Tau in 6th Edition 40K

August 17, 2012 ·

August 17, 2012

Tau are back baby!

And they are brutal in 6th edition 40K thanks to being able to move and fire their Pulse Rifles at full range, having Rapid Fire improved to 15" and the new Pre-Measuring rules. Not to mention that Stealth Suits and Shield Drones got a boost.

But best of all, we don't need Kroot to make up our numbers and we can Glance vehicles to death!

So let's do a quick run down of all the units that became awesome and why we don't need those Kroot in our Empire anymore.

Playing Tau is all about getting distances right - just right!

Now that we can pre-measure whatever we like, whenever we like, our jump-shoot-jump strategies are better than ever, because we can't get caught out by poor range guessing.

Meanwhile, we can use the range of our guns to a real advantage by killing everything we shoot at or falling back JUST out of range so we can't be hurt back.

Shield Drones
Due to the new wound allocation rules, whenever a unit is hit, you keep taking hits on the nearest model with a different armour save until they fail, then wounds get passed on to be saved by models further back. So no more pelting Crisis Teams with Krak Missiles and killing them all with the 5th edition Wound Allocation. Instead each missile has to get through the 4+ invulnerable Shield Drone until it's dead. This greatly improves the survivability of Battlesuits. Similiarly, having a whole squadron of Valkyrie Vendettas firing 9 twin-linked Lascannons at a Broadside Team will no longer assure their destruction either....provided you can roll above average on all those 4+ invulnerable saves of course. So expect to take as many Shield Drones as you can for your Battlesuits.

Crisis Suits
Now that you can kill vehicles with glancing hits and the cover saves for all models got reduced, Tau Crisis Suits can go back to bringing the Plasma pain to Space Marines more effectively while their Missile Pods can make a mess of Rhinos and anything up to Armour 13. Now those desperate glancing hits are damaging glancing hits! Meanwhile the 2D6 Jet Pack move in the Assault Phase allows Crisis Suits to fall back faster than before and out of harm's way.

Now that the Preffered Enemy rules have changed to rerolling all 1's to Hit from both shooting as well as close combat, sending your blessed spiritual leader out to get his head blown off has never been so much fun. I don't think it's really in the spirit of The Greater Good, but what the heck, he's only 50pts. Totally worth it to give Preffered Enemy to your whole army - provided they don't run off the board!

Commander Farsight
Speaking of Crisis Suits and Preffered Enemy, there's always Commander Farsight. And when accompanied by his 'Crisis Suit mob' can really bring the pain for all the same reasons that Crisis Suits are awesome again.

Not only that, but he gives his entire army Preffered Enemy against Orks. Get ready for some outright massacres against Ork armies with Farsight in charge.

And don't forget that all of his Bodyguard are champions due to their rank in the Tau army. So any 6's to hit can be allocated wherever you want them on an enemy squad - nasty!

Stealth Suits
Like Crisis Suits, Stealth Suits can use their Jet Packs to fall back 2D6. But best of all, their Stealth Generators now give them a constant 4+ cover save thanks to Shrouding and Stealth. So put them in cover and they get a 2+ cover save, which makes them incredibly hard to kill.

And thanks to the new Dangerous Terrain rules, jumping into cover isn't the 1 in 6 risk it used to be, because you get your regular armour saves against it. And with 3+ armour, the Stealth Teams really have nothing to worry about there.

Fire Warriors
Being able to walk around with a range 30", Strength 5 gun is amazing. Being able to Rapid Fire it from 15" away is even more amazing.

People are already taking teams of 12 Firewarriors on foot for massed firepower. All you need to do is premeasure to make sure that you can move into range and cut down the first rank of an enemy squad with range 24" weapons so that even if they advance 6", they will still be out of range by 1". Rinse and repeat. It's dirty and you'll love it.

The Rail Gun has once again become king of the heavy weapons thanks to the reduction in cover save levels. Give your Broadsides Black Sun Filters and you're laughing while the enemy can't see a thing in the dark.

People have also taken to fielding Broadsides with twin linked Plasma Rifles instead of their Smart Missile Systems.

Frankly, there's nothing like having 3 Broadsides march up and rapid fire a Space Marine squad. Also, it tends to dissuade people from wanting to charge the in the first place when their Overwatch fire is going to be particularly deadly.

