Chapter Approved and Your Tau Army

Chapter Approved is here! Well, I mean, almost here. Almost ready to be prereleased here. Okay, Chapter Approved is somewhere. And that’s good news for Tau!

So for those who aren’t keeping pace with the rumors and reveals- and, admittedly, there is a lot to keep pace with right now- Chapter Approved has started to be spoiled by those with current access to it, both legitimately and illegitimately. So I figured it was probably time to go over things and give my very important hot take on the changes and what I think they’ll mean for the Tau players out there. For those of you who don’t play Tau you may find some interesting tidbits in here, but I’m not going to be talking about those changes- both because I am not as familiar with those armies and because other writers are already chomping at the bit to do so, so just wait your turn; there’s no lack of people with opinions on the internets.

Generally speaking, this year’s Chapter Approved took a very conservative approach to the changes it made compared to last year’s edition; very few units received significant increases to their points (which contrasts greatly with the doubling-and-more of prices we saw last year) and even price increases themselves were fairly few and far between. Most of the changes were price drops to less-used units, although not universally so- at times it is a bit baffling which units they decided to make cheaper, because it isn’t always the ones that have the biggest problems that got chosen. Still, in general the theme of this year seems to be smallish price drops across a wide variety of different units and wargear and I think it’s one that holds true for most of the factions that received changes, not just Tau- although Tau arguably got some of the most important changes.

There is also a lot of other stuff in Chapter Approved, of course, even just speaking within the context of matched play- there are new missions and new rules included as well. However, I’m not going to detail those here for a couple of reasons; for one, they aren’t really directly related to the Tau army as a whole, and two they likely won’t see much (if any) applicability to players in the ITC, as Frontline is going to continue to use their own custom missions in place of the rulebook ones and few tournaments on either side of the States use rulebook missions, anyways. I encourage players to check out some of the other articles and podcasts covering those changes, however, as they are interesting in their own right.

(Both Chapter Tactics and Signals from the Frontline have done reviews on it, hint hint.)

Unit Entries

One of the biggest winners of the points changes was the Broadside- although Broadsides were an okay unit before, they suffered from being relatively expensive for the firepower you got (stat them out compared them to a Commander, for example) and quite fragile when measured against units like the Riptide. Add in immobility and lack of the Fly keyword and… well, you didn’t have a great platform. But Broadsides saw several big improvements in Chapter Approved, not the least of which being a straight 25pt reduction in the cost of the basic chassis- which is not a trivial amount, given their previous cost of 125-150pts (depending on loadout.) They also benefited a lot from several of the other changes we’ll see below, not to mention shifts in the meta as a whole.

Shadowsun was another huge winner, seeing a 57pt drop in her price (though he drones stayed the same.) At barely two thirds of her pre-CA price, she is looking a lot more attractive these days if you want to trigger that double-Kauyon for rerolls across the army. As she pairs exceptionally well with units of Broadsides (who want to remain static anyways and really appreciate having someone to toss a Command/Control Node strat their way in order to get those invaluable rerolls to wound), there is a very good chance you can expect to see her making some appearances at tournaments in the near future. Farsight also got a significant point drop to the tune of 26pts, although obviously this is a much smaller margin. Still, That 6″ heroic intervention shouldn’t be underestimated, nor should the pile of power fist attacks that are hitting on 2s.  He probably won’t be making any appearances anytime soon due to the Farsight Enclaves trait being pretty crap, but he’s a dude to keep an eye on in the future.

Crisis Suits, as most people were hoping/expecting, saw a significant price break as well. Although 15pts isn’t as huge as it could have been, many of their weapon systems also came down in price, so realistically you’re seeing a typical Crisis unit dropping by anywhere from 50 to as much as 140pts for just a three-strong squad. Does this mean that Crisis are back in style again? Probably not, but you definitely will see some people trying them out and I think that some of the more talented players will be able to make them work. For my money, a unit with Flamers seems like a solid bet for supporting other units with overwatch, though there are other options worth exploring as well.

Lastly, Gun Drones went down 2pts to be the same price as the other two types of drones- a good change, I think, as at 12pts each they were simply outclassed completely by the basic Fire Warrior at almost everything. With them being better able to pull dual duty as a shield for your big suits as well as an anti-infantry platform, they’re much more likely to see some use rather than just seeing Shield and Marker Drones all the time. Also note that this changes the prices on a number of vehicles that have Gun Drones mounted to them.

