BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

40K: The T’au Are Coming! The T’au Are Coming!

6 Minute Read
Mar 4 2018

You’ve seen the rumors, and the release dates, one thing T’auwers over the next week…

That’s right folks. The T’au are coming, and since there are three lanterns hanging in the steeple of the Old North Church, that can only mean one thing. They’re coming via Codex. Now, as you might have seen yesterday there are a number of rumors floating around that detail point changes to the unit. And then of course there are the big rumors leaked from Advanced Tau Tactica, from the poster Haechi, who has since deleted their user account and posts–whether that lends credence to or detracts credence from them is up to you.

But since all we have to go on is rumors, I thought this would be a good time to collate all of these and kind of go through and see what that could mean for the Codex. The T’au are in an interesting position right now–there’s still a lot of hate for them based on how good they were in previous editions. Apparently they’d shoot armies off the table whole cloth–especially when you could ally in a whole bunch of Eldar to kind of make up for the weaknesses of the army. Get the best cheating of both worlds. But that hate doesn’t really carry through right now–there’s one thing the T’au have going for them (Commander Spam) which you might see a lot because it works. Up to a point. Pretty much everything else beyond that has a hard time getting the job done–so it’ll be interesting to see what the Codex actually does to address this, without bringing them back to their previous level of revulsion.

Let’s take a look at the assembled rumors:

via Haechi (Advanced Tau Tactica)

I lost track of this topic for a while, but Arka told me someone dropped a rumour about Gun Drones not having saviour protocols and Rail weapons being the same price. I can tell you both are false. Although there is a small change to saviour protocols.


Burst-or Iontide…?
Either and both. The firepower of both has skyrocketed while the point cost dropped hard. Plus there’s two insane stratagems for them.

…I have a massive tournament coming in two months and I’m dropping my Custodes and Thousand Sons list to play T’au instead. Also buy Riptides and a couple Hammerheads (with Ion Cannons) if you don’t have them.

The change to Saviour Protocols is something similar to what Crisis Bodyguards do and Shadowsun’s rule with Stealths suits.

Sorry, that was a bit confusing. Savior Protocols is the same as before, but happens only on a 2+.

If people are already complaining about T’au, here a few negative things haha.

1 commander per detachment
No changes to the markerlight table
No improvement to BS across the board
Railguns are the same

Don’t get alarmed though, there are far more upsides that we will get to soon-ish. I’m just waiting for GW to officially announce the codex to get more into details.


The upsides will come from massive point drops on base costs and weaponry, and massive buff to weapons characteristics. Sometimes both, which can make for some crazy stuff. Like a Heavy 18 S6 -1 2dmg gun for 35 points

via xxhikaru123 (dakkadakka)

Warlord Traits

1) reroll wounds 1 against Monster or Vehicles
2) your shooting phase, pick a visible enemy unit to your warlord, each time any friendly <sept> unit within 6′ of warlord makes a wound roll of 6, add 1 to AP of attack
3) Add 6 to Advance instead of rolling dice.
4) If warlord within 12′ of enemy unit at start of shooting phase, you can reroll hits for your warlord until end of phase.
5) reroll hits for warlord, if they have not moved this turn. if they move for any reason, they lose the trait until the start of next turn.
6) warlord can advance and shoot as if he hasn’t advanced.

Sept Warlord Traits
Tau : 5+ save against Mortal Wounds
Vior’la : If warlord has master of war, Volley Fire or Failure is Not an Option ability, the range increased to 9″. additionally, if your army is battleforged, +1 command pt
Dal’yth: While within 12″ of Warlord, friendly Kroot and Vespid units gain For The Greater Good ability
Sa‘cea: Friendly Sa‘cea unit within 6″ of warlord, reduce the number of model that flee as a result of morale by 1
Bork’an: For each hit roll made by warlord, +1 to wound for that hit
Farsight: Warlord can perform 6″ heroic intervention. Additionally, if your warlord has charged , was charged or heroic intervened, until end of phase, can reroll hits.

Sept Traits:
Tau: Overwatch on a 5 regardless of firing model BS or any modifiers.
Vior’la : Treats all RF weapons as assault weapons (RF 1 treated as assault 1). Additionally, no penalty to advance and fire the assault weapons.
Dal’yth : Unit that does not manta strike, move , fall back, charge , pile in or consolidate this turn may claim the benefit of cover even while in the open.
Sa‘cea: +1 LD, Additionally, in shooting phase, you can reroll a single failed hit roll for each Sa‘cea unit
Bork’an : Add 6″ to maximum range of any Rapid Fire and Heavy weapon they are armed with.
Farsight: Reroll wounds of 1 against models that are within 6’ of the firing (farsight) model.

In addition, the poster also dropped some info on points drops:

No wound change to riptide .

Riptide points down 24, HBC down 20, Ion Accelerator down 42.


Gun Drones +4
Shield Drones +2
Marker Drones same.

Broadside -20 HRR -27 HYMP -16 SMS-5
Skyray -19 Hammerhead -17

We can see where a few of those rumors seem to confirm one another. The point costs for the units have been adjusted–and fairly heavily. Gun Drones going up to 12 points (and shield drones up to 10) is a pretty huge deal if it’s true. Especially with Saviour Protocols happening on a 2+. You’ll have to be real choosy about who they protect and why–and it’ll definitely be harder to fit the best unit in the game in your army now that it’s half again as much as a Fire Warrior.

It looks like Riptides are going to be back in a big way, thanks to both sets of rumors–if these are true, it’s gotten a lot more affordable, especially with that pretty significant drop to the main gun. It’s still a tough call for the Burst or Ion gun–and these “insane stratagems” could all just be made up.

Weapons all around look a little cheaper–which is good. A lot of T’au units are overpriced for what they do–they’re priced like an elite army without the eliteness. Nobody’s talking about Stealth Suits, possibly because I’m the only person who cares about them (I want them to be good, or at least usable so bad), but I expect we’ll see a stratagem that makes use of them.

From what I can tell, it doesn’t look like they have done much to address the BS issue–and I mean I get it. The T’au are a shooty army, so if their elite crisis suit units had a ballistic skill of, say, 3+ it would mean that they’d hit with more than half of their shots, and that would just be madness. Speaking of, it will be interesting to see how the Farsight Enclaves shape up–there’s a lot of close-in stuff there, which is pretty cool. It means that units like the Breacher Squad or the Stingwings might see a little more play–anything to take T’au away from being strictly a gun line army. Their shooting is their strength, sure, but it’d be neat to see it take many different forms.

At any rate, we’ll no doubt be exhaustively discussing the T’au in the coming weeks–but for now, while there’s still the possibility for anything to happen, I put the questions to you: how do you feel about these rumors? What changes would you like to see?

Can anything ever really be for ‘The Greater Good’?


Author: J.R. Zambrano
  • GW: Daughters of Khaine Pre-Orders "First Looks"