Tau Merchant Light Cruiser
Tau Merchant Light Cruisers only have one type of Light Cruiser called the Il'Fannor-class Light Cruiser (designated as Merchant-class by the Imperium) which was the next major ship designed by the Tau after the Gal'leath-class Battleship.
It was originally designed to become the new workhouse of the fledgeling Tau Empire, its Gravitic Drive being able to reach a third of normal warp speed. As the Gal'leath proved ineffective as a military vessel against the Orks, the Merchant was heavily redesigned into a cheap and effective (if rather slow) warship that remained the Tau's mainline military ship until the advent of the Lar'shi class. As a Light Cruiser, it lacks the hard-hitting firepower, speed and durability of those of the other major races, but makes up for it by being very cheap and easy to produce.
There are currently two configurations for this Light Cruiser.
The Ke'lShan is one of the more popular designs as it incorporates mid-range port, prow and starboard Railgun batteries that are able to fire in multiple arcs. They also utilise two Gravitic Hooks that can transport smaller vessels that do not have their own warp drives.
The Ke'lShan is an incredibly cheap Light Cruiser when you account for the pair of Orcas it brings into the battle, worth 64 points, bringing the base cost of the ship to only 60 points, a cost comparable to the escorts of some factions, like the Aeldari.
Compared to its sister Light Cruiser, the Dal'Yth, there isn't much of a reduction in terms of DPS, but there is a big chunk of CPM difference between the two. If you add the DPs brought by the two Orcas, the combined total of the price you pay for is 17 DPS and 2.86 critical hits per minute.
It's worth pointing out, even though their numbers come close to each other, the Ke'lShan deals all of its damage with macro-based weaponry while the Dal'Yth has a nice portion dealt in lances, thus giving it a better outcome in practical DPS and CPM.
It is armed with 2 Railgun Artillery, 2 Gravitic Hooks, 2 Double-Barrel Railgun Turrets and 2 Heavy Railgun Battery Weapons.
- Length: 4km
The lance-boat variety. The Dal'Yth is a subtle redesign that replaces the Gravitic Hooks with short-range Ion Cannons and is thus able to be better utilised in up-close engagements independently.
The Dal'Yth is the cheaper of the two Light Cruisers as far as up-front cost goes, but actually costs 30 points more than it's companion when you take into the account the points cost of the Orcas, as mentioned above. Overall the two vessels are comparable, the Dal'Yth being more your preference if you need to bring more lances to the fight in order to combat heavy armor or issues hitting small and fast enemies.
It is armed with 2 Ion Cannon Artillery, 2 Light Ion Cannon Battery Weapons, 2 Double-Barrel Railgun Turrets and 2 Heavy Railgun Battery Weapons.
- Length: 4km
In Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 1 & 2
The Tau Merchant Light Cruisers begin to show the factions preference for broadside weaponry and split firing firing arcs over the Protector's coaxial turrets and frontal focused combined fire. Other important features of the Merchant fleet are a higher hull hit point pool than normal, balanced out by slower than normal engines for their size, actually coming out to be some of the slowest line ships in the game. Finally, they have the weakest assault actions possible and no ability to lightning strike, making this a faction you really want to avoid up-close fights with.
Ability wise the Merchants are a direct downgrade form the Protectors, losing out on troop damage, critical chance, still not having lightning strike but finally, losing the Warfare bonuses one can choose from at the beginning of the match.
|Vessels of the Tau Kor'Vattra and its Auxillaries.|
|Space Station||Tau Space Station|
|Battleships||Battleship (Tau Merchant - Or'Es El'Eleath |
Stronghold - Warsphere)
|Cruisers||Light Cruiser (Tau Merchant - Tau Protector) |
Cruiser (Tau Merchant - Tau Protector - Bastion)
|Escorts||Escort (Tau Merchant - Tau Protector - Nicassar Dhow)|