T’au Codex Review – HQ: Aun’Va, Master of the Undying Spirit

Charlie here from 40kDiceRolls, back again to discuss the leader of the ruling T’au class, Aun’Va. As always, for more tactics articles, check out the Tactics Corner!

 

This article has been updated since its initial publication to reflect Chapter Approved 2018 changes.

The supreme leader of all of the T’au, most respected and honored of all Ethereals, Aun’Va inspires hope and excellence across the entire T’au empire. Despite any number of small technicalities (for instance, the fact that he was murdered some time ago by an Imperial assassin during the war for Mu’Gulath Bay), Aun’va and his Honor Guard can be found on T’au battlefields supporting, leading, and enabling T’au soldiers to fight for the Greater Good all across their sector.

Aun’Va

M WS BS S T W A Ld Sv
6″ 6+ 4+ 2 3 6 1 9 5+

Ethereal Guard

M WS BS S T W A Ld Sv
6″ 3+ 3+ 3 3 2 3 9 5+

Wargear

The Aun’Va model itself does not have any weapons while his Guard each have an Honor Blade (Melee S[+2] AP0 D1).

Special Rules

These rules apply to the entire unit, Aun’Va and his Guard.

  • Failure is Not an Option
    • Allows T’au Empire units within 6″ of the Ethereal to use the Ethereal’s leadership (Ld9) instead of their own.
  • Paradox of Duality
    • When attacked during the shooting phase, this unit may add rather than subtract the AP of the attack to its Sv characteristic – for example, an AP-2 attack would provide a +2 bonus to its saves)
  • Supreme Loyalty
    • While Aun’Va is on the battlefield, you can reroll Morale tests for all friendly <T’au Empire>
  • Grand Invocation of the Elements, just like a regular Ethereal’s Invocation of the Elements ability, but Aun’Va can invoke two each turn as opposed to one.
    • Calm of Tides
      • Subtract 1 from any morale tests made for affected units
    • Storm of Fire
      • Reroll hit rolls of 1 in the Shooting phase for affected units that remain stationary in the Movement phase
    • Sense of Stone
      • Whenever a model in an affected unit loses a wound, roll a D6; on a 6, that model does not lose that wound
    • Zephyr’s Grace
      • You can reroll the dice for affected units when they advance

The Aun’Va unit is a unique unit, of which only one can be included in your army.

Tactics

Due to the fact that Aun’Va is the supreme leader of all the T’au and the T’au sept is where it all began, his unit is locked to that sept. The whole unit is <Infantry> so while they have a larger footprint than the typical 25mm T’au <Infantry> models, it’s still relatively easy to ensure they receive a cover save. That, along with Aun’Va being a <Character> results in a protectable HQ choice that deserves consideration for your Warlord. To that point, Aun’Va’s Warlord Trait is Through Unity Devastation, which is one of the more popular choices for Warlord Traits anyway, due to the fact that it can give units within 6″ of the Aun’Va model an additional point of AP during the Shooting phase on To-Wound rolls of 6+ against a single designated target. This pairs well with mass shots (Strike Teams with Cadre Fireblades, I’m looking at you).

Continuing in that vein, Aun’Va complements mass-<Infantry> and mass-model lists quite well due to a number of factors: Through Unity Devastation, Supreme Loyalty, Failure is Not an Option, and Grand Invocation of the Elements. With Aun’Va, you can buff hoards of surrounding Strike Teams (and Cadre Fireblades, which should be considered joined at the hip at this point) with Ld9, rerolling morale tests (don’t forget a morale test of 6 always passes for Strike Teams), potential AP-1, and most probably a 6+++ with rerolling 1’s To-Hit if the Strike Teams remain still. That all results in a durability and strength mass-<Infantry>/model lists love. Want to not worry about taking units of 12-model Strike Teams? Aun’Va. Want to take bigger units of drones, who normally only have Ld6? Aun’Va either next to them or even way across the board in order to reroll morale rolls. Want to take large units of <Kroot> to screen units? Aun’Va. You get my point.

