Let's Contact GW! (Round 3)

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Arka0415
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Let's Contact GW! (Round 3)

Post#1 » Oct 29 2017 07:49

This discussion is back again, and this time I'm thinking about three things: Markerlights, Seeker Missiles, and Railguns. Lots of us have been talking about -1 to hit penalties (especially Alaitoc) and Markerlights, and this brings up some issues withe design features of the Tau.

Would anyone be interested in submitting a short petition to Games Workshop to bring attention to some problems in our Index? Here's what I'm considering:

1. Tau Markerlights are the only reliable way Tau can increase their accuracy, yet they are innacurate. With the rise of -1 to hit penalties in so many armies, it becomes exponentially harder to increase our accuracy. I'd suggest making Markerlights hit on a fixed value (such as BS3+) or changing the Markerlight table.

2. Seeker Missiles, the Tau source of mortal wounds, are very weak. Smite has a 83% chance of succeeding due to its casting value of 5. It deals an average of 2 mortal wounds (or higher sometimes), giving it a per-cast average of 1.6 damage. Seeker Missiles, on the other hand, usually hit on 4+ if Markerlights are used, giving them a per-shot average of 0.5... and are single-use. Seeker Missiles should hit on a fixed value (such as BS2+), or be re-usable, or do considerably more damage.

3. With its single shot, a 181-point Hammerhead Gunship deals an average of 1.89 damage per shooting phase against a T8/Sv3+ target. A 220-point Space Marine Predator deals an average of 5.19 damage against a T8/Sv3+ target. The Predator costs 85% the points yet deals 36% the damage. To make the Hammerhead deal 85% the damage (in keeping with its lower points cost), it should have 2 shots and a strength characteristic of 16. This would give it a per-shot average of 4.22, or 81% the damage of the Predator.

Obviously these points need a lot of editing, but what do you think?

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AnonAmbientLight
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Re: Let's Contact GW! (Round 3)

Post#2 » Oct 29 2017 09:07

1. The markerlight table will likely be changed up much like the psyker table got changed. I doubt we will see an increase in BS because that effects the overall game rather than one type of army. We are also the only army that can raise our BS to counter -1 to hit type things.

2. Comparing smite to seeker missiles is apples to oranges. Smite has to be cast. If you fail your psyker takes D3 mortal wounds and can drag other people into the warp if you die from it. It can be denied at 24in range if you have an enemy psyker nearby. The cast range for smite is 18 inches. Smite only hits the closest target, so positioning is often difficult.

In contrast seeker missiles have a 60in range, and can hit any target visible by the shooter. They should probably do D3 damage though and maybe have the destroyer missile go to 2D3 or D6 (but does at least 3 no matter what).

3. It really isn't worth comparing one unit to a different unit in a different codex. Each unit is designed around what is found in that codex. But you are right, the railgun does need some love. I can see it getting two shots or 2D6 damage with a single shot. Another problem is that Longstrike feels auto include because he is only a small point increase for such a huge upgrade.

I'm not sure that contacting GW at this stage of development will yield anything useful. You're likely commenting on things they have already changed for the codex itself.
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Re: Let's Contact GW! (Round 3)

Post#3 » Oct 29 2017 09:43

AnonAmbientLight wrote:1. The markerlight table will likely be changed up much like the psyker table got changed. I doubt we will see an increase in BS because that effects the overall game rather than one type of army. We are also the only army that can raise our BS to counter -1 to hit type things.

Except it's really, really hard to pull this off. A squad with a -2 to hit takes 30 Markerlight shots to hit that 5th Markerlight tier, and then when you do hit that 5th Markerlight tier you still have -1 to hit. It's a joke and needs to be addressed.

AnonAmbientLight wrote:2. Comparing smite to seeker missiles is apples to oranges. Smite has to be cast. If you fail your psyker takes D3 mortal wounds and can drag other people into the warp if you die from it. It can be denied at 24in range if you have an enemy psyker nearby. The cast range for smite is 18 inches. Smite only hits the closest target, so positioning is often difficult.

In contrast seeker missiles have a 60in range, and can hit any target visible by the shooter. They should probably do D3 damage though and maybe have the destroyer missile go to 2D3 or D6 (but does at least 3 no matter what).

