Warzone Damocles: Mont'ka. New Formations!

November 23, 2015 ·

The new formations have leaked! Some of them are quite nifty, check it out...

Farsight Enclaves Detachment

This allows you to take regular Tau detachments as Farsight detachments, just like before. So far, all we have heard is that it has specifics but wasn't part of the leaks. It likely will be something along the lings of "All units must have BKR, all get Preferred Enemy: Orks in CC" and hopefully some other buff like Obsec crisis suits.
We also haven't seen the new Warlord Traits or the point costs for the FSE signature systems, but we do know that the old signature systems are still here. Woot, Fusion Blades!

Now, on to the formations!

Dawn Blade Contingent

This is the Contingent made up of multiple formations:
  • 0-1 Command: Commander/Commander Farsight with 1 XV8 Body guard unit OR The Eight
  • 1+ Core: Hunter Cadre or Retaliation Cadre
  • 1-10 Auxiliary per Core: Counterstrike Cadre, Rapid Insertion Force, Ranged Support Cadre, Piranha Firestorm Wing, Air Superiority Cadre, Assigned Air Asset, Allied Advance Cadre, Drone-Net VX1-0, Skysweep Missile Defence, Firebase Support Cadre
Benefits: It is a Farsight Enclaves Detachment (See Above). You get to re-roll the Warlord Trait. You secretly pick one enemy unit at the start of each of your opponent's turns. During your following turn you re-roll failed To-Wound and Armour Pen rolls against that target. 

The Hunter Contingent arguably has the better bonus, but this one is a bit more flexible. You have two Core choices instead of one, and the Retaliation Cadre is pretty awesome. While the Hunter Contingent helps you maintain lots of accuracy and ignoring cover, the Dawn Blade Contingent helps you cause damage. So if you can replicate the accuracy of the Hunter Contingent through markerlights, this can be a very powerful bonus. You are essentially granting your entire army Tank Hunter, Monster Hunter, and whatever the equivalent would be for regular units. I'd be more interested in it if the Auxiliary Choices were better.

I initially missed how powerful this bonus is. Unlike the Hunter Contingent bonus, this one allows your entire army re-rolls against this target, not just the ones in the contingent. Suddenly this is just as dangerous as the Hunter Contingent to me; more dangerous if you are playing in the ITC where the Coordinated Firepower rule has been nerfed.

The Auxiliary choices include some of the ones from Kauyon, but the Ghostkeel, Riptide, and Stormsurge formations are noticeably missing. Fluffy!

The Eight

Required: the Eight (Farsight, Broadside, Riptide, 5 other Commanders with various loadouts)
Benefits: Fearless, Independent Character, 24" Supporting Fire when supporting other members of the Eight.

Instead of replacing the Bodyguard unit of Farsight, they get their own formation now! They are still the same loadout and generally the same rules, but the added bonuses are nifty.

I think they are highly unlikely to be seen at anything other than a themed for very casual game, but they are still a cool fluff addition. The biggest drawback with them now, is that you can't pick and choose which ones you field, you have to take them ALL.

Rapid Insertion Force

Required: 1 Riptide team, 3 Crisis teams, 1 Stealth team
Benefits: Crisis and Riptide do not scatter when deep striking within 6" of the Stealth team, and gain Twin-Linked that turn if they land within 6" of the Stealth Team.

While this is similar to the Retaliation Cadre, with Stealth suits instead of the Broadside and Commander, it is noticeably weaker. The price difference between the two is so small, I can't see anyone picking this formation over the Retaliation Cadre, except when forced (aka, Rapid Insertion Force could be used as an Auxiliary in the Dawn Blade Contingent).

I had really high hopes for this as the "Farsight" formation of choice, but it turned out quite lame. It seems the Retaliation Cadre, despite the Broadsides, will end up being the go-to "Farsight" formation.

Air Superiority Cadre

Required: 3 Razorsharks
Benefits: +1 BS against flying things (Flyer, Superheavy Flyer, FMC, and FGC). D3 markerlight hits to be placed on enemy units while one of the Razorsharks is on the table. The formation's models automatically arrive from reserves whenever there are enemy flying things on the board

While I am not a fan of the Razorshark, or Flyers in general, this formation is top notch! Much better than the Kauyon flyer formation. You will truly rule the skies with this formation, as you'll be wasting flyers and even generating your own Markerlight hits to shoot those Seeker Missiles. It also helps you get your flyers on the board early against armies that have FMC's starting on the board, leveling the playing field a little bit.

