Farsight Enclave Supplement Review

August 19, 2013 ·

Well all my fears about the Farsight Enclave Supplement are unfounded. The GT I’m going to at the beginning of September is allowing allied Tau Detachments to take Tau Signature Systems, essentially reading Farsight Enclave Army as “Farsight Allied Detachment”.

 I’m not going to argue with this as it gives me the best of both worlds – so, onwards with the Supplement Review.

 The Farsight Enclave Supplement is the first for the Tau Codex. It’s mostly fluff and background, but there are also some interesting rules. But first the fluff (!)

 To my surprise I really enjoyed it (god, people will be calling me a narrative gamer next!). The background takes Farsight from his entry into the fire caste right through his career to his epiphany on the artefact world of Arthas Moloch. It tells the story of his increasing disillusionment with Ethereal rule and what he begins to see as their oppression of the Tau people. We all knew the Tau Empire was a tad oppressive, but this makes it quite clear.

 Along the way we find out more about his relationship with Commander Puretide and what is clearly his rivalry with Shadowsun. We also find out more about how the Tau are organised and the Tau way of war. And we discover the secret of the Dawn Blade.

 If you’re a Tau fan, the book is worth it for the fluff alone … but onto the rules!

 You can split the rules into 4 parts – Warlord Traits, Signature Systems, Special Characters and FOC swapping ( in a Farsight Detachment XV8s are Troops).

Warlord Traits

 As always the problem with these traits is they are random. Some are good, some are rubbish.

Way of the Short Blade

The warlord has weapons skill 5. If he doesn’t have a battle suit then you can re roll it. Why on earth would you want your XV8 Commander in close combat anyway…next!

Echoes of The Grand Master

The Warlord has one of the following traits Counter Attack, Furious Charge, Monster Hunter, Stubborn or Tank Hunter. Chose when the warlord trait is rolled. So, a poor mans Puretide Chip – which is awesome, but a bit random. It would be amazing if you got this on a Farsight Warlord and had an allied XV8 Commander with a Puretide chip!

The Way of the Broken Sword

One use only. For one turn you get a -1 on your opponents reserve rolls. OK, but situational.

The Fire Unquenchable

Your Commander is Fearless, and everybody within 6” is stubborn. Hmmm … you would need to be very careful with this one. There are many occasions when the last thing you want is for a unit to be stubborn – for example, a stubborn Kroot screen would be a disaster. You want them to crumble when assaulted, so you can shoot the assaulting unit in your own turn. Besides, you can turn stubborn on and off with an Ethereal.


XV8 Crisis Teams have a +1 modifier to their Reserve Rolls. OK, but only really useful if you have a bunch of XV8s in reserve. I very seldom keep XV8s in reserve.

Through Surety Destruction

One use only. For the duration of one shooting phase the warlord and his unit have the Shred special rule. Nice, but not really that exciting.

 So in summary, if you can reliably roll 2s the table is fantastic, but otherwise not that exciting.

Signature Systems

Characters in the Tau Codex that can take Tau Signature Systems must take Farsight Systems instead. Interestingly XV8 Bodyguards can take Signature Systems, but are not Characters – does that mean Farsight Enclave Bodyguards can take Tau Signature Systems? Makes a Farsight bomb made from the Supplement much more viable – i.e. you can take a Bodyguard with a C&CN and a M3S, as well as kitting one of them out with a Puretide Chip and Iridium Armour (although I would probably put that on an allied commander).

 Another difference is that Enclave Riptides can take Enclave Signature Systems.

 Again, a mixed bag


For 50pts you get to seize the initiative on a 5+, and at the start of each turn you roll a d6. On a 4 you get Preferred Enemy Space Marines, on a 5 Preferred Enemy Space Marines and Imperial Guard, and on a 6 Preferred Enemy everybody.

 Seizing on a 5+ if nice, but a one in 6 chance to get Preferred Enemy against everybody is a bit lame, and how many people play space marines or guard these days!  Maybe once the new Space Marine codex comes out and more people play marines at tournaments again, but at the moment, 50pts is too much to increase your chance of seizing IMO.
But here's a thought - ally him with Grey Knights and take Coteaz.... 2 rolls to seize on a 5+ isn't bad!

Seismic Fibrillator Node

 One use only. Activates on a 2+ at the start of any turn. All terrain within 36” becomes difficult terrain, and all difficult terrain becomes dangerous. On a 5+ it continues in next turn, otherwise it ends.

 Hmmm … I can see some situations where this would be helpful, but bare in mind it effects all your units too – so your suits are taking dangerous terrain tests. Maybe if you were playing a gun line being assaulted by fast infantry? A bit situational for 45pts  I think.

