Challenges for Tau in Cities of Death

A review of past Tactics by commanders during the First, Second, Third & Fourth Phase Expansion.
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GodHead
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Challenges for Tau in Cities of Death

Post#1 » May 30 2006 05:11

The Tau are (I believe) the only army who will not have access to either the Wreckers or Siege Shells Strategems. Sure Tau still have access to Demolitions and Bombardment to try and destroy buildings, but if it would be difficult or impossible to rely on them to take out your enemies key buildings, especially if they top out on Building Strategems. This is especially damaging to Tau, as we have very few other methods of unseating a fortified enemy.

I have a sneaking suspicion that this could become a significant disadvantage for the Tau in Cities of Death. Now I'm not saying that every army that can will always be taking Siege Shells or Wreckers, but those two Strategems are in my opinion an important balance for the many powerful Key Buildings Strategems, and that Tau especially would need, due to their lack of close combat potential.

Any comments on this?
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Shas'el Tur'in
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Post#2 » May 30 2006 05:21

Well, according to the tau way of battle, we never hold defensive fortifications anyways. I don't know all the strategems, but I'd say take the strategems that help keep us moving and mobile, let them waste strategems on anti-fortifications.
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GodHead
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Post#3 » May 30 2006 05:26

The problem I have outlined is that the Tau have no reliable methods of dealing with ENEMY fortifications. All the mobility in the world won't help you dislodge 20 Sisters with a 4+ cover save and Feel no Pain from a Medicae Building.

The other armies have Walkers, Monstrous Creatures or S10 Ordnance, so they can take Wreckers (Walkers or MC can smash buildings) or Siege Shells (S10 Ordnance fires at buildings for the same effect), thus dislodging them.

Without the ability to knock down the building, what are we to do? We certainly won't be assaulting them, and if the building is at a critical location, overlooking a crucial firing lane or objective, we can't ignore them.

As I said, we still have Demolitions and Preliminary Bombardment, but those can't be relied upon at all, the former being very random and unlikely, the latter being decided at the same time as the enemies key buildings, so unlikely to overlap unless you make a lucky guess.

The strategems are shown below, descriptions taken from 40konline:

Key Buildings
Medicae Facility One unit inside gains feel no pain.
Ammo Dump One unit may re-roll shooting to hit rolls.
Power Generator One unit may re-roll shooting to wound rolls.
Command Post One unit nearby gains counterattack or one unit further away automatically passes one target priority test.
Observation Point One unit nearby gains enhanced senses.
Sacred Ground One unit inside gains stubborn.
Fuel Dump One unit's template weapons gain +1 strength.
Fortified Building Grenades have no effect within the building, +1 cover save.

Veteran skills
Plunging Fire One unit's shooting negates vehicles' obscurement and reduces enemy cover saves by -1, as long as it's at a higher level than its target.
Siege Engineers (or something along those lines) Units get frag grenades, wire cutters and smoke grenades. The latter are one use only, granting a 5+ cover save at the expense of firing.
Ace Snipers All units (or was it models?) armed with sniper rifles negate all cover saves.
Booby Traps D3+2 boobytraps are placed inside buildings. Upon moving inside them, enemy units may trigger one S8 AP2 hit without cover saves. One use per booby trap.
Demolition Charge After a predesignated number of turns, a secretly selected building explodes. I've forgotten the details, but it's fairly nasty.

Obstacles
Barricades Linear obstacle that grants cover.
Razorwire See BGB.
Tank Traps See BGB.

Deployment
Infiltration Units with this rule may use it.
Deep Strike Units with this rule may use it.
Sewer Rats Non-vehicle reserves may enter the table through D3+2 webway portal equivalents. Units may move and shoot, but not assault. One unit per manhole per turn.

