9E Tau Codex Review: Lord of War: KX139 Tau’nar

Today we look at the second-largest unit in the Tau arsenal, the Tau’nar Supremacy Armour. Click to read on, or check out the Tactics Corner for more reviews and strategies.

You ain’t so tough!


The Tau’nar comes with a large statline, similar to what you might expect from a superheavy unit. 10″ movement is a bit on the slow side, but not awful. Weapon skill 5+ is actually a decrease from its previous iteration, since apparently hitting on 4s was just too strong. Ballistic skill 3+ is likewise a decrease, and since it degrades when damaged this makes it even worse. Strength and toughness eight are both on the low side for such a massive unit, although not unconscionably so. Thirty wounds and a 3+ save are… actually kind of sad, all things considered- it’s barely even any tougher than a generic Knight. Finally, four attacks and leadership nine round out the statline. Clocking in at a cool one thousand points, you will never, ever put the Tau’nar on the table.

Special Rules and Wargear

Would it shock you to learn that the Tau’nar comes with almost no special rules at all? Because if you thought paying half your army’s total cost on a several hundred dollar model was going to get you something, boy howdy are you wrong. Although it technically qualifies for being able to use faction traits, since it is inevitably going to be part of a Superheavy Auxiliary detachment, it won’t be getting those- nor does it come with any of the standard rules from the Tau codex.

The only rules it does have are Explodes (on a 6, 2d6″, d6 mortal wounds), Titanic (can charge after falling back, is allowed to move over most models), and Tau’nar Shield Generator (for a whopping 5+ invulnerable save.) Also, notably, in this incarnation it is no longer a Battlesuit, and thus cannot be protected by drones- which was the only reason it saw the table before.

The Tau’nar is at least pretty heavily-armed, although less impressively-so than you probably are expecting given its points. It comes with a main weapon mount, two arm weapons, and an array of fixed defensive weapons. The main weapon comes default as the three Pulse Ordnance Multi-Drivers. The can be fired on either concentrated mode (S10 AP-4 Dmg5 Heavy 2) or dispersed (S8 AP-2 Dmg2 Heavy d6 blast)- or in other words, roughly six Lascannons. Not exactly terrifying. These can all be swapped out for two Nexus Missile Launchers (S6 AP-3 Dmg1 Heavy 3d6 blast) or for a Heavy Rail Cannon Array (S18 AP-5 DmgD6+6 Heavy 2, successful wound causes 3 mortals) and Fragmentation Shell Launcher (S5 AP-1 Dmg1 Heavy 3d6 blast). Most of these guns are just quite sad in their statlines, completely unworthy of being mounted on a superheavy platform, though the Pulse Drivers are maybe the best of the bunch.

The arm weapons come standard as Tri-Axis Ion Cannons (S7 AP-2 Dmg2 Heavy 9), which can be overcharged in the usual fashion for +1Str, +1Dmg, and changing the fire mode to heavy 3d6. Yes, it’s literally just three Hammerhead Ion Cannons strapped together. You can also swap them out for Fusion Eradicators (24″ S8 AP-4 DmgD6 Heavy 5, melta), which looked a lot more impressive when Multi-Meltas were only one shot apiece.

In addition to its main weapons, the Tau’nar comes with four Smart Missile Systems (30″ S5 AP0 Dmg1 Heavy 4, ignore LOS/cover) and four Burst Cannons (18″ S5 AP0 Dmg1 Assault 4). It also has Crushing Feet (S8 AP-2 Dmg2, three rolls per attack), but given its shoddy melee stats you shouldn’t rely on these to do anything of note.


The Tau’nar is just bad. And not even bad in a funny way, as with the Manta or some other units- it’s bad in a really boring way. Its guns have mediocre stats, it has no special abilities to speak of, and there’s really nothing about it at all to write home about.

Despite being over twice the price of most Knights, the Tau’nar will lose both a shooting and a melee fight to those units thanks to its poor defense and offense- the 5+ invulnerable save with no way to improve it means that it is incredibly vulnerable to the high-quality shooting that abounds these days, while its (comparatively) low wound count and huge size mean that it is extremely vulnerable to getting trapped and destroyed. In fact, more than a few factions have individual characters that can easily solo the Tau’nar, either by simply charging in and killing it in a single turn or by being completely impossible for it to destroy.

Final Thoughts

The Tau’nar is bad. It used to have a stupid, exploitable keyword mistake that made it bad-but-comical sometimes, but that is gone now and it didn’t really get anything in return. It even lost its dorky little “I can fire overwatch slightly better” rule as well as the anti-titanic properties on its weapons. It’s a big, dumb, block of resin that no one is going to use.

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

AbusePuppy is the one who has been ruining 40K for everyone this whole time. He is also searching for the six-fingered man and is one of the three people who know the secret recipe for coke (not the soda, the illegal drug.)

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