40K: Codex: Tau Special Character & Formations Q&A

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Looks like someone got the new Codex: Tau and is running a Q&A – Check this out!

Grab some popcorn folks, it’s Q&A Time with Iuchiban!

Via Iuchiban 10-23-2015

I don’t recall if this was answered, have the Signature Systems changed? Currently it seems like a no-brainer to take a Buffmander as he gives re-rolls to-hit, Ignores Cover plus Monster Hunter/Tank Hunter to the entire detachment. If that guy on DakkaDakka is right in that if you combine a Buffmander with a unit that has Target Locks and Split Fire at different targets, you can do this stuff to more than one unit a turn too with the Buffmander bonuses. Does that sound legal to you from what you can read? That is broken beyond belief if that is the case.

Additionally, did Vespid themselves or the flyers change at all?

Already answered but …. Signature systems remained the same.

I cannot see any changes in Vespids.

Step by step:
– We have a Buffmander that gives all those SR to his unit
– If you choose to combine fire, all the chosen units shoot as if they were a single unit, so they benefit from all the SR of the Buffmander.
– Target lock says that a model equippend with one, may fire at a different target.
– Split fire lets another model shoot at a different target

So I would that for every target lock and/or Split fire, one model can shoot to a different target, and get the benefit of all those special rules.

Pointwise is expensive, but it works,

What special characters are in the codex, any rules changes?

Special characters are:

– Farsight
– Shadowsun
– Aun’shi
– Aun’va
– Darkstrider (Can joint breachers now, as well as Strike and Pathfinders teams). The -1T to target Works very good with the new Pulse Shotguns.

Rules are the same. No changes.

Are the Pulse Driver Cannon and pulse Blastcannon listed as Pulse weapons?
Did the Ethereal change at all, specifically with regards to Storm of Fire?

Are Farsight/Darkstrider/Longstrike in the codex and the detachment?
Who is a Lord of War?

They are pulse weapon, but the Ethereal rule says specifically that it does not affect them. Apart from this, Ethereal is pretty much the same.

SC – see above

Only Lord of War is the Stormsurge.

Can you give us small tidbits about the tactical objectives?

Does anywhere in the book say about a possible War Zone Damocles: Mont’ka?
Warlod traits are same:

Tactical objetives are:

11 – 1 VP if one enemy unit that assault last turn is destroyed

12 – 1 VP if one enemy unit is destroyed by a unit that is in your deployement zone

13 – 1 VP if one unit is destroyed of fails a moral check. If 3 or more, D3 VP

14 – 1 VP if one unit is completly at 12″ of one border of the battleflied and another unit in the opposite border.

15 – 1VP if a unit that starts the turn at 9″ of any unit of your army and its not in its deployment zone is destroyed

16 – D3 VP if you control an Objective that was under the control of the opponent at the beginning of the turn. 3+D3 VP if 3 Objetives. 1 additional VP if no model is lost during this turn.

By the way, datacards are only objetives and warlord traits. Nothing else.

I haven’t have time to read the book Deep enough, so cannot say any thing about the War Zone thing.


1) Has vectored retro thrusters changed (the support system that gave units hit and run)?

2) Is iridium armour still limited to 1 per detachment?

1) No changes

2) Iridium armour is a signature system, so only one per army.

So, if the Stealth team cadre thingy rules makes shots hit the rear, does that mean that Wave Serpents would get no benefit from their shields?

The rule says clear that they are hit in the rear, so I would say that Serpent shield will not work. Necron shields will not work either ….

Age of Tau begins!!!!

Thanks Iuchiban. I have one more question. Do bonding knives offer the same bonus?

Yes. Remains the same

– How many drones are in the Drone list? Can any unit grab the 6++ drone? And the Pathfinder’s special drones? Are Missile drones available to more units?

– where is Tide Wall in all of this?

Drones are as always: Missiles drones only for Broadsides. Strike teams can purchase the 6+ Drone, but they do not have or can purchase the amplifier thing. Pathfinders drones are the same.

I am really surprised, but the Tidewall is NOT in the codex.

What’s the actual makeup of the Stealth Cadre?
I know its 1 Ghostkeel, 2 Stealth Suits, but is there room here? Like 2-4 Stealth Suits or 1-2 Ghostkeel or something?

It is:

– 1 unit of Ghoskeels
– 2 units of Stealth Battlesuits

That’s it.

Do Cadre Fireblades and their units still require to be still to grant Volley Fire?

What are the extra things Devilfishes have access now? Their page in WD seems to have more options than the 6e

Can Firesight Marksman (Sniper Drone Team) fire at a different target than the unit?

Does Stormsurge really miss Blacksun filter? Or is it listed somewhere in the armour page?

Are Riptides still forbidden to grab Vectored Retro-Thrusters?

1. Yes

2. Devilfish is 100% same

3. No

4. Does not have it or access to it.

5. Yes. Only Crisis and Stealth battlesuits can get one.

What’s the composition of the formation with stormsurges and ghostkeel?

