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Vior'la Tau - Developmental V1.9

 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Developmental V1.8a
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:38 pm 
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My airdrop vior'la list has seven activations on the table, start of game. Is it tournament optimized? Hardly.

Is it "pretty much guaranteed activation advantage"? Wat?

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 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Developmental V1.8a
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:39 pm 
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Parintachin wrote:
For the sake of argument, let's do that thing. Let's load up a thunderhawk with scouts; 8 in a thawk costs 400 points (with 4 snipers or in two formations) - exactly the same as our firebladed fire warriors. Bear in mind that the scouts have paid for 'transports' on top.

The thunderhawk firefights better than the Orca, is more durable, the scouts are a bit worse than the firewarriors. I will state that they are likely to do very comparable damage. Are you going to seriously suggest that people are going to use their scouts this way? This is clearly not what they are intended to do, and clearly not what they are best at.

Also, clearly not the best use of a perfectly good thunderhawk.


I'd take issue with your statement that the thunderhawk is more durable than the orca, it's considerably less resilient versus lance or TK weaponry....

let's run the numbers vs. a scorpion

Tau get approx 4.3 hits, doing 2 points of damage (rounded up)
EoV gets a single hit, which is most likely saved by the orca's very good armour (with it being that good you'd clearly position it to take the first 2 return hits)

Fire warriors score 2 for kills and 2 for double outnumber, more if the scorpion is prepped, the rolloff is at +4 and let's not forget the scorpion has a ~1/3 chance of exploding from a crit

If you do this at the start of the turn then the firewarriors are of course going to die, but you don't, you drop them as the last or penultimate activation so your opponent cannot react, you can then drop a second orca in to pick them up and repeat next turn, it's quite easy to get a decent 13/14 activations with the Vior'la list so you can stall very effectively, and with the artillery options in the list you can prep almost anything in the opposing army

and the relative costs of "you destroyed 250 points with 400" doesn't make sense because most likely the 400 points will still be alive next turn....

I'd probably run something along the lines of this:

FIRE WARRIOR CADRE [425]
6 Fire Warrior Units, 3 Devilfishes, Skyray, Shas'o Commander

FIRE WARRIOR CADRE [325]
6 Fire Warrior Units, 3 Devilfishes, Skyray

FIRE WARRIOR CADRE [250]
8 Fire Warrior units, Cadre Fireblade

ARMOUR GROUP [225]
4 Railhead Hammerhead gunships

ARMOUR GROUP [225]
4 Railhead Hammerhead gunships

RECON GROUP [150]
5 Pathfinder Tetra

RECON GROUP [150]
5 Pathfinder Tetra

RECON GROUP [150]
5 Pathfinder Tetra

RECON GROUP [150]
5 Pathfinder Tetra

KX139 TA'UNAR SUPREMACY [225]
1 KX139 Ta'unar Supremacy unit

KX139 TA'UNAR SUPREMACY [225]
1 KX139 Ta'unar Supremacy unit

BARRACUDA SQUADRON [150]
2 Barracuda Fighters

ORCA DROPSHIP [150]

SPACECRAFT [200]
1 Protectoor Class II Cruiser

13 activations plus a spaceship.... I'd also consider swapping the barracudas for a second orca and dropping the spaceship for a pair of skyrays in my hammerhead formations (I'd also stick a few pirhanas in the recon formations but couldn't be bothered fiddling too much on armyforge)

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 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Developmental V1.8a
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:53 pm 
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Just how many lance and TK formations are you likely to find in that assault? But I digress.

The taunar has already been increased to 250; I just haven't gotten round to fixing it in ArmyForge - I am kinda waiting for the next official iteration of this list.

Apart from them, your list is perfectly doable in 3rd phase as well:

CRISIS BATTLESUIT CADRE [325]
4 XV8 Crisis Battlesuit, Shas'o

FIRE WARRIOR CADRE [325]
6 Fire Warriors, 3 Devilfish, Skyray

FIRE WARRIOR CADRE [325]
8 Fire Warriors, Skyray

ARMOUR SUPPORT GROUP [225]
4 Hammerhead Gunship (Railhead)

ARMOUR SUPPORT GROUP [200]
4 Hammerhead Gunships (Ion- or Fusionhead)

RECON SKIMMER GROUP [175]
6 Tetra

RECON SKIMMER GROUP [175]
6 Tetra

RECON SKIMMER GROUP [175]
6 Tetra

RECON SKIMMER GROUP [175]
6 Tetra

BARRACUDA SQUADRON [150]
2 Barracuda Fighters

ORCA DROPSHIP [150]

SPACECRAFT [200]
Protector Class Cruiser

ARMOUR SUPPORT GROUP [200]
4 Hammerhead Gunships (Ion- or Fusionhead)

ARMOUR SUPPORT GROUP [200]
4 Hammerhead Gunships (Ion- or Fusionhead)

And it's still not going to win activation against, say, Eldar.