It's apples and oranges but they're both fruit. Both are core army mechanics that provide sources or mortal wounds. I agree with D3 damage Seekers and 2D3 damage Destroyers. We can definitely make that the point of #2! :biggrin:

AnonAmbientLight wrote:3. It really isn't worth comparing one unit to a different unit in a different codex. Each unit is designed around what is found in that codex. But you are right, the railgun does need some love. I can see it getting two shots or 2D6 damage with a single shot. Another problem is that Longstrike feels auto include because he is only a small point increase for such a huge upgrade.

Comparisons are the only way we can describe a unit's shortcomings though. By comparing the Hammerhead to a similar unit with a similar role, we can convincingly explain why it comes up short.

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Re: Let's Contact GW! (Round 3)

Post#4 » Oct 30 2017 12:31

Arka0415 wrote:Except it's really, really hard to pull this off. A squad with a -2 to hit takes 30 Markerlight shots to hit that 5th Markerlight tier, and then when you do hit that 5th Markerlight tier you still have -1 to hit. It's a joke and needs to be addressed.


This was the same kind of complaint other players had when they only had three psychic powers to choose from. What you see now is likely a hold over for another system. Patience.

Arka0415 wrote:It's apples and oranges but they're both fruit. Both are core army mechanics that provide sources or mortal wounds. I agree with D3 damage Seekers and 2D3 damage Destroyers. We can definitely make that the point of #2! :biggrin:


That is not how apples and oranges is used! D:

I'm saying they have different applications. You can't hope to compare them because they're not the same. Just keep in mind that seeker missiles have a long range and are essentially mortal wounds on demand. A lot of armies cannot boast that fact. Not as easily.

Arka0415 wrote:Comparisons are the only way we can describe a unit's shortcomings though. By comparing the Hammerhead to a similar unit with a similar role, we can convincingly explain why it comes up short.


Not direct comparisons. "X unit in this army does Y so my Z unit should also do Y" is not useful feedback. Useful feedback would be "My A unit feels overcosted!" or "My B unit doesn't seem to put out enough damage for how much it costs."

You can't really compare and contrast across factions because it simply does not work that way. GW has even said that factions are balanced around what they can bring and do.
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Re: Let's Contact GW! (Round 3)

Post#5 » Oct 30 2017 12:48

AnonAmbientLight wrote:That is not how apples and oranges is used! D:

You gotta think outside the box. The fruit box, that is.





AnonAmbientLight wrote:Not direct comparisons. "X unit in this army does Y so my Z unit should also do Y" is not useful feedback. Useful feedback would be "My A unit feels overcosted!" or "My B unit doesn't seem to put out enough damage for how much it costs."

You can't really compare and contrast across factions because it simply does not work that way. GW has even said that factions are balanced around what they can bring and do.


Being completely honest, saying things "feel" and "seem" is just subjective. We need concrete data to back up our claims, or else our claims are unfounded. We need to do the work, so to speak. How do you suggest we argue for the changes we need?

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Re: Let's Contact GW! (Round 3)

Post#6 » Oct 30 2017 01:11

We can look at the Riptide for example. It cost a lot of points for relatively weak firepower and impact on the game. Not many people take it anymore because it just doesn't do as well as it used to.

I don't even have to go outside of the T'au codex on that one. A stock hammerhead with SMS costs 100pts less than a stock riptide (SMS, HBC) and can do just as well.

The obvious solution, the one we will most likely see, is a point reduction for the riptide. That doesn't change it's impact on the battlefield so another fix would be to raise the BS to 3 OR to increase the damage output.

The disparity between Commander Suits and Crisis Suits is also a good point to bring up. The math has been done on that and I am sure you are aware of it. Even still, you can look at simple point differences and see where the problem lies.

The point is you should argue for what needs to be changed while referencing the stuff within your codex. "Feeling" isn't a bad argument so long as you back it up with sound reasoning.

For example, Strike teams should not have access to Guardian Drones and Breacher teams should not have access to DS8 Turrets. I can look at how both of those models work and see that they just do not fit with those teams both in fluff and table top application. I would also change it so that Guardian Drones become a member of the Breacher squad, not an outside drone. It would otherwise be useless for what it does.
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Re: Let's Contact GW! (Round 3)

Post#7 » Oct 30 2017 01:20

AnonAmbientLight wrote:I don't even have to go outside of the T'au codex on that one. A stock hammerhead with SMS costs 100pts less than a stock riptide (SMS, HBC) and can do just as well.

