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TAU EMPIRE EPIC ARMY LISTTau Third Phase Expansion ForceCONTENTSPage 1 .Page 2 .Page 4 .Page 5 .Page 6 .Page 15 .Page 16 .Version 6.8Title PageTau BackgroundTau Special RulesTau Army ListTau UnitsDesign NotesReference SheetArmy list originally created by:Jervis JohnsonERC-appointed army list Champion:Joe JephsonWith assistance from:Ben SkinnerGary Carney‘Steele’‘Jaldon’Trent BartlemZac e up dead’‘Lion in the Stars’‘The Philosopher’Matt ‘Dobbsy’ DobbsSteve ‘Onyx’ MarrMatt ‘Rug’ ArnoldAndrew ParkAs well as many members of the ‘Tactical Command’and ‘Specialist Games’ web forums.And notable Development by:List developed for the NetEA Project.1Jim ‘Honda’ Kontilis, Chris Reiter and Iain Werry

TAU EMPIRE:Tau Third Phase Expansion ForceTAU BACKGROUNDTHE TAUThe alien race known as the Tau inhabit an area of space near the eastern fringe of the galaxy and are a young, dynamic race, withhighly advanced weaponry and technology. Though less than two thousand years old, their fledgling empire is rapidly expanding intospace and encountering all the elder races of the galaxy. In galactic terms their empire is small, based around a densely packedglobular cluster of stars, which enables the Tau to travel between them without many of the dangers normally associated with warptravel. The Tau Empire also encompasses several alien races who have been subsumed into the empire voluntarily or whose servicesare bought through trade agreements.Tau civilisation is based around a rigid system of castes, each relating to the four elements of nature - fire, water, air and earth - whichdictate a Tau's particular role within their society, be it warrior, bureaucrat, pilot or worker. Their rulers form a mysterious fifth caste,translated as the Ethereals, who bind the other castes together. The Tau Empire is underpinned by the concept that it is only right andnoble for the individual to set their own desires aside to work together for the greater good of the empire. Overall, they're very good at ittoo.Unlike most alien races which Humanity has encountered, the Tau are not overtly hostile, though they will fight fiercely to protect thoseterritories they have claimed as their own. The sheer dynamism of the Tau is pushing them further into occupied areas of the galaxy andthis has inevitably brought them into conflict with both Humans and other alien races. Tau space borders on many Ork-held systemsand several Imperial sectors. Craftworlds have passed through their space and the first tendrils of the Tyranid Hive Fleets areapproaching. The ongoing expansion of the Tau Empire ensures that they are frequently encroaching into other races' territories andborder disputes are quick to flare up on the frontiers.The Tau way of war is efficient and deadly, combining the hi-tech wargear and weapons of the Tau with the aggression and closecombat prowess of their mercenary allies, the Kroot. The Tau dislike close combat, preferring to destroy their enemies at long rangewith hi-tech weaponry as they are neither particularly strong nor tough. When the fighting is likely to get close and bloody, the Tau cancall upon allies in the shape of the Kroot. The Kroot are ferocious carnivores employed as mercenaries and are capable of holding theirown against most opponents. A Tau commander recognises the skills and abilities of all those under his command and uses them tofearsome effect.“We are not here to bring death and destruction to you, Gue’la. Even though your armed forces have laid waste to oursystems, bombarded our cities and slaughtered my fellow Tau, we are not here for revenge. We are here to offer you toshare our culture and profit from our technology and protection.We are not here to take your homes, your families and your beliefs away from you. You can even continue to worshipyour Emperor-god if you want, you must only swear fealty to the advancement of the Greater Good, which will benefit allmembers of the empire alike.We are not here to turn you all into soldiers and demand of you to fight against your former kin. Some of you will beasked to join our armed forces, in return for the protection that we grant to your planet. But if you are unwilling to fightagainst Humans from the Imperium, you will not be deployed against them. We are not here to enslave you, but to welcomeyou into our empire, the empire of the Tau”Por’vre Dal’yth Jishu’iro,Addressing the human population of Goron MinorTHE TAU EMPIREThe Tau are a relatively young, aspiring race, whose homeworld is situated deep in the galactic eastern rim of Ultima Segmentum. Theancestors of the Tau had been discovered by an Imperial exploratory mission several thousand years ago. At that time, they had been aprimitive society which was confined to its homeworld of T’au and had achieved a developmental level similar to the Stone Age onTerra. They were earmarked for routine extermination by the Imperial Navy, but before this could happen, the