The extent of the new codex is the new units we have seen in White Dwarf, Tau tactical cards, plus (this part is still rumours but reliable rumours) 9 new formations, a new Tau detachment (no information yet on whether this is just a detchment like the Dark Eldar Real Space Raiders (ie. changing the number of slots in the standard Combined Arms Detachment) or a Decurion style detachment.
With the great buffs that Necrons, Marines, Dark Angels and Eldar got in their codes there was hope that Tau would get the same, however we have yet to see the Formations and the new detachment would could add a lot to the Tau.
This is a new move for GW, even saying in White Dwarf that you don't need the new codex if you have the old codex and buy the campaign book (which has all the new units,formations and detachment).
The last time there was such a small change in a codex, was when the Dark Eldar got their 2nd Edition codex (codex version, not game version), which basically only added a vehicle wargear:
The main kicker for the Tau codex I think is that the devilfish is not going down in points, really calling into question the use of the new Breacher team (which is only better than a Pulse Rifle armed Fire Warriors within 5", and a 5++ invulnerable save is nice but kroot in front of fire warriors give a 5+ cover save). Also Vespid will still never be seen :( Personally without new sculpts I'm not too upset about the Vespid :)
However it's not all bad, I am quite happy for the following reasons:
- Pulse Rifles will not change (something I was worried that might happen to make the Pulse Blaster a more favourable choice)
- The Riptide still has a 2+ save, which I worried would change, given that both the Ghostkeel and the Stormsurge had a 3+ save
- It looks like the Firebase Support Cadre will still be valid, which gives us a good source of tank hunting, and allows the high yield missile pod configuration of the broadside to take on vehicles up to av13 quite easily.
- The Ethereal's Invocations and leadership buff remaining means s/he can still be the centre of a good infantry line (whether static or aggressively advancing)
So the real question is whether the new units will plug any gaps in the Tau arsenal, and help with units the Tau army finds hard to deal with.
With mass Str7 shooting AV14 can sometimes be a pain, however I think that deepstriking suicide crisis suits will still be the way forward. The main gun on the Stormsurge will obviously help, but I don't think it's essential to bring the Stormsurge just for AV14.
The Eldar Wraithknight is also a pain, particularly in multiples. I don't think any of the three new units, will help particularly against he Wraithknight for it's cost. The Stormsurge may help, but the majority of it's weapons are anti infantry, however being a Guargantan creature it won't be wasting firepower, as it can fire the str5 firepower at other infantry while using the main gun against the Wraithknight. I think our best choice against the Wraithknight is a unit buffed by monster hunter (from the Puretide Engram Chip), Dual plasma/fusion armed crisis suits, Broadsides with Missile Drones and Sniper Drones.
I think at the moment I'd not going to change my list at all, unless the formation benefits and new detachment benefits are good (they'll likely to be).
The Last Stretch
Only 10 days to do and we'll have the actual codex (or campaign book for those not getting the codex) in our hands.
What do you make of this news ? What do you think it means going forwards, particularly for the armies which need a proper update, eg. Chaos, Dark Eldar, Orks etc.
It was pointed out by Nick Thrower in the comments that the White Dwarf article only says that all the changed profiles will be in the campaign book, so technically there could be other units that have changed that we don't know about (which will be in the campaign book).
My guess (and at this time that's all it can be) is that the only units in the campaign book will be the ones previewed in White Dwarf, ie:
- Fire Warrior Breacher & Strike teams
- Commander (which now includes the Coldstar option)
My big disappointment is the rules for the devilfish, which is in the Burning Dawn book using the new name prefix TY7 was not changed at all. At the existing points costs it's hard to see a full mech (& mecha) force competiting with the Infantry & Mecha (and Hammerhead/Skyray), even with the new Breacher teams.