Rumor: No new Codex for Tau?


Hey everyone, Reecius here from Frontline Gaming to talk about a current rumor in the rumor mill and what it implies if true.


Ok, that out of the way, here’s the rumor: the new Tau release will not include a new codex, it will just supplement the existing codex. All we’re getting is new units, formations, detachments, etc. slapped onto the old book. You can use your original book and just get the dataslates for the new releases and be good to go.

Again, I cannot verify that this is true, but the rumors are floating around that this is the case. So, assuming that this is true, let’s talk about the implications.

For one, that is a bummer as while the Tau codex is by no means bad, it is quite good, it has some extremes to it that make it a solid mid-tier army but one that either thumps the other player quite handily or gets thumped. They have a plethora of wargear items and special rules that can just murder Xenos and reserves based armies, but that just fall flat in the face of very durable deathstar units which tend to roll over them. So from a competitive standpoint, they will change a bit dependent on the strength of their formations, but will tend to play the same and have the same strengths and weaknesses they have since their book dropped.


From a consumer perspective, it is cool that players don’t have to totally revamp their armies and can use a lot of the same stuff…but come on, no change means very little excitement from a rules perspective. The new models are gorgeous, and they will entice a lot of people to purchase them just because they are so sexy, but will that be enough? Do you really still want to have weaker units languish on the shelf while the strong units pop up so frequently? Does GW really believe their mantra that rules aren’t important to their bottom line to the point that they won’t be updating the codex?

To add a little veracity to this, we did get info before 6th ed dropped that the intent was to build an edition that would endure, with an expansion in mini-dexes and supplements to existing books once they were released. The mini-dexes rumor turned out to be true, is this the first sign of the other aspects of that rumor, also? Perhaps, perhaps not.

Now, the next step in this mental exercise is to think about what happens if other books get the same treatment? Books like Chaos Space Marines or Dark Eldar? Simply slapping a Decurion style detachment and some formations on them doesn’t fix the core problems with those books. If this becomes a trend and we see that some books are doomed to languish in mediocrity for the foreseeable future, what do we as a community do? Is that the event horizon beyond which we must take the reigns and start changing some of the codecies ourselves as a community? It’s happening with Age of Sigmar to make the game more approachable in an organized play setting. GW is more and more just handing us the game and saying: do what you will with it, just keep buying models.

What do you all think? Would a Tau book with essentially a few pages added in to it seem cool to you? Would you prefer to simply have new units and Formations and not have to go through possibly rebuilding your army. Is stability preferable to change? Or do you feel deflated by this and wish you were getting some new rules and changes to units that are a bit flat like the flyers, Vespid, etc.?

Only time will tell what happens, but this is certainly very interesting to speculate on.


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

62 Responses to “Rumor: No new Codex for Tau?”

  1. iNcontroL October 21, 2015 12:09 am #

    I like the poll option here.. will be fun to see what people think. Personally, I can’t imagine anyone being happy that a huge release / race like this gets no new codex. New rules, models and formations on some level IS nice but I think the standard right now is with these releases come new codexes. Re-balancing things like support systems but helping Tau deal with psychers etc were the big offenders but so many other things need attention.. we never see Kroot anymore, railguns or really fire warriors. Maybe formations help with all these things but a new dex woulda been nice.

    • Reecius October 21, 2015 9:31 am #

      Yeah, I agree. I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t take the time to update the rules to make more model kits viable on the tabletop and therefore sell more of them. We’ll have to wait and see what we get.

      • Novastar October 21, 2015 10:39 am #


  2. Messy0 October 21, 2015 12:43 am #

    I actually think we have great tools to deal with deathstars now. One of the main solutions to deathstars is S10 blasts and D weapons. Granted our D weapons are still limited but we do have a decent amount of S10 Blasts and Large Blasts and Stomps in the form of the Stormsurge or multiple Stormsurge. With markerlights staying the same they are as efficient as they always were so that’s great news (possibly more efficient through formations) and we still retain cheap interceptor, but now we have bigger toys to slap the cheap 5 point upgrade on.

