Friday, July 20, 2012

The New Edition of New Additions

With one skirmish under my belt, 6th edition really seems like the edition of additions. Additions to the rules, and unfortunately the price tag. Not to rag on GW, the book really is a nice piece of work, filled with stunning photography, artwork and atmosphere, but I just don't see why it's necessary to charge 75 dollars for it. Sheesh, give us a break, does everything have to be so damned expensive???

Rant aside, there are a ton of new rules and very few old rules taken out. Most of the old rules are still there, but they have been tweaked to fit the new edition. Yet the loads and loads of new rules are very nice, in my opinion.

Where to start?
Let's look at our iconic unit, the Crisis Suit. Our mobile mech-warriors enjoy tweaks to the shooting system and jetpack rules. Now your suits get to fire overwatch shots before getting pummeled in close-combat, cover saves got reduced and your Shas'Vre can now use the rules for precision fire. This means plasma rifles are back in favor and mounted once again my suits.

Wound allocation rules means you can now use mixed AP shooting and still cause casualties. Seriously, there were times in 5th edition when I thought to myself, if I shoot more, he'll take less casualties. No more!

The addition of focus fire means you can now target troops out of cover but it also means your Kroot walls are toast! For me, 5th edition was all about using Kroot to extend cover across my whole army. Focus fire means that my Kroot Walls will get hammered if I try it.

About troops choices, Fire Warriors seem to be better. Not by heaps and bounds, but significantly so that they are actually worth taking. Being able to move and shoot 30 inches is very nice indeed. Rapid firing 15 inches, thank you!

Devilfish are interesting. Thanks to the jink rule, disruption pods are no longer mandatory. If you can set up in cover, they really aren't necessary at all. It seems that the dumbfish - a devilfish with no upgrades at all - is now a viable and durable vehicle. Devilfish still lack the heavy-weaponry that makes razorbacks great, but at least you don't need any upgrades for them.

I'm excited about allies! In fact, I've decided on using the rules to not only round out my force, but make it more fluffy. I'm partnering with Imperial Guard to field veterans as my Gue'Vesa, Tau human auxilaries, and Straken should help make them a viable counter-assault unit.

Then my Kroot will be getting some company from the IG list - knarloc riders using the rough rider rules. Not that this is the competitive choice, but one that rounds out the theme. I'd really like my kroot detachment to appear like a warband  on its own, and additions like these will help develop that flavor.

The important thing about allies, is keeping them within your army's theme, visually. People keep telling me to add 30 ork boyz, but I just cannot bring myself to include scrap-yard orks next to my Toyota Prius tau. Can you blame me?

Piranhas seem to have gotten both a boost and a nerf. They get hammered in close-combat now, but I love the new vehicle movement rules. I think I'll have to swap the disruption pods for flechette dischargers and send them off on their move-blocking duties.

Wrapping up, Tau are still an old army but there are lots of things in 6th Edition that are going to make them interesting again and perhaps more powerful than they were before. They still fold in assault, but careful inclusion of allies will help greatly in this regard. My only concerns about 6th Edition is game length...There are so many additions to the game that I fear games will take longer than they used to.

What are you learning about 6th Edition and your Tau? Got any new favorite rules or tactics for Tau?


Karitas said...

Nice article...

it seems to me, if Orks are a good ally.. and you like kroot... model Kroot and use Ork rules..?

you've already suggested as much with the rough riders.. (outastanding idea by the way)

From The Fang said...

Thanks for pointing out the Junk thing I'd assumed it was only fast skimmers but you're right!

Personally not a fan of allies as it takes us back to 2nd edition where people can pick and choose from different books and armies will lose their identity unless people are careful to stick to a theme like you.

Finally, I think when you've played a few more games you'll actually find that a game of 6th is quicker. There's a bit more time to set up a game but the game itself is quicker.

oink said...