Special Equipment
Wrecker Vehicles with this may attempt to turn normal buildings into dangerous terrain on a 4+, or dangerous buildings into a pile of rubble on a 4+. Collapsing buildings inflict one glancing hit on vehicles inside them, as well as automatically stunning them. Nasty things happen to infantry, presumably similarly to bunkers.
Demolition Shells An ordnance weapon with strength 10 may fire a special shell with an 18" range. This destroys buildings, similarly to a wrecker.
Preliminary Bombardment See BGB.
Rappel Lines Troops disembarking from skimmers may do so straight onto a building's top floor, which is otherwise not allowed.
Last edited by GodHead on May 30 2006 05:50, edited 4 times in total.
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Shas'el Tur'in
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Post#4 » May 30 2006 05:44

I'll need to take a gander at the CoD Codex before I continue this discussion :-P
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Sa'cea Mont'yr
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Post#5 » May 30 2006 07:25

Who's to say that our Fio caste won't be able to design seige-type rail cannon rounds? Seems perfectly viable to me.

I think you're underestimating the amount of firepower we'll be able to lay down. CIB/Burst-config suits and other suits with say, Plasma/Burst, will be able to throw down horrendous amounts of firepower. Yes, the fortifications will give them cover saves, but that's what things like the AFP and Submunition are for.
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kai'lore
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Re: Disadvantage for Tau in Cities of Death

Post#6 » May 30 2006 08:26

GodHead wrote: Any comments on this?


Sure, it's early days yet GH. I for one much prefer to focus on what I can do and come up with crafty plans rather than bemoan what we can't.

I remember a time when my Tau playing buddies whoned about Whirwinds, Dev's with HB's and Rhino Tac squads eating up their FW's. Rather than join in, I did something about it and it became Mech Tau.

Meh, let's do the same with CoD. Sure, we most likely won't be able to do it the IG way and that's fine, surely with a new codex release and a bunch of new minis, GW has factored in a number of ways to have the Tau work and thereby sell.

With ML's reducing/negating cover saves, many to all of our units can potentially become "Ace Snipers" including some with good, low AP.

Seeker Missiles might just have something we haven't read about that allows them to target buildings, units in cover and so on.

Anyway, I could go on at length as it's conjecture, let's wait and see what we can cme up with once we have our hands on the full rule-set.

Tau are on the cover, got to be some nifty Tau gadgets inside!

kai

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GodHead
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Post#7 » May 30 2006 08:36

I've seen the book, none of armies get any individual upgrades, just the strategems that are available to all.

I'm not whining, I've identified a possible difficulty, and have asked the community for their thoughts on how to deal with this drawback. It's a challenge and a stumbling block, but not insurmountable.

Consider this a heads up.

You will have difficulty getting enemy units out of eavily fortified areas, particularly when they use the defensive Key Building Srategems - beware. At the least, consider this when making your army, choosing your strategems and playing the game.

We don't have the same capabilities of the other armies to either destroy these buildings or assault them, so you'll have to find other ways of dealing with them.
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Stonefox
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Post#8 » May 30 2006 09:35

GH - I honestly don't see a problem. Why attempt to kill a unit inside a Hospital or fortified building anyway? Let them stay in there and waste their turns while I move around and capture objectives. Even in an alpha mission, I can hide elsewhere and JSJ to kill limited troops. At worst, I'll sit and hide for 6 turns and play "Who gets bored first?" with the other guy.
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GodHead
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Post#9 » May 30 2006 10:44

Because he can choose his Key Building to be overlooking the objective, or looking down an important line of advance, it doesn't have to be in his deployment area (although I believe it can not be in yours, but I'm a little hazy on that part having only briefly seen the book myself).

He could even take he Fortified Building, put that in one place, and take the Medicae Facility and put that in another place. With that he could block off a large portion of the board for you, keeping a vast majority of the rest of his force within that umbrella.
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Post#10 » May 31 2006 01:14

Seige engineers nullifies the fortification stratagem....

More terrain... for JsJ
4+ cover for our cheap troops....
4+barricades for cover in the open.
I think cityfight will be easier for us than anyone except eldar maybe...

destroying buildings ain't all it's cracked up to be..... if you want to spend 2 turns destroying terrain with your demolisher/vindicator/MC good... less damage happening to my army.......

static sefence points usually hamper your enemies mobility more than it hampers your ability to destroy the rest of their army.....
I have a 900 pt Tau Jetpack Warmachine....