entire region becameisolated by unusually strong warp storms - thus the Tau could escape their premature doom.It was only thousands of years later that the situation began to calm down and soon after, another ‘first contact’ with the Tau was madebut now they had progressed to a technological level that was comparable, in some instances even superior, to Imperial standards.There are currently many different theories about how the Tau could develop and expand in so little time, but ultimately this questionremains a mystery.The Tau had already established a considerable empire in their sphere of influence as well as diplomatic and economic relations withvarious alien races, including human dissidents who had separated themselves from the Imperium. All things considered, they are apeaceful and altruistic race and try to avoid bloodshed if at all possible. However, they do have powerful armed forces and are willing toemploy them if it will further their goals. They are a rapidly expanding and colonising race and often wage wars to further this expansion.Of the dominant races of the galaxy they are the most open to new concepts, technology and alien cultures. They also have a veryoptimistic outlook on the future and the universe at large. Still, the universe is a big and violent place and there are many factions farmore powerful than the Tau, so not even their survival as a race is certain, even if their immediate future looks promising.2

It is not the Tau’s way to follow a xenophobic policy of conquest and genocide of aliens as the Human Imperium does, instead they arewilling to integrate alien races into their empire. This was the case with the warrior race of the Kroot who also hail from this region ofspace. Following a common battle against Orks, the two races forged an alliance which has seen both parties benefiting until today. TheKroot are fierce and relatively primitive but provide excellent close assault troops for the armies of the Tau, who are themselves notreally suited for this kind of warfare. In return, the Tau supply the Kroot with weapons and technology which they are unable to producethemselves. Despite the good relations between both races, their differences are a point that has repeatedly caused friction.As the Tau influence and encroachment in the Imperial sectors surrounding their empire grew too strong, the Imperium assembled anenormous warhost, which became known as the Damocles crusade. Initially, the Imperial Navy was able to remain victorious againstseveral minor Tau colonies, but as the crusade hit the major sept world of Dal’yth, they ran into fierce resistance. After horrendouslosses for both sides and reports coming in about the assault from Tyranid Hive Fleet Behemoth, the Imperials were forced to withdraw.“It rues me that we have to withdraw here and leave this xenos filth victorious, trampling on the Emperor’s will in theirfoul and ignorant ways. However, the orders from Inquisitor Kryptman and Lord Calgar are clear: a new threat has surfacedfrom the void and is seemingly rampaging its way towards our very homeworld, so this must be countered first. I took along last look upon Dal’yth from the command bridge and swore under the Emperor’s eyes that one day we shall return andcleanse these abominations with fire and bolter, as it is His demand and our sacred duty.”Personal Log of Captain Lucius Idaeus,4th Company Ultramarines ChapterTHE TAU MILITARYTau society is separated into five castes: fire, earth, air, water and the mysterious ethereal caste. The fire caste (Shas) are the fightingarm of the empire, providing soldiers and vehicle crews for the military. The earth caste (Fio) are workers and engineers, the air caste(Kor) are responsible for crewing and operating all aircraft and flyers and the water caste (Por) is the caste of the diplomats, judges andpoliticians. The Ethereal caste or Aun hold the position of ruling caste in Tau society, though what causes the other castes’unquestioning loyalty to them remains unknown.All Tau are closely linked to each other and have a strong racial conscience. Everyone has his place in society and all work to achievethe same goal, the Tau’va, the Greater Good, which avails all members of the Tau Empire. This is also noticeable in their battle tactics,where mutual support and combined arms are prominent issues. The Tau have a more flexible and mobile approach to battle than theImperium, as they lack the almost limitless personnel and resources of the human race. Thus they use mobility to get into position andthen employ hi-tech weaponry to eliminate the enemy from afar or in deadly short-range shooting. While Tau do fight close up (anecessity often dictated by terrain, visibility and weapon ranges), they still employ the same doctrine of cautiously moving forward andobliterating the enemy with sustained bursts of suppressive fire instead of storming forwards guns blazing like other, more aggressiveraces such as Humans or Orks. Close