Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Design your own Fire Warrior!

The Fire Caste is the most aggressive, hardiest and toughest Tau that the Empire can muster. Yet even the best physical statue in the Empire is weak compared to the might of a Space Marine, Ork or Tyranid. Whereas the aliens may rely on their physique, the Fire Caste must rely on technology to eliminate the enemy. Each Fire Warrior is issued pulse rifle as standard, and in certain instances where close quarter fighting and agility are necessary, a pared down pulse carbine is employed. Both weapons have sufficient stopping power to knock an Ork from his boots at 20 paces, yet lack the armor penetrating to inflict any real damage to power armored targets and armored fighting vehicles. The Ethereals have little interest in integrating specialist weapons into Fire Team and have thus set the Fio’la to work on improving pulse technology.

Ok, fluff over. Let’s talk gaming. These days, if you’re still playing Tau Empire armies, it’s likely that you playing with the minimum required Fire Warriors. The entry in your list probably looks like this. 6 Fire Warriors with Pulse Rifles, mounted in a Devilfish with Disruption Pod and my guess is this group doesn’t see much of the action. I’m rolling with 16 Fire Warriors, on foot, but I think that is rare and would generally be scoffed at by most players.

Fire Warriors are fragile, their expensive transports are not effective fighting vehicles, and to top that off, their pulse rifles are only effective against foot troops. In short, the unit is easy to kill, and lacks any kind of duality (ability to threaten both vehicles and infantry). Oh, and the current rules for EMP grenades do not count.

Unfortunately, Tau fluff has made improvements difficult. Without integrated special weapons, Fire Warriors are limited to pulse weapons. So GW has a challenge ahead of them; improving Fire Warriors without altering the fluff. The Tau rumors online have been silent on Fire Warriors. We’ve seen snippets about Kroot, where they are given Stealth and Infiltrate and new a plastic kit; Kroot Beasts. But nothing on Fire Warriors. So I want to hear what you expect and what you would like to see.

How do Fire Warriors will change in the next codex? How would you design them?

Of course, this challenge must have it parameters. So let’s start with the basic assumptions:

Assumption 1: The Fire Warrior stat-line will remain the same. BS3, 4+ save. That’s not what I like but what I expect.

Assumption 2: The sprue will not change. I have no substantiated information to confirm this, but given recent trends, I am not expecting the basic Fire Warrior sprue to be re-done. It already looks great, provides the option of rifles vs. carbines and I see no reason for the manufacturer to spend the money to change it. This means you cannot give drones or Fire Warriors special weapons.

In my view you'd have to start with looking at pulse weapons. You'd need to make them something more than S5, Ap5 weapons. I'm thinking rending would be appropriate, or even borrowing poison rules from fantasy (all to-hit rolls of 6, automatically cause a wound, armor saves allowed).

Now tell me how you would design them to take on both vehicles and infantry.

Would you make them cheaper? Would you give them any USRs? What about their pulse weapons? Post a comment and let me know.


Anonymous said...

what would be a good change is a pulse rifle is assault 1, 30" range same stats, and the pulse carbine is assault 2, 18". this change alone makes FWs better as now they can move and shoot at range, making them better foot options as now you can gradually move around while firing over 12".

Xenos and Proud said...

I personally think FW are OK as they are with just a few 'tweaks' needed. I'd keep them at 10 points but update them by giving them a Shas'ui as standard (and maybe free?) and give him a bonding knife as standard. Its a bit wishlisting but it means that they have a quasi ATSKNF and a much needed Ld boost. He should keep all the options of Gun Drones and such with maybe a few 'special' pieces of equipment.

As for the pulse weapons I think the Rifle is darn good as it is and it could be made better with either some sort of 'auto-wound on 6's' like you said or AP4 or Rending (though I'd call it charged pulse burn and only AP3 on a 6 to wound). Any of these changes would result in more wounds to an infantry target without making them terrifying to tanks.

Lastly I'd change the Carbines as I love the idea behind them and think Tau should have a plethora of pinning weapons so an improvement here would be fantastic. Making them Assault 2 would make them an alternative to rifles as is but I think re-wording the pinning part of it so that you take a pinning test for EVERY un-saved wound taken even from just one squad then that'd be great.

Giving either of the pulse weapons some sort of ignoring cover would be great but really I'd prefer an improvement to markerlights to make up this trick.

Adam said...

The Tau army is crying out for a boost to overall Balistic Skill from 3 up to 4.

It would be fun to give pulse weapons Rending, because they are based on plasma technology.

