Warhammer 40,000/9th Edition Tactics/Tau

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This is the current 9th Edition's T'au tactics. 8th Edition Tactics are here.

Why Play Tau[edit]

Because you like shooting and battlemechs, and being an optimist in a crapsack universe. Just stay the fuck out of melee if you don't want to be tabled for your own 'for the greater good' shitheads sakes.


  • You have the best infantry weapon in the game. Eat your heart out Necrons.
  • 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 are no longer weapons that you shoot, but actions. They give easy access to +1 to hit for your entire army. Looks like something good did come out last edition's -1 to hit spam.
  • Almost everything bigger than INFANTRY has the FLY keyword.
  • A plethora of sources for wound-transferring mechanics including wound ignore rolls, and invulnerable saves can make your important units very resilient.
  • You have a wide selection of decent AP weapons.
  • All Crisis/Commander suit weapons are Assault, letting them Advance and still shoot. Also Deep Manta strike.
  • Miss the old days where the Tau was a highly mobile army? Congrats! New rules mean only infantry suffer -1 to hit for moving and firing heavy weapons.
  • A bunch of badass-looking titanfall-esque battle suit models.
  • You still have DRONEs, which means weapons designed to murder something based on its keywords don't exist to kill a large portion of your storm shield equivalents.
  • Railguns
  • The best shooting phase in the game. Not even a meme anymore. The shooty army can finally find solace in the fact that it actually shoots good.


  • With the 9th codex being absolutely fucking broken thus far, you're back to being the most hated faction in the game. Have fun finding matches.
  • For the Greater Good is gone, as is our immunity to charges in the charge phase.
  • 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. Worse, is that they have expanded the 4+ to hit to more units, though HQs are still safe.
  • 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.
  • Because of the sheer number of Tau units that have the FLY keyword, beware of enemy AA.
  • Our snipers are built into a firesight marskman, and they still suck (luckily not as bad as they were but it's still a strong meh).
  • You can no longer stack 5 markerlights to get 2+ rerolling 1s to hit Broadsides on flying grav tanks with the velocity tracker wargear. Markerlights are used up the moment a unit fires on the lit-up unit, and afterwards it is removed.
  • You have no psychic powers, few defenses against them, and no cost-effective way of eliminating the CHARACTERS who are hiding among infantry. Anyone running heavy psychic is going to have a field day with your lack of Deny the Witch outside of an Enclaves-only relic.
  • You may get frustrated trying to master your shooting, and -1 to hit like on Alaitoc and Raven Guard will make your game a painful, infuriating slog. Thankfully, the days of -2-4 to hit are gone, but -1 to hit on BS4+ is still nothing to write off.
  • In 9th Ed, being able to FLY no longer allows you to fall back and shoot. :(
  • You are currently very reliant on Stratagems. Expect to burn through CP like no tomorrow.
  • The glottal stop of everyone trying to pronounce your new apostrophe.
  • GW can't be bothered exploring the possibilities of giving you tons of auxiliaries because they're too busy giving Space Marines another captain or lieutenant or something like that.
  • Fish of Fury is back. Also some factions can do it to you now without having to spend CP.

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 each detachment shares the same <SEPT> will allow your units to benefit from any special rules based on that <SEPT> keyword.

Special Rules[edit]

Common Unit Abilities[edit]

  • Ambushing Predators/Vanguard: All Kroot gain the former and Pathfinders and Darkstrider gain the latter, but it's the same rule - a Scout move. 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.
  • Battlesuits: All models with the BATTLESUIT keyword get Big Guns Never Tire (like vehicles and monsters), although it's not named that, if it matters. Remember that wielding guns like they were pistols is a defensive measure: for that to come up you have to survive one round of melee first, and then also choose to not Fall Back.
  • Infiltrator: Stealth Battlesuits, Ghostkeels, and Shadowsun get this ability that lets them set up anywhere more than 9" away from an enemy unit and 9" from the opponent's deployment zone. Shadowsun is a Commander so she also gets Manta Strike - you'll have to choose which she uses.
  • Kroot Pack: Your incentive to go all-in with the Kroot, this is actually an ability that's only printed on Kroot Carnivores, but it's really a Kroot-wide rule. For each unit of Kroot Carnivores, you can take up to 1 unit of Krootox Riders, up to 1 unit of Kroot Hounds, and up to 1 Kroot Shaper without taking up extra slots.
  • Manta Strike/Plunge from the Sky: Deep Strike. Crisis, Commanders, and Drones do the former, Vespid do the latter. Dahyak Grekh from Blackstone Fortress also has his own version, Tracker. How very clever.
  • Markerlights: Units with this ability can perform the following action:
    Fire Markerlights (Action)
    One or more MARKERLIGHT units in your army can begin this action at the start of your movement phase (aircraft MARKERLIGHT units are explicitly allowed to do this). It completes at the start of your next shooting phase. When it is completed, for each markerlight in the unit, select one enemy unit within 36” that would be an eligible target for shooting and roll a D6. On a 3+, that unit gains a markerlight token.
    • While a VEHICLE/DRONE unit is performing this action, it can "move" without the action failing. If it does, non-VEHICLE/non-DRONE models in that unit are not counted as having markerlights for the purposes of the action.
      • Since this doesn't specify what kind of move, presumably it allows of Normal Move or Advance. You cannot Fall Back and preform the action because you cannot begin an action in Engagement Range.
      • Your Pathfinder units (including Darkstrider) can begin this action at the end of their Move phase instead, which only allows them to make a Normal Move - remember, a unit can't be selected to perform an action if it Advances or Falls Back. That also applies to marker drones in Pathfinder units - they can't be selected for the action in the first place, which means their ability to do the action without the action failing doesn't help. If you want marker drones in a pathfinder unit to Advance or Fall Back while Markerlighting, you have to begin the action at the beginning of Movement (so the markerlights on your infantry can't be used, but the drones are allowed to begin the action), then Advance. This is unfathomably useless, so never do it - just stick to Normal Move (or Remain Stationary) with your Pathfinders.
    • Each time a T’AU EMPIRE non-T’AU AUXILIARY unit is selected to shoot, it gains +1 to hit with its ranged attacks against any enemy unit with at least one markerlight token. After the unit has finished making attacks, remove one markerlight token from each enemy unit that it targeted. Note that both the +1 to hit and the token removal are compulsory - you can't elect to leave a token in place for some other unit to benefit from, so try to shoot flamer spam after you've shot everything else to avoid wasting token, and try to be careful when a support model with a markerlight, like a Cadre Fireblade, shoots.
    • At the end of your shooting phase, remove all markerlight tokens from all enemy units.

Invocations of the Ethereals[edit]

They work like the prayer mechanics of other factions. In your Command Phase the ethereal can attempt an invocation that hasn't been intoned by a friendly model this turn - on a 3+ (2+ if named or if the Ethereal has the Humble Stave relic) on 1d6 the invocation is successful. Farsight Enclaves players can stop reading now; they cannot be affected by perfidious ethereal pheromones.

  1. Storm of Fire: Select one friendly core unit within 6”. That unit can make ranged attacks without its actions failing.
    • The Ethereals' 'Inspired to Greatness' already does the same thing (and that one does affect AUX), without a chance of not casting. So, this grants you a repeat and allows two units to do actions without giving up their shooting. Or maybe the ethereal was inside a transport and couldn't use 'Inspired to Greatness', but can use this invocation through the 'Wisdom of the Many' stratagem.
  2. Sense of Stone: Select one friendly core unit within 6”. CORE models in that unit gain a FnP(5+).
    • This not only fortifies them against incoming damage, but it also protects Crisis teams from frying themselves with their own Cyclic Ion Blasters. Crisis-Ethereal teamwork! An Ethereal on a hover drone has the same M10" as them, even.
  3. Zephyr’s Grace: Select one friendly core unit within 6”. Each time a ranged attack is made against that unit, that attack takes -1 to hit unless the unit remained stationary in your previous movement phase.
    • Technically you cannot combine this with Mont'Ka, as units that moved count as being stationary, which this invocation does not affect.
  4. Power of Tides: Select one friendly TAU AUXILIARY unit within 6”, instead of the usual Core. That unit gains +1 to wound, making Ethereals the only non-Dal'yth Tau able to actually interact with those hideous savages esteemed allies.
    • +1 to wound is drastically better than +1 Str, especially for all those S5 weapons.
  5. Unifying Mantra (Aura): While a friendly core unit is within 6”, that unit can re-roll morale tests and adds 1 to combat attrition tests. Has anyone seen my bonding knife?
  6. Wisdom of the Guides: You gain 1 CP, easily earning the Ethereal's worth in your army if you can afford it.

Detachment Rules[edit]

Note that Farsight Enclaves-specific rules below are written into the special rules in question, rather than the Sept's definition. You also get the standard rules for handing out relics (and in your case, prototype systems) and warlord traits, as well as using stratagems.

  • Cadre Command: Maximum 1 Commander unit per detachment. Or 2 for Farsight Enclaves and Farsight-aligned ALLIED WORLD detachments.
  • Independent Power: Zero ethereal units per Farsight Enclaves and Farsight-aligned ALLIED WORLD detachments.
  • Objective Secured: Given to all of your Troops.
  • Sept Tenets: Non-Tau Auxiliary units gain subfaction traits. This isn't blocked by tau auxiliary, supreme commander, or unaligned, which means Shadowsun won't block it. Aun'Va and Aun'Shi have special rules on them preventing them from blocking this.

Army Rules[edit]

Your monofaction bonus is Philosophies of War - pick one of the following Tactical Philosophies after determining who has first turn if your entire army is the same <sept>, ignoring tau auxiliary, supreme commander, or unaligned, and all of your non-tau auxiliary tau empire units benefit. That means Shadowsun, your only Supreme Commander, won't turn this off, but Aun'Va and Aun'Shi will, as their special rule doesn't cover this.

  • Their Leadership Caste rule explicitly states they do not prevent any detachment they’re added to from being a <sept> detachment which is the only thing required to gain philosophies and so they won’t turn this off
  • Mont'ka is active from turn 1 to 3; you may advance or normal move and you count as having Remained Stationary until the end of shooting, and when shooting at the closest opponent within range (18" turn 1, 12" turn 2, and 9" turn 3), you can re-roll wound rolls of 1. Your markerlights will enjoy this. Remember that counting as remaining stationary after Advancing does not work for performing Actions, as clarified in an FAQ
    • Per the FAQ, a unit embarked on a transport that "counts as stationary" can't disembark. Just use the Combat Disembarkation strat, that's why it's there.
    • The Q2 2022 Dataslate have added two very fundamental changes to Mont'ka. The first is forcing you to target the closest enemy, which might not be such a big issue, but you're likely to see that happen once you see everything BUT your preferred target close in around you. The second is that you lost the AP boost, which increases the need for Markerlights and Ignoring Cover.
  • Kauyon is active turn 3 to 5, allowing you to fall back and shoot at -1 to hit, and when shooting at the closest unit (in a turn where you didn't fall back and aren't engaged), you get exploding hits (6+ turn 3, 5+ turn 4, 4+ on turn 5). Sounds rad on paper but in small scale games you might have already lost by the time this take effect! Much better in bigger games.
    • One of its weaknesses is that Shadowsuits anf Ghostkeels don't get to make the most of their scout deploy; Kauyon does well with units coming out of reserves, and does really well with Fusion weapons for multiple hits in later turns.

Secondary Objectives[edit]

You have a lot of mobility, although it's not really concentrated in your Troops, and you aren't the biggest fan in the world of objectives that require actions, given that markerlights are an action, so as a general rule, your best bets are objectives that reward you for mobility that you can complete with non-Troops and/or objectives that reward you for murder .

  • Decisive Action (Codex): If you selected Mont’ka, score 4 VP at the end of your first, second and third turns if you control half or more of the objectives on the battlefield. If you selected Kauyon, score 4 VP at the end of your third, fourth and fifth turns if you control half or more of the objectives on the battlefield.
    • If you take this over Behind Enemy Lines, you're a bona fide idiot, given your widespread access to highly mobile options that aren't Troops.
  • Behind Enemy Lines (GT2021/2022): 2VP at the end of your turn if 1 non-aircraft unit from your army is wholly within your opponent’s deployment zone, 4VP instead if you have 2 such units.
  • Engage on All Fronts (GT2021): 2VP at the end of your turn if you have 1+ units from your army wholly within three different table quarters and more than 6" from the center of the battlefield. 3VP instead if you have 4 such units.
    • Engage on All Fronts (GT2022): In order for a unit to count toward this scoring it must either have 3 models or a VEHICLE or MONSTER model in it.
  • Stranglehold (GT2021/2022): 3VP at the end of your turn if you control 3 or more objective markers and you also control more objective markers than your opponent controls.
  • A Clean Victory (Codex): If you selected Mont’ka, at the end of the first, second, and third battle rounds, score 1VP if 1+ enemy units were destroyed that round, +3VP (4 total) if 3+ enemy units were destroyed that round. If you selected Kauyon, do the same at the end of the third, fourth and fifth battle rounds.
    • You're really good at killing, but there's generally no reason to ever bother with this, even within this section, because you can reach this Secondary's VP limit of 12 with No Prisoners instead at 100 wounds murdered without needing to obsess over finishing off a unit or doing it in one of your Philosophy's rounds, and Bring it Down over in Purge the Enemy is on the table if you're up against Knights or Monster-focused Tyranids or the like.
  • Grind Them Down (GT2021/2022): 3VP at the end of the battle round if more enemy units than friendly units were destroyed this round.
  • No Prisoners (GT2021): Keep a tally of kill points. Each time an enemy non-vehicle non-monster non-character model is destroyed, add a number of marks to this tally equal to the Wounds characteristic of the destroyed model. At the end of the battle, divide your kill points tally by 10 and round down - the result is the number of victory points you score.
    • No Prisoners (GT2022): +1 VP if your pre-division tally is 50-99, +2VP if your pre-division tally is 100+.
  • To The Last (GT2021/2022): Before the battle, after you have selected deployment zones, identify which three non-Fortifications units from your army have the highest points value (if two or more are tied, you choose between them). If your army has three or fewer units, you instead identify all the units in your army. 5VP for each of these units that are on the battlefield at the end of the battle.
  • Assassination (GT2021/2022): 3VP at the end of the battle for each enemy CHARACTER model that is destroyed. If the enemy WARLORD was destroyed during the battle, +1VP.
  • Bring It Down (GT2021): 1VP at the end of the battle for each destroyed enemy MONSTER/VEHICLE model with W1-10, 2 VP if W11-19, 3 VP if W20+.
      • Bring It Down (GT2022): Chane the threshholds for 1/2/3 VP to W1-9, W10-14, and W15+, respectively.
  • Titan Hunter (GT2021/2022): 4VP at the end of the battle if one enemy TITANIC model is destroyed, 9VP if two enemy TITANIC models are destroyed, or 15VP if 3+ enemy TITANIC models are destroyed.
  • Aerospace Targeting Relays (Codex): When you select this objective, place an Aerospace Designation marker halfway along each battlefield edge. Units in your army can perform the following action: Install Targeting Relay (Action): One or more INFANTRY units from your army can start this action at the end of your movement phase. Each of these units must be within 6” of a different marker that has not had a targeting relay installed yet. This action completes at the start of your next command phase or the end of the battle, whichever comes first. At the end of the battle, you score VPs based on the number of targeting relays that were successfully installed.
    1. 2VP
    2. 6VP
    3. 9VP
    4. 15VP
    • You're not really contemplating this over Deploy Teleport Homers or Retrieve Nachmund Data, are you? You have almost no room for your units to legally stand where they need to to complete this action, those locations are telegraphed to your opponent who can just stand there to prevent you from Deep Striking to where you need to be, and you can just be murdered or your action disrupted, since your opponent gets an entire turn to respond.
  • Deploy Teleport Homers (GT2021): Deploy Teleport Homer (Action): One INFANTRY or BIKER unit from your army can start to perform this action at the end of your Movement phase if it is wholly within 12" of your opponent’s deployment zone. The action is completed at the end of your next Command phase provided the unit attempting it is still wholly within 12" of your opponent’s deployment zone. Each time a unit from your army successfully completes this action, 2VP (4VP instead if the unit completed the action while wholly within your opponent’s deployment zone).
    • Deploy Teleport Homers (GT2022): Requires a unit of 3+ models to perform and completes at the end of your turn if attempted by a Troops unit.
  • Investigate Signal (GT2021): 3 victory points each time a unit from your army successfully completes the following action: Investigate Signal (Action): One non-character INFANTRY unit from your army can start to perform this action at the end of your Movement phase if it is and no non-aircraft enemy units are wholly within 6" of the center of the battlefield. This action is completed at the end of your turn provided the unit attempting it and no non-aircraft enemy units are still wholly within 6" of the center of the battlefield.
    • Investigate Signal (GT2022): You can now attempt this action even if there are enemy units within 6″ of the center of the battlefield, but you only complete it at the end of your turn if there are no enemy units within 6″ of the center of the battlefield.
  • Raise the Banners High (GT2021/2022): Your Infantry units gain a new action each turn in an attempt to emulate Dawn of War. Raise Banners (Action): Perform this action at the end of your Movement phase. Each unit from your army that starts to perform this action must be in range of a different objective marker that does not have one of your banners raised upon it (see below). A unit cannot start this action while there are any non-aircraft enemy units in range of the same objective marker. The action is completed at the end of your turn. If this action is successfully completed, that objective marker is said to have one of your army’s banners raised on it (the banner is ‘removed’ if your opponent controls the objective marker at the start of any phase). 1 VP at the end of each of your Command phases and 1 VP at the end of the battle for each objective marker on the battlefield that has one of your banners raised upon it.
  • Retrieve Octarius Data (GT2021): Keep a tally of Retrieved Data points; add 1 to that tally each time a unit from your army successfully completes the following action during the battle: Retrieve Data (Action): One non-character INFANTRY unit from your army can start to perform this action at the end of your Movement phase if it is wholly within a table quarter that has not had a servo-skull retrieved by your army (see below) and it is more than 6" away from any other table quarter. This action is completed at the end of your turn provided the unit attempting it is still within the same table quarter. If this action is successfully completed, the table quarter is said to have had a servo-skull retrieved by your army. At the end of the battle, 4VP if the tally is 2, 8VP if the tally is 3, or 12VP if the tally is 4.
    • Retrieve Nachmund Data (GT2022): bikers and characters can perform the action, and at the end of your turn you roll 1d6, -1 if the unit performing the action is Troops. If you roll less than or equal to the number of models in the unit, the action is completed, so your characters are very unlikely to succeed, but your Troops auto-succeed with 5 models and your other units auto-succeed with 6.

