8th Edition T’au – mini-preview

Lot’s of really nice information in this one – most yet I think so well done Frankie! There’s also been a release on the newest Space Marines which we will talk about later today most likely. For now though, let us drool over the stupid Fish Faces!

  • Stormsurge has 10 weapons which can each fire at a different target;
  • Anchors changed from double shots to +1 to hit;
  • 1 Markerlight hit allows re-rolls of 1s on a target;
  • Stormsurge is BS 3+ with Anchors;
  • Has the Walking Battleship rule allowing it to Fall Back from combat and still shoot and ignores the movement penalty for moving and shooting heavy weapons;
  • XV8s can still take 3 weapons and fire them all;
  • Missiles Pods are AP-1 and D3 damage;
  • Supporting Fire is now For the Greater Good
  • Fly ability which allows a unit to Fall Back from combat and still shoot (XV8s and Drones have this);
  • Sniper Drones have 48″ range and 8″ Movement and can target Characters;
  • Drone BS is still 5+ to hit;
  • Drones have Saviour Protocols – if within 3″ of a friendly infantry or battlesuit unit, you can choose to allocate the wounds to the Drone;
  • Sniper Drone Stealth Field is -1 to opposing enemy To Hit rolls unless they are the closest unit;
  • Pulse Rifles are AP0;
  • There are Sept keywords which may indicate special rules for different Septs ala Chapter Tactics.

Lots of key bits here. Markerlights are probably not the amazing bullshit they were before where everything hit on 2s and you had no cover; however, they are still a force multipler and Tau suit BS may have gone up. The Stormsurge having 10 weapons seems insane. Literally insane. What those weapons are will be important but that’s a lot of firepower (one imagines all the old twin-linked systems are now separate weapons).

Multiple abilities to fall back and shoot at max efficiency is also really important for Tau – they are keeping that mobile firepower vibe that the majority of their firepower sans Broadsides have. We see an ability for the Stormsurge to also not have the movement penalty and I’d imagine you will see that on the Riptide as well but not sure about Broadsides (XV8s do not need it as all of their weapons are Assault or Rapid Fire based unless things have changed).

Drone BS is expected but I don’t see any words with regards to a Drone Controller type option which worries me slightly. Sniper Drone teams will be far less likely to see play if you cannot increase their accuracy outside of Markerlights.

Pulse Rifles being AP0 is expected although sad but Missile Pods being D3 damage is a shock. I expect these to still be the standard load out then unless we see huge changes with the Plasma options. Flamers are mentioned repeatedly as a nice third weapon option to help with Supporting Fire / For the Greater Good which has certainly always been the case but the other wargear options have generally taken precedence. It will be interesting to see what of those options remain and how they function.

Either way, lots of good things.

Here’s the quoted text.

The T’au* are known currently for their deadly firepower and mobility. They utilise advanced Battlesuits to level blistering volleys of smart missiles and energy weapons into the enemies of the Greater Good. Riptides particularly–often seen in the Riptide Wing formation–are a common sight. The combination of resilience and firepower is a potent cocktail that has left many a pair of smoking boots where once a foe stood. Those that do survive the fusillade to cross the battlefield must withstand the T’au’s other shooting phase, otherwise known as Supporting Fire with overwatch. However, those intrepid warriors that make it through all of that often strike the physically weaker T’au down, as melee is certainly not their forte….apart from the stomps dished out by the Stormsurge. That guy certainly never skipped leg day in the gym!

How do T’au play in new Warhammer 40,000? Will they still be the kings of ranged warfare?

Well, let’s start with the biggest and baddest suit in their arsenal, the Stormsurge. This beast of a suit currently terrorises the tables and will continue to do so in the new Warhammer 40,000, albeit in different ways. The Stormsurge has amazing firepower with its 10 weapons…and yes, I said 10 weapons, each of which can fire on a different target. The Anchors currently allow the Stormsurge to shoot twice, but in the new edition, this has been changed to a more reasonable (but still powerful!) +1 to hit in the Shooting phase, which works great when paired with one Markerlight hit on a target, allowing any T’au unit to reroll 1’s when firing on that unit. BS 3+ and re-rolling 1’s with 10 ranged weapons is enough to render most units to smoking ash. The Stormsurge also has the Walking Battleship special rule which allows him to Fall Back from combat and still shoot, while also ignoring the penalty for moving and shooting heavy weapons. Stormsurges will remain a solid choice in the new edition.

The XV8 Crisis Battlesuits are next up on the docket. I consider these suits to be the iconic T’au unit, and the firepower from these guys will be very impressive. Very impressive indeed. They each can take 3 weapons (which again, you can fire all of them!). May I recommend a flamer plus two other weapons of your choice? My preference is dual missile pods for that lovely AP-1 and D3 damage per shot! The flamers give you nasty Overwatch defence, as they auto-hit incoming units that charge within their range. They can also be used offensively to clear objectives.

