Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tau Expansion Project Part 1

OK, here's the deal. I am getting pretty tired of the fact that GW hasn't released a Tau FAQ that deals with some key issues. I am also getting a little tired of watching Orks, Space Marines and Imperial Guard getting updated models like the Killa-Kan and Dreadnought when all us Tau players are waiting around, getting punked by 5th Edition Codices. Latest news on BOLS is that there will be another splash release of more Ork and Space Marines with the new Spearhead Expansion.

So I am calling out to all of you readers out there to help me in an email campaign to Games Workshop. The point of this campaign will be to firstly get all those niggling questions about the Tau Codex answered. The second and ulterior motive to demonstrate that the Tau Empire has a legitimate fan-base and dammit, we want a new codex.

So what I want to do with this first post is to collect questions that need answering. Please comment and leave me the top questions you'd like answering. Questions that are not covered in any rulebook or Codex. Here are my 3:

Number 1: How do flechette dischargers work in vehicle squadrons?

Number 2: There are two items of wargear in the Tau codex that ignore line of sight when targeting, the seeker missile and smart missile system. While the smart missile system is clear in how cover is worked out (pg. 27 Tau Codex) but the seeker missile entry on pg 30 has no explanation of how cover is worked out. Does the seeker missile work in the same way as smart missile systems? How are cover saves determined when firing seeker missiles?

Number 3: With the absence of Target Priority Tests in 5th Edition, how do Target Locks work when equipped on infantry and battlesuits?

You post me your questions and I will draft an email for all of you copy, paste then fire off to GW. We'll do this everyday until they release a new FAQ or a new Codex whichever comes first. Sound crazy? Never underestimate the power of your voice. Hopefully this will show GW that there is a fan-base of an army that really needs some love like all them Spaceboys and Orkboys out there.


suneokun said...

You go OSH!

I'd like to add ... clarification on using mortars/bassies and other barrage weapons on Stealth suits ... we do not have the clarification the the Eldar Harlequins do?!?

Is it roll to see anyway (like Harlies) or is it 3D6 scatter like nightfighting?

Tylermenz said...

I agree with you OSH, and will gladly go along with sending anything or w/e;however, I don't think an email campaign is going to do anything for several reasons:

One, emails are not a good way to do this. They are very impersonal, and can be easily ignored by their target, if they even make it to the person who could do something about it.

two, new Necron and Dark elves are on their way. GW isn't ignoring the xenos, but half the releases are Imperial because half the armies are imperial, and probably over half the fanbase is imperial.

third (at least for your second point) GW plans years ahead of time for releases of codices. The amount of time it takes to design and write a codex as well as new miniatures makes it unthinkable for splash releases of entirely new codices.

I would suggest that we get all the xenos races (eldar, necrons, dark eldar, tau, orks, tyranids) and perform an actual written letter flood to a single person in GW for an extended period of time. (I would say the ides of each month, since historically, that is the time to settle debts).

Unfortunately, this would cost both time and money, and require a large concerted effort, of probably more than just the online community. It would also need to have a singular name and website for cohesion and more force.

I would be up for it, but I don't know how many other people might.

suneokun said...

Tylermenz has a point ... however, a simple clarification of some of these Errata's and FAQs would be good. A new codex is overdue (although I think Eldar, DE and Necrons have a stronger case!) But surely we can ping the errata boys?

Faith and Fury said...

I"ll join you in the email campaign! Although I don't play tau, I have plans to. I've read your blog for a while now and plan to support your cause (I want to see that new tau codex too).

Might I add, I would like to see GW change the rules so that in a Kill point mission, devil fishes don't count as Two kill points. according to the rules, you get 1 for the devil fish and 1 for the 2 gun drones in it!

Rushputin said...

It's been a while since I've thought about these issues, but IIRC: none of them out-and-out require a FAQ besides #1. (And I seem to recall that, after some heartburn, our local group figured out how, by RAW, it was supposed to work.)

2. Seeker Missiles don't ignore cover. By fluff, maybe they should, but the rules are quite clear about how they're supposed to work.

3. Also quite clear: in a world without Target Priority, ignore the rules that relate to Target Priority. The Wargear still works just fine without having to account for it.

The Tau could use an update, sure, but I think it's an update that needs to come in the form of an updated codex, not an updated FAQ. And they don't need that update as badly as some other armies (Necrons, Dark Eldar).

Tnoussis said...

If you do this, then maybe you should consider hitting up the boys at ATT so they can try to muster the community over there.

Tylermenz, no one is going to disagree with you that GW will release the next tau code when they are good and ready to, we all know the customers don't have a say. But just giving us a new faq isn't such a big effort, and doesn't require very much long term mobilization of company resources. So If we really try at it, we might be able to get them to do something simple like that.

Old Shatter Hands said...

@Rushputin, actually the rules aren't very clear. As seeker missiles don't need line of sight, you don't have to check line of sight and so how do you determine whether a vehicle or unit is obscured?

Same with Target Locks. If you can't make a Target Priority test because there isn't one, then you can never use target locks since you can't make the test that is required to split fire. New Tau players, who never played 4th edition, would be very confused by this.

We need to ping the Errata boys but in doing so, we gotta show that there is still a lot of interest in the army and a market for revamping the codex.

@Faith and Fury, I will add the question about gun drones, thats a good point.