Devilfish, Ghostkeels, Piranhas, and Skyrays also got price drops of 10-20pts; I don’t think it truly changes the viability of any of them, as they’re all mid-tier units that occasionally see use in more specialized lists, but the changes will certainly help add a bit of variety. Piranhas in particular I think you should keep an eye on, as they fill a very useful role in a Tau army while simultaneously bringing a few drones (to feed into your battlesuits) as well as a pair of Seeker Missiles, nothing to sneeze at.

Weapons and Wargear

Quite a large number of pieces of wargear also had their costs adjusted; most of them weren’t drastic changes, but they definitely are appreciated ones, as the cost of a single weapon or upgrade multiplied across half a dozen or more models in the army stacks up very quickly. The Advanced Targeting System on non-huge models (i.e. anything Broadside-sized or smaller) was one such piece; it went down 6pts, halving its cost from the codex. As ATS was already a prime choice on several units, this only cements its place in many cases- but it also opens up the possibility of using ATS with Crisis or Stealth Suits as well, although I’m not 100% sold on that idea yet.

Speaking of Crisis, many of the “basic” Tau weapons saw reductions in their costs. Most notable are Missile Pods, which went from an absurd 24pts down to a much more reasonable 15pts. Although it’s still not a cheap weapon, the excellent general-use profile will I think again make it a mainstay of a number of units- and just as importantly, will bring down the cost of some odd side units like the Sun Shark and Razorshark. Flamers went down 2pts to fall in line with general changes across all armies, and Fusion Blasters were cut by 3pts for the same reason- as both of these were acceptable weapons previously, they only become better now. Plasma Rifles also dropped 3pts so that they are the same price as a Burst Cannon now; the profile is still fairly unexciting, but at least now the gun is cheap enough to warrant some consideration. (I’ll point out that a Rail/Plasma/TLock Broadside now clocks in at less than 100pts total.) Crisis also saw their Irridium Armor upgrade go down by 5pts, so that is something of a no-brainer now. It also makes the XV8 Commander over the XV85 Commander an interesting choice; you pay 6pts and lose a wound, but gain a 2+ armor save that can really make a difference against some weapons.

Many unit-specific weapon options dropped as well. The High-Output Burst Cannon on the Coldstar Commander is now just the same price as two Burst Cannons (which is what it essentially was), and combined with the drop in price on the Missile Pod you may see people kitting them this way- though honestly I already thought that the Burst setup was pretty good. The Ghostkeel’s main weapons also both dropped by a small chunk of points, and combined with the chassis price drop looks to save you ~25pts with most setups you could possibly go with. The Razorshark’s main Ion weapon dropped by 15pts (as did the Ion on the Riptide), and Pathfinder’s Rail Rifles came down by 5pts- again, not likely to make the units competitive, but nice to see none the less.

But the real winners in the weapons department were the Pulse Driver Cannon on the Stormsurge (which is the long-range random shots version) and the Railgun on the Hammerhead. The former dropped by a whopping 47 points, and the latter by twenty-eight, both huge changes given the price of their chassis. This puts the Pulse Driver on par with the “shotgun” weapon that is the Stormsurge’s other choice, and hence I think a superior choice overall given the way the unit functions. The Railgun, meanwhile, is still numerically pretty inferior to the Ion Cannon when it comes to choosing Hammerhead weapons, but the price drop makes it more attractive as a budge option; a basic Hammerhead can come in as cheap as 126pts now.

The Scope of the Meta

All in all, Tau were pretty dang fortunate in that they got cost drops to a lot of decent-to-good units that in some cases I think will make them great units. But more than that, none of the Tau units saw any price increases nor did the faction as a whole see any significant nerfs in the past few months- and for an army that was already making some decent top-8 and even first-place finishes at GTs and Majors, that is a pretty nice thing to hear. So Tau players should be pretty happy in general about the way their faction panned out in this year’s Chapter Approved.

