Puretide’s Balance! TFO takes Mont’Ka to “Road to LVO”

Alors toujours pret pour plus? Over the weekend I took a new Tau army to a very small but highly competitive ITC event in Oakland California at the downtown store called Endgames. It was run by our local 40k patron, the one and only TastyTaste from Bloodofkittens.com and be sure to check the Tactics Corner for more great articles.

The roster had 16 players but it was filled with Top faction players of the bay area, we had Geoff Robinson, Alexander Gonzalez, Jim Yeh, Paul McKelvey, and many more. The game was afoot! The event did not allow for experimental rules but did allow the new Mont’Ka book which meant I had roughly 24 hours to decide on a list to take to the event with my brand spanking new Tau army (barely painted in 3 colors for the event, thank you thanksgiving!). Thanks to the leaks online, I had a rough idea of what I wanted to take and knowing my competition was going to be challenging, I needed to take units I had already practice with and had some experience with since the rounds were short and thus no time to be making thought out decisions and more depending on your experience and instinct with the army.


The original theme of my Tau army was trying to anchor it in a thematic format while still retaining a lot of oomph. In the Tau lore, I have always loved Puretide background because I view him as what would Bruce Lee would have aged like in the philosophical manner. His philosophy of Balance through Kanyon (Patient Hunter) and Mont’ka (The Killing Blow) reminisces a lot of Mr. Lee’s Jeet Kune Do so I went to work on a list. I adore the Ghostkeel model so much that I bought 5 when they came out, not sure if I would use all of them at the time, but from their Rules and aesthetic they appealed to me drastically. They fit the Kanyon strategy perfectly, exchanging long range Tau firepower for brutal midrange firepower while retaining mobility but most important of all they punish armies without wide availability of ignore cover. Originally I had practice with 2 Optimized Stealth Cadre that used a unit of 2 Ghostkeels each and minimum Stealth Suit units but with the arrival of the Ghostkeel Wing formation rules, I thought why not take 1 Optimized Stealth Cadre and 1 Ghostkeel Wing. It allowed me to have 5 Ghostkeels in 4 units (maximizing their Holophoton Countermeasures from 2 usage to 4 usage) and surprisingly the Ghostkeel Wing formation rules ended up being pretty useful for the rest of my army with their Stealth granting.


Now that I had figure out 2 of my 3 sources, I was ready to work on the Mont’Ka piece of my theme. I either had a choice to go in the route of Farsight CAD or using the new Dawn Blade Contingent but in the end I chose the Dawn Blade Contingent to unlock the Drone Net XV0-1 formation which I wanted to try out. For those who do not know how the Drone NetXV0-1 works, it is a formation of 4 units of Drones that gain for themselves Jink, Precision Shot, Split Fire, Outflank and most important of all Interceptor. It also grants +1 BS to all Drones on the table (including those outside of the formation) as long as they are 2 units from the Formation on the Battlefield. I immediately decided that 4 units of 4 Markerdrones with this combo was where I wanted to go. Not only did it provide me with 16 Markerlights but 16 Markerlights that were mobile and had interceptor while still retaining a defensive mechanic in the open with Jink. Of course, to continue with the Mont’Ka fluff, I chose the Retalation Cadre as my Core formation allowing me to have an effective hard punching and reserve formation. The question is how to equip them at this point. I already dropped a large amount of points into the Drone Net and the Ghostkeel Formations while trying to retain the bonuses granted to me by the Retalation Cadre formation rules. Sadly, GW still thinks that Xeno factions should not be able to share relics from cross supplements and my Commander was left with rather expensive Signature system options that do not synergize well with my going army design. The resulting list was as of follows:

Optimized Stealth Cadre:

  • Unit of 2 Ghostkeels with TL Fusion Blaster and Cyclic Ion Raker, 2 Early Warning Overrides and 1 Target Lock.
  • 2 Units of 3 Stealth Battlesuits with Burst Cannons

Ghostkeel Wing:

  • 3 Units of 1 Ghostkeel with TL Burst Cannon and Cyclic Ion Raker, 1 Early Warning Overrides for each.

Dawn Blade Contingent:

Retaliation Cadre (Core):

  • Commander with Plasma Rifle, Forgeworld XV84 Battlesuit Signature System (Network Markerlight & Target Lock).
  • 1 Unit of 3 XV8 Crisis Battlesuits with 3 Plasma Rifles, 3 Burst Cannons, 3 Bonding Knife.
  • 2 Units of 1 XV8 Crisis Battlesuit with TL Fusion Blaster, Target Lock, Bonding Knife and 2 Marker Drones
  • 1 Riptide with Ion Accelerator, TL SMS, Stimulant Injector, Bonding Knife, and Earth Caste Piloting Array (I know it’s currently not able to take it but I didn’t catch that until later, it would appear to be an oversight from GW)
  • 1 Broadside with TL High Yield, TL SMS and Bonding Knife.

Drone Net XV0-1 (Auxiliary):

  • 4 Units of 4 Marker Drones.


