Friday, April 19, 2013

Riptide Review

By Chris Vinton

I bought two riptides when they first dropped and I have to say they are one of he coolest kits I've bought in a very long time. The price tag is a bit of a shock at 85$ but this model is totally worth it both on the game table and the hobby table.

The first thing I noticed was the flexibility in building the model. The last time I've touched a model with this much. Variance in how you can pose it I was putting together my contemptor dreads. The riptide has a hinged ball joint between the lower section of the lower leg and foot, a hinge joint joint between the middle and lower leg section, a hinge joint between the middle and upper section and a ball joint into the hip. Basically this allows for full articulation of the leg like it was an action figure. This means any stance you want, you get.

Aside from that level of articulation there are a few more to finish off that dynamic pose you're looking for. With a ball joint at the waist and shoulders and a hinge joint at the elbow you can point your arms and therefor weapons in any direction you want.

The weapons are unique because of their variances as well. The under slung gun can be on either arm and shield on the other (or both actually). The twin linked guns can go in several areas; side by side on any mount, on the shoulders (side by side or one on each), side by side or top and bottom of the shield arm, one on each arm, side by side a over the gun arm and a few other combinations...but you get the point.

Lastly it comes with all the upgrade bits and two new style drones. The upgrade bits can go in any other same spots available to the twin linked weapons. The new drones are basically the standard drone top with a piece on top that dispute it's simplicity really makes the drone have some depth. The fins are also a little larger and thicker. Over all a good upgrade to the standard drone.

For painting I'm sure you'll see these guys as center pieces. Not only are they massive (larger than a dread knights) but also a super awesome model. These guys have very large flat surfaces that people can go crazy with freehand on as well as small eye catching detail. Being on a large base allows for some real exploration with basing material that will accent your massive model appropriately.

On the table this guy is a big boost to the tau. They offer a massive heavy fire, mobility, flexibility and resilience. I could see these guys being a 3 unit choice easily.

The riptide has the burst cannon and ion cannon options as well as a few secondary weapons. The burst cannon is a little disappointing being st 6 but it does have rending. In an army of massive st 5 shooting I'm not to excited about more shooting at one more strength. Rending and being on the quick resilient platform does put it in a different category but its still hard to take this over the ion cannon unless you are counting on h to get behind fliers or smoke light armor. As for the ion cannon, upgrading to it is a very viable option in a heavy power armor meta. Whipping three st 7 shots or a st 8 or 9 large blast/ordinance around is pretty sweet. The danger of course is that it gets hot and can't be mostly negated by upping to bs 6 like the burst cannon can.

The secondary options are all twin linked plasma gun, smart missile system or fusion blaster. My first choice was SMS because of its ignores cover but its slowly evolved into the fusion blaster. The riptide generally gets across the board and often is my line breaker unit as that its fast and resilient. With that most of the time fliers are going over top it and showing their ass or at the very less their staring as a board full of back armor by that point.

I've also switched over because this guy is my anti armor. Land raiders are really scary for tau. Losing at 10 rail guns makes it difficult to pop those av 14 vehicles. So if my riptide has that as a job might as well focus him, which has always been my style: if you have a job be the best you can be at it.

Lastly the cool thing with the rip tide is the tool box of the nova reactor. This thing gives you an oh shit button of option. This tool box allows you a big jet pack boost, a storm shield save, double tapping your secondary gun, or boosting your main gun. Sadly this is dependent on a space marine save that if failed you get a no save at all wound.

I like to push that button either in an all or nothing situation or as a first turn huge jump to get in a sweet shooting spot. Taking a wound early is manageable so I'm happy to do that for a 4d6 jet pack boost. Secondly, taking a wound when I have 2 or 3 to get a 3++ in a situation that he's going to die anyway is an easy choice. I played sisters and was getting rocked by an exorcist it's an easy choice to risk one wound to avoid basically d6 wounds. Other than that its a situational choice to push that button but most importantly don't be afraid of it!

The ripe tide was a great addition to the tau and a huge boost in many different ways. I'm glade to have both a great model on my hobby table and on my game table.


  1. Nice review. I can't tell you how glad I am to hear about this. Honestly, their CSM release was a bit of a let down so I'm glad to hear they are nailing the Tau! I may be expanding my horizons in terms of minis, but I will never forget that GW was the first mini company for almost all the gamers (old and new) out there who jumped into this hobby and I would hate to see them fail or even start to mail it in on their product.

  2. There is no mailing it in here. I would challenge even the really good WM collassals we have seen to hold a candle to the totally possible and HUGE riptide. This is one of the best models I have seen and whenever I see peoria react to it, they usually say "I don't play Tau but I want one of those"

  3. Excellent write up. Looking forward to facing it on the battle field.