I generally don't field flyers, but I'd consider it with this formation. The Razorshark isn't bad (Similar to a Ghostkeel in target choices) and is a decent air superiority fighter in its own right. This formation essentially grants them two of the Fighter Ace bonuses for free and potentially brings them onto the table on turn 1!

Ethereal Council

Required: 3-7 Ethereals (can sub in Aun'va or Aun'shi) acting as a single unit.
Benefits: Fearless. Leadership Aura is doubled (24"). All 4 elemental powers are invoked every turn as long as there are 2+ members in the council.

I see the fluffiness of it, but the sheer amount of VP's available to your opponent, and a unit that can't hide within another unit, makes this formation a huge liability. However, this is one of the only ways to include Ethereals in your army outside of the Hunter Contingent and the CAD.
You could take a Devilfish+DPod and try to keep them alive long enough to matter. However, the payoff isn't that great. Definitely a 'friendly' formation, if not a handicap.

Ghostkeel Wing

Required: 3 units of Ghostkeels
Benefits: +1 BS to a Ghostkeel from this formation that targets a unit previously targeted by a Ghostkeel from this formation. Stealth aura (12") to Tau units, which increases to Shrouded for units that already have Stealth. No Overwatch allowed against units in this formation within 6" of each other.

The charging ability is weird, but whatevs. The +1 BS is ok, if you really need to kill something it helps cascade the firepower and is just a tad better than the Fire Team rule for a full squad of 3 Ghostkeels. The Stealth Aura is pretty dope. I can see this being very useful alongside fortifications like the Tidewall. 

Naturally, you have to own 3 of these guys, but these are one of the few models that I would actually consider owning 3 even though I knew I wasn't going to field them. Not a bad formation, for the defensive buffs, but I think you'd need to run a lot of infantry alongside them to take advantage of the bonus.

The stealth bonus is better than I initially gave it credit for. Running this alongside marker teams inside ruins or with Jinking vehicles will drive your opponent nuts.

Riptide Wing

Required: 3 units of Riptides
Benefits: +1 BS to a Riptide from this formation that targets a unit previously targeted by a Riptide from this formation. NOVA re-rolls when within 6" of each other. Once per game, the Riptides can forego movement and assault movement to shoot all their weapons TWICE. 

Holy crap. This is how you field Riptides. Of course, the +1 BS is appreciated when you can't benefit from the Fire Team rule, but is made much better by the fact that the Riptides can each fire twice, at different targets!
The Nova reactor bonus is a carry-over from the Apocalypse formation, and is quite handy. It makes the Earth Caste Pilot Array largely unnecessary on any of the Riptides in this formation and saves you some points.

The double tap is crazy. A Riptide's greatest shortcoming is its lack of firepower, this helps with that. You can spread the +1 BS to a lot more targets and makes. I see a drawback that you can't fully utilize this power if you are using your EWO, since that takes away your shooting phase. Riptides are also high priority targets for grav and the like, so you are under the gun to use the power early to get the most of it. So you have to think and use it wisely to get the most of it, even if that means losing a Riptide before you use it.

I will definitely be using this formation in the next tournament I enter. Surprisingly, this is not necessarily the best formation in Mont'ka (say whaaaaa?) but it is certainly a contender. For me, the biggest drawback is that running this formation makes it so I can't field the Retaliation Cadre because I only own 3 Riptides! 1st world problems, for sure.

You could field 9 Riptides in an 1850 list and they will almost always be re-rolling NOVA. Insane

Given time to listbuild, I now find it hard to fit this into my list. The Dawn Blade Contingent is better than I initially thought and I can't fit both into the list since I only own 3 Riptides. I still think it is amazing, and taking it with a CAD might still be better than a Contingent. 

Drone-Net VX1-0

Required: 4+ units of drones
Benefits: Jink, Interceptor, Outflank, Precision Shots, and Split Fire. +1 BS to ALL drones on the table as long as at least 2 drone squads from this formation are on the table. 

