friday 40k humor

friday 40k humor

Friday, April 19, 2013

A look at the Tau Codex part 6: Overview

In this last installment of looking at the Tau codex I wanted to have a brief look at how the book has changed from the previous one. But first a quick look at the Warlord table.

What a nice table. I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised.
1. Enemy models cant take look out sir rolls from warlords shooting. 
Not bad for precision sniping characters.
2. One use only. For one shooting phase all units in 12" reroll 1's.
very handy, especially when using Marine allies with alot of plasma.
3. Warlord and unit move 3D6" in assault phase.
I like this one! it means you can get back where you want every turn
4. One use only. basically any units that went to ground can have a turn as normal
This is a good one as you can have one turn where you send everyone to ground to prevent casualties
5. One use only. Warlord and his unit get skyfire for one turn.
Yet another good one. There's always plenty of flyers these days
6. warlord and any unit do not scatter when deep striking.
great! put your warlord in a crisis unit in reserve. Or better yet put him in sternguard or terminators with a nullzone/gate librarian

Pretty much all of these are useful in some way or another. Its a fairly good table, especially when compared to the BRB ones.

So what do I think of this Codex. I really really like it. Why? Its not the Necron Codex....and by this I mean it didn't introduce a huge number of new units with overpowered special characters and rules that completely changed the entire flavour of the army and the way its played. Necrons went from almost a slow and purposeful army to one of the fastest and most durable in the game. This didn't happen to tau, we just got refined, and that's good. I play Tau because I like their look and playstyle. 

Writing this look at the Codex has been good. There's probably not too many reading this little known blog and its made me have a look at all the units a bit more. In the end of the day the codex hasn't changed that much. Most of the units people took previously they are still going to take, maybe just configured a little differently and most of the units that got overshadowed by other units still are, despite their improvements. Stealth suits and sniper teams spring to mind. It's not that they aren't good. There are just better choices in their FoC. The basic Tau army is still going to consist of Commander, crisis suits, firewarriors, kroot, hammerheads, Broadsides, pathfinders and probably Piranha. Its just going to fleshed out a little bit by a Riptide or two and maybe one flyer. 

What the book has done in places is reduce our BS (no target arrays) and as they are better forcing us/convincing us to take markerlights more. The platforms for markerlights are slightly cheaper (marker drones used to be 30pts!), as are most things. Kirby on 3++ just priced up an old 2k 5th ed list using the new prices and found the new book is nearly 300pts cheaper. That means more toys and upgrades or more bodies. 

I've seen complaints on the net already about the fact that there's no cover saves from markerlights. I've just got 1 thing to say to that. Divination. Most (I said most, not all!) armies can get access to divination these days. Psykers can give huge buffs to firing units and we don't get any. Sure we can ally them in but we don't get them ourselves and markerlights are our way to make up for that. We don't use the warp. We have the Earth caste to make us nice toys instead..

We also have great ally choices that really buff us even more, and many Tau abilities work on friendly units, not Tau Codex, although not markerlights. We have a large number of allies of convenience and two battle brothers, both of which bring things to the table that we might want. 

Eldar obviously give us the psychic abilities we miss. Doom being one we would like alot! But more essentially a farseer gives us the psychic defense we lack. Allying with them also gives us access to wraithguard and more fast skimmers. Other than that, as this stage, we can probably outshoot most things the Eldar can bring, although I'm a big fan of outflanking scatter laser armed war walker squadrons, which could be a worthwhile use for the recon drone. 

Space marines are great allies for us. T4 BS4 units in power armour, with access to bikes as troops, better melta weapons, S7 plasma, drop pods and cheap transports. Whats not to like? I'm already looking forward to slotting in a bike captain and squad or some Sternguard/terminators allies into my list. Possibly infiltrated into place with Shadowsun and giving them stealth and shrouded. Give Sternguard plasma and the command and control drone is a great buy for Shadowsun, especially as marines don't get re-rolls from Divination. Librarians don't give us the psychic defense anymore but a nullzone/gate librarian is useful in a number of ways, and cheap.

One good thing about both our battle brothers is this. Both are rumoured to be getting updates in the next 6th months, which could give us even more options in our lists.

There's already the more serious players thinking of overpowered combinations of units to get the maximum from rules and allies. I'm sorry, that's just not the way I play. I stopped going to tournaments a few years ago and much prefer friendly games for fun, not for thrashing my opponent/friend off the table so hard he doesn't enjoy it. 

Well I hope you enjoyed reading these posts. My aim wasn't to advise people on what they should be taking or make Tau players suddenly notice things they have missed. I'm not that serious a gamer, or one who relies on mathhammer, and I probably pick units more hard core players wouldn't. And I hate spamming. Its likely that non-tau players got more as they may not have bought the book. I'm now just looking forward to getting my models and getting them put together. In a month or so I'll have a few games under my belt and a few battle reports posted I hope.

I do wonder if any additional units will be introduced to the Tau, either in White Dwarf supplements or otherwise. There's a great deal made about all the races in the Tau empire and we have seen none of them in the new book. That and we have been left with a small number of units compared to other books, but thats for another post :)

For the Greater Good!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A look at the Tau Codex Part 5: Heavy Support

original post: The Dark Mechanicum

In Part 5 I'm going to look at that much envied section in the Tau Codex. Heavy Support.

XV88 Broadside Team
These have always been a Tau players 'go to' unit for anti-tank. Forget hammerheads, with their BS4 single shot, Forget Fusion Blasters with their 12" range. 72" with S10 AP1 twin-linked. On a T4 2+ platform. People often fielded 6 of these, if not sometimes more. So whats changed?

Er lots. There has been alot of contention about these changes in the weeks up to Codex release. They've gone down 5 points from a base of 70 to 65, but now get the free battlesuit upgrades. They keep the TL SMS, which has arguably got better. Now it has the 'Ignores Cover' rule and doesn't need LoS to its target. However they lost the S10 railgun. It's now a heavy rail rifle. S8 AP1 Heavy 1 60" Range. Ouch. Thats a fairly big drop for only a 5 point reduction and completely changes Tau lists. Now we have to look elsewhere for our main anti-armour shooting. They now get to take a Shas'vre with Ld9 which is nice, can change their rail rifle for a S7 AP4 Heavy 4 TL missile pod for free and change the SMS for Plasma rifles, as they could before, but for 5pts now. They can also take a seeker missile for 5pts each and up to one item from the support list. they can also take two drones each and are the only unit now able to take missile drones. This is a standard drone with S7 AP4 heavy 2 missile pod. Oh yeah they can take the bonding knife if they really want to. Don't.

So how do these upgrades and option effect us? Well they aren't going to be used to kill landraiders anymore. That's for sure. Forcing us to turn back to unreliable Hammerheads and Fusion blaster equipped Piranhas and Battlesuits. Before they had to take one support system, now they have the option. However the Tau lost access to the Advanced Stabilisation System, which is huge! This gave our Broadsides the Slow and Purposeful rule, allowing them to move and shoot. This is gone...Now your broadsides, especially with their reduced range, really have to pick a good place to set up. Every turn you spend moving is one you are only shooting snap shots, or using up extra markerlights to boost your BS. The missile pod broadsides now throw out a silly number of shots. Between 3 suits and 6 drones they can throw out 24 S7 missiles, 12 of them TL, with 12 TL S5 missiles thrown in for good measure. This amount of high strength shooting obviously benefits greatly from markerlight hits. These obviously need more thought for placement as they only have 36" range. All suits have access to either Skyfire or Interceptor, but not both. Personally I'm leaning towards the Interceptor option, especially with missile pods. For starters its cheaper. The amount of shooting and twin linking means that even hitting on 6's you are going to score a few hits, and most flyers are lightly armoured. Having interceptor means you are also dangerous to drop podding marines and other deep striking units within 36".

The new broadside models are lovely, but I could only afford 2 and need to have a serious think about how to equip them now. Whether to go with heavy rail rifles or missile pods? Although I think missiles is probably the way to go I love the look of them holding those rail rifles in their hands. I have 3 of the old broadsides though. I could easily remove their rail rifles from their shoulders and attach additional missile pods and rebase them, but they won't look as nice.

Whatever their configuration I can see them being deployed with a Neurochip Commander for Monster and Tank Hunter, along with having a T5 character at the front, possibly with 2x TL missile pods. Giving tank hunter makes the missile pod equipped suits lethal to anything up to AV13. It does seem that 12 S7 shots is much better than 3 S8. There's also the option of including Shadowsun to give them shrouded and stealth, along with the infiltrate option for positioning them after your opponents setup. Whatever the setup these suits aren't going to be the threat to AV14 that they used to be, and I suppose in a way that's ok. Its not right that a Landraider knows it's going to get blown up turn 1 reliably and this forces us to work for those kills.

Hammerhead gunship
Everyones favourite tank. Tau players love them and non-tau players hate them. They are one of the best tanks in the game but struggle, efficiency wise against some of the Forgeworld tanks, I'm looking at you Warphunter.... 13/12/10 AV with a S10 AP1 railcannon and S6 AP4 submunition round in the last codex. Disruption pod and multi tracker were standard items to purchase, allowing them to shoot, but not move, like a fast vehicle and get a 3+ cover save over 12".

Well for starters Multi-trackers on vehicles are gone. This slows our tanks down to 6" if they want to shoot at full BS, and luckily thats still 4. This is a fairly big nerf in my book. 12" was great. They still keep the S10 Railcannon, but have to pay 5 pts for the S6 AP4 large blast submunition. The railcannon can be swapped for free for an Ion cannon. S7 AP3 Heavy 3 or overcharged at S8 AP3 large blast, Gets Hot!. Luckily the bare bones Hammerhead went down from 160 (with railgun and drones) to 125, although the cost with an Ion cannon remains the same. the Hammerhead also gets an odd secondary weapon option. For free you can either take a TL burst cannon with S5 AP5 18" range or TL SMS with S5 AP5 30" range, ignores cover and no LoS needed. Seems like a no brainer? My guess is this is an error and will be errata'd fairly swiftly to SMS not being twin-linked. I'm going to hold off on modelling all my hammerheads back to SMS for now. You can also take up to 2 seeker missiles, just like before, but they are now 8pts and a bit better than they were.

You should still take the disruption pod and submunition. meaning that one of these is going to come in, normally, at 145pts. Unlike the last edition the Ion cannon is actually worth taking now. A S8 AP3 large blast can seriously ruin a squad of power armour.

With broadsides having the heavy rail rifle instead of rail cannon I can see me fielding 2 Hammerheads now with every list. Stick sensor spines on them and hide them in the middle of ruins etc.

Sky Ray missile Defence Gunship
This tank has always suffered greatly against the other heavy support slots. 6 S8 AP3 shots a game seemed shitty compared to S10 AP1.

Like the Hammerhead this has gone down in price. It now comes with Gun Drones as standard and a free Velocity tracker, the only vehicle with one, for 115pts. It still has 6 seeker missiles and 2 networked markerlights. It can also take vehicle upgrades. It's just a pity this doesn't include the Interceptor wargear. It also has the strange secondary weapon option seen on the Hammerhead so SMS is the way to go for now.

