Tau Protector and Merchnat Fleets: thoughts

Sup!

I'm opening this thread so we can discuss Tau stuff regarding BFG:A2.

  1. First and foremost: we're lacking some ships from BFG TT!

a. Demiurg Citadel (Light Cruiser) (from FAQ 2010 + Ship Compendium)

0_1548693864294_13b40427-deb9-48f6-96db-53043ead64f5-image.png

b. Rogue Trader ships (from FAQ 2010 + Ship Compendium)
I understand Rogue Trader ships add almost an entire faction; view them as 'auxiliaries' for all factions - except Orks, Necrons and Tyranids.

  • Rogue Trader Cruiser (Cruiser)
  • Endeavor Light Cruiser (Light Cruiser)
  • Xenos Vessel (Escort)
  • Recommissioned Escort (Escort)
  • Iconoclast Destroyer (Escort)

One example:
0_1548693901593_1b8ff208-8a4f-41e9-9447-11cb1c6a101f-image.png

As a limit, I'd suggest not allowing the Rogue Trader ships in 2v2 games.

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  1. Systems

a. Advanced Targeting Systems (Custodian and Messenger)
This is the translation of the BFG TT Tracking Systems. However, in Armada it has only one of its TT attributes (benefit turrets); its other benefit - allowing Railguns to never fire worse than 30cm (more or less 9000 units in Armada, which is 60% accuracy) - is missing... or, I rather say, was moved to a fleet upgrade only for Escorts (Targeting Coordination). Although, it forces Tau ships to keep using the Lock On stance, Escorts can spread over and, thus, increase the area affected by such upgrade.
It's a coin toss between 100% accuracy as long as you keep your ships near Escorts and in Lock On stance (Armada) or 60% accuracy no matter the range, as long as you're near a Custodian or a Messenger (TT). Which one do you guys prefer?

b. Gravitic Hooks
Please, fix the number shown for Gravitic Hooks. Explorer and Custodian should have 3; Merchant and Emissary, 2. That '1' for them all surely creates confusion.

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  1. Points
    I understand it's hard to translate the TT points directly to Armada, as ships in the videogame can do stuff differently than their TT versions. Still, they shouldn't have too disparate costs between them. Of course, this also takes in account other factions would have their points changed accordingly.

a. Protector Fleet:

  • Warden is 7p more expensive in Armada. It gets an extra Ion Cannon, though. Perhaps a -2p change would be enough?
  • Castellan is 9p cheaper than its TT version and even has one more Railgun. Perhaps an 1 point increase?
  • Emissary Dal'yth feels severely overpriced. It costs 55p more than its TT version! The Armada version has the same number of aircraft (but can launch bombers, which is nice).
    Its stripped version (that is, without Escorts; non-playable) is 41p more than the TT; if the Protectors cost between 10 and 15p more for 2x aircraft, the Emissary should cost the same for the addition of Mantas, right? That would translate as (more or less) 130p for the stripped version and would bring the playable version to (more or less) 205p.
    Emissary Bork'an and Sa'cea are way better costed (13p more and 8p less, respectively).
  • Protector T'olku is 14p more expensive in Armada. It gets 2x aircraft, though. Vior'la is 12p more expensive, but gets the same benefit. I believe their prices are ok, as aircraft are really powerful in Armada.
  • Custodian is... oh boy. WAAAY overpriced. Freaking 82p more than the TT version (considering 3 towed Wardens; 61p more it stripped). It has 6 extra Railguns, but those shouldn't cost extra 61p! Perhaps 12p, at most. I'd say (more or less) 453p would be a sweet spot for this ship (more or less 342 being the stripped version).

b. Merchant Fleet:

  • Orca costs, just like the Warden, 7p more for one extra Ion Cannon. I'd reduce its costs by 2p.
  • Defender is 10p less than its TT version, for the same number of weapons. However, one of its Railguns is locked in front fire arc, while in the TT all were 270º. I'd increse its cost by 5 if all its Railguns were like the better one.
  • Messenger is much better than its TT version! 18p less for 4x more Railguns. However, the greatest benefit of its Advanded Targeting Systems is now an fleet upgrade, so it would demand a price reduction in total. Perhaps 2-4p more? Or leave it as it is, I'd rather use Orcas anyway (which also cost 32p in Armada).
  • Both Merchant variants are a bit cheaper than their TT counterparts (7 for Ke'lshan and 3 for Day'lth). Ke'lshan Railguns are only 9000 units, though (should be 13500, akin to 45cm in TT). Their facings are a mess, though: a couple is fixed 90°, another is 270° and the last 2 are only 180º sides. Only the 270º is right... the other 2 couples should be 180º side (left/front and right/front in TT).
    Day'lth has 2 Ion Cannons that should be 180º side and the same correction for Railguns).
  • Both Hero variants are more expensive than their TT counterparts (25p for Vash'ya and 22p for T'olku), but it is widely acclaimed the TT version was undercosted anyway (it should be the Lunar Cruiser of Tau).
    Vashy'a has 2 90º front Railguns and 2 180º front/left; all should be 270º front. What is worse is having HALF the number of Ion Cannons! That alone should reduce its cost by 10.
    T'olku has half the number of Railguns it shoudl have (a 12p reduction would be nice); also, 4 should be 270º front while 2 groups of 4 should be 180º side (left/front and right/front).
  • Both Explorer variants are cheaper than their TT counterparts (11p for Vash'ya and 24p for Bork'an).
    Vash'ya has half the launch bay capacity of its TT version (4 to 8 bays), a strange 360º 3x Railgun weapon and a fixed 90º 6x Railgun... its TT version has only 6 Railguns, but with 270º fire arc.
    As seen with the Protector Cruiser, a change of 2x in number of launch bays cost more or less 12p, so that's ok. The weird weapon configuration is puzzling, but I can't complain on more guns.
    The Bork'an, on the other hand, is a mess. It has 6 Ion Cannons (which the TT version lacks) and only half the number of Railguns! o.O
    Anyway, it again has half launch bays and correct number of torpedoes. In the end, that would remove close to 12p (launch bays), 6p (half Railguns) ~ 18p. It has an extra 6p reduction; adding the Ion Cannons make it quite interesting (however, I'd rather use more aircraft).

