These are the nice XV9 Hazard Suits now available to the Tau Empire through Forge World. Although I am a couple months late to be jumping on the XV9 bandwagon, I have to say I've been thinking these might be the ticket to freshening up my Cadre of three-finger warriors. I took this picture at a Warhammer 40,000 tournament I attended in mid-January. Unfortunately for him, my opponent was disallowed from using them, and took them as Crisis Suits with twin-linked burst cannons. Seeing them with my own eyes, really got me interested though and I am sorry my Blood Angels Armored Spearhead had to crush such beauty underfoot.
Checking out the Forge World online store, I couldn't believe the real life price tag on this unit here. But then checking out the experimental rules, I couldn't believe the game-terms price tag on those either. They're so cheap.
This unit seems to have the armor and toughness to withstand lots of fire. On top of that, they're extra slippery with vectored engines, making them a perfect unit to draw the enemy around the board. It's important to note that they have new and improved hit and run rules, where they can automatically pass the initiative test by abandoning their drones, who are then destroyed. I would definitely use them as a misdirection unit, ready to sell their lives dearly for the fate of the Greater Good.
Their short range weapons really does make the name "hazard" fitting. They're going to be getting in harm's way a lot. Their points-cost is comparable to a full unit of Stealth Suits, but you get twin-linked Burst Cannons, higher toughness and a free bonding knife. Not bad. This kind of demonstrates that either this unit is undercosted or Stealth Suits are overcosted.
Sholto at Incunabulum wrote up a comprehensive and well-written post about the tactical applications of this unit here: linky! Definitely check that out if you're looking to dish out the cash for this unit. Sholto's insights are well-worth your time.
I'm not sure I like the models though. So I think I am going to have get myself 3 more XV8s and dig out my Tau and Space Marine bits box to do this unit justice...but I still haven't finished that kroot riding a terradon I said I'd do so we'll see how long this takes.
What about you readers? Do your friends/gaming club/tournament organizers allow you to field these guys? If so, how have you been using them?
PS What's up with everyone so opposed to Forge World units like these?