Since you can't take any psykers, there's only one Secondary here you can take.

  • Abhor the Witch (GT2021/2022): You can't take any Psyker units for this, not that you had any to contemplate taking. You gain 3 VP for any Psyker Character unit you kill and 2 VP for any other Psyker units you kill.


  • Breach and Clear (1CP): Use in your shooting phase, when selecting a BREACHER TEAM unit to shoot. Until the end of the phase, when a CORE model in that unit makes a ranged attack, it ignores cover and re-rolls wounds. Not bad all things considered, but you'll need to be right in their face to use it.
  • Drop Threat Acquisition (2/3CP): Use in your movement phase, when a BATTLESUIT unit arrives from reserves via Manta Strike or Homing Beacon. Until end of turn, when a BATTLESUIT model in that unit makes a ranged attack, re-roll the hit roll. Costs 3CP if the unit has 4+ BATTLESUIT models, or 2CP otherwise.
  • Dynamic Offensive (1CP): Use in your movement phase, when selecting a CRISIS BATTLESUIT unit to move. Until the end of the turn, that unit autoadvances 6" and does not take the penalty for advancing and shooting assault weapons. Mont'ka does this for free anyway, so only Kauyon is when this is worth it.
  • On-Board Sensors (1CP): Use at the start of your shooting phase. Select one friendly <SEPT> DEVILFISH model and one enemy unit within 24" and visible to it. Until the end of the phase, the DEVILFISH gains a 6" aura. Friendly <SEPT> FIRE WARRIOR units within the aura re-roll 1s to hit against the chosen enemy unit.
    • Stack this with Relentless Fusilades and combat Debarkation for 40 20 S5 Ap-2 D1 shots. Have a Markerlight on whatever it is that you're shooting at. It now no longer exists.
  • Point-Blank Volley (1CP): Use at the start of your shooting phase. Select one FIRE WARRIOR TEAM in your army that is engaged. Until the end of the phase, pulse carbines, pulse blasters, and pulse rifles in that unit become Pistol 2. If you ever need to use this, you've fucked up bad.
  • Pulse Onslaught (1CP): Use in your shooting phase, when selecting a FIRE WARRIOR TEAM unit to shoot. Until the end of the phase, CORE models in that unit autowound on 6s to hit with pulse weapons. You already wound everything short of Knights on 5s, skip.
  • Relentless Fusillade (1CP): Use in your shooting phase, when selecting a STRIKE TEAM unit to shoot. Until the end of the phase, rapid fire weapons double shots at any range, and CORE models in the unit gain -1AP with ranged attacks. Congrats, your fire Warriors are now equipped with Pulse Storm Bolters (keep in mind, the strat doesn't change rapid fire 1 to rapid fire 2), only that you're now firing max shots for rapid fire 1 at any/all ranges.
  • Backup AI (1CP): Use in your command phase. Select one T'AU EMPIRE model in your army. Until the start of your next command phase, it counts as having full wounds remaining for degradation. Given our best units don't have degradation, it's more likely you're taking this for a Railhead or Iontide.
  • Branched Nova Charge (2CP): Use in your command phase, when a RIPTIDE BATTLESUIT fails its nova reactor roll. That roll passes instead. Can only be used on each model once per battle.
  • Combat Debarkation (1CP): Use at the start of your movement phase. If you selected Mont'ka and it is the first, second, or third battle round, or if you selected Kauyon and it is the third, fourth, or fifth battle round, pick three DEVILFISH models in your army. Otherwise, pick one DEVILFISH model in your army. Until the end of the phase, each time a selected model makes a normal move, units inside it can disembark. Units that disembark in this way cannot charge this turn. Basically essential for Breacher Teams
  • Fail-Safe Detonator (1CP): Use in any phase when a BATTLESUIT model from your army is destroyed. Before removing it from play, instead of triggering any other abilities that trigger on death, roll one D6 for each unit within 3" of that model, adding 1 if the destroyed model had W12+. On a 3-5, that unit takes D3 mortals; on a 6+, that unit takes 3 mortals (1.5 mortals total per unit on average, up to 2 for a W12+ user, with a lot of swinginess).
  • Saviour Protocols (1CP): Use in any phase after failing a save for a model in a <SEPT> unit. Select a friendly <SEPT> DRONE model within 3" of that unit, or within 6" if the unit contains a model with a drone controller. That DRONE is destroyed and the attack's Damage characteristic becomes 0.
  • Wisdom of the Many (2CP): Use at the start of any of your phases other than the command phase. Select one ETHEREAL unit that did not intone an invocation this turn. That unit can intone one invocation that has not already been used this turn, and the invocation is automatically inspiring. It lasts until the start of your next command phase. Use this to caste Wisdom of the Guides. Nothing will confuse your opponent more.
  • Emergency Dispensation (1CP): Standard extra relic strat.
  • Promising Pupil (1CP): Standard extra Warlord Trait strat.
  • A Trap Well Laid (1CP): Use in the heroic interventions step of your opponent's charge phase. Select one KROOT unit in your army that is not engaged. Until end of turn, that unit can perform a 6" heroic intervention, and models in that unit gain +1A. You're using this for your Kroot Screen to protect your Railsides.
  • Coordinated Engagement (1CP): Use in your shooting phase, before selecting a unit to shoot with. Select one enemy unit and two <SEPT> units from your army that are within 18" of and visible to that enemy. Until the end of the phase, each time a model in one of those <SEPT> units makes an attack, it must target the chosen enemy unit and gains -1AP.
    • Hello there Space Marines. Nice Terminators. It'd be a shame if my Pulse onslaught boosted fire Warriors had Ap-3 rerolling ones.
  • Counterfire Defence System (1/2CP): Use in your opponent's shooting phase, when an attack is allocated to a COUNTERFIRE DEFENCE SYSTEM model. The damage characteristic of that attack becomes 1. Costs 2CP if that model has 14 or more wounds, or 1CP otherwise.
  • Designated Tasking (1CP): Use in your command phase. Select one T'AU EMPIRE unit that is not engaged and contains both DRONE models and non-DRONE models. If any of those DRONE models are docked within another model, set them up within 1" of that model, they are no longer docked. Then split the unit into two units, one containing all DRONE models and one containing all non-DRONE models. You're better off just taking the SMS or thr Burst Cannons.
  • Orbital Ion Beam (2CP): Use in your command phase. Place two markers anywhere on the battlefield within 12" of each other. At the start of your next command phase, draw a straight line between them and roll a D6 for each unit the line crosses over, adding 1 if the unit is a BUILDING. On a 2-5, that unit takes D3 mortals; on a 6+, that unit takes 3 mortals (1.83 mortals total on average). You can only use this stratagem once.
  • Recon Sweep (1CP): Use in your shooting phase, when a PATHFINDER TEAM unit completes a Fire Markerlights action. Add 1 to the rolls for that unit's markerlights, and the unit can make a normal move (i.e. a second one, usually) afterwards.
  • Shocking Firestorm (1CP): Use in your shooting phase, when selecting a <SEPT> unit to shoot. Select one enemy unit within 18" of that unit. Until the end of the phase, each time a model in the enemy unit is destroyed by an attack made by the <SEPT> unit, that model counts as two for morale tests.
  • Strike and Fade (1/2CP): Use at the start of your shooting phase. One T'AU EMPIRE JET PACK unit from your army can shoot and then make a normal move of up to 6". That unit cannot shoot again this phase. Costs 1CP if the unit contains 5 or fewer models (excluding DRONE models). JUMP SHOOT JUMP IS BACK ON THE MENU BOYS.
  • The Grisly Feast (1CP): Use in the fight phase, when an enemy unit is destroyed by an attack made by a model in a KROOT unit. Until the end of the battle, the unit gains a 5+++. Pointless, as our Kroot don't have enough staying power to really make this worth the investment.
  • Wall of Mirrors (1CP): Use at the end of your movement phase. Select one friendly STEALTH BATTLESUIT or GHOSTKEEL BATTLESUIT unit that is wholly within 9" of any battlefield edge and remove it from the battlefield. In your next reinforcements step, set it back up wholly within 9" of any battlefield edge and more than 9" from any enemy models.
  • Frequency Lock (1CP): Use in your shooting phase, when picking a T'AU EMPIRE unit to shoot. Until the end of the phase, that unit's seeker missiles, seeker missile racks, and destroyer missiles gain +1 to wound, and can target units with at least one markerlight on them even if they are not visible.
    • We can play the Arty game now against Basilisks, and arguably better since we wound on twos against everything short of Knights.
  • Ionised Shockfield (2CP): Use in your shooting phase, when a model in an enemy unit is destroyed by an ion weapon fired by a <SEPT> model in your army. Until the start of your next shooting phase, models in that enemy unit cannot be affected by auras of other enemy units.
    • Notice it says "when", implying you can choose which unit takes the debuff. Absolutely fantastic against units that require those auras.
  • Neuroweb System Jammer (1CP): Use in your shooting phase. Select one enemy unit within 18" of and visible to a NEUROWEB SYSTEM JAMMER unit (i.e. Pathfinders who bought the upgrade) in your army and roll a D6. On a 3+, until the start of your next shooting phase, models in that unit have -1 to hit.
  • Photon Grenades (1CP): Use in your opponent's charge phase, when a PHOTON GRENADES unit from your army is selected as a charge target by a non-VEHICLE non-MONSTER enemy unit. Until the end of the turn, that enemy unit subtracts 2 from its charge rolls and takes -1 to hit. Better than the Repulsor Impact field, but if you screen correctly not an issue.
  • Repulsor Impact Field (1CP): Use in your opponent's charge phase, when a BATTLESUIT unit is selected as a charge target. Until the end of the phase, subtract 2 from all charge rolls against that unit. Your Crisis Suits want this more than anyone else.
  • Submunitions (1CP): Use in your shooting phase, when selecting a HAMMERHEAD model to shoot. If that model has a railgun, instead of attacking with it this phase, select one visible enemy within 36" that is not engaged. Roll a D6 for each model in that unit, adding 1 if the unit has 11+ models. For every 4+, the target takes a mortal (maximum 8 mortals).
    • That means this deals an average number of mortal wounds equal to half the unit (half a mortal per unit member) up to size 8, takes a slight dip from 9-10 since you can't deal 9 or 10 mortals, jumps up to 63.75% of the target's size for a unit of size 11, then scales down, reaching slightly more than half the unit at size 15 and slightly less at size 16. In absolute terms, only improves the railgun's output against GEQ with 4+ models, MEQ with 5+, and TEQ with 6+ (these numbers go down for Longstrike and/or a markerlight, as the more accurate the railgun the worse this strat is in comparison). By and large never worth it, as your Troops are generally carrying the perfect guns to murder whatever you could be bothered to use this on.
      • even worse if you consider that meq usually have 2 wounds per model and teq have 3

Warlord Traits[edit]

  1. Precision of the Hunter: This model can re-roll all hit and wound rolls. You can probably guess that this is great for beatstick commanders.
  2. Through Unity, DevastationAura: While a friendly <SEPT> CORE unit is within 6” of the warlord, when a CORE model in that unit makes a ranged attack, 6s to wound have -1AP. Thoroughly worthless, which is a shame since Aun'Va is stuck with this.
  • Arguably this WLT has much more value in a post-Armour-of-Contempt game, where your Pulse Rifles have now gone back to not even scratching a Space Marine's armour. Still, you have better options
  1. A Ghost Walks Among Us: Attacks against the warlord have -1 to hit, and the warlord auto-advances 6”. Darkstrider uses it, and probably has the most need for it as a Fireblade.
  2. Through Boldness, Victory: In your command phase, pick a friendly <SEPT> CORE unit within 9”. Until the start of your next command phase, when a CORE model in that unit makes a ranged attack, 6s to hit autowound. Can be very good, but always make sure you don't accidentally mix this with any abilities that trigger on successful wound rolls - for example, this will reduce the output of Railsides who didn't take a second weapon against all possible targets. Longstrike uses this.
  3. Exemplar of the Kauyon: After the first turn roll, select one friendly <SEPT> unit, or up to three if you selected Kauyon. Redeploy those units or place them into strategic reserves without spending CP. Shadowsun uses this.
  4. Exemplar of the Mont’ka: In your command phase, pick a friendly <SEPT> CORE unit within 9”. Until your next command phase, when a CORE model in that unit makes a ranged attack against an enemy unit within 9”, or within 12” if you selected Mont’ka, you can re-roll the wound roll. Farsight uses this, which is really for the best.
    • Absolutely, utterly fantastic. Full re-rolls to wound are the stuff dreams are made of, and deft use of this Warlord Trait will win you games. Using this to buff a max-size unit of Crisis each with 3 flamers will murder a truly impressive amount of stuff.
  1. Master of the HuntAura: While a friendly KROOT unit is within 6”, when a model in that unit makes a ranged attack against an enemy unit within 12”, that enemy does not gain the benefits of cover. Worthless.
  2. Pack LeaderAura: While a friendly KROOT unit is within 6”, roll an extra D6 for their charge rolls and discard one of the dice.
  3. Nomadic HunterAura: While a friendly KROOT unit is within 6”, each time a model in that unit makes a ranged attack, if that unit did not fall back this turn, it is treated as stationary. Fantastic for supporting Carnivores and Krootox Riders on the move, provided you can keep the Shaper in position, which is difficult, as the Shaper may roll poorly on its Advance rolls.


Melee Weapons[edit]

HAHAHAHA NOPE! Generic melee weapons are for other armies.

T'au actually received melee weapons on Battlesuits to help off set the fact that we have WS5+ I guess. Still not that great as they have similar profiles to other monstrous creatures now. Those four attacks most likely will be down to three to two or the enemy units will already be near death before most players remember they exist. Now if you could equip them on an XV109 Y'Vahra, they would actually be useful.

  • Crushing Bulk: Melee S+1 AP-1 D1.
  • Riptide Fists: Melee S+1 AP-2 D2.
  • Thunderous Footfalls: Melee S-User AP-2 D2.

Ranged Weapons[edit]

  • There are some rules in a variety of places - custom sept tenets, stratagems, the Cadre Fireblade aura, etc - that refer to weapons by category. All categories have the same definition: a <category> weapon is any weapon with <category> in the name or a relic or prototype that replaces such a weapon. The categories are:
    • Burst, for the custom Sept Tenet that gives you +1 to hit rolls within 12" with these. Unless you're ditching marklights it's useless, as the bonus doesn't stack.
      • Burst cannon: see battlesuit entry below. Available to crisis and stealth chassis
      • High-output burst cannon: 18” Assault 10, S5 AP-1 D1 super-gatling available only for Coldstar commander.
      • Accelerator burst cannon: 18” Assault 8, S6 AP-1 D1 upgunned version for Devilfish chassis
      • Pirahna burst cannon: 18” Assault 6, S6 AP0 D1 Pirahna burst cannon, slightly better than infantry version, but utterly useless compared to Pirahna's super fusion
    • Ion, for the stratagem that lets you cut a unit off from auras by murdering a model in it with one of these.
    • Missile, for the custom Sept Tenet for ignoring cover with these.
      • Seeker Missile: Found across a wide array of your army, each of these will cost 5 points when they're optional (and be free when they aren't). 72” Heavy 1 S9 AP-3 D2d3 is a good way to ruin your enemy's day, although these are best on units you expect to die quickly so it doesn't matter that the gun can't fire again.described in
    • Plasma, for the custom Sept Tenet for dealing mortal wounds on 6s to wound with these. There's only one of these, the Plasma Rifle covered in the Crisis section because it's only carried by battlesuits, although you do have a couple nearly-identical variants in a couple places. The custom Sept Tenet makes Plasma Rifles do less damage, so you won't ever take it, so in practice this weapon category doesn't matter. Errata fixed this.
    • Pulse, for the Pathfinder drone that buffs AP, the Cadre Fireblade aura, the custom Sept Tenet for improving AP by 1 on 6s to wound, and the strat for autowounding on 6s to hit.
      • Pulse Pistol: 12" Pistol 1 S5 AP0 D1. Granted, you should not be getting into close combat, but if you somehow survived an assault, your opponent can get hit by this in your next shooting phase from your Fire Warriors. Usually it's better to just fall back and let your other units punish whatever came at you, but pulse pistols are pretty much required in case your unit gets locked in melee, and they're free anyway.
      • Pulse Rifle: The original, the best Rapid Fire basic bitch Troops weapon in the game. 36" Rapid Fire 1 S5 AP-1 D1 smackdown, stacks wonderfully with some sept traits, wargear, and warlord traits.
        • Fireblade Pulse Rifle: 36” Rapid Fire 1 S5 AP-2 D2, because obviously the Tau would never dream of giving their best weapons to their sharpshooters instead of their leadership. If you have to ask who carries this, you need to re-read the name of the gun.
        • Longshot Pulse Rifle: 48” Rapid Fire 1 S5 AP-2 D1, carried by Sniper Drones.
      • Pulse Carbine: Doesn't pin targets anymore, but is 24" Assault 2 S5 AP0 D1. You don't want to advance and shoot with your shitty BS, so their actual advantage is a defensive one, shooting twice at slightly farther away than a Pulse Rifle does. Gun drones get two of these.
        • In Mont’ka you advance and shoot with no penalty for first 3 turns, so don't forget your pathfinders are shooty now.
      • Pulse Blaster: Haven't you always wanted to pay more points for a worse gun? Breacher Teams are here to deliver. 8” Assault 2 S6 AP-2 D1 or 14” Assault 2 S5 AP-1 D1.

Available to Commanders, Crisis Teams and Crisis Bodyguard Teams. Some of these are also available to Broadsides, Ghostkeels, and Riptides, but only a few of them, so it gets specified on their entries.

