The Greater Good FAQ: changes continued

Hey folks! Rhys here. Today’s is my third article discussing the updates to the T’au content in The Greater Good.

Readers who have already read the previous two articles on this subject won’t be at all surprised when I say that theme of this article will be the lack of editorial quality that Games Workshop has displayed with this release — and indeed plenty of the other releases in the Psychic Awakening update.

With that in mind, then, let’s crack on and take a look at the other rules that GW has changed.

To begin, we come to yet another editorial mistake. On page 47 of the The Greater Good, in the rules for The Eight, we find the stats of the weapons that The Eight can wield. Most of the content here will be bread and butter for T’au players: rules for the guns that are ubiquitous across all T’au armies, as well as rules for Battlesuit support systems. There’s nothing to write home about here.

Except there is. Under the overcharge profile for the Cyclic Ion Blaster, we find the following text: ‘For each hit roll of 1 made for attacks with this weapon, the bearer suffers 1 mortal wound after shooting with this weapon.’ Every T’au player worth his salt knows that the overcharge profile on the Cyclic Ion Blaster inflicts one mortal wound only. If a Commander armed with three Cyclic Ion Blasters shoots all three weapons at one target, we roll each weapon separately: three dice, three dice, and three dice. Because, regardless of how many 1s the T’au player rolls, the Commander can only suffer one mortal wound per weapon.

The FAQ updates the wording: ‘If you roll one or more hit rolls of 1, the bearer’s unit suffers a mortal wound after all of this weapon’s shots have been resolved.’ And order is restored.

Why didn’t GW catch this in the first place? If I go into that again, I’ll be repeating what I wrote last week. Let’s move on to the next change.

This one is quite galling. In my first article on the subject of these changes, I discussed the fact that GW hadn’t changed the mistake with the Farsight Enclaves version of Master of War. Or, to put it another way, GW didn’t update the rule to bring the codex version in line with the version in The Greater Good.

And here’s the thing — and this is something that I myself didn’t see until this FAQ was released — on page 48 of The Greater Good, under Commander Farsight’s abilities section, the text specifies that Farsight himself must use the Master of War ability from the T’au codex. This means that, if players were to strictly follow the rules, Commander Farsight would not have been able to use the new, improved version of Master of War from The Greater Good. He would be forced to use the older version from the T’au codex.

GW gave the Enclaves a new version of a classic T’au rule — and the Enclaves Commander himself wasn’t allowed to use it. The FAQ fixes this, replacing one line of text with another.

Again, I’ll not repeat myself. We know this isn’t good. Let’s move on to the next change.

This one is far less troublesome. One of the new prototype weapon systems in The Greater Good allows the bearer to re-roll hit and wound rolls of 1. The FAQ clarifies that, if taken for a unit, all of the models in the unit benefit from the ability. The system is only available to Crisis Suits, Crisis Bodyguards, and Commanders, so this rule confirms that can unit of Crisis Suits can in fact all use it.

While I think that this was clear enough in the book itself, a clarification such as this doesn’t hurt. Indeed, clarifications like this are, to one degree or another, expected. It can be very interesting to see how different people interpret the same few lines of text. Small additions like this one keep us all on the same page.

Next we have another clarification. One of the new Sept tenets, Hybridised Weaponry, adds 4″ to assault and grenade weapons. The Pulse Blaster, an assault weapon, has three distinct profiles. Depending on the distance from the enemy model — 5″, 10″, or 15″ — the weapon has different strength and AP values.

T’au players were right to ask if the Hybridised Weaponry tenet adds 4″ to each profile, making the ranges of the weapon 9″, 14″, or 19″, or if it simply increases the range of the 15″ profile by 4″. The FAQ confirmed the latter.

This is another tricky one to take. GW should have caught this in play testing. There are only so many weapons in the T’au arsenal to which this tenet could apply. When applied to the Pulse Blaster, there is clear ambiguity in the way in which in works. There is, moreover, ambiguity in the way in which it was intended to work. Chalk that one up to bad luck.

