New Tau Battlesuits Concept

September 28, 2009 ·

The Farsight concept miniature at Games Day UK has sparked a lot of interest online. Ironically, Farsight and the new Pathfinder sculpts were both at UK Games Day 2008, but relegated to a bottom level shelf which many missed. Had a friendly GW staffer (who wasn't hysterically happy!) not pointed me to it, I would have missed it like so many others.

It's a fantastic model, taking elements from a variety of anime mecha sources before mashing it all together into a very distinct Tau look. The shield, plasma rifle and sword are all incorporated in a style that mimics the number of Tau battlesuit conversions you see online.

While Farsight and the Pathfinders will never go into production (because they were test models), the Tau are beginning to have a distinct new look and development of aesthetics thanks to modellers and the efforts of Forgeworld who produce some very nice Battlesuits. Most notable of which is the new XV9.

Someone snapped a picture of the XV9 at Games Day all painted in a drab military scheme similar to the typical Tau colours.

Judging from these miniatures I think that this is the way the Tau army will be going in the future in terms of colourscheme and design.

The Tau battlesuit model is horribly outdated. The same goes for the Broadside battlesuit and both kits are incredibly weak at the ankles.

So while the future for the Tau Empire looks bright, for the meantime we will have to sit and wait and see what happens. But Games Workshop needs to do some proper army development for our blue-skinned race (a la Orks, Imperial Guard and Space Wolves) or they may as well let Forge World produce the new Tau Empire codex.


Itkovian said...
September 29, 2009 at 12:49 AM  

Farsight looks really cool. Had I seen this model last year, I probably would have waited to do a proper Tau army. As it is, I already have plans to use AT-43 TacArms for a human equivalent...

If the new battlesuits are good enough though, I may be convinced... Good find!

jabberjabber said...
September 29, 2009 at 2:01 AM  

Those miniatures look great - nice find! I'm drooling over the XV9 :)

Pearlygates said...
September 29, 2009 at 2:57 AM  

The Farsight model looks amazing, and hopefully all newer crisis mod's will share a similar appearance!

now i haven't got some wierd foot-fetish, but i do like farsights new feet (or hooves)along with the thruster pack!

Adam did you say that there are new pathfinders? i hope they have grav-chutes. any idea where i can find a picture of them?

levi said...
September 29, 2009 at 3:59 AM  

That XV9 looks great. In fact I like it so much that I'm thinking about changing my Sept's colours now to this kind of look, with worn-out colours like these...

Adam said...
September 29, 2009 at 4:01 AM  

You and me both!

levi said...
September 29, 2009 at 4:09 AM  

I'm really new to this game but my opinion about the Tau doctrine -which might be completely foolish- is that it resembles most the tactics of modern armies with the use of markerlights, and else...

Because of this, I think a more camo-like pattern with earth colours instead of red or blue suits the Tau army well. And of course because it looks badass on an XV8 :) What do You think?

Adam said...
September 29, 2009 at 4:22 AM  

I agree. But in terms of game play, we need a new codex.

Pearlygates said...
September 29, 2009 at 5:14 AM  

As much as i like the battle-worn effect I just don't see it suiting the Tau; To me the Tau should appear clean-painted to project their majestic appearance.

Are you still thinking of replacing your army Adam? or was it just a -spur of the moment- thought?

Adam said...
September 29, 2009 at 5:15 AM  

Still going down that route.

levi said...
September 29, 2009 at 5:22 AM  

I'd normally agree with You Pearlygates, but considering that the 3rd expension is under progress, I'm sure they just can't keep themselves that clean. :)

Pearlygates said...
September 29, 2009 at 6:22 AM  

Nonsence Levi!!! There's bound to be plenty of room in those battlesuits to carry a tin of Cilit-Bang 40,000 polish!

- BANG! and the knarloc crud is gone!

levi said...
September 29, 2009 at 6:24 AM  

Well yeah, and we also forgot about the cleaning drones for 5 pts.

Sholto said...
September 29, 2009 at 6:46 AM  

lol @ cleaning drones.

While I agree the Battlesuit looks sad and dreary compared with the Forgeworld models (R'myr and the XV-88s in particular), I don't think the Codex _needs_ an update. Tau do just fine as they are.