I decided to try having deep striking Marker Drones with the Cadre with the single XV8 Crisis suits so they would benefit from +2 BS on arrival (Drop Zone Clear & Drone Net) so it would bump me to 20 Markerlights in the list while keeping the ability for the TL Fusion Blaster Suits to try popping open some backfield transport then evolving into another mobile Marker support unit that can fetch maelstrom points. I was really on the fence about the Commander and his Plasma/Burst Cannon Crisis team because I do not have Homing Beacons for such a large footprint and they felt like an expensive 1 hit wonder since they are only T4 with 3+ and they range are short to mid which means that to bring their guns to bear they might in harms way. I chose to keep the Broadside unit down to a minimum since I had to pick either the Crisis Team or the Broadside unit to spend points into. Honestly, in hindsight keeping the Broadside unit to a larger size would have been probably the better choice but I really wanted to have more AP2 in the army other than the Fusion and the Ion Accelerator from the Riptide.

I only put Early Warning Overrides (interceptor) on the Ghostkeels as defense versus Drop Pod armies since my counter play was deploying the Ghostkeels and the Drone Net to blast them with anti infantry fire with markerlights on the turn they came down. In hindsight, equipping the Broadside with it as well would have been useful but I thought the Broadside would be in reserve until turn 2 in most games.

Rolling on the Strategic Table allows me to gain like many armies multiple new tactical vectors for the army. Master of Ambush is probably my favorite as it allows me to infiltrate the Ghostkeels from the Optimized Stealth Cadre, the Riptide and the Broadside or most of the Ghostkeels if I chose. My second favorite would actually be the modifier to enemy reserve followed closely by Master of Ruins for the move through cover in ruins which just saves time for the Drones and Stealth Suits. With the Dawn Blade Contingent having a re-roll, its not unlikely getting the trait you want since half of them are pretty useful.


The event Round 1 Big Guns Never Tire versus Doc’s Sisters of Battle CAD/AM Allied Detachment/Flesh Tearer Strike Force

Doc’s list was basically a Drop Pod army using Dominion & Basic Sister Squads from the Sisters supplemented by a Large Combat blob with FNP Sanguinary Priest and Hit & Run Queen Celestine and 1 large conscript blob with a Priest. Effectively his list was bodies and table control. Unfortunately for Doc, most of his army on the drop was 12” to 24” which is the effective range of my intercepting Ghostkeels. I ended up rolling the Master of Ambush Trait and decided to outflank the commander and his squad as well as the Broadside. I infiltrated the Riptide and the Stealth Suits while deploying the Ghostkeel and 3 of the 4 Drone Squads. The Fusion Crisis suits will stick to their original plan of deep striking and chasing pods while providing marker support. Doc had deployed his blob and had first turn. He deep striked a Company Command Squad, a Platoon Command Squads (Plasma to chase the Riptide), 1 tact squad with a Heavy Flamer to chase the Drones and 1 Basic Sister Squad for Maelstorm. On my interceptor I removed the Company Command Squad, killed 3 of the 5 Sisters but with 10 total wounds to the Tactical marines only killed 1 which was not the Heavy Flamer. The Sister broke at the end of the Movement phase but his blobs moved unopposed as the only model that did not fire was the Riptide. He did manage to put 3 wounds on the Riptide with his Plasma even though it was in Ruins with Stealth from the Ghostkeel Wing and Feel No Pain. His Combat Blob blasted off the table 1 of my Stealth Suit squad.h His surviving Heavy Flamer managed to clip 1 drone from each Drone unit and killed all 3 causing me to take 3 morale test and only 1 unit of Drone stuck around.

On my actual first turn, I split the 2 of the Ghostkeels from the Wing to support the Riptide as they flanked towards his conscript squad. The Riptide dropped only 4 of the 5 from the Platoon Commander squad with its Ripplefire SMS leaving 1 lone Plasmagun. The Stealth Team Team worked on the Blob a bit while the third Ghostkeel from the Wing prepared for a Charge into the Tact squad. The OSC Ghostkeel maneuvered out of charge range for the Blob but charge change of the Drop Pod on my home objective. On turn 2, 1 Dominion and 1 Sister squad hit the table on his turn 2 but this time I focused only the Sister squad with my no marker support Interceptor, I ignored the Dominion as they only had the Ghostkeels from the OSC in target range which meant even with Ignore Cover the Snap Shot defense counter measure should save them from taking too much damage. The interceptor was effective causing the Sisters to take another LD test and failing (LD8), the Dominion got 1 hit on the Ghostkeels and did one wound.

On my turn, his Conscript blob started taking ripple fire SMS with Ghostkeels clearing Drop Pods near the center for King of the Hill. The Reserve came in and assisted in clearing the smaller squads on the table while leaving effectively the Combat Blob alive. Doc was very sporting about the way the game was shaping up considering by the start of his turn 3, he had his Combat Blob nearing my deployment and saw that the flanking riptide and Ghostkeels were out of his reach from the rest of his army and his conscript blob was desperately trying to pling away the last wound on the Riptide to prevent it from decimating the blob with his SMS. We played it through to turn 5 which saw Doc’s combat blob taken to about half size and lost Celestine to an overwatch from a Broadside. The game ended with full points my way.


