Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tau Rumors: Examining the Latest Chatter!

As I made my rounds on the Internet this morning, I was intrigued by some Tau rumors that I found at Warhammer Tau. At first the rumors seemed to not be a real big deal, but then the old Shas 'El in me started thinking about the broader picture of what these small rumors could mean for Tau in 5th edition. Let's take a look at these rumors ...

(Today, my snowmobile is in the shop, so let's do parenthesis for my thoughts)

New Heavy Support Platform
Basically immobile deep striked! heavy weapon and crew. Rail and Ion Cannon, and missile launcher are all obvious options here, but nothing solid with the rumor.

(Now this seems pretty reasonable to me. I think the Tau will likely not see heavy weapons added to their squad, but if they could drop something similar to a spore pod or drop pod (without troop capacity) that could carry the type of ranged weaponry Tau are known for, then you would have something that offers their army a lot of potential power. Now let's say for the sake of argument that the platforms would take lesser versions of rail rifles, or none at all - that would still leave you with the ability to drop in out of any serious assault range and still deliver missiles to side armor or even ion cannons to long fang squads - all without putting your "real" army in any serious harm, not to mention the annoyance that this could offer.)

Assault Skimmer
Something between size of piranha and hammerhead, fast skimmer open topped, assault on disembark.

It's assault after a flat out move, and has the "drop troops along path" option similar to the storm raven.
(At first glance, I think everyone here would say "WTF, Tau assault vehicle, this is a BS rumor" but hold your horses. Tau aren't likely to be assaulting very much and they are not likely to get any serious assault units, it's just not their style (and no, Kroot are not CC specialists), but if you can imagine the ability to drop pathfinders into cover as your skimmer flies flat out across the board. If the ship has guns, it is then an additional threat. I suppose fire warriors could be delivered onto far away objective with it and a large squad could even take care of a really gimped unit if it had to. In any case, this is interesting.)

New Drop Ship
Not the FW one, but something new. Holds a boatload of fire warriors, or a few battle suits.

( This is interesting in that it makes the drop platforms so awesome. The platforms take out the transports and the drop ships deliver some fish o' fury action upon the enemy. The question for me is whether FW squads will be bigger OR if this would be the first ever transport to carry two squads? Sound to crazy? Think about it, each of the 5th ED codices has a unit or mechanic in it that "breaks" the status quo and this could be the Tau's "breaker" Aside from that, protecting suits from missiles would be a bonus.

New Battle Suits
Not sure if these are the "next gen" suits or just heavy suits redone with out metal bits.

Based on the recent GW Tau artwork, I'd expect a completely new look for the Tau Battlesuit. Something sleeker that in keeping with the latest FW models, than the current Fire Warriors and Tau tanks.

(Let's hope so. As a former Tau player, there are a number of problems I have with the current suits - Lack of possibility is one issue, metal railguns mounted on a plastic suit with those ... delicate little ankle joints Tau players just love to repair ... yes, this is a good rumor indeed)

Now, let's break from the parenthesis and talk turkey. I really think with some adjustments to points cost and a little 5th Ed make-over the Tau aren't half bad already. I would like to see them stay away from the assault route and be an army that relies on advanced tech and "heretical technology" in an interesting way while still managing to have some of the best quality firepower in the game. I think these rumors are a start, though I will take them with a horse-sized dose of salt.

What do you all think of these rumors? Seeing anything I'm not? Want to wishlist a little? Let's hear what you think!



  1. Just seems odd, as (surely) Necrons and SoBs are further along the track?

    GW rarely plan THAT far in advance, especially since we can expect 4-5 WFB books before Tau, if those 2 40k ones are both before them...

  2. TKE, I agree, huge amount of if around these rumors, but they do seem very interesting especially in conjuction with the ones posted to BoLS a few months back.

    With the track of things, I actually would be happy to see sisters come out with a book, since the rumor mill has been steady on GK, Necrons, Black Templar. Tau could use the update, but as you said they seem pretty far out from it, but I tend to post things I find intriguing and the idea of Tau possibly becoming interesting from a gameplay standpoint is very intriguing to me.

  3. I would put the "assault skimmer" in with the GW need to give every army "something" to back the weak point in a dex. Ogryns for guard come to mind (didn't say it was great, just there). I'd love to see a new race join the tau with a skimmer and a REALLY bad attitude.

  4. Actually GW does plan that far in advance. While I was working for them I had access to all the play test codexs. They had the Sisters of battle codex for third very well developed almost two years before it actually got released. Yes 40k and fantasy releases will be staggered but I bet they have a codex in testing right now. Also considering how long it takes to develop new models and figures and the equipment to make them I bet we see some leaks in the coming months

    Yes Kids SeerK use to work for GW.

    I think the skimmer idea sounds very Tau. Part of the problem with them is they are unable to really move around effectivly. They are supposed to be a guerilla style army that hits hard and then redeploys to exploit a confused enemy. I think a fast skimmer that allows deployment while moving flat out is very in character and would be a great addition.

  5. Ideally Tau vehicles should be able to zoom 24" like the Eldar. Heck, the Battlesuits should be able to do this too, allowing them to redeploy and stay away from the enemy.

    The biggest problem when I played Tau was their lack of speed.

  6. I agree. It seems like the current codex gives them a really half baked version of what others have; missiles, but weaker with worse ap ... same with plasma ... skimmers, but they aren't fast, ect. The tau could be so much more interesting and have the chance to work under different game mechanics than the other races. Some fun.

  7. my worry is that when we get a new codex all the tau players will be so used to min/maxing that we'll table everything in 1-2 turns and it'll be no fun until we learn what skyrays and vespids are again.