T’au Empire 8th Edition
As of 04-28-2017 T’au Empire Summery
The new Tau Empire Codex is a hodgepodge of ideas ever tempered by Games Workshop’s additional part-time job of psychologist for a host man-babies who make up the Greater Good community. It is the large mostly aberrant Tau online community who makes any objective review of the codex nearly impossible. I could talk about how consistently fantastic the new Tau fluff is or how Games Workshop hasn’t a clue on how to make the Tau a dynamic varied army. Instead though I am going to focus on the Tau player, the quintessential abused puppy of the Warhammer 40k universe.
So with that if you were expecting a true review of the Tau codex, I suggest you move on because this is going become a particularly silly rant.
The Tau player is a special breed of Warhammer 40k player.
It is hard to pinpoint exactly when the amorphous Tau gestalt formed, most likely the quintessential Tau player formed from Imperial Guard players. The general Anime/Asian theme of the army is an important hook for beginners, but hardly scratches the surface of who the typical Tau player is today. When the Tau army was first released it pulled many things Imperial Guard players enjoyed. This was good, because at the time most Imperial Guard players were more concerned reenacting Victorian and World War tropes plaguing the army at the time. The idea of competitive Imperial Guard player wasn’t really a thing, as Chaos Space Marines, Eldar, and Space Marines typically held dominion over the hardcore scene at the turn of millennium.
So out of the small group of competitive Imperial Guard players the Tau player was born; the only problem was the Tau were editions too early to capitalize on the necessary rule changes needed, to become the shoot first ask questions later army many have grown to loath. Combined with certain Dawn of War players who years later join the Warhammer 40k community in droves, attracting PC gamers who love negative interactions and overwhelming firepower.
To their credit many Tau players like Ork players are dedicated to there singular army, but where the Ork player has an overabundance of jovial model mania, the Tau player conversely is dedicated to more toxic behaviors. The Tau player is devoid of empathy, bent towards domination and instant gratification. Think of all the games you may have played against the Tau, they usually only have two outcomes. One is you discover the rare casual Tau player, who is basically a new player who loves the army design and hasn’t figured out really figured what he supposed to be playing. Then you have the real Tau player, with whatever flavor of month basket of model deplorables staring at you.
Now what makes a Tau player and his army different from any typically flavor of month army, is the sheer pointlessness. Tau armies typically want to Alpha or Beta strike you and if that fails die. If that wasn’t bad enough, Tau are typically designed with mechanics that take away what your army does well and/or give the Tau annoying bonues. Creating games with zero interaction; basically you spend the entire time picking up models, while the Tau robot across from you is only calculating the next threat in your army to destroy. When you finally look into the hollow orbs of the Tau player, you wonder why you even brought your models out that day. When you do get a Tau player to form some nascent echo of an actual feeling, it is usually a curse or quizzical look at the dice that don’t fall into the predetermined parameters calculated the second he looked at your army list. Otherwise, interaction it is a minimal set of automated responses, to whatever rage you might have built up through the course of the terrible experience.
This discord between players feeds a dissonance that manifests itself in many online discussions concerning the Tau. The Tau are seen generally as unfun to play against. Tau players quickly repel this notion using solid stats showing the Tau are hardly ever a top tier army. This misses the point entirely because it doesn’t matter if they are good or bad they are just not engaging to face. The truth is the Tau are usually a gatekeeper army, a hard counter to most armies, that contributes a lot to the bad feels. Squarely you could lay blame on Games Workshop’s army design, but Games Workshop doesn’t control who is drawn to certain playstyles.
It all comes back to the toxic playstyle Tau players employ and self-righteously defend. So why don’t Tau players care? It is really simple; playing Tau isn’t about actually playing a game with someone else, it is about playing a game with oneself.
The opponent on the other side is completely inconsequential. Will the dice come out as I anticipate or will they not; it explains why many Tau players cannot grasp how an opponent can finish the game and beat them. The mission often times doesn’t matter either; can I just kill the most models at the fastest clip. It would be sadism if the Tau player actually got something from his opponent, instead it is a bizarre form of narcissism.
While it may seem at times your Tau opponent can’t generate any outward emotion, trust me online it is the opposite. The Tau online community is a rage fueled maelstrom of conspiracy, innuendo, self-aggrandizing; a group think nexus with remedial understanding of the greater social contract, in other words a kindergarten for sociopaths. If you want to take the time go through Facebook community pages and see the Tau swarm as it moves through the space. The Tau community even had petitions before anyone saw the new codex on to tell Games Workshop how they already screwed things up. Since we all should trust the Tau player to do what is right for the rest of us.
