Wednesday, 21 October 2015

No changes to ANY existing Tau units - WTF !

So the big elephant in the room is that the new Tau codex is really just a codex update rather than a new codex, and actually ALL of the existing units are not changing at all.

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)
Lastly one thing that I really like the is the addition of the Support Drone to the Fire Warriors (Strike team).  For 10 points you get a drone you can deploy that fires 4 times the shots of a 9 point Fire Warrior.  For Strike Teams (ie. pulse rifle armed fire warriors) I think it's as close to a no-brainer as you get.  Getting hold of them will be the issue !! Looks like I'll need to convert some.

Filling Gaps

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.


A Caveat

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:

  • Stormsurge
  • Ghostkeel
  • Fire Warrior Breacher & Strike teams
  • Commander (which now includes the Coldstar option)
By this time next week I'm sure some people will have the new codex and the internet will start to confirm exactly which units have changed.

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.


  1. Frustrating really. I don't see a need to update my army. I would only have needed a flimsy excuse to buy the lovely new kits but now I'm not sure I need to. FW and Ethereal combo plus deep striking suits will continue to be my tactic.

    1. I was looking at my army list and was thinking the same thing. I will convert some 2 support drones for my fire warrior units, but that's about it.

      However I think the formations might cause some changes, but I think they will have to be good to beat the Firebase Support Cadre, maybe if the Hammerhead formation gets a long ranged D shot(s). The Ghostkeel and Stealth Suit formation looks nice (and not too many points), but I'm more interested because it'll give me an excuse to get the nice Ghostkeel model, and bring my xv15s out of retirement.

  2. I'll be honest, I didn't read that article the same way you did. It categorically does not say there are no changes to existing units (we already know the commander and fire warrior unit entries have changed because of coldstar and the support turrets).

    What it does say is that all the altered entries will be in the campaign book, so you can use that alongside the old codex to have a complete version. What we don't know, and this doesn't shed any light on, is if there are other changes to the existing entries, which will then be included in the campaign book (bearing in mind the leaked shots we've seen so far appear to be from the burning dawn book, not the campaign supplement).

    I'm not saying lots will change, but this isn't quite what many people seem to think it is.

    1. That's a fair point, however I think (and you're right it's not confirmed) the only units to be updated will be units previewed in White Dwarf, ie. the new suits (Stormsurge & Ghostkeel), the Breacher & Strike Fire Warrior teams, and the Commander (to include the Coldstar option).

      I'll caveat my post with your comment.


  3. I do find this disappointing. HOWEVER, arguably the real strength of the new Marine codex is in the detachments (the gladius specifically). I'm storing up my nerd rage until I see the detachments. They could be amazing (for example - one that gives you free weapons on your XV8's, or allows them to come in from reserve turn one) or they could be rubbish. I'm hanging in there!

  4. is that a list of things you could buy instead?

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