Are mass-<Infantry>/model T’au lists even good though? Absolutely, yes. T’au are very potent with running mass <Infantry> lists now due to the point decrease that both Strike Teams and Kroot saw in the T’au Codex. T’au can almost out-“Guard” a Guard player at this point with access to fantastic Troop choices. It’s not hard to fill out a Brigade with solid choices, for instance:

Brigade (12CP) T’au sept

This comes out to about 100 models, which is a lot to chew through. Many of those models can get up to a Sv3+ in cover with a 6+++ on top of that (including both of those Riptides). You’ve got over 100 S5 shots from the Strike Teams alone while at half range, which is astounding considering they’re 7 points per model. You’ll have, on average, 1/6th of those 100+ shots (~20) be AP-1. Furthermore, one of those Strike teams will have To-Wound +1 from Darkstrider. Screening against turn 1 charges is possible thanks to the Kroot. It’s also only around 1700 points so there’s room to add, with of course room and opportunities to make substitutions to the above. A list like the above is the exact type of list that Aun’Va excels in. If you wanted to, you could even skew things further towards the Strike Teams and take much more than 36 – if you have more, you can put them to work guilt-free. Since everything can wound everything in 8th edition, and the T’au sept has so many ways of buffing To-Hit rolls and a few ways of buffing To-Wound rolls, the argument could be made to run 60+ Strike Team models, buffed by Aun’Va and the many other synergistic T’au characters.

Counters

Aun’Va really poses no threat of his own. He is your classic example of a support character. For that reason, if you can kill what he’s buffing, you can negate his influence. Easier said than done since he will typically be surrounded by numerous Strike Teams, Riptides, Shield Drones, etc., which he will be giving a majority of a 6+++ or are naturally difficult to deal with (Riptide has a Sv2+ and Savior Protocols, while Shield Drones have a 4++/5+++). Just like regular ethereals, Aun’Va’s Invocations don’t come into play until his first turn, so by seizing the first turn (somewhat likely against a list that runs Aun’Va due to the mass number of drops that the list could have), you could take advantage of the fact that none of the surrounding units would be buffed yet.

You can try and take him out directly, but this is definitely not easy except by all but the most-dedicated character assassins. He’s protected by the <Character> keyword and even if you can target him via shooting with something like snipers, he can always allocate the wounds to his unit onto his bodyguards (two wounds each) first, before himself. Should you carefully position your shooting units (deep striking Scions with Plasma Rifles for example) or take advantage of poor T’au positioning, the Paradox of Duality rule means that any shooting weapons with high AP will actually help Aun’Va’s unit make the save, rather than increase the chance of a failed Save roll. For that reason, if you do try and take him out directly, killing him in the Fight phase is your best best. However, he is T’au sept, so anything within 6″ of him with the For the Greater Good rule will be able to fire Overwatch and hit on 5’s, should you try and charge Aun’Va directly. Overall, Aun’Va is not an easy egg to crack directly due to his direct and indirect durability.

A note on the Vindicare Assasin. If you haven’t read its “Codex” review yet, you should. With typically lots of characters in a T’au list, and the fact that Imperial lists can tailor the assassin they bring to the army they face, expect to face Vindicare’s in the future. In general, this means that T’au will have a rough time handling its presence, though Aun’Va is somewhat of an exception to this. Because you can allocate wounds to the bodyguards first, your Imperial opponent will have a harder time removing the Aun’Va unit from the table. Your regular Ethereals, Cadre Fire Blades, Darkstrider, etc. will still need to be hidden behind line-of-sight blocking terrain. Heck, you should try to hide Aun’Va too if possible, but should view it more of a strong suggestion rather than a requirement.

Summary

Whether or not Aun’Va is actually still alive is not relevant to the fact that he will bring a lot of synergy and buffs to your table, all at under 100 points. This point cost didn’t change in CA2018 so he did not get any more attractive as a choice while other units did either by direct reductions or by reductions to their wargear. He’s an acceptable choice for a Warlord though due to his inherent resiliency and his in-game rules decently match his fluff. Aun’Va promotes and supports one of the strongest builds, in my opinion, that T’au has at the moment, mass Strike Teams, but even when you’re running less than 60 Fire Warriors, you will still find value in his dual Invocations, Leadership buff, and ability to reroll morale results.

Do you use Aun’Va to lead your T’au sept forces?

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

secondhandhsop

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About Charlie A.