Round 2 Emperor’s Will versus Paul Mckelvey’s Hunter Contingent / Firestream Formation / Farsight CAD

I was now up against the current top Tau player in the ITC ranking which was domineering enough since I was literally getting a feeling for this army myself but thankfully so was Paul. His list consisted of a Hunter Cadre as Core with a Retaliation Cadre as Aux for his Hunter Contingent, in addition a 4 unit of 1 Piranhas Firestream Formation loaded with Seekers and Fusion Blasters. His Farsight CAD was 2 lone suits with 2 lone tetras and a commander. The list had a lot of MSU and a lot of reserve shenanigans. I ended up getting Master of Ambush again for my warlord trait and won the dice off to go first. Knowing of Paul’s play style, I was fairly confident he would keep the Retaliation Cadre in reserve for their auto arrival on turn 2 which led me to choose to not using my own auto turn 2 arrival so I can try to arrive in later turns to counter reserve his own. With that in mind, I infiltrated the Ghostkeels from the OSC, the Broadside, the Stealth Suits and the Riptide near the middle of the table to cover 1 Maelstrom and the riptide on the other. I deployed 3 of the 4 Drone Squads as well as the rest of the Ghostkeels. I outflanked the Warlord and his Crisis team while deep striking the other.

Paul’s own deployment saw through my infiltration before it happened tried to make sure he had enough models on the table that if he chose to drive off the battlefield with his Firestream, he wouldn’t get tabled. I was looking at the 4 Lone Piranhas, 2 of the Breachers teams, a Sniper drone unit, a Drone unit with a Commander and a Ghostkeel. His seized failed, and I surged forward to accomplish as much damaged as I could while completing the Maelstrom. I chose not to fire at the Piranhas because I had misinterpreted the rule that they would all come back if at least 1 unit was able to fly off. The first turn of fire saw me destroy the Breachers, put some wounds on the commander and really that was about it. Pretty lackluster but I had the center of the table and his objective within my grasp. I chose to forgo my own because I wanted an obvious place for his army to enter and with my position in the middle, I thought I could readjust accordingly. His Piranhas flew off the table in his turn and I believe he was able to dispatch 1 unit of Stealth suits with Markers and Ghostkeel fire.

I took the Maelstorm lead easily and thankfully only outflanking Crisis came in. They unfortunately entered on the short table where his objective was. They did however with Markerlight support finished off his Drones and Commander while the rest of the army finished off the Ghostkeel and the Marker Drones. I used this turn as well to reposition the entire army for his upcoming arrival. Paul use my limited 24” interceptor to hide away in the corners of the table and now the game looked like an hammer and anvil mission but none of the Maelstorm objective where on his table half. His combined fire during that turn removed 1 Ghostkeel from the Wing and 1 Marker drone unit. On my turn 3 only 1 of the crisis team entered and risked a dangerous deep strike to attempt to remove 1 of his Objective secure suit while providing marker support to my Deathblow target: theBroadside team with the Warlord Commander. His lone interceptor model, the Riptide, managed to remove both the drones from the Crisis suit robbing me of 2 crucial markers. My reserve Markerdrone unit had not arrived leaving me only Markerdrones of a distance away. I managed to get only 1 marker hit out of 4 into the Broadside unit, 1 short of allowing my Riptide own Ion Accelerator to ignore cover. His blast was accurate though and saw me remove a few Missile drones but did cause them to hit the ground.

The rest of army pushed on to bring their guns to bear on his solo crisis teams all the while ignoring his riptide. The game turned into an epic firefight and tactical maneuvering but in the end my mistake was that never once fired at the Piranhas. By turn 5 with the clock running out, his Piranhas re-entered the table to contest their home objective while my Riptide was busy failing to hit his lone warlord in melee combat (I could never get 2 marker hits on them which meant his blast could never ignore their cover) but was sadly only a few inches away to contest my home objective while the Ghostkeels from my OSC failed to get on the home objective by 1” to contest allowing his Riptide to claim my home ojective. At this point, I had Maelstorm, he had Primary but I had Big Game Hunter & Linebreaker to his Linebreaker. Unfortunately, his Piranhas shot all of their Seekers without marker support into my Commander attached to the Stealth Suits with 2+ cover and I managed to fail a lookout sir and its proceeding cover save (1/36 chance) to give him Warlord while his was dodging all of my Riptide attacks. (It’s not that unlikely since I was smashing with a WS1 Riptide to his WS4 Commander. Had I been able to roll even average on Markerlights, I would have probably removed him from the blast shots but after all this is a game of dice). The game ended with us drawing at a 6 to 6. Learned some very valuable lessons in that game which the Firestream don’t come back at full strength for the formation but come back at full strength for the units in that formation. Also we played our game with my Drone NetXV0-1 giving +1 BS to all Drones, including his which was probably not the right interpretation but that is the Rules as Written. A tough game against a tough opponent. Sad to think we knocked each other out for the top table with that draw.


