|Warhammer 40,000/6th Edition Tactics/Tau
This is the latest Edition's tactics. 5th Edition Tactics are here.
A new codex is finally out. Let's see what goodies we've got now.
This should be your face playing Tau.
 Why Play Tau
Hello overwatch, jetpacks, and Suicide bombing "greater good" Jihadists! (6th edition has some fun toys for Tau, The new codex has even more, hello Riptide!)
When you start a Tau army, you know others are going to hate you, be it because you are shooting when you should be punchan gaems, thrashing their best guys with weeaboo battlesuits, or abusing the ever-loving shit out of cheap-and-effective long-range missile strikes and widely-available infiltration and cover-save-raping. You may win battles, but that is not your goal as a Tau player: you play Tau to drink your enemies' tears.
Veteran Tau Commanders recommend a side of tea to go with it.
Remember, you cannot spell "Taunt" without "Tau".
 Welcome to 6th Edition: Ion Weapons are to your right.
The Tau have had a serious overhaul thanks to Jeremy Vetock, only time and play-testing will tell. Things look good however. When transitioning over from your previous codex, you will note several things from the get-go:
- Suit Up: Tau battlesuits of all shapes and sizes have Blacksun Filters and Multitrackers by default alongside a price break.
- Slow Down: On the flipside of things, Tau vehicles no longer have access to Multitrackers or Target Locks. This mostly serves to slow down Hammerheads. Also no stabilization system on Broadsides, so move or shoot. Not as bad as it seems since they can still snapfire on the move and markerlights can boost snap-shots.
- Support the Troops: Everything except Kroot and Vespids have Supporting Fire. If you have a guy within 6" of a friendly unit being charged...your unit gets to overwatch. Think Empire and Detachments and you're not far off. Make sure to have your units with markerlights fire first so that your other overwatching units can boost their BS.
- FIRE ZE MISSILES: In a surprising maneuver, Games Workshop released a FAQ one day after the codex dropped, simply to say "Nope! Denied!". Missile Drones may only join Broadside units. On the flip side, Seeker Missiles no longer need Markerlights to fire (though they benefit *greatly* from them.)
- Sproing: Vectored Retrothrusters are no longer special-issue; this means for a minimal investment per-squad, each Crisis unit can now Hit and Run. As long as the unit has at least one Drone, this is done at Initiative 4. Battlesuits no longer have to worry about being tied up by chaff units, and may even be able to tie weaker stuff up. Avoid anything resembling an assault unit, of course.
- Post FAQ Crisis: GW just FAQ'd that Crisis Suits can double-up on weapons without twin-linking them. Expect Crisis Suits with dual plasma rifles, and dual missile pods to become popular.
 Tau Armoury
 Special Rules
Bonding Knife Ritual: A unit with this upgrade has Heroic Morale, allowing them to always test to regroup on their unmodified Leadership. Is it that useful? Perhaps too early to tell, but it is cheap... then again, if your Fire Warriors are running away, there's a good chance something has gone horribly wrong and regrouping won't save you now.
Supporting Fire: One of the new biggies, this rule lets all units within 6" Overwatch as if they were members of the charged squad. Note that each model can still only Overwatch once per phase. This is absolutely vital; it can stave off assault by a turn or more. It can be especially devastating when combined with copious amounts of Markerlights. It allows your infantry (and some battlesuits) to become a "wall of pikemen" of a sort. If you keep the units tight together, the enemy charge will not break, but it will be much more painful for them if they try it, and they will be likely to lose a few models just closing the distance. The survivors will still kick your blue ass though, so do not count on it. This is especially hilarious when combined with 30 man Kroot squads stretched out from table edge to table edge, allowing for units 30 inches from the assaulting squad to auto-hit with flamers.
Markerlights: As any defender of the Tau'va worth their salt should know, Markerlights are what turns a rambling mob of morons into a synergetic army. The delivery system for these little babies has stayed the same; Pathfinders, Tetras, Markerdrones & Skyrays (amongst other niche delivery systems). Their uses have been ever more streamlined, leaving you with the most beneficial uses. These being;
- Spend 1 marker for +1 BS (even to snaps shots and overwatch) with no limit.
- Spend 1 marker to fire a seeker missile at BS5 with Homing (ignore line of sight) and Ignores Cover. The missile must be fired by the unit spending the token and must be at the same target that the rest of the unit is firing at.
- Spend 2 markers to give the entire firing unit Ignores Cover against the marked target, in all better than before seeing as it used to take on average three markerlight points to completely negate someone's cover save.
Warlord Traits: The new book also has a few Warlord Traits, as is the norm. This include:
- 1: Precision of the Skilled Hunter: Enemies can't use Look Out, Sir! when shot at by your Warlord. Useful for sniping the enemy Warlord if he is a coward and a fewl and hides in a METAL BAW- I mean, if he hides in a unit.
- 2: Through Unity, Devastation: For one Shooting phase, all Tau within 12" reroll To Hit rolls of 1. Useful, but not incredibly reliable. (unless you're deploying as a nice castled up gunline, then your first turn of shooting just gets magnificent)
- However, this can be situationally extremely useful, provided the situation is lots of Gets Hot weapons. Imagine a XV104 Riptide firing a heavy burst cannon on full nova-charge, while a hammerhead gunship overcharges its ion cannon, supported by pathfinders overcharging their ion rifles? Anything targeted by this combination is dead, dead, dead, and you run (statistically very low to) no risk to yourself while this is in effect. Some cheesemonger who concentrates all their points in some kind of super-unit will explode with rage when hit by this. Get your
- 3: A Ghost Who Walks Among Us: The Warlord and his unit move 3d6" with their Jet Packs. It makes them much less likely to have a snake-eyed fail of a thrust move. Commander Shadowsun gets this trait by default.
- 4: Exemplar of the Selfless Cause: Once per game, all units that have gone to ground stand back up and act normally. This means you can weather a turn of enemy shooting, then stand right back up and shoot him in the face; needless to say, this is one of the better Warlord Traits.
- 5: Predator of the Skies: For one Shooting Phase, you Warlord and his squad get Skyfire - which you might already have from a Velocity Tracker. Still, it's not that bad, it just might not fit your Warlord's role.
- 6: Through Boldness, Victory: Your Warlord and his unit don't scatter on Deep Strike. If you're planning to do a Commander-bomb, this is the one you should fervently hope/pray for. Commander Farsight gets this trait by default, and can deepstrike with SEVEN bodyguard suits (and all their drones)(and a second commander with drones if you're feeling saucy) with guaranteed no-mishap. You'll need another tearcup.
There are a few notes on selecting equipment for a Tau army. The way wargear has been selected has been changed in the new codex to stay in line with the way the 6th Edition Codices are being written. Now units select off of one of four lists depending on the type of unit they are. Some units can also take up to two drones, this is a simple choice out of three possible standard-issue drone types. The pathfinders, Broadsides, and Riptide have special issue drones exclusive to them which can be taken instead of or in addition to (depending on the unit) the standard drones.
 Ranged Weapons
These are chosen for Crisis suits, including the Commander and his Bodyguards.
Note: You can make a weapon twinlinked for some extra points and it will take up a second hardpoint (same as last 'dex), or you can take multiples of the same weapon at the base cost for each. Example: You could take a plasma rifle for 15 points, twin-linked plas for 20 points, or two individual plasma rifles for 30 points (15 points each). A commander could even blow all his hard points on double twin-linked plas at 30 points each if he really wanted to. (That would be pointless. A commander is BS 5. He's not gonna miss)
- Airbursting Fragmentation Projector*: Now try saying that when you've had a few ales. This was iffy in the last codex when it was damn near the only thing with a blast template, and it's still iffy now. An average S and AP mean that Pulse Carbines and Rifles out class it in most aspects. It's only really useful against cover-camping cowards.
- Burst Cannon: Same as last time except with 1 extra shot. Good for dealing with light infantry and when combined with a flamer it's awesome at tackling hordes. However you get lots of S5 AP5 shots elsewhere. All in all, not a bad choice but not a great one either, this weapon will be more likely to come into its own with other wargear made to take maximum advantage of it.
- Cyclic Ion Blaster*: This has been changed to be an extra shot missile pod in normal mode (with half the range). In overcharge mode it becomes a +1S blast. The only downside is the chance to burn your little weeaboo fingers. Not a bad choice as it costs the same as a missile pod but it doesn't have the option to TL.
- Flamer: Good old reliable, If you have points and hard-points to spare stick them on. They are a good deterrent for weaker units trying to tie up battlesuits. Another idea is to stick them on a crisis suit who has a TL-Burst cannon, since Multi-trackers come as standard now it's a good way of cheap fire at 42pts a model. Just remember that you only get to fire a single weapon in overwatch (multi-tracker specifies shooting phase), so loading double flamers on to suits for extra OW hits is a no-go.
- Fusion Blaster: 6" extra to the range might not seem like a lot but it is,this makes deep striking and cracking open the soft caramel center of vehicles all that much easier. Properly measured, it puts you on average 16" away from the vehicle that you just exploded at the end of your assault phase, making charges from units left to defend them far less likely.
- Missile Pod: Excellent for sniping walkers, other light vehicles and the odd monstrous critter or two (Ones with invuls or low armour svs to be exact). The low output of shots however that battlesuits equipped with these should avoid firing at larger sized units unless they have no better option. A tactic of old was to stick one of these with a plasma rifle. This tactic still works thanks to good range. Now that Multi-tracker comes as standard it leaves a hard-point open to be filled. Velocity Tracker or Early-warning override are good choices in this ever flyer centric age.
- Plasma Rifle: Before the inclusion of the Riptide and the new Ion weapons, this was the Tau's only source of reliable AP2 weaponry. Not that the new codex has not stopped their usefulness. They have good range and are rapid-fire. Stick them on and go troll me some big fat slow Terminators. In truth though even a full unit all equipped with TL-Plasma rifles are still going to need more than 6 shots, so consider a Missile-pod or burst cannon to back you up.
Stop the press! The new Faq just dropped and now you can choose to twin link or take two, 12 shots really ups your chances. TL one of them for extra fun
*Only one of these experimental weapons each may be taken per detachment. This allows for more than one each in 2000+ games, but they will need to be in different units.
 Support Systems
These can be taken by nearly all battlesuit variants, albeit to varying degrees; Broadsides, for instance, can only take one. Items marked as (standard issue) come with all battlesuits, do not need to be purchased, and do not count toward a suit's support system limit. They are included for the sake of completeness.
- Advanced Targeting System: Allows an equipped model to use the Precision Shot rule as if it was a character (get to pick the model to take the wound on a to-hit roll of 6). In the case of being equipped on a character themselves, their normal Precision Shot roll is enhanced to 5+ instead of just 6. Consider equipping them with this plus a burst cannon and a cyclonic ion blaster to maximize the odds of sniping special weapons and characters from enemy units as a kind of tactical-level Mont'ka maneuver.
- Blacksun Filter (standard issue): Tau Nightvision, it grants the Night Vision special rule (obviously) and immunity to Blind. Unlike certain options (like searchlights) available to other forces, this does not give away its user's position at night. Once a separate option, this now comes as standard issue equipment built into all Tau battlesuits for free and without occupying a hardpoint.
- Counterfire Defense System: Increases a model's Overwatch fire from the normal BS1 shot for snap-fire to BS2. For my money and points I'd rather a Flamer. In most cases you'd get more hits and wounds. It's a personal choice though, can be useful if you decide to go TEQ hunting with some plasma rifles. Also a good choice if you feel like investing in support systems on your stealth suits. When combined with drone controller would allow you to overwatch at BS2 with marker drones to boost someone else supporting fire (massive hilarious if "someone else" are pathfinders)
- Drone Controller: Formerly necessary for a unit to use drones, that functionality has become built-in. This new little bad boy works to enhance the drone's function, meaning the drones in your unit use the same BS as the bearer, making Markerlight hits that much easier to get. If your squad is taking any sizable amounts of drones (unless they are all shield drones) then think of including this as it will make up its point quickly.
- Early Warning Override: Provides Interceptor. While your fist thought would be to combine it with velocity tracker, its too expensive to be effective againt anything save absolute cheesemongering (i.e. all-air lists). Instead use interceptor rule for what it was designed: to shoot down reserves at he end of THEIR MOVEMENT PHASE. Do not forget to bring your tearcup while your Riptide blow apart tightly packed teleporting terminators or drop-podded sternquards with single ion accelerator blast. A decent buy all things considered.
- Multi-tracker (standard issue): Sensors and targeting systems which allow a unit to manage the fire power of two weapons simultaneously, like a battlesuited John Woo action hero. Once a separate hardpoint-filling option, its popularity (bordering on ubiquity) has made it a now standard issue piece of equipment built into every battlesuit, so comes free with the unit and does not occupy a hardpoint. Note, however, that it does not apply for Overwatch - it explicitly states that it only applies in the Shooting phase.