And finally, an army wide rule like 'Combat Tactics' which allows them to not only choose to fall back, but to automatically regroup as well.

The Tau army really relies on this tactic, but an unlucky roll can see your battlesuits flee 3D6 straight off the table.

Aleksi Lehtio said...

Maybe give them the haywire special rule? That just might be too overpowered, but if the price would be set right, that would imo be pretty nice.

andy_divide said...

If some of the rumours about 6th ed turn out to be true I wouldn't be surprised to see fire warriors still sucking somewhat in the new codex (assuming the rumours are true about it coming before 6th), but then getting significantly better in 6th. Specifically what I'm talking about is the rumoured changes to rapid fire - 2 shots for standing still, 1 shot on the move. I think that alone would help our guys greatly - no longer stuck with a weapon that only reaches its full potential if you close the gap (!!!), able to rain a decent torrent of fire while standing at the back of the field, and able to get in some shots while moving around to avoid the nasty things running at you! Obviously then add a much needed points drop, and probably not a lot else needs changing... I mean I'd love BS4 but honestly what I'm hoping for is much more viable and plentiful markerlight support to provide it indirectly (I currently run with no markerlights), and generally more synergy with the rest of the army to enable them to be proper team players rather than the weak link that they currently are.

Tim said...

@ Andy-divide, Those changes sound cool, but I really don't like that shooting at full potential means you have to stand still as it makes for really static play. But that would make them better. A points drop on Devilfish makes sense. Dropping the points for fire warriors...hmmm, personally that doesn't do it for me, I want them to be more useful, better, cooler, more active in the game. And for me, a horde army is not what I would like (playing horde armies hurts my back, all that leaning over to move 100 little guys). But you may just be right in the end.

Lars Petersson said...

I actually like FWs the way they are, and in 1750 point games take 4 squads of 6.
And they never fail to deliver the message of The Greater Good ;-)

I only have 3 wishes/hopes for them:
1) I would like to see them a bit cheaper as they are overcosted at the moment.
2) Much cheaper Marker drones, which would allow my FWs to be more accurate.
3) A change to the rapidfire rules.
The rumoured change of 2 shots at max range if stationary and two at 12" if moved is pretty good.
I would also be happy with an alternative where your rapidfire range is half that of your weapon's maximum range. That makes sense to me...

Other than that, I like the brave warriors in my Fire Warrior squads...

andy_divide said...

I see what you mean but I think that being able to get in 1 shot on the move at maximum range would be enough to stop things becoming static. With so many armies able to close the gap and be on you by turn 2 I don't think you'd see a lot of fire warriors standing still to take their 2 shots all game long. Essentially I'd see the 2 shots as a nice bonus that you can use once or twice a game, and the 1 shot on the move as the main use of the weapon - the important bit is being able to move and shoot outside the 12 inches range of gonna-die-to-assault-next-turn. You could make it Assault 1 to achieve the same, but then you only get half the benefit of an assault weapon, as you're never actually going to assault!

Without many reasonable options for buffing the warriors themselves, perhaps an interesting and fluffy thing to do would be to add ways that that can avoid/escape/delay the assaults that they are bound to lose. Sacrificial drones, jammers/decoys that interfere with deep strike, tactics that give hit and run, stuff like that, though I'd imagine if such things become true they'd apply to the whole army and not just fire warriors.

Anonymous said...

My hope is that they stay rapid fire as long 6th edition changes that rule to 2 shots at 30" and you can add a targeting array @2pts per man to up BS to 4.

shas'el mike said...

quick question: how do the rules for EMP grenades not work? perhaps i subconsciously filtered out the broken portions, but i thought you attacked with normal ws, then rolled for damage. 4-5 meant glance and 6 penetrated. if you wouldn't mind elaborating i'd appreciate it.

Tim said...

Hi Shas'el mike, EMP grenades work just fine vs vehicles, but they just are not reliable and they are expensive at 3 pts a model. plus assaulting vehicles puts your Fire Warriors in a dangerous position. If you cracka vehicle with them, you're fire warriors get killed by the unit that disembarks from said vehicle. You need to be able to kill vehicles in the shooting phase, so that other Tau models can kill the unit that was embarked in the vehicle, before they get a chance to assault or move.

Brian said...

Just a note to ask if you would let me "borrow" one of these images for the Killzone Errata book. I don't have a single Tau image anywhere, and can't think of a better place to find one.

Tim said...

