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New Tau Codex 6th Edition Review Warhammer 40k - Part 3 - Troops

Updated on July 5, 2013
New Tau Codex Review 6th edition Troops
New Tau Codex Review 6th edition Troops


Murphy, here (Twitter @BenMurphy), back to look at the Troops section of the new Tau Codex. If you haven't read my earlier Tau Codex articles, you can find them by clicking below:

An army lives and dies by its Troops choice. These boots on the ground apply firepower to the enemy, capture objectives, and hold them until relieved. In 6th edition Warhammer 40k, most of the battle missions are about controlling objectives and you can't do it with Elite choices alone. So, let us look at what Troops the Tau will bring to the battlefield.

New Tau Codex Review Fire Warriors
New Tau Codex Review Fire Warriors

Fire Warriors

Fire Warriors form the core of most Tau armies; decently armored and equipped with advanced weaponry, they are a capable force that can put pressure on enemies down field. They are weak in assaults, though, so make sure to keep your enemies at a distance.

  • Start with 6 Fire Warriors, but may buy up to 6 more.
  • Mostly 3's for stats, but a WS and Initiative of 2.
  • Leadership of 7
  • Combat Armor (4+)
  • Pulse Rifle - 30" Str 5 AP 5 Rapid Fire
  • May be traded out for Pule Carbine - 18" Str 5 AP 5, Assault 2, Pinning
  • Photon Grenades - Defensive Grenades - Gain Stealth versus enemy shooting within 9" (if not gone to ground) and assaulting enemies do not gain bonus +1 Attack for charging.
  • May also purchase EMP grenades (haywire grenades).
  • They may also take the Bonding Knife Ritual (see Tau Codex Review Part 1)
  • Supporting Fire special rule.
  • May take a Devilfish as a dedicated transport (rules below).

You may upgrade one Fire Warrior to a Shas'ui (character), who may also take a Marker Light and gain Target Lock. Remember that Target Lock allows him to target a different enemy unit with shooting attacks, so the unit can fire their Pulse weapons at a unit, and the Shas'ui can use his marker light on a different unit. He may also take up to 2 Drones from the drone list.

Murphy's Take:

I think Fire Warriors are some of the best shooting Troops in the game. They are fairly cheap, have decent armor, and their Pulse Rifles can't be beat. While most armies are trying to get within 24", the Fire Warriors can stay at 30", and with Rapid Fire weapons, they can still move back and fire at full effect.

They can also benefit from Marker Lights, giving them the ability to increase their accuracy or ignore cover. A unit cannot benefit from their own Marker Light, but as the Shas'ui has Target Lock to target a different enemy, the trick is to chain Marker Lights: the unit benefits from an ML fired by a previous unit, and then uses its Shas'ui to target a different enemy, passing the benefit forward to the next Tau unit. For a full reminder of what Marker Lights can do, check out my Tau Codex Review Part 1.

We also can't forget all the benefits they can gain from an Ethereal's elemental abilities. These abilities are great force multipliers, making already good troops into great ones.
For a full reminder of what the Ethereal can do, check out my Tau Codex Review Part 2.

New Tau Codex Review Devilfish
New Tau Codex Review Devilfish

Tau Devilfish

The Devilfish is an armored transport, but unlike rumbling Imperial designs, the Devilfish glides through the air on powerful anti-grav engines.

  • Tank, Skimmer, Transport
  • 12 model transport capacity, can transport drones, but nothing that is Bulky
  • BS 3
  • AV 12, 11, 10
  • 3 hull points
  • Burst Cannon - 18" Str 5 AP 5 Assault 4
  • 2 Gun Drones - twin-linked Pulse Carbine

The Devilfish has a few options, so let's check them out:

  • It may trade in both gun drones for a twin-linked smart missile system - 30" Str 5 AP 5, Heavy 4, Ignores Cover, Homing (can be fired at units out of line of sight).
  • Can purchase up to 2 Seeker Missiles - 72" Str 8 AP 3, Heavy 1, One Use. Remember that Seeker Missiles can be guided by Marker Lights (see Tau Codex Review Part 1)
  • Can also buy additional options from the Tau Vehicle Wargear list.

Murphy's Take:

The Devilfish is nothing fancy, but it gets the job done. It allows you to move your Fire Warriors up field or keep them relatively safe in your backfield, ready to deploy at the end game to bolster your line or take objectives.

The biggest downside is that for another 40 or so points, you could buy a fully upgraded Fire Warrior squad. However, that's the trade-off for any dedicated transport in any army.

New Tau Codex Review Kroot
New Tau Codex Review Kroot

Kroot Carnivores

The Tau empire consists of a wide variety of alien species working together for the greater good. Not all of these alien species are suited for the rigors of war, but one particular species is so brutal and aggressive that they have found a home in the Tau military. Kroot are bipedal, avian creatures with a savage nature that like to get in close and fight.

  • WS 4, but standard 3's across the board
  • Armor Save of 6+
  • 1 Attack and Leadership of 7
  • Equipped with Kroot Rifles and Pulse Rounds - 24" Str 4 AP 6 Rapid Fire
  • Can upgrade to Sniper Rounds - 24" Str x AP 6, Heavy 1 Sniper
  • Kroot Rifles are also two-handed melee weapons that give the Kroot AP 5 in melee.
  • Infiltrate
  • Move Through Cover
  • Stealth (only in Forests)

You can upgrade Kroot to a Shaper, which is like a squad leader. He actually has 3 basic attacks instead of 1, and he has an important Leadership of 8. He can also upgrade his Kroot rifle to a Pusle Rifle or Pulse Carbine for extra firepower.

