Why not more tanks?

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Entil'zha
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Posts: 89

Why not more tanks?

Post#1 » Dec 16 2016 12:50

I have a different gripe about the Tau, One of the best things about their miniature line is their vehicles. They look very functional like that design could actually be a good anti-grav tank. What do we get year after year? more suits and old tanks that can't hold up anymore. Did the new codex honestly need 3 new monstrous creature types in the form of suits? Or could they have given a new tank type?

Why bring skyrays when you can give skyfire and intercepter on your suits?
Why bring hammerheads with railgun when suits can deep strike with fusion?
Or hammerheads with ion when riptides are better on the points and have superior ion?

"Well you can also take flyers or look at forge world " I do take a razorshark for anti air as it never lets me down but why must I take Forge World to fill an obvious gap?

Elite hammerhead crews are nabed up and put in suits now! Why can't we tank lovers get some real love for our tanks?

Please discuss

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Ironsky
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 229

Re: Why not more tanks?

Post#2 » Dec 16 2016 01:28

I agree, and have attempted to (at least partially) resolve the issue of the outclassed Hammerhead here, by converting it to carry the full armaments of a Stormsurge. I love hoards of small suits, but haven't learnt to like the bigger ones yet.

Entil'zha
Shas'Saal
Posts: 89

Re: Why not more tanks?

Post#3 » Dec 16 2016 01:40

Very nice conversion! But what about the problem that it still counts as a T based unit and not av?

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Overheal
Shas'Saal
Posts: 177

Re: Why not more tanks?

Post#4 » Dec 16 2016 01:47

The simple answer: new suits are the new hotness and the old tanks are old..yay capitalism - which is ironic when you're playing an army of space-communists with cleft hooves.

Whats the statline on the forgeworld plasma cannon for the Hammerhead anyway? My thing is I have 2 hammerheads/fish, 2 piranha and a 'shark. Piranhas are still reasonably cost effective what with gun drones and such (esp with the Drone Net formation bonus to BS) honestly the biggest thing holding the vehicle lineup back, in my opinion, is that when tau were fresh off the block the hammerhead was the poster-boy of S10 AP1 - Broadsides too - and armies everywhere kind of pissed themselves for half a second. Now there are D-weapons and the Railgun on the hammerhead for its points just doesn't make sense anymore, competitive players are buying up the SS now for that very reason. And I just hate the model, so Je Refuse'!

One thing to remember though is it's still a skimmer, and that can be helpful - almost got one nuked to a squig bomb one game, before my opponents rulebook said it wasn't effective against certain kinds of floating objects...

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nic
Kroot'La
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Re: Why not more tanks?

Post#5 » Dec 16 2016 05:56

I suspect that we are in a feedback loop where each new battlesuit release sells well, which encourages GW to come up with new battlesuit releases because the customers want them, which makes Tau increasingly attractive to players who like the battlesuit aesthetic.

The overall effect is that the Tau models - if rumour is to be believed - are one of the better selling parts of the 40K range. They do not sell like Marines of course but they do sell well.

Personally I am sad that nobody much buys Kroot, which are special-order only and for which the Forgeworld support was dropped, but I have to accept that I am in a minority that likes their aesthetic enough to buy and play them in any real numbers. Tanks are doing better than that, they are stocked in stores, but the behaviour of GW speaks volumes as to their relative popularity compared with battlesuits.

As for how they do in games, I only tend to use the Skyray (and Piranha, I love Piranha) but it always does perfectly fine for me so I do not think there is anything particularly wrong with its rules.

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Overheal
Shas'Saal
Posts: 177

Re: Why not more tanks?

Post#6 » Dec 16 2016 08:48

I mean, they're still armor, and not all threats address that the same as they would a fancy jetpack monstrous creature. It's like the Wraithknight. Only time I saw one was in an escalation league, for beginners, at a new store, but the guy was a jerk, tabled a bunch of new players, and I agreed to play him only because I wanted to see the big boy. And despite the player in question being an unsportsmanlike middle-aged wad, the Wraithknight revealed itself to bleed despite being a Titan, to sniper drones of all things. I still lost, but to time more than anything, a WK on 1 wound and a few jetbikes jinking all over the place to score points, I just didn't have the extra turns for more dakka.

Devilfish share this same benefit as the HH. 13 front armor is nothing to sniff at and a lot of lists have to anticipate anti-armor like that in their list (lascannons etc) and depending on your local metagame, there are a lot of threats on your opponents list that won't even glance it. Heck I too would rather avoid fighting a mechanized list, they can be nasty. And ultimately, the Devilfish won't use much utility, even if a hammerhead or skyray does. If they do, they're always a fish too.

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Kakapo42
Shas'Vre
Shas'Vre
Posts: 948

Re: Why not more tanks?

Post#7 » Dec 16 2016 09:26

It's not all bad - the bright side is that being under their radar means GW aren't as likely to touch those kits soon, which means we can all keep enjoying the glorious Hammerhead, Skyray and Devilfish models, which are still light-years ahead of the newer battlesuit kits as far as I'm concerned, for at least a little longer (I just wish I could say the same about the Forgeworld aircraft...).

