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).
As always the problem with these traits is they are random. Some are good, some are rubbish.
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!
One use only. For one turn you get a -1 on your opponents reserve rolls. OK, but situational.
So in summary, if you can reliably roll 2s the table is fantastic, but otherwise not that exciting.
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
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.
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.
Can see this being the basis for a very interesting list.
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.
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!
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 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?
But how to do it? Well, that would be the subject of a whole separate post!