Saturday, April 6, 2013

First Impressions 6th ed Tau Codex and Codex meh

Tau Codex came in on schedule and Fantasy Flight hooked me up with a copy.  A quick skim through the units and rules section and several things caught my eye.

My 70th supplement for 40k.

JJ typing, my apologies for First Impressions of Chaos Daemons Codex 6th ed.  It was clearly forced and just a horribly bad post.  I would delete it but then I'd be trying to run from the past.  Making a note in the post to not even bother reading it.  Both JAHATCH28 and Bryan have mentioned the post is not very good.  I deeply appreciate the feedback.  Now that is over with.  Please enjoy First impressions of Tau Codex 6th ed.

The other night (Tues) had a dream that my gaming store didn't have any Tau.  There was a Wal-mart-kill-people-stampeed and all the Tau were gone.  All codexes poof.  Was walking in and this guy was walking out and he had one of those huge Tau dreadknight guys in his arms with other toys.

Then I read a line on H2Lat40K blog roll from Natfka's blog saying stores are already out of boxes.  Midnight release at my store will probably be the same.  Perhaps on par with Chaos Space Marines.  That was surprising.  From the rumbling it sounds like there will be a huge amount of people coming in late at Fantasy Flight and waiting mostly impatiently for that pumpkin chime.

Codex warping.

This is Tau Codex 6th ed before reading.  40k buddy Ryan said to lay it flat to avoid codex warping.

Bottom to top: Chaos Space Marines, Dark Angels, Chaos Daemons and Tau.  As you can see CSM, DA and CD codexes are fat with attention.  Perhaps Tau isn't fat with attention because I haven't given it any.  Should I remember I'll post a "before and after" pic of Tau codex warping.  While several people at Fantasy Flight, Wade, David, Suijin, Bryan, Hulksmash were standing around the counter looking at their codexes I asked them if they had the same problem with codex warping.  Almost to the person said yes, Brad even turned around to express his displeasure.

Not that GW reads this blog.  Kudos to you on releasing four 40k codexes in about 6 months.  I've heard if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.  I'll leave it there.

Onto my first impressions of 6th ed Tau codex.

Everyone has been looking at it, hoping for it, perhaps even masturbating over it.  Let's start with the Tau Dreadknight.  I hope the Eldar Dreadknight receives similar treatment.

Coming in at 180 pts Tau Dreadknight (unofficial name Riptide) has 2 WS, 3 BS and 5 W.  Have to say most surprising thing is its Elite.  Damn!  Buddy Bryan was thinking HQ.  I was thinking heavy.  Nope, Elite.  There aren't a lot of options for it.  However you do get 2 4+ invul saves before it ever takes a wound.  Then finally a 4+ invuln after taking care of the Toughness 6 Shield Drones.  Shield Drones that are Toughness 6 almost gives me hope for Xenos races.  Almost.

Ok, enough of the Tau Dreadknight.  Let's move onto several things that easily caught my eye.

Supporting Fire.  Huh?  What is this?  Yeah I ignored flipping to page 32 for several entries til I noticed a ton of them had it.  Ok, looking at Supporting Fire and damn.  Nicely done, Tau.

Breaking down Supporting Fire into user friendly, combat favourable, terms.  Pathfinders and other Shas'ui, including Gun Drones just for fun, within 6" of the Crisis Teams get to shoot in Overwatch.  Pathfnders and nearby Shas'ui use markerlights to allow everyone within 6" +1 BS to Snap Fire and Overwatch for each markerlight.  With enough markerlights Crisis Teams can fire Fusion Blasters at BS 4 on Overwatch along with Gun Drones that are apart of that squad.  And any other squad within 6" of the assaulted unit.  Basically you don't assault Tau unless you knock out Tau that have markerlights first.  Or assault units with markerlights and hope they miss To Hit roll with those damned markerlights.  That is beautiful.  May Eldar have some unique ability that is damned useful.  Doubt it.

Enough about Supporting Fire and markerlights (perhaps also Eldar bashing).  Onto some genuine first impressions then onto Connor's point.

The individual art pieces for units are solid.  Vespids have truly insect like wings.  Tau Dreadknight shield drones have 6 toughness with 4++.  Sun Shark Bomber is flying through space near a planet and a moon.  Where is that bomb going?  The mechanized border around the pages of the codex are awesome.  Love them.  While I love the Chaos Daemon more because they changed with the gods and Slaneesh has a gash on the right side of the page that grows across three pages.  Kroot art on page 52 WOW!  Nicely done.  Shadowsun is looking as good as ever.  I love models with white paint.  Art work for Aun'va damned solid.  Apparently Tau need their own Imperial Guard Tank commander?

