40K: T’au Preview – Into The Breach

Games Workshop is teasing the T’au – suit up and dive in!

This week Games Workshop is putting the focus on everyone’s favorite blue fishmen. No, not THOSE. The T’au! With their new codex coming to pre-order this weekend, it’s the perfect time to take a few looks at their upcoming rules.

via Warhammer Community

To demonstrate properly just how much bigger the T’au Empire has become, six Sept Tenets allow you to dedicate your Detachments to one of the most populous and influential of the T’au settlements. You can also pick a sept from the background – or even make one up yourself – and pick the Sept Tenet you think best reflects your strategy and fighting style.

The first Sept Tenet we’ll be previewing is that of the T’au Sept – first and most prestigious among the T’au Empire’s holdings.

That’s right – the T’au are getting more “chapter tactics” to go along with their new book. There are six different Sept Tenets, the first is the “T’au Sept” which is not confusingly named at all.

The T’au Sept is perhaps the most drilled in the ways of the Gunline. This is reflected in their sept ability:

Well now, as if charging T’au wasn’t already a scary prospect, it just got worse for the attacker. Scoring a hit in Overwatch on a 5 or 6 is pretty good and will certainly help thin the ranks of those pesky melee combatants.

They are also getting a unique stratagem to play with as well:

Ouch. Find the weak spot and drive it home with Focused Fire! The T’au Sept is going to be a vicious gunline army for sure. Especially when you start to expand into other improved options…

The Longstrike

Hammerhead Gunships are among the most improved units in the new T’au Empire codex, thanks to having the ever-useful For The Greater Good rule added to their profile, allowing them to unleash combined Overwatch attacks with the rest of the army. Use yours with the T’au Sept, and anyone wishing to charge your gunline will have to reckon with potentially being hit by a railgun at point blank range or a deadly deluge of ion cannon fire. They’ve even received a point reduction!

Did you catch that? Hammerhead Gunships now have the Greater Good rule so they can help out with Overwatch, too. If they are members of the T’au Sept, they all the previous bonuses apply. Oh and they got even cheaper! It might be the return of the Hammerhead.

And if you really want to go all in with them, why not take good ol’Longstrike who’s new boost makes markerlights even more useful:

To be fair, Marklights ain’t what they used to be…for now.

Breach! Breach! BREACH!!!

Close(r)-combat focused T’au? What heresy is this?! T’au Breacher Teams weren’t exactly a popular option as the idea of getting closer to the enemy to shoot them seemed somewhat counter to how the T’au tend to operate. But now, you might want to get your Breacher teams up close to get the benefit of all those shots…plus some extra love with a stratagem:

If your target is getting cover, you get to re-roll failed wound rolls against them! That’s pretty mean no matter how you slice it – suddenly cover is a liability now instead of a benefit. Note: It doesn’t deny your cover save bonus so at least your targets can take that small consolidation.

Well that’s all for this preview – are you ready to submit to the Greater Good?

  • Focus fire sounds pretty nice, especially since pulse rifles wound almost every line infantry at 3+ anyways.
    The markerlight ability seems pretty meh, though.

    • Sniddy

      but 3 CP? It’s basically a big guy only or do or die big unit maybe

      • Thyran204

        Yeah that is a lot of points to drop for something that doesn’t really feel game changing.

        I am just not sold on the Hammerhead as a whole. The railgun needs a new statline. I am good with single shot but it needs to be able to do more damage

        • LankTank

          Make it do what the Tyrannofex did, Have a 2 shot weapon, something like 3 damage but if the second hit change the damage characteristic to D6+3. So on avg it is mediochre but with a simple buff or re-roll suddenly it’s a titan slayer

      • Koen Diepen Van

        I gues Gw hates big untis
        The rules clearly incentivise you to not do this. LOW are mostly cost ineffective and large units suffer badly from LD. So they might as well give T’au the ability to focus fire expensive stuff of the table as well. Maby it is just a plot to make us all buy a whole lot of infantry. I mean those Chaos cultist don’t sell themselves.

      • Ninety

        Remember Veterans of the Long War is 1CP.

      • LankTank

        Yeah I agree, absolutely too much, If it was 3CP for the buff for the rest of the game then ok. But max should have been 2CP

  • orionburn III

    Maybe it’s just something that hasn’t been shown yet but I would think the Hammerheads would get some sort of “kill shot” like Predators have, or the way Fire Prisms can link fire. Never been big into the battle suits but always loved the Tau tanks.

    • marxlives

      I have always been a fan of Tau tanks and infantry myself.

  • Pl4gu3 B4st4rd

    An army that can’t team with others like an Imperium/Chaos soup ? And is as weak as before? It’s official, GW want you to play space elves ! Enjoy !

