T’au Empire Tactica – Part 1: T’au Infantry List Tactics

The new Codex: T’au Empire is a gamer’s toolbox, offering new army builds, new tactics and some cunning tricks to try on your friends. We enlisted Reecius – playtester, tournament organiser and all-round cracking chap – to share his insights into the new book. Here he shares some key principles when building your army and offers some great advice on list construction:

This article was originally published on the Warhammer-Community site. Check them out for more great content!

Hey everyone, Reecius here from the SoCal Open to talk T’au Empire tactics! Also, check the Tactics Corner for more great articles!

For those of you who follow us over at Frontline Gaming, you probably know that my partner in crime, Frankie, is the T’au Empire player on our team. However, with the release of the Codex: T’au Empire, I decided to start a new army and will be picking up my very own force for the Greater Good.

Frankie’s army is very battlesuit-heavy, with tons of Crisis BattlesuitsCommandersRiptides and Stormsurges. I wanted to do something different and I’ve always loved the good old Fire Warrior, both in lore and the aesthetics of the models. I also remembered some great games back when the T’au Empire first appeared in the game and my friends would use the vaunted “Fish of Fury” tactic on me to great effect. For those of you who aren’t hoary old gamers like myself, that was a tactic using Devilfish to deliver Fire Warriors into optimal range but also shielding them with the Transport.

Generally speaking, I tend to prefer infantry armies. So, this led me to thinking: could I make a competitive and fun T’au Empire force relying largely on their infantry units? Could I use some of these older tactics in the current Warhammer 40,000 environment? Typically I see armies like Frankie’s, with loads of battlesuits, which makes sense as they’re beautiful models and uniquely T’au. So I set out on a journey to do something different and hopefully quite effective, too!

When writing a list, I tend to begin with the Troops section, as I love fielding the basic troopers in most armies. To me, it feels right to do so and I enjoy finding ways to get the most out of them. To maximize their strengths, I then looked at what special rules and Characters would boost them up to get maximum punch.

I decided to choose my sept next, as that would give me some great guidelines as to how my list would play. I read them all carefully and decided on Bork’an for my first Detachment. That means my Fire Warriors’ pulse rifles would extend out to 36″ range! Not bad at all. However, upon looking at some of the other units, I noted that Pathfinders had a drone – the Pulse Accelerator Drone – that increased the range of pulse weapons by an additional 6″… nice! That means, with a bit of tactical deployment, I could have Fire Warriors with 42″ range pulse rifles, which is fantastic on a model that only costs 7 points. I also wanted to take a few Guardian Drones to provide an invulnerable save for nearby units, as even one of them, when deployed carefully, can provide a significant defensive boost to most or all of my Fire Warrior units for a very low points investment.

My Fire Warriors are further boosted in power by the inclusion of a Cadre Fireblade, who gives friendly units an extra shot on their pulse rifles, carbines and pistols when firing within half range. Well, for my buffed-up Fire Warriors, that was now a formidable 21 inches! Additionally, the BS 2+ markerlight the Cadre Fireblade has is highly accurate, and he’s protected by his Character keyword. He is a great tool for using the Uplinked Markerlight Stratagem as well, to get more mileage out of each markerlight hit.

And if that weren’t enough, I can also let stationary Fire Warriors re-roll 1s to hit with an Ethereal’s Storm of Fire ability. Conversely, if I needed to boost up their defence, the Ethereal could give them a 6+ roll to stop wounds with his Sense of Stone ability. And for an added benefit, the Ethereal also allows nearby friendly units to use his Leadership of 9, which is great for avoiding additional Morale test casualties.

The great thing about all of these list elements is that they are very cheap. I could build out a backfield with LOADS of Fire Warriors with accompanying support Characters for next to nothing. The pure volume of fire you can put out, particularly at Rapid Fire range, is fairly staggering, especially with additional markerlight support. This helps to compensate for all kinds of potential hurdles you may face in a game and helps to combat the ‘-1 to hit’ armies that are so prevalent at the moment. Six units of ten Fire Warriors firing at half range with these buffs would put out 180 Strength 5 shots! That melts just about anything quickly. I’m also a fan of the markerlight for the Shas’ui, as it’s protected by the unit it leads. Also, the Tactical Support Turret is a solid choice to provide some long-range firepower on a model that, like the Shas’ui, is protected in the unit. The missile pod, while a little pricey, is my favourite for its solid damage output, but the smart missile system is great for hitting units that are hiding out of Line of Sight. Being Heavy, the latter also benefits from the increased range that the Sept Tenet provides.

