Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Tau In 6th Edition: Good And Bad

by SandWyrm

I've had a request for a rundown of Tau in 6th Edition. Now, I'm not an experienced Tau player at all, but I do have a 2nd hand army of them that's waiting to be updated come 6th. I'm also fairly familiar with their rules. So here we go...

(Note: For the purposes of this discussion, I'm going to assume that the 'Leak' document is real. Though it could be anything from a fan-made fake to an outdated test document. Be that as it may, let's not get caught up whether it's real or not. I'm more interested in the changes it would bring to the game if it is real.)


  1. Standard cover is now only a 5+.
  2. Movement is even less random now than in 5th.
  3. Blast weapons are now much more accurate. You hit on straight BS and scatter by twice the number you miss with.
  4. Rail guns are nastier. The target point scatters like a blast, but now you'll hit every model in a line from the target point back to the gun.
  5. Advanced Stabilization Systems now give the Slow And Purposeful USR.
  6. Command And Control Node: All friendly units within 12" of the bearer may use the Directed Hits special rule. That means that you can pick out specific models in the enemy unit. :)
  7. Iridium Armor Plates: 2+ save, but your "Fall Back Move" becomes D6".
  8. Multi-Trackers give multi-targeting(2). Meaning that you can fire more weapons on the move.
  9. Smart Missiles are now Str. 5, Heavy 4, Indirect Fire weapons. :)
  10. Stealth Field Generators give their model Veiled(2). That's Night Fight that can't be countered with Searchlights.
  11. Battlesuits are now "Jet Pack Infantry".
  12. Target Locks let a model divide it's fire for free.
  13. Markerlights now allow you to ignore Night Fighting on the target.
  14. Markerlights now allow you to ignore Veiled(1).
  15. Shield Drones now protect you from directed shooting hits.
  16. Killing an Etherial now gives the entire Tau army preferred enemy against the killer. You still have to take moral checks, but if you fail you're just shaken.
  17. Killing Aun'Va gives the Tau army Preferred Enemy against the entire enemy army.
  18. Kroot now ignore any difficult, dangerous, or dense terrain effects.
  19. Kroot now get stealth.
  20. Vespids are now Flying Infantry.
  21. Units with the Sniper rule can now choose their targets within a unit.
  22. Pinning checks are now taken at -1 for each wound caused.
  23. Reserves are now more reliable. All reserves automatically enter on turn 4.
  24. You get one reserve die for every unit in reserve. Up to 3 of these can be used to test for a single unit.
  25. Multiple reserve units can be grouped into "Strike Groups". These only generate one reserve die, but a successful roll (-1 modifier) will bring the entire Strike Group on together.
  26. If a unit deep strikes within 12" of an enemy unit within 12" may fire at them as they land.
  27. The new preferred enemy rules, combined with the ability to do a normal-move assault after deep-striking, plus the ability to create multi-unit strike forces, just made Farsight based lists viable again.

  1. Standard cover is now only a 5+.
  2. Assaults now come before shooting.
  3. A unit that is running at the start of it's turn within 12" of an enemy unit is automatically destroyed. Doesn't apply to Marines, of course.
  4. "Dense" terrain (woods) cannot be seen through. 
  5. If you lose a combat and run, all of your units will be swept (destroyed) unless you pass a single 5+ roll.
  6. If a unit deep strikes within 12" of an enemy, every enemy unit within 12" may fire at them as they land.
  7. Scout moves have now been standardized at 12". So Piranhas got nerfed a bit as blockers.
I would say that these changes make the Tau more competitive overall. But I'm still inclined to wait until their codex is updated before buying a bunch of models.


  1. Well 5, 7, 9 and 11 are essentially how they are right now. The only think multi-trackers is now they function either as multi-trackers or target locks for tau. No need to buy target locks really.

    When I looked through it, it really seemed like Tau benefit a lot from the changes. The only possible down sides I could see are the increased potential for deep striking assaults and the assault before shooting changes.

    Also, Piranhas don't have scout, but I think Fast vehicles slowed down just bit didn't they?

  2. Thanks for this, Sandy.

    Tau getting more benefits when shooting would really help.

    After all, my main problem with my Tau is hitting, since except for 4 non-unique units, they're all BS 3 or less. And as a Shooting Only army, this is just kinda bad (ok, really bad), especially since they can't bring the sheer volume of fire like IG can. Sure, when we hit something, it stays hit, but the trick is hitting in the first place.

  3. Except that you pretty much hit any tank on a 2+ even without marker lights to aid you.

    With the new scatter rules if you target a railgun at tank you're pretty much guarantied to hit it.

  4. I'd forgotten that, Korona. That does sound better. >D

    (The leak had been taken down by the time I checked)

  5. Cons - Tau are almost certain to be next Codex-but-one, so they may be released before, or just after, 6e - making the army potentially function totally differently.

    Also, Suits can no longer JSJ.

  6. I really hope they are not removing JSJ, it's been the trademark Tau thing since they came out. And with TLOS it's not exactly overpowered.


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