Having 2 velocity tracker equipped marker lights means you could hit a flyer with markerlights and then boost the snap fire of another unit up to BS3 when shooting at the same flyer, which would be really nice for missile pod broadsides. The seeker missiles got a bit of a boost in that they ignore cover and can fire independently of markerlight hits. But a vehicle can still only fire 1 a turn other than using marker tokens.

I'd like to say I'll be using a Skyray, but with other anti-air units out there I can't see me fielding one still in 6th. If broadsides were still S10 then I would stick one in with 2 x 3man XV88 teams for my anti vehicle and have a skyray for anti-air. But with the railgun drop on the suits I want to take 2 Hammerheads every game and one team of broadsides, likely equipped with missiles.

Sniper Drone team
Lets face it. very few Tau players ever took these before. at 80pts a team a full set of 3 cost 240pts, the same as 3 broadsides. They were AP3 and our crisis suits tended to fill that AP3/2 niche for us.

But boy have they changed in 6th. first off they are now a full 22pts cheaper and can be taken in groups of up to 12, 9 sniper drones and 3 BS5 marksmen. The drones lose their rail rifle but now come with Pulse sniper rifle. 48" SX AP5 Sniper Rapid fire. This is huge. First off due to having drone controllers the marksmen make this unit BS5. Secondly, having 48" rapid fire means you are firing 2 shots under 24" and these benefit from the Ethereals Storm of fire rule for 3 shots under 24". Brilliant. 9 Drones are now firing out 27 BS5 shots that always wound on 4+ with rending and pinning. Not only that with the new jet pack and movement rules the drones can still move and fire as they are relentless, leaving the marksmen to sit tight and fire markerlights. So you get all those nice sniper shots and 3 BS5 markerlights all for 174 points. Oh and they have stealth and are majority T4, with 4+ save. Lovely. Arguably much better points cost than such things as marine sniper scouts. If you need to move them then they still get to fire the sniper rifles, just not the markerlights. Oh well I can live with that.

However..... they share the same problem as the Skyray. Can they contend with broadsides and hammerheads? Unfortunately, the answer is probably not. But they are worth trying out!

So there we are. A summary of the heavy support slots for the new Tau. As with alot of the book nothing has massively changed. theres just been tweaks that make everything work better.

For the last look at the Tau Codex I'll be taking a look at Warlord traits and having a brief overview of the Codex to finish.

Posted by Furstenburg at 10:49 AM

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A look at the Tau Codex Part 4: Fast Attack

original post: The Dark Mechanicum

In Part 3 I'm going to have a look into the Fast Attack section of the FoC.

Fast attack has the most number of choices for those slots, other than HQ, with 6 in total. 4 were in the old codex and 2, the flyers, are new to this book.

Pathfinder Team
These guys were both brilliant and crap in the old codex. Their moderately long range of 36" meant that they could sit back in cover and use Markerlights to aid the rest of the armies shooting. Unfortunately their T3 and crappy leadership often meant they were butchered fairly early in the game, forcing your army to rely on its BS3, as opponents learnt to hate them and target them first. So whats changed?

They went down by a point to 11 and, like the Firewarrior, now come with photon grenades as standard. They also lost a point of armour save to 5+ and their carbine became assault 2. They come in units of 4 and can be upped to 10, 2 more than previously. There's a lot of options for them to take if wanted. Up to three models can change their carbines and markerlights with Ion rifles for 10pts (S7 AP4 Rapid Fire - Overcharge S8 AP4 Heavy 1Blast Gets Hot!) or Rail rifles for 15pts (S6 AP1 Rapid fire). Like the firewarriors its 2pts a model for EMP grenades. they can take a Recon Drone (When embarked on a Devilfish it gets homing beacon and positional relay), with burst cannon, for 28pts, A grav-inhibitor Drone (slows a charging opponent by D3") for 15pts and a Pulse-Accelerator Drone (Increase range of Pulse weapons by 6") for 15pts. A Shas'ui can be taken with ld8 and he can take drones and blacksun filter. they can also take a devilfish.

So lets go through that again without the jargon. they now have photon grenades. As mentioned in the Firewarrior post this isn't necessarily a good thing, unlike units getting frag grenades as standard. their armour is now 5+ so they die even faster than before. Their carbine is assault 2, but these guys should really be firing markerlights for the rest of the army, otherwise you may as well give Firewarriors carbines. They come in units of up to 10. So basically they last a bit longer on the field, needing 3 deaths to force a rout check, but they die much faster now as their armour is worse. 

They can take up to 3 heavy weapons...Hmmm...I'm just not sure about this. Pathfinders have a crappy BS of 3 and you want as many markerlight hits on an enemy unit instead to boost the killy stuff. 5 potential markerlight hits is much better than 3.5. The rest of your army then do the killing. This isn't normally what you buy Pathfinders for. They can take EMP grenades. If you feel like you want to be getting close and personal to vehicles with these guys then by all means spend 20pts for every 10 man unit. Otherwise dont buy these. Your pathfinders should be behind any gunline you have if you are using them for markerlights. 

They get a recon drone? What does this do for 28pts? If you embark the entire unit (unless I'm missing something somewhere) onto a Devilfish it allows you to outflank more easily, if against an edge, and it becomes a homing beacon for deep strike. About the only use I can see for this is bringing your Pathfinder in on a flank close to your opponents edge and then using it to guide other reserves in. This would have been great with the old wargear that allowed you to bring on 1 reserve on a 1+ a turn. but that's gone. This tactic would require you to A. get the Devilfish and Pathfinders on first and B. get any other units on in subsequent turns. Seems like a bit of a waste of time to me when your pathfinders should be lighting targets up for shooting. I cant see myself taking one of these drones, although it does look nice nestled in a Devilfish. Grav-Inhibitor Drone. This seems like another one that is a waste of points, as does the Pulse Accelerator Drone. If you want to be shooting Pulse weapons out to 24" then buy firewarriors. They're cheaper. Pathfinders are there to act as your main source of Markerlights. I cant stress that enough. This drone would be amazing if you could take it in Firewarrior units. I'd be taking one in every unit. But you can't..

I'm going to field Pathfinders, and I'm probably going to try 2 units of 10, with Shas'ui, for a while. They will probably be taken with no upgrades other than a BSF for the Shas'ui, making them a fairly cheap 121pts. All the bells and whistles on them soon rack up the points and to be honest, I don't think they are worth it. Those ion and Rail rifles would have been much better off in Firewarrior units, even if only 1 could be taken.

Vespid Stingwings
Aahh the pariah of the tau. Loved by many but forever crappy. They are now 18pts each (hold on they went up?) with 4-12 in a unit and are jump infantry. Their weapons are 18" S5 AP3 and they have a 4+ save, are T4 with the fleet, hit and run, move through cover and stealth (ruins rule). Now that seems not bad you might say. For the price of a tactical squad (well..226 with leader, see below) you get a highly mobile unit with a MEQ killer weapon that gets a 4+ cover in ruins (the most common type of terrain in our games). However they are Ld6...and it costs 10pts to upgrade a sergeant to Ld9. One precision shot later and they are back to Ld6.

On average these guys are going to kill 4 marines a turn in the open, more if boosted with markerlights, which they couldn't use before. And they may even last a while against return fire. For quite a bit cheaper though your Elite choices are doing as good if not better job for cheaper. They cost as much as a kitted out Riptide after all. The 6" range boost and +1 armour is a big deal for Vespids and I'm going to try them out at least once. I think once opponents realize their rather fragile nature compared to points they aren't going to last long though. Also there's other units in the Fast Attack FoC that are probably worth the points much much more.

Drone Squadron
No I didn't mean these. First off the main problem for me is you are paying 14 points for an infantry model that cant score or deny objectives and you want to be able to spend points on things that can.

You have the choice of taking Marker Drones, Shield Drones and Gun Drones and there can be up to 12 in a Squadron in any numbers. We have already spoken about the different drones so I'm not going to go into more detail. About the only use I can see for this unit is as a large bodyguard for a Drone Controller equipped Commander, granting the entire unit BS5, which is great. It would fire out 24 18" S5 shots with BS5. Plus the Commanders shooting. All you would need is 2 markerlight hits for Ignores Cover. I can't see myself using this much. I like my Commander and want him elsewhere in the army doing things. Or you could give the Commander the Multi-Spectrum Sensor Suite and have him do nothing if you really need to get rid of cover. they could also benefit from the Puretide Engram Neurochip to be transport and monster hunters, but missile pos XV88s are probably better, if more expensive. 

The Piranha itself has changed very little in this edition. Its the same AV and equipment. but it's the little things that make this brilliant. It's dropped in price to a measly 40pts and units up to 5. With the increase to burst cannons this means you now get 8 shots per piranha, or 40 18" S5 shots for 200pts, on something that cant be killed by basic infantry weapons and has a 5+ save if it moves, which it should always be doing. Now this is the main reason not to take Vespids. Boost them with markerlights and you will be scything down infantry. Or you can drop a 10 Drone Gun Squadron on your enemies flank. The Fusion blaster is now 10pts and with no target array to boost BS to 4, but even so you now get 4 with Fusion blasters for the price of 3 before. Vehicles are a bit more thin on the ground in 6th though and Broadsides and Crisis Suits probably do the same thing but better. You still need to be within 9" for melta to kick in and anything that gets out of a destroyed transport is going to be well in charge range. In my opinion these have changed from a blocking anti-vehicle role in 5th to an anti-infantry role in the new Codex. Still I'll be trying them as both to see how they work out.

Sun Shark Bomber
There's alot of tau flyer sentiments out there at the minute. The problem is people are comparing all these 6th flyers to the overpowered ones we are dragging with us from 5th. It seems GW doesn't want flyers to be like that and are reining them in, but obviously there's the Helldrake anomaly.

This flyer has the same armour as a Piranha, but with 3 Hullpoints and costs 160pts. It comes with a pulse bomb generator, which drops S5 AP5 large blast bombs once a turn. On a 1 no more bombs can be dropped afterwards. It also has missile pods that can be Twin linked for 5pts, a networked markerlight and 2 seeker missiles. It also comes with 2 Interceptor Drones, which are almost its main armament. they can disembark anywhere along its move, have interceptor and skyfire and come with TL Ion rifles (See pathfinder description above). Not bad but I can see me rolling 1's on the pulse bombs way too often early on. Having crappy armour you would pretty much always have to buy Decoy launchers for the 4++ vs Interceptor, or they will get shot down before you do anything. At the moment i can't see me taking one of these. The meta is so flyer orientated and to overcompensate lists are fielding large amounts of anti-air units, which means they aren't going to last long and probably cost 168pts. Once GW does a nerfing job on all the OP flyers, as they will eventually (when sales drop), anti-air units will decrease and this might be worth giving a try.

