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Global Tau NDC proposed changes

 Post subject: Global Tau NDC proposed changes
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 7:56 am 
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Mark has kindly put together a battle report for a game where I tested some of the proposed (NDC) changes for Tau.

Epic 4K: World eaters vs Vior'la Tau

The fact that the World Eaters were so Close Combat focused against some big Tau skimmers made it a very poor match up for them. An ideal one for The Greater Good of the Tau.

The reduced price on upgrades for Crisis Suit Cadres made the larger more resilient formations almost cost effective. The addition of an AT6+ stat on the Plasma Rifle gave the Crisis Suits an extra boost to slightly re-focus them away from AP heavy specialists in the Tau List crowded with AP specialists. I also used them in conjunction with the Mantas as battle taxis which is the only survivable way I've managed in the past - that is in a list with their strongest synergy. Two of the four cadres got wiped out, and a third was down to one Shas'el Suit but they did at least do some damage and even managed some close Assault resolutions. [EDIT - they lost the assaults, but it was close!]

The Manta with split rail cannons, two of MW3+, TK(3D) made them an effective ranged shooting platform. The fact that the dice rolled well and those guns always hit added to their decisive contribution. Having two nice DC6 close combat war engines, without shields, to shoot at was rather the perfect target rich environment. With no tools in the World Eaters arsenal to damage them they were completely ignored during the battle so their vulnerability was never tested.

I failed to remember that there is a three upgrade limit on the Fire Warrior Cadre so it is only just possible with the Tau Third Phase list to get a ground formation bigger than the Manta in terms of points. If the Manta is at 575 points and you forego the great Ethereal upgrade. This makes the Mantas inherent vulnerabilities still very much an issue if the enemy has any tools to damage them.
6 FWs, 3 Devilfish [base 225], 4 FW, 2 Devilfish [+125], 3 Broadside [+150], Skyray [+100], total 600 points.
I would like to see the Tau upgrades go to an optional Four, as is the case with the various Vior'la draft lists currently under development.


Last edited by Andrew_NZ on Thu May 17, 2018 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Global Tau NDC proposed changes
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 10:59 am 
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Thanks alot! This is a great help!

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 Post subject: Re: Global Tau NDC proposed changes
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 10:00 pm 
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Thanks for your report! Great read!


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 Post subject: Re: Global Tau NDC proposed changes
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 3:01 am 
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Mark challenged me to report on our win-loss ratio with Mantas. Does it really need a buff, . . . ?
Facing a mobile pill-box with with Crisis Suits jumping in and out is slightly special rule aggravating.

Anyway, Tau with Mantas win 8 out of 10 encounters.
Four of them with an illegally over upgraded non-Manta BTS.

So I'm personally happy to go back to 650 points with Coordinated Fire,
upgrades of Ethereal (+25 points, effectively for Leader) OR Shas'o (+75 points, Leader and Re-roll)
Ideally with the split main railgun, 2 x MW3+, TK(3D). Does that require a points increase?
Given the fluff you could argue for Self-Planetfall - they are a warp capable ship - More points?
The higher points totals above mean that (one of) the Manta(s) is probably the BTS, so that adds vulnerability.
Although Viorla Fire Warrior Cadre [225], FW upgrade [125], Broadsides [150], Shas'o [75], Skyray [100], max size 675 points is possible, just.
Third Phase Tau, Fire Warrior Cadre [225], FW upgrade [125], Broadsides [150], Skyray [100], max size 600 points is not possible as BTS.