The interesting thing about Kroot is that there are a variety of subspecies that you can add to your Kroot Carnivore squad. Note, you must take the 10 man Kroot squad as a base, and then add to it.

  • Up to 3 Krootox Riders - Str 6, 2 Wounds, and 2 Attacks - Kroot Gun - 48" Str 7 AP 4 Rapid Fire.
  • Up to 10 Kroot Hounds - Beasts - Initiative 5 and 2 Attacks. They also have Acute Senses, which allows them to re-roll the table edge they arrive on if they Outflank (due to Infiltrate).

Murphy's Take:

Kroot Squads allow you to put more models on the board and occupy value table space. With their Infiltrate ability, they will likely be given a forward deployment, ready to push towards the enemy. They are not amazing assault troops, but they are cheap. After a fusillade of Pulse Rifle fire from a Fire Warrior unit, a Kroot unit may be able to charge in and finish them off.

Adding Kroot Hounds, with 2 Attacks each, makes that Assault even more deadly. While the Krootox Rider gives you a few high strength hits, it's Str 7 also gives you some punch down field to threaten light armor. Outflanking a unit of Kroot is also not a bad idea for later-game pressure on objectives, and the Kroot Hounds with Acute Senses helps the chances that you will arrive where you want them too.

What is the best part about Tau Troops?

See results

On to Elites and Battle Suits!

That covers our Troop choices for the Tau army. I really feel that Fire Warriors are some of the best Troops in the entire Warhammer 40k universe. They have incredible range and firepower for basic Troops choices, and with an armor save of 4+, they will not die to every shot that returns their way. On top of that, they can be augmented by Marker Lights or the elemental powers of the Ethereals. On top of that, the Kroot squads can serve to be a great finishing-punch to enemy units holding on to objectives.

This is all great, but we know that people love the Tau because of one thing: Battle Suits. Crisis Suits, Broadsides, Stealth, and Riptides. Each of these suits brings are amazing in their own way, so shall we proceed?

  • Click here to read the New Tau Codex Review - Part 3 - Elites COMING SOON!

Before you go, however, why not take the poll above and tell the world what is best about Tau troops? Then why not take a look at some of my other 6th Edition Warhammer 40k articles.

As always, thanks for reading. Leave a comment if you like and stop back for more articles. Murphy Out!


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    • murphy80 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Florida

      Good point! I wonder if a shaper would be good to take in a Kill Team?

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Don't forget, a shaper has 3 wounds! Almost unheard of outside of HQ or monstrous creatures.

    • murphy80 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Florida

      Andrew, thanks for the reads! I'm glad you like the Tau review and want more! I feel bad that I started it and then never finished! I try to write "what the people want", and darn Apocalypse and then Space Marines came out this summer! It looks like a cool down in 40k releases for a bit, so I will get back to the older codexes soon. As soon as this pesky "real" work schedule calms down :)

      Check out SEG's articles, as they are also great and give a different tactical perspective that I don't delve into as deeply in my own articles. Great stuff all around!

    • SomeEldarGuy profile image


      5 years ago

      I actually have some Tau blue-chips hanging around somewhere... Partly because they work so well as allies.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Hey murphy80! I love your articles. Very detailed and concise and very helpful to someone like myself looking to start playing. Any chance you will be finishing the rest of the Tau review? (It's the race I'm looking to play)

      Thanks again for writing up all these reviews!

    • murphy80 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Florida

      That would go a long way to making the game even more cinematic. My biggest problem with the game is that, after awhile, it can turn into simply an odds game, where you try to stack the odds in your favor as much as possible. While, DUH, this is a dice game and we play the odds every battle . . . with such great background and fantastic miniatures, it should be more. Re-reading the core rulebook, there are cinematic elements like special terrain that is included, but hardly ever used! Way to go with your ideas.

    • SomeEldarGuy profile image


      5 years ago

      I've been discussing homebrewing alien terrain rules, like, incorporating webway portals into Eldar/Deldar structures, and Deldar structures using night fighting rules, and randomly generating pain tokens... Tau have some great terrain, I love their aesthetics.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      It does bite that allies cannot take advantage of marker lights, but what can you do. They probably would be overpowered if they did anyway and everyone would complain or use tau.

      Like the forcefield idea and maybe you could put some clear multicolor plastic on eldar tanks for holofields that would be amazing.

    • murphy80 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Florida

      mickniced, unfortunately only units from Codex: Tau can take advantage of marker lights. I know, right? I had some awesome combos planned until I read that specific sentence.

      Thank you, guys for the votes and reads! SEG, I've been thinking about making my own Aegis line for Eldar using colored transparent plastic as force fields, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

    • SomeEldarGuy profile image


      5 years ago

      a 30" standard issue weapon is incredible... This is why Tau use Aegis Defence Lines so much. (just be nice if GW got off their high horse and made some -interesting- terrain, not just plain Imperium.)

    • jabelufiroz profile image


      5 years ago from India

      Nice review. Voted up.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Can markerlights benefit units from an allied detachment


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