40K Op-ed: The T’au Book We Really Need

Let’s talk about the real T’au Codex we need – for 40K’s Greater Good!

The New T’au Codex is right around the corner. This book will detail the T’au Fifth Sphere Expansion. From the rumors we’ve heard it’s going to mostly focus on classic T’au units. While this book will clearly be a huge boost for T’au armies – and filled with art and fluff to delight players – it’s not going to offer a lot of new stuff. It’s a necessary book, needed to get the T’au up to speed in 8th, but it’s not the book we really need. So let’s talk about the T’au book we really need.

Codex T’au Auxiliaries

That’s right, the book we really need to invigorate the T’au is a real auxiliaries book. This standalone book would cover and develop some of the many races that fight alongside the T’au in combat. It would be a great chance to really add a lot to T’au armies, and create some cool and unique units and models. It would give the T’au strength to compete with the other multi-book armies, and fully place them in a unique multi species role. Lastly, just as Tyranids got Genestealer Cults, this codex would give the T’au faction a pair of codexes to make cool allied lists out of. Let’s go over a few of the races the book should cover.


By far the most developed of the T’au auxiliary races – the Kroot have even had their own army list in the past. Even today the Kroot get a full four units in the Index. It wouldn’t take much to tweak them a little, and add back in a few units for the old army list to make them an major part of an Auxiliaries list. Personally, I’ve always like the looks of the models. They are pretty different from anything else in 40K, so it would be cool to see them reworked and updated. It would also be nice to see them finally be a viable close combat unit.



Vespids has long been known as one of, if not the, worst units in the game. They’ve always seemed almost good, but then fallen apart when you look at them more closely. Still the Vespids have always been a cool idea – a race of flying warriors with advanced tech, that have no problem with being mind controlled by the T’au? Sweet. Let’s develop them a little more, give them a character and an assault unit, and they could really add to an army. In particular I’d love to see a Vespid vehicle; I think you could make a really unique unit there.


Psychic space pandas? I am all in. Though little is known of the Nicassar they were one of the first races to join the T’au. These curious panda like creatures are driven to explore and discover, and are highly psychic. They mostly stick to their ships and travel around in floating spheres. While the Nicassar would most likely only add one unit to the Codex, it would be an important one, finally allowing the T’au to take part in the psychic phase.


An entirely space-bound race the Demuirg appear allied, rather than subject, to the T’au. This race posses highly advanced technology and is thought to resemble Dwarfs or Squats. While they are probably not secretly Squats, bringing a dwarfish race back into 40K would be really cool. In particular I’ve been really impressed with the Kharadron Overlords which have some of the best models in Age of Sigmar. Doing something similar for the Demiurg would be really amazing. I’d keep them more vehicle and support focused, make them the iron backbone of the list.


Gue’vesa are humans who, for one reason or another, have joined the T’au. A large number of them end up fighting on behalf of the T’au and make up a part of their armies that’s long captured peoples’ imagination. Like Ork looted vehicles, the Gue’vesa allow for a cool blend of two distinct faction looks. You wouldn’t need to do much to make new units: give Guard Infantry squads Pulse Rifles instead of lasguns, and “T’au up” a few tanks and you’d be there. It would be a great way to show a mash up of different cultures, and bring a part of the lore to life. 

Bring the Army Together

So there you have an idea of the races in the army. Ideally the Kroot would fill combat roles, while the Vespids filled fast attack roles. The Nicassar will take psychic duty, and the Demuirg would be heavy hitters and vehicles. Lastly the Gue’vesa would fill in as needed. It would be a fun and unique army, like nothing we’ve ever seen before. It would also up the power and viability of the T’au as a faction and help them to succeed in 8th.


Let us know if you would like to see a T’au Auxiliaries Codex down in the comments! 

  • Rasheed Jones

    The real T’au book we need is, Co’de’x Agg’ress’ive Co’mma U’se.

    • YetAnotherFacelessMan


      • Rasheed Jones

        I have failed and must exile myself.

        • Severius_Tolluck

          It’s for the Greater Good

          • Cheryl Gohr Halkos

            It,s for the Greater Good

  • Of course, this assumes that 40K needs Tau (don’t tell me how to use apostrophes!) at all. One of the reasons 8th Edition has been good so far is the lack of Riptides on every damned table. If the new book brings that trash back out I’m gonna embark on a Coast-to-Coast Murder Tour.

