Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Tau(8E)

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Why Play T'au[edit]

Because you like shooting and battlemechs, and being an optimist in a crapsack universe. And lots of overwatch. Just stay the fuck out of melee if you don't want to be tabled.


  • You can shoot overwatch with everybody within 6" of the charged unit. noteworthy that basic overwatch in 8th can be performed multiple times, but using it makes you unable to fire more this turn.
  • Strength 5 guns everywhere means your troops have an easier time wounding most MEQ things and T8 tanks/monsters.
  • You can pump out a lot of mortal wounds if you build around Destroyer Missiles and Rail weapons.
  • Markerlights let you focus down single big targets effectively with your entire army.
  • Everything non-FW bigger than INFANTRY has the FLY keyword, with all the buffs and AA hatred granted by that!
  • Easy access to rerolls on 1s to hit makes Overcharging Plasma Ion weapons much less risky than usual.
  • A plethora of sources for wound-transferring mechanics, wound ignore rolls, and invulnerable saves can make your important units very resilient.
  • You have a wide selection of decent AP weapons.
  • Crisis/Commander suit weapons are Assault, letting them Advance and still shoot. Also Deep Manta strike.
  • You have a lot of advantages in Cities of Death.
  • The glottal stop of everyone trying to pronounce your new apostrophe.


  • Virtual army wide BS 4+ meaning the so called "Ranged experts" of the galaxy are only as good as your off the line Imperial grunt.
  • You'll still crumple in assault against just about anything actually optimized for it. Using your dakka and mobility to make sure they never get that close is still the key to survival.
  • Widely considered the bitches of the 40k universe
  • Because of the sheer number of T'au units that have the FLY keyword, beware of enemy AA.
  • Lackluster snipers that require Marksman and Drone Controller support to be cost effective.... (You can still field great character killers, though. Place 3 fusion blaster and a target lock on a Coldstar Battlesuit, there are very few characters who can withstand 3 fusion blaster hits to the face!)
  • Markerlight system is annoying due to being forced to progress through each stage on a table, with the holy grail of +1BS requiring five ML hits. If you are running an infantry army, 3/5ths of the table is useless chaff.
  • No way to protect your vulnerable drones from LoS ignoring and/or ranged fire. Especially long ranged artillery fire. Sadly they are not characters, so as long as an enemy unit can see the drone, they can shoot it.
  • The majority of your guns are 18" range.
  • You have no psychic powers, no defenses against them, and no cost-effective way of eliminating the CHARACTERS who have them hiding among infantry. Anyone running heavy Psy is going to have a field day with your lack of Deny the Witch.
  • The glottal stop of everyone trying to pronounce your new apostrophe.

Faction Keywords[edit]

The core faction keyword is, unsurprisingly, T'AU EMPIRE. The core shared keyword for your units is the wildcard <SEPT>. Apart from a few special characters with predetermined septs, this keyword is entirely up to you for each unit. Making sure they're all in the same <SEPT> will allow your units to share any special rules and benefits based on that <SEPT> keyword.

Special Rules[edit]

  • For the Greater Good: When an enemy unit declares a charge, any unit with this rule within 6" of one of the charge's targets may fire Overwatch as if they were the target of the charge.
    • Note that units lose their ability to fire Overwatch again this turn if they use this rule. Don't get baited into wasting all your Overwatch defending one unit, only for your opponent to charge something else that now can't shoot back.
    • Also, note that there are no faction keywords in this rule. The T'au can, appropriately, give covering fire to anyone.
  • Saviour Protocols: You'll be using this one a lot, so you need to make sure you understand what it can't do as much as what it can. First, your drones can only take wounds for <SEPT> INFANTRY and <SEPT> BATTLESUITS, so no soaking up shots for your Skyrays Hammerheads and Stormsurges All Tau Vehicles now have that rule. Doesn't matter since that's a rule on the Drone Datasheet and it specifies Infantry and Battlesuits, not Vehicles. Second, unlike most "Look Out Sir!"-type abilities the rule only allows you to allocate wounds to the Drones (as if they were part of the target's unit), rather than allowing you to ignore wounds on one model by removing another - so wounds that you don't get to allocate, i.e. mortal wounds inflicted on specific models (rather than units, which you do allocate) by things like Nova Reactor and Ion gun overloads, cannot be foisted off on a Drone using this rule. Finally, all transfered wounds now become a single Mortal wound (per the 2/07 FAQ), so Shield Drones have become useless unless paired with a commander/Character. New FAQ! Tau Shield Drones and Guardian Drones get a 5+ FNP so they are back to being the best at tanking wounds for other units while sacrificing the ability to do anything else.
  • Mont'Ka / Kauyon: A once a game rule available to only Commanders. This gives them a buff bubble (meaning that now every generic T'au HQ has one) for one turn, based on whichever tactic they choose. Kauyon allows every friendly <SEPT> unit within 6" to reroll all failed to-hit rolls, but they cannot move for any reason. Meanwhile Mont'Ka allows friendly <SEPT> units to advance and shoot as if they hadn't moved at all. Both Farsight and Shadowsun gain an additional use of their preferred tactic. Oi, did dose blue gits loot our Waaagh! cry?
    • Note that Mont'Ka not only removes the to hit penalty for advancing and shooting an Assault weapon, it also allows Rapid Fire and Heavy weapons to Advance and fire without penalty, which is normally not allowed. However, note that the Vior'la Sept Tenet already grants most of the benefits from Mont'Ka on its own without needing to be activated or being limited to a buff aura.
    • Vespid and Kroot can never benefit from either effect, due to them not having <Sept>.
      • FAQ says that no matter how many Commanders you take, this can only happen once per battle, not once per detachment, or once per commander. ONCE PER BATTLE. You want more than one, take Shadowsun or Farsight
  • Manta Strike: The T'au's new answer to Deep Strike. Set up a unit in a Manta Hold during deployment, then at the end of any movement phase they may arrive via low-altitude drop. Set up the unit anywhere you want so long as they are more than 9" away from any enemy units. Only applies to Crisis Suits, Bodyguards, and Commanders, so say goodbye to Deep-Striking Stealth Suits, Riptides, and Ghostkeels (two of those can still infiltrate to somewhat compensate). Vespid have their own version with the same rules, Plunge from the Sky.
  • Infiltrators: Stealth Battlesuits, Ghostkeels and Shadowsun get this ability, that lets them setup anywhere more than 12" away from an enemy unit, and outside the opponent's deployment zone. RAW this means if you have first deployment, you can put a unit literally right outside their deployment zone if you wanted to (although that would give them a perfect opportunity to deploy some heavy assault troops directly into melee with you, so make sure you leave at least 1" spacing). As this is not a deep strike from reserves, you can still move during your movement phase.
  • Vanguard: Pathfinders and Darkstrider get a new version of the Scout USR from 7th. Start of the first battle round, before the first turn, the unit can move up to 7", as long as it does not get within 9" of an enemy unit. Also not a deep strike from reserves.
  • Warriors of the Greater Good: Objective Secured, Tau edition. Drones taken with Troops choices don't get to benefit from it, however. (RAW Drones brought on with Troops do get Objective Secured from the rule in Chapter Approved 2017 - Although I wouldn't want to be That Guy because it clearly states that the rule was an interim measure while everyone waited for their faction codex).

Sept Tenets[edit]

With their Codex, the Tau get their obligatory Chapter Tactics counterpart in the form of Sept Tenets, and like other armies requires a detachment whose units all have the same <SEPT> keyword. Septs not listed below can choose any Tenet they wish. Kroot and Vespid don't interfere with Tenets, but will not benefit from them either.

  • T'au- Coordinated Fire Arcs: Any unit with this tenet that fires Overwatch within 6" of another T'au unit or triggers For The Greater Good hits on a 5+ rather than a 6+, ignoring Ballistic Skill or any modifiers. Makes charging Tau gunlines an even more daunting prospect.
  • Bork'an- Superior Craftsmanship: All Rapid Fire and Heavy weapons get an extra 6" of maximum range. Why wouldn't you want more range? Yes, it stacks with PAC Drones, 42" Pulse Rifles anyone?
    • Note that it specifies Rapid Fire and Heavy weapons, so Crisis Suits (other than ones with Plasma Rifles), Stealth Suits, and pretty much every Fast Attack choice is out in the cold as they rely on Assault weapons. Use these guys for Gunlines, Tank Squadrons, and Riptides.
    • Like the similar Vostroyan doctrine, this is helpful in keeping your units at half range out of enemy charges more than it is sending shots far downfield (although they can do that, too.)
  • Farsight Enclaves- Devastating Counter-Strike: When shooting enemies from a distance of 6" or less with someone using this Tenet, re-roll 1s to wound. Your Flamers and Fusion Blasters will thank you. Should also work on Overwatch if the enemy's charging from close enough.
  • Dal'yth- Adaptive Camouflage: Any unit that does not move, charge, fall back, Manta Strike, pile in, or consolidate on its turn gains the benefits of cover on the opponent's subsequent turn.
    • This includes Vehicles. Hammerheads with 2+ saves anyone?
  • Vior’la- Strike Fast: If a unit advances, its rapid fire weapons become assault instead. In addition, units with this Tenet do not suffer a penalty for advancing and shooting assault weapons.
    • Perfect for granting Battlesuits extra mobility. Makes Mont'Ka almost completely redundant.
    • Also great for stringing your opponents out if they're slower than you. If only this worked with Vespids.
  • Sa'cea-: +1 Leadership. In addition in the shooting phase, you can reroll a single failed hit roll for each Sa'cea unit. Oh my railgun ....
    • Sa'cea heavily favors MSU lists trying to take advantage of the free reroll per unit. Conversely you could use it to run bigger blobs and make use of the +1 Ld but you're better off breaking the units up into smaller sizes to get as many free rerolls as possible. HQs with a 2+ML are almost guaranteed to land that first stack, letting the rest of the sept use their tenet to reroll a 2 or 3.



  • Automated Repair System (2 CP): Battlesuit or Vehicle regains D3 lost wounds. Well, there goes the downside of using the Nova Reactor. But yes, it's really expensive.
  • Branched Nova Charge (1 CP): Overcharging a Riptide's Nova Reactor grants it two buffs instead of one. Between this and the better Nova Reactor effects, the overcharge may actually be worth using. Sadly doesn't work with FW Rapetide subtypes.
  • Breach and Clear! (1 CP): Use in the Shooting phase, when a Breacher Team is about to shoot an enemy unit in cover. They reroll all failed wound rolls.
  • Command and Control Node (1 CP) : Commander cannot shoot, but a Battlesuit unit in your army within 6” can re-roll wounds.
  • Emergency Dispensation (1 CP/3 CP): Standard extra relics.
  • EMP Grenade (1 CP) : When throwing a photon grenade, only make a single hit roll, and if it hits, the grenade deal D3 mortal wounds against an enemy vehicle. Good for last-ditch efforts.
  • Fail-safe Detonator (1 CP) : Use when Battlesuit unit from your army is destroyed in fight phase. Roll a dice for each unit within 3” and on a 4+ it suffers a mortal wound.
  • Multi-spectrum Sensor Suite (1 CP): Used before a battlesuit unit shoots, enemy units cannot claim cover saves from that unit.
  • Neuroweb System Jammer (2 CP): At the start of the enemy shooting phase, pick an enemy unit within 18” of a Battlesuit Commander; subtract 1 from to hit rolls made for that unit this phase. Makes fun of IG and other Tau.
  • Hunting Grounds (1 CP) : If a Kroot Hound unit successfully completes charge, Kroot units within 12” can re-roll charges. Not that you might need your screen to run somewhere.
  • Orbital Ion Beam (3 CP) : Can only be used on a Commander that has not moved or Manta Struck in the preceding movement phase. Pick two points on the battlefield 2D6” apart and draw a line between them. Each unit suffers D3 mortal wounds on a 4+ (characters 5+).
  • Point Defense Targeting Relay (1 CP): Vehicle can overwatch on 5s and 6s.
  • Positional Relay (2 CP) : start of movement phase, pick a recon drone and a unit of the same sept that has been set up in a manta hold. That unit can set up within 6” of the recon drone.
  • Recon Sweep (1 CP) : Pathfinder team can move 2D6” in the shooting phase, but cannot shoot or charge.
  • Repulsor Impact Field (1 CP) : After opponent successfully charges a Battlesuit unit, roll a dice for each model in the enemy unit within 3” of your unit and 6s deal a mortal wound.
  • Stimulant Injector (1 CP): Replaces the old wargear option. Pick a Battlesuit with a maximum wounds of 10 or more (i.e. a Riptide or a Ghostkeel; Stormsurge isn't a battlesuit) at the start of your turn. That unit ignores all the negative effects of having taken any wounds (BS penalties, etc.) until either it dies or the turn ends.
    • Good for squeezing that last bit of juice from a Riptide your opponent assumes is useless thanks to wound penalties.
  • Support Turret Replacement (1 CP) : If a Turret has been destroyed for a Fire Warrior team, it can be replaced.
  • Uplinked Markerlight (1 CP): Use this stratagem after an enemy unit has been hit by a markerlight fired by a model from your army. Place d3 + 1 markerlight counters next to that unit instead of only 1.
    • An interesting way to try and get enough stacks for the +1 ballistic.
  • Wall of Mirrors (1 CP): In the Movement phase, select an XV25 Stealth Suit unit within 6" of an XV95 Ghostkeel Battlesuit. It can be removed and redeployed via deep striking anywhere within 12" of the Ghostkeel (and with the typical deep strike limits). If the XV25 was engaged in close combat, this does not count as falling back. With the Homing Beacon now dropping at the start of the movement phase you can use this Stratagem to reposition your stealth suits before dropping the beacon.


  • Bork'an- Experimental Weaponry (1 CP): When firing a weapon with a random number of shots (e.g. the Stormsurge's Pulse Driver Cannon), you can reroll one of the dice for the shot number.
    • Makes those Crisis Suits equipped with flamers slightly more effective, but you would probably be better served with Railgun Sub-Munition shots, or units equipped with Ion Weapons.
    • Hilariously superficial, since the BRB stratagem does the same thing. Presumably the only reason it's a separate stratagem is in case you roll double ones on a 2d6 weapon and would like to spend two CP instead of one.
      • Don't forget that in matched play, the Strategic Discipline rule prevents you from using a stratagem more than once per phase. This stratagem allow you to keep your generic reroll stratagem for another use in the phase (for example, reroll to hit for a railgun or a fusion blaster).
        • Now absolute garbage, with the recent FAQ adjusting its use to before you determine the number of shots, meaning if you elect re-roll the humble Pathfinder Ion Rifle you'll have wasted 1 CP 2/3s of the time. Even on the premiere Bor'Kan unit, the Y'Vahra, not only do you now have to determine which of the weapons you're re-rolling, you'll still waste a CP 1/4 of the time you use the stratagem.
  • Dal'yth- Strike and Fade (1 CP): Pick a unit at the start of your shooting phase. That unit may move 6" after it shoots as if it had another movement phase (it may not advance with this extra move).
    • It's Move-Shoot-Move, with everything that entails. Sucks that doing so means you give up the main benefit of your Sept Tenet, but if your opponent is within charging range cover won't do you any good anyway.
  • Farsight Enclaves- Drop zone clear (2 CP): Select a battle suit unit that was setup using a manta strike ability this turn and add +1 to hit rolls for that unit.
    • Will protect Battlesuits dropping in with Overcharged Cyclic Ion Blasters to clear out hot spots.
    • Note that this Stratagem cannot be used with Homing Beacons or the Positional Relay Stratagem as these lead to the unit performing a "low-altitude drop instead of a Manta strike".
  • Sa’cea- Orbital Marker Distribution Uplink (2 CP): Pick an enemy unit visible to a character. That unit and all units within 6” gain a markerlight counter.
  • T'au Sept- Focused Fire (3 CP): When a unit with the T'au Sept keyword inflicts an unsaved wound on an enemy in the shooting phase, add +1 to wound for all other shooting attacks made against that enemy by anyone who shares the same Sept. Don't you just love being able to wound Knights on a 4+ with only basic infantry?
  • Vior’la- Hot Blooded (2 CP): Select an infantry unit; it can shoot twice this phase, but must target the closest enemy unit each time.
    • With Rapid Fire weapons, this practically amounts to giving them FRFSRF from the Imperial Guard.
      • With Breacher Teams or Rail Rifle Pathfinders this can devastate a lot of units. 40 strength 6 AP-2 shots anybody?

