View Full Version : Tau Commerce Protection Fleet

18-03-2006, 22:23
Okay, FW and SG messed things up, so some folks resolved to take matters into their own hands.

Here is what they did:




19-03-2006, 07:41
You are God.

One tiny, tiny nitpick: The castellan's prow deflector notes that it will be disabled if the castellan suffers a prow critical hit. This is redundant, since any critical hit will take out not only the deflector, but the entire ship as well.

19-03-2006, 14:35
Thanks for that! Shinnentai would certainly give you a cookie for that one, so you can have mine! :)

I've forwarded on that note about the Deflector, I'm sure I mentioned that a while back, but it'd totally slipped my mind. Woops!

Thanks again.

19-03-2006, 19:42
Well done on finding one of my 5 deliberate errors, ReDavide ;) . Hope you like the cookie. I'm afraid Xisor might have nibbled on that one a bit...

Xisor, I really quite like the way you started this thread. Perhaps I should replace the introductory paragraph in the article with this in big font? :

Okay, FW and SG messed things up, so some folks resolved to take matters into their own hands. Here is what they did.

Possibly accompanied by the A-team theme tune :D

19-03-2006, 20:07
How do these rules compare with the Forgeworld versions in IA3?

BTW excellent layout.

19-03-2006, 20:18
at last; and a very big "thankyou". I only hope forgeworld take note and use the list officially:)
Brimstone there is no list in the IA3!!! just the ship stats (and the Emissary no longer has grav hooks)

19-03-2006, 20:42
They're much better of course! ( well, I would say that... ). You can't argue with the value for money aspect though :D .

Obviously I can't go into too much detail about the IA3 stats, but here's a breakdown of how I see the differences ( with a lot of stuff left out - I could witter on about this for pages :rolleyes: ) :

We've emphasised the command and control aspect of this ship using the tracking systems rules. The IA3 version is simply a carrier with enough other weaponry to make it useful in a fire-fight.

We chose to reduce the ordnance on our Protector to make it more of a gunship than the Hero ( which matches the model well and provides an interesting contrast between the two cruisers ). The IA3 version does have an interesting all-45cm range weaponry set-up however ( about the only thing I would say I prefer in the IA3 list ).

Our Emissary is a tough little vessel, with a good mix of weapons systems and a useful 90 turn that makes it a fine support ship. The two variants also allow more flexibility in fleet creation and crucially provide room for more than 3 Wardens in a fleet. The IA3 Emissary has more weaponry but at the expense of survivability. At that points value I would regard it as nothing but a liability, expecially given its conflicted armaments loadout.

With its prow deflector and slow speed, our Castellan fulfills an interesting heavy escort role, able to provide close support for the Tau cruisers in the battle-line. The IA3 Castellan is a Defender in all but name ( IE very few differences ).

Our Warden is the only military vessel without a prow deflector in the new batch of ships, but packs 2 Ion Cannons making it a very dangerous threat. This should make it a priority target for the enemy so it should be interesting seeing how CPF players are able to keep them alive long enough to get within range. Again, the IA3 Warden is much the same as its Armada equivalent.

We've tried to give each of the fleet-lists enough of a separate identity from the other whilst still giving the player some freedom in choosing which ships to take. I'll comment on the IA3 fleet list if and when it ever appears ;) .

I'd say we've done well in assigning each ship enough of a specialisation to make them interesting whilst still allowing the players to form their own strategies. The IA3 ships on the otherhand don't seem to have had as much inspiration put into them.

We've had a lot of people bouncing ideas back and forth for months now on the SG forums and I think it really shows in how interesting and fine-tuned our rules feel. I know I'm totally biased now, but looking at the IA3 rules I honestly find them pedestrian and in places pretty ill-considered.

19-03-2006, 21:05
<Agrees with Shinnentai>

Not only that, but our list comes replete with it's own characterising plan. The main reason for this was to differentiate between the Armada Fleet [Exploration and Commerce Fleet: ECF] and this lighter hulled version, the CPF.

We found early on that we were running into serious conflict from all corners when debating to increase the speed and turning ability of the fleet. With the Messenger established as crucially the 'overall' fastest ship the Tau posses, it was established that it would be poor taste in having larger ships at comparable speeds. Thus, in the end, alot of 'hull types' go faster[the fleet is now averaging at 20cm rather than 17.5], but only one matches the Messenger. And this ship is the 'best' attack ship the empire has to offer. Obviously, this is the Warden. It doesn't have interstellar drives though, so it isn't a problem for it to go as fast as the Messenger as it's still not a patch on it long distance.

The second thing we encountered was that alot of people wished to see a move towards an 'eldar style' moving ability. In 40k it is established that the Tau are not that fast, but extremely manouverable. This was not present in the slightest in the Armada list, with good reason. Alot of people pushed very severely for 90* turns on alot of the ships, claiming them to be similar, if not equal, in capacity to similar sized Imperial Ships. My main reservation against this was that it altered the fleet style too much from what works well in game as distinctive for the Tau. It seperates them *too* much, I felt, from the Armada fleet. Fortunately, the Emissary does maintain a high turn ratio, as does the Castellan and Warden. So, we see some increase, but only on much lighter, and presumably more manouverable, ships in the first place.

So, some cunning bugger developed a plan to compromise. It would give options to the fleet, over and above that capable of the ECF, but nothing that was a strictly free gift. This was his plan:

Enhanced Gravitic Drives CPF Starships go an extra dice[5], on all ahead full special orders. Makes them faster, but only when on special orders.

Advanced Manouvering Protocols CPF Starships gain a +1Ld modifier when attempting to go onto movement Special Orders[AAF, CTNH, BR]

Fire Warrior Strike Teams The CPF being used for interdiction of commerce routes, patrols and close encounters more than the strict battlefleet of the ECF, it has to be prepared. Though actually a variety of Shas strike teams outfitted for safe insertion into enemy starships, often including various auxillia, drones and experimental technology as well, it is abstracted into the game system by allowing CPF starships to conduct Hit and Run Teleport Attacks.

So, the end result of the plan? More options. Not brilliant options, but they allow the CPF to try more special manouvers, and pull off real cunning tricks with more established ease than the ECF. Though not overpowering, and barely factoring into the cost of the fleet, it does compensate somewhat for the overall lighter feel of the fleet. More importantly, it allows a further compensation for the diminished ordnance capacity of the CPF. The only reason here is that it's a 'strike force'[Raiding Fleet], so it works by careful positioning, not mass bombardment.

I'd say it works grandly! And in comparison to the Forgeworld stuff.

This >> Forgeworld's Rules ;)
<As is said, see Shinnentai's post regarding the ins and outs of the comparison>

One thing we were told early on that would not happen in an official list was a 'Weapons Range Creep'. Though miffed about this [as we all loved the idea of a S2 45cm prow Ion Cannon on the Protector], I'd heartily say it's a good thing in the end. Also, a massive bonus on Forgeworld's position:

Ours is playtested


As for the opening of the thread, feel entirely free to steal it, just wait until we've tried harrassing forgeworld first!


20-03-2006, 08:30
Damn you, now I've gone and ordered myself a CPF even though I have no one to play against.