c. Auxiliaries

  • Nicassar Dhow should have 1 more battery; even more because it's 14p more than the TT version!
  • Demiurg Bastion is 24p cheaper than its TT version (and rightly so). However, its Torpedoes only launch from the front (should be a 360º skill shot) - although not having to choose between torpedoes and aircraft is nice. That aside, the ship is ok.
  • Demiurg Stronghold is 3p cheaper and, aside the Torpedoes not firing 360º, I can't complain.
  • Kroot Warsphere costs 95p more than the TT one (!!!). I don't get the -50 to morale, when it has nothing of the sort in the TT version. Frankly, I can't see why this ship is so overcosted.

So, plunge in and leave your thoughts as well!

I really like what you did here with the Tau ship analysis.

If I understand you correctly and gathering from your indiciation of the more flexible firing arcs, especially of the Merchant Fleet, your general argument is that the Tau should get a slight bump in DPS (mostly Merchant Fleet)?
For a fleet that is so focused on firepower and both Tau fleets having weakness at close range, I think a price change or a DPS buff would be nice to both fleets.

Regarding the ATS (Custodian + Messenger) I think I would prefer the 60% accuracy at no matter the range rather than 100% with specific conditions and reliance on Lock on. Though someone with more experience could answer, which would be a better balanced or competitive choice.

@VectorStrike What are some of your Protector and Merchant Fleet builds?
What are the tactics you use for those fleets?

@primuspilus123 said in Tau Protector and Merchnat Fleets: thoughts:

I really like what you did here with the Tau ship analysis.

If I understand you correctly and gathering from your indiciation of the more flexible firing arcs, especially of the Merchant Fleet, your general argument is that the Tau should get a slight bump in DPS (mostly Merchant Fleet)?
For a fleet that is so focused on firepower and both Tau fleets having weakness at close range, I think a price change or a DPS buff would be nice to both fleets.

Regarding the ATS (Custodian + Messenger) I think I would prefer the 60% accuracy at no matter the range rather than 100% with specific conditions and reliance on Lock on. Though someone with more experience could answer, which would be a better balanced or competitive choice.

@VectorStrike What are some of your Protector and Merchant Fleet builds?
What are the tactics you use for those fleets?

My main fleet is the Protector Fleet. This advice is mostly against AI (I have yet to feel confident enough to play vs humans):
Firstly, I had a Custodian + 2 Protectors (Vior'la) + 2 Emissaries (Sa'cea) and closed the points with a couple of Wardens. This gave me 5 Wardens. I made such a list because Ion Cannons are really useful in the TT version (which I have started playing last month).
However, I started to meet serious problems against AI difficulty 4 and 5. I even lost one game to AdMech! To my dismay, Ion Cannons aren't that hot in Armada 2. I had to change my mindset from the TT to here.

Then I changed the list to 1 Custodian + 3 Protectors (T'olku) + 2 Castellans; this gives me 3 Wardens to fill my escort needs. This fleet does much better than the previous one and now I have less problems against AI difficulty 5. I'll start testing a build people is saying it's good even in multiplayer (5 Protectors (T'olku) + as many Castellans as possible).

What I usually do with my 2nd fleet (always on Mont'ka) is to send the capital ships (on Lock On) towards the closest objective, the 3 Wardens (On Silent Running) towards the 2nd closest objective (using the fleet upgrade to allow them go All Ahead Full without being identified) and the 2 Castellans (also on Silent Running) towards the initial objective the AI takes. I send the probe towards the same initial AI objective to identify enemy ships; if the AI send fighters, I counter them with my own (and I have a lot of them!) and, as soon as the enemy is spotted, I send fighters to reduce their turrets (I try to get their flagship or ships in the extremes of the formation). Whenever an enemy ship has few or no turrets at all, I send the missiles from the capital ships and the Castellans.

After getting those 2 objectives, I send the capital ships to a safe distance from the now closest uncapped objetive and the Wardens a bit further to spot the AI fleet trying to grab it. Then I pop one Scanner and kill whatever ship I deem to be the most dangerous. By now, the Castellans started capping the AI's first objective - which usually makes it to divide its fleet a bit to stop my Castellans, meaning less ship for my main force to deal with. If the AI comes close to the Castellans, I fly them away and return once the danger has passed.
After I spend my missiles, I send bombers to the ships with less turrets to finish them off.

I've played too few games with the Merchant Fleet to be of real help regarding lists and tactics, but as Tau in this game heavily leans on ordnance, I'd focus on aircraft and missiles than firepower. Their battleship is too flimsy to be exposed to enemy fire/boarding, so you'll need stuff to be put between it and the enemy.

Anyway, on Aeldari and Tyranids: I've learned to save the missiles for the actual battles, because the moment they go stealthy the missiles lose their tracking behavior. Same thing with fighters and bombers (although these at least come back after a bit). This means you need to be a bit more aggressive with your escorts to pinpoint them and keep your ordnance relevant throughout the game.

After some days, I've come to think that perhaps the exceptional accuracy under a specific situation might be better than 60% whenever near a Messenger/Custodian...