Tau Review: Fast Attack: TX4 Piranha

The Piranha, the Tau’s answer to the Land Speeder and similar light vehicles. Never a big shower, but with a surprising number of uses and a very solid unit for those looking for a fast, multirole harassment element. Click to read on, or check out the Tactics Corner for more reviews and strategy.

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I have to admit- I am a Piranha fanatic. I have adored the speedy little things ever since I started the faction back in 4th edition and, though they have changed in a number of ways over the years, I always manage to find a way to slip them into many of my armies. The 6th Edition codex saw them get bumped up significantly in strength, which I was most appreciative of, and their addition to the recent slew of formations only more so- I had more than enough models to field a Firestream Wing before it was even released, though of course I had to order a few more from Frontline Gaming in order to field the full formation once I saw it.

Overview

The Piranha is superficially similar to many other vehicles of the same style such as the Vyper, Land Speeder, etc; however, what sets it apart from these units and gives it a much more distinct role are its role in the army as well as the unique features of Tau as a whole. As a result, while it may be numerically similar to these other units (which tend to be somewhat mediocre themselves) the Tau Piranha is actually a very solid addition to their arsenal.

The Piranha’s statline is nothing to get terribly excited about, although it’s far from bad. Front Armor 11 means that it can shrug off Boltguns under most circumstances and is at least reasonably resilient to the various anti-tank weapons. Side/Rear 10 is obviously less helpful, and having only two Hull Points is a distinct disadvantage. It has the same middling Ballistic Skill as nearly all Tau, which will do the job well enough.

More importantly than all that, however, is the fact that the Piranha is not only insanely cheap (only 40pts base) but also a Fast Skimmer that can be taken in squadrons of up to five, meaning it’s very easy to flood the field with them. They are also Open-Topped, which ends up only being a disadvantage but with two HP often won’t be a big deal.

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Wargear and Rules

The Piranha comes with a pretty good set of kit for its price- it is armed with a Burst Cannon (18″ S5 AP5 four shots) and a pair of Gun Drones (each of which gets two S5 AP5 pinning shots.) As with all Tau vehicles, the Drones can either stay onboard (in which case they fire as passengers) or disembark (in which case all Drones from the squadron form a single unit), but any Drones onboard a wrecked Piranha are lost automatically. Combined, this means that a single Piranha is putting out eight S5 shots per turn- pretty impressive considering how cheap they are.

One important thing to remember is that the Drones are exactly like normal Gun Drones purchased as a unit, which means they have the Supporting Fire rule and as passengers in an Open-Topped vehicle may fire out from their positions in support of other units (or their own squadron) if a charge is declared. However, unlike the Piranhas themselves, they are not a scoring unit and do not count for mission objectives (including kill points, first blood, etc.)

The Piranha can also swap its Burst Cannon for a Fusion Blaster (a meltagun with 18″ range) for 10pts, which unfortunately ends up being a bit expensive for a vehicle that starts out so cheap, but if you’re looking for a way to bust tanks it’s a legit option, since it’s the only 12″ movement platform with melta that Tau have. Each Piranha in a unit can also take up to two Seeker Missiles at 8pts apiece, which are just Krak Missiles that can only fire once- though pricey, they can be devastating if you get them into someone’s rear arc and can drag down MCs in short order as well.

Piranhas also have access to the full Tau vehicle armory, although since they are priced for the heavier skimmers most selections are rather unattractive. However, one does stand out- Sensor Spines. Not only are they cheap at 5pts, but since Move Through Cover affects the whole unit if even a single model possesses it, you can save on points in a squadron by only buying it for one of the members. Terrain can be very hazardous for units like the Piranha that want to be moving a lot and getting very close to the enemy- Sensor Spines let you do this much more safely and reliably, so I find them to be a near-automatic inclusion for any unit of two or more.

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Battlefield Uses

I said earlier that the Pirnaha is in a class above most other light vehicles, so let’s go back to that- essentially this boils down to the issues that Tau face which other armies don’t. Tau, as an almost exclusive shooting army are very concerned with keeping their enemy at arm’s length; their various skimmers and jet pack units help with this, but many assault units can move just as fast as them (or even faster!) and there is only so much board space you can run to. With this in mind, many Tau armies will find it beneficial to not simply move their own units away from threats, but also to prevent threats from moving towards them- and this is where the Piranha comes in.

