Fichier PDF

Partagez, hébergez et archivez facilement vos documents au format PDF

Partager un fichier Mes fichiers Boite à outils PDF Recherche Aide Contact



Warhammer 40k Codex Tau Empire (6E) .pdf



Nom original: Warhammer 40k - Codex -Tau Empire (6E).pdf

Ce document au format PDF 1.6 a été généré par Adobe Acrobat 10.1.6 / Adobe Acrobat 10.1.6 Paper Capture Plug-in with ClearScan; modified using iText 2.1.7 by 1T3XT, et a été envoyé sur fichier-pdf.fr le 17/06/2013 à 16:03, depuis l'adresse IP 78.249.x.x. La présente page de téléchargement du fichier a été vue 26677 fois.
Taille du document: 20.1 Mo (108 pages).
Confidentialité: fichier public




Télécharger le fichier (PDF)









Aperçu du document


CorNTENTS
I NTR O D U CTI 0 N

....... . .............................

3

FO R C E S OF TH E TAU E M P I R E (CoNIINUFD)
; Ray Gunships .. ...
....
51
uads
. .
. 52
hr-oot Carn.irore
. .
.
54
,.espid tinP>,in
Drone Squadrons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Commander F
t.
. .. ..
.
.
. . .
56
Commander hadowsun
.
. . .
58
Aun'\ a . . . . . ....................... . . . . .. . . . .
60
Longst:rike ....................................... .. .. . . . .. . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
Darkstrider ..................................... . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Aun' hi . . . . . . ................................. . . . . . .. .. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
.

s ............................ 6
A N EW E M P I R E DA
The Rise of the Tau····················-··································.........
Contact with the lmperiu:m........................... . . .... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . l4
A New Age of Ascenden cy............ .. .
.
. 17
A Growing Emp ire ................................... . . ..... . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Art ofi ar .......................................... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . 22
Fire Caste 0
rion . ..
.
.
. . . . 24
Lan
e and Culrure . .
.
.
.
. . . . 26
March of Conquest ... . ... . .
. . . .
.
. . . 28
Time of the . ·e\\ Bemnning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
.

.

.

.... ........ ..................... ...

.......... .................... ........ .... .... ..

.. .. ..... ................... ...... .................
.

................... .. .... ... ......... ...... .

...

FO R C E S OF TH E TA U E M P I R E ............. 32
Warlord Traits . .
.
. . 32
Drones
33
Commanders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Ethereals . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Cadre Fire blades . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....... 36
Fire Warriors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Pathfinders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Devilfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . 39
XV8 Crisis Battlesuits
(XV8 Crisis Teams & Crisis Bodyguard Teams) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
XV88 Broadside Teams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Stealth Teams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
XV104 Riptides . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . 44
Sniper Drone Teams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . 46
Piranhas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Sun Shark Bombers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Razorshark Strike Fighters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Hammerhead Gunships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
.. . ................................................. .......... .....

.

.....................................................................................

Written by: Jeremy Vetock

...................

.......................................

....................... ... ............................

......... .. ................................ .....................

............ .

..

........... ......... ...... .. ... .....

....... .... . . .......................................

.

..

...

..

.

..

....................................

A R S E N AL OF EXPAN S I O N .................... 6 5
Melee Weapon .......................... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Ranged il\ eapon ...
.
.
65
Support Systems . .
.
68
Armour . . . . . . . . .. . . . ....................................... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
Vehicle Battle S terns ........................... . . . . . . . . . . . . .... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
Signature Systems . . . ............................... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
...

................. ................................... ........

... .. ......... .....................................................

WAR R I O R S OF TH E G R EAT E R G O O D 76
A R MY OF TH E TH I R D S P H E R E ............ 9 4
Tau Empire Wargear List .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
HQ
96
Troops . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . .... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
Dedicated Transport... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
Elites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .. . .... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
Fast Attack . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 101
Heavy Support... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . l03
...........................................................................................

R E FE R E N C E

..... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....

104

Cover Art: Raymond Swanland

Art, Design, Production and Reprographics
by the Games Workshop Design Studio

Special thanks to our playtester:s: Nick Bayton,John Bracken, Stefano Carlini, Paul Hickey, Matt Hilton, Tre\'Of Larldn, Gan· Shaw, Adam Snook
©Copyright Games Workshop Limited 2012, Games Workshop, the Games Workshop logo, GW, Warhammcr, Warhammer 40,000, lhe Warhammer 40,000 logo, the Aquila logo, 40K. 40,000,
Citadel, the Citadel Device, Codex: Tau Empire, and all associated marks, logos, names, places, characters, creatures, races and race insignia., illustrations and images from the Warhammer 40,000
universe are either®, TM and/or©Games \Vorkshop Ltd 2000-2012 variably registered in the UK and other counrries around the "'-orid. All
Reserved.

Rights

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic. mechanical, photocop�ing,
recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers.

incidents

is pureh• coincidental.
This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or
British Cataloguing-in-Publication Data. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. Picrures used foe illustrathe purposes only.
Certain Citadel products may be dangerous if used incorrectly and Games Workshop does not recommend them for use by children lliKkr � e of 16 "'it.bout adult supervision.
Whatever your age, be careful when using glues, bladed equipment and sprays and make sure that you read and follow the in:suucrions on the packaging.

WWW.G AM E S -WD R KS HO P . C DM

UK

NORTHERN EUROPE

NORTH AMERICA

AUSTRALIA

Games Workshop Ltd,

Games Workshop Ltd,

Games Workshop Inc.

Games Workshop,

\1-illow Rd, Lenton,

Willow Rd, Lenton,

6211 East Holmes Road,

23 Liverpool Street,

)\ortingham,

Nottingham,

Memphis,

Ingleburn,

).;Gi2\\'S

NG72WS

Tenne ee

Hl

NSW255
6

I NTRO D U CTIDN
O n the galaxy's Eastern Fringe a new Empire is rising. Ambitious and united in purpose, the Tau seek to spread their
enlightened ways across the galaxy, believing that now is their time to rule. Those who do not willin gly bow down to the
Greater Good of the Tau Empire must be shown the error of their ways.

FO R TH E G R EATE R G O O D
The Tau are an alien race seeking to carve its own realm into
the havoc-filled galaxy of the 41st Millennium. They mean
to bring a new way to a barbaric and unordered universe.
Many races have already joined their cause, and in time even
those that resist are shown the light. Their cause - known
to the Tau as the Greater Good - requires all individuals
to set aside their own desires and cooperate for the benefit
of their growing Empire. They believe there is no foe their
technology cannot overcome and no quandary their science
cannot resolve. If needs be, even the stars will be moved for
the Greater Good.

WA R H AM M E R 4 0, 0 0 0
If you are reading this codex, then you have already
taken your first steps into the Warhammer 40,000
hobby. The Warhammer 40,000 rule book contains all
the rules you need to fight battles with your Citadel
miniatures, and every army has its own codex that
acts as a definitive guide to collecting and unleashing
it upon the tabletop battlefields of the Warhammer
40,000 universe. This codex allows you to turn your
collection of Tau Empire models into a Hunter Cadre
ready to do battle for the Greater Good.

TH E TA U A R MY
A stylish and powerful army, none can match the
sophisticated weaponry and high tech gear of the Tau
Empire. To achieve victory, a Commander must use
his diverse elements in a combined fashion. A gunline
supported by anti-grav tanks, drones and alien auxiliaries
will hold the foe at bay so tl1at they'll never see the killing
blow coming. Battlesuits - mobile suits of armour bristling
with deadly weaponry, the apex of Tau technology - airdrop
from on high in support of the foot soldiers advancing
below. Through such harmony comes devastation.

H OW TH I S C O D E X W O R K S
Codex: Tau Empire contains everything you need to play
a game of Warhammer 40,000 with your army. Within
these pages you will find the origins of the Tau, their caste
system, their many battles of expansion and the rise of
their ever-growing Empire. You will also find the rules to
use the powerful heroes, units, vehicles and even advanced
prototype equipment at your disposal. There is also an
army list that enables you to organise your collection of
Citadel miniatures into a worthy army. Finally, you will find
a showcase of fantastically painted Tau Empire miniatures,
replete with examples of markings, camouflage patterns and
colour schemes employed by the many Tau septs.

'STRANGER,

I BID YOU

GREETINGS IN THE NAME OF
THE TAU.

IF YOU ARE READING THIS,
THEN YOU WILL HAVE
ENCOUNTERED ONE OF
OUR MESSENGER DRONES
AND ARE THEREFORE A
SPACEFARING RACE. You
WILL SCION SEE MORE
EVIDENCE OF us; THIS IS NO
CAUSE FOR ALARM.

WHEN YOU ENCOUNTER
CINE CIF OUR SHIPS CIR
OUTPOSTS, THEN WELCOME
IT. WE HAVE MUCH TCI
OFFER A FAITHFUL FRIEND.
WE ARE FIVE CASTES, CINE
PEOPLE. ALL ARE BOUND TCI
THE DREAM CIF BRINGING A
NEW AND BETTER WAY TCI
THE UNIVERSE. ALL ARE
WORKING TOWARDS THE
GREATER GCICID.

HOPE YOU WILL CHOOSE
TCI SHARE THE CULTURE,
TECHNOLOGY AND
PROTECTION CIF THE
TAU EMPIRE.

THE WISE LEARN TCI
ADAPT TCI CHANGE.

BELIEVE IN OUR DESTINY.'

- TRANSCRIPT FROM ALIEN
PROBE DISCOVERED IN
KDATH SYSTEM , 696.M41

NEW EMPIRE DAWNS
On the eastern fringes of the galaxy, there is a new power on the rise. The Tau Empire is spreading; its boundless ambitions
have yet to be checked. Although world after world have been subsumed under their control, the Tau believe it is only the
start of their new unified order, for it is their destiny to rule, and none have the right to deny their progress across the stars.
Like a newborn sun spreading its light into the darkness, the

M A N I F E ST D E STI NY

Tau Empire radiates outwards, its power ever growing. The

The Tau believe that their destiny is to rule and that the

Tau are a dynamic race, whose unity of purpose and superb

time to do so is now. They fully accept the superiority of

grasp of technology have enabled them to make rapid

their culture and technology, and have recognised that they

advances. Where once the Tau looked up to see the distant

are the only hope of bringing an enlightened philosophy

pinpricks of unexplored stars, now they see the shimmering

to a bleak, barren and backwards galaxy. T here is no feat

lights of their own interstellar empire.

beyond the range of their engineering, no quandary that

In their expansions, the Tau have planted thriving

cannot overcome. In time. all other races will come to

their scientists cannot oh·e and no foe that their warriors
colonies where before there was only desolation. In their

accept these truths, and the very tars will be reshaped and

wisdom, they have transformed lifeless and poisonous

realigned in the name of the on1

cause that ever mattered.

orbs into fecund worlds capable of supporting burgeoning
populations. Artificial planets, orbital docks and strings of

A strong ideological concept driYe the Tau- Tau'va- which

relay stations now light interstellar pathways all across what

translates as 'the Greater Good'. a phrase that means the

was once the empty blackness of space. Although considered

good of the many (society) i greater than the good of

upstarts and fledglings by the elder powers of the galaxy,

the few (the individual). T hat one must set aside personal

the Tau have supreme confidence in themselves and see

desires to work for the Greater Good is of prime concern to

only the unfolding of the natural order of things. New stars

the Tau and it is impo ible to underpla the importance of

are born out of swirling nebula, replacing those suns that

this ideal- all working together

collapse or blaze out in supernovas. So too do empires rise

of the whole society.

ro

achieve the advancement

and fall.
RELENTLESS D R IVE

The Tau Empire continue to grow, rretching outwards in
ever-increasing bands. This continual expansion ensures that
the Tau regularly encroach into already occupied territory,
where they encounter much i!!llorance and hostility.
However, this has not dissuaded them from their mission. If
anything, each conflict onl,· rrengthens the Tau's collective
will and lends further clari£\· ro their purpose.
Although the Tau ee-

to

annex all territory and assimilate

any alien race the\· discorer. d!ev attempt to do so through
enticement, ramer than :uhju2ation. The Tau have become
masters of diplomaCY- offerina �rreat rewards for those who
acquiesce. In

d!ese mane

the incorporation proc

--

me Tau are patient, content for

w rake years,

or even decades,

until an alien world is fuTh· sub umed. Oftentimes, Tau
rule is so ubd,- insinua ed that the natives even assume
it was £heir idea. Hm:eYer. if re i tance is encountered,

gro ,. more aggressive in nature. If these

negotiations quic ·
do not proceed in a
talks are

'>fuctory manner for the Tau, the

,i.fth· replaced ,,;dJ a purely military solution.

The mili taf\· appara

- o me Tau is a finely tuned

in trurnen o death. Their wan;or caste is prepared for
batde from b1nh.

Each oldier is equipped with hi-tech

weaponn· and·- unque·tionably committed to the cause
of me Grearer Good . Their elite troops wear advanced

banlesui - that bristle ";d! fearsome arrays of firepower.
.\ combined a.nns force. £heir mechanised infantry and
I!Ta\;r--<ief'm
air

hip work in deadly cohesion while their

ee dominate me skies above. Tau Commanders are

master tacticians. well \'ersed in the arts of war. Thus fa1� the
expansion of me Tau Empire are only rarely so much as
lo,,·ed. and £hey haYe never been stopped.

THE CASTE SYSTEM

So completely have the Tau absorbed the concept of the
Greater Good that it has come to shape not just their
purpose, but also their race's physical appearance. Since the
time of their prehistory (known as the Mont'au or 'death
age'), the Tau have been divided into rigid castes, with each
segment responsible for specific functions within society­
each caste contributing its expertise to the almighty whole.
All Tau are humanoid in shape, with two large hoof-like toes
and blue-grey leathery skin, although the exact tone can
vary, growing more blue based on a colony's proximity to the
sun. Over time, each of the Tau castes has further evolved
to better meet the requirements associated with their roles,
effectively developing into a subspecies within the larger
Tau race. Tau are born into their caste and interbreeding
across these distinct classes is outlawed by the Ethereals, the
mysterious fifth caste that are the leaders of the Tau Empire.
The castes are as follows:

Fire Caste: The Fire caste provides the warriors
of the Tau. It is the duty of these soldiers to
protect the other castes and to eliminate any
foes foolish enough to oppose the will of the
Tau Empire. Long ago the Fire caste originated from the
hunter tribes of the plains, and even then they were already
the strongest and most aggressive of all the Tau. T hrough
the years, the Fire caste's desirable traits of strength and
physical size have continued to increase, and any weak
strains are quickly weeded out. They are guided by the Code
of Fire, which translates loosely as 'the ways of the warrior'.
It stresses martial arts, loyalty, and merciless war tempered
by wisdom. The Fire Warriors spend their entire lifetimes in
battle or preparing for it, constantly honing their tactics and

Air Caste: In ancient times, the Tau of the Air

relentlessly working to improve their battle skills.

caste were messengers, but they now fill the role
of pilots and spaceship ere'' , transporting goods

Earth Caste: The Earth caste contains the artisans,

and warriors to where they are needed. The Air

builders and workers of the Tau, and is by far

caste are the unseen force (sometimes called the invisible

the most numerous of the castes. It is they who

caste) for they rarely, if ever, et foot upon planets- most Air

construct the machines, erect dwellings and provide

caste members pend the majority of their lives in space transit

food for the rest of the Tau Empire. Without the

or docked upon space stations. Their bodies have evolved

Earth caste, the farms would not produce and fact01ie

tO their new circwnstances, no longer bearing wings as they

would sit idle. The menial levels of the Earth caste are turdy

once did, but instead exhibiting longer and lighter frames in

labourers who toil ceaselessly. The foremost mind of the

response to their low gravity existence. Hollow bones allow the

caste become engineers and scientists, inventers be ·ond

pilots of the Air caste to withstand great acceleration, although

compare. It is they who build the sophisticated machinery

they are conversely weak and ungainly when on worlds with

and create the many technological innovations that are

even modeta.te gravity. In battle, the Air caste can rain death

o

prevalent throughout all levels of society in the Tau Empire.

from the skies while crewing either skybome attack fighters or
bomber craft in support of the planet-bound Fire Warriors.

Water Caste: Water is the element that can be
Ethereal Caste: Ethereals are the unquestioned

found in all living things, flowing continuously
to allow life to function. So it is that Water caste

leaders of the united castes that make up tl1e

members are bureaucrats, politicians, negotiators

Tau Empire. Their unique role is a combination

and administrators- in essence, they are tl1e civil sen-ants

of spiritual and political command, and their

that make Tau society run smoothly. The Water ca te

declarations shape and steer every facet of the

make up the merchants, traders and diplomats- moving

Tau Empire in an indisputably complete way- and tl1ey have

fluidly among the other castes and any aliens incorpota.ted

absolute authority. Were an Ethereal to order a Tau to kill

into the Tau Empire. They assuage fears and ensure all

himself, he would be met with instant obedience.

negotiations are handled with great efficiency. This subset
of the Tau has always displayed a gift for linguistics that
has become even further developed over time. The Water
caste are able to learn alien languages with ease and show a
remarkable ability to pick up and emulate even tl1e subtlest
of communication nuances.

'OUR

OF"

CONQUEST IS INEVITABLE, OUR ASCENSION A MATTER
TIME.

LET NONE WHO ARE WISE DENY OUR DESTINY.'


AU N'VA, ETHEREAL SUPREME

RISE OF THE TAU
The Tau say 'from out of darkness bursts the light', a phrase in their language that is laden with meaning- referring at once
to the sudden and dramatic sunrise typical of the planet T'au, of the legends told of the coming of the Ethereals, and of the
vigorous surge of expansionism that even now is spreading further out into the blackness of the galaxy.
Near the Eastern Fringe of the galaxy lies the small planet

what they could not, and negotiated trade agreements

ofT'au. It is an arid world with a few lush areas and shallow

between the disparate tribes, recognising the inherent value

oceans. The planet is dominated by a massive continent,

in each others· talents. The Tau who remained on the plains

whose lands are composed of game-rich savannahs and

grew su·onger, becoming skilful and aggressive hunters.

sweeping plains, broken by patches of rocky desert. Long

They took what they wanted and if they had to fight in

before the Tau took to the stars, they began as hunters on

honourable battle to

et it, o much tl1e better.

these plains, and as their u·ibes grew, they spread across the
lands following migrating game, avoiding natural disasters,
and seeking to escape growing rivalries. As the centuries

A DVA N C ED EVO L UTI O N

passed, each branch of the dispersed Tau began developing

The story o f eYolution from tone tools t o a more advanced

in their own way, displaying a unique talent for adapting to

society is a common enou h tale throughout the galaxy.

their chosen environment.

What makes the Tau tory notable i the speed at which

High on isolated mountain peaks, some soared on thermals,

generations after they e tablished their first settlements that

their culture leapt from rage to

rage .

It was not many

rising up from the hot plains on thin membranous wings;

the Tau began buildin

these found plentiful employment amongst the other Tau

firearms to defend them from marauding tribes of plains

as messengers and scouts. Those whose migrations carried

dwellers allied with the Tau of the air.

fortr

e and using combustion

them to the river valleys began establishing well-constructed
farming communities, developing their metallurgical, tool­

Trade routes were cut and the Tau who negotiated between

making and mining skills to create the first settlements.

the various tribe were attacked to preYent alliances from

Others realised that different communities could produce

being formed. Soon, vast intertribal

wars

ravaged the main

continent, with Tau tribes turning on each other in savage

More Etl1ereals went to visit the plains dwellers than visited

battles utilising primitive firearms. The fighting dragged

all tl1e other uibes combined. As the most aggressive of all

on for many years, thousands dying on every side with no

Tau, these waniors had the hardest time accepting the new

end to the slaughter in sight. Squalid conditions caused

ways and required much convincing. Yet as they saw the

by the fighting and a lack of fresh food and water allowed

larger and more impressive settlements being established by

plagues to spread until more Tau were dying of disease than

the other uibe , they could not help but admire the great

were being killed in battle. As the savagery of the fighting

progress, and finally submitted to the Ethereals' entreaties.

escalated, it seemed as though the Tau race would surely
extinguish itself in the fires of its own barbarity.