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 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Developmental V1.8a
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:55 pm 
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This is, of course, kinda silly; way too many Tetra, way too little that can actually punch stuff. And the airdrop firewarriors is not the threat of this list, nor is it in yours.

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 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Developmental V1.8a
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:00 pm 
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why too many tetra? you can basically never have enough markerlights OR scouts in a list....

the airdrop fire warriors are not the main threat, but they ARE a threat in the vior'la list, they are something that can hold back and drop on the blitz turn 3, also they're less of a threat in the 3rd phase list because the orca doesn't have a deflector shield

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 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Developmental V1.8a
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:48 pm 
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Parintachin wrote:
For the sake of argument, let's do that thing. Let's load up a thunderhawk with scouts; 8 in a thawk costs 400 points (with 4 snipers or in two formations) - exactly the same as our firebladed fire warriors. Bear in mind that the scouts have paid for 'transports' on top.


Incompertus, 550 POINTS
Codex Astartes (NetEA Tournament Pack 2015)
==================================================

SCOUT [175]
4 Scouts, 2 Snipers

SCOUT [175]
4 Scouts, 2 Snipers

THUNDERHAWK [200]

Incompertus, 400 POINTS
Tau Vior'la (1.8a Developmental)
==================================================

FIRE WARRIOR CADRE [250]
8 Fire Warrior units, Cadre Fireblade

ORCA DROPSHIP [150]


?!?!

Presumably you meant Thunderhawk + 1 formation of scouts for 350 POINTS? In which case (even with the best assault option of a chaplain addition to make up the points (to 400 POINTS), they're still less effective in an air assault than the Fireblade Fire Warriors (and a whole hell of a lot worse in shooting afterwards as well).

To talk more generally, I'm very much a fan of the Third Phase list (painting my second tau army now) and it's definitely competitive with any other list out there. This Vior'la list seems to be only new additions and flat out upgrades with no counter-balancing which is always a recipe for problems.


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 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Developmental V1.8a
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:21 pm 
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MikeT wrote:
Parintachin wrote:
For the sake of argument, let's do that thing. Let's load up a thunderhawk with scouts; 8 in a thawk costs 400 points (with 4 snipers or in two formations) - exactly the same as our firebladed fire warriors. Bear in mind that the scouts have paid for 'transports' on top.


Incompertus, 550 POINTS
Codex Astartes (NetEA Tournament Pack 2015)
==================================================

SCOUT [175]
4 Scouts, 2 Snipers

SCOUT [175]
4 Scouts, 2 Snipers

THUNDERHAWK [200]

Incompertus, 400 POINTS
Tau Vior'la (1.8a Developmental)
==================================================

FIRE WARRIOR CADRE [250]
8 Fire Warrior units, Cadre Fireblade

ORCA DROPSHIP [150]


?!?!

Presumably you meant Thunderhawk + 1 formation of scouts for 350 POINTS? In which case (even with the best assault option of a chaplain addition to make up the points (to 400 POINTS), they're still less effective in an air assault than the Fireblade Fire Warriors (and a whole hell of a lot worse in shooting afterwards as well).

To talk more generally, I'm very much a fan of the Third Phase list (painting my second tau army now) and it's definitely competitive with any other list out there. This Vior'la list seems to be only new additions and flat out upgrades with no counter-balancing which is always a recipe for problems.


Incompertus, 400 POINTS
Codex Astartes (NetEA Tournament Pack 2015)
==================================================

THUNDERHAWK [200]

SCOUT [200]
4 Scouts, 4 Snipers

Are you guys done throwing mud at me? Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Developmental V1.8a
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:29 pm 
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The snipers are a unit upgrade, not extra stands....

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 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Developmental V1.8a
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:34 pm 
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My apologies; you are right Kyuss.

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 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Developmental V1.8a
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:05 pm 
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Huh. Kinda murders that statement.