A unit of three Crisis Suits paired up with Markerlights will bring down even large vehicles relatively quickly. Multiple Crisis Suit units also work well together since supporting fire is still around, now called “For the Greater Good.” All those flamer hits from multiple XV8s into a charging unit is extremely powerful and will stop some of the strongest assault units dead in their tracks. Oh, and did I forget to mention they have the Fly keyword? This allows them to Fall Back from combat and still shoot at full effect. Brutal! I am loving how these guys play, and they will be scattered all across the tables in T’au armies.

Lastly, I want to talk about Sniper Drones. When paired with the T’au HQ’s such as the Cadre Fireblade they will bring down those pesky support characters with deadly efficiency even if they are hiding behind their infantry. The 48″ range on their Sniper weapons, plus their fast movement, means they will be filling those characters with lead (or plasma?) a lot faster than snipers from other factions. They will be a truly deadly force in your army that will strike fear in opposing characters. Have a look at their datasheet, here:

Overall, the T’au will play relatively similarly to how they do now. They will have a lot more tricks up their sleeves and you’ll see a wider variety of units on the board than you currently do. They’ll catch a lot of people off guard with some of their cool special rules and tactical flexibility. Stop resisting and join the Greater Good, today.

Come back on Wednesday for some insights on the insidious Drukhari.

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38 responses to 8th Edition T’au – mini-preview

T’au has also gone from being the name of their homeworld and become the name for the whole species, rather than Tau.

Copyright for the Copyright God! Trademarks for the Trademark Throne!

I literally broke into laughter when I noticed that. My wife gave me a weird look and everything lol

I don't think Stormsurges are BS 3+ base. I think they were saying when its anchors are deployed, it is BS 3+. That's how I read it in any case.

The get out of CC with no penalties thing is fucking retarded, imo. CC is supposed to be the Tau's big weakness, but now you can do Supporting Fire SEVERAL times AND a lot of units can just leave combat with no penalty. What the fuck?

Ya i read that again and changed it.

The loss of Markerlights is going to hurt but the increased escapism from combat will cover that off very, very well.

I think the key is if JSJ still exists and if so, in what fashion.

I mean, Stormsurge has 10(?) wounds current – 20+ wounds is going to be nigh on impossible to chew through in a single combat outside of things like units of all hammers/fists. Add on that everything got to shoot you without any apparent penalty…

Well, I’d kind of assume you’d soften up the 50′ tall robot with your own shooting before you sent Infantry to engage it in mélêe…

That's not always possible. The point was not to kill the thing – merely to stop it from shooting.

I am honestly looking forward to it. Less with monstrosities like that, than with standard crisis suits. Crisis suits have always been more durable than you'd think, being able to escape combat will be great.

I hope they don't take away the JSJ thing, that was always real flavorful.

But hey, cheer up, you'll always be able to murder firewarriors. >_<

I think drone controller (or something) is still around – it says "When paired with the T’au HQ’s ", so I'd think that (or some equivalent) is what it's talking about there. Possibly HQ only though.

Not really surprised by missile pods being D3 – with S8+ being D6, S7 being D3 seemed likely. Now it's just a case of, does that transfer to the S6 weapons? (Considering krak is also D3…scat bikes/dakkaflyrants might still be things, at least as far as the weapon viability goes).

Not really too happy with this – fall back without penalty and supporting fire still being around with infinite overwatch? Hmm…

'I think drone controller (or something) is still around – it says "When paired with the T’au HQ’s ", ' good catch

Nice summary. From reading it, I think the overall message is that shooting enemy armies off the board on turn 1 is a bit less likely, but that you have a bit more flexibility to respond to close combat by falling back and doing some close range shooting.

I also note that sniper rifles lose rending, but that the ability to target characters is a weapon specific rule. I would imagine that all sniper rifles are likely to be treated similarly.

Similarly we can see on the sniper drone a very clear example of a unit specific 'Look Out, Sir!' rule in Saviour Protocols. Basically like in AoS – the rule is a unit by unit thing.

All these tidbits about sniper weapons is making me REALLY wonder how the Vindicare Assassin is going to turn out.

Assuming that Crisis suits have around the same statline they do currently, I am looking forward to getting charged, mostly tanking it (maybe putting dmg on nearby drones), and then jumping back and shooting them in the face.

I'm kinda assuming (hoping) that all "jetpack" units, including all suits and such, have 8" and Fly (which is much dumber name than "jetpack")

“Fly” is dumber than “jetpack”? Not for the dozens of units that can fly but don’t have jet packs…

Yes, it's dumber. Explicitly what I said. Seeing as how they have jetpacks, and have never really flown in game, and how all those "dozens of units" that you're talking about that Fly, cinematically, probably don't have this rule.