- Positional Relay: This allows outflankers in reserve in your army move in from the same board edge as the bearer provided he is within 6", including both your opponent's edge and your own. Used correctly this could allow you control of most of the board. However there isn't much need for lots of these in your army. Expect to use it more often on larger point games. Note that this piece of gear also comes as standard with recon drones that can accompany pathfinder squads, so weigh that in consideration for this if you are already taking pathfinders.
- Shield Generator: Another that remains unchanged. It grants you a 4+ invulnerable save. Basically it's a one upped version of the Stimulant injector. Combine the pair and add shield drones for a model that just simply refuses to die.
- Stimulant injector: Again another item that is no longer one per army. This will give the equipped model feel no pain. It's not cheap but it's a 5+ save in addition to your other saves that is only denied by instant death. Get it if you have the points and the unit in question is likely to see a lot of fire and needs the endurance.
- Target Lock: Allows the model to fire at a different target from the rest of the unit. This tool, while cheap, is often over-used. More often than not the one extra weapon does not make the difference. The only real time its effectiveness comes into play is when used in conjunction with fusion-blaster wielding, deep striking, jihad shouting, suicide squads. Deploy them onto the back armoured line of a foe and watch him cry. Remember to have your china tea cup at the ready.
- Vectored Retro-thrusters: No longer one per army this gives the model both fleet and hit and run. Useful if you get bogged down in combat and need to redeploy quickly. The only downside is a poor I means that you won't always pull out in time, unless you get drones (which are I4 for some reason), stick it in a Farsight Bomb (Farsight is I5), or put it on a commander who is palling around with Vespid (who are I6, but why would you do that?). Note: You only need 1 suit with this system in order to give the entire unit the benefits of Hit and Run, but you need to give this to everyone in the unit if you want to gain the benefits of Fleet.
- Velocity Tracker: Another new toy. This thing allows a model to choose on a turn-by-turn basis whether it wants to use the Skyfire rule or not (so that unit can be firing at fliers one turn and ground units the next with no penalty to either.) Slapping these on Broadsides may be everyone's first move but they don't do too badly on Crisis suits or the riptide either. Combine with Early Warning Override to give flier heavy lists an early bus ticket home.
 Signature Systems
These are taken by the Commander, his Bodyguards, or Crisis Shas'vres. Basically, these are the equivalent to the artifacts/relics of other books.
Note: Only one of each can be taken per army. On a Crisis Commander or Bodyguard these take up no Support Slots and as such any number of each could feasibly be equipped, however only three systems total from the Weapons, Support and Signature lists can be taken on a Crisis Team Shas'vre.
- Command and Control Node: A 4th ed piece of tech that was killed off in the switch to 5th ed when target priority tests went the way of the dodo. Back from the dead and clocking in at 15pts, it makes all of a unit's weapons Twin-linked at the cost of giving up the bearer's own shooting. Due to the wording there seems to be no problem with sticking this on a single Crisis Shas'vre and lumping him with a unit of Fire Warriors or Pathfinders. Using this and multi-spectrum sensor suite on a gigantic Farsight bodyguard squad looks broken on paper, but requires field testing.
- Failsafe Detonator: Useful as a last 1 fingered salute to anyone assaulting you and not much more. Select if you wish but by no means an auto-include.
- Iridium Battlesuit: Adds 1 Toughness and gives a 2+ save. Don't waste this on a Crisis Shas'vre save it for the commander (Your warlord if there isn't an Ethereal present) Alternate opinion: put this on a bodyguard loaded up with stims and a shield generator and you'll keep your commander's support systems free for maximum offense while having a bodyguard (who causes you to auto-pass Look Out Sir rolls) to act as a T5, 2+, 4++, FNP whipping boy while leaving your commanders hard points free to load up on dakka.
- Multi-spectrum Sensor Suite: Like Command and control, you forgo shooting with this model in place of giving the model's unit's ranged weapons the ignore cover special rule. Now this is useful, best thing is since it doesn't take up a hard point you don't have to lose out on weapons or support systems. Another good idea is to give both this and Command and Control node to a single suit and sticking it in fire warriors for max damage.
- Neuroweb System Jammer: At 2pts this little gadget is an auto-include. At the start of your shooting phase the bearer selects 1 enemy unit within 12" to have its weapons get hot until the end of the next turn. Even if you never use it it can still be funny to watch your foe create a wide area of space around the bearer.
- Onager Gaunlet: The first close combat weapon for a battlesuit. Shame there is only 1 and it only gives 1 S10 AP1 attack. Can be useful for opening tin cans or crumpling lower key characters in challenges. Just watch out however as you're still Tau and 1 attack that you may miss with isn't all that when you're T4 with a 3+ save. On the other hand, HIDDEN POWER FIST! That unlike similar weapons it does not strike at I1 should come as a surprise to anyone expecting a Tau commander to go down immediately in close combat to a monstrous creature without a good chance of taking the thing with them.
- Puretide Engram Neurochip: Select one of the five special rules at the start of Movement. The bearer has it until the next turn. The only ones of note are Monster Hunter (situational at best) and Tank Hunter (correctly outfitted Crisis suits who are going after tanks probably won't need it) which will benefit the entire unit, but the 3 others are close combat related and only affect the bearer and therefore mostly pointless. Although if you know that CC is inevitable I guess it might be worth popping one of the CC abilities since every little bit helps.
- Repulsor impact Field: Another neat (anti-)assault gadget. It's like a flechette discharger for battlesuits. It won't make an enemy unit think twice about hitting you though, but the handful of I10 hits might score you an wound before your opponent strikes. If you're taking any assault phase gadgets, it's best to take them in a bunch although the points will pile up fast.
Only Drones that can be taken by more than one unit entry are discussed here. The rest will be discussed in their related entry. All drones discussed now cost 12pts (with the exception of Shielded Missile Drones, which cost 25pts each). This is a big decrease for the marker drone, a minor decrease for the shield and a minor increase for the gun drone.
- Gun Drone: Has lost its Jetpack Jump infantry status and has been demoted to simply Jet pack infantry. Still with the changes to assault carbine being assault 2 and drone controller giving the drones the same BS has the bearer it has made them a much more usable option for some extra firepower.
- Marker Drone: A staple of many Tau armies has just seen a massive improvement! Watch as markerlights rain down as heavy as the tears of your fallen enemy. 16pts has been taken off the tab and it benefits greatly from improved BS granted by having a Drone controller in the unit. The down play that not many players have noticed yet is loss of Networked markerlight. Meaning you better have two units firing at the same target and some pathfinders if everyone is going to benefit from those lovely markerlight hits.
- Missile Drone: It's a missile pod in a drone. Due to errata it can only be taken by Broadsides.
- Shield Drone: It's a shield generator in a drone. It's actually a cheaper, more effective shield generator to boot. Cheaper than the support system version by 13pts. It gives multi-wound characters a second chance at outlasting any scary S8 weapons that would insta-kill it. Even if not attached to Commanders it still makes a decent addition to any unit that can take it. Unless you have other plans or points are too tight, you cannot go wrong attaching a pair of these to Crisis suits, as they are tough enough to whether some anti-infantry fire, but not so robust that they can easily survive anti-armor weapons. The shield drones will let them do so, at least long enough to neutralize the threat to them. If these are the only drones you take, then there is no need for a drone controller. A full crisis team can take six of them without using up any support slots at all.
- Shielded Missile Drone: A cross between a Missile Drone and a Shield Drone, combining the strengths of both types. Only Riptides can use them, but on the bright side they also have T6.
 Vehicle Battle Systems
- Advanced Targeting System: It gives "To Hit" Rolls of 6 Precision shot. A trollworthy thing if your Rail Gun can insta-gib a enemy HQ hidden within meatshields, but there are plenty of snipers in the codex that are better suited for this role.
- Automated Repair System: On a 6 it repairs a weapon destroyed or immobilised result. It's cheap and can give you back what you once thought lost. Use if you have points to spare.
- Blacksun Filter: While these come as standard on battlesuits now they still have to be paid for by vehicles. It lets you ignore Night Fighting and Blind effects. As it's so cheap, it's hardly points wasted even if you don't ever get to use it.
- Decoy Launchers: 4+ invul to glancing or penetrating hits caused by the interceptor rule. By far the best use of this is on the flyers. Makes those nasty quad guns seem like a bad dream. Sadly it has little other use.
- Disruption Pod: It gives a +1 to your cover save, so it effectively acts like stealth while still being stackable with stealth. Not as brokenly powerful as it as before, but still pretty damn good. 4+ in the open is great. Always buy it for your tanks, never for aircraft, unless you expect jinking a lot (which you don't).
- Flechette Discharger: Fires a S4 number of hits equal to the number of folk in contact with it. Scares lightly armoured grenadiers (meltabomb vets, witches and swooping hawks comes in mind), but MEQ's don't give a shit about it.
- Point Defence Targeting relay: The S5 and below weapons can overwatch. Gives the vehicle Supporting Fire as well.
- Sensor Spines: Gives move through Cover. Another case by case one. Useful for hiding tanks in cover, especially with disruption pods, but almost worthless on fast skimmers and definitely worthless on flyers.
 Unit Analysis
- Generic Ethereal: Ethereals used to be a bad joke for the Tau army along with Vespids (the Fast Attack bad joke). They provided marginal benefit coupled with a serious drawback leading to much regicidal humour. So it came upon the Hamster man to improve this rather terrible selection and so he made an attempt: instead of a meager benefit, all friendly units from this codex with a model within a foot of an Ethereal must use his leadership for Fear, Morale, Pinning and Regroup checks; in addition to this the Ethereal can grant all friendly non-vehicle Tau units one of four abilities each movement phase: Stubborn, FnP 6+, Snap Shots after running or a bonus pulse shot against anything less than half-range away. The only downside for Ethereals now is that killing the Ethereal gives an extra victory point and undoes whatever power was being used at the time. Can also take a beacon for fairly cheap, presumably so you can launch a defensive deep strike to protect your Ethereal.
- To summerise, they became Badass. Not only is the Ethereal a Force Multipler of the first order with his Sea of Fire Invocation, but he bestows Leadership 10, and can bestow Stubborn on his Fire-Warrior flock when you want your thin Orange Line to hold rather than break- effectively turning the Tau into the bravest army in the 40k universe, even more so than Grey Knights and other "elite" armies. To demonstrate the power of this, a Shas'ui can challenge the most dangerous model in the charging squad, and effectively occupy him for an entire turn at no cost but your Shas'ui's life. That would make any Independent character sad, but against certain opponents that often charge in solo *Bloodthristers* it can become hilarious.
- The real selling point of Ethereals however is precisely that- the selling point. At 50 points, unless you're running an almost completely battlesuited army you should be seriously asking yourself why you shouldn't be taking an Ethereal, and even in those armies, the FnP and ability to fire Snapshots while running (which of course can be augmented by markerlights) is well worth it.
- Needless to say with a glorious W2, T3 and a complete absence of a save, you can expect your Ethereal to be the prime target of the Marbos, snipers, CC infantry and anything with "precision shot" in the description. Place at the back of large fire warrior squads, amongst large numbers of similarly large squads for maximum survivability.
- Generic Battlesuit Commander: An excellent unit if kitted out properly. The versatility of the battlesuit chassis means you can equip him however you need to be most effective, and being the commander, all special issue equipment is available to him (see Armoury for setup tips). Commanders may take special bodyguards. The Generic Commander may take various suit types:
- XV8-05: A small upgrade over the standard XV8, comes with a total of 4 hardpoints for your mounting pleasure (and Signature systems don't count!) Thus, the Forge World variants below are
now of dubious merit still pretty okay due to crisis suits being FAQ'd as having the ability to double-up (NOT auto-twinlink as before) on weapons.
- Forgeworld adds several variations on the Crisis Commander.
- XV-81: Grants a smart missile system and leaves you two additional slots. (Expect this variant to be popular with double missile pods)
- XV-84: Bestows a markerlight and lets you keep all your hard points. Might be worth it if you're short on markerlights for some reason.
- XV-89: Bestows iridium armor. Not sure if this is the Iridium armour of old or the new Crisis Iridium suit as we need a Forgeworld update to clarify these.
- Bodyguards: Each Commander in your army allows you to take a single unit of bodyguards that do not take up an FOC slot. When taken, they turn your XV8 Commander into a very up-powered Crisis suit team (which is no bad thing) although there is nothing specifying that the commander needs to be attached to the body guard, which is odd. They automatically pass Look Out, Sir! tests, which means you can cram the survivability-enhancing gear on them and the offensive gear on the commander. Like the commander you can stick any number of signature systems on these guys, however you still only have 3 slots for weapon/support systems. You can make some interesting combinations of gear on these guys. Think about the possibilities.