    I am disappointed that units like stalth suits and devilfish wont be cheaper but lets wait and see what bonuses the formations bring.

    • Reecius October 21, 2015 9:19 am #

      The issue isn’t firepower for Tau, it’s getting through the very durable units, such as those with rerollable invul saves and such. The Strength 10 blasts don’t do barely anything to them. Tau just get rolled by things like Necronstars and Daemonstars.

      And I agree that it is a bummer to not see some of the weaker units get a boost if this rumor turns out to be true =/

      • happy_inquisitor October 21, 2015 11:23 am #

        The problem is more that if the rules give Tau that sort of firepower (and with Ethereal boost there is a real chance they will) it will utterly mangle anything other than a deathstar while still struggling a bit against those units.

        • Reecius October 21, 2015 2:32 pm #

          Exactly. Nothing changes.

  3. Jax October 21, 2015 1:08 am #

    What are those space marine formations they are talking about DansGame grrrr

    • Reecius October 21, 2015 9:32 am #

      I have been scouring the net for them but have not found anything, yet.

  4. Blightstar October 21, 2015 4:06 am #

    It’s just a rumour which was created by a german-english translation error and major lapse in reading comprehension. The text was actually talking about the new Damocles campaign book, not the codex.

    There’s already proof that there are SOME changes in the codex. One of the Ethereal powers has changed from giving Stubborn to giving out Relentless.

    • tag8833 October 21, 2015 5:00 am #

      To avoid translation errors. Here is the English White Dwarf page:

      It certainly appears to say that the changes to the existing units is mainly a formatting one.

      Still, if their goal was to merge all of the rules into one book as they claim wouldn’t they be doing Tyranids 1st? After all, Tyranids hare rules in 3 times as many places as Tau.

      • winterman October 21, 2015 7:40 am #

        Well there’s that salty rumor a Tyranid updates is imminent. Which makes a lot more sense if consolidation and minor 7ed updates is the way forward now for existing 40k armies.

    • Reecius October 21, 2015 9:33 am #

      It could be totally bunk, I agree. We will have to see.

      But, that Ethereal rumor seems to be about the new Ethereal special character in the campaign box, and it applies to only the formation, not the Ethereal, himself.

  5. Paul Q October 21, 2015 4:45 am #

    Giving out relentless! HOLY MOTHER OF CRAP!?

    • Reecius October 21, 2015 9:33 am #

      It looks like that is only for Pathfinders in a specific formation.

      • Novastar October 21, 2015 10:41 am #

        That will cool on the marker lights of they stay heavy weapons class

      • abusepuppy October 21, 2015 2:14 pm #

        Only on a _single_ member of the squad, no less.

        If Markerlights were Assault 1 then Pathfinders still wouldn’t be very good. Relentless on them doesn’t actually mean much.

  6. westrider October 21, 2015 5:38 am #

    I don’t mind this sort of release for an Army that’s at least doing OK like Tau, but it bodes really badly for Dexes like Nids and CSM that have much more gaping flaws.

    • Dbiesto October 21, 2015 7:02 am #

      Well, on their website they didn’t post any pre-order for the codex, but it definitely feels like a slap in the face. So basically for CSM and Tyranids we might as well expect the same treatment. $6 for some updates vs $50 for a book is good. I guess since chaos has 4-5 books I would expect Tyranids “update” will be first.

    • Kwodd October 21, 2015 7:40 am #

      This gives some credibility to the nidvember rumor as it stated the Nids aren’t getting a new codex, just an update book.

      • Reecius October 21, 2015 9:33 am #

        I’d be happy with that if it fixed some of the core issues in those books and made some fine tuning.

        • Kwodd October 21, 2015 10:05 am #

          Give endless swarm objective secured, add an appropriately priced GC that fills the same role as the barbed Dule and they’ll be in business.

          • Kwodd October 21, 2015 10:07 am

            And updated IB chart.

          • Reecius October 21, 2015 10:10 am

            Yeah, the IB chart is a bit lame. I’d like to see a lot of the MCs get a boost, like being able to run and then charge or more attacks, similar to a Dread, something to make them appealing. As is the melee bugs are so lackluster.