combat is generally scorned and left for those with a natural inclination for it, like their Krootauxiliaries. They also don’t employ attrition as the Tau do not recognise the concept of expendable troops. The Tau way of war revolvesaround relatively small, dedicated specialist teams to hit the enemy with disastrously effective firepower.To accomplish this, the basis for all Tau strategies and tactics are the two concepts of Kauyon (silent hunter) and Mont’ka (killing blow).Kauyon means getting the enemy to move into a compromising position where he can be picked on and eliminated by the Tau. This isalmost invariably achieved by a lure, this might be a Tau formation feigning weakness and retreating to draw the attackers into a wellprepared ambush, an important objective like a city or bridge, or even the demonstrative absence of troops. Mont’ka on the other handmeans relocating and deploying the Tau firepower in such a way that the enemy can be destroyed quickly and decisively.THE THIRD PHASE COLONISATIONS“Expansion is not a linear process; once started, it advances itself by its own needs. Expansion leads to ever moreplanets and regions being colonised which raises the demand for ever more resources which in turn makes ever furthercolonisation necessary once the pendulum is set in motion, it will not stop out of its own accord.This is the equilibrium we ought to strive for, continuous, instantaneous change of the stationary state, yet the entiretyremains true to how it has always been. Right now, our Empire is ascendant, expansion is the only way forward,expansion is inevitable.”Aun’o Tau’n Min’daka, argument in councilOver recent centuries, the Tau Empire has been continually forcing its expansion, colonising and annexing neighbouring systems. TheImperial response in the form of the Damocles crusade has been the only major throwback, and even this failure was quickly amendedas the Tau forces re-conquered lost systems practically in the wake of the retiring Imperials. Ever since this clash with the HumanImperium, the Tau have been preparing another phase of concentrated expansion.Then the Despoiler struck at the Cadian Gate, and the ripples of this conflict could even be felt on the eastern fringe. This campaign, the13th Black Crusade, has seen an unprecedented relocation of troops in the entire Imperium, and the Tau saw their opportunity. TheImperium was weakened and wavering as the Tau Third Phase Expansion hit it full force. The first and strongest attack saw the Taufleets striking systems in the Damocles Gulf and the Perdus Rift and it was there that the greatest number of planets was conquered.Many human populations chose to pledge allegiance to the Tau’va rather than the distant and abstract Imperium. All in all, the Tau havemanaged to established five Third Phase (also referred to as Third Sphere) colonies clustered around their existing sept worlds duringthis period. After this surge of conquest, the Tau Empire is currently consolidating its hold on the newly won sectors, preparing for anycounter-strikes the Imperium might muster.3

TAU SPECIAL RULESCOORDINATED FIREThe Tau are masters of ranged warfare and have several very experienced fighters and specially equipped troops that are able tolead other Tau on an attack, expertly directing their fire against the foe; thus Tau are especially adept at outflanking enemy formationsand attacking them from several sides with their deadly coordinated fire.Some units are noted as being able to call in coordinated fire. These units can order up to two other formations within 15cm that havenot taken an action this turn, and which are not broken, to follow their own formation when they take an advance, double or sustainedfire action.Make a single initiative roll for all formations, counting a single -1 modifier if any have blast markers. If the test is failed then theoriginal formation (containing the unit calling for coordinated fire) receives a Blast marker and must take a hold action, but the otherformations are unaffected (and may take an action later in the turn). If the test is passed then all formations concerned are allowed totake either an advance, double or sustained fire action.There is no obligation for all formations to take the same action, and these actions may be resolved in any order, but they must all fireat the same target formation. The formations don’t have to stay within a given distance of each other and will complete their actionsone after the other. Each formations action is declared and resolved (including testing to see if the target formation is broken) beforemoving on to the next Tau formation.Note that units with this ability confer the Coordinated Fire ability to any formation that they join. For example, a Pathfinder upgradepurchased to be added to a Fire Warrior Cadre, adds the Coordinated Fire ability to all units in the Cadre.MARKERLIGHTSMarkerlights are devices carried by many types of Tau infantry and vehicles. They allow