On the other hand, to give the Tau anything like the flexibility of the other recent army updates, it really could _use_ one. Without, we are stuck with only a few viable routes to victory, none of which differ from the others very much.

As for colour scheme, my Tau are all Graveyard Earth and Charred Brown, albeit not in a camo scheme. Camo looks worse the smaller the model gets, IMHO. I feel there is still room for shiny Tau suits - they to have their parade colours for weekends and their workclothes for the weekdays.

levi said...
September 29, 2009 at 6:55 AM  

You're right with camo, I just didn't know how to describe my thoughts about the colour selection. So I'm not on the side of camo, but the colours usually used in camos :)

Pearlygates said...
September 29, 2009 at 7:24 AM  

There are some minor things that the codex could improve on:

smart missiles for one, should ignore cover saves (they can fly over buildings, pass through windows, weave around obsticles, but struggle to get over the 2foot picket fence the enemy is hiding behind! lol

and there is something about burst cannons i feel could do with changing, perhaps either a better Ap or automatic wound on 6 (though the amount of burst cannons you can have would become devasting).

Etherials need a definate improvement; Nobody (and i mean NOBODY!!!) uses etherials coz of how weak they are!

Oh, it's you, Bob... said...
September 29, 2009 at 8:32 AM  

@ Pearlygates (and everyone, I suppose)

Smart Missles System should ignore cover AND hit rear armor of vehicles. Just sayin'... :-)

Raptor1313 said...
September 29, 2009 at 8:33 AM  

I like the battlesuit concept, but this new Farsight and the Hazard suit aren't bad.

I agree on the ankles being terrible. I like the posability, but if the model's going to break it's going to be there.

And, like some others have said, we kind of need a codex tweak. A good chunk of the units are simply unusable, including:

-Vespid (Crap save, crap range, costly, crap ld)

-Ethereal (What other HQ do you know that can seriously run all your guys off the board if they're on foot? Seriously? Should these valuable guys even BE on the field?)

-Stealth Suit (Give it a cost break, and don't make it compete for slots with Crisis Suits, and you'd see them more)

-Fire Warriors (need a cost break. Seriously. Maybe get up to WS/I 3 as well while we're at it.)

-Tau Leadership In General
It's way too easy to have a couple bad morale rolls that cost you the game; IE any Battlesuit. Ld8 is only barely above-average.

-Gun Drone Squads
A reason to take these would be nice.

I mean, when you get down to it, the reason the Tau are deadly these days is a mix of the codex and the 5th edition rules; we got lucky. We just don't have that many builds. You can fully mech, you can half-mech with kroot shields, or you can bring 9 broadsides, a crap-ton of suits, and a bunch of fire warrior teams with markerlights, and...well, there's really not much else that efective.

Adam said...
September 29, 2009 at 8:33 AM  

They ignore units not inside area terrain.

rear armour hits is a bit much

Pearlygates said...
September 29, 2009 at 9:15 AM  

Raptor1313: I agree with you about the Gun Drones; unless allocated to firewarriors or battlesuits they are too weak as a squad with their pore balistic skill (that's one thing that needs to be improved)

And kroot need something such as a better toughness or an armour save of 4 or 5. For a race that call themselves "warriors" my Granny could beat the crap out of them, and she's partially blind and had a stroke!

Marker Drones need a major drop in points; they are just rediculous at 30pts a piece.

I tend do fare well with vespid though, as long as you keep them close to pathfinders to eradicate solitary squads and shielded behind pathfinder's devilfish, i find they're quite effective! though the weapon range could improve to 18" instead of 12"

I just want stealthsuits to be give the option of having flamers and then i'll start using them a little more seriously!

Pearlygates said...
September 29, 2009 at 9:22 AM  

Adam; How big an army do you actually have?

I know you tend to play 1500pt games but is there more hidden away in your army i.e -unpainted?

After all these comments on how things amongst the Tau perform, perhaps that should be your next post. Tau Codex -strong points versus major, major, MAJOR weak points.

