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ElectricPaladin

A Tarakian Tactical Treatise

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Hey all. As part of my decision-making process around investing in more Tarakians, I decided to throw together a little tactica. I'm eager to hear your feedback.


 


Relatedly, I'm now thinking of trying a hybrid Tarakian/Hawker fleet... if those cyberwarfare weapons can deliver in turning off enemy PD, Tarakians lose their main disadvantage...


 


• • •


 


Overview


 


First and foremost, the Tarakians enjoy some of the most durable ships in their class when compared to the vessels of other factions. Compare, for example, the Tarakian battleship to the equivalent Terran ships. For 190 points, the Tarakians get a 6/10 ship with 3 shield dice and 6 PD, 10 HPs and 8 CPs, the Protected Systems MAR, and the option to buy either an additional point of CR and the Self Repair MAR. The Apollo/Razorthorn is 170 points for a 6/10 ship with only 2 shield dice and 5 PD, 8 HPs and 7 CPs, and the (admittedly more comprehensive) Weapon Shielding MAR. Of course, the Terran vessel is more versatile, and can be further upgraded with an additional shield, the Sector Shielding MAR, and two additional points of PD, but these upgrades bring the cost of the battleship to 200 points and preclude purchasing several other popular upgrades, including extra speed, beam weapons, and nuclear torpedoes. The comparison with the Tyrant-Class battleship is similar - for 200 points, the Terrans can buy a 6/10 8 HP hull with 5 PD and 3 shield dice. Again, upgrades can improve the Tyrant’s durability, but for a Tyrant to exceed the Tarakian battleship in this arena requires at least 215 points.


 


Tarakian durability continues down the line. Tarakian cruisers enjoy the benefit of high to average DR/CR scores and one more HP than most Tier 2 vessels, and all Tarakian ships - even the frigates - have at least one shield die. This durability is further enhanced by the fact that all Tarakian ships rely exclusively on indirect weapons, which are not degraded by damage. This means that Tarakian ships remain effective until they are destroyed.


 


The second most notable quality of Tarakian ships is their powerful gravitational weaponry. At present, only Tarakian, STL, and the Directorate employ gravitational weapons, and of those, only the Tarakians employ broad and unlimited access (whereas STL gravitational weapons can only be used in control mode and the Directorate only fields gravitational weapons on one class of ship rumored to be released in the upcoming Return of the Overseers boxed set). Tarakian gravitational weapons have the potential to be incredibly powerful. While the battleship’s 8/9/8/6 isn’t likely to scare more than a cruiser (though because gravitational weapons ignore all defenses, it does scare those vessels quite effectively), the combined firepower of a Tarakian cruiser squadron - 12/15/12/10 - is enough to seriously damage even most dreadnoughts. Even Tarakian frigates can combine their gravitational weapons for an impressive 9/12/9/6, enough to threaten most Tier 2s and some Tier 1s.


 


Tarakians also enjoy very high squadron sizes, which decreases the rate at which their squadrons decrease in effectiveness and makes it harder for your opponent to claim Battle Log points. Tarakian Tier 2s fly in squadrons of 4 (a high average) and their Tier 3s fly in squadrons of 5 (some of the largest squadrons in the game).


 


Unfortunately, despite their potent gravitational weapons, Tarakian vessels can be a little pillow-fisted. Outside their gravitational weapons, Tarakian ships rely on torpedo broadsides (the battleship also has moderately strong primary broadsides and fore torpedoes). Although the reliance on torpedoes means that Tarakian ships generally remain effective until they are destroyed, it also means that their ships lack options in the early game, before the enemy’s PD systems have been degraded.


 


Unit Review


 


Battleship


 


The Tarakian battleship is, in many ways, the workhorse of the fleet. Although its gravitational weapons are merely adequate when compared to the combined firepower of a Tarakian cruiser squadron, battleships are the only Tarakian vessels to mount conventional mass-drivers, fore torpedoes, or any significant broadside weaponry.


 


Additionally, the Tarakian battleship can be incredibly hard to kill. A Tarakian battleship equipped purely for durability runs 215 points (235 with a full compliment of interceptors), and is basically a light dreadnought. By compromising slightly, the Tarakian battleship can be equipped with enough Wings to act as a light carrier as well - a 6 wing bomber token is adequate to harm most targets that the battleship’s 9 dice of gravitational weaponry, 8 dice of torpedoes, and 14 dice of conventional weapons may struggle with.