Orks, Orks, Orks, Orks!
Kroot are a thing of the past. For the same points you can buy Ork allies. Orks are tough, numerous and come with shootas and rokkits or big shootas. So instead of running the usual maxed out Kroot mobs, I can see many Tau players taking an Ork Big Mek with Kustom Force Field and 2 mobs of Shoota Boyz instead.

And that's before you consider all the fun stuff like a Warboss leading Biker Nobz, or adding things like Lootas and Dakka Jets to your allied forces.

I don't think anyone expected 6th edition to breathe new life into our poor battered and bruised Tau Empire, but it has.

Yes, our tanks got screwed a little, because now all skimmers get a 5+ jink save if they're moving 12". You could save 5pts on Distruption Pods, but I'd still take them for a constant 4+ save. Also, if the first turn is Night Fighting, let's see someone try and take out your tanks from over 24" away with a 2+ cover save. See, they're still totally worth it.

In the meantime we can continue looking to the horizon for a new Tau Codex.
We know that there's a Fortification and a Flyer on the way, so who knows what else is in the pipeline for the Tau Empire?


Tim said...
August 17, 2012 at 11:41 AM  

Yep, Tau are definitely better than they used to be.

One little nit-picky thing. Disruption Pods don't provide a 4+ cover save, they provide a 5+ cover save. That is all.

Jefffar said...
August 17, 2012 at 12:57 PM  

I think if any codex gets a 'most improved' award just based on changes in the basic rulebook, it is definitely the Tau.

I suspect a new Codex, even if it only brought the existing Tau items completely in line with the existing rules/gameplay style, would see the Tau reaching new heights in competitiveness.

All and all, any who played Tau through 5th and are still with them have been rewarded for their perseverance.

BoxerSaint said...
August 17, 2012 at 1:41 PM  

I think Tau got better, but by the same amount as everyone else. We're still going to have morale issues, and we're going to need to keep those devilfish around to get our troops out to objectives.

While some top tier codexes (read "Grey Knights/Necrons") got brought back down to earth, and some lower end codexes got brought up a bit, the vast competitive divide between Tau and top tier armies has only grown smaller, it hasn't disappeared.

On a good note, if you go flat out with your skimmer you can get a 4+ jink save instead of a 5+.

Ede said...
August 17, 2012 at 1:59 PM  

That picture pretty much sums up how I feel. Beaten and maimed by 5th edition, but ready to still kick some A**.

Though I think we can go back and forth about the usefulness of Kroot.

I do agree that the Tau received a boost, for example defensive grenades also give a +1 cover save if the opponent is within 8 inches, plus a million other boosts to our stats for no points increase.

I applaud your enthusiasm and I look forward to you site update.

Tylermenz said...
August 17, 2012 at 2:04 PM  

Rather than ork allies, I am looking at Eldar as a good allie for my Tau. The ability to take psychic powers and psychic defense is pretty good, and a large point where tau lack any cohesive defense.

Rathstar said...
August 17, 2012 at 2:23 PM  

How do we overcome the lack of target locks on broadsides, come people have been going down to using 2 units of 2 broadsides to avoid overkill.

For light vehicles we can just take more str 7 guns. Kroot are a way to get more str 7 guns outside of crisis suits. The krootox suddenly became alot better now it can move and fire 48" and rapid fire at 24". 35 pts is still expensive, but if we've maxed out crisis suits are they worthwhile ?

Morale getting better is also great for us, you always have a chance to rally, and you test on base ld if over 25%, eg. 2 broadesides with 2 shield drones will always rally on full ld :)


Kirby Enthusiasm said...
August 17, 2012 at 9:35 PM  

2D6 jetpack sucks - I'd rather a flat 6" - now you can get caught in the open with a poor roll.

Ethereals suck. Yay 1/4 of my army just failed Ld checks.

Farsight sucks. Yay for restricting what I take! No good as an ally either as the Ally FoC already restricts what can be taken.

Stealth Suits still outshined by Crisis who can take weapons the army needs. Namely plasma & missiles.

Fire Warriors improved yes.

