So now that Tau have been out for a while I figured it was about time I made a post about the things I like and the things that I hate.
1. The last books HQ slot was mostly just a forced 1+ commander who unlocked an expensive crisis suit unit, which was about it. With the new dex they did something pretty great, they gave us 2-3ish usable characters (Can you guess who?) and an absurdly customizable generic commander. I don’t know if I’ll be using any of the special characters yet in my standard lists but, but my trusted 1+ commander will be less of a more wounds crisis suit and more of a super duper support general. There are the two infantry generic HQs but I’m not sold on them yet.
2. I've always liked stealth suits but until recently (stealth/shroud FAQ) they always came across as a really too expensive harrying unit. They haven’t changed points wise with the new book, but the changes to the burst cannon and fusion blaster has really stepped up their game.
3. Firewarriors like the stealth suits are a unit made better with the initial changeover to 6th edition, more so than any dramatic change with the new codex. Always shooting out to 30” and being able to move really gave you a reason to not hide them in a devilfish. The point reduction and pulse carbine changes are neat, but for me it’s all about having 12 str 5 shoots from turn one slowly shuffling around to be where they need to be at end game.
4. The Book itself is amazing, new art and great book structure. I got the special edition codex and it looks really classy, haven’t seen a standard one yet but I’m guessing the interior is the same.
5. Crisis Suits having Black sun and Multi-Tracker standard is really nice, they basically bundled in the two things I always bought for my suits at -3 points. There are also a bunch of new support systems that offer actually hard choices. Sky fire is nice but how about interceptor; you could make them bs 2 for overwatch, or make any suit a special weapon/character sniper.
6. I actually want to field sniper teams. This is great because I have three teams already painted, probably have to dust them off though. The idea of finally having a sniper unit that is actually good at being snipers is great.
7. Pathfinders have tons of options to make up for their guards men armor downgrade. Awesome weapons and really neat rules granted by the drones, most of which are pretty unique. The added bonus of not having to buy a transport for a heavy weapons team is not lost on me either.
8. Hammerheads are the reason why I started Tau, when my friends where getting me into playing a far future scifi war-game I couldn't understand why things had treads. I saw the Hammer and didn't look back. They went down in points and largely what they do hasn't changed with the new book. There is also this ace pilot that gives you about a 50% chance to kill any tank armor 12 or below that will probably be popping up in most of my lists.
9. This is the first book I’ve seen that really addresses flyers. Skyfire/Interceptor are options for all the suits (you can even have them on stealth suits if you really wanted). Thankfully it’s not cheap to have both rules on the same thing so It’s not too overpowered and most things are still bs3 as is the way with new Tau.
10. I will be making a Heavy Arms out of the Riptide. That is all.
Hate (Rant On)
1. There is no FOC swaps of any kind. They really went out of their way to make this book build almost exactly the same way as the old 4th edition book, and its bugging the crap out of me. I get not having cheap solo scoring crisis suits, but they could have done something. They could have said max units of something could be taken as a troop or even max units when you buy a special character or something. There’s no reason why special characters like Darkstrider, Farsight, or maybe even Shadowsun don’t do anything to change how you army builds, especially when compared to ever other 6th edition book to date.
2. Firewarrior Cadre is disappointing to me, when I first heard about him I thought he would be my second HQ choice. But his buff only works on static gun lines and honestly I’d rather take Darkstrider instead. The Cadre has split fire….. why he doesn't just have a target lock? If he could take more wargear, any of those special pathfinder drones, different weapons, be 1-3 slot choice, or even be an elite option I’d see him as an option. Right now he’s overshadowed by Darkstrider and the basic Ethereal.
3. The Tau troops have a lot of cool options, but they still suck at holding ground. Kroot can infiltrate and take sniper rifles, Firewarrirors can shoot all day. Both are T3 and both fold in assault to most standard shock troops. Sure you can shoot people a lot, but I get the massively irritating feeling GW is expecting you to take allies if you want objective holders which really creates a massive hole in any pure tau list. Devilfish might be the answer to this but they still seem too cost prohibitive.
4. Why is it that the Fighter makes a better Bomber and the Bomber makes a better fighter? Putting aside the fact that the Razor-shark’s main gun can’t shoot straight ahead, I really think it should have been twin-linked. On paper the Sunshark has the same amount of str 7 and str 8 shoots as the Razor, also they are all twin-linked to make up for bs 3 and 2. The bs 2 shots do drop to 1 if Sunny moves more than 18”but the markerlight can bring this back up to bs2 twin-linked which is still better than a flat bs 3. Sunny has a ton of potential on the table with all of its rules interactions, and I think the Razor just feels lazy in comparison.
5. I wish Pathfinders and Sniper teams had some way to infiltrate. They are sneaky unit’s that deploy ahead of the main battle force, now I’m stuck deploying them with my main force. The sniper drones and heavy gun pathfinders losing target-locks really hurts their shooting. They used to be able to split fire and have two different groups of guns being able to shoot at units they could hurt, now you end wasting one or the other depending on what you need to apply. With Pathfinders if you take the guns you end up taking away one of your few good marker-light units.
6. Markerlights. I like everything about the new incarnation of markerlight rules, except the over simplifying of the token options list. -1 per point for pinning is not that scary of a concept and having more options for marker lights would really have helped the not having psykers problem Tau face. Also everyone one I play seems to hate not having cover saves and they keep making me show them why it’s not like the BS version.
7. Broadsides are a mixed bag for me. On one hand their new models are freaking gorgeous; on the other hand they are now huge, take up too much space, no stat increase to make up for this, nerfed guns in range and str, and lost any relentless option. They also picked up these super awesome missile pods that scream for you to take them, because people couldn't be allowed to keep their old models. I get that having str 10 ap 1 anti-air guns is pretty rough, but it’s like they tried to balance the model after the new model was designed and then tacked on something to make you buy the new model.
8. Vehicles lost multi-tracker. For those who don’t know it made tau vehicles shoot like fast vehicles but not actually making them any fast vehicles. With this and the loss of vehicle target locks they just feel like hovering Lemon Russes. I’m not going to bitch about the disruption pod, I’m happy with the change as long as people don’t intentionally cut their flight stand down so they can hide things behind defense lines.
9. I’m not going to whine about the ion and nova reactor, it’s pretty easy to build a list without them if it really bothers you that Tau now has unsafe weapons after championing the safe plasma. What I am going to bring up is the fact that because of this new Ion weapon class Rail technology took a hit. Now we get two different kinds of unique weapons, but I feel they heavily pushed for Ion to be better because it was newer and different. Ion is pretty neat, but I’m going to forever wonder if those early rumors of all rail guns having blast modes were what was happening before somebody brought Ion weapons to the mix. I wished they had made ion technology more like how the cyclic ion gun used to be, low str rending shots, which would have still left Tau with two very unique different kinds of weapons but not having them compete against each other.
10. There is no freaking elaboration of the Tau origins, particularly the Ethereal and the crazy Tsunami warp storm in space cutting them off from the rest of the space jerks. Just few annoying inserts about how Ethereals are also now space jerks.
Overall I like the new codex. It has a ton of new options for my beloved first army, and I’m looking forward to throwing tons of curve balls at my opponents.
So what are some things you like and hate about the new Tau Empire?