 


Tarakian battleships are not easily customizable, but they do have two distinct configurations.


 


The first is the superlatively durable version. With the +1 CR and Self Repair MAR upgrades (total cost: 215 points), the Tarakian battleship becomes very difficult to damage. For an additional 20 points, the battleship’s launch bays can be filled with interceptors, giving the ship a total of 14 PD dice against torpedoes as well as a chance to intercept SRS tokens before they can cause damage.


 


The second, more flexible configuration is to take +2 Wings and the Self Repair MAR (total cost: 205 points). This allows the battleship to take a “full” token of 6 wings of bombers (30 more points), which helps to mitigate the battleship’s slightly pillow-fisted profile. Like torpedoes, these bombers will be more effective as the game goes on.


 


The Tarakian battleship can be fielded with up to three escorts from any faction in the Alliance of Kurak. The clear forerunners are the Hawker Industries Stalwart and the Terran Alliance Guardian, both of which combine highly effective point defense (PD 3) with unusually high durability (1 shield), making it less likely that they will be simply shot out from under you, and the points invested in them wasted. The Hawker escort is somewhat more durable (better DR, CR, and more CPs), but commensurately more expensive. The STL Penitentiary escort also deserves special mention, because its gravitational weapons can add to the battleship’s own, albeit only for control purposes, not direct damage.


 


Cruiser


 


If the Tarakian battleship is the fleet’s anvil - supremely durable and equipped to engage in several arcs at once - cruiser squadrons are the fleet’s hammer. Their primary advantage is their powerful gravitational weaponry, which stand a decent chance of critically damaging even a dreadnough with a single salvo.


 


Although they are quite durable by Tier 2 standards, Tarakian cruisers are still cruisers, and need to be protected. Additionally, they are really only effective if they are able to find a firing solution for their gravitational weapons - their only other options are torpedoes, which max out at 12 AD. Although, in my experience, 12 AD is just about when torpedo weapons become potentially useful, they cannot be relied upon until the enemy's point defense systems have been degraded by damage. A smart Tarakian admiral will use his cruisers as a second line, keeping them back until the battleship has degraded the enemy’s capacity to retaliate.


 


Similarly, Tarakian cruisers can be used reactively. If your opponent makes the mistake of using a lone Tier 1 as a flanking component in a pincer, a squadron of Tarakian cruisers may be able to degrade its effectiveness quickly enough that it cannot properly respond.


 


Frigate


 


The Tarakian frigates are not terribly impressive - but then, what frigates are? With their large squadron size, decent gravitational weapons, and close ranged torpedo broadsides, they are very well suited to the task of tying up and hunting down enemy Tier 3s, which should have the side effect of keeping them from harassing your vulnerable cruiser squadrons. Consider that with a squadron size of five and the ability of gravitational weapons to ignore enemy defenses (and the fact that Small ships ignore the Difficult Target MAR), a squadron of Tarakian frigates can split their gravitational fire to engage multiple enemy targets at once. With luck, a Tarakian squadron can begin to degrade the enemy’s effectiveness in the first round of contact and potentially wipe the squadron out entirely in the second. Tarakian frigates can resist attacks from other Tiers 3s much more effectively than other Tier 3s can withstand theirs.


 


Tactical Recommendations


 


A Tarakian admiral should lead with his battleships, hoping to engage the enemy with their primary weapons before those guns have a chance to be degraded by damage. While the battleships soak up enemy fire, the cruisers should advance as a second line, prepared to isolate and destroy enemy vessels with combined gravitational fire. Tarakian frigates should move swiftly to intercept and entangle enemy frigates and corvettes, keeping them occupied and away from the more vulnerable cruisers for as long as possible. Although no admiral should over-estimate the durability of the ships at his disposal, a Tarakian admiral should keep in mind that most of his ships are very hard to destroy quickly, and between large squadron size and Tarakian preference for indirect weapons, his squadron’s effectiveness will degrade very slowly.


 


Tarakians and Allies


 


The Tarakian armada cannot be the primary force in any fleet that includes ships from the “Big Three” of the Alliance of Kurak, but that doesn’t stop the Tarakians from bringing along help from the other lesser members of the alliance.