- Cadre Fireblade: The R. Lee Ermey of the Tau army. Guilty of "Wolfborn Syndrome". The Cadre Fireblade has the supporting fire, volley fire and split fire special rules, so he can better support your Fire warriors. He also has a markerlight to let them Fire at BS4. He is also one of the cheapest HQs available to the Fire Caste. Your Tau commander that thinks he's too cool to ride in an XV8 (or in this case, the new XV8-05) so he pals around with Fire Warriors. Has a BS5 Markerlight, split fire and grants the Firewarrior or Pathfinder squad it's attached to a bonus shot! But only if the entire unit remained stationary in the movement phase. So no moving your devilfish, disembarking and getting this bonus. Or jumping any attached drones around. Great to put in your group holding an objective in your D-zone though.
- The Biggest issue with Fireblades is that while being more expensive than Ethereal, they provide noticeably less in the way of benefits. Sure they've got more wounds, but as a T3 character, that's not really the issue. Volley Fire is nice, but the Ethereal Sea of Fire is arguably better, and more importantly effects multiple squads. The High BS Markerlight is nice, but not enough. What really breaks the Fireblade though is his lack of options. If the Fireblade could take support and signature systems along with the Pathfinder's special drones, then he'd become a halfway viable choice. As it stands the Fireblade is still essentially a Super-Fire Warrior that is not cost effective for the 7 Fire Warriors that are his point cost. More importantly however, you waste a HQ slot.
 Special Characters
- Aun'Va, Master of the Undying Spirit: The popestick got a huge buff! Roll equal to or over a weapon's AP to ignore wounds? Auto-pass against AP1? Enemy railguns/death rays/tachyon arrows/meltas can eat shit and die. However, you can't roll against AP- so Tesla will still ruin your day. Only 100pts? Vetock, you are a god. OK, so the bodyguards are still meh but they're better than they used to be. 5+ saves combined with the Paradox's harder-you-hit-it-harder-it-is invulnerable save gives the whole unit a variable amount of protection. He also gets 2 ethereal bubble abilities per turn, which either give Stubborn, Fnp(6+), +1 pulse weapon shot in half range or snap shots after running. His massive, multiple buffs are just awesome. He also provides a table wide re-roll for any morale checks, anything in Tau codex. That shit is money.
- Aun'Shi: Brought back from 3rd edition into 6th. Shi is essentially a close combat HQ (albeit a modest one) in an otherwise shooty army. Always use patient hunter in CC, because re-rollable 4++ is hilarious. He is basically an Ethereal with the weaknesses removed for a price bump, but beware of anyone with strength 6 or over, because you'll be instant killed.
- O'Shovah (Commander Farsight): The l33t renegade commander of the Fire Caste, Farsight is odd in the fact that he's specced for assault in an army meant for shooting. His Dawn Blade is very nice and got one hell of an upgrade to what is essentially a Necron Warscythe (AP2 Armourbane); his ability to take a seven-strong battlesuit bodyguard is intimidating, especially when he can perfectly deepstrike with it. With 6th edition, preferred enemy is actually quite useful, making
your army his unit bs 3.5 against orks. His restrictions from the previous codex were his biggest hindrance, but now they don't exist in the new codex. The suits in his unit will get hit and run and use his I5 for the test. That could actually make assaulting worth while with him and counter-assaults hilarious (take a few suits with twin-linked flamers for additional lulz).
- His warlord trait opens opportunities for a "farsight bomb" where you have farsight and 7 body guards -carrying fusion blasters and plasma rifles for heavy infantry/tanks and burst cannons and flamers for light infantry- deep strike into the middle of the enemy and shoot their faces off (16 plasma rifle shots and 7 fusion blaster shots if you have path finders to light up the squads target everything is going to die have at least one bodyguard with a target lock so you can crack open transports and then kill its passengers)
- O'Shaserra (Commander Shadowsun): Commander Tsundere herself, she wears an experimental next-gen stealth battlesuit and is outfitted for cover-camping and jump-shoot-jump close-range tank killing (which makes her much better on dense battlefields than in open ones). One of the only ways to make her useful is to stick her in a stealth suit squad, where she bestows 3D6 JSJ range to the unit and benefits from auto-passing Look Out,
Sir Ma'am! rolls to prevent instant-death (and being T3 there are a lot of weapons that could instant-death her). With buffed out fusion guns and 2+ cover in any terrain she could put some hate on vehicles while being all but invulnerable to return fire. Her command-link drone can let an unit within 12" re-roll to hit rolls of 1 and her shield drones confer a 3++.
- Let us reiterate what her command-link drone does: Any one unit within 12" of the drone gets to re-roll any 1s on its to-hit roll. And she can do this every turn. You know how that Riptide heavy burst cannon was almost as dangerous to itself as it was the enemy when you fire it with a nova-charge? With Shadowsun in support, that is no longer the case. Just think about how much dakka you can (relatively) safely put out from the two of them on a continual basis...
- As both Stealth and Shrouded confers to the entire unit, it's possible to put Mrs. Tsundere into Crisis or Hazard team (or take a bodyguard team), giving them 4+ cover in the open and 2+ in any terrain. Sure, you don't get auto Look Out
Sir Ma'am! (unless you took bodyguards), but 2+ is almost as good as an auto-pass and overall T4/5 of Crisis/Hazard solves instant death problem much better. And on top of that her unit benefits from 3D6 thrust moves if she is your warlord.
- For more troll worthy potential take battle brother allies. So what do you think about constantly 2+ covered wraithguard blob or seer council of assholes with REROLLABLE 2+ cover? As broken as it looks, expect it to be nerfed in FAQ'es soon as GW realises its potential. Also, template weapons will ruin your day, so watch out.
- As Riptides are not always one model, Shadowsun can join a Riptide for trolltastic tactics. With Shadowsun in the Riptide's unit the Riptide receives infiltrate, stealth, shrouded as well as Shadowsun's default 3D6 jet pack move and the aforementioned command-link drone shenanigans. Broken as hell?
Sure to be FAQ'd? Of course, but enjoy it while you can. FAQ came out, no mention of this combo so you are good to go! Oh and don't forget the fun that can be had with a full team of XV9's behind her. Have that tearcup handy?
- El'Myamoto (Sub-Commander Darkstrider): The second Tau commander to piss off the Ethereal elites, Darkstrider is best described as a Cadre Fireblade for Pathfinders. His key ability is to lower the toughness of anything his squad fires on (only for his squad, but it counts for Instant Death) which works best with railrifle equipped pathfinders. Can be very troll-y. See that crazy powerful Paladin or Meganob? A single Pathfinder in this guy's squad just sniped him. Also works on T5 (Nob bikers, Ogryns, Thunderwolf, Harpies, Daemon Prince) with an overcharged Ion Rifle. As well, he has a special rule that allows his unit to reconsolidate d6" in any direction immediately after firing their overwatch and BEFORE the charging unit rolls for charge distance. Stick him in a Pathfinder squad with a Grav Inhibitor drone and they become one slippery unit. Problem, Astartes?
- O'R'myr (Commander Longknife) (Forge World): A decent suit that doesn't quite know his role on the battlefield. A double-barreled Plasma rifle with an enhanced shield generator, he looks built to take down heavy infantry / monstrous creatures. He also has an ejection system and once-per-game flechette launcher. He MUST take drones, and his bodyguard may consist of commander-level special suits. A good choice, especially against Imperium due to Fearless against them, though the generic commander is far better for facing hordes. It should be pointed out that he functions as the best non XV-9 commander option in the army and the flechette discharger is a really nasty surprise to swarm armies thinking they have just trapped the expensive tau HQ unit in CC.
- O'Ra'lai (Commander O'Rly) (Forge World): O'Rly is a monster of a unit; he is your Commissar Yarrick, your Failbaddon, your Mephiston, your Swarmlord, your Ghazghkull, with BS5, T5, I4, and the power of the XV-9 battlesuit the main difference he has compared with the above heroes is that he is primarily a ranged fighter whereas most uber-hq units tend to be close combat focused.
- The latest Imperial Armor Apocalypse Second Edition rules have updated O'Ra'Lai's equipment. His shield no longer conveys stealth, but gives him a 3+ invulnerable save if fired at from outside 12 inches. On top of that, All of his weapons are now Assault 2. This involves all of the "gets Hot!" weapons, so you run the risk of taking more damage, but can cause a lot more pain as a result. With this change, he no longer has "Baby's First Lascannon," instead he has "Oh what the fuck, he has an assault 2 lascannon?!" His template weapons now make him a real nightmare to just about any army, and he also is now the best HQ unit the Tau have. Keep him away from TEQs though.
- His drones, to the blind and stupid, seem like a liability, until you realize he was designed to be added to a team of three more XV-9's with shield generators. This does make his squad rather intensely expensive, but you will have a 3+/4++ unit that is stubborn that comes with drones ripe for sacrifice in an unwanted close combat. He does not have Independent Character for just this reason it seems. He also has the "Angry Old Man" thing going for him in his background, and he comes from the Angry Tau sept as well. This does nothing but double-up on his "Get off my lawn" baddassery.
- Make him your army's warlord. Period. At T5, 4 wounds, a 3+/3-4++, I4, hit and run, and JSJ, he is an absolute bastard to kill without S10 or instant death weapons.
- Fire Warriors: Yes, they have the best basic infantry gun in the game. Yes, they will go down like a sack of wet shit if properly targeted or assaulted. For the new book, their price gets dropped to a much more workable 9 pts/model, so it just got a lot easier to buy a squad with a Devilfish; however, larger squads are going to be more difficult to squeeze into cover, but if they fit in a fish, you got it made. The price break does let you spend a little more on the Tau's new toys elsewhere though. Devilfish give Fire Warriors much needed mobility, and safety from assault. After all, the second ANYTHING gets into close combat with a Fire Warrior squad, the Fire Warriors will lose. Even if it's other Fire Warriors or even fucking Grots and Rippers. With abysmal WS and mediocre BS, if these guys are firing, use markerlights to up their hit chances, although other units may make better use of the markerlight tokens. 6th edition buffs them a lot: new shooting weapons rules make them rapid fire on 15", hullpoint system allow them glance to death light vehicles with pulse rifles or blast them to oblivion with EMP-grenades, and new defensive grenades (which you no longer have to buy as an option) 8"-stealth also help them survive bolter drills a bit better. Firewarriors get other goodies like the ability to overwatch with another friendly unit within 6" of them - yes, they are now quite the bargain.
- Alternative option: A fun, unconventional and down-right troll worthy tactic. Stick 6 FW's in a Devilfish with EMP's Now only costing you 11pts per model (with added photon grenades for free) you just launch the DF at an enemy vehicle. The change to EMP making them true Haywire (opposed to the haywire lite that they were) means that your opponent will scramble to save whatever you're targeting. Most of the time it will not work out, but now it's so god-damn cheap to do it's almost worth it for the lulz.
- Kroot Carnivores: Disregard what fluff says - Kroot are NOT assault infantry. Yes, they have WS4, so what? They can not assault after shooting, their saves are weak and they lost their S4 and extra attack from the rifle for no fucking reason (while remaining super-strong in fluff), and AP5 melee looks like a fucking joke in all-marine metagame. Instead look at their gun. It's a fucking bolter just with AP6, which don't matter a lot, cause most of the infantry in the game is either Sv4+ or better, or constantly in cover. No, instead spend the extra point per model (for a total of 7 each) for Sniper Rounds. A 20 strong squad hidden in a forest taking out Characters hidden in squad. This is more deadly against certain armies than other, but it's rather troll worthy at any rate. The only downside is the shortish range of the Kroot Rifle. Still, 140pts for 20 Sniper shots it's not that much of downside. And speaking about cover, these guys have stealth(forest) for 4+ in forests. If you want to be a dick, place a few ironbark forests and infiltrate kroots into it (yes, it's fair and legal)(Not legal, you have to roll for mysterious forest when you enter it, you have no way of telling what it is until you make that roll (pg.102 BRB)). What you got is fairly cheap, hard to shoot down from cover and hard to kill in CC area denial unit that shoot bolters or even sniper rifles, and can deploy anywhere on the field, messing with opponents pathing and deepstriking, and keeping his forces away from your fragile gunline until they all die. In addition to regular Kroot, you can field the following Kroot subspecies:
- Kroot Hounds: These are Space Chickens... In a dog form. Surprisingly these pups aren't bad, as they have I 5, so they get to go first before Space Marines/Necrons/Chaos Space Marines/etc. And will go at the same time as Gaunts and Eldar. They can dish out two attacks per base, so up to 12 hounds can deliver 24 hits on anyone that it assaults/gets assaulted by Vanilla Marines. They're a point cheaper, but they have no armour save. Overall, pretty good unit to have in a squad to either chomp up a few marines before they die or a nice meat shield to add. If you go shooty, but plan to outflank instead of infiltrate, take one for acute senses.