But beyond just that, there is a whole other angle to consider- that is, how other factions come out from the book. We obviously don’t know what the full impact of it (or of the new Vigilus campaign book and its pseudo-formations), but I think we can see some broad, sweeping strokes already from the information that has made its way out to the public as well as the shifts in the meta we’ve seen happening and will probably continue to happen over the next few months. I think Tau are actually in a surprisingly good position to be a top army as a result of these changes- that’s not trying to be a sugar-coated “every army and every unit is good and wonderful you just have to learn to love them for the special unique snowflakes that they are” opinion, either.

The last six months or so has been a Knight meta, one defined heavily by the presence of T8/3++ superheavy vehicles; I think many have seen the writing on the wall already, but for those who haven’t, I’m here to tell you that I think those days are at a close. Knights aren’t going away entirely, but I doubt they’re going to be a constant feature at the top tables anymore- not because they got any worse, but rather because there are some very strong new contenders that they simply don’t handle well. We’ve already started to see this with Orks taking top spots in some of the winter tournaments, even in just the short time since their release- Orks are undeniably powerful in all phases of the game, and Knights simply are not equipped to handle 120 or 150 bodies on the field that are supported by large numbers of powerful combat characters. But I think that it goes well beyond just Orks- we’ve seen a rise in horde-style lists from many factions (Chaos, Tyranids, even Tau itself) and for very good reasons: I think we’re entering the age of infantry, and we haven’t even seen what Genestealer Cults and Sisters of Battle will bring to the table.

So if we are entering a meta that is going to see lots and lots of infantry on tables, and very often close combat infantry at that, Tau are going to be riding high (at least to a degree.) Tau have some of the best anti-infantry weapons in the game at their disposal, and several of those weapons just got more efficient- Strike Teams, Riptides, Broadsides, and Gun Drones can all chew hordes to pieces in pretty short order, and when clustered up to support each other with overwatch they can spell absolute death for anything that decides to charge them- so long as you’re Tau Sept, of course. There are of course weaknesses to these units and strategies (not the least of which being all those stupid -1s to hit that some armies get), but that’s just part of a healthy meta- and something that you should be taking into account when writing up your lists. But in terms of their starting space, Tau are very well-equipped to handle a lot of what I think you’re going to see in the near future here.

It’s hard to say that the other factions in Chapter Approved made out as well. Space Marines (and their dozen variant codices) certainly made some gains and had some decent price drops in places, but from what I’ve seen so far none of those changes are things that are going to fundamentally shift the army by a lot- they still have all the same struggles as before, just with an extra ~100pts in their army list to take advantage of. AdMech gained a lot more and will probably be able to play as a pretty decent shooting army now, but nothing they do is fundamentally all that powerful and they tend to lose in a straight shooting match with armies such as Eldar or Tau. Necrons… yeah, sorry, Necrons. Craftworlds have some small ups and downs, but I think generally speaking they didn’t really change all that much- Ynnari are still amazing, Wave Serpents are still good, and a few less-seen units dropped in price enough that they may see the table again. (Also the Warp Hunter is probably good again, but that’s a subject for another article.) So while other armies have certainly gained from CA coming out, I don’t think any of the current top-level armies have gained anywhere near as much as Tau did- the various kinds of Aeldari basically broke even or took some small nerfs, as did Guard, and CSM took a decent hit with the bump in price to Cultists. And since the armies that did gain tended to be towards the bottom end of things, I think Tau climb up a bit in the absolute rankings as well as the relative ones.

Does this mean that you’re gonna start seeing people spam Tau like crazy at every tournament? No, certainly not; Tau are stronger, but I still would be very hesitant to call them the strongest army out there and as already mentioned they have some significant weaknesses to take advantage of. But you probably will see Tau lists climbing up higher in the rankings more often, and building to beat Tau will be a significant consideration for many armies out there- especially melee armies, who are going to struggle to overcome Tau overwatch.

Of course, all of this is ignoring the impact of Vigilus Defiant on the meta, and while I don’t think it will be as large as Chapter Approved, it won’t be trivial, either. SM players in particular have a number of things to look forward to there and we know that some of the other factions have detachments as well (though it remains to be seen exactly how strong they are- honestly, I’m not hugely impressed by the Craftworlds stuff, though it’s certainly far from horrible.) So there’s certainly still a number of factors to take into account as we approach the end of this ITC season and the Las Vegas Open,but I think generally speaking Tau gained quite a lot relative to most armies, and in fact the fundamental meta that we’re gonna see post-Chapter Approved won’t be all that shockingly different from the one we saw before. Many of the mid- and bottom-table armies got a lot better and may be able to perform more when built well or piloted by a good general, but since most of the point changes were to units that were either bad or subpar before, they don’t have nearly as much tournament relevance as last year’s version did.