Epic 4K: Steel Legion vs Vior'la Tau, Tau win (3-0), 2 Mantas [650], 6 upgrades on Tau infantry BTS (Hmm),
Baneblade test so Imperials with one hand tied behind back
Epic 4K: Steel Legion vs Vior'la Tau Game 2, Tau win (2-1), 1 Manta [650], still 6 upgrades on Tau infantry BTS
(took 4 years to notice the issue), still testing Baneblades, so Imperial straight jacket remains
Black Templar 4.2 vs Tau 6.6 (approved), Tau win (2-0) vs GlynG, 1 Manta [675], critical on first hit, spent game hiding
Epic 4K: Steel Legion vs Vior'la Tau, Tau win () vs GlynG, 1 Manta [650], 2 overpowered Moray with Tau. Manta suffered 5 DC, 7 BP before first Tau activation
Epic 4K: Gargant Big Mob vs Vior'la Tau, Tau loss, very heavy casualties, 1 Manta [625]. 3 Riptides, smashed by Titans
Epic 5K: Gargants vs Vior'la Tau, Tau points win (0-1, BTS to Orks on objectives), 2 Mantas [625], 7 upgrades on Tau BTS (again 'illegal')
Epic 4K: Defence of Orkville, Tau loss (0-2), 2 Mantas [625 and 675 pts with Shas'o Cmd Bridge]
Epic 4K: Gargant Big Mob vs Vior'la Tau, close Tau win (2-1), 1 Manta+Shas'o [675] with Riptides, Stompa heavy test for Orks
Epic 4K: Sautekh Necron vs Orbital Strike Tau, 'lucky' Tau win, 3 Mantas [625 and 675], trial drop list
Epic 4K: World eaters vs Vior'la Tau, Tau win, 2 Mantas [575], split rail guns, 2 x MW3+, TK(3D), bad match up for Chaos

By and large the Manta are largely unscratched or destroyed, based on whether the opposing army has the tools to take them on or not. Think this makes the point that they are pretty vulnerable to TK (despite the Deflector Shield), due to hard to hide and no cover bonus, or they are largely ignored. This makes it hard to be accurate/objective about points value. You will notice that I've only really been taking them where they are lower points costs with the standard weapons load.


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 Post subject: Re: Global Tau NDC proposed changes
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 8:31 am 
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Wow that many! Yeah against Baneblade lists doesn't really count... ;)

I see the Baneblades are still undecided... :D
viewtopic.php?f=74&t=28456

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 Post subject: Re: Global Tau NDC proposed changes
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 8:41 am 
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Andrew_NZ wrote:
Anyway, Tau with Mantas win 8 out of 10 encounters.

Was tau played by the same player in most cases? and, if so, without being too 'prying', would you say you're both of a similar base skill level at epic?

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 Post subject: Re: Global Tau NDC proposed changes
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 9:15 am 
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Apocolocyntosis wrote:
Andrew_NZ wrote:
Anyway, Tau with Mantas win 8 out of 10 encounters.

Was tau played by the same player in most cases? and, if so, without being too 'prying', would you say you're both of a similar base skill level at epic?

I think we have pretty close games in general. Yes, same player for Tau most of the time, certainly for those games reported above. Don't think that you should take the raw score as indicative. We are often playing theme/fluffy armies and in several cases testing other things. In detail:

Games 1, 2: Imperial loses due to heavy Baneblade use.
Games 3, 4: vs player with less experience vs Tau. Tau win despite Manta's getting smashed (not totally destroyed) in first or near first activations of the game. Game 4 won by over powered Morays saving the day.
Game 5: Mantas smashed by Ork Titans
Game 6, 7, 8, 9: all close games that could have gone either way (but went to Tau, for The Greater Good). All these games featured slightly lower cost Mantas [625 pts] and generally the Vior'la test lists. In several cases the games may have gone the other way if the Mantas were the BTS as they should/could have been if I'd followed the upgrade limit on the Fire Warriors cadres. Game 9 was a orbital strike trial with 3 Mantas and only a tactical error on the last activations saw the Tau prevail.
Game 10: Low cost, upgraded Mantas (ie 2 of) smashed Chaos that was CC focused and a perfect match up for the Tau.

Based on those games/experience. My feeling is that the Manta should get a modest points drop or have a slight upgrade at the higher points cost. I prefer the Coordinated Fire and split main railgun upgrade at near the same standard cost.

I gather lots of other people will not take Mantas because they just get smashed. On the Epic UK stats (same army list as NetEA) ONLY ONE of THIRTY Tau armies included a Manta, for a one tournament 3 win, 2 loss record in 2011. Only 1 out of 30 players/tournaments opted for a Manta - that is a strong they are overpriced/not worth it vote.


