Tau HQs (Part 1)

April 12, 2013 ·

Casey Roberts has had a chance to digest his new Tau Codex (I should be getting mine tomorrow). Casey has decided to start off with a series looking at the new HQ choices:-

Note: Casey has realised that he made a couple of mistakes in his reading of the Codex, I have adjusted his errors and removed the Farsight section. Casey will give us a revised insight into Farsight once he has thoroughly checked his facts!

With the new codex we have a plethora of new choices in all areas of our codex. One of the places that have seen massive amounts of change is the HQ section. The 8 HQs we have can be broken down into three sections: Suits, Ethereals, and foot soldiers. The Ethereal and foot soldiers will be covered in later articles; this one will focus on the Suits.
The Crisis Commander
clip_image002Your basic Shas’O hasn’t changed much from the previous codex to this one, except he gained 10 points and lost his “lite” version: the Shas’El. The O’ aka the Commander, has all the stats you would expect from a Crisis Suit, S5, T4, and 4 wounds. He is also one of the few places in the codex that you can find a unit with BS5.
What really makes a Crisis Suit is its ability to take special weapons and systems that make most marine players cry and this guy delivers! It’s hard to rate the Crisis Commander considering the wealth of options available will let you do whatever you need him to. However at a price point cheaper than most other HQ’s, a wealth of options, and the ability to dish out the pain with BS5 you can expect him to be a default, if not very useful HQ. Additionally you can give him the same, if not better load out than either of the named Suit wielding Characters for less points.
Shadow Sun
clip_image004It’s hard not to talk about Shadow Sun, or Farsight for that matter, without referencing their previous iterations… which were not that great. Previously Shadow Sun was expensive, but extremely fragile considering she couldn’t join a squad or take body guards. All this has changed, and so has she in terms of usefulness.
Clocking in at 135 points you get BS5, S4, T3, with three wounds. While these stats are less than amazing her XV22 battle Suit armor more than makes up for it. She gets Stealth, shroud, a multi-tracker, a black sun filter, and has a pair of fusion guns she can use to target to separate units. On top of her Stealth Suit like armor save she can purchase up to two drones that confer a 3++. Considering her weak stats these should be considered mandatory. There is another drone you can buy that gives her a 12” leadership bubble, but truthfully you could skip it since she will mostly be operating deep inside enemy territory.
You’re going to want her there, in close, making the most of her fusion guns. Oh and not only can she join squads now, if you pair her with a Stealth squad she can automatically pass her “Look out Sir!” test. Add on top of that she has the warlord trait “A Ghost Who Walks Among Us” warlord trait so she can get herself out of trouble quite easily.

So in review: The Commander is a decent HQ. He’s versatile and relatively cheap and with the right warlord trait can do a similar job as Shadow Sun and Farsight for fewer points. This makes him a good, if not great HQ choice.
Shadow Sun lost all of her weaknesses and with some special rules and her default warlord trait has become an excellent HQ if used properly with a supporting squad of Stealth Suits.
Farsight lost a lot of things, some were bad, and some were good; overall though he has become more usable. Consider him a good alternative to the Commander if you want to be sure you get the “Through Boldness, Victory” warlord trait. But if you don’t plan on loading up on deep striking Crisis Suits then you’re probably best looking somewhere else in the HQ section.
… Oh by the way, did I mention that Shadow Sun and Farsight lost the rule that they can never be in the same army list and you could join them together into the same squad? You might want to think about that one for a minute.


Fire Ant said...
April 12, 2013 at 3:46 PM  

Putting Shadowsun in a Stealth Suits team is an absolute waste of the fact, that she can give both Stealth and Shrouded to a team she joins, granting /any/ unit a 4+ CSv in the open and pretty much 2+ CSv in any terrain / behind anything. While Stealth already have that, why waste her on them? Add her to a squad of regular Crisis suits that now have 3+ Armor and 4+ CSc or 2+ in any terrain. Add her to any Space Marine / Eldar Allied squad to give them that tasty, juicy cover save.

Tau Commander have 5 slots? Nooo... he have 4 systems to pick and any number of Signature Systems. The line in the codex is quite clear, that there is no limit to the number of singature systems on the model but each signature system can't be taken more than once per army. A Commander with TL Fusion Blaster, Fusion Blaster, Stimulant Injector, Puretide Engram Neurochip, Iridum Battlesuit and Neuroweb System Jammer is a /fantastic/, top of the pile tank wrecker for example.

Farsight is piss-poor as always. The ability to take big team of overprices XV8 Bodyguards is crap and the unit became a point sink that doesn't actually present a huge dakka output or massive threat - even if they manage to wipe out a single 10 man unit of MEQ they will get wiped out by shooting next turn or pummelled to death by /5/ Assault Termies.


Anonymous said...
April 12, 2013 at 8:55 PM  

^ That HQ sounds beastly.