The ultimate amplification of this has been the Tau Commander nerf. The Commander nerf brought out all the “best” traits of the Tau player, highlighted by a now fully realized persecution complex. You would think Tau were a multiracial, gender fluid, wheelchair bound, over active thyroid voiceless group begging for inclusion. The fear of the new definitely doesn’t play well with this doomsday bunker subset.
On one hand Tau players complain Tau Commanders were all they had, but on the other they couldn’t live without them? I know it is terrible, actually reading your new codex, figuring out what works and doesn’t, and not just running the math to exploit one rule so you can dominate the mid-tables. Realized or not the Tau player were just upset their already bullshit trick wasn’t improved with all the goodies a new codex has to offer. Now they have to start over, like every other broken thing Games Workshop deems not fun to play against.
Tau players sadly, see enemies everywhere and the idea of changing their anti-social behavior isn’t an option. If self-awareness had ever been part of the equation maybe Tau players could change, but really only Games Workshop is capable of disincentivizing the current Tau paradigm.
The good thing for the rest of us is the new Tau codex does look pretty middling, but much of that opinion is fueled by what the Tau swarm floods us with. The truth won’t really appear for another month or so, when/if a non-Tau top player uses the codex and the real Tau players glob on it instantly taking credit for coming up with idea a few weeks later.
Engaging with a Tau player is fraught with danger these days, the siloed existence they have built around themselves is a real injustice to everything great about the Tau. Tau are a fantastic model model range with a backstory completely unique to the Warhammer 40k universe. Unfortunately, a large swath of Tau players only leave you with PDSD instead.
Below you find all the quick reference material you need to build a T’au Empire army.
As of 04-28-2017 T’au Empire Stratagems groups are…
- Universal Stratagems
- T’au Empire Stratagems
- Sept Stratagems
(See tabs for details)
As of 08-18-2017 Universal Stratagems are…
Command Re-Roll: 1 CP
You can re-roll any single dice.
Counter-Offensive: 2 CP
Used right after an enemy unit that charged has fought. Select one of your own eligible units and fight with it next.
Insane Bravery: 2 CP
You can automatically pass a single Morale test and must be used before taking the test.
As of 04-28-2017 T’au Empire Stratagems are…
Multi-Spectrum Sensor Suite: 1 CP
Use this before a Battlesuit unit from your army shoots. Enemy units cannot claim the benefit of cover against shots made by this unit this phase.
Emergency Dispensation: 1/ 3 CP
Use before the battle. Your army can have one extra Signature System for 1 CP, or two extra Signature System for 3 CPs. All the Signature System that you include must be different and be given to different T’au Empire Characters.
Fail-Safe Detonator: 1 CP
Use this when a Battlesuit unit from your army is destroyed in the Fight phase, before removing the last model. Roll a Dice for each unit friend or foe within 3″ of that model. On a 4+ that unit suffers one mortal wound.
Automated Repair Systems: 2 CP
Use this at the start of any turn. Pick a Vehicle or Battlesuit model from your army. That model regains D3 lost wounds.
Neuroweb System Jammer: 2 CP
Use this at the start of the enemy Shooting phase. Pick an enemy unit within 18″ of a Battlesuit Commander from your army. Your opponent must subtract 1 from hit rolls made for that unit this phase.
Repulsor Impact Field: 1 CP
Use this after an enemy unit successfully charges a Battlesuit unit from your army. Roll a dice for each model in the enemy unit within 3″ of your unit. On a 6 that model suffers a mortal wound.
Command-and-Control Node: 1 CP
Use this at the start of your Shooting phase. Pick a Commander from your army. That Commander may not shoot this phase, but one Battlesuit unit from your army that is within 6″ of that Commander may re-roll railed wound rolls this phase.
EMP Grenade: 1 CP
Use this when a T’au Empire model from your army is chose to throw a photon grenade at an enemy Vehicle unit. Only make a single hit roll with the weapon this phase; if it hits, the target suffers D3 mortal wounds.
Uplinked Markerlight: 1 CP
Use this after an enemy unit has been hit by a markerlight fired by a model from your army. Place D3+1 markerlight counters next to that unit instead of only 1
Branched Nova Charge: 1 CP
Use this when you choose a XV 104 Riptide Battlesuit’s Nova Reactor. You may choose two effects from those listed rather than one.
Support Turret Replacement: 1 CP
Use this at the end of your Movement phase. Pick a friendly Strike Team or Breacher Team whose DS8 Tactical Support Turret has been destroyed. You may immediately set up a new DS8 Tactical Support Turret in unit coherency with the unit as descried in their DS8 Tactical Support ability.
Point-Defense Targeting Relay: 1 CP
Use when an enemy unit declares a charge against a Vehicle unit from your army. When your unit fires Overwatch this phase, a 5 or 6 is required for a successful hit roll, instead of only 6.
Tech-Adept: 1 CP
Use after an Adeptus Mechanicus Character from your army has used an ability to repair a friendly model. The character can immediately attempt to use that ability again, and can use it to repair the same model.