Tactical Objectives[edit]

11 - The Lure
1 VP for destroying an enemy unit that made a successful charge last turn. d3 VP for destroying 3 units this way. Hopefully they charged at someone you won't miss.
12 - Patient Hunter
1 VP if at least 1 enemy unit was destroyed by a unit in your deployment zone.
13 - Ambush
1 VP if an enemy unit either dies or fails a morale test. Upped to d3 if you have more than 3 enemy units do this.
14 - Multiple Distractions
1 VP if you have one enemy unit within 12" of one battlefield edge and another enemy unit within 12" of the opposite edge by the end of the turn.
15 - Tactical Withdrawal
1 VP if you completely destroy an enemy unit in the shooting phase which was within 1" of one of your units at the start of the turn.
16 - The Greater Good
1d3 VP if you steal an objective from an enemy, which is upped to 1d3+3 if you steal 3 or more.


Lots of your units have these. When a unit is hit by a Markerlight, place a counter by it for the remainder of the phase. Effects depend on the number of Markerlight counters on a unit, and are cumulative. In addition, Markerlight counters are no longer used up for their effects, so you can really pour focused fire onto a lit target - but make sure you actually do make use of them once placed, because they'll be gone at the end of the Shooting phase (or the Charge phase if you're shooting them on Overwatch). The marker light rules specifies that most of the buffs only apply to T'AU EMPIRE units.

  1. T'AU EMPIRE models attacking the target may reroll hit rolls of 1. Re-rolling 1s is only an increase in accuracy of about 16.67% - BS4+ goes from 50% to 58.3%, while Overwatch goes from 16.67% to 19.44%. On the other hand, it also means overcharging ion weapons is way less risky.
  2. Destroyer and Seeker missiles fired at the target use the firer's Ballistic Skill (and re-rolling 1's, as above), instead of hitting only on a 6. Who cares? With your 4+ to hit, the shot is now only a gamble to fire, not pointless to take. Works wonders with Longstrike, though. Keep in mind that Hammerheads still have BS3+, and the Seekers cost basically nothing anyway so just take it and be happy if one of those D1d6 shots gets through.
  3. The target gets no saving throw bonuses for being in cover. Good enough against factions that get built in cover saves like Hive Fleet Jormungandr or cover-camping IG, but otherwise mediocre.
  4. T'AU EMPIRE models shooting at the target may ignore the hit roll penalties for moving and firing Heavy weapons, and Advancing and firing Assault weapons. This is somewhat useful for extracting suit teams who fail to alpha their intended target (and chances are, they will unless you sink 1/4+ your points into a single squad) or for your infantry to retreat from approaching enemy units as Tau lost some of their mobility to move and shoot in the same turn effectively. Only problem is that you have to decide whether you move/advance before you know whether you can hit with enough Markerlights, so better keep those Target Locks on your Ghostkeel.
  5. T'AU EMPIRE models shooting at this unit get +1 to hit. There's the money shot! If you fail to get your 5th markerlight, consider the Uplinked Markerlights stratagem as anything less is barely worth the points taking them at all.

The enviable +1 to hit for a single markerlight is gone, expended token or not, as is the handy Hunter Cadre rule of +1 to hit if 3+ Tau units targeted the same enemy. Now you must invest enough markers to score 5 net hits to counter the lackluster ballistic skill of an army that was intended to dominate the shooting phase. Without markerlights, you are similar to Imperial Guard, only fewer, more expensive and equipped with better flashlights. Basically, your F@3ked.

Warlord Traits[edit]


  1. Precision of the Hunter: Re-roll wound rolls of 1 made for your warlord against enemy vehicles or monsters
  2. Through Unity, Devastation : In each of your shooting phases, pick a unit that is visible to your warlord; until the end of your phase each time you make a wound roll of 6+ against that unit made by a friendly Sept unit within 6″ of your warlord, the AP is improved by 1. Aun’va has this.
  3. A Ghost Walks Among Us: add 6″ when the Warlord Advances instead of rolling a die. Darkstrider has this.
  4. Through Boldness, Victory: if your warlord is within 12″ of an enemy unit at the start of your shooting phase, you can re-roll failed hit rolls made for your Warlord until the end of the phase.
  5. Exemplar of the Kauyon: You can reroll failed hit rolls for your Warlord as long as they haven't moved this turn. If they have moved for any reason, they lose this trait until your next turn. Shadowsun has this.
  6. Exemplar of the Mont'ka: This Warlord can Advance and still shoot as if they hadn't moved this turn. Good on Coldstar commanders, but Vior'la's Sept Tenet can already let them do this without giving up a Warlord Trait for it.


  • Farsight Enclaves- Hero of the Enclaves: The Warlord can perform a Heroic Intervention if they're within 6" of enemy units after all enemy charge moved are made, and can move up to 6" when doing so as long as they end up closer to an enemy. Additionally, if the Warlord charged, was charged, or made a Heroic Intervention, he re-rolls all failed hits until the end of the turn. Farsight has this
    • Heroic Interventions aren't exactly strong, but the second part of that bonus is worth noticing, especially if you go second: notice that it never says which phase the re-rolls apply to.
  • Dal’yth- Gunship Diplomat: Kroot and Vespid units within 12" of the Warlord gain For the Greater Good. This could probably be good with Vespid with FLY shenanigans, but it's not like you're short on strong Overwatch.
  • T'au- Strength of Belief: Roll a D6 for each Mortal Wound inflicted on Warlord; on a 5+ it is ignored. Longstrike has this.
  • Vior’la- Academy Luminary: If your Warlord has Master of War, Volley Fire or Failure is not an Option ability, the range of that ability is increased to 9″ and you can get an additional CP for being battle-forged. Aun’Shi has this. Let's be honest, you're taking this mostly for the CP.
  • Sa’cea- Beacon of Honour: Friendly Sa’cea unit within 6″ reduce the number of models that flee by 1.
  • Bork’an- Seeker of Perfection: For each hit roll of 6+ made for your warlord, add 1 to the wound roll for that attack.


Melee Weapons[edit]


  • Equalizers: One of two weapons for Ethereals, AP-1 and bonus attack.
  • Honour Blade: The other Ethereal weapon, S+2 and D2. Shame it has no AP, but arguably the one to pick.


  • Kroot Rifle: becomes an S+1 close combat weapon when in combat.
  • Ripping Fangs: Kroothound teef, AP-1 close combat weapon.
  • Krootox Fists: give yourself a pat on the back if you figured out that these are found on the Krootox. Deal 2 damage with no strength or AP bonus.
  • Ritual Blade: basic, no-bonus CC weapon that gives your Kroot within 6" fearless if you kill anyone with it. Risky in close combat, but if you can finish off a squad, you can make an unshakeable blob.

Ranged Weapons[edit]

Infantry / Drone

  • Pulse Weapons: your S5 D1 guns at various ranges.
    • Pulse Pistol: 12" range and a pistol. Suddenly that much more useful with the advent of 8th edition as they can be fired in close combat. Granted, you should not be getting into close combat but if you somehow survived an assault, your opponent will be getting hit by this in your next shooting phase from your Fire Warriors (if you paid the 1pt per model to bring them). It grants you 1 shot at S5 per model in your shooting phase while in combat. Better safe that 1p per model, it's really not worth it. (In PL level games go nuts they are free). Usually it's better to just fall back and let your other units punish whatever thought it's a good idea to charge your fireline without even being able to wipe out a puny squad of Firewarriors.
    • Pulse Rifle: The original, the best. 30" rapid fire smackdown, stacks wonderfully with sept traits, wargear and warlord traits granting extra range and shots.
    • Pulse Carbine: Doesn't pin targets anymore, but is assault 2 at 18". Changes to assault weapons in 8th make them kinda dicey shooting on the run at BS5+ on your pathfinders. Gun drones get two of these.
    • Pulse Blaster: the pulse shotgun found on your breachers, start at a assault 2 bolter at 15" end at S6 ap-2 under 5" Very risky, but that's life on a breacher team.
    • Longshot Pulse Rifle: Found on sniper drones, big range and can target characters, dealing mortal wounds on 6+ to wound. Stacks with the abilities from a spotter.
  • Markerlight: There's a whole section above for the effects these have, but they're almost a rather literal heavy 1 flashlight.
  • Rail Rifle: Pathfinders only. The smallest source of Mortal Wounds currently available to T'au, each squad may take up to three of these weapons if they don't take any Ion Rifles. They're generally a better call for hunting MEQs, TEQs, and Monstrous creatures thanks to their AP and ability to deal mortal wounds on a 6+ to wound.
  • Ion Rifle: Pathfinders only. The second type of special weapon available to Pathfinders, this weapon acts like every other Ion weapon, in that it can be overcharged to deal potentially more hits and damage.
  • Photon Grenade: it's a grenade, but it doesn't do any damage. Instead it strips an attack off of targets.
  • Kroot Weapons:
    • Kroot Rifle: It's basically a boltgun that has a close combat bonus.
    • Kroot Gun: It's a rapid fire autocannon, but does D3 damage instead of a flat 2. Found on the Krootox.
  • Neutron Blaster: the vespid gun, used for burninating armour at S5, AP-2.


  • Airbursting Fragmentation Projector: A longer ranged Flamer that ignores line of sight, but doesn't auto-hit. Not bad. Unless you need to ignore the line of sight, such as on very terrain laden maps, the Burst Cannon outperforms this weapon.
  • Burst Cannon: The cheap Dakka that it always has been. 4 Shots at Str 5 and 18". You might want to give your suits some other (and more expensive) options as all your drones and Fire Warriors will provide Str 5 shooting en masse. Actually, with an advanced targeting system, you can make these work very effectively. Note that commander with 3 bursts+ATS is good, but crisis suit loses too much dakka, and unless you're shooting terminators, giving up a burst cannon for ATS is a downgrade in raw power.
    • Best thing is to equip a Coldstar with a High-output Burst cannon, 2x Burst Cannon and ATS. The High-output Burst cannon pushes the efficiency of ATS above an additional Burst Cannon and makes it an exceptional anti-infantry source of dakka.
      • Want to see a SM/CSM player drool? This is how. Tell them about your 16 Heavy Bolter shots with an 18" range on a BS2+ platform and a max move of 40".
  • Cyclic Ion Blaster: 3 (almost) Autocannon shots at 18", this gun's default mode outperforms the Plasma Rifle per point outside of its Rapid Fire range against HEQ, GEQ, MEQ, and TEQ. Using the Overcharge profile gives you extra Strength and Damage making it second only to the Fusion Blaster against multi-wound models and vehicles, the downside being that Overcharge deals a mortal wound to the bearer upon rolling any number of modified 1s to hit. Markerlights let you re-roll natural 1s to hit which mitigates a bit of the threat, and if you manage to get 5 Markerlights on the same target you can't actually get a modified 1.
    • Note that the CIB is only superior to the Burst Cannon when you are overcharging it. If you do not expect to overcharge, consider 3 BC+ATS instead.
  • Flamer: Standard flamer in every respect. Deadly when combined with advanced targeting system (though just taking another flamer is better statistically if you are going for an all-flamer loadout[Actually did some math hammering, I may be wrong, but statistically 2 flamers +ATS does about the same vs MEQ and GEQ, but once you get up to TEQs, the ATS starts to show it's worth. But better to follow your gut]). Just don't waste it on commanders unless you crave the OMAE WA MOU Coldstar shenanigans.
  • Fusion Blaster: It's a Meltagun, which means it deals 1D6 damage (best of 2 under half range) and being T'au Empire gives you a lofty 6" more range than those silly primitive Imperial ones for 25% more points. Second most expensive option, but the clear winner against anything with more than a couple wounds. Your primary source of antitank and monsterhunting, due to ridiculously low damage-per-point ratio of broadsides and hammerheads.
  • Missile Pod: It went up in price considerably and being able to deal D3 wounds doesn't quite make up for it. Still a decent choice, but is outperformed by a Cyclic Ion Blaster unless you're not willing to risk the overcharge on anything T6 or above. Or if you actually want a weapon with range, as it has twice that of the CIB (and the longest range option of the Commander and Crisis Suits).
  • Plasma Rifle: Your go-to cheap option against heavy infantry, melting away 3 points of the enemy's Save. At 1 extra point over a Burst Cannon it's cheap, but will struggle against multi-wound models as it only does 1 damage a shot.
    • Received a subtle nerf with the reintroduction of Overcharge mechanics. The selling point of T'au plasma was that, while it was weaker, it wouldn't suffer Gets Hot!, now that nobody suffers that particular penalty without overcharging their weapons, there is no reason for T'au plasma to be S6 if everyone else can put their plasma out at S:7 without blowing themselves up, so yes, GW actually made tau plasma the worst plasma.
  • High-Intensity Plasma Rifle: Farsight got a weapon upgrade. More AP and double the damage.
  • Broadside Weapons:
    • Heavy Rail Rifle: A good gun, you get two S8 AP-4 D6 wound shots at 60" and deals mortal wounds on top of the other damage if you roll a 6+ to wound. Real useful for hunting Monstrous Creatures or Vehicles, but you'd best hope you hit.
    • High Yield Missile Pod: Heavy 4, S7, AP-1, D3 missile pod. Noticeably inferior to the other gun, but Broadsides can take two of them, which balances it out somewhat. Does D3 damage compared to the HRR's D6(+D3 on a 6+ to wounds), meaning that if all shots hit, a pair of these can do up to 24 Damage, across 8 targets, compared to the HRR's 12 across 2 (+6 MW). Use this one for clearing out big squads of GEQs
  • XV9 Weapons:
    • Double-barrelled Burst Cannon (Forge World): Twice the shots for a 60% price increase. Bit of a bargain right there.
    • Phased Ion Gun (Forge World): An Assault plasma rifle with worse AP (unless it rolls a 6+ to hit), Strength, and Range, but has the potential for more shots. Since it is a bit more expensive than a Plasma Rifle, and less reliable, you probably want to skip this.
    • Fusion Cascade (Forge World): A Fusion Blaster with 66% less range, but the potential to fire 3 shots. Also 60% more expensive.
    • Cheaper than the equivalent amount of FB Crisis suits, but slightly less effective as the number of models increases.
    • Pulse Submunitions Rifle (Forge World): 30" range, 2d3 shots at S6, for 20% more than a burst cannon. If you don't need the range, take the DBBC instead.
  • Monstrous Suit Weapons
    • Ion Accelerator: Two different shooting modes. Both are a wonderful 72" range but are Heavy D6. Standard is S8 with D3 dmg, while Overcharge gives you S9 and 3 damage. Nova Charge changes the type to Heavy 6 (for both Standard and Overcharge modes).
    • Heavy Burst Cannon: 36" Heavy 12 S6 AP -1 D2. Becomes Heavy 18 on Nova Charge.
    • Cyclic Ion Raker: Heavy 6 shots at 24" range at S7. Disappointing AP-1 and D1 damage, though; overcharge buffs to S8 and D3 Damage.
    • Fusion Collider: S8 AP-4 Heavy D3 shots at 18" doing the standard melta thingy with its D6 damage. Probably the one to take over the Raker on your Ghostkeel.
    • Pulse Submunitions Cannon (Forge World): 60" Heavy 3D3 shots, dropping S6 AP-2 D3 hits. Nasty!
    • Ion Discharge Cannon (Forge World): Curiously, this Ion weapon doesn't have a basic overcharge profile outside of Nova Charging. Regardless, short 12" range dishing out mortal wounds to vehicles if you roll a 6 to-wound; normal profile is Heavy 3 S8 AP-3 D1, and Nova Charge is Heavy 3D3 S10 and flat 3 damage.
    • Phased Plasma-Flamer (Forge World): the scary gun found on the Y'vahra, 8" Heavy 2D6 autohits at S6 AP-2 and 3 damage on the standard profile holy shit! Nova Charge gives you another D6 shots; not much but still insane!
    • Flechette Pod (Forge World): how is this not standard battlesuit equipment WTF T'au?! Pistol D6 S4 shots at 6"; for the time being only found on the Y'vahra until the Earth and Fire Castes figure out how goddamn useful this is is.