From that time forth, the Ethereals and a council of the
eldest from each uibe decreed that the Tau would be
formalised into caste , each known by tl1e element that

TH E C O M I N G O F TH E ETH E R EALS

most befitted its role in the Greater Good. The builders and

T h e Tau had entered their darkest age, when the entire race

artisans would be the Earth caste, the couts and messengers

was being destroyed by war and disease. At this time, strange

became the Air caste, the Uaders and civil administrators

lights were seen in the sky and many believed these were

formed the Water caste and the waniors of the plains

signs that they were living in the last days - that extinction

would be known as the Fire caste. Having saved tl1e Tau

was nigh. From these times come many different myths of

from either extinction or, at the least, ignoble savagery, the

how the race was pulled back from the brink of annihilation,

Ethereals were revered with the um1ost devotion. Although

of which ' T he Ethereals of Fio'taun' is the foremost.

always the least numerous of all the castes, the Ethereals
became the guiding force for all Tau, as it was they who saw

The legend tells that on a mountain plateau called Fio'taun,

the vision of what the future could hold for their race.

an alliance of plains dwellers and airborne Tau laid siege to
the mightiest walled city of the builder Tau, a great foru·ess
citadel. In vain, the traders attempted to negotiate with the

DYN A M I C EXPAN S I O N

fierce plains warriors- but their blood was afire and they

The Tau entered into an unprecedented period of rapid

would brook no treaty, save for the kind delivered from the

change heralded by new inventions and great leaps of

end of a rifle. For five long seasons the cannons of Fio'taun

advancement in many fields. Each caste became relentlessly

held the attackers at bay, but supplies were low and disease

driven in its pursuit of the next achievement for the Greater

was rife within the city walls. As night fell upon another

Good. The successes that followed were plentiful- with

bloody day's fighting, the leaders within Fio'taun were in

vast step changes discovered in metallurgy, engineering,

despair, little knowing that succour was on the way.

energy production and weapons manufacturing. With

Emerging from the darkness, a Tau of unusual appearance

disease greatly reduced, tl1e planet of T'au was soon showing

breakthroughs occurring almost daily and hardship and
walked into the besiegers' camp, asking to see the army's

signs of overcrowding. Again, the Ethereal had the answers,

commander. He was softly spoken, yet it is said that he bore

and pointed tm,ards the

an undeniable authmity, and the sentries to whom he had

caste began

announced himself found themselves compelled to escort him

t.rainin

to tl1eir leader. At the same time, within the walls of Fio'taun.

buildin

tars.

At their bidding, the Earth

and te tin

rockers; the Air caste began

for their new roles as pilots.
th.

time of prmrre

a similar individual presented himself to the guards. How he

Durin

penetrated the defences of tl1e city he would not say, all he

seem to ad\'ance. _\.!though they used their new weapons
and echnoiO!!\· to hum the larger predators of T 'au to

asked was that he be allowed to speak

to

the castellan of the

. only the Fire caste did not

fortress. Again, his request could not be denied and he was

extinction. there \\<15 little call for a standing army. The

permitted an audience with the ruler of the city. Witl1in the

Ethereals anticipated this growing frustration, focusing the

hour, the fortress gates were opened, the stranger guiding the

Fire caste instead on the development of a new and tightly

citadel's leaders towards tl1e torchlit camp of their attacker .

disciplined regimen. For guidance, they used the teachings

As the enemies met, the newcomers, who called tl1emselYes

the aenerations since the hunter tribes of the plains. With

of the Code of Fire, the ancient way of honour passed down
Ethereals, bade all

to

sit. Beneatl1 a maiden moon of

th'

·way of the warrior' at its core, the Fire caste set up a

purest white, they began to speak. The mysterious strangers

birth-to-death u·aining system, the start of the formalised

explaining that the skills of each uibe were unique and should

nadition that are still carried on today.

be harnessed, and they spoke of a Greater Good that could be
achieved if only they would put aside their feuding ways and

The notion that the Tau's future lay in the stars was keenly

instead work together. The two strangers talked through the

grasped by all castes. Mter the first few rockets successfully

night, their words heavy with great power. As the sun crested

escaped the planetary atmosphere, the Tau rapidly moved

the hotizon, a U'Uce was agreed between tl1e warring faction .

to e tablish orbital communities, followed by a base on

Fio'taun was just the beginning. Soon, more Ethereals

ranging scanning devices were sent deeper into space. The

appeared and their message of the Greater Good spread to

Tau ascertained that their world resided in a tightly packed

Lu\al, the nearest moon. Scouting ships, probes and far­

every corner of the planet. The new philosophy took hold

tar cluster with scores of planets in close proximity to

quickly. With the internecine wars over, the Tau flourished

each otl1er. Scans reported that many of these worlds were

as never before. Well-constructed towns and cities sprang

capable of sustaining life. The consu·uction of a massive

up across the main continent, commerce routes were

orbital dock allowed larger space-faring craft to be built and

re-established and, everywhere, the winged Tau provided

soon colonising efforts were underway- the nearby planet

speedy communications.

of Tau'n became the first of these bold new enterprises.

A D E STINY TO R U LE THE STARS

ocean . This paid for the protection of their planet by

The Tau continued to push their realm outwards at an

orbital tations and allowed the Greet to better contribute

explosive rate, although losses were high amongst these early

to the Greater Good.

explorers. Not only did space travel and new and unusual
1ot all alien race proved so accommodating. Those who

environments take their toll, but as they ventured further
from their homeworld, the Tau also began to encounter
alien beasts, many of which proved dangerous.

refused cooperation outright were given harsh ultimatums.
The full mi ht of the Fire caste was unleashed upon any
aliens that did not comply. Upon command, Tau Fire

At last came the time when the rigorous training of the

Warriors descended out of orbit onto a designated planet

Fire Warriors could prove its worth. The colossal reptilian

and delivered a erie of rapid strikes to their foe before

beasts of D'yanoi consumed many colonists, before the

pulling back

quick deployments and disciplined volleys of the Fire caste

all but the mo t unrepentant were given another chance to

to

avoid major retaliation. After such attacks,

drove the monstrous creatures back. On Sa'cea, the desert

recon ider. ' lth ·ey industries crippled and long-ranged

planet was so overrun with fierce, flesh-eating predators

communications jammed, many aliens found themselves

if others of their kind had already

that the Fire caste had to hunt down and destroy them all

fractionalised-

before settlers would even dare to land.

accepted the Tau· terms.

uch divide and conquer tactics

dragged mo t foes back

the negotiating table, although

During these early expansions the Tau also encountered

in orne

unsure

to

of annihilation were inevitable.

cases, wars

alien races- whole civilisations of other sentient creatures.
While the Fire caste sought to destroy any who opposed

Although the population

them, hunting them in the same manner in which

their expansions were on uch a vast scale that the Fire

they eradicated savage creatures, the Ethereals saw an

caste warrio

opportunity to bring enlightenment instead of war. Just

found thelll5eh-

as the Ethereals had stopped the fighting on T'au and

tactical Commande

bound the tribes to work towards a common purpose, so

enemy

arm,-

was

increasing exponentially,

were already in hort supply. They often
oumumbered, although their astutely
quickly learned that even the largest

could be brou<>ht to its knees by well-planned,

too should the aliens be embraced and given a chance

rapid!' executed_ ·

to contribute to the Greater Good. The Ethereals guided

firepower. Given me choice of blood

the other castes to accept these alien races, no matter

assimilation and _unival \\ithin the borders of the growing

how strange. It did not matter whether these new aliens

Tau Empire. all b t the mo t rubbom of races bowed

es

andjudiciou use of overwhelming
annihilation or

were mired in barbarism, enslaved to crude superstitions

to the ine,itah e. One alien race, however, has proven a

or simply unaware of the magnitude of the great destiny

notable exception.

unfolding before them, the Ethereals said all should be
welcomed into the emergent Tau Empire.
Henceforth, whenever a new alien culture was encountered,
the Ethereals employed a master strategy in which each
Tau caste performed a designated role. Planets were first
scanned by the Air caste and those classified as desirable
were investigated further. If alien civilisations were
discovered, the ambassadors of the Water caste, long trained
in the subtle art of negotiations, were sent to make contact.
Each integration offer was carefully contrived to entice the
aliens- proposing trade deals, protection from enemies, or
the advanced technological wonders built by the Earth caste.

Honourable greetings and invitations were extended to

ed

:.. cir

the multi-armed Thraxians, the invertebrate Greet, the

·

o

Nicassar and many others. All were called upon to join
the Tau Empire, to ally themselves through the appeal

\lith :uc.

rrea

� =·

ese

rutile attempts to absorb Orks in

pro,·en o successful with a dozen
:


there was simply no bargaining

e Ethereals themselves eventually

of mutual protection, trade and technology. The more

conceded

primitive aliens quickly bowed before the fair-speaking

the pro oco = o; rego an,- attempt to integrate the Orks,

·

Water caste emissaries, while others acquiesced only

d eclarin_ a·

gradually. Ultimately, the results were the same, and

0

·

aliens were a lost cause and amended

-- :hat the Greater Good would be better

within a short span of years, the Tau's cultural hegemony
was dominant, with each race doing their part to aid the
Greater Good. For instance, on their watery homeworld

. ·ow. :hen the rrouble·ome aliens are discovered, the

tandard procedure · to approach the Orks in one of

of Isla'su, the Greet allowed the Earth caste to build many

two

floating factories atop the surface of their planet-spannin

in all-out

,,-a,-:

either b,· de rro�ing them as quickly as possible
,,-ar

or by marking the territory with warning

beacons in order to establish a safe perimeter around

systems known as septs. Named after its prime or 'sept

the savage aliens. While these tactics are sound in theory,

world', a sept can include any number of additionally

the Tau have learned from bitter experience that neither

colonised planets or moons, as well as other holdings such

method is foolproof and that the green skins are utterly

as listening po ts, sensor fields, shield satellites, orbital

unpredictable. The Orks actually enjoy prolonged wars

cities, and mining operations. Everything is connected,

and have proven nearly impossible to fully eradicate -

both by a series of space stations and a massive net of

reappearing on worlds long since deemed clear of their

communications and sensor relays strung between major

menace. Entire Ork invasion fleets also have a disturbing

locations. Although it might take many generations to

tendency to bypass all sensor readings and reappear

establish itself, each sept is unique, with its own cultural

unexpectedly to wreak havoc in some distant corner of

nuances and varying proportions of the different castes

the Tau Empire. Over time, constant vigilance and a rapid

and alien populations.

response seem to be the only effective countermeasures.
Several factors combined to end the Tau's first great period
of rapid growth. Firstly, despite the terrific population

TH E S P H E R E S O F EXPA N S I O N

explosion their race had been experiencing, their numbers

The rise of the Tau can be seen to develop through three

were being stretched too thin, with need for more of every

distinct phases, periods of intense growth known to the

caste being felt. Fire caste warriors were in particularly

Tau as 'Spheres of Expansion'. Each of these waves of

high demand; the wars fought to conquer new planets

colonisation is marked by a long building up of resources,

had proven costly, and ongoing conflicts still raged in

after which continual waves of exploratory missions are

outlaying areas. The second reason the First Sphere

launched, followed, where needed, by military campaigns

Expansion came to a halt was simply due to the distances

to solidifY territorial gains. Once a colony transforms itself

between systems. After colonising the many dense clusters

into a stable settlement, it then serves as a jumping-off

near T'au, the expanses between worlds became greater.

point for the next expansion.

At that time, it was already impossible to travel the span
of the Empire in a single lifetime, and crossing the black

By the end of the millennia-long First Sphere Expansion,

gulfs that surrounded their star systems would take many,

as it later came to be called, the Tau Empire had unfurled

many generations. The Tau clearly needed to innovate new

across the heavens and consisted of eight fully settled

methods of space travel.

S EPTS OF TH E FI R ST S PH E R E



T'Au

T'au is the birthplace of the Tau and it is
here that the High Council, led by Aun'
Va, convenes, its decrees shaping the entire
empire. T 'au remains the centre of Tau

e

culture and bureaucracy, and produces many



chain of enormous orbital docks and control
the largest of the Air caste space station ; e\·ery
sept hosts ships of the Tau fleet (kor'vattra}.

It has reco,·ered quickly, thanks to its busy
een here alongside its famously efficient

prestige, and only Vior'la can match its power.

The first new sept established, Tau'n, has a

Crusade; many of its outer colonies and
se\·eral citie on its ept world were destroyed.
trade ports. Large numbers of aliens can be

Fire caste warriors. None can rival T'au for

TAU'N

DAL'YTH

Dal'yth Sept was ravaged during the Damocles

Water caste merchants and diplomats .



FAL'SHIA

Many technological innovations have come
from this sept. Fire caste warriors from
Fal 'shia are often the first to try out prototype
weapons, armour and system upgrades.

but none can boast of more than Tau'n.



D'YA N O I

Named after the twin moons of its sept world,
D'yanoi has survived long isolation due to a
space storm of fierce and unnatural qualitie .



It has also seen many infamous Ork invasion .

V I DR' LA

The planet Vior'la orbits a binary star and its
name translates as 'hot-blooded'. It is known
to produce especially aggressive and skilled
warriors. Many Ork invasions have been
broken by the sept and the most respected
Fire caste academies reside upon Vior'la.



B o R K'AN

The sept world of Bork'an is a centre of
learning and academia, and its system has
many rich mining planets. Bork'an has a high
percentage of Earth caste, and Fire Warriors
from here are not infrequently outfitted with
prototype weapons and equipment.



S A' C EA

The world of Sa'cea is the hottest and most
densely populated of all Tau worlds; producing
more colonisation fleets during the Second
Sphere Expansion than any other. Warriors of
Sa'cea are regarded as particularly honourable.

MANTLE OF H E RO E S
The f01·emost sign of reputation and honour amongst the waniors of the Fiu caste are their battlesuits - the apex of the Tau's militaT'y
technology. Tau battlesuits are advanced suits of annou1; which aTe piloted as much as wetm. TheTe are a vmiety of different models,
each geared towards a different battlefield role. The lightweight Stealth battlesuit (.:\1 "2 -), etr Stealth Suit, contains a powe1jul
dismption field to camouflage it even in the open, while the mo-re p ondemus and heat')' Broadside battlesuit (XV88) carries weapons
equivalent to a tank. The mainstay of all battlesuits, howeve1; is the versatil� Crisis battles u it (XV8), and its derivatives, which are
capable of carrying a wide variety of weapons and support equipment, to optimise them fetrJi. hting in any situation or role.
Standanl nomenclature has each model of battlesuit categorised by various numhi'TS - thefirst denoting its size, oT which mass class it
belongs to, the second its evolution in the design process - the em·lier the n umber, tlu more likel) the model is still in prototype mode. Fo1·
example, in the XV22 Stealth Battlesuit, the one made famous by Commander hadtrtJ.'sun. thefirst 2 ' den otes it as a smaller grade
suit, while the second digit means it is still unde·1goingfield-testing. There are aluoa:>s nr. prolot)pes, upgmdes and weapon fittings in
the worksfor battlesuits, and the latest model to an·ive on thefront lines is the mi hi) .\I ]O-J Riptide.
In addition to theiT weapons, battlesuits carry the latest upgraded equipment. such as yt packs. recoil abs01·b ers, or any number
of additional supp ort systems, including drone controllers, tmget locks, shield genera10rs. or ad< anud sensors. Some Tare marks
of battlesuit cany wholly unique geaT - such as the sp ace-going XVB-06 Crisis Coldstar - each ofwhich is fitted with integmted
inte·1jace armour.
No malleT its model, each battlesuit is a high tech marvel and maintains a balance betu.
·m.s;.� capahiliiJ, armoured protection,
speed, agility and utility. It is little wonder then, that only the most experienced ofFiu \linriors au promoted to Shas'ui, the honoured
mnk deemed w01·thy enough to pilot a battlesuit.

U

FORTU ITO U S U N I O N WITH THE KROOT

PR O G R E S S

At the close of the first period of expansion, an exploration

realm
er than it had ever been, the
planet Tau remained the pirirual heart of the Tau Empire.
Of those born on distam sep . onh· tho e of lofty rank were
ever able to tra\·el m see their ancestral home, although
all paid great deference to the eldest of Tau septs. T here,
the highe t-ranking officials o each caste assembled at
councils ,,i thin the - hininz domes that dominate the skyline,
receiving the wisdom o! e m t ancient of the Ethereal
caste. From that High Council. the orders of expansion have
ever been i ued and passed alonu the relay stations to the
ends of the Empire.

fleet out of Dal'yth picked up long-ranged scans of
Ork ships firing on Kroot Warspheres. T h e previously
unencountered Kroot were defending their enclave
on the planet of Krath, although they were hopelessly
outnumbered. Intending only to observe, the Tau were
drawn into the battle as both the Air caste Admiral and Fire
caste Commander could not bear to watch the honourless
Orks bludgeon their way to victory. Quickly deploying their
superior fleet, the Tau destroyed the ramshackle greenskin
ships. Too late, however, they realised that this was merely

E ::::J

Although their

the vanguard of a mighty invasion force that was closing on
them in an encircling pattern.
T hus began an extended war, both in space and over several
planets, later named the War in the Place of Union, for it
marked the first time the Tau and Kroot fought side by side.
So effective was the sudden alliance that they withstood the
Orks long enough for reinforcements from Sa'cea to arrive,

of Pech at the behest of the greatest of Kroot leaders, the

p - eri �e council relentlessly, driving all of
w further c complishments . The Tau dedicated
the next half ce nm ·o rebuilding their thinly stretched
armies, olidiliin "' - eir tructure, and readying
tl1emseh·e for the nex- expan ion. Auto-response probes
were launched o:o explore the gulf of empty space past the
mar.duo- the Tau's first uses of a new
Empire · borde

legendary Anghkor Prok. There, at the sacred Oathstone,

technolo9'\� an:iiici:u intelli ence.

and ultimately triumphed over the greenskins. T he Tau were

T he Ethereals

so impressed with the KI·oot's fighting prowess, they agreed

the caste

to extend the alliance in order to liberate the remainder of
the KI·oot enclaves, who were also under Ork attack. For the
next ten years, the Tau helped drive all sign of Orks from
the Kroot worlds, eventually coming to their homeworld

__

the Kroot leader swore allegiance to the Tau Empire and
pledged his waniors to fight for the Greater Good (and

their own superior culture will eventually cure the Kroot of

\\-ate!" cas e : u<rht w upplement the shortage of the
population tn- redoublinu their efforts to integrate
their alien ' - ,,·orlds further into the Empire. This was
accomplished in mHiad wa' ; for example, the sturdy, if dim1\itted. _-\nthrazods prm·ed ,·ery well suited for the arduous
wil of - eroid mininu. while the tiny, dextrous-limbed
crustacean race nari,·e to Brachyura were unmatched at the

their cannibalistic tendencies.

delicate

regular payment) . That pledge, and the cooperation
between the two races, is still honoured today. The KI·oot
are, by far, the most common alien auxiliary force to serve
in Tau armies. The Tau greatly value the military service of
the KI·oot, although they continue to hope that exposure to

The

Tau

embl�· of the miniscule plasma generators needed

to fuel the latest Earth caste inventions. It was the alliance

T he Second Sphere Expansion was to prove even more

with the Kroot, however, that made the largest difference, as

dynamic than tl1e first, pushing further into space and

in a short period of time , the Fire caste armies were swollen

establishing over a dozen new septs. During this time,

by billions of additional warriors to aid the fight for the

a legend arose from the Fire caste, the greatest military

Greater Good, albeit in a more mercenary fashion than was

thinker and strategist of his age, and perhaps of any

considered ideal.

other - Commander Puretide. He led his warriors to swift
victories, and star ystems fell before his campaigns of

Only the Earth caste had failed to reach their prescribed

conquest. Man

goal. With engineering centres in every sept working

and Tash'var, owe their exi tence to Puretide's brilliant

of the

econd Sphere septs, such as Elsy'eir

diligently, the Earth caste provided innumerable

strategie , and it was his masterful counter-attacks that

innovations, but the invention demanded by the Ethereals

warded off the Ork invasion that threatened to overrun

- faster propulsion-technology to drive starcraft- eluded
them. At last, the quantum leap came from Fal'shia Sept,

Au'taal Sept. It wa

aid that even the Orks grew to fear

facing an army led by Puretide, for while the greenskins

where they finalised development of the ZFR Horizon

loved to fight, the master tactician tole much of the joy

Accelerator Engine. An ingenious design, this powerful new

from their battles with his eva ive, yet hard-hitting tactics.

mechanism allowed ships to attain near-light speed. It was

Pure tide's application of strategy and military theory were

this device that would usher in the next phase of progress.

thoroughly recorded and are still taught at every Fire caste
academy today.
T he last breakthrough of the Second Sphere Expansion
was the successful crossing of the Damodes Gulf, a
mysterious region to the galactic east that had long
thwarted all attempts by the Tau to pass through. Once
on the other side of that roiling and unnavigable space
phenomenon, the Tau swiftly established many colonies
and outposts, soon making their first contact with the single

TH E S E C O N D S P H E R E EXPAN S I O N

largest power in the galaxy, the Imperium of Mankind.

With a faster fleet and armies buoyed by an influx of Kroot

After a long and subtle campaign, the Tau Empire had

Carnivore squads, the Tau Ethereal Supreme, Aun'Wei,

peaceably encroached upon many planets within the area

declared the massive build up to be complete. With a single

of space known to the humans as the Timbra sub-sector of

command that was heard throughout the Empire, the

Segmentum Ultima.