One of the features of 40K is that enemy units are essentially impassible barriers- although some unit types can move over or through them, even these units cannot land in the same space as an enemy unit or even come within 1″ of it, bar the assault phase. Thus, one of the important strategies for many armies is controlling the enemy’s movement by use of your own units- blocking their movement lanes and forcing them to deal with “chaff” units before they can reach your main force, the objectives, or whatever else you’re trying to protect. Simply interposing your own units in the right positions can go a long ways towards winning some games, as you can force them to waste one of their finite turns of movement trying to get around you (or standing still and waiting.) I won’t talk about this strategy in depth here because it’s worth a whole article unto itself , but players of nearly every skill level will probably have seen this sort of thing happen in their games either intentionally or on accident- units get in the way of each other.

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And the Piranha, by whatever fluke, is almost perfectly-suited to this role. It is cheap and fieldable in large units, it comes with an extra built-in disposable unit (meaning each unit of Piranhas can actually hold up the enemy for two turns potentially), it’s almost as fast as any unit can be, and the chassis has quite a large footprint (measuring over 4″ across at its widest point.) All of these factors together mean that a squadron of Piranhas can section off a significant portion of the board almost at will, albeit in a highly suicidal fashion since any enemies in the area will likely shoot and/or charge them to death in short order. However, if such a unit can delay the enemy advance for even a single turn, most Tau players will consider it a more than fair price to pay, since it buys them time to keep up the shooting barrage and hopefully whittle the enemy down to nothing.

However, the Piranha doesn’t have to be just a suicide skimmer- in matchups where controlling the enemy’s movement isn’t as critical, it can still perform a variety of useful roles. Though it’s basic armament won’t typically impress most opponents, with the addition of just one or two Markerlight hits they become a much more terrifying threat- that squadron of three Piranhas is putting fifteen wounds on a squad of Marines, which is pretty strong for its point cost.

Outside of its sacrificiality, the Piranha typically serves three main roles- as a harassment unit on the enemy’s flanks, as a dedicated hunter unit, or as a main firepower unit. As a harassment unit its job is to hover around the edges of edges of the battlefield picking off vulnerable targets; this version is almost exclusively armed with the Burst Cannon, though it is not uncommon for it to carry a few Seeker Missiles distributed amongst the squad in order to take shots of opportunity. These units operate independently, forcing the enemy to deal with threats on multiple fronts and divide their attention rather than simply having a single, massed force that can be shot and assaulted as a group. These squadrons tend to be on the larger side (3-5 members) as they have to operate without other support in most cases.

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The dedicated hunter role sees the Piranha used very differently; this version exists to take out a single enemy unit as quickly as possible and damn the cost; most commonly this is done with Fusion Blasters aimed at a critical enemy vehicle (like a Land Raider) before it can do its job. However, this variant can also be tasked with chasing down units in wide-scattered or inconvenient areas of the board the rest of your army can’t reach, like cleaning off a squad hiding behind terrain on an objective. Hunter units tend to be on the smaller side (2-3 models) due to their often-suicidal nature, but they consequently will also be more likely to get some Markerlights on that critical turn.

The final use for Piranhas is the simplest- as a fairly efficient and reasonably-resilient source of S5 firepower, the Piranha can serve as part of the main body of a Tau army when putting damage on the enemy forces. There is little subtlety to this use, but raw numbers can make up for that fairly easily and despite nominally being a scout vehicle the Piranha easily outshoots Fire Warriors, Burst Crisis, and many other sources of S5 firepower in the army.

As an aside- if you are using Piranhas, you are likely using them in squadrons. Since most people don’t often use vehicle squadrons, it pays to familiarize yourself with the oddities of their rules, including how to handle coherency, armor penetration and allocating hits, and abandoning squadron members.

The Piranha is also part of several of the new Tau formations that have been released and two of them in particular deserve specific mention. The Hunter Cadre can include up to three squads of them as “fast attack” choices in the core formation. This is largely notable because of the Coordinated Firepower rule that allows its units to combine their fire for greater effect- and the Piranha, at only 40pts is one of the cheapest possible options in this regard. However, it’s actually even better than that, because the Piranha is not one but TWO units (the skimmer and its drones) that can contribute to a Coordinated Firepower attack, meaning that a Piranha and just one other unit from your army are enough to qualify for the +1BS bonus if they shoot together.