Pretty neat, and not all that expensive. You can field this formation for as low as 224 points. The +1 BS is really cool if you already include lots of drones in your army without drone controllers. Marker Drones become just as good as Pathfinders, but much more resilient. You can also keep your drones alive much longer with Jink.
The huge bonus, to me, is Interceptor. Suddenly, you have the option of BS3 markerlights during the Intercept phase. In the past, Tau could spam EWO to take out things like the Skyhammer, but then the Raven Guard got tons of cover against our EWO attacks. Now, a single marker drone squad can put enough markers on an enemy unit to strip all cover OR boost accuracy like crazy. This is a really good formation for filling out your list, since it can give you marker support All The Time and isn't too expensive.
I honestly think that this formation makes Pathfinders a waste as marker units, since the drones required support to be able to efficiently mark targets. As a bonus, any other drones you happen to have (Missile Drones, for example...) suddenly become much more deadly. Saweet.  This formation is one of the better ones, imho.

This formation brings back the usefulness of adding a couple drones here and there, especially on suicide Monats.
RAW, this might actually help out the Drones in your opponent's army. Be aware!

Counterstrike Cadre

Required: 1 Pathfinder Team and 3 Strike/Breacher teams. All must take Devilfishes
Benefits: Re-roll failed to-hit rolls against targets within 3" of an Objective Marker. Their first turn on the table, the Devilfishes are Fast vehicles.

The Devilfish tax is hefty, pushing the price of this formation to at least 500 and most likely much higher.
That said, if you already wanted Breacher teams for assaulting enemy objectives, this formation is handy. The Pathfinders will most likely find a use somehow, be it Homing Beacon duty with a Recon Drone or markerlight duty while an Ethereal cruises in their ride. Full Mech armies can appreciate this formation, even if it isn't all that amazing. 

Piranha Firestream Wing

Required: 4 units of Piranhas. One of the units can only be 1 piranha (Target Acquisition Team)
Benefits: Pick a target within 36" of the Target Acquisition Team, all Piranhas get +1 BS and Tank Hunter when shooting that target. Units can go into Ongoing Reserves if they end their Movement phase within 6" of a table edge. When they come back, they come back repaired, re-armed, re-droned, and re-enforced to their original number.

Possibly the most ridiculous formation in Mont'ka, and a carryover from its Apocalypse form. The minimum cost is a piddly 160 points and the bonuses are fantastic. This is the only way Tau can get free points, and they can potentially get a LOT of free points with this formation. In theory, a fully loaded Firestorm Wing can drop ~220 points in Gun Drones, EVERY TURN. In order to stem the flow, your opponent must destroy an entire piranha squad, otherwise it is wasted energy.
You can use them to ferry drones onto the board, disembarking drones and then going into Ongoing reserves to bring more on. You can also use them to initiate multiple Seeker salvos with Tank Hunter. If you started with 3 and you lost 2, you just go into reserves and come back with all 3 next turn!

You will want to own more Piranhas and Drones than you can fit on the board (or own...) Another drawback is that this formation gets ridiculously expensive (easily 1000 points when fully loaded) and loses much of its hitting power once the solo Piranha is destroyed. In addition, all the free drones you'll be ferrying on are only Gun Drones and they cannot even hold an objective, let alone contest one.

Skysweep Missile Defense

Required: 1 Devilfish, 3 units of Skyrays
Benefits: Skyrays within 12" of the Devilfish can fire any number of their remaining Seekers. The formation gets 5+ cover save against shooting from flying things as long as the Devilfish is alive.

Not exactly sure what the intention was, since Skyrays can already fire all their Seekers if they want, so the only true bonus is a 5+ cover save against flying things. Nothing amazing, since you could just Jink. I guess it is to give you a chance at hitting back without having to snap-shoot everything on your turn.

All-in-all, a let down. Granting the Skyrays EWO would have been dope, but instead they got a lack-lustre cover save against specific units. Not a terrible thing, but when compared to other formation bonuses, it is quite lame.