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Pap'e'wai'o
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Post#11 » May 31 2006 02:16

SOB's with a 4+ Cover save... doesn't make any difference if they have 3+ armour with the standard trooper weapons.

Markerlights still reduce cover save...

Lets work with what we have.

Medicae Facility One unit inside gains feel no pain.
Meh! Gah! We are Mech Tau so why are we sitting in a building?

Ammo Dump One unit may re-roll shooting to hit rolls.
A nice one for a FoF... BS 3 becomes BS 4.5... you from 12 out of 24 hits to 18 hits...as good as two markerlight hits. It is best used on low BS skilled troops with lots of rolls. I assume you cannot reroll TL as that is against a basic rule of 40K that you cannot reroll a reroll.

Power Generator One unit may re-roll shooting to wound rolls.
So all those hits become like lightning claws! It is best used on a unit that has a low chance of damage but a large number of rolls.
CIB, AFP, single Flamers and Kroot Rifle come to mind.

Command Post One unit nearby gains counterattack or one unit further away automatically passes one target priority test.
Meh! Gah! We are Mech Tau so why are we sitting in a building? Except it could be good for making BASS into headhunters. It also may turn out to be rude for attacking units that you need to pass target priority tests just to target (stealth)... but I will have to read the full rules to see if it effects things like that.
Also very good for pathfinders who then can use multiple markerlights to first allow another unit to hit and then enhance that unit further to ignore cover and/or increase BS.

Observation Point One unit nearby gains enhanced senses.
Good for sniper units?

Sacred Ground One unit inside gains stubborn.
Meh! Gah! We are Mech Tau so why are we sitting in a building?

Fuel Dump One unit's template weapons gain +1 strength.
A unit of TL Flamers could be interesting, no cover saves? Str 5 AP5 reroll to wound weapon.

Fortified Building Grenades have no effect within the building, +1 cover save
Meh! Gah! We are Mech Tau so why are we sitting in a building?


Veteran skills
Plunging Fire One unit's shooting negates vehicles' obscurement and reduces enemy cover saves by -1, as long as it's at a higher level than its target.

Combine this with Rappel Lines and you can FoF from above.

I also assume that you could relatively easily jump to a higher level and then fire a MP down on vehicles. I wonder if this applies vehicles that are hovering above another... a Railhead sitting on a roof lording it over a city.

Siege Engineers (or something along those lines) Units get frag grenades, wire cutters and smoke grenades. The latter are one use only, granting a 5+ cover save at the expense of firing.
Maybe on Kroot or even stealth suits so you can cut through some obstacles... not really sure on this one.

Ace Snipers All units (or was it models?) armed with sniper rifles negate all cover saves.
On our sniper drones I assume this would be useful.

Booby Traps D3+2 boobytraps are placed inside buildings. Upon moving inside them, enemy units may trigger one S8 AP2 hit without cover saves. One use per booby trap.
It's like an anti-Teq Seeker missile. Good thing to use against a lone IC in a building. So it might be a thing to note not to jump your 'El first into a building before other troops have cleared it.

Demolition Charge After a predesignated number of turns, a secretly selected building explodes. I've forgotten the details, but it's fairly nasty.
Generically useful. Could be good to clear lanes of fire... if the debris forms cover then it would be great for troops to use.

Sewer Rats Non-vehicle reserves may enter the table through D3+2 webway portal equivalents. Units may move and shoot, but not assault. One unit per manhole per turn.
So instead of deepstriking suits you could use this. Or you could have a normal team (carbines) get deep and move on, shoot and the following turn EMP a vehicle. Move and shoot is generally all we need... and with the ability to move I assume you can JSJ away.
Plan the Victory First, Attend the Battle Last.

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kai'lore
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Post#12 » May 31 2006 02:47

GodHead wrote: It's a challenge and a stumbling block, but not insurmountable.

Consider this a heads up.