– 1 Unit of Ghostkeels
– 2 units of Stormsurges

Are Kroot weapons the same? Kroot, Shaper, Krootox?

Yes. All the same.

Thank you. Can you confirm that the firebase cadre can be composed by any units o battlesuits?

Firebase Support cadre is:

– 2 units of broadsides
– 1 unit of Riptides

And just for clarification, Markerlights are the exact same except that for one point they can turn the Stormsurge’s Destroyer Missiles into Strength D right?

I am afraid that the wording is the same as in previous codex.

1 markelight token boosts 1 Destroyer missiles fro S8 to SD. Rest of Markerlight uses remains the same.

– Does Feel no Pain costs 15 or 35 for the Stormsurge?
– If the Hunter Cadre can run and shoot, what’s the point in using Ethereal’s Water ability?

Stormsurge cannot purchase FnP thing. It already has that rule for being Gargantuan Creature.

Ethereal water invocation is: Snap shot and then run. In this order
Hunter Cadre is run and shot. In this order.

Just noted that Hunter Cadre vehicles can as well move flat out and then shot. That’s good for Fusion Piranhas … mmm interesting. By the way it only works if unit is at 12″ from the commander before running or moving flat out.

Woha, that’s important!

Wait… the bolded part; does that mean that any unit wanting to run and shoot must be near the commander?
Ah, and is the Holophton Countermeasures written just like the WD article? OR did they clarify it a bit?
Is the Stormsurge Pulseblaster 15p or 5p?

Yes. I think its fair. There has to be some restriction somewhere, right?

Is there any word on the Interceptor Drones that come with the Sun Shark Bomber? Previously these had the Skyfire rule (rather than Velocity Trackers) that made their overcharge weapon option useless (can’t snapshot a blast weapon at ground units, or target a flyer with a blast weapon)

Interceptor Drones have Skyfire and Interceptor. Lazy codex design I would say …

Lots of big reveals here, especially with the auto rear armor bit. Gives those models a BIG BOOST to the basic rules.
The new Tau 6th Edition books looks to have gotten a HUGE buff in the Kauyon supplement. Seems like this thing may be a must have for every Tau player out there not wanting to buy both the new codex, AND the Kauyon book!

Kauylon Tau Roundup


  • USS Daedalus

    So I am confused. There is a new 7th edition codex for Tau, or a smaller update to the 6th edition that brings in the new stuff?

    • Bob Evanston

      Smaller update with some new units and new formations. Basically everything else stays the same form the old codex.

      • Spacefrisian

        its basicly Tau 3.5.

      • moonshadow101

        I would hardly call it “smaller.” Space Marines may have seen more small changes throughout, but this update adds multiple entirely new units. Altogether, It seems comparable.

  • moonshadow101

    I’d hardly call it smaller. Space Marines may have seen more small changes throughout, but this update adds multiple entirely new units.

  • Learn2Eel

    For gods’ sake, luchiban got the CODEX, not the Kauyon book. How many articles will you guys publish with this misinformation?

    Additionally, the stuff you spread about the codex being soft-cover was untrue as well; non-English codices are softcover, English codices are hardcover. It’s as simple as that.

    • Kefka

      well you are simply wrong about non-English codices being softcover. may I point you at my german hardcovers?

      also wasnt the Kauyon book like an addition for people with the old codex?in that it contains the same new infos like the new codex does as well as the campaign etc.?

      • Learn2Eel

        My apologies for the mistake, but it is still something that bears repeating as I’ve seen numerous people complain about the codex supposedly being soft-cover. It appears to be region dependent, but what is certain is that the English codex is hardcover which I’ve seen misreported by a few sources.

      • Jordan Cafolla

        Don’t bring facts into this, this is the internet

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  • Learn2Eel

    In any case, the new Tau remind me of Necrons; both armies tend to/will be driven by their Decurion/Hunter Contingent competitively. I’m interested to see the English codex wording of the combining fire rule for the detachment as I feel that could be extremely over-powered if it doesn’t have limitations – hello Buffmander!

    • Djbz

      I was really hoping that GW would kill the buffmander.
      It’s such a stupid idea- who goes to war without having weapons really?

      • ncathers

        anyone who’s job doesn’t include killing directly? radio operators, a spotter for snipers, etc. I mean they would have a sidearm of some kind, but people give buffmander an overwatch flamer sometimes, so… really more of a cheese thing than a realism thing.

        • An_Enemy

          “anyone who’s job doesn’t include killing directly? radio operators, a spotter for snipers, etc. I mean they would have a sidearm of some kind”


          You really said this?

          • georgelabour

            No, he typed it.

            Well he may have said it as well after, during, or before he typed it but you likely wouldn’t really have heard it.

          • The Long Night of Solace

            You don’t actually think generals lead from the trenches these days, do you?

      • Learn2Eel

        On top of what ncathers said, the Buffmander is the perfect example of what Tau are built around; the concept of unit synergy. He’s a costly non-combatant that has the sole purpose of dramatically improving the effectiveness of his unit – and, in the case of the Hunter Contingent, his attendant army.