Mathhammer is best hammer. Follow Charlie on twitter @40kDiceRolls for mathhamer, painting pictures, and a generally good time.

34 Responses to “T’au Codex Review – HQ: Aun’Va, Master of the Undying Spirit”

  1. Avatar
    Kevin Lantz July 22, 2018 2:17 am #

    Not sure I’d ever write “to counter this, exploit your opponents poor positioning” it’s an assumption that’s predicated your opponent is making huge mistakes. Likewise the Character protection is nice, and thus the paradox of duality is a non-issue. (if you’re exploiting poor position with plasma scions, he’s now rolling a 2+ save)

    His ability to re-roll morale is of course very clutch, but at 95pts, the better bet is to just roll with two ethereals and spread the auras out (in particular if you’re troop heavy, you’re going to have a hard time making sure the aura affects everyone) This is why he’s, for most people, a pretty hard pass. For 5pts more you can take two ethereals on hover drones.. So now you can fly and move 8… which tactically is incredibly more flexible.

    Aunva is great, but unless he gets a price decrease, an increase in range, or some sort of buff… you’re almost always better off with two ethereals unless re-rolling morale is somehow more heavily weighted for you than saving a CP for later… After all most units auto pass on a 6, and your squads shouldn’t be large enough to care about small casualties.

    • Avatar
      Charlie A. July 22, 2018 1:21 pm #

      You’d be surprised by how often there’s a play to take advantage of poor positioning if you’re looking for it. Not something to count on, but something to always look for. I think he’s great for his current points in the right circumstances (loads of high model infantry units like Strike Teams, screening Kroot, and defending Shield Drones), but most of the time a single Ethereal will probably suffice in other cases.

  2. Avatar
    happy_inquisitor July 22, 2018 4:08 am #

    In index Tau Aun’va was hardly an auto-take but was a reasonable choice. The codex points increase just hurts too much for a model that is really not that great and was more a nice piece of flavour.

    Two elemental invocations seem nice but most of the time Sense of Stone is the only one you want. You do get table-wide re-rolls on morale but if you are that concerned you are almost always better off taking a couple of Sa’cea ethereals and having most of your army on Ld 10 anyway. And this is the real clincher – you are nearly always better off taking two Ethereals who can cover more of the table than just taking Aun’va.

    Not a terrible choice by any means but probably overcosted by comparison with the really obvious alternative choice of the generic Ethereal.

    • Avatar
      Charlie A. July 22, 2018 1:19 pm #

      I see your and Kevin’s point, but not sure I agree. Two ethereal’s do cover more board space, but those unit’s their buffing with invocations won’t be benefitted by both buffs unless they’re clumped up enough such that Aun’Va would be able to reach them practically anyway. I agree that Sense of Stone is probably the popular choice and if that’s all you need, just stick with one Ethereal.

      If you’re taking two Ethereals for the double invocations, that’s another HQ slot that’s not a CFB or Commander. With Outrider, etc. detachments only allowing 2 HQ, this can become a factor unless you’re only taking Battalions and Brigades.

      • Avatar
        happy_inquisitor July 22, 2018 2:03 pm #

        Having two Ethereals gives you the option to double up on elemental invocations or to do what is usually better which is spread out over more of the table with the aid of the strongest of those invocations. Sadly Aun’va costs more points for less flexibility. When he cost less than the two regular Ethereals there was a decent case to be made for him, now it is very hard.

        If I were ever short of HQ slots then that might be a factor but that would also mean i was building a list with few troops – in which case I would most likely not be taking any sort of Ethereal. Any Ethereal does their best work with maximum boots (hooves?) on the ground and with the way the detachments work that means there will be a lot of HQ slots to fill.

        • Avatar
          Charlie A. July 23, 2018 4:21 am #

          If you’re taking that many troops (which I agree is a good idea) then taking larger units would be helped by the ability to reroll morale, If you want any shot at the bonus to first turn, then larger units versus MSU is something to consider and Aun’Va helps in that regard. Plus he’s incredibly hard to remove when compared to a regular Ethereal and makes a much better Warlord because of it.