Tau launched the Second Sphere Expansion. Branching
outwards from each of the hub centres of the First Sphere

The bitter and destructive wars that were soon unleashed

colonies, great fleets speared into the dark, spreading the

there were unlike anything the Tau had ever experienced,

Greater Good to worlds that from distant T ' au were mere

and that bloody fighting marked the beginning of the end

specks of flickering light.

of the Second Sphere Expan ion.

S E PTS OF THE SE C O N D S PH E R E
A u'TAAL

TA s H'VAR

Au'taal Prime is a veTdant and beautiful sept
world, where only honouTed heroes can retire.

.{frontier sept, those of Tash'var have been subjected
tofrequem Ork invasions and pirate mids. As a result,
its people have become tenacious and hardy.

N'DRAS

VAs H' YA

FoT Teasons known only to the Ethereals, this a11u
thriving sept has laTgely been abandoned.

Known as the woTld 'between spheres' the sept
world was settled near the end of the Second Sphere
Exp ansion, as it took a long period for the Earth
caste machines to make the air breathable. Major
Air caste fleets and rn any defence platforms are
docked around the sept world.

K E 7 LS H A N

Situated neaT the Perdus Rift, this sept has suffered
many invasions and is less trusting of aliens than
other Tau. The Ke'lshan fleet and Fire casteforces
are only Tecently back to full strength afteT thei1·
clashes with Hive Fleet GoTgon.
E LsY7 E I R

A densely p opulated sept with many rnoons, most
of which aTe mined joT the valuable ores used in the
construction of battlesuits.

T'OLKU

T'olku is known joT its rnany large Ethereal
temples, as well as the alien institutes, where
many alien ambassadoTS an br ought to be
instructed in the w ays of Tau culture and
society before being assimilated back into their
respective homeworlds.

CONTACT WITH THE IMPER IUM
Since first entering space, the Tau had experienced success after success. Guided by their Ethereals, each caste had overcome
every obstacle yet encountered, and none could doubt Tau ascendancy. On the far side of the Damocles Gulf, however, the Tau
faced an enemy unlike any other, and the epic clashes that followed heralded the beginning of an entire new age of battle.
T he Tau Empire's first introduction to Humanity came not

To some of the High Council, the Imperium seemed so

with the ruling Imperium, but with dissident elements that

powerful that o\·en aggre sion might lead to a war that they

were operating on the fringe of that mighty dominion. The

could not \\in. The leaders of the Fire caste called for war,

Imperium of Man is the largest realm in the galaxy, although

but it was Aun''l a. an Ethereal second in authority only to

much within its sprawling borders has never been explored

Ethereal Supreme Aun''lrei, who determined the plan. The

or has been forgotten over its history. The region of space

Water caste were

around the Damocles Gulf is just such an area, a wilderness

loyal to the Imperium, in inuating themselves into the courts

where the Tau Empire had found room to take root.

of Planetary Gm·emors. Evenrually, a score of worlds within

The Tau first encountered free captains, pirates and lost

to each other. Alien

human colonies that had regressed so that they had long

caste technology, flowed through these markets in blatant

to

integrate themselves into human worlds

the Imperium were rradin

with the Tau, even in preference

oods, and especially coveted Earth

forgotten their origins and any connection to their distant

contravention of Imperia! law. The time soon came to

birth world. Those initial contacts ranged from friendly

initiate the econd phase of .-\un'Va's instructions.

trade negotiations to instant hostility. It was some time
before the Water caste came to grasp the fact that the

Upon tho e worlds that were deemed ripe, Water caste

humans they encountered were merely the lost remnants

envoys whispered well-rehearsed words into willing ears.

or willing outcasts of an incomprehensibly large galactic

The seeds of rebellion bad been long cultivated, and now

empire. Worlds claimed by dissident humans were soon

bore fruit as, one by one. the Planetary Governors declared

annexed into the Tau Empire, but there was much debate

themselve and their ,,·orlds free of the shackles of the

about how to approach those planets still bound to the

Imperium' brutal rule. It

Imperium. In typical fashion, the high ranking caste leaders

the Tau spread more rapidly and \\;th fewer losses than even

debated the situation before the Ethereals.

the most brilliant mili tarY campai!m could have achieved.

had

taken decades to achieve, but

The Imperium's response to such sedition was slow in

momentum was spent; they were finally forced to withdraw,

coming, but when it finally arrived, was characteristically

leaving much of their equipment behind. It is conceivable

brutal. The Tau were condemned as a dangerous xenos

that the Tau could have encircled the crusaders, but at the

pecies and the Damocles Crusade was launched to expel
them from the region. The Imperial forces were vast,

Ethereals' insi tence, the Water caste opened a dialogue and
agreed a truce, allowing the invaders an unimpeded retreat.

based around a dozen capital ships, and included nineteen
regiments of Imperial Guard and five provisional companies
of Space Marines made up from a dozen Chapters. The

P R E PAR I N G FO R TH E STO R M

initial battles were stunning victories for the Imperium, as

After the great battle on Dal'yth, an uneasy peace descended

the power of their fleet and the suddenness of their attacks

upon both ide of the war-torn Damocles Gulf. Even as

mashed isolated outposts and eliminated outlying colonies.

many in the Imperium readied themselves for another

In a short period of intense conflicts, the Tau were pushed

offensive, more pre

back across the Damocles Gulf, although in the later stages

redeployment of Mankind' gathered armies.

ing concern called for a hasty

of this drive, the Imperium's victories were not so easily won.
The Imperium had demonstrated but a fraction of its
The planets from which the Tau were driven were subjected

power, and that had proven enough to hurl the Tau

to harsh recriminations - the Inquisition descended upon

Empire backwards. Yet the Tau had also learned from tl1e

tl1e remaining human populations and meted out cruel

engagements, the Fire caste gaining invaluable insight

punishments to those who had rejected the Emperor's

into Mankind's methods. They had fought a foe that was

tenets. Meanwhile, the crusade followed the retreating Tau

willing to absorb huge losses, like the Orks, but, unlike tl1e

across the Damocles Gulf, entering the Tau Empire itself.

greenskins, the Imperial forces used a wider range of tactics
and employed a much more impressive arsenal.

DAL'YTH D E FI A NT

In the aftermath, the Ethereals demanded a full study of

The first sign of the invasion came from the scanners of

captives and recovered equipment. The Earth caste declared

Pra'yen, the outermost planet of Dal'yth Sept. After picking

much of the technology to be inferior, and some was simply

up unusual readings, the Tau switched to long-ranged optics

too unstable to contemplate using, such as Imperial plasma

and were shocked to see great rents opening in space,

devices. There were some eye-opening discoveries, however,

with the massive Imperial battleships and their supporting

and the Earth caste was in absolute wonder over a Warp

fleet emerging out of nowhere. Although the Tau fleet and

engine they obtained. With no knowledge or understanding

Pra'yen's well-armed orbital station took a toll upon the

of the realm known as the Warp, they found the strange

Imperial Navy, the way was soon cleared for the crusade to

apparatus utterly unfathomable. To their further frustration,

advance towards Dal'yth Prime.

the captured humans that had operated it seemed to
possess no actual understanding of its mechani ms either,

In the largest conflict of the war, Imperial forces landed

running the equipment solely through the application of

upon Dal'yth Prime. In this case, they were not taking on a

superstitious rituals and chanting.

recently converted Imperial world or newly founded colony,
but instead were treading upon a heavily populated Tau
sept world. The Imperial drop was contested by swarms
of atmospheric fighters, but was eventually succe sful in
establishing a beachhead. Soon, the Impe1ium's ground
forces, with T i tans and armoured formations as a spearhead,
ploughed relentlessly towards the conurbation of Gel' bryn.
The Imperial advance was stalled by storms of missile
raining down from beyond the hills. When units were
detached to drive back the Tau spotters, tl1ey were instead
engaged by jump troops protected by cloaking fields. Each
time Imperial forces attempted to regain momentum. the­
were met by the timely counter-attacks of the Fire caste.

TH E I M P E R I U M ' S VI EW
,\lost wilhin thL Imperium saw the Tau asjust cmotheT
disgustin :unos form to be obliterated, but afew of the
deept-r thinkers u.>n? unpleasantly suTp-rised by this new -race.
Allhoum no match in close qua-rters, the aliens had pToved
tacticall) stn'V) - bold mastli'Ts of ambush and counte-r-attack
warfa". Their technology was cleady advanced and some
u.'t'apons. such as the milgun, we-re rightly fea-red. Next to a
hit� world, the Tau cities seemed like pa-radises of efficiency.
_\Ian), particulady the Space Marine Captains, found the
Tau to be honou-rable adversaries, worthy of respect.

Night was the worst, as under the cover of darkness, Tau
in advanced battlesuits made swift, hard-hitting strikes.
With the Tau's superior optics technology, major losse
were inflicted upon the Imperial armour, while sufferinO'
little damage in return. Mankind's elite Space Marines
attempted to land behind Tau lines and regain tl1e initiati\'e.
but iliey were defeated by teams of heavy battlesuits whose
formidable firepower quickly downed their transports.
Despite their losses, the Imperial forces continued their
advance and many sectors of Dal'yth were destroyed
or evacuated in the fierce fighting. But with more Tau
reinforcements arriving at the front and the Imperial Fleet's
ability to hold orbit becoming tenuous, the Imperium's

Inquisitor Gallius was more alarmed by the Tau than any of
his breth-ren. What stTuck him most about the Tau was that
their naivety, technological prowess and unwavering belief in
progress 1·eminded him ofwhat he had Tead of Mankind in its
g/ff1)' d ays, a time known as the Age of Technology. Although
much ofthat period is unknown, some believe that Mankind's
intellectual hubris and unworthy Teliance on machines and
artificial intelligences brought about the dreaded Age of Strife,
a nightmaTe time of honor and violence. If the Tau were
indeed upon that same path, then they repTesented a lmger
threat to the Imperium ofMan and indeed, the whole galaxy,
than any would easily believe.

T H E ADVAN C E C O NTI N U E S

Although he had some reservations about his choice,

I n the wake o f their war with the Imperium, Aun ' Va

Aun' a elected Commander O' Shovah to head the military

stood up in the High Council of Ethereals and voiced his

aspects of the reclamation effort. A protege of tl1e legendary

concerns . He implored the Ethereal Supreme, Aun 'Wei,

Commander Puretide, O ' Shovah was a dynamic and strong­

then in the twi light of his days, for the rights to reclaim

\\illed leader who had risen to fame during recent campaigns

Tau losses. The Tau harbour an unquenchable confidence

against the Orks. The young Commander's tactical brilliance

in their own destiny and are determined that their

bad alread · earned him the name of Commander 'Farsight'

methods are the best. However, after their long retreat

- for he was able to anticipate and exploit an enemy's course

across the Damocles Gulf, and their firsthand experience

of action

as

if he already knew the foe's full battle plan.

with the formidable forces of the Imperium, many of
the Tau were filled with self-doubt. This was not a race

Initially, Aun Ta' choice proved correct - every planet

that had tasted defeat before, in any of their prolonged

marked for reconquest was quickly taken. With much of

endeavours. Au n ' Va argued that without action,

meir armed force called away to war on oilier fronts, the

cracks would form in the foundation of thei r carefully

Imperium'

orchestrated beliefs - and this must not come to pass.

the devastatin

Sensing the truth of this, the ancient Ethereal nodded,

were Commander Farsight's signature tactics. The whole Tau

leaving the details for Aun ' Va to organise.

Empire cheered \\iili news of each of his victories.

remaining defenders stood no chance against
clo e-ranged strikes and bold thrusts that

Aun'Va knew that those worlds disenfranchised by the Imperimn
could be manipulated, and from communications intercepts, he
knew that the sectors around the Damocles Gulf could expect
no further reinforcements. Therefore, Aun'Va ordered the Fire
caste to again cross that shifting barrier in space, the burgeoning
Tau Empire stretching again into Mankind's realm, this time to

A PARTl

reclaim their recently lost colonies.

\\'ith but a

G O F TH E WAYS

·

gle • ·orld left to

recolonise, Commander

Fa� i ht \\ - dra\\-n off mission by his age-old enemies, the
Orks. What taned -

ATTA C K F R O M B E Y O N D
During the p eriod of consolidation in the wake of the Second
SpheTe Expansion, outposts alerted the Tau to an encroaching
menace. It was Hive Fleet Gmgon that p enetmted their realm,
and although only a minoT splinteT comp aTed with some of the
laTgeT incunions that had entered the galaxy, the Tau had
never faced a threat like that of the Tymnids - an intergalactic
alien mce whose vomcious invasions stTipped and devoured
planets of all living matter.

1ift raids to repel the greenskins

mey found probing the edge of me newly recaptured
space. soon rumed into a prolonged war against a sizable
con lomerare

o

Or- clans who u·avelled aboard crude

time. o·

asteroid bases. In

into me Or - invas:ion. ch

hovah's forces cut deeply
ina tl1e ruling Warboss to a

nea�·b�- · anefac- world'. a forlom place long abandoned
by me Imperium. I· - name was Armas Moloch, and there,
Fa�· ight' fore -

·ere en

<>ed by a savage, yet unidentified

enemy. while :he Or - escaped in me confusion.
Little was reponed from the battle, save mat all the Ethereals

The Tyranids showed a remarkable ability to physically adapt
- evolving between battles to better counter the defenders.
Against their onslaught, the Tau were forced to constantly
alter their battle plans as new strains of Tymnid cTeatures
morphed to overcome each advantage of tactics, terrain
or technology that the Fire caste employed. The Tyranids
annihilated many holdings before grinding to a halt against
the Tau's majoT defensive actions on the joTested planet of
Sha'dmig. Although the jJlanet was ultimately consumed,
the aliens had been stalled long en oughjoT the Tau to betteT
prepare their defences at Ke'lshan Prime.
In a strange twist offate, the sept world ofKe'lshan was first
attacked fry theforces of the Imperium - a fleet sent to aid in
the Damocles Cmsade over a hundTed and fifty yeaTs eaTlier
had onlyjust emergedfrom the Wmp. Faced with a common
enemy, the Tau and Imperial leaden agreed an uneasy tTuce.
The Tyranids could not adapt to the two fo-rces acting in
concert, and were eventually massacTed, ending the thTe at
of Hive Fleet G01gon. The human armies, too depleted to
continue theiT p 1·eviously planned assault, weTe allowed to
TetTeat, beaTing honours given to themjoT theiT assistance.
The E aTth caste of Ke'lshan immediately began to Tebuild
theiT battered sept, the Ethereals telling them to prep are for the
eventual Tetum of one, if not both, of theiT previous invadeTS.

tl1at had been

pamin

ace

during me com

.

me expedition were slain

:md that their mysterious foe had

disappeared. le<l' "' .
- �Iolach desolate once more.
- - ::. and de pite direct orders to rerum,
Undaunted rn· his
Commander F

5•



refu5ed to rejoin the other forces of the

Tau Empire. ln5·ead. he led me remnants of his army back
onto me Or --·
range, p

· . The-.· were oon beyond communication
er from home tl1an any Tau had before.

It was po ible ilia the \

mess of space or some strange

interference pfe\·emed me messages from reaching
tl1eir reeipienL but after many years with no reply, it was
eventualh- deemed that me expedition was lost. The Tau
Empire mourned me lo
Commande

of one of their most illustrious

. \ears later, however, probes penetrated deep

into me re · on where Commander Farsight had last been
seen and bean1ed back ominous reports: O'Shovah yet lived,
and had established hi own colonies on the far side of the
Dan1ocles Gulf. This mysterious betrayal of me Greater
Good till haunts me Tau Empire to this day.

A NEw AGE

oF

AscENDANCY

Throughout the Tau Empire, recently built colony fleets were f"illing up orbital docks in anticipation of the call to launch a
new Sphere of Expansion. Even as preparations were underway, warning signals flashed across the Tau Empire's relay lines.

An age-old foe had returned in numbers beyond imagination; the Orks were back.

U N ITE TO LIVE

At the time, however, there was no assurance that this would

They came from beyond the shroud o f the Western Veil

successfully replace the indispensable instructor. So, as a

Nebula, the ragtag Ork armada emerging from the swirling

safeguard, it was ordained that everal of Puretide's top

gas clouds as suddenly as if they had materialised out of

students would be placed in tasis- a time-proofing process

nowhere. As the first scans were picked up, the Earth caste

that was then newly devised b

technicians believed their sensors were malfunctioning,

that, in future times of war or expan ion, the empire could

the Earth caste. This meant

for the size of the greenskin fleet was staggering. The Ork

still call upon masters of the art of war. Now, with the largest

invasion was composed of some dozen separate Waaaghs! ,

Ork invasion ever seen already within their borders, Aun'Va

each with a Warboss vying for overall supremacy. Only the

determined that a leader of great destiny was needed.

decrepit state of the Orks' spacecraft and their incessant
in-fighting allowed the Tau Empire time to react.
Whilst many of the Tau panicked over the immensity of
the looming threat, there was one who saw that, as always,
if the Empire worked together, they could defeat even an
invasion of this magnitude. Aun'Va- now Ethereal Supreme
- remained as calm as still water. He gathered the leaders of

A N EW H E R D O F TH E P E O P L E
One of those cryogenically frozen was a recently promoted

every sept in order to form a comprehensive plan of action.

Commander by the name of O'Shaserra. Of her generation

Those septs closest to the Ork threat- Vior'la, Sa'cea, and

of Fire Warriors, there was only a single rival who could

Tau'n - would combine forces in a delaying attack. Behind

match O'Shaserra's boldness and tactical abilities. That

them, all other septs would rush troops and starcraft towards

other warrior, O'Shovah, was not frozen, but rather chosen

the front to serve as the next wave of counter-attacks.

for glory, leading the Tau's expeditionaqr force to reclaim
their colonies after the war with tl1e Imperium.

Across the Empire, the Air caste scrambled their fleets ­
converting trade ships and colony transports into troop

By the time O'Shaserra had completed her reindocu·ination,

carriers to accommodate the forces needed to stem the

the fighting had been going on for half a dozen years; the

green tide. As the united Tau advanced to confront the

massive Ork invasion was now spread across the borders of

oncoming Orks, initial engagements took place along the

many septs. With their uperior weapom-y and the cohesion

outermost regions of the Empire. The Tau navy launched

of their force , the numetically infelior armies of the Tau

hit-and-run attacks to lure pursuing Ork ships within range

had been able to check the disorderly Ork hordes. It was

of orbital defence stations. The combined firepower of fleet

a talemate, as the disparate greenskins could not gain the

and orbital bases caused heavy Ork losses, although everal

momentum or unity to drive towards a sept world, and the

stations were destroyed when Ork sabotage ships crashed

Tau could not eradicate the aliens from their realm.

into the vast structures, allowing numerou greenskin to
disembark and wreak havoc. Fire Warrior defenders were

Taking leadership over a Hunter Cadre, Commander

soon deployed aboard the remaining orbital ration and

O'Shaserra joined the fray. After a daring string of victories,

many desperate battles in the depths of space ensued. orne

she earned control of a command- a formation of many

lasting for many months.

cadres. By the time Sa'cea Prime's largest moon, Vay'harra,
was proclaimed clear of Orks, Commander O'Shaserra's

As the individual clans of the greenskins separated to follow

name was already becoming well known. From there, she

their own pursuits, the fighting spread aero s pace and

led major victories on the dawn worlds of Kormusan, and

over more than a dozen surface locations. \�'here\·er Orks

finally on the K'resh Expansions. With each triumph, more

made planetfall, additional Tau ground forces were landed

Tau forces were freed to apply additional pressure to the

to reinforce the area, even on barren moons, for the aliens

fractionalised greenskin forces. After the total massacres of

had to be denied any chance to scavenge supplies or set

the K'resh Expansions, the power of the Orks was broken.

permanent roots within the territory of the Tau Empire.
The Great War of Confederation, as it came to be known,
With the threat of being overrun forestalled, Aun'\'a

lasted a dozen years and firmly established a new hero in

deemed the time was right for the next step of his master

the hearts and minds of the Tau. O'Shasen:a, now called

plan. Centuries before, when the Ethereal High Council

Commander Shadowsun, had proven herself to a new

knew that Commander Puretide was rapidly degenerating

generation - her tactical manoeuvres at e\-el)' level of

and would soon die, contingency plans were put into

command were executed flawlessly and he was not without

motion. The Eartl1 caste had long been preserving

personal heroics. Her penchant for infiltrating battlefields

Puretide's memories- seeking to build an AI holograph

and launching deadly ambushes was already legendary. A

that would look, act and most importantly, think like him.

bright new future for the Tau lay ahead.