If you want to crank this up even more, opt for the Through Unity, Devastation Warlord Trait. Like the Storm of Fire Warlord Trait for Space Marines (my personal favorite!), it provides a buff that, on a 6+ to wound an enemy unit in line of sight of your Warlord, grants nearby units an additional -1 AP for their weapons. It may seem subtle at first glance, but in practice, I have found it to really increase the number of wounds that stick, and it’s perfect for this style of play.

Furthermore, I am a huge fan of Sniper Drones. They’re very effective sniper units at a reasonable price point. Their range gets pushed out to 54″ with the Bork’an Sept Tenet and, combined with the buffs provided by support Characters, this makes them deadly to most enemy Characters. With a Firesight Marksmen to give them a boost (and don’t forget that one Marksman can affect ALL of your Sniper Drones!), they put out very solid firepower. Additionally, that Marksmen also gives you another accurate markerlight, and on a Character model to boot. Enemies are at -1 to hit the Drones when firing from more than 12″ away, and the Marksman gains +2 to his save while in cover, making them quite tricky to take out.

To boost all of this considerable firepower even further, I chose to include some Pathfinders. Marker Drones are typically the go-to choice for many T’au Empire players, but as is the theme with my strategy here, I want to do things a bit differently. By taking several small units of Pathfinders, I find you can get not only the markerlights you need but can also take advantage of their considerable firepower with their unique weapon options. The ion rifle and rail rifle are both very cool weapons, and when backed with the various support we’ve described above, you can put a lot of firepower downrange on the very cheap Pathfinder model. They also provide some fun Drone options, such as the aforementioned Pulse Accelerator Drone, but also the Recon Drone, which lets you ignore cover, or the Grav-inhibitor Drone, which reduces enemy charge ranges by D3″ if they begin their charge within 12″ of it. Also, I love the Pathfinder models, they look so cool!

In a pinch, you can also use their Vanguard ability to move up to 7″ before the game starts, getting out into no-man’s land and push back enemy reserve units. This can impede units entering the game via Teleport Strike or similar abilities, and help create space between your lines and enemy units. However, our next unit is even better at that.

Now, all of these awesome Fire Warriors, Pathfinders, Characters and Sniper units, while deadly at range, are still vulnerable to melee (even with the awesome For the Greater Good rule). So, we call on the trusty Kroot to act as a defensive picket unit, forming screening lines of models to block those nasty enemy melee units. These gents are cheap at 5 points per model. They’ve got decent damage output, too, especially when backed with a Kroot Shaper for re-rolls of 1s to wound. Additionally, with their Stealthy Hunters rule, they can move forward up to 7″ before the game begins to create a buffer zone between your backfield units and enemy reserves, as we discussed above.

Between all of these infantry units, you can occupy enough space to deny enemy reserves the ability to deploy on your flanks or behind you – keeping your backfield secure like this is extremely useful.

I also really like the army’s Fortifications. They’re cheap, can be moved, and models embarked on them can shoot! They also help you deploy faster, increasing your odds of going first, and keep Characters safe from things like snipers, which are quite a threat to fragile Infantry Characters. The Droneport is my favourite, as if you attach a unit of 4 Marker Drones to it, and embark a Cadre Fireblade to control them, they fire using his Ballistic Skill of 2+ which is awesome for getting accurate markerlights downrange. And again, as Bork’an, they get +6″ range to their markerlights, too.

That covers our defence, but that’s just half of the battle. How do we go forth and conquer with a relatively fragile Infantry army? Read part 2 of this series, here.


And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!



About Reecius

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

43 Responses to “T’au Empire Tactica – Part 1: T’au Infantry List Tactics”

  1. GhostValley March 13, 2018 3:13 pm #

    Read this earlier on the Community page – and it couldn’t be more timely as I just picked up a few Tau boxes and I am fresh out the oven new to Tau – I think it is great that you are giving a different spin on it and approaching Tau from a different angle. This was very valuable to me as I am trying to absorb as much Tau stuff as possible

    That being said, I am going for a mix of suits and infantry – but being so new to tau I am struggling to know where to start. I know you mentioned that it is difficult to get Frankie to keyboard 😉 but it would be great to also get a veteran take on some units – and where they stand now, auto include wargear etc…

    But I know with the pace of releases there is only so much time in the day! Looking forward to part 2

    • Reecius March 13, 2018 4:00 pm #

      Glad you enjoyed it!