Brian, permission granted. Go ahead and see if there are any other photos you'd like, in any other posts. Would be flattered.

Brian said...

Thank you kindly.

BadKarma said...

Assuming the rumored changes to rapid fire in 6th are true, there's very little that actually needs to change with regards to fire warriors themsleves, but to synergistic units instead:

1) Change the BS of all Tau elements such that 'La = 3, 'Ui & 'Vre = 4, 'El & 'O =5.

2) Reduce the point cost of Marker Drones by at LEAST half and give them relentless.

3) More marker lights that can shoot on the move. Enough with "heavy" laser pointers.

4) Make Shadow Sun's command drone purchasble by 'El & higher.

5) Drop the cost of Tau hulls across the board.

6) Flechette Drones!

* That's my take... for wahtever that's worth.

Garnet said...

How do I think they'll get changed? I imagine they'll get cheaper. They're wildly out of synch with the other non-MEq troop units. The IG can field Veterans with a 4+ for the same cost, and way more options; Grey Knights can field Warrior Acolytes with 4+ and a storm bolter for one point more, and again, way more options; Guardians are two points less and Dire Avengers are two points more, they've both got better statlines (though Guardians have a worse save), and the Avengers arguably have the superior assault weapon; even 'Ard Boyz cost as much, and get a hugely better statline and the same save.

Now, what do I think should change? Well, that's a rather more broad question. First, what are Fire Warriors for? They're mediocre shots with a long-range, high-strength gun, and no access to special or heavy weapons. Obviously, they're meant to serve as a source of high-quantity shots, rather than necessarily high-quality shots. So, first thing's first, they really should get cheaper. If they were, say, six or seven points instead of ten, it would be much easier to get a sufficient number of guns on the table to make up for the weakness of each individual weapon. Even better, their guns should be redesigned somewhat. The Tau are supposed to be all about a mobile and fluid conception of war, and yet they have a gun that encourages standing still; nonsense. Instead of 30" rapid fire, the rifle should be 24" assault 2. As for the carbine, bumping it up to assault 2 as well is a good first step, but the carbine is meant to be a more destructive close-in weapon. To represent that, it should pin with a -1 LD modifier, and get rending against vehicles. That would really make Fire Warrior shooting meaningful.

But it's not all about the individual trooper. The best troop units in 40K are the ones with the best options, and Fire Warriors have lousy ones. Two grenades, one of which can actually inhibit the Tau side, and the option for a sergeant, with a handful of options (most of them lousy) do not a good unit make. So, since we're going for quantity over quality, how about more drones? Gun drones, networked marker drones, even the FW heavy gun drones should all be available at about half their current costs for Fire Warriors, to buff the volume of shot they can produce. Haywire grenades should be the same cost as photon grenades, if they don't just come standard. And if they're not going to be allowed special or heavy weapons, those should come on supporting Devilfish, instead. Because for an army that's supposed to be the most synergised combined-arms force roaming the galaxy, it really does not play that way.

Tim said...

Out of all the comments I think I like Adam's and Xeno and Proud's ideas the most because they add in extra elements that would make fire warriors more than just pulse rifles. Both sets of ideas give the fire warriors more of a heroic element, more personality.

@Garnet, everything about your comment is correct, in that it makes sense and makes Fire Warriors better, but if this is what actually ends up happening, I would be really disappointed. A couple other people mentioned a drop in points and that worries me. Why? Because horde armies are just not fun to me and I think a lot of people agree.Gazillions of Fire Warriors set up, now wielding Assault 2 S5 weapons, with markerlight support, is enough to give me a head-ache. I simply wouldn't want to play against that, or even with it. The thought of picking up 24 dice and going through the shooting phase like that for every unit, is just too much. it's not that fun.

And the fun factor is something GW really needs to improve upon.

It's something I didn't even touch on in my post but after reading all these great comments, I realize how important it is.

What GW needs to really consider is, how to make units effective AND fun. I really like rending, and fantasy style poison, because it makes rolling your dice more exciting. This is what GW needs to focus on...making the game exciting again

So many players have crunched the numbers and the codices so hard, that their armies are all REALLY good at what they do. Units have become so reliable in what they do, that there is little suspense in rolling dice. You know meltavets will fry their target vehicle, you know your long fangs will tear people apart, you know your SS/TH termies will eat tons of shots only to smash face. You know your psycannon spam will blow people off the's all too predictable.