I still stand by these points:

a) The third phase expansion list is artificially constrictive. Vior'la opens up new ways to play the Tau; this is a good thing. I do not disagree that this needs to be done in a way that does not unbalance the list.

b) if your logic is that new lists must be created by removing and adding formations on a one to one basis, you are maintainting the constriction problem.

c) If you want to state that a 400 points, 8 Firewarriors with Fireblade in an Orca is OP you must also, in the same sentence agree that a 375 points, 8 firewarriors formation in a Fireblade is op too. I don't think either is, and I think I have shown this above.

d) Some of the knight size battle suits are in need of playtesting, rebalancing and possibly reworking.

e) If the Orca is OP at 150 points with deflecter shields, why not discuss that instead of shouting NERF at the top of your lungs?

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 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Developmental V1.8a
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:07 pm 
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Parintachin wrote:

Are you guys done throwing mud at me? Thanks.


wait.....did you actually think it was 150 points for 4 stands of scouts, or 200 points for 8?


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 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Developmental V1.8a
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:13 pm 
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So you're not done. Thanks Mike. Mind handing me a towel?

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 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Developmental V1.8a
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:23 pm 
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Parintachin wrote:
Huh. Kinda murders that statement.

I still stand by these points:

a) The third phase expansion list is artificially constrictive. Vior'la opens up new ways to play the Tau; this is a good thing. I do not disagree that this needs to be done in a way that does not unbalance the list.


fair enough on new ways to play the tau, but the whole ethos of EA list design, like it or not, is to create strongly themed lists, not kitchen sink affairs, fine on adding new ways to play but you should really remove other ways in the process for the purpose of balance, which leads me on to...

Quote:
b) if your logic is that new lists must be created by removing and adding formations on a one to one basis, you are maintainting the constriction problem.


I disagree that the 3rd phase list is particularly restrictive or mono-build, I'd argue that it is in fact one of the more flexible lists around.... but obviously that's just my opinion

Quote:
c) If you want to state that a 400 points, 8 Firewarriors with Fireblade in an Orca is OP you must also, in the same sentence agree that a 375 points, 8 firewarriors formation in a Fireblade is op too. I don't think either is, and I think I have shown this above.


nobody is saying it's overpowered, but in the context of the Tau who in many cases have artificially reduced engagement values, it's quite a buff to the list, and when you combine it with the other improvements and options, it pushes the list over the edge, if you look at the EpicUK stats (and I know that the mere mention of EpicUK makes lots of people people seethe with rage) for the v6.8 list, Steve54 and RichardL have been extremely competetive with it as it is (Steve in fact before the lance bonus on the hammerheads), if people are capable of winning 60%+ of their games with the current 'restrictive' list, then adding air-assault options, war engines, artillery and cheaper, more spammable scout formations is clearly going to make an already potent competetive list overpowered no?

Quote:
d) Some of the knight size battle suits are in need of playtesting, rebalancing and possibly reworking.


I don't disagree :)

Quote:
e) If the Orca is OP at 150 points with deflecter shields, why not discuss that instead of shouting NERF at the top of your lungs?


nobody is shouting NERF, but it's clearly a huge boon to the air assault capability of the list, making the list stronger in more areas

from a theme POV I'd have no issues whatsoever with a list based around hordes of fireblade fire warriors streaming out of buffed up orcas, guns blazing, because that's awesome and aggressive.... but I think they shouldn't ALSO be supported by all the options the regular Tau get, PLUS 3 new war engines with yet more new capabilities

I get that nobody wants to have their toys taken away, but a good tau player like Steve54 or RichardL or just a good player with some practice like any of the top Aussie guys or European tournament players would be nigh-on unbeatable if they played an optimised list like this

I've already suggested perhaps tightening up the core:support ratio as a way to differentiate this from the 3rd phase list, that way nobody has to give up any of the shiny new models they've painstakingly painted/converted, and the list gets a new feel and is more strongly differentiated from the existing, but nobody commented on it.... I'm trying to be constructive, I like the list, I think it has legs and I want to use it and face it, but right now it's at the top end of the power scale....

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 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Developmental V1.8a
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:54 pm 
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Thank you. Way more constructive (o:

I am not arguing for a kitchen sink list. I'm not thinking this list needs titans as well. Or 3 kinds of demiurgs. Or imperial guards, with all their tanks and stuff.
But constricting lists to 'strongly themed' one trick ponies is a problem, not a strength, of this game.

Games like these need to be won at the table, by the best tactician. And this is one of the very best games on the market at this. This is, mainly, a credit to the people who took over from GW when the game was released from license, and I have the utmost of respect and admiration for these people. Guys, I wish I could Pay some of you for that balancing work, I am not in any way suggesting that that is easy or trivial.