What do we have next? Well, next we’re talking about the humble Burst Cannon and another Sept tenet. The Up-gunned tenet increases the AP of the Burst Cannon by one, giving our modest weapon a respectable profile: range 18″, assault 4, strength 5, AP1, 1 damage.

The tenet clearly says that it increases the AP of the Burst Cannon, but here’s the problem: there are multiple Burst Cannon variants. We have the High-output Burst Cannon, the Long-barreled Burst Cannon, the Double-barreled Burst Cannon, the Heavy Burst Cannon — and, new in The Greater Good, the Gatling Burst Cannon.

In fact, I’m probably missing one or two, but that’s not the point. The point is that the FAQ only mentions two of the Burst Cannon variants. From the document: ‘Does the Up-gunned tenet also improve the Armour Penetration characteristic of high-output burst cannons and long-barreled burst cannons?’ The document provides the following answer: ‘No.’

This is quite frustrating. There are other Burst Cannon variants apart from the two they mention above. Moreover, the question neglects to mention the new variant that the book introduces on the very next page. The Gatling Burst Cannon is a cool weapon. Hit rolls of a 6 generate one extra hit. But, according to the FAQ and The Greater Good, T’au players can’t combine it with the Up-gunned Sept tenet. This is lazy writing.

If the developers wanted the Up-gunned tenet to be used with only Burst Cannons and no variants thereof, they should have specified in the FAQ.

At the moment, we have ambiguity. It’s not clear what the intent of the rule is and it’s not clear exactly how best to play the rule. In fact, it is clear to at least this degree: the Up-gunned tenet only mentions Burst Cannons, so T’au players may only use it with Burst Cannons. Those cool new Gatling Burst Cannons on the very next page of the book? You’re out of luck.

So here we are. I’m coming up on that word count again and I’ve still got plenty to write about. Don’t get me wrong. As a writer, it’s good to have a source of content from which I can draw each week. But as a big fan of this hobby, it’s frustrating that I have to write so much on what should have been a simple FAQ.

Moreover, it’s tricky to get the tone right sometimes. I really don’t want to be overly negative, but I also think that we should be honest and point out problems when we find them. It’s a tough balance to find. Keep an eye out for more next week.

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



About Rhys Jenkins

Software developer, T'au player.

3 Responses to “The Greater Good FAQ: changes continued”

  1. zarlus March 30, 2020 10:12 am #

    “Playtesting.” I doubt there was much, if any that happened for Tau in PA:GG. Given the amount of rule oddness I’m certain it was copy/paste and “this idea sounds cool,” theory crafting.
    Additionally, I see no reason why pulse blasters can’t have all ranges get the increase or all bust cannon variants gain the AP. It’s not like it suddenly makes those weapons out of line with other combos I’ve seen in this game. (Except, maybe the riptide’s).
    Conceptually, I like the variety of tweaks to models/units attempted…it just seems like a number fell flat and didn’t reach their potential.

  2. Office Waaagh! March 30, 2020 8:17 pm #

    I guess I don’t really know what your point is with this article. Most of these complaints seem like really trivial copy editing errors that have since been addressed in the FAQ anyway, and all you’re doing is pointing them out. I was expecting at least some sort of explanation of how they affect the way the army functions or changes the playstyle or…something more than just pointing at other people’s minor mistakes and casting aspersions from the sidelines. I don’t see any ambiguity in the burst cannon tenet, for example, and it appears to my humble self that you’re rather making mountains of molehills.

  3. Shas’O March 31, 2020 3:19 am #

    Tau got great stuff in this book. Instead of continuing to write articles whinging about minor details, why not write some about the GOOD things!

    We can have a ton of commanders!
    Our big suits can move and shoot and reroll 1s to wound!
    We finally have access to a psykic deny!
    The relic ion accelerator is amazing AND frees up our nova charge!

    Frankly, many Tau lists (which were already good) have nearly DOUBLED in firepower. Why whinge about that?

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