Vehicle Weapons

  • Smart Missile System: heavy 4 pulse rifle that can hit targets out of LoS from the shooter. Most things that can take them get two, which is great.
  • Seeker Missiles: 72" Heavy1 S8 AP-2 DD6 with one use per missile. At only five points it doesn't seem like a bad investment on a Broadside; could mean the difference between bringing that scary unit really low or killing it. Seekers of course come stock with most of the things that can take them though, so not much choice in the matter regarding that. They need the target to have at least two markerlight shots on them to use the firers BS though, otherwise they ONLY hit on 6s and it doesn't take a genius to know that that's not worth doing unless you're in a desperate situation.
  • Hammerhead Weapons
    • Rail Gun: THE gun for the Hammerhead Not really since it's just a single-shot weapon on an expensive chassis, with two 72" profiles. Solid shot does an S10 AP-4 D6 damage shot that throws down with a mortal wound on a to-wound of 6 on top of normal damage. The dreaded submunition puts out D6 S6 AP-1 D1 hits
    • Ion Cannon: Standard and overcharge modes at 60". Standard puts out 3 S7 AP-2 D2 shots while overcharge does D6 shots at S8 and 3 damage with the standard overcharge risk. It's a good gun, if a little overshadowed by other options If you want to use Hammerheads (aside from Longstrike or FW options) then this is THE gun.
    • Twin Heavy Burst Cannon (Forge World): an absurd amount of shots (16 to be exact) at S6 AP-1 D1 and 36". You will chew through most infantry with ease with this gun.
    • Twin Fusion Cannon (Forge World): 24" Heavy 2 S8 AP-4 and D6 damage with melta.
    • Twin T'au Plasma Cannon (Forge World): Got the "T'au" stamp in order to differentiate itself from other plasma cannons, Heavy 4 S7 AP-3 D2 at 48". A strong competitor to the Fusion and Ion Cannons.
  • Quad Ion Cannon: very disappointing, the gun has basically been reduced to a reaper autocannon, which aren't even any good in the CSM army. Overcharge helps out a bit, granting +1 S D3 damage and D6 shots.

Titanic Weapons

  • Pulse Driver Cannon: It's a Demolisher Cannon with 3 times the range - all the problems with that apply to this, so you need to always be hitting something with 10 models. Hard to justify for such a high-strength weapon.
  • Pulse Blastcannon ARC Cannon: 3 range modes to choose from, with number of shots and stopping power increasing and decreasing with range respectively. Short range hits with a tremendous S14 AP-4 and a savage 6 damage, but only at Heavy 2 at 10"; Medium range is still pretty hardcore at S12 AP-2 D3 but double the shots and range over close range; lastly, long range triples the range and shots, but decreases the power down to S10 AP0 and D1. Try to ignore the range bands and focus instead on what sort of targets you should be hitting with this gun.
    • Heavy 2, this gun qualifies for the Bork'an Sept Tenet. It's not a lot at 30-36", but at 10" - 16" this pretty much means you don't have to be in charging range of anything that could tie you up in melee while you try to bring the thunder down.
  • Cluster Rocket System: 4D6 shots at 48" and S5, but no bonus damage or AP to speak of. Still, that's a shitload of shots for smacking the shit out of tarpits within range.
  • Destroyer Missiles: Seeker missiles with a foot of range lopped off, instead of shoting a singel shot on a hit they do D3 mortal wounds and can still benefit from Markerlights.
  • Heavy Rail Cannon(Forge World): Macro weapon. Single shot at S18(!) with 2D6 damage. Inflicts an additional D3 Mortal Wounds on a Wound Roll of 6+. Also comes with the Cluster Shells ability, that has a 4+ chance to deal a Mortal Wound to any Model that ends a charge within 3" of the carrying unit.
  • Tri-Axis Ion Cannon (Forge World): 9 shots of TEQ killing goodness, that can be overcharged into busting vehicles.
  • Fusion Eradicator (Forge World): 5 shot Fusion Blaster, with an extra 6" range.
  • Pulse Ordnance Multi-Driver (Forge World): Macro weapon. Choice of profiles between 6 shots at S12 + 4dmg, or 2D6 shots at S8 + 3dmg. Given the law of averages, I am not sure why you would ever use the secondary profile.
  • Nexus Meteor Missile System (Forge World): Macro weapon. 2D6 shots at S10 and 4dmg, with a minimum range of 24" and maximum range of 120". Probably not going to be that useful in normal games.

Support Systems[edit]

  • Advanced Targeting System: Improves the AP of all weapons on the suit by 1, turning those Burst Cannons into sawn-off Heavy Bolters.
    • For models which can take an additional weapon instead Commanders it is generally more effective to do so, albeit more expensive. You don't want to replace a weapon for ATS on a normal Crisis suit, it is a damage loss.
    • The FAQ changed the AP of the default close combat weapon to "0", so this now affects the melee on the suits. Take it on your Stealth Suits to give them a AP-1 melee attack along with their Burst Cannons. Also makes Commanders even more dangerous in melee.
  • Counterfire Defence System: Allows re-rolls to hit when firing Overwatch. Give to Stealth Suits and enjoy unit enemy won't want to either shoot OR charge. Except that few people care about an average of 1.5 more S5 AP0 hits on Overwatch. However give it to your T'au Sept suits and you'll be re-rolling Overwatch on 5+ which makes a HUGE difference for charging units.
  • Drone Controller: All <SEPT> DRONE models near any bearer get +1 to hit rolls. Great for shooty drones, useless for the rest.
  • Early Warning Override: Get a free shooting attack on every one unit that is deployed (deep striking) within 12" but at -1 to-hit, so only at 5+ with any suit apart from the Commander and you better don't even think about overcharging those CIBs.
    • RAW, this works on any mid-game setup, i.e. including disembarks, so this can be pretty amazing on an infantry mulcher.
  • Multi-tracker: If a model shoots all its weapons at the same target, it may re-roll 1's to hit. One Markerlight can give this to your whole army. No longer an auto-take, but it does reduce the need for multiple Markerlight units ever-so-slightly. Take this if you don't have that many Pathfinders, Skyrays, Tetras, or Marker Drones and want that re-roll. The target unit now also has to include at least 5 models for this system to work. Oh and it got more expensive in the Codex. So it went from bad to absolutely terrible.
  • Shield Generator: The classic 4+ invulnerable save. Riptides still can't take this, but it's cheaper than before for all other suits.
  • Target Lock: Enables the suit to ignore the to-hit penalties for Advancing and firing Assault weapons, and moving and firing Heavy weapons. Also allows firing Rapid Fire weapons after Advancing at -1 to hit. A cheap way to potentially increase you suits' mobility by a good amount, and reduce reliance on Markerlights. Be mindful that Vior'la already gets most of its benefits for free through its Sept Tenet.
    • You will likely never want to take this on a Commander or Crisis suit, as removing the -1 to hit gives you the same number of hits you would have from another gun. While lowering your damage if you don't advance. Can be useful for Coldstars, to take advantage of the 20" move, and Broadsides so they can move and shoot without penalty. Stealth suits will mostly see better returns from the ATS. Almost an auto-take on ghostkeels as both their big weapons are heavy, meaning you can ignore the penalty while you jump around the board.
      • Alternate Opinion: While 2 weapons + Target Lock are exactly the same as or worse than 3 weapons normally, the Target Lock both has the advantage of being cheaper than that third weapon (especially if said weapon is a Fusion Gun). Additionally, a Commander with 3 weapons + Target Lock is more effective than one with just 4 weapons.
  • Stimulant Injector: Ignores any wound or mortal wound on a 6+. (Not in the codex but due to a quirk in the rules still allowed source)
  • Velocity Tracker: +1 to hit when targeting units with the FLY keyword. Against dedicated fliers, this just counters their -1 to hit Hard To Hit ability; however skimmers and jump infantry now also possess the FLY keyword, so you can also use the bonus against Jetbikes, skimmers, Assault Marines and anything else that jumps or hovers. Note that one Velocity Tracker works for the entire UNIT, so a single Crisis, Broadside or Stealth Suit with a tracker hands out the benefit to every other model in the unit. As of the most recent FAQ (Xenos 2 Official Update Version 1.1) the Velocity Tracker only grants its bonus to the model equipped with it. A good investment in those cases as you get it basically for free at two points, particularly on units where you can take support systems on grunts without losing a weapon system slot (such as Stealth Suits or Broadsides).
    • Pay particular attention to this one for units with effects that trigger on 1s or 6s to hit. A +1 to hit doubles your chance of landing those bonus mortal wounds, or completely eliminates the chance of blowing yourself up with your Ion gun. Sadly, this does not help your wound rolls, so you still need that 6 to get the bonus wound.
    • Worth a serious consideration on both Broadsides and Stormsurges, or even a shooty (are there non-shooty versions of those?) unit of Crisis or even Stealth Suits

Signature Systems[edit]

  • Also known as your relics. Please note that you cannot give any of these to Kroot units. Although why you would want to give a relic to a Kroot Shaper is beyond me.


  • Puretide Engram Neurochip: Once per battle, you can re-roll a single hit roll, wound, or damage roll made for the bearer, or a friendly <SEPT> unit within 6" of the bearer. In addition, if your army is battle-forged and the bearer is on the battlefield, roll a d6 each time you or your opponent use a stratagem, on a 6 you gain a bonus command point.
    • The first ability isn't amazing, per-se, but it's not bad and it might help you out of a jam. The second ability is far more worthwhile if you expect your opponent to spam low-cost stratagems, giving you plenty of chances at bonus command points.
    • RAW this ability triggers during deployment or other pre-game phases as long as the bearer is already on the field, so deploying the bearer first against armies dependent on deployment/infiltration strategems can pay off in a big way.
  • Onager Gauntlet: Battlesuit Commanders only. The old donkey punch is a single S10 AP-4 d6 D attack in melee ideal for cracking open tanks.
  • Multi-sensory Discouragement Array : Enemy units within 6″ subtract 1 from Leadership
  • Solid-Image Projection Unit: Ethereal with hover drone only. Once per phase, if declared as the target of a charge, the Ethereal can move up to 3″ before the charge is made. Amusing, but if something is trying to charge your Ethereal, he's dead meat anyway. Save your slot for something useful. *Insert Dr Zoidberg sound*
  • Seismic Destabiliser: At the start of each shooting phase, you may either pick an enemy Infantry unit claiming cover or a Building within 12″ of the bearer; the Building suffers D3 mortal wounds. If targeting the infantry squad, roll a die per squad member. On a 6, they suffer a mortal wound. Might be decent for weakening blobs.
  • Supernova Launcher: Replaces an Airbursting Fragmentation Projector. 18″ Assault D6, S6, AP-2 2D. can shoot targets that are out of line of sight.


  • Bork’an- Plasma Accelerator Rifle: Replaces Plasma Rifle. 30″, Rapid Fire 1, S7 AP-3 D2 (so +6" range, +1S, and +1D compared to the base gun).
    • Remember the Sept Tenet? You don't? This weapon goes to 36" RF1, thanks to Superior Craftsmanship boosting all Rapid Fire weapons' ranges by 6".
  • Dal’yth- Dynamic Mirror Field: -1 to hit the user.
  • Farsight Enclaves- Fusion Blades: Replaces two fusion blasters. Has two modes: as a ranged weapon it's 18" Assault 2 S8 AP-4 D1d6 with the typical melta effect (i.e. it's still two fusion blasters, with no changes), and as a melee weapon it has the same statline but can only be used for two attacks each time the user fights. That said, it's still one more attack over the Onager Gauntlet and the loss in Strength compared to the Gauntlet won't be noticeable unless you're fighting something with very high Toughness.
  • Sa’cea- Grav-Inhibitor Field: Subtract 2″ from charge distance if user is declared the target of a charge.
  • T’au Sept- Vectored Maneuvering Thrusters: Battlesuit only. User can move 6″ after shooting. Move-shoot-move, how we have missed you.
  • Vior’la- Thermoneutronic Projecter: Replaces a flamer. 8″ Assault D6 S6 AP -1 2D. So basically a souped up heavy flamer that you can still fire after advancing.

Unit Analysis[edit]

HQ Units[edit]

  • Commander: The new God's gift to Tau, these are now one of the Tau Empire's most powerful models. Carrying an eye-watering four weapons at BS2+, these are a major source of deep striking firepower. Note they can take up to two tactical drones if you wanted another way to get those onto the table. Not inept at close combat. Consider these the Earth Caste's new design of Crisis Suit.
    • The Codex limits you to taking only one Commander per detachment in Matched Play. The days of Commander spamming are partially over. On the bright side, they can upgrade to Iridium Armor without using a Signature System slot to do so, giving them a shiny 2+ armor save. Well, technically you can spam them if you bring enough extra detachments, with 16-point units of 4 Kroot Hounds in Outrider Detachments (one Commander, 3 units of 4 Kroot Hounds for 16 points each or 48 points total before the Commander).
      • Note the normal limit on detachments in matched play... and tau's utter lack of allies.
    • Don't dismiss the commander's WS 3+ either, with the Onager Gauntlet or Fusion Blades. If you do it right, you can Manta Strike your commander, light up a heavy target with your weapons, and then charge to finish it off with an assault, although it's pretty difficult to pull this off, since Tau are not full of buffs to charge distance.
  • Commander in XV85 Enforcer Battlesuit: Same as the regular commander, but with 1 more wound and no access to Iridium Armor. Only 4 points more than the standard Commander, so you may as well use him if you don't plan to give your Commander the Iridium Armor upgrade.
  • Commander in XV86 Coldstar Battlesuit: The Coldstar commander has Ludicrous Speed - Movement 20", and Advancing adds another 20" instead of D6". No longer restricted to specific loadouts (save for being unable to take a cyclic ion blaster , and can only take a high-output burst cannon in a pair with a missile pod), so feel free to use your four hardpoints however you want. GW for one suggests a quad-Fusion Blaster loadout for a super-speedy tank destroyer that can also be used to wipe out characters; it's fast enough to make sure a given character is targetable and not very many things can take four Fusion Blaster shots and live.
    • If you'd rather not use points for Target Lock, the Vior'la Sept Tenet is ideal for giving the Coldstar commander the ability to use his guns without any penalties from advancing.
    • The note about close combat above also applies to the Coldstar, but more so, because the Coldstar can simply scoot into charge range of the enemy. Something to keep in mind for Enclave players, who can take advantage of the Fusion Blades to make the most of it.
    • Alternatively, give him a drone controller and fly around with a squad of remoras; not super effective, but at least you will get to use those expensive FW models you bought.
      • Since Remoras are flyer units, not separate flyers, in Death from the Sky they can Refuel-Rearm-Repair all their seekers at once, which is 12 seekers for another unit to trump Skyray in its own game (and cost you more than a kitted out Stormsurge while only being able to alpha-strike every other turn and being considerably squishier).
  • Commander in XV81 Crisis Battlesuit (Forge World): Commander with a mandatory Smart Missile System weapon choice, with 2 remaining slots for Weapons/Support systems.
  • Commander in XV84 Crisis Battlesuit (Forge World): Automatically applies one Markerlight token per phase, as long as one of its shots hits the target; also has a built-in Target Lock for "free", although at 4 points more than a base Commander and with only two systems it can take, presumably the 4 points is paying for your auto-markerlight and target lock together, which is a steal. This is single handedly the best unit in the codex to turn into a buffmander for markerlight drones. Use a missile pod for range (97.22% chance of a token at 36"), an airbursting fragmentation projector for applying markers to targets your buffmander can't see (99.73% at 18", vs 99.92% for a Burst Cannon), or a flamer to guarantee the first marker token (100% chance at 8"). Then use a drone controller on markerlight drones to markerlight up the same target at functionally BS 3.5+, racking up the markerlight hits to 5 (on average, you will need 8.57 drones to make this happen). Works absolutely great with a gunline as you can activate Kauyon and be effectively BS2.5+ on those markerlightss for when you desperately need them or just boost your gunline in general. If not taking drones, works great in a commander bomb to give your already BS2+ suits rerolls of ones. Hurt by the fact that it's now only 1 per army, because FW isn't retarded enough to render all other Tau sources of marketlights useless.
  • Ethereal: Can now buff both INFANTRY and BATTLESUITS! You can even give them a hover drone to let them keep up with any battlesuits. Can provide a single buff to nearby units each turn, improving their morale tests, giving a re-roll 1's if they don't move (wait can't we already get that...), improved advancing, or probably the best option. A free, FNP for the turn.
    • Can work well with a gunline + Fireblade. The Ethereal provides a re-roll 1's buff to all the nearby infantry, while the Fireblade can fire off an accurate markerlight at a target for the rest of your army to shoot at. Say against a vehicle target.
    • Seriously consider taking Aun'Shi or Aun'Va instead of a regular Ethereal if you want one and the points allow it. The only unique thing vanilla Ethereals got are their hover drones (which are of questionable utility since they only add 2" worth of movement) and the ability to swap the honor blade out for Equalizers (which are basically chainswords with AP-1).
    • Ethereals can never take the FARSIGHT ENCLAVES as a sept.
  • Cadre Fireblade: Gives your <SEPT> Pulse Pistols, Pulse Carbines, and Pulse Rifles an extra shot. Unfortunately multiple Fireblades do not stack, but that doesn't matter because a horde of MV1 Gun Drones firing 6 shots each at 9" is a lot of dakka. Handy if you are running a mobile gun line. The big change this edition is that the Fireblade's Volley Fire, and the Ethereal's Storm of Fire have swapped movement priorities. Storm of Fire can't be used if you move, and Volley Fire works even if you do which is the opposite of 7th, which is... interesting.
    • Note that the ability gives every weapon that is carried by the user an extra shot (AKA 3 shot fire warrior)
    • The SINGLE BEST markerlight platform in your army. As he unlike anything else both hits on twos and is a very hide-able character. Three of him will also out perform a six man strike team for the same power level at every thing but bodies.

