Anyways, currently there are a few ways to field the Tidewall, either in sets or individual pieces. Each takes up a Fortification slot, so it actually doesn't work in a Hunter Contingent.
The rules for these various methods are spread around too, in typical GW fashion.
Most of the rules are found in Warzone Damocles: Kauyon, however the Tidewall Rampart rules are only found in the Tidewall Rampart box. Then the Tidewall Counterstrike Cadre rules are only found by people who bought that specific bundle from GW's website.
- Moves 6" over open ground, treating those on top of it as stationary for shooting purposes.
- Tau units get to re-roll 1's when shooting
- Successful cover saves made my models behind the wall have a 1/6 chance of reflecting back at the shooter. They cause an automatic wound/hull point at the same AP as the shooter's weapon.
The re-roll 1's is a handy benefit, especially for Strike teams pumping out lots of shooting.
Of all the fortifications, this is the only one that you might see a non-Tau faction using. Its greatest strengths are not Tau -specific like the other fortification options.
Once activated though, you have 4 drones of your choice to do with as you please. If you think of that in terms of a minimum drone squadron, you are actually only paying 4 points for the mobile defense platform!
Best of all, like all of the Tidewall components, it grants re-roll 1's to Tau shooters.
This is a nifty addition for moving around a small squad. The platform cannot be destroyed and neither can its drones (until you disembark them), so it is a cheap addition for some added protection. Not only do the models get a mobile defense line, the drones act as a screen against assault elements and if ignored can become a real problem for your opponent.
For example: a Tau Commander, equipped with a Velocity Tracker can fire this Railgun at air targets! Plus, battlesuits can fire this weapon and one other weapon. So a Broadside with a Velocity Tracker could fire the Railgun and his regular weapon (Heavy Rail Rifle for High Yield Missile Pod)
All three Gunrigs can be fired by a single model, at a single target. When shot this way, all three railguns get +1 Strength if firing submunitions (essentiall a S7 AP4 large blast) or Armourbane if using Solid Shot. While it isn't a D weapon, it is quite literally the next best thing: A S10 AP1 long range weapon that rolls 2D6 for armour penetration.
If a high BS model shoots, you are pretty much guaranteed 3 penetrating hits on your target, one of which is likely to result in an Explodes! on the damage chart.
The Tidewall Rampart
Plus, a model on a Droneport can designate an enemy unit in line of sight. When the Gunrig(s) shoots at that enemy unit, it gains +1 BS and Tankhunter/Monsterhunter for the phase.
If you add another Droneport, you can designate 2 units for destruction for the Gunrigs!
The Tidewall Defense Network
It is a nice boost if you were already planning on castling up. The whole network costs either 300 or 325, depending on whether you take a Gunrig or the Droneport. Stubborn is handy, but it might not be as useful as the bonuses granted by the Tidewall Rampart.
Tidewall Counterstrike Cadre
- 1 Pathfinder Team
- 2 Breacher Teams
- 1 Strike Team
- 2 Gunrigs
- 2 Shieldlines
- 1 Droneport
- Can move the tidewall 9" if moving toward the pathfinders from this formation
- Strike Teams gain twin-linked when on the Droneport/Gunrigs
- Breachers profiles are increased when on the Shieldline (5" profile gets used up to 10" and 10" profile gets used up to 15")
They also all have a nice boost for Tau units, just as all the Imperium fortifications give the Imperial factions some buffs. Fair play!
It is a bit of a shame that you can't field the Tidewall with any of the formations in the Codex, but perhaps that is for the best. It is also a major shame that this only moves over open ground. I can see the thinking behind that rule, but it severely limits the larger Tidewall networks that have to remain in the exact same configuration when they move.
I doubt I'll be buying any of these anytime soon. I don't have the money, and if I did I would probably spend it on other things. My battlesuit forces don't use these fortifications very well, but I can definitely see the potential of a Skyfire Railgun or the cool factor of a Droneport carrying around a Forgeworld Drone Sentry Turret.
Thanks for reading, I know it was a lot to get through!