      Yeah, I usually try to do things differently than everyone else when building a list. For whatever reason I don’t like playing a list that other people are playing. Humorously though, if you do well with a new list it then becomes normal, haha.

      But in exploring all of the awesome combos T’au have available to their infantry units I have to say I am very impressed. They can move, shoot, morale buff, screen, etc. I think they can handle anything you throw at them and look forward to taking them for a spin.

      I will try to get Frankie to write some words, lol. He has a ton of good ideas about T’au he’s been talking to me about. He has some great ideas about how to play them.

      Part 2 is done and n the can, so I bet the post it soon =)

      • GhostValley March 13, 2018 4:29 pm #

        Sorry, meant my below post as a reply to this one.

  2. GhostValley March 13, 2018 4:27 pm #

    I know exactly what you’re talking about as I played LVO after you had been talking about and playing Sentinels of Terra scouts (you maybe used raptors – I can’t remember) but I wasn’t the only scout list there. You get to be a trailblazer, Reece!

    But even if Frankie but up a competitive/situational etc review without words or context – just rated the units, wargear, and relics! Unfortunately I can get 1 game in a week only maybe 5 a month if Im lucky, so I rely on you guys to do my heavy lifting when it comes to list building. Lol.

    • Reecius March 13, 2018 6:25 pm #

      Haha, sometimes we here do get to play lists first. Perk of the job =)

      Yeah, I will see if I can cajole Frankie into sharing some of the combos he’s finding in the book as there is some exciting stuff in there he’s told me about.

  3. Psygnotik March 13, 2018 5:51 pm #

    Wow this is really cool! I was working at an almost identical list over the weekend, after realizing how cheap Tau infantry brigades can be. For a 2000 point list you can get two brigades with a decent amount of wiggle room to flesh out the list properly (3 brigades feels a bit too tight).

    The point difference between Kroot and Strike Teams is quite low, so wouldn’t it be more effective to just use the Strike Teams themselves for screening? Or perhaps I’m missing something?

    I like the idea of using Droneports with Marker Drones. If I understand correctly, you would be able to also embark all of the Firesight Marksmen for additional protection. Quite nice!

    I’m definitely looking forward to part 2!

    • Reecius March 13, 2018 6:30 pm #

      Yeah! I have been messing around with double brigade lists too, lol. 21 CP! It’s crazy.

      Frankie said the same thing regarding Kroot and Fire Warriors but my counter was their pre-game move. That is SO useful in this edition. Many high level lists revolve around putting massive pressure on you early game with units that come out of reserves. Kroot can move up before the game begins and push back enemy deep-strikers, infiltrators, whatever and create a buffer zone between you and them which protects your backfield as enemy units coming on the table are now a minimum of 16″ away from your army proper. If you find yourself going second, that is crazy valuable and can really take the teeth out of someone’s alpha strike.

      Yeah, the Droneport is solid! I have tried it out and really like it. You can put all of your HQs in it in deployment to not have so many drops and keep them safe and often you can squueze in a unit, too, if you want. Then deploy the Drones and between the Fireblade inside and them, you have 5 BS 2+ Marker Lights! Not bad.

      • Yakhunter March 13, 2018 7:11 pm #

        Do auras work when characters are deployed in the T’au fortifications now? I seem to remember that was a problem before and the reason people weren’t already doing that with the droneport, etc. In the Index they were all listed as Open-Topped Transports. Still, paying a 42 point tax for 5 2+ markerlights may be worth it anyway, just curious.

        • Reecius March 13, 2018 7:28 pm #

          No, auras done work from inside but you can stick many Markerlight characters in there, fire warriors, etc. You lose the auras but gain protection. If it’s worthwhile or not comes down to individual playstyle and preferences.

          • Yakhunter March 13, 2018 8:07 pm

            Thanks for the clarification! I have the full tidewall and have been using the droneport pretty regular. Great write-up btw.

          • Reecius March 13, 2018 8:08 pm

            Thanks! Glad you liked it. Yeah, I have the entire Tidewall and it’s all pretty solid, to be honest, but the Droneport is the best one, IMO.