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The other significant formation including the Piranha is, of course, the Piranha Firestream Wing, which allows you to field four squads of them at once. Unfortunately, the ITC’s changes to the Firestream Wing’s rules- namely their inability to exit the board upon entering and inability to restore the squad to full strength- have rendered the formation all but useless in competitive play, as it ends up just being a bunch of fragile skimmers that can pretty easily be wrecked before they actually manage to do their job. If your opponent ignores you it’s still capable of launching a lot of Seeker Missiles and dumping quite a few drones onto the field, but chances are they won’t be so generous.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a flexible and effective unit to add to a Tau army, the Piranha can be a great addition. It can excel against both infantry and tanks when properly equipped and supported and it gives an otherwise-slow faction a great tool to halt enemy advances, reach distant objectives or threats, and generally fulfills the promises its fluff makes with surprising accuracy. It won’t be making a place in any tournament lists, as virtually no Tau units will, but it’s more than acceptable for more casual play and can serve in good stead for many a list.

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About abusepuppy

AbusePuppy is the one who has been ruining 40K for everyone this whole time. He is also searching for the six-fingered man and is one of the three people who know the secret recipe for coke (not the soda, the illegal drug.)

30 Responses to “Tau Review: Fast Attack: TX4 Piranha”

  1. Nathan Fluger April 7, 2016 2:22 pm
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    I did similar stuff with my Trukks with my Orks. Using them to block advancing melee-centric forces can be really handy!

  2. Sheit27 April 7, 2016 2:37 pm
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    I think the biggest disadvantage to Piranhas as well as most Tau units that don’t fit into their Tier 1 category is that to make their shooting attacks reliable, you need to use marker lights which are usually used elsewhere.

    Also for just 52 points you can get double the melta shots with deepstrike via a crisis suit.

    I feel like so many things in the tau codex are replaced at a competitive level just because something else can do the job at a more cost effective rate.

    The formation has certainly brought them back on the table though and it was a great read!

    Will you be doing an article on the Y’vahra? Personally I think it’s the best model a tau player can get their hands on.

    • abusepuppy April 7, 2016 3:55 pm
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      Even without MLs, a Piranha averages four S5 hits per turn, which is pretty solid for 40pts. It beats a Crisis suit in that regard. Crisis are generally the go-to for Melta delivery now that the price on the Piranha’s fusion has been bumped up, but it’s worth remembering that Piranhas are more reliable- Deep Strikes can scatter, but movement is guaranteed.

      There probably will be an article on the Y’vahra and other FW suits, although I can’t guarantee I’ll be the one to do it. But I’m looking to write as many of the Tau articles as I can manage, so…

  3. Doodoo April 7, 2016 5:02 pm
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    Now that everyone can see that Tau are not Eldar good, can you please unnerf the piranha formation? Arguing that “full strength” was ambiguous was one of the lamest excuses that I have seen to justify a lynching by the ITC mob.

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 7, 2016 5:18 pm
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      Haha, lynching by the ITC mob? You’re not helping your cause at all using language like that.

      It is an ambiguously worded rule. Perhaps not to you, which is fine, but enough people felt that way that it justified a decision be made.

      As for Tau being good or not, or “Edlar” good, is really a subjective position. At Adepticon, no, because the missions really worked against them. In ITC they are awesome. Frankie rocks people with his Tau, he rarely loses a game. We just filmed a bat rep where he blew a Battle Company off of the table. I honestly struggle to see the argument by some Tau players that their army isn’t strong, or strong enough. They are incredibly good in my experience, but YMMV of course.

      • abusepuppy April 7, 2016 7:13 pm
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        I’m really not sure how you think “full strength” meant “restores one-use weapons.”

        If you have a five-man tactical squad where three members died but the Sergeant with his Combi-Weapon was still alive, would you call that unit “full strength”? I really doubt that you would. That isn’t the common usage of the term and it’s not the 40K usage of it, either.

