If there's any army in 40k that I love I've got to say that it's the Tau. They're sleek, orderly and have gundams. For someone who grew up on the Power Rangers, with their zords and emphasis on teamwork there's a bit of nostalgia when I play the army. I love how they've got a story that is deeper than it appears if you read between the lines and I'm really excited for where the story of The Young will go when they get a new codex.
The philosophy of the greater good permeates their society, but they view themselves as primus inter pares, the first among equals with the ethereals being the first among the Tau. I'm a social scientist in training and would love to see more on the dynamics of their society, but until Games Workshop, Black Library or Fantasy Flight decide to delve into that more, all we have is the codices and Fire Warrior. As I've not yet completed my Coming Back from the Brink series and given serious thought to each unit, I really can't say whether there is as much depth in the viable units in the Tau codex as there is in the story of the Tau. Here's why...
I've recently picked back up the brush and brought more of my army up to a respectable aesthetic level, so I've been discussing how to improve my army list with Corvus, and to a lesser extent Godfrey. We had been talking about bring back "The Armada," an army style that relied heavily on devilfish filled with fire warriors. I had this big article about how Tau couldn't bring variety and needed to simply shove fire warriors and broadsides down their opponent's throats. I was going to compare different types of armies to different MtG deck types and say how a more reactive style, with different units to deal with different threats simply wouldn't work.
|For all of my hate statistics are useful things|
Again, I was wrong when I thought Vespids were horrible compared to fire warriors, at least at killing my hated marine enemies. I knew off my head that any fire warrior shot has a 0.111 probability of killing a marine (assuming BS 3), in cover or not and I knew that vespids had a better chance at killing marines with their armor penetration three guns, but they were also more expensive. So I took the probability to hit (1/2), multiplied it by the probability to wound (2/3) and inverted it to see how many shots I would need to expect to kill a marine out of cover and found it was three shots. Fire warriors clock in at about two guardsmen per model, depending on if you average in the per model cost of a shas'ui and then it matters how many models are in the squad and the same goes for the vespids, though they clock in at the same as a tactical marine. Without factoring in the cost of either sergeant that meant I would need to spend 90 points on fire warriors to expect to kill a marine outside of double tap range, but only 48 points on vespids to do the same thing.
|Ruining days and assumptions|
I don't know where I'll go with this new knowledge, probably towards some new list that incorporates vespid, crisis suits and maybe even a stealth drone team, but it is encouraging to see that despite its age, the Tau codex has more to offer than is seen at face value. I'll have to dig deeper to see how much there really is and I'll have to start fresh when a new codex comes out, but that's okay. Getting to look at my favorite codex with new eyes has reinvigorated my passion for the game. The Young has made my enjoyment of the game young again, not the same as it was when I began playing, but youthful and tempered with experience. I don't know what I'll do with the army, but I can see a brush in it's future and possibly something on brushes in the future of this blog from Son of Horus. Until then prosper as Tau shall.
I'm Underground Heretic and I get to live with that every day!