Special Characters[edit]

  • Shas'O R'myr (Forge World): Equipped with a Twin Plasma Rifle and a hilarious 6" Assault 1d6 S4 AP0 D1 gun, as well as an S4 melee weapon that doubles his attack volume (and since against literally every target in the game, 2 S4 attacks are equal to or better than 1 S5 attack, you'll always use it; the weapon's immunity to STR debuffs on him is just icing on the cake). Re-rolls 1s to hit against Imperial Guard, which makes his weapon loadout an odd choice. His 4++ becomes a 3++ when attacked by a melee weapon (updated in FAQ) and he can't take any drones. Overall, not great.
    • Not being able to take drones doesn't really have any effect (unless you're critically short on Detachment slots), as drones purchased separately work identically to drones purchased along with characters anyway.
  • Commander Farsight: With his S+3 D3 Damage AP-4 Dawn Blade and an upgrade to WS2+ (with re-rolls on 1s thanks to Way of the Short Blade) over the regular Commander's 3+, Farsight can make a good accounting of himself in melee. With an effective S8 he has a better chance against hard targets than before and will butcher most infantry in short order, and is even capable of dueling CHARACTER models as long as he picks his battles. Way of the Short Blade also grants Fight phase hit re-rolls on 1s to other FARSIGHT ENCLAVES units within 6" - improving to hit rerolls on 1s in any phase if the unit is attacking ORKS. Doesn't come with the option of accompanying Tactical Drones for ablative Wounds, but that doesn't stop you from buying some separately. Can perform an additional Mont'Ka per game.
    • His plasma rifle also got buffed to 30" range, AP-4, and D2, making it ok for picking off TEQs from far away.

This Sept has no rules, but it has got at least one person in it.

  • Shas'O R'alai (Forge World): Appears to be a ranged monster killing Commander, that can also throw a SINGLE Mortal Wound onto vehicles at close range. Equipped with Photon casters and a drone controller he can do a decent amount of damage at close to mid range while still being difficult to charge due to Photon Casters reducing enemy charge range by 2". His Markerlight drones are for some reason WS3+, and now that they ignore the penalty for moving and firing heavy weapons are slightly better than regular marker drones. While he can re-roll failed hit rolls against CHARACTERS, he has no special rules bypassing the Character targeting restrictions.
    • RAW, the EMP rounds roll to see if any Mortal Wounds are inflicted to a VEHICLE on target, rather than on hit - which means the mortal wound can't miss, but you can only get a maximum of 1 out of the gun, not 4, because the gun only targets once, as opposed to hitting up to 4 times.
  • Aun'va: Dead, but apparently that doesn't stop him from spreading the good word. Nearby units can use his Leadership, and as long as he is "alive" any friendly T'au units can re-roll any morale tests, regardless of distance. AP also works inversely on him when shot thanks to Paradox of Duality, making him very resistant to character killer weapons. Holograms, am I right? Also gets to provide two buffs per turn, instead of one. Quite nearly an auto take. Definitely an auto take in any team game with multiple T'au players. The space pope also brings two super cheap cannon fodder bodyguards with alright melee ability and 2 wounds each along, great for the laughable 5 points you pay for each of them. GW webstore exclusive and even puts the price of the new Primaris Captain and Librarian to shame, so you better smash your piggybank if you want to enjoy the privilige of putting him on the table.
  • Commander Shadowsun: Ever wished your Stealth Suit squad could carry more Fusion Blasters? Well, now they can. Everyone's favorite T'au waifu comes with a pair (of fusion blasters), and your other Stealth Suits love her so much they'll even take a bullet for her on a 2+. She can also bring along a Command Link Drone, which lets you give one T'AU EMPIRE unit rerolls on 1s to hit in a shooting phase as long as it stays close to Shadowsun, and two upgraded MV52 shield drones for ablative wounds with a tasty 3++ rather than the usual 4++. May perform an additional 'Kauyon' per game. Considering that she's a whopping 167 points along with her guns however, you might want to consider her value against all of the other things that ~150 points could get you in that infiltrator role - such as a 5-man squad of naked Stealth Suits, or 4 with some additional equipment.
  • Darkstrider: Now buffs a nearby T'au Sept infantry unit, giving them +1 to wound rolls against a single enemy unit that Darkstrider can see, and also allows nearby T'au Sept infantry to Fall Back and shoot as if they had FLY. And as an added bonus, he brings along a Markerlight and a tasty BS2+! An excellent choice to accompany a unit of Breachers in a Devilfish and can be really handy in a drone port or gunrig.
  • Longstrike: No longer an upgrade to a Hammerhead, but a separate HQ unit choice and CHARACTER. Gains -1BS (down to 2+ base), For the Greater Good (almost uniquely among your vehicles), Tank Ace for +1 to Wound rolls vs MONSTER and VEHICLE models (double the chance of getting those sweet, sweet Mortal Wounds if he takes a Railgun), and Fire Caste Exemplar which grants all T'AU HAMMERHEAD units within 6" a +1 to hit in the Shooting phase (including himself, naturally). Finally, he is also wearing some fancy duds inside that tank - his XV02 Battlesuit lets him treat the number of markerlight counters on a target with at least one counter on it as having one additional counter. Not bad for only 37 extra points on top of the Hammerhead's base 100. If you plan on running any Hammerheads, he's a must-buy. Also makes his gun drones/burst cannons (which you should never take; 8 points total to detach them for holding objectives is easily worth it)/smart missiles serious anti-vehicle and monster weapons, as they will wound any of them with T6+ on 4+, while wounding those with T5 on 3+. Considering that Longstrike basically auto-hits if even a single markerlight is on the target, all those dice will deal serious damage with their volume even if they only have a 1 damage profile. Also, the +1 to hit will prevent you from hurting yourself while overcharging Ion Cannons. Either weapon is viable on him. Even if you do not plan to take any other Hammerheads, he is still worth some serious consideration in almost any list, he is that good.
    • Longstrike only needs 1 token to fire his seeker missiles at full BS and can reach that +1 to hit that much faster, so strongly consider seeker missiles on him.
    • Can now buff the Forge World Hammerheads, as everyone's keywords changed to HAMMERHEAD.
    • Cannot buff Hammerheads that are not T'AU SEPT, so prepare to sacrifice some fluff for crunch if you want to drink enemy tears.
    • Consider paying the 14 points to upgrade the two gun drones to smart missile systems, which synergize much better with the range of the primary gun, allow you to ignore cover boni, shoot stuff outside of line of sight, and are great for putting the hurt on fliers thanks to the range and Longstrike's passive abilities.
    • You can make him your Warlord, but he'll be forced to take the 5+FNP against mortal wounds trait, which isn't great on him - it's not like he was concerned about snipers, anyway, since his Wounds are high enough to make him a target for everything the enemy has. Instead, the best way to buff him via Warlord Trait is to strap a Warlord to his ass with the trait that provides -1AP to nearby friendlies against target enemies when they roll a 6+ to wound, because it will stack with Tank Ace, letting Longstrike get it on a 5+. Obviously, this is better if he takes an Ion Cannon than a Railgun, as the Railgun doesn't generally need the help against anything.
    • Alternate take: Range is the only advantage over taking a 4x fusion blaster Commander.
      • Alternate alternate take: However, Longstrike can dish out his almost guaranteed damage from 72" away, and doesn't rely on deep strikes that can be countered by chaff units, while also having a decent amount of additional anti-infantry firepower and being the perfect unit to get some seeker missiles into your list.
      • Also, remember, Longstrike won't count against your Commander limit, so you can use him to fill out a detachment with more than 1 HQ tax in it, if you find yourself running up against the detachment limit for your points limit.
  • Aun'shi: An Ethereal that apparently forgot he was a Tau. Good in melee for the points even compared to the melee characters of other factions, even before considering that you are playing T'au and literally every single other unit you can pick besides Farsight, Kroot Hounds and Krootox absolutely suck in combat and are better off trying to shoot things if at all possible. For only 23 points more than a vanilla Ethereal you get a 4++ invulnerable save, another wound, two more attacks, hit stuff in melee on a 2+ and S5, and on each fight phase you can either give yourself AP-2 or the ability to re-roll failed invulnerable saves. In other words the badass warrior monk is killier than a 82 point Space Marine Captain with a Power Axe while providing much better buffs to your blobs of Strike teams. In other words he do some serious damage to most choppy melee infantry or fast assault units such as Assault Marines or Storm Boys (which people like to spam against Tau), particularly with a smartly pulled-off heroic intervention that only allows a few of the attackers to attack him instead of the Fire Warriors they charged instead, Aun'Shi killing a bunch of them, tying them down and preventing them to consolidate into the rest of your gunline even if they murder the entirety of their initial target, and then falling back in your movement phase so you can blast the poor suckers away with the rest of your pissed Gun Drones, Fire Warriors and the Fireblade buffing them. If your gunline gets charged by something that would trounce him otherwise (even with 5 wounds and a 4++ he is quite brittle with his T3), you can still use him as a charge blocker and annoy your opponent by tying their killy murder machine down with your re-rollable 4++ saves, while you still hit back with S5 AP0 attacks. All of that for only a roughly 33% point increase over a normal Ethereal, who is literally dead meat and a free kill point outside the buff bubbles he offers, which Aun'Shi has as well. The only reasons not to take Aun'shi instead of a regular Ethereal are if you are extremely short on points, want the hover-drone for point-inefficiently buffing Vespids or Crisis, don't run Vior'la, want to take the only 7 points more expensive Aun'Va who is tougher against character-killing weapons, offers better and more buffs and brings his own, albeit much weaker melee cannon fodder bodyguards. However Aun'Va is GW webstore exclusive and costs you an arm and a leg while Aun'Shi can easily be represented by the Ethereal from the Start Collecting box if you leave him off his drone, which doesn't even require extra modeling work.
    • Note: While Aun'shi is great at murdering single wound units and still quite capable of killing heavily-armoured two wound units such as Terminators in a pinch, he is not a good duelist, as his attacks only have D1. Consider switching over to re-rolling your invulnerable saves against buff and choppy characters or monsters and simply tying them down until you can fall back and open them up to your shooting.