- Krootox Riders: At 25 pts., you get a space chicken Silverback with a big Kroot Gun on its back with the rider. Having a S7 rapid fire gun that can shoot up to 48"(24 in rapid fire thanks to the buff with 6th edition) is nice to have, along with two S6 melee attacks up close and two wounds. For the new book, Krootox riders no longer prevent your squad from infiltrating, which means you can now have an absurdly strong gun line infiltrating right where your opponent doesn't want it that can actually hold out in combat!
- Shaper: The boss of the Carnivore Squad. These Kroot have three wounds, +2 attacks more and +1 LD. Oh, and he costs three times more than a Kroot for the upgrade. It's worth taking if you want the six extra S3 hits, which can help a bit. Still not great to take on anything except for Orks, Tyranids, and Daemons, so only take him if you plan on going up against other horde armies.
- Worker Gangs (Forge World): Choppy Gue'vesa troops and so far the only human auxiliaries you can field in 6th ed now that the originals are not supported any more; they cost the same as guardsmen and have one squad leader, 5-18 workers and 0-1 Ogryns. All have laspistols and CCW, and they have the option for a meltagun. Not great, they want to be a big squad that sits on objectives, but all they can do (and even then, not fantastic) is to chop. That being said, you get Ogryns, and you can make this squad 9 workers +1 gang leader +1 Ogryn (Ogryns are bulky, so two spaces in a transport), shove it in a devilfish and go capture an objective for cheap, without being TOO scared of assault. One thing that may work is meltagunning a tank and charging the occupants...I guess...Honestly, they are like Kroot in so many ways (T3, no armour, can have a 3W model, expensive squad leader with noticeably better stats, want to be in assault yet aren't great at it etc.)
- Remote Sensor Towers (Forge World): You get AV10 HP2 immobile vehicles with TL markerlight in squadrons up to three. Yes, they would outright die to anything save lasguns if not in cover, and single TL markerlight ain't that good for those points, but it matters not. The key ability of towers is to make any one squad's weapons twinlinked PER TOWER, so you can upgrade three units with full tower squadron. You wanna 50% more markerlight shots from Pathfinders? You got it. You wanna TL Railgun? Done! TL Fire Warrior gunline? Take it! Beware of Riptide killing himself with burst cannon nova power? No more! Due to strange wording it would work on ANY allies, not necessary battle brothers. Engage trollface with twinlinked-all-guns Leman Russ squadron. Also they do not have to be deployed in unit cohesion (you may wish to phone forgeworld I phoned them and was told they are going to get an update soon, but for now they are usable and unit cohesion is not needed - although with the new supporting fire rule this is not much of a problem anyway)
- Drone Turrets (Forge World):
Another immobile vehicles, now with reliable armor of 12 Forgeworld’s 6th ed update for vehicles has changed these to automated artillery guns, so each turret now uses the gun profile of T7, 2 wounds and a 3+ save. As automated artillery, they do not need crew to operate like normal artillery, but they are still immobile. They are dirt cheap and with each one packing TL battlesuit weapons, they can provide some serious dakka, especially if their target is markerlighted (cause they are BS2). You can buy the deepstrike upgrade to put them anywhere you want, Don’t need to purchase this option anymore as Immobile units put into reserve automatically deep strike onto the battlefield. If deep striking, take some beacons or recon drones to ensure they land where you need them. Alternatively, hide them in ruins with disruption pod for trolltastic 3+ cover (with T7 and 2 wounds each, the unit is damn near impossible to dislodge). Take a unit of 3-4 with missile pods, stick them in cover and watch your opponent cry a river of tears as they rain down a constant barrage of missiles with near impunity.
- Baggage Knarlocs (Forge World): A Knarloc in the troops choice sounds awesome at first, until you realize you need to take Kroot Carnivores first, he needs babysitters, and he has nothing going for him in terms of ranged weaponry or assault ability. Never even LOOK at these guys. They exist for flavour or special scenarios and nothing else.
- Another look: for 25 points, you can get a scoring unit with a small footprint. Few other armies are even capable of this. Use them with one herder (or even two, just to be safe) and put them on an objective OUT OF LINE OF SIGHT. Also, they are monstrous creatures for 25pts. With a decent cover save they can even shrug off a fair number of bolter shots (54 with 4+ cover and one handler, if they are fired at BS4)
 Dedicated Transports
- Devilfish Troop Carrier:
FISH OF FU-*BLAM* Ignore that Moun'tau savage, citizen, for the elimination of That Strategy betters us all. These allow your Fire Warriors to be exactly where you need them to be. With AV12 in the front, the ability to gain a 4+ cover save (3+ if it moves flat-out instead of shooting) through the Disruption Pod wargear, and skimmer speed, think of this as the iron-clad, greased up eggshell that you need to crack to get to the delicious omelette inside. With the new codex, drones that detach from vehicles never count as a kill point. For ten points, you can replace the gun drones with a twin-linked smart missile system, which got a serious buff in 6th Edition from its previous stats, allowing the Devilfish to add some cost-effective (line-of-sight ignoring / cover negating!) fire support. These are almost necessary for a good army.
- XV-8 Crisis Battlesuit: God's Gift To Tau. These guys are your mainstay. Their weapons are varied and versatile, and are specialized for various situations. They can take any combination of weapons and wargear unless otherwise stated. These guys will fill up your elites slots. The Crisis suits are famous for the Jump-Shoot-Jump - moving out of cover, shooting, and jumping back into cover, denying return fire and annoying the enemy, an excellent tactic. Each suit may take up to three hard-points but it's no longer a requirement that all three slots be filled. Hard-points are made up of Ranged Weapons and Support Systems(see "Tau Armoury" section). Typically a Crisis suit will have two weapons and a support system, but there is no rule against three weapons or even three support systems, or any other ratio you fancy. Obviously some combinations are more effective than others. Note that if a single weapon system is selected twice, it could count as a single twin-linked weapon (filling two hardpoints) at only +5 pts or two separate guns at full cost - though you must state it in your roster and point it to your opponent (it may be a good idea to mount TL pair on one hardpoint to make it more WYSIWYG). Crisis suits (and other large suits) come with Multitracker and blacksun filter pre-installed so you can choose that extra system you've always wanted. If one of your team upgrades to a Shas'vre then he unlocks access from items from signature systems.
This does not count towards the 3 hard-point total. A Shield Generator or Shield Drones are always good. This is extremely important!! Tau Crisis suits are T4, which means they suffer heavily from rocket sniping. If you value your suits, take at least two shield drones on the Shas'Vre to absorb the inevitable S8 AP3 shot. Everything in the damn game has some version of a "fuck your crisis suit" weapon (except Tyranids, even the Tyrannofex's Rupture Cannon hits at AP 4, so Crisis Suits are safe), be prepared. Probably one of the most past by improvements, yet comforting additions to 6th; Shas'Vre come in at Leadership 9, meaning if you lose a couple of expendable wounds (for instance in the form of bin lids) you don't panic, forget you're in a huge powered gundam wing and run off the board!
- One completely unexpected result of 6th ed was the Rambo Crisis Squads. With Crisis suits now costing 22 points, it's now a perfectly viable option to take your Cheap as Chips naked (or naked plus flamer) Crisis squad and use them for GLORIOUS COMBAT. Why? Because 3 Crisis suits naked costs 66 points! If one was to compare them with Assault Marines, you're looking at higher natural str, more base attacks, double wounds for about the same price and at the expense of lower WS and lack of Hammer of Wrath, which considering that unless you have the misfortune of fighting Grey Knights or Daemons, you're going to hit most things on a 4+ anyway. In effect you have a unreasonably durable tarpit unit on a super budget, best used against assault threats to your firewarriors (needless to say, anything with a large quanity of power weapons is to be avoided, but that marine squad? Fuck yeah). Of course, given the fact that you're expending an entire precious elite choice won't sit well with many, but given 6th Ed Detachment rules and the scary viability of running an Ethereal/Fire Warrior combo army rather than a Crisis suit orientated list, this may prove viable. You might be tempted to whack a Shas'vre in there with a Neurochip for Furious Charge and counter attack shenanigans, but at the end of the day, the main value of this squad is exactly how cheap it is. Don't do it.
- With Taking multiple weapon options now no longer auto-twin linked, Taking double flamers for 6 Flamer templates for the attractive price of 96 points a squad is now a very viable option against almost any army in the game (Deathwing and Grey Knights tend to be the exception)- that kind of firepower can dish out more hits than there are models in any given squad it gets within range of, and it ignores cover to boot. Sure best for Orcs and IG, but even marines will take substantial casualties under that many hits. With the new Thrust rules and clever use of terrain, you can easily dance around enemy squads while toasting them. You can even combine this with the Rambo squad if you decide to get Vectored Retrothrusters, although this does increase the price.
- The Cyclic Ion Blaster gets a special mention. For the low price of 15 points, you can get a weapon that varies between being a souped up missile launcher and a Str 8 blast weapon. Only one per squad, but even so, if you're looking to get a Crisis Battlesuit Team of the old style, to take names and tears, then this should always be a buy. The AP4 kinda sucks, but you can't have everything.
- Stealth Suits: Not quite the safe (or arguably decent) choice anymore. These guys can Infiltrate, Outflank or Deepstrike, so you can deploy then in almost any way possible. They still retain Shrouded and Stealth which stack to give them a 4+ cover save in open ground, and have benefited from Burst Cannons going Assault 4. But at T3 and mediocre BS, they will need markerlight support to make the most of their extra shooty. Sure the 1 in 3 Fusion Blaster is good, but with the rise of the Riptide (that can provide TL Fusion and a whole lot more), the viability of Stealth Suits, especially when you have more access to low AP weapons than ever before, has to be questioned. A team won't necessarily cost you the game as they are great for fucking up the shit of Guardsmen, Orks etc. Just be warned against MEQ's and TEQ's.
- If you take them, put a Fusion Blaster on the team leader (because you can) and give him a markerlight complete with target lock - BOOM! that guy can bust open a vehicle while the rest of the squad dakkas on someone else. Works hilariously well for opening transports and then softening up its contents with a burst cannon volley, followed by a thorough pulse rifling. Put an advanced targeting system on the team leader (which you can do since the target lock from the markerlight doesn't take up the support slot) and you can snipe special weapons on a 5+ when there isn't a vehicle nearby. Remember, stealth suits have built in multi-trackers so your team lead can shoot his markerlight in addition to his primary weapon.
- For added trolling, give your stealth team stimulant injectors and watch your opponent have a bitch of a time trying to dig shrouded, stealthed, FnP MEQs out of cover.
- Do note that they can take a homing beacon, and due to wording of its rules it could be used not only by your Crisis suits but also by Space Marine, Eldar and Corsair ally deep strikers. As you can safely infiltrate stealth suits almost into any cover on the board think about endless trolling potential of perfectly deep striking Lucius drop pod with Ironclad, a squad of Corsair Wraithguards, or even a Warp Hunter (hover tank out of fucking NOWHERE).
- Take a fusion blaster and Outflank. Dare your opponent to leave their vehicles within 15" of either board edge.
- XV104 Riptide (New Unit): Designed by the Earth Caste, likely to troll the Gey Knights and their stupid bullshit Dreadknights. It will give new Wardian GK players a bit of... ahem, envy. Being a
jump Jetpack monstrous creature (which means it moves 6" due to being a MC, the Jetpack is a subtype that affects how a unit moves not its distance), it sports a big statline (S/T6, 5 wounds, 2+/5++) to accompany its big guns (either a heavy burst cannon or ion accelerator), plus it can take another twin-linked battlesuit gun. Then there's its Nova Reactor, which can give it a special power per turn of your choosing on a 3+ - unless you fail, then your giant robot takes a wound that cannot be saved (Not entirely true, a stimulant injector will allow a FNP roll, as it has the same wording as psychic powers which got FAQed to allow FNP saves). Special powers include buffing the invulnerable save to 3++, moving 4d6", firing twice in a turn with its bonus weapons or unlocking its alternate weapon profile: it makes the Heavy Burst Cannon Heavy 12 and rending, but gets hot which is awful with 12 shots or the Ion Accelerator overcharge S9 and ordnance. Ion accelerator with TL fusion guns is the go-to build for instakilling T4 multiwound cheesy units (Paladins, Meganobs, Tyranid warriors and other Tau battlesuits) or go vehicle hunting. Oh, and do not forget it's a monstrous creature, so even with terrible Tau WS and I it still can and would smash tanks in close combat if needed. Keep away from other monstrous creatures, close combat units with Power fists, War-scythes, Power klaws and poisoned weapons in both close and ranged combat. It's the only unit that can use Shielded Missile Drones. Only with T6 to prevent O'Ralai drone syndrome.
