Panzer wrote:Doesn't matter what the Talisman is in the fluff. In the crunch it's a Signature System and nowhere is said Signature Systems and Relics are the same or to be treated the same.
By this reasoning, Artefacts, Remnants, or Heirlooms are not Relics. Neither, then, are the Devices, the Playthings, or the Arcana. In which case, only Relics are Relics, and nothing else are relics.
Not only does this make the RAW phrasing "Relics (or equivalent)" completely unnecessary wording, it doesn't even work as you all seem to think it's intended to. Astra Militarum, with their Heirlooms of Conquest, can't gain benefit from taking Celestine as an HQ, but now that's no problem with Genestealers, who can take Relics of the Ecclesiarchy because they have access to Sacred Relics of the Cult. Likewise, Iron Hands characters have access to Gifts of the Gorgon, while Imperial Knights have Heirlooms of the Knightly Houses, and Cult Mechanicus Armies have Arcana Mechanicum. This means that they can't buy "relics", and therefore these AdMech aligned forces have no access to the unique Arcana Mechanicum of Belisarius Cawl, Archmagos. Fortunately, their opponents in the Crimson Slaughter have no issue!
"Signature System" is just the Tau "equivalent," of what other codices call Relics, or Artefacts or whatever. Any one-per-army unique piece of wargear is a essentially a gameplay variation of Relics. The FAQ calls out relics because that's the common term, as Space Marines are the army with the highest install base in the hobby. I considered Signature Systems to be "Tau relics" before I played Tau, and most of the non-Tau players at my FLGSs still do.
Yes, the word "relic" doesn't appear, but in every other way for crunch they match the crunch of Relics, or Artefacts, or Heirlooms. No mater what each codex calls them, they are powerful, rare items that can only be taken once per army. The Signature Systems table looks just like the Relics tables of other codices. The full-page dedication, the limit of seven per codex, it's all the same.
You lot think it's "cheesy" and "powergamey" for me to consider Signature Systems, "Relic equivalents," and I think it's incredibly conceited not
to do so. Tau are not so special or unique as to be exempt from the broader game conventions. Golden Rule indeed.
Eloquently stated. I think, in light of this and several other recent clues (including the FAQ entry you also posted) suggests it would be worthwhile to re-examine what a lot of ATT posters, myself included, took for granted regarding other supposedly unique aspects of Signature Systems, including the ability to take multiple on a single unit and the ability to Mix and Match on Farsight Enclaves models.
But that is not a question for the Tau Tactics section of this site, and so I will leave it to the Rules section to deal with that issue (and may even post a new topic, in an attempt to consolidate, though I'm hesitant given existing threads on the topic - resurrecting an old thread is generally preferrable, but I'd also want posters to start with a fresh perspective and consider the question holistically... hmm).
On to discussing ACTUAL TACTICS! My analysis presumes that a Tau character can choose only a single Relic OR a single Signature System, as that is my local group's preferred interpretation. I might make a separate comment on the consequences/benefits If allowed to mix and match (with the caveat that even then, you'd still be limited to 1 Relic per character), since that seems to be relevant to the way a lot of ATT posters play.
Numinasta's Casket of Electromancy: Fairly pricey in points for a short-ranged (equivalent to rolling charge distance) burst of 3/- Haywire shots, let alone a One Use Only version thereof. Nevertheless, this seems like it would have a lot of use for a Shas'vre XV-8 in a deep-striking suicide squad, particularly if you can get boost the deep-strike's accuracy through Homing Beacons or the like, given the model isn't expected to survive more than a turn or two anyway, and could be a viable way to do some widespread damage to a backfield Parking Lot of vehicles - enough, at least, to allow for more consistent success in wrecking targets when splitting that squad's firepower with Target Locks.
Quantum Annihilator: As it replaces a weapon, its point costs are actually 5 higher than stated. On average, it is effectively Plasma Rifle with +1 S, and 18" Assault 2 instead of 24" Rapid Fire. Its variability means that in practice it can be very ineffective or exceptionally potent... For its point cost, I'm having trouble justifying it.
Sacrifactum Autorepulsor: This relic seems like it has a LOT of potential, especially in conjunction with other Tau Signature Systems (as well as the Momento-Mortispex, discussed below) like the Repulsor Impact Field, Seismic Fibrillator Node, and Warscaper Drone, as well as Darkstrider's Fighting Retreat special rule and Shadowsun (or a lucky Commander's) Warlord trait. This seems like it would be nearly an auto-include on any Crisis Suit Deathstar, given dangerous getting slaughtered or tied up on melee can be for a shooting deathstar.