I think I am hitting an iceberg here and not really articulating it well because the idea is sort of new to me...but last night at the club, I was talking to some really good players (one of them placed third in the NOVA open invitational 2011) and they mentioned that when they play 40k, it's just like going through the motions. They can tell almost immediately after deployment who is going to win. It's because the game lacks surprises and suspense. So I suppose what I am saying is that when I see the next incarnation of the game, I want to see cool abilities, random elements, and suspense, not hordes of troops...I want to see mathhammer disappear...I know that was biting off more than I can chew but what do you think?

woroxon said...

For me Tau fire warriors should work as expert shooters something like bs 4 while under performing on CC so a ws2 would be great but other options that reflect the shooty nature of the Tau would be ok hey even a points reduction would help a lot but those are my 2 cents.

Garnet said...

I'm not a fan of horde armies either, Tim, but I don't think that's what you'd get if you dropped the price of Fire Warriors. After all, there are still XV8s and '88s to buy, along with Devilfish, Hammerhead and Piranhas, all of which are fairly pricey and none of which are available in particularly large numbers. Personally, I already run a fairly heavy Fire Warrior presence (2x9 and 1x6 at 1500, 3x8 and 1x6 at 2000), and even if they dropped sharply I'd probably only go up to full dozen-strong squads. A few dozen Fire Warriors running around do not make a horde army, not when you can field Boyz in mobs of twenty and Tervigons flood the field with unit after unit of termagants.

And while I agree that I'd like to see a little more variation and neat-rule-ishness in the new Tau Empire codex, I doubt it'll come through the troops section. Battlesuits and tanks and special characters will get interesting rules, and Fire Warriors will mostly just stick with what they already should do best, providing a good source of decent, high-volume shots.

Also, if you don't want to play at horde-threatening levels, why not just drop back down to 1K games?

Tim said...

@Garnet, it is true, we are all in control of the type of games we are playing and yes, we each have own our solution to smaller games.

I'm still fine with current points cost of Fire Warriors, I just think they something to make them cooler. They are rather boring as is, and giving them a points-drop doesn't change that. But they can make them cheaper without dropping the basic points cost, by given them the Shas-Ui and EMP grenade option upgrades for free. Please GW, get rid of photon grendades, they just don't help.

Shas'el Mike said...

Thanks for the comment Tim. I was thinking too literally, i would heartily agree that emp grenades are useless outside of apoc. In apoc, nothing causes indignation like a 60pt squad of fire warriors taking down a titan, but thats another story.

The easiest way to make them effective would be to allow markerlights to fire at bs5 and be assault1 instead of heavy1. Since they're flashlights, perhaps the tau physique could hold up. allowing a greater number of markerlights to hit will increase the usefulness of the combos that make tau so deadly. that and putting something on the front of the devilfish besides three-shot carbines >:|

Cobalt Cannon said...

This is the abridged version of what I tried to post. My original post was too long. haha.

Increase BS to 4 minimum for all tau. Tau have advanced tech and targetters. They should be great shots!
increase WS to 3 minimum for all tau. Just because tau dislike close combat does not mean they aren't trained for it. Ethereals and their guards are obviously trained in a martial art. instead of making tau suck eggs in close combat, it makes much more sense for their shooting to be so good that a tau commander wouldn't want his troops in close combat. All tau firewarriors should also have a close combat weapon. a Knife is a basic survival tool for every soldier and it's a necessity. Tau should know this.

Pulse rifle: These guns are plasma weaponry and their stats should reflect it more than they do.
S5 AP4 or even AP3. If AP 4 then also make them assault 2 and a 30 to 36 inch range. These guns SHOULD dominate the battlefield. That's how Tau are managing to expand their empire.

Pulse Carbine: assault 3, 24 inch range, S5 AP4, reserved for Shas'ui, and a new commando firewarrior squad that has stealth/or stealth gens, and move through cover.

Shas'ui: Has access to two drones with drone controller. Has a close combat weapon, pulse pistol, and rifle of choice including rail rifle, pulse carbine, and fusion blaster. New war gear that allows any shas'ui to call in an orbital or air strike once per game, but one total for all shas'ui.

New drones: Missile drone to give a squad anti-vehicle capability. Burst cannon drone, and increase burst cannon range to 36 inches to match the heavy bolter, assault 4 or 5, S5 AP 4
Shield drones should provide a save for an entire unit they are attached to, not just for one individual in the unit, or give all firewarriors a personal shield gen but keep their armor at 4.