  4. Khyz0r March 13, 2018 9:54 pm #

    Hey Reece, great minds think alike. 😉 As soon as i saw that Bork’an trait i immediately thought of FW gunline with the extra range of the pule accelerator. There are so many options using this as a baseline to the army, and i totally agree about using Kroot and pathfinder stealth move to push back alpha strike armies. However im not sure i’d use pathfinders with rail/ion rifles for this as they can become expensive units on the frontline.

    At the moment my list is 3 Bork’an detachments (battalion, vanguard, outrider) with Coldstar, 2x XV8 Commanders, Ethereal and Darkstrider HQs. Then i have 2x strike team, 1x kroot, 2x pathfinder, 1x Y’vahra (cause 14″ plasma flamer is too good), 2x Ghostkeels, and Riptide with Heavy burst cannon. Trying to get some test games in before i adjust list further.

    • Khyz0r March 13, 2018 10:01 pm #

      Oops I meant Fireblade, not Darkstrider. I had him on my mind, cause I thought if you are taking a brigade you should include him too.

    • Reecius March 13, 2018 10:10 pm #

      Yeah, I know, right? I read the rules and immediately thought a Fire Warrior gunline was going to be hawt! You just need a way to go out and aggressively get objectives which is the fun part of the challenge with unlocking T’au as the sit and shoot portion of the list basically writes itself.

      But totally agree, you only use Pathfinders as a push back unit if you MUST. Otherwise, hold them back. They’re so dang cheap though, lol, really a great unit.

      The Coldstar is a chieftain and I really dig the Ghostkeel but the challenge I made for myself was no suits! Trying to use few to no vehicles too, want to see if I can make it happen with just Infantry and a few transports. I like your list though, you have a cool mix of units and I think you will do quite well.

      • Khyz0r March 13, 2018 10:57 pm #

        I just love Tau suits in the army though, in past editions I’d run a few Commanders, each with 3 Crisis suits supporting him but unfortunately GW didn’t give them any love so I’d move onto those that did. Also the suits are great at grabbing those objectives in the front line. Was close to dropping that Vanguard detachment for a spearhead to use Broadsides, but I’ll just have to see after some test games.

        I’m sure you have already considered, but breachers in devilfish might be the go for your forward objective grabbers. Very interested to see how the infantry list goes, good luck with it.

      • Khyz0r March 17, 2018 2:48 pm #

        Now that the codex is dropped, I’m reading the Coldstar datasheet that0 you can replace the High Output Burst Cannon AND/OR the Missile Pod with 2 weapons; and then take an additional 2 weapons.

        So in fact, to me that reads you can have 4 new weapon choices, and still keep either the Burst Cannon or the Missile Pod. Is that how everyone else is reading this??

  5. AnonAmbientLight March 13, 2018 10:12 pm #

    One thing I see a lot, especially on other T’au forums is that players have this perception of how the army is ***supposed*** to be, but they don’t seem to realize that their perception is not the only one, or the one that people identify as.

    Honestly, I think the biggest problem is that the T’au player base for a number of years has been playing the codex all wrong. By that I mean, T’au have been a faction that have always focused on the extremes. “Spam Riptides.” “Spam Commanders.” “Spam Crisis Suits.” “Spam Crisis Suits with Buffmanders”. So now that we have a codex that requires us to use all the other units and players don’t know what to make of it.

    I was getting tired of Buffmander death stars and Riptide spam as the only way I could compete. It wasn’t interesting and it damped the fun of the game for me. It’s not good for a codex to focus on one aspect of it, or too heavily favor a particular part of it. A good codex, theoretically, allows for a player to build a list how they see fit, in any setting: competitive or otherwise.

    This codex gives players the option to go for and make many potential builds work. It should be celebrated as a strength and not a weakness.

    • Reecius March 13, 2018 11:04 pm #

      I think that is an excellent assessment. It was funny as we got loads of “T’au only have one good build in 8th: Commander spam!”

      And then GW limits commanders to make other options more appealing and then it’s “OMG, they took away Commanders!”

      It’s hard to know what to think, haha.

      But as you noted, this is a dex that wants you to use lots of units, not just 1 or 2. And I totally agree, the complaint I have heard when you really boil it down is “this isn’t how I want to play T’au” not that it is bad.