Ranged Support Cadre

Required: 3 Pathfinder Teams, 3 Broadside Teams
Benefits: Markers from this formation, used by the Broadsides in this formation, count as double. Pathfinders gain Infiltrate and Shrouded. They lose Shrouded once they move or shoot anything but a Markerlight. Broadsides can give supporting fire to the Pathfinders up to any range (regular weapon ranges apply, of course)

An interesting formation. If you already like Pathfinders and want multiple units for marker support, this could be nice. They also get a decent survival buff with Shrouded and deploying last. The Broadsides will be great Overwatch help with all their Twin-Linked weaponry, provided they are in weapon range.

Depending on how you equip everything, this could be quite pricey, and the payoff for the Broadsides isn't that great (They are already pretty accurate). I can see this being able to do some work against Air Targets since even one marker hit will strip cover OR buff the XV88's back up to standard BS. For my taste, it is too expensive when it mostly just helps the Pathfinders. However, I am biased since I don't like Pathfinders OR Broadsides.

Non-Tau stuff

Naturally, there are some other tidbits for non-Tau players. This time, it is for the Astra Militarum. You can probably find some of those formations just by Googling it. There are Tank Aces (Like Flying Aces) and something called a Battlelord and the Obsidion Knight is mentioned so either he didn't actually die in the plasma rift or he is one of those Dread Pirate Roberts that keeps getting replaced by the next best guy. Exciting stuff ahead, but for now, we will just talk Tau around here.

*EDIT: I've had some time to mull these over and so I've added some extra thoughts to the formations I've had revelations about.


Firewasp said...
November 24, 2015 at 2:40 PM  

I think one of my favourites is the drone formation. Really gives you a great way to get super effective marker drones in without tying up a commander.
The riptide formation is good. Though expensive points wise.
Ghostkeel formation isn't as good as the stealth cadre. Shame. Although could see some use in a mech list with disruption pods. Be useful combined with the counterstrike cadre and dfishes full of breachers.

Skyler Hoeft said...
November 24, 2015 at 7:21 PM  

That is true, I hadn't thought about using the Ghostkeel wing to give your mech list 2+ Jink or 3+ just from intervening models. My only issue with that is that non-OSC Ghostkeel can't do the heavy lifting.
The Riptide formation IS expensive, but often Tau players want to field multiple Riptides anyways. I was fielding 2 up until now. And imo, it is worth it.

Skyler Hoeft said...
November 24, 2015 at 7:21 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Firewasp said...
November 25, 2015 at 2:47 AM  

The ghostkeel could compliment the mech list quite nicely. The breachers could handle most targets when close. The twin linked on objectives is a nice bonus. The keels take melta options to handle the heavy hitters. Then the riptide wing for additional heavy support. Probably rounds up to near 1850.

Anonymous said...
November 27, 2015 at 10:34 PM  

Do FSE detachments still require bonding knives and a 3-man crisis unit? The fact that you can take things like HQ detachments makes me this at least the crisis unit is no longer necessary?

Skyler Hoeft said...
November 28, 2015 at 6:00 PM  

When I wrote this I sent have that info, but it looks like any detachment can be an FSE detachment if it follows these rules.
1- BKR if available
2- characters use FSE signature systems instead of TE siggies

You gain
1- preferred enemy (orks) in CC
2- crisis squads count as Troops.

So the 3-man crisis is no longer required, and they can include Any models (shadowsun).

Embrace Your Inner Geek said...
November 29, 2015 at 1:00 PM  

So ... the Skyray formation. Does anybody else read it as allowing the skyways to fire all their missiles EVEN AFTER THEY HAVE MOVED providing they are in range of the D'fish?

Next question - do you think ti works after the Skyway moved flat out?

If this is wrong, then there seems to be little point in the formation.


Skyler Hoeft said...
November 30, 2015 at 8:19 AM  

Honestly, who knows? The problem is that they copy-pasted the rules from the old Apocalypse formation.
And even if you interpret it that way, the Skyray already can fire all its missiles after moving, they will just all be snap-shots.

This one is hard to see what they intended. If I had to guess, I would say they meant for the Skyrays to be able to fire seekers during the Intercept phase when within 12" of the Devilfish. Which would make the formation amazing. But not Too amazing since it would only apply to Seekers not Markerlights. But without an FAQ, it is a worthless formation as written

Anonymous said...
January 19, 2016 at 9:17 AM  

"2- crisis squads count as Troops."
So you could use crisis suits in the hunter cadre instead, right?
if so, that basically makes it the force og we used to have.

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