Final Thoughts

I think there’s a lot to be happy about in Chapter Approved- although I may sound a bit pessimistic in places above, I think that generally speaking what GW did with it is pretty good. More gradual point changes are generally going to be better for the game, and while I’m a bit unhappy with where certain units and codices are at (most pointedly Ynnari and Knights, although Orks look like they might possibly be shaping up to be a contender as well) and there most certainly are still several books that are struggling and didn’t get as much help as they probably needed, the gaps in power level have been closed significantly compared to previous editions and previous eras of 8th edition.

Tau are probably one of the better examples in terms of what CA did for factions, and though there are a few units that probably should’ve gotten price drops but didn’t (Vespid???), generally speaking they made a lot of the right choices in dropping the cost of not just units but also specific options on units to make the “blatantly inferior” choices more appealing. Crisis Suits, one of the biggest points of contention for many players of the faction, are actually somewhere near good again, and most of the iconic units from the Tau Empire are now valid choices for a tournament army in one way or another. Tau players have very little to complain about at this point (aside from perhaps some of the conceptual parts of the faction that are possibly solvable with future releases), so if you’ve ever wanted to put some little fish-men down on the table and make pew pew noises, now is a pretty good time to do so.


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.)

53 Responses to “Chapter Approved and Your Tau Army”

  1. Avatar
    happy_inquisitor December 12, 2018 5:34 am #

    If the online community is any guide we should expect to see some of the Forge World T’au units appearing on tables. For the most part that just means some interesting models we have not seen much of (Hazard suits and Remora drones).

    The one that could disturb the meta is tha Ta’unar. That will play much like a Castellan list but with the bigger more powerful battlesuit it is even more extreme – yet with Macro weapons and Saviour Protocols it has a crushing advantage against the Imperial Knight competition. It is no slouch against hordes either – it has a very respectable amount of anti-infantry dakka to supplement the solid anti-infantry shooting that the supporting force will bring. It was a decent competitive choice in the Index era until a massive points hike, with the points reverted but it now having access to Stratagems and Sept traits I think it is only better.

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy December 12, 2018 7:45 am #

      The Tau’nar is still well over a thousand points and has no way to leave combat without penalties; it’s not really a playable option, at all, I don’t think. Not only is it twice as much as a Castellan, but it comes in a faction that has an innate weakness to melee to start with, and one that the Tau’nar only exacerbates.

      You will see people bring them, but I don’t think they’ll do well in basically any events.

      • Avatar
        happy_inquisitor December 12, 2018 10:26 am #

        Personally I think that T’au Sept overwatch and bubblewrap combined with its stompy feet to finish off the odd straggler that makes it into contact will be enough in most games. If they had not just changed the Fly keyword things might be different. I could of course be wrong 🙂

        We will wait to see, I am pretty sure a number of players will be getting them back out so results will speak for themselves.

        • Avatar
          abusepuppy December 12, 2018 7:46 pm #

          Its base is big enough that I think it’s gonna be way too easy to just touch a corner of it and lock it down. And yeah, it can shoot the unit it’s in combat with, but if you’re putting all your guns into some stupid Termagants, you ain’t getting 1200pts worth.

          Do kinda wish I’d gotten the Tri-Axis arms instead of Fusion now, though. Hmm. Might have to put in another order…

        • Avatar
          Ethan December 13, 2018 11:40 am #

          How has the fly keyword changed?

          • Avatar
            abusepuppy December 14, 2018 6:27 am

            Fly no longer applies in the Charge phase, so units can’t jump over your screening units to get to you. It’s a pretty big deal for Tau indirectly.

    • Avatar
      sultansean December 12, 2018 10:33 am #

      I played a game against the Taunar last night. The inability to leave combat really hampered it. I just consolidated vehicles into it so it only got to really shoot the first turn. I think in Apoc games where you have more points to properly screen it, it is a good choice, but at 2000 I just have to feed it one slightly tough unit a turn to stop it shooting.