The obvious solution, the one we will most likely see, is a point reduction for the riptide. That doesn't change it's impact on the battlefield so another fix would be to raise the BS to 3 OR to increase the damage output.

My current sticking point is with references for effective long-range firepower. We have no effective long-range options in our Index, and that's what we're supposed to be all about! What can we compare the lousy Railgun to, when it's the best long-range gun in the book?

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Re: Let's Contact GW! (Round 3)

Post#8 » Oct 30 2017 01:24

Well Seeker missile vs 2 comparison
1 Hunter-Killer Missile.
A, Hunter-Killer doesn't need any additional support to fire,
B, Seeker costs 20% more than Hunter-Killer
C, while Seeker is 1 automatic wound and Hunter-Killer only has 55% chance to successfully wound T5-7 3+ Sv it does D6 damage
D, 10 Seeker missile will do 5 wounds on average, 10 Hunter-Killer will do 9.5.

Comparison 2
Seeker on skyray vs storm eagle rocket on manticore
A, manticore is cheaper than skyray
B, skyray has Markerlights and 8Str 5 shots after empty vs either 1 Heavy bolter ot heavy Flamer
C, skyray has 6 shots vs manticore 4
D, this is the one that matters a skyray will cause an average of 4 wounds from it's missiles a manticore 12 vs T6-9 3+Sv
E, vs T5 4+Sv multi wound model manticore will do 23 wounds on average vs skyray still 4.....

That's some pretty shocking comparison if I do say so myself

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Re: Let's Contact GW! (Round 3)

Post#9 » Oct 30 2017 02:03

Nymphomanius wrote:Well Seeker missile vs 2 comparison
1 Hunter-Killer Missile.
A, Hunter-Killer doesn't need any additional support to fire,
B, Seeker costs 20% more than Hunter-Killer
C, while Seeker is 1 automatic wound and Hunter-Killer only has 55% chance to successfully wound T5-7 3+ Sv it does D6 damage
D, 10 Seeker missile will do 5 wounds on average, 10 Hunter-Killer will do 9.5.


A. Sure doesn't.
B. To be fair, we are talking about 2 points here. 6pts for the Hunter-Killer vs 8pts for the Seeker Missile.
C. Seeker is an automatic wound that negates everything but FnP. That is actually pretty huge. No save can be taken. If I understand the math correctly, the Hunter-Killer will get the chance to roll a D6 about 50% of the time, as you have suggested, of which the average dice roll is 3.5.

Note that I already came to the conclusion of what should be done with the Seeker Missile upthread without having to compare it with anyone else.

Nymphomanius wrote: Comparison 2
Seeker on skyray vs storm eagle rocket on manticore
A, manticore is cheaper than skyray
B, skyray has Markerlights and 8Str 5 shots after empty vs either 1 Heavy bolter ot heavy Flamer
C, skyray has 6 shots vs manticore 4
D, this is the one that matters a skyray will cause an average of 4 wounds from it's missiles a manticore 12 vs T6-9 3+Sv
E, vs T5 4+Sv multi wound model manticore will do 23 wounds on average vs skyray still 4.....

That's some pretty shocking comparison if I do say so myself


A. For starters, you don't have to compare the Skyray to anything if you're talking about point costs. Once again you can easily compare the Skyray to other units in the Codex and see that it is lacking.
B. That's great, but not very good either.
C. Yeap.
D. You might have forgotten to add but the Manticore is only allowed to shoot one rocket per turn unless that was changed in their codex proper, which I do not think it was. Each rocket hits 2D6 times though, which is pretty tough. 23 wounds on average would be 23 wounds on average over the course of an entire game assuming that the manicore is not shot at.

Shocking comparisons that seem to be a little misleading and again, unnecessary. I understand the pessimism, but the developers will not respond to feedback that compares units from different codexes. Your argument is stronger when you compare things within your own codex because that is how it is designed.
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Re: Let's Contact GW! (Round 3)

Post#10 » Oct 30 2017 03:16

AnonAmbientLight wrote:For example, Strike teams should not have access to Guardian Drones and Breacher teams should not have access to DS8 Turrets. I can look at how both of those models work and see that they just do not fit with those teams both in fluff and table top application. I would also change it so that Guardian Drones become a member of the Breacher squad, not an outside drone. It would otherwise be useless for what it does.

