Thursday, May 02, 2013
Why the new Tau are a necessary evil
First let me say that I like the new Tau codex, however I don't plan to play them anytime soon if ever. The way things are going now I can easily see Tau becoming a much hated army and they are just that good now. I saw the same thing happen with Grey Knights after their release in fifth edition... At first they garnered a lot of positive attention but then as time wore on and people figured out how to abuse them the hate began - it was inevitable. I know because I play Grey Knights and I've written many articles about them. Grey Knights and Tau are two well written codices with a lot of thought put into them both. On the other hand Imperial Guard and Space Wolves are chalk full of many undercosted overpowered units. That's how I see it.
To me Tau are a necessary evil designed to mitigate things like flyers and going to ground behind an Aegis Defense Line (ADL) for a 2+ cover save. I have seen some sixth edition armies that were designed to be played with many units constantly gone to ground and snap firing. Take for example three squads of 10 Lootaz all parked behind an ADL. If they go to ground their ballistic skill drops from BS2 to BS1... Basically half as many hits. It's still a lot of S7 48" range shots coupled with an amazing cover save. It's not fun to play against, not by any stretch of the imagination. The new Tau can easily ignore cover and saturate units such as the Lootaz and an IG blob with lots of mid to long range missiles... They are done now and are no longer nearly as effective any more. That's a good thing.
Tau is an army that was specifically designed for sixth edition so they have many new viable benefits not afforded to many of the older armies. In regards to the other new sixth edition armies I think Chaos Space Marines (CSM) have a lot of answers to Tau which will help maintain some semblance of balance. Daemons are a strong ally for CSM. Daemons by themselves as a pure army are quite random though (much more so than CSM) and appear to be a mid tier army. I do think the new Ravenwing can get the job done... They just require more thought. Only time will tell plus there are plenty new armies such as eldar waiting to be released in the proverbial pipeline - I foresee many more big changes coming that will affect the meta in one way or another.
From what I've been told no new codex is written in a vacuum. GW now simultaneously develops 3-4 new codices at the same time. I can easily see this with the back to back releases of CSM, Daemons and Dark Angels... They are all intertwined together. Think about it.