New Grenades: Plasma with small blast template, melta for killing vehicles. Photono should be reserved for new firewarrior commandos and they should remove one attack from an enemy unit hit by them weather it's ranged or melee ( these are flashbangs after all and that's what these things do)
Sticky Grenade: Blast template, and the grenade explodes, spreading an adhesive jell about the target area. All models in the area make a pinning test NOT based on LD, but based on another number. toughness maybe.

Lastly Fix the darn missiles. All should have blast if they don't have high AP. This is how missiles do damage. Seeker missiles should also have a cluster munition option and their damage should be higher. These things are basically like Tomahawks of today.

TheGraveMind said...

OK, I've been thinking about this and talking to some of my friends about it.
I personally feel that given the state of the game, Fire warriors need to be scrapped completely. Honestly just make pathfinders troops and that solves a lot of issues. But that is just a game perspective, I would hate for that to actually happen.

Here are my thoughts, Fire warriors don't actually do anything right now. They are supposed to be anti-infantry, but they don't even do that that well, and are to fragile to live too long.

Rilfe, Assault 2 30" AP4
Carbine assault 1 18" AP4 Pinning -1
With Emp launcher 18" emp effect against tanks.

The other thing I like what was said above about making them more tactical. Giving them something like combat tacitcs. I was thinking something more like Black templars rule but reversed. When ever an assault is declared against them, they make a Moral test; If they pass they can immediately make a D6 movement before the assault is launched.
At the least make it an ethereal or commander "command" ability like IG's

I personally feel SMS should just be either Twin-linked missile pods or a Heavy Missile pod (heavy 3 or 4) Makes xv88's secondary system tempting to fire as well, and warfish a lot more viable.

mithril said...

the Tau firewarrior fluff implies that firewarriors are elite infantry, trained pretty much from birth to be soldiers for the greater good.
i think they need to be boosted up to BS4 across the board. a Tau firewarrior in the fluff is effectively better trained than a Imperial Storm Trooper. so they should be just as good a shot. their armor is pretty much fine as is. the Rifle and Carbine are pretty good right now.

one thing i'd love to see is a more 'tau' appraoch to dealing with close combat. it seems to me that the Tau wouldn't just wait for an enemy to charge in and start swinging swords. i'd like firewarriors to gain a 'stand and shoot' reaction to being charged. instead of just standing there while the enemy runs closer so they can use their sword, they open up with a volley of rifle or carbinefire to cut down the enemy as they close. perhaps tie this into a leadership test, so that if a charge is declared on them they roll a Ld-test, and if successful they get a free round of shooting before the enemy makes it's hand to hand attacks. combined with Defensive grenades to negate the enemies extra attacks from the charge, this would allow the Tau to better survive close combat, while remaining 'Tau'.

in terms of organization, a Shas'ui with bonding knife should come automatically, built into the points for the basic squad. a squad should be able to upgrade to have a markerlight, but any figure in the unit should be able to carry it, not just the Shas'ui. being able to take multiple markerlights would be nice (no more than 1 for every 4 figures in the squad, IMO, for a max of 3), though it would depend on how potent markerlights are in a new codex.

Lars Petersson said...

I really can't relate to the dissing of the noble Fire Warriors.

Mine slaughter troops all day long with relative easy. It's rare for anyone other than Eldar to make it into CC with mine...
Even my marine opponents have learned not to underestimate the brave back bone of the Tau forces.

Even if they are overcosted.

Having said that, I would like to see them get better at shooting or cheaper.
Either will suit me fine.

mithril said...

Addendum to my comment earlier:
Drones: since the use of Drones by firewarriors is fluffed as being common, all fire warrior squads should be able to take up to two drones, no special drone controller needed. i'd make the following changes to the drones: first, all drones are fearless. not a big issue for attached drones, but a big one for drone squadrons.
Gun Drones should have a better BS. call it BS3, which combined with the twinlinked carbines can perform almost as good as a BS4. and giving them the "look out sir" rule like imperial guard bodyguards, where they can soak up wounds for the controlling unit, would be awesome.
Sheild Drones should grant the unit they are attached to a 5+ invuln save (similar to how they worked in the computer game)this makes them worth their price. taking multiple drones ensures that loosing one to a lucky shot won't strip you of your extra protection.
Marker drones should be able to fire their markerlight regardless of whether the unit moves or now. the drone is a jetpack/relentless unit..but currently if attached to non-jetpack infantry it loses that feature. if it keeps relentless regardless, it becomes far more useful to non-battlesuit units.

i'd like to see more drone options. a defensive drone with photon grenades and a Fletchette launcher would give Tau units some extra kick in close cobat while remaining 'Tau' for example.