- But it must be remembered that the Riptide can and probably will blow its own brains out and that in the views of some may make it less desirable for its points cost, although, there are things you can use to stop it from blowing its brains out (don't use the nova reactor is a good one) like standing it next to a remote sensor tower so any get hot rolls can be rolled away or buying a stimulant injector to help reduce the chance of taking a Gets Hot wound down to two twenty-ninths. Options which allow you to re-roll to-hit rolls of 1 like the Through Unity, Devastation Warlord Trait or Shadowsun's command-link drone will also help mitigate Gets Hot! related issues. Due to the BS cap being removed from markerlights, boosting the Riptide past BS5 can also prevent the vast majority of Gets Hot! mishaps.
- Give it an ion accelerator and early warning override and watch Deathwing armies weep.
- Although your shiny new suit has the capabilities to make anything carrying an imperial banner piss their pants, the Tau budget apparently couldn't afford decent targeting equipment on this beast. With BS3, that 2D6 scatter roll will not be forgiving to your Blast weapons. Avoid the embarrassment and marker-light this fucker up.
 Fast Attack
- Drone Squad: Drone Squads have had an overhaul. Your 12 man strong squad can be a combination of Shield, Markerlight or Gun Drones. The choice is yours. A new tactic being to have Markerlight drones with Shield drones protecting. Time will tell if this is viably tactic as at BS2 this could be a costly way of getting marker lights. An option being mentioned is sticking a commander with Drone Controller to accompany them. 15 BS5 markerlights, jumping behind solid cover after each shot is great, but a bit costly. On a side note, markerlights can benefit from other markerlight hits, therefore a large 12 man unit of marker drones can be buffed to a relatively high ballistic skill via the actions of other markerlights in the army (for example firesight marksmen, pathfinders, Shas'o marker drones etc.)
- Vespid Stingwings: Once the other bad joke of the Tau, Vespids have been slightly redeemed. Their gun was boosted to 18" range, and they have fire warrior Sv. The only real use for Vespids is murdering MEQs or weaker. As they have move through cover and stealth in ruins now, you can go guerrilla all up in this bitch. Vespids run around in squads of about 6, but always upgrade one to Strain Leader and keep him safe, as he gives them a juicy 9 Leadership. Use these as the nightmare bug-assassins of the Tau.
- Pathfinders: One of two good sources for markerlights, and very cost-effective for the number of markerlights you get. These guys put out a large amount of markerlight support every turn, useful for your other guys. Their Recon Drone (if you take it) allows deep strikers within
line of sight to reroll the scatter dice, good in case you just nuked your deep-striking death star with a mishap 6" to not roll for scatter. They are also scouts, quite useful to outflank or get into position. Beware though, their armor save is only 5+ (which makes sense since they always had lighter armor and are made for recon rather than gun lines) which means that they are particularly vulnerable to things like bolters. Camp these guys in cover somewhere safe. They can optionally take Devilfish, but those are no longer compulsory to take with them like they were in earlier editions. They can take rail rifles and new ion rifles, but only ever do this if you have an additional markerlight source. A unit of pathfinders can't go wrong. They have several options:
- Special Drones: These drones can only be taken by Pathfinder squads, only one of each can be taken, and they do not count against the two drone limit for accompanying drones (each is purchased as its own upgrade independent of other things.)
- Recon Drone: Expensive, but it gives the unit a burst cannon, which is always nice, and is what allows the unit to have its homing beacon and position relay functions, so worth taking if you have deep-striking reserves. As a bonus, it does not take up any extra space when being transported by a Devilfish, and can employ its reserve-guiding equipment while embarked.
- Grav-inhibitor Drone: Slows down any charging foe, reducing assault moves by D3. Great for giving the unit a little more time to get the hell out of dodge if your enemy really wants to commit to eliminating them (and let's face it, if they do you have successfully trolled them into doing so from markerlight-related rage.)
- Pulse Accelerator Drone: This boosts all pulse weapon fire from the unit to extend its range by 6". This effectively means that those pulse carbines your Pathfinders are carrying go from 18" Assault 2 weapons to 24" Assault 2 weapons, potentially out dakkaing line Fire Warriors. Unfortunately, burst cannons are not classified as pulse weapons any longer, so the range on the Recon Drone is not increased. While your Pathfinders should be more about dropping marker tokens than shooting up the enemy, you can really make the enemy pay for trying to take them down with this.
- Team Leader: For another 10 points you can upgrade one member to a Shas'ui. The primary benefit of this is to add a few more equipment options, such as a blacksun filter for one more point that the whole unit can use (which is not as essential as it used to be as Markerlights only have a range of 36" and ignore all saves and hence do not push up against the Night Fighting limits.) He can also bring along two extra drones from the standard drone list, and this is in addition to the special drones Pathfinders can take. Be aware that filling up the entire squad with pathfinders, special drones, and two regular drones will put them above capacity for riding in a Devilfish.
- Piranha: Burst cannons basic, can be upgraded with fusion blasters. Low armor means they are fragile, but as fast vehicles they can block paths and provide anti-infantry / anti-armor harassment. These guys are also pretty cheap for what they do. For their price they have 8 S5 AP5 range 18" shots per model. Half is BS3 and half BS2 TL.
- Razorshark Fighter (New Unit): One of two new aircraft for Tau, sporting average aircraft stats (11/10/10 3HP) a quad ion gun. Normally, it shoots at S7 AP4 at 30" and is assault 4, but because it's an ion weapon, it can be overcharged (for the price of Gets Hot) turning it into an S8 AP4 Large Blast! Even funnier, the gun is mounted on a turret to the rear, meaning that any deep-striking aircraft that thought they could get the jump on it will be thoroughly surprised.
- Sunshark Bomber (New Unit): The other new aircraft with similar stats to the above, but trades the quad cannon for blowing pulse bubbles (S5 AP5 Large Blast) onto unsuspecting targets below every turn unless you roll a 1, in which case your bomber can no longer produce bombs. It also comes with the networked markerlight for lasing targets and a pair of interceptor drones to fuck up enemy aircraft.
- Piranha TX-42 (Forge World): Heavier, with an extra point of side armor and BS4 by default, but with a higher cost. These start with twin-linked fusion blasters which lets them put some serious hurt on tanks, but can be upgraded with missiles pods, plasma, or rail rifles. These guys can go hunting for different enemies dependent on loadout, though a crisis team may be better in regards of JSJ. 6th edition changes to fusion blasters and rail rifles buffed TX-42 A LOT, so try to exploit it but expect point bump in nearest future.
- Tetras (Forge World): Where Pathfinders are the cudgel of markerlights, these guys are the scalpel. They zip in as fast vehicles, drop an accurate markerlight, and zoom away. They have a free disruption pod to help survivability, but low armor and open-top means that every shot could be their last. Keep them safe, and they will benefit you immensely. With the new update, their markerlights are heavy 4 and can spot landing zones for deepstriking units.
For a measly twelve point difference, you can run three of these beauties and do a way better job than a devilfish/pathfinder combo. Not so much now, seeing as pathfinders got cheaper and lost the fish tax. Playtesting will tell us which is the better combo. Tetras and pathfinders are now much more similar in terms of reliability when it comes to marking targets as they are both bs 3. The difference is a tetra is far more mobile (fast vehicles can move 12" and fire 2 guns), but is weaker against single shot high strength fire. Luckily the disruption pod is built into cost so it has a 4+ in the open when it moves (which it always should). When deciding tetras vs pathfinders consider your need to reposition and your desire to bring in extra pathfinder goodies such as drones and heavy weapons.
- Barracuda (Forge World): A pants-wettingly terrifying air superiority fighter that packs raw, balls-out, firepower in a maneuverable package. Armed with two Burst Cannons, an Ion Cannon, Missile Pods and can take up to six Seeker Missiles, this thing is capable of taking down pretty much any flyer, and what's more? Sadly, it has a maximum armour value of 10 and a measly 2 hull points, making it as frail as a Remora Drone, but without the ability to be taken in a squad. Still, a great way to drop some nasty, high-strength dakka on ground and air targets.
- DX-6 Remora Drone Fighters (Forge World):
While hard to spot and hit, its weaponry can be had elsewhere for much cheaper. Since 6th edition, this souped-up, more accurate, flying Heavy Gun Drone make a squad of Remoras obviate the purpose of a Skyray, a squad of Pathfinders and maybe even a Tetra team! They have a huge advantage over the Barracuda in that they can be taken as a squad of 1-5; come with twin-linked long-barrelled Burst Cannons, a networked Markerlight and two Seeker Missiles; and to top it off, they have a permanent 5+ cover save with 2+ on evade as its stealth field generator give it shrouded. Want to troll your enemy? 6's to hit and a 2+ cover save just to hit a light AV10 flyer that can take on bigger flyers should cause a lot of rage. Meanwhile, you can drop his flyers out of the sky with a punishing battery of seeker missiles and when he's out of flyers, start markerlighting ground targets to help out your broadsides!
- XV-9 Hazard Team (Forge World): God's Second Gift To Tau. These bruisers contain experimental weaponry on a high toughness frame with vectored retro-thrusters to run away. The downside is that greatness is expensive, and you will feel it. But they look really, really fucking awesome and they make vehicle light armies (dark eldar, tyranids, orks, and chaos daemons) weep. Their weapons include:
- Burst Cannons: Four on one suit means two twin-linked sets. Now that burst cannons have an extra shot, these guys now have the equivalent of miniguns. Two of them in a team will seriously mess up any ground unit out there, from Marines to Tyranids.
- Phased Ion Gun: The phaser is Baby's First Assault Cannon but without the gatling barrel arrangement, with lower strength but decent AP and rending. Previously it was near to only way to get Rending in Tau army, but with new codex you get Riptide and shitton of sniper rifles.
- Fusion Cascade: The Fusion Cascade is the go-to weapon for heavy infantry hunting. A melta weapon with lower strength but multiple shots, these can decimate spess mehreens and light vehicles alike. And best of all, it's not plasma, so you can tell Matt Ward and his plasma siphon to stuff it, which is great because it's one of your best ways to eliminate a threat that would otherwise render three quarters of your weaponry unable to shoot for shit. Generally your best bet as it's effective against everything (though you need a bit of luck to penetrate high AVs even with melta rules.)
- Pulse Submunition Rifle: The shotgun is an excellent anti-horde weapon that ignores cover, with good strength but crap AP. A unit of 3 XV-9s equipped with 2 submunition rifles each can drop 6 pie-plates on the table every turn (and from 24" away), which will absolutely devastate Ork and Tyranid blobs. However, this setup is very expensive at 20 points per rifle, and is not very reliable against MEQs (though you can still force them to throw tons of saves).
Now that signature systems are available to ALL shas'vre's, think what a command and control node, a multi-spectrum sensor suit or both can do for a team of three XV9's.
It should be noted that the changes to crisis suits (ability to take more than one of the same weapon without twin-linking) the Hazard is now cost ineffective. Why use 2 twin-linked Burst Vannons when you could have 3 Burst Cannos on a crisis suit giving the same number of hits and getting more benefit from markerlights. The price of a basic Hazard suit (2 twin-linked Burst Cannons) is 80 points with blacksun filter, price of a crisis suit with 3 burst cannons is 52 points. The Phased Ion Guns still have a place (Hazard suit with a pair of them + blacksun is 100 points) but a crisis suit can take 3 missile pods for 6 S7 ap4 shots at 36” for 67 points. The Fusion Cascade delivers an average of 4 S6 ap1 with the melta rule shots at 12” (110 points with blacksun filter) while a Crisis suit with 3 Plasma Rifles can give 3 S6 ap2 shots at 24” or 6 S6 ap2 shots at 12” for 67 points (and if you need anti-tank can swap some of the Plasma Rifles for Fusion Blasters with 18” and S8 without increasing point cost). Nope, multitracker limits you to firing two weapons systems at a time, remember? So you could have budget XV9's with a twinlinked weapon and a second weapon, counting as two weapons systems (ie, twin linked BC and one BC is even cheaper then three BC's, but isn't as great as two twin linked). Also, remember that your also paying points and money (it is forgeworld afterall) for super crisis suits (T5 saves you a lot from plasma cannon insta death). Only the Pulse Submunitions Rifle has no cheaper Crisis Suit equivalent. On a better note, I sent an email to Forge World pointing this out and their reply was: ” The rules for all of the Forge World Tau models will be updated in the forthcoming release of Imperial Armour Volume 3: The Taros Campaign, 2nd edition. We are hoping to release this book at some point within the next two months.”