@Tylermenz, I'm optimistic about it. If it doesn't work, we'll try something else. and are you sure DE and Necron Codexes are on the way? Could it be possible that GW might just scrap Tau, DE and Necrons, like they did the squats?

Pete W said...

I think the key point to clarify when it comes down to the SMS as well is what constitutes being in cover and how we determine it.

If my unit is behind another unit (wrt to the SMS firer) we are in cover based on LOS. Given that the SMS does not need LOS, how do we determine the cover? I tend to play that only terrain cover that you are in (area) or touching (if it's between you and the firer) count as cover against the SMS. But by RAW, I am in cover if I am obscured from the firer by another unit, so does that count?

Seeker missiles need a clarification in the same way. Fluff-wise they should have the same rules as the SMS but they do not so far.

Flechette's in squadrons are tough. I hate that you can wreck vehicles you aren't in b2b with in assault but having 5 flechette wound rolls per attacker vs a full Piranha squadron seems too powerful.

Target locks just need a FAQ saying that you ignore the priority test and they'll be fine.

I'll email this if you want.

idget said...

OSH, If you give a copy of the document that your emailing to gw to some of your followers or the commentators on your blog maybe GW will be more likely to listen.

Old Shatter Hands said...

@idget, that's exactly the plan. Tomorrow I will be posting a sample letter for everyone to copy and paste and fire off. Stay tuned.

Rushputin said...

On closer examination, you're right re: Seeker Missiles. I'd gone as far as rereading the entry, but my brain glazed over the bit about how the line is only to determine facing.

I still think the Target Lock stuff is clear. If you ignore the rules that don't exist anymore... you're set. I'll grant that an errata killing the last sentence won't hurt any, however.

I don't think the a letter/e-mail is going to do much. It seems like a lot of FAQ activity over the past year has been driven by the community: specifically yakface, etc. I think that you'll have more luck if you write them yourself, then send them to GW. "Here, I did the work for you. Just copy, paste, and post it to the website." That, and have other people e-mailing GW, "Hey, we're using the Tau Empire Codex FAQ OSH posted. You should roll it into the official FAQ."

Inquisitor M said...

i don't know if it will work, but i am glad some one is taking the initiative. as a fellow tau player (well just bfg tau anyways for now no time to paint my cadre) i am with you. even if it doesn't work i'll be happy to know we at least tried

Anonymous said...

Count me in.

I'd like clarification how multitrackers work with twin-linked battlesuit weapons:

Codex: twin-linked weapons count as two battlesuit weapons systems.

Codex: multitrackers allow suits to fire two battlesuit weapons systems.

BRB: twin-linked weapons always fire as one weapon.

As always, the codex overrules BRB.

Since 40K uses restrictive rules...

Do you need a multitracker to fire two identical battlesuit weapons systems as a single twin-linked weapon?

Anonymous said...

Also, for what it's worth...

For the purposes of *shooting*, how exactly do Shield Drones work in the following scenario?

Example unit:
- 1 Shas'El w/1 shield drone

The unit is hit and wounded by 1 lascannon shot (S9, AP2). Can it be allocated to the shield drone and its 4++ save... or, because the drone is wargear, and the lascannon shot causes instant death, must it be allocated to the suit?

In other words, does the shield drone effectively constitute its own model group for the purposes of allocation?

Anonymous said...

Now I don't play Tau so could be completely wrong here, but in the case of seeker missiles, I would say treat them the same as smart missiles just for sake of continuity.

After all, they are both essentially the same thing (a missile fired from a tank that doesn't need LOS) so I think it makes sense for them to be treated the same way.

Then again, since when have GW beemn interested in continuity and common sense?

slxiii said...

These are my three questions I always ask/get asked as a tau player.
and pearlygates, the firewarriors really, really need to be redone. almost all of mine have that shitty melted together leg plate look.... It makes trying to paint them well with my already poor skills horrible.

Soundwave said...

I'd like an officially FAQ'd answer for that question I asked a few blog posts ago. Basically, a better wording of the rule about taking two of the same weapons system making them twin-linked.

While I don't collect Tau myself, they are one of my favourite races in the 40k Universe. The only thing stopping me collecting them right now is the undetermined future release of a new codex with new models. I don't want to buy a bunch of stuff now, spend loads of money, when everything could change within 12 months.

Pearlygates said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tnoussis said...

I'm with slxiii on that, I have a lot of new fire warriors to paint, and im not looking forward to hand painting lines on their fused legs, it doesn't look as good and its harder to paint.

As for the seeker missiles, since they are guided by marker lights any ways, why should vehicles or infantry even get cover saves? It wouldn't be unfair at all in 5th edition for the seeker missile to just ignore cover and target obscured would it?.

Tau're supposed to have great fire superiority when and where they need it, and a guided missile that ignores cover saves sounds like a great way to be true to that tenet of tau warfare. The only thing in our army list that people really have any "oh sh*t, oh sh*t, oh sh*t!" kind of fear of is railguns.

NockerGeek said...

Another possible question - how do Stealth Fields work in assault? In 4th Edition, it was clear - it treated the assaulter as though they were at Initiative 1 - but because of the change from 'charging through cover' to 'charging through difficult terrain', that wargear feature isn't clearly defined. Getting a solid 'yes' or 'no' on whether it still works would be fantastic.