Round 3 Relic versus Vincent Mordago Astra Militarum and Skitarii

Vincent’s had taken some of the new formations from the Mont’ka book for AM/IG that included 2 Valkyries, 1 Vendetta, 4 Chimera and a Banewolf. Vincent made me go first due mostly to my lack of long range fire on a Hammer and Anvil deployment but basically guaranteed me the relic with the Stealth Suits infiltrating on it. My Warlord trait this game was Princept of Deceipt aka Trash. I wont write a long expose on this game mostly because this was about as 1 sided as it could get, I believe by the end of the third turn, Vincent had 2 Valkyrie left and the Skitarii inside. The Ghostkeels kept surging forward into his line and just removing units with markerlight support. He made a play in the later part of the game with his Skitarii to grab the relic from me but the game didn’t end and the returning volley of fire finished off the rest of his army. I seriously hope that the new AM/IG codex will bring some life back into that army. I just feel that IG today have to either go body heavy or mobile and can’t see to do both at the same time. Since the mission had First Strike, I did not manage to get it.

In the end, Jim Yeh took first after beating Alex Gonzalez on the top table while Geoff took second after beating Paul and I took third. Jim took a traditional Jim list, a Lord of Skull, a Blood Thirster, Fateweaver, a Demon Prince and some horrors if I recall. Thank you to TastyTaste for running the event and Endgames to accommodate us!

I did not suffer a loss and was fairly happy with the performance of the list. Granted one could make the assertion that the only tough match-up it had was against Paul but I did get some practice versus Geoff Robinson’s War Convocation’s army and it was a brutal game (this was before the Mont’ka). Now with the Drone NetXV0-1, I am fairly sure it would tip the match up even more my way. One comment I will make with that army is that your turns are long as quite literally every model in the army Moves, Shoot and Moves again which can result in long turns. And with the fact that I can keep half of it off the table and auto enter on turn 2 with all those interceptors, the first two turns can be painstakingly long. I definitely don’t think I should be running my commander with a trio of suit as it feels like I am throwing away my Warlord away too easily since he can’t Iridium armor, he is fairly squishy. I will definitely invest in Early Warning Overrides in my Broadsides, just for that additional extra range threat for reserves. Will play around with different formats of the list but at the moment, I think it has the making of fairly brutal and flexible Tau list.


Au Revoir!

About Jeremy Veysseire

Long time Pacific Northwest Warhammer 40k player feared and loved by the masses of pluviophiles in Portland Oregon. Commonly known as the French Overlord or MikhailLenin, has participated in many cross USA tournaments for 40k. Now, relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area, he is looking to bring his terror down south,

66 Responses to “Puretide’s Balance! TFO takes Mont’Ka to “Road to LVO””

  1. NotreDameGuy December 4, 2015 8:07 am #

    Holographic Countermeasures can be used once per ghostkeel model, not per unit. So a unit of 2 can use it twice.

    • Jeremy Veysseire
      Jeremy Veysseire December 4, 2015 8:25 am #

      “Once per battle, in the enemy Shooting phase, a model equipped with holophoton countermeasures can disrup targeting systems used by one enemy unit that is targeting it or the unit it belongs to. Declare that the unit will use the Holophoton countermeasures after the enemy unit has chosen it as a target, but before any hit rolls are made. The enemy unit can only make Snap Shots in that Shooting Phase.”

      While the first line refers to a model, the second line clearly states in addition the unit will use. The first line just states a Model can Use.

      I believe from that interpretation that all models in the unit have to activate it when one does.

      • NotreDameGuy December 4, 2015 8:58 am #

        There is already a definitive discussion thread on this on dakkadakka so i will not go into detail.

        Once per battle.. A MODEL… can disrupt
        aka the model activates the ability and the unit can use that ability. The only clarification of using once per battle is associated with the model activating the ability, not the unit.

        • Jason
          Jason December 4, 2015 9:09 am #

          I see you on all the forums NotreDameGuy and it seems you always lean towards the readings that are most beneficial to yourself. I don’t understand that mind frame, as if surely can’t lead to you having repeat games against opponents in a store environment?

          • NotreDameGuy December 4, 2015 9:11 am

            Not true at all, I disagree with a lot of discussion that would benefit me. Off the top my head, I don’t believe SS can “ride” a tidewall with its anchors deployed like some players believe.

        • NotreDameGuy December 4, 2015 9:09 am #

          In fact, it clarifies that a model can activate the ability if it OR ITS UNIT is attacked. Nowhere does it say every single model with the ability must activate it. One model activates the ability and it affects the unit.


        • Jeremy Veysseire
          Jeremy Veysseire December 4, 2015 9:23 am #

          I saw the Dakka Dakka thread, still doesnt change the rule for me. Says the model CAN but quickly followed by the UNIT USES. Pretty clear to me. Thank you for sharing your interpretation. I will not be following it though.

          Its already amazing enough since units that can split fire have to snap shoot at their second target as well if they target any unit with Holophoton.

          • NotreDameGuy December 4, 2015 9:26 am

            A model activates
            Unit uses

            Does NOT mean that when the unit uses the ability every single model must activate the ability. It does not say that anywhere. In fact, the only clarification of use (once per battle) is specifically directed at MODEL, not unit.

            there are plenty of examples in the game of a model activating an ability and the unit getting the benefit.

          • Jeremy Veysseire
            Jeremy Veysseire December 4, 2015 9:34 am

            No where in the rule does it say the Model activates. You literally inserted that reading into it.