          • Avatar
            Kevin Lantz July 23, 2018 4:30 am
            #

            He’s harder to remove if you can shoot at him to begin with… And if there are no drones near him…

            Tau players as a whole need to not worry about the +1 to going first, likewise first blood and death by thousand cuts with how their army works out.

            Compared to a regular ethereal he is marginally harder to remove, ie most require sniper type squads to deal with, and most sniper style squads will be only slightly less effective vs aunva than a regular ethereal (many are only -1 ap and then mortal on a 6 to wound which neither have an advantage against mortals.) And again, any survivability issue is dealt with by drones.

          • Avatar
            Charlie A. July 23, 2018 5:12 am
            #

            You’re forgetting that he can also just kill off his bodyguards first too. That, plus shield drones, plus the character rule make him very resilient. Vet Sniper squads will occasionally get mortal wounds, which a regular Ethereal has no normal way of dealing with, but Aun’Va does.

            Aun’Va is not the end-all be-all. I think he’s a good choice in certain lists.

          • Avatar
            abusepuppy July 24, 2018 3:51 am
            #

            If we’re talking about resiliency against snipers, the basic Ethereal _easily_ wins out over Aun’va. An Ethereal can hide behind terrain or models (e.g. Devilfish) quite easily, whereas Aun’va cannot- and there are no snipers that can shoot units out of LOS.

            Beyond even that, two Ethereals have pretty much the same resilience as Aun’va+bodyguards, so he doesn’t even have any real advantage there.

            (Also, almost no sniper weapons actually have any AP natively; I believe that the Eldar named character is the only one.)

          • Avatar
            NinetyNineNo July 24, 2018 8:51 am
            #

            Also AdMech Arquebuses, not counting stratagem-based sniping.

      • Avatar
        abusepuppy July 22, 2018 9:38 pm #

        Think about it this way, though:

        Two Ethereals can stand right next to each other and call for two different Invocations, which will grant the exact same bonus as Aun’va gives. Or they can split up and cover more board space with their auras, which is something Aun’va _cannot_ do. In terms of their Invocations, they are strictly better than Aun’va, no argument to be made.

        Tau should never have a problem of too many HQs to fit into their detachments, since they are strongly incentivized to bring the full alotment of three detachments anyways and their cheap troops (and strong stratagems) mean that you probably want at least one, and more likely two or more, of those detachments to be battalions.

    • Avatar
      AnonAmbientLight July 23, 2018 8:33 pm #

      > In index Tau Aun’va was hardly an auto-take but was a reasonable choice. The codex points increase just hurts too much for a model that is really not that great and was more a nice piece of flavour.

      He had to have a point increase because he was strictly better (cost wise) than two ethereals. As in, if you were taking two ethereals, you should instead take Aun’va since he gives more for the same or slight higher cost.

      > You do get table-wide re-rolls on morale but if you are that concerned you are almost always better off taking a couple of Sa’cea ethereals and having most of your army on Ld 10 anyway.

      But that requires you to take a Sa’cea detachment…

      > And this is the real clincher – you are nearly always better off taking two Ethereals who can cover more of the table than just taking Aun’va.

      Depends on the list, which is the point of Aun’va. He caters to an army list that maximizes squad sizes who will castle at a particular side of the board.

      Similar to how Longstrong isn’t the best choice if you decide not to take any extra hammerheads. Some characters are designed with particular design goals in mind, and that’s OK.

      No one is saying that Aun’va is the best thing since slice bread, but like with everything in the T’au codex (and most books in general), certain units have their place.

      • Avatar
        abusepuppy July 23, 2018 9:45 pm #

        >He had to have a point increase because he was strictly better (cost wise) than two ethereals. As in, if you were taking two ethereals

        Except that he wasn’t, because two Ethereals could cover a larger area with their auras if that was what you wanted. Also, Ethereals themselves were not (and still are not) a particularly exceptional choice from the book, so even if he _was_ strictly better than them, that would still not be a good argument for increasing his price.

        >But that requires you to take a Sa’cea detachment…

        And Aun’va requires you take a Tau detachment. They mirror each other in that regard,

        >He caters to an army list that maximizes squad sizes who will castle at a particular side of the board

        But that army is bad and has never been good. I have literally never seen Aun’va on the table, in this or any other edition, so the price bump on him seems like an absolutely bizarre choice, especially given that Index Tau were pretty mediocre even with their “best” builds.