Razorshark Fighter
This is the Tau's main fighter according to the fluff in the book (Wheres the Barracuda). like the Sun Shark its got light armour, although I'm expecting all flyers to be reduced to AV11 maximum. for 145pts it comes with a burst cannon, which can be changed for missile pod or 5pts (recommended) and a Quad Ion Turret (30" S7 AP4 Heavy 4. Overcharge S8 AP4 Heavy 1 Gets Hot! Large Blast). In a way this is a better bomber than the Sun Shark. On a 1 it just takes a HP and can fire again next turn, with a much more dangerous blast and range. Of course the Sun Shark also has 2 small blasts from the drones, but for me I can see me taking this over the bomber. With the missile pods it gets 6 S7 AP4 shots, making it decent against flyers too, although unlike the Interceptor Drones it doesn't have the Interceptor rule or twin linked. It is however BS3 instead of BS2. With missile pod and decoy launcher this is likely to cost you 153pts and from now on I'll probably be fielding one occasionally. Its a pity it can't be accompanied by a Stormtalon when allied, but they are in different detachments.

So that wraps up the look at Fast Attack slots. I'll be trying to field 2 pathfinder units and Piranhas/Razorshark initially, before deciding on what I want to eventually settle on.

For the last installment I'll be looking at the very popular Heavy Support slot.

Posted by Furstenburg

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A look at the Tau Codex Part 3: Elites

More good stuff, enjoy!

original post: The Dark Mechanicum

In Part 3 of this look at the new Codex I'm going to concentrate on most tau players favourite slot, Elites.

The Elites slots in the Tau Codex have for years now been one of contention. Not because of our vast choice but for other reasons. In a nutshell we love Stealth teams, the fluff is cool, the models are really cool and they had an annoying ability that meant people often didn't even bother to shoot at them. The only problem was they were drastically inferior to the huge amount of firepower generated by XV8 Crisis Teams.

XV8 Crisis Teams
In my mind non-tau players love broadside suits. They think they make our army super killy and able to blow anything up. I can see alot of the these players buying XV88s as allies. Those of us that have played Tau for years love Crisis suits. That's why we all own 10+ of them, despite probably fielding 6-9. They throw out a ton of firepower, are widely customizable, need a good deal of thought to use properly and can be bloody annoying, jumping forwards to put a Missile pod shaped hole in something before calmly moving back behind cover. Of course this has changed now in 6th and there's now the occasional sweaty palm moment rolling dice when you know if those suits don't make it back behind that wall then they are in big big trouble...

So......They got cheaper...Well they needed to a little bit as 25pts for something with an average statline for an Elite, before add-ons, was a bit much. That and they now get a Multi-tracker and Black Sun Filter (BSF) for free. I just wish they had gotten a target array for free too and were BS4. Each suit now has the option to take up to three items from the Ranged Weapons and Support Systems. That's up to, not exactly three as they had to before. The weapon option prices have also been streamlined a bit. Fusion blasters (now 18" Range) and Missile pods went up in price, as did Flamers and Burst cannons, but Plasma rifles came down, thank goodness. I think the prices 'feel' better than they did before and Fusion blasters and Burst cannons got a boost in this Codex.

The loadout of suits seems to have even more variety. If you really want to you can make them very cheap. TL missile pods/Fusion Blaster/Plasma rifle is only 42 points. A good bit cheaper than before. About the only support system I ever used to give these guys was a Multi-tracker and sometimes squeeze in a Shas'vre for the BSF. As now these come as standard it cheapens them even further. Everyone's favourite 'jack of all trades' suit config, the Fireknife has taken a healthy decrease in points. These used to run in at 186pts for 3 battlesuits with missile pods, Plasma rifles and Multi-trackers. Now they come in at 156, with a free BSF. That's a hefty discount. With the inclusion of the Velocity tracker and the Early Warning Override in the armoury, we now have the option of outfitting the Crisis Suits to fill other roles than before and with a high number of shots the 3pt Advanced targeting System even seems tempting for sergeant and heavy weapon sniping, but only if points are going spare.

I still think they should have gotten BS4 though, of all the units in the codex. Firewarriors are raised from birth to fight and when they are veterans can don the suit. IG Veterans are BS4 and I think the Battlesuits, crisis especially, should have been BS4. Fluff wise it could have been down to a target array and stable fire platform due to jetpacks. I can understand why they didn't get it. GW wants the Tau to be markerlight reliant. Its our thing. The only problem is once people realize this and simply shoot the markerlights first, ignoring the heavy shooting until its BS3, we are going to be back in trouble. Most experienced gamers already do this. At least we now have access to cheaper twin-linked weapons for our Crisis suits instead. TL Missile pods with Plasma or vice versa, is still only 171pts. 15pts cheaper than previously with an increased chance to hit. Even with all the changes in the codex I still think Crisis teams are the go to guys for the Elite slots, well maybe to fill 2 out of 3 :).

Stealth teams
I love Stealth teams.The models are amazing. It's just a pity they have always been overshadowed by their bigger brothers in the Elites slot. Sometimes I wish they were fast attack instead...or even troops....I still have dreams of an all battlesuit army, reminiscent of too much anime as a teenager, many years ago. Unfortunately they suffered from the same problem as Shadowsun, just not quite so severe. The Burst cannons 18" range meant they had to get close to their target, and unless the dice rolls were lucky they suffered from return fire, usually on a large scale due to being annoying. once fired upon they swiftly died, being only T3 with 1 Wound. Even with a 3+ save. Having access to the Burst cannon or the 1 in 3 Fusion blaster they just didn't have the right tools for the job. The Burst cannon was S5 AP5, the same as alot of the rest of our army and the Fusion blaster was too short range and fired at totally different targets to the cannons.

So what's changed? Well nothing much to be honest. They are still 30pts each, but now with an Assault 4 Burst cannon and the Stealth, Shrouded and infiltrate rules. I'd love to say that Stealth teams are now serious contenders for Elite slots in the new Codex, but I cant. They are still T3 1 Wound models with a gun the same S and AP as lots of other things. Firewarriors now get buffs to increase their shooting rate, making the burst cannon even worse. Will i use them sometimes, just because I like them and want to give them a run out. Of course! I'd prefer to Outflank them rather than stick them closer to the enemy using infiltrate though, and even then 5 of them come in more expensive than the Kroot unit mentioned in the post on Troop choices. I like 'em, but they wont be taking up a regular slot in the Elites section of my army. I already have 2 Crisis teams assigned and there's a new 'Big Brother' on the block...

XV104 Riptide
I think we all got a little excited when we heard about a new monstrous creature for the Tau. Excited and a little nervous too. It'll probably be shit we said to ourselves in private, while secretly wishing for something good, and we weren't disappointed. What we got was a model 2-2.5 times larger than a Crisis Suit (I'm not looking forward to trying to hide it...) that looks amazing. I think many people are already looking at putting 2, or even 3, into Tau lists. Myself, I love the Crisis suit too much and will probably stick with the 1 in my lists. Although it may get run alongside a Dreadknight and I'm sure in doubles tournaments it'll have the pleasure of looking down on Panzermonkey's wraithlords.

So what did we get. Well for 180 points you get a T6 5W 2+/5++ weapon platform that has a jetpack and has a monstrous creatures CC rules to boot. It comes standard with a heavy burst cannon, which is S6 AP4 and heavy 8. For a measly 5pts this can be upgraded to a S7 AP2 Heavy 3 Ion Accelerator, which can be Overcharged to S8 AP2, large Blast with the Gets Hot! rule. It comes with a TL SMS and this can be swapped for free with a TL Plasma rifle or TL Fusion Blaster, depending on how you see its role on the field. Like all Battlesuits it comes with Multi-tracker and BSF. For 25pts each it can take up to two shielded missile drones (Missile pod equipped with 4+/4++ save) and can also take 2 items from the Support Systems list. Brilliant. Its still BS3 though. Oh..Yet again more reason to take more Markerlights. And its got a Nova Reactor. Basically the suit has two reactors. A safe one it uses to power all the time and then an experimental dark matter reactor. At the start of the Movement phase you declare you are going to use the reactor. Roll a dice. On a 1-2 the suit takes a wound with no saves allowed of any kind. OUCH! FNP is allowed if you can get it as that's not a save, but still. OUCH! If you roll 3-6 you get to pick one ability to use until the following Movement phase.

Nova Shield
Gives the suit a 3++ save

Your Assault phase move increases to 4D6

Ripple Fire
Your secondary system, plasma, fusion, SMS gets to fire twice

Your main gun fires with an enhanced profile. the Ion Accelerator becomes S9 AP2 ordnance 1, Large Blast with the Gets Hot! rule. This is a bit shitty. You have just managed to roll a 3+ now you have to avoid getting hot too? The Heavy burst cannon goes to S6 AP4 heavy 12 with rending and Gets Hot! 12 shots? with Gets Hot!? Now I know that rule isn't as bad as it used to be but 12 shots? Although I could see me deploying Shadowsun nearby with her Command-Link Drone, enabling one model to re-roll 1's to hit in the shooting phase.

Pretty much though I'll be pretty much always forking out 5 points to get the Ion Accelerator. You can overcharge it without using the Nova Reactor to S8 large blast. Fine by me...And I'll probably get the Shield drones too. An extra 4 S7 AP4 shots couldn't do any harm and will bring the model to 240pts. or dump the drones and give it skyfire and interceptor. With 2 support systems available its got alot of different options and from now on it'll be occupying one of my Elite slots...or rather it will once its built and painted.

So with the arrival of the Riptide the Elite slots have been shaken up a little. Good. The old book became a little samey with nearly every list sporting 3 Crisis teams of Fireknives and Deathrains. It needed shaking up. Even the weapon configuration of XV8s is likely to see a new lease of life with the Fusion blaster seeing increased popularity with its new 18" range and S7 AP4 becoming so available elsewhere in the book. I'm thinking Fusion blaster, Plasma rifle and Early Warning Override. Screw you drop podding marines....Unless they're my drop podding marines of course :)

In Part 4 I'm going to be taking us through the fast attack section of the Codex, before finishing on the heavy Support in the final part.

by Furstenburg

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A look at the Tau Codex Part 2: Troops, Dedicated transport, and Wargear

original post from: The Dark Mechanicum

As the title says, in this post I'm going to look at the rather short Troop and Dedicated Transport section of the Codex and then run through the various wargear, excluding the weapons, which are dealt with more on a unit basis. In general our scoring units aren't great, especially for grabbing objectives and I think Ally choice will be the way to fill this gap.

Before we start I just want to mention the Tau Empire Special Rule. It seems all armies are getting one in 6th. Supporting Fire. Any units within 6" of a unit being charged can also fire Overwatch against the charging unit. you can still only Overwatch once though. This could be very painful if you have 3 firewarrior units together behind an Aegis DL, especially in conjunction ability allowing you to fire an extra Pulse Rifle shot.

Aahhh... The ubiquitous firewarrior team. You have to love them and hate them at the same time. Lets be fair to them, stat wise they're shit. Even a Guardsman has a fair chance of kicking the crap out of them in CC. Where they shine in the new book is the buffs that can make them much better. That said their standard equipment is (mostly) great.