  • Airburst fragmentation projector: 24" Assault D6 S4 AP-1 D1, blast, indirect fire. Often the weakest gun against every possible target, its main value is the ability to ignore LoS. Of some use against hordes.
  • Burst cannon: 18" Assault 6 S5 AP0 D1, an increase of +50% shots. A bit redundant given the rest of the army provides plenty of S5 shots, but gatlings are fun, and Crisis units can get enough buffs to reliably attack anything.
  • Cyclic ion blaster: 18" Assault 3 S7 AP-2 D1, overcharge for 18" Assault 3 S8 AP-2 D2 and take 1 mortal for each unmodified 1 to hit. Despite the escalating costs of repeated guns, four Cyclic Ion Blasters are cost-effective even if they are the most expensive loadout, given how many D2 shots they fire without having to get within 9" of the enemy like fusion blasters do. Do aim it at the right targets, though: the gun is too expensive to waste it on guardsmen, but shooting at terminators also wastes 25% of the damage output, reducing efficiency, which is the one reason you're buying the gun at almost triple the initial price.
    • If you want to avoid high costs, you can instead use a CIB as a filler for other options.
    • They have high enough dakka to reliably injure their users when spammed. Bring drones, especially Shield drones, to absorb the damage. And get a source of re-roll 1s.
  • Fusion blaster: 18" Assault 1 S8 AP-4 Dd6, +2D at half range. Anything armed with these is fast enough to use it, but 9" melta range basically guarantees close combat. Take that into account, as fusion blasters mostly only shine in melta range, being overtaken by CIB or plasma beyond 9". Who dares wins.
  • Missile pod: 30" Assault 2 S7 AP-2 D2. A coward's weapon "Adequate from a safe distance". Reliable 2D without having to either get close or risk overheating. Nothing stellar outside of fighting MEQ.
  • Plasma rifle: 30" Assault 1 S8 AP-4 D3. Buffed from the worst plasma weapon in the game into a gun that puts rightful fear into anything W3, like Terminators & Custodes (and even DG), with stats high enough to attack vehicle targets of opportunity.
  • Flamer: 12" Assault D6+2 S4 AP0 D1, autohits. Very often the better weapon out of points cost and the sheer number of hits, at the cost of having the least range (except fusion blasters in melta range). Better for battlesuits operating unsupported, as rerolling hits decreases their advantage before other guns.
  • Kroot Rifle: It's a bolter that makes the wielder AP-1 in melee. Found on Carnivores.
    • Quill Grenade: 6" Grenade 1d6 S4 AP0 D1, Blast, found on Carnivores.
  • Kroot Shaper Rifle: This is an AP-1 Storm Bolter.
  • Kroot Pistol: This is an AP-1 Pulse Pistol only Shapers can take - comes with a Grenade Belt, but means you have to give up your Ritual Blade.
    • Grenade Belt: 6" Grenade 2d6 S5 AP-1 D1, Blast, One Use Only. Found on the Shaper if you swap the Ritual Blade for a Kroot Pistol.
  • Kroot Gun: 48" Heavy 2 S7 AP-1 D2, found on Krootox Riders.

Support Systems[edit]

Secondary wargear for battlesuit type units, not usually worth replacing a weapon for, but can be when taken in addition to them. These are specified on each individual datasheet (and hence may have datasheet-specific effects, despite sharing a name; the list below lists their usual effects) - there is no list of support systems per se, even though Forge World datasheets may refer to such a list.

  • Advanced Targeting System: 6s to hit autowound (compulsory effect, even though it nerfs some weapons autowound now explicitly counts as a secessful wound roll, so take away with Heavy Rail Rifles). Only found on Broadsides.
  • Counterfire Defence System: Grants the Keyword of the same name, which lets you use a strat to reduce the Damage of a specific attack in the enemy shooting phase to 1.
  • Drone Controller: A<SEPT> DRONE unit picked within 6" in the Command Phase becomes BS4+ and loses Target Priority, which is the Gun Drone nerf preventing it from shooting anything but the closest target. Optional on pathfinders and stealth team, included for free into Ghostkeel and Stormsurge for some weird reason. Used to allow you to take 40 BS 3 with marklight S5 bolter shots for 80 pts, but with the drone point increase its become a way to screen that Ghostkeel with drones.
  • Early Warning Override: This model always hits on Overwatch on a 5+ and the entire unit spends 1 less CP (minimum 0) on the strat to Overwatch.
    • The Crisis Bodyguard version now provides the CP discount with the errata, but you were never going to take it anyway because that's a slot you'd be better off filling with a gun.
    • Got updated so one system covers the WHOLE squad now, and since regular Crisis teams can take it for free in addition to weapons its a must have for Fusion Blasters. Not even all that bad for flamers, as they get charged a ton and the free CP can be used elsewhere.
  • Multi-tracker: Unmodified 6s to hit against a 6+ model unit hit 1 additional time, which is like +1 to hit only better as you get full stacking with every other buff (including the fact that it works on Overwatch whether or not you hit on 5+); the only thing you don't get full stacking with is abilities that trigger on 6 to hit (like auto-wounding), as the additional hit won't count as having hit on a 6. Just remember most players take squads of 5 to avoid shit like this, so best against armies that must take larger squads like guard or other tau.
  • Positional Relay: Only activates when a unit is set up from Strategic Reserves and only affects where they can be placed. The only real difference this amounts to is that on turn 2 you could potentially set up in the enemy's deployment zone. Don't misread the rules for this Support System, it does not allow turn 1 Strategic Reserves. It is in fact an unmitigated turd. Do not waste your hardpoints on it.
  • Shield Generator: 4++. Usually worse than taking more drones. Well, until the drone cost went up. Now it's better to combine the two instead. Shield drones are still better, but the cost of one drone could give three suits a generator.
  • Stabilised Optics: Ignore the -1 to hit penalty for firing Heavy weapons after moving or while Engaged. If you're doing Mont'Ka this system does nothing period, so remember that. Only found on Broadsides.
  • Target Lock: Ignore Light Cover. Pretty reliable against shooting armies, but a must have for stealth suits who already struggle with a lack of firepower.
  • Velocity Tracker: +1 to hit when targeting units with FLY. Against dedicated flyers, this just counters their -1 to hit Hard To Hit ability; however, skimmers and jump infantry also possess the FLY keyword, so you can also use the bonus against jetbikes, skimmers, assault marines, and anything else that jumps or hovers. Free for everything that can take it, but almost always worse than another support system choice (and always worse than taking another gun).
    • Just like the +1 to hit with Markerlights, has no interaction with abilities that trigger on unmodified rolls to hit, like Ion guns killing the shooter or a Broadside with ATS auto-wounding.
    • You should generally take this on a Stormsurge, where its only competition is a counterfire defence system - 2CP to reduce one attack's Damage to 1 per enemy shooting phase is decidedly underwhelming compared to a permanent +1 to hit Flyers.

Signature Systems[edit]

Also known as relics. Now there's Kroot stuff. Since you can take a Signature and a Prototype system on the same model, as well as a Warlord Trait, combining multiple synergistic traits can get you a genuine terror on the table. As an example, the Onager Gauntlet Signature, the Thermoneutronic Prototype, and the Precision of the Hunter Warlord Trait will combine to get you a Commander who's a melee blender that will make mincemeat out of opponents expecting the opposite from the Tau.

  • Advanced EM Scrambler: Now restricted to characters instead of some Ghostkeel. Enemies cannot deep strike within 12" of the bearer. Also, in your command phase select an enemy unit within 6"; until the start of your next command phase it cannot benefit from their teammates' auras (except psychic auras). The aura disabling has a range so short you will only rarely use it, so the main purpose is deep strike denial.
  • The Be'Gel Hunter's Plate: The bearer has +1 to armour saves and a 5+++. Fun on a shooting Enforcer, so long as you take a SG with it.
  • Borthrod Gland: KROOT model only. Once per battle, in your command phase, gain a 6” aura until the start of your next command phase, giving friendly KROOT +1A and +1S.
  • The Humble Stave: ETHEREAL model only. The bearer can intone one extra invocation each turn, and gains +1 to its rolls to intone them, turning your nameless ethereal into Aun'Va/Aun'Shi's equal where it counts, yet cheaper (and faster with a hover drone). If you're taking an Ethereal and you aren't Tau Sept or Vior'la for taking a named dude instead, this is nearly an auto-include, as while the named Ethereals can be taken cross-faction, they disable Tactical Philosophy. This relic lets you keep their improved invoking for cheaper.
  • Ka’Chak’Tarr: Enhances a Shaper Kroot Rifle into 24" Rapid Fire 2 S5 AP-2 D2, plus ignores Look Out Sir, and 6s to wound cause a mortal wound.
  • The Kindled Blade: CADRE FIREBLADE model only. Once per battle, in your command phase, gain a 6” aura until the start of your next command phase. Friendly <SEPT> FIRE WARRIOR TEAM units in the aura autopass morale tests. The Yawn Blade.
  • Multi-sensory Discouragement Array : At the end of your movement phase select one enemy unit within 12" and roll 3d6. If it's higher than their Ld, that unit is debuffed until the start of your next movement phase. Since the roll happens before the shooting phase, you can either commit or JSJ your Commander away. Select one of the following effects:
    • The unit loses obsec.
    • Halve the move stat and charge rolls of the target.
    • The target's ranged attacks can only target the closest eligible target.
  • Neuro-Empathic Nullifier: ETHEREAL model only. Once per battle, in your command phase, select one enemy unit within 18" of and visible to the bearer and roll a D6. On a 2+, until the start of your next command phase that unit cannot perform actions and any current action fails.
  • Ohr'Tu's Lantern: Replaces a markerlight only with a high intensity one. When this model performs a Fire Markerlights action, roll five additional dice.
    • Rather useful for pathfinder-light lists to put on Fireblade. Beware that you can't split individual model's markers, so this is got lighting up something whole army plans to unload at
  • Onager Gauntlet: Battlesuit Commanders only. It has finally become a proper S12 AP-4 D3 weapon you can do all your attacks with.
  • Puretide Engram Neurochip: While the bearer is on the battlefield, each time you spend a CP to use a Battle Tactic or Epic Deed stratagem, regain that CP on a 3+. Many strats are in those categories, so make sure you've studied the list so you can competently choose this relic or not. It's hard to argue with, but then again, you can generally use an Ethereal as a CP battery on your own turns, reducing this relic's utility.
  • Solid-Image Projection Unit: 4++ (meh). Also the first failed save every turn gets turned into D0 (the characteristic, not the damage inflicted). Useful to foil snipers (unless they manage to inflict their mortal wounds) and can buy a character time to run away from melee.
    • Arguably an auto-take on either this or begel plate for tough as nails commander who wants to take 4 guns (as this is better than shield-Gen)

Prototype Systems[edit]

Akin to special issue wargear like Kustom Jobs, but thankfully paid for in points instead of CP. Can be given to any COMMANDER, Crisis Shas’vre, Crisis Bodyguard Shas’vre, or Ghostkeel Shas’vre. Weapon systems replace only one gun; you can give them to regular Crisis models, but it goes without saying that guns should be given to Commanders instead. A given model can't have more than one Prototype System (even though this is a plot hole, as the Earth Caste loves giving a suit multiple prototypes at once), and a given Prototype System can't be in your army more than once.

  • Alternating Fusion Blaster: Crisis and Commander only. Replaces a fusion blaster, changing it to 12" Assault 1 S8 AP-4 D d6+2 that can draw a line from the bearer to the closest model of the target unit, rolling to wound for all units this line crosses as well as the target. That means your total range drops from 18 to 12, although your melta range improves from 9 to 12, and of course you can murder intervening units as well if that comes up.
  • Dominator Fragmentation Launcher: Gives a COMMANDER or Crisis's airbursting fragmentation projector AP-2 and makes its targets suffer -4Ld until end of turn.
  • DW-02 Advanced Burst Cannon: Turns a COMMANDER or Crisis's burst cannon into 18" Assault 8 S6 AP-1 D1 (so +2 shots fired, +1S, and -1AP), and models "cannot use any rules to ignore the wounds it loses" from this gun, meaning it works both on FNP and on "x amount of wounds taken" rules like Thraka's Prophet of Gork and Mork ability and the C'tan's Necrodermis ability to limit the number of wounds they lose in a particular phase.
  • E-H Disruption Suite: Ghostkeel only. Once per battle in your command phase, gain a 12” aura until your next command phase. While an enemy unit is in this aura, each time your opponent selects that unit for a stratagem, and each time your opponent uses a stratagem when that unit is selected to shoot or fight, increase the cost of that stratagem by 1CP. Not all that great since you want your ghostkeel either as far away from the enemy as you can or sneaking up on a isolated unit. Being only once per game doesn't help...Could won you the game if used in the right place at the right time, but that won't come up often if ever.
  • Internal Grenade Racks: One of the few relics available to all heroes, this allows you to deal d3 mortal wounds on a unit they "moved across" on a 2+ roll on 1d6. Moving across a unit isn't defined, so in particular if you manage to move across a unit by flying between its models, you're going to have an argument on your hands if you don't discuss the issue with your opponent beforehand. Of course, you can slap this on a Coldstar Commander in order to imitate the Swooping Hawks, though this can still make for a deterrent for any enemies looking to charge a more vulnerable commander.
    • Alternate Take: most Tau Battlesuits have the FLY keyword, particularly any of the suits that can take this prototype system, so they are technically permitted to "move across" units. Maybe chalk this one up to poor wording but it seems like this one would only really work on a Crisis Suit, especially a Cold Star considering its M value.
  • Novasurge Plasma Rifle: Gives a COMMANDER or Crisis's plasma rifle AP-5 (eh) and the ability to ignore invulns (absolutely incredible), setting dangerous precedent. Same ability as the Bork'an stratagem. Tends to get overhyped since it's limited to a single D3 shot but it's still the most reliable prototype. Just don't expect it to turn the tide of battle unless you get a nice shot at a support character.
  • Resonator Warheads: Gives a COMMANDER or Crisis's missile pod +1 shot fired, +1S, and if any hits are scored against an INFANTRY, BEASTs, or CAVALRY unit, halve its movement until the start of your next shooting phase. This cannot stack with other movement debuffs to reduce it to less than half. Not worth it if you're making a missile heavy commander but as a stand alone weapon it can help keep him safe from fast moving Melee units. Also fucks over vanguard vet focused lists.
  • Sensory Negation Countermeasures: Crisis and Commander only. Once per battle at the start of the fight phase, select one enemy unit within engagement range of the bearer. Until end of next turn, models in that unit take -1 to hit. Great on a punch commander, but not much else.
  • Starflare Ignition System: COLDSTAR COMMANDER only. Once per battle, when the bearer starts or ends a move, or uses its High-Altitude Maneuvers ability (before removing it from the battlefield), it can use this system. Roll a D6 for each other unit within 3” of this model. On a 2+, that unit takes D3 mortals. Coldstar punch Commanders should already be using High-Altitude to escape when they eventually bite off more then they can chew, so it's good for that, especially to finish off a wounded character.
  • Stimm Injectors: Crisis and Commander only. Provides a once-per-game 4+++ FNP until the end of turn, which could be just enough to likely shrug off a meltagun or other massive warhead, or even survive whole enemy's turn of shooting, which is rather useful for close-ranged commander.
  • Thermoneutronic Projector: Not only more than doubles a COMMANDER or Crisis's single-flamer output by making one of them AP-2 D2, it also gives you an actual Tau Melee Weapon, as the bearer can make D6+2 additional attacks with its profile of Melee S4 AP-2 D2. It begs to be combined with the Onager Fist and Precision of the Hunter. Just remember that as opposed to your standard flamer, this weapon doesn't auto-hit. However considering the increased hit output, this isn't much of an issue, especially since it will likely be placed on a commander.
  • Wide-Spectrum Scanners: Model with an early warning override only (so Enforcer and Coldstar Commanders can't take it). At the end of your opponent’s reinforcements step, if the bearer is not engaged, it can shoot at a single enemy unit that arrived from reinforcements this turn and is within 12” as if it were your shooting phase. Pretty much used to scare off deep strike meltas or point blank stormbolter terms.

Unit Analysis[edit]

Sept Units[edit]

Drone Profiles[edit]

Basically every non-Auxiliary unit has access to drones. Even some flyers and forts have them. Drones are now part of the unit that bought them, meaning you can allocate wounds on them as normal, without having to roll or anything. Being mixed units, they have some rules that detail how they interact with their host squad:

  • Valued Sacrifice: Drones are meant to be expendable even if they do have self-preservation routines. In mixed units, non-Drone models ignore destroyed Drone models for morale purposes. The opposite is not true, so don't hesitate to put them in harm's way to keep other Tau safe.
  • Artificial helpers: Drone models are ignored for Look Out Sir, determining a unit's starting or half strength, or determining a unit's average toughness if the unit has non-Drone models. Thus a 6-tau Crisis squad w/12 drones has a starting strength of 6, and is wounded by bolter shots on a 5+, while Fire Warriors are wounded on a 3+.
  • Limited parameters: Drones are never ObSec, and can't do any actions on their own other than Fire Markerlights.

Characters, infantry units and battlesuits can often bring at least up to 2 drones, of either the Markerlight, Gun or Shield varieties. These three are collectively referred to as "Tactical drones". Vehicles often have Docked Drones, mostly of the Gun variety. This means the drone's weapons are used directly by the vehicle as a single model (and can't take wounds on the vehicle's stead), and thus aren't really on the tabletop until undocked via the Designated Tasking stratagem, if at all.

  • There are many different types of drones, all detailed on their respective entries, but almost all drones use the basic statline of M10” WS5+ BS5+ S3 T4 W1 A1 Ld6 Sv4+. "Almost all" means:
    • Advanced Guardian Drone (Commander Shadowsun)
    • Command-Link Drone (Commander Shadowsun)
    • Grav-Inhibitor Drone (Pathfinders)
    • Guardian Drone (Strike Teams and Breacher Teams)
    • Gun Drone
    • Marker Drone
    • Missile Drone (Broadsides)
    • Pulse Accelerator Drone (Pathfinders)
    • Sniper Drone (Firesight Marksmen)
    • Stealth Drone (Ghostkeels)
  • Shield Drones and Shielded Missile Drones (Riptides) are M10” WS5+ BS5+ S3 T4 W2 A1 Ld6 Sv4+, i.e. they have +1W relative to baseline.
  • Recon Drones (Pathfinders) are M10” WS5+ BS5+ S3 T4 W3 A1 Ld6 Sv4+, i.e. they have +2W relative to baseline.
  • Interceptor Drones (Sun Sharks) are M20” WS5+ BS5+ S3 T4 W1 A1 Ld6 Sv4+, i.e. they have +10M relative to baseline.