TH E TH I R D S P H E R E EXPA N S I O N

Some of the planets branded for absorption into the Tau

With the Ork invasion defeated and a new hero risen to lead

Empire were worlds that belonged to the Imperium of

the Fire caste, Aun'Va knew the time was ripe to declare the

Mankind. In these cases, Aun'Va's timing of the Third

Third Sphere Expansion. With more established septs to

Sphere Expansion could not have been better. Water caste

draw resources from, this drive to expand the size of their

agents and Gue'vesa - human helpers who had sworn

realm was undertaken on a scale never before attempted by

loyalty to the Tau - confirmed what the Earth caste had

the Tau Empire.

already reported via intercepted transmissions: due to wars
elsewhere, the number of Imperial defenders at the borders

As bold and dynamic as the previous Spheres of Expansion

of their territory was much reduced.

had been, they had been confined to the dense star
clusters that surrounded the planet T'au. The scope of

Some Imperial planets, those open to bribery or idealists

such expansions was limited - the Tau did not have the

tl1at wished to e cape the pressing yoke of servitude to

population needed to spread further, and they had not yet

an overbearing tyrant, lay down their arms at their first

fully learned to harness the full power of alien auxiliaries

opportunity - welcoming Water caste ambassadors with

to aid their cause. Technical constraints proved a barrier as

pledges of cooperation. Most human worlds, however,

well, for the Earth caste have constantly been seeking ways to

rejected Tau oYerture - mi trusting all aliens or perhaps

develop starcraft with faster engines to allow them to bridge

simply more frightened of the repercussions of their own

the vast gulf of empty space between star systems.

race. For tho e frontier worlds that resisted, Shadowsun and
her armies swept down in a eries of precision strikes. The

Aun'Va knew that now was the time for the Tau to seize their

human defence forces proved insufficient to even slow the

destiny. The Great War of Confederation had served to put

Tau down, much less hold mem off.

the Tau on a total war setting - as the Ethereals pressed each
caste for greater production and higher efficiency. The Ork

The northernmo t sector past me Damocles Gulf was soon

invasion had proven a harsh training ground for the Fire

wholly in Tau hands. while to me galactic west, the sectors

caste, but they had now replaced the casualties of the long,

adjoining the Red

drawn-out campaign. Furthermore, many Fire Warriors and

Orks and rebel h umans . Fleets of Water caste Indigenous

terns were cleared of Hrud,

un

their Commanders had gained invaluable experience. They

Inhabitants Liaison conclaves were deployed to begin their

were now better trained than ever to coordinate their efforts

long integration proce

with other septs and with the Tau navy. The amount of alien

seize upon the enli htenment mat was being offered. The

auxiliaries at hand for deployment to the Fire caste was

Earth caste, eager to e:-.-ploit meir new domains, was already

greatly increased, especially the availability of the Kroot.

for tho e aliens mat wished to

dropping producer domes upon recently seized planets rich
with resource . In order to keep me drive going outwards,

In order to reach those more distant systems earmarked

the Tau needed to establish fuel ources closer to the front

as desirable by advanced scouts, the vast armadas of Tau

lines of expan ion. Linked back to the Tau Empire by long

starcraft had been outfitted with the latest Earth caste

chains of rela · comms . the ex-pansion had already claimed

modifications. The ships' propulsion systems were upgraded

dozens of new worlds - �-er

this was only me start.

so that when magnified by impulse reactors, the engines
could obtain faster speeds - propelling starcraft forwards at
hitherto unthinkable velocities. To further lessen the burden
on those space-faring craft with the longest journeys, the

S E PTS O F TH E TH I R D S P H E R E

Earth caste had outfitted transport craft with large stasis

The Third Spher� Expansion has alread)' established several
new septs and ffl(}l? Ex�ditimwry Cadres are launched and
searchingfor new C(}/cmi� n(}W than have done so throughout
the whole of Tau hist(JT).

chambers - allowing Hunter Cadres or whole commands to
shift to far distant battle zones months or years away without
actually aging a day in the process.

Ks11

1YE

B O W B E FO R E TH E G R EATE R G O O D

Thefirst (If a handfu l of new septs, Ksi'myen is

While all septs sent fleets to aid in the great expansion, the

(}n.e (If the man_l W(}r{ds previously claimed by the
Imperium. TMse human inhabitants who swore

largest gathering of force was at the northern and western
exu·eme of the Tau Empire. There, massed at the ports
and orbital docks of Dal'yth, Sa'cea, and Vior'la, were huge
flotillas. In addition to the fighting classes of starships, the

Jealt) w the Greater Good have been removed
deepn- in/(} the Tau Empire to assure their safet)'
and their proper assimilation into the Empire.

Tau navy also prO\ided whole armadas of transports to
carry armie , coloni ts, pre-fab domes, drone builders and

F1 1 R I O S

all manner of equipment. This massive force was to be led

The Ta u occupying the prime world of this sept

personally by Commander

wrested itfr(}m the grip of an Ork Warlord, and
cleansin the star system has proven quite costly.

hadowsun - the newly appointed

highest-ranking Fire caste office1·. Their course was to cross
the Damocles Gulf, rra,·elling past the Gri-lok asteroid
fields. Target destination

had been meticulously planned

out - all planets and moons de ired for colonisation were
well-marked on the fleet's holo-map . Those worlds that had
indigenous populations had already had many pre-emptive
visits by Water caste traders and ambassadors in order to
explore possibilities for a peaceful annexation.

M u 1 G U LATH B AY

Gateway to the Dovar system and site of a famous Tau
victory, led by both Commander Shadowsun and Aun'Va,
Mu'gulath Bay is well on its w ay to being established as a
full-fledged sep t.



S HA D D WS U N T R I U M P H A NT

knew their victory was as ured. At last, the largest class of

Buoyed by her initial successes, Shadowsun rapidly led

battlesuit was unleashed, and under

her armies deeper into Imperial territory. She seemed

leadership, its use prm·ed a re ounding success; everywhere

hadowsun's inspired

XV104

to be everywhere at once, driving her forces onwards. At

one

the forefront of the offensive, the Fire caste spearhead

Riptide battlesuit that deli\'ered the killing blow during the

were already en route to their next targets before the

final en

consolidation forces that followed hard on their heels

that had o long blocked the gates to the world's capital

had fully landed on the newly conquered planeL Here.

hiw. Although the Imperial defenders fought with their

Shadowsun was using the old Puretide maxim: 'Follow up a

usual fatalistic grit, it was not long before the hive corridors

victory by striking quickly, and you will win another.·

ran

trade, \ictOIT followed. Fittingly, it was this new

ement - laying waste to the massive heavy tanks

with blood and only a few isolated pockets of resistance

remained. The planet, renamed Mu'gulath Bay, belonged to

As Shadowsun passed into the Imperium's interior he

the Tau and soon the whole system would follow.

encountered ever greater resistance, and she saw that to
overextend her forces would deplete the momentum of

The anticipated counter-attack from the Imperium fell upon

the attack. Instead of crashing headlong into well-defended

the Zeist sector, and this too was part of Shadowsun's plan.

planets, she split her fleets, scattering them to a dozen

As a diversion, this far-flung system was sacrificed for the

headings. Each began a devastating series of hit-and-run

Greater Good of the Third Sphere Expansion. While many

attacks against which the Imperium could mount no

seeded colonies fell to the elite forces of Mankind - their

effective counter. At length, the Imperium settled into

vaunted Space Marines - the effort tied down the majority of

a static defence of a handful of their most key worlds.

the Imperium's rapid strike forces and allowed the main Tau

Shadowsun exploited this strategy too, for it allowed her

assaults to scythe deeply into more desirable neighbouring

to again marshal her forces together and launch a massiYe

star systems. The worlds of the Imperium toppled one after

attack on the planet of her choosing. Her first target was

another before the precision onslaught.

the hive world of Agrellan, a gateway planet whose orbit
safeguarded a rich cluster of Imperial worlds.

' L ET N O N E D O U BT T H AT T H E TA U
BRING

Transports of fresh Fire caste warriors and many of the
newest weapon prototypes were rushed to this battlefront
for what would surely be a pivotal conflict. Aun'Va himself
came to inspire the Fire caste, and upon seeing him, the Tau

E M PIRE WILL

U N ITY TO A L L - L E T N O N E D O U B T T H AT N O W

IS OUR TIME.

F O R W A R D , F O R T H E G R EATER G O O D ! '

- AUN'VA, ADDRESSING
F"ROM ATO P THE

RUINS

THE FIRE CASTE C A D R E S

OF

T H E A G R E L L A N HIVE

A G R OWI N G E M PI RE
Since the Tau trrst left the atmosphere of their birth world, their empire has grown, spreading across the stars in three distinct
Spheres of Expansion. In addition to the settled systems, or septs, the Tau realm is rife with all manner of space phenomenon,
Tau-made structures and important alien homeworlds.
TAU S E PTS

THE Z o N E oF S I LE N C E

Septs are the most important feature of the Tau Empire. Each

Devastated region where Hive Fleet Gorgon left behind

is named after their Prime or sept world and can include any

many barren planets, coured of all life forms.

number of additionally colonised planets, moons or artificial
bases under one central control. The older septs, those of the

R E LAY C O M M U

First Sphere Expansion, are the most densely populated.

Tau communications

! CATI O N S B EA C O N S (TAL1HYEN)
can

only travel so far before their

signals fade, so relay ration are positioned to form chains

!!ulf of space.

The sept from which a Tau hails forms a large part of

capable of cro

his identity, as the culture of each sept is subtly unique.

of passing information but each holo-vid can take months

All castes are found in each sept, although the relative

to cross interstellar distances and the quality can vary based

proportions of the various castes can vary greatly.

the

in

It is an effective means

on the number of rela�- and the amount of interference,
such as dust clouds and olar 11inds.

FORTR E S S

S TATI O N S (TA 1 SH I R O )

l s LA ' s u

Positioned i n the deep space between septs are ta'shiro bases

The watery homeworld o f the Greet, often considered part

- fortress stations capable of enough thrust to resist drift and

of the Fal'shia

pL

maintain permanent interstellar positions. Several patterns
of development have been followed in the construction

FAR S I GHT

E

CLAVES

o the Tau Empire, tl1e breakaway

of these enormous floating fortresses - with the largest

Although not a part

comparable in population to a continent-sized city.

faction led by Commander Farsight are known to have
settled th roughout this
are

martial-led ep

r
-

·on. The exact names of the
0\m, as

the armed fortress stations

have proven effectiYe at destro}ing probes.
R E D S u N S YSTE

s

Probes have mar ·ed the dense clu ter of planets around
a string of ix distinn red suns; however, the massive Ork
population has deterred any further Tau colonisation. The
KROOT WoRLDS

systems are rin e d

The Kroot are the most common of the alien auxiliaries

early warnin

in the Tau Empire and dozens of Kroot enclaves can be

11ith sensor buoys, in hopes of offering
hould the !!Teen kins ever cease their
internal fightin and see · to menace neighbouring systems.

found among the septs. Although they are a far-flung and
migratory race, all Kroot eventually feel the pangs that lead
them to return to their birth world - the true home of all

O R B ITA L

Kroot Kindreds, the world of Pech.

Incorporated

imo

docks for the

Tau navy ( · or\·attra) , but in addition

C ITI E S

O F TH E

K o R'VATTRA

e\'erY ept are dozens of major

SHA' GALU D D

to these i mm e n

Homeworld o f the Nagi, a small species o f highly intelligent

developed \

worms known for their mind control abilities. When first

be mo\·ed to

discovered, the Nagi were hated creatures known as mind­

large research endea\·ours, military campaigns or

worms, but since the early violent conflicts, they have agreed

major colon· arion effor

a peace accord and joined the Tau Empire. Many Nagi now
serve as advisors to the Ethereal caste.
VESPID

Benighted gas giant and homeworld of the Vespid race, this
planet is also known for its rich crystal mines.
S U N BUR STS

In attempts to drain stars of energy, many suns have been
accidently sent into supernova. Thus far, the Earth caste has
failed to collect this resource, and travel into these regions is
unadvised. Since failing at fuel-collection, the Earth caste are
experimenting with a sun-killer weapon to devastate enemy
systems, but thus far all solutions have proven too unwieldy.

e

rations, many septs have also

t orbital

citie

(kor'shuto ) . These can

prmide ·rable jumping off' points for

.

THE TAU EMPIRE

Communications
Routes
Relay Beacons
lst Phase Septs
2nd Phase Septs
3rd Phase Septs
Kroot World

Farsigh t Enclaves
Fortress Stations

-

ART

WAR

OF

Although their technology has evolved, the Tau are proud to preserve many ancient customs. Much of the military tradition of
the Fire caste can be traced back to the early hunter tribes that stalked the plains of T'au, including unit organisation, tactics
and the warrior's Code of Fire. It is with great honour that the Fire caste continues such ancient traditions today.
The Fire caste are professional soldiers. In some ways,

TACTI C A L P H I L O S O P H I E S

their training regimen begins moments after their birth,

By far the two most common forms of Hunter Cadre tactics

for the great communes are fully given over to raising the

used by the Tau are the Mont'ka and Kauyon. Each method is

best soldiers and nothing else. Discipline, fitness, hard

taught in depth by the great Fire caste academies and each

work and following orders are drilled into the growing

has its own adherents amongst the masters. Both styles are

warriors. It is customary for teams to be raised and trained

based on ancient hunting techniques, each representing

together, allowing the troops to form strong connections - a

one of the two broad approaches to slaying your quarry: one

comradeship-in-arms that will serve them well no matter

involves luring the prey to the hunter ( Kauyon) , the other

where in the Tau Empire they are sent off to fight.

involves the hunter running the prey to ground (Mont'ka ) .
Although some Commanders o r septs favour the use of

To be named a shas'la - a full-fledged warrior of the Fire

certain teams or weaponry for certain styles, ultimately it

caste - is to have completed the rigorous training and to

is the tactics being used that make the difference. This is a

have passed the final rite of passage signifying that one has

concept the master of the academy, all preeminent warriors

proven successful at this crucial stage; those not healthy

in their day, su·ess to their pupils.

or bright enough to pass these tests are never heard from
again. The Fire caste never stops readying for war - their

M o NT' KA

academies are purpose built to refine training and to

Roughly translated, :\1om'ka i

educate their warriors in the ways of war. To the Fire caste,

aggressive style of Tau warfare, its tenet is all about the art

war is an art form - a discipline to be studied and applied.

'the killing blow'. The most

of identifying a target of opportunity and attacking it swiftly
with a Hunter Cadre. There are many famous variants of
the Mont'ka, with mo t re1·oh�ng around rapid strikes with
a mobile force and taking the fight directly to the foe . The

C O M MA N D E R P U R ETI D E

theory behind it i that landing a swift and decisive blow

Commander Puretide embodied the Code ofFire and complete
dedication to the Greater Good. Grievously wounded towards
the end of his life, Puretide became a hermit, spending his last
years committing his accumulated wisdom and experience
to p osterity. He wished to p ass on his unique, balanced style
of war so that, after his death, others could build upon his
successes. All Fire caste academies teach Puretide's work
and, to this day, the most promising students, perhaps only
one every generation, can still apprentice directly under the
tutelage of Puretide himself These elite disciples spend time
with the old master thanks to the Earth caste's holographic
programming technology. However, this is no mere recording
of old images, but an interactive AI-assisted projection that
thinks, responds and contemplates. The Ethereals tightly
control access, but thosefew who meet the requirements join
Puretide at his retreat atop the peak of Mount Kanji, on
Dal'yth Prime, where the brilliant commande1· instmcts,
questions and teaches. Despite all his ejfoTts - both when
he lived and in his currentform -few. if any, ofPuretide's
students have grasped thefuU scope of his balanc.ed
enlightenment. Even now, there are rival philosophies of/M
execution of wmfare, with opposin silks each cha pionill'
:r a
single aspect ofhis teachings to the exclusion of thr olhn's.

to the vitals of the enem · 11ill eventually win the fight.
Common to all methods of Tau warfare, Mont'ka places a
strong emphasi on tar et prioritisation and concentration
of fire - attacking the ri ht foe at the right time with an
overwhelming application of force. Attacking too soon will
cause the assault to lo e impems, while attacking too late will
hand the foe the initiati1·e.
A cadre pursuina the :\Iom'ka may stand in readiness for
several days awaitin

the command to su·ike. During this

time they 11ill re1iew the plan - choreographing the moves
they will perform when the call to su·ike comes, charting out
all nuance of �:ai¥e

. terrain and timing. Often, the attack

will be deli\'ered in 1-aried tage , with elements of the assault
arriving in different

manners

and quite often from separate

directions. The coordination of such events is pre-planned,
although, natura.Lh·. there are a range of contingencies and
adjustmen

that

can

modif}' the plan in response to the

l'<uiables of the bartle.
The final d e cisio n to launch a Mont'ka comes from one who

has a good 1iew of the foe - often a Pathfinder Team that
h

-

wor"ed

i way forwards

into enemy territory. There is

grea bond of rrust between the cadre that conducts the
. Ion · · and the Commander who orders it, and a well­

a

'WHEN TO STAY BACK AND COMMAND AND W H E

TO L£.AD

FROM T H E FRONT, AT THE H I G H EST LEVELS, THESE ARE
T H I N G S A LEADER CANNOT BE TAUGHT, BUT EACH

UST

F I N D I N H I S OWN WAY. I N T H E E N D , THE FINAL ARBITER

honed artac

·

11ill bring great honour to both. The attack

\\ill be called off immediately if the prey remains resilient
or prm·e e pecially troublesome or evasive . Escalation
or grinding battles are not the way of the Mont' ka, and

I S VICTORY. YET I STRESS, TO TRIUMPH WITH THE LEAST

rather than enter into a fight of attrition, the Tau find it far

AMOUNT O F RISK M U S T ALWAYS B E THE GOAL'

preferable to pull back out of range and begin planning for

- C O M M A N D E R PURETI O E

another strike.

I<AUYON

The Kauyon art of war is the oldest of the Tau techniques,
and the words for hunter and patience are both derived
from this same root. This style of combat relies on the
interaction of the hunter and the lure. The lure can be
almost anything - most likely a friendly unit deployed in
an intervening position upon the battlefield or perhaps
an objective known to be vital to the foe . Using wisdom
and foresight, the patient hunter will anticipate the
enemy's path and deploy in the most advantageous
manner to attack them. For example, a cadre practicing
Kauyon might set up an attack along a known enemy
advancemen t - placing a team far forward to inflict some
initial damage before falling back. As the friendly troops
withdraw, they are sure to be followed by the vengeful foe.
How best to attack that advancement is where the art of
Kauyon comes into play.
True masters of the ambush attack have so many layers of
plans within plans that only at the end do their opponents
come close to realising that all of their actions have been
anticipated, even orchestrated, to achieve the attacker's end
result. Many a foe has been drawn in by the spider-web plans
of a Kauyon, lured by intentional weak spots left on the Tau
battle line, or induced into a killing zone by teams feigning
retreat. There are many subtleties to the Tau ambush
strategy, with canny Commanders using multiple distractions
to split a foe's forces, or actively moving their lures in
order to spread the enemy out, leaving them vulnerable to
impending attacks.

M O B I LE WAR FA R E
The Fire caste is entirely committed to mobile and rapid­
strike warfare. Movement is key, whether launching the

last stands as incompetent defeats or the last refuge of an

aggressive attacks of Mont'ka, racing to get into the key

unimaginative Commander. When seeking to wear out

positions demanded by Kauyon, or attempting any of the

or reduce a numerically superior foe, the Tau prefer a

lesser known hunting styles such as the encirclements of

disconnected series of rapid strikes and ambushes, each

Rinyon or the thousand daggers approach of Rip 'yka. On

planned to deliver maximum damage for the least cost in

these grounds, the Fire caste is built and equipped for fluid

lives and resources.

battle tactics. The Tau regard close combat as primitive
and always plan their attacks around the application of

While sacrifice for the Greater Good is considered heroic,

ranged firepower. After a plan has run its course, whether

unnecessary losses are disdained. Even after leading a cadre

in victory or defeat, Hunter Cadres are extricated from the

to a remarkable victory, a Commander whose army has

battlefield using one of many planned exit strategies.

sustained a large amount of casualties that might have been
prevented does not rejoice, but is instead greatly shamed.