        • Avatar
          Charlie A. July 24, 2018 1:33 pm #

          > Except that he wasn’t, because two Ethereals could cover a larger area with their auras if that was what you wanted. Also, Ethereals themselves were not (and still are not) a particularly exceptional choice from the book, so even if he _was_ strictly better than them, that would still not be a good argument for increasing his price.

          T’au is an army that rewards grouping up units together near one another. How often do you have units spread out that you’re needed an ethereal’s buff? Personally, I’ve not found this to be a common problem.

          > But that army is bad and has never been good. I have literally never seen Aun’va on the table, in this or any other edition, so the price bump on him seems like an absolutely bizarre choice, especially given that Index Tau were pretty mediocre even with their “best” builds.

          You know as well as I do that the logic of “well if I’ve not seen it, it must not be good” is bad. Having 60 Tau firewarriors in a corner of the table, all having at least one model within 6″ of Aun’Va is not bad in the slightest and capitalizes on one of T’aus best units – Fire Warriors. That provides a solid backbone to build the rest of your army around and would be a case where Aun’Va would be decent.

          • Avatar
            abusepuppy July 24, 2018 2:05 pm
            #

            >How often do you have units spread out that you’re needed an ethereal’s buff?

            Very often, actually. In ITC missions it is very important to be able to hold multiple objectives, which means spreading your army out. I actually almost always run multiple Cadre Fireblades for exactly this reason, because one simply doesn’t cover enough space to get to all of my Strike Teams, and the same goes for Ethereals.

            >You know as well as I do that the logic of “well if I’ve not seen it, it must not be good” is bad

            It’s not just “I haven’t seen that army in my area,” it’s “I have literally never seen that army in any top 8 anywhere even scouring BCP for lists.” Aun’va is bad, and it’s pretty bizarre that you seem to be fighting that conclusion so hard.

            >Having 60 Tau firewarriors in a corner of the table, all having at least one model within 6″ of Aun’Va is not bad in the slightest

            It actually is. This is often how Tau players lose games- they castle up in one corner to be “invincible,” but the opponent just spreads to the rest of the board and holds more objectives while also killing more units (because Tau units are usually fairly fragile.) You’re down on points every turn of the game and then you lose, with most of your castle still intact.

            I’m sorry, dude, it’s a bad army and a bad plan.

          • Avatar
            Charlie A. July 25, 2018 4:18 am
            #

            > I’m sorry, dude, it’s a bad army and a bad plan.

            60 Strike Team and Aun’Va is just over 500 points, that leave plenty of other points to be spread out across the board, forward Stealth Suits, Tiger Sharks, Riptides, etc. You’re not limiting yourself to putting all your units in our corner of the board.

          • Avatar
            abusepuppy July 25, 2018 1:23 pm
            #

            Yes but 60 Strike Team guys and two Ethereals is _also_ 500pts and is superior for all the reasons that people have already described at length in this thread. There’s no reason to take 5×12 when you could instead take 6×9, which doesn’t necessitate Aun’va at all and gets you two battalions rather than one.

            We’re not arguing about whether Tau troops are good and cheap- they are, and every Tau player should know that already. The discussion is about the utility of Aun’va, and I still don’t feel like you’ve made any kind of significant argument as to why he is better than two regular Ethereals.

          • Avatar
            Charlie A. July 26, 2018 7:58 am
            #

            He’s 1 drop compared to 2 and any time you want to take a lot of large infantry units, I think he’s worth considering. I think T’au stands a chance at being quite strong at running a 2k list with a ton of that being infantry. Not just 12 man strike teams, but throw in large units of Kroot too. 100+ models is a lot to chew through and I think it’s an idea worth exploring. Not everyone plays ITC missions where the obvious drawbacks to these decisions would be punishing.

            Is Aun’Va always the right choice? Of course not. Is he worth considering in a few select situations? I think so. The point of these articles, I feel, is not to make a blanket statement about the unit, but to really try and think through every possible scenario where they might have merit.

        • Avatar
          AnonAmbientLight July 26, 2018 4:12 pm #

          >Except that he wasn’t, because two Ethereals could cover a larger area with their auras if that was what you wanted.