Warscaper Drone

The wielder and all models in its unit have Outflank, Move Through Cover and Acute Senses. Also any unit within 12” of the wielder who is outside their deployment zone treats difficult terrain as dangerous.

This is interesting. For 35pts you can outflank a team of Crisis Suits … or Broadsides …. or a Riptide, and pretty much choose the side they come in on. If you infiltrate a unit of Stealth Suits with a positional relay within 6” of your opponents back edge, they can even come in of that back edge. And then all your Kroot can come in there too ……. or pathfinders with special weapons …. and a homing beacon…..

 Can see this being the basis for a very interesting list.

Fusion Blades

For 30pts you get an S8 AP1 melee weapon that hits at initiative …  which breaks if you roll a 1 on a d6 every time you use it. Oh and you need to fork out for a twin linked fusion blaster before you get it. So a total of 60pts …. to get a melee weapon … in an army that should never be in assault. Maybe in  a Farsight bomb, but probably not.

Might be interesting on a Riptide with a Warscaper Drone!

Earth Caste Pilot Array

Now we’re talking! For 35pts you get to re-roll failed Nova Reactor rolls, and reroll 1s to hit. Perfect for a Heavy Burst Cannon Riptide.

Talisman of Arthas Moloch

This one makes a Farsight allied contingent a “must take” in all Tau lists IMHO. For 25pts you get to roll 4 dice to deny the witch, choosing the highest (so something like a 66% chance to deny), and not just for the wielders unit, but for all units within 12”. And if that wasn’t enough, the wielder gets a 5++….! If you take Farsight as a primary detachment and an allied Space marine Libby … with a psychic hood…. then anything within 6” is denying on a 5+ … on 4d6!

I no longer fear Jaws quite so much (or puppet master, or flickering fire etc. etc.).


Special Characters

If you take Farsight, and don’t take a command squad, you can take one or more of 7 special characters. There was some confusion over whether you had to take Farsight, but its now clear that you do. I’ve also seen some people argue you can not take a normal command squad instead of these guys, but I think it’s pretty clear that it’s an option – so you can still build a Farsight bomb using the Enclave Supplement.

 Five of the 7 are XV8 pilots with Shas’O stats. One is an XV88 and the other is a Riptide. All of them are independent characters, but their wargear is fixed … and that’s the biggest problem. On the face of it the ability to take 5 Shas’Os in your army has some attractions, but few if any of the load outs are optimal. The one attraction is that some of them have Tau Codex Signature Systems which (if you are not taking Codex Allies) you can’t access in an Enclave army.

The other problem of course is that there is a “Farsight tax” i.e. you need to take him, and if you’re not building a Farsight Bomb list…..why would you want to!

I’m not going to go through all of them in detail, you can read that for your self. I’m sure there will be clever ways to use each of them I haven’t thought of, but I’m not sure you can build a strong army around them.

 The 2 options that are the most intriguing are Shas’vre Ob’lotai (the XV88) and Shas’vre O’Vesa, the Riptide. Not because their stats or wargear are anything terribly exciting (you can buy them straight out the supplement) but because they are independent characters. Being able to attach an XV88 or a Riptide to other units is intriguing, particularly when O’Vesa comes with 2 Shielded Missile Drones. Attach him to a standard XV8 team and you get a scoring unit of T6 Crisis suits (at least until O’Vesa loses a Drone). Might this be the ideal unit to have on the table while you’re waiting for Farsight and some of his other buddies to drop in?

FOC Swapping

Finally the biggie – in an Enclave Detachment, XV8s are troops.

I can’t make my mind up about how big a deal this is. On the one hand logic tells me that a balanced army will always be better than taking a whole bunch of XV8s …. but, man, taking a whole bunch of XV8s is way, way cooler!

 But how to do it? Well, that would be the subject of a whole separate post!



Bottom Banana said...
August 19, 2013 at 7:20 AM  

A good write up, I really wish the fusion blades were more viable. but I'll be damned If I dont try my hardest to make a Assaulty crisis squad.

I have been allying in the codex for 2 squads of crisis. I figure I was going to take crisis anyway, why not have them be troops as well.

M. Jared Swenson said...
August 19, 2013 at 9:50 AM  

While it is true that any good competitive army will not be swapping Fire Warriors for crisis suits, the option being there has several advantages. 1) Crisis suits are scoring now. They can hold and take objectives because you can have them count as troops. 2) Freed up Elite slots. You can now take 3 riptides, or 3 other elite choices, and still bring squads of crisis suits to the table without an allied detachment. You always have extra Troop slots, put your crisis suits in those and leave your elites open for other things.

Anonymous said...
April 13, 2015 at 1:41 AM  

Just to clarify. Fusion blades are 50pts not 60 as a tl fusion blaster is 20pts plus 30 for the upgrade.

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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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