Momento-Mortispex: As above, the Overwatch boost is a fairly potent thing in combination with Tau strengths (Overwatch is our bag, baby) and helps cover Tau weaknesses (things successfully meleeing us is bad, so killing things before they can do that is always useful), but it also can function as a slightly-more-expensive PEN for Monster Hunter/Tank Hunter, and can even grant an entire unit Skyfire... which does not prevent you from taking a PEN on a different Character. I can see this on a barebones Commander hanging with a full unit of Broadsides with Target Locks and/or EWOs and a full complement of Missile Drones, saving 20 pts a piece on Skyfire for the Broadsides while granting Monster/Tank Hunter if the enemy doesn't have flyers (thus not wasting points), while allowing a separate PEN commander/character that can run with your Crisis Suits. Expensive option, but it has some serious versatility.
Omnissiah's Grace: Under my analysis limitations, this is useful to boost a Commander to 3++, but without 2+ armor/5T and/or Eternal Warrior, that just means your adversary will be relying more on mass fire. Nifty, and fairly cheap for what it does, so it still might be a useful addition...
Sait Curia's Autopurger: Effectively a beefed up Repulsor Impact Field equivalent, while also providing the benefits of Photon Grenades for attached units... As for the Sacrifactum Autorepulsor and Momento-Mortispex, this helps to cover for Tau weaknesses, and I could see use for this in a Crisis Suit deathstar to thin out hordes. Of particular note is that this appears to work in EVERY combat phase in which the bearer is locked in combat, rather than merely working only on the charge.
Multiple SS analysis: With Iridium Armor, Omnissiah's Grace and Saint Curia's Autopurgers both become a lot more potent, in that the 3++ is far better on a 2+/T5 chassis (as stated above). Combine them with Fusion Blades, and you have one helluva Tau Melee Specialist - Fusion Blades will slice up most hard/elite targets, and you can either make him exceptionally sturdy with the Omnissiah's Grace or become much more deadly against Hordes through the Autopurger.
Skull of Petronella the Pious: Eh... I guess it would be statistically useful for a Crisis Deathstar, but 6++ just doesn't excite me. If that was really important, we can always just take a Guardian Drone for less cost.
Blade of the Worthy: More melee for your Tau, which has been Hit and Miss for me personally. If you're running a Fusion Blade Commander already, this would allow you to field another melee-oriented commander with fairly easy potential for S7/AP2 attacks at initiative (only 1 in 12 rounds will force the weaker profile, which is still not bad for MEQ-work). Definitely a Your Mileage May Vary sort of situation.
Castigator: Under my analysis framework, less useful (as you can't pair it with Fusion Blades to get an extra attack AND an extra weapon to go along with your TL Fusion Blaster) but still well-worth sticking into a Plasma-Rifle toting Crisis squad, given some of the best AP2 targets like to bring along tanking models with excellent ++ saves and your Plasma Rifles will want to be within 12" in any case to get that sweet, sweet Rapid Fire.
The Font of Fury: Ehhhhh, it seems way too focused, and too short-ranged. In almost every case, I'd rather have an Airbursting Frag Projector (which doesn't cost that much more), and I can take unlimited numbers of those. Are we seeing a lot of T5+ large groups where an AP- weapon could still be effective? Doesn't seem like it in my experience.
Shroud of the Anti--Martyr: Eternal Warrior is always nice. Pricey, but could definitely be worth it, especially when combined with auto-succeed Look Out, Sir using Bodyguards... particularly since you could build a bodyguard with 2+/T5/4++/5++ for the small stuff and have your 4w Commander tank all the S10/Instant Death wounds... If you can take multiple SS as well, this would combine well with Fusion Blades and/or Iridium Armor.
Desvalle's Holy Circle: Take out the cost for the Shield Generator equivalent (which would not even take up a hardpoint, so more worth the points), and you have 15 points to create a 24" diameter circle of potent Anti-Deepstrike. Yes. God Yes. EVERY TIME. EVERY. TIME.
A lot of interesting options, but as always with Relics and their ilk, it becomes a question of opportunity costs - whether the cost of the relic, on top of the model-vehicle for the relic (not uncommonly less efficient than other, more generic choices available), is worth it becomes a question of how much bloat your list can withstand.
Fluff-wise, while having your Commander carry around some gue'la skull would be odd (to say the least), most of these relics could fairly easily be converted in description to a more Tau-like Signature System - A Suit-carried Guardian Drone Shield Generator would be a better descriptive fit for the Skull, for example, while an Advanced Early Warning Override might justify the anti-Deep-Strike relic in Tau terms.
Overall, intriguing possibilities.