To take your points: You're making the argument, as I see it, that opening ANY kind of new tactical use of the list, that the 3rd phase list does not have, no matter how insubstantial it is, without seriously nerfing the rest of the list, is inherently making the whole list OP?
Would making stealth suits a slightly better, more viable formation make the whole 3rd phase list unbalanced too? Kroot?
I'd strongly disagree with both those, but please, if you Do think so, please argue that.

I have seen people argue that single formations are OP, therefore the list is OP, yet every time one of these has been examined, it has been shown to be not the case at all.

I have seen no sign of an argument as to how Steve54 or RichardL and other superior players would sweep the tables with this list, even as it stands; just blank assertions that they would, and been very nicely told that I'm an idiot for not seeing this immediately.

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 Post subject: Re: Vior'la Tau - Developmental V1.8a
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:24 pm 
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Parintachin wrote:
To take your points: You're making the argument, as I see it, that opening ANY kind of new tactical use of the list, that the 3rd phase list does not have, no matter how insubstantial it is, without seriously nerfing the rest of the list, is inherently making the whole list OP?
Would making stealth suits a slightly better, more viable formation make the whole 3rd phase list unbalanced too? Kroot?
I'd strongly disagree with both those, but please, if you Do think so, please argue that.


no I'm not making that argument, the 3rd phase tau list is meant to embody the 'patient hunter' thingumajig teaching from some tau bloke whose name I don't have enough apostrophe's for, and it does that quite well, it can afford to be a reactive list which then strikes when the opponent over reaches, using markerlights, crossfires, co-ordinated fire, all that fun stuff, and it's good at that, it really is, it's a headache to use and use well, but when you figure it out, it's a nightmare for your opponent to deal with (I've been on the recieving end of too many kickings to count from Steve54 like that)

The Vior'la list is meant to embody a more aggressive style of play, and it has the elements to accomplish that (toughened orcas carrying fire warrior fireblades or swarms of vespids, tough battlesuits that can get up close and personal with the opponent, and big stompy artillery mini-titans to shell them from the get go) but it ALSO gives up little of the 3rd phase, patient hunter kit in the process, as I see it unless you've got a particularly strong attachment to your kroot, there is no reason to use the 3rd phase list when the vior'la list is around, yes it has new tactics but it doesn't focus the list in new directions, it simply broadens the existing list, which does go against the 'mission statement' of Epic development of strongly themed lists

I'd also strongly disagree that some of the changes are insubstantial, the addition of artillery which can hit the opponent's baseline is a new capability and really plugs a gap in the list (I've found that Tau dislike patiently hunting while being shelled by opposing artillery for example....) the reduction in number in the recon formations is probably a boost on balance as it reduces the price and increases activation count. The ability to drop a decent (not exceptional, but definitely not awful) air assault formation, from a seriously buffed orca is a big change to the list, it's something the opponent has to plan for that simply wasn't used before, as I'm sure you're aware, the *threat* of an air assault can be every bit as effective as the actual assault itself

Quote:
I have seen people argue that single formations are OP, therefore the list is OP, yet every time one of these has been examined, it has been shown to be not the case at all.


can you give examples of this? I'm not trying to be a dick here but I'd like to see the context

Quote:
I have seen no sign of an argument as to how Steve54 or RichardL and other superior players would sweep the tables with this list, even as it stands; just blank assertions that they would, and been very nicely told that I'm an idiot for not seeing this immediately.


Steve54 would most likely take a list similar to the one I posted above, ~13 activations, against most armies, he'd layer the recon formations to make it very difficult for the opponent to get forward and get good firing angles on the fire warriors and hammerheads, he does that with regular Tau, but here he'd be able to drop a pair of barrages on the other side of the table, hitting enemy artillery or AA formations, suppressing or breaking them, the 3rd phase list doesn't have that capacity, his SR3 would mean he'd more often than not get the drop on guard artillery or AA batteries, something he can't do with the 3rd phase list, the remainder of the turn would be moving the scouts forward to markerlight stuff and tempt the opponent forward, with guided missiles and railheads he can generally outrange you, so if you try to sit and shoot, he can continue to drop barrages on you, putting pressure on your baseline formations like artillery and AA, then by the scoring turns, you've suffered a great deal of damage from the tau shooting and if things go his way, he's got an activation advantage of 2-3 or more, your AA is likely to be heavily reduced from the barrages, so then you have to deal with a formation of fireblades dropping on top of your objectives and snatching them away

that's how it would be likely to play, all the good patient hunter style sit and wait play, bolstered by artillery and capable (if not earth shattering) air assaults.... it's not guaranteed to win, but it competes in more phases of the game, more effectively and that's why I think it needs toning down a bit....

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