 


Hawker Industries


 


As the Tarakian background material states that Hawker Industries was instrumental in bringing the Tarakians into the Alliance, it seems entirely appropriate that Hawker so well compliments the Tarakians. In particular, Hawker ships offer the following advantages:


  • Because they are similarly durable, Hawker ships will not draw quite as much fire from an opponent hoping to score easy points (and tactical advantage) by crippling the Hawker component of the fleet, which might happen with a more fragile ally. 
  • Hawker ships field powerful direct weapons systems, which helps to fill a clear gap in Tarakian technology. The Excelsior-Class battleship in particular is a durable brawler of a battleship.
  • Hawker Tier 1s can be upgraded to include cyberwarfare weapons, which might be able to overwhelm enemy point defense systems, rendering them vulnerable to Tarakian torpedo strikes.

 


In my opinion, the best Hawker Industries addition to a Tarakian fleet is an Excelsior-Class battleship with cyberwarfare weapons (total 190 points, two hardpoints still unoccupied). The Excelsior can easily accompany a Tarakian battleship in the alpha strike described above, its (relatively) broad firing arcs and cyberwarfare attacks enhancing the Tarakian battleship’s offensive abilities.


 


Ryushi


 


Ryushi ships tend to rely on a layered approach: long range beams and kinetic weaponry on the approach, short ranged beams and SRS at close range. While this can be a very effective approach, Ryushi allies accompanying a Tarakian fleet risk either being left behind as they remain at range to exploit one aspect of their strategy or straying too close to the enemy unsupported when they exploit the other.


 


That said, what the Ryushi do have is self-sufficiency. Although expensive, a Shautrai-Class battle carrier or Onnisha-Class carrier, with or without Hokita accompaniment, is a powerful and durable module that can easily be inserted into any fleet, and the Tarakians are no exception. In both cases, this module is an effective brawler that brings a degree of mobility and flexibility that the Tarakians lack.


 


Terquai


 


One aspect of the Tarakian fleet that I have not bothered to mention is their ability to enhance almost all of their torpedo weaponry with the High Energy MAR. This is because this rule is hard to take advantage of. The Tarakians are not a faction with any boarding prowess to speak of, so the ability of High Energy weapons to sap enemy CPs is unlikely to be very helpful. By the time the enemy has been degraded to the point that Tarakian torpedoes can be effective, what the Tarakian admiral needs to do is finish off enemy ships, not worry about killing their crew.


 


The Terquai, on the other hand, excel at boarding, especially with their Akulkan and Arual-class assault cruisers. Additionally, Terquai ships can also bring High Energy weapons, but without the weaknesses associated with torpedo weapons.


 


This can be a deadly combination. Once the opponent is already reeling from a Tarakian gravitational strike, a squadron of Terquai assault cruisers might be able to seriously damage or even prize enemy ships. If upgraded with the Second Assault MAR, the assault cruisers can further contribute later in the game, when enemy ships have suffered extensive CP damage thanks to many High Energy salvos from Terquai and Tarakian vessel alike.


 


Terquai vessels are also the first to be mentioned thus far that bring any appreciable mines. Although a damaging strike with gravitational weaponry is almost always a better idea than pushing or pulling the enemy into a minefield (mine AD rarely exceed that of gravitational weapons, and mines are subject to shields), alongside setting up a tactical advantage or exploiting an environmental danger (ie. an asteroid field), mines can make the control setting of gravitational weaponry worth it.


 


Veydreth


 


The Veydreth are a powerful race, but don’t enjoy much synergy with the Tarakian fleet. Like the Ryushi, they can be used alongside the Tarakians provided the Tarakian admiral is willing to invest significant resources in an effective Veydreth “module” such as a full squadron of assault cruisers (180 points) or destroyers (210 points).


 


Xelocian


 


Surprisingly, the Xelocians make effective allies for the Tarakians because between their beams, Energy Transfer MAR, and ability to exploit the Corrosive MAR, they are very effective brawlers. Three Xelocian cruisers with Corrosive beams costs 225 points would make for a good advance formation, flying straight through the enemy, dealing damage in all directions, tagging enemy ships with corrosion markers, and preparing them for follow-up gravitational and torpedo strikes from the Tarakian vessels following behind.


 


Syndicate


 


Despite their status as mercenaries, Syndicate ships seem to rely on many internal synergies - Decimator beams and the Countermeasures MAR - which means that they do not seem to do particularly well when inserted into fleets as allies. The Tarakians do not offer the Syndicate much of anything, and the Syndicate only offers powerful conventional weaponry, something the Tarakians can find elsewhere with other factions that offer them other advantages as well.