        > I honestly struggle to see the argument by some Tau players that their army isn’t strong

        Look at the numbers from LVO (which Variance Hammer has available, studied in detail.) Tau did NOT do well at all and had only a single top 16 showing (with none at all in the top 8.) They aren’t so bad that it’s impossible to win, but neither are they “incredibly good” and they certainly didn’t need to have their formations arbitrarily restricted several votes in a row.

        I think what bothers Tau players, myself included, is not that some of the votes went against them- that’s just life. It’s that those votes were _not even about ambiguous wordings_, they were about things people WANTED to work a different way. Nothing in the rules prevents a unit from leaving the table the turn it arrives- flyers and FMCs can’t do it, sure, and as soon as soon as my skimmers are allowed to make Zoom movements I’ll gladly accept that restriction on them. But until that time, skimmers are not flyers and the flyer rules do not apply to them- and deciding that one specific clause of the flyer rules should do so is completely unfair.

        2+ rerolls, Invisibility, and GC cover saves were nerfed because they were having a significant effects on the meta and were given a significant amount of time and testing to see how they played out. The changes to Tau’s rules- and they were straight up changes with no RAW precedent at at all- were preemptively implemented with chance to see how they performed or indeed any real testing at all. “That list won some games once so it’s broken” is an utterly absurd rationale and you yourself have to recognize that winning a game does not mean anything in particular about how strong a list is.

        You can’t just slough this one off with a “YMMV” because this isn’t just about what you, personally, prefer and like in your armies. This is a community issue that affects thousands of players.

        • Dakkath April 7, 2016 10:21 pm
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          I wish I had a way to fave/like/+1/upvote all of this

        • lessthanjeff April 8, 2016 1:58 am
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          I’m one of the people who supported nerfing the piranhas and I understand why people are upset but I voted against them even though I use Tau myself. It wasn’t a power level thing to me, it was about not wanting something in the game that the opponent is unable to interact with. I don’t think there should be units in the game that the other player just straight up cannot shoot at or do anything about. If the votes were about just nerfing them because they were too powerful, then it would have been the riptide wing that was targeted.

          The last big event I played at had half of the 60 players fielding a riptide wing. Many of them were not even counted as Tau players because it was often run along one absurd alliance or another, but it’s still Tau everywhere to me and that messes up the data because then people look at the scores and say “no tau in the finals” while what I saw was 6 out of 8 players running Tau in the final rounds.

          Also, I’ll point out Eldar players said the same thing for the first few tournaments after their new codex release that they weren’t winning the events and should be unnerfed, but after 6 months or so they firmly set their position in 1st pretty much across the board.

          • Grimjuc April 8, 2016 6:13 am
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            I respect the ITC for making an impact to the tournament rules. Although I disagree with the constant pre-nerf to the rules in major tournaments before we can see what the impact will be. Coordinated fire power with buff commander rule and the Piranha formation just to name a few. I understand coordinated firepower had a wide variation of interpretations and needed to be clarified but choosing the worst interpretation out of fear is a weakness to the ITC voting system. There are many ways in the game which provide little to no interaction with your opponent, that just happens its 40k.

            I really would like to see how Tau would do in the ITC if they did not have to constantly struggle with the constant pre-nerfs before letting the best players in the country dice it out. Let’s imagine the rules for the Tau formations were never nerfed, if the majority of the top 16 of LVO or adepticon or BAO are tau there is probably a problem. Although if the number of Tau players went from 1 in the top 16 to maybe 2 or 3 that would be totally acceptable. Not only that you would see more variations of the Tau, not just riptide wing on every table. Variation is good and keeps tournaments and codexes fresh.

            Blah blah blah eldar hate, blah blah variation is good, blah blah, vote to nerf after major tournament results.

          • abusepuppy April 8, 2016 8:19 am
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            I can understand a dislike of the non-interactivity of the formation, but presuming that you are referring to the “fly on, spawn drones, fly off” aspect of it at that point what you’re interacting with is the _drones_, not the Piranhas themselves. And since Drones are not scoring when on their own, they have a finite- though hardly negligible- effect on the game.

            I’m honestly very surprised to hear you have that many Tau players at your event; if I can ask, which one was it? Because my experience- both in my own area and at larger tournaments like LVO- is that Tau are actually represented pretty poorly and almost exclusively by “Riptide Wing + X” lists. That doesn’t justify changes to the Firestream Wing at all, in my opinion.

