Goatboy’s 40K: Farsight Rules Thoughts

Goatboy here again and now we have another whole batch of new rules/formations to dig through – Farsight Enclave!

It starts to get a little daunting as the 40k release window starts to speed up as the bad taste of AOS leaves our mouth.  If you are living under a rock 40k got 2 new campaign books these last few weeks – both giving Tau a lot of new rules as well as some White Scars, Raven Guard, and even the lowly Imperial Astra Militarium Cadian Guard etc.  Today I want to go over some of the new Tau Formations and give some thoughts on what makes them decent.


Farsight Detachment

The first thing we can look at is the new Farsight Decurion.  The same issues that plague the normal Tau Book Decurion is the lack of Objective Secured.  It makes the required “troop” taxes a lot harder to swallow especially when one of the more popular armies is the dreaded Gladius where everyone scores and leaves you leaving the bar/club all alone.  Still I applaud the new Decurion as it gives you a very Farsight like Core choice with the Retaliation Cadre – which is a bunch of Suits and more suits.  Still it has some extra fat in there – so while the Decurion looks neat you don’t get a whole lot of room to play.  Plus some of the sweet new formations are not in the Decurion itself.  It feels like maybe GW thought this formation is pretty strong and we don’t want people taking a bunch in a Decurion.  Who knows.  Their extra rule is pretty neat too – as it is simple, won’t cause arguments, and can be pretty deadly.  Every turn they pick someone to get mad at and everyone in the decurion can reroll wounds and armor penetration against that one unit.  That seems pretty dang good, especially versus all the death star nonsense you see floating around.

Farsight Formations

Next up lets look at the good formations. Of course this is just my opinion and will probably differ from other players.  I don’t play Tau so these will be from the stand point of what will kick the crap out of whatever army I bring to the table.  Sure there are combos I might miss – but I am just looking at it from a groan inducing set of rules/combinations that will cause my poor plastic models to melt into a pile of uselessness.



The Riptide Wing seems incredibility strong.  You get 3 Riptides who get a plethora of free rules in they stay close together.  You have to buy – gasp – 3 Riptides and you can pick whatever upgrades you want.  No random systems you have to take as some sort of tax for the unit.  The first rule you get is that if fire at something that one of the other riptides have shot at already – that new riptide gets +1 Ballistic Skill.  That isn’t bad at all.  Just remember you get that as you complete your shooting phase.  I can see this getting forgotten about in the heat of the moment with dice rolling, getting picked up, and “oh craps” getting said as you forgot you hit better.  The next rule is probably one of the spiciest as it lets you reroll your Nova Charge if you are within 6 inches of another Riptide in this unit.  Yup – everyone gets a Free Earth Caste upgrade!  It does mean they will always be hanging out with each other so someone getting close with a death star might be able to hit all 3 Japanese robots with one multi charge – but hey not taking a brain fart wound sound great.  The final rule they get is the ability to declare everyone is shooting twice if they didn’t move in the movement phase.  Yup – all the suits get to shoot twice – one right after the other.  They can’t move any further (assault moves etc) after unleashing their patented Riptide Hailfire.  Oh it specifically says if they make a Ripple Fire attack they can do that twice.  I hear you like missiles – well here is buy one take 3 free in the face!  Oh they can also shoot at a different target for their second shooting attack.  Ooff… that’s a lot of bullets.  I rate this as one of the formations you will see a ton of as everyone loves playing a ton of robots.  I hear they work out really well with some Storm Surges.

Next up is the Drone-Net XV1-0 formation.  First of all that name is dumb to type out.  Still I think it is a very strong addition to the army.  It is part of the Decurion which is a big bonus.  It is 4 units of Drones which – while they can’t score/contest they get a ton of rules that makes this formation a sleeper of a pain in the butt.  The first rule they get is that all Drones get +1 BS as long as 2 units of Drones from this formation is alive.  That is right – all Drones so the dreaded Drone Factory works a heck of lot better – we’ll talk about that formation in a bit.  The other set of rules they get just effects the Drones in this formation and they get a crap ton of them.  Interceptor, Jink, Outflank, Precision Shot, and Split Fire rules.  The rule I am most excited about is the Interceptor rule.  I know Tau is full of Intercept but the big issue is you could never activate marker lights to help those shots hit their target.  Well now you do.  This is gonna make deep striking in rough for a ton of armies.  Oh you took that Snapfire jump pack from the Blood Angels – sorry I hit a few times with Marker lights and its lights out.  Oh – did you have a Hunter Cadre that needs to utilize all those lights for their entire army – well here you get some in your opponents movement phase.  I think these guys are going to be a pain especially with Massed Marker lights.  Heck some Drone Controller commander action will help make these guys Score and hit their targets better.