their user to mark out enemy targetselectronically, so that they can easily be targeted and engaged by other friendly units. Some Tau weapons, such as Seeker missilesare self-guided projectiles that can only be fired on targets marked by a markerlight.All enemy formations with at least one unit within 30cm range and Line of Fire (LOF) of at least one Tau unit with the markerlightsability are considered marked. When shooting at a marked formation, all ranged firepower attacks add 1 to their to-hit roll.Guided Missiles may only be fired at a target formation that is marked, but Guided Missiles may be fired without LOF if the target ismarked. A Tau formation may not mark an enemy formation if it has used the March order during the turn, or if it is broken. Thisbonus for shooting at a marked enemy may not be used when making Anti-Aircraft attacks.TAU JET PACKSTau Battlesuits and Drones make use of powerful and sophisticated jump packs. These allow them to pounce on the enemy andstrafe them before retreating again out of range of the survivors’ retribution.Tau Jet Packs follow all the rules for Jump Packs. Additionally, units with Tau Jet Packs are allowed to make an additional move of upto 10cm at the end of an advance, double or march order. The extra move is allowed whether or not the unit fires and takes placeafter any firing. This extra move may be in any direction and follows all the normal movement rules, so unit coherency and zones ofcontrol must be adhered to as usual. No extra movement is allowed on any orders other than advance, double or march.In formations where only some of the units have Tau Jet Packs, the units without Tau Jet Packs are not allowed the extra move.TAU DEFLECTOR SHIELDSTau deflector shields work in a different way to Imperial or Ork shields in that they do not absorb the incoming energy, but are shapedand positioned in such a way as to deflect the incoming fire (hence the designation). A further noteworthy trait is that the shield’sresponse will be proportionally more powerful with the energy of the attack.Tau deflector shields work like an invulnerable save in all respects, except that this invulnerable save is always at 5 .SUPPORT CRAFTSome units operate above the battlefield, below the airspace used by aircraft, but higher than standard skimmer levels and terrainfeatures.Support craft are skimmers, which for all line of sight and terrain purposes count as ‘popped up’ at all times. If the Support Craft has atransport option, it may embark and disembark units as normal. Embarked units are allowed a save (see 1.7.5) if the Support Craft isdestroyed.Support Craft do not block line of sight, must always use their Skimmer ability to force a firefight in engagements and Infantry in basecontact with a Support Craft may not use it to count as being in cover.LANCESome Tau weapons can accelerate projectiles to incredible velocities; against these even the thickest armour offers little protection.When units with reinforced armour are hit by a weapon with the lance ability they do not get to re-roll failed armour saves.4

TAU THIRD PHASE EXPANSION ARMY LISTTau Third Phase Expansion Armies have a Strategy Rating of 3. Crisis Battlesuit Cadres and the Manta Dropship areInitiative 1 ; all other formations are Initiative 2 .Tau Core Formations (Any amount of core formations may be selected)FORMATIONUNITSUPGRADES ALLOWEDCrisis Battlesuit CadreOne Shas’el Commander character and FourXV8 Crisis Battlesuit unitsEight Tau Fire Warrior units orSix Tau Fire Warrior units and three DevilfishShas’o, Crisis Suits, Gun Drones250Bonded Teams, Broadsides, Ethereal, Fire Warriors,Gun Drones, Hammerheads, Pathfinders, Piranhas,Skyray225Fire Warrior CadreCOSTTau Support Formations (Up to three may be selected per core formation)FORMATIONUNITSArmour GroupUPGRADES ALLOWEDCOSTFour Hammerhead (Ionhead) or (Fusionhead) Hammerheads, SkyrayGunships orFour Hammerhead (Railhead) GunshipsBroadside GroupSix XV88 Broadside BattlesuitsGun Drones300Kroot KindredOne Kroot Master Shaper unit andnine Kroot Warrior unitsKroot, Kroot Hounds, Krootox175200200225Pathfinder GroupFour Pathfinder units and two DevilfishGun Drones, PiranhasRecon GroupSix Tetra or Piranha, in any combinationGun Drones, Piranhas175Skysweep GroupThree Skyray Air Defence GunshipsNone250Stealth GroupSix XV15 Stealth Battlesuit unitsGun Drones225Tau Upgrades(Up to three upgrades may be added to each formation. No upgrade may be taken by a formation more than once.)UPGRADEUNITS / EFFECTCOSTBonded TeamsThe formation counts as containing an additional Leader and removes an extra blast marker whenrallying or regrouping. This is not tied to any one unit in the formation25ptsBroadsidesAdd three XV88 Broadside Battlesuits150ptsShas’oReplace a Shas’el Commander character with a Shas’o Commander character (Max One Per Army)Crisis SuitsAdd one to four XV8 Crisis Battlesuit unitsEtherealAdd one Ethereal character to a Fire Warrior unit (Max One Per Army)50ptsFi