          • abusepuppy October 21, 2015 2:15 pm

            Tyranids have one really good unit (the Flyrant), a couple decent units (Mawloc, Dakkafex) and the rest of their codex is essentially useless. Adding a couple USRs to a formation isn’t going to change that.

          • Kwodd October 21, 2015 3:37 pm

            I hear ya AP but a GC that fell into the good or decent category and troops that don’t run away or eat themselves when the babysitter turns her back would be one step up from the “Flyrants or Bust” hole they’re in now.

            If everything stays the same and we get a campaign book with couple more failceptor level MCs then it’s over.

          • Dbiesto October 21, 2015 4:20 pm

            Bring back units with fleet can charge and run. This would bring back ppl who love assault type armies. (Tyranids need something like this more than any other army imo)

  7. ehegner1 October 21, 2015 5:50 am #

    Tau has bin struggling for some time now. This kind of just put the nail in the coffin but only time will tell.

    Sucks that tau can’t play the KX139. Would of helped a lot. Even some of the dedicated tau players like Paul M has moved away from tau to play ad Mach just cause ethereal power creep is so great. This isn’t 6th or 5th edition anymore

    • Reecius October 21, 2015 9:35 am #

      Yeah, but if we let in the Supremecy, Eldar players would want thier Revenant (which is straight bonkers, now) and Imperial players would want their Warhound, etc. It would take the game up to a whole new level of crazy.

      • Novastar October 21, 2015 10:43 am #


      • Sam October 21, 2015 11:31 am #

        The new corsairs book is bonkers already but I suspected it was going to be once it got str d updated.

        • Reecius October 21, 2015 2:32 pm #

          I think it looks quite fun, actually. I will wait till I have it but I don’t think it is worse than Eldar.

  8. Sactownbri October 21, 2015 6:07 am #

    I’d rather be buying new toys for my army than buying books. Separating the rules from the books is a fantastic direction. Look at the new Tidewall. Rules in the box and it will completely change how you can play Tau without buying a new codex. Brilliant. People don’t like change, that I understand. But if you can embrace the crazy, it’s shiney on the other side.

    • Dbiesto October 21, 2015 7:06 am #

      Tide wall rampart already souled out ????? GW messed up

    • Reecius October 21, 2015 9:36 am #

      I agree that having rules updates as we go is a great idea, but I’d like to see some fine tuning in the core rules of many of the factions, like how marker lights work for Tau, etc.

  9. Amberclad87 October 21, 2015 7:05 am #

    Well to say the least, this is a major disappointment. It’s also scary to think of this being the way forward as far as rules is concerned. Like Reece said, formations and new toys can’t fix some of the core problems with a lot of the armies.

    I’m calling it now. I want a COMMUNITY driven rules system for 40k. This is a much deeper issue than just this release but when it comes to rules design, I am tired of being let down release after release.

    • Reecius October 21, 2015 9:36 am #

      We’ll see what happens, perhaps the book does have new rules. But yeah, if some books get left out in the cold like CSM, I think we’ll HAVE to do something about it or never see them played.

      • Dbiesto October 21, 2015 10:33 am #

        Either improved rules or points reductions would be nice but after the tau release I’m VERY doubtful so will play more for fun than competitive when I go to the next tournament. I got tabled by Necrons my last game, and I’ve never been tabled until this edition lol. CSM usually get overwhelmed by shooting armies now, unless it’s plague marine spam. Nurgle is good, new edition armies really are that much better atm due to more options. Fearless units really saves CSM but that’s about it.

        • Dbiesto October 21, 2015 4:26 pm #

          I’ll still play CSM since it’s my only army, but I’ll bring fun lists to tournaments just to laugh and see ppl shake their heads at how bad they’ve become. Future squat player hurhurhur

          • Reecius October 21, 2015 4:56 pm


  10. Toranaga October 21, 2015 7:07 am #

    Isn’t this what we’ve been asking for for some time – an easy, more fluid way of updating a faction? Every new codex recently has only changed around a few units in minor ways – though small adjustments may have major implications – it’s the addition of formations and the dataslate format which are the true innovations in these 7th edition books, innovations which make them much more flexible going forward.