Damn i've written afew comments today. I have no life :-(

mithril said...
September 29, 2009 at 4:29 PM  

frankly, before getting into "these new units would be cool" territory, the main thing that would give the tau some uniqueness, while making them viable in the new 5th ed power paradigm, would be to give them the ability to volley off their guns on the turn they're charged instead of fighting HtH. BoLS actually wrote in such a mechanics for the boarding actions rules in the badad war fandex, and having fought a battle using tau vs. guard with them..that ability allowed my tau to survive the close up fight. one would imagine being able to put a volley of rapidfire pulse rifle shots into the face of charging spacewolves/orks/khornebeserkers would offset the fact most of our units are now overcosted.

other than that, it's mainly fixing minor issues (like getting rid of the annoying pathfinder devilfish..let the shas'la carry the deepstrike beacon..), and adding in some cool new units. myself i'd like to see the Auxiliaries get more attention. demiurg battlesquads, kroot knarloc rider cavalry, Gue'vesa squads, nissicar mind-mages...the Tau's ability to use non-tau units is a big fluff point, but virtually ignored in game.

D-Ka'T-Kor'ar said...
September 29, 2009 at 7:17 PM  

I agree that the Tau forces could use a update
-The stealthsuits could skyrocket in game use if they had the choices for a plasma rifle.
-Also the Ethereal could use some other updates, like the honor guard had axcess to rail rifles or some other new weapon that a normal troops choice can't take, to give a extra reason why you should take one. (also some 'orders' would be cool)
-For gun drones, maybe a horde of 25-50 models wouldn't hurt, reduce the points cost (the gun drones suck right now except for giving broadsides a coversave)
-Need More Options That You Can Take!!!
-Maybe another battlesuit weapon for 5th edition...
and could the XV-9 take 2 Twin Linked Plasma Rifles or Missile Pods?
-Piranha could cost less, a rinno cost 30-40 points wise, Piranha almost twice that!
-SMS should eather cancel out cover or minus 2 to coversaves.

(thats the updates we need to think about for now, and thats off the top of my head!)

Adam said...
September 29, 2009 at 11:34 PM  

Pearlygates: I have about 2500pts of Tau.

Sholto said...
September 30, 2009 at 1:30 AM  

One idea that would assist with the 'Tau using xenos' concept would be a tool something like the Creature Generator on GW's old website. You could choose features for your xenos race - basically a shopping list with prices. It could have cool addons like "Can use Tau infantry wargear" +5pts or "Can benefit from markerlight hits" +10pts and so on, or you could take disadvantages to cut the price, eg. "Vulnerable to blasts" -5pts. It would put a little of the creative hobby side back into the rules themselves.

NSG said...
September 30, 2009 at 4:25 AM  

Hey Adam, Love your website its great. After several space marine armies i wanted something different. Wanted to do Tau but was worried they would get squashed in first fight but your army list indicates a high mobility and tactics i wanted to try out. Been building a tau army and steaming to my first 1000 pnts.

Using your website as my reference.

About a new codex, i would love one, but i have to say i like all the gear chooses you can do from the armoury. However seeing how they changed the space marine codex (DA, SW and the normal one) i think if a new codex would come the Tau would get less coices per unit and it will be more standard per unit. (if its not in the unit profile you can not use it)

Seeing i only played against Tau so far i am stuck with some questions on how some units and gear/mods work. Any idea to who and where i can send these questions to?

Adam said...
September 30, 2009 at 5:20 AM  

Go and buy the codex.

Although I'd suggest not picking up the Tau army until they have their next Codex...which probably won't be until 6th edition.

Michael said...
September 30, 2009 at 6:27 PM  

Michael here.
@BoB...., Adam

I like the idea of Smart Missile Systems being able to choose to hit the side armor of any vehicle they shoot at, instead of what armor is facing them, to represent hitting the top of the tank. If the missiles are smart enough to wind through cover, they can certainly fly up and come down on a tank. (Top armor is equivalent to side armor in 40k, for those who don't know.)

Kroot are designed to be a meatshield, and traditionally don't wear armor as it hinders their fast movement. What if they were given (perhaps with the requirement of including a Shaper) a 6+ invulnerable save to represent their speed? (Speed won't help you when an Earthshaker round lands on your head, though.)

Stealth teams seem stuck between a rock and a hard place. They are supposed to be, well, infiltrators, of course, and skilled soldiers, but what they do doesn't fill a niche in the army that the XV8 ignores. There's the coolness of the stealth field, and infiltration, but that doesn't surpass the overall strength of the XV8 Crisis battlesuit. The only other option would be to make them Fast Attack units...which could work out, I think. Maybe.