          But that’s not what I said. I said:

          “He had to have a point increase because he was strictly better (cost wise) than two ethereals. As in, if you were taking two ethereals, you should instead take Aun’va since he gives more for the same or slight higher cost.”

          Index T’au

          Aun’va 75pts

          Ethereal 45pts.

          It was a no brainer. You took two ethereal? Save yourself 15pts and get Aun’va PLUS extra benefits.

          Also that’s an example of Cherry Picking to disprove a point. “Aun’va doesn’t work IN THIS particular case, therefore your point is invalid.”

          You should know by now that units are not priced based on one aspect of the game, but on multiple variables and possible combinations. It makes total sense for Aun’va’s price to go up based on what he does.

          > And Aun’va requires you take a Tau detachment. They mirror each other in that regard,

          That doesn’t make sense to the point I was making. The guy was saying that if you want a higher leadership, just take Sac’ea. That’s not the point, is it? The point was if you happen to be taking T’au, Aun’va gives you the benefit of high leadership as well as rerolls (twice the chance to roll a 6!) WITHOUT having to go into Sac’ea.

          That’s the point!

          > But that army is bad and has never been good.

          I’d like to see what your standard list looks like for a game. It’s also kind of silly to say that’s the only way to ever build a list ever.

          Notice I’ve said specifically,

          **********Similar to how Longstrong isn’t the best choice if you decide not to take any extra hammerheads. Some characters are designed with particular design goals in mind, and that’s OK.*********

          > I have literally never seen Aun’va on the table, in this or any other edition, so the price bump on him seems like an absolutely bizarre choice

          As explained previously, he did the same as two ethereals plus some so his price went up to make up for that.

          • Avatar
            abusepuppy July 26, 2018 7:34 pm
            #

            > since he gives more for the same or slight higher cost

            He doesn’t give more, or even the same, though. That is my point, and it’s the thing you are missing when you call him “superior.” It’s not a no-brainer because there are many, many situations where he is significantly worse than two Ethereals, even at his Index point cost.

            >Also that’s an example of Cherry Picking to disprove a point.

            It’s not cherry-picking if the situation is extremely common. And needing to have units on more than one 6″ radius section of the table is, in fact, extremely common.

            >The point was if you happen to be taking T’au, Aun’va gives you the benefit of high leadership as well as rerolls (twice the chance to roll a 6!) WITHOUT having to go into Sac’ea.

            But that point is nonsensical. You could just as easily argue “if you wanted the benefit of high leadership you could take two Ethereals WITHOUT having to go Tau” because neither of those two Septs is inherently advantaged over the other. Also, I’m not really sure why “not having to go Sa’cea” is in any way a good thing, since Tau armies very much want to be taking three detachments and very much want to bring at least one Sa’cea detachment in order to gain access to their stratagem.

            >t’s also kind of silly to say that’s the only way to ever build a list ever.

            It’s not, and I fully admit that. There are tons of reasons to play this game and tons of different goals for how to build a list, and none of them are any more valid than any other. If you don’t care about the strength of your army because you’re not at all interested in competitive play, that’s fine.

            But the discussion we were having _was about how strong the unit was_. That was the very basis of the discussion and the arguments/examples that followed. If you’re part of that discussion, you can’t just stand up halfway through it and move the goalposts by saying “yeah but maybe someone just wants to include fun units in their army” because you are violating the fundamental tenants of what is being discussed. In a broader context- yes, you are right, people can run any unit they want, but in the context of a debate about the power level of a unit, that statement is wholly irrelevant even though it is true.

          • Avatar
            Charlie A. July 27, 2018 4:25 am
            #

            > He doesn’t give more, or even the same, though. That is my point, and it’s the thing you are missing when you call him “superior.” It’s not a no-brainer because there are many, many situations where he is significantly worse than two Ethereals, even at his Index point cost.

            The same would be 2 invocations from Aun’Va versus the 2 from 2 Ethereals. More would be the ability to reroll morale. At Index point costs, if you’re running Tau sept, I definitely think he’s an excellent choice. At Codex cost, he’s situational. I guess we just fundamentally disagree.

            >it’s also kind of silly to say that’s the only way to ever build a list ever.