            It just says a model CAN USE. Does not equal to: Activates, Uses only, or whatever else you think it means.

            It quite literally means it has the ABILITY to use if you choose to. Second line clarifies when you choose to use your right to use. It clearly says DECLARE that the UNIT will use.

            Anything more than that reading is stretching for the clouds!

          • NotreDameGuy December 4, 2015 9:36 am

            So what about 1 ghost keel with 2 drones in the squad? The drones do not have the ability so what? The squad can no longer use the ability? The ghost keel uses the ability, and the unit, aka the ghost keel and the 2 drones all use the ability. This is the exact same situation when you have more than 1 ghost keel. 1 ghost keel activates the ability and the rest of the unit uses it

          • Jeremy Veysseire
            Jeremy Veysseire December 4, 2015 9:39 am

            Well since you can’t target models specific in a unit and only units your argument doesnt have legs to stand on sir.

          • NotreDameGuy December 4, 2015 9:42 am

            what does that have to do with anything.

            The rule is pretty clear and basically every person in the forums and the clubs around me agree.

            Once per battle, 1 model can activate the ability if its unit is targeted.
            The Unit uses the ability to make enemy unit snap fire.

          • NotreDameGuy December 4, 2015 9:44 am

            The rule in reverse

            I declare my unit is using the ability
            once per battle, a MODEL can activate the ability (SINGULAR)

            Nowhere in the rule, no matter how you put it, does it say every single model with the rule must all activate it at the same time. It specifically has model in singular using the ability once per game.

          • Jeremy Veysseire
            Jeremy Veysseire December 4, 2015 9:45 am

            I dont know club and from the thread, its not clear and apparently from both us it is neither.

            So unless magically you could change the wording of the Rule in every iteration of publishing. I will play it the way it is written and you can play it the way you read it.

          • Jeremy Veysseire
            Jeremy Veysseire December 4, 2015 9:49 am

            No where it in the rule does the word ACTIVATE appear. It uses the word USE which is only reference to the the UNIT USES which seems written to indicate the UNIT not the model. Once again no where in the rule in the word ACTIVATE.

            The only mention of when the Countermeasures are “expensed” is when the UNIT USES.

          • NotreDameGuy December 4, 2015 9:49 am

            lol wow.

            The way it is written is pretty clear and you are the one not seeing it.

            It says once per battle, A MODEL can activate the ability
            The unit then uses it.

            That is it. done. Nowhere does it say every single model with the ability must all activate it at the same time. Yo are wrong sir

          • NotreDameGuy December 4, 2015 9:50 am

            Once per battle, in the enemy Shooting phase, a model equipped with holophoton countermeasures can disrup targeting systems used by one enemy unit that is targeting it or the unit it belongs to.

            That equates to activate. It is semantics

          • NotreDameGuy December 4, 2015 9:51 am

            If you want to go there and say that it only says USES in the sentence with Unit, then i will say i can activate the ability an infinite amount of times as the “once per battle” isn’t anywhere in that sentence.

          • Jeremy Veysseire
            Jeremy Veysseire December 4, 2015 9:55 am

            I am sorry we are discussing a rule which you argue is written with words that allow you to operate in a manner.

            But apparently its Semantic to insert words into a rule that are not present and then building your entire argument on that semantic?

            Wow. I can’t argue with that. You are right, you have proven your point that your argument is semantics and that you invented your own reading by converting the word Use to Activate and let me remind you in only 1 of the 2 sentences. Lets ignore that the rule uses the word use, oh I am sorry activates in 2 places.

          • NotreDameGuy December 4, 2015 9:59 am

            Lets go through the steps:
            1.) Enemy unit targets my unit of Ghostkeels
            2.) I declare that my unit is using the Holophoton Countermeasures
            3.) Enemy now has to snapfire

            That is the complete process of the actual ability

            Now for how many times it can be used:
            1.) “Once per battle, in the enemy Shooting phase, a MODEL equipped with holophoton countermeasures can disrup targeting systems used by one enemy unit that is targeting it or the unit it belongs to.”

            In order to activate the ability, only one model needs to “disrupt targeting systems used by one enemy unit”. Nowhere does it say all must use it.

          • Jeremy Veysseire
            Jeremy Veysseire December 4, 2015 10:06 am

            “Lets go through the steps:
            1.) Enemy unit targets my unit of Ghostkeels
            2.) I declare that my unit is using the Holophoton Countermeasures
            3.) Enemy now has to snapfire”

            I agree on this part.

            “Now for how many times it can be used:
            1.) “Once per battle, in the enemy Shooting phase, a MODEL equipped with holophoton countermeasures can disrup targeting systems used by one enemy unit that is targeting it or the unit it belongs to.”

            In order to activate the ability, only one model needs to “disrupt targeting systems used by one enemy unit”. Nowhere does it say all must use it.”

            I don’t agree with you on this because you converting the word use with activates which is not at all in part of the sentence. Then you conveniently only use your conversion of that word for the first sentence and not the second.