Blacksun filters are pretty much go to selections. There is really no reason not to take one. night fight will be much more prolific and the BSF now works for the entire unit! It sort of makes up for losing target locks on our infantry (still works on tanks though). With those changes I think that all of our suits have been boosted... and lots of alternative set ups have become pretty viable. flamers are going to be increadibly useful, their overwatch ability is simply awesome!

Also, photon grenades and / or the ability to use cheap gun drones to encourage multi-charges means that holding combats is now a possibility... You can even do this with XV8s by outfitting a defensive set up with a shields and shield drones!

Whilst on grenades, EMP grenades are certainly worth entertaining!

Although XV88s have lost access to the target lock thy are still killers. And it should be noted that, yes, whilst we have lots of potential to glance-kill tanks, we also have two of the best anti-tank weapons in the gam in the form of the railgun(s) and fusion blaster... these are powerful enough to kill anything in one go.

Also, Although I have used stealth suits in great number since the very beginning... they have finally been given the rules support to make them real contenders against the crisis teams.

Anonymous said...

I dont like the removal of the Target Lock system. Split fire was a thing for our Broadsides blowing up 3 vehicles a turn. Sometimes if there is overkill you can have the team leader's Hard Wire Version shoot someone else but that tactic is now gone.

Unnecessary removal as the Space Wolves still can split fire without wargear...

Gramps said...

I dig it Tim. I haven't researched it much with my Tau yet, but I like the new rules as a whole. And I can see myself using IG allies as well.

Are you going to be at Nova this year? If you want to get a casual game in during the downtime let me know. I am playing the GT but a casual game will be a nice change of pace to the tournament stress.

anucer said...

pretty good post, but i think you missed some of the most important bits that the new edition adds.

Fast skimmers being able to fire 2 weapons while on the move. That mean our war fish can dish out 7 shots all the time if they get the weapon stabiliser.

"increase" range of the charge move and rapid fire weapon firing half of their range and being able to fire full range even on the move. Gues what? FIRE WARRIORS! yup these guys just got better. Mount them in a warfish with pulse rifle and EMP grenades(this one is pretty optional but i would love to test it) our main infantrie just got better! 15 inchs rapid fire is not something to sneeze at.

But watch out for those suits! they took a hell of a nerf and they will die fast. The new wound allocation now let the attacker fires all of it's weak weapons on the units in the front (prolly your drones) and THAN it's more important weapon like those DAMNED KRAK MISSILES at your squishy suits. GW also removed the target lock (yup check the Errata that was a free nerf that wasn't needed)

So besides the suits (our most important unit i should say) everything got a bit of a boost

Xyhelm said...

Stealth Suits got a huge boost. They have Infiltrate and Acute Senses. This means they can outflank and re-roll for table edge. With the 2D6" jet pack move in the assault phase, they have a better chance to flank the enemy and keep running away.

Tim, you forgot the MOST IMPORTANT improvement! Everything can be pre-measured! Now you can GUARENTEE that your troops will not get assaulted by staying exactly 19" away from the enemy. Also, you can guarentee that all your Fire Warriors will be in range by moving the back model 29" from the enemy. Epic!

Admiral Drax said...

I love your 'fluff and visuals first' approach, mate: kudos to you for that!

I hope I can do the same...

Brett Whalen said...

A few new things with the new edition that really have me excited. One is that fact that flat out happens in the shooting phase, so I can move my devilfish to avoid blocking the Firewarrior line of sight, then move it back after to cover them. This also gives the devilfish a 4+ cover save, just like last edition.

Another thing is the ability to put a Gate of Infinity librarian with my broadsides and teleport around, avoiding threats and getting better firing angles. Also, A.S.S allows broadsides to move a full 6 inches in the movement, not longer 2D6 pick the highest!

A third and final thing is my crisis suits finally being able to wreck tanks, thanks to hull points.

6th edition is looking up for the Tau Empire!

Brett Whalen said...

Also Xyhelm, are you missing the most important buff to stealthsuits? 4+ cover in the open, 2+ in any actual cover!