            I can’t speak for AnonAmbientLight, but I took his comments to be within the realm of competitive play. I think Aun’Va could be included in a strong T’au list. All of my comments where in that vein.

            There isn’t one “strongest” competitive Tau list. There are multiple strengths and strategies to play to. Discussing every facet of how to use a unit is vital in exploring additional strong combinations and lists.

          • Avatar
            AnonAmbientLight July 27, 2018 2:02 pm
            #

            > He doesn’t give more, or even the same, though.

            In Index T’au for 15pts less than two ethereals you get:

            Re-roll Morale on all T’au units anywhere on the battlefield. Not that morale is really a big concern with 8th anyway, but it’s still something over two ethereals. It also favors armies that have large units.

            2 Extra wounds

            Paradox of Duality

            By the very definition that’s more than two ethereals, and FOR LESS. I think you are looking at this under a particular lens.

            From a design point of view, you have to look at the game in all the possible situations a unit might end up in a list, then work with that. Hence, the reason Aun’va’s points went up.

            To drive this home, you were saying that you couldn’t figure out why Aun’va’s price went up. This is why.

            > That is my point, and it’s the thing you are missing when you call him “superior.” It’s not a no-brainer because there are many, many situations where he is significantly worse than two Ethereals, even at his Index point cost.

            Right, and I was pointing out in my original post….

            “”””Depends on the list, which is the point of Aun’va. He caters to an army list that maximizes squad sizes who will castle at a particular side of the board.

            Similar to how Longstrong isn’t the best choice if you decide not to take any extra hammerheads. Some characters are designed with particular design goals in mind, and that’s OK.”””””

            Some units are not made to be auto-include. Some units only work within certain list combinations.

            > It’s not cherry-picking if the situation is extremely common. And needing to have units on more than one 6″ radius section of the table is, in fact, extremely common.

            You picked a specific situation that wouldn’t work for Aun’va to try to discredit my position. That’s the definition of cherry picking.

            In my original post (I copied again above) I specifically mention “Depends on the list”. There’s more to this game than just 1500 / 2000 armies in tournaments. Which is a point I think you are forgetting.

            > But that point is nonsensical.

            No it isn’t. Not every list takes three detachments. Not every list can fit that in. Maybe you have someone that isn’t going to take Sac’ea because they want to take something else.

            > That was the very basis of the discussion and the arguments/examples that followed. If you’re part of that discussion, you can’t just stand up halfway through it and move the goalposts by saying “yeah but maybe someone just wants to include fun units in their army” because you are violating the fundamental tenants of what is being discussed.

            Dude, you need to go back, read what I put, and read it again because that’s not what I am getting at ***AT ALL***.

            Look at my closing point in my OP.

            “”No one is saying that Aun’va is the best thing since slice bread, but like with everything in the T’au codex (and most books in general), certain units have their place.”””

            I think I know what your position is. You are looking at Aun’va from the position of 2K point games in super competitive tournaments with whatever you have experienced.

            I am looking at Aun’va from a competitive point of view stretching across any point level.

            I am saying that Aun’va could probably work for COMPETITIVE LISTS that are not just 2K points (hell it might work for 2K lists too).

            I’m actually surprised this wasn’t your original thought process when it comes to things like this. You’ve never noticed that some units (and unit combinations) perform differently depending on the amount of points allowed?

            Or maybe I have it wrong? Is the default discussion only in relation to 2K point games in tournaments?

            I thought we were trying to figure out what each unit was good at and why. If I have that wrong, please let me know.

      • Avatar
        Kevin Lantz July 24, 2018 12:42 am #

        Anytime you say a singular target, while able to invoke re-roll morale (a trivial issue for tau running msu) and able to invoke multiple invocations needed an increase in points, I feel you don’t understand what matters in this game at higher point levels.

        you might have a point at the 1250-1500pt level…. maybe… but that’s a stretch, any lower than that and he’s 10% of the cost (of a 1k army) which you’d be better served by running another squad of firewarriors. There’s not a scenario where two don’t better fulfill his role by having two ethereals rather than one. Even the whole “vs snipers” bs argument. Running two ethereals means you have to now kill two. There are few if any arguments for aunva that don’t also mean you should run just more ethereals.