Connor brought up last night the Burst Weapons because of my butt-hurt over Eldar.  He said that one of the weapons went up in number of shots.

Tau Codex 4th ed pg 26 Burst Cannon R 18 S 5 Ap 5 Type Assault 3

Tau Codex 6th ed pg 65 Burst Cannon R 18 S 5 Ap 5 Type Assault 4

Looking at point cost.

Tau Codex 4th ed Battlesuit Armoury pg 25 Burst Cannon 8pts/12pts.

Tau Codex 6th ed Tau Empire Wargear List pg 95 Burst Cannon 10pts/15pts.

I'm terribly comfortable with this.  Point increase matching increase in ability of wargear.  If only Space Marines had the same treatment.

Another point Connor mentioned last night.  Fusion Blasters increase in range edition to edition.  Damn he is right.

Fusion Blaster Tau Codex 4th ed pg 48 R 12 S 8 Ap 1 Type Assault 1, Melta

Fusion Blaster Tau Codex 6th ed pg 107 R 18 S 8 Ap 1 Type Assault 1, Melta

Now for point cost.

Tau 4th ed pg 25 Fusion Blaster 12pts/18pts

Tau 6th ed pg 95 Fusion Blaster 15/20pts

Again terribly comfortable with this point increase for bettering the weapons range.  Do you think the same will happen in Space Marines codex?  Seriously I hate Space Marines so much because of the favouritism.

Now that is over.  Onto potentially a far friendly topic.

Instead of going on more about being butt-hurt over Eldar and ranting like a madman about codex creep.  Figured I'd post a little bit about "Codex meh."

"Homer does the best Meh" inspired /cough stolen /cough from Great job with this pic, thebob489.

I use 'meh' because of a 40k buddy Bryan.  He said none of the new codexes have really impressed him.

Here are several things I've found wanting in the new codexes.

Chaos Space Marines 6th ed.

First of all.  Zombies?  Really, zombies?  I haven't drank the zombie apocalypse coolaid like several others have.  Unless the zombies are from 28 Days and Weeks later, I'm simply not interested.

Mutilators.  Yeah, Obliterators are kind of cool.  Do we really need a close combat version?  Really hard to get anywhere near as excited as the Mutilator pic on pg 43.  Personally I think he's flipping off the writers of the codex for creating him.

Heldrakes.  The fluff is horrible.  Planes going through warp long enough so they end up looking like dragons?  How about some truly warp twisted plane.  Or I don't know add spikes so its chaos'ee.

I'll sum up a few other meh pieces in CSM codex with a line from a 40k buddy Connor.  Leading up to CSM codex release Connor asked me a question "JJ, do you like dinosaurs in space?"  I had no idea what he was talking about.  His smile grew asking again "Do you like dinosaurs in space?"  Still clueless, he asked a third time.  Finally it dawned on me.  I answered "Who doesn't love dinosaurs in space."  Connor replied "Yeah.  It's dinosaurs and it's space.  Who wouldn't love that?" with one of his exclamation gestures.

Dark Angels 6th ed.

Not really a rant, definitely more of a 'meh.'

Didn't really appreciate the reveal of why the Dark Angels are seeking forgiveness in the 6th ed codex.  While it was eluded in previous codexes they never spelled it out or hit readers repeatedly over the head with the plot-bat (Yeah I'm talking to you, Smoking Aces).

While Deathwing Knights are pretty cool looking models.  There's not much to them other than T5 and some weird behaving weapons.  More of an anti-CSM squad.  These units are terribly efficient when not fighting Chaos Space Marines.  Trust me.

Jetfight and Dark Talon models look great!  Not sure why they aren't Flyer, Hover.  Perhaps it's something to do with the wing span.  Nope, Valkyries have a great wing span.  That reason didn't work.  Seems all my favourite armies don't get this type of vehicle.  Was extremely surprised GW made a Flyer actually look like a flyer.  Will probably be at least a year before I start putting mine together.

Find Ravenwing Darkshroud model disgusting.  While I plan to get one and use the fancy decoration ontop for something regarding Deathwing.  Rest of the model will get cut up and spread across multiple bases.  Seriously disgusting model.  Never been a fan of Land Speeders.  This one goes too far.  I'm thinking someone asked "How can we make land speeders more unappealling visually?" then made the Darkshroud and stood in the putrescence light of their horrible creation.  They were probably doing the Peter Pan pose also.

