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.
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.
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!