New Tau Codex on the Way

August 26, 2015 ·

And of course, I have a wish list. 

Here are a few of my ideas to improve what we have going on in the Tau Empire. I am not naïve, I know very little if any of this will ever come to pass, but I would welcome any of it in the upcoming Tau codex.

Let's keep our fingers crossed and see what happens.


(1) Add an alien HQ or two. Something like Nicassar Psycher, and their powers do not necessarily need to be offensive or malicious. They can act as buffs or unlock units etc…
(2) Expand Ethereal capabilities. Bigger bubbles to fix morale and leadership is in line with the fluff, and there could be a small expansion of the buffs to firewarriors.
(3) Add an Ethereal Command Vehicle. Army-wide buffs, hurts all if busted (yeeah, that old rule)
(4) Give commanders “call down fire” seeker missiles
(5) XV-805 Enforcer model needs a different pose, maybe a more generic model.
(6) Give us O’Kais. See my comments on battle disciplines below.
(7) Add Water Caste diplomat for debuffing in psychic phase.
(8) Add a Kroot Shaman as a low level psycher

(9) Add a Kroot "Big Game Hunter" (vindicare assassin type). 

(There's more below, click the article title to read on)


(1) Make XV-25 Stealth Suits total assholes. Bump their shroud/stealth to 2+ and give the whole team fusion blasters and networked marker lights.
(2) Crisis suit resculpt. This one is just … tired.
(3) Make XV-15 Stealth suits troops, with current rules.
(4) Give us a Kroot or Vespid monster. Pleeeeeeeease…. Something cool and nasty.


(1) Restore the Kroot to Close-in specialists as an option. Not OP, but not simply snipers either. Choose if the unit is going to be snipers or kroot-loops. Either that, or make Vespids cc monsters.
(2) Another troop choice, heavier, harder to fry, but maybe slightly weaker weapons (S4 at 24”).
(3) Move fireside marksmen to troops. Let a unit take up to 3 marksmen and up to any 12 drones (gun, sniper, marker, shield, anti-grav, or pulse accelerator. Then he can exchange two drones for a heavy gun drone, recon drone, missile, or warscaper drone. Or just price the larger drones appropriately.
(4) Make Pathfinders troops. I don’t really need to expand that one do I? To use them effectively one has to lock down all the fast attack options. Comes out as a wash in the end.

Fast Attack:

(1) Unlock the vespids. They are the bastard stepchildren right now, unusable. Make Vespids cc monsters or unparalleled hit and run beasts. Too brittle.
(2) Add a Vespid dropship. Could be organic, but drops some sort of troops along the way. Maybe even spawns new vespids as it zips across the field, or angry little maggots like necron scarabs or tyranid rippers.


(1) Give the hammerhead a Strength D munition.
(2) Give the Skyray 8 or even unlimited seeker missiles
(3) Return Seekers to unlimited range.
(4) Add a Demiurg Grav-Tank that uses Ionic or gravimetric weapons.
(5) Please return the Greater Knarlocks and Knarloc riders to Forgeworld. And that includes the baggage beast too. I really want one.


(1) Earth Caste Bastion
(2) Earth Caste Barricades
(3) Earth Caste Shield Emplacements
(4) Earth Caste Gun Emplacements
(5) Water Caste Communications Relay
(6) Air Caste Landing Pad
(7) Air Caste Control Tower (buffs Tau-Air)

(1) Bring back the Kroot Mercenary Army. That was fun. Not always effective, died horribly, but fun.
(2) Stealth Incursion Force – 20 stealth suits deepstrike without scattering and raise hell in the backfield.
(3) All the old ones…

And Lastly,

Tau have three battle disciplines, Mont’ka (embodied by Farsight), Kauyon (embodied by Shadowsun), and Monat (embodied by O’Kais). Changing capabilities and tactical rule sets based on these disciplines or tactical doctrines and commanders would create a lot of potentially different game opportunities. Every Tau army would be different. Shadowsun could unlock stealth suits as troops, Farsight could still do the same for crisis suits.

So what do you think? Post comments on anything I’ve missed.

(EDIT) From Travis Olexa on Faeit 212

Things Tau need to be more fun:

--Another alien auxiliary.
Seriously disappointed that they didn't get another one in 6th. Their lore is full of potential.