Unfortunately as others have pointed out its largely a result of decisions made by the design studio. There's a process called Flanderization that sometimes happens in media where a character gets certain traits or characteristics of theirs exaggerated over others exponentially across their lifetime until they start to become overwhelmingly dominant, and that's essentially what seems to have happened with the Tau (and most other 40k factions for that matter). A long time ago when the Tau were first introduced Battlesuits were essentially their thematic equivalent to Terminators or Eldar jetbikes - an iconic unit that was often one of the first things that people thought of when they thought 'Tau', but ultimately just one small part of a larger rounded out force. Sure, articles and background tended to glamorise them, but no more than, say, a squad of Space Marine Terminators would be.

However, they were a big pull, and a lot of enthusiasts of giant robot anime latched onto them, so GW decided to capitalise on that which has resulted in the feedback loop we're now in (the powerful rules the newer battlesuit models seem to have certainly helps too).

The good news then is that the trend might not last forever. There was mention of new vehicle models in the pipeline at Forgeworld the last time I checked, and I myself have some plans in that department too, so keep an eye out for them in the not too distant future.

Entil'zha wrote:Elite hammerhead crews are nabed up and put in suits now! Why can't we tank lovers get some real love for our tanks?


That's only if you let those sleazy battlesuit program recruiters ransack your cadre's gunship crews (and if said gunship crews buy into their smooth offer pitches and flashy demonstration videos). ;)

In other words, don't let the GW writers boss you around - if you want elite Hammerhead crews piloting Hammerheads, you go right ahead and do that. And besides, between Longstrike and several characters on ATT (not least among them Tael's own Ryuu) there's still plenty of crack gunship aces rolling around in grav-tanks.
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Overheal
Shas'Saal
Posts: 177

Re: Why not more tanks?

Post#8 » Dec 16 2016 11:30

Well, you're not wrong. I got into the hobby with nids, got horrendously annoyed at the hormagaunt model (slotta bases that rely on one hoof?!) and was on to Eldar after that. When Tau came around I liked them well enough but they just felt off. As you said Battlesuits were cool but not 'hot'. The tanks were, the FW were too, not enough to entice me. Wasn't until I got out of the hobby for years (5th ED eldar broke my entire collection) and I saw a Riptide kit in a store that I wanted to collect it just like a Gunpla. And the new Battlesuits have addressed my peeves about the old model, and I guess GW realized it made sense to invest in making the Tau a "mecha" army.

FWIW maybe the only thing 'wrong' with the tanks at the moment is, well look at the formations, they all heavily favor either owning a sizable number of vehicles (4 piranhas, 3 flyers, or 4 tanks, etc) or they favor battlesuits and even drones. Same problem with Flyers in fact, if you're building a list for formation perks, the flyers don't shine very much either. Some of the formations are neat in that they compliment you having a range of different units (eg. I'm collecting and painting for a Hunter+Retaliation Cadre Combo), but most others just reward you for having a fat wallet, basically (eg. Heavy Retribution Cadre). I mean at least with say, the Riptide, there are enough formations it's an element of that you can have 1 or 2 or 3 and be grand, but with Vehicles, the formation list ultimately suggests to you that unless you own 3-4, you're wasting your time.

Entil'zha
Shas'Saal
Posts: 89

Re: Why not more tanks?

Post#9 » Dec 16 2016 11:34

Now so no one gets confused I am not saying to stop the battle suit love, just the tanks need love too. We tank lovers just need a few weapon options. Like two more HH turrets I think with different goals in mind would boost my spirits a hell of a lot.

Personally I will never take a stormsurge as I think it looks stupid but that's me.

A friend and I were playing around with new tank designs:
AV 12/11/10 skimmer tank bs 4
Devilfish hull standard drones with standard upgrade options
Turret gun:24" str 6 AP 3 heavy d6 small blast
Special rule: treats as fast vehicle for shooting purposes not movement
120 points
Fast attack slot

Would you guys play something like this?

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Overheal
Shas'Saal
Posts: 177

Re: Why not more tanks?

Post#10 » Dec 17 2016 12:04

Even the bloody Fire Team rule teases you into having 3 or no tanks...

I mean.. The new Tidewall Gunrig for 85 pts or whatever is enticing, its terrain, it has the BS of whatever is riding it, it's twin-linked, and it moves. Then again, the HH is still a 3HP vehicle with respectable armor and mobility, and drones/secondaries which is worth 24pts in its own regard, plus it can act like cover. And, so can the drones, if deployed. Additionally you can give any vehicle in your army Stealth, and Move Through Cover (and it can already Jink..). The tank could probably do with a small reduction in points cost, but not a bunch. Even 10 or 15 points would see it used more often I think.

You also in meta could take advantage that most players would underestimate a proper tank until it hit them over the head, vs. a battlesuit who looks like it's going to infiltrate then shout something at you in Gou'a'uld and mow down and entire squad of guys with a gatling ion cannon.

CommanderDeathrain
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 31

Re: Why not more tanks?

