New Tech for the T’au

A few days ago, Games Workshop announced the latest addition to Kill Team, and T’au players finally have something to be cheerful about.

The new Kill Team expansion features the T’au Empire and the Adepta Sororitas, and, of course, new models for both factions.

Well, new models might be stretching things a little bit. The T’au models featured in the announced aren’t new; rather, it seems as though GW is releasing an upgrade sprue for T’au Pathfinders.

We’ll just take what we can get.

To be fair, these newly-upgraded Pathfinders look quality. The standard Pathfinder kit is pretty solid as xenos infantry models go, and T’au players good get a fair few options in that kit already, but these upgrades really add another dimension altogether.

I very much like the Shadowsun-esque head pieces. Generally speaking, I tend not to build my infantry models without helmets on, but my Pathfinders are the exception to this rule, so from a personal perspective, these new boys will fit in nicely with my current collection.

Let’s ignore the fact that in Phil Kelly’s novel Farsight: Crisis of Faith, the rebellious Commander himself mocks his Space Marine adversaries for heading into battle without the appropriate headgear. The rule of cool is more important.

Whatever the case, these new head pieces look great. We needn’t worry about why a soldier would wear a visor instead of full head covering. Put simply, it doesn’t matter. The T’au are known as a technologically advanced faction, and these really fit the bill.

What else do we have? The new Rail Rifle sculpt looks great. From the scope to the stabilisation anchors, it’s a strong upgrade. And some of the Pulse Rifles look excellent; extended muzzles and additional rangefinder gyroscopes — I just made that one up — really add to the aesthetic of the kit.

There is also one model who is holding a pistol of some description. Indeed, ‘pistol’ could be the wrong word; it could easily be some kind of medical device used to inject a live-sustaining medicine. It’ll probably grant a 5+++ or something like that. Hell, let’s be optimistic. 4+++.

You can clearly tell that I’m quite excited by this new addition to the T’au Empire line.

Here’s the thing. Is this upgrade sprue a big deal? No really. Is it cool to see tasty new Pathfinders. Absolutely. But we T’au players should keep in mind that this isn’t a new unit or anything like that. It’s just an upgrade sprue.

But what does that mean?

Put simply, it means that we’re likely to get a codex soon.

I’m going to add a huge pinch of salt here. I do not know anything official. I know just as much as any reader of the article knows.

However, new models often mean a new codex. Granted, this isn’t always the case, but, generally speaking, it’s a good way to go.

And while there are many codex books that need an update, there is a pretty good argument to be made that the T’au is the faction most in need of new rules. Of course, some players have made a couple of T’au lists work in various tournaments, but, generally speaking, 9th edition hasn’t been kind to the T’au Empire.

What’s more, there are a few rumours here and there on the subject of what exactly the T’au will get in terms of models when the codex is released. This isn’t the appropriate forum to discuss those rumours — check your local Facebook page or Discord server if you’re interested — but it’s great that we’re starting to see a little bit of buzz around the faction. It really has been too long out in the wilderness.

And, all things considered, I’m pretty happy with the models that we’ve already seen. These Pathfinders look great.

This does prompt the question, however. What other models does the faction need?

Let’s start by getting rid of any finecast models. The current Vespid sculpt, for example, is produced in finecast, and, like most models made this way, it’s not a great sculpt. It’s a real shame. I’ve had a few Vespid sitting around my painting table for a good while, but I’ve not been brave enough to tackle them.

Commander Farsight is another model in need of an updated kit. While I don’t own the Farsight model, I’ve heard many T’au players mention how tricky the finecast version of Farsight is to work with.

We should get rid of finecast, then. This much is obvious. But what else? Are we likely to see a new Battlesuit perhaps? Or perhaps a new tank?

Put simply, I’m sceptical.

Overall, the T’au range is quite respectable. Of course, some models are starting to show their age — compare the older Riptide to the newer Ghostkeel, for example — but things aren’t too shabby overall.

The T’au range is in a much better place than, say, the Aeldari range. Some of those Aspect Warrior kits are old.

We should, I think, count our blessings. We’ll have a new codex at some point in the near future, and we have a pretty solid model range.

Yes, 9th edition has been very tricky for the T’au. I would imagine most T’au players lose more than they win. I certainly do.

But every faction has its day in the sun. And every faction has its time at the bottom of the ladder.

I don’t know if a new T’au release will put the faction at the top of the pile. It very probably won’t. But during 8th edition the T’au were a solid upper-mid tier faction, and I’d really like the T’au to return to that whenever we get new rules.

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

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About Rhys Jenkins

Software developer, T'au player.

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