--Expanded infantry
Seriously Tau have only ever had 2 items in this part of their roster and it's pretty damn stale. Maybe something like the old stealth suit models with special weapons.

--Crisis suit models redone/newer suits of similar size
The old ones still look okay, but the sprues are terrible, and the ankles snap on a whim. Maybe a new type of suit of similar size (or slightly larger) would be nice.

--Tactical Doctrines
Sure, why not everyone else is doing it. Tau have two distinct styles of fighting that are constantly thrown around in their lore, so why not use them? Change model stats/function based on which of the two you roll with. This would create a lot of variance with existing models.

--Less top heavy choices
By top heavy I mean fewer models with higher cost. While the riptide is nice and all, I would rather not throw all my eggs in one basket. It's similar to how the AdMec are right now, too few models taking up all their points. So your game can't end if you have just one bad round of saving throws as a riptide or two go down. Then again, I always loved infantry more...biased.

--Just more models/roster additions
Tau are rocking one of the smallest rosters nearly equivalent to SoB (which haven't seen new models in 3 Tau editions). I was rather disappointed with 6th since it gave us just 2 new models (A riptide that is practically required, and an aircraft that no one uses). And yes, I really don't see single unit clampacks as much of an addition, but we got a couple of those too.


Anonymous said...
August 26, 2015 at 2:37 AM  

For what it's worth...

- drop Darkstrider
- upgrade Fireblade to have a networked markerlight
- let Farsight take up to two drones
- add Air Caste Liaison, functionally identical to a comms
relay and/or all enemy deepstrikes scatter 3D6 instead
of 2D6
- no alien HQs, it's the Tau Empire

- give Stealth suits access to rail rifles instead of fusion, and
all can take them. Also give Move Through Cover.
- make plasma rifles Assault 2 instead of Rapid Fire
- drop Riptide nova engine for straight 4++ save

- Firewarriors get EMP grenades for 1pt/model
- Kroot get straight Stealth, S4 I4 A2, lose sniper rounds.
Basically turn them into a minor assault unit
- Devilfish drop to 60pts base cost

Fast Attack
- Pathfinders lose shooty upgrades, gain Stealth
- Vespid guns change to 18" S1 AP- Haywire. They get
straight Stealth, +1 Attack and Rending in close combat.
- add Tetras into the codex
- add Kroot cavalry (unless all Kroot go into supplement)
- replace flyers with Remora and Barracuda

Heavy Support
- Hammerhead railgun Str D for +25pts (150pts base, 125pts
for ion cannon version)
- Skyray seeker missiles can be replaced before game with
either Haywire or Fleshbane misiles (so choice of 3
missile types)
- Broadside railguns go back to S10
- add a Kroot Great Knarloc pack of 1-4 combat MCs

Lord of War
- railgun Tigershark for about 300-350pts. Make railgun
Str D Heavy 2

No fortifications, Tau don' do that!
Tactical objectives that replace holding grond with killing
No more big suits!

What do you think?


Hu Jin Tau said...
August 26, 2015 at 10:55 AM  

I'd rather move Darkstrider to Pathfinders as a unit upgrade, like Longstrike. Same with Fireblade for Troops.

I like the Air Caste Liason idea. That makes a "guy" basically an element of a fortification. :)

I totally forgot about the excessive Devilfish tax... And hammerheads should come in squadrons, or maybe pairs... Not nearly enough S-10 in this non-psychic army.

Pathfinders getting stealth is a good fix, but the shooty upgrades actually matches the fluff. In books they are characterized differently and I think that would play better on the table. Snipers/Firesight marksmen/Pathfinders roles all in one unit. Just load up the appropriate drones to fit the mission.

And though I do agree with most of what you posted, I do not agree about the Fortifications. Firewariors don't do that, but Earth Caste do. Earth Caste are basically little blue bob-the-builders, and you can bet your blue butt they build amazing fortifications. Mine do.

I play Tau.

Vector Strike said...
August 26, 2015 at 12:45 PM  

(3) Add an Ethereal Command Vehicle. Army-wide buffs, hurts all if busted (yeeah, that old rule)

Eh, no. That made Aun'Va the worst HQ in the game. Have it similar to the Rhino HQ.

