I hope you are all well and having lots of hobby fun! This post is for the Hero Class Starship which is the first cruiser sized vessel to feature in this fleet and one that I really rather like. As it says in the fluff for the ship, the Hero is the pinnacle of Tau technology, which shows in that is is almost universally recognised as one of the more powerful ships in the Tau line up.
Again the fluff tell us that the Hero was built because the Tau were determined that they should have a ship that could match the Imperial Lunar class cruiser in battle. As it became evident in the Damocles Gulf (of Forgeworld fame), they failed but they did succeed in producing a credible ship of the line with some decent highlights. The Hero comes in two possible configurations which is a nice change, with the both sharing the same basic stats with different weapons load outs. They both have the basic cruiser stats of 8DC, and have a 20cm speed just like Imperials. The turns are the usual 45 degrees, and two shields, with a 5+ all round armour and the slightly better than average 3 turrets. In addition all Hero class ships are fitted with a “Prow Deflector” which raises their prow armour to a 6+, but is disabled by a prow critical. This makes them almost exactly the same as an Imperial Cruiser – one better turret and a slightly weaker form of prow armour being the only differences.The first configuration of the Hero is the Vash’ya config which fires six Tau torpedoes (remember their special rules in the last post) and has a FP4 45cm Weapons Battery in the L/F/R arc. In addition it has a FP2 30cm lance battery on each side, which interestingly has a L/F arc and a R/F arc. The ship also has two launch bays as well. This is interesting as it means the ship can concentrate FP4 WB to the front AND FP4 lances at 30cm giving it more firepower than the equivalent Lunar Class. Of course, the downside is that it cannot fire FP4 Weapons Batteries and FP2 Lances to both sides simultaneously, but I feel this is a prtty adequate trade off. Given the ship is only 180pts, the launch bays are effectively free and can always come in useful especially with the reliability of Mantas.The other configuration is actually quite similar, the only difference being a swap from FP2 30cm lances to FP4 45cm Weapons Batteries on the side, with the same fire arcs. To be honest, I think this trade is a pretty good one as the ranges sync up better (45 vs. 30cm) and the ability to put out FP12 at 45cm to the front in addition to the 6+ prow armour and torpedoes is pretty good! It really depends on how much you feel you need the lances in your list as to which configuration you should choose. The one thing that keeps the Hero sort of in check is that for each Hero in the fleet, you have to include a Merchant Class (here) or Explorer Class vessel (upcoming!). Now I am not saying that these ships are “bad”, just that you cannot just load up on loads of Hero class cruisers and call it a day. Once again, the paint scheme seems to have worked well on these bigger ships with the gradations of blue being more visible and the wash going on nicely. The green seems somewhat dimmmer on thse ships, which is a slight downside but it is the brightest green I could manage.
Hopefully you guys are enjoying these posts, I am trying to put a bit more effort into explaining what the ships are and how to use them in game, so give me a shout if you agree / disagree! Still have the Explorers and Messengers to come.Thanks,Gus