Thoughts on Tau Strike Craft

Discuss the Tau fleet. For the Greater Good!
kcswanson
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Re: Thoughts on Tau Strike Craft

Postby kcswanson » 07 May 2016, 17:26

Owl wrote:(Thanks Kadaeux)

I have an idea!

The Manta class attack craft is armed with powerful, forward mounted Ion Cannons, capable of knocking out if not out-right "destroying Warhound Titans with a single shot". That sounds like starship level weaponry to me!

So what if each Manta bomber squadron has two Mantas, but no escort craft due to the inferior engines aboard Tau fighters. Each Manta has 2 hull points, a 50-50 chance to ignore damage, and the equivalent of two fighters worth of PD weaponry. Here's where it starts getting interesting: as the Manta's close with their target, their fore mounted Ion Cannons(covers the forward arc) start opening fire. Each shot (two shots per Manta) would do 2-4 damage to the enemy ship; the result would be making the Mantas operate like miniature escorts, increase their damage potential the farther away the Manta's mothership is from the enemy, and incentivise the Manta's target to meet the Manta head on, rather than run away from it.

This is a really rough idea, but I want to know what you guys think about it.


I'm thinking, what if they were bomber assault boats. They do the same bomber damage while launching the usual 2 boarding actions.

Beernchips
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Re: Thoughts on Tau Strike Craft

Postby Beernchips » 07 May 2016, 19:26

In TT, Tau s had 0 assault action possible.
No assault crafts, no LS and no boardings possible.
The Merchant fleet (the old Tau ships) had penalties when suffering boardings from enemies but the newest Tau fleet didn t had these penalties anymore
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Kadaeux
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Re: Thoughts on Tau Strike Craft

Postby Kadaeux » 08 May 2016, 00:34

Beernchips wrote:In TT, Tau s had 0 assault action possible.
No assault crafts, no LS and no boardings possible.
The Merchant fleet (the old Tau ships) had penalties when suffering boardings from enemies but the newest Tau fleet didn t had these penalties anymore


This is flat out false.

Tau could conduct normal boarding actions. Yes they didn't have Assault Craft and couldn't do teleporter strikes. But they COULD do a normal boarding action without issue. (Well except for the associated penalties.)

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Kadaeux
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Re: Thoughts on Tau Strike Craft

Postby Kadaeux » 08 May 2016, 00:35

kcswanson wrote:I'm thinking, what if they were bomber assault boats. They do the same bomber damage while launching the usual 2 boarding actions.


The Manta's are explicitly stated as being incapable of launching boarding actions in space.

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Re: Thoughts on Tau Strike Craft

Postby Papa Bear » 23 May 2016, 09:42

Citation form Rulebook:
"Mantas. Mantas are bombers, each marker represents a single vessel. They are well shielded and if intercepted by enemy fighters roll a D6, on a roll of 4+ the Manta is not removed. Mantas move 20cm. Whilst Mantas can carry large numbers of troops they are not used to board enemy vessels as boarding is totally contrary to the Tau’s approach to space warfare"
So, the Mantas are infinitely more durable than the other bombers, who just get slaughtered automatically by fighters. They should not shoot down fighters, like the Orks do to keep some distinction between Fighta-Bommaz and Mantas...
Just having more survivability is kinda boring though...

We can also see that Tau fighters are a little slow compared to Imperial ones. So, maybe reduced coverage area?

Frankly speaking, Tau ordnance was one of the poorly balanced aspects in the TT, because a GAL’LEATH (EXPLORER) CLASS STARSHIP spawned 8 squadrons and basically bombed anything into Kingdom Come.
To reflect it, while also keeping things balanced, maybe the Mantas should be x2 more powerful than average bombers (deliver double oomph, require 2 hits to shoot down by Close Defense systems and fighters) and also have significantly reduced range (maybe to 9K) and somewhat increased cooldown (maybe +20%? don't know, requires math and testing). That would create a kind of "Brawling Ordnance" build which would be unique to the game. So, Tau fleets could go for traditional long-range shooty build or a bizarre close-combat ordnance-brawling build.
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Rolepgeek
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Re: Thoughts on Tau Strike Craft

Postby Rolepgeek » 23 May 2016, 13:52

Kadaeux wrote:The Manta's are explicitly stated as being incapable of launching boarding actions in space.

They were explicitly noted as not being used for such, not being incapable of it.

Brawling ordnance fleets would not be my solution, personally, but...

Dulio12385
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Re: Thoughts on Tau Strike Craft

Postby Dulio12385 » 27 May 2016, 13:44

Well I think the focus should be on the word "rarely". It has happened, like in the case of the Fire Warrior game (which is semi-canonical), and considering that Tau are relative novices to void combat who's to say they won't begin to pick up on the concept eventually. Also BFG pretty much died long before the Tau Navy was seriously developed or even fluffed out in the Taros Campaign, and even then it was an afterthought done during the book's 2nd Edition. Heck in 7E we are now seeing melee-centric Battlesuit designs which can donkeypunch Baneblades, shotgun wielding Fire Warriors and the new Vanguard Void Suit which is stated as the Tau equivalent of a Space Marine Terminator built for close quarters combat in void environments like Space Hulks and enemy ships.

That said given what we've seen in Fire Warrior, its not a nice experience going up against Space Marines and even Navy Security troopers in close quarters and it is highly doubtful the Tau would be crazy enough to build a strategy around it that involves them being within shotgun range. However who's to say that the Tau don't just use what they do best; drones. Picture this a squadron of Mantas batter a target ship with their weapons then flood the ship's corridors with homicidal drones to tear it apart from the inside.