  • Strike Team: Your main gunline infantry. In the past you may have been hard pressed to find the compulsory 2 5-man units lurking in cover somewhere while large bots dominated the board. Now, you can't hope to win without coming close to maxing out your troop slots. Take them. Take as many as you can. If (IF!?) you are running these, make sure you also get a Pulse Accelerator drone from the Pathfinders, a Fireblade to increase their volume of shots, and an Ethereal to buff their leadership, give them FNP, and re-roll 1s. High strength keeps them capable of wounding more easily, but low BS and higher cost compared to other armies' infantry hold them back, though even a single marker light on their target helps compensate. Still very effective in numbers - go MSU with them, which maximizes the benefit of their free turret, among other benefits. They also have Photon Grenades that do no damage, but any hit INFANTRY unit suffers a -1 To Hit until the end of turn (why these things don't work on bikers, cavalry, etc is a mystery best left to GW). Toss one during Overwatch and hope you get lucky. Also, literally turn the worst possible morale test result into an auto-pass with their Bonding Knife Ritual rule, which acts just like +1LD outside of interacting with re-roll buffs more strangely. Treat this unit as not having the option for the carbine; it is a) worse than the rifles and b) if you want the carbines you have better options in pathfinders or drones. (NOTE: the last two aren't troops, so keep that in mind for your detachments.) The pistols option is even worse - never take them - and the markerlight usually is not worth the cost.
    • A unit of 12 is surprisingly sturdy, because of the 4+ save. If you put them in cover the can wither a lot of firepower before going down. Units of 5 are perfect for filling troop choices: 5 man is 40 points, which is the cost of a Guard infantry squad.
    • Two 5-man teams, a Fireblade, and a Pulse Accelerator drone exactly fill a Devilfish, which is no coincidence and a great way to pay Troops taxes.
    • Comparisons: A Strike Team can be affected by a Pulse Accelerator drone and a Fireblade, to give them 3 shots at 18" (or 1 at 36"), as opposed to the 3 shots at 12" that the Pathfinders would get, or the 6 that the Gun Drones get at 9". Gun drones cannot be affected by Pulse Accelerator drones, suffer more from morale losses (taking tests after a single loss, compared with the 3 of Fire Warriors), Drones can only shoot at the closest target, and Pathfinders have 1 worse armour save.
    • Bork'an Sept: Our 30" guns buff out to 36" due to the Sept tenet. With a Pulse Accelerator drone that range goes out to 42", rapid firing at 21"! Alternatively, you can use the Sept Trait as an excuse not to buy a Pathfinder team, if you're looking to avoid them.
    • DS8 Tactical Support Turret: Can no longer be picked up and moved, and gets destroyed if you lose coherency, but can be re-deployed via Stratagem if you swim in CP. Costs 0 points, but you still have to pay for it's gun. In points matches it's better to pay for more fire warriors than take turrets if you expect to be in rapid fire range. The missile pod is lackluster but performs adequately against light vehicles.
    • MV36 Guardian Drone: Gives any Strike Team units in range an invulnerable save, and a better one to any nearby Breacher Teams. Drones can be targeted by fire, so keep them out of line of sight or in bigger packs. The save on strike teams only helps against AP-3 or better (AP-4 or better in cover), soo.. DON'T. If your opponent is stupid enough to shoot melta and lascannons at your troops, you don't want him to get discouraged.
    • TL;DR: Take a lot of them, keep them together, and buff them with Fireblades, Pulse Accelerator Drones, and optionally an Ethereal, and their effectiveness goes through the roof, particularly if you throw in even a single markerlight. Even by themselves they have some serious dakka with their S5 guns, and are surprisingly tough with their 4+ save (particularly in cover) for 7 points per model plus a free turret.
  • Breacher Team: The budget Vespids. Put out good firepower, as long as you are close enough to count their nose hairs. Don't expect them to live past their first shot unless you can tie down any potential threat with a Devilfish. Mentioning the Devilfish, Breachers are likely the best filling you can put into them and they synergize with each other big time. Move the Devilfish 12", charge a unit and tie it down and force it to waste a turn, then unload the Breachers and retreat the Devilfish from combat (thanks to FLY it can still shoot afterwards too), then proceed to murder the poor sods with your Breachers. Alternatively, you can simply move the Devilfish as close to the enemy as you need, disembark the Breachers 3" away, move them for another 6", and as long as you manage to put 3 Markerlights on the target unit, you can even Advance for another D6" and shoot your blasters without penalty, very likely putting the unit within their ideal 5" range. You can also do this with footslogging Breachers, which make quite a good screening unit, as they are something your opponent does not want to get close to on their way to your Pathfinders, Strike Teams, and other backfield units, though it is harder to pull off and lacks the synergy with the Devilfish, which allows you to kill one assault unit with your Breachers and tie down another one with the Devilfish in close combat or pull off a Fish of Fury by placing the Devilfish between the Breachers and their target, allowing them to shoot but preventing your opponent from charging them with the massive hover tank in the way. The changes to disembarking before the transport moves makes attempting a Breacher charge across open terrain extremely risky. It can still work, but careful positioning to utilize cover or breaking LoS is critical. Try for a flank instead of the bold center attack or prioritize enemy units that will get that one crucial turn of shooting before the Breachers close the gap. That, or stay in your fish longer and hope they can survive the attention they will undoubtedly draw.
    • Breachers are great for throwing a wrench between the legs of any opponent who thought they were going to face a static gunline they could easily squash in close combat if they just make it across the field, and a great counter unit if they actually do get to you.
    • Breachers are pretty much the best unit to accompany with Darkstrider, as they will wound T4 (in other words: MEQ) units within 5" on a 2+ with Darkstrider's debuff, or wound T5 targets such as bikes (or squishy Eldar/Dark Eldar skimmers, making Breachers surprisingly good tank killers against them) within 10" on a 3+. And it goes without saying that Breachers are the best unit to utilise Darkstrider's "fall back and still shoot" rule, which seriously hurts when you hit the guys that just charged you with S6 AP-2 blasts of hurt. Devilfish have 12 seats, so just toss Darkstrider in there with two 5-man units of Breachers.
    • Breachers do still get their improved invulnerable save from the Guardian drone, which can be shared between units for cost savings. They also have Photon Grenades that do no damage, but any Hit INFANTRY unit suffers a -1 To Hit until the end of turn. Toss one during Overwatch and hope you get lucky.
    • Alternate take: Consider taking the flying bugs instead of Breachers w/Devilfish, for more range, movement, and deep striking, at the cost of 1 gun strength.
      • Alternate Alternate take: Two Breachers are only one point more than a single vespid, so they are still much deadlier if you can get them within their ideal 5" range, synergize with Devilfish and Darkstrider and cheaper to spam and thus better at holding far away objectives or sticking around. Also, Troops.
    • DS8 Tactical Support Turret: Same as the Strike team version. Most likely an extremely bad investment as the unit will likely either be constantly moving, or die shortly after placing it.
    • MV36 Guardian Drone: Gives any Breacher team units in range an invulnerable save, and an inferior one to any nearby Strike Teams. While cheap for what you get it's still a questionable investment, as your opponent is unlikely to shoot the Breachers with anything stronger than a Heavy Bolter and will just murder them with small arms and high volume/low AP weapons instead. Also a free kill point if you already take Darkstrider and a Devilfish.
    • If you don't want to shell out for a Devilfish, Breachers make a good defence unit for your gunline. Place them in cover where they can't be charged themselves, but still close enough that they can Overwatch any charges on your Strike Teams from short range. Relive the glory days of playing Empire in Warhammer Fantasy.
  • Kroot Carnivores: Slightly cheaper bubblewrap than Fire Warriors, their 7" movement and initial infiltrate might allow them to be more usefully positioned to protect more valuable units. Not very good at either shooting or close combat, but what really kills them is their crappy morale (they are half as hard to kill as GUARDSMEN, yet are more expensive, and if you lose 5 of them, then you will lose another 1-5 Kroot on a 2+ without your opponent ever having to lift a finger, defeating their purpose as cheap spam), especially if they are only 2/7 cheaper than a much, MUCH harder to kill Fire Warrior who handily outshoots them and has much better morale, while you can get three Kroot Hounds for every 2 Carnivores, which only have slightly worse morale but are much, much better at actually getting into combat, killing things in melee, and are massively easier to spam as chaff and cannon fodder. That Kroot Shapers are a terrible choice themselves that utterly fail to address the morale issue doesn't help, and getting an Ethereal just for babysitting Carnivores is a waste of points that yet again goes against the only reason why you would use them over Strike Teams or Breachers in the first place.
    • TL;DR Look to their devolved hound kin, for a cheaper and much better option.
    • HOLD THE PHONE These are far from a bad option, 6 pts per model, coming in squads of 10, sure they don't have the armor or firepower of fire warriors, but they can be fielded en masse, and they benefit from an ethereal's Invocation of Elements and Failure is not an Option, as well as markerlights. Compare them to Chaos Cultists, at 5/4 pts per model in the index/codex; the Kroot get a Bolter, 3+ melee, and Str 4 Melee and a 7 inch scout and +1 movement, not including all the synergy options, for a 1-2 point increase in cost. Put them next to an Ethereal and use either Sense of Stone or Calm of Tides to decrease casualties, and then use the ethereal's Leadership of 9 to reduce casualties taken. Stick to cover so you get a .45% chance of saving versus AP -, effectively giving you a 4+. Add the Shaper in and you get a bit of a bonus to wound, and a small-moderate chance of ignoring leadership. For 196 points you get 26 attacks, rerolling to wound, 29 wounds for the enemy to go through, and a handful of what Tau Lack: Cheap Melee units that can actually land hits. Also you actually have a chance of wounding T6/7 models, which kroot hounds have no chance of doing with Str 3. Remember Tau Players: Synergy is How your Army runs, Never Judge a Unit by What it has, Instead, Determine what it COULD Have
      • Well... This combination sounds much better on paper than it actually is. For starters, you're paying 6 points per model for a unit that has abysmal morale and durability, meaning these squads can be taken down by a single well placed Lasgun volley. The Ethereal helps things a tiny bit, but each Sense of Stone roll is only a 1/6 chance, the morale buff will only take you so far with squads that large, and when they eventually fall your Ethereal will be left vulnerable. The 3+ to hit in melee and 4 effective strength aren't going to help you much when each Kroot can only attack once each. 196 points for 26 attacks is a tremendous waste of points, when you could field 2 fully loaded Drone Squads for much cheaper. And yes, you can hypothetically wound T6-T7 units, but that's a 1/3 chance. Mathhammer wise you're going to wound 6.22 times with each attack from a fully loaded squad (Assuming you haven't lost any units before they get into range, which is unlikely thanks to your low durability) and that's before armor saves (Which something of that toughness is likely to have in spades). The Kroot Shaper is not going to give you much better results, rerollable 1's to wound isn't going to help too much when the threshold of failure is as high as it is, half your failed wound rolls are likely to be 2's against Guardsmen and the threshold just continues to increase with toughness. Plus the odds of actually killing anything short of Guardsmen with the Ritual blade are laughable with only 3 attacks St3 and NO AP. Even against GEQs this is a bit of a gamble as Mathhammer dictates you will hit only twice, wound only once and they still have a chance to save it. Oh and the icing on the cake is that even if you play Farsight Enclaves and place the eponymous commander into melee with them, his buff to melee attacks doesn't effect the Kroot as they can't carry the Farsight Enclaves keyword. Don't kid yourself, at best this combination is damage control and at worst it is a points sink. About the only saving grace for the Kroot right now is that you can still do the infamous Kroot Konga Line strategy with them, but that's only going to get you so far.
        • You can throw 3+ MSU of Kroot with a single shaper and ethereal to back them up (whose price is much less of a problem when the benefit is being split among 30+ models!) and now, with the Codex, you'll be able to afford a gunline worth putting them in front of. To top it off, if you keep them with 6" of some T'au sept units, then charging the kroot will basically be suicide, as all the friends of the kroot will be able to aid them in overwatch in which they will be hitting on a 5+ (imagine doing that with 3 broadsides and some heavily boosted Fire Warriors)! A screening unit which can actually stand a chance in melee of fighting back and can threaten charges of their own while filling 3+ troops slots for a batallion in front of a post-codex gunline is going to have your opponent thinking second thoughts about their plans to 'just charge the Tau'.
          • The comparison with Cultists is also lacking since Cultists have awesome Stratagems and psychic buffs as support (+1 to wound, +1 to hit, shooting twice, re-deploy at full strength), benefit from different Legion specific rules (-1 to-hit at >12" anyone? Immune to morale near a IW Warlord maybe? Getting turned into Poxwalker?) and also don't have to compete with another almost as cheap Infantry unit (Chaos Marines are quite a bit more expensive than Strike Teams). If anything Cultists offer way more synergies for a CSM army than Kroot do for a T'au Empire army.

Dedicated Transport[edit]

  • TY7 Devilfish: Fish of Fury returns! Just kidding. Over-costed for what it provides, but only if you fail to use the benefits they gain from being fast moving vehicles with FLY: They can mercilessly charge enemy units, tie them down and force them to waste turns not using their dakka or slowly killing that fish instead of getting closer and killing the backfield targets that they actually want to murder. If they don't want that then your opponent will either be forced to fall-back, which for most units means not being able to do anything at all for an entire turn, or if the enemy unit stays in combat you can simply fall-back without penalty thanks to FLY and blast the stranded assault unit with your de-facto burst-cannon drones and the rest of your army, and ideally the Breachers you just unloaded. Also can fly over enemy units and snipe support characters behind them or tie down backline support units with strong firepower. Having an aggressive unit to tie down and disrupt enemy melee units is BIG for a shooty army such as T'au. Benefits from the same durability increase all vehicles received, however can still be relatively easily popped on the first turn, though much less so than a Rhino or even Chimera thanks to the rather generous amount of wounds you have (12 instead of 10). Cannot transport Kroot or Vespid, so ideally put Breachers into them. Thanks to the 12 seats you can toss in Darkstrider or accompanying drones as well. Devilfish are flexible but still quite pricy, so keep them as cheap as possible, save the upgrades for actual tanks such a Longstrike or Hammerheads.
    • Remember that you can detach the gun drones if you use the Devilfish for late game objective grabbing, which increases the number of models holding it from 1 to 3 and makes it much harder for the other player to contest it. Keep the drones attached otherwise as you can't re-attach them and the Devilfish gets to shoot their guns at BS 4+ and ignores the 'only allowed to shoot the closest target' rule, effectively turning them into Burst cannons.
    • If you put a recon drone in it, the 'Fish's weapons ignore cover bonuses, though the question is why you should or would ever do that in the first place.
      • Hmm... good question. Maybe something about transporting Pathfinder squads in it?
        • A squad of pathfinders with ion or rail rifles can be accompanied by a squad of THREE drones in a devilfish which is already holding a MSU of breachers (that is, you can fit 13 models including the recon drone, 2 other drones, 5 breachers, 3 special rifles, and 2 dudes with markerlights for a theoretically effective filling).



  • Kroot Shaper: Leadership buff to all friendly Kroot units within 6", and should he actually manage to kill someone with his fancy bit of cutlery, no friendly KROOT units within 6" have to test morale, which would be amazing, if he wasn't still just a Kroot. More usefully, he also allows them to re-roll wound rolls of 1. Would be great for Kroot hounds, if he could just keep up. Stick him with any Krootox, if you take them (the Shaper himself can't ride one). Given his general lackluster melee ability, and special rule on the blade, you probably always want to upgrade his rifle, since it is free.
    • This actually makes your bubblewrap a lot more durable if you can get it to work. Tarpits that are immune to morale damage last a lot longer.
      • Given the chances of it actually activating against most units, which is almost never, you would be better served by just running your tarpits as MSU, to minimize morale losses.
  • Krootox Riders: One pseudo-Autocannon each (D1d3 rather than D2, and usable on the move thanks to Rapid Fire 1 instead of Heavy 2). Not really any different from before, but they did gain a bonus on the Advance, which they can't synergize with - they can't shoot or charge after Advancing. A relatively cheap unit, suffering from an identity crisis. It has a good gun at mediocre BS, and a decent WS but low armor and toughness, with poor AP but multiple damage on its attacks. Will be decent against low model count, weak armor, high toughness, multiple wound units. Maybe something from Orks or Demon infantry? Cheap enough that you could throw a couple in your army, if you weren't sure specifically what hole you wanted to fill, and still be reasonably effective. If you know what you need though, better off grabbing Kroot Hounds for melee, or any of our other units for shooting. The biggest benefit is that you can field them one model at a time for complete morale immunity.