I actually had to double check the codex about the commander only having 5 open slots, but, thankfully, we have a bit more flexibility than that. As mentioned above, there are 4 slots w/ any signature system that isn't already being used elsewhere in the army. Because of the sheer amount of options, you could also make a supporting HQ that has a drone controller (plus whatever 2 drones you fancy), command and control node, multi-spectrum sensor suite, and engram chip. Mmm, no more cover saves for the enemy. Plus, your own unit's shots act like they're twin-linked! Of course, the drone controller could be used in the event that you're commander joins a drone squad while the engram chip is only there if you join a tank-hunting group and want to utilize the Tank Hunter USR.
So many styles of play, man, so many.

philwag said...
April 13, 2013 at 12:29 AM  

Isn't the dawn blade ap 2?! You still wouldn't charge him into temi's but he has the option of holding his own. I think he is best run with at least 5 body guards with plasma/flamer with an attached shas'o with the gauntlet of awesomeness (s10 ap1) and you can pretty much deal with anything.

Casey Roberts said...
April 13, 2013 at 7:12 AM  

Stealth suits will let you automatically pass Shadowsuns LOS... So not a complete waste. But yes there are some more interesting combinations.

As to the commander Ill get the slots updated, my bad. Although there is the question regarding twin linked weapons taking two slots ala the previous codex. I imagine we will need to wait for a FAQ on that.

Duncan Wright said...
April 13, 2013 at 10:53 AM  

Uh, he is now a MC in close combat, so has smash(and thus AP2) AS WELL AS armourbane. :)

Casey Roberts said...
April 13, 2013 at 12:29 PM  

Just looked at the dex... Not sure where you are getting Farisght counts as a MC in close combat?

Casey Roberts said...
April 13, 2013 at 12:30 PM  

Just looked at the dex... Not sure where you are getting Farisght counts as a MC in close combat?

Fire Ant said...
April 13, 2013 at 12:49 PM  

Problem with Farsight is the same as in earlier dex - he is a melee fighter in a shooting only army and lack any sensible firepower that a custom tailored commander can bring to the table. And lets be honest here, he is no match to real melee momsters or elite CC unit of other dexes. His ability to bring a sizable unit of XV8 bodyguards may look nice but let us not forget that a single rocket instant a suit... a unit of ML carrying Long Fangs. A humble battlecannon. Any big blast of S8... all have big potential to wipe a very costly unit that actually do mot enough forbthe sick price - neither in durability, firepower or melee prowess - much, much cheaper full unit of lootas can bring more dakka.

As for Crisos suits I see onlu two good options. Three with TL Missle Pod and Burst Cannon or two with FB and MP and target lock as bodyguards for tankkiller comander. They can shot at three different targets and all get tank hunter or monster hunter to make a killer anti vehicle / anti monsters unit.

Anonymous said...
April 14, 2013 at 2:13 AM  

Just saying u can join farsight and shadowsun together for a lot of cover or put ur shaso with irrideum armor facing all the heavy weapons. With 2+ and feel no pain 5++ he will stop all the strenght 8 and 9 shot with ease and pass along the non instant death with auto lookout sirs. Although expensive a sheild generater will make him really hard to kill to. Even a demolisher cannon shell isn't garunteed to kill.

Anonymous said...
April 15, 2013 at 3:01 AM  

Farsight's large bodyguard gives a very large, powerful unit for Shadowsun to give her special rules to. Bodyguard 'Vre also have access to unlimited special issue systems, so pile one of them up with puretide, C&C node and sensor suite, give the rest PR+FB, maybe a target lock, throw a VRT in there somewhere. Add in the max number of gun drones. The body guard are sworn protectors, so you auto pass LOS rolls to pass hits onto drones (who will have huge cover saves thanks to Shadowsun). You can have infiltrate, stealth, shrouded, reroll hits, ignore cover, tank hunter/stubborn/etc from puretide, hit and run (at init 5) from VRT, tons of cheap ablative wounds, either 3d6 assault move or pinpoint deepstriking, all in one big unit.

A big point sink (basically wipes out the whole elites/HQ budget of an army), but the sheer resilience and power might be worth it. They can shoot, assault anything that isn't an assault terminator and win, kill tanks in shooting or combat, kite away from anything they dont want to fight, survive just about any shooting attack as long as there is any cover to be found, deploy forward with deepstrike or infiltrate, the list goes on.

Fire Ant said...
April 15, 2013 at 9:30 AM  

[...]assault anything that isn't an assault terminator and[...]

That is basically what kills it. You sink about what, 600-750 points into a unit that can be dealt with by spending a grant total of 200 points or, if enemy is very naughty,~350 (with Land Rider to deliver them up to assault range). That simply won't do. Next thing is, Shroud/Stealth combo is great, but still any S8+ weapon will be able to spank /very/ expensive unit with relative ease and we just have to count on lucky CVs rolls of 4+ to endure them. /AND/ the dakka output is... meager? With MP/Plasma you will get 14 S7 + 7 S6/AP2 shots from a unit that cost pretty much 1/3, nearing 1/2 of an army. That suck balls, because you can get 24 S7 rockets from broadsides that do not even cost 300 point. With /max dakka/ configuration, that is TL BC + BC you can amass a nice 8*7=56 S5 rounds at short distance with Rerollable to hits, but still... why? 4 units of FW will manage the same, will still be cheaper and much more flexible than one huge point sink that such a unit become. Basically, such combination offers absolutely nothing in terms of firepower / durability / manouverability that we can't get cheaper and more focused on it's role in another slots ;)

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