For 9 points you get a stat line that's quite frankly shocking for a unit that apparently spends its entire life from birth training to be a soldier, in a warrior caste that weeds out genetically inferior people and breeds the strong with the strong. Very master race...Instead what you pay 4 points more than an Imperial Guardsman for is your gun, your armour and, unfortunately, your grenade. A save of 4+ for standard infantry is great, not 3+ great obviously, but not to be sniffed at either. It pretty much gives you an armour save against all basic infantry weapons. That's your first advantage over other infantry. Your second advantage is the Pulse Rifle. First off its S5, equivalent to a Heavy Bolter, and secondly its got a range of 30". This is huge. In an era of defence lines and shooting you are the only army that's basic trooper can shoot at people 6" into their deployment zone. Nearly everyone else is 24" range and has to either move forward or hope you move to them. The Pulse Rifle lets you pound people from safety. In the new book there a lot of ways to boost the standard firing of this brilliant gun. Firewarriors and Ethereals grant extra shots, Darkstrider lessens their targets Toughness, Drones extend their range by 6" and Markerlights make them awesome (more later). Firewarriors have the option to change the Pulse Rifle to a Pulse Carbine, which is Assault 2 with Pinning. This sounds good, but would only really be useful if you were planning on charging after you fire. The Pulse Carbine fires 2 shots up to 18". The Pulse Rifle fires 2 shots up to 15" and 1 up to 30". Much better. Pinning is rarely effective and not worth losing the extra range.

Since the last book Tau got a decrease of 2 points from 10 to 9. Sounds wrong doesn't it? What they got instead was something they didn't really want. Photon Grenades, which count as Defensive grenades in the BRB. This means that charging models lose their bonus attack on the charge and against any model shooting at them from within 8" you gain the Stealth Rule. Ok, well that last part is great the the first part isn't. If a model charges your Tau Firewarrior unit you really want it to wipe you out in its combat phase. What you really don't want is for your unit to take too few casualties, succeed in their break test and stay in combat, finally fleeing in your combat phase, allowing your opponent to then charge a fresh unit in his next turn. you want to be wiped out so that the rest of your army can then punish this impudent charger by shooting him point blank in the face until hes gone. Although the Tau rulebook would seem to discourage your opponents from charging once they contact they want them to kill you dead. It's the main reason most people take Firewarriors in 6's instead of 12's.

Firewarriors have some additional upgrades they can take. they get a Shas'ui for 10 points with Ld 8, which is probably worth the cost only if you plan on taking large units. the Shas'ui can take Drones and a Markerlight and target lock. Any model can take EMP grenades for 2 points, only really useful if you want to be in CC with a vehicle, although they can also be thrown 8". I'm not sure this is really worth it. You get alot of AV weaponry with the Tau book and those 2 points will really start to add up. The unit can also take a Devilfish, which we will talk about below.

All in all the firewarrior is a decent choice, despite their utterly crap statline. I would have much preferred them to be 8pts with the option of Photon grenades, but their not.

Kroot Carnivore Squad
it seems in this Edition that the purpose of kroot has changed. They no longer get S4 and they lose 1 attack in CC, down to the bare bones 1. They also came down a point which means they cost one point more than an Imperial Guardsman but with a S4 gun, although its now been changed to AP6. They have all the old Kroot extras of Shaper for 15pts, Hound (with acute senses) for 5pts and Krootox (basically an infiltrating Autocannon) for 25pts. Also you can upgrade the units Kroot Rifles to a heavy 1 Sniper Rifle..I'm sorry...what was that last part again? Yes you heard it. At 7pts they get a 24" sniper rifle. they still get infiltrate (and therefore Outflank), have move through cover and Stealth in forests.

I can see Kroot getting multiple uses these days. The addition of the Sniper ability means you have a really cheap Troop choice for sitting on an Objective and punishing anyone that tries to get near you, but personally thats not the way I'll be using them. With Krootox now being only 25pts and no longer negating Infiltrate and Kroot Hounds having Acute Senses I think the Kroots main job for me will be Outflanking mid game and pestering my opponents flanks. The basic 10 Kroot with 3 Krootox and 1 Hound is 140pts. This, if within 24" will be firing out 6 S7 shots from The Krootox' Kroot Gun. quite nice for a cheap Outflanking unit.

The Devilfish
I'm very disappointed about this transport. It really needed its points cost to drop by about 10-15 points and I think everyone is surprised that it didn't. The general feeling is that 80pts is very expensive when compared with such vehicles as the Chimera, which has 12AV, a Multi-laser and Heavy Bolter. The Devilfish comes with an Assault 4 Burst Cannon and 2 Gun Drones, which can be replaced by an SMS for 10pts. However, being a Skimmer the Devilfish also has a 5+ Cover Save when it moves and doesn't have to worry about terrain that much. It can also take any items from the Vehicle Battle Systems. Personally I feel that it could have dropped by maybe 5-10pts at most. If it had gone down any cheaper it would have gotten alot for its points. If it was say 65pts, it would have been 10pts more than a Chimera with +1 AV on the sides, more doors, Skimmer and the Jink Cover Save, plus more shots overall.

That said I can't see them being as prolific as other transports. Although it compares points wise to the main IG transport, it doesn't compare well to the dirt cheap Rhino of the Space Marines. After all, in 6th, a transport is there to move you into place early to mid game and then most likely die. In the end of the day a Devilfish transports 12 Firewarriors, who don't really want to move closer to the enemy. A Rhino transports 10 Space marines in Power Armour.


I'm going to start this off by talking about the changes to Markerlights and Drones and then go through the various systems available to purchase.

These have been streamlined a bit now. They are still 36" range with no saves allowed. Place a token on the target model for each hit. Any unspent tokens are removed at the end of the Phase. Subsequent firing units can spend these in the following ways:

Spend a token and gain +1BS for the firing unit per token spent. This now has no maximum so when you really want to hit and have the tokens put your BS up to 8. It can also put your BS up in Overwatch. Say you have Pathfinders next to Firewarriors. The Firewarriors get charged. The Pathfinder Overwatch first and gain 2 markerlight hits. The Firewarriors then use the 2 marker tokens to boost their own overwatch to BS3.

Spend 2 tokens to give all your shooting the Ignores Cover rule. Wow. So if you have 4 tokens on a target you can put your BS up to 5 and Ignore your opponents cover. Brutal against guardsmen and the like, especially when you are trying to soften them up out of 24" before moving for those objectives mid-late game.

You can spend a counter to launch a seeker missile from your unit in addition to any other weapons (Still counts as missile for flyer though). These do not need LOS, are BS5 and Ignore Cover. So that's fairly huge if you plan on giving alot of vehicles Seeker Missiles. If your opponents hiding, and you can see even the tip of a model, light him up with Markerlights and then pound him with S8 AP3 missiles that ignore cover.

I'll start off by saying that Drones are and aren't scoring. Confused? Drones follow their unit rules for scoring. If in a unit of Firewarriors a Drone is a scoring model. In a unit of Crisis suits its a denial model. In a unit of only Drones they are non-scoring and non-denial. They can also now embark on transports as they dont have the Bulky rule. All in all the Drone rules are much better thought out now.

Their rules are streamlined now. They are no longer auto killed when their controlling model dies. If an IC dies whilst in a unit they join that unit. If the IC is not part of a unit they become a separate unit in all respects and the unit is not destroyed unit all drones are removed. I'm assuming this means you don't get the VP for the IC unit all the drones are dead. So run and hide those mothers!

When attached to vehicles they are treated as embarked passengers but don't take up transport capacity and treat their location on the vehicle as their own personal Fire Point. They must fire at the same target as the vehicle and benefit from Markerlights spent. When they disembark from the vehicles they no longer count as additional VPs, thankfully...

All the Drones now have a flat 4+ armour save and are all Jet pack Infantry, rather than being the same as their unit type, as in the old Codex. They are also T4, which is nice, and all cost a flat 12pts

The various Drone types are

Gun Drone
The old familiar twin-linked Pulse Carbine variety.

Marker Drone
It has a Markerlight...

Missile Drone
This comes with the S7 AP4 Assault 2 Missile Pod we all know and love. Since the record breaking FAQ they can only be taken by Broadside suits. There's been a fair amount of moaning over this as it means Firewarriors have no heavy weapons, but what did we expect? Firewarriors with 4 S7 shots for under 25pts? In the end of the day the fluff for Firewarriors has always been that they form the gunline and the Battlesuits do the heavy armour and beastie killing.

Shield Drone
The same as before in that it has a 4+ Inv Save. Unfortunately it no longer shares its controllers Toughness and Armour, so no more 2+/4++ Broadside Shield Drones!

Support Systems

Advanced targeting System
For a few points this little gadget grants the Precision Fire rule from the BRB, allowing you to allocate any to hit rolls of 6 to models you want. If models already have that rule then its a 5+. I'm not sure I can see this getting used that much, unless you have a few points to spare on Battlesuits who have only taken 2 Systems and can't think of a third, unlikely...there's always a flamer...

Blacksun Filter
These now come as standard on battlesuits and unless included in a profile can't be purchased separately by infantry, so no Shas'ui models getting these for Firewarrior units! Still getting them free on the majority of your nasty shooting units is great.

Counterfire Defence System
This allows you to Overwatch at BS2 rather than BS1. Pretty crappy overall and I can't see it being used much. If you have points spare you are going to spend them elsewhere.

Drone Controller
his has changed alot since the last Codex. rather than allowing you to control 2 Drones, which nearly anyone can do now, with allows Drone in your unit to fire at your Ballistic Skill. This is huge and I can see this being used alot by Tau Commanders in large units of Gun Drones or in conjunction with Marker Drones. I mean..Who doesn't want BS5 Markerlights?

Early Warning Override
This nifty bit of kit is cheap and grants the Interceptor rule to any models that takes it. Want to stop Drop Podding Space Marines ruining your Turn 1? Take this on a Crisis team armed with TL Plasma rifles, or a unit of broadsides with L Plasma and Heavy Rail Rifles. I'm currently in a quandry as to whether this is worth taking over the Velocity tracker, so long as you are twin-linked (See below)

Homing Beacon
As far as I can see this can only be taken by a Shas'vre from a Stealth Team. It pretty much acts the same as the Space marines Locater Beacon. Not bad as it means you can Infiltrate in and then Deep Strike your suits accurately. Or alternatively use it to Deep Strike allied Friendly models. It could be a good way of plonking down a Riptide on your opponents flank if arriving from Reserve.

Gravity Wave Projector
This allows you to slow down one units charge range by D3". I don't know if I'll be using it much as D3 is too random.

Our old favourite and the secret to our Battlesuits throwing out ridiculous firepower. These now come free on all Battlesuits

Networked Markerlight
This allows you to fire your markerlights first and then take advantage of them with your own shooting, something you aren't allowed to do normally. unfortunately there's only 1-2 units in the Codex with access to them.

Pulse Accelerator
This comes on a Drone specific to Pathfinders and increases the range of the units pulse weapons by 6". I'm not sure this will get used alot as Pathfinders will be using Markerlights nearly all of the time anyway.

Positional Relay
A model with this equipped, if within 6" of a board edge, allows models entering from reserve to come on from that edge, even if its the opponents board edge. Unfortunately, other than a few units, the tau Codex is limited in Outflanking units. Kroot are probably the unit that would get the most out of this and maybe Shadowsun. Its specific to units from the Tau Codex so no ally shinanigans with a marine Khan army unfortunately....

Stimulant Injector
As before this grants FnP to the bearer. Its gone up a bit in price and FNP is now nerfed a bit in 6th.

