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Offline Athaga Mor

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Tau and the 'non-sedentary' debate
« on: May 5, 2004, 03:46:11 PM »
I've been bouncing all over the net lately reading about Tau: tactics, would-be titan discussion, broadsides, etc.  I'm going to get some stuff off my mind (hopefully in a concise, constructive manner) and open a discussion.

I'd like to discuss this - no flaming, just an intellectual discussion... perhaps thinking outside the general 'box'.

I'll start by setting the stage with an example regarding titans... seems to be a popular Tau topic for debate.  The most common argument is that Tau would not use a walker titan.  I've read: Tau simply use smaller spacecraft... Tau would make a BIG drone... Tau would never use something titan-scale for surface battles.  All of these arguments root themselves in the idea that Tau are so 'mobile' oriented.

The codex even lends weight to this by saying they don't establish forts or long-term bases of operation...

But then why did Forgeworld create Tau space platforms?  Sure some tradecenters are needed, there are Tau citizens, and docks are needed for repairs... but couldn't this all be done ship-to-ship (going along the lines of the previously noted root for mobility arguments).  The above arguments making me think 'nomadic', which the Tau are clearly not.  So to reply to one of the above mentioned arguments... why wouldn't the Tau use something titan-scale?  I'd think an army would use anything that can cause tons of destruction if the situation and need arose.

Wiggus, bless his little blue head, argued that Broadsides aren't stationary/"lumbering" units (a couple pages back on this site).  I think most people that would argue that they ARE lumbering would cite the lack of jetpacks the other suits have.  I'd agree with Wiggus, but they're hardly an example of above-average mobility.  Heck, lowly grots move that fast... and the broadside takes bigger steps (think about the whirling grot feet, lol).  I don't think broadsides really lend much weight in either direction as far as movement mobility is concerned.

On the other hand, I don't think Tau guns are designed with mobility in mind.  How many Rapid Fire weapons do they have?  What would happen if crisis suits weren't stable enough to count as stationary?  The Tau have a lot of mobility in terms of movement, but I don't think their weapons technology is designed 'equally' mobile (though there is some assault weapons and the suits could be argued as wargear).  Take a look at the broadside again... Its main weapons aren't mobile at all.

I'll move to the Hammerhead for a second.  What are the most expensive upgrades for the vehicle?  Those that add mobility to weapons (multi-tracker and gun drones).  Compare this to something like the Eldar... their pricey vehicle upgrades increase survivabilty (holofield, for example)... yet decoy launchers cost the least the upgrade could charge.

I'm not really swaying either way on this debate... honestly I think GW should take a slightly more hard-lined stance on the debate, if the Tau are as mobile as some argue.  On the hand, Tau forces are built with mobility - I'm thinking more in terms of being able to deliver firepower.  But, obviously, Tau do have home planets and major foothold colonies so you can't through static behavior out the window and go so far as to scream nomadic behavior.  So I wouldn't go so far as to say a "lumbering" (or even truly lumbering) walker titan is out of their grasp.

... okay... so that's my mind dump.  If you want to discuss this, I'm open to ideas - just try to give support to what you say... makes things more interesting and constructive.
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Offline Arguleon Veq

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Re: Tau and the 'non-sedentary' debate
« Reply #1 on: May 5, 2004, 04:59:06 PM »
Well this argument kind of falls down at the first hurdle as they do use things titan scale for ground battles, the manta missile destroyer(it acts as a skimmer for ground battles).  Tau are mobile in the theatre of war where it is practical not in the everyday lives of the tau where there is nothing wrong with staying still, why move when nobodys going to hit you?.

Offline Siege_TF

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Re: Tau and the 'non-sedentary' debate
« Reply #2 on: May 5, 2004, 05:39:05 PM »
Tau are mobile, braodsides can be fitted with plasma rifles and with a shield generator they are on the same level as terminators as far as being able to take a punch, though I personally perfer a multitracker.

Mantas are titans, they only difference is that they fly. The Tyranids have Harridins, and I'm sure the Eldar have some big-ass flier, but none are the size of the Manta and they cannot create as much destruction. There are varying degrees of mobile; the Eldar are highly mobile, the Tau are mobile, the SMurfs are somewhat mobile, and the Gaurd are for the most part immobile.
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In other words GW are calling Tau players wild asses for wanting a melee suit option.

Offline Athaga Mor

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Re: Tau and the 'non-sedentary' debate
« Reply #3 on: May 5, 2004, 05:58:23 PM »
But that mobility isn't exemplified in all attributes of the Tau battleforce, is it?  Being that their guns are more stationary-focused, I don't think that slower mobility is such a big deviation at the larger sizes... being basically on par with a broadside.

Fitting a broadside for assault (plasma, SG) seems a bit expensive and wasteful with regard to its main weaponry, no?