            If you believed that the word use means activate. Than so is true for the instance in the rule. Going by the Second Sentence, Declare the unit activates its Countermeasures. Even with your conversion of the word use to activate, the rule is written with the unit activating its countermeasures. No matter how you slice it, the Units uses/activates not just the model.

          • NotreDameGuy December 4, 2015 10:08 am

            And i agree the unit uses/activates the ability. That is not the point. The point is the rule clearly states the only restriction for use is once per battle, a MODEL…

            Nowhere does it say the UNIT can only activate it once per battle nor does it says that every model has to use up the ability to activate it

      • Jeremy Veysseire
        Jeremy Veysseire December 4, 2015 9:48 am #

        No where it in the rule does the word ACTIVATE appear. It uses the word USE which is only reference to the the UNIT USES which seems written to indicate the UNIT not the model. Once again no where in the rule in the word ACTIVATE.

        The only mention of when the Countermeasures are “expensed” is when the UNIT USES.

      • Narfwak December 4, 2015 2:38 pm #

        That seems pretty clear to me. The sentence pertaining to “once per battle” references the model. The sentence pertaining to who is shooting at whom pertains to the unit (because it has to – you declare shooting against units, not models).

        You can use it once per battle per model.

      • X078 December 4, 2015 3:24 pm #

        oh my…

        Once per battle, a model, can use.
        You then declare that the unit is using it because it is the unit that is getting shot.

      • Luke December 4, 2015 9:42 pm #

        I understand your position on this but I’m not sure that it is RAW or RAI. Saying that the unit will use “the holophoton countermeasures” indicates that it is the measures from one model. If it was “their” countermeasures, that would indicate that multiple models in the unit would be using it.

        The unit will use the rule also because targeting is done on a unit to unit basis. If you had to snap-shoot when targeting my model, it would be a worthless rule because that model is in a unit and you target a unit when you shoot.

        In any case, has the ITC ruled on this? I see why you’re saying that it works that way but I have heard of very few people who play it like that.

    • Kwodd December 4, 2015 3:51 pm #

      Uh oh! Tau players getting creative with rules interpretation for maximum benefit again. Time for another ITC vote.

      • AbusePuppy December 6, 2015 2:49 am #

        Uh oh! Players accusing Tau players of trying to cheat every time they disagree with someone about how a rule works! Time for another sarcastic response on the blog pointing out the absurd and self-serving nature of their commentary.

  2. fluger December 4, 2015 9:02 am #

    I can’t express to you how much I love the feel of your list. I remember way back when you started 40k you were trying to make Tau work and then moved away from them. Glad to see you back.

    • Jeremy Veysseire
      Jeremy Veysseire December 4, 2015 9:37 am #

      Thanks Fluger, I love that the new book allows me to build an army that is both Kanyon and Mont’ka.

      The one regret I have with the new Farsight rules is the not sharing Signature system across both Tau and Farsight. Mostly because being stuck with a T4 3+ Warlord is pretty dumb imo.

      • fluger December 4, 2015 10:28 am #

        Yeah, kinda like with Orks how I can’t share relics between Ghaz’s force and the regular book. 🙁

        • Vercingatorix December 4, 2015 11:05 am #

          In fact, I think it is exactly like that. 😛

      • Narfwak December 4, 2015 3:13 pm #

        That was one of the things I was really hoping they’d change about Farsight Enclaves in the Mont’ka book and I share your disappointment. It remains strange since The Eight actually have many of the main Tau Signature Systems despite being a Farsight thing.

        Barring that I was hoping the points cost for the very mediocre Farsight relics would be adjusted, but they all remained the same, too. The only one worth taking is (still) the Earth Caste Pilot Array, but since Riptides can’t take systems until that gets FAQ’d…

        I’ve been fiddling around with the idea of taking a Coldstar commander (since the Coldstar is just a commander upgrade and not a SS) in the Retaliation Cadre but I’m not sure it’s a great idea either; you’re always one failed grounding check away from splattering. It’s a shame Farsight still doesn’t give you a lot of good options for what to do with your commander other than a couple of guns and maybe a drone controller.

  3. AbusePuppy December 4, 2015 2:14 pm #

    Curious about a couple of things. Why the Burst/Plasma mix on the big Crisis unit? Paired weapons are usually the way to go, so presumably there’s a specific reason for that setup? I can see some value in hitting with Burst first to clear out “ablative” models and then apply the heavier firepower, but that seems like a bit of a dicey strategy overall.

    No Missile Drones on the Broadside? And only one Broadside? BS4 Missiles for 12pts seems like a really good deal.

    Does the list have a plan against Knights, Wraithknights, and other tough targets? A lot of your firepower can’t really damage them, so I’d be very worried about facing those, a Hunting Pack, etc.

    I’m still iffy on the Ghostkeel Wing, but the added survivability for Tau definitely has a bit more potential than I was initially thinking.

    • Jeremy Veysseire
      Jeremy Veysseire December 4, 2015 2:27 pm #

      Honestly the the Burst Cannon and Plasma Rifle Crisis were a trial unit that got cut from my post tourney list. No real reason behind it other than taking Plasma and having a cheaper second weapon on them.