            >Also, I’ll point out Eldar players said the same thing for the first few tournaments after their new codex release that they weren’t winning the events

            I don’t really believe this is true at all. While Eldar didn’t attain instant dominance, it’s true, Tau have been out for MONTHS and are still not performing at the levels people seem to think they are.

          • Reecius
            Reecius April 8, 2016 8:47 am
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            Again, the point isn’t their power, it is the impact it has on the other player. Watching a unit do something with literally no chance to interact with them, is not conducive to a fun game. Corsairs can do it per RAW too, with their WWPs. It’s silly, not fun, and one of the things kills community and attendance to events. I know this from experience.

            Your experience may be different, but Tau are quite popular, here, and in fact kick the crap out of most armies.

            As you noted, Eldar took months to hit their stride. We said immediately that it was the most powerful codex the game has seen and everyone told us we were overreacting. Low and behold, they are now dominating. Tau are incredibly good, but every Tau player we talk to is clinging to the old play style of Tau: sit and shoot. That is not the optimal way to play them, anymore. Once the Tau community catches up, we will see Tau kicking ass. Currently, Tau players are doing quite well in the ITC, too.

          • Dakkath April 8, 2016 11:39 am
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            Reece, you keep saying tau are popular and kick ass, but I have to ask. Is it TAU that are doing that, or is it Riptide Wing + double stormsurge/another army? There’s a big difference in an ARMY being super strong and a single formation plus X being strong.

          • abusepuppy April 8, 2016 3:24 pm
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            >Watching a unit do something with literally no chance to interact with them, is not conducive to a fun game

            Can’t you say the same about Drop Pods and Deep Striking armies? For 90% of the armies in the game, they show up and do their thing and you can’t do anything about it. Ditto for FMC-heavy armies on ITC boards- good luck shooting at the Daemon Prince hiding behind a wall while he summons out units.

            I get that non-interactivity can be really grating, but that doesn’t in any way explain your rationale on the “at full strength” issue. And, as I already said, the _drones_ (which are what’s doing the actual work in the formation) are still perfectly interactable.

            I can’t speak to how popular or effective Tau are in your local area, obviously. But the statistics for LVO are verifiable and well-analyzed, and the Tau statistics for LVO are pretty dismal.

            >We said immediately that it was the most powerful codex the game has seen and everyone told us we were overreacting

            Couple things: first off, Tau have ALREADY had “months to hit their stride,” as you say. And they haven’t- nor do I think they will. Second: I’m not sure who say that people were “overreacting” to Eldar, but I think the immediate consensus among all of the skilled players I spoke with at the time was that Eldar were crazy-broken and that Scatter Bikes, Wraithknights, and other units were all powerful and game-changing additions to the meta.

            Do you honestly think Tau has anything like that? That any unit in the Tau codex- which, remember, is for the most part unchanged from its 6E version- is anywhere near the power of the top Eldar units? The Riptide Wing is good, sure, but it’s not even in the same league as the power lists from other codices (as the LVO and other large tournament results pretty clearly show.)

        • Reecius
          Reecius April 8, 2016 8:38 am
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          We made a blanket ruling that no unit could come on from reserves and then leave in the same turn not because it wasn’t ambiguous (that part of the rule isn’t, I agree) but because it is incredibly bad for organized play.

          AP, you are very, very RAW oriented because that is your personality and how you prefer to play and more how you interact with the game in a general sense, which is fine. However, most people that play 40k do not play that way and in fact, are turned off by a strict RAW reading of the game.

          Yes, per RAW Piranhas and Corsairs (and a few other units) can yo-yo on and off the table with the other player have zero chance to interact with them. Yes, a good player can overcome this. No, it isn’t game breaking but what it does do, is create extremely unenjoyable play experiences for the other player. As a TO who has run literally hundreds of events, I can tell you without hesitation that playing the game with rules like that kills the community. Players who aren’t geared towards balls out competition (which this game was never intended to be played as, anyway) get turned off by what they feel are obviously stupid rulings, and leave. I’ve seen it many times.