 


Omnidyne Special Operations


 


Omnidyne ships suffer from similar disadvantages to Tarakian ships - their cyberwarfare weapons suffer from the Assault Robots Torpedoes rule, which means that just like the Tarakians, they want to work alongside ships that can degrade enemy point defense. Because of this lack of synergy, Tarakians and Omnidyne do not make particularly good allies.


 


Oroshan Imperium


 


The ships of the Oroshan Imperium can be configured for assault, close-range gun battles, or used as SRS platforms. As a result, they enjoy a great deal of synergy with the Tarakian fleet, including an ability to exploit the High Energy MAR in much the same way as that the Terquai do, as described above. Oroshan Tier 1s are better suited for action alongside the Tarakians than their Tier 2s, because Oroshan Tier 1s have all their non-torpedo weaponry in the fore arcs - just like Tarakian ships - whereas their Tier 1s have powerful broadsides.


 


The only disadvantage of bringing Oroshan allies is that Oroshan ships are quite expensive, which can make them difficult to fit into a list alongside Tarakian vessels.


 


Storm Zone Trader's League (STL)


 


Those STL ships that employ gravitational weapons (limited to the control setting only) can be interesting allies for the Tarakians. The STL Reformer-Class battlestation is both a potent assault platform and a dangerous gun platform. Tarakian gravitational weapons can be used to extend the Reformer's reach, helping it drag enemy ships close enough for either a boarding attack or a mass driver salvo. With the exception of the Penitentiary-Class escorts (which might be interesting as accompaniment for a Tarakian battleship, or as part of a module alongside a Reformer battlestation), the rest of the STL offers nothing to the Tarakians besides cheap ships to use as chaff and decent turret-mounted conventional weaponry.


 


Corsairs


 


The Corsairs of the Storm Zone and their ramshackle ships can be configured in a wide variety of ways, including both the ability to deliver deadly boarding assaults or medium range salvos. As a result, a squadron of corsairs can be a useful addition to a Tarakian force. Whether this force would be useful enough to outweigh the increased cost of bringing the vaguely Zenian-aligned Corsairs in a Tarakian fleet is not entirely clear. One of the biggest Corsair weakness - their relative fragility - could become a major liability alongside the durable Tarakians, as opponents might end up focusing their fire on the Corsairs, costing the Tarakian player Battle Log points as his Corsair allies are quickly shot out of the sky.


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now that im awake

 

the veydreth can add close to mid range firepower when shunted in with high energy beams from either their gunships or their BB

although  asignificant points investment has to made for this to be effective with a gunship squadron costs255 ts appropriatley upgraded and the BB costs 230  but you can decrew and assaullt with a reasonable chance of success

 

 

 

and with omnidyne

all thier capitals feature enough high AD to make targeted strikes worth wile to turn off PD for subseqent torpedo volleys

on their larger ships the opponents will have to split their fire between the ART's and biohazard torpedoes and with their gunships they have a highenough ad to scaremost tier 2 and below at anypoint in the game

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I also disagree with the Veydreth allies as there is some synergy to be found.

 

-The Veydreth can drop very powerful linked mines. The Tarakians can then push\pull ships into those mines or make it more awkward to get around them. This can allow a little more flexibility in where you can drop mines.

 

-The Veydreth can also provide an assist in missions and scenarios as with the ambush rule they can be placed very strategically besides just  a risky shunting in.

 

-While not as elite as the Terquai assualt due to the lack of access to the special forces MAR, the Veydreth assault cruiser is no slouch either and can be ambushed and is slightly faster vs. the durability of the Terquai.

 

If you want durable assault take Terquai, but if you want a few more tricks up your sleeve besides the grav weapons add in some Veydreth. 

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I also disagree with the Veydreth allies as there is some synergy to be found.

 

-The Veydreth can drop very powerful linked mines. The Tarakians can then push\pull ships into those mines or make it more awkward to get around them. This can allow a little more flexibility in where you can drop mines.

 

-The Veydreth can also provide an assist in missions and scenarios as with the ambush rule they can be placed very strategically besides just  a risky shunting in.

 

-While not as elite as the Terquai assualt due to the lack of access to the special forces MAR, the Veydreth assault cruiser is no slouch either and can be ambushed and is slightly faster vs. the durability of the Terquai.