    • Avatar
      Ethan December 13, 2018 11:11 am #

      Did Remoras get a 50-66% point drop in CA? If not then you ain’t gonna see them. My Remoras are some of my favourite models in my collection, but while they were a great harassing/utility unit in 7th, they are a smoldering garbage fire in 8th.

  2. Avatar
    CWDub December 12, 2018 5:51 am #

    yo reece wtf the deposit should have cleared your account in the caymans by now, why did you reneg on our deal?

    Solid article though Mr Puppy.

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy December 12, 2018 7:45 am #

      You’ve been double-crossed, my friend; that’s what happens when you mess with the 40K Illuminati.

  3. Avatar
    Charlie A. December 12, 2018 6:30 am #

    The changes T’au got are fantastic, but many other factions got great reductions as well. So while we, as T’au players, can fit in more stuff, so can nearly everyone else, so it’ll be interesting to see how all that shakes out.

    With so many reductions to not-infantry, it’s interesting that you see the future meta revolving around it. Broadsides, Riptides, Gun Drones, etc. are all very attractive choices now. Our Fire Warriors are still just as point efficient but with other things more efficient, they’re not as much of the clear winners that they were. I think all or mostly battlesuit lists will be seen and do well.

    Plasma is cheap, but I dislike what it brings to the table, at nearly any cost.

    The Razershark Fighter is super cheap for a flyer now, though it still doesn’t provide a whole lot. I’m not sure if it’s cheap enough to warrant, but cheap things are always worth looking into.

    I completely agree with Shadowsun. Surrounded by Broadsides, Riptides, and/or Stormsurges, I think she will be an autotake in the right list.

    Can you speak at all about some of the changes to special types of cover (i.e. being within 1″ of barricades providing cover for units that it previously did not) like hard and soft cover?

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy December 12, 2018 7:52 am #

      I think the reason I view Tau as coming out ahead compared to most of the other factions is that Tau were _already_ a strong faction and then got significant point reductions to several relevant units. It admittedly may just be my biases at work, but I think CA helps Tau perhaps more than any other faction (other than SoB, obviously.)

      When I talk about the infantry meta, I’m talking the meta as a whole- not just Tau, but all of the factions in the game. Many vehicles and other units certainly did get reductions, but if you look at the SM or CSM vehicles, they still simply don’t measure up, I don’t think. Tau lists will continue to see a mix of infantry and larger targets simply because without battlesuits or vehicles, Tau have no realistic ways to destroy enemy hard targets, but I think the game as a whole is going to skew more towards hordes than before. (Strike Teams are still really good, though, no argument there.)

      I think Plasma should’ve been changed to either S8 or Dmg2; either one would’ve given it a solid niche. The cost reduction doesn’t really solve the issue of it being inferior to other race’s versions, but it does at least make it something you can choose without hating yourself.

      I didn’t really talk about the Razorshark or Sun Shark, despite both of them seeing noticable price drops, because… well, they just aren’t relevant. Too fragile, not enough firepower, not unique enough. The Sun Shark does put out mortal wounds, which is nice, but overall the two of them are just lackluster units and a 10-30pt price drop didn’t really change that.

      I’m not entirely sure what you mean about cover. Speak about in terms of how it affects Tau? Honestly, it really doesn’t; larger Tau units (e.g. suits) are unlikely to get the 25% obscurement needed unless they are touching it and meeting the requirements as per the BRB, and enemies facing down Tau can easily be denied cover through a combination of stratagems, Markerlights, and innate weapon abilities.

  4. Avatar
    Draaen December 12, 2018 7:23 am #

    Really quite pleased with the points changes done in chapter approved in general. I like the raise up the weaker guys mentality rather then nerf the stronger guys. A lot of talk at my club is more about how players will be able to take units they wouldn’t before either due to a points drop or the storm shield points drop.

    The interesting thing to me though is that I really wanted this type of adjustment so I could have more broadsides, crisis suits and missile pods like I ran my tau list before 8e. I had to change up my army in 8th because of the points changes and now that I got the points changes to what I wanted before I don’t know I want to go back to that play style!

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy December 12, 2018 7:55 am #

      I really appreciate what Chapter Approved did and the way they went about it, even if I feel that the actual decisions made were mistaken in many cases. But taken as part of a series of steps in the right directions rather than as a solitary “this one book will fix the whole game” thing, I think it comes out looking fairly alright.

