With Chapter Approved 2018 due for release in the next few months, it is hard not to get caught up in buzz as the interwebs are flooded with articles and blogs talking about their hopes for changes to the game in general, as well as addressing specific issues with some of the more popular factions. As someone who has never passed up the opportunity to ape someone else’s idea, I thought I would give my two penny’s worth and chip in with what I hope CA 18 will bring for the Greater Good.
There are lots of general game changes that will benefit T’au players, but after the last FAQ I honestly feel that the T’au are in quite a good place with regards to how the general game mechanics interact with the codex. Sure, we are not at a god-like broken level of dominance generally reserved for pointy eared space elves (thanks, but I don’t miss the hate), but neither are we the barrel scrapping basement dwellers otherwise known as the Grey Knights (sorry… too soon?). We can hold our own and give the best of them a run for their money, which is just fine.
However, there are a few annoying little niggles in the codex that are just too bothersome to be left alone – like that annoying mole on the back of your neck that is just itchy enough to be annoying but not quite enough to go see a doctor about. You know what I mean, right? No? You got yours checked out already? OK, well good for you.
In that case, before I rush off to make an appointment with the Doc, here is my wish list of items I’m hoping they will address for T’au.
Crisis / Bodyguards
This is easily top of the list for almost all T’au players. Crisis suits are arguable the most iconic T’au unit in the game, yet they are very occasionally seen on the table top nowadays, even for fluffy games. The issue? They are just too expensive for what they offer, and in general there are better option in the codex that do the same or better for less.
Their utility is still what makes them great, but at 42pts base with no weapons they just become too expensive once fitted out. The minimum squad size of three also hurts, meaning you have to go all in when deciding to take crisis, on what is still a fairly fragile platform to carry your guns.
Easy fix: Drop the price of the basic unit, by around 10 points / 1PL each. This would bring it in line with equivalent units from other factions, and while not making them a ‘must take’ unit it would at least alleviate the fluff tax you have to pay for daring to include them currently.
Hard fix: Reduce the squad sizes, giving the option to take 1-9 suits as it was in the old codex – the solo fusion suit will rise again!
I am actually not one of the proponents of increasing their BS to 3+ that seem to be so vociferous on them there interwebs, as it would just make them over powered when combined with markerlight support and certain stratagems. Keeping them BS4+ means they rely on markerlights just like most other T’au units, which is a key mechanic of the faction. Get used to it, or go play Eldar.
Ah, my personal favourite. I am still stung by just how much the utility of these guys has been slashed by the removal of one special rule from their profile. Now they are nothing more than cheap screening that evaporates in a stiff breeze, but they also suffer from the ignominy of not even being our best close combat option any more (take a bow kroot hounds!).
To be honest, they need a complete rewrite to be anything like they used to be (are we still waiting for that Krootdex?), but a few simple changes would at least help them get back into contention for the troop slot alongside fire warriors.
Easy Fix: Give them an Infiltrate special rule, somewhat like the Stealth Suits. Bam! Immediately more useful and offering something that fire warriors don’t.
Hard fix: Kroot rifle gives +1 to strength AND attacks. -1AP as well is probably too much to ask for, but even just an additional attack would give them a chance in combat against other factions bog standard infantry (looking at you Space Marines!).
Another former great, and still a favourtie of mine. The issues surrounding them are not as severe as the above two, which is why you do occasionally see them on the tabletops, charging land radiers, grabbing line breaker and generally being a pain in the butt.
It is still a great vehicle with a lot of utility, and some tenets are really beneficial to it (Vior’la and Sa’cea most prominently), but its popularity is somewhat curtailed by its price, especially when you upgrade to the fusion blaster version.
Easy Fix: Drop the price by 10-20 points
Hard Fix: Increase the move to 20″, or make the advance move a guaranteed 10 ” rather than D6
This is a tough one, as there is literally nothing wrong with the skyray. It has great firepower (albeit for one turn only) and if given SMS can be a very tough objective grabber while providing fire and markerlight support. Unfortunately you still see very few of the around, as for the same price you can get units that will fire every turn and offer more throughout the game.
Easy Fix: Like most T’au vehicles, a small price drop, say 20 pts?
Hard Fix: A stratagem to allow you to refill the seeker missiles once per game, at say 2/3cp?
As with the Skyray really, there is nothing wrong with the devilfish per say, other than the general issue of most T’au vehicles being over costed.
Easy Fix: Price drop of 10-20pts.
There are also a few war gear items that could really do with a few changes to make them more viable, more desirable and even just give them a reason to be taken.
Missile Pods – once the darling of the T’au arsenal, it has suffered much the same fate as its Crisis suit counterpart in the current codex. Like the Crisis, it is still a great weapon that has its place and time, but it is just too expensive! Dropping it to about 20pts would be about right, as it is easily the equal of the fusion blaster for damage potential, but at very different ranges and different tactical usage.
Rail weapons – Still a bug bear for most T’au players. Even though I field them quite often (I am currently loving Railsides!), it is infuriating to roll a one on the damage table, and this is rarely made up for by extra mortal wounds on sixes. I would like to see damage changed to something like 3 + D3 and the mortal wound mechanic done away with all together.
Homing Beacon – For a brief period during the Indexes, this worked how it should work, allowing you to get your stealth teams in danger close and bring the crisis team hammer down where you needed it. Then they messed with the timings and now it is next to useless. Simply changing the placement wording from ‘beginning of movement phase’ to ‘during movement phase’ would see this have a place once more worthy of tis price tag.
Pulse Carbine – while they work just fine on drones, there is no real reason to take these over pulse rifles or blasters on fire warriors. Carbines on troops need to offer something different, because even pulse pistols are more commonly seen in lists nowadays. Maybe a 1pt drop for taking carbines, helping fill out cheap garrison squads? Or maybe and assault bonus, +1 attack? I dont really know, but it needs something to stop it sliding into obscurity. Also, allow fireblades to take it!
So there we have it, my two bits on what is currently grinding my gears about the T’au codex. This is in no way supposed to be a conclusive list of all the issues in the codex (Stormsurge is probably over costed, Commander Limit is still up for debate, Vespids maybe due another price drop to make it three in a row), but is more a reflection of what I personally feel needs help and needs to be prioritised.
As it is, I still firmly believe that the T’au codex is actually pretty good and offers a lot of utility in terms of playin style – it doesn’t just have to be gunline and tiger sharks!