- Knarloc Riders (Forge World): I want to like these guys, I really do, because come on, they're freaking birdmen riding god-fucking-damned dinosaurs! These guys beat Canoptek wraiths, when they charge. They're also able to move 12, re-roll charge distance and then get hammer of wrath, something jump troops cannot do, and are as tough as marines (3W with what is effectively no armour vs. 1W with 1/3 chance to block a hit, it means they don't suffer against low AP weapons, and are even tougher, when they get cover.) Also, assault marines don't get 2 CCW AND a bolter, making these guys somewhat shooty assault troops. Problem with Knarlok riders is not that they a bad, but almost any other FA choice is flat-out better. Though, if you play double FOC and therefore have a lot of slots to fill, they are good, especially as they remain one of the few kroots that are still ok in CC.
 Heavy Support
- Hammerhead Gunship: God's Third Gift To Tau. The railgun is your best friend, and this one retains its 72" S10 AP1 goodness (arguably the only one now that nothing else in the book mounts the classic Railgun). It's mounted on a durable chassis (there is exactly one skimmer in the entire game with better armour) with great BS. With disruption pods, you get 4+/3+ cover, unless it stands in the open making the Hammerhead much more durable to dedicated anti-tank equipment. Take one. Hell, take two. With its ability to make vehicles its bitch with its bullet-mode, and its ability to mincemeat infantry with its large blast shotgun-mode, a hammerhead will NEVER disappoint...provided you take the railgun option. Its options are as follows:
- Railgun: Yes. Standard mode is a S10 AP1 (it will knock out vehicles on a 4+ if it penetrates, opened-topped go out on a 3+), and can be upgraded with a S6 AP4 blast template just for 5 pts. Powerful, versatile, and rightly referred to by a variety of profane monikers by non-Tau players, it is the most popular Hammerhead primary weapon choice with good reason.
- Ion Cannon: An autocannon with another shot and better AP. It's no railgun, but it does have some new tricks up its sleeve to make it worth it especially against MEQs. Specifically, it's an ion weapon, which means it can be overcharged to a S8 AP3 Large Blast that gets hot; this effectively turns it into a discount Leman Russ, though Markerlight support lets it strip cover from targets.
- La'Sha'ng (Gunner Longstrike): Joining the burgeoning crowd of tank aces started by Antarro Chronus and Knight Commander Pask,and then trolling them silly because he's actually worth it! Shas'la T'au Sha'ng is a nifty upgrade for a Hammerhead gunship, blessing it with BS5, preferred enemy IG, Tank Hunters, a blacksun filter and the ability to overwatch. Also he can overwatch multiple times per phase against different eligible charging enemies. Considering that he also has the Supporting Fire special rule like infantry and most battlesuits, that can actually be a whole lot of potential targets, each of which he can Overwatch on behalf of as often as the enemy attacks them. Consider flanking his Hammerhead with infantry to better take advantage of this, offering the protection of his tank fire to them while they keep the melta-bomb bearing enemy troops off of him. Just remember that you cannot Snap Fire anything which has a blast template, so sadly no sub-munitions Overwatching for him. Stick to his secondary weapons for most Overwatch targets, or use the solid railgun shot against a charging monstrous creature (if it even lives long enough to get that close.) Also, consider using him with an ion cannon. He only needs one markerlight to avoid overheating when he overcharges, provides best output for overwatching with 3 S7 AP3 shots along with secondary weapons, and can still wreck the hell out of light armor.
- Forgeworld brings several new weapons options to the Hammerhead Gunship:
- Long-Barreled Burst Cannons: Since the update hit, it's now become a full-blown flak cannon with six twinlinked shots, but weaker strength, shorter range, and the possibility to clip flyers. Post codex, you have Broadsides to do this job now.
- Missile Pods: Cheaper on Crisis Suits, but now have blast goodness (holy shit, about time).
- Fusion Cannon: This option had a bad rap for a while. However, the proliferation of TEQs briefly gave this gun its time in the sun (a twin-linked blast S8 AP1 melta does have its place, especially when facing down lots of deep-striking TEQs, vehicles, etc.). Unfortunately, now you have the Riptide to deal with that kinda shit, so the Fusion Cannon is back to being dubious once again.
- Plasma Cannon: Used to be the go-to gun for facing down MEQs/Mounstrous Creatures and flyers. Now that the new codex is out, you have other options for anti-MEQ and anti-aircraft. Ion Cannon is better against the former and Broadsides are better against the latter. Might still have some use against MCs, though...
- Broadside Battlesuits: God's Fourth Gift To Tau. Broadsides got taken down a peg in the new codex, with their railgun variant hitting at a decent S8 (still AP1, though) and only at 60".(Making them totally ineffective in their previous role of an AV14 killer) In addition to their old options, they get new options like the ability to skyfire or replace their downgraded railguns with a fucking ton of missiles (including a seeker missile). If you have target locks on the broadsides, you can fire at different targets, possibly giving two different vehicles a serious glance-to-death headache, and turn those scary monstrous creatures into pink (or green) mist. Along with the change in rules, broadsides have a new plastic kit that has them holding their twin-linked heavy railrifle like a rifle, as well as bits for their new twin-linked high-yield missile system (the one that replaces their twin-linked heavy railrifle). Arguably, Broadsides needed this nerfing in order to open up board for the other options in Heavy Support. The main thing to consider when choosing missiles or rail rifles is range. 60" is still pretty much table wide while the missiles are only 36". Missilesides will need to either be deployed farther forward or wait in the rear.
- Drone Sniper Team: This entry has seriously been retooled in the latest Codex. They no longer have rail rifles, just beefed up pulse rifles, but these new Longshot Pulse Rifles get Sniper (which includes precision shots and rending on to wound/penetrate of 6) and a 48" range now. Also, their new gun is a pulse weapon so it's effected by Storm of Fire. If the spotter dies, the drones get reduced from BS 5 to BS 2, though in 6th edition you can hide him behind a drone line AND you can now take three spotters per squad! They used to take up a Heavy Support choice that was usually better filled with something else but now they can lay down a devastating salvo of accurate, potentially rending dakka with wounds that you may choose how to allocate. Though, despite being pulse weapon longshots still count as S3 against vehicles like any sniper rifle, so do not expect to threaten tanks with them. Note that the Firesight spotter is BS5 and comes with a markerlight. While they max out at three spotters per team, those three markerlights are nothing to sneer at, as each one of them is almost guaranteed several tokens per shooting phase. Keep in mind that while the spotter is standard infantry, the drones are called out specifically as jet pack infantry, which means that they can use the jump-shoot-jump trick to pop in and out of cover, so long as they end their move in unit cohesion with the spotter they should be fine. If your opponent protests, show them the unit description in the Codex saying that they do just that. That said, they will still be going at the speed of the spotter, so consider using a spare Devilfish to get them where they need to be. Even a max sized sniper team with three spotters and nine drones can still fit inside a Devilfish. A neat little trick is to set a single spotter up on a ledge where he'd probably get insta-gibbed by the opponent and let your XV8-05 commander take over the drones when the spotter bites it, thereby giving your longshots the ability to JSJ while keeping BS5.
- Skyray Missile Gunship: A mixed bag. Not a horrible choice by any stretch - but it takes up all-too-limited Heavy Support slots that are almost invariably better filled by Broadsides or Hammerheads. The fact that it can launch highly-accurate Seeker Missiles - which are functionally Hunter-Killer Missiles - and the fact that it boasts Markerlights as well makes it a good support unit, even more so when it packs on other weapons (such as Smart Missiles) for ranged support. It also has decent armor. The problem is that its limited ammo means that once the Seeker Missiles are out, it turns into a magic flying brick for dropping markerlights and firing off whatever its secondary weapon is (usually Smart Missiles, but it can pack Burst Cannons or Gun Drones instead). This means that it's kind of schizophrenic; you want it at extreme-range to employ its markerlight-provided range, but you can't really afford to do so because it can't use its secondary weapons unless it gets somewhat closer. The cruelest cut, again, is that it takes the same slot as other, much more devastating support options - the Broadside Team and Hammerhead - and a kitted out Skyray costs just as much as a Hammerhead. If you do intend to use one (and it's a hard choice to justify), it's recommended to keep it armed with Smart Missiles and use it as a close-support unit; its armor is thick enough to not suffer for the change of pace. If this goddamned thing was a fast attack choice, it would be infinitely superior than it is now. It got some anti-aircraft ability in the new codex but if you really need it, you should be using the new 6th Ed Broadside Battlesuits above for the S8 AA (twin-linked, no less).
- On the other hand, rules state that any vehicle standing still can fire all of its weapons at once, which normally wouldn't be a big deal, but when you have a SMS, two networked markerlights, and 6 seeker missiles your potential for killing one problematic unit becomes hilariously high. In the event of a flying daemon prince attempting to CC your entire army, a Skyray can first fire its markerlights, which due to their networked status can benefit itself, meaning it can shoot all of its weapons at up to BS 6, and with 6 seeker missiles and 4 twin linked SMS shots combined with the massive potential to ground the enemy, this is a massive fuck you to your now thoroughly trolled opponent.
- Another way to justify SkyRays is for the velocity tracker markerlights. For those who don't like the new fast attack flyers, this is one of the few ways to RELIABLY get a marker on a flying target. (Do you really want to shoot 6 markers from a pathfinder unit just to hit 1?) With BS 4, there's a good chance you'll hit at least one, if not both. That way, your velocity tracking broadsides won't miss their shots.
- Knarlocs (Forge World): Oh God why have you forsaken me.
- Goaded Knarlocs: It's finally a 5W monstrous creature! For 60pts! Smash landraiders to death, hitting as hard as a railgun! Plus, it gets fieldcraft which can sometimes be useful, and ablative wounds are always nice. Plus, with the doubled FOC, you can still have 30 railguns and take this guy, and he's a freaking birdman T-rex!
- Mounted Knarlocs: They can score, and have rending and fleet, but they have terrible weapon options and are such a large target with such low armor they will die before doing anything. Ignore this guy. After update, they have been changed to monstrous creatures, so their rending is now a power weapon. Slight improvement to gun stats/cost and as MC's they're relentless. While better, still cost too much and take a heavy slot which ought to be railguns.
- Heavy Gun Drones (Forge World): They're Gun Drone Squads, if slightly more accurate - yet somehow made worse courtesy of them devouring a Heavy Support choice. You don't want to waste one of these all-too-valuable slots on twin-linked fucking burst cannons when your army has dozens of ways to get these onto the table. Their airmobility and markerlight options are still not worth it. Avoid.
Although you could attach a commander with drone controller to a six drone squad with marker lights and a burst cannon. 6 marker lights at BS5 and 24 strength 5 burst cannon hits at BS5. Sadly, you can't do both in the same turn.
 Super Heavy
- Manta: The bastard child of a Thunderhawk and a Titan, this small spaceship is just as capable an attack craft as it is a heavy transport. This thing carries an absolutely goofy number of guns and can spew out a retarded amount of dice. Sixteen Long-barreled Burst Cannons, Six Long-barreled Ion Cannons, a twin-linked Heavy Railgun (a pair of them as of the update) (destroyer weapon and AP1 like a standard railgun in slug-mode, so it auto-penetrates/wounds and destroys vehicles 2+, not to mention the submunition mode that throws out large blasts with the strength and AP values of an Ion Cannon, and deviate less than usual by virtue of being drone-controlled), Missile Pods, a Seeker Missile Battery, and a Markerlight turret ensure that anything it's shooting at will not live to see the next turn. And there's the little benefit that for a Titan equivalent, it's damned fast. Oh, and it can carry a metric fuckton of Tau; 48 Fire Warriors, 8 battlesuits, 2 Devilfish (and any models in them DON'T count towards total models in the Manta's cargo), 2 Hammerheads, 6 Gun Drones, and 1 Ethereal. Just one of these can damned near carry an entire normal 40k game's worth of Tau ground units! Unfortunately, for the price of the Manta model, you could just as easily buy a decent used car. (PROTIP: Buy a Smart Car, paint it ochre, and use it as both a vehicle and a proxy. Or proxy it with your converted army case.) If you can afford one and don't know how to use it, try asking either your butler or the two burly Armenians who just came over to break both your legs. One other drawback: unlike other flying vehicles in Apocalypse, ground attackers without AA or pintle mounts use their normal BS rather than needing a 6 to hit because of how fuck-huge it is (blasts and templates still can't fire at Manta, unless AA, and needless to say, all titan-weapons are blasts). Though it does have a 4+ invul save due to its energy shield, remember an enemy
doesn't still needs to deplete its structure points to destroy it like a ground-based super-heavy vehicle. If its immobilized for any reason, it's automatically destroyed, like any other super-heavy flyer. NOT TRUE, super heavy fliers lose a structure point per immobilized result.
