MadDemiurg wrote:I feel like they might be OP vs IN and Chaos and UP vs Orks if they are implemented this way (massive prow firepower + lots of ordnance + 150 speed + somewhat weaker hulls), but we'll see.
Not really, their strength is also their weakness. Their strong prow firepower and ordnance has one major flaw. They have to face the enemy head on. Their best Battleship's broadside power (ignoring carrier capacity) is basically the same as a Dauntless with 1 point of lance added.
Prow firepower (with decent range) makes it very easy to chase other fleets and also gives advantage in initial engagement since you don't need to turn to employ your broadside and it's easier to focus fire on one ship. So for Chaos, It's gonna be difficult to kite (more difficult than to kite IN at least) and difficult to use ordnance due to Tau carriers. For IN, they would likely take serious damage on approach and then suffer from focus fire, although I see ramming tactics being pretty effective.
Vs Orks tho.... Well, orks are weak to ordnance but once they are close to your low hull low ram resist ships.... gg.
Vs Eldar that would largely depend on how effective Tau ordnance will be against them, although by the time Tau are released some changes will be made there I suppose.
This is all just speculation however.
The strategy against Tau isn't to kite, not for Orks, Eldar, Chaos or Imperium. There's no point in playing kiting games with Tau as it favours the guys with lots of carriers. (Aka: The Tau.) Their poor speed means that once someone has caught up to them, they stay caught up, and only the Eldar have worse broadsides than the Tau.
Eldar are likely to have the greatest difficulty dealing with the Tau, mainly as they have the same 'prow on' issue, but without the slight broadside power the Tau have. (But due to Eldar speed, their jousting should still favour the Eldar.) Additionally, the Tau lack teleport ability, completely and utterly, and they don't have assault boats for their hangars either. So not only are they vulnerable to boarding, but they can't do it worth a damn either.
So while a Tau's forward firepower is virtually unequalled, if I use the 2010 Compendium's stats *which I didn't for this thread* then a Custodian has 12 Weapon Batteries worth of forward firepower or six on each broadside, *per turn* As well as either 2 forward lances or one on each side. As well as a Strength 8 Torpedo salvo and 6 Squadrons. It also has 10 hull and 3 shields.
The Emperor Class has meanwhile, 6 weapons batteries dedicated for port and starboard, and TEN more points of weapon batteries to allocate as it chooses. (22 Weapon Battery strength total, and all of them are longer-ranged than the Tau batteries) as well as 8 Squadrons it can put into the void, 12 hull and 4 shields. *It also has 1 more point-defence turret*
The two ships have the exact same amount of 'strength points' of firepower. But the Emperor can put 2 more squadrons into space, is less likely to suffer if a Reload Ordnance failed badly. (If the Emperor "ran out" it'd lose it's 8 squadrons, but the Custodian would lose it's 6 squadrons AND it's Gravitic Launcher)
These two ships are very very close to being equals, but if the Emperor got close to the Custodian and forced it into a game of broadsides, the Custodian could bring a mere 7 points of firepower onto the Emperor, while the Emperor could sling at it with 16 points of firepower per turn. As such, odds are that, normally, in a broadside matchup (if we ignore carrier capacity for now) that not only could the Emperor destroy the Custodian, but it's unlikely the Custodian could even successfully get past the Emperor's shields.
Assuming 15cm range engagement, moving abeam "with" each other.
Custodian: 1 Lance shot with a 4+, and 3 dice for a 5+ even assuming every single dice rolled a hit, that just brings down the Emperor's shields and inflicts no damage at all.
Emperor: 8 dice aiming for a 5+, if only half the dice hit then not only are the Custodians shields down, but it took a hit of damage, which rolls 1d6, and on a 6 causes a critical hit. (Which is 2d6 vs the Critical Hits table) If every single dice hit (since we're assuming a scenario where the Custodian does, it's only fair) Then not only did the shields go down, but the Custodian was blown half away with a single salvo, with 5d6 chances at a critical hit. (And with 5d6, the odds of not rolling a six are probably pretty damned low :p less than one percent i'd guess.)
So yes, the Tau have pretty fearful forward armament, but when someone catches up to them (and since they would have to turn frequently to get the most out of their firepower it is when, not if) then anyone who catches up intact enough to begin playing broadside games is going to own the field of battle.