      Weird complaint. Not one I hear really from any other faction community. I get lots of “my faction sucks, rawr” or similar but rarely “my faction is good but not in the way I want it to be good, rawr!” so it is difficult to assess them. As you noted, not everyone thinks the same way or wants the same things and it is very easy to get stuck in group think when surrounded by people saying the same thing and then think you represent the entire community when in reality, it is just a few dozen people.

      Time will tell. I don’t pretend to know where this will all lead or if T’au will be awesome or not, popular or not, but I do know I like the Dex from where I’m standing and am excited to play it.

      • Kevin Lantz March 14, 2018 2:25 am #

        I think Tau will edge slightly higher in placements, but will still struggle a touch in the big tournaments. If the Gun drones hadn’t changed in price I’m not sure I’d feel this way (the price increase is the one thing I’m truly mad about) I completely disagree with the price hike on the shield drones.

        You certainly want to use alot of units, and once you realize you’ll give your opponent +1 to go first, and you should just plan on him going first, the game gets alot easier to deal with. Likewise if you don’t stress about the kill 3+ units a turn secondary, spamming tons of units gets you ahead in the end, because there’s no adequate way for your opponent to clear whole units without wasting some fire power.

        I 100% agree with the price reduction on the kroot and fire warriors, although I feel it’s not quite far enough for the kroot, but bodies being bodies are worth something on their own and their rule. I think there is no real competitive way to run infantry only with kroot unless you allow for crisis suits etc, because there is nothing with anti tank on it that means anything that is just infantry in the codex. Although it would be hilarious to see a list using 250 firewarriors ethereals and fireblades…

      • winterman March 14, 2018 8:24 am #

        This idea that Tau were always about the suits is pretty strange to me. I am sure that was what drew people to the army, especially since 6ed and all the new kits. But there’s a ton of other things in the army. Lots of people played skimmer and/or troop based Tau in prior editions. So those folks get more love which is a good thing. One play style shouldn’t be catered to.

        Also even if they did get some points wrong there’s a good chance that will get corrected this year. Not next edition. I think people are either still getting used to that.

        Finally, I think healthy constructive criticism after playing some games is good, that is what can help get things changed in chapter approved. But that’s not what I see from folks so far, its mostly one liner ‘trash tier’ or faction envy stuff. Take a deep breath, work out some lists, use the new strats and look at making this work as a challenge.

        • abusepuppy March 14, 2018 9:41 am #

          As he says, though, the battlesuits are the most unique and iconic part of the Tau army- that’s why they’re inevitably pictured on the cover the of the codex, usually in a very central fashion. I have no doubt that there are people who love many other parts of the army- I myself am partial to Piranhas- but I don’t think it’s a wild claim to say that when people think of Tau, they think of battlesuits and mostly always have. Crisis and Broadsides were very iconic to the Tau army even back as far as 3E and have been the backbone of most competitive builds for a long time now.

          The issue with the costing on Crisis is not that they got it wrong- after all, there are a lot of parts to tinker with and it’s not bad to be cautious. The problem is that they didn’t even TRY; Crisis suits got absolutely zero changes to their abilities, statline, or cost, and they were widely reviled in the Index as being a very lackluster unit. The only two possibilities are that GW was unaware of this (unlikely, given how loud the outcry was) or that they intentionally chose to leave them bad (which they should rightfully be condemned for.)

          This isn’t a case where there are some “hidden” stratagems or upgrades or synergies that make the unit worthwhile- even the experienced and cautious Tau players I know have essentially looked at the unit and said “welp, guess it’s still garbage.” The internet certainly does like to overreact to things, but that doesn’t mean that every complaint is automatically baseless, and in this case I think there is good reason to be unhappy about the status of Crisis suits. Waiting six months for Chapter Approved to possibly maybe fix them is not a real solution, because people actually want to play with their models. Having a unit be obsolete the day the book is released is not a sign of good design.

          • Ethan March 14, 2018 10:26 am

            ^^^I couldn’t agree more with this.

          • AnonAmbientLight March 14, 2018 3:55 pm

            > As he says, though, the battlesuits are the most unique and iconic part of the Tau army

            6th and 7th edition was littered with suit only lists. Those were THE lists to play back then. You would take the bare minimum of troops and then spam suits. They are iconic, yes, but not at the expense of literally everything else in the codex. This is probably why the infantry units got more love (seemingly) in general than other units. Find me one troop heavy list in 6th or 7th for T’au, especially ones that were viable. You can’t. They don’t exist.

