Friday, 19 April 2013

Tau Empire Codex Review

 It feels like its been due for ages, rumours of the fish folks reworking had been bombarding the forums for what seemed like years. All kinds of wild guesses were thrown in with a few nuggets of truth. In the end what we've got is a beautiful hard back codex that's shaping up to be massive fun to play with.

At first glance a lot of the 4th edition idiosyncrasies from the previous codex have been ironed out, such as the compulsory Fire Warrior troops, and the restrictions on the special characters. No new races have been coerced into serving the greater good, but what we did get was a fleshed out, well rounded set of new units, and a sensible jiggling of existing entries.

From the front cover all the way through to the end it's a glorious book to look at. The artwork looks great in full colour and the layout is so much easier on the eye with some cool borders and superfluous details. The ease of finding the information has improved, just like all of the 6th ed codexs, with the reference tables being in the correct place, and the myriad weapon and support systems easily findoutable. Which is good because people are going to want to know what your Puretide Engram Chip actually does!

What Bez did after Happy Mondays
The HQ slots have been greatly expanded with loads of viable choices. Playing with double force org should be fun as you'll get a wide choice of heroes. Unfortunately at lower points levels I think certain choices like the Cadre Fireblade and the special pathfinder are going to be neglected in favour of the crisis commander and ethereals. What could've fixed this was putting the fireblade as a unit upgrade for fire warriors, and allowing dark strider to unlock pathfinders as troops.

Nothing's changed much in the troops slots except the previously mentioned removal of restrictions, and a couple of point and stat changes.

So stealthy they've disappeared
Elites are going to be the slots that consistently get maxed out. The XV8 and XV25 are still there, now joined by the epic Riptide. At the moment I'm just running the original suits but I'm sure I'll cave and get the big boy soon enough. I wasn't expecting any options for the old XV15s but it seems like they've almost totally ignored them in this dex.

Fast attack gets the second standard 6th edition spangly new unit/s, flyers. As with almost every release you get a bomber and an aerial fighter. I'm really liking the look of these, despite them being a complete departure from the Barracuda in terms of looks. Pathfinders get some awesome new drones, I love the idea of slapping the big daddy drone in the top of a Devilfish, reminds me of power rangers combining to create something bigger and better.

If you squint he looks like Greg Wallace with no pudding
Finally, the heavy slot doesn't really see anything new, although plenty has changed. Sky Rays are now a solid contender due to their skyfiring, Broadsides get a tank commander upgrade ala sergeant Cronus. The biggest change though are the broadsides. A brand new kit, new base size, new weapon stats. Again, seemingly highly controversial. To be honest I couldn't give a shit. Just get over it, stop crying and rejoice in the fact it's a sweet looking model with plenty of flexibility now.

So that's my very brief tour of the tau book, and I'm very happy. Let me know what you think.

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