Tuesday, April 18, 2017

5 Things to Change with Tau + My Tau

So, this is going to be a part of a series of articles. I’m going to put forth suggestions on how I’d like some of my armies to change, plus I will be showcasing some glamour shots of my model collection.

I guess I'll start with were it all started. My first army. Tau.
When I think of future warfare, if it’s not instant vaporization from super weapons, its super mobile untouchable firepower. That's Tau, and that is why I decided to pick them as my first army.
Well not everyone is a track star……
(This joke would have been better if I owned any Stormsurges... Sorry...)

1. Markerlights
Honestly the only thing that needs to change is Scour (the one that ignores cover), it just needs to go back to the old way. Back before 7th edition it removed cover saves point for point, just like Pinpoint (+Bs one). Someone decided it should be a flat 2 points removes all, and I just don't get why. It was perfectly fine the way it was.

The only other thing else is maybe bring back the -Ld for pinning tests, but I don’t think that is going to happen because there is some larger conspiracy at play. Notice how Snipers and Barrage lost it?

2. Coldstars
Cool idea. Really. Problem, its only usable on IC HQs you don't want to fall out of the sky and instantly die. With the FAQ changes to Monster ICs, they can’t even hide in units before they take flight now. They just need something because they are just such a hard unit to justify in lists.

Make them T5, make them reroll grounding tests, maybe make them Elites or Fast attack choices rather than valuable leader units, or at least allow them to pick their weapons. Something.

And before anyone freaks out about Coldstars everywhere, they don't have smash or vector strike. They even rightfully lack Fear. They are really just fast dudes with an autocannon and three firewarriors strapped to their backs.

I can only find my drone commander Interesting for so long

3. Planes
It took me a few minutes to figure out where to start with this. The Tau codex flyers are just bad. Hilariously in ITC and pre-Death from the Skies formats, they each are better at doing each other’s jobs. The Sunshark (Bomber) is better at shooting at planes and the Razorshark (Fighter) is better at bombing. And on top of this they also suffer from ground units being able to do both jobs better. I had one and eventually used it for spare parts.
Meet my Longstrike

So, let’s start with the Sunshark. I want them to just scrape the idea it’s a bomber. The pulse weapon is completely unrecognizable as a bomb system anyways. Make it a support plane instead. Give it the option to have bubble effect of some kind, like a cover save or preferred enemy. These planes don’t have hover so they, and your army, would have to keep moving to make use of it. It would be a cool addition that does something interesting and useful.
Razorsharks are a little easier. Just give them Vector Dancer, the fluff for them even talks about how they give up drones to be better at dogfighing, and make their gun have a more anti-air profile, maybe give them twin-linked and remove the large blast profile altogether.

4. Vehicles
Tau vehicles were what made me fall in love with Tau. The Hammerhead is a tank from the future and it’s not something you can escape, because it will hover after you.
Hello Again
Outside of changing vehicle rules which make them vastly inferior to other options, there are a couple of things that could change that might help. Tau vehicles used to have multi-trackers and target-locks, they both allowed them to shoot like fast vehicles and split fire their weapons. They wouldn’t mind them back.

Another addition could be to have a new piece of wargear that lets them shoot and move.

Outside that, weapons do need to be looked at. But I plan to cover that in the next section.

5. Weapons
If you ask anyone who doesn't play Tau, the major thing they will tell you that needs to change is Riptides. According to DakkaDakka, they are apparently the anti-Christ. That or Stromsurges should be a walker.
Seriously, How do I not own any Stormsurges?!

But let me give you a better suggestion of something to focus on. Tau Weapons. These are the profiles of the Riptide primary weapons, normal and overcharged. 

    Heavy Burst Cannon
    (Normal)       36" str6 ap4, Heavy 8
    (Overcharge) 36" str6 ap4, Heavy 12, Rending

    Ion Accelerator
    (Normal)       72" str7 ap 2, Heavy 3
    (Normal)       72" str8 ap2, Large Blast, Gets Hot
    (Overcharge) 72" str 9 ap2, Large Blast, Ordnance

Now the Heavy Burst is the default weapon. Now it isn't that bad, but if its not overcharging you're not going to write home about it. The Ion on the other hand, which to be fair is the the upgrade option, is vastly superior. It has shots, can blast, great for intercepting, and you don't need to risk overcharge wounds. Ever wounder the cost difference? 5 points. Yeah...... 

This is common trend in the Tau codex and is a serious legitimate reason for hate. You literally have auto-take options that have either no, or next to no, cost penalty. Here's a few more examples, Default first and upgrade "options" second.

    Broadsides Primary Weapon
    Heavy Rail Rifle                       60" str8 ap1, Twin-linked
    High Yield Missile Launcher   36" str7 ap4, Twin-linked

                   SAME COST

    Tau Tanks Secondary Weapons
    Burst cannon     18" str5 ap5, Heavy 4, Twin-linked
    Smart Missiles   30" str5 ap5, Heavy 4, Twin-linked, Ignore Cover and LOS

                    SAME COST

    Ghost-keel Primary Weapon
    Fusion collider  18" str8 ap1 Blast, Melta
    Cyclic Ion Raker  24" str7 ap4, Heavy 6 or 24" str8 ap 4, Large blast, Gets Hot

                   SAME COST
These guys are fully magnetized. Hilarious.

Tau shoot good, I play them, I get it. And it is hard trying to cost that against other armies, because Tau literally have nothing else. But this is a terrible internal imbalance. I could go for paragraphs on why Rail weapons should be improved, but that is a personal grievance.
Which I rectify through Conversions
But if any one thing needs to change within Tau, it is at the very least their weapons. Its very hard to argue against Tau haters when I know for a fact Tau don't pay for some of the advantages they have. They should have those shooting advantages because Tau fail in two other phases, but there needs to be a legitimate choice when it comes to them.

Otherwise make Kroot, and dare I say Vespids, close combat beasts that can shoot mind bullets at people.