As a general principle, Tau forces do not hold positions

Duty requires that he ask to step down and rejoin the ranks

by choice. While they recognise the tactical advantage of

to atone for his failure. If the breach of conduct is more

terrain, and always attempt to use it to their benefit, they

severe, the Ethereals themselves might step in and demand

do not see the wisdom of fighting over ground and regard

the Malk'la ritual, an event that scars all who witness it.

territorial gain as irrelevant compared to the destruction
of enemy forces; skilled Commanders look for the be t
opportunities to destroy the foe. The ground is only

TH E C HA N G I N G FAC E O F BATTLE

valuable as a position from which to make the kill; once

As the Tau Empire expands, the need to fight larger

the enemy is gone, the territory is for the taking. "With

scale engagements has grown and caused the purist Fire

planning, advanced scanners and scouts, the Tau identifY,

caste approach to be questioned. At the suggestion of the

track and kill targets in an efficient manner, prefening to

Ethereals, large numbers of auxiliaries (largely made up

keep as much distance between themselves and their prey

from allies auxiliaries) have been incorporated into the

as possible.

military to swell the ranks. Meanwhile, the new armaments

A Tau army will gladly retreat from a strong enemy attack

Earth caste continues to provide new technological options.

to preserve Tau lives while waiting for an opportunity or

Yet the aged masters of the Fire caste academies continue

and advanced equipment invented and produced by the

opening to strike back decisively. Unlike many races, Tau

to stress the old maxim: 'Our technology advances with the

attribute no dishonour to prudent retreat and perceive

years; our tactics do not'.

CASTE ORGANISATION
Fire caste armed forces are deployed to protect Tau holdings o r t o destroy those that oppose the Tau Empire's enlightenment.
In order to achieve success with their rapid strikes and ambushing frrefights, Tau forces must be flexible, and ready to work
together. It is a Fire caste mantra that each every unit must operate in conjunction to fulfil the dictates of the Greater Good.
TEA M S ( LA' R U Al
The smallest standard unit in the Tau military is known as
a team. The most commonly deployed is the Fire Warrior
Team, the backbone of most Tau armies. Each team of Fire
Warriors consists of between six and twelve soldiers. All
members of a team come from the same sept, and most
likely have gone through Fire caste academy together. All
teams have a team leader, although he can only earn the
higher rank of shas'ui after extensive battlefield experience.
Teams that serve together in the field often bond tl1emselves
through rituals, of which the most famous is the 'ta'lissera',
which roughly translates to a type of communion or binding
oath. Those who have sworn such an oath may address each
other by their individual names and have vowed to support
one anotl1er unto death. It is not uncommon for teams to
progress together as well - veteran Fire Warrior Teams may
even earn promotion to shas'ui together. Each might serve
for a time as a squad leader for a different Fire Warrior
Team before the survivors are reunited as a Crisis Team.

C A D R E S C KA U ' U l l
A cadre is a collection of teams joined under a single
Commander. There are many types of cadre, but by far
the most common one is the versatile Hunter Cadre. It is
a combined arms group, fielding infantry, battlesuits and
gunships together. A cadre is comparable in size and power,
if not in composition, to what the Imperial Guard might
call a company. Hunter Cadres are a standing formation,
although their exact structure is variable, subject to change
due to the tactical situation on the ground, the quarry they
are hunting, the available reinforcements or a Commander's
favoured mode of attack.
The core of most Hunter Cadres is its Fire Warriors, but
these can be supported in a number of ways. Pathfinders
scout ahead and mark prospective targets, elite battlesuits
provide hard-hitting su·ike teams, Sniper Drone Teams pick
off the foe' !!Teate t threats and Hammerhead Gunships use
their deadly armaments to blast enemy armour or break up
massed infantry attacks. The doctrine of Tau battle tactics
is all about the efficient coordination of different groups
- from the infan�· to the battlesuits, the gunships to the
aircraft, all must work as one to defeat the foe. A Hunter
Cadre is fully integrated at the tactical level, so that all teams
are considered to be part of the arne fighting unit.
There are a number of different cadres in addition to the
hunter variety, altlwugh they tend to be smaller in size
and more optimised for incmidual roles. There are Rapid
Insertion Forces made exclusi..-ely of fast-suiking battlesuit
teams, Infiltration Cadres of Pathfinders and Stealth
Teams and Auxiliary ReserTe Cadres. battle groups made
entirely of alien warriors. A particularly fom1idable group

is the Armoured Interdiction Cadre, a force composed of
Hammerhead and Sky Ray Gunships. Its heavy firepower
is used to counter enemy tanks and is capable of toppling
even the mightiest targets. During the Hive Fleet Gorgon
invasion, Armoured Interdiction Cadres blunted the Tyranid
bio-titan spearhead - pitting shoals of Hammerheads against
towering Hierophants flanked by the tank-sized Hierodules.

C O NTI N G E NTS CTI O 'VEJ
A contingent is a grouping of cadres, normally three to six
in number. The most senior Commander is designated as
Contingent Commander, and his own cadre is nominated
as a headquarters guard. An Ethereal might be present
in a force at cadre level, but there is always at least one
when a contingent is formed. Ethereals often stay at the
headquarters position, as it is a hub for incoming reports
and his councils can be best received there. Should an
Ethereal wish a closer observation of a situation, he will
attach to or even assume leadership over a cadre.
Unlike a cadre, a contingent is not a permanent formation,
though efforts are made to preserve contingents that have
served efficiently together dming prolonged campaigns.
Once objectives are achieved - such as a breakthrough of
enemy lines or the elimination of a foe - the contingent is
dissolved or reformed into anotl1er arrangement.

C O M M U N E C KAVAA Ll
Sometimes translated as 'battle', a commune is a temporary
grouping of contingents and the highest level of Fire caste
organisation thus far committed in tlle field. Communes
are often formed by contingents from different septs, and
although rarely seen before the Damocles Gulf conflicts,
they are now more regularly formed, most famously during
the decade-long campaign against tl1e Orks known as the
Great War of Confederation. Only the combined forces of
many septs could ha\·e hoped to stop the gargantuan Ork
Waaagh! that threatened the Empire.

C O M MA N D S C U A S H ' O l A N D
C OA L I TI O N S C S H A N 'ALl
A command is the term u ed for all the forces of a single
caste in a given location. For instance, all the Fire caste on
the world of imbo a were part of Fire Caste Command
Nimbosa, while all Air caste formations were part of the Air
Caste Command :\'imbo a.
The four commands are drawn together into a strategic
organisation referred to as a coalition, and are presided over
by a specially assigned Etllereal council. Thus, a coalition
will consist of all Tau and auxiliary forces on a given world
or within a particular system.

T H E M U ' G U LATH BAY
EXP E D ITI O N A RY FO R C E
The Mu'gulath Bay Expeditionary Force was assembled outside Fi'rios Sept and launched to suppress and colonise the
Imperial hive world of Agrellan (named Mu'gulath Bay by the Tau) .

A I R P R O T E CT I O N
S "' UA DR O N S

1 2 x Protector class warships

3 x Barracudas

2 x Emissary class envoy ships

1 x Tiger Sharks

8 x Kroot Warspheres

6 x Razorshark Strike Fighters

24 x Transports

3 x Sun Shark Bombers

2 x Nicassar Dhow

E N C O U NT E R
C O N T I N G E NT S

Hunter
Armoured Interdiction
Forward Stealth

A \\ide range of troop configurations were used in

AssAULT H u NTER CADRE
This mobile assault configuration was led by Shadm\ un
during the initial attack on the Solarus Gate hive node
that opened the Mu'gulath Bay campaign.
Shadowsun and Command Team
[Shadowsun

& Ciisis Bodyguard Team]

Fire Warrior Teams
with Devilfish x6

the ground attack on �1u'gulath Bay, including the
follo\\ing cadres:
Hunter
\1obilised Hunter
Firebase Support
Advanced Insertion
Rapid Insertion
Optimised Stealth
Ciisis Dropstrike

Auxiliary Reserve
Armoured Interdiction
Ranged Support
Retaliation
Skysweep Defence Shield
Counterst:Jike
Kroot Hunting Pack

Fire Wariior Teams x6
Pathfinders Teams
with Devilfish x2
Resource Reclamation

XV25 Stealth Teams x2

Pacification Support
Colony Constructor

XV104 Riptide x2
XV8 Ciisis Team x2
Hammerhead Gunship x3

The third wave of airdropped support are the Water caste
Sky Ray Gunship x3
Razorshark Strike Fighter x4

colonizing agents, including the following teams:
Indigenous Translation

Population Rehabilitation

Diplomatic Arrangement

Worker Transference

AND C ULTUR E
The language of the Tau is a complex, highly evolved form of communication. In sound, it is deeply lyrical and soft, with
many words and meanings varying greatly depending on a user's intonation, glottal emphasis and even posture. Its multiple
arrangements of polysyllabic word groups make it difficult in the extreme for human speech organs to pronounce correctly.
Without voice translation technology, only the most skilful linguist would have any hope of speaking even the most basic
Tau words and phrases.
Tau names are multipart, with the prefix that names the

such as Fire caste Commanders or any of the Ethereal caste,

caste they were born into considered by far to be the most

are clearly given re pect bordering on reverence, the Water

important part. The castes are as follows: Fire (Shas) , Earth

caste envoys simply peak one of over two dozen subtle

(Fio), Air (Kor) , and Water (Por) . The name of the fifth

variations in the Tau language that translates roughly as the

caste translates most often as Ethereal (Aun) .

phrase ' first amongst equals ' .

With the caste established, the second portion of a Tau

There are five major levels of rank within society, each of

name refers to their rank within society. The Tau are

which has a ubtl · different meaning dependent on the

unusual as a culture in that there is no stigma attached to

caste to which it is uffi.xe d. In ascending order of seniority,

rank or profession. Each individual has his or her place in

these ranks are as follm> , including the best translation of

society and commands equal respect no matter how menial

each rank based upon the Fire caste.

a task they perform. Each role is recognised as being part of
the greater whole and a furtherance of the common good.

'La- warrior

When non-Tau, such as alien races just beginning to enter
contact with the Tau Empire, point out that some classes,
'Vre - hero

TA U W O R D

B E ST TRA N S LATI O N

Aun
Be 'gel
Da'noh

Ethereal/celestial

F1t'llasso

Political mes , to be unscrambled b,· the

'EI - noble (or possi bl�· knight)

'0 - commander

Orks
Mystery not yet unravelled by the

"\'ext in

Earth caste

Gue'la
Gue'ron'sha
Gue'vesa
Kor'vesa
Ko'vash
Lhas'rhen'na

a Tau'

name

comes his

sept, which can translate as

'\'ater caste (literally 'cursed mind :

either his exrended family or place of birth. This portion
o: the name bas �><ide interpretations that are not easily

Human

pi

pace �farine (literal!• ·en
human warriors' )

· eered

eC. up b.- aliens. For example, a Tau from one of oldest
sept> ma• be pen:ernxl as ''iser or more sophisticated than

one from a

more

recently established sept. Certain septs

Empire (literally 'human helpers'

also comain meanino- in them elves, as they embody a
panicwar t:rai for example. the nan1e of Vior'la means

Drone ( ' faithful helper')

blooded' and those Kho hail from that sept are considered

Humans Kho ha,·e joined the

Tau

'hot

To strive for (literally 'a worthy cause')

panicu.lartc :nres.siYe . while those from Bork'an Sept are

Euphemism for worthy or noble

r=ded as qui · eamin

and contemplative.

sacrifice (literally 'shattered jade')

Mal'caor
Mal'kor
Mont'a u
Mont'yr
M'yen
Or'es
Por'sral
Run'al
Shas'ar'tol
Shas'len'ra
Shi
Ta'lissera
Tau 'va
Ves'ron
V?'(Ll
Y'eldi
Y'he

Spider
Vespid

Lastl' comes.

a Tau's indi\idual name, which is earned in
recmmition o - me achie\·ement, rather than given at birth.
metimes. the mo t puzzling elements of the

The Terror, the Tau's worst nightmare

The e are

Blooded

name and ,,iriJe

Unforeseen

such as

Powerful

more obscure. I · is po

-

me rna,·

be relatively easy to understand,

· hovah· (fur-·<>hted)

or 'Kais' (skilful), others are

' bl e

for remarkable individuals to

more rhan one

name over the course of their

Propaganda campaign

accumulate

Small blind or bunker

lifetimes. and some of the most notable Tau have literally

Fire caste High Command

dozen of names.. It · common to u·uncate one's full list of

Cautious warrior

names and be known b,- a implified appellation.

Victory
Communion/Marriage/Bonded

As an example of how a full Tau title translates, the name

The Greater Good

Shas'O

Robotic being

as follows: The indi>idual is a member of the Fire caste

\lor'la

hm-ah Kais Mont'yr can be broken down

('0) ,

Cndercut, work to undermine

(Shas) , holds the rank of Commander

.-\ir caste name for a particularly

the world of \lor'la and has the personal names that

gifted pilot (literally ' winged one')

translate as farsighted (Shovah) , skilful (Kais) and blooded

Tyranid ( 'ever-devouring')

hails from

(Mont'yr). However, this Tau is more commonly known as
O'Shovah or Commander Farsight.

FIVE C ASTE S , O N E P E O P L E
Although they are o n e race, the Tau castes are so
evolutionary distinct at this stage in their development that
the differences run more deeply than mere appearances.
Each caste acts, speaks and even thinks in its own unique
manner. With a glance it is easy to identify a Tau's caste;
however, it takes closer scrutiny to reveal his rank in Tau
society and possibly which sept he originates from.
A Tau's caste is the easiest to distinguish, as the physical
traits of each are immediately recognisable: the larger
framed and more muscular Fire caste, the tall, willowy
Air caste, the stout and prosaic Earth caste, the facially
expressive Water caste, and the gaunt yet graceful Ethereals.
Most Tau appear stern and impassive, their flat faces
registering little to no emotion, with the exceptions of the
Fire caste, who can be roused to an intense anger, and the
highly demonstrative Water caste, whose facial features are
softer and more expressive than any other of Tau kind.
The colour of a Tau 's skin offers hints as to his caste as
well which sept he calls home. In general it can be said
that the Fire caste tend to have the darker pigmentation,
while the Air caste have the palest. The darker the Tau 's
bluish-grey skin, the closer to the sun he lives - therefore
those hailing from Vior' la have much darker skin than
those from B ' orkan. Some strange quality in the green­
tinged sun of the N' dras sept can leave those from that
region slightly mottled.
Although all Tau speak the same language, each caste has
adopted a unique pattern of speech and each sept has a
distinctive dialect. Ever pragmatic, the Earth caste speak
in matter-of-fact tones, similar to, but more monotonous

from the First Sphere Expansion) are generally considered

than the clipped orders of the Fire caste. Both, howe,·er, are

more ophisticated and erudite than tho e from the newer,

audibly different from the shrill tones of the Air caste or the

outl}in

calm, yet unnaturally penetrating speech of the Ethereals.

regarded as

worlds, and not surprisin ly, the T'au accent is

the m

t

presti

'ous.

As the Water caste usually adopts the speech pattern ,
mannerisms and tones of those with whom they conYerse,

it

is more difficult to gauge what their dialect actually ounds
like; however, when on their own or only amongst others
of their caste, their speech patterns and voices are the mo t
melodic of all Tau . Those Tau from the elder septs {tho e

a culrure. the Tau haYe put aside individual gain in
GI"eater Good. Thus, such things as personal
po-- --·o - or -ole ownership are rare, with communal
o 'lie _hip o e\·ernhing being the norm. Each Tau is
ta �b- ·o be loYal to Ethereals, the empire, his sept and his
fa\-our o: the

cas-e_

in that order. As they are raised by caste institutions,

· ,- all

d

TH E TAU A L P H A B ET

:I ..... ... ......... . . A
1:1 ................... 8
il... ....... C/K

1 ............. 1/Y
� .................... J
\ ................... L

51 ...... . ... . ........ s
T .............. . .. . . .T
li ... . ......... . .. . .. U

=' ......... . ......... 0

ll . ...... ... ....... . M

IJ ... ... .. . ........ W

n ................... E

n ................... N

I ................... X

� ............ F/V

1: ................... 0

[! ................... G

C .......... . ...... .. P

IJ ................... H

� ................... R

:

: lhi.n

a ta' ·- -

·ance is an alien concept, with perhaps the
in Tau society being those who are bonded in

ra - a pact where groups of Tau pledge support to

each another. This is the highest form of Tau affection for

one
to

another, as it symbolises the sacrifice of the individual

become part of a greater whole. In all castes, age and

experience are venerated. It is common for Tau to bear
a

sinal e calp lock, sometimes adorned with ornamented

rinole

indicative of rank. The more elaborate the

decoration on the scalp lock, the higher the rank and

po ition. Also, no matter which caste the Tau is from, the

hi

her up his position, the more he will be surrounded

b,· technological upgrades and gadgets, such as drones or

lar er communication vanes.
.-\s different as each of the castes are, all are possessed with
the same unwavering self-confidence - each is assured that
the 'Tau way' is manifestly superior to anything non-Tau.
They are united in the common cause of expanding their
empire in the name of the Greater Good.

MARCH

OF

CoN�UEST

The Tau have developed their own mode of timekeeping based on the annual cycle of T'au, a unit called a tau'cyr. Except on
human planets that are still in the process of being subsumed, the Tau do not use the Imperium's dating system. However,
for ease of translation, we have done so here.

789.M35 Land's Vision

The Adeptus Mechanicus Explorator vessel Land's Vision
makes the first discovery ofprimitive Tau.

383.M39 N'dras Colonised

Despite EaTth caste Teservations, from those who want to study
inexplicable sensoT Teadings, the planet N'dras is chosen by the
Ethereal Council as the p1ime woTld of a new sept.

7 9 l .M36 End of the Mont'au

Strange lights are seen and the Ethereals arrive.

576.M39 Steady Advancement

502.M37-956.M38 The Great Expansion

Improvements to anti-grav moton and new battlesuit
technology (the T-series pmtotypes) help the Fire caste complete
the annexation of Task 'vaT Sept.

A time ofgreat scientific and cultural evolution, during
which the Tau advance into space, colonising planets as far
as their conventionally fuelled spacecraft will take them
533.M37 First Colony

The Tau colonise their largest moon, Lu 'val; this is theirfirst
offworld holding.

876.M39 Mistaken Identity

WaT is declared upon the cTUel miders victimizing the new
colonies ofKe'lshan. Believing they have tracked theirfoes
down, the Tau instead destroy the Eldar maiden world of
Lilqrsus. Future relationships continue to be strained.

756.M37 Tau'n Established

Ethereals declare the colonies centred around the planet Tau 'n
will become their own sept - or realm, governed centrally from
Tau 'n, the sept world or prime planet. This is the first of
many star systems to be colonised.
893.M37 Welcome Additions

The Poctroon become thefirst sentient race to join the Tau
Empire, although within a few generations, disease destroys
their indigenous population. The Tau, whose physiology
is fortunately immune to the plague, inherit the Poctroon
homeworld, turning it into the prime world of what will
become Bark 'an Sept. The Nicassar become the first race to
join the Tau Empire and survive long enough to tell about it.

606.M38 to 792.M38 Campaign of Cleansing

The first prolonged campaign against the Orks. The Tau
suffer many defeats but au: ultimately able to eradicate the
greenskins, thanks in pa�t to the Em·th caste refinement of the
first pulse rifle. Dal ':fth Sept is founded.
844.M38 The t:nion of Tau and Kroot

In order to combaJ Orks., thLfonunf�U allinna between Tau
and Kraal is establi.sMd. IYithin a decatk. thL llllier caste
has established embassies upon P«lt. ;k capital urorld of thr
Kmot Tealm.
0 1 8.M39 Second Sphere Expansion
The Ethereal Supreme, A un '1\'ei of th� Trhisp-rn! m
gives the signal to begin the longplannLti &ro • 'inP
Expansion. Aun Wei J' famous speech is well �
ending with 'the nod that launched a million ships: m �

new advances in pmpulsion technology and an alrnui_
established space empin:, the second e'Pansion is 1lUl1'l!nJ bJ
moTe contact with aliens and laTger wan.
053.M39 A New Ally

The planet Vespid is absorbed into D 'yanoi Sept. They
had long been couTted by the Water caste - but little was
established savefor cTystal trade agreements. Within days
ofEthereals ' involvement, the Vespid Strain leaders convert
wholeheaTtedly to the cause of the Greater Good.

600.M40 Vior'la Triumphant!

A massive Orkfleet invades Vior'la Sept but is defeated by a
masterful campaign. Vi01·'la annually passes through a gap
between its two stars, a time called the Trial by Fire. It causes
deadly plasma storms to mvage the planet, whose inhabitants
survive by closing protective domes around their cities. Ork
Warlord Garskrak and his invading army are lured into this
deadly storm where they are utterly destroyed by the raging
plasma radiation.
896.M40 Mass Migration

The greatest Water caste envoy, Por'O Dal'yth Kais Twi
Lui 'tan, better /mown as the Golden Ambassador, leads the
effort to recruit alien worlds into the Tau Empire. During this
period the Thraxians, Greet, and Formosians are welcomed
into thefold. The HTUd and Arachen Teject the proposals and
are driven out of the region.