  • XV25 Stealth Battlesuits: Stealth rules now apply a -1 to hit modifier to any units attacking (i.e. shooting AND close combat) the Stealth Suits. They are dramatically tougher than in previous editions, having gone up to T4 and W2, while actually decreasing in price. Also they have the INFANTRY keyword, unlike any other battlesuit units - this makes them vulnerable to some anti-infantry weapons they otherwise wouldn't be, but also allows them to more easily make use of cover to get a 2+ save on top of their Camouflage Field. Can take 2 tactical drones per unit. With the change to cover saves, people will actually now shoot at Stealth teams where previously it was largely wasted ammo as they routinely got a 2++ in cover. In 8th edition, you *may* be able to get that 2+ cover, but with defensive stats of a primaris marine don't think for a second the -1 to hit will deter anyone from shooting at them. Take large squads and hope something looks scarier.
    • Each unit can take a Homing Beacon, which can allow other Manta Strike units to land closer than >9" to an enemy model. This is only really useful for deep striking models that actually benefit from being closer than >9" to the target - so Flamers, dropping Farsight into easy Charge range, or going for risky melta shots with Fusion Guns.
    • Stealth suits are in the enviable position of being able to take battlesuit support systems without actually needing them to be efficient. A drone controller on one model is a great choice if you're planning to run a swarm of gun drones. A shield generator is relatively cheap and gives the unit a 50/50 chance of ignoring any rogue heavy weapon hits, such as from lascannons. A velocity tracker is a must if you're expecting multiple enemy flyers - it costs only 2 points and gives the model +1 to hit against units with the FLY keyword. Otherwise, an ATS can give your burst cannon suits better armour penetration (but makes them a bit more expensive).
    • Remember that a -1 to hit modifier is substantially better than +1 toughness now; these guys are remarkably good at surviving an incoming charge and then simply flying away to shoot back, even without any durability support systems added.
  • XV8 Crisis Battlesuits: The new limits on Commanders are likely to return the Crisis Battlesuits to their former glory now that their chief competition can't be spammed. They're still capable of deep strike through a Manta Strike, especially with a homing beacon which can bring them within 9". Their relative price has increased so much that for roughly the same cost of 3 Crisis Battlesuits you can take 2 Commanders, but the Commanders improved ballistic skill means they're so much more effective in offense. Crisis teams were always intended to be the surgical strike of the Tau military, deployed to counter the elite amongst the enemy. With their points hiked to unbelievable new heights, it's highly likely the units you fire at cost 1/2 what you do, and even if you are able to drop in with impunity thanks to 8th edition removal of scattering, you will very likely fail to eliminate your target due to the overall abysmal performance of Tau shooting as it currently stands with the index stats. In the vast majority of situations, your alpha strike or counter drop will fail and your expensive, probably isolated suit teams will vanish in a hail of return fire or get shredded by even mediocre combat capable units shortly after. Without ballooning your suit teams out to absurdly expensive monstrosities, they will never earn their points back fielded as intended. The only weapon they're more cost effective than a Commander is Flamers, as they are not affected by their questionable BS4 shooting skills. However, burst cannons on a Commander are still superior, due to the longer range and similar damage. Can take 2 tactical drones per model.
    • Currently the only thing crisis suits do better than equivalent value of commanders is flamers, and deployment turns/detachment slots. Note that Crisis Battlesuits still perform around or above average for what they're built for when compared to other armies options, however Commanders will simply perform better at the same price point.
      • Also, you can take a load of these guys in a Battalion without having to take additional HQ Detachments to fit 3+ Commanders in.
        • Actually, they do have a very potent use in the game, just not what people would immediately think. As stated earlier you can take 2 drones per Model, not unit, MODEL. A full unit of 9 can field 18 gun drones. Subtract one weapon from the team and slap a drone controller on them and you have 72 strength 5 shots hitting on 4's. Thanks to Manta Strike, you can place these right where you need them. But for added fun throw a Cadre Fireblade into the the mix and bring those shots up to 108. This will likely prompt your opponent into attacking the drones, which will let your Crisis suits pick off the survivors. Gundam fans rejoice, you now have your funnel spam!
          • 4 XV8's with 2x Plasma Rifles and Shield Generators (18 shots and 4++, 12 Wounds) are roughly the same price as a Riptide with Ion Accelerator (D6 shots and 5++, 14 Wounds) for slightly more durable, but fewer wounds and arguably more firepower without a degrading profile. Is that a tactical choice I smell among this fishy codex?
            • Also don't forget about the FSE Stratagem. A unit of Crisis Suits equipped with 3 CIBs each supported by a minor application of Markerlights and using the Stratagem will on average kill Mortarion for the same amount of points. Which means they drop in, kill something big&scary to get their points back and then they're still around to do the same thing again next round just slightly worse due no +1 to-hit Stratagem anymore. With a bunch of Shield Drones around they're also quite durable. Alternatively you split their shooting to wipe out multiple other units. Since the Stratagem applies to the whole unit it's not even a bad idea to use one big Crisis bomb instead of 2-3 min-size units. That's right, that's the Crisis bomb back in action. It doesn't even have to be within 6" to trigger that lame FSE Sept Tenet.
  • XV8 Crisis Bodyguards: More expensive versions of a vanilla Crisis Battlesuit, with the added ability to maybe take wounds for your CHARACTERS (including Longstrike, which is pretty baller). For the same price as a single Crisis Bodyguard you can take nearly 6 Gun Drones which have double the wounds, intercept the wound on a 2+, and mitigate multi-damage weapons more effectively. The difference is, Bodyguards can absorb shots for any <SEPT> CHARACTER instead of only INFANTRY and BATTLESUITs, the disjoint of which only Longstrike belongs to.
    • Can be combined with the FNP Warlord trait, Stimulant Injectors (on the warlord and bodyguards), and an Ethereal, to get 5 chances to ignore each wound thrown at your Warlord. Assuming they don't just ignore your Warlord at that point..
    • Noteworthy: the mechanics of wound redistribution is different. The drone gets allocated a wound, that might be 1d6 damage, while bodyguard is triggered upon losing a wound, in other words after your commander or ethereal was allocated a wound on, failed his save, got damage multiplication, failed each and every FnP roll, like Stimulant, Sense of stone, warlord trait etc, and lost a wound. At that very moment your Bodyguard screams MASTER! and intercepts that 1 lost wound, getting a mortal wound, which he tries to save using sense of stone and stimulant.
  • XV95 Ghostkeel Battlesuit: Not as heavily armored as the Riptide, but with two different systems (its onboard countermeasures and its stealth drones) that give opponents -1 to hit it (for a cumulative -2). It might actually be more survivable against heavy weapons, but it needs cover badly and fears close combat. Got a bit buffed in the codex, but it is still hard to justify its huge cost and shitty BS.
    • Now that re-rolls occur before modifiers, the Ghostkeel is actually more effective versus overcharge weaponry. Oh, you want your +1s and extra damage? Enjoy exploding on a 1, 2, or 3 now!
    • MV5 Stealth Drones: Lowers the to-hit rolls when anyone shoots at these drones or a Ghostkeel within 3". Try to keep them out of line of sight, so they can't be picked off. Remember, they are a separate unit from the Ghostkeel now, after deploying.
  • XV104 Riptide Battlesuit: The Codex has salvaged the Riptide, bringing it back up to something closer to its original threat level. Nova Reactor still confers an automatic mortal wound at the end of the turn, but it now has some much more useful effects (a 3++ invulnerable save, move 2d6 in the Charge phase even if you don't declare a charge, or improve the Heavy Burst Cannon and Ion Accelerator to Heavy 18 and Heavy 6, respectively). The mortal wound thing still sucks, but there's now a cheap Stratagem that lets you get two effects at once and another one that can heal the wounds you recieve. Also don't forget that Sense of Stone gives you that 16% chance to not get DERP'd by reactor. Additionally, all of its weapon options have grown significantly stronger (and if rumors are correct, cheaper as well); as they are all Heavy, the Bork'an Tenet is a good fit for the Riptide.
    • The Heavy Burst Cannon is now Heavy 12 S6 AP-1 2 D, making it much better at wiping out two-wound infantry and gives it a secondary role of killing light vehicles with its sheer number of shots.
    • The Ion Accelerator has had its shot number in standard mode boosted by 0.5 average to Heavy d6 (from Heavy 3) and now boasts S8 and D3 damage, making it more effective without overcharging. On that note, the overcharge mode is also buffed to S9 and 3 damage, allowing it to be used against vehicles better.
    • MV84 Shielded Missile Drone: A missile pod, with an invuln save, for slightly more points than a missile pod. For some reason, it has a better invulnerable save than the Riptide. Also a separate unit from the Riptide, after deployment. So you can have these bugger off to support another unit now. Still kind of expensive given the drone's low BS unless you have both controller and marksman nearby.
  • Firesight Marksman: Because he's a special snowflake his Stealth Field works differently from everyone else's, and he gains +2 to his saves for being in cover, rather than imposing a -1 to-hit on any shooting attacks made against him - if your opponent is allowed to shoot him at all, as he is a character and even a single model in between him and the shooter prevents him from being targeted. Slightly better BS than normal, and has a Markerlight. Unfortunately, he is 3x the cost of a Pathfinder for the privilege, though he is much, much harder to kill and ideal to start markerlight chains together with Fireblades (allowing any subsequent markerlight shots against the target to re-roll 1s to hit as well). So ironically enough you should never take him for controlling sniper drones, as those are extremely overpriced and not worth taking, but take him as hard to kill markerlight tosser that is likely to stay alive long after your regular pathfinders have been shot to pieces. Also besties with missile and gun drones (sadly, now horribly overpriced gun drones)
    • tl'dr: He is too expensive to replace Pathfinders but good choice to take in addition and provide contingency markerlights for the much needed re-rolls.
      • Actually he works perfectly fine as a Pathfinder replacement since you usually only want to go for the re-roll 1s bonus anyway and if you want more you chain multiple Marksmen and the Uplink Markerlight Stratagem to get to the 5+. However since you can have only one Commander per Detachment now and the only real other option is the Fireblade it's to be argued whether the Marksmen is still needed with more Fireblades around.
      • Fucking hell, he's not supposed to replace Pathfinders point for point, the Marksman, as the name suggests, is there to make any nearby Sniper Drones 16% more effective by giving them +1 to hit. As this is from the Drone Uplink ability and no longer via a Drone Controller the two effects stack; if you park, say, a XV88 Broadside with a drone controller nearby (not a stretch given they're both fire support units wanting a good vantage point) then the Sniper Drones hit on a 3+ way out to hassle Characters up to 48" away. HOW TERRIBLE.
        • Considering sniper drones are still significantly overcosted for what they do even with a 3+ before you even factor in the tax of having to take a Firesight Marksman and a suit with a drone controller that has to sit back with them, yes, this is still terrible. The codex buff changed them from god awful to just awful.
        • Sniper drones are neat with the Bork'an trait and PA drone. 60" range, rapid fire, with a nearby marksmen means a squad of 6 pumps out 12 pulse shots hitting on 3's that cause mortal wounds of 6's to wound all for around 100pts.
          • Sniper drones don't get buffed by the Pulse Accelerator Drone. 54" range is already more than enough anyway for Bork'an. Also more like 130p and that's without including a random Battlesuit with Drone Controller. Also also that's on average 1 Mortal wound and 5 AP0 wounds. Sniper without AP like the Skitarii ones are still pretty bad.

Forge World[edit]

  • DX-4 Technical Drones (Forge World): Same stat profile as a Tactical Drone, with an 8", Assault 1, S5 shot. Once per shooting phase the unit can choose to either attempt to repair D3 wounds on a single BATTLESUIT model within 3", or select an enemy unit within 12" to not receive cover saves until your next turn. Adding additional drones gives no benefit towards number of attempts or the success chances of any repairs. Expect these guys to draw a colossal amount of fire, and probably die immediately as a result. Make sure to hide them out of sight behind buildings if you want them to live long enough to actually fix something.
    • RAW, you can use the ability in every player's shooting phase, not just your own.
    • Can currently heal the Ta'unar, as it has the BATTLESUIT keyword for some reason.
    • The minimum unit size for these guys is 2, and there's no restriction on stacking their Repair ability unlike almost every other heal/repair skill in the game. If you've got any elite slots spare, you can fill up all of them with pairs of these for just 32pts. Fielding units with a size greater than 2 is only a disadvantage (due to morale losses, vulnerability to higher rate of fire weapons, and because multiple drones in the same unit can only use their repair/survey ability once between them), so only take that choice if you're in desperate need of both durability for the Technical Drones unit and Elites slots. Otherwise you're much better off taking as many separate pairs of these as you can. One could even go so far as to split off one of your Commanders and 3-6 pairs of these little guys into their own Vanguard Detachment, for an extra Command Point along with your 3-6 repairs per turn that you can scatter around your army. You'll be taking a lot of Commanders anyway, so finding one spare to do this shouldn't be too hard for you.
  • XV9 Hazard Support Team (Forge World): A Crisis Battlesuit that gets a variety of advanced weapon choices. 50% more expensive than a Crisis Suit before weapons, for the privilege. Can take two in any combination of: Double-barrelled Burst Cannon (which is two Burst Cannons at 80% the price), Phased Ion Gun (roughly a 20% more expensive Burst Cannon but with slightly lower strength and better AP), Fusion Cascade (basically 2 Fusion Blasters at 83% the price, but they drop down to standard melta range), or Pulse Submunitions Rifle (not worth discussing - much worse than the Burst option). Also has Photon Casters to lower the range of any charging unit. At a glance, seems to be most cost effective if you need a single suit to perform a task. Past that it may be more effective / reliable to look towards normal Crisis suits.
    • RAW, you do not have to pay for the single support system choice the suit can take, as you are taking its ability, not an item.
    • A 2xDBBC+ATS w/4 Gun Drones will average you the same number of wounds as a 3xBC+ATS w/2 Gun Drones Commander, while being a few points cheaper and a little less durable. Finally an actual tactical choice!
      • Compared to XV-8s, these are slighter better in cost, durability, and dakka output when comparing only burst cannon setups. When considering other weapons, XV-8s may have more worth. XV-8s can bring more drones off course. Photon casters, 'free' support system, and slightly better cost efficiency are the main selling points

Fast Attack[edit]


  • Kroot Hounds: Cheap bubblewrap at 4 points each (minimum 16 per unit) for more valuable units. Note they have two attacks in close combat and can re-roll charges if the charged unit got wounded this turn. Try to stick to MSU if you can, to circumvent their low morale of 5.
    • 48 points gets you three squads and the meat of an outrider detachment. Add in your preferred flavor of commander, and you will barely break 200 points. Do this ten times for about 100 hounds and 10 commanders and 10 command points. Very good... very good. Or, assuming you're playing at a saner points limit, and hence a saner detachment limit, you can still use them to squeak an extra Commander in, or to cover the Fast Attack portion of a brigade.
  • Knarloc Riders (Open and Narrative Play only):


  • Pathfinders: Now cost considerably less than what they used to, you're going be getting a lot more use out of these guys. Not only are they a cheap source of Markerlights, their special weapons are actually great now, with the Ion Rifle being very cost-efficient (and almost impossible to overheat, with a single Markerlight hit on your target granting re-rolls on 1s) and the Rail Rifle packing a real punch. These will profit from their own unit's Markerlights, but you can also shoot them at another target if you so desire. Also, their armor now actually works against small arms fire, despite their lack of even one manly pauldron, so they won't instantly melt when caught out of cover. Markerlights are still Heavy weapons, so movement remains a concern. They also have Photon Grenades that do no damage, but any Hit INFANTRY unit suffers a -1 To Hit until the end of turn. Toss one during Overwatch and hope you get lucky.
    • MV31 Pulse Accelerator Drone: Increases the max range of your pulse rifle/carbine/pistols. No longer attached to the Pathfinder squad, so you can take and then leave behind with your gunline. Can take 2 per unit, and an auto include if you are running a gunline. Only affects INFANTRY, so won't help gun drones.
      • Has some nice synergy with your Fire Warriors. It's possible to move a Pulse Accelerator Drone to a Strike team now - a basic Troop unit with Rapid Fire at 36" (42" with Bork'an) is unmatched by even the NuMarines.
        • Consider throwing in a Recon drone as it forms one unit with the PA-drones and provides cheap ablative wounds for the vital buff for your Fire Warriors, as they can easily be singled out otherwise.
    • MV33 Grav-inhibitor Drone: Makes it more difficult to charge your guys. Cheap, but random effectiveness and competes with slots with the Pulse Accelerator drone. They can also just shoot the drone before the charge phase, so hide it behind terrain (which is highly effective as the charge hindering effect still works even behind LoS blocking terrain) or throw in a recon drone for cheap ablative wounds.
      • It goes without saying that a 1d3 reduction to charge range is massive when it comes to preventing first turn charges, which several armies such as Tyranids can effectively spam and many scout move units can pull off as well, as they often have to be placed more than 9" away from you and results in a high likelihood of the charge failing, which becomes almost certainty with a grav-inhibitor drone.
    • MB3 Recon Drone: A burst cannon on a drone chassis, that lets nearby Pathfinders ignore cover saves, for slightly more points than a burst cannon. If you have any rail rifle or ion gun pathfinders, keep this near them. Doesn't suffer the targeting limitations of gun drones. Consider taking it if you have the points. Does not conflict with the other two drones slots and has two wounds while costing 4 points less than two regular drones with the same toughness and number of wounds, so great for adding extra ablative wounds to the strong but squishy grav-inhibitor and PA-drones which form a unit with the recon drone after deployment.
    • The datasheet indicates the unit can take two tactical drones along with the three special drones; remember that in case you want more ablative wounds on your buffs. You can have up to five drones in that unit:two tactical, two in any combination of grav/PAC, and one recon.
  • TX4 Piranhas: Zippy, decently priced, can be armed for anti infantry or vehicle, and the drones use the model's BS while attached. Fills the same harassment role it always has, but is no longer the essentially "free drones" platform it was in 7th. Basically shoves a 3 man stealth suit team, into a vehicle chassis for increased movement at lowered durability, at a lower cost.
    • Don't be fooled - a fusion blaster may seem like a good idea, but the lack of Vehicle Facing now means you don't need your anti-armour to be mobile, and you're paying 66 points for one shot that hits on a 4+ at best. You're Tau - you have better Anti-tank than this...
      • Mobile anti-tank is still a good thing tho and you don't pay all those points just for the Fusion Blaster since 24p of that are still for the two Gun drones that hit on 4+. Also if you decide to use the Sa'cea Sept Tenet you can re-roll the hit roll for the Fusion Blaster every turn which makes it pretty reliable even without any Markerlights.
    • The purpose of a Piranha is to be a harasser. The Piranha is essentially the Tau's cheaper landspeeder. You've woefully ignored the Piranha's gun-drones, its two seeker missiles (You've probably totally disregarded the value of seeker missiles as well), it's 16" movement speed, it's 6 wounds per unit (And under 10 wounds, thus never losing effectiveness), as well as the Piranha's low cost which allows for taking multiple Piranha units. This last point is important for multiple reasons. Namely board control, and the Piranha's ability to secure multiple objective's via more units with very high movement speed. More unit's also forces the enemy to invest more shots from their bigger guns into multiple Piranha targets over multiple rounds in order to eat through the 18 wounds for 3 Piranha's vs. only 6 wounds for 1 Commander (Both have T5 BTW). On average your opponent needs 3 Lascannon hits to take a piranha. (Make sure you have more then one tank otherwise all the Lascannon will be facing your piranha) Not to mention the fact that your Piranha's will be spread out. It's easy for your enemy to line up 1 target to fire upon. It's very unlikely they'll be in the position to acquire line of sight for 3 different targets. And even if they can, they certainly wont be able to do so with only one unit. Only the ignorant should label the Piranha as ineffective. There is much more to 8th edition than just how many Dakka your units can spam.
    • This also makes them, much like Vespids, good for rapid response to the backfield. While none of their weapons (except Seeker Missiles) are particularly long-ranged, their movement speed makes up for this, and they can dart from supporting a Gun-line to taking out the assassin units that have been dropped in on your backfield, or at least tying them up for enough time to high-tail a Commander out of immediate danger. The trick is that if a piranha is sitting still, it is not doing the job it is designed for. Keep in mind for most models even marines punching a T5 sv3+ model to death is hard it has fly so charge when you can and retreat and shoot the turn after.
  • Tactical Drones: Note this is also the datacard used for all other drones that deploy with, and then separate from, other T'au units. All drones can be allocated wounds that would otherwise hit any INFANTRY or BATTLESUIT within 3" thanks to Saviour Protocols. Note they cannot soak wounds for vehicles, even if they come with drones.
    • MV1 Gun Drones: At 12 points, this is the T'au Empire's somewhat more efficient source of dakka after the change to twin-linked. These synergize extremely well with a drone controller and Cadre Fireblade, resulting in 6 shots at 9" at BS4. Even with the reduced ballistics skill compared to Fire Warriors and Pathfinders, they still do more wounds per point to most targets, with the only real disadvantage being they're dumb as a bag of rocks, and can only fire at the closest enemy unit.
      • PAC drones only affect infantry, which drones are not.
    • MV4 Shield Drones: A wound soaking invuln save with a 5+ FNP thanks to the new FAQ, better than before for the same low cost. Moving on.
    • MV7 Marker Drones: A bit more expensive than a Pathfinder, with a worse BS, but no penalty for moving and firing. Does not suffer the aiming restriction of the gun drones.
      • Basically requires a drone-controller to be effective, which puts into question why you wouldn't just take cheaper pathfinders for markerlight duty and gun drones which massively benefit from drone controllers, resulting in disgusting amounts of firepower if you spam them.
        • Above note is correct; since Pathfinders after moving only have their BS reduced to Marker Drone level BS, while still costing 2 points less, you're just always better off using Pathfinders for Markerlight support.