Manta... yes.  But does that rule out a walker?  I looked into scaling a manta for 40k tabletop purposes and it's pretty large.  The transition between a Tigershark and a Manta leaves much to be desired if I figured it out correctly.  Look how big mantas are in BFG.  That's pretty big, and Tiger Shark's wingspan can be much more than 18".  Mantas might have a hard time in a canyon or heavy cover theatre, when they can't get super low.  Yeah, smaller air power could function here, but so could a large mobile firebase.

I'm not arguing "no titan-scale" but am interested in the root of the "no walker titan, Tau are too mobile" argument.  Are Tau so mobile in their approach to warfare that they would really forego slower mobility?

EDIT: Going back to the Manta... isn't that 'techincally' an air caste thing?  Wouldn't the fire caste have something more powerful than a hammerhead/broadside?  I'd think the fire caste would be on the constant lookout for something bigger they could use.
« Last Edit: May 5, 2004, 06:02:34 PM by Athaga Mor »
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Offline deadrose

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Re: Tau and the 'non-sedentary' debate
« Reply #4 on: May 6, 2004, 01:18:33 AM »
Hmm maybe thay will have some thing big one day but i think what
thay have now is good i like to see a power full tank some thing like
that not a 150 foot walking crap tin can but i think it be cool we had a hammer head titen tank hunter.

  I think tau are very mobile i hate wen poeple say suit's are not mobile for thay are mobile in every way even the xv88 is.

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Offline The Orange

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Re: Tau and the 'non-sedentary' debate
« Reply #5 on: May 6, 2004, 02:40:23 AM »
Well the Tau dont really have any types of walkers, even thier crisis suits use jump packs mainly to move around.
And the Tau like to set up traps (at least in the fluff), and you cant really do that with a building high walker.
The Tau IMO like to hit hard and then disengage form the enemy, and i just cant see that with a Titan.  (And i dont see how a Titan can hide in a canyon, if one managed to fit in a canyon, and hide, thats why we have seeker missels and such.  Get some cheep troops in there, marklight the crap out of it, and boom, they can jump back in there devilfish and go home.
I mean why whould you use a titan that you first have to land on a planet and then walk it over to the battle field, the manta is capable of takein on titans, transporting troops, and of going back into space if need be.

Offline Shas'el T'au Or'es Necron'tyr Kayon

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Re: Tau and the 'non-sedentary' debate
« Reply #6 on: May 6, 2004, 06:16:37 AM »
i think that tau are good as they are. Only i would like the broad sides to move and fire railguns like terminators.
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Offline Athaga Mor

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Re: Tau and the 'non-sedentary' debate
« Reply #7 on: May 6, 2004, 09:08:22 AM »
>I think tau are very mobile i hate wen poeple say suit's are not mobile for thay are mobile in every way even the xv88 is.

I'm not say the xv88 isn't mobile.  I am saying there's nothing particularly exceptional about its mobility - it's completely and utterly average.

>Well the Tau dont really have any types of walkers, even thier crisis suits use jump packs mainly to move around.

This is a good point.  They do tend to be 'floaty'/skimmer based.

>And the Tau like to set up traps (at least in the fluff), and you cant really do that with a building high walker.  The Tau IMO like to hit hard and then disengage form the enemy, and i just cant see that with a Titan. 

...well, offensively, I'd probably agree with you.  But then using a titan-scale something is a pretty nice piece of tasty bait.  I do get the point though and I do agree.  I just don't buy into the whole... all they use is small units idea.

I'm NOT saying the Tau are gimp or that half their army needs to be redone... not at all, Shas'el T'au Or'es Necron'tyr Kayon.  I'm just discussing the finer points surrounding Tau mobility.

---

What would the Tau use for seiging a large fortification... something along the lines of an Imperial Hive City?  (Doesn't have to be Imperial.. just an example)  Wouldn't they need something of larger firepower (beyond seekers, railguns, and ion cannons)?
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Offline Arguleon Veq

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Re: Tau and the 'non-sedentary' debate
« Reply #8 on: May 6, 2004, 11:19:05 AM »
They would bombard it from orbit, infiltrate it in order to take it from the inside and the manta probably has larger and more powerful versions of the tau weapons, you must also consider that tau haventreally delt with seige yet(to any major extent) or with really karge scale battles tey have mostly been fighting weaker alien species or hunting bands of orks so they havent had a need to develop certain things. But due to the taus expansion they are encountering more powerful foes and they have to deal with new situations(such as forming a battle line for example which the tau have countered with the use of auxilaries) so they tau may develop larger more powerful things but if they do i believe it would be like a more powerful version ofthe manta(anyway i think the manta is perfectly adeqeute for most tasks the tau need but if they are seriously considering with continueing there expanse into imperial space there will be things that the manta just couldnt deal with).