  • Tau Commander: Your captain figure. Unlike the other Tau HQs, Commanders are heroic models, built for jumping into the thick of it with half a dozen wounds and up to four BS2+ guns blazing. Master of War is now an Aura of re-roll 1s to hit for <sept> core units though, with their bulk and speed, "CORE" often translates to "CRISIS teams" who can keep up with them. There are three Commander versions (and two ​FW Legends), each with the ability to give a special rule to a <sept> Crisis core unit within 9" that changes how they play, but they all have in common that they are shooty, hardy, and mobile. Even in melee their A4 WS3+ S5 can be helped by a close-combat-oriented Onager Fist signature and/or Thermoneutronic Projector prototype system (and the battlesuit's ability to shoot whilst engaged), but it's best not to expose them to any unnecessary roughness, if mostly for their squad's sake.
    • Want to Manta Strike them alongside a Crisis bomb? Wait until turn 2 (or fake it with a Coldstar): A homing beacon only works on core units, which Commanders are not.
    • BS2+ means the high Damage guns go here: as many anti-armor Fusion blasters and anti-everything Cyclic Ion Blasters as you can afford, with a plasma rifle potentially thrown in. Relic and Prototype stuff also goes here, including the Prototype flamer. S5 stuff can be wielded by literally anything else. Even a shield generator ought to be reconsidered, as changes to Drone rules mean you can have them be the Commander unit's 4++ while the Commander focuses on shooting stuff. Miniguns do be looking cool though, not gonna lie.
      • Despite the escalating costs of guns, the best loadout you can take against almost anything is quadruple CIBs, unless you can reliably get into melta range with your Fusion blasters. If you do equip a commander with 4 CIB do consider buying 2 Shield drones, to absorb the self-inflicted mortal wounds.
  • Not "the standard" anymore. They have the fewest wounds, with "only" 6, but can get Iridium to get a 2+, which Coldstars can't. Their main protection, however, is their smaller size, which can be hidden easier unlike the other Commanders, whose truescale size is almost twice of their fellow Crisis (you can always kitbash them a bigger base). Unlike other Commanders, XV8 have access to a Counterfire defence system, Early warning override, Multi-tracker, and (unlike the Enforcer) Target lock. You will likely be stuffing them full of guns instead of systems anyway, but they are there if you need them. In return, they're the one commander that lacks access to a Positional Relay, which is fine.
    • Comes with Tactical Acumen, giving a Crisis team in the Command Phase the ability to shoot and charge after falling back, as well as having their ranged attacks ignore any or all hit modifiers, meaning the enemy can neither tie them up nor foul their aim.
  • Commander in an XV8 Battlesuit with a mandatory Smart Missile System weapon and only 2 remaining slots for Weapons/Support systems. Kitbash model.
  • Commander in an XV8 Battlesuit with a mandatory markerlight, target lock, and still has two more customization slots left. Kitbash model.
  • The mighty glacier and most expensive one, built for jumping onto a point and then hold onto it instead of dashing somewhere else. For this their chassis is equipped with beyond-Iridium Hardened Armor, dragging their movement down to 8" (M10" is the norm) in return for Sv2+ and a Disgustingly Resilient -1D to incoming damage (to a minumum of 1) on their W7. Same lessened access to Support Systems as the Coldstar, but you want four guns anyways.
    • Resolute Firebase gives ObjSec to the accompanying Crisis squad in the Command Phase, giving you a fast, tough ObSec unit with which to contest enemy-held objectives. Or outright steal them when combined with the Multi-Sensory Discouragement Array's ability to delete the enemy's own ObSec rule.
    • Alternatively, -1D allows this commander to survive close combat, should the enemy reach it. And battlesuits are deceptively capable of stomping someone, should they need to.
  • No longer with ludicrous speed, but M14" is still faster than any enemy jump packs, gives those Fusion Blasters a 23" melta radius, lets you use fusion or flamers turn 1, and it even has an easier time using CC systems, should you want to (don't you do). It's the only commander without access to a 2+ save (does have W7, though), but has High-Altitude Maneuvers, a one-use jump at the start of any movement phase to either escape into strategic reserves (Kauyon!) or drop back down at the reinforcements step of the same turn, re-deploying anywhere the usual 9" away from enemies (Mont'Ka!). Thus they're the only commanders who can actually deepstrike turn 1 alongside a Homing Beaconed Crisis team. See? Fast!
    • With access to a special burst cannon, a lack of CIBs but the speed necessary to use melee and short ranged weaponry, their wargear loadout can be different from what other commanders use.
      • They're armed with one Coldstar-exclusive Assault 10 AP-1 'High-output Burst cannon' (HOBC), giving you something better than two of the normal version on a single hardpoint. It is also legally not a "Burst cannon", meaning the first of those is paid for at no overcost. Which you can then turn into the DW-02 Advanced Burst Cannon and have two special gatling guns! Which they can use masterfully, as Coldstars come with a hardwired Target Lock, enabling them to ignore cover naturally. That's if you want to use gatling guns, though, because...
      • ...a Coldstar's speed makes them your best choice for using flamers or melee relics, and the Thermoneutronic Projector is both, so it's really hard to top that, the HOBC, and 2 Fusion Blasters on one of these. There are niche uses for swapping the HOBC out for a Plasma Rifle or third Fusion, but against MEQ, TEQ, or a Knight, you do want the HOBC.
    • As to not leave their squad behind, their Aggressive Tactics turboboosts a Crisis squad into advancing 8" automatically (better and cheaper than the stratagem), meaning they can either:
      • Dash forward while the commander high-altitude jumps to meet another Crisis team arriving through a Homing Beacon Manta Strike, giving them a guaranteed 27" Melta threat radius, or...
      • Keep up with a Devilfish armored spearhead, which would otherwise be faster under Mont'Ka and end up outrunning the Crisis team's special weapon fire support.
  • Ethereal: The support HQ, with the ability to buff nearby squads whilst mostly just standing around. A regular ethereal knows 2 invocations of the elements, and can successfully intone one on a 3+. Named ethereals (or one with a relic) intone two elements on a 2+, so those are to be prioritized when considering Ethereal support. Still, their mere presence is already beneficial to your units. Inspired to Greatness allows one unit to keep on shooting without failing an action, and Failure Is Not An OptionAura lets non-auxiliary Tau use their resolute Leadership 10. As expected, these guys do not interact with farsight enclaves units, and cannot be from that sept.
    • Ethereals do have an A3 WS4+ S+2(5) AP-1 D2 Honour Stave to bonk people in melee, but this is mostly an auxiliary weapon to have something to do while waiting for your turn to fall back. If you want to use them on the front lines but are worried about their relative frailty (T3 Sv5+ W4 means they're a Fireblade in Pathfinder armor and hardier than a Shaper), simply adding drones allows them to use their superior 4+ save.
    • Ethereals are customizable and flexible, owing to their invocations, being able to interact with Strike Teams, Crisis Teams, and even Kroot and Vespid too - the only model capable of doing so in general, and can mount on an exclusive Hover Drone to gain M10", FLY, and zip around yelling invocations at Crisis speed instead of being confined inside a Devilfish in the Command phase.
  • Cadre Fireblade: The infantry support guy, chiefly Strike Teams. Cheap and support-oriented, they do alright embedded among several squads (or leading a trio of Devilfish), as their Volley Fire aura gives <SEPT> CORE units within 6” exploding 6s to hit with pulse weapons. Additionally they can give one FIRE WARRIOR TEAM re-rolls of 1s to hit with their ranged attacks until their next command phase; that means their aura is better (*1.33 without a markerlight token, *1.25 with) than their single-target buff (*1.17), and strapping one to even 1 Strike Team means they're earning their points back. Also has a 36" Rapid Fire 1 S5 AP-2 D2 Fireblade pulse rifle, to contribute to the shooting. They also have a markerlight, but that needs them to stay still so they'll only get to use it when defending an objective.
Special Characters[edit]

These are listed here because, while they do belong to specific septs, they can still be included without disrupting army rules; they simply won't gain theirs whilst in a foreign army. As such, they are accessible to any sept.

  • Aun'shiVior'la Sept: Unlike the other Ethereals, he really did study the blade. Good in melee for the points even compared to the melee characters of other factions, especially before considering that you are playing Tau 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. His special rule Leadership Caste lets him be in any non-farsight enclaves TAU EMPIRE detachment without interfering with <SEPT> rules, but he will only gain <SEPT> traits if in a Vior'la army. Unfortunately, his rule doesn't let him avoid disabling your Tactical Philosophy, so it's up to you if he's worth it. As a named Ethereal he knows a third invocation has a built-in Humble Stave, meaning he can attempt a second invocation and succeeds on a 2+. His other benefits include a 4++ and the fact that he's a melee powerhouse: his staff is A5 WS2+ S+2(5) AP-2 D2, exploding 6s to hit means he usually makes 5 attacks and then lands 5 hits, which is more than triple the amount a normal Ethereal lands even before you notice his AP-2. His final benefit isn't cross-faction, though; Inspirational DefianceAura: Friendly VIOR’LA CORE units within 6” that are not engaged in melee can hold steady or set to defend when charged (effectively, they always count as being in Defensible Terrain).
  • Aun'vaT'au Sept: Dead, but apparently that doesn't stop him from spreading the good word. Despite being T'au Sept, his special rule Leadership Caste lets him be in any non-farsight enclaves TAU EMPIRE detachment without interfering with <SEPT> rules, but he will only gain <SEPT> traits if in a T'AU SEPT army. Unfortunately, his rule doesn't let him avoid disabling your Tactical Philosophy, so it's up to you if he's worth it. As a named Ethereal he knows a third invocation and has a built-in Humble Stave, meaning he can attempt a second invocation and succeeds on a 2+. His other benefits are that he replaces Failure Is Not An Option with Supreme Loyalty, which is the exact same thing except it's 9" instead of 6", and although he's a 3-model unit and hence is more difficult to transport, he's significantly nastier in melee and tougher than a standard Ethereal, partially because he's a 3-person unit. Compared to a standard Ethereal you get twice as many Honour Staff attacks without the -1 to hit penalty from his two bodyguards, and he himself contributes 1 laughably worthless WS6+ S2 slap. On the durability side, aside from being 8 wounds to a normal Ethereal's 3 (and that's spread across multiple models, letting you dissipate high-D attacks), he continues to commit to basically having Shield Drones But Better by having the entire unit have a 5++ and all attacks against it suffer -1 to wound.
  • Commander ShadowsunT'au Sept: Ever wished your Stealth Suit squad could carry more Fusion Blasters? Well, now one can. Statwise she's a Crisis Commander with W7, but everyone's favorite Tau waifu has supreme commander, so you can take her in any detachment without shutting off Sept rules or your Tactical Philosophy, meaning she's even easier to take than either named Ethereal, and accompanying that is her special rule Hero of the Empire, stating that if you take her, she has to be your Warlord. She comes with a pair of fusion blasters which come in one of two flavors you can pick from when putting her in your list: "Dispersed" (18" Assault 2 S7 AP-4 D2, +1D at half range) or "High-Energy" (24" Assault 1 S8 AP-4 D1d6, +2D at half range). She also has a Flechette Launcher she appears to have stolen from the Adeptus Mechanicus: 18" Assault 5 S3 AP0 D1 and a Light Missile Pod: 24" Assault 2 S7 AP-1 D2. For some reason she also has a Pulse Pistol you'll literally never fire. She has the standard re-roll 1s aura, only hers works on all Tau Empire Core (i.e. she can buff across Septs), and her single-target buff lets her pick a Tau Empire Core/Tau Empire character unit within 6" (so she can pick herself) to re-roll all hit rolls. She also has a permanent -1 to be hit and a 5++. Rather than Manta Strike, she infiltrates like a Stealth Suit. She also has 2 bespoke drones no-one else can take: an "Advanced Guardian Drone" which is a special stealth drone, not a special guardian drone: it has a 4++ and while the drone lives Shadowsun can't be targeted with ranged attacks unless she's the closest eligible unit. Her other bespoke drone is a Command-Link Drone, and while it lives, she gets +3" to her auras and Command Phase abilities, so the aforementioned re-roll 1s aura is actually 9" on her and 9" is the range of her full re-rolls buff.

The Forge World characters hail from a time back before septs had their own subfaction rules. While technically they do belong to a specific sept, those septs don't have rules themselves...meaning you can use any rules you want.

  • Shas'O R'alaiForge World,KE'LSHAN: KE'LSHAN Sept has no rules, but it has got at least one person in it. 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 a bit better, being that they can mark units within 48" rather than the stock 36". 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. This means you effectively have to make a second to hit roll after all your normal ones, just this time for the Mortal Wound, and you can only inflict one Mortal Wound no matter how many times you successfully shoot the target.
  • Shas'O R'myrForge World,Legends: Commander equipped with a Twin Plasma Rifle and a 4 shot autopistol. Re-rolls 1s to hit against Imperial Guard, which makes his weapon loadout an odd choice. He can't take any drones. Overall, not great.


The Tau Fire Warriors are okay at shooting, with BS4+ but very good guns, and bad at melee with S3 WS5+ 1A. Their Shas'Ui sarge can get a markerlight, and the squad can get up to two drones, but besides the Tactical ones they also have two exclusive options:

  • Guardian drone: Tactical drone stats with a 4++ (but only 1W). This drone no longer shares its invuln with the warriors themselves, but it saves the unit it is attached to from being wounded on a 2 by ranged attacks. This helps against those pesky S6 shots.
    • For a bit more, a shield drone has twice the wounds and takes wounds instead of the warriors. It doesn't help against S6 shots, though the guardian drone's effect dissapears if it is sacrificed for a warrior. However say you had three units of Fire Warriors with two shield drones each. That's 12W 4++ to hide your warrior behind... but for just a bit more points you would have a fourth fire warrior squad. Boys over toys?
  • DS8 Tactical Support Turret, which can be deployed as an action started in the command phase and completed at the end of that turn's movement phase, meaning the unit has to begin the turn on the table and remain stationary if they want to use the turret, which can be equipped with either a smart missile system for indirect fire (to offset its static nature) or a proper missile pod for direct fire. It also means the unit can't use a Markerlight that turn. Useless with Mont'Ka as you should be pushing up, but for a static gunline it's a good choice.

Now they come on units of 10, but at least now they are the same Ld as marines: Ld7 w/Ld8 Shas'ui. They are also well armored, with a 4+ that becomes 4+/4++ with shield drones. The two troops choice versions of fire warriors (the third option is Fast Pathfinders) are:

  • Strike Team: Your main gunline infantry, now Pulse Rifles are 36" RF1 S5 AP-1 D1, making them among the best Troop's rapid fire guns in the game. 18" RF range makes it easy to double shoot whilst still benefitting from cover, where their 3+ may require the enemy to shoot at them with high AP shots that would normally be wasted on T3 models.
    • Pulse rifle 18" rapid fire range goes nicely with Mont'Ka's 18" range.
    • They can also swap their rifles for Pulse Carbines. Those lack the AP, but allow the squad to advance & shoot if they are using Kauyon. Compared to pulse rifles, pulse carbines shine from 18" to 24" range, where their two AP-0 shots outdamage the rifle's single AP-1 shot. For the squads that aren't using the Relentless Fusillade strat, that is.
  • Breacher Team: Danger close. They put out nice firepower, as long as you are close enough to count their nose hairs: Pulse blasters are 8” Assault 2 S6 AP-2 D1 or 14” Assault 2 S5 AP-1 D1. This second profile is inferior to the pulse rifle's 0-18" two S5 AP-1 shots, so shoot from within 8" or you're doing it wrong, so make sure you have a plan for getting them incredibly close if you're going to field them. Be it as a response team to counterattack wherever enemy forces reach your lines, or Combat Debarked right on top of the enemy they'll attract a ton of firepower, so protect them with drones. They go great with Devilfish, where "great" means "it's the only way to get them close enough quickly". And if the enemy doesn't die, charge them with the transport.
    • They do fine in Mont'Ka, where they can advance and still count as stationary when shooting their now AP-3 guns, but even in turn one they still ought to close in to 8" (wasting 10" of the 18" increased-AP range), else you'd be better off with Pulse Rifles. They may be the better Fire Warriors for Kauyon, however, where the 12" exploding hits range is not too different from their optimal 8" range (yet it would waste pulse rifle/carbine range), and a shotgun is an okay gun to fall back with.

Dedicated Transport[edit]

  • TY7 Devilfish: Fish of Fury returns! Its transport capacity is 12 <sept> infantry or <sept> drone models + 1 <sept> recon drone and it can't transport battlesuits (and the sept requirement bans it from carrying Kroot or Vespid, even if you're Dal'yth), so ideally put a Strike Team into them. It has fly, so it can do the usual transport tricks of being aggravating in melee even better because it can scoot over enemies and terrain, and it's reasonably durable for its cost at T7 Sv3+ W13. It also comes with a pair of docked Gun Drones, so the stock version simply has 4 Pulse Carbines. You can upgrade the guns - the Accelerated Burst Cannon is legitimately strictly better than the Pulse Carbines in terms of murder-efficiency - but it costs points you could be putting into something worthwhile, like Broadsides, and doesn't let you pop the Designated Tasking strat to turn 1 model into 3 for cheeky capping, so you generally shouldn't bother. Thanks to the 12 seats you can toss in Darkstrider, a Fireblade, or accompanying drones, as well as the fire warrior team inside. It's nice that a Pathfinder team will fit inside with a third drone, but the Fish slows them down a lot and cuts the number of drones they can take, so it's of dubious utility there. The Devilfish is flexible but still quite pricey, so keep them as cheap as possible, save the upgrades for actual tanks like Longstrike or Hammerheads.
    • The generally best way to use these is with the Combat Debarkation strat (or, as of current wording, just using the Mont'Ka Philosophy, which lets the Devilfish count as Remaining Stationary even if it moves), so the Devilfish can carry its team into position and they can just get out, shoot what they need to shoot, and get to capping like a good ObjSec unit. Bear in mind that the current wording is clearly broken, because it renders the strat's interaction with Mont'Ka useless - you'd never spend a CP to do what the rules let you do without spending a CP - so expect a FAQ soon changing Mont'Ka's wording so Transports don't count as Remaining Stationary for their contents to disembark. Fixed, see below.
    • You can do some clever tricks with a Breacher Team if you're using a kamikaze Devilfish, since if the Fish is charged and survives, on your turn you can do the standard Transport trick of disembarking the innards (in this case Breachers), Fall Back with the transport, and have the erstwhile riders unload into your target.
    • Points 7 & 8 of the core rulebook faq regarding rules that count as remaining stationary clears this up, unless the transport in question has a rule that explicitly states a unit can disembark after moving which the devilfish doesn’t, the only way to disembark a unit is using the Combat Debarkation strat, also, a unit that disembarks from a transport is not considered to be under the effects of the counts as stationary ability for whatever that may be worth.


