friday 40k humor

friday 40k humor

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
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