Offline Shas'el T'au Or'es Necron'tyr Kayon

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Re: Tau and the 'non-sedentary' debate
« Reply #9 on: May 6, 2004, 04:49:55 PM »
it was just an idea
i know tau are mobile, i collect them beacause of that and because they are just so cool ;D
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Offline Athaga Mor

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Re: Tau and the 'non-sedentary' debate
« Reply #10 on: May 7, 2004, 11:37:39 AM »
I was lurking through Portent's rumor page a moment ago and I found this:

Quote
"A looong time ago the topic of a 40K scale Manta Missile Destroyer came up. It was determined that the sucker would have, among other things, a six-foot wingspan. Warwick Kinrade supposedly said: "The only way we'd make it is so that crazy Americans can hang-glide on it or something." I took that to mean, don't bet on it."


So, while not really on the 'mobility' topic, you can see that there is an enormous size/scale gap between the Tiger Shark (~18 in. wingspan) and the Manta Missile Destroyer (~72 in. wingspan).  There has to be something in that gap.  I think I'd place the Manta on par with a warlord titan - or thereabouts.

So, back on topic... given that gap and the likelihood of some Tau vehicle being between it, would you:

a) Maintain that the vehicle would be a flyer only?
b) Think that a surface unit (walker/skimmer) fits?
c) Both

If B or C, what would the non-flyer unit(s) look like in your mind?
How would you incorporate Tau mobility into it?

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Offline Wiggus

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Re: Tau and the 'non-sedentary' debate
« Reply #11 on: May 7, 2004, 12:49:07 PM »
i think some people are getting confused when people say the tau are mobile, i dont think of this in battlefield mobility but the ability to relocate massive amounts of troops ina  short time i mean looka  thte orca damn that think can move a 1000 point army on its own. and i think it also extends to the tau are quite willing to walk away from abattle to attack later (mobile) whereas the imperial mindset is 'this isnt the right site fora  battle so we will chuck in another 4000 grunts.' the tau just relocate and fight another time.
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Offline Athaga Mor

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Re: Tau and the 'non-sedentary' debate
« Reply #12 on: May 7, 2004, 01:00:52 PM »
Yeah, I think that sense of 'mobile' is part of it too.  (especially regarding the whole "no fort/base' thing.

Wiggus, what's your thoughts on the larger Tau weaponry?  You know your Tau fluff - no doubt there.

On the other hand, I do think the mobility does apply to the battlefield.  (kind of like it does to the Eldar on the b'field... somewhat in the same way... somewhat.)

-skimmers add mobility, just by the basic differences between themselves and regular tanks/vehicles.
-Tau are pretty adept at deepstriking.
-Jump packs... those being equipped to much of the force options, definitely add to the mobile idea too.
(Eldar use other means, but are similarily flexible)

I just don't think Tau guns are design -as much- with mobility in mind.  Again, this depends on how you view suits... general wargear vs. part of a weapon system.
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Offline Wiggus

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Re: Tau and the 'non-sedentary' debate
« Reply #13 on: May 7, 2004, 09:09:26 PM »
i think something you guys tend to forget is yes the broadsides are mobile but they are also supposed to be a greaat distance away they have 72" range guns for a reason, unfortunatly playing on 4' 4' tables you dont really see it. As for the space bases i imagine them being able to be moved using gravatic hooks
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Offline Wargamer

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Re: Tau and the 'non-sedentary' debate
« Reply #14 on: May 9, 2004, 09:59:25 AM »
Do not confuse rules with fluff.

Fluffwise, a Space Marine could quite happily pulp his way through an entire Guard squad without suffering a scratch.

Gamewise, I'd bet on the Guard.

Fluffwise, the Vanquisher is one of the greatest Tank-killers in 40K.

Gamewise, you're better off with a Destroyer.


The point is, while the fluff states the Tau favour hit-and-run tacitcs, it can be difficult to represent this within the confines of a 40K battlefield.



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Re: Tau and the 'non-sedentary' debate
« Reply #15 on: May 9, 2004, 06:19:32 PM »
I would just like to point out that someone mentioned "tau like to hit hard and break off, it's part of the fluff."  Is there not a second paragraph on that page of the codex, where it mentions the Tau using a unit as bait, and luring an opponent out of their fortification as so the rest of the army can defeat them?  Would not a Titan serve this cause perfectly?  I mean; Air support is good and well, but what's to say there isn't some kind of support suit larger than an broadside built for backing up fire warriors?  I mean; I could see a curvy beast the size of a warhound marching alongside a force of fire warriors...It would make for a picturesque moment, eh?

Also, even if NORMAL Tau wouldn't use a walking titan; what's to say Farsight hasn't made one?  Is it not true that his cult fights in a way radically different from 'normal' tau?  Could not a titan support his fighting style perfectally?

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Re: Tau and the 'non-sedentary' debate
« Reply #16 on: May 9, 2004, 11:15:06 PM »
Yes Shadow, but I'm sorry to say that GW makes no distinction between Farsight and mainstream Tau. For the moment if Farsight were to get something then the rest of the Tau would too. Before anything happened to Farsight alone, like develpoing Titans, they'd have to be recognized as a force that is seperate from the rest of the Tau by GW.
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In other words GW are calling Tau players wild asses for wanting a melee suit option.

 


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