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"Battlefleet Gothic: Armada II" - Tau Merchant Escorts [Advanced Ship Guide]


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Tau Merchant Fleet Escorts

With the Tau Merchant Fleet vessels, one noticeable difference right away is that they do not benefit from the Way buffs that Tau Protector fleet players get to choose from at the beginning of the fight. Because of this and a general reduction in potential damage and critical hits per minute, at least regarding the escort class, gives way to cheaper hulls, field-able in larger numbers. While you won't see it in the Frigates or Destroyers, (excepting the Nicassar Dhow) the second main change is that Merchant vessels favor broadside and split arc weapon load-outs over the Protector fleets all front/coaxial builds.

Patch Status: Updated for Current Patch (v.11218) - July 13th, 2020

Tau Merchant Fleets Guide Navigation

*Nicassar, Kroot and Demiurg ships have their own section to reduce redundancy across Merchant/Protector fleet guides.

- Main Guide Index -
Check out this link to be taken to the main index for all of the "Battlefleet Gothic: Armada II" guides I am assembling, including ship guides for other factions and more!

Terms Used

This section briefly covers the advanced weapon data you will find for each ship. These values are calculated based off the base weapons stats and are explained as follows:

DPS - Damage Per Second - The total damage output per weapon type (all guns combined) per second, assuming 100% of shots land, before considering armor penalties.

Crits Pm - Critical Hits Per Minute - Assuming all shots land, this will be the average number of critical hit's the guns will cause every minute before modifiers. (all guns combined)

Salvos PM - Salvos Per Minute - The total number of combined waves of fire, not including multiple rounds fired from the same weapon.

Rounds PM - The actual number of shots or individual projectiles fired each minute from all guns combined.

Tau Merchant Fleet Escorts Ships Stats

The Differences in the stats for this tier of vessels is a bit mixed between the Frigates and Destroyers, without there being a clear line between the two. This is seen with stats like the Orca having slower engines like the Frigate Defender, but maintaining the same turn speed as the Messenger Destroyer or the Messenger having 6 turrets where the Orca only has 3, but they both have the same numbers of defending troops.

Shield: 200
Armor: 67 (All Sides)
Identification Range: 9,000
- 170: Orca, Defender
- 210: Messenger
Rotation Speed:
- 16: Orca, Messenger
- 12: Defender
200: Messenger, Orca
- 400: Defender
Defense Turrets:
- 3: Orca
- 6: Messenger, Defender
Bravery: -25
Defending Troops per Stage
3: Messenger, Orca
- 7: Defender

Tau Merchant Fleet Escorts Attributes & Skills

As mentioned in the beginning, the Tau Merchants lose access to the Warfare bonuses that you can pick at the beginning of the match with the Protector fleet. One nice compromise is they have access to the Messenger's special defense turret boosting ability, only available on the Custodian Battleship for the Protector fleet.

  • Gravitic Drive Propulsion: Grants Tau maneuvers.
  • Escort: Does not have assault skills.
  • Independent: -25 Bravery penalty.
  • Scanner: Marks enemies within 13,000 units and keeps them revealed for 30 seconds.
  • *Targeting Systems: +5% to Defense turret accuracy (also benefits friendly ships within 4,500 units)
    *Only applies to Messenger

Point Cost: 32
Raw Total Crit Output: 0.6 critical hits per minute
Raw Total DPS: 3


  • 2 x Light Ion Cannon Artillery
    100% Accuracy, Armor Piercing
    90° Front Arc
    Range: 9,000
  • 2 x Double-Barrel Light Railgun Turret
    Efficient Accuracy (80/60/40/20/0)
    270° Front Arc
    Range: 13,500

The Orca represents the mixed lance/macro weaponry option for the Tau Merchant fleet's Destroyers. Weak on the damage numbers and so-so as far as crits go, but overall considering the price its not that bad of a value. Even though you really need both weapons firing to do worthwhile damage, the fact that the Railguns can fire out to 13,500 before modifiers is a nice touch, especially if you choose to pick the fleet upgrade that extends lances ranges by 4,500. Could be fun to field a swarm of little snipers using the Orcas.

Point Cost: 27
Raw Total Crit Output: 0.15 critical hits per minute
Raw Total DPS: 1


  • 4 x Light Railgun Turret
    Efficient Accuracy (80/60/40/20/0)
    270° Front Arc
    Range: 9,000

The answer to what happens when you forgot to install torpedoes on your Cobra Destroyer. The Messenger has abysmal damage and crit numbers for a ship of it's size, even with the cheap points cost. The usefulness of this vessel really lies within the Targeting Systems special ability which increases the accuracy of Defense Turrets by 5% for the Messenger and all other allied ships within a 4,500 unit range. A few Messenger Destroyers can help supplement a Merchant fleet from facing possible Carrier focused players, possibly quite useful considering their use in multiplayer.

Point Cost: 35
Raw Total Crit Output: 0.49* critical hits per minute
Raw Total DPS: 3.3*
*Does not include Missile Launcher


  • Missile Launcher (2 Tubes)
    Seeker Homing Torpedoes (2 Charges)
  • 1 x Double-Barrel Railgun Turret
    Efficient Accuracy (80/60/40/20/0)
    270° Front Arc
    Range: 9,000
  • 2 x Double-Barrel Light Railgun Artillery
    Efficient Accuracy (80/60/40/20/0)
    90° Front Arc
    Range: 9,000

The Defender is an equivalent to the Castellan Protector Frigate, but drops the extended range of that ships macros to drop the cost while actually upping its damage and cpm numbers slightly.

Thanks to the homing ability of the Tau Seeker Missiles, having torpedo tubes on an escort is even more viable for them as a faction, since it allows them to launch salvos from longer distances which in turn makes it easier to combine strikes from multiple craft along with interceptor squadrons for coverage. You still need to be careful for highly maneuverable or just crafty players as they can still be dodged.


7/13/2020 - Updated for patch 11218.

© 2019 SOE

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