Post#11 » Dec 17 2016 04:51

I think the reason is simple
Gw wants to focus on our battle suits as in some ways they are quite unique in that they all have good armour and with the exception of stealth suits can be tooled out to do anything and have multiple wounds. That's not to say I don't want to see our tanks get some love ( I love the devil fish and pirhana kits). I would love to see a stealth suit supplement though :p

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AnonAmbientLight
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 864

Re: Why not more tanks?

Post#12 » Dec 17 2016 05:28

People do not take vehicles as much across all factions really. The top lists typically have MSU or MC in them. When they take MSU they take rhinos or other light transport vehicles.

Vehicles just aren't what they used to be and haven't been for awhile. S7+ weapons are super common, hull points, and glancing hits ensure that taking vehicles just isn't worth it.

Tau vehicles in general just aren't that good. Even the devilfish is pretty crappy when you compare what it does to the amount of points it costs.

Vehicles in general need a rework and the Hammerhead chassis could use an update on armaments to make it more appealing.
Sky IS Falling, T'au WILL Suck, Sell Me Your Models

CommanderDeathrain
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 31

Re: Why not more tanks?

Post#13 » Dec 18 2016 03:17

I agree
As much as I love my fishes of fire warriors they are quite risky as 1 immobilized result and they are glorified bunkers with none of the benefits lol. It doesn't help high strength Ignores cover weapons are becoming more common (I had a skull cannon immobilize one of my fishes yesterday).
The problem with vehicles in the current edition is you basically have to either go all in or none at all.

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Elphiel
Shas'La
Shas'La
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Re: Why not more tanks?

Post#14 » Dec 18 2016 03:33

CommanderDeathrain wrote:The problem with vehicles in the current edition is you basically have to either go all in or none at all.


This is probably the meta about everything in nowadays 40k. If you have a unit thats good, take more of them. Riptides, Crisis, Broadsides, Firewarriors and our Tanks or piranhas. The new datasheets even support that in giving bonus for 3 model squads and squadrons.

I still like to field Hammerheads a lot, most of the time 3 ion-fishes without any extra equipment. 6 model gundrone squad will move around from round one. So 375points -84points in gundrones is in my opinion some cost efficient firepower (three S8 AP3 pie plates benefiting from the same markerlights - who want more ;) ).

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Chris
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 199

Re: Why not more tanks?

Post#15 » Dec 18 2016 10:51

I played a game against a not so competitive Space Marine army with some allied robots. I absolutely wanted to try something different and due to the fact that I have enough tanks I wrote a list without a single Battlesuit.

Well... it really underperformed. The first problem was finding cover for all those tanks. Devilfishs were kept back for counter attacking. And so was my half fluted with big tanks. Against enemy fire I had often to jink or I lost the armor quick. Therefore my shooting phase went from bad to terrible. Tanks can't hold up with the rate of fire from battlesuits. And even without that they are immun to jink. Either they have their own cover save or a good invul save. Tanks are limited to movement too.

Relying nearly only on the FB from Piranhas was something different too. In other games I have a squad of 3 dFB crisis. Those Crisis melt nearly everything. Again the piranha struggled.


Only taking tanks wasn't a good idea. The other way around, taking no tanks, function very good. Tanks have too much problems against nearly everything in comparison to suits.

What would help would be the return of the "shoot as if you where a fast vehicle"- system. Also the ioncannon needs a ap2 upgrade. Maybe overall a point cost reduction.
I love tanks, too. The Hammerhead was once my most loved model. Make tanks great again. :crafty:

pilky
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 258

Re: Why not more tanks?

Post#16 » Dec 19 2016 09:25

I think you also need to take into account the benefits of releasing a new kit vs an updated kit. A new kit is likely to sell better as it's something nobody has. Updated kits can be a bit harder to sell to those who already have an army (who are the easiest group of people for GW to get money out of). As such the priority for updating kits comes down to a mix of cost and need. Fire Warriors and Crisis Suits needed upgrading as the old models were either miscast (fire warriors) or lacking detail and flexibility (crisis suits). They also make up the core of any Tau army so replacing them makes a lot of sense.

The Hammerhead model though is still a damn good model. It could do with more detail and options, but it's still one of the better models in their line, especially for its age. As such it's likely to be a lower priority than updating models that are in finecast/metal, or in greater need of an update. The good news is GW's design/production setup makes it far faster, easier, and therefore cheaper for them to produce new models, so it makes the chance of them revisiting our tanks (or creating new vehicles) much higher

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Spray & Pray
Shas'Saal
Posts: 77

Re: Why not more tanks?

Post#17 » Dec 19 2016 11:35

I agree, Tau tanks back in 3rd ed and fire warriors attracted me to Tau, suits were just another nice aspect. These days, I use the skyray fairly regularly as it is good, the rest is overpriced :-(

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Overheal
Shas'Saal
Posts: 177

Re: Why not more tanks?

Post#18 » Dec 19 2016 11:55

How is the Skyray in games actually. I've only used the ion hammer with TL SMS and found for what it is - yes, difficult to drive around basic obstacles :D and a reasonable distraction for orks because omg large blast kill it.

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