    • John Henry III

      It doesn’t seem that bad. their always hit on a 5+ rule is actually useful against a lot of armies that can stack minus’s to hit. like if you are shooting at ravenguard and moved with a heavy weapon then instead of hitting on a 6+ you hit on a 5+, double the number of hits. Not to mention that 5+ on overwatch is pretty rad.

      The focused fire strategem does seem a might over costed CP wise but I can see it being used every so often.

      • BaronSnakPak

        It’s only in overwatch that they always hit on 5+, not the regular shooting phase.

        • John Henry III

          ah, you two are of course correct. Still as long as this is isn’t the meat of their abilities its a good side dish

          • Pl4gu3 B4st4rd

            Indeed, but it will not make them great again :/

        • Koen Diepen Van

          Got to love abilities that are better when the opponent plays along. 5+ overwatch to bad your playing against Altioc.

          • BaronSnakPak

            It ignores any modifiers, they ALWAYS hit on a 5+ in overwatch.

      • Pl4gu3 B4st4rd

        Have you read it correctly ? They always hit on a 5+ ONLY when OVERWATCH

  • Michał Kornafel

    From what source is this text about Hammerhead ?

  • Sykes

    Did GW change the community post? That paragraph about hammerheads getting “For The Greater Good” isn’t on the community page

    • GrimBarker

      yes it is. first line of the Hammerhead Gunships says Hammerhead Gunships are among the most improved units…thanks to having the ever-useful For the Greater Good rule added to their profile…

  • Karru

    I do love it when GW doesn’t play their own game, or at least the guy who writes the article for these peaks doesn’t play the army.

    Hammerhead is in a similar spot to the Vanquisher from Imperial Guard. You don’t use it due to it being very expensive and only has one shot that does mediocre amount of damage. If it did 6 wounds or even 3+D6 wounds, then maybe it would be decent, but since it probably will remain at D6 Damage, I see no real reason to take it. Battlesuits with Fusion Guns or Plasma Rifles should be more than enough to deal more wounds for the same price.

    A good amount of Tau weaponry suffers from the same problem. They are very expensive, have low amount of high power shots but the units that carry them has BS 4+ and no reasonable way to increase it. It saddens me that GW doesn’t actually test these armies against the major lists that get thrown about that show the core problems of the game and do something to alleviate it. Since Tau has the same accuracy as Guard, but more expensive and harder access to re-rolls, it is going to be a tough edition for Tau since the amount of -1 to hit stacking is real for the armies that got released earlier.

    The thing that irks me the most is going to be the “fix” that GW will implement after Tau is shown to be a low-tier army. “Everything is now even more cheaper! Instead of actually fixing the issue, we are just going to give you more models to put on the table!”

    • gdim415

      I completely agree with you. Tau are an army that misses out on 2 phases of a round. Sure we could try assault but who are we kidding? We should be feared in the shooting phase and we aren’t. That is unless we bring those few units that hit reliably well or enough drones to choke a small horse.

      It’s been said before but the reason certain combinations of units has risen to the top was because of base stats. So far it doesn’t look like anything about that has been addressed. It will be nice to see some differentiation in our weapons and a decrease in points but that isn’t enough.

      There’s more announcements to go so I could be proven wrong but I’m worried about things once everything is out in the open. Stratagems aren’t going to be the duct tape that holds this army together in the end.

    • Bigalmoney666

      Tau rifles are better than Imperial Guard flashlights in pretty much every measure.It’s not unreasonable that they would cost more points.

      • Karru

        Yeah, but when you get 2 Guardsmen for 1 Fire Warrior and those Guardsmen fire better than the Fire Warrior, you quickly realise how bad it is for Tau.

        Tau lacks a lot of the re-rolls that every other army has in abundance. The big thing they lack is modifiers to shooting, most crucially positive modifiers. The ML +1 is way too costly and risky to pull off so that can be ignored right out the gate, while pretty much every other buff Tau has for shooting require the units to be still in order to get it while other armies can enjoy their free re-rolls without such hindrance.

        • Khelban Blackstaff

          No point in arguing with them. If the army is as bad as it sounds, it will vanish in less that a year.

          Than, you can post “see I told you, Tau are useless”. And the collective, sad response will be ” Tau, who?”

    • Fergie0044

      Yea, I really dislike that GW go-to fix is just to make everything cheaper. Ad Mech is becoming a horde army (outside of 1 or 2 units) and it looks like Tau will go the same way. Very sad, but good for GW.

  • ShasOFish

    The article has been revised; the clause about Hammerheads getting “For the Greater Good” has been removed.

  • Fabio Angel Figueroa