Chaos Daemons 6th ed.

Icons of Chaos Chaos Daemosn 6th ed pg 64

If the unit attmepting to Deep Strike and the unit with the Icon of Chaos have the same daemon alignment (both units are entirely composed of models with the same Daemon of Khorne, Tzeentch, Nurgle or Slaanesh special rule) then the unit attempting to Deep Strike does not scatter.

My reaction was "What?!"  There's some fluff actually working its way into game system (/resists going on about Eldar psychic powers).  Which isn't a bad idea on the theme side of things.  I imagine it does deter players from mix chaos gods.  Probably wrong though.

Apparently there was a nerfing of Flamers and Screamers.  40k buddy Connor was worried the new codex would change his army.  Couple of 40k'ers at Fantasy Flight were affected by the changes to those two units.

Screamers Chaos Daemons 6th ed pg 41 Lamprey's Bite exchanges all attacks for a single attack.

Flamers Warpflame Chaos Daemons 6th ed pg 61 If the test is passed, all models in that unit gain the Feel No Pain (6+) special rule for the rest of the game.

Not that it will ever happen.  I'm looking forward to the game when my Purifiers have 3+ FNP.  Quite pleased Flamers lost their 4+ wound and glance ability.

Unfortunately none of the units really stand out to me.  Will give the codex credit for one thing.  It has my favourite background for a unit in the entire game.  Beasts of Nurgle.  Quite entertaining.  If you haven't read it.  Please do so.

It wouldn't be proper to only go on about the things that didn't impress me without extolling the positive.  Here are several that have.

6th ed Codex covers have been quite impressive.  All the covers have had a troop except for Tau.  Not surprising that Crisis Battlesuits weren't made Troops.  Would've been nice to keep with the theme for the cover art.

Really like how they cover multiple units in one section.  Example Chaos Space Marine section covering Havocs, Chosen and Bikes.  Same for Dark Angels Space Marines covering Tactical, Assault and Devastator squads.  Instead of like codexes of olde where it was one squad description per page.  Crisis Teams pages covering Crisis Team and Crisis Bodyguard Teams also received same treatment.

Love the re-introduction of the Displacer Field.  That was one of my favourite pieces of wargear in 2nd ed.  Almost nothing was better than someone being saved by a Displacer Field only to land on a Vortex Grenade blast (I predict Vortex Grenade is coming back in Space Marines 6th ed).  Poof!  Instead of losing a wound. they were removed from the game.  Quite funny.  Not surprising that its brought back with someone's predilection to randomness in 6th ed.  I can only hope Displacer Field is only available in Dark Angels codex.  But with Space Marines tendency to lure wargear into alleys with seductive promises only to abuse it and leave it without self-esteem, I'm sure we'll see it in their codex too. /shakes fist at Space Marines codex.

Ok.  Minour Rant.  This is something I keep meaning to put in these and kept forgetting.  Not this time.

Storm Shield.  These are pure cheese.  Some of you may remember the long arduous history of this piece of wargear.  Some of you were probably happy to see it grow into the cheesy piece of Space Marine Wargear its come to be.  I did not.

Space Marines 3rd ed

Storm Shield 4+ invulnerable save in close combat, instead of normal armour save.  The save may only be used against one opponent per turn. pg 35.
Space Marine Armoury, Single-Handed Weapons Storm Shield 10 pts pg 6 (Space Marine Heroes pg 7).

When I first read this piece of wargear I was impressed and thought it was damned cool.

Space Marines 4th ed

Storm Shield 4+ invulnerable save in close combat instead of its normal armour save pg 25.
Storm Shield 10 pts pg 22 (Commander pg 28).

The changes to the shield didn't really bother me.  Instead of one close combat attack. Now it's against all.  Why would someone move their shield to stop the next attack?  Then again the next attack would come from a different angle possibly out maneuvering the shield.  Little buff for the same point cost.  I'm comfortable with this slight change.  However the next change really had my blood boiling.

Space Marines 5th ed

Storm Shield 3+ invulnerable save pg 101.
Storm Shield 10 pts 15 pts (read entry regarding terminator armour not replacing bolt pistol and/or chainsword entry.  anon 6:47 provided the correction.) pg 131 (Space Marine Chapter Master).

