Today we're going to talk about the special issue wargear in the Tau codex. I wanted to discuss the special characters also, but I don't think there will be time. You can probably guess my opinion based on the caption, but I hope to give good reasons why you should be wary or why you should want to take these options in the light of 6th edition.
Iridium Armor - gives the model a 2+ armor save at the cost of reducing its 2d6 move in the assault to d6. Smack yourself if you take this on a broadside as it has absolutely no effect but to eat points. Like the stimulant injectors this gained from 6th edition, though its cost also grew. The change to how power weapons work in 6th edition made this much more appealing as now only axes, fists and hammers (and of course MCs) can deny this save. I would recommend this if you want to have someone, probably a bodyguard to take a challenge for your commander. In 5th jump jet suits had a straight 6" move in the assault phase and there was only a 16% chance you wouldn't be moving slower with your extra armor. Now you lose a full half of your assault jump for the added protection, though it does not slow you in your charge move or movement phase...hmm
|Dare to believe you can survive|
Command and Control Node - GW decided this had no purpose, as it only effects target priority tests, and decided it would be easier to make it meaningless than to give it a purpose. Wow, that was easy.
Positional Relay - allows you to choose exactly one unit in reserves and bring it in on a 2+. All other units must remain in reserves. This used to be the foundation of a strategy called Ninja Tau, not to be used with a Ninja'O oddly enough, where one commander hid on the battlefield and brought his army on one unit on turns two and three with the rest surging in on turns four and five untouched and unleashing their firepower in a massively delayed alpha strike. Also very useful if you want to bring in outflankers and deep strikers with high probability, my favorite use was to bring in twin-melta suits to nuke a land raider or basilisk that was threatening my army. Not as useful as it used to be with the changes to reserves, but if you have two units that you want on turns two and three respectively, it is effectively a very cheap autarch upgrade for your commander.
Ejection System - If the model loses its last wound to a shooting attack that does not cause instant death, the model is replaced with a single model (with pulse pistol). Like the Failsafe, a nice option to represent the fact that there is a pilot in the suit, but is restricted to single model units without drones, which is rather limiting. If you have made a model to represent the punched-out pilot go for it. If you want to make your army more dangerous I would take it on your commander IFF you don't want drones.
Now we move to the first of the weapons. There will be some comparisons to the weapons I will be bringing up next time, so I apologize if it takes time to compare in value. Points costs as always will be in your Tau codex because GW frowns on posting points costs and I don't want a legal bill.
Cyclic Ion Blaster - This is one of the more humorous of the Tau weapons, as it has a relatively good armor penetration value, but is only strength three. If you get a too wound roll of a six your shot is armor penetration one. So it's essentially a strength three rending gun with five shots that can't hurt toughness seven or higher. If you are having trouble with aspect warriors or IG veterans, or Farsight's renegades this may be the gun for you. Otherwise, I would just walk on by.
What are your thoughts dear friends? How would you like to build Tau with this in mind? Are there some other concepts from the Tau fluff that could be illustrated in game rules? If so how would you do so?