Orbital Ion Beam: 3 CP
Use this in your Shooting phase if a T’au Empire Commander from your army did not move or use their Manta Strike ability in the preceding Movement phase. Pick two points on the battlefield 2D6″ apart. Draw an imaginary straight line 1mm wide between these points and roll a dice for each unit friend or foe that has models under this line. Subtract 1 from the result if the unit being rolled for is a Character. On a 4+ the unit being rolled for suffers D3 mortal wounds. This can only be used once per battle.
Breach and Clear: 1 CP
USe this in your Shooting phase, before a Breacher Team from your army shoots at an enemy unit that is receiving the benefit of cover. The Breacher Team re-rolls failed wound rolls against the enemy unit until the end of the this phase.
Recon Sweep: 1 CP
Use this at the start of your Shooting phase. Select a Pathfinder Team from your army. That unit can immediately move 2D6″ but cannot shoot or charge that turn.
Wall of Mirrors: 1 CP
Use this at the start of your Movement phase. Pick a XV25 Stealth Battlesuits unit from your army that is within 6″ of a XV95 Ghostkeel Battlesuit from your army. You may immediately remove the Stealth Battlesuits unit from the battlefield and set it up again, anywhere within 12″ of that Ghostkeel Battlesuit and more than 9″ from any enemy models. Note that this does not count as Falling Back if the Stealth Battlesuits unit was within 1″ of an enemy unit when it was removed.
Stimulant Injector: 1 CP
Use this at the start of any turn. Choose a Battlesuit model from your army with a Wounds characteristic of 10 or more. Until the end of this turn, use the top row of the model’s damage table, regardless of how many wounds it has left. This ends immediately if the model is reduced to 0 wounds.
Positional Relay: 1 CP
Use this at the start of your Movement phase. Pick a MB3 Recon Drone from your army. One of your units that has been set up in Manta hold can instead set up wholly within 6″ of the MB3 Recon Drone.
As of 04-28-2017 Septs Stratagems are…
Focused Fire: 3 CP
Use at after a T’au Sept unit from your army inflicts an unsaved wound on an enemy unit in the Shooting phase. You can add 1 to wound rolls for any T’au Sept units from your Army that target the same enemy unit this phase.
Strike and Fade: 1 CP
Use this at the start of your Shooting phase. Pick a Dal’yth Sept unit fro your army. That unit may shoot and the immediately move up to 6″ as if it were the Movement phase. They cannot Advance as part of this move.
Experimental Weaponry: 1 CP
Use this when a Bork’an Sept unit from your army fires a ranged weapon that makes a random number of attacks. You can re-roll one of the dice used to determine the number of attacks made.
Hot-Blooded: 2 CP
Use at the start of your Shooting phase. Pick a Vior’la Sept Infantry unit from your army. That unit may be chosen to shot twice this phase, but all models in the unit must target the closest enemy unit each time they do so.
Orbital Market Distribution Uplink: 2 CP
Use at the start of your Shooting phase. Pick an enemy unit visible to a Sa’cea Sept Character from your army. That unit and all other enemy units within 6″ of it gain a marketlight counter.
Drop Zone Clear: 2 CP
Use this at the start of your Shooting phase. Choose a Farsight Enclaves Battlesuit unit from a your army that was setup on the battlefield using its Manta Strike ability this turn. Add 1 to hit rolls for that unit this phase.
As of 04-28-2017 T’au Empire Unique Item groups are…
- Signature System
- Signature System of the Septs
(See tabs for details)
If your army is led by a T’au Empire Warlord, you may give one Signature System to a T’au Empire Character in your army. Named characters cannot be given relics. Some Signature Systems replace a character’s existing equipment, you must still pay the cost of the weapon that is being replaced.
Purtide Engram Neuochip
Once per battle, you can re-roll a single hit roll, wound roll or damage roll made for the bearer, or a friendly Sept unit within 6″ of the bearer. If your army is Battle-forged and the bearer is on the battlefield, roll a D6 each time you or your opponent use a Stratagem; on a 6 you gain a command point.
Battlesuit Commander only. Weapon: Melee, S10, AP -4, D6. Each time the bearer fights, if can make only one attack with this weapon.
Solid-Image Projection Unit
Ethereal with hover drone only. Once per phase, when an enemy unit declares the bearer a target of a charge, you may move the bearer up to 3″ before the charge roll is made.
At the start of each Shooting phase, you may either pick an enemy Infantry unit claiming the benefit of cover, or a Building, within 12″ of the bearer. If you pick a Building, it suffers D3 mortal wounds. If you pick an Infantry unit, roll a dice for each model in the unit. For each roll of 6, that unit suffers a mortal wound.
