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Tymell
06-07-2006, 17:44
(First off, sorry if this should be in another section such as the 40K Rules part. Also apologies if this has been discussed elsewhere/is common knowledge.)

I was just idly flicking through the Tau Empire codex, something I bought more because I like to have all the codexes than actually using Tau (I have some, but never really used them).

I happened to look over the Ethereal stats and having only glanced over them before I was pretty shaken. Just wondering if anyone else finds them a tad too powerful in the combat department, with 3 attacks (and I think, correct me if I'm wrong, that's before the symbols of office, giving yet another one) and the same WS as a space marine?

To me, an Ethereal should have 1 attack, one more with two weapons, and a WS of three, so as not to equal the Shas'o (only actual Tau with this score). The commander has had many years of combat experience and training, the Ethereal has not, and even the Fire Warriors, the trained soldiers of the Tau, don't have WS anything like that. Granted, they're not trained in close-quarters combat, but I wouldn't have thought the Ethereal's would be either. It just seems wrong that the Ethereal should have the same skill with a weapon as a genetically-enhanced superhuman trained to perfection.

Personally, I think this seems to be trying to make all Ethereals a bit too much like Aun'shi.

Kargos Bloodspit
06-07-2006, 17:53
Im pretty sure in the last codex it had some guff about duels occuring between ethereals (I believe it may be under the honour blade, due to it being used), hence they'd probably be using their weapons in a close combat conditions quite often.

As for not allowing ethereals to equal commander's WS, Tau Commanders are meant to concentrate upon strategy, and firepower, most commanders besides O'shovah will rarely use Close Combat due to the fragility of their bodies, avoiding it, to maximise their strengths. So I dont see a problem with a WS of 4 for Ethereals, its farely low for an average HQ character anyway, its the Strength that really resembles the weakness of CC for Tau anyway. Also, attack wise, it would be silly for an Ethereal who duels on a regular (I think anyway...) basis to have the same base attacks as a Firewarrior Shas'ui.

senban
06-07-2006, 20:11
Yeah, but actually try him in combat against a space marine. 3 attacks is maybe a bit much, but it dosn't exactly turn the tau in to a fearsome cc force.

Lastie
06-07-2006, 20:57
The Ethereals are one of the more stranger aspects to the Tau Codex (along with Tau becoming more proficient in close combat than shooting as they rise through the ranks). It's still an area of the rules that needs more looking into, in my opinion, as it seems a shame to waste fairly respectable close combat abilities on a model no Tau player in their right mind would want getting into close combat. Well, unless you want Preferred Enemy that badly ...

Kargos Bloodspit
06-07-2006, 22:05
as it seems a shame to waste fairly respectable close combat abilities on a model no Tau player in their right mind would want getting into close combat. Well, unless you want Preferred Enemy that badly ...

Actually, Ethereals with some firewarriors in the previous codex (havnt had a chance to try honour guard yet) were pretty handy cc wise, tying up the remnants of squads that probably would've taken too much away from my shooting elsewhere to get rid of.

Khaine's Messenger
06-07-2006, 22:26
Just wondering if anyone else finds them a tad too powerful in the combat department

For his pts. cost and total lack of an armor save...no, not really. He's about as expensive as a mediocre IG officer with less tactical flexibility besides. He's got his uses (as previously stated), but he's hardly a power-house.

Rabid Bunny 666
06-07-2006, 23:32
Its like the Necron Pariahs, they are good at what they are geared up to do, but pale in comarison to other units.

They arev good in Combat for Tau, considering they are Tau, but getting it into combat is suicidal unless its Grot Duty, and even then i'd send an Honour Guard with him.

Lastie
07-07-2006, 00:20
Actually, Ethereals with some firewarriors in the previous codex (havnt had a chance to try honour guard yet) were pretty handy cc wise, tying up the remnants of squads that probably would've taken too much away from my shooting elsewhere to get rid of.

I had too much bad luck with my army running off the board crying about their dead Ethereal to risk anything like that. :p

Tymell
07-07-2006, 05:37
A lot of these responses (and thanks for them I should point out :) ) seem to focus on the tactical use of it, saying how he's still not really a combat monster, and for his points it's okay, etc. But I'm concentrating more on fluff (which is, for me personally, always more important than anything else). It just seems wrong to say that an Ethereal should be equal in weapon skill to a space marine, to be better at it than trained imperial soldiers. They would surely have some experience, but not a great deal. What I'm saying is not that they're now a big combat threat, but more that when you look at what the WS and A values represent, it just strikes me as too much for something that isn't supposed to be combat-oriented.

ALso, while it's true Tau commanders don't focus on combat, they are still supposed to be veterans of many battles, and in their time would have experienced a fair amount of close combat, which explains their increased WS.

In the words of Hugo of Victor & Hugo: "That's what I think, anyway."

Khaine's Messenger
07-07-2006, 06:16
As mentioned before, the Ethereals spar with honor blades. The old honor blade entry makes mention that this (usually bloodless) dueling is actually a means by which some political debates are settled (iirc), so one can imagine that being good at this is hardly going to be an accident. There's also an element of warrior monk to their entire concept, and staves seem a traditional part of that business. I wouldn't be surprised if they learned martial arts just to go alongside that whole mystical leader vibe.

Of course, I don't think all Ethereals are going to have that statline, either.

Luna de hierro
07-07-2006, 07:39
Donīt forget that the honor blade is not a power weapon, so you have a TAU with low initiative and the same WS as a normal marine.

Bob Hunk
07-07-2006, 09:19
I agree with the other posters who mentioned the honour duels. Arguements between Ethereals are settled via "stylised, bloodless duels, where the honour blades are wielded with such speed and skill that they become virtually invisible", or something to that effect. I think that justifies WS4 and A3.

Although I'm always happy to recount the story of my Ethereal killing a Tomb Spider in CC, that was a last-ditch attempt to save a Broadside in a game I had all but lost. :) As they have T3 W2 and no save, I generally keep them as far away from combat as possible.

azimaith
07-07-2006, 09:27
In one game my friend wanted to see what would happen if his Ethereal assaulted my Tyranid Warriors.

So we fought the close combat, it went something like this:

1: Ethereal runs in spinning his honor blade in sweeping arcs.
2: Warrior stabs Ethereal in chest with Scything talon then bites his head off before a single blow is even landed.

I don't see the reason to complain about a Tau Ethereal having 3 attacks when its 3 attacks of total crap with no save.

Tymell
08-07-2006, 02:26
My reason for complaint isn't anything to do with how effective they are in close combat. I know that with strength 3, no power weapon and no save, they're still among the weakest HQ choices in combat. I know that. My complaint is because the stats represent a greater combat ability than I think Ethereal's should have.

Luna de hierro said "same WS as a normal marine". Well don't forget a "normal marine" is a suerhuman by anyone's standards, able to outclass the elites of most races in combat, and having that kind of skill with a weapon is amazing.

However, (and that's a big however, this isn't just another post putting forward a stubborn view) people do have a point about the ritual duels. Personally, I still think it's only enough to boost it from 2 (most Tau) to 3, and I still think 4 is too high, but I do accept that's something I hadn't considered. :)

I just want to be clear for any further responses: I am -not- complaining about them being too good in combat, I am complaining purely about the WS and A stats, not a single other stat or ability comes into it. This is 100% about background/fluff, not rules or how they turn out in-game.

Minister
08-07-2006, 02:46
Shall we say instead "same WS and A as a Guard colonel"? Combat veterans and, usually, trained duelists who still have to spend most of their time administering their unit rather than devoting themselves to the artistry of blade combat.