    • Darkcat

      Im a tau player and I have never used more then 1 to 2 riptides. They are not that hard to take down. But to make you start youre murder tour ill take as much riptides that im allowed + forgeworld ones 😉

    • Prasert Boriboonsongsin

      What about guilliman or dark reaper on every damned table right now?

      • Steven Walter


    • NNextremNN

      Oh buhu Q.Q get over it 7th edition is long gone so stop crying about it. 8th is not better it’s just different things that get spammed. And apart from the Riptide Wing they weren’t even that OP in 7th as many believed.


      • John Barber

        Judging by the fact that people still bitch about Age of Sigmar being Age of Sigmar and not Fantasy 9th edition, don’t hold your breath about people getting over 7th edition before too long.

        I think they probably needs a point reduction; but I don’t think they’re in need terrible need of ‘buffs.’ Frankly we shouldn’t want to be able to return to a 2+ re-rollable to hit anymore army wide.

    • Keaton


    • stinkoman

      thats why dark reapers exist in the capacity they do now. 🙂

    • Drpx

      Fighting a mobile Reaper horde with -1 to hit and out of turn shooting is so much better than 3 Riptides.

  • completely disagree. I play Tau because I want to play Tau. If I wanted a soup army I’d play chaos or imperium.

    • NNextremNN

      Who says you can’t? It would only add possibility instead of taking them away. I’m not a big fan of Kroot or Vespid either but they are literally the only faction that accepts others into their society and that it barely reflected in the game. If any faction should be a soup faction it should be Tau.

      • And I’d rather they weren’t and just focused on Tau instead.

        • And I’d rather GW not listen to you, tbh. Tau withviable Auxiliaries would finally bring them in line with the fluff.

    • Nyyppä

      There is no chaos soup. The synergies are not there in any shape or form.

      • Dan Brugman

        You say as I look at competitive lists with plagueburst crawlers from death guard, the tallyman from deamons and oblits from CSM in a list together…

        • Nyyppä

          You can make competitive lists out of anything. The CSM/Daemons synergies are not a thing. Tey to make a rational list instead of an abusive one and you’ll see that I’m right. No, the tournament scene is not the face of 40k. It’s merely the purgatory in which badly written rules are exposed.

      • LankTank

        Cummon mate, you’re losing it again. When I deepstrike in 3 Feculant Gnarlmaws, then deepstrike 9x AL Nurgle Oblits next to them for a -1 to hit & 0+ armour save against shooting, then Infiltrate a AL Nurgle character to summon a Plague Hulk and 30x Plaguebearers 9″ from the enemy using the trees to help summon all for 3CP, that is synergy. Oh and if you get a Nurgle Daemon Prince (Daemon book one) to advance up to the Obliterators, they get the re-roll 1’s AND on a 6 to wound cause 1 extra damage. Then the Prince can cast -1 to hit on the 30 Plaguebears making them -2 to hit so now there is a next to unmovable horde spread infront of you with 9x Oblits you basically cannot hurt. But you know… no synergy right?

        • Nyyppä

          Ok, so, if you throw reason and fluff out of the window, expect perfect results on top of a dumber than a rock opponent that allows you to break rules…at that point you can abuse the the books to the point that you get some minor benefit out of them.

          Yeah, not synergy. Guilliman has synergy, daemon factions have internal synergy, super emodar have internal synergy.

          Make something that has actual synergy out of reasonable list and present that. This is not about power, it’s about synergy. Make undivided CSM work with any of the daemons without breakkng the fluff (ie. no spamming and no marks or chaos). Do that and I’ll admit that I was wrong.