- Tiger Shark: This thing can shit out fourteen gun drones and carries an impressive armament of two Ion Cannons, two Missile Pods, and two Burst Cannons, making it the death of anything without a 2+ armour save/a lucky invulnerable save/Land Raider-equivalent armour (especially since flyers always hit the side armour of ground vehicles!).
- AX-1-0: A version of the Tiger Shark meant to really bring the hate to super-heavy vehicles, swapping out drone racks and ion cannons for twin-linked Heavy Railguns. Put on a trollface as your opponent realizes just how terrifying Railguns are on a flyer platform (answer? Very, especially since the ones on this Tiger Shark variant are just as capable as those on a Manta).
- As a fluff note, the AX-1-0 was originally made as a counter to Imperial Titans. Titans take decades and lots of resources to build, while the AX-1-0 uses existing parts from the Tiger Shark with weapons normally installed on Mantas, thereby minimizing fabrication time and material cost, giving the Tau an extremely cost-effective anti-titan punch. You know that the Earth Caste engineering team that came up with it said, "Problem, Magos?" Few things are more satisfying than watching the look on your enemy's face when you blow up his Reaver Titan or Heirophant with a fraction of its cost in AX-1-0s, that go on to tear his other super-heavies a new one.
- AX-2-2: A rather weird unit that carries two Remora Stealth Drone fighters that have two long barrelled burst cannons and seeker missiles.
- Orca Dropship: If you have the money and points to afford a Manta (lucky you!), don't bother with this one. While still a super-heavy flyer, its transport capacity is only a quarter of the Manta's (it can't even carry vehicles), and it is only lightly armed with Seeker Missiles, a Missile Pod and a twin-linked Burst Cannon turret. Needless to say, the Orca dropship doesn't do any justice to its namesake (which is an apex marine predator in real life). On a side note, this dropship first appeared in the crap Fire Warrior 40k FPS and Tau vehicle units in Dark Crusade and Soulstorm arrive at vehicle production buildings via Orca.
Sadly, the 6th Edition Tau codex does not include any fortifications unique to them, like the Forgeworld Tau Sensor Towers. You will have to make do with the Imperial stuff:
- Aegis Defense Line: Can be useful or useless, depending on how you plan to use it. The anti-air emplacements are much less useful to you than most other armies, since you have so much AA already. That being said, it's still a nice piece of cover for your Fire Warrior gunline to cower behind and because you control where it goes it is cover your fire warriors will always have. If you're running a highly-mobile or mech list, you'll find it to be actively useless. If you're going to commander-bomb the enemy, for 20 points more, the comms relay will allow you to reroll reserve results, which might save your entire game.
- Skyshield Landing Pad: Very big and you can probably fit your entire army on top of it. The 4++ it gives units on top (when the sides are up) means you can put your fire warriors and broadsides up there and not have to worry about things that ignore cover *cough*deathstrike missiles*cough*. When the sides are down, you can deep strike units onto it without them scattering - sort of useless given that if you are deep striking you are probably trying to insert a commander bomb behind an enemy tank, In which case you would have Farsight.
- Imperial Bastion: It's big. It has 4 heavy bolters but you cannot really fit much at the top, and even less so when you add a gun emplacement. A decent crows nest for a sniper drone team or rail/ion rifle pathfinder team, but past that, it's an expensive piece of cover.
- Fortress of Redemption: Expensive, expensive, expensive. But like the rest of your army, the range of the weapons is crazy high. (96" missiles). You can also give it a gun with both skyfire and interceptor, but your Broadsides and Riptides should be taking care of that. The building only has one entrance, so be careful about getting it blown apart. On the other hand, it'll give some trouble to your enemies trying to pull you into an assault. You're also going to need about 300 points freed up just bring in a fully kitted out FoR. Imagine the Battle for Helm's Deep, and you're not too far off.
Yes, Tau can ally with pretty much everybody, except Tyranids, who continue to get no love. (<--- It's really difficult to ally with somebody when they're constantly trying to eat you. -.- )
 Battle Brothers
Craftworld Eldar: Farseer with basic divination power would buff out any of your units, save Broadsides. Take cheap level 1 guy with anti-magic runes to troll enemy psykers and put him in a pathfinder squad (the Tau kind, not the Eldar kind). 50% more markerlight tokens? Yes, please. Alternatively, put him on jetbike, and troll his way into Crisis team (he's T4 and can do JSJ after all). As space elf codex is currently waiting for update, and their units commonly cost more compared to your own ones that can do the same, stick with objective holders or deniers for mandatory troop choice - Rangers and Jetbikes respectively. Also, for extra cheese value, you can infiltrate a squad of wraithguard with Shadowsun, so that they can hold objectives, melt tanks, have a 2+ cover save (spiritseer with conceal), and give Shadowsun T6 due to majority toughness (534 points). U mad, bro?
Eldar Corsairs (Forge World): You need the Prince. Think about it. Deepstriking your Broadsides? Your Hammerheads? A Corsair Eldar Warp Hunter, or even the FUCKING WRAITHGUARD? And he can trigger Night Fight, pin the shit out of a blob before the even get running, or fuck up tanks hiding at the edge of the board. Your troll skill just went over nine thousand.
Space Marines: Even meeting basic requirements on the force organisation chart can be downright useful, a librarian can provide some much needed anti psyker ability, whilst sniper scouts can do what kroot do in a somewhat more survivable (albeit more expensive) package. Plus it's just another excuse to plug GW' cash cow; TEH SPESS MEHREENS!!!! The librarian becomes even more valuable if you want to run a Farsight blob, because you gain the option to take Gate of Infinity, which means your blob can deepstrike 24" away every turn without scattering thanks to Farsight's warlord trait, and no scatter means no chance of the gate specific perils occurring. Deepstrike your librarian behind cover, with the suits sticking out, shoot a nearby unit to dust and then jetpack into safety and repeat every turn. While it does get stupidly expensive, your crisis suits and Warlord gain the potential to be literally untouchable.
Does anyone else find it odd that the two double-page art pieces show Tau fighting against Eldar (inside the front and back covers) and Space Marines (a couple pages in)?
 Allies of Convenience
Until their codex get an update, don't even look at them. Remember those Railguns that USED to take care of AV14? Do you not like suiciding squads of EXPENSIVE suits to deal with AV14? Well do I have the solution for you. How does a 105 point dedicated anti tank squad sound? Good? Well why not give it infiltrate? Better? Why not a Land Raider as well? FANTASTIC! Black Templars have a crappy old codex with fairly low points costs, and this can be exploited as much as you want. For 105 points a squad, you can have a 5 man tac squad with MultiMelta/Melta or Melta/Lasgun. Mount them in some cheap METAL BOXES and go to town. Hell, take a Termy squad with Tank Hunters and 2 Cyclone Missile Launchers for 250. Oh did I forget to mention Land Raider Crusaders that ignore Lance weapons?
Blood Angels: Sanguinius with his Shield take care of his little friends, especially Stealth Suits who achieve a +2 cover on the open! Beware of flamers though. Yes, you are thinking that "you can not cast psy powers on allies of convenience, only on battle brothers" and desiring to delete this, but wait a moment because Shield of Sanguinius is casted on the Librarian and affect any unit within 6" the Librarian. Hooray for loophole abuse!
Chaos Space Marines: Spiky gue'la could provide you a lot of choppy guys to screen you gunline or even kill/tarpit some troublesome enemy squads. Khornate cultists are MUCH better then forgeworld worker gangs for a cheap choppy tarpit, but if you want more, Fabulous khornate marines would wreck some shit. For more dakka, plasmachosen and dinobots would dish out a lot of white-hot plasma on medium range, and deepstiking termicide squad could melta some tanks like fusion commander bomb, but unlike commander they would at least force a lot of fire to their 2+ armored asses before they die. Do note, that you cannot ninja cult squads into troops in allied detachment.
Dark Angels: You cannot Ravenwing and Deathwing in allied detachment, and DA does not benefit from your beacons (
unless porta-rack is taken Porta-racks let you use enemy teleport homers and locator beacons, but not homing beacons.), but they are cheaper than regular marines for gunline, albeit a bit worse in close combat. Also they are like the only army in 40k that could bring more plasma than you. Ravenwing knights rad-grenade launcher when combined with Darkstrider railfinder squad could make miracles.
Of course, Getting a Ravenwing Darkshroud is an extremely viable option, particularly when you sit it above a Bunker that is chockablock of Firewarriors. Giving them all free stealth for additional saving bonuses on top of the terrain is a bargain at 80 points.
Grey Knights: Can be quite effective. Choppy Strike Squads can be a very effective screen for your squishy Tau. But they will take a decent toll on your points if you want a big enough wall. Alternatively, a Stormraven filled with Terminators can cause quite the stir for your unsuspecting foe, but again, this will cost you a VERY shiny penny.
Imperial Guard: This is your Gue'Vesa auxiliaries. They are shooty bastards much like your own army, but a bit slower, and can endure more beating (through numbers). Use them like cheap meat shields and moving cover, or place fucktonn of tanks and heavy artillery to back up your gunline with even more firepower. That be said, you also could ally with all Forge World special IG lists - Elysians would give you fuckton of flyers, Kriegers - meatshields that would HOLD THE FUCKING LINE, and Armoured Battlegroup - plethora of tanks, including horrible abomination of cheese what is BS4 Monster Slayer Co-axial Vanquisher of Doom.
Necrons: They are shooty cover campers, that lay waste on vehicles and die in close combat... just like you. Unlike you they have much more survivability in the open (as they are designed for close range firefights, instead of sniping across the board) pie plates of hate, lots and lots of battlefield cheating rules, some of which stacks perfectly with Tau (HOD with Solar Flare for your nightvision army? Yes, please!), and last but not least motherfucking flyer cheese
of scythes croissants. And if you want to screen your gunline with close combat beatstick, they get one too.
Orks: A maxed out squad with a warboss could give your opponent enough of a distraction to forget those 8 bajillion guns being pointed at them by little blue men and women. Orks can add more fun into the game, as having more meatshields or units with hilarious equipment (Big Mek with Shokk Atack Gun and a suicide Commander can make a fun setup) will make more major lulz throughout the game. Also, Farsight working with Orks.
 Desperate Allies
Dark Eldar: Dark Eldar do have a couple of upsides - with the right build, they are so mobile that the One Eye Open rule won't be a factor if you play intelligently, and they're very good at dictating when combat occurs, a very good sacrificial defense for your squishy gunlines. On the other hand, a highly mobile Eldar build - such as Samhain - can use this tactic as well.
Sisters of Battle: See Matt Ward for awesome fluff on these hot women. These Sistas work wonders with the Greater Good in ways you cant possibly imagine. One Eye Open rule? Thats fantastic! Good thing you wont give one shit about it! How do you like cheap ass broken HQ's that dont die and soak up fields of fire and make MEQs and Mobs shit bricks alike? I certainly do! Celestine flying gracefully up the field into hails of gunfire to allow your squishy blue men to shoot things is something that is INVALUABLE. Also, Women in METAL BAWXES with melta/flamers/RENDING HEAVY FLAMERS are certainly going to draw some attention. And with the random D6 faith points a turn, you will have PLENTY to use for your Sistas. The pure amount of melta/flamers you can bring with the Sistas allows your suits to go all Plasma Dakka and Missile Dakka on everything else, and the problems with the Faith system in a large army are less-important in reduced numbers. Suck it Matt Ward.
 Building Your Army
The 6th Edition Tau codex is the most recent version, and the Forge World stuff is still languishing in old rules. Be sure to check the latest errata when considering your options.
My recommendation is to:
- Start with a Crisis Commander
- Mount all Fire Warriors in Devilfish. Fish of Fury may be dead, but your Fire Warriors still need the survivability. *Railguns, Railguns, Railguns. Railguns are still the kings of popping vehicles in normal 40k and are more points effective than most apocalypse options and are far more available.
Unfortunately, with "real" railguns now being the sole province of the hammerhead, the Tau's primary anti-tank capacity has shifted to Fusion guns and Ion Accelerator totting Riptides (Large blast ordanance Lascannons)
- Battlesuits are great. You want battlesuits.(but not to the point you flood the WHOLE DAMN TABLE with them by playing Commander Farsight)
- Without eating up space for your railguns, MARKERLIGHTS. You love them, take them.