Target Lock
As before this allows the bearer to fire at a different target from the rest of the unit. With heavy Rail Rifles now S8 I can see Broadsides concentrating fire a bit more. I can see it getting used more on a Commander model in Drones or with broadsides.

Vectored retro-Thrusters
These are great. 5 points and you get Fleet and Hit & Run. On first glance these look marvelous and a great way to stop your Crisis Suits getting bogged down in combat. The only problem is of course that its based on Initiative and even a Commander is only I3. Great for nippy Eldar and Marines bikes with Captains attached. Not great for sluggish Tau.

Velocity Tracker
Grant Skyfire to any model that takes one? Great buy, although at 20pts you wont be equipping every model with one. unfortunately as Broadsides are only allowed 1 support system they can't take these and an Early Warning Override.

Vehicle Battle Systems

Automated Repair System
This is like a built in techmarine. At the end of a Friendly turn roll a D6. On a 6 the vehicle can repair an immobilised or weapon destroyed result. No repairing Hull Points though! I don't think this is an upgrade I'll be taking too ofter to be honest.

Advanced Targeting System
Similar to the Infantry one, this grants precision fire to vehicles. Meh...

Blacksun Filter
Granting Night Vision to your Hammerheads is a must. No exceptions

Decoy Launchers
This gives out poorly armoured Flyers a chance on the turn they arrive from reserve, giving a 4+ Invulnerable (Not cover!) save against glancing and penetrating hits caused by weapons with the Interceptor rule. So lets clarify this. they can roll the save after penetration is rolled...and they get it every turn against a weapon that has Interceptor, not just the turn they arrive?

Disruption Pod
Well here's the big one. now 15pts, with a +1 cover save granted. there's been a large amount of complaining about this but what did we expect? I mean, it was +2 cover for 5pts...5! Personally I think this is still great. The problem I always found with tau was closing on objectives meant my Disruption Pod was no longer effective once within 12". People would usually move close with vehicles or drop melta troops with the 12" range. Now it works at all ranges. So if you move you get a 4+ cover and if you go Flat Out you get a 3+. Pretty good in my book. Move 6", deploy Firewarriors to the side. Shoot with the FW and then Flat out the Devilfish in front of them. Classic.

Flechette Dischargers
These took a bit of a nerfing in that they dont wound on a 4+ anymore but rather count as S4 at I10 and the ruling about the number of hits has been cleared up. I can't see them being taken anymore. Your opponent will aim to get the least models into base contact and the most within 2" support range.

Point Defence Targeting Relay
Allows a vehicle to Overwatch, but only with weapons of S5 or below, so no railcannons! the vehicle also has the Supporting Fire special rule. Probably handy on a Devilfish with burst Cannon and SMS, but probably not worth the points costs.

Sensor Spines
These allow you to ignore terrain on your vehicles. Very nice for being really annoying with a 5 vehicle Piranha Squadron!

Signature Systems
Now we are talking! These items allow for some really nice combinations with gear and units, but can only be taken once per army.

Command and Control Node
If the equipped model doesn't shoot then the rest of the unit can re-roll to hit. Doesn't work on overwatch and can be combined with the Multi-Spectrum Sensor Suite. I'm not sure if this will see much use. Most of the models that can take it really want to be able to fire themselves. Could have been fun on a Stealth team Shas'vre maybe but he can't take it, although a Crisis team Shas'vre can.

Failsafe detonator
This is still the same as before. Place the large blast template down and resolve a S5 hit against all models underneath. bit cheaper now though, although probably still not worth it.

Multi-Spectrum Sensor Suite
Like the C&C node above if the equipped model doesnt shoot its unit gains a buff. This time their shooting gets the Ignores Cover rule. At 20pts its fairly pricy to have, say, a commander model with this and there's markerlight hits to do the same this and allow him to shoot too.

Onager gauntlet
This could give someone a nasty surprise. For only 5pts its fairly cheap for what it does. Lose all your attacks for a S10 AP1 attack at initiative, which could really surprise that Thunder Hammer wielding SM sergeant in a challenge.

Neuroweb System jammer
One unit in 12" has Gets Hot! rule? Sounds crappy seeing as how they get an armour save. But when you realize you have very few models allowed to take this and its only 2pts? For that price I'll nearly take it every time. Nobody likes deep striking marines with meltas and this could offer a slim chance that they dont insta-kill a battlesuit. Don't forget you can also use it on a vehicle. The chance to strip hull points too? Well worth a measly 2pts if you have them spare.

Puretide Engram Neurochip (Or PEN for short)
This item is amazing and should be standard on all Commanders. Each turn pick a rule. Tank Hunter, Monster Hunter, Stubborn, Counter-attack or Furious Charge. A Commander has just become a Broadside teams best friend...

Repulsor Impact Field
This is like the Infantry version of the Flechette Discharger. inflicts D6 I10 S4 AP- hits on a charging unit for 10 points. No thanks...

XV8-02 Crisis 'Iridium' battlesuit
Ok. This is what everyone wanted Iridium armour to be and more. We all wanted a 2+ save on our lovely painted Commander models, but never wanted to risk the D6 jet pack move and leave him stranded in the open. Now it gives +1T also, making him immune to Instant Death from anything less than S10. Stick him at the front of a unit of Crisis or broadsides and take those missile hits for them. With 4 wounds you should be able to stop your suits getting Instant killed by those annoying Long Fangs. Any AP2 hits you can always allocate to a nearby suit or Shield Drone. If put into a bodyguard squad then your Shield Drones auto pass the Look out Sir! roll. This, combined with the PEN means a commander is now ideal for sticking in a battlesuit team and both items should be considered standard equipment for him (or her!). With the fact that Commanders can take as many Signature pieces of gear as they like I'd be tempted to stick a Neuroweb System Jammer and Onager gauntlet on too. You then have a 132pt (+weapons and support systems) Commander with a host of special rules to choose from, T5, 2+ save with 1 S10 AP1 attack that causes 1 units weapons within 12" to Get Hot!

Well I hope you have enjoyed reading this. if you want to leave comments feel free. Its always good to see others opinions on things. Gives a new perspective.

later this week I'll be looking at the Elite, Fast Attack and Heavy Support elements of the Codex, although not all in one post!
Posted by Furstenburg at 11:58 AM

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A look at the Tau Codex Part 1: HQ

I found this review on the new Tau codex. While it has just come out the internet is a blaze with them. I pick up my codex tonight and am excited about it. But for you who want more info first here ya go. Enjoy!

original post by: Furstenburg on Dark Mechanicum.

In this brief series of posts I'll be having a look at the new Codex, now that I've had my hands on it for a few days. Feel free to commen t as it's always good to have other peoples opinions of units too.

I never played Tau in their first incarnation. I got back into 40k, after about a 15 year break, in my early 30's and the look of the Tau units meant they were the army for me. We all love Space Marines and I think every 40k player should have at least some, but I always loved the anime look of Tau Battlesuits and the rather Samurai look of the Firewarriors. I've always advised new players (and some existing ones!) to choose their armies based on looks, fluff and sometimes playstyle if you want to really enjoy playing games with them, not just thrashing other people off the table. It promotes emotional attachment to tiny painted soldiers and makes you really care about getting a good paint job on them.

Now I'll admit to it. I started to dislike playing Tau...The lack of variety in builds in the last couple of years has meant that I boxed them up for the 12 months or so and stuck them in the back of a cupboard or, as I now refer to it after reading the Tau fluff, placed them in stasis following the Second Sphere Expansion for when they would be needed again. I took to building a Space Marine army, because who doesn't like fanatic religious nutcases in Power Armour. Space Marines just had more variety...

But now we are back! The Third Sphere Expansion is underway and Hunter Cadre Spear of Destiny, led by the rather young Commander Warspite is needed!

When most well established codexes get updated they get a few new units. 'Newer' ranges like Necrons, got a total revamp when they got done at the end of 5th. Tau are odd...They seem to have only had a small number of additional units introduced, but the tweaks, wargear and new rules seem to have injected alot of life into the army, and as we have seen from stock issues, everyone wants in. The internal balance of the codex seems great. Gone are the overpriced units that are a waste of points (well, mainly...more later), and instead we have a codex full of units that all vie competitively with each other for inclusion in our lists. How the book balances externally, when compared to the other Codex releases of 6th, remains to be seen. I for one don't want tau to be the new Necrons, Grey Knights or Cheese Wolves of 6th...

Anyway enough waffle, on to the HQ choices!

I'll start off with the named characters as they appear in the army list..

Commander Farsight
I've always loved Farsight, although I think I've always loved his fluff more than his rules. Hence my army being painted in Farsight Enclave colours. I've never really used him, the restriction on FoC just didn't seem worth it. I had high hopes for him in 6th. I'm a little disappointed and I don't know why. He just seems a little off from the rest of the army.

At 165pts he's slightly cheaper than he was before, comes with a free Markerlight and BSF, as do all battlesuits, has the ability to take 7 bodyguards and automatically comes with the Warlord Trait 'Through Boldness, Victory', which means when he deep strikes he doesn't scatter.

With the new rules on Bodyguards automatically passing Look out Sir! rolls he has alot of extra wounds if you stick him in a large unit. But in my mind he wants to be in CC and they do not and a large unit of 7 Shas'vre Battlesuits is a huge point investment just waiting for Battle Cannons to target or Long Fangs to sink their teeth into. I can see him being used alot more for his precision deep strikes than for anything else and 165 points is quite alot to pay for this, especially with the increased number of units with Interceptor (Especially Railgun/TL Plasma equipped XV88s!). Although it does offer tactical flexibility and peace of mind when Deep Striking. Personally if I use him it will probably be with Assault Terminators, rather than having him attached to a Tau unit. Sticking 10 of them right behind my opponents lines, exactly where you want them, could cause havoc. Possibly with Farsight, I just expected a little too much as he is my favourite Tau character, fluff wise. I would however have liked him to have Eternal Warrior, as our one and only model to do so. It would have suited his long-living backstory.

Commander Shadowsun
Shadowsun on the other hand I was never a fan of. Maybe it's because she's the Tau Luke Skywalker to Farsights rebellious Han Solo. In the previous codex her rules just didn't work. She was 175pts with a shield system that required her to be as far away as possible and fusion blasters that meant she had to be within 12". Even jumping back the full 6" to 18" meant your opponent only needed to roll 6 on 2d6 to see her, and with 3 drones she wasn't easy to hide.

Shes had a massive overhaul in 6th. 4 points cheaper, before drones, with a host of special rules that make her a much more versatile (in my opinion) special character option than Farsight. She gets Stealth, Shrouded and Infiltrate, all of which are transferable to the unit she joins, along with a 3+/5++ save, 3d6 jet pack move, 5+ precision fire with 18" Fusion blasters and stealth suits automatically pass Look out Sir! rolls if she is in a unit.

