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So I was looking at making a unit type for Tau: forward operating flame thrower units. The only template I could think of would be to use the Creature Feature from GW. Although I end up with an 11 point Tau Fire Warrior with a flamer that is only Str 3 AP 6. I was thinking of just taking the flamer points cost for a Crisis Suit and adding it to a Fire Warrior which would be 16 points. I'm just wondering how other people go about developing new units in a "fair" way.
"LET'S COMMENCE PREPARATIONS FOR RUMBLING!" Mono-Tzeentch 1:1:1
If I get an idea for a new unit, then I'll fluff it first.
Then I'll work on equipment and special rules, then I'll give them a points value- 90% of the time after rigorous playtesting. (at least, that's what I did with LOTR, haven't made any new units in 40K or FB- the counts as rule is fine for me).
I prefer not to sit at a desk and think. Forced ideas are rarely that great.
first I work the math. Then I do a wide comparrisson to similar units or units that have the same function. So for a flamethrower Tau in a unit that can only have flamethrowers as heavy weapons with a squad size of 6-12 that has a worse save than SM lower T than SM and no cc ability at all I would end up doing something like this.
standard Tau X points > SM points
Flamethrower weapon of limited use and effect no Anti tank capability > Plasma gun upgrade for marines (which is the same cost as the marine it self (hence a tau with a plasmagun similar upgrade would be about twice the cost for just the standard tau (if you can have 1-2 in the squad pending on squad size)))
the flamethrower upgrade for an SM is roughly +66% of SM points so a flamthrower upgrade in a unit that usually does not allow for any special weapons would be >+66% of Tau Cost.
But, the flamthrower has a radically different range than the pulserifles they normally use so it would limit their use to the Pulse Carbine version of the model which needs a transport to be effective so the upgrade as such should be compared to the carbine they can come with for free. This comparrison is not very favourable for the flamethrower as it will most likely be the S4 AP5 not the S5 AP4 version.
so for a flamer on a tau Id say it should cost about 30-35% of basic model cost (maybe less) a heavy flamer version however should be worth closer to 70% as it can realistically still be used against light armor and denies saves for alot of armies.
so a Tau with a flamer. hmmm about 15 points total a tau with a heavy flamer 18 points. then you stick the lot of them in a transport and give the rest of the 12 man squad carbines.
I start with the baseline unit in the army, or the closest equivalent unit.
E.g. I have an idea for an Elite High Elf Sea Guard unit, the closest unit to them as is are the existing Sea Guard, which are basic troopers. I want these bows to be able to scout, so I look at Shadow warriors, and try and dissect how much their scout ability costs vs the basic Elven archer with armour (additional unknown of skirmish as well, but we can deal with that later).
So let's say that scouting Sea Guard would cost 2 points more than normal Sea Guard. Now I look at the additional stats - I am after +1 WS, and +1 I. The High Elf book is rather unhelpful here, as no Elites units have the same armament as the non-elites.
However, the elites are very similar to each other in many ways. And we can infer that a +1 WS +1 I on top of a basic Sea Guard would be at MOST +6 pts, and probably half this, because the Elven elites have better increments due to their own special rules such as Lion pelt and Stubborn, or WS6 and +1 A, or Fear and 4+ ward.
If I could, I would compare the % increases for equivalent units in other armies to try and compare.
Then there is the "usefulness factor" - the fudge fcator if you will. I try and see what slot this would compete for - in this case teh Special slot. There are already some really juicy units in the Special slot for teh HE army, so taking these units should:
1) NOT be a no-brainer; but
2) make them a competitive choice for an alternate battlefield role.
NBow a scouting ranked unit of spear and bow wielding WS5 types is a scary prospect for most armies to cope with in Warhammer. So I have a utility factor there, which finger in the wind, adds +2 points to their PV. So these boys which are in essence forward deployed Rank and File unit with slightly better fighting characteristics costs a lot - I reckon 5 points more than the typical Sea Guard. Then playtesting will help fine tune the PV. Again it's not like for like "MathHammer" as there are umpteen situations where Scouting wouldn't help (e.g. no terrain in enemy deployment, no terrain which can be deployed, enemy does not have scouts at all, so no equivalent enemy troops to be faced, or enemy has so many scouts that therer are no hiding places left..).
In the end a fair PV puts these boys at double the cost of a standard High Elf spearelf.
That's the process I use i 40K as well, though to be honest, as I play marines, I have very little need to do this type of exercise....
Always start with the fluff.
Anyone willing to play you will be more willing to let you use non GW stuff if it fits well, looks great and is not a great tactical advantage over the regular.
Always over cost the unit, You must pay for using special rules, not your opponent. This is why a VDR rhino comes to about 60 points, while a Codex bought one is as low as 35.
So lets take your basic Idea. You want a sneaky Tau flamer unit?
Your options are minimum sized Fire warrior squad with 1 or 2 flamers
or a stealth squad where Fusion gun is replace by flamer.
I like the second one best as they will be getting close to use Burst cannons, are sneaky already and it is more believable that a battlesuit weapon system could be fitted to this type of battle suit that used on a Firewarrior squad.
Arch Overfiend & Grand Despot
I currently play:
Doom Eagle Space Marines
Hive Fleet Omega Tyranids
Goff Ork Boyz(dead)
Tau of O'me
Inquisitorial Xeno Hunters
and my attempted foray into fantasy
'Dark Angel Green' Dark Elves in need of fluff
Well my reasoning for the flamer was as tactical support in an either "Here they come! Flamers to the front!" kind of thing vs swarm armies or like you said stealth squads or part of the fish of fury squads dropping down and laying a template. It seems odd that crisis suits could have one but not fire warriors. I mean jeez they're called fire warriors. You'd think there'd be some sort of option for flamers. Yes I realize that in the Tu sense they might seem barbaric but once again I point your attention to the XV8 option for it.
I was doing a a little fiddling around and I came up with this:
For every one out of 6 firewarriors, one (not the Ui) may replace his Pulse Rifle for a flamer for 3 points. This upgrade is only available to one unit of firewarriors in your army.
"LET'S COMMENCE PREPARATIONS FOR RUMBLING!" Mono-Tzeentch 1:1:1
Rork: In the dark future of the 41st millennium there is only friendship.
Fenrir: and magic.
Kaiser-: My Little Chaos Marine, Friendship is Heresy?
Because it changes the Tau so much and gives them a whole new way of attack it will need to cost alot of points. If I had Tyranid Carnifex with rail guns I would pay more than you do for them. I would say there is little point in limiting how many squads may use this as you won't have infinite squads anyway.
I think the way i make new units is to consider fluff first. Fluff gives a very good idea of where they come from. For example I am thinking of creating a special kind of gargantuan Tyranid. The basic fluff is that I have decided to make it very toxic and poisonous. This isn't fluff in the sense of it came, the people screamed, it spewed acid, the people melted, it left! What kind of fluff I'm taliking about is why such a unit exists, what was the thinking behind it when it was formed (in my case spawned).
This gives you the building blocks to work with. I think also that often as you make a unit it won't turn out as you expect. This may be due to a change of mind, a better idea about how to make it. But always beware of biting off more than you can chew, if you decide it must be a cetain way then you will have trouble and sadness if you can't figure out how to actually make it.
One thing I really think is important though. Never make the creation of new units into an arms race. What I mean is don't just cook up something to let you win, give it character instead. My toxic critter will likely have anti-infantry in mind when it is made and gets some rules. However it will be lacking really hard hitting anti-tank power like that which creatures of similar size have.