Going back a bit in the thread , but could a solution be to make the Guardian drone a character?

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Re: Let's Contact GW! (Round 3)

Post#11 » Oct 30 2017 05:04

Watcher on the wall wrote:
AnonAmbientLight wrote:For example, Strike teams should not have access to Guardian Drones and Breacher teams should not have access to DS8 Turrets. I can look at how both of those models work and see that they just do not fit with those teams both in fluff and table top application. I would also change it so that Guardian Drones become a member of the Breacher squad, not an outside drone. It would otherwise be useless for what it does.

Going back a bit in the thread , but could a solution be to make the Guardian drone a character?

That's an interesting thought rather than just guardian drone, all support drones so stealth, grav, recon, Pulse accelerator anything with an AoE effect rather than a gun/shield

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Re: Let's Contact GW! (Round 3)

Post#12 » Oct 30 2017 05:26

Nymphomanius wrote:That's an interesting thought rather than just guardian drone, all support drones so stealth, grav, recon, Pulse accelerator anything with an AoE effect rather than a gun/shield

I think GW is doing their best to get rid of mixed-toughness squads though.





Thoughts on the Markerlights/Seeker Missiles/Railguns issue though?

I at least want to address the fact that our accuracy gets exponentially worse with so many -1 to hit debuffs.

Maybe it's not good to compare Seeker Missiles and Railguns. Maybe it's just best to say that both do very low damage for their points costs, or something like that?

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Re: Let's Contact GW! (Round 3)

Post#13 » Oct 30 2017 06:53

Arka0415 wrote:1. Tau Markerlights are the only reliable way Tau can increase their accuracy, yet they are innacurate. With the rise of -1 to hit penalties in so many armies, it becomes exponentially harder to increase our accuracy. I'd suggest making Markerlights hit on a fixed value (such as BS3+) or changing the Markerlight table.

I'm still really sour that a core mechanic specific to our army isn't a buff like every single other army, but a necessity for us to perform at the same level as every other army. At the start of each faction's index entries, they have some fantastic things like the Genestealer Cult Ambush or any psychic powers specific to literally any army, but our entries include supporting Fire(now For The Greater Good) which really isn't as scary as people make it sound because we can't modify it; and Markerlights, which, if we didn't use, we are at a huge advantage, unlike every army with psykers that can still win greatly without their psykers. I think Markerlights should be immune to modifiers and always hit on a certain roll(hint hint, 3+). That way, we're not paying a Markerlight tax, and can actually field 10 pathfinders with 3 heavy weapons and not feel bad about going for that 5th Markerlight hit.

Arka0415 wrote:2. Seeker Missiles, the Tau source of mortal wounds, are very weak. Smite has a 83% chance of succeeding due to its casting value of 5. It deals an average of 2 mortal wounds (or higher sometimes), giving it a per-cast average of 1.6 damage. Seeker Missiles, on the other hand, usually hit on 4+ if Markerlights are used, giving them a per-shot average of 0.5... and are single-use. Seeker Missiles should hit on a fixed value (such as BS2+), or be re-usable, or do considerably more damage.

Think very VERY carefully about how you approach this topic. Even doubling the Mortal Wounds dealt by Seeker Missiles would effectively give the Sky Ray 12 Mortal Wounds to deal out, which it could deal 10 of if firing at a target with 5 Markerlight hits on it. I think D3 would be fantastic, then buffing the Destroyers to D3+3 as opposed to reducing the cost of the Stormsurge dtastically. That would still be 6 Mortal Wounds minimum, with a maximum of 18 Mortal Wounds possible on one single model. I don't think anything in the game can boast that many possible Mortal Wounds.

Arka0415 wrote:3. With its single shot, a 181-point Hammerhead Gunship deals an average of 1.89 damage per shooting phase against a T8/Sv3+ target. A 220-point Space Marine Predator deals an average of 5.19 damage against a T8/Sv3+ target. The Predator costs 85% the points yet deals 36% the damage. To make the Hammerhead deal 85% the damage (in keeping with its lower points cost), it should have 2 shots and a strength characteristic of 16. This would give it a per-shot average of 4.22, or 81% the damage of the Predator.