Fill in the blank: They have jet packs, and the jet packs let them to ___.

Fly. The answer is fly.

Actually, no, previously it allowed them to jump. As in JSJ, Jump Shoot Jump

Separately, dude, what the fuck is your problem? I think it sounds dumb, why the FUCK do you need to argue with my fucking opinion that it's fucking dumb? You realize opinions can't be wrong, right?

well, they can, but only if they are being applied to something factual.

In this case, it's not factual – in your opinion, it sounds dumb. That's fine. I..actually sort of agree with you.

I think possibly the problem is that Ish didn't read it as opinion, but rather a statement of fact?

I read it as your opinion. I disagreed with your opinion and was attempting to point out why I felt your reasoning was silly. Namely, far more things in the game can fly than have jetpacks. Jetpacks, wings, magic discs, anti-grav engines, and so on and so forth have been used by myriad units to _fly_ in exactly the manner than Tau J’ump S’uits (or however they want us to spell it now)… So why name the rule after the cause and not for the effect?

Fluff wise? Because the J'u'm'p Suit's' don't really fly. They..um..jump. We don't really hear of them hovering, for example. They jump of ships and use their jets to land. They boost over stuff,

Flight implies a lot more capabilities than the suits are really seen having. But given they want as few key words as possible (since keywords are just USRS, and they don't want to have any of those), it'd be strange to have multiple different "This thing goes in the air" abilities.

Jump Packs don't fly (as they can't maintain thrust indefinitely), but Tau battlesuits often are depicted as flying (though as with everything in the fluff, this can vary a lot.) It's arguably closer to hovering than true flying, but I think that's a rather nitpicky distinction at the end of the day.

Crisis Suits will likely get an increase in Wounds, same with Broadsides. I wouldn't be surprised at 3/4 wounds for Crisis and 4/5 wounds for Broadsides. But then I also wouldn't be surprised if they didn't improve their durability at all…

How JSJ works this edition will be huge on how effective their defenses are though.

….? I wouldn't especially expect an increase in wounds. Base marines haven't increased wounds.

Generally speaking, just being able to fall back from combat at all is huge for Tau. Being able to fall back and shoot is golden. I sorta expect that replaces JSJ, which is sad, but still. I suspect you'll see all the jetpack models (so suits and drones) having an 8" move and the "Fly" rules (still a dumb name).

D3 wounds on missile pods is huge, but I really hope plasma rifles get something similar, I've had enough of missile pods the last few editions (didn't really play 7th).

I would be very surprised if they stayed at W2. Marines did not improve but Terminators have. LotC has over doubled. etc. We're also seeing most things have pretty similar durability with the increase in damage we are seeing from weapons (with DX wounds being inflicted by heavier weapons). If we assume that durability is relatively even across the edition changes, they would need a W bump. A single Crisis Suit with 2 MP right now would do an average of 1.3333 wounds to another Crisis Suit while previous it would deal 0.5555 wounds. That's a pretty big hike in damage thanks to the AP and D changes compared to what we've seen for the other comparisons. A full unit of three shooting another unit of three would do 4 wounds compared to 1.67, so you're essentially losing two compared to none on raw math. It's not perfect (cover might add one to their save for example while cover had no relevance in this comparison in 5th through 7th but even then it would still be 2.67 wounds). Based on this I would expect Crisis to be bumped to 3 wounds at a minimum, four wounds at best. Lascannons (and likely Missile launchers) can still regularly one shot them but their durability against middling firepower would be roughly equal while small arms would be more durable.

It's complicated as we don't know exactly how the points are going to pan out or what their ultimate goal of parity was in terms of durability (maybe they felt Crisis were too durable?) but that's my hypothesis based on the info we have right now.

I agree re 8" – particularly given what we saw with the Drones. I'm hoping Fly has some sort of JSJ component but if it's just from combat it's still useful, just means they are more vulnerable to shooting and again, I would expect their W count to go up then to compensate and remain on parity to middling firepower.

Well, isn’t it just a lot easier to have limited flight keyword (“Fly”) for the jump-packers and floating motorcycles, and have a whole separate unit classification for unlimited flying things (“Flyers”) for aircraft and dragons?

KISS seems to be a major design aesthetic for this edition.

yes, but I'm not sure "Flyers" and "Fly" would be the best choice of terms for that., given the rather obvious inherant confusion between the two.

I don’t think it will be that bad in practice; hard to confuse the big space airplane model and the small flying motorcycle model.

"So this Coldstar suit is a flyer, and this other battlesuit is a fly". There are relatively small models that fly, and even a battlesuit shaped model, remember.

The issue there would be having two different special rules with names that are so close as to be practically identical (hell, possibly actually identifical in some languages).

The strange thing about Falling back, is that with the change to Ld tests, there is no falling back anymore.

I constantly confused Jet Pack and Jump Pack.