Devilfish: costs need to go way down. a devilfish currently underperforms compared to the IG chimera, but costs almost twice as much.
in terms of stats the current ones are good, but the Disruption pod and Multi-tracker ought to come standard. i'd prefer a boost in carrying capacity to 14 (to accomidate a firewarrior squads 2 optional gun drones.) the smart missile upgrade either needs to be reduced in cost, or the SMS given better range, damage, or # of shots. personally i'd go with increasing the str to match missilepods.
the big change i'd consider is to give the devilfish 'battletaxi' abilities. give it two firports (basically it opens up the hatches and the troops inside shoot out from the doors. we see this in the official art and fluff, but not in gameplay) let it drop firewarriors off at any point during it's movement (like a IG valkyrie), not just at the end. the Tau are fluffed as training for deployment out of moving transports, afterall.

these abilities would keep the firewarriors from being 'uber-units', but would make them combat effective in their intended roles, and would better fit the fluff of the tau as a highly trained, mobile army.

xXTerminatorXx said...

Keep cost the same as now. 10 points.
Keep BS 3.
Pulse Rifle: Rapid Fire 30" S5 AP3.
Pulse Carbine: Assault 3 18" S5 AP5
or EMP Launcher Assault 1 18" EMP rules.

The goal is to make them useful, not the auto-include choice in the codex. Any type of Fall-back style move to keep them out of close combat would be severely unbalanced. Especially when we will still have XV8's packing plasma in the battle.

Also: Devilfish can be taken as basic transport, like a Rhino, for 40 points (higher front armour than rhino.)
Upgrade to Ion Cannon. +25 points. Capacity: 6 models. (This would preclude attached Drones on minimum sized squads on purpose.)
SMS: Heavy 4 36" S7 AP4. Same points.

Now you have a unit that has duality, and would fight much more like the fluff. It allows a mix of large and small squads, additional anti-armour capability via the transport but still needs either XV88's or Railgun equipped Hammerheads to deal with enemy heavy armour.

By the way, really enjoy your blog.

Jefffar said...

I am against Shas'la getting BS 4. However I am in favour of Shas'ui and Shas'vre getting it.

So I would make there be two tiers of Fire Warrior infantry, a general one and a Veteran one. Veterans are composed of Shas'ui instead of Shas'la and the team leader can be upgraded to a Shas'vre. Make this a 0-1 troop choice with some special character unlocking more.

I would upgrade the Pulse Rife to Heavy 2 and the Pulse Carbine to Assault 2.

I would strip Pinning off the Assault Carbine as the fluff reason for it being there is the Photon Grenade Launcher built into the weapon.

I would fully stat out the Grenade Launcher with EMP, Photon and Air Bursting Submunition loads.

Jefffar said...

A follow up comment on Markerlights.

The reason they are "Heavy" is because the operator has to hold still and keep the beam focused on the target. I am quite okay with them working like that.

What I am not okay with is the way the term Networked has been miss used. Network should apply to Markerlights that can benefit other units. The standard Markerlight should benefit the unit that fired it.

So if we make the standard markerlight work for the shooting unit, then there is a reason to upgrade to a Shas'ui and take the Markerlight in your Fire Warriors. This means your Fire Warriors have that BS 4 half the time (or 2/3rds of the time if you use use my suggestion to bump the Shas'ui's BS).

Then give the Pathfinders, Marker Drones, Tetras and any other specialist marking troops they come up with next codex the proper Networked Markerlights which now benefit the unit firing the Markerlights and other units for the extra fun shenanigans.

I feel like this is the way Markerlights were intended to work, but something got lost along the way and nobody ever really bothered to fix it.

Argeros said...

Have you considered the posibility that maybe when they redo the Tau Codex they will just re-write the Tau Fluff like they did the Necrons? and @ Mithril, Imperial Storm Troopers are also trained at a very young age to be soldiers and with tere current fluff it is due to there Eye biology that they are such a poor shot in comparison to other races.

Tim said...

Lots of great comments here. I think we can all agree that Fire Warriors need to get better at shooting, whether its going to BS4 or just getting more shots. I really like the idea of adding in an option to actually fire the grenade launcher from the carbine---that would be cool!

I think going to AP3 would be stretching it and so far that is reserves for Thousand Sons and Sternguard. I think if you increase the number of shots, you're probably good.

Markerdrones: cheaper and relentless. 100%

Devilfish: IMO fine as they are if they get cheaper, but seeker missiles need to improve to get that duality.