 

If you want durable assault take Terquai, but if you want a few more tricks up your sleeve besides the grav weapons add in some Veydreth. 

 

1) Mines

 

I don't agree at all.

 

If you look at the mines options available from the Veydreth, you see the following:

  • Battleship: two 5 AD mines or one 7 AD mine.
  • Gunship Squadron: various combinations, up to a single 14 AD mine.
  • Assault Cruiser Squadron: 8 AD mine.
  • Corvette Squadron: 9 AD mine

 

Now let's look at the gravity firepower offered by the Tarakians:

 

  • Battleship: 8/9/8/6
  • Cruiser Squadron: 12/15/12/10
  • Frigate Squadron: 9/12/7/5

 

Remember that gravity weapons are in all cases superior to every other gun. Gravity weapons combine the best traits of indirect weapons (ignoring terrain and some defenses) with the best traits direct weapons (ignoring PD) and a special advantage all their own (ignoring shields). Squadron by squadron, gravity weapons are stronger and more likely to cause harm when used as a direct damage weapon than they are when used in control mode to push an enemy ship into a Veydreth minefield. Which would you rather, 14 AD that can't benefit from the vulnerable sector rule and is subject to shields, or 15 AD that can benefit from the vulnerable sector rule and ignores shields?

 

I'll admit that the minefield that a full Veydreth gunship squadron can leave behind is certainly a doozy... but I'd rather have more gravity guns.

 

2) Ambush

 

Well... yes and no.

 

The thing about Ambush is that I find that there are two ways to use it. You can spam it so that your opponent has no idea what the hell is going on, has no idea how to deploy or what to approach, and ends up entirely wrong-footed. You can do this with a pure Veydreth fleet - if you focus your Tier 2s on destroyers, assault cruisers, and gunships, you can easily create a list where the only things that can't Ambush are your battleship and your corvette squadron, both of which could potentially shunt in. It's possible to do this when the Veydreth are supporting Sorylians, since the Sorylians have at least a single option with Ambush and up to 50% of your fleet can be Veydreth. So, perhaps, in that case you have a situation where you've got a Sorylian battleship and a Veydreth battleship on the board and a couple of squadrons of frigates and corvettes and cruisers shunting in, and your opponent is still staring down a lot of Ambush tokens with no idea how to proceed.

 

But if you've got a primarily Tarakian fleet, only 25% of your list can be Veydreth. This means that the number of ships with Ambush is sharply limited. Best case scenario, you can fit in some Destroyers with Ambush 2 so your opponent has worse than 50% odds of just guessing where the real ships are... but Veydreth destroyers aren't really all that great. I mean, they're pretty cool, and I suppose 14 AD beams at 30'' isn't to be sneezed at, but it's hardly the best thing I can think of to add to a Tarakian list.

 

3) Vs. Terquai

 

I think it's really important not to provide your opponent with too tasty a target. Terquai durability is a huge advantage in this situation. If you show your opponent a field of bricks and one crunchy morsel, your opponent is going to pounce on said morsel and remove it. You suffer BL loss, as well as points poorly spent. When you can present a field of relatively similar durability, you have an easier time of providing your opponent with no attractive targets, which makes it easier for you to fork him.

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1) You're forgetting that mines are a template attack and can potentially hit more than one ship. Using the grav weapons to push/pull you could potentially enable this easier Whereas the canny opponent will start to spread out when they see mines.

Plus, its not all about raw damage dice. Their placement has a lot of board control effects on the game as you can cover likely shunt-in spots from your opponent, discourage closing for boarding attempts, cover a blind spot when defending a station etc. etc. etc.

 

2) In a pure Kurak alliance list, you can freely mix and match squadrons as long as you meet the tier requirements for ships and point size and fill your core. So, there is no percentage restriction.

 

3) Not gonna argue that Terquai are solid. They are really good choices. Just wanted to point out the Veydreth can be useful too and bring some different tactics to a mostly Tarakian fleet. I think they are a valid addition in the 800-1200 game. Going to even larger games I think Ryushi are needed for the PD and SRS they bring.

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All depens on who will be your enemy.

For example aganist Dindrenzi alliance with Veydreth should work better because thanks for hidden you can place Veydreth near Dindrendzi.

Earlier attack aganist Dindri means faster dice degradation of their AD.

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