Much better, thanks GodHead! That would have made a good title, "Heads Up". I much prefer to think we have a challenge to face rather than a disadvantage. I'm all about creating opportunities :nice:

Hope you don't mind that I have given your thread what I think is a better title to attract some more creative thinking ;)

kai

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kai'lore
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Post#13 » May 31 2006 03:27

Back OT and sorry for the double post, wanted to re-read and make sure I'm up to speed. To be honest, I still feel I have more questions that answers.

How many can we take? Are any conflicting or mutually exclusive. Do they have cost and/or drawbacks not yet disclosed attached?

Thanks for your work so far Pap'e'wai'o, I very much agree. Rappel Lines plus Plunging Fire look like must haves for Mech Tau. Will Plunging Fire be able to be used across our army? If yes, will that also mean something. Imagine Crisis, Stealth, SMS DF and Hammerheads doing this. Not too shabby and takes away from the usual minuses we associate with tanks in urban terrain -reduced LOS and vulnerability to assault.

Please indulge me whilst I do a quick run through too;

Key Buildings
Medicae Facility One unit inside gains feel no pain. -
Sounds open enough to all.

Ammo Dump One unit may re-roll shooting to hit rolls. -
yep, we could use this

Power Generator One unit may re-roll shooting to wound rolls.
-again, we can use this

Command Post One unit nearby gains counterattack or one unit further away automatically passes one target priority test.
-sure, we have our kroot hold here.

Observation Point One unit nearby gains enhanced senses. - not sure

Sacred Ground One unit inside gains stubborn. - doesn't seem that useful for tau, perhaps kroot again.

Fuel Dump One unit's template weapons gain +1 strength. Crisis Flamer Team!

Fortified Building Grenades have no effect within the building, +1 cover save.
-Again, Kroot in a fortified bldg should be great for us!

Veteran skills
Plunging Fire One unit's shooting negates vehicles' obscurement and reduces enemy cover saves by -1, as long as it's at a higher level than its target.
This one sounds great for Pathfinder teams.
Siege Engineers (or something along those lines) Units get frag grenades, wire cutters and smoke grenades. The latter are one use only, granting a 5+ cover save at the expense of firing.
Not sure if it's our thing, depends on which models we can upgrade and for what purpose. If it's just to hit the building to reduce it's Fortified status then even a team of 6 FW's will do the trick.

Ace Snipers All units (or was it models?) armed with sniper rifles negate all cover saves.
Sniper Drones, simple enough.

Booby Traps D3+2 boobytraps are placed inside buildings. Upon moving inside them, enemy units may trigger one S8 AP2 hit without cover saves. One use per booby trap.
Nice defensive technique we can use as can everyone.

Demolition Charge After a predesignated number of turns, a secretly selected building explodes. I've forgotten the details, but it's fairly nasty.
Sure, we can all use that, should be fun.

Deployment
Infiltration Units with this rule may use it.
Nice, Stealth and Kroot.

Deep Strike Units with this rule may use it.
Fine, might be handy.

Sewer Rats Non-vehicle reserves may enter the table through D3+2 webway portal equivalents. Units may move and shoot, but not assault. One unit per manhole per turn.
I wonder, can we make this work for Kroot and Hounds?

Special Equipment
Wrecker Vehicles with this may attempt to turn normal buildings into dangerous terrain on a 4+, or dangerous buildings into a pile of rubble on a 4+. Collapsing buildings inflict one glancing hit on vehicles inside them, as well as automatically stunning them. Nasty things happen to infantry, presumably similarly to bunkers.
- So can DF and/or HH's take this upgrade?

Demolition Shells An ordnance weapon with strength 10 may fire a special shell with an 18" range. This destroys buildings, similarly to a wrecker.
Oh well, that's not us!

Preliminary Bombardment See BGB.
Fair enough, underused as is now.

Rappel Lines Troops disembarking from skimmers may do so straight onto a building's top floor, which is otherwise not allowed.
Made for us Mechies

So, what was that challenge again? Can we not take Siege Engineers nor give our vehicles the Wrecker upgrade?

