Hey everyone, Richard Siegler from Art of War here to talk to you about T’au!
Games Workshop (GW) has released an FAQ and errata update to the Psychic Awakening V: For The Greater Good (PA: FTGG) book. I am here to take you through some of the changes to the T’au Empire and what they mean moving forward for T’au lists and the meta.
First, GW has added Shadowsun’s new points value with her drones to the errata section, putting her at 127. Unfortunately, the errata does not update the far more important Master of War ability on page 46, which changes Kauyon to full rerolls to hit rather than simply rerolling failed hit rolls. Additionally, GW did not address Shadowsuns inability to be affect and be affected by the other Septs she can now join as supreme commander. Since she is already an inefficient choice to take up a commander slot due to her weapon options, the lack of changes to how she interacts with other Septs basically ensuring she will see little play outside of static T’au Sept lists.
Next, the design team moves onto clarifying one of the most significant additions to the T’au arsenal: the prototype weapon systems. The big changes here are that you cannot take more than one instance of a prototype system, so no more giving a crisis unit or several commanders the Cross-linked stabilization jets prototype. Additionally, units cannot take more than one prototype system, so the crisis unit loaded out with Cross-linked stabilization jets and the reactive countermeasures prototypes now needs to choose one of those to use during the pre-game phase.
Not the biggest of deals since some matchups you do not really need both of them, but it was nice insurance. Generally, reactive countermeasures will be the first choose options for crisis suits now since the Coordinated Engagement (2 cp) and Aerial Targeting (1 cp) stratagems can help ensure you that the crisis unit is rerolling ones to hit. Or, if they are part of a Farsight Enclaves detachment, an aggressive crisis unit will likely already be rerolling ones to hit through the Aggressive Footing tenet and possibly ones to wound from the Codex tenet, Devastating Counter-strike.
Perhaps the most unfortunate change for those T’au fans of Forge World units or the Bork’an Sept is the Modulated Weaponry (1cp) stratagem now being keyword restricted to Riptides, Ghostkeels, or Vehicle models (excluding Titanic). This basically kills the power boost that the XV109 Y’vahra battlesuit gained from this stratagem allowing it to fire the maximum number of shots from both of its weapons (18 Phased plasma-flamer shots and 9 Ionic discharge cannon shots). This stratagem brought the Y’vahra back into the competitive limelight, since it is a 400 plus point model with less defensive bonuses than a Riptide and much shorter range, but the change to this stratagem basically renders it an expensive paperweight once again in terms of the meta. Hopefully, GW have a plan for the Y’vahra and the rest of the T’au Empire’s Forge World line that is rather lackluster rules-wise this edition when they update those rules in the coming months.
Moving on to some of the more minor changes or clarifications in the errata section, the new wording on the cyclic ion blaster’s overcharge profile was reverted to how it currently works, whereby you can only ever take one mortal wound—regardless of the number of 1s you roll—per gun. So a Crisis model with two cyclic ion blasters can only ever take two mortal wounds if you roll six ones after rerolls.
Commander Farsight’s datasheet that is part of the Eight is confirmed to gain the new Master of War wording (GW confirming Shadowsun, the master of Kauyon, is less skillful at it than Farsight). Moreover, GW clarified that to gain Aggressive Footing tenet, they must be in a pure Farsight Enclaves detachment. They also excluded Drones from benefitting from the Veteran Cadre stratagem and nerfed the already incredibly niche Seismic Fibrillator Node relic into the ground. It can now comfortably join most of the T’au Codex signature systems in never being selected for matched play games.
Credit: Axis of Entropy
Once again, the FAQ section of this book is almost exclusively related to T’au rules (the most play-tested faction, perhaps?) whereas Genestealer Cults receive no attention whatsoever.
The most important question answered is that T’au players can use the Emergency Dispensation (1/3 cp) stratagem that allows you to take additional relics to instead take additional prototype weapon systems. This still provides a nice bit of flexibility pre-game even if you can no longer take multiples of the same prototype, nor put more than one prototype on the same unit.
Another significant clarification is that the accelerated-photon grenades prototype’s ability to modify hit rolls in combat can be stacked with the photon grenade rule, potentially putting an opponent’s critical melee unit at minus two to hit rolls. GW also clarified that the Farsight Enclaves’ Aggressive Footing still grants reroll ones to hit even if there are no actual markerlights on the target (so zero markers is counted as one). Additionally, they confirmed that the new wording on Fusion Blades and the Onager Gauntlet in the Eight section only apply to the Eight and not the T’au Codex versions for the moment. I hope GW fixes this in the future, because melee T’au are the best T’au.
Finally, GW confirmed that the Up-Gunned tenet is unnecessarily restrictive in that it only works on plain old regular burst cannons that no one wants to take. At least it would be a consideration if it worked on high-output, long-barreled, or twin-burst cannons. They also failed to clarify whether the Up-Gunned tenet works on the Gatling Burst Cannon prototype system because rules as written it does not.
Overall, the T’au received a handful of nerfs to the original rules offered in PA:FTGG. The most significant are the inability to take the same prototype system more than once, to stack more than one prototype systems on say a unit of crisis suits, and the nuking of any hopes and dreams that the Y’vahra would be a viable choice for those seeking to win GTs and Majors. However, T’au still remain in a strong place in the meta, especially post-Marine errata as T’au have some of the best anti-marine tools in the game and the PA:FTGG continues to offer a lot of new tools for building lists that can combat the best that other factions have to offer.
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