Her new rules are going to make for some interesting combinations. Once again terminators spring to mind, either shooty or assault, granting them infiltrate and with a +3 Cover Save, or Sternguard. Slap them on an objective before the game even starts and force your opponent to deal with them while your army moves up. Or put her with a Broadside team, simply so you can place them after your opponent puts down his whole army and boosting their cover. Her Infiltrate ability also means there's outflanking Shinnanigans to be had, especially when combined with Positional Relays. Like Farsight she gives the opportunity to put a nasty unit on your opponents flank or rear, forcing them to change whatever strategy was in their head and giving you tactical options. There are disadvantages and advantages to both entry methods. Neither can assault on arrival, Deep Strike isn't restricted to a board edge like Infiltrate, but Infiltrate isn't restricted to bringing on a tight cluster of models ready for pie-plating. All in all she opens up new things to do and try out and is a much better character than she was before. At 135 points she is well worth the cost.

This Ethereal is weird, he can stand up to high AP weaponry no problem, but not being an independent character and having that strange shield he is just asking to be torrented to death, and although his guard may be decent in CC, against any dedicated CC unit they are going to get minced...Quickly...

At 100 pts he's half the price he was previously and gets some nice abilities. he can use 2 Invocations (more later), grants an excellent Morale buff to all Tau Codex units, although they can only re-roll failed, not all, and he has this strange shield that equals the AP of a weapon. He even automatically passes the save from AP1 hits.

Unfortunately being Very Bulky and not being an IC he's going to need hiding somewhere. None of his abilities are ranged, hes going to get shot at alot otherwise and hes worth 2 Victory points. If you are using him though you are always going to have a fluctuating save, based on AP, and a 6+ FNP from Invocation. I can just see him getting Barraged indirectly alot though for the VPs attacked by a deep striking unit.

This HQ choice, seems to me, to be massively overcosted. His Blademaster ability is average at best and is mainly going to be used to boost his save and keep him alive alot in Challenges.

Coming in at a whopping 110pts Aun'Shi comes with Photon and EMP grenades, a Shield Generator and the ability to choose between re-roll saves or rending when in a challenge, which if he's going to be in CC you are going to want all the time. he also gets the usual rules for Ethereals, but at 60pts extra I really can't see him as being worth it. I know alot of people were wishing for his return in this codex, but I cant see many taking him for anything other than nostalgia. Even an Autarch is better in CC than this guy (sorry panzermonkey), and they usually don't last long. Also being 2VPs he could put you on the backfoot in a VP race fairly quickly if someone gets into CC and Challenges him. Aun'Shi, unfortunately, is my least favourite of the new HQ choices.

I like this guy although I'm not sure why it stresses he has Scouts and Outflank. Scouts allows you to outflank anyway.

For 100pts you get a BS5 pathfinder with Blacksun filter. He also allow the unit he is with to consolidate move after overwatch and enemy units are at -1T from his and his units shooting. Fairly nifty if you ask me.

I like the idea of sitting him in the middle of 3 Firewarrior gunline units. Whenever one looks to be in danger of being charged he can move units so they get the consolidate move. His -1T means that Firewarriors become that bit more dangerous against any target, Tyranid MCs down to T5? or SM Bikes down to 4? With other buffs from the Tau army such as increased BS or Ignore Cover this could go a long way. Unfortunately he's got some stiff competition in the HQ slots..

Wow...These guys have come on alot. In the previous edition I used my Ethereal as an Objective Marker. In one tournament in Wexford I was praised for my balls of steel as a passing player noticed my Ethereal out in the middle of the table on his own. That's how shit they were...

Their cost is unchanged, at 50pts. Their stat line is as rubbish as ever and with no access (other than drones) to a save and he gives up 2VPs when killed. Ouch. Models within 12" use his Ld10. But its the Invocation of Elements that makes these guys stand out. For an entire turn they give a 12" buff with one of the following effects. Calm of Tides: Grant Stubborn, Storm of Fire: all pulse weapons get an extra shot under half range, Sense of Stone: FNP 6+ or Zephyr's grace:fire snap shots while after running.

Of all these, in an army that discourages being charged, and quite frankly doesn't want to be, this is huge. Firewarrior units within 12" of the Ethereal are now firing 3 shots up to 15". If, or rather when, I field one of these he's going straight into a Devilfish. It doesn't say he can't use the ability when embarked on a transport. Not just for the extra protection, but also it will allow you to measure the buff range from the rather large hull of the transport. Stick him behind your gunline and give them all a crappy FNP save at the start of the game and then an extra shot once opponents close.

Cadre Fireblade
I was excited about the rumours for these guys. I just wish they had been 1-2 or 1-3 per HQ slot. I would have even been happy with them being 1-2 wounds. they could have been attached out to units where needed then, but restricted to Firewarriors and Pathfinders, like Darkstrider.

For 60pts you get a 3 wound BS5 firewarrior with Ld9 and a Markerlight, not networked unfortunately, which would have been nice. He can also take 2 drones. If nobody in his unit moved he grants +1 shot to Pulse Rifles and Pulse Carbines. If you stick him in a gunline and your opponent has the option to shoot at 2-3 firewarrior units his is going to get targetted first...

Aahhh...The tau Commander..The epitome of ranged weapon shooting. These guys only come in one variety now, due to the increased number of HQ choices I assume, and they resemble the Shas'O of old.

They are now 10pts more expensive than they used to be but get their free battlesuit systems. They get to take 2 Drones. Now the big one. They can take 4 items from the Ranged Weapon and Support Systems...4!... and take items from Signature Systems...

Pretty much every Commander is going to have the new Iridium armour and Puretide Engram Neurochip as standard, making them 125pts before weapons and a host of special rules to choose from each turn. Expect to be paying 160+ for these guys, but they're worth it. With the large array of systems that Commanders can take you can expect to see a large variety of combinations and tactics on the battlefield with them getting 5+ precision strikes, hit and run, fleet, skyfire, interceptor etc. We will also be seeing alot of Commanders huddled in a flock of drones, with a Drone Controller giving all drones in the unit BS5. The Engram Neurochip will be extremely useful for a commander in a unit of Broadsides, granting them unit Tank Hunter or Monster Hunter for their shooting. And I haven't even begun to think yet about how he will fit into SM allies. The Commander is going to be one of the most versatile HQ choices out there and is going to have a large number of uses.

XV8 Crisis Bodyguard Team
Other than a points reduction and extra attack over +1I (yay!) these guys haven't changed much.

Each model can take 2 drones, Signature Systems and 3 items from the Ranged Weapon and Support System lists. If with a character with the IC rule (not specified Tau Codex!) joins them it automatically passes Look out Sir! rolls. Unlike the previous codex it isn't stated that they have to be deployed with, and stay with, a Tau Commander. The unit is probably a place for an Ethereal deployed behind Firewarriors as they can provide ranged support with TL Missile Pods and Supporting Fire with flamers...

I'm sure people will mathhammer it to death (like always) and refine it down to one build but for the moment these guys can be used for a variety of roles and will be used more than they were in the past. Its just a pity they don't have access to the Target Array to boost their BS anymore, but there's plenty of more options for that in the new book.

So that's the end of this first part of a look into the new Tau Codex. Next up is a look at all the Wargear options, including Drones, before we get stuck into the FoC proper.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Tyranids & 6th Edition....Retrospect

Well this has been an interesting set of articles. I hope you have enjoyed them I know I have and maybe these articles have motivated some of you to dust off the bugs and give them another look!

Hey guys, Learn2Eel here from ImperatorGuides, and I’m back to wrap up our detailed 2nd look at the Tyranids.

Hey all, I'm back to give you some fresh insights into the terrifying Tyranids, an army that has under-went some major changes in the new edition of Warhammer 40K. So, let's jump right in with my final thoughts on the Great Devourer! 

Closing Thoughts and Summation

Codex: Tyranids is a much maligned book, notably for how much the army struggled to deal with mechanized forces in 5th Edition, as well as the general over-costing of many units and terribly confused rules of others. Thankfully, 6th Edition breathed new life into the Swarm in countless ways - with foot-slogging armies becoming more common-place, the changes to Barrage weapons, the loss of No Retreat! wounds, more easily hit vehicles in combat, an influx of cover saves and better Feel No Pain for monstrous creatures, hull points on vehicles, flying monstrous creatures and so much more. Hive Tyrants with wings are now premier transport and light flier hunters, and benefit greatly from the new psychic powers - particularly Iron Arm, Warp Speed and Endurance from Biomancy. Biovores are highly effective 'sniper' units, effectively neutralizing units relying on special or heavy weapons to deal with monstrous creatures. Zoanthropes are amongst the most versatile units in the codex, with access to so many new random psychic powers that each brood member can select individually - support and damage go hand in hand with the brain bugs! And with the new editions' focus on objectives, Tervigons paired with Termagants are now some of the best Troops choices you can find in any army when they work in unison - creating fast moving hordes that can all score objectives, backed by a relentlessly durable monster that can capture objectives as well! Hormagaunts, with Fearless no longer causing extra wounds in a lost combat, truly are amongst the most cost-effective melee horde units in the game, using their speed and numbers to overwhelm any foe. Harpies, now that they too can fly, are enjoying a new lease on life - even if they still aren't the best choice, they are no longer so easily killed. It all paints a bright picture for Tyranids.

Of course, there are the downsides too - with the changes to Fleet and assaulting out of reserves, Genestealers, Hormagaunts, Trygons and the like have suffered either minor or severe penalties - with Genestealers in particular now unable to pull off their only reliable means of getting into combat without suffering too many casualties. Tyrannofexes armed with Rupture Cannons are much less likely to wreck vehicles now, with the changes to the damage chart. Overwatch puts a serious dent in many of our assault units, and the introduction of random charge distances can be a major crippling factor for our already fragile melee units. Like with any player, it is necessary to take the bad with the good - as the mantra of our species, Hive Commanders need to adapt to these new circumstances, the conditions of war. As it is, our unique units are, perhaps surprisingly, enjoying a new lease on life - Deathleaper and Ymgarl Genestealers are now amongst the elite disruption units in the game, whilst the Doom of Malan'tai is even stronger than ever; if that was even possible! The Parasite of Mortrex has gained much due to the character and challenge rules - it can now Look Out Sir! wounds that would normally kill it instantly, and singling out a hidden power fist works in the Parasite's favour now. In particular, the Swarmlord has now earned the title of most deadly character-killer in the game - few can hope to even match the Swarmlord in a challenge, and when equipped with the new psychic disciplines, such as Biomancy or Telepathy, there is little hope of stopping it. Warriors too are clawing their way back into competitive armies, with the gradual meta shift towards plasma becoming more and more evident - instant death may no longer be as crippling an issue for so many of our multi-wound T4 models as it was before. Overall, I think the 6th Edition changes have given Tyranids a very welcome boost - many more units are now being seen in competitive armies, even if there have been some notable sacrifices, such as Genestealers. Of course though, the Broodlord has something to say about that - few codices can claim to have a character assassin of the quality and cost of a Broodlord.