    • Reecius October 21, 2015 9:37 am #

      Agreed, that is a better system, IMO. However, it assumes a solid foundation to build upon and if this is the way forward, some books would forever after just suck. You could do this with Space Marines and be fine, but CSM for example, just needs a total overhaul.

  11. Anony-Mouse October 21, 2015 7:29 am #

    This could go either way. On the one hand, the excitement of new rules is gone, and the opportunity to fix some of the things that arguably need attention like markerlights and interceptor is missed.

    Realistically though, if the codices are designed to interact with each other in specific ways, it becomes hard to change one in any significant way without seriously affecting the others as well as the overall balance of the game. It might be the better option to provide new units and models to fill gaps or address weaknesses rather than potentially introducing new and unforeseen problems.

    Individual units can get updated datasheets, and the fact that new fire warriors with new options and rules are being included should give hope to players of weaker armies that some of their worse units can still be fixed without re-writing the codex in its entirety. I think we’ll have to wait and see how this is going to turn out.

    • Reecius October 21, 2015 9:42 am #

      Yeah, it is too early to tell, I agree. However, you can change the definitions of some core rules issues with a faction in order to fine tune everything. Marker Lights, for example, can be altered without worrying about changing individual data slates.

      We’ll see what we actually get.

  12. Kwodd October 21, 2015 7:35 am #

    Figured they’d change their rules design theme after a few broken books, right on time for a lackluster Tyranids update.

  13. Loopy October 21, 2015 8:28 am #

    I just pray for more expensive or more rare interceptor. That just kills me.

    • Reecius October 21, 2015 9:38 am #

      Same, same. And so much ignores cover is just brutal for armies that need a cover save to get any save at all, like poor Orks =/

  14. Hotsauceman1 October 21, 2015 8:55 am #

    On the one hand im glad tau are staying the same, im also sad my favorite units languish in darkness 🙁
    We do have something that gives us the tools to deal with deathstarts reece.
    Its called the Tau’nar Surpremacy suit. But someone is too scared of it.

    • Reecius October 21, 2015 9:39 am #

      Oh, Garrett, lol, too scared of it? That is not the case, and a bit of a low blow, dude. And no, the Supremecy suit doesn’t beat Deathstars, it gets beaten by them. Unless you can roll an ass ton of 6’s on the D blast, it is no better vs. Deathstars than other Tau units, unfortunately.

      • Hotsauceman1 October 21, 2015 9:50 am #

        Im giving you shit dude. I know why it is banned.
        I am mostly bummed that it might be going to Tau/Eldar Corsairs for me.

        • Reecius October 21, 2015 9:52 am #

          Fair play, buddy. And yeah, those new Corairs look flipping awesome!

  15. Mike October 21, 2015 10:56 am #

    “If this becomes a trend and we see that some books are doomed to languish in mediocrity for the foreseeable future, what do we as a community do? Is that the event horizon beyond which we must take the reigns and start changing some of the codecies ourselves as a community?”

    God please yes. I wish for the day when experienced tournament-minded players are the ones doing rules design. The game would be faaaaaaar superior for everyone at all levels of play at that point.

    • Reecius October 21, 2015 6:05 pm #

      It’ll take something fairly dramatic for that to occur and be accepted by the community, but, this may be that proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back if it is dont to books like CSM, Nids, etc.

  16. Mirthless October 21, 2015 11:08 am #

    i dont see the problem… Its not like the Space Marine units changed from 6th to 7th. The Tau gain like 4 units on top of the formations, detachments, etc.

    i guess we all hoped that more units changed to be useful for the amounts of points they cost, but i guess Tau should be happy they get fucked over like Grey Knights with their new dex.