Next up is the Piranha drone factory formation.  It’s official name is the Piranha Firestream Wing.  I am not sure what a Firestream Wing is – but I am sure they didn’t think it would be just to make a ton of drones.  The formation is made up of 4 units of Piranha’s.  You have to pick one unit as your Target Acquisition team but there are no other “rules/taxes/etc”.  The Target Acquisition team picks one unit within 36″ at the start of the Shooting phase and the rest of the formation gets +1 to their BS and Tank Hunter.  That seems pretty good and useful for popping a cap in a Rhino or a Knight.  The other rule they get is that if all of the unit is within 6″ of a table edge at the end of the movement phase – they can enter Ongoing reserves.  When they come back – they are fully repaired, seeker missiles brought back, and drones brought back.  This lets you move, spit out drones, disappear and start over the next turn.  The big question is – do any of the destroyed Piranhas come back?  It seems kinda vague and could be read either way.  The other big issue is – that since it isn’t a flyer – can it move on and move off on the same turn?  That is something events will have to rule on as it feels like this is just a hovering flyer so they shouldn’t be able to come back off as soon as they came on.  Depending on how people rule it this might go from really annoying to just mildly annoying.

Thumbs Up or Down?

Those are the 3 big “winner” formations from the new Farsight Supplement/Campaign/Etc book.  I think there is some strength in that Drone Formation as it gives you some Interceptor Marker lights that help make the army tick.  I could see a lot of Centurions dying to massed D Missile fire power from some friendly neighborhood Storm Surges.  With most events going into 3 source mode you can easily take a Tau CAD, Drone Net, and maybe a Riptide Wing if you have enough points left.  I think a Rock em Sock em robot list would love to have 3 friendly Riptides who all got Earth Caste for free as well.  I am hoping to see some Chaos Space Marine stuff in the coming weeks to cleanse my palette of the jerky Tau armies I might have to face.

~It looks like Commander Farsight has a few tricks up his sleeve and is here to stay in the 40K meta!


  • You seem to be under the impression, from this and past articles on the Tau, that Fire Warriors and Kroot are, for some reason, “taxes” that players are forced to take, or are otherwise undesirable.

    They’re not.

    Pound for pound, point for point, they’re some of the best Troops in the game. IF you know how to use them.

    As to the rest:

    The Riptide Wing is great so long as you’re willing to literally build your army and your game plan around it. We saw this with Triptide lists back in 6th: it’s effective, but it’s such a huge point investment that it has to be, and it’s still more fragile than it appears. I’d wager I could build a well-balanced CAD that pumps out more fire for the same cost.

    And don’t worry about Tau players forgetting the BS bonus. We won’t. We’ve got Markerlights: we’re used to tracking changing BSes on the fly.

    The Drone Net isn’t as good as you think. Markerlights expire at the end of the PHASE in which they were fired, and Interceptor was never as good of an ability as people seem to credit it as in the first place. Yeah, they get a pile of special rules, but at the end of the day they’re just drones.

    The Firestream Wing… well, rules issues aside, Piranhas are only okay. They’re very much a fire-and-forget weapon: you whip them up a flank, pop the drones to go harass something else, make a pass on vehicle sides or rears with Fusion… and at that point they’re probably all dead already, but have hopefully caused enough havoc to make up for it. The ability to rearm any survivors IF they can make it off a table edge is nice, but since Bolters can bring them down fairly reliably, the chances of any of them living long enough to make their escape is rather low.

    • Djbz

      Got to agree about interceptor specifically, I would much rather that a Tau player fire at Bs3 allowing my cover saves in my turn than firing with markerlight/”buffmander” support in his.

      And fire warriors + fireblade + storm of fire is hilariously effective. (And tends to be a tad overkill)

    • Koszka

      Im psyched about the drone formation, but the base cost of this formation is 224 pts. for 16 drones. It’s cool that these models get a bunch of USR’s, and boost other drones in your army, but they are chaff and a smart player can knock these out in pretty quick succession ( torrent flamers, multiple blasts, nova spells, multi assaults).

      The pirhana formation is a bit ridiculous, but even then you are investing a lot of points in making an effective strategy around it. I personally would love to play with these formations, but from a competitive standpoint, I doubt ill be seeing this stuff appear in the meta. Awesome formations though. Seem like a lot of fun!

  • Is that Crilin in the first picture?