,,j

65 l .M41 A Legend is Born
The birth of Cmnmander Puretide, the pride of the Dal 'yth
Sept. His brilliant campaigns later conquer half a dozen star
systems. u·nder his auJ!wril)� the Tau envelop those who can
be embraad, sei:::L whaJ can be conquered and obliterate those
wlw tkfj· tk Grenier Good.
3 1 .�41 The Once and Future Master

Th ddniJ Commander Puretide is, urged to view the new
coloniLs aLTOSS thr Damocles Gulf before retiring. While
inspectinu a colon)� Puretide is wounded during a raid.
FnabiL to UJa!k again, the 'llWSt revered of military leaders
spnuls his Te71Ulining )'ears atop Mount Kan 'ji, on Dal'yth,
u:lun he is kept alivefor many more decades. Only those who
attain perfect scores at the Fiu: caste academies are sent to
sit at Puretide's lwver-throne and learn his wisdom. Thanks
to Earth caste h<Jlographic technology, this tradition is still
maintained, although Jew students are deemed worthy of
receiving this high honou1:

733.M41 The Arkunasha War

993.M41 The Nimbosa Annexation

A decade-long war in which a populous Tau colony is besieged
by Orks. It is especially notablefor the rise of the brilliant
Puretide protege named Commander Farsight.

Commander Brightsword, a student ofFarsight :S way ofwm;
leads an attack to claim the Imperial world ofNimbosa. By the
time the Imperium b1ings reinforcements, the Tau are p'l'epared
to defend their new planet. Thefighting culminates with
the infamous Koloth Gorge Massacre, where the forces of the
Imperial Guard are so bTUtally slaughtered that Brightsword
is censured, summoned back to T'au due to the remorselessness
of his acts. Since this attack, the planet has changed hands
several more times and remains a war zone.

742.M41 The Damocles Crusade

The Tau Empire comes under attack by an armada of the
Imperium :S warships on a crusade to reclaim their long­
neglected territory. It is a bloody campaign, which is finally
stymied at Dal'yth Prime. The retreat ofImperial forces marks
the end of the Second Sphere Expansion.

997.M41 to present - The Third Sphere Expansion
745.M41 The Stasis Chamber

A un 'Va makes the decision to place the favoured pupils of
the rapidly declining Commander Puretide into stasis using
prototype technology being developed for deep space travel This allows 0 'Shaserra and a few select other to be recalled
at later need.

After careful preparation, the new Ethereal Supreme, A un 'Va,
launches the Third Sphere Expansion.

3 1 0.997.M41 Ksi'm'yen Established

Thefirst sept of the Third Sphere Expansion is declared and
used as a staging ground forfurther advancement.

760.M41 Rogue Commander

Following the Damocles Crusade, Commander Farsight
recaptures much of the lost territory. However, thefamed
Commander defies orders to return, instead establishing a
string offortified planets known as the Farsight Enclaves.

8 1 3.M41 Cano'var Destroyed

The Tau world of Cano 'var is overwhelmed. Transmissions
show robotic creatures using unidentified energy weapons.
8 1 5.M41 Ally Unlooked For

An Ork invasion under Warlord Grog advances into the Tau
Empire. The populated Tau world of Atari Vo bears the brunt
of the attack beforefinally being defeated by the combined
forces ofDal'yth Sept and an unlikely ally - Commander
Farsight and his bodyguard cadre.

897.M41 to 903.M41 A New Menace

Tyranid Hive Fleet Gorgon smashes into thefringe of the Tau
Empire and claws inwards before being ultimately defeated
upon the sept world ofKe'lshan with the help of unlikely allies
in the form of a fleet of shipsfrom the Imperium of.\Iankind.

525.997.M41 Defence of the Farsight Enclaves

With his spearhead of eighty XV8 Crisis Teams, Commander
Farsight leads a counter-attack against a tendril ofHive Fleet
Krr;ken that has entered his territoTy.

998.M4 1 T'ros

The Tau complete their annexation of what was previously
the Imperial planet of Tams. It becomes the prime planet of
a new sept; its remaining humans m·e considered gue'vesa
citizens of the Tau Empiu and are congmtulated on the
wisdom of theiT decision.

1 03.999.M41 Shas'O'Kais Triumphant

It is unknown when Shas '0 'Kais, another ofPuretide :S
fanner proteges, eme�gedfrom stasis, but it is he that leads the
victories that establish the Fi'rios Sept at this time.
303.999.M41 Defeat at Zeist

975.M41 Great War of Confederation

Many septs, led by Vior'la, combine to hold off the single
largest Ork Waaagh! to have penetrated the Tatt Empil?. This
campaign is also notablefor the brilliant tactics and battle
record of a shas 'o recently awoken from stasis, who there earns
the name Shadowsun.
989.M41 Lagan System

Decades of Water caste work has converted many human
worlds in the Lagan System. With the help ofExpeditional)'
Cadres, the star system is graded a class 1 colony, moving
steadily towards becoming a fully fledged sept. However, all
this preparation comes to naught as the sector becomes a war
zone, targeted for xenos cleansing by the Ultrammines Space
Marines Chapter. Many colonists are slain.

An Imperial counterthTUst attacks the colonies in the Zeist
sector. The Space Marines drive the Tau from many worlds
in the sector, and while the losses are regrettable, the gains
elsewhere aTe on such a scale that, even to the casualty­
conscious Tau, Shadowsun 's diversion seems not just
acceptable, but shrewd.
757.999.M41 Mu'gulath Bay

In the largest battle of the Third Sphere Expansion,
Commander Shadowsun leads the attack at Mu 'gulath
Bay, beginning the rout of human forces now known as the
Path ofBlood. It is a bright day for the Tau, who saw a foe
with vastly superior numbers crushed. No less than twelve
advanced weapon prototypes were successfully deployed in
the campaign, with only thefusion reactm· meltdown that
destroyed Mu 'gulath 's moon proving a failure.

THE NEW BEGINNING

OF

A time o f great change is at hand. The old powers of the galaxy, corrupt and bloated as they are, struggle in what is surely
their death throes. Such is the cycle, for new growth pushes through old, new stars form out of the dust of suns gone
supernova in ages past. In the galaxy's far east, a new power is rising; its destiny will not be denied.
The Eastern Fringe is a war zone. The Fire caste military

Mechanical upgrades, cleaner air, and countless efficiency­

machine has stormed across a wide front, waging rapid

aiding devices are installed. Much of this equipment arrives

strike warfare, exterminating resistance and paving the way

pre-fabricated, lowered into position by massive dropships

for the seeding colonies that follow directly behind the

that descend from orbit. Planetary rule is maintained by

fighting spearheads. Many of the planets and star systems

councils of the native race, although they will quietly report

that have fallen before their onslaught were once under

to Tau advisors. Occasionally, their decisions are overruled

the Imperium of Mankind's control. Intercepted messages

by the Tau, but such instances decrease with time. Native

confirm what high-ranking captives and alien collaborators

customs are allowed and studied by the Tau, and so long as

inveigled by the Water caste have also said - the Imperium's

they do not inhibit efficiency, they are allowed to continue.

frontier worlds have had their defences stripped to almost

Over the years, new customs are introduced and the cultures

nonexistent levels and no further help is coming to them.

show signs of amalgamation - although the one constant is
that the Tau are always treated as first amongst equals.

A N EW S U N R I S I N G

Based on the number of planets seized in the initial phase of

Whether willingly, under the intimidating tlueat of a pulse

the Third Sphere Expansion, the logistical teams within the

rifle, or after a series of crushing defeats in bloody battles,

Water caste have been projecting likely outcomes - to aid

many populations now find themselves as part of the

the Ethereals' plan making. According to their estimations,

growing Tau Empire. In this dark age of war and barbarity,

the Tau will more than double their holdings - that is, the

where no quarter is asked and none given, any alien - be

number of occupied planets in the Tau Empire - within

they human, Pakasar, N'deemi or any of a multitude of other

the next

races - all have deep set fears and expectations of what a

60 tau'cyr, a time period roughly equivalent to
50 Terran years. The volume of captured alien worlds

planetary takeover will be like. Most have heard accounts

(and especially Imperial worlds, with their vast resources

or rumours of brutal Ork enslavement, insidious Hrud

and large populations) are fuelling further growth at an

infestations or horrific tortures at the hands of cruel Eldar

exponential rate. When apprised of these mathematical

overseers. While the Tau fight to win, they will, after each

predictions, the Ethereal High Council simply nod; the plan

of their victories, repeat their offers for peaceful surrender.

is moving apace. On dozens of worlds, a new day is rising.

What happens when their opponents finally accept the Tau's
terms for a ceasefire is shockingly civil.

F U RTH E R E N LI G HTE N M E NT

At the first stages of a takeover, all changes are subtle. Tau

In the aftermath of a fierce battle, even as fires still

interpreters move amongst the people, speaking the native

blaze upon the newly renamed planet of Mu'gulath Bay,

language and seeking to calm their fears, telling them

Commander Shadowsun turns her attentions onwards. With

to embrace change and promising them that soon they

one of the most heavily defended of Imperial worlds in the

will see the light of a Greater Good. These ambassadors

system conquered and burning beneath her feet, many new

are escorted by phalanxes of armoured Tau warriors and,

courses are now open for colonisation. To take advantage of

while they are peaceful, they brook no violence, whether

them, the Tau must move quickly.

upon their own kind or even between factions within the
indigenous population. At major institutions, the Tau set
up tempo�· camp , umrnoning the upper echelons of
the pre\ious rule for disc
the tall
meetin

and el

ions. The directing class of Tau,

t ones known

. Important alien eli

as

Ethereals, arrive at the e

'taries are whis ·ed off for

private conferences - often rerurning "ith comforrin
of how the situation ''ill p!'02TeSS.
returning at all . Teams

alth

of Tau \>Ur e

_

�h �

buildings. , .

me limes n�er

arrire · -i:h �=ge

machines - flocks of worker dron :: a:ciir: .,
They test the air, water,

pla..ns

d.



e- -

reaming to launch another one of their crusades.

By the second stages of a population· enm· into the
can

kno" that what Ethereal Supreme Aun'Va said

·e can brin

Tau lanv

discerned. The distinctive streamlined

terns send disturbing news, their transmissions indicating
trouble could well be coming from those anarchic Ork-held
sec o . \Ian,- ·
point to the greenskins massing, perhaps

A'Y is full of darkness and barbarism - only

..: rrue - ' the

_

Empire, more evidence of the Tau· presence

Pathfinders who infiltrated the quarantined Red Star

ShadD\>_

r:

heir hand-he
back to these .,.·or'· e in

but not unpleasant sounding

Imperium i girding for battle, preparing to meet the
Tau in\-asion forces with everything they have.

upcomi ng

e dt2'UUL.

and even the people themse"· -.
beeping, and talking

Advanced scouts report that along the new frontier, the

Tau

be

ryle of Tau buildings

rise from the planet's surface in gleaming superiority.

enlightenment to such a black void. ' At her

command. no

l

from the do

ed atmosphere that surrounds Mu'gulath Bay.

than eight different battle fleets disembark

Each one is a Fire caste spearhead - each one on a course
for battle. History has proven that there is no foe the Tau
can not overcome, and soon, the very stars themselves will be
reforged in the cause of the Greater Good.

OF

THE TAU EMPIRE

This section of the book details the forces used by the Tau - their vehicles, their units and the special characters that lead
them to war. Each entry describes the unit and gives the specific rules you will need in order to use them in your games. The
Army of the Third Sphere section (pg 94-103) refers back to these entries. The second part of this section, known as the
Arsenal of Expansion, details the armoury of weapons and equipment available to each Tau unit. The exception is unique
items of wargear, or Signature Systems; details for these items can be found with the special characters to which they belong.

TAU E M P I R E S PE C IA L R U L E S
The Tau Empire uses a number of special rules that are
common to several units, as denoted in the unit entries.

WARLORD TRAITS TABLE
06

B o N D I N G K N I FE RITUAL

Many Tau groupings are 'bonded' to one another, that is, they
have gone through the solemn and bloody cen!'lnony known in the
Tau language as the ta'lissem - the Bonding Knife Ritual. Those
within such a team swear to support one another at all costs for
the rest of their lives. They will even willingly sacrifice their own
lives in order to better aid their com-rades. It is an ennobling ritual
and symbolic of the drivingforce behind the Tau Empire, that an
individual must submit his individuality to the greater purpose of
the community.

1

WA R L O R D TRA I T
Precision of the Skilled Hunter. No Joe can evade

the Warlord once they have fallen under his crosshairs.
Enemy models cannot take Look Out, Sir rolls
against your Warlord's shooting attacks. If your
Warlord has no ranged weapons, re-roll
this result.
2

Through Unity, Devastation. This Wa-rlord

coordinates his warriors ' m·cs offin; so that his foes are
caught in a lethal crossfire.
One use only. Declare your Warlord is using
this ability at the start of one of your Shooting
phases. For the duration of the phase, all
friendly units from this codex within 12" of the
Warlord re-roll To Hit rolls of 1.

A unit consisting entirely of models with this special rule
(not counting drones) benefits from Heroic Morale, even if
they are not accompanied by an Independent Character.

3

A Ghost Who Walks Among Us. This Warlord

has mastered the battlesuit art of striking at his target
while evading retribution.
The Warlord, and his unit, move 3D6" when
making jet Pack thtust moves. If your Warlord is
not jet Pack Infantry, re-roll this result.

S U PPORTI N G FIRE

Fire caste doctrine, as laid down in the Code ofFire, instructs all
warriors to fight closely together, with each member of a team doing
his utmost to protect not just his comrades, but also nearby teams in
his cadre. Using overlappingfields of.fire, all teams provide mutual
support on the battlefield.

4

f cuuraqe and self-sacrifice.

o

One use only. Declare your Warlord is using
this abi lity at the start of one of your Movement
phases. :ill friendly units from this codex on
the battlefield that have gone to ground are
no longer considered gone to ground and can
mo\·e, hoot and charge normally this turn.

When an enemy unit declares a charge, all friendly models
with this special rule in units within 6" of the charging unit'
target can choose to fire Overwatch as if they were also
targets of the charge. Remember that a unit can still only
fire Overwatch once each phase.
5
WAR L O R D T R A ITS

On thefield of battle, a Tau foru am be led b)· a Commander or b)
an Ethereal. Commanders aTI' experimad FiTI' 1\i.mion u·lw fur..
moved through the ranks, displa)inu perwnal heroics and a mu
grasp of the m·t of wa r. Ethemils use thnr "')stmous >. _ u.'"
the Tau and thei1· auxiliaries to insprTI' the troops to e:a
aas
of valour and sacrifice. Thest le�ders fur.. lunuri IhLir pasonaJ
abilities, and in a tightly contesttd clash. 1hese · lls
' m �
difference between victory and defeat.
When generating Warlord Traits, a Commander or Ethereal
may either roll on one of the Warlord Traits table s in the
Warhammer 40,000 rulebook, or roll on the table pre ented
on the right.

Exemplar of the Selfless Cause. The Warlords
heroic example inspires his warriors to ever greater acts

Predator of the Skies. A sky-hunter beyond compare,
no

aim·aft or skyborne monster is safe from the sights

of this Warlords weapons.
One use only. Declare your Warlord is using
this ability at the start of one of your Shooting
phases. For that phase, the Warlord, and his
unit, have the Skyfire special rule.
6

Through Boldness, Victory. Using speed and sheer

aggression, the Wadont pushes his forces as he seeks to
land a decisive offensive blow upon the enemy.
Your Warlord, and any unit he joins, does not
scatter when arriving by Deep Strike. If your
Warlord cannot Deep Strike, re-roll this result.

VE H I C LE D RO N E S

DRO N ES
Tau Drones are independent artificial intelligences, programmed
to support and protect the Tau and their allies in battle.

Some vehicles include two drones - these start the game
attached to the vehicle.

A unit comprised entirely of drones is a non-scoring, non­

ATTA CH E D

denial unit. Drones do not have the Bulky special rule.

Whilst attached to the vehicle, drones are treated as

DRONES

embarked passengers (although they don't count against
a vehicle's Transport Capacity and they can even be

U N I T U P G RA D E D R O N E S

attached to a vehicle that doesn't have a Transport

Drones taken as upgrades for a unit act as additional

Capacity) . This means that while they are attached, they

squad members in all regards. They are unable to leave

can make shooting attacks as if they were passengers

their unit and must maintain unit coherency with their

shooting from Fire Points, using their location on the

unit at all times. Drones taken as upgrades cannot

vehicle to determine line of sight, range etc. Unlike other

purchase options, however, and so do not pay for them

models shooting from Fire Points, attached drones must

if their unit does so.

shoot at the same target as the vehicle they are attached to.
Target Acquired abilities used by a Tau vehicle, or vehicle

For example: If a unit of six Fire Warriors t akes two Gun
Drones and purchases EMP grenades, they only p ay 12
p oints for the EMP grenades (2 p oints for each Fire Warrior
in the squad).
I N D E P E N D E NT CHARACTE R S A N D

squadron, also apply to any attached drones in the unit.
If a vehicle is destroyed before it has detached its drones,
the drones are automatically destroyed along with it.
D ETACH I N G

D R O N ES

DRONES

Independent Characters who have taken drones as

During any friendly Movement phase, drones may

upgrades are still permitted to join units, in which case

detach from their vehicle in the same way as Infantry

both the character and his drones join the unit. If the

disembarking from an Open-topped Transport. All

Independent Character then leaves the unit, all his

drones from a vehicle or vehicle squadron must detach

surviving drones also leave the unit, forming a separate

at the same time - they then form a single new unit.

unit with him.
After detaching, drones cannot re-attach to any vehicle,
If the Independent Character is killed whilst part of a

but they can embark on Transport vehicles in the same

unit, his surviving drones are thereafter part of that unit

manner as other drones.

and cannot leave it; the Independent Character's unit
has, for the purposes of Victory Points, been destroyed.

Drones that started the game attached to a vehicle do

If the Independent Character is killed while he is not

your opponent only needs to destroy the vehicle,

not award Victory Points when destroyed. In addition,
joined to another unit, do not remove any surviving

and not that vehicle's detached drones as well, to be

drones - the unit is not destroyed until all the drones

awarded any Victory Points it is worth.

have been destroyed as well. These drones cannot
join other units. Another Independent Character
can j oin the surviving drones, but as they are not his
upgrades, he cannot take them with him if he then
joins another unit.

DRONES
WS BS s

A Ld Sv

Unit Type

2

2

3

4

4

7

4+

Jet Pack Infantry (Drone)

Marker Drone

2

2

3

4

4

7

4+

Jet Pack Infantry (Drone)

Missile Drone

2

2

3

4

4

7

4+

Jet Pack Infantry (Drone)

Shield Drone

2

2

3

4

4

7

4+

Jet Pack Infantry (Drone)

GuN

DRONE

Wargear:


T w

Gun Drone

Twin-linked pulse carbine

M AR K E R

DRONE

Wargear:


Markerlight (pg 68)

M IS SILE

DRON E

Wargear:


Missile pod (pg 66)

S H I E LD

DRONE

Wargear:


Shield generator (pg 69)

(pg 66)

Special Rules:
Special Rules:


Supporting Fire



Supporting Fire

Special Rules:


Supporting Fire

Special Rules:


Supporting Fire

A Commander, or in the language of the Tau, a 'shas'o', is
the highest rank a Fire Warrior can obtain. It is a position
of great honour, and can only be attained after years
progressing through the ranks - there are no shortcuts or
exceptions. The final test to advance from the shas'el level
is to have repeated success on the battlefield. To be named
shas' o is to be proven a master in the martial arts, a first rate
tactician and a true disciple of the art of war.

Commanders that hail from the Elsy'eir and T'olku Septs
are typically considered more cerebral in nature, ordering
their troops from behind the front lines and only entering
the fray themselves upon great need.
There are times when hubris gets the better of these proud
military masters, and in such situations, the council of the
Ethereals reins the Commanders back in. It is constantly said
that 'there is no substitute for victory, but this is balanced
by the virtues of the Code of Fire and the Greater Good.' A
triumph that sustains more losses than were necessary does
not service the true needs of the Tau. Personal heroics, while
lauded, are never an end unto themselves. It is a rare that a
malk 'la must take place - a ritual discipline meted out by the
Ethereals to those deemed to have erred in judgement in
regards to the Greater Good.

Depending on their situation, sept and renown, a Tau
Commander can be called upon to lead anything from
a cadre to a coalition. The number and size of previous
commands is reflected in the rings confining their long
scalp lock. Those new to the rank might be given a single
cadre, a force numbering a hundred or so warriors, whilst
the greatest military leaders, those whose names and
victories are most honoured, can call countless millions to
arms with but a single word.