    • Reecius October 21, 2015 2:31 pm #

      There was a lot of change in the Marine dex. New Chapter Tactics, MANY units got big points decreases to make them better, and in general, a lot of fine tuning and changed special rules. I think you may be underselling how much the marine dex changed.

  17. 21st Primarch October 21, 2015 12:25 pm #

    Im not sure if anyone remembers the comments i made on a few other posts about beginning to alter the books ourselves to make a more fun game with more variety, but this is the attitude ive been waiting for. I really hope, as i said before, that Frontline and the ITC spearhead this. We have been heading this way awhile, and age of sigmar has taught me that balancing things isnt as hard as one might think, and even if its still imbalanced, its better than what we have!

    • Reecius October 21, 2015 2:33 pm #

      If GW goes forward with this, it may give us the opportunity as a community to actually make changes to boost up some languishing books and units.

  18. Hotsauceman1 October 21, 2015 2:09 pm #

    I say wait until the next book after tau.

    • Reecius October 21, 2015 2:33 pm #

      Totally, we need to see if this actually happens and if so, is it a trend or a one time deal?

  19. Richard October 21, 2015 2:27 pm #

    I can’t imagine, looking at the number of Tau Armies that have Farsight Enclave Armies, combined with the release of a new XV8 Suit box, that a FE style detachment won’t be release.

    I mean, they event (sneakily) included the super-rate proto-type into this renegade army (spies and such), the Riptide – obviously to push more models.

    I reckon we will see more-than just the Tau Codex, within the next 4 months.

  20. Cowboy October 22, 2015 7:27 am #

    Currently, Tau are very good at playing a normal game of 40k. With some new units they will be perfectly fine. Tau can hold their own against almost all conventional armies. (which is what should reasonable be expected from a codex, not a new power book) They only struggle against problems that Shooting (in any practical quantity) definitively cannot solve.

    An add-on to the existing Tau book is fine, and promotes a stability in the game world that we sorely need in 40k. We don’t need a Tau book that does have the shots to kill a Deathstar because if they do, what chance do other, mortal armies then have? We must not only concern ourselves with making Tau fun to play, but making Tau fun to play against, with any well constructed army in the game. We must consider Tau’s counter play. That is the mark of skilled and responsible game design, as well as an informed and considerate player base, not a blind devotion to GW’s power creeping hype-train.

    The real solution is for the community to fix/block things from becoming functionally un-killable. The game would be better off if we simply blocked the ability to re-roll saves and returned Invisibility to it’s 6th Ed version. It would make people actually play the game instead of relying upon invincible units.

    I am sure there will be some people who comment after me with something like:

    “we need to be invincible against that much shooting in order to survive,” and will quickly site the Eldar Scat Bike and the potential Tau gunline armies as their excuse to utterly destroy the balance of the entire game simply because they want to be able to have a favorable match-up in every possible situation. This is supremely selfish because they are putting their personal success above the needs to the 40k community and meta. They will then justify their actions by pointing the blame finger at anyone but themselves saying, “I need to break the game in order to have a chance since he/she is breaking the game in this way.” Meanwhile they are the actually part of the problem themselves. A new or old Tau codex will not change the issue in 40k so long as people with this attitude continue to abuse a non-competitive rules set that was not meant to be manipulated in the way they are manipulating it.

    An old Tau codex with some bolt on new units will be fine if the player base would simply play the game responsibly with an eye toward game balance instead of trying to abuse the game system.

  21. Narfwak October 23, 2015 2:57 pm #

    The strangest part of all this to me is that it probably means Tau aren’t getting any changes to signature systems or support systems, and those are the things a lot of people expected to see change. I suppose it’s possible that we’ll see some new ones, but if you can just keep using the old codex plus the new expansion (lets call it what it is) then the rule to be able to use as many relics (lets call them what they are, too) on a commander as you want would remain, meaning that Buffmander still exists.

    It also means 5 point per model interceptor upgrades are still a thing, and if anything was going to get nerfed I would have thought it would have been that.

    The new force org rumors definitely have my interest, though – seems like suit/MC based armies are going to be better than ever since the army wide rule means you aren’t as dependent on markerlights anymore.

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