          So, in the spirit of coming to a compromise, we move towards the middle with our rulings on things like this as it grows the community and includes more people. You may disagree with that philosophy but the proof is in thw pudding. While other events continue to shrink, our events continue to grow.

          It sucks that some players may feel somewhat disenfranchised, truly, I don’t like pissing people off any more than others do. But in the bigger picture, it is worth it to create a play experience that is more enjoyable for more people and therefore grow our community instead of constrict it by slavishly following RAW all the time with rules that are written by game designers who envision the game being played casually, anyway.

          • Grimjuc April 8, 2016 10:54 am
            #

            I agree with AP 90% of the time when it comes to RAW. Although when we start talking about running into armies with very little interactions I point to the Eldar wiping people off the table in two shooting phases. I had a great time at Adepticon although knowingly bringing a sub-optimal list to an Eldar fight revealed some games of being erased from the table with very little interaction. Range D weapons 6ing stuff off the table to making a ton of saves from scatter bikes with riptide wing support can leave a bad taste in anyone’s mouth. This is an issue with GW balance, not an FAQ situation.

            Tau is the scissors to another army’s paper. Anyone can see that with a riptide wing vs a drop pod army. What I desperately want to see are competitive options. When someone read coordinated firepower for the first time I am sure their list building mind went crazy with possibilities; suddenly a world where crisis suits and foot tau are feasible or at least worth trying. I understand tau still are doing well based on the double storm surge plus riptide wing lists but is that all you want to see out of tau? Limiting options limit creativity and diversity to an army that has a difficult time finding diversity in its codex.

            If Tau was granted these bonuses it would crush cover focused armies but would that really change when those same cover focused armies are being crushed by eldar? Comparing everything to Eldar is not really fair. I only want to see the top 16 players in the country bring the best army lists they can with limited restrictions to maximize list creativity. In a perfect world, those top 16 players would all play different codexes, sadly that will never be the case.

          • PrimoFederalist April 9, 2016 5:27 am
            #

            Reecius, you are a hero. Thanks for doing what you do for the hobby. Without the lightening rod of the ITC, we’d see way more players arguing with each other and TOs and “rage quitting” events. Instead, the community is growing. Keep up the good work!

      • Happy-inquisitor April 8, 2016 5:28 am
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        Sorry Reece but just because some people do not know the meaning of a term does not mean it is ambiguous. I grew up reading military history books so I knew this one already but maybe people who did not should have seen it as an opportunity to learn something new.

        • Reecius
          Reecius April 8, 2016 8:42 am
          #

          I’m not trying to defend my opinion on the rule here, I think people are misunderstanding me. I am saying from player feedback that that, the Ghostkeels, and Coordinated Firepower were the questions we were asked most about. It’s not my opinion that it is ambiguously worded, it is the reality of what we interacted with from the player base.

          To you it is clear, which is cool, but to a great many people it was not.

          To that point that, in the previous version of the rule it specified that weapons and models in the unit came back. In this version, they omitted that line which begs the question: did the game designers feel that it was clear in the rule, or did they want to change that part of it by removing it?

          • Happy_Inquisitor April 9, 2016 9:25 am
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            Wandering a long way off topic here but if someone is going to put a lot of effort into FAQ building then I personally would really want them to aim at presenting the rule as best it can be understood by a person who understands and is familiar with the language used.

            The fact that some people disagree on a rule does not always mean that it is ambiguous, the alternative possibility which has been true in a number of recent cases is just that a bunch of people are mistaken. It is a shame if GW are over-estimating the reading skills of the player base but that can be fixed by the use of expertise far better than a vote – which is little better than a random outcome generator in terms of correctness if we look over the last few votes.

  4. Scotyknows April 7, 2016 9:51 pm
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    rekt

  5. SomeCallMeTim April 8, 2016 1:02 am
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    First time I faced the hunter cadre, he used a rule to turboboost his piranha up and fusion my fortification turn 1. That is some quality suicide melta in my book, especially since they then refused to die.

    • abusepuppy April 8, 2016 3:28 pm
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      It’s a nice little trick, yeah, although it does necessitate the Piranha being within 12″ of the Commander. The size of the chassis and ability to measure distance to the whole squadron help a lot with that, though.

  6. BobC April 8, 2016 2:49 am
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    I love Piranhas! If you take into account that the drones are 24 points, you’re getting a skimmer for only 16 points. How can you say no?