          • LankTank

            SO wait, an Alpha Legion incursion force who have infiltrated to suddenly summon a bunch of daemons into the enemy forces is not lore appropriate? An opponent that can do what to stop this exactly? The whole army deepstrikes. Yes they can have scouting units but that is part and parcel. And what rule is being broken? And what is hard about summoning units on a 4D6 roll?
            Guiliman has rerolls. One tactic, stand here and make rerolls. That is not synergy, that is a singular buff.
            If I was going power it would be just poxwalkers and 20x Rapiers or something. Also since when is 3 units of Obliterators SUCH HEAVY spam? I would probably settle at 2 units and then take a single Rapier unit instead. Historically you have ALWAYS been salty and refuse to try and enjoy ANYTHING about Chaos books and are unable to admit it is only due to your un-ending WB grief. Do that and I’ll admit I was wrong

          • LankTank

            Incidentally as I have said over and over, I play Apostles of Contagion. A Death Guard sub-faction who master in Infiltrating/Cultists/Rituals/Summoning/Orbital strrikes and Bombardments/Sorcery and zombies. So bang on for their lore

          • Nyyppä

            Undivided legion with undivided units is lore appropriate. Molesting the lore to abuse the rules is just WAAC behavior.
            Only CSM with that kind of summoning is from WB. Even that is useless. Why? Because 4 is your minimum number from 4d6. It’s not hard, it’s ridiculously unreliable.

            Guiliman has rerolls, the synergy is him giving those to other units too. That is synergy. Tactics fall under the ”how to utilize the rules”.

            Ok, so, you did not manage to make a semi strong list with synergy and fluff compliant units. On top of that you spammed the hell out of them.

            I get that you have to deal with imaginary absolutes. The truth would not mesh with your opinions and you know it.

            My WB grief lasts as long as it takes for GW to show some sort of professional skill. In that context you may ver well be right, it might never end.

            Oh, and I enjoy my nurgle daemons just fine thanks.

          • LankTank

            For someone who is basing their argument on lore, you are really falling short of the mark.
            Black Legion, constant references to mass Daemon legions being summoned in force.
            Alpha Legion references to them infiltrating planets and breaking open warp gates to allow a Daemonic incursion so they can continue with another mission with the defenders distracted.
            In the Death Guard codex under Apostles of Contagion it states that they commit to mass daemonic rituals to overwhelm the populace.
            And also in the Word Bearers Omnibus itself references to battle groups who have dedicated themselves to one god only. And that is in a legion where not giving equal worship is considered taboo. Other undivided legions do not have a single Chaos deity on the basis that each warband may have a specific one dependent on their fighting style or need.
            Your only argument is that apparently that list was WAAC and not lore appropriate? I think it is pretty clear you are ignoring a tonne of material that supports it. And again, replacing a single unit of Oblits with a rapier squad, suddenly this “spam” you reference is where? 2 units of Obliterators in 1,500 pts and you consider it a spam list?
            And if you are stating that only WB can reliably summon, if you are next to a feculant gnarlmaw summoning nurgle daemons, they give you the ability to re-roll summoning dice. Daemon stratagem allows you to summon 2 units. Christ you can even soul sacrifice to roll more dice and give that unit re-rolls of 1 when within 3″” of the summoner. Its that synergy I was talking about

    • HeadHunter

      Even if new books come out, you can still play a pure list.
      Sorry if you’re in an area where your fellow players hold you down and force you to buy, build, paint and play soup lists.

      • Nobody I play uses a soup list. I don’t want other factions/ races to make up for Tau’s weaknesses, I want Tau to get stronger & more variety in what they’re already good at.

  • plasticvicar

    Lets not forget the real potential of Tau Auxiliaries, plenty of xenos races that exist purely in the lore and were never going to ever have an army of their own would now have a realistic lore friendly path to the tabletop! The sheer breadth of opportunity for selling all kinds of models cannot possibly be understated.

    With smaller xenos races in M42 having to deal with either extinction under the tyranny of the Imperium, the horrors of the Great Rift or just being straight up eaten by the Tyranids, the Tau are a pretty decent bet for anyone looking for protection.

    • stinkoman

      Tau are the true good guys. let the imperium R.I.Ptide!

      • Apocryphus

        They’re such good guys that if you refuse to join their empire, they just kill you until you do! Hooray diplomacy!

        • Kyu

          At least they ask nicely first. Everyone else just straight up murders you on sight.

          • georgelabour

            Not true.

            The Dork Derpdar also tend to ask nicely for the things they want. At first.

            Just ask the Tau.

            Knight worlds also tend to be a bit more, diplomatic when interacting with foreigners. At least until the rule book says they can now just robot chainsaw your face off.