This could be simulated by the Manta inflicting damage as bombers with a separate chance roll for a Crit like an Assault Boat to simulate the fact that it can carry assault drones. The Lighting Strike though would definitely be out considering Tau have no teleportation technology though given the existence of Fire Warrior Breacher Teams and Vanguard Void Suits an argument could be made that Tau should not be overly penalized in the Troops department or their Boarding Actions.

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Re: Thoughts on Tau Strike Craft

Postby Imperator5 » 05 September 2016, 18:05

Just to point out:

Thunderhawk: 26 meters long and wide.
Manta: 32 long and 52 wide
Fury: 70 meters long.
Starhawk: Bigger than Fury. Estimated 100 meters.

So the Thunderhawk is downright tiny, while the Manta is still small. Coupled with the fact that they are both more advanced than other non eldar/necron craft, one could say they deserve their saves because they would be harder to hit than the twice as big other ones.

Beside the above point, people also forget that the Tau can easily just put the Manta full of Kroot and Vespid.

I think the Manta could take down a Warhound if its shields were down. In space terms, where Turbolasers who can do the same easily are considered point defense, is not really that impressive at all.
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Re: Thoughts on Tau Strike Craft

Postby Cpt. Fortius Grim » 06 September 2016, 08:37

I wouldn't put too much faith into those sizes.

All those are just estimates, even on the stuff that have TT models in 28mm scale, let alone BFG scale. Furies and Starhawks having no large-scale models fall into the wild speculation category.

I wouldn't trust the word of authors on that, either;

Gordon Renie in his book, "Execution Hour" estimates an Imperial cruiser is 3 km long, and a Starhawk weighs 200 tons, and two such craft can launch simultaneously from a single launch ramp. .... I mean, it's a good read but that detail doesn't sound right.

Well, at 3000m total length (incl. ramming spike) for the vessel, that entire ordnance bay segment would be at best 550 meters long, rounded up. Divide by 4, because there are 2 rows of 4 launch ramps, you get 137.5 meters. Divide by 2 because each of them ends in a triangle, with one face being the side wall and the other houses the bay door, that's 68.75 meters each face. Multiply by 1.43 because it's diagonal, and as such a bit longer than if it was parallel with the main hull, that's 98.3... meters. If you look really closely on the model, you'll see the actual door itself is in the center 1/3rd of that face; Divide by 3, and we're finally told that the baydoor is roughly 33 meters wide.

How large a craft would you fly through that? Taking off couldn't be that hard if it's via launch rail, but how about landing? Sending a craft with even half as much wingspan through an opening is a mean feat by itself, and probably suicidal if we count for drift, and the mothership's movement.

I've only seen mentions of these crafts lengths, not wingspans, but I highly doubt they'd be 100 meter long and 16 meter wide darts.
Most imperial aircraft has about as much wingspan as their length, if not more. The Fury and the Starhawk are said to be dedicated voidcraft, but said book, and "Warriors of Ultramar" mention they can be outfitted for atmospheric flight, so maybe, half as much wingspan?

It takes an ork, and probably good 'ol Killboy at that, to fly a 50 meter broad craft through a 33 meter hole.

Of course that 3 km size estimate for the cruiser is way too small. Some say it's 5, others say it's 8; They'd have roughly 55 or 88 meter wide baydoors respectively, which still sounds way too narrow, and there's no guarantee that wingspan is really just 50 meters.
.... And, we're still supposed to launch 2, side by side, at least according to Renie, which, if I'm not mistaken contradicts the game rules, because I'm fairly certain I've never seen a Dictator launch 16 bombers per side in a single wave.

So maybe those attack craft aren't so colossal?
It is also said Marauder bombers were used for the same role before Starhawks became standard issue. We sort of know how big a Marauder is -L 19, W 24, at least according to the first wiki I found, but that could also have been measured wrong, or produced out of scale.
Point is, how could a drastically smaller bomber do the job of the current ones? How can current Thunderhawks outfitted for a bombing run be relevant at all?

I could also have made a mistake in my measurements of course.
Or maybe the cruiser is supposed to be over 15 kilometers long. You'd think they'd plan these things through and release some official data so their players don't spend two decades speculating...

And to close off with something lolWTF, here's one from the other end of messed up estimates:

I don't remember the title, but it WAS an official Black Library relase; Some confused author wrote, a Battle Barge has 1Km (1000 meters, or 1.6 miles) thick ARMOR PLATING...
...Which would make the vessel large and heavy enough to crumple into a spherical shape due to it's natural gravity, but hey, you got paid either way...

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Imperator5
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Re: Thoughts on Tau Strike Craft

Postby Imperator5 » 06 September 2016, 22:07

It is inconsistant, you got a point there, but if we use the upper ship scale, the battlebarge would be around 16 kilometers long. The reduced internal space would be fine since the Battlebarge can transport like 300 marines? Which is quite small for a ship that size. Basically that more than allows for a hull a kilometer thick without any problems, and they are not made of neutron star matter. Gravity is not quite that strong.

Some Nova cannon shells are, but they managed to somehow overcome the that. Could be inertial dampener fields, that another novel says can reduce weight.

Here is a Fury armed with missile bays and 12 rapid fire lascannons, looking like a crossbreeding of the Thunderbolt fighter and the Thunderhawk Gunship. Also, we do know that good ol' Killboy may be able to pull that trick off, but during the chase of the Suiqeon Da Goose Raznuts certainly did not manage it.

Image

While there are a lot of discrepancies in size in even recent lore, it does always have a crew of like half a dozen people, sleeping quarters and a medical suit. So it is considerable larger than the Thunderbolt. Even the smallest estimates would say its around 1,5 times bigger than a Marauder.
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