  • Vespid Stingwings: Miracle of miracles, they actually don't bite for the first time since they were introduced. You'll have to find a new butt for all the "canonical bad unit" jokes (see: Crisis Battlesuits). They're cheap and they chug out a fair volume of S5 AP-2 shots, and they move like greased lightning.
    • These crazy bugs will become ld 5 if the strain leader is slain, so don't be stupid
    • Everyone remembers these things as crap... use that to your advantage; they are moderately priced, at 15 points a model, so don't assume you can lose a few and not sweat it, but they are fast as hell with a 14" movement speed. Hunt the right targets (any other light or medium infantry, don't go near a 2+ save) and you can quickly remove small pockets of resistance
    • They can also deep strike, like god damn flys on shit! jokes aside they are really good at killing other harassing units or screening units. Use them to take care of the random supporting units or anything that try to buff your enemy.
    • These guys are REALLY good at robbing objectives thanks to their speed, deep strike, moderate durability, and dakka.

Forge World[edit]

  • Tetra Scout Speeder Team (Forge World): Has a High Intensity Markerlight, that grants 3 Markerlight counters on a hit. Still suffers a -1 to hit when it moves. As is, faster but less efficient Markerlight application than Pathfinders.
    • Odd rules choice, as you want 3 Markerlight tokens already on the target, to fire without penalty. Which then wastes a Markerlight token by taking you to 6. Should have been 2 MLs from the HIM, and then a secondary Markerlight weapon.
  • TX-42 Piranha Light Skimmer (Forge World): Comes with your choice of two of: Fusion Blasters, Missile Pods, Plasma Rifles, or Rail Rifles. The guns are quasi-twin-linked, forcing you to fire them both at the same target. Due to the cost of the unit, at first glance the best option seems to be the Rail Rifles, giving you a 16" movement and 30" range, with two Rapid Fire 2, S6 AP-4 D1d3 guns that deal a mortal wound on a wound roll of 6+. Yet another unit that is a better sniper than our Sniper Drones!
  • XV109 Y'vahra Battlesuit (Forge World): The Nova Reactor nerf the Riptide got still applies, but at least it doesn't have the same competition in the Elites slot as the Riptide. Still, don't take it unless you enjoy running the risk of having your expensive Battlesuit play a rousing game of "Quit hitting yourself". Also per FAQ it can take one of the rare magical Shield Drones in the army that can survive Saviour Protocols (in 1/3 cases). Escape Thrust allows it to remove itself from the battlefield and enter reserves at the start of you Movement phase, re-deploying anywhere more than 9" from an enemy at the end of your next Movement phase (so it misses an entire turn and one extra phase of movement). Give it ATS and target lock/stimulant injector and go to town on any unit in the game. Infantry? 2d6 S6 Ap-2 (-3 with ATS) DAMAGE 3!! FUCK THOSE TERMINATORS AND THOSE CENTURIONS!! flamer that can overcharge to 3d6, which lasts into your opponents phase, 3d6 overwatch will fuck anything that's T6 or less, and will still threaten heavier units. Monsters/vehicles? Heavy 3 S8 Ap-3 D1 isn't the most glamorous thing but this is where nova reactor gets the most value. Heavy 3d3 S10 Ap-3 (-4 with ATS) D3 with mortal wounds on a 6 to wound will average 6 shots and will fuck up something badly. This is the Riptide variant with the best reactor buffs for guns, you already get a 4++ from 12" or less/melee so that reactor for 3++ in melee is pretty shit and the escape thrust isn't worth it since you have 18" movement and fly, so basically it's a choice of rape small targets or rape large targets. Dump this and keep in supporting fire range of stealthsuits/ghostkeels or give it a coldstar (Y'vahra is M18 and coldstar is M20) as a partner and enjoy your rape tier tag extra fast tag team. If you're feeling extra cunty take three and keep them in 6" range of eachother, enjoy having literally nothing less than a knight charge you and survive, as your overwatch phase becomes 6d6 to 9d6 flamers on steroids.
    • Note: While certainly powerful, Y'vahra are unfortunately a bit of a death star unit. True, it hits really hard but most savvy players will be aware of this and target it first. It's too big to hide from most unit's line of sight, and a good deal of artillery units can bypass that anyways. Toughness 7 can be overcome by a good amount of weaponry and a 5+ invuln save isn't going to help you very much. Once it's down you basically end up with a 400 odd point void in your army. Be cautious when you field this, and do your best to keep it in range of some kind of drones, or use technical drones in tandem with it. Use terrain to try and keep the LoS blocked and do try to go first. A good tactic is to use a Coldstar and declare Mont'ka to get it in range.
      • So just take two of them and laugh your way to an easy victory against all but the best of competitive players (but probably don't take 3.... ATT did some research into builds with 3 and they didn't perform too well).

Heavy Support[edit]

(Also known as Mortal Wounds Support, until all the Forge World units ruined it by not carrying railguns/missiles)

  • MV71 Sniper Drones: Their BS is terrible (helped by a Firesight Marksman, but still only 4+), but their weapons are Rapid Fire rather than Heavy, and longer ranged than a standard sniper rifle, and Strength 5. They also can't be easily shot back at unless they're within 12" (Raven Guard Chapter tactic for free). 18 (i.e. you'll need to be within 24") S5 shots that hit on 4s is very easy for most characters to ignore, since they're still only at AP0 and such a unit costs 162 points without the Marksman, and as of the Codex, they have extra mortal wounds like real snipers! They'll struggle against the defenses of targets, and other armies have better snipers. However, you don't, so it's either these or none whatsoever. As with all drones, their LD is garbage, so field them MSU style - all of the buffs they can receive are auras, anyway.
    • Note that Cadre Fireblades may or may not work on these guys - they have "Longshot pulse rifles", and the Fireblades buff "pulse rifles"; assuming the rules work like similar buffs to things like "flamer weapons" in other codices, presumably a longshot pulse rifle is a kind of pulse rifle, so the buff applies, but we'll have to wait on a FAQ for full clarity.
    • With their low BS and lack of AP, these are points ineffective at even killing an IG Psyker, one of the weakest characters. A full squad will average just over 1 Wound against a GEQ at range, and will run you over 160 points before any supporting units to increase their effectiveness.
      • Which is exactly why you pair them with a Marksman for +1 to hit, and if you're building a decent firebase, something like a Broadside with a drone controller for a cumulative +2 to hit. Still not great, but not exactly costing a bomb given their ability to hit Characters despite intervening models, which pretty much no other Tau unit can do.
      • Actually, that does cost a lot of points for what you get. A full unit of 9 Drones with a Marksman costs 187 points. With a nearby Drone Controller (not included in the cost) you'll get on average just 12 hits, 8 wounds (against T3-4) and two Mortal wounds. That's a lot of points to take out a 50p AM Psyker. Tougher characters will just shrug off those 8 AP0 wounds.

Alternative tactic MV71 Sniper drones are kind so factor involved. Get most out them need in minimal squadron better to have 3 squadrons of them of five each then having one squadron 10 make using the T'AU SEPT- Focused Fire for three command points more effective against characters even terminator character is going to have watch it back. Again first group fire with with Mont'Ka you going get 10 shots. 7 hits and 3 miss next round get another 2 hits simple re-rolling to hit. Means 9 hit target Terminator character you 3 wounds 70% chance of getting a moral wound on a target. If do get that moral wound T'AU SEPT- Focused Fire (3 CP. Now if you get same number hit target but get more moral wounds and more likley means out 9 hit their target by average 6 wound by average each squadron afterwords going get do 2 wounds. This enough simple math to kill by average a Terminator Charter. Of course going to need to use drone control and Firesight Marksman and this is going to work best in Tau gunline. Of course Firesight Marksman will be target enemy sniper along as you have just one him. 20 MV71 Sniper drones giving each one a 1+ hit. He become worth little less 7 more sniper drones . If you going use these drones you could case have up to three Firesight Marksman to make them not worth targeting.

  • TX78 Skyray Gunship: Two markerlights, six seeker missiles, same drones/burst cannons as before. Seeker missiles only hit on 6+ unless the target has 2+ Markerlight Tokens, and deliver an S8 AP-2 D1d6 hit apiece. In other words, six hunter-killer missiles.
    • The Codex is doing its best to save it. It now at least has a chance of making its points back if the dice are in your favor and you can get enough markerlights on target.
  • TX7 Hammerhead Gunship: Railguns remain awesome, only now Solid Shot can deliver D3 Mortal Wounds on a to-wound roll of 6+, making them useful against Vehicles and smaller Squads (remember Mortal Wounds always roll over within a unit - if you add 3 extra mortal wounds onto 1-wound infantry model, you'll kill three of his mates with a quadruple-collateral railgun shot; still not a good reason to shoot them at infantry but it's better than nothing if there are no other targets). Ion Cannons keep at the middle ground as usual, but now rolling a one to-hit when they're overcharged will slightly damage the Hammerhead. Try to always keep them buddied up to Longstrike, for that sweet, sweet +1 to hit (which will stop you hurting yourself with Ion Cannons).
      • Crunch-wise, Ha ammerhead-borne railgun not only "remains awesome", it is actually seriously buffed up due to new vehicles rules. It is Strength 10, that means it wounds T8 (like, say, Imperial super-heavy tanks or an Ork Stompa) or T9 (much rarer) on 3+ and T10 vehicles (the very few of them) on 4+. It also has AP-4, that ensures that the vehicles with Sv 3+ or lower (and Sv 3+ is what most tanks or even such mighty war engines like Reaver battle titans have) get NO armour save at all.
      • Actually, the Railgun is still terrible since the Hammerhead chassis costs a lot of points and the Railgun is only a single-shot weapon with slightly better stats than a Lascannon. S10 over S9 means little against almost every target you'd be shooting at and AP-4 over AP-3 is only a small buff since most vehicles have only Sv3+ and not Sv2+. There is little difference between a 6+ save and no save, but there's a big difference between a 5+ save and a 6+ save. The Mortal wounds are not reliable enough outside of Longstrike. For each of those guns you have to buy a complete Hammerhead chassis plus secondary weapons while Marines can just buy a regular Marine to carry one of those or a Predator to carry 4 of them which is obviously MUCH more cost efficiently. Currently even the HRR Broadside is a more cost efficient anti-tank option.
  • XV88 Broadside Battlesuits: Actually worth fielding againwith the Codex due to massive points drops. Rejoice! Their Heavy Rail Rifle is now awesome; even with the slightly shorter range and weaker strength, they're now firing two shots at D1d6, as well as an extra Mortal Wound from rolling a 6+ to-wound. The HRR can be exchanged for two High-Yield Missile Pods, which can allow you to do far more damage, but you trade off the HRR's save negation and potential Mortal Wound. Broadsides still have the option to take their one Seeker Missile for that nasty potshot. Can take up to 2 drones, in any combination of tactical or missile, per model, and can be fielded one model at a time, for maximum MSU commitment.
    • Another potential way to use these guys is as back row meatshields. Take two with HYMPs, Plasma, and Shield Generators, and put them behind either an Ethereal or a Fireblade you're using to buff your gunline. Any assassin or harasser unit dropped into your back lines that doesn't have a way around the character targeting restrictions is going to have to deal with these guys before they can get to the much squishier HQ they're protecting. Do note that these guys will not be able to keep up with a mobile Gun-line after several turns have passed, so this works best for the first few turns, or for protecting a static gunline on an objective.
    • MV8 Missile Drone: A mobile Missile Pod for less points than two Missile Pods. Low BS hinders it, though. As with all drones this edition, is not attached to the Broadside unit after deployment, so can be moved where it is needed (but is also independently targetable, so be wary of getting them shot).
    • Cost: One of these guys costs 60 points, before you pay for his stuff: 35-50 for the main gun and 22-30 for the auxiliary guns. To compare apples to apples as much as possible, that means a Broadside costs 146 points for a 2xHYMP, 2x smart missile systems, and a target lock (to let it have the same accuracy as a Hammerhead while the latter is moving; you haven't got a handy way to be as accurate while holding still), while a Hammerhead with an Ion Cannon and 2x smart missile systems will run you 165 while being tougher and more mobile (and more accurate while holding still). Both can be cheaper with different choices (plasma rifles and burst cannons, respectively, will bring the costs down to 113 and 151, respectively).


  • Great Knarloc (Open and Narrative Play only):

Forge World[edit]

  • Heavy Gun Drone Squadron (Forge World): Gun Drones packing double the usual firepower with two Burst Cannons for 38 points each; alternatively, you can swap one Cannon for a Markerlight to get a combination Gun and Marker drone (the downside being that they don't have a way around the -1 to hit for moving and firing a Markerlight, and that they still cost a colossal 31 points each). They can fire guns and Markerlights at the same time thanks to Automated Targeting Protocols, but if any of them do, the whole unit gets no benefit from Markerlights at all that turn. So, they're hideously expensive compared to an equal weapon loadout in standard drones, and they take up a Heavy Support slot to boot. All of those extra points buys you 3W per drone instead of 1, and removes Threat Identification Protocols, so they don't have to shoot the closest unit. If that sounds like a good deal to you, then by all means knock yourself out.
    • If you're buying these just for the guns, remember that 76 points for a minimum size unit of these with two cannons each (6 wounds, 8 shots) would have bought you nine Gun drones (9 wounds and 18 shots) or eight Gun Drones and a Shield Drone (9 wounds, sixteen shots and a 4++ until you take your first wound) with four points left over for a Kroot Hound too. The Burst Cannon/Markerlight Heavy Gun Drones are marginally more efficient, but still stupidly overpriced for what they do compared to regular drones.
    • If you're not getting it yet, these guys are an absolute dumpster fire of a unit. Avoid.
  • TX7 Heavy Bombardment Hammerhead Gunship (Forge World): Initially massively overcosted and lacking the right keywords. The new FAQ lowers the cost of the base tank down to index level (so 17 points above Codex level), and gives it the HAMMERHEAD keyword so it can be buffed by Longstrike. Unfortunately, the big seller on this is replacing the turret with a pair of high yield missile pods, whose cost is also substantially above Codex levels - 82 points for the pair, rather than the 50 the Codex would charge. The net effect is that you'd be much, much better off just taking a Broadside with the same HYMP pair and a support system that's appropriate (target lock or ATS).
  • TX7 Fire Support Hammerhead Gunship (Forge World): Initially massively overcosted and lacking the right keywords. The new FAQ lowers the cost of the base tank down to index level (so 17 points above Codex level), and gives it the HAMMERHEAD keyword so it can be buffed by Longstrike. Has a choice of three main guns: a Twin Plasma Cannon, which will behave like a badly overcosted Ion Cannon, a Twin Fusion Cannon, which will behave like a moderately overcosted Railgun, or a Twin Heavy Burst Cannon, which hasn't got a dreadful cost for its profile until you remember the 17 point surcharge you paid for the chassis. Avoid this; you're better off, depending on the profile you like, fielding more standard Hammerheads for cheaper.
  • XV107 R'Varna Battlesuit (Forge World): Heavy support version of the Riptide, a long range TEQ and light vehicle killer. Like the Broadside, it gives up FLY in exchange for its heavier weaponry and increased durability. Using the Nova Reactor is still a bad idea, so don't. Unless you're facing multiple small units in close quarters or are locked in close combat with not-so-numerous foes, in that case present them with some free mortal wounds! It might actually free you from the said close combat.
    • This beast is not cheap, but it is packing serious Meat. Exact same durability as a land raider minus 1 wound, and 5++ or a 3++ with the nova charge makes it properly durable. Its Pulse Submunitions cannons crank out 6d3 (average 12) shots a turn, all at S6 AP-2 D3. Altogether, less total dakka and maneuverability than the Y'vahra, but you gain a much tougher platform.
    • Its Nova charge can blast any enemy unit within 6" with D3 mortal wounds on a 4+ roll.