Upon attainting the rank of shas'o, a member of the
Fire caste will serve his sept until death or until he has
earned honoured retirement, though the most successful
Commanders are asked to join the military high command,
or shas'ar'tol. Each of the Spheres of Expansion has its notable
Commanders - great heroes whose teachings are still used at
the Fire caste academies. There, the ways of the Wise Hunter,
a great conqueror of the initial expansions, can be heard, as
well as those of Commander Quicks trike, hero of the Bork'an
Sept. Many references are made to Commander Trues tar,
the female military leader whose brilliant career was marred
by a single tragic error, and to the Desert Beast, the wily
Commander Dawnstrike, whose exploits of feigned retreat
are often emulated, but never bettered. Yet of all these great
lords of the Fire caste, there are none whose battle record
can come close to equaling that of Commander Puretide, the
noble master whose name was behind the greatest victories of
the triumphant Second Sphere Expansion.

There are vast differences in approach and philosophy
between the varied Tau Fire caste leaders. Some Tau
Commanders prefer to lead from the front - pushing their
XVS Crisis battlesuits to their fullest. The Commanders of
the Vior'la, Tash'var and Ke'lshan are particularly noted
for their personal kills, often accompanied into the thick of
battle by an XVS Crisis Bodyguard Team. Conversely, Tau

-

,

'

WS BS S

Commander

UN

IT

4

5

5

T W
4 4

I
3

A Ld Sv
4 10 3+

TY P E : Jet Pack Infantry (Character) .

WA R G E A R : Crisis battlesuit (pg 70) .
P E C I A L R U L E S : Independent Character,
upporting Fire (pg 32) , Very Bulky.

s

' T H E R E A R E C E RTA I N T H I N G S I N WAR, O F
W H I C H T H E F' I R E C A S T E C O M M A N D E R ALO N E
C O M P R E H E N D S T H E I M P O RTAN C E .

IT IS NOT HIS

R I G H T , B U T RAT H E R H I S R E S P O N S I B I L ITY, T O
S E N D T H O U S A N D S T O T H E I R DEATHS I F" M I L L I O N S
W I L L P R E VA I L . THAT I S T H E H EAV I E S T B U R D E N O F
C O M M A N D , A N D I T M U S T B E S H O U L D E R E D , ALO N E . '
· C O M M A N D E R P U R E TI O E - T H E N I N ETY-NINTH

M E D ITATION

O N T H E WAY O F T H E C O M M A N D E R .

ETHEREALS
The Ethereals make up the ruling caste within Tau society
- born to counsel, advise and steer their comrades towards
the chosen path. They embody the roles of royalty and the
priesthood, and the deference paid to them is the closest
thing to mysticism in Tau society. For weighty decisions, a
\\ise Ethereal will take counsel from the senior members
of each caste, although ultimate sovereignty falls upon him
and him alone. The Ethereals find themselves in a binding
role - guiding the other castes to work together for the
Greater Good. An Ethereal must be a consummate leader
and motivator: pushing the Earth caste for more practical
innovations, setting firm negotiation goals for the Water
caste to strive for, giving perimeters to the great fleets of
the Air caste and directing the sometimes overzealous
aggressions of the Fire caste.

The absolute control which Ethereals exhibit over the
other castes of the Tau Empire is a mystery. Many assume
such manipulation is a form of innate psychic ability;
others feel that the faultless loyalty the Ethereals inspire
has been contrived by some unseen technology, or is even

the result of some pheromone-based reaction. The most
primitive races Tau forces have encountered believe the
Ethereals are deified beings, leaders of an advanced people
chosen for greatness. Naturally, the Ethereals themselves
help propagate and encourage this particular myth. As the
Tau do their utmost to prevent any Ethereal from being
slain or captured, there have been few opportunities to
conduct tests, and those that have been performed offer no
conclusions, and far more questions.
The presence of an Ethereal is motivational, but they are
not mere figureheads; they are also reverential leaders
for whom any Tau would willingly lay down their life. By
invoking the elemental truths, an Ethereal can inspire those
around him to perform feats above and beyond what is
normally considered possible - bravery in the face of certain
death, an increased focus as enemies draw near, an ability
to withstand crippling pain or a sudden celerity that allows
them to maintain a weight of fire even on the move. The
Tau themselves do not question the source of these powers,
accepting the greatness of their leaders on faith.

,



WS BS S

Ethereal

4

3

3

T W

I

A Ld Sv

3

3

3

2

-

10

-

U N I T TY P E : Infantry (Character).
5 P E C I A L R U L E 5 : Independent Character, Stubborn.

Failure is Not An Option: .AJJ friend! models from tl1is
codex \\ithin 1 2" of the Ethereal use hi Leadership for Fear,
�1orale. Pinnilla and Regroup te rs . Howe,·er. if the Ethereal
is remm·ed as a casualty in a mi ion that uses ictory Points,
one additional ictory Point.
your opponent

ln>ocation of the Elements: At the start of each of the
Ethereal· �loYement phases, choose one of the four
elemental powers listed below to invoke. The Eiliereal, and
friendly non-vehicle models from this codex in units
"ithin 1 2", benefit from tl1e effects of the elemental power
until the start of the Ethereal's next Movement phase. If the
Ethereal is slain, the elemental power ends immediately.
all



Calm of Tides: Affected models have ilie Stubborn
special rule.



Storm of Fire: Affected models fire an extra shot with
pulse weapons (pg 66) when firing at a target within
half the weapon's maximum range. This does not affect
pulse bombs, but includes Kroot rifles firing pulse
rounds. Storm of Fire can only affect a unit once per
turn, regardless of how many Ethereals invoke it.



Sense of Stone: Affected models have tl1e
Feel No Pain (6+) special rule.



Zephyr's Grace: Affected models can fire Snap Shots
after running.

Fi RE BLADES
prefer to remain with the Fire Warriors. For some, this is a
practical realisation that the tactical versatility required by
Crisis or Stealth Teams eludes them; for others, it is simply a
preference to remain squarely situated with the heart of any
Tau gunline.

Fire blades are the most grizzled and seasoned Fire Warriors
of their cadre, whose skill at the Fire Warrior's art of battle
leads them to eschew battlesuit technology. They are
excellent field leaders and their long experience has taught
them exactly where to place shots to maximise damage. It is
on the firing line that a Cadre Fireblade really comes into
his own. There, they radiate a steadying calm, directing
their Fire Warriors to maintain accurate fire no matter the
circumstances, instilling each trooper with the precision
and efficiency that is the hallmark of thousands of years of
martial teachings.
Whether breaking the impetus of an advancing horde of
greenskins or seeking to bring down the heavily armoured
Space Marines of the Imperium, no one knows a Fire
Warrior's strength better than a Cadre Fireblade. A Cadre
Fire blade will extol what they believe to be the Tau's
strength - overwhelming infantry firepower! Theirs is the
ability to drive and direct Fire Warriors as they pour volley
after volley of merciless pulse fire onto the target.
Fire blades were once Fire Warrior troopers like any other
in the cadre, and as they gained experience, they rose
to become shas'ui: veterans and squad leaders. Whereas
most of these seasoned leaders eventually choose the great
honour of donning a battlesuit, there are a few who instead

The military path that takes a soldier to become a Cadre
Fire blade can never rise as high as the rank of shas' o - they
are limited to a level just beneath that of shas'el. Nor does
the title carry with it the elan associated with those who wear
a battlesuit. Nonetheless, Cadre Fire blade, or shas'nel in the
Tau language, is a highly respected role - not least because
of their willingness to forgo prestige. The constant drilling
and workman-like efficiency of a Cadre Fireblade is, to the
Tau, a willing embrace of their most beloved concept, the
Tau'va - the Greater Good.

,

l

WS BS S

Cadre Fireblade

4

5

3

T W
3

3

I
3

A Ld Sv
3 9 4+

U N IT TY P E : Infantry (Character).
WA R G EA R : Combat armour (pg 70) ,
pulse rifle (pg 66) , photon grenades, markerlight (pg 68) .
5 P E C I A L R U L E 5 : Independent Character, Split Fire,

Supporting F'rre (pg 32) .

Volley Fire: If the Cadre Fire blade, and every model in his
unit, remain tationa.IJ· in the Movement phase, their pulse
rifles and pulse carbine each fire an additional shot in the
Shooting phase.

TH E F I R E CASTE P R O G R E S S I O N

Raised with tJu rigrntrs of wmmunal drill, the Fire caste
academies train ph)siwifitness, marksmanship, small unit
tactics and tk i portanee of suppcrrtingfire. When a Fire
he or she enters active service as a line
Warrior is old mo
trooper - a shas 7a_ --tfterfour )'ears 'on the line: each soldier
must take a Trial b) FIT?. If they pass this ancient ritual (which
varies from sefll lo sep) then they are fit to become a shas 'ui - a
veteran considertxl battles uit-worthy. It is a position ofgreat
horwur amo rn k Tau, and the goal of every member of the
Fire mste_ .1f.er sunT.:ing a furtherfour years, a shas 'ui can
taJce a srcond Trial, and successful participants advance yet
a ain, earm 0 IM li.lk of shas 'vre - a true hero of the Fire
caste. _-\ �finlJ
ho honours this more substantial role and
sun ·�li1'llJlherfour years becomes eligible to undertake a third
T1lfll if :e -�hes and, if he is still alive by the end, will become
a Urt.mantln-in-training, or shas 'el. Those who excel in this
lmdi "T1:k aa promoted to shas 'o, a full Commander. Only
Corlr nders are allowed to retirefrom active service, where they
be honoured to join the council of advisors and play a
ater part in Tau politics. Other than death, this is the only
U'll) w leave the Tau military.

-

To be born into the Fire caste is to be born for battle.
Bred for generations to maximise size and strength, these
warriors-to-be are enrolled in Fire caste academies as soon as
they can walk, institutions whose sole purpose is to produce
soldiers to serve the growing Tau Empire. There they are
rigorously prepared, in mind and body, to become Fire
Warriors - the professional infantry that forms the backbone
of the Hunter Cadres of every sept. It is said with pride
that behind every Fire Warrior stands thousands of years of
training in the military arts and instruction in the laws of the
Code of Fire: honour, obedience, duty and self-sacrifice.
Tau Fire Warriors are superbly equipped for battle and
a large part of their training is to acclimate themselves
with the use of their high-tech gear. All Fire Warriors wear
multi-layered body armour that provides defence against
high velocity or explosive rounds. Thanks to their mastery
of metal fusions, the armour is lightweight, especially in
comparison to conventional materials - such as those used
by Orks or the Imperium. The enlarged sinistral shoulder
pad is particularly useful, as Fire Warriors are trained to use
this as a shield, often positioning it towards incoming fire to
increase their protection. Their helmets contain a number
of digitised aids, including sensors, target-tracking readouts,
air quality levels and communications uplinks.
The arsenal available to Fire Warriors is formidable, with
individuals carrying either a pulse rifle or a pulse carbine.
With this advanced armament, Fire Warriors can Ia, down a
withering fusillade upon their foes. Their range and hitting
power outclasses the standard weapons of every race the
Tau have yet encountered. Should their enemie advance
too close, Fire Warriors are equipped with disc-like photon
grenades, defensive devices which explode \\ith a dazzlin g
blast of multi-spectrum light to disorient foe . Although
their potent pulse weapons can penetrate the armour of
light vehicles, against heavier armour, Fire \\'arriors often
employ EMP grenades. These are technical man·el that
send out an electromagnetic pulse on detonation which can
overload electronic circuitry, causing anything from minor
malfunctions to complete meltdowns.
Fire Warrior Teams consist of between six and twelve
warriors. A team leader, or shas'ui, is a veteran wanior
whose experience has prepared him to command. A shas'ui
can draw upon additional equipment to aid both the team
and the cadre, such as drones or a markerlighL Before the
battle, the shas'ui will receive the orders for his Fire Warrior
Team via the relay comms, although due to the haphazard
nature of war, these goals often change, and a shas'ui is
expected to lead his team to fluidly react to e\·e!]' ituation.
The Fire caste puts utmost importance on acting in a
coordinated fashion upon the battlefield. Needle
acrifices
or inadequately supporting nearby teams are considered
great failures. Fire Warrior Teams drill endlessly in setting
up overlapping fields of fire and positioning themselves so
that they can efficiently protect other teams should they be
attacked. Such rigorous training produces Fire Warriors to
whom covering fire is second nature - able to send volleys

of pulse fire at a foe closing upon their comrades with a
single command flashed through the comm-system. While
a Fire Warrior Team is formidable in its own right, an
interlocking cadre of teams is even stronger than the sum
of its parts. Such inter-unit dynamics have foiled many foes.
During the Tau victories over the Orks during the Great War
of Confederation, time and again the waves of greenskins
almost closed with the Tau gunlines, only to find their final
charge defeated by the literal wall of pulse fire that the
combined teams discharged. It is a lesson that resounds
through the Fire caste academies - 'only by supporting our
comrades can we defeat the superior numbers of our foes ' .

,
Fire Warrior
Fire Warrior Shas'ui

llo..

-WS BS s
2
2

3
3

3
3

T w
3
3

1
1

I
2
2

A Ld Sv
1
7 4+
2 8 4+

U N I T TYP E : Infantry.
Fire Warrior Shas'ui is Infantry (Character).
WA R G EA R : Combat armour (pg 70) , pulse rifle (pg 66) ,
photon grenades.
S P E C I A L R U L E S : Supporting Fire (pg 32) .



PATHFINDERS
Light reconnaissance units, Pathfinder Teams are the eyes
and ears of their Commander in a way no drone can yet
emulate. A Pathfinder's foremost role is not to engage the
enemy, but instead to maximise the efficiency of the rest of
their cadre. They operate ahead of their comrades, close to
their foe, to accurately scout the enemy. In such a position,
a Pathfinder's life is always under threat. For this reason and
more, Pathfinders are held in high regard by every caste.
They are not protected by a battlesuit or stealth field
generators, yet they are far from helpless. A Pathfinder's
standard kit includes a pulse carbine - ideal for the close­
ranged firefights they so frequently find themselves in.
Pathfinders also bear markerlights to guide the firepower
of the rest of the cadre against optimal targets. Holding a
markerlight on a distant enemy while your own position is
being overrun is a selfless act, but Pathfinders epitomise the
Greater Good, and by their actions, many battles are won.
By infiltrating the battlefield, they can also activate homing
beacons or positional relays - bringing reinforcements to
the fray with greater precision. Some teams also carry a
few rail rifles - especially useful against power armoured
infantry. An even more recent addition to the Pathfinder's
arsenal is the ion rifle. Able to fire in two distinct modes,
the ion rifle can vaporise light vehicles, but is unstable when

J

overcharged. Many Pathfinder shas'uis employ drones,
and in the Third Sphere Expansion, new variants specially
designed to assist Pathfinder Teams have been developed.
Trading lives for ground is anathema to the Tau, and the
Fire caste is trained to retreat and fight another day. While
every sept has tales of crafty Pathfinders escaping against
impossible odds, even the best-laid extraction plans can fall
through. All Tau warriors are willing to lay down their lives
for the Greater Good, but Pathfinders find self-sacrifice
called for more often than all other cadre teams combined:
during the early days of the Great War of Confederation,
some septs reported Pathfinder casualty rates at 84% or
higher. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, the Fire
caste academies are inundated by volunteers wishing to be
Pathfinders, eager to do their utmost for the Greater Good.

Pathfinder
Pathfinder Shas'ui

WS BS S
2
2

3
3

3
3

T W

I

3
3

2
2

1

A Ld Sv
1 7 5+
2 8 5+

U N IT TY P E : Infantry. Pathfinder Shas'ui is
Infantry (Character) .
WAR G EA R : Recon armour (pg 70) , pulse carbine (pg 66) ,
photon grenades, markerlight (pg 68) .
S P E C I A L R U L E S : Scouts, Supporting Fire (pg 32) .

U P G RA D E S

Pathfinder Teams often field-test newly-developed drone types.

WS BS S T W I A Ld Sv

Gra\�inhibiwr Drone
2
Pulse .\ccelerawr Drone 2
Recon Drone
2

U

2
2
2

3
3
3

4
4
4

1
1
2

4
4
4

1
1
1

7 4+
7 4+
7 4+

IT TY P E : Jet Pack lnfantry (Drone).

A R G EA R :
Grm:-inluoitor Drone: gravity wave projector (pg 69) .
Pulse Accelerator Drone: pulse accelerator (pg 69) .
Reron Drone: burst cannon (pg 65) ,
homing beacon (pg 69) , positional relay (pg 69) .
S P E C I A L R U L E S : Supporting Fire (pg 32) .
Turre t Mounting (Recon Drone only) . When a Recon
Drone embarks on a Devilfish, it is treated exactly like

an embarked passenger, but does not count towards

Tran port Capacity. When the Recon Drone is so

embarked, the vehicle counts as having a homing
beacon and positional relay.

DEVI LFISH
The Devilfish armoured troop carrier is the workhorse of
the Tau ground forces, granting the Fire caste infantry
much-needed speed and tactical mobility. It can transport
up to twelve fully armed and armoured Fire Warriors or
Pathfinders into battle in relative safety and then provide
mobile fire support once they disembark. The highly
mechanised Hunter Cadres rely on Devilfish to ensure that
their Fire Warriors can travel and deploy quickly to wherever
their gunlines are most required.
Powered by a complex dual anti-grav and jet-propulsion
motive system, the Devilfish seems to glide over a planet's
surface. The anti-grav engines generate a 'cushion' for the
Devilfish to float upon, and its armoured bulk is driven
forwards by two powerful, multi-directional jet engines. By
pivoting the propulsion units downwards, the Devilfish pilot
can gain extra lift to clear obstacles, making the vehicle
capable of boosting over obstacles and terrain that mundane
tracked vehicles could never hope to traverse.

The Devilfish itself is armed with a burst cannon - an ideal
weapon to add suppressive fire in defence of any nearby
allies. Two Gun Drones are also standard armament, able to
lend the Devilfish their weight of fire, or detach on missions
of their own. There are a number of upgrades that can
augment the Devilfish, from seeker missiles, for extra power,
to defensive options, like decoy launchers or target-shielding
disruption pods.

,
D evilfish

rArmour ,
BS F S R HP
3 12 1 1 10 3

U N I T TY P E : Vehicle (Tank, Skimmer, Transport).
WAR G EA R : Burst cannon (pg 65) , two Gun Drones (pg 33) .
T RA N S P O RT:

Transport Capacity: Twelve models. A Devilfish may
transport Drones, but may not transport models with the
Bulky, Very Bulky or Extremely Bulky special rules.

Fire Points: None.
Access Points: One on each side and one to the rear.
Mobility is essential for any Commander and the Devilfish
allows the infantry to keep pace with the armoured
gunships. Whether manoeuvring troops to deliver the killer
offensive of a Mont'ka, or rushing them into ideal firing
positions to ensure a Kauyon ambush is properly set, the
Devilfish is often key to victory. But the Devilfish is not
used merely to ferry troops to the battle lines. In addition
to the fire of its burst cannon, the Devilfish is on hand to
quickly extract troops should enemy formations penetrate
too closely. Given the Tau's loathing of close combat, a
common tactic is to redeploy their gunlines when enemy
units approach too closely, whisking their troops out of
harm's way to set up new firing perimeters elsewhere on the
battlefield. This re-embarking and relocating tactic allm'
Pathfinders to escape encirclement and helps Fire Warriors
to keep their foe at arm's length, better enabling them to
whittle down the enemy with repeated volleys of pulse fire.
A more aggressive ploy, employed by all septs but made
famous by those from Vior'la Sept, is a rapid delivery of
Fire Warrior Teams into close range with an enemy target.
Although a risky proposition, this allows disembarking
units to emerge from their Devilfish to shoot point blank
into their foe. When it works effectively, they drive back
or destroy the enemy; however, failure to do so leaves the
Tau vulnerable to assaults. These rapid counterattacks are
a hallmark of Tau tactics and are often the final stroke in
a well-planned Mont'ka. Such ploys are made even more
effective by working in conjunction with other elements
of the cadre, such as combining with other supporting
firepower, coordinating to arrive at the same moment as
incoming battlesuits, or having Pathfinders light up the
target with markerlights.