Fusion Blasters are the reason to get stealth teams, but it's the teams just aren't a good enough platform. I think changing them to Fast Attack, even for a temporary change, would allow players to use them a bit more and see how they'd work with a regular compliment of XV8s.

I really don't think twin-linked plasma rifles on an XV9 is going to happen, but flamers might. Flamers, however, would be nullifying the point of using an XV9 to kite enemies; instead, the suit would come close, *Burn!*, then hop back out of charge range but perhaps still within range to be gun downed.

But perhaps we should judge the XV9 not on its practical usage, but on the concept it employs: quick, anti-infantry version of the XV88 Broadside. I'm certain that can get some new ideas to churn up. Just get your heads working! It's fun to think of new ideas, especially when they concern furthering the Greater Good via the killing of its enemies.

P.S. Looking at this screen for too long is starting to bother my eyes.

Pearlygates said...
October 1, 2009 at 3:09 AM  

Personally I agree with Adam about the smart missiles, choosing what side armour of a vehicle they hit is a little too much; especially as they are only a strenth 5 and how many of these smart missiles you can have in your army. just give them a 'no cover saves allowed' rule.

Perhaps your right about the kroot having an invulnerable save, of at least 5, would be good or better cover save for them.

And although I'm glad someone else out there shares my feelings about how the stealthsuits suck, they need to stay as elite choice because there are only 2 choices for elite at the moment.

Perhaps they should make a new alien auxilary to fill in for elite.

Im only just getting used to the look of that XV9 suit and although i would prefer it to have twin-linked pods or plasma rifles, this would go against the purpose of having them. the more i think about it the more i want one now... no! i want TWO!!! I changed my mind, GIVE ME THREE!!!!

Michael said...
October 1, 2009 at 5:59 AM  

Ah, to clarify, I mean Side Armor, not "choose which armor to hit."
Even then, it doesn't seem like it'd be much help against vehicles.

Heh. The Tau version of the Amphibious rule that Chimeras get?

levi said...
October 1, 2009 at 11:09 AM  

Better Leadership for the Tau! There is no battle without at least one of my units running away, last time XV8s ran away who are officers, just by losing a shield drone... I was kinda shocked. Losing 3 XV8s because of a drone...

Samwell said...
November 4, 2009 at 4:04 AM  

Does anyone know what colour scheme would have been used for this particular model? Im guessing a mix of dessert yellow and maybe COMMANDO KHAKI.........Any ideas?

ZephyrExia said...
February 1, 2010 at 11:34 PM  

A nice 2 wound fast attack battlesuit would be nice. It could have a small selection of weapons that would be helpful for fast flanking tactics.
Also Firewarriors need some form of heavy weapon (i dont care if it goes against doctrine!!!) cuz they suck when a heavy armoured unit gets too close to them...
(like a burst cannon or something...)
GW need to say GTFO to vespid cuz they suck. Need to bring in decent assault troops.
And sheesh! for a shooting army why do fire warriors have BS3?

Come on GW get ur game face on!!!

levi said...
February 2, 2010 at 1:31 AM  

"And sheesh! for a shooting army why do fire warriors have BS3?"

Noone understands this I think :D Even the Shas'vre who aren't low level officers have BS3. Joke.

cheech said...
March 16, 2010 at 9:31 AM  

I have about 6000 pts of tau with every unit in the codex plus 2 XV9 battlesuits (which are really good as is esp. If u use army builder by lone wolf w/ new nids update it has 3 new weapons!). An anti-charge garage would be nice for firewarriors. Of course better bs would be nice since all tau does is shoot. I've heard rumors of new codex by end of 2010. We'll see though. Heavier weapons for stealth teams would be nice. Cheaper marker drones too, and drone sprues would be nice so I don't have convert so many to markers.

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Warhammer Tau is a group of wargamers who feel that they have a little something different to offer other Tau Empire, Kroot, and allied players... even if it's just a starting point for discussion! Our goal is to produce at least one article per week to inform and encourage the Tau and Warhammer gamer community. For the Greater Good, of course!

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