  • AX3 Razorshark Strike Fighter: Cheaper than the Sunshark but less Ion shots in 15" (Assault rather than Rapid Fire, though) and has a choice between a Burst Cannon and Missile Pod. It also loses the Pulse Bomb, Markerlight, and a potential Missile Pod. It does get +1 to hit ground targets with the Ion Turret so as long as you pick your targets properly you shouldn't blow yourself up. Could be worth it, as it is substantially cheaper than a Sun Shark.
  • AX39 Sun Shark Bomber: 8th ed bomb rules mean that after moving choose one unit this model has flown over, and roll a dice for every model(up to a maximum of ten), inflict a mortal wound on a 5+ (4+ against INFANTRY). This is a solid buff, that could be amazing against large hordes like Orks, Tyranids, or IG, simply for the number of dice rolled.
    • MV17 Interceptor Drone: Two rapid fire ~Autocannons, on a drone chassis. As long as you keep them attached to the Sun Shark, they will use its BS instead of theirs; within 15", the pair has double the firepower as the Razorshark's main gun. Overcharging them while attached will actually kill the drone itself, rather than damage the plane. So both riskier, and safer at the same time. Once they disembark, cannot be re-attached.

Forge World[edit]

  • AX-1-0 Tiger Shark (Forge World): A flyer (not a LoW which is weird)(NEW MODEL BOYS!) with a Heavy Rail Cannon (x2), an impressive Macro weapon that deals double damage to TITANIC units, along with two burst cannons that can be swapped for cyclic ion blasters and two missile pods, not to mention a battery of 6 seeker missiles to one up that pesky skyray. 3+/5++, Hard to Hit, along with T8 and 16 Wounds make it very durable, especially for a Flying unit, did we mention it has a 5+ invuln?. It should be mostly used for killing Lords of War, and secondarily for vehicles. Despite being a non-titanic flyer it has an ability to let it destroy everything without worrying about those pesky macro weapons not working. This horrendus monster will set you back 629 fully kitted and $217 (250 with the darn taxes and shipping) in real life points, ouch. Did I mention this is superior to the Barracuda in all aspects?
    • Also worth noting, it no longer has a submunitions mode, so can no longer help with hordes.
  • AX-5-2 Barracuda (Forge World): The default Heavy Burst Cannon, two Long Barrelled Burst Cannons, and two Missile Pods means it can put a lot of S5 shots out at a decent range, while still being able to injure light vehicles. Can also swap in an Ion Cannon or Swiftstrike Railgun for the HBC, or CIB for the LBBC, to improve its anti-vehicle ability. Hard to Hit, 3+/5++, and T7 make it decently durable. About twice as expensive as a Razorshark, with Heavy weapons, and without any bonus to hit still leaves us without a viable anti-Flying unit.
  • Tiger Shark Fighter Bomber (Forge World): 2 Barracuda AX-5-2 primary weapons, 2 burst cannons and 2 missile pods on a T8 chassis with 16 wounds and BS2+ for a bit over 400 points is great value. Can swap out its drone carrying ability for Heavy 2D6 S6 Ap-2 D2 which means that giving this bad boy two ion cannons can make him an ungodly rape machine against heavy infantry, or slap on 2 railguns and go to town with 4 railgun shots per shooting phase. If you're not dealing with enemy LOW this will probably be a better choice over the AX-1-0, as it can dish out more dice against a larger variety of targets. FW no longer makes the model, just grab an AX-1-0 and either proxy or convert it as needed. With BS2+ and 4 S10 (actually S8) shots this our best air superiority fighter with BS3+ (BS4+; all main weapons are Heavy type) against "hard to hit" meaning you will hit at least 2 of those railguns, add in the rest of the dakka and you deal out some serious anti-air pain with this thing while still having great anti-ground capability to boot. Take seekers and use "refuel, rearm, repair" to add 6 seekers back after you unload them for extra value, beating skyrays at their own game. If loaded up with 2 heavy burst cannons and 6 seekers, this thing can dish out 34+2d6 shots per turn, giving you on average over 40 dice to throw around raping infantry.
  • DX-6 Remora Stealth Drone Squadron (Forge World): Losing the stealth part of its namesake, only getting the generic -1 to hit for being a Flyer, and gaining Infiltrate instead. This results in a rather generic light fighter which will easily be shot down by enemy AA. The utility side has also gone as they have also lost their Markerlights. Overall a pretty weak unit that will probably get shot down before it can earn back its points and should best be avoided.
  • Orca Dropship (Forge World): Once considered so useless and over-costed that Forge World removed it from sale, the Orca makes its glorious return... remaining over-costed and pretty useless. Well, better luck next time guys.
    • Woah now, hold on. While 373 points for a (relatively) unarmed transport platform might not seem like much, everyone seems to be ignoring it's massive 65 model carry capacity. A Devilfish, which comes out at 127 points, carries 12 units. It would take SIX devilfish to haul more troops than the Orca, which would cost you 762 points. If you're hauling a massive gunline, that saves you 389 points, more than the Orca itself, which could be spent on an almost an entire spearhead division of Hammerheads, 2 fully equipped Sunshark Bombers, or plenty of other options. Not to mention, with the extra carry capacity, you can now haul fully armed Strike Team and/or Breacher Team squads in addition to their drones, commanders, and Ethereals. You could carry 4 Strike Teams (44 fire warriors and their 4 shas'ui), a full Pathfinder team for more Markerlight support, 2 Cadre Fireblades to support your Strike Teams, and Aun'Va and his Ethereal Guards. That's 132 firing their rapid fire at 18" (pulse accelerator drone), 12 Markerlight shots, and with Calm of Tides and Sense of Stone thanks to Aun'Va, making them borderline impossible to force them out. Anywhere on the battlefield by Turn 2. And thanks to those points you saved, you now have 2 decked out bombers dusting anything in the landing zone before they even get their little yellow boots on the ground, helping save them from having to enter melee with their twig arms and stick to what they do best, pulsing everything into the ground. Or if you want more reliable markerlights, switch Aun'Va for a regular Ethereal and put 2 Firesight Marksmen in there.That's going to be a very big pulse thorn in the side of anyone.

Lords of War[edit]

  • KV128 Stormsurge: In many ways, the Stormsurge is now actually a better option than the Riptide, largely because it doesn't explode as often, and costs only a tiny bit extra.
    • Pulse Blastcannon for more average wounds at a lower cost, or the Pulse Driver Cannon for a vastly increased range and points cost. Practically mandatory upgrades are trading out the Flamers for Burst Cannons and taking a shield generator and ATS to improve both durability and destructive power. Can no longer double shoot, but can improve its to hit roll by 1, by giving up the ability to move. As standard for TITANIC units, takes extra damage from some particularly massive weapons but suffers no penalty for moving and shooting and can Fall Back and still shoot. Ends up being about 30% more expensive than the Riptide, once equipped. With more Wounds, better invuln save, and more firepower. Note that it is not a BATTLESUIT, so cannot take advantage of drone sacrifices via Saviour Protocols or certain stratagems.
    • If going up against a deep strike heavy opponent, consider taking a Stormsurge with a Blastcannon, and Early Warning Override, in order to fire all the things. If going this route, the Airbursting Fragmentation Projectors can actually become a viable option, depending on how much terrain is on the board. They can admittedly just deep strike more than 12" away to bypass this, but it will still help protect against / deter turn 1 charges. For only the low cost of a single Fire Warrior in points to do it.
  • KX139 Ta'Unar Supremacy Armour (Forge World): Comes with 4 Smart Missile Systems, 4 Burst Cannons, 1 Pulse Ordnance System (that can be swapped for a Nexus Meteor Missile System or a Heavy Rail Cannon with Cluster Shells ability), and 2 Tri-Axis Ion Cannons (that can be swapped for Fusion Eradicators). T8, 30W, 3+/5++ makes it a bit more durable than a Knight. It can fire its non-Macro weaponry while in melee and it may re-roll 1s when firing the Burst Cannons and Smart Missile Systems in Overwatch. It can move through any unit without Fly or Titanic, however it cannot Fall Back and still fire that turn.
    • Has the BATTLESUIT keyword, so can be healed by Technical Drones and benefit from Saviour Protocols (don't worry, that Gun Drone can totally block a Volcano Cannon shot for you).
      • Even better, it can be buffed by an Ethereal. Bring along your holographic Aun'va and enjoy your Ta'unar that re-rolls 1's and has a 6+ FNP.
      • This makes it arguably the most durable super-heavy in the game. Sacrificing an 8-point drone will negate the sort of high-damage/high-AP wounds that pose a genuine threat, and for 32 points a pair of technical drones will heal an average of 1 wound per round, taking care of any other wounds that leak through your save (and unlike other healing abilities, this can be used multiple times on a single model each round).
    • Will run you around 1200 points for the base model. Best bet is to stick to the Tri-Axis Cannons, and either the Pulse Ordnance for sniping or the Heavy Rail for Titan hunting and charge deterrent.
      • Gets a 4+ chance to deal a Mortal Wound to any Model that ends a Charge within 3", if you take the Heavy Rail Cannon.
      • If you are Titan hunting, you can get two Tigershark AX-1-0's for the cost of one KX139, each with two Heavy Rail Cannons. Probably better to stick with the Pulse Ordinance Multi-Driver, or the Nexus Meteor Missile System if the 120" range is really important to you.
  • Manta Super-Heavy Dropship (Forge World): Sixteen Long-barrelled Burst Cannons, three Long-barrelled Ion Cannons, two Heavy Railguns, and 10 Seeker Missiles; means the Manta spews out an un-godly number of shots a turn. Capable of removing multiple infantry squads and a few vehicles every turn, the Manta isn’t just a transport vehicle but also an insanely powerful attack craft. Not only is it powerful but it’s also durable, coming in at T8 with 60 wounds and a 3+ save and 4+ invuln, and as it is a Flyer it also imposes -1 to hit on shooting and on top of that you have to subtract 12″ from your range. It has a truly colossal transport capacity of 200 +8 BATTLESUITS and 4 VEHICLES (who have their own separate transport capacity). This may lead you to believe that the Manta will be a slow lumbering beast, but with a movement range of 20″-60″ for the first 30 Wounds, this is far from the case. But there are some downsides: First is the points cost, 2K will get you the manta but you will need that again to fill it; second is 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). Still, on the bright side humans are born with two kidneys, and you only need one.


  • Tidewall General Info: Gives your embarked unit/characters a Wounds buffer and higher Toughness, which also doesn't affect their morale when lost. At the cost of not being able to fire Overwatch (even with For the Greater Good), Advance, and use abilities of any kind (including auras). There's also nothing to mitigate the penalty for firing Heavy weapons after the platform moves. If the platform gets Charged, however, you can (unless the platform is completely surrounded leaving you no room to do so) disembark the unit inside out of the back, leaving them able to shoot at something else while the enemy is tarpitted by the platform. Remember that these fortifications can hold any combination of Infantry Characters and one Infantry unit. In the previous example, you can have the unit disembark then fall back with the fortification using the character left inside to let the unit that was previously inside unload on the unit, great tactic for Breacher squads who use this tactic with Devilfish.
    • Tidewall Droneport: You can take 4 Tactical Drones with it, and use the embarked unit's BS for firing. Best use seems to be one with 4 Markerlight Drones, and throw a Darkstrider into it, to have them all shooting at BS2+. Probably our most reliable way to get 1 Markerlight token on a few units, for the re-rolls. Although you give up access to his two abilities for the boost.
      • ALTERNATIVELY: Put a 24 point Firesight Marksman into one of these and give those 4 Marker Drones BS 3+ (buffable to 2+ via Drone Controller). Since it's also "open topped" the Marksmen himself will be able to add a Markerlight shot as well. Easily capable of racking up the required 5 Markerlight Hits for +1 to hit. For 144 points (70 Dronering + 40 4x Marker Drones + 24 Marksmen points) that has enough room to hold 9 other guys, Breacher Teams recommended.
    • Tidewall Shieldline: The reflect field now works again (even when the enemy fire weapons with negative AP) as it causes a mortal wound to the firing enemy unit on an unmodified save of 6. Worth noting that this is our only fortification that doesn't explode when it is destroyed! Best use currently is to throw some Pathfinders on it, although as mentioned, they still get a -1 to hit if the Shieldline moves.
      • Tidewall Defence Platform: Can only be taken with the shield line. It's basically a drone port, without the drones. Can be useful if you want to get another fortification on the field, without using another detachment slot.
    • Tidewall Gunrig: You get 2 railgun shots for less than a Hammerhead! Unfortunately, you need to keep a unit embarked or it can only target the closest enemy unit, and even then it still only hits on 5+.
  • Remote Sensor Tower (Forge World): One High-Intensity Markerlight at BS4+, and allows one T'au unit within 3" to re-roll ones to hit. Pretty good for 40 points, but the all-or-nothing 50% shot at 3 tokens or none for the High-intensity Markerlight means Pathfinders should still be the main choice for Markerlight application. This might help you bump someone up to that lovely 5+ tokens for +1 to hit part of the Markerlight table though, using the reroll ones from an existing couple of tokens to make the HIM hit more likely (Perhaps thanks to some Pathfinders within 3" of the tower, using its reroll 1s ability to apply their own Markers more reliably. Teamwork!).
  • Drone Sentry Turret (Forge World): Can only shoot at the closest target, meaning point for point regular Gun Drones will provide more firepower than the Burst Cannons with the same limitations. The Plasma and Fusion weapons could work out, but would require the enemy being stupid enough to stand the right targets closest to the sentry for you.

Kroot (FW)[edit]

They will be back, be on the lookout as Datasheets for these models will be published on the Forge World and Warhammer Community websites.

Tactics and Strategy[edit]

Command Points[edit]

  • Use 'em
    • Good for re-rolling railgun/rifle and fusion blaster/collider damage.
    • Good for activating Farsight in combat if he's fighting something T5 or less.
    • Could be used to re-arm seeker missiles on tigershark fighter bombers, making them beat skyrays at their own game (See Death from the Skies game type, Refuel-Rearm-Repair stratagem corebook p.268)
    • Reroll Y'vahra's plasma flamer hit count die to melt those pesky tanks in one go
    • Strongly recommended to keep at least one so when you inevitably roll snake-eyes with your Ion weapons/Hammerhead it's not the end of the world
    • Re-rolling those Markerlights (preferably high intensity) that really have to hit.
    • Lots of lovely stratagems given in the codex that are worthwhile CP investments.

Army Building[edit]

Starter Armies[edit]

  • 1k Balanced Army - While not particularly competitive, it will get you a good core of useful units that you can expand on as you become more experienced. While Crisis suits are currently less than ideal, they can be easily used as proxies for Commanders if needed.
    • Start Collecting T'au: Remains one of the most cost effective ways to build a balanced force. Gets you 3 crisis suits, while also getting 10 Fire Warriors and an Ethereal for essentially free.
      • Whenever you are buying Crisis suits, you should be buying this box. Use spare Fire Warrior parts to turn any un-needed Ethereals into Cadre Fire Blades.
    • Hammerhead: Gets you an armored vehicle to dish out some damage. Build it as a Longstrike and use the spare turret with...
    • Optimized Pathfinder: Gets you a handful of Pathfinder's to throw out Marker Lights, and a Devilfish that you can use with the above spare turret, to turn it into a second Hammerhead.
    • Stealth Suits: 2 boxes of these gives you two durable units capable of dealing with Hordes and giving you some board control to deny deep strikes and slow charges.

General Advice[edit]

  • Use Drones.
  • Synergy is your friend. All your units should be supporting one another.
  • Your units are confusing to non-Tau and are hard to react properly against. Rotate threats well to keep your more powerful units safe.
  • Avoid dedicated melee units like the plague.
  • You have no way to Deny the Witch. Psykers will be a problem. Using Kroot and/or Shield Drones as screens against Smite will help a lot but won't protect you from Warpgate shenanigans or similar.
  • Don't go in melee to kill the enemy, but to survive. Against most shooty armies it is safer in close combat then it is the open getting fired on. Most Tau units have a preferred range of under 18" so can get a bit closer and charge an enemy gunline and tie them up. Best on suits that can tank overwatch and FLY out to shoot.
  • Your larger suits are vulnerable to smite spam and las spam. Keep them mobile, shielded, and away from characters (with a cordon of anti-drop guards if a deep-striking sorcerer seems likely).

Warhammer 40,000 Tactics Articles
General Tactics
  • Movement(7th
  • 6th
  • 5th)
  • Psychic(7th)
  • Shooting(7th
  • 6th
  • 5th)
  • Assault(7th
  • 6th
  • 5th)