  • Firesight Marksman: BS3+ and a Pulse Pistol, but you don't take one to shoot with. Instead, you take this dude because it comes with 3 Sniper Drones and in your Command Phase can select any one sniper drone unit within 6" (so you'll always have the unit target itself unless something really weird happens) to have on all of its sniper drone models BS3+, ignore Look Out Sir, and deal 1 mortal on unmodified 6s to wound on all attacks (including melee attacks, if it comes up). His new stealth rule prevents him from being targeted by ranged attacks unless he is the closest model; or he is within 12" range. If he moves during his turn though, the rule effects are deactivated till his next movement phase. Finally he also comes with the MARKERLIGHT keyword. For its price and elite slot it's not very good unless you're fighting a army that loves it's support characters (and ones made of paper at that).
  • XV-25 Stealth Battlesuits: Your infiltrators, able to be set up anywhere besides the opponent's deployment zone and within 12" of enemies. They no longer have any special interaction with cover, but their stats increased to T4 W2 while actually decreasing in price, and their Stealth rules now apply a -1 to hit modifier to any units attacking the Stealth Suits in both shooting AND melee, lessening their dependence on terrain and giving them more autonomy. Like some other battlesuit units they also have the INFANTRY keyword, with all the benefits and vulnerabilities it entails. They also can take only 2 drones per squad, one model every three can swap their Burst Cannon for a Fusion Blaster, and 1 in 3 models can buy a drone controller or target lock. The unit can also take a homing beacon, but is kind of pointless without one.
    • Homing Beacon (Action): In your command phase, any number of units with homing beacons can begin this action, completes at the start of your next reinforcements step. When completed, the unit loses its homing beacon and one friendly <SEPT> CRISIS CORE (so it won't work on Commanders or Hazards) unit in manta strike can be deployed within 3” of this unit and more than 9” away from enemy models, even if it is the first battle round.
    • Not useless at direct combat in any way, but their utility lies not on their raw power but on their tactical mobility, setting up where you want them right from the start while being difficult to remove. They even infiltrate a pair of drones. Their homing beacons are one of the only ways to set up reinforcements on turn 1. But they might need that help, since they cannot Manta Strike - the only other unit they can deploy alongside with is the Ghostkeel, with whom they work well:
      • Ghostkeels have lots of 18" guns but also want to keep their distance from the enemy; bodyblock them with Stealth suits, which get -1 to be hit even in melee. Ghostkeels can't bring regular drones; Stealth suits bring two. When a Ghostkeel loads up on fusion weapons and can no longer defend itself from the small guys, the Stealth suits help it with their burst cannons, maybe gun drones and even fusion guns of their own. Teamwork!
    • Beware that with all marines having W2, anti-MEQ is becoming even more popular in the meta and these dudes are MEQ, so make sure you know where your suits will go and don't overly rely on their durability.
    • Combine with Hardened Armour for a unit that against a boltgun in cover has -1 to hit, 5+ to wound and a 2+ save. Also always funny when your opponent realizes a Volley of lasguns only wound on 6s.
  • XV-8 Crisis Battlesuits: Same number of hardpoints as a Crisis Commander (4) but one of them can only be a support system, only 1 in 3 can wear Iridium, 66% of the wounds (W4), and 60% of the accuracy (BS4+) for 2/5 the points while naked and discounts on many but not all of their gun choices, the best general offensive loadout for them is a Cyclic Ion Blaster, a Plasma Rifle, and a Fusion Blaster - don't forget to fire the CIB third, so there's no chance of dying before you can shoot your other guns. For support systems, take 1 Early Warning Override for the entire unit and put Multi-trackers/ Target Lock on everyone else, so if you're charged by a unit of 6+ models you're functionally your original BS4+ (BS5+ for the EWO bearer, so if you want a triple-flamer bearer for murdering GEQ, this is the dude to do it), or ignore the +1 to Sv from light cover, which most opponents will try to take advantage of or have abilities to have outside of cover. Pretty good for any army, even a gunline could use missiles for indirect fire before using that speed to cap objectives.
    • In case you missed how the rules work out, you can take 2 shield drones per Crisis Suit and then take mortal wounds from your CIBs on your Shield Drones. That doesn't make the CIBs suddenly cost-effective, but it does mean if you're afraid of Overcharging you're doing it wrong. We're not asking the shields drones to live, just take the overcharge MWs instead of the suits. CIB overcharge MWs are taken by the unit, including the drones.
  • XV-8 Crisis Bodyguards: Now the same cost as a standard Crisis but they have a bodyguard aura - <sept> CHARACTER units within 3" can't be targeted by ranged attacks, period (though not including Longstrike due to being a Vehicle) - and the ability to take 1 unit slotlessly per <sept> commander (so max 1 if not FSE, 2 if FSE per Detachment). Also, the minimum size of the unit drops from 3 to 2, which leans effectively into their bodyguard role. For minimum points investments a 2-suit Bodyguard unit will protect your Characters far more cost effectively than a minimum 3-suit crisis unit. Enemy shooting only has to drop one crisis suit in a minimum crisis unit, before concentrating all their firepower onto your precious Character units. Whereas a Crisis Bodyguard unit of only 2 still has to be completely destroyed before the enemy can begin to aim their sights on your Character(s).
    • Warning: Bodyguards have crippled access to support systems compared to standard Crisis. Where standard units have 4 hardpoints, 1 of which can only be chosen from a limited list of support systems. Bodyguards simply don't have this last slot - they only have the 3 hardpoints that can mount guns or support systems. This renders the unit disappointing in comparison, try to avoid taking it.
    • Alternate take: You take bodyguards to effectively protect your important Characters/Commanders, that will inevitably be positioned around the table throughout the battle. Their primary purpose ISN'T supposed to be damaged output but - hint; it's in their name. Alternatively, allows a Crisis unit to be taken when you have no Elite slots left (a niche use but might help in tight list building).
  • XV-9 Hazard BattlesuitsForge World: A heavier Battlesuit that gets a variety of advanced weapon choices and a slightly worse statline (the unit has no A4 Ld9 model in it), for a cost: being twice as much as a standard Crisis at 60 points, but that's deceptive because they have to take two weapons with an optional support system which can't be a weapon, and their weapon choices are distinct, with distinct costs. Thanks to rules updates in the FAQ, it can deepstrike and take a support system on each model for the same cost as a Crisis Battlesuit would pay, so a multi-tracker is often going to be your best bet.
    • Twin Hazard Burst Cannons are just Burst Cannons with 2 more shots (i.e. 33% more shots), so never take them. An XV-9 with 2 of this is 16 shots for 60 points. A standard Crisis with 3 Burst Cannons is 18 shots for 65 points, which is better. Stick to Fusion Cascades.
    • Phased Ion Guns are Burst Cannons with +1S and -1AP, meaning there's absolutely no point - against absolutely all possible targets, THBCs are better. Stick to Fusion Cascades.
    • Fusion Cascades are where things get serious. Each one is a 12" Assault 1d3 Fusion Blaster with Blast, i.e. each one is two Fusion Blasters at shorter range, and they're only 10 points each without scaling costs. That means a double Cascade (i.e. quadruple Blaster(hextuple if lucky)) Hazard is 80 points, while a triple-Fusion standard Crisis is also 80, for 1 less shot on average. That means Hazards are your premier source of Fusion dakka - they do it better than anything else you can field, and that becomes even more true within melta range. They also have the Infantry keyword thanks to the FAQ, with all the bad and good that entails with it.
  • XV-95 Ghostkeel Battlesuit: Not as heavily armored as the Riptide or as last edition due to the loss of the shield generator, but makes up for it by only being shootable if the shooter is within 18" or the Ghostkeel is the closest unit of yours to it - in other words, everything in your army can bodyguard for it. The Cyclic Ion Raker is now 36", so you can shoot enemy units while a single Kroot screens you from being shot yourself by that Imperial Knight. The Fusion Collider is actually good now that it is an automatic 3 shots instead of D3. However, note that Ghostkeels aren't efficient at murder by Tau standards - what they're very good at is durability, which their Prototype only leans into by making nearby enemy stratagems more expensive. They're -1 to be hit T7 Sv3+ W12, and have support systems to get even more durable. You take one of these to infiltrate onto the battlefield and be aggravatingly difficult to remove, i.e. territory denial.
    • For support systems, it has a mandatory drone controller and a choice to make between an Early Warning Override or a Flare Launcher, which is unique to the Ghostkeel and gives it a 5+++ against S7+ shooting, but since it's T7, that's genuinely useful.
    • For weapons, your sidearms can be Fusion Blasters, Burst Cannons, or Flamers, so you shouldn't need to be told to take double Fusions. For your main weapon, what you really want is the Ion Raker, because you don't want to be compelled to get close to your targets and give up the utility of your Stealth Drones.
    • Wall of mirrors makes it a great late game flanker, allowing it to jump off the battlefield and appear near any table edge you want it to. Hello Raven Guard Devastators. Nice Lascannons. It'd be a shame if someone pumped you full of Ion.
    • MV-5 Stealth Drones: Do not lose the drones. They are what primarily provide the ability to not be shot outside of 18".
  • DX-4 Technical DronesLegends,Forge World: Similar stat profile as a Tactical Drone except for -2" movement (M8"), +1 wound (W2), with a 12" Assault 1 S5 shot. Once per command phase the unit can choose to either repair D3 wounds on a single BATTLESUIT model within 3", or select an enemy unit within 12" to not receive light cover until your next turn. Expect these guys to draw a colossal amount of fire, and probably die immediately as a result. If you want them to live long enough to actually fix something, make sure to hide them out of sight behind buildings - and/or increase the number of drones per unit. You can only repair the same model once per Command phase.

Fast Attack[edit]

  • Pathfinders: Now cost considerably less than what they used to, you're going be getting a lot more use out of these guys - in fact, they're hands down your best Fast Attack option. Not only are they a cheap source of Markerlights which they can use after moving (just never Advance with them and you'll be fine. INCLUDING WITH MONT'KA! It does NOT let you do actions while moving!!! Don't misunderstand it like I did!), their special weapons are much better than last edition. The Rail Rifle is now a diet Lascannon with worse Strength but better AP. If you expect them to be on the move a lot, you'll want the Ion Rifles. They are Heavy 2 regardless of profile, but the lack of variable shots means they're far more reliable than before. These will profit from their own unit's Markerlights, and you genuinely want them shooting their special weapons if they brought them - they're very effective, and will reliably put out so many Markerlights you don't mind losing 1 to the unit's own shooting. Their armour is very bad, likely due to the lack of a manly pauldron, so they should stay in cover.
    • Don't forget to always take a Pulse Accelerator Drone for AP-1 Carbines and a Recon Drone for being a gun drone but better while also being a good damage sink. 2 shield drones and a grav-inhibitor drones are also great takes, just not as mandatory.
    • They can and in practice always will take a grenade launcher, which has two profiles: 20" Assault 1 S6 AP-1 D3 or 20” Assault 1 S3 AP0 D1, if a non-TITANIC VEHICLE is hit, it halves its remaining wounds for degrading purposes until the start of your next shooting phase. The degradation mode is surprisingly effective if there's a target you don't want to murder yet - this unit makes so many markerlight tokens it's not a big sacrifice to throw one away on supporting this grenade, and if it goes through you'll force the target down 1 degradation step while putting your actual murder elsewhere. Nonetheless, a lot of the time you'll just use the murder mode to add more damage to whatever you wanted dead.
    • Pathfinders can easily utilize a jump-shoot-jump with the Recon Sweep stratagem. Use it to put a markerlight on a big scary thing, then move behind LOS blocking terrain, and let the Railsides do the rest.
    • MV-31 Pulse Accelerator Drone: Improves the AP of all Pulse weapons in the unit by 1. Auto-include, as you're stuck with shitty Pulse Carbines instead of the Pulse Rifles you'd be radically better with.
    • MV-33 Grav-inhibitor Drone: -2 to charge rolls targeting this unit. Pretty damn great.
    • MB3 Recon Drone: W3 and equipped with a Burst Cannon (which, remember, means functionally 3 Pulse Carbines to a Gun Drone's 2), this lets the entire unit ignore Light Cover when it attacks a target within 18". Absolutely clutch for the Wounds, because the Pulse Accelerator Drone and the Drone Controller the unit can take for free encourage you to take Gun Drones, so the Recon Drone is your most efficient way to pack more Wounds into the unit if you're not taking Shield Drones. The gun usually makes the unit worse at murder per point, simply because if you remotely care about that you'll take options that make the Burst Cannon a comparative waste of points, like a Pulse Accelerator Drone or special weapons.
    • You can have up to five drones in the unit: two tactical, one inhibitor, one accelerator, and one recon.
  • TX4 Piranhas: Zippy, decently priced, can be armed for anti-horde or anti-heavy. Fills the same harassment role it always has, but is no longer the essentially "free drones" platform it was in previous editions. Each one carries 2 gun drones, so that's 4 Pulse Carbines per Piranha, and a main gun. Both of its main gun options are bespoke versions that are better than the Crisis baseline versions. The Piranha Burst Cannon is an automatic pass, as it's an S6 Burst Cannon - every other vehicle in your army, including a Devilfish, that can carry a Burst Cannon carries an Assault 8 AP-1 version of this, so it's more of an insult than anything else. The Piranha Fusion Blaster is much more interesting, as it deals +2D relative to a normal one (so D1d6+2 at 18", D1d6+4 at half), but it's still genuinely pointless because both Pathfinders and Vespid (if you're keen on the Deep Strike) will outshoot it against everything in the game.
  • TetrasForge World: With the February 2022 Errata, the Tetra has made something of a comeback. Though it can't automatically hit with markerlights, it can roll 3d6 to determine if a token lands, making it considerably more reliable. With all the changes to how they work, you're going to want this to join with a unit that's going to make a lot of shooting so that they can benefit from these more frequent markerlights.
  • TX-42 PiranhaForge World,Legends: Comes with your choice of two of: Fusion Blasters, Missile Pods, Plasma Rifles, or Rail Rifles. 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!
  • Tactical Drones: Note this is also the Datacard used for all other drones that deploy with, and then separate from, other Tau 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. All drones have separate point costs being 8 for gun, 10 for marker and 12 for shield.
    • MV-1 Gun Drones: At 8 points, this is the Tau Empire's somewhat more efficient source of dakka after the change to Volley Fire. These synergise extremely well with a drone controller and Cadre Fireblade, resulting in 6 shots at 9" at BS5+. 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. Great meatshields for more important drones if you don't have the points for shield drones.
    • MV-4 Shield Drones: 2 wounds with a 4++, GW has realized the utter Bullshit that these were and were bumped to a deserved 12 points. They can no longer serve as lascannon sponges like they did last edition, but now function much like storm shields for the special boys. No longer have the feel no pain though, so you won't be shrugging off mortals. They have no guns, but can hit on a 5+ in melee, though if you are in melee with them to begin with something has gone very wrong.
    • Throw sense of stone on a crisis unit with added shield drones and gain some 4++/5+++ ablative wounds for the unit.
    • MV-7 Marker Drones: Way more valuable given the new codex. They retain their awful BS, but now it doesn't even matter because they automatically hit with markerlights like vehicles, so they'll pair great with Broadsides and Fire Warrior squads. Combine them into Pathfinder squads with the recon sweep stratagem and watch your opponent's dumbfounded face as your unit of Pathfinders with Marker drones auto marks their Shield Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike.
    • Drones and non drone models in a unit can’t act together, either move and fire the drones or use the strat and fire the pathfinders, better yet, don’t take marker drones with pathfinders.
  • XV-107 R'Varna BattlesuitForge World: A badly overcosted long-range MEQ and light vehicle killer. Like the Broadside, it gives up FLY in exchange for its gun and increased durability. Said gun is 60" Heavy 3d3(6) S6 AP-2 D2, Blast. But you have two of these guns! In the Command Phase it can deal itself a mortal wound (it's W15 and cripples its M8, A4, and BS4+) to choose one of the options below, but its cost is absurd - there's literally no reason to ever take this over the Y'Vahra, let alone an actually good option from the codex.
    • Increase its gun(s) from 3d3 Blast to 9(18), i.e. you can hit any target as hard as if it had 11+ models in it. Also increases from S6 to S7, which is generally useless. If you do field a R'varna, this is compulsory to even attempt to make it worth its points, as at only 6 average shots fired (3 of which hit, 4 with a markerlight token), you'll barely kill anything.
    • Increase from 2+/5++ to 2+/4++.
    • Until your next Command Phase, in each Fight Phase, roll 1d6 for each enemy unit within 6": on a 4+, that unit suffers 1d3 mortal wounds (so each nearby unit suffers, on average, 1 mortal wound, with a lot of swinginess).
  • XV-109 Y'vahra BattlesuitForge World: A bizarrely close-range kamikaze unit, each of the Y'Vahra's guns has a different optimal target, so overall you get a unit whose favorite target is T4-5 with plenty of wounds, like Space Marine Gravis units, although even then it can't compete with the rest of your army. It has 3 guns, the least useful of which is the Flechette Pod it borrowed from Shadowsun: 12" Assault 5 S3 AP0 D1, only useful for murdering GEQ, although not having a penalty to hit in melee is nice. Its other two guns are what you care about, with base profiles you won't ever fire (see below). The Ionic Discharge Cannon is 24" Heavy 6 S8 AP-1 D2, but you can't Overcharge it without permission (again, see below). The Phased Plasma-Flamer is 12" Heavy 2d6(7) S6 AP-2 D1, automatically hits (which is why you generally won't even remember you have a Flechette Pod, even in melee). In the Command Phase it can deal itself a mortal wound (it's W14 and cripples its M18, A4, and BS4+) to choose one of the options below to last until your next Command Phase, but you'll always choose the gun option because its output is worthless if you don't:
    • The Ionic Discharge Cannon gains its overcharge profile like an Ion weapon should: it goes to S9 D3, and deals the shooter a mortal wound on an unmodified 1 to hit. The saving grace is that unlike standard Ion, you only take 1 mortal no matter how many 1s you roll, so you can't deal yourself more than 2 mortal wounds total (1 from enabling the profile, 1 from shooting), and your total expected mortal wounds suffered is 1.67, because the Cannon will deal you slightly less than 2/3 of a mortal wound, on average. The Phased Plasma Flamer also jumps from 2d6(7) shots to 3d6(10.5). This does give you credible Overwatch potential, but not nearly as much as triple-flamer Crisis Suits (which as a reminder are 1/5 the cost of a Y'Vahra for 3d6+6(16.5) S4 shots and don't need to cut themselves to shoot properly). Far too expensive for what it does compared to codex options, do not take.
    • Increase from 2+/5++ to 2+/4++.
    • Until the start of your next Command phase, gain +12M (so normally 18->30) and it is eligible to shoot in a turn in which it Falls Back.

