Today I am going to talk about one of my favourite Christmas gifts, The Taros Campaign. I will concentrate this post on my favourite of the 'new' Tau units. Also, if you haven't read any Imperial Armour books I would strong suggest getting one, or ten. Well not ten as they are expensive even by Forgeworld standards.
So this book (all 317 pages of it) describes the Taros Campaign, a war between the Imperium and the Tau Empire, and all of the new forces and units used in that battle. There are some really cool rules - mostly detailing the slick new Tau forces - and the background is mind-blowingly amazing. It is all very Tau like which is nice (although it is written from an Imperial perspective) as Taros is a desert planet with wide open battlefields with no cover and water is a valuable commodity. The Tau test all of their experimental vehicles and crisis suits in this campaign so you get to see all the cool models in action along with all the nice rules for said models. There are also rules on how to use flyers and super-heavy tanks in your normal games which is awesome as the Tau's main strength is their advanced vehicles so getting to use Baracudas will make things...... fairer.
Now review. The big units really steal the spotlight as things like the Manta are just to die for, who doesn't want a 1980 point interstellar cruise ship bristling with Railguns, Ion Cannons, 16 Burst Cannons and up to 4 Hammerheads inside! (or 188 Fire Warriors!) This thing is an orbital lander as well so can hold your entire army in reserve then zoom on and drop them all off at once at one spot, in your opponents turn! This means you can't be shot at that turn but can fire heavy weapons, move normally and assault (ha ha) afterwards. Very impressive.
|This thing costs almost £1000! But it's so cool.|
But don't think it's all big toys. Some of the coolest stuff I think is the things you can use in normal games like the Tetras, new Crisis Suits and new Hammerhead variants. I would really love to get some Tetras as they are probably my favourite unit in the book, little Pathfinder scout skimmers with Markerlights and Disruption Pods, very cool. They also have an improved version of Scouts and can be in units of 4. Again, very nice.
|It's not much bigger than a Hammerhead.|
Next would be the Baracuda as my runner-up favourite. This thing is a Heavy Support choice but is a flyer so makes strafing runs and appear behind enemy lines. It packs an Ion Cannon, 2 Burst Cannons and a Twin-Linked Missile Pod and if you want, 4 Seeker Missiles. All that for only less points than a Land Raider. But it is AV 10,10,10. But still, imagine that appearing behind a tank, although it does attack in the opponents turn so they can react to it. Dang, no rear armour shots. But wait the Seeker Missiles are shot in my turn. So the Baracuda comes on any table edge (behind a few tanks), another unit (the Tetras) lights up a tank and the Missiles fire off at BS5. If that hits rear armour that's going to hurt.
Lastly but no means least are the new battlesuit variants, the XV81, XV84 and XV89. They can only be worn by a Tau commander but they are very cool suits, model-wise and game-wise. Quick descriptions, the XV81 is a suit with a Smart Missile System which is perfect for a BS5 commander; the XV84 has a Markerlight and Target lock so along with it's 3 other hard-point choices makes it very useful; the XV89 is rubbish as it is just the same as the Iridium armour, a 2+ save and a D6" assault move but is 5 more points? My favourite is definitely the XV84 and I intend to convert my Tau commander (Shas'el Doran'sha) into one as it is really smart, cool and everyone needs more Markerlights.
And these can all be used in normal games, with your opponents permission of course.