  • Floride Vivant

    Some interaction with Guilliman would be nice to see, along with its point of view on the Grayskins/Blueskins…

  • Anasa

    Here’s hoping that they get put into that nice, comfy middle-tier in terms of competitiveness.

    • stinkoman

      im hoping for something better than the demon codex. as my main army (second to pure demons), 8th has been shoehorning me into losing consistently to reapers and Ggunlines.

  • SirDavideo

    I’m hoping with the sept specific rules they say something like “if your sept isn’t included, use the Tau rules/these universal rules”. Would be a shame to miss out on bonuses because you’ve based your army on a lesser known sept.

  • mrt181

    They should give all those auxiliary races tau tech.
    Kroot assault squads with tau armor and tau CC weapons.
    Nicassar in floating, drone like stealth suits.
    A really good upgrade sprue for imperial guard.
    Usable Vespids.

    But that won’t happen, it will be 8th edition Tau, no new models.
    Imperial will get totally new models soon.

    GW studio is just lazy

    • stinkoman

      they’re definitely not lazy, they just have their priorities directed by the sales team. I work for a sales team and that’s what we do to our developers. my family has to eat!

      • mrt181

        True, but this can backfire. If you stop innovating and surprising your customers in a good way you can lose them. Playing it safe with new imperial releases all the time, makes xenos look like a bad option, this is a feedback loop. Make xenos great and people will love and buy them.

    • Kyu

      Vespids are useable now.

      Giving all the auxiliary races tau tech would take away the point of having them. Either leave them with their own unique tech (like kroot) or give them unique tau tech (like vespids)

      Giving gue’vesa pulse rifles and tau armour basically makes them redundant fire warriors. All we need is something to the effect of “these astra militarum units may replace their keyword with a keyword.” And a reasonable list of guard units.

      Kroot need just a tiny rules buff to make them useful as something other than cannon fodder. (2 attacks would do it)

      Reinstate support for the various gnarloc figures

      Giving tau a psychic unit would detract from their personality imo. Give them wargear/relics that defend against psychic powers (like the talisman of arthas moloch)

    • georgelabour

      Kroot with CC weapons?

      I don’t think they’d be able to carry that many rail cannons.

  • Nyyppä

    Balanced codex, that’s what Tau needs.

  • Dioscuri

    Water Caste ambassadors could be a great buff/aura unit in a list like this. It would make sense fluff-wise that they’d serve as overseers/combined command units, and would ensure a Tau presence even in an auxiliaries list.

    • NNextremNN

      I would like some Water and Earth Caste models. But I don’t really see them as tabletop units but more like objectives to protect or rescue.

  • Keaton

    Totally agree on everything but the tanks. No way would the Tau be like “yeah, bring on your belching crude monstrosities and we’ll slap a burst cannon on there and you’re ready to rock.” They just don’t fit their way of war and stand in contrast to the whole unification deal.

    • frank

      Yea if they have given them all tau weapons already cant see why they would not give them modified tau vehicles, be kinda lame to see the tau retro fitting imperial tech.

      • Kyu

        Tau didn’t retro fit kroot tech so why would they do it to imperial tech? If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. Gue’vesa don’t even need army entries imo. Just a rules page that lists a bunch of guard units that can swap regiment for Sept.

        • frank

          Kroot are not actually a part of the Tau like say the vespids everything from fluff and modeling of Gue’vesa imply they have accepted the greater good and are a part of the tau proper. Though kroot are a mercenary force closly asociated with tau but they are a separate thing and largely arm themselves. The human auxiliaries would be able to provide their own ammo and equipment for a few months at capacity but after that you would have to hope that a forgeworld got on board for the greater good or what wasn’t broke as part of the imperium would find its self very broken after a few battles.

          • Kyu

            Fair point. From a rules perspective though arming guardsmen with pulse weapons just makes more fire warriors which doesn’t add much to the army.

          • frank

            Thats what seems to be their problem currently they are just more or less fire warriors. like the vespid have their own equipment would think they might give their human followers their own equipment but maybe they are just tau equivelent of conscripts lol.

          • Kyu

            Tau using humans as cheap conscripts makes sense. Also explains their not investing resources into re-equipping them all.

          • Chris Hilliard

            One old ruleset from the website had Gue’vesa using Pulse Rifles as a special weapon. No more than two per squad gave you normal guardsmen that could still hit at range. An interestingoption, but not overpowered.

