UPDATED - 18 Flavors of Battlesuit Goodness

June 30, 2013 · 8 comments

Now you know Dasher, and Dancer, and Prancer and Vixen...
Necron, and Archon, and KrootOx and Vespid,
But do you recall,
The most famous Tau battlesuits of all...


Longstrike, the tank-head general,
Had a big and shiny gun,
And when the guardsmen saw it,
They would even turn and run.

Then there’s the old school stealthsuits,
Everyone should have one squad,
For infiltrating imperial bunkers,
And raising hell with their own quad.

Let’s not forgo the other stealthsuits,
The -25 and -22,
They’re both 3 up in cover,
And really mess with you-know-who…

And everybody loves crisis teams,
With hardpoints all o'er the place,
They let you jump-shoot-jetpack,
And leave blue goodness in their face.

Wait, I’m getting a little brain-freeze here, so enough with the Rudolph schtick. Here’s the list in numerical order by nomenclature.

XV-02 Commander Longstrike. The battlesuit of an infamous Tau tank Commander (yes, it’s technically a battlesuit)

XV-8 Crisis.  Tried and true workhorse.  These guys, along with drones and Hammerheads, are one of the Holy Trinity Tau ... That said, even among the trinity Crisis teams are the mainstay of the Tau Battlesuit inventory.  These battlesuits are one of the most flexible units in the entire game with more weapon and wargear options than practically any other unit, and the manuverability to make the most of them.  If you're starting new, get plenty of these.  You can field up to 15 in a standard, single FOC army.

XV-9 Hazard (Forgeworld) These models take the Tau to a new level of bad-assery. I can just see a squad of three laying waste to a huge squad of gaunts, imperial guardsmen, or other vermin.

XV-15 Stealth Battlesuit - Old school, but still cool.  This is a small battlesuit with minimal armour, it is barely larger than a fully armored FireWarrior, but has the same rules as its XV-25 brother.  In fact, they look so similar to firewarriors that presumptious enemies have often mistaken the two... to their peril.

XV-22 Experimental Command/Stealth Battlesuit worn by Commander Shadowsun.  But it doesn't have to be her.  It can be a misogynist’s version of Shadowsun, with the helmet instead of the red flowing hair. I like to use three of these as the command team in the Apocalypse Rapid Insertion Force or Night Hunter Stealth formations to drop in large groups of battlesuits without scatter. Of course they are “counts as” regular stealth suits, but they looked really cool and these models clearly distinguish them as the command team. We’ll see how these formations fare in the new Apocalypse.

XV-25 Stealth Battlesuit - the standard stealth battlesuit, recently made more awesome by bumping up the burst cannon from three shots to four, and the range of the fusion blaster from 12 inches to 18.  Since these are the only two weapons these suits are allowed, they scored on both counts.

XV-81 (Forgeworld SMS Battlesuit) -Arguably an XV-8 variant, but just different enough to make the list, unlike the fireknife or deathrain variants which are essentially different weapons and support systems loadouts, these are actually different suits.  In regular games, I like to use them as deathrains in standard games, but you can take them as themselves in an Apocalypse game.  I don't see the need for SMS on a battlesuit in a regular game?  But I dunno, boss...

XV-84 (Forgeworld Markerlight Battlesuit) Use one of these as a sub-commander, and toss in two XV-81s “counts as” Deathrains and you have one awesome, deadly looking crisis team. Yep, I like lots of missiles…  

XV-88 Broadsides - I have two, but I want six. Yes, six. Because these guys are that awesome. One squad with rail rifles, and another squad with the high-yield missiles.   Broadsides are a must in any army.

XV-88 Mark II Broadsides (Forgeworld) - Arguably not much more than a regular old style XV-88, but with a distinctly different design. particularly around the torso.  I want two, to slightly remodel as bodyguards for R’myr who has the same smooth contouring and rounded torso/cockpit (I actually like the new broadsides better). 

The rules now allow you to take iridium armor, so the concept of them looking slightly different from the other battlesuits in your cadre is supported. The extra armor also matches fluff with the armored legs on these guys.

R'myr and two of these models would look pretty awesome together, don’t you think? Only problem is that the jetpack is all wrong and they’re a little pricey for conversions so there would be no room at all for mistakes.... Maybe someday when I have more time, cash, and creativity…

XV-89 (Forgeworld Heavy Armor Battlesuit)  Now rendered somewhat obsolete by the ability to take irridium armor as a signature system, but this is still a very cool forgeworld variant.  Commander R'myr can take two of these guys as bodyguards...

XV-104 Riptide - Who doesn't love this thing?  It is so much beefier than the Eldar big fella,  and you don't need a dead twin to drive it!  Uugh, imagine the smell in that thing after a day on a toasty little demon planet...  Once again, the Greater Good is just, well, better.

XV-107 - R'Varna - Forgeworld has released a Riptide character, and are calling it the XV-107.  This suit does not have the articulating sensor pod "head" but instead has the sensor suite moulded into the upper cockpit/torso.  This variant also carries more powerful versions of R'Alai's weapons. 

See Forgeworld for details.