      I think lists benefit a lot more from diversity in 8E, all the more so with these points changes. Break out a unit or two of those old suits you were used to running, I think you may be pleasantly surprised. (Just don’t forget to buy them drones.)

  5. Avatar
    NinetyNineNo December 12, 2018 7:42 am #

    Okay, I hear what you’re saying, but in ky heart of hearts the takeaway is CRISIS ARE BACK ON THE MENU, BABY!

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy December 12, 2018 7:55 am #

      I mean, I’m not saying that I haven’t considered running a Crisis Bomb now, or two Y’varas and 9-12 Flamer Crisis.

  6. Avatar
    Sabrina December 12, 2018 8:20 am #

    I wish that our Tidewall trio had gotten updates, too. 🙂 I am happy for the other changes though.

    • Avatar
      Charlie A. December 12, 2018 9:31 am #

      That’s a good point. I’ve heard interviews with playtesters who claimed “we looked at every unit, every weapon when giving our feedback” but I find that highly suspicious. Either testers thought it was fine or GW did. Either way, someone is delusional.

      • Avatar
        abusepuppy December 12, 2018 10:11 am #

        But it’s like a Raider, only it moves 8″ less, doesn’t come with a gun, can’t move on its own, can’t fall back from combat, can’t get any upgrades, and takes an entire detachment to itself. What’s not to love?

  7. Avatar
    Hotsauceman1 December 12, 2018 10:16 am #

    I run ghostkeels quite often and fine them pretty decent so this reduction is pretty nice. The All fusion one has some benefits now, bit I still will prefer Ion+flamer.
    Broadsides are nice and it’s pretty cool too.

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy December 12, 2018 7:47 pm #

      Ion+Flamer does seem like it comes out quite well from this, yeah. I still don’t think it’ll be making it into my lists, but that has to do with a lot of different factors beyond just the strength of the unit.

  8. Avatar
    Tim December 12, 2018 12:12 pm #

    Railguns went down 8 points, not 28. Still doodoo, though

  9. Avatar
    Dakkath December 12, 2018 1:08 pm #

    Now I just have to decide on what weapons to equip my crisis squads with. Don’t really need burst cannons if you’re bringing blocks of drones alongside, flamers are iffy for getting into range with but really nice for autohits, plasma are still sadly lackluster, fusion I’ll probably be relegating to commanders/ghostkeels/stealths, missile pods down to 15 pts a pop are super nice but still 72 pts a model (or 63 for 2 missiles and an ATS).

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy December 12, 2018 10:28 pm #

      I think Flamers are my preferred loadout because of the way I am looking to use them. However, if you are running a 3 or 6 strong block that deep strikes in, I think that CIBs or Fusion could be a really good option- bring along a Commander (for CnC Node) and a bunch of Markerlights and you have a unit that drops in an hits on 2s rerolling, wounds on 3s rerolling and will basically vaporize anything in range of it.

      • Avatar
        Dakkath December 13, 2018 7:22 am #

        Any tips for said flamer-crisis? ATS or triple flamer? Unit size? Typical deployment and tactics?

        • Avatar
          abusepuppy December 13, 2018 4:24 pm #

          Triple flamer, no ATS; ATS is the same cost but lower efficiency against anything that has worse than a 2+ armor save (and that shouldn’t be an issue, since you can always pop Multispectrum Sensor if you target is in cover.) I would go with a basic 3-strong unit, since that keeps them cheap and 9d6 automatic hits will generally be enough to discourage most kinds of infantry from assaulting you.

          The tricky part is including them in an army; you’ll need a decent number of drones to soak wounds for them, because they’re still just as fragile as before, and they will similarly need to hug close to whatever units you want them protecting. I think having at least one units of Stealth Suits with a Homing Beacon would also be good, to give you a bit of flexibility in use (though that isn’t mandatory.) But pairing them up with some longer-ranged shooting units that the enemy is guaranteed to have to come over and deal with (Riptides, Strike Teams, Hammerheads, etc) is probably your best bet.

          • Avatar
            BK December 14, 2018 1:15 am

            Interesting, thanks for the article and ideas. Would you say crisis suits with flamers can act as a screening unit and if so how do they compare to stealth suits in the same role?