            Crisis suits specifically are supposed to be shock troopers anyway, not your entire army. It’s why they are in the elite spots. It’s also why in 8th they have Vanguard detachments for players who do just want to spam suits (or whatever you please).

            If you ask me, 6th and 7th edition were the worst states of the codex because we ***only*** took suits to be competitive. It was so bad that other armies were specifically taking Riptide Wings because it was so good. That is not a sign of good design.

            Remember, the goal of this edition is to try to make every unit in each codex viable. There’s a lot of codex to go through and no one has enough games to tell one way or the other what’s good. As far as Crisis Suits go, I can see certain things being really good (like the Iridium Armor for every 3 suits buff). 2+ armor is still pretty strong in this game. There’s also plenty of stratagems and unit synergies that might even bring back Farsight bombs.

            > The problem is that they didn’t even TRY; Crisis suits got absolutely zero changes to their abilities, statline, or cost, and they were widely reviled in the Index as being a very lackluster unit.

            These are the kind of arguments I dislike because you have no information one way or the other to even back this up. You can see that some thought was actually put into the unit because of the addition to iridium armor (it’s VERY specific) and stratagems that specifically buff Crisis Suits.

            If I had to guess, I would think that GW was focused on keeping the cost of Crisis Suits the same to prevent people from spamming them like in 6th and 7th editions. They then buffed their potential in the form of stratagems and relics. So it isn’t immediately apparent at face value when you look at the codex that they are any good. Stratagems are a really good way of buffing a unit, without buffing the unit, if you follow.

            Overall, I would imagine that Crisis Suits are probably more difficult to balance than other aspects in the codex. Not for lack of trying, but just how min-maxing works and player behavior. If crisis suits were “made to player standards”, we would probably end up right back where we were in 6th and 7th, wouldn’t you think?

            > Having a unit be obsolete the day the book is released is not a sign of good design.

            OK, well that’s literally every codex released so far and since, well forever. The goal of 8th is to make every unit have some place in a list at some point level. As far as I can tell, Crisis Suits have that spot.

            Get the codex in hand, play a few games and see how it works out. This codex has way more force multipliers in it than most codexs released so far and seems to rely on stratagems for list building synergies.

          • ProfessorGatekeeper March 14, 2018 7:43 pm

            I made an account just so I can thank you for your opinion on crisis suits. I’ve got 30 of them and they’re just collecting dust I’m afraid.

            With the index, I could at least take my crisis suits as commanders and not be destroyed but now that’s gone.

            I’ve been playing Tau since they came out, my first and only army, and I’ve always been able to field an army full of crisis suits and be competitive but that time is no more.

            Your very well put argument describes how I feel about the situation and I thank you for voicing it so eloquently.

            Also, thanks for the article, Reecius! I might pick up some Kroot because of your tactics relating to decreasing Alpha Strikes effectiveness

      • abusepuppy March 14, 2018 9:51 am #

        >but I do know I like the Dex from where I’m standing and am excited to play it.

        Reece, let’s be brutally honest here: you’re a great guy and you’ve got a really sunny outlook on things, and that’s fantastic sometimes. But your optimistic viewpoint does you no favors when people (correctly) complain about a unit being lackluster and your only response is “well, I’m having fun with it so I don’t think there’s a problem.” You like to bring wacky, nonstandard armies and use units that most people regard as bad- and there’s nothing wrong with that, but you need to understand that for a lot of people, having their favorite unit be subpar can be very offputting and lowers (rather than raises) their enjoyment of the game.

        It’s good that you’re having fun with the book, and I do agree that there’s fun to be had- but when you dismiss people’s complaints about an iconic unit, a unit that was generally regarded as being in need of significant help in the Index even by very talented players and that got absolutely no changes at all in the codex, it comes across as pretty uncaring. It’s not that people are angry they can’t bring thirty Crisis suits to the table, it’s that they are unhappy because there is very little reason to bring _any_ Crisis suits to the table- and I think that even you can admit that is a shame for a codex that “want[s] you to use lots of units, not just 1 or 2.”