          • Robert Baker

            Except it lets you run an all allies codex army without needing fire warriors from the main dex?

          • Kyu

            You … *can* run an all allies list without fire warriors.

            It boils down to this, do you want fire warriors in your tau empire army? If yes, use fire warriors. If not use something else. Having something else with the same statline and equipment as fire warriors is redundant and adds nothing, you’re asking to have your cake and eat it.

  • HeadHunter

    I could totally do without Space Pandas in 40K (leave the kawaii for some other game) but I’d love to see Demiurg and Gue’vasa in Tau armies.

    • frank

      I think they could be cool if they don’t anthropomorphize them too much. I kinda like the idea of non-humanoid psykers that act like navigators for the tau. unless they are incredibly powerful psykers though i can’t see a reason they would be risked on the battle field if at all possible.

    • Kyu

      Part of me is imagining slann from fantasy but instead of giant floating toads it’s fat pandas

      • Graham Bartram

        I would buy that.

  • rhoadesd20

    I think it’s pretty much guranteed this book won’t have any new models. And they now don’t do rules that they don’t have models for. So the best I can hope for is just a nice balanced book. Not over the top to annoy everyone, but not weak (because nobody likes playing a weak army). GW even confirmed this book is not going to put much focus on auxilaries, it will focus on T’au.

    Maybe for the next book they will get some new models/rules, but I’m sure all non power-armored armies are hoping for that.

  • Da Masta Cheef

    “but then fallen apart when you look at them more closely”

    Yes. Quite literally in fact…

  • marxlives

    I agree with you, treating them like Imperium and giving them auxiliaries with the species you mentioned above and a kroot book with the keywords Tau would really inject a lot more interest in the army. I think everyone is getting tired of the 40k Robotech creep and wants to see Tau become functional and as cool as the narrative makes them out to be.

  • tau4eva

    “Psychic space pandas? I am all in.”

  • Dragon2928

    I’d love to see Gue’vesa more than anything… as long as they are reasonably priced. I think Imperial Armour vol. 4 (the Taros Campaign) did a good job with them – letting the squad lead upgrade to a pulse rifle. If you put them on the entire unit then they will inevitably be too cheap compared to fire warriors, and that’s all we’ll see.

    • davepak

      This – I was exceptionally disappointed when they were not in the new index for wide use. I have about 20 of them painted up….sigh…

  • Spade McTrowel

    You’ll get multiple books eventually.
    8th is the edition of soup after all…

  • Aidan Sleath

    Actually, though it is far from complete and won’t impact large-scale tournament play, myself and some others have done some work on a homebrew T’au Auxiliary codex on 4chan’s wiki. It contains the races above and far more, and was actually complete during 7th edition. However, no one has found time to work on it recently. Despite that, you should check it out. The closest faction to completion is Gue’vesa, because I allowed it to take AM units similarly to the Chaos Renegades in the FW Chaos book. https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Codex_-_Tau_Auxiliary_8th_edition

    • Aidan Sleath

      As a warning, the Gue’vesa section as it stands is a bit of a mess, because it contains unit templates copied over from the 7th edition version as well as some contradictory army rules. I am working on this faction and it may soon be ready to playtest.

  • Thyran204

    Off topic but has anyone thought of the fact that, with the exception of Farsight, all of the Tau Characters should have died of at least old age by the 8th edition? IT’s been 112 years and the Tau are not long lived.

    • davepak

      fluff wise, they put shadosun in cold storage, and thaw her out when needed. Other fluff wise……not all of them are live, but I won’t spoil that one for you (read the last book set).

      • Thyran204

        I could see the Shadowsun thing (Would be cool if the got Kais defrosted), and I know about what happen to Aun Va. I was talkign about the others, Darkstrider, Longstrike, Aun’Shi. There is no good way in fluff for them to still be alive.

        No I need to read the Imperial books to see if their AM characters are still alive and how they explained it if they are.

        • davepak

          Honestly, good points.
          However, we have to be careful not to look for too much “realism” in this game – besides most of it being abandoned in the army list building phase (would a named HQ really be at any battle less than a bazillion points?) – it really goes out the window once you put two armies of the same faction (or builds) on the table!