Heavy Support[edit]

  • XV-88 Broadside Battlesuits: Now this is the real deal, right here. Their Heavy Rail Rifle is 60" Heavy 2 S9 AP-4 Dd3+3 and deals a mortal wound when they successfully roll to wound. Paired with a Twin Plasma Rifle, which is 30" Assault 2 S8 AP-4 D3, nothing else in your Heavy slots - or the rest of your army, to be frank - can generally outshoot this unit when it fires at anything T5+. Note that you get 1 main gun and 2 optional support systems, but up to 1 support system can be a second gun, which is where the Twin Plasma Rifle comes from. Both support systems can also be Seeker Missiles, but that costs too many points for what you get. You can also take up to 2 drones per Broadside model in the unit, consisting of the regular 3 tactical drone options or a missile drone.
    • No longer core.
    • Never take the Twin Smart Missile System - your main gun is why you took a Broadside and it hasn't got indirect fire, and if you can see your target, a Twin Plasma Rifle is strictly better against everything.
    • The High Yield Missile Pod is almost always worse than than the Heavy Rail Rifle - and the things it's better against, the rest of your army can readily cleanse from the tabletop.
    • Seeker Missiles belong on non-infantry.
    • Missile Drones have Missile Pods - 30” Assault 2 S7 AP-2 D2 - and don't have the Gun Drone targeting nerf, but you can't carry a Drone Controller or anything, so you're best off with marker drones, or if your army has plenty of markerlights already, shield drones.
    • Your other support systems are as follows:
      • Advanced Targeting System (ATS): Now Broadside only, this lets you automatically wound on 6s to hit. This reduces your railgun's output against everything in the game, since you can't cause a mortal wound unless you roll to wound, so take this if and only if you took a Twin Plasma Rifle as well - the buff to it will exceed the nerf to the railgun. Autowounds explicitly say they count as a successful wound rolls in the glossary, so ATS now synchronizes with the Heavy Rail Rifle instead of nerfs it.
      • Early warning override.
      • Multi-tracker.
      • Stabilised optics: Broadside only, ignore the hit penalty for shooting heavy weapons after moving and firing them in combat. The only really serious contender with the ATS, this lets you maximize your shabby M5 to deal with LOS blockers and spikes your performance if you get charged and don't want to Fall Back, although Broadsides are built to murder heavies - hordes engaging you in melee will ruin your day. Your best solution to Broadsides in melee is bubblewrap. Just remember Mont'Ka let's you do this already.
      • Velocity tracker.
    • Remember you're infantry now, which makes you more vulnerable to certain rules and stratagems.
    • MV-8 Missile Drone: A mobile Missile Pod.
  • TX7 Hammerhead Gunship: Railguns are not what they used to be, oh no. Their statline is as follows: 72" Heavy 1 S14 AP-6 Dd6+3. That's really good, but there's more: if the weapon wounds its target, 3 mortal wounds are dealt and invulnerable saves cannot be taken against this weapon... and yet railgun Broadsides still deal more damage to all possible targets per point. However, the psychological effect of having a Railgun on the field will be felt (DISTRACTION CARNIFEX?). Not even the Telemon is safe. Submunitions is now a strat which deals mortal wounds to a unit on a 4+ to up to 8 models, or on a 3+ if the unit contains 11 or more models, so you'll rarely use it.
    • Ion Cannons exist, but rolling an unmodified one to-hit when they're overcharged will slightly damage the Hammerhead, and even overcharged the Rail is usually better.
    • Legends: Can replace the railgun with 2 high-yield missile pods, twin swiftstrike burst cannon, twin heavy fusion cannon, or twin T’au plasma cannon.
  • XV-104 Riptide Battlesuit: In contrast to last edition, the Riptide is in a weird spot as being a tank instead of being an obnoxious glass cannon - the Ion Accelerator is the only main gun that does enough damage to be worth discussing the Riptide's sheer cost, but the mortals it causes the Riptide are a real problem, especially given how fucked you are if it fails a Nova Reactor test (detailed below). The good news is we now have a 4++ native, as it always should have been, and can even overcharge to get a 5+++, while retaining the 2+ save and W14. Throw in some shielded missile drones for extra lulz (remember, the unit has to be wounded on T7 even if the drones make the subsequent saves).
    • Nova Reactor activates in your Command phase - roll 2d6, if the result is greater than the riptide’s remaining wounds (you start with 14) the nova reactor burns out and cannot be used for the rest of the game. Otherwise, gain your choice of:
      • 5+++ until your next command phase. Helps against overcharged 1s but best to used when on the cusp of going down on the damage table.
      • In your next charge phase, this unit can make a 2d6” normal move then cannot declare a charge. Move shoot move, if you can find terrain large enough to hide behind. Remember you got fly to help here.
      • Heavy burst cannon becomes heavy 16 or ion accelerator becomes heavy 8 until your next command phase. Probably what you'll pick by default, but might want to swap to the other two as the suit takes damage.
    • MV-84 Shielded Missile Drone: A missile pod, with an invuln save. No longer has a worse invuln save, and can act as a unit with the Riptide for some extra missile firepower. Still kind of expensive given the drone's low BS unless you have a drone controller nearby. Take anyway as it's the only drones you got and they take your Ion Cannon's overcharged 1s.
  • TX78 Sky Ray Gunship: Having grown past the previous edition, the Sky Ray is one of our best units, though not the damage dealing Harbingers of death that our other units are. Comes with 2 markerlights, a Seeker Missile Rack at 72” Heavy D3+1 S9 AP-3 D2d3, and the same sponson weapon options as a Hammerhead. Really you're taking this for the jump shoot jump markerlights and the +1 to hit annoyingly tough units that fly, like Imperial Grav Tanks.
  • Heavy Gun Drone SquadronForge World,Legends: Gun Drones packing double the usual firepower with two Burst Cannons for 28 points each; alternatively, you can swap one Cannon for a Markerlight to get a combination Gun and Marker drone. 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 buy you 2W per drone instead of 1.
    • 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, 16 shots) would have bought you nine Gun drones (9 wounds and 36 shots) or eight Gun Drones and a Shield Drone (9 wounds, 32 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.


  • AX-5-2 BarracudaForge World: Comes with a mandatory 2 missile pods (summing up to 30" Assault 4 S7 AP-2 D2) and your choice of main gun and sponson guns, which you'll always choose to be an Ion Cannon and 2 Cyclic Ion Blasters (firing all 3 guns will usually inflict 2 mortal wounds on you - 1/2 from each CIB and 1 from the Cannon). Hard to Hit for -1 to be hit in the shooting phase and T7 3+/5++ W14 make it decently durable. Better than a Razorshark against everything, but Razorsharks suck, so that's not difficult. Worse than a Sun Shark against pretty much everything, so skip this.
      • Ion Cannon: 60" Heavy 3d3(6/6/9) S7 AP-2 D2 with Blast and Overcharge for S8 D3 and unmodified 1s to hit inflict mortal wounds on the bearer. The cheapest gun while also the most powerful one, you'll always choose this.
      • Swiftstrike Burst Cannon: 36" Heavy 12 S6 AP-1 D1. Easily your worst of the three options even before you consider its pricetag.
      • Swiftstrike Railgun: 48" Heavy 2 S10 AP-4 Dd3+3 and deals +1 mortal wound for each successful wound roll. Would be a contender with the Ion Cannon if it didn't cost so much. Unless points costs change a lot, hard pass.
    • Sponson Guns:
      • Cyclic Ion Blaster x2: Summing up to 18" Assault 6 S7 AP-2 D1 with Overcharge for S8 D2 and unmodified 1s to hit inflict mortal wounds on the bearer, the clear choice.
      • Long-Barrelled Burst Cannon x2: Summing up to 36" Assault 8 S5 AP0 D1, these are free but worthless.
  • AX3 Razorshark Strike Fighter: Cheaper than the Sunshark but with much fewer Ion shots, this is utterly pointless with current costs - just take a Sun Shark and use it the same way you would a Razorshark and it'll do better.
  • DX-6 Remora Stealth Drone SquadronForge World: An aircraft drone (it's not a vehicle, so without Mont'Ka you'll take penalties when moving and shooting), its Stealth Field gives it light cover in addition to the Hard to Hit -1 to be hit during Shooting and it can deepstrike. Otherwise has seen a reworking and is now T5 W5 Sv3+ light flyers with a fixed price and loadout at 60 points apiece. They do not have savior protocols, though they can hover (in the Command Phase they can give up Airborne and Hard to Hit and half their movement in exchange for not being forced to move) and gained markerlights. They kept the twin long barreled burst cannons and also sporting two Dd3 seeker missiles. Altogether, these are now quite sturdy and maneuverable units for their price and deliver potent dakka when delivered properly.
    • The burst cannons alone make this behave like 4 gun drones (which cost 32 points) Each gun drone has 2 carbines, shooting two shots each for 4 shots per drone, each Remora has 2 burst cannons, 4 shots each, for 8 total, this is the same as two gun drones (16 points) with a drone controller babysitter, and since they have markerlights, they're also each a marker drone, which means 42 points of their 60 point cost is intrinsically better than the equivalent Tactical Drones.
    • These are BS4+ base, so a drone controller will not affect them.
    • A smart player can make these things seem absolutely broken. Think about it: They're 60 points for a T5 W5 model that permanently gets light cover, bringing its saves to a 2+, and has -1 to be hit due to being Hard to Hit. They are modeled low to the ground, so they can be easily hidden, granting you the most free Engage on All Fronts points you could imagine. In addition, they can't be charged by anything that can't FLY, so if you time it correctly, you can park your Remoras in front of your vulnerable Crisis Suits to create an unchargeable wall, as even while airborne, you can't end within 1" of Remoras unless you charge them. If you're playing with obscuring terrain instead of solid walls, stick these guys in a Devilfish to stop them from getting shot at turn 1.
  • AX39 Sun Shark Bomber: 9th ed bomb rules mean that after moving choose one unit this model has flown over, and roll a die for every model and six dice for every vehicle/monster (up to a maximum of ten dice total), inflicting a mortal wound on a 4+. It's also a vehicle markerlight wielder that can't be charged by non-flying units and is absolutely festooned with guns: 2 missile pods (the second one is optional but free, so you'll never not take it), four ion rifles mounted on its docked interceptor drones (coming to, when overcharged, 30" Heavy 12 S8 AP-2 D2, taking a mortal for each 1 to hit), and 2 seeker missiles. Just be aware it's a bit frail.
    • You know what has the vehicle keyword? Myphitic Blight Haulers. You know what Disgustingly Resilient doesn't protect against with -1 damage? Direct mortal wounds from bombing runs or psychic powers. A unit of three will take about five wounds per bombing run.
      • MV-17 Interceptor Drone: 30" Heavy 3 S8 AP-2 D2, taking a mortal for each 1 to hit) per gun, 2 guns per drone, 2 drones per Bomber make these fantastic. Interceptor Drones also sport a 20" move value if you decide to spend a CP undocking them, but you probably won't.
  • Tiger Shark Fighter BomberForge World: 2 Barracuda AX-5-2 primary weapons, 2 burst cannons and 2 missile pods on a T8 Sv3+/5++ W18 Hard to Hit chassis for 375 points (425 in practice, as the missile rack is an auto-include) is an ok value, but it's honestly pretty pointless. The aforementioned missile rack will sum up to 72" Heavy 2D6(7) S6 AP-2 D2, which is legit a good choice despite the cost relative to the plane itself, but you're better off with 2 Barracudas instead, which themselves are inferior to 2 Sun Sharks.
  • AX-1-0 Tiger SharkForge World: A flyer with 2 Heavy Rail Cannons summing up to 72" Heavy 4 S14 AP-5 Dd3+6, +1d3 mortals on a successful wound rolls, along with 2 cyclic ion blasters and 2 missile pods, not to mention a battery of up to 6 seeker missiles. The Tiger Shark standard profile of T8 Sv3+/5++ W18 Hard to Hit makes it reasonably durable, but as usual for Tau flyers, it's inferior to just taking a pair of Sun Sharks.

Lords of War[edit]

  • KV-128 Stormsurge: Our overcosted superheavy from 8th, now returned...as marginally more useful but also not great. Your main weapon is either the Pulse Blastcannon for two profiles tailor made to obliterate superheavy units (one with an overwhelming 24" Heavy 2 S16 AP-4 D12 shots, the other a longer-range 48" Heavy 6 S12 AP-2 D4) or the Pulse Driver Cannon for a vastly increased range and reduced points cost (72" Heavy 3d3 S10 AP-4 D3, Blast). Also sports a Cluster Rocket System at 48" Heavy 4d6 S5 AP-1 D1, Blast, 2 standard-issue smart missile systems, and 4 Destroyer Missiles (which are super-Seeker Missiles: 72" Heavy 1 S12 AP-5 D2d3, 1 use only, fire 2 maximum per time selected to shoot) for mandatory guns and for optional sidearms comes with 2 flamers, burst cannons, or airbursting projectors, but you'll always take the burst cannons over the flamers despite the slight cost uptick for reasons that will be explained below. For support systems, comes with a drone controller, a target lock, your choice of Velocity Tracker or Counterfire Defence System (take the Velocity Tracker), and your choice of Early Warning Override or Multi-Tracker (take the Multi-Tracker). Also has a mandatory T8 Sv2+/4++ W22.
    • The reason you always take the Burst Cannons over the Flamers is your Stabilising Anchors: Deploy Anchors (Action): At the start of your movement phase, any number of STORMSURGE units can begin this action, completes at the start of your next shooting phase. When completed, until the end of the phase, the model can re-roll all hit rolls with ranged attacks. That means what you're going to do is bubblewrap this thing to hell and back to ensure it can take an action (and not move), then shoot absolutely everything.
    • As is standard for TITANIC units, it takes extra damage from some particularly massive weapons but can fall back and charge. During a normal move, advance, or fall back move, can move over other non-monster non-vehicle models.
    • The Bork'an ignore invulns strat has some peculiar usage here.
  • 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 reroll 1's 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.
    • Still too expensive even in 9th, there isn't much priced 1000 points that is worth said cost.
  • Manta Super-Heavy Dropship Forge World: Sixteen Long-barrelled Burst Cannons, three Long-barrelled Ion Cannons, two Heavy Railguns, and 10 Seeker Missiles; the Manta spews out an ungodly 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.
  • Orca Dropship Forge World,Legends: Massively changed in the Forgeworld Legends rules for 9th edition. Reduced in points cost from 364 points down to 300 points but has been moved to the lord of war slot unfortunately. In turn, it has doubled in wounds from 14 up to a whopping 28. It's armor save has improved from a 4+ to a 3+ save and it retains the normal -1 to hit for being an aircraft, despite that, its not all that durable. Additionally, the transport capacity has seen some changes that are more in line with the fluff. It now has a transport capacity of 24 infantry, 8 drones (yes this does include the sentry turrets), and a choice of one of the following selections. Either 6 battlesuit models with 9 or less wounds (broadsides take the space of two models) or 24 more infantry/drones. While still not entirely practical to throw an entire army into the lunchbox, it at least is now a much better investment if you decide to do so.


Aka Tidewall forts, going with the fish theme, though they act more like T6 transports you can garrison your units in. Tidewalls do get <Sept> but can be embarked by any infantry, who can shoot from it. Firing Positions allows them to shoot even if the Tidewall is in melee "as if they had Big Guns Never Tire like a Vehicle". Unique to Tau, their forts can do an 8" Normal move (with FLY), as long as there's a unit embarked on it to do the Mobile Defenses action in the movement phase (even though embarked units normally can't do actions), meaning they're faster than walking and your models are protected by usually T6/Sv4+/W10 before they can be actually damaged, though at the cost of not being able to fire overwatch, advance, use auras (like a Fireblade's), abilities (like the Ethereal's), or actions (like Markerlights).

  • A charged tidewall can no longer fall back because that's different from a Normal Move. However, they can still be disembarked from the back, leaving the charging enemies tarpitted by an empty fort they can't use. Tide WALL.

All forts have a transport capacity of 10 infantry, models with W3 (only the Firesight Marksman) count as 2 transport spaces, and models with W4+ or more take up 3 transport spaces each. They cannot transport non-characters with W5+, meaning it's Fire Warriors, Stealth Suits, Crisis suits, Kroot Carnivores/Shapers, or Vespid (RIP Broadsides). No more than 2 units can be embarked within them at the same time, but it's not like they'd fit together anyway.

  • Most destroyed forts can explode just like any other vehicle, but if it doesn't, then it remains on the field, wrecked, as difficult unstable exposed ground.
  • Tidewall Shieldline: Unlike other forts (and its Defence Platform, if you take one), they are the only ones that CAN'T fit models with more than W4, meaning they can't hold characters or battlesuits. The Shieldline has a 5++ and doesn't explode or turn into terrain when it dies.
    • Tidewall Defence Platform: You can take one per shieldline. They have to deploy next to each other, but can move independently after that. Can be useful if you want to get another fortification on the field without using another detachment slot. The smaller model may be easier to surround in combat. No shield, but does wreck (explode or terrain) on death, and otherwise is a Shieldline, making it absolutely beyond pointless - taking one of these instead of a Droneport has absolutely no purpose.
  • Tidewall Droneport: You can take 4 Tactical Drones with it, and Docked rules mean the Droneport fires their guns with its BS4+ and lack of targeting restrictions and ability to fire while engaged. It is equipped with Drone Control Systems, which is a drone controller by another name that only works while a unit is embarked inside, meaning it can use its docked gun drones and also support another nearby drone unit.
  • Tidewall Gunrig: The most powerful fort, albeit with an increased price tag. W16 instead of the usual 10, and it comes armed with a Supremacy Railgun, which is 72" Heavy 2 S12 AP-4 D3+1d3 and the target suffers additional 1d3 MW on a successful wound, which it gets to shoot at BS5+ and with a closest enemy unit/vehicle unit (choose either) restriction unless it's got something <Sept> embarked on it. It may not be a hammerhead's railgun, but it's still a gun worthy of being called a railgun, and it's the best gun any fort is equipped with. This will actually out-shoot a Devilfish (not that that's a high bar to pass), unlike a Droneport, if you're looking for a transport with excellent guns.
    • Line of sight for the embarked unit can be drawn from the tall tower of this unit, thus it is able to fire over things.