But what about the codex internally? How has the meta shift affected the themes underlining the units? Not much has truly changed there - synergy is still the most important facet of the Tyranid army, with more and more tantalising combinations discovered every day. Tervigons and Termagants are enjoying a renaissance of sorts, with objective games now the norm. Conversely, Gargoyles paired with Harpies or Flying Hive Tyrants are even more dangerous than ever. Combined assaults consisting of Hormagaunts and Trygons will still devastate any foe when used smartly, whilst Hive Guard and Zoanthropes are even more deadly at dispatching vehicles and heavy infantry alike in unison - though Deny the Witch is now a cause for concern with Zoanthropes. All units should still be considered firstly for their role in the army, not their cost-effectiveness or immediate profile - hence why a Mawloc or Deathleaper may become so much more useful when paired with the Doom of Malan'tai, Genestealers and their ilk, rather than a Trygon or the Swarmlord. Fast moving armies need multiple threats of similar speeds to execute combined assaults and provide too many targets for opponents to adequately deal with. The Doom of Malan'tai, though a fantastic suicide unit, will need some support, especially if the drop doesn't go well. And yes, Nidzilla is indeed back - with cover saves far easier to come by, the new monster benefits, and the edition shift away from missile launchers and the like, Warriors and the rest should work better than ever.

The theme still holds true to this day though, no matter what unit you select - synergy above all else, it is why each unit must have a specific goal, and each unit must work together to achieve those goals. Sacrificial units are common in a Tyranid army, and every skirmish must be approached delicately with a considered, calm mind. Despite the many improvements Tyranids have gained overall, they are still a challenging army to master and not for beginners - they require not only an acute tactical mind, but also a strong army list made by an eye that can see beyond the efficiency of one unit, but look at how it correlates with other choices in the army. Trygons truly are the most cost-effective monstrous creature in the Heavy Support section, but will they work in every kind of army list? This is a question you must ask yourself when considering what units to select, and knowing how to use them is imperative. A Hive Tyrant with wings is deadly and fast, but should you be overly aggressive with it or let it skirt the flanks of your opponent? As with the race itself, a good Tyranid player will have to adapt to every situation on the fly - having a preset strategy in mind rarely works in today's game, particularly an army with as many in-built deficiencies and applications as Tyranids. Still, if you are willing to dedicate the ample time and money required to effectively do Tyranids justice, you will find they are a highly rewarding army that punishes mistakes and poor list-building whilst praising tactical nous and the notion of units working in perfect unison. No other codex quite approaches Tyranids in terms of a unified army, all forces synchronized to destruction and death. Few things are as frightening - and unexpected, given their poor reputation - as a Swarm guided by a strong commander, consuming all before them with hordes ripping into infantry, monstrous creatures obliterating enemy positions and Hive Guard or Zoanthropes devastating vehicles from afar. Whether through the psychic choir, the monstrous horde, the unending tide, or an effective mixture - the choice is yours. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tyranids and 6th Edition...Heavy Support

Here is the final force slot review. I have found these articles very interesting and pretty much agree with most of it. Enjoy!

Hey guys, Learn2Eel here from ImperatorGuides, and I’m back to take a detailed 2nd look at the Tyranids.

Hey all, I'm back to give you some fresh insights into the terrifying Tyranids, an army that has under-went some major changes in the new edition of Warhammer 40K. So, let's jump right in with my thoughts on each unit in the Swarm. Consume! 

Heavy Support

The source of most of our monstrous creatures - all designed for varying kinds of destruction - the heavy support slot holds the distinction of five out of the six units offered being a big nasty bug. Typically, you should avoid Carnifexes and Old One Eye - the former only works when built a certain way, and the latter is far too inefficient. Trygons and Biovores tend to be the best available choices and are quite suited to 6th Edition play, whilst Mawlocs and Tyrannofexes tend to strike a middle ground in terms of cost-effectiveness. Upgrades aren't necessary or even possible on most of the units here, and frankly you usually want a higher quantity of these monsters for target saturation purposes. If you want a line-breaker, look no further than the Trygon.

Carnifex - One of the most well known Tyranid organisms, the Carnifex is a living tank used for the sole purpose of battering enemy fortifications and tanks, whilst scything through infantry with ease - at least, that's how it works in the background. The sad and painful truth is that a Carnifex is an over-costed monstrous creature that needs to be turned into a gun platform to be anywhere near viable. Despite being close-combat oriented, it has a mediocre WS and an Initiative of 1 - that last one means that, for the most part, it will be striking at the same time as power fists and meltabombs; meaning it will get chomped very quickly by most units. Even krak-grenade toting Space Marines will give it a lot to think about. Though its battering ram rule does make it Initiative 3 on the charge, the prevalence of cover, and the fact that most enemies are Initiative 4 or higher anyway, doesn't help all that much - even with frag spines (assault grenades), a Carnifex still can't single out power fists in a unit and will surely be walloped. The biggest problem the Carnifex faces is the competition within the codex - for only a small investment, you can get yourself a Trygon that is literally twice as effective in combat, and much faster to boot. You might think, well, a Carnifex can take a Mycetic Spore and a Trygon can't, but Trygons can deep-strike with the same scatter-reduction rules that a Mycetic Spore comes with. Essentially, a Carnifex pays for abilities that are greatly inferior to that of the Trygon.

So what else can a Carnifex do aside from being a mediocre combat monster? Well, the good news is that against walkers, tanks and skimmers (but not fliers), a Carnifex can quite capably destroy them with little difficulty - S9 base, including Hammer of Wrath, plus its re-rolls to hit due to Scything Talons make it a fantastic wrecking ball against heavily armoured vehicles. Don't waste them on transports and the like - you have Hive Guard for that. Even then, a Carnifex isn't quick enough to really justify being used in that way. Don't give it the melee-oriented upgrades - Adrenal Glands and Toxin Sacs are virtually useless on a model with S9, and Crushing Claws are too expensive on a model that both struggles to hit and doesn't usually need to Smash anyway. Regeneration and Bio Plasma are too expensive for what they give you - Bio Plasma is essentially a Plasma Cannon with a third of the range, meaning it can scatter onto friendly forces quite easily, and Regeneration is too random and expensive to use. Seriously though, why does Regeneration cost as much on a 4 wound monstrous creature as it does on a 6 wound monstrous creature with the same Toughness and armour save!? The Carnifex, like the Pyrovore, will simply leave you scratching your head, especially when put next to a Trygon - there is simply no reason for it to be over-costed the way it is given its mediocre profile.

If you want to use the awesome looking Carnifex, you should be happy to find that there is a way to run them that is very much worthwhile - replace both their scything talons with the lauded pair of twin-linked brain-leech devourers. This build is commonly labelled the 'Dakkafex' - putting out 12 S6 twin-linked shots a turn, a Dakkafex is a serious threat to transports, infantry, and even fliers, all at a decent price. Though I would still say it is over-costed, it at least will help out your army quite a bit, especially if you are using Zoanthropes or Ymgarls instead of Hive Guard. Even then, a mech-heavy meta can lead to a mixture of Hive Guard and Dakkafexes - durable anti-tank platforms that will regularly pull their weight. I wouldn't bother with any of the other ranged weapons, as they are all out-performed by the brain-leech devourers. One thing to consider when using a Dakkafex is whether you want to shell out and grab it a Mycetic Spore, or run it in a pair. A very common unit for a Tyranid Prime to join is a 'Fexstar' consisting of two or three Dakkafexes, providing both an insanely durable gun platform and a unit few enemies would want to get close to. Everyone loves wound allocation shenanigans! However, the lone Dakkafex in a Spore combines really well with other deep-striking units, such as the Doom of Malan'tai or Zoanthropes. Either way you go is costly, but they are both effective in 6th Edition and well worth your consideration. If you aren't using Carnifexes in either of those builds though, you will likely be disappointed.

Old One Eye - A long ode to a forgotten era wherein the combat Carnifex was viable, Old One Eye is one of the most painfully over-costed units in the entire codex - and much like the rest of the Tyranid range, he sports an awesome model too! Why do the mediocre or bad units have to have the best models? Anyway, Old One Eye is a grossly expensive unit that is essentially a Carnifex upgraded with Crushing Claws, a better version of Regeneration, and a cool ability that gives it some potential bonus attacks, all at S10. Strangely, Old One Eye also lets every Tyranid within 12" can use Old One Eye's Leadership of 8 for any Morale or Leadership tests they are required to make - generally speaking, this is situational at best as most Tyranids that would benefit from it should be in Synapse range and thus be Fearless anyway. Aside from that, well, that really is all there is that makes Old One Eye unique - it is essentially a much costlier version of a unit for few gains based upon a unit that was already too expensive for what it does. If that doesn't give you the best indication of how I feel about Old One Eye, consider this; for a mere twenty paddles more, you can grab the Swarmlord.

How does Old One Eye compare to the Swarmlord? Here; the Swarmlord has more wounds, provides Synapse in a larger than normal bubble, provides Shadow in the Warp, has an invulnerable save in close combat, has a ridiculously higher Weapon Skill, has a far higher Initiative, has a higher Leadership, is a Mastery Level 2 psyker, it can make itself even more powerful or buff friendly units, hands out Preferred Enemy or Furious Charge like candy, forces opponents to re-roll successful invulnerable saves, always inflicts instant death, and can be hidden by bodyguards. What does Old One Eye get? A higher Strength and the chance of a few bonus attacks and Regenerating wounds. Here's a tip; the Swarmlord wins by a country mile. Don't bother with Old One Eye, unless you really like the model or don't care about competitive play. I've yet to meet someone that doesn't like Old One Eye, but he is nothing but a sad joke, and it really pains me to say it. If it weren't for Pyrovores or perhaps Lictors, Old One Eye would be the worst unit in the codex, period, to be brutally honest.

Biovores - Artillery! FIRE! Ahem, Biovores are one of two long-range shooty units in the codex, providing some nasty anti-infantry firepower - they launch Spore Mines, as discussed earlier. A S4 AP4 large blast using the Barrage rules is nothing to sneeze at - particularly because of the AP4 and Barrage rules. So on top of wiping out Tau, Eldar and the like, the Barrage rules make cover a pain for those units to come by, and also allow for 'sniping' - with wounds allocated from the centre of the hole, some decent scatter rolls can lead to units being neutered. Your oncoming Trygons worried about the plasma gun and missile launcher at the back of that Tacitcal Squad? Hit them with a Biovore, and as long as you get it where you want, you should kill both of them with no difficulty. All of a sudden, that Trygon which was likely going to lose several wounds to that Tactical Squad from shooting can move up and charge with not a care in the world. What about that nasty Necron Lord with Mindshackle Scarabs daring your Hive Tyrant to get in to the unit. Give him some Spore Mine love - with a bit of luck, the Lord will be done and dusted, literally. It is in this way that Biovores are so useful in almost every single game you will play in 6th Edition - even Space Marines will suffer when Biovores are around, due to the large amount of wounds they can dish out. They aren't really costly either, costing - I don't know whether this is sad or humorous - as much as a Pyrovore for oh so much more.

So what do you need to worry about with Biovores? Well, they have essentially the same exact stat-line as a Pyrovore, and are thus easily instant-killed by weapons such as missile launchers, or brought down with massed fire. Unlike Pyrovores, Biovores neither need to be close or, provided they don't fail an Instinctive Behaviour test, need Line of Sight to shoot their quarry - hide them in your backfield with some kind of Synapse creature plonked on a nearby objective, and they will do just fine. Also, if their shot scatters off and hits nothing, you get a free Spore Mine! Hooray! Yet another reason you shouldn't bother with Spore Mine Clusters. Keeping on the Biovores, as long as you protect them adequately and keep them away from concentrated shooting and melee units, they will work out very well - a great unit overall.

