorry. Also are you bringing up a legal term from the 16th century to try and move the focus off the fact that this entire argument is stupid  :P much as I enjoy a good bout especially with you I just don't see the point being that as you have pointed out I was mistaken in thinking that you were attempting to dissuade people from using a ship I feel is quite good. This all seems so pointless now with the Firestorm/Sword/Warden/Orca deal. (hence the current meaning of a moot point: an irrelevant question, a matter of no importance)


Just one edit Sig.

It's one custodian per 750, letting you have 2 per 1500 match.

Ah, yes, yes, but that is per 750 pts of Tau ships. So it does not include Fleet Commanders, re-rolls, Nicassar, Kroot (neither of which I would use) or Demiurg (which I would use, at least with a reduced price tag on the Bastion). So if you wanted a Stronghold in a 2k list you could actually only fit one Custodian in. You can only fit 1 Custodian into a pure Tau 1500 pt list too. So it's much more like 1 per 1000 pts.

Quote
Tell me, sig. How would you fix the tau fleet?

Well I think I've already given a bit of an outline. For the most part I think that the Tau are actually pretty much on track. From an examination of the models and the Tau philosophy of war as well as a reasonable approximation of where their technological abilities would lie, based upon their heightened rate of advancement and their previous level, they're pretty much on track.

Some glaring inconsistencies are the Custodians turning circle, the Protectors poor comparison with the Hero, the Wardens comparison with the Orca and the speed of the Emissary.

The Custodian can be "fixed" fairly simply by recategorising it as a cruiser. Even if it doesn't get the 4th shield this will go a long way towards fixing it, both thematically and balance wise.

+1

The Emissary can be fixed by increasing speed to 25cm. I would also tinker a little with the weapons load out, but this is unimportant.

I agree on the speed, maybe the weapons depending on whats done, but its still worth well more than its cost right now

The Protector can, to some extent be hand-waived. The Hero was really too good for what it was meant to be. Assuming that the Hero was "fixed" to sub-Lunar level of utility then the Protector could be seen as an improvement. The loss of hits can be considered the price the Tau pay for being able to finally accommodate their preferred method of warfare, i.e., highly mobile. This can be a theme throughout the Tau fleet. So the Protector has to give up some hits compared to a normal line cruiser to be able to get its 90° turn, the Emissary has to give up some hits compared to a normal light cruiser to be able to maintain its speed, manoeuvrability and shielding (6+ prow). The Custodian has to give up some of its hits in order to get a tighter turning circle (i.e., cruiser status).

Why cant the Protector get the option to increase its hits to 8 for a decrease of 45* turn and a slight points increase? It already has precedent due to the Merchant rules, for that matter the Emissary could also see a raise to 6 hits but at a cost of speed maybe? These could also suffer from limitations due to construction limits and or the weapons loadouts.

This is all fine and good, but where the problem lies is that the Protector becomes a support ship. The only way to fix this problem is to either lower its cost so that it becomes so good that it doesn't matter that it's only 6 hits or to allow some other ships to be used as the line ships.

To some extent this is done by allowing Kor'vattra ships in the Kor'or'vesh fleet. This could actually justify the Hero's stat-line as an updated  and refitted ship (i.e., 'Mk XXV', etc, maybe make some nerfed earlier 'Mk I' version to slot into the old Kor'vattra). The problem with doing this is that the Kor'or'vesh ships are meant to replace the Kor'vattra ships, not rely upon them. It is possible of course that this was the intent of the Tau but that they found that in practice the Protectors weren't strong enough to be used as warships, thus relegating them as primary raiders while using Heroes to protect key areas.

This all makes sense fluff wise and in game play too, but presumably you'd want to be able to take a pure Kor'or'vesh fleet and have it hold its own. Possibly some slight imbalance for doing so would actually be expected if you were to take the view that the Tau just "aren't quite there yet". Alternatively you could make special rules for pure Kor'or'vesh fleets, such as dropping the points cost of the Protectors, though what justification there could be for doing so I can't imagine.

Another alternative would be to allow free use of Custodians. This would bolster the line considerably, essentially turning the Tau fleet into one that focuses on its Custodian contingent with attendant light craft (Wardens, Protectors, Emissaries). Unfortunately the stance has been taken that Custodians are rare and Protectors are the mainstay of the fleet.

Yet another option would be to simply allow Bastions to fulfil this role. However, these ships are considerably overpriced and again they're not pure kor'or'vesh. Assuming that their price was fixed and that the argument that the Tau have never been "pure" holds sway, even then the limitation on 'Tau only' ships for the Custodian should be lifted.