The forgeworld forts come from those Imperial Armor novel/expansions, and as such are static emplacements with rules more out of nostalgia than anything.

  • Remote Sensor Tower (Legends Forge World): It has a Positional Relay (aura) ([Fail|not to be confused with the Battlesuit Positional relay system]) lets all Tau units within 6" to re-roll one hit roll and one wound roll. Meaning this can actually help Broadsides, which just lost CORE. [Wtf|The re-roll also works in melee]. It also has a High-Intensity Markerlight, which is basically a 3 shot BS4+ markerlight. Unlike the actual markerlight, this one's a gun (on a VEHICLE model), meaning it's not an action and can thus be fired in melee. Relatively frail at T6 W3 4+, though. Actually good for 40 points. Too bad it's legends, honestly.
  • Drone Sentry Turret (Legends 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.


It would read kroot if it weren't for those meddling Vespids. This is where Gue'Vesa would go in...if you had any


  • Kroot Shaper: Has a Shaper Kroot Rifle - a storm bolter with a point of AP, but at BS4+ (re-rolling 1s) - that can be swapped for a Pulse Rifle for less shooting at more range (never do this). The Ritual blade gives you S+1(5) AP-1 with your stellar WS2+ (still re-rolling 1s), though with three attacks it's unlikely to kill much. You can swap it for a Kroot Pistol (an AP-1 Pulse Pistol) and a once-per-game Grenade Belt: 6” Grenade 2d6 S5 AP-1 D1, blast, one use only. The reason you take one is for support: Friendly KROOT units within 6” can use this model’s Ld value of 8 and can re-roll 1s to hit (meaning the Shaper buffs himself, a rarity in 9E). The Shaper also has the Kroot-standard Ambushing Predators for a scout move and the Carnivore/Kroot Hound standard +1 to Light Cover, granting a 4+ in Light Cover. Can be taken slotlessly if you take a Carnivore unit to support, but at 25 points, needs to support roughly 150 points' worth of Kroot to be worth it (minus the value of the Shaper's gun); if you're supporting Carnivores, that works out to about 24 of them with a Pulse Rifle or 23 with a Shaper Rifle. It's harder to compare the Shaper Rifle directly to a Kroot Gun, but 6 Krootox Riders are also enough to immediately get your points back.


  • Kroot Carnivoreskroot: Significantly (25%) cheaper and more fragile (Sv6+, 4+ in light cover, which against AP0 means they die 67% faster in the open and 50% faster in light cover) bubble wrap than Fire Warriors, their 7" movement and initial scout might allow them to be more usefully positioned to protect our broadsides. Only slightly good close combat and terrible at shooting (their guns are just bolters, so relative to Pulse Rifles -12", -1S, +1AP, i.e. garbage), they need to be fielded in bigger numbers to be effective, like Ork Boyz but wimpier. With Ambushing Predators, they can counter-counter your Tau getting charged while they hide out of sight. Take one to defend the rear and take Krootox Riders for genuine melee.
    • The problem with leaning too hard into supporting them is that their baseline is so bad - all of the Kroot support abilities you have work a lot better with Krootox Riders than Carnivores.
    • The Carnivores are a lot more important for efficiency as they allow you to also take in a pack of Kroot Hounds, Krootox and Shaper all without taking up the appropriate slots. Since they don't benefit from the benefits provided from the rest of the Tau unless you're running Dal'yth, this lets you focus all of your benefits without blocking out slots for the rest of the army.


  • Krootox RidersKroot: A relatively cheap unit, they have become cheap Space Marine bikers, a fast unit with relatively strong shooting and melee, and able to quickly advance at the defect of not doing anything else that turn. They each have a pseudo-Autocannon (BS4+ 48" Heavy 2 S7 AP-1 D2) with powerful WS3+ A4 S6 AP-2 D2 gorilla-bird punches. With current costs, their ranged output is strictly worse than triple-missile Crisis, which works out to 75 points per gun for either unit but the Crisis have -1AP relative to the Kroot. As soon as you introduce melee the Kroot will pull ahead, and of course the two units have wildly different support options - Krootox have very cheap and easy access to re-rolling 1s to hit with a Shaper and an Ethereal can grant them +1 to wound, while the Crisis have access to drones and markerlights and significantly better stratagems.
  • Kroot FarstalkersKroot: The guys from Kill Team: Into the Dark. Alongside all the benefits given to basic Kroot, these guys also get to mark one enemy unit as their prey, letting the squad re-roll to hit them on top of benefitting from a Shaman. If you also buy a Pech'ra bird, you can also make enemies unable to use cover, which means a lot. While just as strong as basic Kroot in a fist fight, the Farstalkers prefer to be further away because they can trade off their rifles for guns and...hoo boy, they have a LOT of guns to pick from...
    • Kroot Scatterguns are essentially shorter-ranged rifles with Assault 2, making them a bit better in close-quarters. The Kroot Hunting Rifle provides you a genuine sniper rifle that goes very well with the Pech'ra. The Accelerator Bow gives you a high-powered weapon with S6 AP-2 that can re-roll to wound. The Dvorgite Skinner and Londaxi Tribalest provide you with heavy weapons, with the former being an S4 AP-1 flamer and the latter being a Heavy 3 gun with S7 AP-1 that deals 3 damage to all vehicles.


  • Kroot HoundsKroot: Cheap bubblewrap at 6 points each (minimum 24 per unit) for more valuable units. They have M12 A3 WS3+ S3 AP-1 D1 for melee as well as re-rolling charges (and advances, if you're trying to reach the enemy quickly, but they can't charge after advancing), as well as the Kroot-wide Scout move and the Carnivore ability to improve Light Cover by +1 for a whopping 4+ save in cover. Try to stick to MSU if you can, to circumvent their low Ld of 5. You can also use them to squeak an extra Commander in or to cover the Fast Attack portion of a brigade.
  • Lesser Knarloc RidersKroot,Legends: FW legends finally gave their CAVALRY points. They're PL4, 90pts for a unit of three. Basically, 3-6 Kroot rifle-wielding hooligans lumbering about on a low, fat, beaky K-Rex each. Knarloc Riders fill an odd niche where they've got a similar stat-line to Krootox Riders (inc. a flat +6" Adv move); two less Strength & one less Toughness, but with a 4+ save and more melee attacks so are kind-of focused towards assaulting infantry. The Knarloc itself, like all 9th edition Cavalry, gets to have a go at the target at pulse weapon strength with -2AP and 2D, after the rider's had his one standard Carnivore swing. Thunderous Pounce gives the Knarloc Riders +1 Str and A on the charge, giving them two S5 rifle swings and and two S6 knarloc bites. A minimum unit of 3 will rapid-fire 6 shots then hit with 8 attacks on average (3-6 at S4/5 & 4 at S5/6 -2AP) so they're not amazing at killing much but should take a big chunk out of an equal-value unit of Gaunts or other T3 crappy-save death-fodder before getting hit back. Three of these vs 12 Hormagaunts (60pts) will kill off 7 standard Gaunts with rapid-fire and then on the charge, taking a wound back on average. Vs GEq that's 5.8 Guardsmen and for MEq it's 2.5 dead Marines. Double that up for a full unit of six Knarlocs and you end up with 14 dead Gaunts (obviously), a wiped unit of 10 Guardsmen or one dead Marine combat squad, on average. On terrain-heavy tables they may be useful but you've still gotta get them onto target first so...rare models, questionable value. Plenty of character for rounding out a Kroot fanatic's list but beyond that...?
  • Vespid StingwingsVespid: They're cheap at 12ppm and they chug out a fair volume of 18" Assault 2 S5 AP-2 D2 now because fucking Space Marines, and they move like greased lightning - M14 and Fly is nearly as fast as a Piranha, plus they have standard Deep Strike. Point for point they can ruin heavy infantry, get in close for the kill with excellent mobility, all the while staying at a comfortable 18"range. These are phenomenal flankers/harassers. Unfortunately, these crazy bugs will become Ld5 if the Ld8 strain leader is slain, so don't be stupid. Use them to take care of the random supporting units or anything that tries to buff your enemy. They also have A1 WS4+ S4 AP-1 D1 melee (with A2 on the Strain Leader), in case you're desperate for some reason.
    • Unfortunately, at T4 W1 Sv4+, these are going to die very easily. Get them cover or have something more threatening on the board for your enemy to worry about.
    • Consider Dal'yth so they can benefit from those Markerlights. 10 S5 shots at 3+ with D2 will toast most stuff in game.
    • Relatively excellent at completing mobility-centric objectives. A unit of 4 Shield Drones is much tougher per point, but isn't just slower, it isn't infantry and hence can't complete potentially important actions like Retrieve Nachmund Data.

Heavy support[edit]

  • Great KnarlocKroot,Forge World,Legends: GMO space chickens taken to the extreme. These big melee brutes can equip a bolt thrower (Assault 6 S6 AP-1 D1) with obligatory kroot rifle, a twin kroot gun (Rapid fire 2 S7 AP-1 Dd3), or baggage harness (Kroot within 6" get exploding 6s to hit at range). Has turbo boost and can inflict MW on a single unit it charged, dealing D3 on a 4-5, or a flat 3 on 6. For melee, with 4 S7 swings hitting on 3+, you're dealing a whopping AP-4 at 3 damage each. Pair this with a Shaper (made a warlord with A Ghost Walks Among Us, so he can keep up with Rexy here) and you'll be ripping space marines in half. If you're doing a fun Kroot list, Great Knarlocs should absolutely be an auto-include.
    • Because all of the K-Rex's wargear are 0 points, having one with the baggage harness, coupled with a Shaper for re-rolls, babysitting a few gangs of Krootoxes could make a surprisingly brutal gunline. However, we then remember that Kroot aren't very good at shooting, so the effectiveness of this is up for debate.
    • Alternatively, at only 65 points (wargear included), T6, 9W, and 4+ save, a Great Knarloc is only slightly less defensive than units like Carnifexes and Deff Dreads, all while being consistently cheaper. Slap a bolt thrower on it so it can keep some shooting up, and with the auto-advance and mortal wounds, it can make a fairly decent bullet-sponge/battering ram.



Bork'an Sept Symbol.webp In the grim darkness of the far future, the technology of T'au makes us strong.
Thematically, Bork'an is the brains of the Empire. Few of the many great battlesuits in the hunter cadres would be as advanced as they are today without the innovations of this sept. Enlightened and hardworking, they ever aspire to create more technology to better serve both the armies and the citizens of the Greater Good.
On the tabletop, they play similar to any gunline, only they get bonuses to the range of all their weapons, and their battlesuits and vehicles get better at dealing with incoming ranged firepower.
Tenet – Superior Craftsmanship
Add 4” to the range characteristic of all ranged weapons. Each time a ranged attack with S7 or less is made against a VEHICLE or BATTLESUIT unit, subtract 1 from its strength.
  • GW has managed to repeat their fuck-up from 8E of forgetting that weapons don't have range characteristics, weapon profiles do, so we're back to the old days of trying to guess their intent for multiple-profile weapons, like Breacher Team Pulse Blasters. Last edition, everyone assumed this meant add the modifier to all range characteristics of the weapon, until it was finally FAQed - to apply to every profile on a weapon sharing the greatest range of any profile on the weapon (i.e. a weapon with 2 profiles with the same range, like a Pathfinder grenade launcher, will increase both profiles, but a Pulse Blaster will only increase the long-range profile). There's no longer a relevant FAQ, so we're back to discussing with our opponents before the game.
  • The durability buff is better the lower the model's T - see the custom Sept rules for a more in-depth analysis, as this half is available down there.
  • The range buff is, as you'd expect, ideal for fusion spam, as going from 18" to 22" means you get the +2 damage for being within half range at 11", which is enough to deep strike and shoot.
Warlord Trait - Seeker of Perfection
The warlord’s ranged attacks have -1AP and unmodified 6s to wound deal 1 mortal (maximum 3 mortals per phase).
  • Tailor made for Burst-star Commander with prototype burst, high-output burst and couple of flamers (make sure you can reliably get the 18 wound rolls that statistically give you the maximum mortals).
  • The mortals cap exists per phase, so putting this on a melee commander with the prototype flamer can help extend this trait's value. Although this then compete's with Precision of the Hunter for the role of melee commander's trait.
Relic - Overdrive Power Systems
COMMANDER model only. Select up to two ranged weapons this model is equipped with. Each time a ranged attack is made with these weapons against an enemy within half range, that attack has +1 to wound.
Stratagem - Experimental Weaponry (2CP, Epic Deed)
Use in your shooting phase, when selecting a BORK’AN unit to shoot. Select one model in that unit and one weapon it is equipped with. Each time that model makes an attack with that weapon this phase, it ignores invulnerable saves.


Dal'yth Sept Symbol.png In the grim darkness of the far future, there is no victory without unity.
Thematically, Dal'yth is the idealized version of the T'au'va's creed. A world once infested with predators, through hardship, has been transformed into a world of plenty, where aliens of all kinds interact and trade, creating a boon of prosperity. Even in the light of the devastating Damocles Gulf Crusade they gave only inches, and have turned their hardship into reason to push harder and higher.
On the tabletop, they play as a slightly beefier gunline, resisting light arms fire better with their armor saves and wiping out enemy opposition with their sudden surges, that while exposing them, also allow them to shock, surprise, and ambush their opponents.
Tenet - Trading Partners
Each time a ranged attack is made against an INFANTRY unit with this tenet, if the attacker is not engaged with it, that unit gains the benefits of light cover. T'AU AUXILIARY units in the same detachment as DAL'YTH units gain the benefits of your Tactical Philosophy.
Warlord Trait - Unifying Influence
The warlord gains the following two auras: models in friendly non-character DAL'YTH and T'AU AUXILIARY units within 6" gain +1 Ld, and friendly T'AU AUXILIARY units within 6" are treated as not being T'AU AUXILIARY units for the purposes of markerlights.
Now, Kroot aren't really the most reliant on their guns with exception of the Krootox, but you know who'd make better use of them? Vespids.
Relic - Dynamic Mirror Field
The bearer cannot be targeted by ranged attacks unless it is the closest eligible model or within 12". Gain a 5++ save. The way to go for a long-range commander or if you need your Ethereal safe from harm.
Stratagem - Outflank (1CP, Strategic Ploy)
Use at the end of your movement phase. Pick a DAL'YTH CORE or T'AU AUXILIARY unit that is within 9" of a battlefield edge and place it into strategic reserves.

Farsight Enclaves[edit]

Farsight Enclave Banner Flag.PNG In the grim darkness of the far future, freedom isn't free.
Thematically, the Farsight Enclaves are patriot rebels, aspiring to the tenets of the T'au'va away from what they perceive to be the corrupt and tyrannical rule of the Ethereals. They are also highly aggressive, a trait born of necessity when the only support they have is each other and the few allies they have in the main Empire.
On the tabletop, they play as a highly aggressive mobile attack force not unlike Eldar, subverting the ranged stereotype of the Tau with plenty of close-range shooting tricks and even some melee tools. Playing FSE means to always be on the offensive, potentially blindside an opponent expecting a static gunline. If you would do away with Tau stereotypes and bring the fight to the enemy, then suit up with the Farsight Enclaves and redden the skies.
Tenet - Devastating Counterstrike
Each time this model makes a ranged attack against a unit within 9", the target is treated as having a markerlight token. Each time a unit is selected to shoot or fight, it can re-roll one wound roll.
  • A very strong buff, as it makes close-quarters combat all the more devastating. The Q2 2022 Dataslate has nerfed the range of the auto-markerlight buff, now forcing you to be very much within charging range, but you'll remain as lethal as ever on overwatch.
Warlord Trait - Master of the Killing Blow
Whenever this warlord makes an attack, wounds lost due to that attack cannot be ignored; and 6s to wound improve the attack's AP by -3.
Relic - Talisman of Arthas Moloch
The bearer can deny one power per psychic phase and has +1 to deny.
Stratagem - Drop Zone Clear (2-3CP,Battle Tactic)
Use in your movement phase, when a FARSIGHT ENCLAVES BATTLESUIT unit arrives from reserves via Manta Strike or Homing Beacon. Until end of turn, when a BATTLESUIT model in that unit makes a ranged attack, re-roll the hit roll and the wound roll. Costs 3CP if the unit has 4+ BATTLESUIT models, 2CP otherwise. A hands down better Stratagem compared to the generically accessible Drop Threat Acquisition one, for the same CP cost.
  • Commander Farsight: The rebel melee commander got better with the codex. Now that reserves and deepstrike scatter no longer exist, Farsight's focused on his one true calling: Close. Quarters. Combat. Statwise he's a WS2+ A5 Crisis Suit Commander with a 4++, and the following abilities and gear (he has 3 weapons and a support system, and no drones):
    • High-intensity Plasma Rifle: 36” Assault 2 S8 AP-4 D3, i.e. he just has 2 plasma rifles with +6" range.
    • Dawn Blade: 2 profiles, both Melee (remember, he's WS2+): A5 Sx2(10) AP-3 D3 or A10 S+1(6) AP-2 D1.
    • Master of WarAura: CORE models in friendly FARSIGHT ENCLAVES CORE units within 6” re-roll 1s to hit.
    • Tactical Acumen: In your command phase, pick a friendly FARSIGHT ENCLAVES CRISIS CORE unit within 9”. Until the end of this turn, it can shoot and charge after falling back, and its ranged attacks can ignore any or all hit modifiers.
    • Way of the Short Blade: At the start of the fight phase, select one FARSIGHT ENCLAVES CORE unit within 6”. Until the end of the phase, CORE models in that unit gain +1 to hit with melee attacks.

Your Sept Tenet encourages aggressive MSU, and rewards you substantially for getting up close, and personal. You're essentially getting free Markerlights when shooting within 9" (meaning you are less bound on stringently adding enough Markerlight units to your lists - compared to the other Septs), and your Flamers (now within range), are also getting one extra re-roll to wound per unit. Combined with Mont'ka (amazing synergy with this Tenet), close-range units like Breachers are naturally getting +1 to hit, re-roll 1s to wound, and one extra re-roll to wound, at their preferred shooting range. Your Crisis units with their Stratagem, are probably the most deadliest out of all the Septs; this is really where the Crisis/Farsight Bomb not only lives - but thrives! Your Tenet is one of the stronger Tenets alongside Tau Sept's - if you prefer to get close enough to see the whites, blacks, greens or reds of the enemies eyes...just before you pull the trigger!