        • Ujayim March 14, 2018 10:04 am #


        • wayniac March 14, 2018 10:11 am #

          The other issue here is that he is the face of competitive 40k, where things always boil down to most effective/min-maxed to the extreme.

        • Reecius March 14, 2018 10:22 am #

          When did I dismiss anyone or there opinion? The fact that I am not taking a pessimistic point of view or saying something sucks when I don’t have enough information on it to state an opinion does not equate to dismissing other’s perspectives. I haven’t said anything on if Crisis Suits (or any of the units not in my article) are good or bad.

          And how can anyone have a correct opinion on a book that just dropped, lol? We all have our preferences and see things in a certain light which is fine, but I am coming at this pretty blank slate as T’au are one of the few armies I have not owned and played in the game yet so for me I am approaching it as a novice, which I am in that regard. I think people should wait to play a bit before jumping to conclusions. It may turn out they are correct but I think it is early yet. Like I have said, I had Eldar players super upset when their dex dropped, too, feeling it was too weak or what have you (apart from Reapers which jumped out right away).

          And yeah, I do like to take wacky armies, that is what is fun for me and this is really no different. So, it is odd to have people getting mad about the list I am talking about playing because other things in the book don’t appeal to them when I wasn’t talking about them, lol. I am just looking at this in regards to personal preference, this isn’t meant to be a statement on the dex itself or anything. Obviously people want to talk about that, which is fine, but it is missing the mark in regards to what I was specifically (and explicitly) trying to do in my article series.

          • Ethan March 14, 2018 10:30 am

            Like everyone keeps saying to you Reece, we aren’t jumping to conclusions on crisis suits because they didn’t change from the index – there’s a few awesome stratagems based on them sure but that’s not enough to make them universally useful again.

          • abusepuppy March 14, 2018 5:21 pm

            Your reply feels very dismissive because you don’t even begin to address the points that are brought up against Crisis suits. I don’t expect you to make a detailed, ten-page rebuttal to everything that has been said, but “they have a lot of synergy and anyways the book was just released how could you possibly know” is a complete non-answer. Likewise, saying that there are people who complain about every release (and yes, I know there were folks who complained that the 6E, 7E, and 8E Eldar books were “too weak”) and using that to dismiss people who are making more measured arguments against problems they see is also being extremely flippant about the problem.

            We actually have a very good way of knowing how good Crisis are, because we’ve been playing (or more accurately not playing) with them in this state since 8E was released. If they got better due to Sept traits… well, so did every other unit. They have no relics they can take, and there is only one stratagem that is applicable to them (and it only can be used by Farsight Enclaves.) They were quite a ways from being a good unit before, and none of that has changed; if you have some secret knowledge of something that makes them not be awful, we’d certainly like to hear it.

            People aren’t annoyed because you like to play an army that’s different than theirs, or because you enjoy using particular units, or because Strike Teams are good now; they aren’t annoyed that you wrote an article series about how best to use specific units that aren’t Crisis. They are annoyed because a favorite unit from the army (the Crisis suit) has been left by the side of the road in this book, and the response when anyone brings this up is either deflection (“yeah but Fire Warriors are good now so…”) or denial (“the codex is barely even out yet wait and see”).

            I know you’re not the cause of this and it’s not as though you have the power to wave a magic wand and make any unit you want good or bad (contrary to what many people seem to think), but especially in articles like this where you are essentially speaking as a representative of the GW playtesting group, people are going to regard your responses as being “official,” whether you like it or not.

          • Dakkath March 14, 2018 6:53 pm

            I wish I could +1/thumbs up posts on here for good content like AP’s right here.

  6. Zeev March 13, 2018 11:53 pm #

    I don’t know. I actually played a pretty infantry heavy tau army for alot of 7th. However it was based around kroot, broadsides, and (eventually) ghostkeels. Now that army is pretty bleh. So its going to take me a few hundred dollars and 4-5 months of converting and painting to get a ‘good’ list together. It might be fun…it might not, I am just wondering if it is worth the effort or if I should just wait for the next chapter approved to do the conversions and army build I wanted to do.

  7. Michael Corr March 14, 2018 2:42 am #

    Great right up Reece! Looking forward to seeing more Tau on the tables and doing well. It’s been so long since I’ve been able to complain about how OP Tau are, bring back the good old days! 😉

  8. Nick March 14, 2018 2:32 pm #

    For an infantry focused Tau army I’m surprised you’re not talking about stealth suits. Do you feel they just didn’t match the synergy of this list or do you just not see the good combos you’re seeing with the fire warriors? Also, same question with shadowsun?

