They are all over the web now. You can check just about everything you would want to know about the new codex HERE.
For now, I want to do a quick overview of each detachment/formation. These have only just hit, so I won't be able to comment on their actual effectiveness on the tabletop, but I can theorize. Here we go.
Summary: Pretty amazing. If you can fulfil the requirements (not cheap) you gain unparalleled army synergy. Large single targets will stand no chance against your army if you can combine all attacks into one and get all the attending bonuses. Imagine being able to use the Buffmander's bonuses on Riptides again, or the Stormsurge, or Hammerheads, or ALL of them!
It goes without saying that someone in this Contingent needs to have the Signature Systems to get the most of this ability. Markers will help too, especially if they are on a Skyray. Boosting a ton of snap shots against a Flyer just got way easier.
In essence, this makes your army (because this Contingent will be your entire army) excellent at bringing down specific targets in typical Kauyon fashion.
The price for this detachment will vary wildly, but I would expect it to run at least 1000 points.
Core: Hunter Cadre
It is like a super Combined Arms detachment with tons of requirements. This makes it quite expensive to field,
The entry level is 344, which sounds reasonable, but it isn't. That is minimum sizes for everything, using pathfinders, sniper drone teams, etc. Typically, I would expect this formation to run at least 700 points, but it could easily turn into your entire army (It is an expanded Combined Arms Detachment after all).
The run-then-shoot has its uses, but is only local to the HQ choices and can't be used if you combine firepower (see the Hunter Contingent). All in all, the formation is fine, especially if you already field lots of Fire Warriors or Kroot. The "tax" is going to depend on what your army usually looks like. For example, I seldom use Fire Warriors or Heavy Support options, so both of those are a tax for me. However, someone else might already include all these things in their army, so it is just a free bonus.
In any case, you will probably take this formation with the intention of building a Hunter Contingent and landing that super awesome combined firepower bonus.
Command: Contingent Headquarters
Note that this is where you have to take Shadowsun. I think that means you can't take her in place of a Commander in the Hunter Cadre or the Retaliation Cadre. It is also the only way to get an Ethereal of any kind into your list outside of a Combined Arms Detachment.
Auxiliary: Allied Advance Cadre
Entry level price is 384 points, but that doesn't include the Vespid strain leader upgrades, which many find mandatory for the leadership boost. You'll also want to add in some Krootox to take advantage of the +1 BS on those high strength Kroot Guns.
Auxiliary: Optimized Stealth Cadre
The rear-armour trick is simply awesome. If Necrons had tears this formation would make them cry, and it allows the cadre to threaten quite a few vehicles that they wouldn't normally have a chance against.
The entry level price is 310 points, which isn't cheap, but better than some of these other formations. Adding Ghostkeels will increase the price dramatically, but if you can get 3 of them you'll be shooting BS5, ignoring cover, and hitting rear-armour without any support.
Auxiliary: Retaliation Cadre
Being assured a Deep Strike on turn 2 is also really nice, as coming in piecemeal can ruin a Crisis assault's day. As long as you have something to survive turn 1, this will be a big bonus. You can come in and have a devastating turn 2 (assuming no mis-haps)
I can see this working well alongside the Optimized Stealth Cadre and its Stealth Suits homing beacons. Or it could work well with the Infiltration Cadre. It is unclear whether losing one of the Infiltration Cadre units would bring this unit on your turn 1, but it might be...
Even alone, it is a nifty formation that requires little support. It is less effective after that drop turn, but the Mont'Ka is all about crippling your opponent so he can't hit back right?
This formation is one of the more expensive ones, with a minimal entry level of 396, but that has no weapons on the battlesuits. Since Crisis teams can come in units of up to 9, this formation could be absolutely huge. A few basic squads with standard upgrades is likely to run 800-900 points. It is a lot to invest in a powerful second turn, but if you can pull it off it could be absolutely devastating.
Auxiliary: Armoured Interdiction Cadre
Tau Vehicles took a pretty big hit in 6th, with only a formation boost to accuracy for full units in 7th, This formation isn't near enough to warrant using them in numbers again.
Auxiliary: Infiltration Cadre
You could use this formation to bait your opponent into giving you your reserves on the 1st turn if you are going second. You'll have to give up First Blood to do it though, and it might not work for the Retaliation Cadre.
The entry price level is at least 352. If you assume the Pathfinders are trying to get marker hits for the Seekers, bump up some Piranhas, then you're looking at around 600 points.
If you are using the Pathfinders as bait to bring on your Stealth Suits for the attack, this will be more like 700. Either way, the maxed formation isn't that expensive compared to the top levels of other formations.
It could be interesting, we'll just have to wait and see how people take advantage of it. You certainly can bring a lot of Homing Beacons for Deep Striking in lots of battle-suits right away, so this could be a good addition to the Hunter Cadre, replicating the Retaliation Cadre's reserve manipulation for some of the battlesuits in the army.
Auxiliary: Firebase Support Cadre
For starters, you have to fire ALL the squads at the same target to get the Monster/Tank hunter rule. They also lost Preferred Enemy: Space Marines.
The added flexibility in composition is welcome, reducing the entry level price to 310 instead of the previous 500ish points. If you can fit this formation into the Hunter Contingent, then you'll get the +1 BS when the formation targets something too. It is also another way to grant shooting special rules to other units without requiring the Puretide Engram Neurochip.
A good formation, just like before, but now that it actually has competition it isn't quite the auto-include that it used to be.
Auxiliary: Air Caste Support Wing
The point cost is 450, which is more expensive than some of these formations, but it only goes up based on the upgrades you give the vehicles.
If you like Flyers these could be nice and they always have the bonus regardless of proximity which is also a good thing. However, I don't know of anyone that would actually use a Bomber. I think most players would rather they just had 3 Razorsharks. Still, if you are already bringing flyers, this could be a small step to get some extra staying power in your air force.
Personally, I don't like the codex flyers, so this isn't appealing to me, but it might be to some other people.
Auxiliary: Heavy Retribution Cadre
The slowdown effect isn't very good either. The enemy still gets to move and (albeit less effectively) charge. The only time I can think of this being useful, is against a unit that can run AND charge (Orks) or against something like an Imperial Knight where a failed charge is disastrous.
HOWEVER, keep in mind that the Stormsurges can split their fire, so you could inflict this slow-down effect on quite a few units with just two Stormsurges. So that makes this formation actually quite good against Orks, who heavily rely on their ability to Run and/or Charge. Forcing an entire Ork army to move 6" a turn and charge at half-distance is crippling in the extreme and almost completely negates their Waaagh bonus.
If you are already taking the Stormsurges, then why not throw in a Ghostkeel for the bonuses? It can only make your opponent's life harder.
ExtrasWhile these aren't actual formations, they are Auxiliary choices for the Hunter Contingent if you are looking for a cheap alternative to the other formations:
- Assigned Air Caste Asset: 1 Razorshark or 1 Sunshark
- Drone Network: 1 Drone team
There is a lot to take in here. Time will tell which formations will become the new favorites, but you can be sure that the fun is only just starting.