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 Post subject: Re: Global Tau NDC proposed changes
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 9:54 am 
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Re 3K UK touranments and lack of Mantas, I think another factor would be that few people actually own one, given it was a rather rapidly OOP Forge World model, and also 650+ point titans don't tend to be popular in 3K lists generally because is so many points and activation advantage cost. At 4K it is more feasible to bring such toys.

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 Post subject: Re: Global Tau NDC proposed changes
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 10:11 am 
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Yeah, long live 4K, in the 40K universe, . . .

Perhaps we should have another low activation count 5K game!?


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 Post subject: Re: Global Tau NDC proposed changes
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 3:40 am 
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Markconz wrote:
Re 3K UK touranments and lack of Mantas, I think another factor would be that few people actually own one, given it was a rather rapidly OOP Forge World model, and also 650+ point titans don't tend to be popular in 3K lists generally because is so many points and activation advantage cost. At 4K it is more feasible to bring such toys.

Recognise the point about large costly difficult to access model. Thought I'd look at the other Epic UK Army Lists to address your other point. Rather more big titans hitting the tables than I think we thought. Even Steel Legion with their huge regular formations got near to 10% of lists with a big titan (to say nothing of the vast numbers with a pair of Warhounds as separate activations). Details:

Orks - Ghazgkhull, 35 armies out of 116 had Gargants or Great Gargants
Eldar - Biel Tan, 60 armies of 136 had titans, 31 with Warlocks, 6 Phantoms, 23 Revenant Twins
Imperial Guard - Steel Legion, 12 of 142 with big titans, 6 Warlords, 6 Reavers, didn't count Warhounds!!
Marines - Codex, 38 of 215 with big titams, 18 Warlords, 20 Reavers, also 35 lists with 1+ Landing Craft

Tau - Third Phase, 1 out of 30 with a Manta

Random thought - To my physics trained brain the one standard deviation statistical uncertainty for one occurrence is one. So use of a Manta by Tau players, 3% plus or minus 3%!?


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 Post subject: Re: Global Tau NDC proposed changes
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 7:44 am 
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That does sound like a less popular choice then :)

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 Post subject: Re: Global Tau NDC proposed changes
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:48 pm 
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Sorry for the slow answer. All available hobby time last two weeks have been going to preparing for a campaign day I'm hosting.

The Manta is an odd bird. Being both a unit that wants to get stuck in (if planet falling/transporting). At the same time you might want to stay back, with it's long ranged and lesser armour compared to most 600+ plus titans. Reviwes of them seem mixed, but most tau player seems to think it's sub par. My experince is that as well

I think it's definitely worth 600 points with the split cannon. It becomes a real good titan killer. I'd like to see a bit more testing on it before changes.

The AT6+ plasma rifle and the lowered price for the crisis upgrade is something that I plan to present to the high lords without further testing.


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 Post subject: Re: Global Tau NDC proposed changes
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:08 pm 
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Markconz wrote:
Re 3K UK touranments and lack of Mantas, I think another factor would be that few people actually own one, given it was a rather rapidly OOP Forge World model, and also 650+ point titans don't tend to be popular in 3K lists generally because is so many points and activation advantage cost. At 4K it is more feasible to bring such toys.


Availability isn't s factor, there is a lot of proxies at EUK tournaments and models like the Drop Zone Commander UCM Pheonix make a great stand in.

The main issue is indeed the cost and their utility, the Manta simply doesn't compare to the equivalent points spent on anything else in the list.... at least in the U.K. meta!

Most top tier lists take spacecraft and things to deal with war engines (there is an EUK AMTL list), in most cases the Manta is going to be only target for all that TK firepower, even at 4k!


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 Post subject: Re: Global Tau NDC proposed changes
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:55 pm 
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What are you doing in EUK to boost it Rug?

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 Post subject: Re: Global Tau NDC proposed changes
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:51 pm 
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Markconz wrote:
What are you doing in EUK to boost it Rug?


I don't know, I'm not part of the committee. Hopefully it'll get discussed at the Euros


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