Changing the fluff to allow FW to carry special weapons? hmmm. I dont see this as likely because it would mean they need to re-do the sprue which costs them extra I cant see that happening. There is plenty of potential with the existing sprue, no? -> like grenade launcher rules for the carbines!

tau4eva said...

They already have BS4 FW in the current codex. If Cruddance is writing the next Tau codex (as rumored), I expect an option like IG to take veterans. Veterans should be BS4 and have access to special weapons (plasma, melta, etc). Fluffwise, I assume these FW have adapted as Tau should to combat different threats.

taubeast said...

Easy! Reduce the points, keep rifles the same, and if they take a carbine, it has an underslung emp launcher. When they shoot against vehicles, on a 5 or 6 they auto stun.

Docbrown said...

My thoughts on tau
1 rending is pointless on pulse rifles for 2 reasons.
overpowered to have that many rending weapons(in other players minds)
we already wound quite well what we need is a more efficient way of dealing with 3+ saves.
we wound meq on 3+ geq on 2+. our problem is not wounding its armour.

2 neuron blasters are melta or template(not either or but an in game option) Give vespids use

3 Disruption drones. Seriously other armies can do it so why not. Give FW a drone that gives a 4+.(this drone is to heavy for jump infantry status)I dont care if i pay 45 points for this puppy.

With this thing FW become objective camping shooty infantry doom.
Vespid become Jump and destroy. Garuntee kill counter attack.
Now kroot just need a new purpose(maybe feildcraft gives stealth AND allows I5/4 in HTH if they went to ground.)

Jefffar said...

Best new drone option for the Tau?

Make a Drone with a Failsafe Detonator in it.

Seriously? Why are we only allowed to take one Filsafe Detonator and have to put it in one of our most valuable models? Surely some Earth caste guys and some Fire caste guys could figure that one out over a couple of beers.

Anonymous said...

How is this any model with a Pulse Carbine may purchase the special rule Close Quarters Battle for 2 points.

Special Rules: Close Quarters Battle- Models with this rule the Weapon Strength* and Assault Type** to resolve close combat. Also they do not gain any extra attacks when they charge.

to me this would give me a reason to take the carbines. I also like the idea of makeing the pulse rifle a mini plasma rifle by giving it AP 4.

Jefffar said...

I thought of something akin to the CQB rule, though I only applied it to pistols. It definitely shouldn't be a rule that all Firewarriors can get because it would make them way too effective in a fight with Guard and the like.

Witht he Tau, aside form special purpose units, we should expect to lose every fight we are in. I'm more interested in the Tau having the ability to escape the fights alive or not get into one in the first place.

AP 4 would be cool and it fits in the idea that Tau tech is better than most of the Imperial stuff. Wouldn't make a huge difference on the field, Marines would still shrug off our fire, Guard would still die by the bucket load. There are really no armies (other than Tau) that field a large portion of their as 4+. It's usually reserved for specialist units that need to be tougher than light infantry but don't rate a full on power armour.

Andy said...

I agree with most of what Cobalt said, something like an air caste air strike would be awesome for base fire warrior squads.

You could call it in once per game for each fire warrior team you have on an enemy unit in line of sight if you're not pinned. Unlimited range.

But the downside it is only available on Turn 2+ and is unreliable on the early turns as the strike only arrives via the reserves rules (affected by negative/positive) modifiers of course. So turn 2 the strike would only arrive on a 4+

Also with the Shas'ui's BS, but he can't shoot that turn because he needs to line up his shot.

Something like 3 types of strike as well:
Str 9, Ap1 Heavy 2
Str 5 Ap4 Template (inferno cannon style)
Str 7 Ap5 Large blast

All subject to scatter etc, etc. Maybe allowed twin-linked if marker lighted or something?

but yeah I think this would be a really cool idea that would help a lot with the fire warrior viability as a unit. obviously their other equipment and stats need tweaking as well.

Anonymous said...

I have an interesting tangent on Fire Warriors and general Tau troop hierarchy.

There is to allow you to buy pathfinders and embed them into your Firewarriors. For anti-armor you could spend points for squads to have access to special munitions.

Also since the path-finders could now be bought as extra choices for Firewarrior squads, their slot in the fast attack roles could be given to the stealthsuits, which then frees up the Elite slots for some new suits (I hope for hazard battlesuits ^_^)

Tim said...

An air caste strike is genius! And fluffy...all the castes working together for the greater good. I love it!

BrandCAG said...