            I think you now take the iridium suit to help soak some standard low ap shooting.

          • Avatar
            abusepuppy December 14, 2018 6:31 am

            Oh yeah, every Crisis unit takes Iridium now; that goes without saying (though I probably should’ve said it.)

            Crisis aren’t exactly a ‘screening’ unit, because they don’t _actually_ hold anything back from you, nor do they easily block out deep strikers and other reserves. They don’t fill the same job that Stealth Suits do, and I don’t think it’s good to try. But I think they can make a solid little charge-deterrent with Flamers, and some of the other weapon setups have some potential as well- all missiles might be an alternative to Broadsides if you’re seeing a really melee-heavy meta, and CIB or Fusion versions make a great “suicide kill” unit for big targets.

            I’m also experimenting with double-Y’varha triple-Crisis as a build that pushes in aggressively really hard, although my expectation is going to be that it isn’t good enough.

          • Avatar
            Dakkath December 14, 2018 11:05 pm

            Ok, so if I have my math right 3 crisis suits with irridium and triple flamer comes to 55 each, 165 for the unit. 9 wounds, t5, 2+, m8, fly, and 9d6 flamer hits. Add in 4-6 shield(?) drones either tagalong or as a separate slot and keep em close to a big suit.

          • Avatar
            BK December 15, 2018 10:13 am

            Thanks, just spit-balling ideas. New world and all that! I’m considering an aggressive build with flamer crisis suits, ghostkeels and stealth suits.

          • Avatar
            abusepuppy December 15, 2018 11:46 pm

            Only one Crisis suit per unit can take Iridium Armor, but otherwise yeah.

  10. Avatar
    Pyrothem December 12, 2018 3:31 pm #

    “Necrons… yeah, sorry, Necrons.”

    Thanks for the condolences abusepuppy. 😛

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy December 12, 2018 10:25 pm #

      I’m sorry, mang, I got 3500pts of Necrons languishing in a box myself. Robits just can’t catch a break.

  11. Avatar
    Weidekuh December 12, 2018 9:20 pm #

    My nephew (11) is slowly starting a Tau army. He’s really concerned about what is strong and weak (he’s still young ;)). What I like the most about the changes is that now I can really tell him to buy what he likes and not “you could get that, but your father will just stomp you.” (His father plays too, but a total army knowledge noob.)

    I think the biggest gain of those changes are inner codex balance. At least just below high comp lists.
    Actually very similar to Craftworlds,which I play. So I’m really happy with CA so far.

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 12, 2018 9:50 pm #

      That is a great story and EXACTLY the point. To make more units viable. To make more lists viable. A lot of people miss that and then get upset because they only see things through the lens of their army and their experience. The game is far more than that.

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        abusepuppy December 12, 2018 10:24 pm #

        I do like that aspect of things a lot, and I feel that for some factions this is pretty true- there are, what, maybe five units in the Tau codex at this point that I would say are bad enough that people shouldn’t use them? And there are several other books (Craftworlds, Drukhari, Orks) that can say the same or in some cases boast even fewer “flawed” units. That’s good for the game and good for GW’s sales.

        That said, I wish they would do this for all the factions- and while CA helped, it didn’t help everyone out sufficiently. GW has done some great work here, but there’s still a ways to go.

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          Charlie A. December 13, 2018 5:02 am #

          Lemme guess: all three Tide wall parts, the Razershark fighter, and Aun’shi?

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            abusepuppy December 13, 2018 5:47 am

            I would say the Krootox rather than Razorshark, but yes. There’s nothing a Krootox does that a Crisis doesn’t do better.

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            Charlie A. December 13, 2018 6:31 am

            I actually completely forgot about the Krootox when I tried to make that list, or I would have included it….Completely agree.

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            Dakkath December 13, 2018 12:12 pm

            You forgot the kroot shaper, too.

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            abusepuppy December 13, 2018 4:19 pm

            Kroot Shaper at least has the character keyword and two good abilities that interact with Kroot in meaningful ways; the Krootox has nothing going for it at all.

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            Dakkath December 13, 2018 8:44 pm

            The shaper is also never going to trigger its ability unless it somehow assaults a lone guardsman, and its leadership buff is surpassed by the ethereals you’re probably already taking anyway.