        • Avatar
          Charlie A. July 24, 2018 1:36 pm #

          Two ethereals give more ITC points for killing characters, right? Versus the one from Aun’Va.

          Aun’Va allows T’au to not be forced into MSU, which is his main selling point imo.

          • Avatar
            abusepuppy July 24, 2018 2:00 pm
            #

            Aun’va actually gives up more points than two Ethereals do- he gives up a full 4pts for Kingslayer (assuming he is the warlord), whereas an Ethereal would only give up 3pts, and he gives up 3pts towards Headhunter (one each for him and the two bodyguards, as they are each characters) whereas a pair of Ethereals only give up 2pts.

            Aun’va isn’t going to change whether you’re MSU or not, not even at the list-building level. Strike Teams are cheap enough that taking them up to 9man is still going to be fine for morale purposes, because the rare occasions where you lose 1-2 guys just isn’t going to be that big a deal.

          • Avatar
            Charlie A. July 25, 2018 4:20 am
            #

            Ahhh ok, thanks for clarifying that.

  3. Avatar
    Kevin Lantz July 22, 2018 8:20 pm #

    I get you want to stay optimistic when writing, but it is often useful in these to write the shortcomings in relation to other units. Also any list that would benefit from this are infantry heavy and need big chunks moving, this nearly requires two or more ethereal.

    The invocations only come down to truely two. Zephys grace and sense of stone. One is duplicated by markerlights (just one even!) And other abilities, sacae trait and master of war… And morale is dealt with easily by ethereal and not having overly large squads. Lists do well with more cp anyhow so having more smaller squads is useful for cp and for morale…

    Any time zephys grace is useful odds are you are advancing chunks out of range of the ethereal, so having more become useful… Which are all strikes against the aunva

  4. Avatar
    Dakkath February 26, 2019 10:43 pm #

    So, what part of the article was actually updated?

    • Avatar
      Charlie A. February 27, 2019 5:15 am #

      Unfortunately, not a whole lot changed for Aun’Va with CA2018. Nothing changed that would affect his points and you have about as much reason to take him now as you did prior to CA2018. The article is now CA2018-proof, meaning that it was reviewed, updated, and edited as necessary to take into account CA2018.

      • Avatar
        happy_inquisitor February 27, 2019 6:15 am #

        While CA18 really did not change anything for Aun’VA is is possible that the Vindicare Assassin will. Aun’va is one of the few characters in the game that are really not bothered by a Vindicare.

        I do not think it is enough to tempt me to get him back off the shelf but if you play on tables with very little LOS blocking and Vindicares become common it could be a consideration.

        • Avatar
          Charlie A. February 27, 2019 6:19 am #

          yeah, lol, I just read abusepuppy’s review of the Vindicare and had very similar thoughts. Though Aun’Va stands up better than a regular ethereal to the Vindicare’s shooting, you definitely want to be hiding Aun’Va if at all possible.

          I will update the article above to reflect the presence of the Vindicare. With the strong showing of Eldar characters, I think we will definitely see more Vindicare’s in the near future.

          • Avatar
            abusepuppy February 27, 2019 9:40 am
            #

            I don’t think anyone would _care_ about a Aun’va enough to shoot their Vindicare at him, even if he didn’t have the Paradox.

          • Avatar
            happy_inquisitor February 27, 2019 9:42 am
            #

            With the paradox of duality and two bodyguards to offload shots onto I would be happy to sit Aun’va in the open and just let the Vindicare waste its shots all game. Getting a 2+ save against those shots is sweet.

  5. Avatar
    Rathstar February 27, 2019 6:32 am #

    Hi,

    One point that hasn’t been mentioned is that rarely would being able to do 2 invocations worth that good. The 6+ FnP would nearly always be used, rerolling advance rolls I used rarely, and the rerolls 1’s can be done with many other options that don’t have the restriction of having to stay still.

    A better option than Aun’Va is just a single Etheral and 8 extra Fire Warriors. I enjoyed Aun’Va in the Index for fun games, but he’s no where near worth it at the codex points.

    A sa’cea sept vanguard detachment is pretty common in competitive lists for accurate firesight marksmen markerlights, so its not hard to put a ld10 ethereal along with a mainly Tau Sept army.

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