friday 40k humor

friday 40k humor

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
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