Our army, and almost every single army in the game, rely on synergy, but our army does especially, so when you try and compare a single Hammerhead to a Predator (I'm assuming with quad Las), its like comparing a Fire Warrior to a Space Marine Captain. Sure, a Fire Warrior is good and can hurt him pretty bad, but he can't do that alone. Enter Longstrike. He hits on 2+, wounds on 2+ against most targets, and can deal D6 wounds(which I agree, for something as devastating as the famous T'au Railgun, is a bit low), and he can also improve hit rolls of all nearby Hammerheads by 1, effectively making them BS2+. That's fantastic. I do think that the Railgun should be improved a bit, but not in wounds. Remember, if you roll a 6 to wound, you're also dealing D3 Mortal Wounds. That's really really good! Lascannons can't do that. I'd much prefer that we go up to strength 12 and keep everything else about the Railgun. I'd also love to see the heavy Rail Rifles of the Broadsides go up to S10, but fat chance of that happening :D

Also, don't forget, we're going to get at least two whole pages of our very own strategems to use in our new codex. Who's to say we won't get one that improves our Rail weapons against enemies with the <Vehicle> keyword? (I should work for GW's creative team, I think :D)
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Re: Let's Contact GW! (Round 3)

Post#14 » Oct 30 2017 07:23

Bloodknife92 wrote:Think very VERY carefully about how you approach this topic. Even doubling the Mortal Wounds dealt by Seeker Missiles would effectively give the Sky Ray 12 Mortal Wounds to deal out, which it could deal 10 of if firing at a target with 5 Markerlight hits on it.

That's the idea though! The whole point of the Skyray is that it can bust a tank in one turn. That's always been the whole point of it- it's the ultimate alpha strike machine that becomes useless the minute you fire it.

Bloodknife92 wrote:Our army, and almost every single army in the game, rely on synergy, but our army does especially, so when you try and compare a single Hammerhead to a Predator (I'm assuming with quad Las), its like comparing a Fire Warrior to a Space Marine Captain.

If a Fire Warrior cost 85% the points of a Space Marine Captain it would be an issue too. A Hammerhead has a nearly-identical role to the Predator. They are both BS3+, T7, Sv3+ platforms for long-range high-strength low-AP firepower. Anyway, this is a moot point. You're talking about synergy, right? Let's look at the most efficient, synergied-up Hammerhead combo we can imagine.

HQ - Longstrike w/ Railgun; 2x Gun Drones (191)
Fast Attack - 6x Pathfinders w/ 6x Markerlights (48)
Heavy Support - Hammerhead w/ Railgun; 2x Gun Drones (171)
Heavy Support - Hammerhead w/ Railgun; 2x Gun Drones (171)
Heavy Support - Hammerhead w/ Railgun; 2x Gun Drones (171)

Here's a Heavy Support Detachment. It costs 752 points. The Hammerheads have BS2+, re-roll 1s, can move and fire without penalty. Let's shoot a Leman Russ. We get 4 shots, 3.89 hits, 2.75 wounds (including Longstrike's buff), 2.75 unsaved, resulting 9.64 damage. I'm also getting a ~65% chance to get some Mortal Wounds, so let's add 1.31 wounds for total 10.95 damage.

Now, let's make a Space Marine Heavy Support Detachment.

HQ - Captain w/ Power Sword (78)
HQ - Lieutenant w/ Master-Crafted Bolt Rifle (74)
Heavy Support - Predator w/ 4x Lascannons (202)
Heavy Support - Predator w/ 4x Lascannons (202)
Heavy Support - Predator w/ 4x Lascannons (202)

There's another Heavy Support Detachment. It costs 758 points. Pretty balanced I'd say. The Predators get BS3+, re-roll 1s to hit and to wound. Let's shoot a Leman Russ. We get 12 shots, 9.33 hits, 7.26 wounds, 6.05 unsaved, resulting in 21.17 damage. Bang.

With synergy included, the Predator group is twice as good.

Both intrinsically, and comparatively, Hammerheads are bad- that's why this thread exists! We, as a community, might be able to make a suggestion that fixes things.