Sa'cea Sept Symbol.png In the grim darkness of the far future, the Banner of T'au flies high.
Thematically, Sa'cea is the most militant and disciplined of the Septs, where Fire Warriors and Pathfinders train for years in order to unerringly stand their ground against even the mightiest Monsters and war machines. They are ever eager to expand the greater good, and have disciplined and well trained soldiers prepared to perform this task.
On the tabletop, they highly favor non-stealth infantry battlesuits (i.e. Crisis and Broadsides), which they render more durable at long range and more murderous in melee, with decreased benefits to vehicles and non-suits, and they never use stealth suits if they can help it.
Tenet - Masters of Urban Warfare
Each time a ranged attack targets a unit with this tenet, if the attacker is more than 12" away - or more than 18" away if your unit is a VEHICLE - your unit gains the benefits of dense cover. VEHICLE and BATTLESUIT units do not take the penalty for firing heavy weapons against units they are engaged with.
  • The cover is a blessing for protecting your crew in the early stages, but will also force you to wipe units before they can close in to kill you in combat. The second part means more if you're fighting other tanks or monsters, where maybe charging a hammerhead might even begin to make sense.
Warlord Trait - Strategic Conqueror
In your command phase, select one friendly SA'CEA unit within 9". Until the start of your next command phase, that unit gains obsec. If it already had obsec, each model in that unit counts as two for controlling objectives.
  • Give this to an enforcer commander to grant two units obsec (one of which has to be Crisis+Core), one Crisis+Core unit double-obsec, or one Crisis+Core obsec and one Troops Core double-obsec.
Relic - Grav-Inhibitor Field
At the start of the fight phase, all enemy units engaged with the bearer fight last. Melee attacks against the bearer have -1 to hit. At the very least, it'll give you a chance to lay down your prototype flamer right after getting charged.
Stratagem - Orbital Uplink (1CP, Strategic Ploy)
Use in your shooting phase. Select one enemy unit; until the end of the phase, ranged attacks SA'CEA units make against that unit ignore all cover.

T'au Sept[edit]

Tau Empire Flag.jpg In the grim darkness of the far future, the T'au'va burns bright.
Thematically, the T'au sept demonstrates the T'au beliefs to the fullest. From the political ideals of T'au to their tactics, the T'au sept is the singular source for everything regarded as properly T'au. Having a great concentration on Ranged warfare and ways to make sure things keep far away, they are the building block of which every other sept in the T'au Empire is built, and have spawned many great heroes over the course of hundreds of years.
On the tabletop, they lean heavily into their HQ support, with the best and most numerous special characters and all of their HQs able to support more at once from farther away, with the rest of the army being as MSU as possible.
Tenet - Coordinated Fire Arcs
Each time a unit is selected to shoot or fight, it can re-roll one hit roll or one wound roll. Add 3" to the range of aura abilities of this model - to a maximum of 12". When this unit uses a command phase ability with a set range, increase its range by 3" - to a maximum of 12".
  • It's always better to re-roll a hit roll than a wound roll for the same gun when you're forced to choose - you should only use the re-roll wounds ability when all of a unit's attacks hit or when a unit has mixed guns (it's better for a Hammerhead that hits with its railgun to hold onto this ability to re-roll to wound than to spend the re-roll on a burst cannon shot). It's better on units that make fewer shots at worse accuracy - it's more accurate than re-rolling all 1s to hit if you make 5 attacks or less, and it's more accurate than +1 to hit if you make 2 attacks or less on 4+ or better or only 1 attack on 5+. Likewise, it's better on weaker guns than stronger guns, and since it doesn't help you penetrate or deal more damage, it's better on guns that do both well; its ideal gun for your army would be if you could legally field Pathfinders with Rail Rifles on their own, without the accompanying unit. In practice, your best unit for this trait is MSU Broadsides.
    • On a Hammerhead's railgun, assuming you're BS3+ from a markerlight and you're shooting a T8 target, this takes you from a 44% chance to hit and wound to a 74% chance (after rounding); the net benefit is 67%, i.e. 2/3 again as powerful. By contrast, a full unit of 3 Broadsides unloading their railguns into the same target (so same base accuracy and chance to wound) go from 2.67 times successfully wounding to 3.13 (after rounding), a net benefit of only 17% - the Broadsides get less benefit due to their much higher rate of fire. Against a T5-7 target (so the Hammerhead hits harder base), the Broadsides are the same, but the Hammerhead goes from 56% hit-and-wound to 83%, a total benefit of 50%, because the more easily you wound, the less this ability helps you.
Warlord Trait - Strength of Conviction
Relic - Vectored Maneuvering Thrusters
Battlesuit only. Add 2" to the bearer's movement. Once per round, when the bearer is selected as a charge target, if it is not engaged, it can make a normal move. If it does, until the end of the phase it cannot fire overwatch or set to defend, and your opponent can select new targets for the charge.
Stratagem - Focused Fire (2CP,Battle Tactic)
Use in your shooting phase, when a model in an enemy unit loses wounds due to an attack made by a T'AU SEPT model. Until the end of the phase, T'AU SEPT CORE models in your army gain +1 to wound against that enemy unit.

Note that two of your characters can be taken by any Sept, so they've been moved out to the general unit discussion. All of the units below are HQs.

  • Darkstrider: For his statline, he's a Fireblade with +1Ld, +1W, +1M, and -1WS/BS (i.e. he's more accurate). Equipment-wise, he has his own Fireblade version of a Pulse Carbine he insists on calling "Shade" because he's even more weeb than a normal weeb; it's literally just a 24" Assault Fireblade Pulse Rifle. He also has a normal markerlight and no drones at all. For his abilities, he's kept his old Pathfinder ones, so he has 7" Scout move and can take the Markerlights action at the end of the Move phase instead of the beginning. His remaining abilities are bespoke. His compulsory WT is the one for autoadvancing 6" and being at -1 to be hit.
    • Structural Analyser: In your command phase, pick a friendly TAU SEPT CORE unit within 6” and one visible enemy unit. Until end of turn, models in that friendly unit get +1 to wound with ranged attacks against the enemy unit.
      • Doesn't specify CORE models, so this works on Drones in a Core unit just fine.
      • Since he doesn't only target core models in the core unit, this will buff Drone guns just fine - and he has his own markerlight, lightening the pressure to take marker drone spam. Just make sure someone nearby has a Drone Controller if you're going to try this.
    • Drone Familiar Cluster: Each time this model shoots, re-roll one hit roll and one wound roll.
      • That will stack with the Sept Tenet, giving him 1 hit roll re-roll, 1 wound roll re-roll, and 1 floating re-roll he can spend on either when he shoots.
    • Fighting RetreatAura: Friendly non-battlesuit TAU SEPT CORE units within 6” can shoot after falling back.
  • Longstrike: No longer an upgrade to a Hammerhead, but a separate HQ unit choice and CHARACTER. Gains additional BS (down to 3+ base) and some abilities - otherwise he's a Hammerhead in all respects. You can make him your Warlord - his compulsory WT is the targeted buff where 6s to hit autowound - but you shouldn't; his real job is being an extra Hammerhead that's extra good at murder and occupies an HQ slot instead of a heavy slot.
    • Gunship Ace: Longstrike’s ranged attacks against MONSTER/VEHICLE units have +1 to wound.
    • Targeting Array: Each time this model shoots, re-roll one hit roll.
    • XV02 Pilot Battlesuit: In your command phase, select one other friendly TAU SEPT CORE or tau sept HAMMERHEAD unit within 6”. Until the start of your next command phase, when that unit makes a ranged attack, it treats the target as having a markerlight.


Vior'la Sept Symbol.png In the grim darkness of the far future, there's the quick and there's the dead.
Thematically, Vior'la are some of the most aggressive and reckless warriors in the Empire. They are taught from birth to do one thing: move close as quickly as possible, and blast their enemies into paste. They are a tough people that come form an even tougher world, and produce some of the finest military minds ever known.
On the tabletop, they are a highly mobile combat force. They make use of lightning fast speed and powerful weaponry in order to let them outmanuever and shatter their opponents on highly concentrated gunfire.
Tenet - Strike Fast
At the start of your first turn, each unit in your army that is wholly within your deployment zone adds 2" to its movement until the end of the turn. This unit can also re-roll advance and charge rolls. That little perk of movement with the boosted advance can help get your gunlines set up for the upcoming battle, though the charge rolls are probably the last thing you'd want to use short of a kamikaze crisis suit.
Warlord Trait - Academy Luminary
While this warlord is on the battlefield, each time you spend a CP to use a T'au Empire Strategic Ploy or T'au Empire Wargear stratagem, regain that CP on a 3+. With how many of those you have on hand, you'll be able to make your points back pretty easily. Aun'shi makes use of this.
Relic - Automated Armour Defences
COMMANDER model only. At the start of your shooting phase, roll a D6. On a 2-4, the closest visible enemy unit within 18" takes 1 mortal; on a 5+, the closest visible enemy unit within 12" takes D3 mortals.
  • That's right, on a 5+ the range goes down. For the meager benefit of possibly dealing more mortal wounds, you're not really getting much. Pick something else if you can.
Stratagem - Hot-Blooded (2CP, Battle Tactic)
Use in your shooting phase, when a VIOR'LA unit is selected to shoot. Until the end of the phase, each time a non-DRONE model in that unit makes an attack that targets the closest eligible target, each 6 to wound deals 1 mortal, capping at 6 mortals.
You only have one and he'll work for any Sept, so he's been moved out to the general units section.

Custom Sept Tenets[edit]

TauSectors.jpg In the grim darkness of the far future, the Greater Good is built from a great many parts.
Welcome to the 40K Build-A-Bear Workshop. The Tau gain the ability to make bespoke Sept Tenets in The Greater Good by choosing two unique traits from a limited set of lists.

Custom Sept tenets are now comprised of a selection of unique sectors. Each sector comprises 4 traits, but unlike most traits, you can only pick a second trait from a neighboring sector (not the same one), as shown on the left. Fluff-wise this is meant to represent the rather diminutive size of the Tau Empire and its lack of reliable FTL travel. What this means in practice is if you take anything from B or C, you can't take from D or E, and vice versa (and again, you can't double-dip the same sector).

  • Allied World: The ability to copy another sept's tenet, giving you their WT and Stratagem. As with any other rule like this, it's better to just ignore and pick the sept you were gonna take anyways.
  • Sector A: Remember, anything in this sector can be paired with any other sector.
    Adherence to the Teachings
    +3" to aura ranges, to a maximum of 12", and the same +3" with a maximum of 12" to elemental invocations that aren't auras or any other Command phase non-aura. 1/2 of the Tau Sept trait.
    Calm Under Pressure
    Ranged attacks with Assault weapons against targets within 12" gain +1S. Utterly amazing if you're going flamer or fusion heavy, making the former melt MEQ and latter almost always wounding on a +3. Lets pulse carbines deal with tougher infantry.
    Play Their Part
    All Battlesuit models with 9 or fewer wounds count as 3 models for capping, while those with 10 or more wounds count as 5 models when capping.
    • It doesn't really add much more than making your most powerful units cap points.
    Strike Swiftly
    At the start of the first battle round, before the first turn begins, infantry wholly within your deployment zone can make a Normal Move of up to 6" that can't end within 9" of any enemy models or the enemy deployment zone. Really good with Mont'Ka as it makes getting into rapid shot and melta range on Crisis Suits a breeze. If you do plan on playing close and dirty however, Calm Under Pressure is almost always the better choice.
  • Sector B: Can be paired with sectors A or C, but not D or E.
    Blocking Tactics
    Whenever a Core Infantry unit charges, they'll count as having ObSec or count as having an additional model if they already have ObSec. All this is good for is trying to swipe an objective from an enemy for a brief moment.
    Camouflage Experts
    Ranged attacks from more than 12" away against infantry entirely on/within a terrain feature grant the unit Dense Cover (-1 to be hit) against those attacks. Strictly worse than 1/3 of the Sa'cea trait.
    Defensive Doctrines
    When a model is charged, until the end of the turn it reduces AP-1 and AP-2 from melee attacks to AP0.
    Fire Caste Marksmen
    Ranged attacks you make with pulse weapons improve their AP by 1 on unmodified wound rolls of 6.
  • Sector C: Can be paired with Sectors A or B, but not D or E.
    Disengagement Protocols
    When your infantry is selected to Fall Back, before actually moving select an enemy unit within Engagement Range and roll 1d6 - the enemy unit suffers 1d3 mortal wounds on a 6 and 1 mortal wound on a 2-5 (1 mortal wound total on average).
    Fire Saturation
    Ranged attacks with Burst weapons against targets within 12" gain +1 to the hit roll. Significantly worse than half of the FSE tenet, because you can't exceed +1 to hit and the FSE ability to just assume a Markerlight within 12" gives +1 to hit to all weapons.
    Evasion Manoeuvres
    When a unit with this tenet advances, fly models in that unit have a 5++ against ranged attacks until the start of your next Movement phase. Essential if you're using lots of suits and prefer shield drones over generators, as it'll give the suits some defence once the drones get popped. Take with Mont'Ka so there's no downsides, and remember you just need to declare a advance action, not move a single inch.
    Pinpoint Targeting
    Ranged attacks against targets within 12" ignore Light Cover.
    • A very easy and cheesy option is to combine this with Sector B's Camouflage Experts and clamber into Light Cover terrain, so your attacks ignore the Light Cover but incoming attacks have to deal with both Light and Dense Cover.
  • Sector D: Can be paired with Sectors A or E, but not B or C.
    Defenders of the Cause
    Non-drones get a 5+++ against mortal wounds. Fed up with smite span?
    Hardened Warheads
    Ranged attacks with missile weapons ignore cover (both Light and Dense).
    Reinforced Armour
    Any ranged attacks against a Battlesuit or Vehicle unit with S7- suffer -1S. 1/2 the Bork'an trait.
    • Stacking with Sector A's trait can make your battlesuits even more immovable from points - T4 suits become more resilient to S3, S4, and S5 fire, while T5 suits become more resilient to S3, S5, and S6 fire. T6 becomes more resilient to S4, S6, and S7 fire, but that's basically just Piranhas. T7 becomes more resilient to S4 and S7 only while T8 only becomes more resilient to S5, so try to avoid taking this tenet if you've leaned into tougher units.
    Reliable Weaponry
    Each time this unit shoots, re-roll 1 wound roll - strictly worse than half the FSE trait which itself is strictly worse than half the T'au Sept trait, so odds are very low you want this over one of them.
  • Sector E: Can be paired with Sectors A or D, but not B or C.
    Enriched Reactors
    Ranged attacks with plasma weapons deal 1 mortal wound on an unmodified wound roll of 6 in addition to their normal damage, with the errata salvaging this trait from being an auto-pass to something a bit more reasonable for plasma-crisis squads looking for a bit of extra damage.
    Loyal to the End
    +1 Ld and re-roll Morale tests. Big pass, all your units have good morale as is.
    Rapid Retreat
    Any units that Fall Back can move +3". A very welcome addition considering how much your troops hate being in combat.
    +2M for models that can fly.

Tactics and Strategy[edit]

Command Points[edit]

  • Use 'em
    • Good for re-rolling rail and fusion weaponry damage.
    • Good for activating Farsight in combat if he's fighting something T8 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)
    • Re-roll Y'vahra's plasma flamer hit count die to melt those pesky tanks in one go. Holy Aun'va that's frightening.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • Tau Combat Patrol: Start collecting is a phenomenal box, but you are likely to get scammed when going on a hunt for the now defunct box. The Combat patrol, while pretty good, isn't the autotake like the previous box was. It's the same except the Crisis suits are exchanged for a Ghost keel and a Stealthsuit squad. Which is cool I guess but heavily stealth themed and, due to the current rules for these models, isn't as good as a trio of Crisis would be. Don't be deterred however as they are all playable, cool looking, and plastic models which some factions are not lucky enough to have.
    • Hammerhead: Gets you an armored vehicle to dish out some damage. Build it as a Longstrike and use the spare turret with...
    • 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 for... the greater good.
  • 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 unless you have the FSE relic. Psykers will be a problem. Using Kroot and/or Shield Drones as screens against Smite will help a little, but won't protect you from Warpgate shenanigans or similar.
  • Don't go into melee to kill the enemy, but to survive. Against most shooty armies it is safer in close combat than 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.
  • Your larger suits are vulnerable to smite and lascannon spam. Keep them mobile, shielded, and away from characters (with a cordon of anti-drop guards if a deep-striking sorcerer seems likely).
  • Markerlights are always, ALWAYS helpful. Use marker drones and/or Pathfinders to get them out there.
  • If you are playing FSE, remain aggressive and remember that you have some decent melee options of your own, and nothing throws off your enemy more than charging with an Onager Gauntler/Thermoneutronic commander and/or Farsight. The enemy should never feel safe from any of your shooting units.
  • Focus your fire. A lot of 9th edition is focused on synergy and mobility, so be sure to knock out synergy units with your superior firepower.
  • If you are upset with the 1 commander suit per detachment, remember you can take a cheap vanguard or auxiliary detachment to shoehorn in a second commander (who can then take a slotless unit of Crisis bodyguards, if you want).
  • Did we mention USE DRONES?


Tau are now the mobile army they should be with their focus on combined arms still not having been completely erased by battlesuits yet. Your units generally don't have preferred targets, but they have targets they do not want to target if you catch my drift.

With the exception of FSE, the general gameplan is to use your good movement and good range to bob and weave in and out of sight lines of dangerous units using stratagems and innate abilities while staying as far away from your opponents as humanly (tauishly?) possible. In order to keep your enemy on their toes, ensure that you are cycling your threats. What this means is that you should constantly be switching out the main issue your enemy is facing and make them spread their forces out. For example: you kill something with your hammerhead's railgun which causes your enemy to focus down on your Hammerhead and hopefully not killing it. Now that your enemies forces are spread out on the table dealing with different threats, you deep strike your Crisis in order to attack their vital unit which leads to them putting resources to attacking the Crisis suits which opens up a path for your troops to enter and operate. This strategy is useful for all armies, but is especially potent with the Tau's combined arms style of combat.

A specific early game tactic that helps with this is the current iteration of the Fish of Fury: A Devilfish stuffed with Breachers with the Mont'ka premove. You send Devilfish to the midboard and, with the Combat Disembarkation strategem, disembark the Breachers to shoot a volley of pulse blasts into your desired enemy. In addition to being pretty powerful, it also creates a speed bump and distraction for your opponent. Do they deal with that current threat or do they target something they see as more vital to kill? Try your absolute best to create situations similar to this.

(this is not done help is appreciated)