Commander Farsight - Look for more details on him in the Codex Supplement later this month (digital edition will be available in late July, 2013)

Commander R’Alai (Forgeworld)

Commander R’Myr (Forgeworld)

Commander Shadowsun

Battlesuit Commander in XV-805 (I am considering a second model, but converting it to a different pose)

So, call that eighteen, seventeen, fifteen, or sixteen-and-a-half, whatever, it’s still a lot of battlesuits.  I have learned that when you get two wargamers together, there will be at least three opinions about everything and anything. 

I guess I am just a battlesuit kinda guy, and I say it's 17 18.

I play Tau.

Who are we?

June 27, 2013 · 6 comments

June 27, 2013

So, the other day I was talking to one of my little weeaboo minions about how their lives will one day help shape the greater good… and I stumbled onto a most unintentional truth that had never really formed in my mind to that point.  While comparing and contrasting the merits and fatal flaws of the various races in this game we all love (and to which we sacrifice vast amounts of time and money), he asked me why I play Tau. 

My answer at that time was of course brilliant, but now that weeaboo school is out for the summer, I have had a chance to think a little more about the question, and I intend to poop out some rather lavish blather in answer.  And it gives me a good first post, to boot.

I play Tau because I like them.  I like their models, I like their their rules, and I like their fluff.

I believe that there are three basic types of people who choose Tau as their first army.  Those who want to bring the heat and blistering firepower, those who immediately fall head over heels in love with the clean, sleek-lined 'techno' look of the tanks, fire warriors, and battlesuits, and those who are at least subconsciously tolerant of the notion of good aliens and the concept of the greater good.  Let’s examine these motivations, shall we?

Converting Your Own Ethereal

June 24, 2013 · 5 comments

Since 6th edition Ethereals look like they've got some fun new rules and could be worth it in the right circumstances, I decided that I'd like to have one. However, I had a problem: I didn't like any of GW's ethereal models. Not because they look bad (though some do), but because they all come in finecast/metal, are expensive, and are nigh impossible to convert. Plus converting your own is so much more fun! So I turned to alternative methods.

Imperial Armour Vol 3, 2nd Ed "The Tauros Campaign" Part 3

June 8, 2013 · 14 comments

This book updates the rules for all of Forge World’s Tau units. This is the bit I’m really looking forward to, as I’ve used FW units in the past (UK tournaments are increasingly allowing FW) and they really boosted the Cadre. In particular Tetras and Hammer Head plasma cannon turrets were very strong.

So I’ll run through the units in the traditional way – HQ, Elites, Troops, Fast Attack and Heavy and see what they can do. I’ll focus on how things have changed.

Imperial Armour Vol 3, 2nd Ed "The Tauros Campaign" Part 2

June 6, 2013 · 1 comments

The Tauros Campaign is a series of 12 linked Missions, which takes the players through the campaign described in the book. It starts with the Avenging Sons assault on the Governors Palace, and finishes with Tau forces harassing the imperial retreat. The missions are not entirely balanced, but they'll be a blast to play.

Imperial Armour 3, Second Edition "The Tauros Campaign


I got my copy last week and spend the weekend reading it. I’m going to split the review into 3 parts – the “story”, the campaign, and then the rules. The first 2 parts will be shorter than the third! This is a reprint of the original book. I don't have the original book, so for those that do the first 2 parts of the review might be pretty pointless. 
Firstly, I should say I’m not a great fluff guy. It’s interesting and all, but it’s not what really interests me inthe hobby. I enjoy the painting, the modelling and the gaming far more. I’ve read some of the Black Library stuff - it’s interesting, and it passes the time, but it doesn’t really “grip” me. Having said that, I do quite like narrative gaming, and I was looking forward to reading the campaign.

So with that in mind – how was the story? Well I quite liked it really!

Oh – BTW – “Spoiler Alert”!

New Tau's First Tournament.

June 4, 2013 · 2 comments

Second Riptide Done!
June 4, 2013

So, as I mentioned last week, this weekend was my first tournament with the new codex. I had a blast and learned a lot. I’m not going to go into detailed battle reports (more detailed reports over on Apostates Anonymous), but a brief summary and some thoughts on the lists I used might generate some discussion.

Naming Your XV-8 Crisis Suits


The relationship between an hobbyist and his models, is a special thing. Your miniatures can develop personalities and characters over the course of several games. This tank, for some reason, is exceptionally hard to kill, that unit, for some reason, always seems to die right away, and so on. These oddities allow us to create stories for our little men and strengthen the bond between us (the relationship, not superglue...). The more real we make them, the more fun it is to let our imagination run wild. We are, after all, pretending little pieces of plastic on a table are vast armies clashing in epic battles on distant and alien planets!
Naming crisis suits based on their weapon loadout has been around for some time. The method of naming them was derived from a White Dwarf (the exact number escapes me) that described several Crisis Team configurations based on popularity and their Sept's tactical tendancies. The naming gave crisis suits depth of character, created a secret language amongst Tau players, and was downright fun to boot.
With our new codex and FAQ, the Tau crisis suit has more options than before, despite having no new weapons available. The changes to configuration possibilities needed to be incorporated into the existing system for naming XV-8's.

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About Warhammer Tau

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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