    • euansmith

      He doesn’t have the six dots on his forehead and he appears to have a nose, so I guess that isn’t Krillin/Kuririn; although there have been so many versions of the characters over the years, I guess it could be.

    • SiameseCookie

      The piranhas arrive at ‘full squad size’. That should mean you actually get your lost piranhas back.

      • Well, if that’s the case. Maybe there’s hope for a new and improved Air Armada formation.
        Rearmed, Refit and..Replaced.
        An Ork can dream.

      • georgelabour

        I dunno, it says any survivors may exit. They may then return at full strength with damage repaired and drones and missiles replaced.

        To me that says the survivors get fixed up but dead remains dead.

    • Drayke

      No it’s Lordgenome from Gurren Lagann

  • Kevin Lantz

    ” I am not sure what a Firestream Wing is – but I am sure they didn’t think it would be just to make a ton of drones. ”

    Pretty sure that’s exactly what they thought it’d do… it’s a fun trick, but it’s not going to win you any games.

    • Kevin Lantz

      not sure if he knows units of only drones are always non-scoring non-denying

      • aracerssx

        they can still score though :p

        • Eyno Eflov

          It’s specifically says in the codex that units composed entirely from drones are non-scoring.

        • Kevin Lantz

          cept they can’t lol

    • sirdave1832

      you are right on the money bro. this is a cute formation but it is not likely to be a huge game changer. It will be cute and I may run it once just to play with it, but it is not going to find a home in any of my “good” lists.

      • Kevin Lantz

        same with the non-nerfed reading of coordinated firepower.

    • happy_inquisitor

      It’s best use in objective games seems to be to avoid getting tabled should things turn sour and leave you a chance of a sneaky objective grab with fast skimmers on the last turn. In kill point games its very one-sided as the drones can theoretically kill stuff but themselves never count for kill points.

      As for going back into reserves straight away the rule seems really clear, so long as they are within 6″ of any table edge they are good to go.

      • Kevin Lantz

        four shots walking from a table edge every other turn isn’t exactly a game breaker, even if only 70pts, you get 24pts/48/72pts in “free” drones on turn 2/4/6

        • Chaos_Unbound

          Well thats up for debate, as Goatboy said there is currently nothing keeping the Piranhas from coming on and going off the same turn. So its 8 extra drones each turn from one minimum formation.

          • Kevin Lantz

            except they come on and use their move, they have no ability to perform an extra move

          • Drayke

            If I recall correctly the rule states as long as the unit is within 6″ of the table at the end of the movement phase they can go into reserve.

            Assuming my memory isn’t terrible they don’t actually have to move off table to go into reserve.

          • georgelabour

            Page 75 of Mont’ka.The Rules.

            Specifically says so long as they’re all within 6″ of A edge at the end of movement they may leave.

            So it looks like they don’t even need to be need their army’s edge and they can move a bit. they just have to be within 6″ when they’re done.

          • Djbz

            Wouldn’t the same rule that prevents flyers from leaving combat airspace on the turn they arrive apply to the firestream wing?

          • TexBlade

            Why would it? The firestream wing is not made of flyers, so a flyer specific rule wouldn’t apply.

  • For future reference: firestream is what you get when you dont wrap it.

    • Commissar Molotov

      B-but the Emperor protects!

      • Only if you remember to put him in yer wallet 😉

      • Spacefrisian

        Emperors wishes for Cristmas, that his subjects can finaly protect themselves instead of needing him for it.

  • happy_inquisitor

    The piranha unit returns at full strength, I would say that is completely clear that any destroyed members of the unit are restored.

    • Chaos_Unbound

      Im a Tau player and even I think thats REALLY dumb. As a unit of 6 Piranha would have to be completely wiped or they are coming back with 6 full HP Piranhas, with Drones, and With Seeker Missisles if you put any on them.

      • happy_inquisitor

        It’s just piranha. Not exactly the most competitive thing on this or any other codex.
        The formation is tasty enough that you might see it tried out on tournament tables but I fail to see how it will break the game because it’s still a bunch of stuff that has very little impact on competitive opposition.

    • georgelabour

      Since it’s basically a port over from Apocalypse : Damocles then you seem to have the right of it.

      In the apocalypse version it specifically says destroyed models are returned. Though the unit composition is also somewhat different.

  • georgelabour

    Okay the writer mentions that the gladius is better because it makes everything scoring, in the same sentence where he laments the lack of objective secured on farsight units..

    I do not have the marine codex so can someone tell me if it does give everything objective secured or did the author forget that ALL models are scoring now in 40k?

    • Kevin Lantz

      In top of the free transports nearly everything is on sec, but ya know that’s in no way op