      Honestly in my list I felt the Broadside was a tax for me now I run 2 but still no Drones. Wouldnt it just be BS3 Missile Drones with the Formation or just BS4 for the turn they come in is what you are referring to right?

      Against Knights I will usually go for MontKa and volume of high strength weapon. I dont know we shall see how Deathblow gets ruled as. Worst Case scneario I have the Optimized Stealth Cadre to put a Dent in Knights with Wall of Mirrors and they can Deep Strike if closing the range is necessary.

      Wraithknight is a tough one for sure, I am not sure yet will tell you when I get to face one.

      • AbusePuppy December 4, 2015 3:24 pm #

        What are you swapping the Crisis into, out of curiosity? The Crisis loadouts on the Retal Cadre are the part I tend to struggle with, especially in Farsight.

        Yeah, BS3/4 Drones- but even that is a really good. A Missile Pod by itself is 15pts, so getting one and a free wound marker attached is a steal for 12pts.

        OpStealth can obviously do some work, as can the DSing Fusion and whatnot, but if you’re facing a bunch of tough targets (e.g. the Hunting Pack, Baronial Court, etc) I would be very worried.

        • Jeremy Veysseire
          Jeremy Veysseire December 4, 2015 4:03 pm #

          The new List consist of the following:

          Retaliation Cadre:
          Commander with Missile Pod, XV84 Suit (Network ML and Target Lock), Drone Controller and Early Warning Override.
          Riptide with Ion, TL SMS, Earth Caste Array and Stimulant Injector
          3 Solo Crisis Suit with TL Fusion Blaster
          Unit of 2 Broadsides with TL High Yield, TL SMS and Early Warning Override

          Drone Net XV0-1:
          4 Units of 4 Markerdrones

          Optimized Stealth Cadre:
          Unit of 2 Ghostkeels with TL Fusion, Cyclic Ion Raker, Velocity Tracker, Early Warning Override and 1 with a Target Lock
          2 Units of 3 Stealth Suits with Shas’Vre and Homing Beacons

          Ghostkeel Wing:
          3 Units of 1 Ghostkeels with TL Burst Cannon, Cyclic Ion Raker and Early Warning Override.

    • happy_inquisitor December 4, 2015 3:03 pm #

      I will second the comment on missile drones, a base BS3 and BS4 on the drop makes them very cost efficient firepower indeed.

      I wonder how the Killing Blow will offset the lack of power against hard targets. It does seem like it would let S7 really put the pain onto Imperial Knights, especially when you can get them to declare their shield facing before you declare wall of mirrors. Wraithknights are still tough as nails but re-rolling to wound can almost double the number of wounds you put on one.

      I do feel this list gambles with deep strike mishap. I would be looking to get some Homing Beacons on the table and you have Stealth Teams right there to do the job.

      • AbusePuppy December 4, 2015 3:31 pm #

        Oh, definitely- having run the old Firebase Cadre against Knights many times in the past, massed S7 will SHRED them. However, a lot of his firepower is relatively short-ranged, which can be very hazardous against Knights.

        Deathblow can help against a WK, but not so much if it’s Invisible, Fortuned, locked in combat, etc- there’s just a lot of nasty ways to enhance them, as everyone knows. So it’s less “can you kill a Wraithknight” and more “can you kill a Wraithknight when it’s being buffed.”

  4. Narfwak December 4, 2015 2:45 pm #

    I want to point out something about the confusion with the Earth Caste Piloting Array: the Riptide is a type of battlesuit in addition to being a Monstrous Creature. Of course you can still take it on a Riptide. O’Vesa in The Eight formation (the guy who invented it) still has it, too.

    Reference: page 124 of the Tau codex lists all six Tau battlesuits (Stealth, Crisis, Coldstar, Ghostkeel, Broadside, Riptide) and notes that they all have blacksun filters and multi-trackers. Since the Riptide is referred to as a battlesuit I think it’s pretty clear that it still gets to use the relic that was explicitly designed to be used by Riptides.

    I’m honestly confused how anyone even thought they couldn’t in the first place. I get that GW makes a lot of errors, but don’t go looking for mistakes that don’t exist.

    • Jeremy Veysseire
      MikhailLenin December 4, 2015 2:50 pm #

      Its because the Eart Caste Array is a Signature System and Riptide Entry doesnt say you can take Signature Systems I believe

      • Narfwak December 4, 2015 3:03 pm #

        Oh, I see. I missed that one, that is odd. Hooray, more GW fuck ups to vote on!

    • AbusePuppy December 4, 2015 3:27 pm #

      What’s especially goofy is that the Mont’ka book explicitly references Stormsurges as “using their advanced blacksun arrays” during some of the fluff, even though Stormsurges don’t come with Blacksun Filters. 😛

  5. T6Ted December 4, 2015 3:54 pm #

    I have a question. If there is a data sheet for the formation can’t you just take it? You mention you took the new mont’ta formation to “unlock” the drone formation.

    • Jeremy Veysseire
      Jeremy Veysseire December 4, 2015 3:59 pm #

      The Dawn Blade Contingent is what I am referring to which is a Multi Formation Detachment requiring 1 Core Formation (Retaliation Cadre) and an Auxiliary (The Drone Net XV0-1)

      • T6Ted December 4, 2015 4:07 pm #

        But it you can just take the formation on its own or have I been doing it wrong this whole time?

