Everyone in the T’au Empire fights for the Greater Good. Some goods, however, are greater than others.
Let’s talk T’au. Everyone’s favorite herd-creatures-turned-anime-heroes have some pretty cool things they can pull off in Eighth Edition. They have an variety of strong guns in their arsenal, and a good T’au army can toss out a ton of shots–nothing new there. But their firepower has seen some significant changes with the release of eighth. Strength 5 isn’t quite as strong as it used to be, for one. It used to be you could wound Toughness 3 on a 2+, now it’s on a 3+. Which, admittedly, you’re wounding higher toughness things on a 5+ instead of a 6+ but it seems like Toughness 3 models are much more common.
That said, the changes to AP and Damage have helped bolster some of their other units–so basically like everything else, the army has changed, but it’s still kind of up in the air what ultimately will and won’t work out. There are still a few strong contenders pulling ahead of the pack though, even though the game is newly released. Crisis Commanders, for one, can put out some serious firepower and take advantage of the new
deep strike tactical reinforcement rules to great effect. So here’s a quick look at which T’au units have received the greatest good in this edition.
Okay but what if instead of legs it also had guns?
Let’s go in swinging. So, a couple of big changes have really helped shape how these battlesuits have improved. The commanders specifically–though the normal crisis suits are good, these guys stand out a bit. For one they’re cheap. At six power rating (or 7 if you want to give them some shield drones for survivability), they can be equipped with up to four guns in the battlesuit wargear list. Or three guns and a piece of equipment. But they’re BS 2+, so they’ll hit whatever they shoot at, and with the ability to load up with, say Cyclic Ion Blasters or Missile Pods they can be capable of throwing out 8-12 strength 7 shots, and several more points of damage in between. And with the way tactical reinforcements work now, they can always be in range, so on turn 1, they can get where they need to be, light you up, and then even if you try and charge them–with fly they can just fall back next turn and shoot you some more. Tough, cheap, effective. And they come with a once per game ability that can make a turn of shooting really really count.
Well they’re still missile boats–but they’re missile boats that can still move and shoot (and also take a support system to let them ignore that penalty) and pump out 16 shots, half of which deal D3 damage every time someone fails a save. Great to drop on a unit full of Feel no Pain or Disgustingly Resilient troops. They haven’t changed all that much from their previous edition incarnations–but the buff to their loadout is worth mentioning.
These are surprisingly resilient. They’re fast enough to dance around on the battlefield and have enough firepower that you should always be able to shoot at something. More importantly though, the Devilfish is resilient. At toughness 7, most small arms fire will have trouble wounding it, and with a 3+ save and fly, it can be hard to pin down. So you can fly up, shoot a unit, charge them once they’re softened up, then (assuming you survive) fly back and shoot them some more. And with 12 Wounds your opponent will actually have to put effort into taking out your Devilfish. They won’t explode just from a sideways glance.
Markerlights are amazing in 8th. They provide a cumulative series of benefits based on the total number of hits that starts with rerolling 1s on to hit-rolls, then culminates in a +1 to BS–though this does require 5 hits to pull off. But still–Pathfinders have always been good at putting out a number of markerlights–and now they’re even easier to use. Especially given their synergy with the various missiles you can give your units. Need to get some mortal wounds going? Light up a target, fire some missiles, and reroll those inevitable 1s.
Shield drones are the real MVP though. In 8th, Drones are set up in coherency with a squad–and after that they can float around wherever they’re needed. You can dump wounds to them from nearby infantry and battlesuits (thanks to their Saviour Protocols), which comes in handy for drawing out those powerful shots. Plus they’re no longer tied to wargear or anything–they can act independently and form up a squad of blocking units that won’t cause battle shock to your units with weapons when they inevitably get blown away.
And as we like to say in the T’au K’itchen: There’s no greater good than a good grater.