Double FOC is recommended in 2000+pts games - you need at least 4 troops in 2k anyway, and extra commanders and suit teams are great
 Helpful Hints and Fun Strategies
Rule number one. Never. Fucking. Ever.
Here's probably the number 1 tip for the Tau. Do you like seeing squad after squad of Fire Warriors get slapped to death by Conscripts? No? Keep them out of melee combat.
The question often arises on the viability of Burst Cannons Vs. Smart Missiles Vs. Gun Drones for vehicles. To me, burst cannons are preferable to gun drones due to the fact that the burst cannons fire on vehicle BS, not gun drone BS.
You also get more shots from the burst cannon than from gun dronesPulse carbines have a profile of assault 2, and there are two drones with twin linked pulse carbines. And the burst cannons never count as killpoints. While smart missiles are better than burst cannons, both are twin linked and come in at the same number of shots, strength, AP and cost (free); however since the smart missiles have an additional 12" extra range, homing and ignores cover, there is nothing really that makes the burst cannon a superior alternative to smart missiles as a secondary vehicle weapon. The real question is now whether to take Gun Drones or Smart Missile Systems. Pinning, half shots, BS2 detachability and passenger firing status vs Homing, Ignores cover and extra range.
The Shas'el / Shas'o debate is gone now, so your HQ choices are Crisis Suit Commander, Ethereal or Cadre Fireblade.
Also, Markerlights, we should talk about them. These things are force-multipliers, plain and simple. Without them, you will do at best "alright" but with them (properly used) you will be kicking ass left and right. For all the talk about the Tau being awesome at shooting, the truth is that they are merely "good" at it. They put out a lot less dakka than, say, the Orks or the Imperial Guard. However, what shooting the Tau do have is very powerful when it hits, but it only hits half the time on a typical roll. Markerlights are what allow them to hit almost all the time, marker units lighting up the target and letting another unit slam that target with very specific fire-for-effect. This means that markerlight-heavy units are almost always best used when paired with other units, as the markerlight-wielders need to be able to paint the target, and the other unit needs to be in range to hit them when they do. If that supporting unit is very long range and has good line of sight (like broadsides or a hammerhead) then the markerlight unit can push forward and select targets for destruction from beyond your enemy's ability to retaliate against them. In contrast, if the supporting unit is short ranged (by Tau standards, like crisis suits or fire warriors) than they need to stay near the markerlight unit to take advantage of them. Since most armies will only have one or maybe two good solid sources of markerlight support, it is important to know what it will be best directed against (see target prioritization below,) usually starting with enemy vehicles and then moving on to wiping out infantry, though it will very depending on the foe and their strategy. Markerlights encourage you to focus fire on one target, wipe it out quickly, then move on to the next. Some units will put out more marker tokens than others, and you need to be careful about what you spend them for. Vehicle targets will have them spent boosting to-hit rolls and firing seeker missiles, infantry squads will also have to-hit rolls boosted paired with cover-denial if you can spring for it (the enemy will not be able to hide from the Tau's guns for long.) If your enemy is smart, they will realize all of this and make things hell for your markerlight-wielding units as quickly as possible. If you are smart, you will use this to lure your foe into a Kauyon trap (more on that later.)
One thing that is even more important for Tau armies than it is for others is target prioritization. Indeed, in bygone editions the Tau had special equipment and options for circumventing target priority rules. The rules may have been dropped, but the need to be selective remains. Certain targets need to be dropped at the earliest possible turn, then the rest of the enemy can be defeated in detail after that. One hefty priority is when the enemy hides their infantry in metal boxes, the cowards, the fools, you should take away their metal boxes. Preferably with markerlight-boosted railgun hits or the missile massacre on the first turn, if you can manage it. The moment enemy infantry reaches your lines, you lose, and they do that faster in vehicles. The moment enemy infantry is forced to footslog across the tabletop, they lose, as infantry in the open are a turkey-shoot in the face of the Tau's superior firepower. Let Crisis suits take the fight to enemy infantry, whittling down heavy infantry with plasma and missiles or burning blobs to cinders with flamers and burst canons, while the railgun units finish off the remaining enemy vehicles. If they overwhelm you with enough bodies and vehicles to soak up all your dakka and still keep coming, then do not be afraid to give ground and fall back, drawing them further in and giving you a little more time to pour on the fire. Remember, the Tau value mobility and holding the line is secondary to the destruction of the enemy. After all, once the enemy is dead, the terrain is yours to claim without contest.
The Tau Empire codex will describe two central in-lore strategies employed by the Tau, Mont'ka and Kauyon. Mont'ka, "The Death Blow", involves bringing the Tau's full force to bare on a linchpin target which when removed will compromise the enemy's entire strategy. Kauyon, "The Patient Hunter", involves luring the enemy to the Tau, where they can fall into one of the most deadly cross-fires Tau weaponry can produce. Dawn of War would have you believe that these two strategies are mutually exclusive, and the codex itself does little to suggest otherwise. However, the truth is that both strategies are two sides of the same coin, and that one strategy can be flipped over and turned into the other in an instant. The battlefield situation is fluid, and so to should be your strategy. Tau are an army ill-suited to getting stuck-in, so any offensive actions will halt just at the edge of the Tau's maximum range, and the Tau forces will fall back from an enemy counter-attack. In this way, the battle lines get pushed and pulled backward and forward across the course of a match. You might start with a Mont'ka strategy, sending in Crisis suits (possibly with deep strikes) to hit the enemy hard on a critical unit, or push a Hammerhead Gunship ahead of the line to clear its line of sight to a target. Both will do great damage, but such units in turn attract a lot of enemy attention, becoming a lure for Kauyon in the process. Take advantage of the enemy's distraction, and use the rest of your force to hit the enemy in a more vulnerable flank, or just position them to set up a cross fire they cannot escape from in time. Do not treat your units as expendable, but do weigh your risks and do not be afraid to take a risky path if the payoff will lead to victory. Exploit the range of your weapons and your mobility to get the enemy to break ranks in a gambit to reach you, pulling them into the open and cutting them down in equal measure, always ready to adjust your approach as the situation shifts.
Wall of Death
Piranhas are fast vehicles, and possess AV 11 in their front armor. While useless against dedicated anti-tank such as lascannons and melta, this makes them impervious to small arms such as lasguns and bolters. One can use Piranhas as a mobile "wall" against squads of foot-slogging infantry. The infantry will be unable to pass through the Piranha squad, and the Piranhas can even fire with essential impunity. For added hilarity, do not forget your flechette launchers. If used properly, piranhas can even block enemy vehicles, by moving in a way said vehicle cannot turn or move without coming within 1" of the piranha. The vehicle would have to move back, turn, and move out, avoiding the 1" proximity, disrupting their entire movement and possibly shooting phase. Just be careful when the vehicle shoots back. Oh what's that? Disruption pods give stealth now? Stick these bad boys on your piranha, and laugh as your opponent tries to get through a 3+ cover save as you flat-out right into his face. Or for even more hilarity, seeker missiles. Get that piranha beside those valuable tanks and let those missiles fly.
Everyone knows crisis suits for the Jump-Shoot-Jump, the ability to jump out of cover, fire, and jump back in, leading to endless annoyance for your opponent. This also works in reverse, with the humble gun drone and a squad of infantry. Have some gun drones (like the ones that come with devilfish) in front of some fire warriors. Move them together, the gun drones leading. When the shooting phase comes, move the gun drones back behind the fire warriors and shoot with impunity. Done firing? In the assault phase, move the gun drones back ahead. Instant cover! Brilliant! This works for Kroot, Fire Warriors, and even Broadsides! Stealth Suits too can do the Jump-shoot-jump tactic almost as well as the Crisis Suit for a lower cost. Bear in mind their weaker statblocks and shorter range, however. Still probably the cheapest way to get jump-capable Fusion Blasters on the table.
Fuck Troops Fire warriors, despite their very sexy pulse weapons, kinda suck. (Not in 6th Ed though...) This tactic minimizes their place on the field in place of maximizing the more effective battlesuits. Typically you have bare-bones squads of six fire warriors hiding in devilfish behind terrain. The whole time they sit there while your Crisis, Hazard, Stealth and Broadside suits do all the work until it's time to claim objectives. Ironically, this setup actually favors the Sky Ray over the Hammerhead, as this tactic heavily reduces the number of markerlights in your army, and bs4 laser pointers (not flashlights) on an AV13 platform are invaluable. One particularly effective tactic is to completely remove Crisis suits as well, and stick entirely to Hazard suits, broadsides and stealth suits. This makes for an extremely mobile and trollworthy army bound to make Space Marine armies shit their pants in rage.
Just look at that grin on his face. An epic troll.
Kroot Konga Line now it's history due to reserve limit, but it worth saving just for lulz. It's very situational (as in your opponent being a compete retard), but it is perhaps one of the absolute funniest ways to use the Kroot and twist the rules at the same time. This requires your opponent to have all of his forces in Reinforcements, but not Drop Podding or Deep Striking, and for you to have enough Kroot to form a line along the board. Simply infiltrate your Kroot to their side of the board and form a line that manages to keep in coherency while also covering the entire side. They will be unable to draw any reinforcements, they will count as Destroyed, and you will have won in the Deployment phase.
British Firing Line If you've seen The Patriot, you'll know what this means. Basically, just push as many warriors out on the field with two pulse rifles Tau up in the front and put all of the carbines in the back. Camp like a bitch in terrain but make sure there is a bit of open ground. Exploit the Supporting Fire special rule ruthlessly. Send your Crisis suits out to kill any and all ordinance carrying people. Have broadside suits camp in the back with a few ordinance rail guns to pound the living shit out of any assaulting units while said assaulting units are being chewed the fuck out of them. Laugh as you see said enemy cry as his precious troopers being chewed to bits by fire. As powerful as this is against an enemy who has to cross the tabletop, this strategy's main vulnerability is from enemies who can bypass the firing line altogether, either through Deep Strikes or Outflank maneuvers. You might want to hold a Crisis team back as a mobile reserve, jumping up and down the line to counter threats as they come up and lend extra fire power to prevent the line from collapsing.
Gun Drone Spam Something that has never really been widely used, this is centered on stuffing as many gun drones as you can into as many Devilfishes as you can field. sneak around cover, flat out to an objective and disembark next turn. Surprise! gun drones in your face without the pesky scatter. Now that they've lost the jump infantry status, but gained double the shots, this tactic is even more troll-worthy.
Mirage Long Range Infiltration Unit: A formation found on the GW website http://www.games-workshop.com/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m2440060_Tau_Datasheet_-_Pathfinders_Long_Range_Infiltration.pdf It is basically 2-4 devilfish carrying 1-3 pathfinder squads. For 100 points, all the devilfish replace their gun drones with marker drones, and one devilfish makes all friendlies in 12" have a stealth field generators. Enjoy being one of three armies in the game with 2+ save troops. ou can probably imagine how a strategy can be built around this.
A Riptide's Best Friend Shadowsun combined with a RipTide provide infiltrate, stealth, shrouded as well as a 3d6 jetpack move. Infiltrating and JSJ'ing with a giant mech and HQ that receive a +2 modifier to cover is more than able to put a halt to enemy advances. Not to mention the fact that they can get around quite fast. This is allowed as the Riptide is not always just one model, as it can take drones via a drone controller, an independent character is allowed to join it.
Farsun/Shadowsight Bomb Due to the lack of restriction against it, you can take Farsight and Shadowsun in the same list and attach Shadowsun to your Farsight bomb to bestow stealth and shrouded to the entire unit. There is some debate regarding weather to use Farsight or Shadowsun as your actual warlord. The scatter-free deep strike is super useful, but is a one-and-done whereas the 3d6 jetpack moves will be useful all game long. Really it all comes down to what the rest of your list looks like, and how you plan on using the bomb unit.
Out Dakka Anything The new codex reduces the costs of damn near EVERYTHING. This allows you to take more bodies than all the dead Sisters that the Gey Knights KILLED AND RAPED. In a 2,000 point battle, ten 12 man squads of Firewarriors, 6 FULL squads of suits with Plasma Dakka, the Pope swinging his scepter around saying "Shoot them again!", and then whatever amount of dakka you want to take in whatever amounts allows you to fill something with enough pulse/plasma dakka to ensure it's dead. Be sure to bring your tearcups when facing large amounts of infantry, and even flyers wont be able to stand up to 1,200,000 pulse rifle shots a turn.
 Wise Words of Wisdom
There is only one competitive Tau build: Mass Vespid. Your opponent will be confused and will explode in fright when you start dropping squads of Vespid on the table.
When modeling Tau, it is advised to use glitter powder and faux gemstones on your models. This confuses your opponents, allowing you the tactical high ground.
Fight better, faster, harder and above all. Stay classy 1d4chan!