How do the rules work for that, do the Sappers need to sit in contact with the building for a turn to render it un-fortified and is that not a possible?

Anyway, working with what I have now I am wondering if we can't pull of some very cool Mech Tau assaults even on Fortified Buildings. Sappers hit the building from the ground, MechFW's land on the roof and shoot down. Pathfinders light up from a rooftop across the street and place precision seekers through the windows.

Of course it won't work like that, never does but so far I don't feel like I'm battling uphill?

Any other thoughts or view points on this?

kai

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The Mighty Qu'in
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Post#14 » May 31 2006 04:02

If possible 'el'ninja would be a nice combat engineer.

Assault, destroy fortifications, bounce away again.

Wrecker is just for Walkers or MC's.
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Prophaniti
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Post#15 » May 31 2006 04:35

A word of warning, Ace snipers applies units with sniper weapons, i.e. SM scouts, ratlings etc. Despite being called sniper drones, the rail rifle is heavy 1, pinning, not sniper, pinning. So we have no troops to apply this stratagem to, I don't think it's that useful anyway. As to fortified building etc, I see these types of strategem becoming much more effective with a hybrid/static army.

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Pap'e'wai'o
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Post#16 » May 31 2006 04:40

I would add that strategic booby trapping of buildings that you intend on JSJ around will give a nasty surprise to anyone taking a shortcut through a buidling.

Also for Mech Tau the moment your enemy has some forces fortified it has others that do not. And the enemy have to sacrifice manouver to do so... in other words they make it easier to play to our strengths.
Plan the Victory First, Attend the Battle Last.

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Stonefox
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Post#17 » May 31 2006 09:53

GodHead wrote:Because he can choose his Key Building to be overlooking the objective, or looking down an important line of advance, it doesn't have to be in his deployment area (although I believe it can not be in yours, but I'm a little hazy on that part having only briefly seen the book myself).

He could even take he Fortified Building, put that in one place, and take the Medicae Facility and put that in another place. With that he could block off a large portion of the board for you, keeping a vast majority of the rest of his force within that umbrella.


If his key building is not within his own deployment zone, then he shall have to spend a turn or two to reach it, correct? Most objectives are around the center of the board. The problem would be that if there were enough terrain to block most of the board, then his advance to his key buildings would be unimpeded. But if that were the case, then there would also be enough buildings for you to jump around and keep out of LOS.

With two buildings, sure, he could block off most of the board. How is this any different from playing standard IG (aside from the ridiculous cover+fnp)? The weapon ranges won't be different and I wouldn't feel bad rapelling to the top of certain buildings and have a shooting match between all of my 30" guns and his few heavy weapons. Hell, I could even take the Hospital or Fortress upgrades myself and have a place to pillbox my kroot and FW. Just because you play MechTau doesn't mean you can't use static strategies when you need to do so.

The only things keeping me from making a definite statement are the specific rules introduced by COD. Eh, I still feel slimy having to put down $20 for a book I'll only use for a month and a half. At least with college textbooks you get to buy them used and sell them for almost no loss to you if you're smart enough, or decide to keep the useful ones.

Also for Mech Tau the moment your enemy has some forces fortified it has others that do not. And the enemy have to sacrifice manouver to do so... in other words they make it easier to play to our strengths.


That's pretty much what I'm saying. If the guy wants he can take every single unit he has and place them inside the same building. I'm fine with that. He'll have to get to that building first and the closer it is to the objective, the longer he has to travel. You can't win all games and complaining about some armies would be akin to whining about drop podding marines. The DP acronymn because useful with drop pod armies since it describes just what's happening. :crafty:
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kai'lore
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Post#18 » May 31 2006 10:02

thanks for the additional comments guys and understood on the pseudo Sniper Drones and no wrecking ball attachments for our skimmers -no problem really, wasn't planning on using them. To be honest, I'm not even going to buy the Sniper Drones, well at least not any time soon.

Now, any hints or intel gleaned on how/what objectives and with what criteria games are won...? How long til the book comes out, think I saw it on Advance Order, might be time to put in the order!

kai

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