        • Jeremy Veysseire
          Jeremy Veysseire December 4, 2015 4:08 pm #

          Yes that is correct, you can take the Formation on its own.

          Each Formation for ITC counts as 1 Detachment Unless its part of a Multi Formation Detachment such as the Dawn Blade Contingent where for the ITC a Dawn Blade Contingent would count as 1 Detachment. This would allow you to have multiple formations

        • AbusePuppy December 5, 2015 5:07 am #

          Yeah, because he has four total formations, at least two of them need to be in a “decurion” for it to be legal. Also, gaining access to the Deathblow ability of the Dawn Blade is fairly clutch for his army.

  6. Kevin Lantz December 4, 2015 4:46 pm #

    I think the drone network will be a staple in all lists now.

  7. Narfwak December 4, 2015 5:12 pm #

    By the way, you are including the Ghostkeel Wing in the Dawn’s Blade Contingent, right? No reason not to unless three points of Bonding Knife was putting you over cap.

    • Jeremy Veysseire
      MikhailLenin December 4, 2015 7:12 pm #

      You cannot take a Ghostkeel Wing as part of the Dawn Blade Contingent unfortunately

      • Hotsauceman1 December 4, 2015 8:47 pm #

        Yes you can, its the optimized stealth Cadre you cant

        • Jeremy Veysseire
          MikhailLenin December 4, 2015 11:23 pm #

          I just checked the Aux Formations for Dawn Blade. i dont see Ghostkeel Wing…

          • Hotsauceman1 December 4, 2015 11:26 pm

            your right, i was confused

          • AbusePuppy December 5, 2015 5:08 am

            Neither the Ghostkeel Wing nor the Riptide Wing may be part of either of the Tau decurions. They are simply standalone formations.

      • Narfwak December 5, 2015 12:22 am #

        Huh, missed that. I guess I just kind of assumed you could take the Ghostkeel Wing and the Riptide Wing in the Dawn Blade. Good to know.

  8. Hotsauceman1 December 4, 2015 9:46 pm #

    I like your list, I would love to run this, but I lack the funds for that many Ghostkeels.
    This is my idea of the list. Kinda low on model count, but I like it
    Twin linked fusion
    Fusion Blades
    XV84 crisis suit

    Crisis suit teamx2
    Fusion Blasters
    Bonding knife

    Crisis suit teamx2
    Plasma Rifles
    Bonding Knife

    Crisis suit teamx2
    Plasma rifles
    Bonding knife

    Riptide Suit
    Earth Caste Pilot Array
    Shielded Missile Dronesx2
    Bonding Knife

    Plasma Rifles

    Bonding knife

    Drone Net
    Markerlight drones
    Markerlight drones
    Markerlight drones
    Markerlight drones


    Strike Team
    Strike Team


    Pulse Driver Cannon
    Velocity Tracker

    • Jeremy Veysseire
      MikhailLenin December 5, 2015 8:04 am #

      That is a solid Ninja Tau List, You might be overloading a but on AP2 imo but solid. I think one stomrsurge is just not worth it but thats been my experience with it. What I do like is an XV109 Yrvahna from FW in your CAD. The Stormsurge by itself opens up too many ITC downside such as +1 seize if opponent has no LOW and the extra VP to Secondary.

      • Hotsauceman1 December 5, 2015 11:45 am #

        IF I do drop the stormsurge, I will likely just change the CAD into Allied.

  9. jy2
    Jy2 December 4, 2015 11:29 pm #

    Congrats on taking 3rd, Jer. I got lucky that you and Paul knocked each other out of the running for the championship. Otherwise, I’m pretty sure Tau would have taken that tournament, even with the most conservative (which some would call the nerfed version) interpretation of CF.

    • Luke December 5, 2015 5:46 am #

      What was Paul running? Jeremy didn’t use CF. did Paul use the Hunter Contingent?

      • jy2
        Jy2 December 5, 2015 6:14 am #

        They were both running the new Mont’ka supplement. I believe Paul was running the Firestream formation.

      • jy2
        Jy2 December 5, 2015 6:16 am #

        Actually, yeah, Paul was running the HC as well.

      • Jeremy Veysseire
        MikhailLenin December 5, 2015 8:05 am #

        Paul was running a Hunter Contingent with Hunter Cadre and Retaliation Cadre. Then a CAD and the Firestream Formation.

  10. Gmaleron December 6, 2015 3:47 am #

    What are the ITC’s thoughts on the Farsight Enclaves Riptides having access to the Signature System like the Earth Caste Pilot Array. It’s pretty clear to me that Riptides can still take it and others because why would they not be able to take a Signature System specifically designed for them?

  11. IronCaptain December 10, 2015 11:59 pm #

    I was going to write something really snarky because I don’t like how the Tau army works, but changed my mind because it’s disrespectful. I don’t have anything against Tau players, just the Tau rules. So, when I read the article about the new formations, it doesn’t surprise me that Tau dominate. It would have probably dominated without the new formations and the Ghost Keels. Why? Because it’s Tau.

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