9E Tau Codex Review: Fast Attack: Tetras

Today we look at one of the Forge World options for the codex, the Tetra speeder. Click to read on, or check out the Tactics Corner for more reviews and strategies.


The Tetra is built from a similar profile to the Piranha, although the two are significant different in size and role. A movement of 18″ with Fly makes it one of the fastest non-aircraft units in the game, a significant advantage. Ballistic skill 4+ is to be expected from Tau, as is weapon skill 6+ on a vehicle. Toughness five and four wounds give it a very weak defensive profile, and a 4+ save does little to mitigate that. Strength four and two attacks round out its stats, as well as a leadership of six. Tetras can be taken in squads of two to four models at 40pts apiece.

Special Rules and Wargear

As vehicles, Tetras lack most of the special rules that other Tau models might have. The only rule they have to their name is Outflank, which allows them to deploy into reserve and arrive within 6″ of a battlefield edge and more than 9″ away from enemies. This is definitely not a worthless ability, but it is not an exceptional one.

Each Tetra is armed with a High-Intensity Markerlight, which is like a normal Markerlight but with three shots instead of one. They also have a pair of Pulse Rifles (30″ S5 AP0 Dmg1 Rapid Fire 1) as a backup armament; note that as a vehicle, they are permitted to fire both weapons.


Tetras fit into an interesting niche; although they are not as efficient as some other sources of Markerlights, their mobility gives them a significant advantage in being able to hide behind terrain and dictate ranges to the enemy more easily as well as to move around to score objectives or Engage in later parts of the game. They also are much more resistant to the sorts of light weapons that typically annihilate other sources of Markerlights pretty easily, giving them a degree of resilience that is often lacking in other comparable units.

Of course, this shouldn’t be mistaken for any kind of actual resilience, as Tetras will fold extremely quickly if they come under fire from any kind of weaponry, or even just Bolters for an extended duration. Tetras survive mostly by virtue of not getting shot at, and their speed and relatively small profile are what enable this- if you are using Tetras, make sure to take full advantage of blind angles and obscuring terrain to selectively target enemy units without exposing yourself to fire. Range can also be your ally, as more and more armies these days are opting for short-to-medium range weapons due to the smaller battlefields, and the Tetra can comfortably hover at the edge of 36″ and be just fine.

The Tetra’s extraordinary movement characteristic also allows it to redeploy to new areas of the battlefield in a hurry, another thing that other Markerlight sources can struggle with. Obscuring terrain can work both ways and many opponents may try to cut off your ability to shoot at them with Markerlights, but against a Tetra this is all but futile.

On the other hand, as a vehicle Tetras find terrain significantly less useful than other models do and their inability to perform actions as well as low model count significantly limit their ability to score things- being fast won’t help if the enemy is already there and outnumbering you. Their lack of ability to fire overwatch natively also is a noticeable disadvantage, although not a critical one in most cases.

Final Thoughts

Overall the Tetra is a decent inclusion in Tau armies but not an exceptional one- in more mechanized builds it’s definitely worth considering, but if you don’t own any I wouldn’t worry too much about rushing out to try and buy a set.

As always, remember you can get your wargaming supplies at great discounts every day from the Frontline Gaming store, whether you’re looking to start a new army or expand an existing one.


About abusepuppy

I was there, reader- I was there three editions ago. When Games Workshop released the Ynnari. When the strength of men failed.
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