That aside, I like your list

Hu Jin Tau said...
August 26, 2015 at 3:17 PM  

I realize that, but I am not suggesting that you put the rule on ethereal infantry, just a potential command/control vehicle. That would be a very visible target, and should hurt the army if destroyed. To not have such a penalty would OP the unit too much (and we are not Eldar, after all).

That said, pretty much all of this would be considered by many as OP, particularly non-Tau players. And that is why I don't think any of it will actually come to pass. But I can dream.

Anonymous said...
August 27, 2015 at 1:48 AM  

"But I can dream"

Don't write it off - here are a few other dreams

- ignore FOC restrictions
- titans in regular 40k
- Str D weapons everywhere
- Eldar jetbikes where everyone gets a scatter laser
- army wide Feel No Pain
- 40pt Wraiths with T5 W2 3++/4+FNP
- army wide BS5
- SM bike Cmdr with T5 2+/3++/2+FNP Eternal Warrior
- assault from deep strike
- overwatch at normal BS
- free vehicles for everyone, because, you know, whatever

40K has gotten a little stupid of late, so I wouldn't rule
out anything.


Skyler Hoeft said...
August 27, 2015 at 6:21 AM  

There will be more Riptide variants. The Riptide is a big kit so making other versions that work off the base model is the most efficient for GW. We have to buy a whole new Riptide, but they only have to pay for the production of one new sprue.

Also, crisis suits are awesome, but if we get a new kit then their rules will become even more awesome (GW's gotta sell kits!). I can already hear the gurgle of marine players drowning in their own tears.

I must say that while there are MANY things I want in this codex, the only things I think would be crime to leave out would be ranged D weapons and some kick-butt new formations. Otherwise, our codex is pretty solid.

TheGraveMind said...
August 27, 2015 at 7:09 AM  

I love my xv15s. I want stealth suits to be better. Five points cheaper, all models can swap to special weapons with more options. Rail rifle would be sweet. Each model gets defense or emp grenades, or marker lights. I would be happy with dropping to 4+ armor.

Hu Jin Tau said...
August 27, 2015 at 2:57 PM  

I really don't like comments form "anonymous" contributors, makes it hard to respond specifically, and it's a cop-out. Anything worth saying is worth putting your name on it.

That said, @anonymous, what you are suggesting would truly make 40k like Age of Sigmar.

Is that what you truly want?

Anonymous said...
August 28, 2015 at 4:57 PM  

Sorry, misunderstanding I think.

The list of "dreams" is not what I want,but rather an
example of what currently exists in various codicies
that a couple of years ago would have attracted snorts
of derision. Along the same vein as wanting T10 Marines
with 2+ re-rollable saves.

S10 or Str D railguns isn't so far fetched by comparison!

Sorry you don't like Anon posters. It may be a cop out,
but I've done way too many cyber security courses of late,
and I don't need an easily trackable online presence.


Anonymous said...
August 29, 2015 at 3:46 AM  

I would replace Supporting Fire with an army wide version of Darkstrider's retreat rule.

Supporting Fire encourages the use of static gunlines in the backfield densely packed together for maximum Overwatch firepower.

This is not how I want to play my Tau. I want My Tau to jump forward on the board, take objectives and deploy their heavy firepower at close range. In those case Supporting Fire won't help, but a chance to evade an enemy charge certainly does.

This is also not how our opponents want to play either. If every game against Tau is simply a headlong rush into the teeth of our firepower, our opponents get bored By playing against a Tau army that is mobile and elusive, they get a more interesting, more tactical math up.

As for units, I have a few wants and ideas, but really the change abve is the top of my list.

Jude Gandarela said...
September 1, 2015 at 11:33 PM  

A vehicle with Fire Ports would be nice, or Open topped so Kroot/Pathfinders have a mobile gun platform.

Anonymous said...
September 24, 2015 at 6:54 PM  

The pictures of the new fire warrior model look like they have an option for a pulse carbine with a markerlight.

I hope there's a formation where you can take a mess of skyrays without taking up all the heavy support.

Broadsides need to be relentless.

Unknown said...
October 8, 2015 at 1:36 PM  

- Allow fire warriors to have a couple of heavy weapons, or just plasma rifles/fusion blasters.
- Allow Suits to have a CC weapon available (fusion blade comes to mind)
- More weapon choices for drones
- Heavy infantry unit with 3+ armor, 4 Toughness and single/twin linked heavy weapon

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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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