Give the squad leader access to other drone types beyond what are currently available. Attaching a sniper drone would give the unit some more punch without taking away from the light infantry motif of the unit.

Give the pulse rifle a target tracking ability which grants +1 BS when the unit has not moved.

Allow the pulse carbine to fire EMP grenades at range.

Allow the pulse carbine's pinning ability to stack penalties for multiple hits.

I think this would be both fun and interesting. Otherwise, I wouldn't advocate for any other significant changes.

Garnet said...

So, I took 2000 points of Tau Empire cadre off to my FLGS on the weekend, and I'm pleased to report that my Fire Warriors continued to pull their weight. I ran a squad of six (hold in reserve so they're around to control objectives late-game) and three squads of eight, and those eight-tau squads were able to put out a pretty reliable amount of firepower. They weren't decisive on their own, of course, but then they're not supposed to be, are they?

Having pitted them against Grey Knights (killed a Vindicare, three Purifiers, several Terminators and most of a Strike Squad), White Scars (killed several Terminators, Tactical Marines and Bikers) and Imperial Guard (absolutely murdered a blob-squad, a Veteran squad and several smaller squads), I still maintain that they do their job fairly well. And that the only real upgrades they need for the next codex are either a small drop in price (say, 8 instead of 10) or their BS boosted to 4 (there's always something more important using markerlight tokens), and perhaps a way to bring the odd special weapon along, maybe on a drone. But yeah, Fire Warriors are still good, solid shooting units that can soak up fire and charges for your crisis suits and torrent expensive models to death with reliable regularity.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... How about giving the humble Pulse Rifle a boost? I believe there would probably be a commotion within the community if Fire Warriors were given BS4, and to top it all off, it still wouldn't resolve the issue of the unit only being effective against GEQ. I propose something like this:

The Fire Warriors would remain the same stat-wise, but the weapons profile of both the Pulse Rifle and Carbine would be changed.

Pulse Rifle:
1. Range - 30" S5 AP5 Assault 1
2. Range - 30" S5 AP5 Heavy 2
3. Range - 12" S5 AP5 Assault 2
4. Range - 24" S6 AP1 Assault 1*

Pulse Carbine:
1. Range - 24" S5 AP5 Assault 1 Pin
2. Range - 18" S5 AP5 Assault 2 Pin
3. Range - 18" S6 AP1 Assault 1*
* If this weapon profile is used, the weapon may not be fired for 1 turn, due to the need for the excess heat to be dissipated from the weapon, so as to prevent catastrophic failure and potential harm to the user.

The plan goes like this, the unit may only choose to use 1 profile per turn (the whole unit must use the same profile, and if it decides to use the profile with the *, it may not fire the weapon for 1 turn (Think cooldown period ;) Since the Fire Warriors are only carrying pulse rifles, they are not breaking the "no-special weapons" fluff, this would allow the Fire Warriors to keep in line with the mobile theme of the Tau army, and yet pose a threat to to threats such as TEQs and light-medium vehicles.

As for the points cost of the unit, here is what I think should be done:

Shas'ui + 5x Shas'la 70 Pts

The Shas'ui comes with a Bonding Knife as standard. He may purchase a Networked Markerlight designator (Type changed to Assault 1) for 15 points. He may also gain access to the Infantry Armoury.

Additional Shas'la may be purchased for 10 points each, up to a maximum of 6 members.

The entire squad may take Photon Grenades for 5 points.
The entire squad may also take EMP Grenades for 15 points.

Just my 2 cents on the future of Fire Warriors...

Anonymous said...

The only change that NEEDS to happen is to make the baseline BS for Tau (not Kroot or Vespid) units 4, with marker lights only providing a max bonus of +1 BS to any given unit.

It makes sense from a fluff standpoint: Castes can't interbreed, which means that all Fire Warriors are born of other Fire Warriors. The only Fire Warriors that can breed are the ones that live (ie Natural Selection), so this means that all existing Fire Warriors are genetically positioned to be soldiers. Add this to the fact that they train pretty exclusively in marksmanship and the super hi-tech targeting systems that they MUST have, and a BS of 3 makes NO sense.

Seriously, how do soldiers THAT specialized have the same BS as mass trained, expendable Guardsmen? A WS of 2 should be a trade-off for an amazing BS. And any argument of "overpowering" the Tau is ridiculous when you look at the Space Marine's stats and baseline equipment. But I guess Matt Ward would throw a hissy-fit if any army could legitimately challenge the Ultra Smurfs.