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            abusepuppy December 14, 2018 6:33 am

            Well, I mean, if you’re fighting some Orks or Cultists or whatever he very well might pop it off, but yeah, that part is pretty mediocre. But a reroll to wound aura is actually not terrible, it’s just that Kroot are never gonna be around long enough to take proper advantage of it in most games. But in a vacuum, the Shaper is actually fine- and he’s cheap as chips, so I don’t think he’s costed wrong.

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    BK December 13, 2018 1:16 am #

    Flamer crisis suits interest me. Delivery method is the question but I like their numbers and units with fly.

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    Dr Zaius December 13, 2018 2:15 am #

    Many thanks for the info and the review. Any good news about The Eight?

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      Charlie A. December 13, 2018 11:25 am #

      Not for Matched play 😀

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        happy_inquisitor December 13, 2018 11:53 pm #

        They do have rules for matched play. With the new CA missions I would say they epitomise the semi-competitive list.

        With ITC missions just don’t. Not ever.

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          Charlie A. December 14, 2018 6:20 am #

          They have rules for matched play but that doesn’t mean you should use them in matched play. Inferior loadouts, 3CP to run them, etc. make them unsuited to compete against other strong or even just decent lists. Especially so with ITC missions, but I think in general.

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      happy_inquisitor December 13, 2018 11:39 am #

      The Eight exist. They are more playable than they were in 7th but that is not saying much.

      You could probably have a ton of fun with them on the middle tables of a tournament but if failing to win the trophy will make you sad then they are not the unit for you. Also do not use in ITC missions unless you love the bottom tables, they bleed kill points like crazy due to small drone units.

      The weapon loads are exactly the same as before so you get a bunch of characters about half of who have really weird and ineffective weapons options.There is a points discount so at least you do not pay in full for all those weird options that nobody would ever pick.

      While you get a bucketload of signature systems/special rules you are considered to have used your free sig system AND pay 3 CP on top. So you start out with -3CP for the detachment. You do get far more than 3 Signature System equivalents for that and plenty of them are good but it is still a steep investment.

      Single best thing in it is a broadside with Character keyword, old-style relentless and with his own personal equivalent of the serpent shield defence. That broadside does not want to die!

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        Kevin Lantz December 14, 2018 3:21 am #

        Everything tau has bleeds kill points if you’re playing it remotely competitively unless it’s a handful of large units. Kill points net at most 4pts in most ITC missions, and you shouldn’t let it worry you. The kill more bonus point? sure they can have it first turn or two, then you can catch up or reduce it after that…

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          abusepuppy December 14, 2018 6:35 am #

          Yeah, my Tau lists typically give up Kill More on turns 1-2, but after that I generally have killed so much of the enemy’s firepower (while they were plinking away at drones and Strike Teams) that they struggle to hold par with me for the rest of the game. It might be a problem if you were playing rulebook missions, but not an issue in ITC/NOVA/Renegade.

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          happy_inquisitor December 15, 2018 4:31 am #

          If it was only a 3-4 point handicap for the kill points that might be survivable but the secondaries are a nightmare.

          O’Vesa gives up kingslayer points.
          Headhunter is a gimme with all those characters who need to be out there getting work done with short range or CC weapons
          Butchers Bill is easy peasy when there are all those 2-wound units to plink off whenever you want
          Marked for death, each of the Eight has PL 7 so another gimme for killing the exact same models as you were already earning VP for killing.

          Your opponent is just harvesting VP for doing stuff they wanted to do anyway and is mostly easy to do. If they kill drones everything else falls into place easily – and they get a huge VP reward for just killing the drones anyway.

          I do not think you can afford to hand your opponent a significant head-start in the primary while handing them all those relatively easy secondaries. Where are you ever winning the game if you are at a disadvantage in both the primary and the secondaries?

          In the new CA missions I think the Eight are casually competitive – not the absolute best thing you could bring but not so awful that you will lose all your games. In the ITC missions I think you would have to expect to lose nearly all your games.

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            Kevin Lantz December 15, 2018 5:52 pm

            You’re not taking the eight in a competitive list, not an issue… so ignore any argument you make based off that.

            Characters are still very protected if you’re not losing already…. so your head hunter thing is silly.

            No one is talking “competitive” and “the eight” in the same sentence.

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