  9. Don Tomaso March 14, 2018 9:31 pm #

    Its awesome to see that tau has been given more options then the usual commander spam.
    Seeing more firewarriors on the table for example would be a great change from the usual superheavy or riptide spam I´we seen so far here.

  10. Don Tomaso March 14, 2018 9:36 pm #


    Me not being overly well experienced with tau (not my army), what is your honest opinion about crisis suits now? Balanced? Fun? Broken? Underpowered?

    “Reece, let’s be brutally honest here: you’re a great guy and you’ve got a really sunny outlook on things, and that’s fantastic sometimes. But your optimistic viewpoint does you no favors when people (correctly) complain about a unit being lackluster and your only response is “well, I’m having fun with it so I don’t think there’s a problem.””

    Hehe, at least you GOT a reply rather then silence or cherripicking ridicule over having mentioned a very subpar unit never seen on the table:P

    • abusepuppy March 15, 2018 2:02 am #

      Honestly? I think they are mediocre, but not completely awful. Equipped with triple flamers they can lay down a ton of hurt (while ignoring their weak BS value), but only at very short ranges; the Positional Relay stratagem or Homing Beacon upgrade on Stealth suits is necessary to get them into position.

      Aside from that, they are a very lackluster choice- once their drone screen dies they are extremely easy to kill (as you’ll be spending 70-80pts on a model with T5/W3/3+) and don’t really shoot any better than many of the other battlesuits such as Broadsides, Riptides, etc. They can Manta Strike in, but Commanders are still more efficient there and can carry all the same guns. If you find yourself needing more than twelve Meltaguns in an army… well, bring some other heavy shooters, because Crisis just aren’t that good at it.

      • Ukelesh March 15, 2018 6:04 am #

        All of AP’s crisis suit comments are spot on. Most things I have to say would just be echoing his statements. Maybe my monat crisis suit can just be four vespids taped together.

  11. Zain March 15, 2018 12:54 am #

    A lot of people are currently complaining about how T’au are suddenly ‘wannabe-guard’, while I’m loving it.. Just finding it hard to balance the number of infantry together with suits and tanks.

    Currently running 6x 5 man squads with 2x 5 pathfinders, curious to see how that’s gonna work out 🙂 can’t wait for your 2nd one!

  12. Dr Zaius March 15, 2018 1:26 am #

    I have a question about the Cadre Fireblade: Does he give pulse weapons an extra shoot or an extra ranged attack? If he gives an extra shoot, according to the rulebook, pulse rifles will have two extra attacks at half range, so a fire warrior will fire 4 times.

    So, that’s the question 3 F5 attacks or 4 F5 attacks. The difference is huge

  13. IW March 15, 2018 12:53 pm #

    Just wanted to say I enjoyed the read. As a Tau player from when they were first released, I really like the fire warriors, pathfinders and kroot. They look to have some nice synergies going on with the new codex.

    The flack you are getting is a bit weird to me personally. Last I checked you are part of a business that carries GW products and promotes entertaining content related to that. Writing negative articles about a new release would seem a bit..counter productive? Unless it is blatantly bad for the game. I’m sure others will be given a platform on here to give their thoughts about the new Tau codex, such as abuse puppy, whose articles I look forward to!

    From the previews I like some stuff, dislike other bits (crisis suits, kroot shaper, vespids etc). I’m not going to hold an independent company or individual online accountable for that.

    Anyways looking forward to part two. Cheers for the content.

  14. Don Tomaso March 15, 2018 1:03 pm #

    “Honestly? I think they are mediocre, but not completely awful.”

    My “feeling” of them (as I said, I´m not a tau expert) is that the cost a bit to much but maybe their staying power issues stem from the problem of upped wounds really not being so good in an edition where rending multi W weapons come by the truckload?

  15. MoarDakka March 15, 2018 6:36 pm #

    Wow, T’au players reinforcing their earned reputation as the whiniest players in the 41st millennium in yet another addition. In b4 “GW is racist against the fictional race they created as proven by the game design decisions we disagree with”.

    The real shame is that GW never, ever adjusts points this edition. That’s the real shame.

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