Warhammer 40,000 Faction Focus: T’au Empire

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 site. 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.

*A few of you might have noticed that the galaxy’s newest empire have gained an apostrophe in their title “T’au” – think of it as a punctuation drone. We still pronounce it the same way though.

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