Falkenhayn wrote: Black Admiral wrote:
At least, maintaining it where their armoured units didn't run into Father Time
As artillerists, they do have a fetish for the instant destruction of point targets and "artillery sniping", depending on what tasks are assigned to the Markerlight drones. But they recognize the importance of misdirection operationally, and have the expendable troop types (Vespid and mass Gun Drone drops) to pull it off without decreasing their maneuver forces (all the blue skinned skimmer goodness).
I don't know what the GE has in the way of artillery, but Tau counter-battery fire is fucking awful, and when their initial offensives fail, they jump to extreme solutions (massed crisis suit drops, for instance) to break the deadlock. Doctrinally, as long as there is some sort of progress, they will maintain the offensive. Given the length of the campaign, these things may become apparent.
In terms of infantry tactics, the Shas'ui are linked fully into the drone network (Read: Markerlight drones for recon and to access the Smart Missile network). After making contact, they go to ground and pummel a dug in defender with missile strikes. It's a pretty standard move forward by fire-and-movement from that point, in order to reach a position where the enemy can be eliminated with personal weapons at range. All those smart-missile systems fill the role of everything from mortar to LAW to light artillery. That leaves the Tau squad free to bomb forward with Pulse Rifles/Carbines/Grenade Launchers, and covers their movements on the battlefield in both attack and defense, without risking lives, resources and time on Forward Observers, fire direction centers, etc.
It's a Blitzkrieg, with no infantry divisions.
Sort of. The Tau have a definite fixation on direct fire weaponry - this makes them good in certain ways but they seem to dismiss the benefit of actual howitzers and the like or "beyond the horizon" attacking. Which is odd given their sensitivity to casualties and their penchant for long range. I mean, you can't get MUCH longer range than howitzers. I mean they could be using something akin to the Naval railgun (which has insane range) and a guided muntion with Markerlights and drone sats providing telemetry aid... *shrug*
We know the Empire has direct and indirect fire artillery of repulsor and non repulsor variety. THE SPHA-T can be configured in a variety of ways (using line of sight beam weapons of variable power for air threats, or indirect fire projectiles or missile launchers for other threats.) We know from the Force commander games (and possibly the Galactic Battlegrounds stuff) that they have other artillery platforms as well (tracked and repulsor. I vaguely remember repulsor.)
As far as Manta analogues the best would be the stormtrooper transports from the Xwing/TIe fighter games, or the assualt transport. Or the spacetrooper assault shuttle. They're heavily armed (starfighter scale) with weapons and armor but can also deliver troops. SPHA-Ts equipped with heavy anti-ship guns (turbolasers) probably can handle any Manta (including the Escort sized one) as could missile equipped fighters and gunships. Although doing so would probably be as messy as a large titan battle (we're talking nuclear level ordanance on the battlefield unless its restricted in some way, so everything else would become irrelevant very fast.)
AT-ATs and perhaps Juggernauts could be cheap Titan analogues (at least the lesser Titans) and possibly engage the smaller Mantas, but again thats kinda iffy and probably going to be very messy on the battlefield. Since the Tau have no At-AT analgoue, I'd suggest ignoring that, and going with SPHA-Ts and juggernauts, but if we keep the AT-AT.. meh.
The Empire also fields different kinds of repulsortanks than the ones from the video games (that saber tank or whatever it is with the fixed axis guns and missiles and shields. That thing is more like a Bradley than an actual tank) THey actually have turreted repulsor tanks, from the light to heavy varieties (firehawk, Imperial-class tank, etc.) Repulsortanks seem to be fairly common in their armored forces in all types (Hell's Hammers elite armor unit is Army).
As far as air attack craft go.. go with blastboats and gunboats. Better aerodynamics than TIEs and shielded. Or use actual combat airspeeders. TIE fighters are possible but will be scragged quickly since they're not meant for atmosphere use (unless we're using exotic TIEs.) They're un-aerodynamic as fuck and while they have repulsors to keep them aloft, air resistance is going to be a huge handicap (so no hypersonic travel, unless they go VERY high up in the air, which they might haveto anyhow.)
As far as infantry goes... Stormtroopers/clonetroopers are going to be your best fire warrior analgoeus . Not a perfect match, but the Imperial Army forces just aren't as well equipped. IA troops are going to be more numerous but lower quality - they'd be second line forces (analogous to tau auxiliaries. The IA forces can also subdivide into specializations like CQB/assault, sharpshooter, and the like, so you probably could posit analgoues to Kroot and such.)
Battlesuits can be handled by AP-PTs or Spacetrooper armor of some kind or another (a number of kinds exist). Stealth suits? Storm commandos perhaps, or some of the more sophitsticated scouts and light infantry. Drones cover droids.