  7. DeeJay April 8, 2016 3:55 am
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    I agree with Abusepuppy in his review of the piranha.

    40 points for a unit that puts out 8 STR 5 shots on a highly mobile platform is pretty sweet.

    • abusepuppy April 8, 2016 8:22 am
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      I’ve had very good luck with them for quite a while now; in 4th edition they were amazing ways to block slow-moving enemy units and cut off embarkation points. In 5th edition they were insanely durable and fantastic for both destroying enemy armor and staving off the advance of transport-heavy armies. In 6th edition they really came into their own as a source of cheap firepower, though I never really used them competitively.

      Piranhas are rad; I just wish their formation hadn’t had all of its abilities functionally removed.

  8. Happy-inquisitor April 8, 2016 5:25 am
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    I agree with all of that but I think it has missed the secret sauce in the Hunter Cadre: the Ambushes & Feints rule.

    With this a Piranha can move 30″ in a turn and deliver its firepower. The ability to get round LOS blockers and hit a critical target is golden. Using this to deliver a turn 1 hit with Fusion Blasters makes them a genuine contender vs crisis suits which are subject to scatter and can at best arrive on turn 2.

    Using this competitively in a Hunter Cadre was a revaluation to me, reliably hitting rear armour or positioning to avoid a tanking character are really relevant abilities for winning games. On top of which they are the fastest thing the Tau have for grabbing maelstrom objectives.

  9. Kartr_Kana April 9, 2016 1:04 am
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    >I can understand a dislike of the non-interactivity of the formation, but presuming that you are referring to the “fly on, spawn drones, fly off” aspect of it at that point what you’re interacting with is the _drones_, not the Piranhas themselves. And since Drones are not scoring when on their own, they have a finite- though hardly negligible- effect on the game.<

    If they're not scoring do they still count for First Blood and Kill Points?

    A 200 point bare bone squadron could dump 140 points of drones on the table every turn after the first. Each drop getting 20 S5 shots with supporting fire on 10 wound of T4 4+.

    The ability to drop down a movement blocking blobs with no ability to degrade that performance, is not that insignificant. It's like having a payker that can summon every turn with no danger of perils and no chance of failure, that can't be shot at or assaulted. Forcing them to stay on the table a turn at least gives the opponent a chance to inflict damage on the summoning unit.

    That said, destroyed Piranhas should be replaced when the squadron flies off the table, just so long as you have spare Piranhas since wrecked ones would have to stay on the table. However immobilized Piranhas are not destroyed and would not get replaced if abandoned, until they get destroyed.

    • abusepuppy April 9, 2016 5:37 am
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      >If they’re not scoring do they still count for First Blood and Kill Points?

      They do not because of the Tau vehicle drone rules, which make them nonscoring and prevent them from counting towards mission objectives.

      I’ve played both with and against the Firestream Wing- and while it certainly is a solid, even strong, formation prior to ITC changes, I don’t feel it’s a broken one. Piranhas and Drones take up a lot of table space, which can be both good and bad, and having all your “free” units come in from your table edge is a lot more disadvantageous than being able to summon them in anywhere on the table, as most other armies that spawn models can do.

      I object a lot less to being forced to stay on the table than I do to not being able to restore squad members, though neither of them are really anything but a change to the actual rules. At least when you’re spending a turn on the table you have something you can DO during that time, so it’s not a complete waste of time- but there is no upside, or even marginal benefit, to reinterpreting “full strength” as “not full strength.”

      (I think most all Tau players are fine with abandoned Piranhas from the formation not being able to multiply or any such because who carries around fifteen spare Piranhas? It’s just simpler for all involved.)

    • Happy_Inquisitor April 9, 2016 9:38 am
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      The drone farm idea is kinda bad. It is useful when facing a fast-moving unstoppable assault threat as a pure delaying tactic but in most games it is just a waste of time and points. Nobody thinks normal gun drone squadrons are worth 14 points per drone which is why massed gun drone squadrons have been almost as rare in competitive 40K as Vespid. This is why the fear of the drone farming is so over-hyped.

  10. Dakkath April 9, 2016 8:41 am
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    One topic, I love the look of those converted piranhas