Broadsides are still good - no real need to make them more expensive with TL-plasma though it has merits. BSF should be on all suit squads.

Tau got better mainly because of Allies and what they have available there. Improved shooting means nothing if you cannot move into midfield and hold objectives. With nearly every ally option available, this can be pretty easily solved. Back up with Crisis, Broadsides & Fire Warriors and you're good to go. So what we had in 5th but with Allies replacing the defensive mechanisms and vehicles of the Tau army which gets slight boosts to shooting.

Anonymous said...
August 18, 2012 at 2:03 PM  

My input for TAU so far.

Mech is not dead !! I run a 1750 army list with 12 tanks and I feel my tanks do better.
No more stunned or shaken or losing a weapon ( railgun ) with glancing hits. I prefer losing a hull point and still be able to do anything that I want. Making a mobile army that more deadly. Our tanks are faster due the flat out rule and recieve a 4+ cover save. Good for our dumbfishes/piranha's.

Crisis suits are good or worse. 2D6 random assault move is risky. I lost some units because of poor rolls. We have more options in the shooting fase ( focus fire etc... )

Stealth are still poor and costly for what they do. T3 and 1 wound with 2+ cover is nothing special. Do you really want to hop in and out of cover all game long to make them better....?

Broadsides are OP!!! Str 10 ap 1 wooohaaa. Give 1 a blacksunfilter and put them save far away and hope for night fighting :-)
Railheads are strong to.

Kroot are useless. Firewariors better with the new rapid fire rules.

We just get a boost because cover is mostly 5+. The end of army's flickering our shots off. But we need anti-air guns !!!!!!

Alrack said...
August 22, 2012 at 12:50 AM  

Eldar are so much better Ally for us
They give us a psyker who can take the divinations power and rules against ennemy psyker with the runes
For the troops, ranger and motojet are usefull too ^^

Ho, and in french errata, the crisis bodyguard of a HQ are not champions anymore >_< (so I think it's the same for the english errata, I didn't dl it yet)

Enigma Crysis said...
August 22, 2012 at 12:46 PM  

I don't understand why people are saying stealthsuits and Kroot are useless? I'm finding Krootoxen to be more viable and the rest of the Kindred to be bullet shields. I'm my last couple of games my Stealth Suits were chased after because of their 3+ 2++/4++ cover save leave my Helios Suits to continue to reek havoc on their army.

Marshal Wilhelm said...
August 26, 2012 at 5:10 PM  

I'm looking forwards to seeing batreps from the Tau :D

The Tau have had a 'composite' force with the Kroot. It will be interesting to see if the can do better with allies, or even go it alone just as the blue space men.


Anonymous said...
September 8, 2012 at 10:04 AM  

Tau now have a new FAQ out.

get this: a 2+ cover for piranhas, and a 2+ for hammerheads (if you do it right). And target locks are back.

add in some forgeworld stuff and it's going to be brutal.

james fenton said...
October 1, 2012 at 4:42 AM  

Come on dude, get updating this awesome blog, the tau empire are awesome now in 6th. No need to wait for a new Dex. :-)

Adam said...
October 1, 2012 at 10:32 PM  

Alright, alright...

Get ready for some stuff about Orks allied with Tau.

Because I'm doing Orks in anticipation of a completely new range of Tau models.

james fenton said...
October 6, 2012 at 3:33 PM  

That makes me a happy ginner. Orks are just amazingly fun, plus even when you mess up on a conversion with them they look even better :-). I look forward to seeing some tau flavoured orks. In fact I think you may have inspired me. Now if only I can acquire some tau bitz from a friend hmmmmmm.

Anonymous said...
December 14, 2012 at 11:55 PM  

Chaos Marines and Tau allied together oughta make things interesting... ;D

Anonymous said...
February 26, 2013 at 3:23 PM  

Space wolves plus tau. super fun. I take either a rune priest for psychic defense and offense and a drop podding squad of grey hunters. add fenresian wolves as a fast bulky assaulty kill shield ftw. plus ten wolf gaurd dropping in with combi plasma amd combi flamer. that squad always pulls its points.

Anonymous said...
March 23, 2013 at 8:07 PM  

Tau+black sun filters+Immotep the storm lord of the necrons. Keep it night fighting for longer.

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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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