Tau in 6th Edition 40K

August 17, 2012 · 18 comments

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.

Pre-Measuring
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.

Ethereals
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.

Broadsides
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.

CONCLUSION
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?

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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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