Trygon - Ask yourself a question; do you want a melee powerhouse of a monstrous creature that acts as both the perfect line-breaker and will scare the pants off of any opponent, all for a very efficient price? If you answered yes, say hello to the Trygon! (If you answered no....seriously?) A Trygon is a dedicated combat unit that has very reliable ways of getting there - namely, it is very tough, quick due to Fleet, and can even deep-strike without fear of mishaps, except for scattering off the board. With a Toughness of six, six wounds and a +3 armour save, the Trygon is a tough as nails monster, one that usually suffers from being too big a target for your opponent and too hard to obscure - fortunately, the 6th Edition cover rules means that a Trygon can simply be touching a part of area terrain and gain a meaty cover save, all the while still maintaining a very high speed! It has a shooting attack to help it out on the way, which is nothing shabby - S5 AP5 Assault 6 at 12", decent for light vehicles and weaker infantry. Generally though, what you really want to know are its combat abilities - it has an incredible six Weapon Skill 5 attacks at S6 I4 base, re-rolling all failed to hit rolls! You guessed it - this will run rampant through Infantry of nearly any kind, especially standard Terminators. And against vehicles, it puts out three or more Smash attacks that are unlikely to miss, meaning that almost any unit in the game is literally screwed if this thing gets close. Of course, any opponent - even those who don't know what a Trygon does - will prioritize its immediate death due to how big and scary it is, not to mention how quickly it moves.

These things are absolutely fantastic as linebreakers, notably because they can both soak up the damage and deal it out in amazing quantitites. Their speed and reliable deep-striking means they have multiple viable ways of getting to the enemy, though generally speaking I would advise running them up the field - whilst they may get shot down this way, they provide an incredible threat for your opponent and will boost your target saturation immensely. Your Tervigons and Hive Tyrants should be able to move up untouched if the Trygon does its job and you use cover smartly. If it does make it, prepare to wreak some joyous carnage. Ultimately, how you deploy them should be situational - in certain cases, deep-striking them in conjunction with other reserved units can provide a very nasty selection of threats that emerge all at once, forcing your opponent to literally turn and fire at the nearest units in a haze of confusion. Trygons also benefit your Reserves - any reserved Infantry can emerge the turn after a Trygon has deep-struck from where it emerged - placing them within 6", and letting them shoot as normal. This is definitely useful, but not all that great. As far as Instinctive Behaviour goes, Trygons also benefit immensely from being naturally Fearless and having Rage - no-one wants a Trygon charging them, let alone one with eight attacks! As such, you generally don't need to worry if a Trygon gets out of Synapse range, which is likely to happen anyway due to their speed.

As far as upgrades go, Trygons can take Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs and Regeneration - the first and third generally aren't all that great on a Trygon, as the Smash rule compensates for the Strength bonus applied by Furious Charge, and Regeneration is still too unreliable to justify the cost. However, Toxin Sacs are absolutely brutal on a Trygon - essentially guaranteeing it will kill whatever it hits, and making it far deadlier against other monstrous creatures. Talos' and Wraithlords won't be smiling if you hit them on 3s with re-rolls, then wound them on 4s, ignoring their armour. Want to know what happens with a Raging Trygon with Toxin Sacs? Here's a hint - that is almost an entire Tactical Squad gone in one round. If you want to spend any more points on a Trygon - remembering that they are expensive - take Toxin Sacs. The other upgrade that you should consider is turning the Trygon into a Trygon Prime - it's shooting attack gains double the amount of shots, it becomes a Synapse and Shadow in the Warp-generating creature, and it becomes a character. Whilst the upgrade is expensive, it is worthwhile most of the time - usually though, taking a Prime upgrade should be based on the rest of your army. If you are low on mobile Synapse, a Prime becomes invaluable - similarly, the extra shots make it a deadly alpha-strike unit against vehicles, deep-striking behind a tank and promptly destroying it. Being a character both works for and against you; it can single out power fists and the like and kill them before they can hurt it, but in turn, it can be tarpitted for an extra turn, meaning it will likely emerge at the end of your assault phase and thus be shot by your opponent immediately. It also isn't nice to be locked in a challenge with someone like Draigo and be unable to kill some Paladins before the Trygon Prime bites it, though Shadow in the Warp works wonders in mitigating Force Weapons. Either way, whichever kind of Trygon you choose, you really can't go wrong - they are a great unit that, whilst costly, I feel has a justified points cost and will regularly shine. This is what a close-combat Carnifex wishes it could be like.

Mawloc - The kit-broodling to a Trygon, the Mawloc is very much a unit based around disruption and terror-tactics rather than straight out aggression like a Trygon - though obviously a Trygon can be used in this role as well. Generally speaking, a Mawloc does disruption better than a Trygon, and a Trygon is a better line-breaker than a Mawloc. Essentially, when a Mawloc emerges from Reserves, it scatters but isn't moved away if it hits friendly or enemy units. Instead, you get to place a large blast marker over the centre point of where the Mawloc is emerging - all models touched suffer a S6 AP2 hit that strikes vehicles on their rear armour. Any surviving models are moved out of the way so the Mawloc can be placed, staying 1" away from it as normal, with vehicles keeping their previous facing - any models that can't get out of the way are destroyed! Obviously, this attack does some great things; namely, it will kill almost the entirety of most squads it hits and it has a decent chance of severely damaging most vehicles, as well as moving enemy units into better positions for your other units to attack them. This also serves as a great way of breaking up 'castle' formations, which Tyranids typically struggle to deal with. A Mawloc that, with some good scatter dice, emerges in a congested position, can do some amazing damage. We haven't even touched the best part of this attack - the Mawloc can Burrow on its next turn and do it again the turn after, meaning it can perform this attack a maximum of three times in each game. Due to the randomness of the attack, especially given that it doesn't ignore cover saves, this may not be all that great, as it really is the Mawloc's defining feature, but when it hits, it will usually do enough damage that you won't mind its usual inaccuracy. Some other cool stuff to note is that it has Hit and Run and gets Rage like a Trygon when it fails an Instinctive Behaviour test, giving it some extra punch and the welcome ability to get out of unwanted combats.

Like a Trygon, a Mawloc has six Toughness six wounds and a +3 armour save, though the price of its special attack is that it lacks any ranged weapons and is much weaker in combat. Even though it is still a monstrous creature, it only has three WS3 attacks at Initiative 4, making it much less of a threat in combat - however, it is still perfectly capable of tieing up ranged units, such as Tactical Marines, and slowly chomping through them, or destroying vehicles somewhat reliably. Mawlocs don't really benefit from the upgrades either. It is also quite a bit cheaper than a Trygon, but generally speaking, Trygons work better in most Tyranid armies - given that all-reserve army lists are no longer possible with the Swarm, Trygons are very important as line-breaker units that give an army a lot of target saturation. Mawlocs simply can't fulfill the same role, their only real saving grace being that they too are big, scary and durable - though you will usually want them burrowed for their special attack anyway. Typically, the best way to deploy a Mawloc is not by deep-striking them - deploy them normally, as they can Burrow on the first turn and thus be guaranteed to emerge on the second turn, rather than having to roll for reserves. This also can help your army out, as an opponent may focus on them to hopefully stop them from doing their attack. Just don't leave them out in the open and they can feasibly soak up some wounds that you don't want going on your other units. Mawlocs, obviously, work better in reserve-heavy armies. For the most part, I can't say much against Mawlocs, though they are generally outperformed by Trygons, so whilst I would usually give them a miss, they are a very decent option.

Tyrannofex - A Tyranid Tyrannosaurus Rex? Sadly, no. It is a fat, ugly mass bristling with guns, and also holds the distinction of being the most insanely durable monstrous creature in a standard Warhammer 40000 codex; a Tyrannofex has Toughness 6, 6 wounds and a +2 armour save. Problem Missile Launchers? These things are nearly impossible to kill, and are one of the few units where Regeneration may not be such a bad idea, mostly because of how laughably hard it is to kill them conventionally. Lets look at some of their other stats; like a Tervigon, they are kind of weak in combat, though they do have a higher Strength value - unfortunately, unlike a Tervigon, they can't take Crushing Claws to take full advantage of the Smash rules. They also are Initiative 1, making them prey to Initiative tests that can kill them, such as Jaws of the World Wolf. They also aren't a synapse creature, and suffer from Lurk - which can be bad considering their weapons are medium to short range. So what makes a Tyrannofex tick? For starters, they come with Cluster Spines or a Stinger Salvo, a Thorax Swarm, and an Acid Spray. That equates to either a S5 AP- large blast or a S5 AP4 Assault 4 gun, a flamer template with different firing modes selected before the game - the best of which always wounds non-vehicle units on a +2 - and a second flamer template that essentially has the Torrent rule, resolved at S6 AP4. This makes them unparalleled infantry hunters, at least as far as Tyranid monstrous creatures go. However, they can also switch the Acid Spray out for one of two weapon options - the Rupture Cannon, or the Fleshborer Hive. The latter is terrible and should be avoided - except for conversion opportunities, notably to give a Flying Hive Tyrant a pair of twin-linked brain-leech devourers. The former is an interesting if unappealing option that is the only long-range anti-tank weapon in the entire Tyranid army - it is considered by many for that reason alone, and not because of its effectiveness. Two S10 AP4 shots at 48" hitting on 4s sounds neat, but really isn't all that great in practice - half will hit on average, and with no damage modifiers, you are unlikely to destroy a vehicle, with no guarantee of even penetrating it. It is too unreliable, especially given that it is actually a paid upgrade.

For the most part, I would always keep a Tyrannofex kitted out this way, as its anti-tank form is too unreliable for the cost - Cluster Spines, Thorax Swarm with Dessicator Larvae, and the Acid Spray. That gives you some ridiculous anti-infantry firepower that, with some luck and good placement, can wipe out entire Tactical Squads in one go quite feasibly. If you do want its anti-tank firepower, give it the Stinger Salvo, Thorax Swarm with Electroshock Grubs, and the Rupture Cannon. Regardless of how you equip it though, be mindful of the sobering fact that a Tyrannofex is ludicrously expensive - weighing in at the same cost as most Land Raiders. I don't feel it is worth it, giving the recent turn towards massed plasma weaponry that essentially make light work of a Tyrannofex. However, it is still a decent option to consider, as it can undoubtedly soak up ridiculous amounts of firepower - it will make Long Fangs cry, for sure. Even Grey Knights will struggle with it, especially if a Shadow in the Warp creature is nearby. I would reserve these for bigger games, where they aren't so much of a points-sink. As far as a line-breaker goes, they are good, but outperformed again by Trygons.

Example Builds - Though our heavy support options tend to have only a few viable builds each, here are some for your consideration;

Carnifex w/ two twin-linked brain-leech devourers, mycetic spore - 230

Biovores (2) - 90

Trygon w/ toxin sacs - 210

Tyrannofex w/ cluster spines, thorax swarm with dessicator larvae, acid spray - 250

Carnifexes (2) w/ two twin-linked brain-leech devourers - 380