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Re: Let's Contact GW! (Round 3)

Post#15 » Oct 30 2017 07:49

Bloodknife92 wrote:
Arka0415 wrote:2. Seeker Missiles, the Tau source of mortal wounds, are very weak. Smite has a 83% chance of succeeding due to its casting value of 5. It deals an average of 2 mortal wounds (or higher sometimes), giving it a per-cast average of 1.6 damage. Seeker Missiles, on the other hand, usually hit on 4+ if Markerlights are used, giving them a per-shot average of 0.5... and are single-use. Seeker Missiles should hit on a fixed value (such as BS2+), or be re-usable, or do considerably more damage.

Think very VERY carefully about how you approach this topic. Even doubling the Mortal Wounds dealt by Seeker Missiles would effectively give the Sky Ray 12 Mortal Wounds to deal out, which it could deal 10 of if firing at a target with 5 Markerlight hits on it. I think D3 would be fantastic, then buffing the Destroyers to D3+3 as opposed to reducing the cost of the Stormsurge dtastically. That would still be 6 Mortal Wounds minimum, with a maximum of 18 Mortal Wounds possible on one single model. I don't think anything in the game can boast that many possible Mortal Wounds.

Eh, it's 12 Mortal Wounds over the course of the whole game and gets worse if there are negative to-hit modifier....the first one being having to move because the missiles are heavy weapons.
There are plenty of ways to deal Mortal Wounds in armies with Codexes now and for less points and more reliably on top of it.

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Re: Let's Contact GW! (Round 3)

Post#16 » Oct 30 2017 08:38

Arka0415 wrote:Except it's really, really hard to pull this off. A squad with a -2 to hit takes 30 Markerlight shots to hit that 5th Markerlight tier, and then when you do hit that 5th Markerlight tier you still have -1 to hit. It's a joke and needs to be addressed.

The way that I see it, Markerlights have two fundamental problems:

I know that people aren't really happy with the Markerlight table, and the per-turn points investment required to hit that 5th Markerlight requires specific kinds of targets for the expenditure to be worth it (specifically large, Lord of War-type models), but when the right targets are present, the 80-100 points of your army required to get to five Markerlights will pay off dividends. However, if these types of models aren't on the board or positioning simply doesn't allow for the appropriate amount of force application, the value of Markerlights drops precipitously.

The other problem is precisely what you mentioned, the proliferation of -1 to-hit abilities and the implied double penalty it confers to Markerlights and shooting models.

There is, however, a decidedly simple solution to this: bring back the Darksun Filter, give it to all suits (because they should have it anyway), Pathfinders, and Marker Drones and let them ignore enemy-sourced penalties to-hit.

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Re: Let's Contact GW! (Round 3)

Post#17 » Oct 30 2017 10:28

I've often wondered on the best way improve the railgun, after all, this is supposed to be one of the premier armour hunting weapons in the game.

If the railgun were to deal only mortal wounds, It could go a long way (perhaps too far) towards rebalancing such a costly single shot weapon. Something along the lines of 3 D3 mortal wounds on a successful hit would still cap any damage at a total of 9, but increase the minimum to 3. However, one significant aspect of this buff would be the ability to reliably ignore invulnerable saves, which is not something to be taken lightly. Perhaps 3 D3 damage and a higher strength to reliably wound on 2+ would be a better solution, but thematically, the mortal wounds suit the weapon.
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Re: Let's Contact GW! (Round 3)

Post#18 » Oct 30 2017 10:47

Watcher on the wall wrote:
AnonAmbientLight wrote:For example, Strike teams should not have access to Guardian Drones and Breacher teams should not have access to DS8 Turrets. I can look at how both of those models work and see that they just do not fit with those teams both in fluff and table top application. I would also change it so that Guardian Drones become a member of the Breacher squad, not an outside drone. It would otherwise be useless for what it does.

Going back a bit in the thread , but could a solution be to make the Guardian drone a character?
Well as far as Breachers go, they only come in squads of 10, so adding a Guardian Drone (or make it a max of two Guardian Drones) would fill out the squad.

Making some drones characters would probably be a good idea, although you may not even have to go that far. Just make a rule in the drone section that says the drone can only be shot at if it is the closest model. I can't think of any examples right now, but weird things could probably happen if you label it a character.
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