Rant time (grammar unlocked, not proof read)

Ok, what the f*ck!  Not one piece of wargear has been upgraded throughout the entire Eldar catelogue like the storm shield.  Space Marines get all the f#ck%ng toys and xenos races are politely, though not so politely sometimes, told to sit and spin.  Give Eldar, Tau (have yet to be seen as of typing this part) or Squats (joke) a piece of wargear that gets better without a point increase.  How about you reduce the amounts points for Runes of Warding, Witnessing and Ghost Helm without changing the bloody(literally)-gods-damned rules.  Or I don't know.  How about you increase the Pulse Laser to the range it was with Heavy 2 at a 10 pt decrease.  Or, to shock all of us, go back to randomness, Mat Ward (yeah, I'm talking to you pocket-watch-wearing-hair-split-down-the-middle-I-love-randomness-rules-don't-have-to-make-sense codex author [40k6 pg vii (I was as shocked as you to be told that is a pic of Mat Ward)]), where we roll for the characteristics of the Avatar of Khaine (Warhammer 40,000 Compilation pg 56) and it costs 110pts instead of the original 300!

Here's a piece of wargear that only gets better with time.  Oh, and Draigo has to sport one because without he isn't cool.  Storm Shield has aged extremely gracefully and its cost of 10pts.  A f'ing Crusader (Grey Knights 5th ed pg 90) costs 15 pts.  A Guardsman from a Platoon Command squad (Imperial Guard 5th ed pg 90) is 6 pts if you divide them evenly.  You're telling me that a Crusader 1 characteristic higher in WS and Ld costs one point fewer when you take away the 10 pt Storm Shield?

Hell Suijin told me about Warrior Acolytes having Storm Shields at 20pts, Grey Knights 5th ed pg 90, when they cost 4 pts a model with one less WS.  Crusaders come with Power Armour.  Warrior Acolyte Flak Armour.  Difference of points minus Storm Shield is 1 pt.  For one point you get a Crusader with +1 WS and Power Armour.  However if you're a Warrior Acolyte Power Armour costs you 10 pts.  Who is writing these codexes?  Honestly do they even know what they are writing?  Seriously, I'm not kidding.

I would go on more but I have to pretty myself up for Friday games and Tau midnight release.

slainte mhath

I promise no more codex rants until next codex.  I refuse to make any further comment about Eldar rules til next Codex.  Now painting Eldar on the other hand....


  1. The 6th ed codexi are what have put me off 40k. I bought the CSM codex, and then from there I noticed the decline.

    Heldrakes I'd want for the fact they look like Dragons. It could be a Tau unit for all I care, I'd still want one. :P

    All your points make sense. Hopefully Eldar get a fantastic Codex when their chance rolls in.

    1. Decline in the writing, rules or just over all, Narric?

      Thanks for the compliment. Last 'first impression' was horrible was hoping this one was much better.

  2. I'd like to point out a few things about the Storm Shields in 5ed Space Marines.

    They are 15pts not 10pts for the Chapter Master and Captain. For both of them this is only an increase on the 4++ Iron Halo save they already have, while denying them +1 attack from two close combat weapons.

    In 3ed or 4ed Space Marines, the Iron Halo was an option at 25pts each. Now they are included in the points cost for the Captain and Chapter Master. With the 5ed 15pts cost for the Storm Shield combined with the 25pts for the Iron Halo from previous editions, their true value is probably closer to 40pts. Storm Shields have seen a points rise in 5ed but not in such an obvious way.

    Of course this example is for the Captain and Chapter Master only. The Storm Shield is also 15pts for the Command Squad Veterans. But I'd suggest that the utility of the Storm Shield is lower for a single wound model than a multi-wound model.

    1. Anon 6:47, great point. I must have missed that. Do you have a page number for space marine codex 5th ed?

    2. Hi a Sent One

      Not sure what page numbers you want so I'll list them all.

      Chapter Master - pg.131
      Captain - pg.132
      Command Squad - pg.132
      Iron Halo - pg.52 (with the expanded Chapter Master rules)
      Storm Shield - pg.101

      -Anon 6:47

    3. First of all much respect, Anon 6:47. You're the only person to back up any of their information with page numbers. Usually requests for page references go unanswered.

      Looking in Space Marine 5th ed pg 131 Space Marine Chapter Master has Replace Terminator armour's power sword with power fist or storm shield 10pts (second option).

      Space Marine 5th ed pg 132 Space Marine Captain same as Chapter Master.

      I must be missing where storm shield is 15 pts for Chapter Master and Space Captain.

      Completely missed Command Squad Any Veteran may have the following melta bombs - a storm shield 15 pts. Great catch. Great point you posted before about storm shields not being as useful for 1 W models. I believe the points should be flipped. For Command Squad it should 10 pts. Multi-wound models 15. Or better yet leave Command Squad at 15 pts because of storm shield only getting a better invuln save and make them 20 pts for multi-wound models.