        • Jordan Cafolla

          Wow, like an actual commander

        • Andrew Thomas

          There are so many ways you could punish that, with or without D-weapons, Lords of War, or massed Precision Shooting.

          • Learn2Eel

            That’s why you hide him and his unit by using Jump-Shoot-Jump tactics. On any board with decent terrain it is very easy to hide the Buffmander and one-three Crisis Suits….of course, that is unless you are using the new larger models!

          • Andrew Thomas

            Or are consolidating your Crisis Suits to have more Elites, as they can be ran in 9 man teams now, apparently.

    • Andrew Thomas

      Depends on the point level. At lower points, cheaper CADs will be used to bring out cheesier stuff, like Optimized Stealth or Heavy Retribution Cadres, while giving you better access to Skyray Squadrons. 6 potentially BS 5 markerlights a turn and Overwatch with 12 SMS shots a turn per HS is a lot of heat.

      • Learn2Eel

        Undoubtedly my biggest issue with the Hunter Contingent is the incredibly restricted access to Skyrays, forcing you to take 3 Hammerheads just to get 1 Skyray squadron (the Armored Interdiction Cadre). Skyrays are just so darned good and would be amazing in a Hunter Contingent with their Networked Markerlights.

    • Andrew Thomas
  • Djbz

    The Ethereal rules from the campaign box says it allows units to fire snap shots after running, not snap shoot and then run, why would the codex be the other way around?

    • Andrew Thomas

      Because it’s a different source of a similar but different buff that is being used with a different strategy in mind: i.e.: the ethereal facilitates closing, while the Hunter Cadre allows your infantry to jump-shoot-jump like your Jet units. And at no point did Iuchiban say that it was Snap then run.

  • Crevab

    Looks like they’re finally half-assing their already half-assed rules updates. Future!

  • Crevab

    A Markerlight token can upgrade a Destroyer missile from from S8 to D? Buh?
    I guess… it could have an extra warhead that is only activated from Markerlight data.

    • Andrew Thomas

      Or, a Markerlight is more than just a glorified laser pointer, and gives data like composition, structural integrity, and potential forcefield harmonics?

      • OrkiePancakes

        Makes sense, the missle is more deadly in that it hits a vital spot causing more damage. Makes the stormsurge actually more of a titan killer now, if still very limited in its ability to do so. LoL frankin thing is a glorified infantry mulcher, that limp D cannon isn’t going to hurt any titan anytime soon.

  • JP

    Oh I really hope that units firing together don’t all get benefits from a buffmander in a single unit. That would be absurd.

    • Brettila

      And EXACTLY what GW will do. Formations are the new “Everyone has a 4+ cover save” nonsense. Gotta’ sell those new kits, because why would anyone buy our models otherwise, right?

      • Shiwan8

        They lack the understanding that balancin the units well would sell more since people could do anything with them and thus get more models than the ones that are currently hot.

    • Keaton

      They have to be in 12″, so crisis (heh) averted.

  • Keaton

    Hang on, that complaint about interceptor drones is bogus isn’t it? I thought sky fire meant that each turn you can choose whether to have full bs against fliers or ground units…

    • Djbz

      The interceptor+Sky fire combo allowed that in 6th edition, they took it out in 7th.
      Certain units/items give the ability to choose whether or not to have the sky-fire rule (flyers, tau velocity trackers etc.)but if a model has sky-fire it has to snap fire at ground targets, so no blasts/templates
      (Note that this means that a power of the machine spirit flyer can’t go shooting blast weapons at the ground and solid shots at flyers)

  • JP

    This officially establishes that now you need the same 50% point handicap against Tau as you do against Eldar in order to have an even game.

    • The Long Night of Solace


      • JP

        A Tau army was already capable of blowing away an opponent playing a larger army, like Eldar can. All this new silliness they’re getting with the absurd formation bonuses and a cheap lord of war that can be taken in a squad cements that advantage.
        I can tell you from experiments I’ve done that a Tau or Eldar army can easily knock out an army with at least 25% more points than it has.
        Try it yourself. Find a good Tau or Eldar player willing to try it and see if you can win with a handicap. Do a 2000 pt vs 2500 game and see how it ends. My attempts did not end in my favor.

        • The Long Night of Solace

          Your anecdote isn’t reliable data, if we’re trying to be ‘official’ about it.

          Tau are currently middle of the road, and terrain drastically changes how well they play.

          • JP

            Semantics. It’s based on my experience. Whether you choose to believe it or not is your issue. As I suggested, trying those experiments for yourself might confirm or disprove it.

          • The Long Night of Solace

            You’re conflating experience with experiment. You haven’t removed confirmation bias or any of the other factors clouding your judgement, and you haven’t assessed a wide enough pool of data to decide whether Tau are that bad.

          • JP

            Again, semantics. That’s your problem. I never said I conducted a thesis experiment on the subject.