Super Nova Launcher
Model with airbursting fragmentation projector only. Replace one of the model’s airbursting fragmentation projectors with the following profile: Range 18″, Assault D6, S 6, AP -2, D D2
If your army is led by a T’au Empire Warlord, you may give one Signature System of the Septs to a T’au Empire Character in your army who is part of the same Septs. Named characters cannot be given relics. Some Signature System of the Septs replace a character’s existing equipment, you must still pay the cost of the weapon that is being replaced.
Vectored Maneuvering Thrusters
T’au Sept Battlesuit only. This model may immediately move up to 6″ after attacking in the Shooting phase.
Vior’la Sept model with flamer only. The bearer replaces one of his flamers with the following profile: Range 8″, Assault D6, S 6, AP -1, D D2. This weapon automatically hits its target.
Dynamic Mirror Field
Dal’yth Sept model only.Your opponent must subtract 1 from hit rolls that target the bearer.
Sa’Cea Sept model only. Enemy units that choose the bearer’s unit as the target of a charge move must subtract 2″ from their charge distance.
Plasma Accelerator Rifle
Bork’an Sept model with plasma rifle only. Replace one of the model’s plasma rifles with the following profile: Range 30″ Rapid Fire 1, S 7, AP -3, D D2
Farsight Enclaves model with at least two fusion blasters only. Replace two Fusion blasters with the following profile: Range 18″ Type Assault 2, S8, AP -4, D6 or Melee, S8, AP -4, D6. If the target is within half the weapon’s range, roll two dice when inflicting damage and discard the lowest. Each time the bearer fights, it can make only two attacks with this weapon.
As of 09-29-2017 T’au Empire Warlord Traits are…
- Universal Warlord Traits
- T’au Empire Warlord Traits
- Septs Warlord Traits
(See tabs for details)
If your Warlord is a Character, it can use a Warlord trait. Choose your Warlord Trait immediately before either player stats to deploy their army
If this Warlord charges in the Charge phase, add 1 to their Attack’s characteristic until the end of the ensuing Fight phase.
Friendly units within 6″ of this Warlord can add 1 to their Leadership characteristic.
Roll a dice each time this Warlord loses a wound. On a 6, does not lose the wound.
If the Warlord of your army is an T’au Empire Character, you can pick the Warlord Trait from the T’au Empire Traits Table.
Precision of the Hunter
Re-roll wound rolls of 1 made for your Warlord against enemy Vehicles or Monsters
Through Unity, Devastation
In each of your Shooting phase, you can pick an enemy unit that is visible to your Warlord. Until the end of the phase, each time you make a wound roll of 6+ against that unit for an attack made by a friendly unit within 6″ of your Warlord, the Armour Penetration of that attack is improved by 1.
A Ghost Walks Among Us
When you Warlod Advances, add 6″ to their Move characteristic for that Movement phase instead of rolling a dice.
Through Boldness, Victory
If your Warlord is within 12″ of an enemy unit at the start of your Shooting phase, you can re-roll failed hit rolls made for your Warlord phase instead of rolling a dice.
Exemplar of the Kauyon
You can re-roll failed hit rolls for your Warlord as long as they have no moved this turn. If they have moved for any reason, they lose this trait until the start of the next turn.
Exemplar of the Mont’ka
Your Warlord can Advance and still shoot as if they hadn’t Advanced this turn.
If the Warlord of your army is an T’au Empire Character, you can pick the Warlord Trait from the Septs Traits Table as long your Warlord is from that Sept.
T’au: Strength of Belief
Roll a D6 for each mortal wound inflicted on your Warlord; on 5+ that mortal wound is ignored and has no effect.
Vior’la: Academy Luminary
If your Warlord has the Master of War, Volley Fire, or Failure is Not an Option ability, the range of that ability is increased to 9″. In addition, if your army is Battle-Forged, you receive an additional 1 Command Point.
Dal’yth: Gunship Diplomat
Whilst within 12″ of your Warlord, friendly Kroot and Vespid units gain the For the Great Good Ability.
Sa’cea: Beacon of Honour
Friendly Sa’Cea units within 6″ of this model reduce the number of models that flee as a result of failed Morale test by 1.
Bork’an: Seeker of Perfection
For each hit roll of 6+ made by your Warlord, add 1 to the wound roll for that attack.
Farsight Enclaves: Hero of the Enclaves
Your Warlord can perform a Heroic Intervention if they are within 6″ of any enemy units after the enemy has completed all their charge moves. Your Warlord can move up to 6″ when performing a Heroic Intervention, so long as they end the move closer to the nearest enemy model. In addition, if your Warlord charged, was charged or performed a Heroic Intervention, then until the end of the turn you can re-roll failed hit rolls made for them.
Codex T’au Empire 8th edition was released on 03-17-18
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