Today we look at the cheapest of the HQ options for the Tau Empire codex. Click to read on, or check out the Tactics Corner for more reviews and strategies.
The Cadre Fireblade is something of a “baseline” HQ for the Tau codex, giving a good measure against which to compare other units that are available. It comes with a reasonable statline, moving 6″ like most Tau models, and having solid offensive capabilities thanks to weapon skill 3+ and ballistic skill 2+. Strength and toughness three are unimpressive but standard, while five wounds is about average for an HQ character. Three attacks, leadership eight, and a 4+ armor save round out its profile. At 45pts they are the cheapest of Tau HQ options, and compare favorably to the low-end choices from most other books.
Wargear and Special Rules
A Cadre Fireblade has the For the Greater Good rule, like nearly all Tau units, and thus can fire overwatch in support of other nearby units. It also has Volley Fire, a rule unique to the Fireblade which gives Tau units within 6″ an extra shot with Pulse Rifles and Pulse Carbines when within half their maximum range. Note that this does not function for other pulse weapons, such as the Pulse Blasters carried by Breacher Teams.
A Cadre Fireblade is equipped with a Pulse Rifle of their own, which will benefit from their aura, as well as a Markerlight and Photon Grenades.
A Cadre Fireblade is a fairly unexciting character, but they serve their role in the army well enough to not be disappointing. With a reasonable amount of survivability from their armor and wounds values, they aren’t easily picked off by the enemy and their ability to bring a high-accuracy Markerlight to the table is very valuable, since the rest of the army has few other ways to get rerolls.
The aura, while useful in previous editions, is unfortunately very lackluster in 9E. Pulse weapons simply do not have the statline to be effective against most targets these days; strength 5 is a tad better than what some other factions see, but since it deals only one damage and has no AP, it is blatantly inferior to the basic guns wielded by Space Marines, Necrons, and other armies- you simply aren’t going to do any meaningful damage to Intercessors or god forbid Bladeguard who are sitting in cover. And since the ability cannot buff the most common Tau troop choice (Breachers), the Fireblade ends up being little more than a mandatory slot-filler for anyone foolish enough to not be taking Farsight Enclaves.
Although not an abysmal choice, the Cadre Fireblade is not an impressive one, either. Since 9E penalizes you for taking multiple detachments, rather than rewarding you like 8E did, their stock has gone down significantly and they are now merely an acceptable option for when you can’t or don’t want to take a Commander of some variety.
As always, remember you can get your wargaming supplies from the Frontline Gaming store, whether you’re looking to start a new army or expand an existing one.