I myself would like to see the Bastion price fixed and the 'Tau only' limitation removed from the Custodian. I also wouldn't mind seeing an old 'Mk I' Hero profile that justifies the belief that Lunars were superior. Would make for some interesting 'period' games using a pure Kor'vattra list and the nerfed Hero.

The Warden, which has sparked off so much debate, I would personally like its profile completely changed so that it cannot be so easily (or unfavourably) compared to the Orca. I would say drop it to 20 pts, give it 4WBs@30cmLFR, 30cm movement and 4+ armour. The ship itself looks very fast and very fragile. Hell, possibly drop it to 15 pts with 3WB@30cmF. Either way, make it a real raider and different to the Orca.

The addition of a Wb armed ship would be welcomed all tho that would leave out the lance armed version

As for the ancillary escorts, for the most part they just need a moderate to large points decrease across the board. The Defender, Dhow and Castellan should have at least 5 pts lopped off their price and the Messenger should have at least 10 pts cut.

+1

The Castellan reminds me of the Idolator. Good ideas individually that when married gives a conflicted design. For example, if you had 2 Idolators you'd have 4WB@45cmLFR with no range shift and 2L@30cmF for 90 pts. If you could split these down to 1 vessel with 4WB@45cmLFR with no range shift for 45 pts and another vessel with 2L@30cmF for 45 pts they'd be probably worth their high costs. You wouldn't take them in the same squadron of course. You'd make up specialist squadrons that had different roles, and that's the point. Mixed together in a squadron (short range ships to the fore, long range to the back) they're sucky. Mixed together in the one ship it's just downright stupid. Certainly not worth 45 pts each.

For the same reason the Castellan seems conflicted to me. To make the most use out of its range you have to be near a tracking system for a start, which is a bit of a downside. Apart from that it doesn't really have a very strong gun battery, meaning you need significant numbers. That isn't likely since they cost so much and rely upon a nearby tracking system. They do have torpedoes of course, but they really don't combine well with their guns. Again, a single escort with 4WB@45cmLFR plus one with 4TT would be better than 2 with half each. The 50 pt price tag is just ludicrous. They have a lot of stuff for an escort, but even at 45 pts they're a large risk. The same is true of the Defender too. It's like an Infidel, but even more expensive. Really, when ships start getting compared unfavourably to Chaos escorts it's time for a rethink.

Indeed there should be a lower price level for this, maybe bringing the WB range down and pricing it similar to an Infidel? or giving it an optional weapons load, perhaps something similar with the Warden (the Tau do seem to enjoy their variants after all)
« Last Edit: February 09, 2012, 06:51:01 AM by AndrewChristlieb »
I don't make the rules, I just think them up and write them down.

Offline Zelnik

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Re: Tau Protection Fleet 2010 overview
« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2012, 06:37:20 AM »
I really enjoyed the older version of the castellan, with 3 weapon batteries and 2 torps.  At 30cm, you remove the tracking requirement and made it worth the 50 point pricetag.

I am going to compose a list of changes we can agree on and present them to ray, after a year of hands on play, this fleet needs to be amended to have it work the way it should.

Offline horizon

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Re: Tau Protection Fleet 2010 overview
« Reply #29 on: February 09, 2012, 06:47:39 AM »
Quote
Andrew:
I too prefer the tactics of V1.0 despite the problems it had, and most players I know still use that system for los. I think on this scale ideally there should be some combination of the original (for play ability) and the current (for fairness) Or for example bm still must intersect los to cause a shift with blast markers placed in a direct line from stem to stem fanning outward, ships in base (or near base <1cm) contact will only be affected if the blast markers touch their base due to the natural placement. Ordnance attacking the ship must roll D6 to survive the blast markers no matter where they attack from. This actually allows ships to be protected a bit by staying on the far side of the ship.
I think the v1.0 are balanced & playable. Alas, I do not see a single improvement in either category with the new rules.

So:
Blastmarkers must be placed in line of fire : fanning out left/right with more markers.
Blastmarkers only touch the ship they are fired at (so nothing of moving BM to touch two ships:urgh)
If shooting at a ship a blastmarker will only cause a shift if it is in the line of fire.
Ordnance should only roll the D6 if the path goes through the marker. You have room/speed left to move around: no roll

So we have varying opinion on the ordnance attack :)


Tau fleet:
yeah, Custodian as a grand cruiser (as said before).
Same on Emissary +5cm speed
Protector: fine with it as is, 25cm speed would be really cool, lol
A Warden with 4+ armour and lower cost: okay. I could accept an all Railgun version, though I do not mind the current weapon layout.
Castellan: I like the weapons as are, -5pts -> okay.


-- Zelnik.
nah, that is the Defender. Castellan/Defender should be different platforms. The 45cm range is ideal to support Protector's on a raid.