      I agree that there are points inside the model and wargear, terminator armour, that go unaccounted. I'm referring to what is printed.

      You're a stand up guy Anon 6:47. Hope to chat with you more often. I believe there is a lot I can learn from you.

    4. I missed the 10pts Storm Shield upgrade when they have Terminator Armour. If you look further up the options list on page 131 and 132 the Storm Shield is listed with Power Sword(Weapon), Lightning Claw or Plasma Pistol under the 'Replace bolt pistol and/or chainsword with:' section.

      I've never noticed the different points cost for the Storm Shield before. Why is it cheaper if you have Terminator Armour?

      Fair point about the cost of the Storm Shield for the Command Squad, maybe they should be cheaper or the points reevaluated. At 15pts per model the Storm Shields are too expensive for me to want to include them. I would rather take those points and buy a Land Speeder. Even at 10pts I still don't think I would use them, an extra Razorback comes to mind.

      Honestly I have never used Storm Shields. I prefer having the extra attack or as my current Captain is armed with a Relic Blade and Plasma Pistol. I like the chance of killing a marine or two before getting into combat. The Relic Blade provides a nice strength 6 melee weapon.

      I assume we shouldn't get started on the Assault Terminators with Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield.

      -Anon 6:47

    5. Anon 6:47, apparently I'm only reading what I want. My bad. Didn't catch Storm Shield in earlier those entries.

      Perhaps point cost of terminator armour help to offset storm shield cost.

      Great points about where else to spend those points. I completely agree.

      Now assault terminators with thunder hammer and storm shield cost is probably related to no shooting weapons and lacking standard gear on other terminators, storm bolter. Still bugs me. Wish I had my codex with me so I can see the points.

      Something I've talked with buddies about is the cost difference of a lascannon for a space marine compared to a imperial guard. Believe, don't have my codexes with me, space marine lascannon is 45 in devastator squad. In heavy squad for imperial guard lascannon is 15 points. The difference between these two are characteristics. Space Marines are hardier and have a better chance of hitting. I personally think lascannons should be the same cost of points across the imperium. Suijin suggested to balance out the points would be to reduce the price of a guardsmen.

    6. The Assault Terminators are 40pts each. That is for a veteran Space Marine (2 attacks,LD 9), Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield and Terminator Armour. Pretty sweet deal. I would use them myself but I love the shooty Terminators too much. I also hate following the trends in the game. It's boring facing the same thing over and over.

      The devastator lascannon is 35pts, much more than the 15pts for the IG heavy squad. In a logical world it makes since that the same gun would cost the same points across all armies. Unfortunately I believe there needs to be a balance on how useful the same weapon is to one unit over another. You mentioned that space marines hit more often and are tougher than an imperial guardsman. This justifies the increased cost for the lascannon on the devastators. I feel that Suijin's suggestion would be more difficult to implement than varying the points on the weapon. The standard cost of a Space Marine and Imperial Guardsman forms a baseline for any unit, the weapon cost will be worked out based on what that unit can do with it.

      You might have noticed that the points difference is not just between different codex but also within the same codex. The devestator (pg.142) lascannon is 35pts while the tactical (pg.134) lascannon is 10pts. The difference here is because of how useful four lascannons are over a single one. Imagine that devastator lascannons were 10pts. By spending 40pts there would be four lascannon shots per turn. This presents a 45% chance of penetrating or 90% chance of glancing AV14 each turn (assuming my maths is correct). So for 40pts you're basically guaranteed to destroy that vehicle in the first few turns of the game. This would unbalance the usefulness of the AV14 vehicles and take away their status as tough as nails tanks.

      This is probably not the most straight forward example because of the free Missile Launcher, Heavy Bolter or Multi Melta that the tactical squad gets for free. The points of which are included in the cost of the squad. Basically the tactical squad lasconnon is worth a missile launcher plus 10pts.

      Sorry about the long winded explanation, I hope it makes since.

      -Anon 6:47

    7. Damn, Anon 6:47. I really like your style and explanation. Never caught that a tactical squad only pays 10 pts for a lascannon.

      I see the point to increase the weapon based on utility of the model, as you mentioned quite clearly earlier. Every person I've shared my idea with has said the same thing you have. Which I agree with.

      Great explanantion regarding lascannons costing more for devastators because of the greater chance of affecting the tanks. Utility as you've said. You make great points.

      It made a lot of sense. Quite impressive. Respect.


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