XVB

CRISIS TEAMS

The XV8 Crisis battlesuit strikes a perfect balance between
offensive capability, armoured protection, manoeuvrability
and utility. It is a towering battlesuit, easily twice the size
of the Fire Warrior who wears it. A wonder of Earth caste
engineering, only the Tau could master the secrets of
producing the dense nanocrystalline alloy that forms the
thick protective armour of the XV8. When it comes to
deflecting and withstanding damage, the XV8's armour is
comparable to the ceramite used by the Imperium's Space
Marines, but weighs substantially less.
Agile for its size, the XV8 is extremely manoeuvrable, as it
mounts repulsor jet engines - another unique Earth caste
invention that combines the functionality of a jet with anti­
gravitic technology. These powerful thrusters allow the XV8
to vault battlefield obstacles and to make bounding leaps
to gain advantageous firing positions, or to avoid incoming
shots. By firing off the jets to slow descent, it is possible for
a warrior in a XV8 Crisis battlesuit to make a combat drop
- arriving to the battlefield suddenly by leaping from an
airborne Orca or Manta craft.
While its protective armour and mobility are highly valued
by the Tau, it is the ability of the XV8 battlesuit to carry
multiple weapons and support systems that makes them so
incredibly dangerous and versatile. Designed to compensate

for the recoil of light weapons fire, the XV8 's weapon
loadout can be easily altered to reflect mission requirements
or the pilot's own personal preference. Additional upgrades,
from multi-tracker fire-control systems, to homing beacons
or shield generators, further enhance the fighting abilities of
this impressive battlesuit.
To the Tau, the battlesuit is more than just a powerful
weapon of war; it is also a symbol of great achievement. Only
those Fire Warriors who prove themselves in battle earn the
right to wear a battlesuit and bear the name shas'ui. To do
so is a great honour, and means the Fire Warrior has passed
his Trial by Fire. This is the aspiration of every Fire caste
warrior, recognition of a mastery of the Code of Fire and
noble service to the Greater Good.

XVB C R I S I S TEA M S
The XV8 Crisis Team is the most widely deployed of any
Tau battlesuit formation, for they are the very epitome of
Tau warfare - mobile, flexible and absolutely bristling with
firepower. They are an elite force and often form the cutting
edge of a Hunter Cadres' attacks; they can be used as a
powerful reserve held by the Commander, to counter-attack
against advancing foes or to deliver the final hammer blow
that is unleashed to break the opposition once and for all.

Trained to operate either alone or, more commonly, in
teams of two or three warriors, Crisis Teams can be equipped
to handle a variety of battlefield roles. For instance, to
combat vast numbers, a Crisis Team might employ many
burst cannons, as its high rate of fire is ideal for scything
down lightly armoured infantry. Against more powerful or
heavily armoured foes, the ceramite-melting blasts fired
from plasma rifles are preferable, while the close-ranged
fusion blaster is unrivalled for tank-hunting teams.
Different septs have their own preferred weapon and
support system fits in accordance with their proscribed
tactics. For example, the Crisis Teams from Vior'la have a
predilection for what is called the Sun Forge configuration
- three XVS Crisis battlesuits operating together in a
formation known as a ta 'ro 'cha - 'three minds as one ' . Each
member of the Crisis Team is armed with a twin-linked
fusion blaster and target lock, a combination that turned an
entire Leman Russ tank company into piles of slag during
the Tau counter-attacks on Dal'yth. In the dense street fights
amidst the ruins of Nimbosa, the T' olku Sept employed
a lone warrior in a battlesuit with a flamer, burst cannon
and stimulant injector (the Lone Hunter configuration) ,
which proved the most effective means of driving the many
Imperial Guard regiments out of their defensive barricades.

,
Crisis Shas'ui
Crisis Shas'vre



WS BS s
2
2

3
3

5
5

T w

I

A Ld Sv

4
4

2
2

2
3

2
2

8
9

3+
3+

XVS Crisis Bodyguard Teams can draw upon the latest
cutting-edge battlesuit wargear - prototypes that are still
being tested for standard issue. Commander Dawnstar, of
the Dal'yth Sept, keeps his bodyguard outfitted in the rare
VXS-02 Crisis Iridium battlesuits - a luxury that few other
Commanders can arrange. Not surprisingly, the bolder a
Commander is, the shorter the lifespan of his XVS Crisis
Bodyguard Team. Those who favour leading from the front,
such as serving as the bait in a Kauyon strategy, or as part
of the hammer blow in a Mont'ka, greatly increase their
own risks. The hot-blooded Commanders of the Vior'la
Sept must routinely recruit new bodyguards to replace
those lost in battle. In response to this habitually aggressive
approach, the master strategist Commander Puretide, who
always preached of the importance of balance, would have
repeated his oft-quoted remark: 'A wise leader must learn
when and where to use his every asset to its best capability' .
This wisdom recognises that a Commander flanked by
two elite shas 'vre warriors in Crisis battlesuit armour is a
formidable formation, more than capable of shrugging
off enemy shots and dealing out prodigious amounts of
firepower. However, the risk of losing such an important unit
must always be weighed.




Crisis Bodyguard

WS BS S
2

3

5

T W

I

A Ld Sv

2

2

3

4

9

3+

U N IT TY P E : Jet Pack Infantry.
WA R G E A R : Crisis bartlesuit (pg 70) .

U N IT TY P E : Jet Pack Infantry.
Crisis Shas'vre is Jet Pack Infantry (Character).
WA R G E A R : Crisis battlesuit (pg 70) .
S P E C I A L R U L E S : Supporting Fire (pg 32) ,

Very Bulky.

5 P E C I A L R U L E 5 : Supporting Fire (pg 32) ,

Very Bulky.
Sworn Protector: An Independent Character in a unit
that contains at least one model with this special rule
automatically passes Look Out, Sir attempts.

XVB C R I S I S B O DYG U A R D TEA M S

BATTL E S U IT D EVE L O P M E NT

It is customary for many Commanders to choo e orne
of the most experienced warriors from amongst the XVS
Crisis Teams to become their bodyguards - their saz 'nami,
or literally translated their 'close protection officers' . Only
those veteran Fire Warriors with impeccable bartle records
who have reached the shas'vre level are considered worthy
to serve their commander in such a capacity.

The advancement of the battlesuit has mirrored the mte at
which the Tau have expanded across the galaxy. The earliest
prototypes were field-tested during the early stages of the First
Sphere Axpansion, and although they were successful, the going
was slow. The originalfossilfuel-powered T-series was quickly
replaced with the V-series, which used fission reaction, although
mdiation poisoning was still problematic. It wasn 't until the
end of thatfirst period of mpid growth that battlesuit technology
began to regularly appear within the Hunter Cadres. Not
surprisingly, it was at these final stages that the Tau won their
largest battles, as the elite formations began to refine thei-r tactics
to take advantage of what the armoured suits could do.

Crisis Bodyguard Teams are among the most re peered of
all Fire caste warriors, for they embody the philosophy of
striving for the Greater Good. It is their duty to protect their
Commander at all costs; they will even take incoming shots
intended for their leader. Tau battle lore is rife with heroic
tales of individuals leaping in front of their Commander to
confront a monstrous beast, or in order to sm·e him from
a shot from some powerful energy weapon. Should it be
necessary, an XVS Crisis Bodyguard will sacrifice his own
life in order to spare his Commander from certain death.
It is considered a great disgrace for a Bodyguard to survive
whilst his leader is slain; any who suffer such indignity often
spend their remaining lifetime atoning for that which can
ultimately have no forgiveness.

By the start of the Second Sphere Expansion, great strides had
been made in battlesuit design, pa-rticularly in the areas of
power sources and increased weapon loadouts. By the end of
this period, the -repuls01'jump jets came into theiT own and the
Hunter Cad-res were conquering planets at a mte never before
seen. At present, the battlesuit has never been more successful,
and continual upgrades, different marks and variants, as well
as new prototypes are continually being developed.

XVBB

BROADSIDE TEAMS

The decision t o combine the deadly rail-weapon technology

The XVSS Broadside Teams are deployed in groups of one

of the Hammerhead Gunship with the most successful of

to three and, unlike most Tau units, require a static firing

Tau battlesuits- the XVS Crisis suit- has produced the

position. Commanders have learned to deploy these long­

vaunted XVSS Broadside battlesuit. Designed to offer long­

ranged killers with care, for it takes valuable time for them

range support, the XVSS Broadside Teams have exceeded

to reposition, and while doing so, their main armament is

expectations, becoming mainstays of the Hunter Cadres and

far less accurate. The secondary weapon - a smart missile

tank-killers of legendary proportions.

system - was chosen to make up for this shortcoming.
Deadly in its own right, the smart missile system can fire off

Powered by a particle accelerator, a Broadside's heavy

a barrage at any target within sensor range, even those in

rail rifle shot can penetrate the thickest plasteel bunkers,

cover or hidden out of sight.

often doing so with enough force to punch an exit hole
on the other side as well. While the weapon carried by the

T hose races that have faced the Tau in battle have grown to

XVSS Broadside is not as massive as the railgun mounted

fear these heavily armoured battlesuits. During the Damocles

on the Hammerhead, its range and destructive power are

Crusade, the XVSS Broadside was quickly identified by the

impressive nonetheless. In order to mount the twin-linked

Imperium as a major threat to armoured vehicles, whose

heavy rail rifle on a battlesuit, the Earth caste engineers had

soldiers learned to dread the whip-crack sound made by the

to modifY the XVS battlesuit. Due to the increased weight

hypeHonic speed of a heavy rail rifle round; the distinct

of its weapon system, the XVS's jet pack had to be removed,

noise could only actually be heard after the shot had already

meaning the XVSS Broadside would trade its mobility and

hit home. In open terrain, like on Taros or the ice plains of

manoeuvrability in favour of increased weapon power and

Issenheim, a few Broadside Teams were sufficient to negate

range. In prototype production, it was quickly noticed that

entire tank companies, quickly turning them into smoking

the new battlesuit could not avoid incoming fire, so further

wreckage. In the battles against the Tyranid Hive Fleet Gorgon,

protective armour was added. Later modifications added

the XVSS Broadside Teams proved highly adaptive and

stabilisers and recoil units to the XVSS Broadside suit, and

effective in combating the larger alien creatures, especially

recent Earth caste tinkering has moved the heavy rail rifles

after a refitting of their secondary weapons. The mounting

from a shoulder mount to a hand-held position.

of twin-linked plasma rifles in place of the twin-linked smart
missile systems made the battlesuits even more effective when
confronting the gargantuan bio-titans of the Tyranids.
Like all battlesuits, the XVSS Broadside is worn by a veteran,
and can be upgraded with sophisticated support systems. A
recent addition to the Broadside arsenal came in the Great
War of Confederation, when the heavy rail rifle was replaced
with a twin-linked high yield missile pod. During the initial
setbacks, it was discovered that the mass of attacking Ork
waves and the light nature of their vehicles meant the heavy
rail rifle, although deadly, could not stem the overwhelming
tide of attackers. The high yield missile pod sacrificed some
range and hitting sn·ength, but could lay down a greater
barrage, and proved more than adequate to destroy the
crude crap-arrnomed Ork vehicles. Since then, many
Commanders haYe included this variant in their cadres,
either on its own or ometimes in a formation with more

rraditionally-anned Broadsides.

"
Broadside has"ui
Broadside has 'ne

""

WS BS s
2 3 5
2 3 5

T w

I

A Ld Sv

2
2

2
2

2
3

4
4

U N I T TY P E : Infantry.
Broadside

has\Te is Infantry (Character) .

WA R G E A R : Broadside battlesuit (pg 70) ,
twin-linked heavy rail rifle (pg 66) ,
twin-linked smart missile systems (pg 66) .
S P E C I A L R U L E S : Extremely Bulky,
Supporting Fire (pg 3 2 ) .

8
9

2+
2+

""".



Stealth Teams are special operations units that are the 'lone
wolves' of the army, typically operating independently of
the cadre. Theirs is a secretive way of war, as they infiltrate
enemy lines, seeking vulnerable targets to destroy. In order
to pass unseen into enemy territory, Stealth Teams use
light-bending disruption technology embedded in their
sle�k battlesuits to camouflage themselves. Additional
cloaking fields deaden sound and shield them from heat­
detecting sensors, allowing them to penetrate deep into
hostile regions before launching precisely timed ambushes.
Suddenly appearing, as if stepping out from nowhere,
a Stealth Team unleashes a hail of gunfire to cripple or
eliminate their selected targets.
The key to Stealth Teams is the technology behind their
XV1 5 and XV25 Stealth battlesuits. Only slightly more bulky
than the armour worn by Fire Warriors, these 'Stealth suits'
have integral stealth field generators that project from nodes
situated about the body armour. They surround their bearer
with a distortion effect that plays havoc with a full spectrum
of light and confounds other detection devices, allowing
warriors wearing such armour to move untracked, blending
in with their surrounding environment. Because it is hard
to focus on their location, a Stealth Team can hide to at
least some degree even when standing in open territory. In
areas of cover, such as forests or the rubble of an embattled
city, they can effectively fade into the background, making
themselves extremely difficult targets for enemies to mark
out or lock on to effectively.
Built of the same dense nanocrystalline alloy as the larger
XVS Crisis suits, the Stealth suit is equipped with a powerful
burst cannon as standard. For added firepower, some teams
upgrade specific members to carry a fusion blaster, as
these short-ranged weapons are better for engaging heavily
armoured targets or vehicles. If a shas 'vre is present, he can
bring additional equipment, such as a marker light, drones
or even a homing beacon to allow XVS Crisis Teams to
more accurately deploy. Some septs, most notably Tash'var,
are known to employ Stealth Teams outfitted with Marker
Drones. This is a tactic common against large Ork hordes, as
the Stealth Teams use their burst cannons to thin the enemy
numbers before painting them with markerlights, allowing
the rest of the cadre to wipe them out. Once their ambush is
sprung, Stealth Teams use their jet packs to make bounding
leaps - moving either to acquire another target or to put
obstacles in the way of any return fire.
Due to the nature of their covert role in battle, Stealth
Teams enjoy a level of independence that is rare in Tau
military operations. Observing comm-silence and unable to
receive orders, Stealth Teams are typically left to make their
own decisions. Those shas'ui who volunteer for such duty
are seen as strange, an unpredictable lot who do not always
follow convention - traits generally regarded with much
suspicion in the well-regimented and highly structured
culture of the Tau . Those who survive long enough to earn
the title of shas'vre within the Stealth Teams are, without
exception, noted as eccentrics, famous for their tactical
innovations and daring raids deep behind enemy lines.

Many a foe of the Tau Empire has learned to be wary of the
technologically blurred battlesuits that appear in their midst.
During the Taros Campaign, roving Stealth Teams wreaked
havoc within Imperial supply lines, sowing panic and
confusion and sabotaging their advance before fading back
into cover. Entire divisions of Imperial Guard were taken off
the front lines in desperate attempts to hunt them down.

Stealth Shas'ui
Stealth Shas'vre

WS BS S
2
2

3
3

4
4

T W

I

A Ld Sv

3
3

2
2

2
3

8
9

3+
3+

U N I T TY P E : Jet Pack Infantry.
Stealth Shas'vre is Jet Pack Infantry (Character).
WAR G E A R : Stealth battlesuit (pg 70), burst cannon (pg 65).
5 P E C I A L R U L E 5 : Infiltrate, Supporting Fire (pg 32) .

' LA U N C H A N A M B U S H N O T TO S LAY, B U T RAT H E R TO
S E I Z E T H E I N I TIATIVE A N D T H E R EBY W I N T H E WAR . '
• COMMANDER

PURETIDE

XV 1 0 4

R I PTI D E S

Since the start of the Third Sphere Expansion, rumours of

To crack this formidable planet and open up the more

a new, heavy class of battlesuit had spread throughout the

vulnerable systems beyond, Shadowsun herself planned

ranks of the Fire caste. There was initially no appearance of

and launched the assault. Twenty Hunter Cadres would

this long-awaited latest prototype, but that changed during

simultaneously strike key hive nodes, and at the vanguard

the expansion's first big showdown with the Imperium of

of each strode the cutting edge of Earth caste weapons

Mankind on the Imperial planet of Agrellan. The human

technology, and the pinnacle of their battlesuit development

armies had amassed and dug in to protect their hive world,

- the XV1 04 Riptide. At long last, the largest battlesuit

a situation that normally called for the Tau to concentrate

prototype yet created by the Earth caste was unleashed.

on other, less fortified worlds. However, as the gateway
planet to the whole of the coveted Dovar system, Agrellan

The ground assaults began, perfectly coinciding with entire

was a keystone no invader could afford to bypass - its orbit

shoals of Sun Shark Bombers streaking overhead and

blocked the best route through the largely impassable

numerous distracting attacks launched by forward-positioned

Damocles Gulf, and so it had to be taken.

Stealth and Pathfinder Teams. As the massed Hammerheads
and skyborne Mantas rained fire on the enemy line, the

The Imperial defensive positions surrounding each hive were

Riptides at the fore came under attack. Enemy shells

fonnidable - heavy walls topped at regular intervals with

exploded harmlessly off their armoured shells as each

ferroconcrete bunkers overlooked the open wastelands. These

Riptide brought its arsenal to bear upon the defenders.

killing fields were strewn with impenetrable tank traps and
gravity-mines. Should the Tau force their way through these

The heavy burst cannon, the Riptide's standard main

perimeters, or simply airdrop within the fortified rings, they

armament, raked the walls, stitching patterns of death that

would find themselves within the clausu·ophobic and twisting

cut Guardsmen in two. Missiles, from the Riptide's secondary

streets of the great hive itself. There, specially prepared

weapon systems and from its accompanying Shielded Missile

blockades and defensive citadels awaited the unwary, with

Drones, blazed outwards, leaving contrails as they streaked

infantry and armour garrisoned within to launch counter­

into the enemy's ranks. To the rear, those Riptides outfitted

attacks. It was a planet entirely given over to defending itself, its

with the ion accelerator showed off the range and hitting­

whole population geared either for war, or for war production.

power of their prototype weapons - destroying battle tanks
and blowing chunks out of the reinforced bunkers.
Amidst the rain of incoming ordnance and the blossoming
of explosions, the distinctive thrumming sound of Riptides
overcharging their nova reactors could be heard. The very
air crackled with electrical pulses due to the sheer energy
generated by tho e indomitable power-packs. The massed
guns of the Imperial Guard targeted the giant battlesuits,
but to little avail . Near the gates of the Prime hive, a
battery of incoming Deaths trike missiles momentarily lit
the battlefield as they crashed into the Tau lines. For a long
moment it eemed as if both sides paused; only an XV104
Riptide, protected by its nova shield, emerged from the
flamin

crater, black scorch marks marring its armour all it

had

how for its brush with destruction.

to

Cpon reaching the walls, the Riptides either engaged their
jet pac

·

to hurdle the impediment, or stepped through

the breaches made by repeated blasts from their ion
accelerators . With Fire Warriors advancing at their feet, the
tree

of eyery hive on Agrellan soon ran red with blood.

Their defence and spirit broken, Guardsmen fled their posts

in a complete rout. Only the lenient surrender terms offered
b,- the Water caste saved an all-out massacre. Before the
n

et, except for a few desperate pockets that would soon

be \\iped out, the planet belonged to the Tau , who would
rename the planet Mu'gulath Bay. Later, it would serve as
the foundation of a new sept.
o

began the auspicious debut of the highly anticipated

X\'1 04 Riptide. A wonder of Earth caste engineering, it
tands twice as tall as the XV8 Crisis suit, but its movements
are more like those of its smaller cousins than the
mechanical stiffness displayed by Imperial walkers with their

crude servo-motors. While the Riptide is huge and bears a
number of weapon and support systems, it is still a battlesuit
- worn and controlled by a lone warrior.
Production of the Riptide has proven slow - the materials
for the dense nanocrystaline alloy armour are difficult to
obtain and the sheer volume required ensures that the
XV1 04 is a rare commodity. The honour of wearing such
a mighty battlesuit is only given to those who have nobly
served their Commanders as Crisis Battlesuit Bodyguards. To
assist its wearer, the Riptide bears a sophisticated AI system,
complete with a multi-tracker and numerous comm-links
to keep the pilot patched in to the cadre's Commander.
The Riptide is often supported by a pair of Shielded Missile
Drones, a new drone configuration, each equipped with a
missile pod and shield generator.

The Riptide's higher functions can draw upon this almost
unlimited source of power, but not without some risk. While
attempting to utilise its shield, boost its jet pack or charge
any of its weapons, the XV1 04 Riptide can suffer dangerous
power vents capable of wounding or even killing its pilot.

,



WS BS S

Riptide Shas'vre

3

2

6

T W

I

A Ld Sv

6

2

3

5

9

2+

U N I T TY P E : Jet Pack Monstrous Creature.
WA R G E A R : Riptide battlesuit (pg 70) ,
heavy burst cannon (pg 65) ,
twin-linked smart missile systems (pg 66) ,
riptide shield generator (pg 69) .
S P E C I A L R U L E S : Supporting Fire (pg 32) .

Nova Reactor: You must declare if the pilot is going to attempt

C O NTI N U A L D EV E L O P M E NT
The heavy battlesuit development initiative can be traced
back to the massive Ork invasion of Vior'la. The Fire caste
had long issued requests for a heavier class of battlesuit, one
more capable of standing up to the increasingly powerful
weaponry they were facing. Although crudely designed
and built, the Tau could not help but be impressed with
the amount of firepower that the primitive Ork Stompas
and mountainous Gargants could produce. During the
battles in the Damocles Gulf, the Fire caste faced the fully
deployed might of the Imperium of Mankind, pitting their
own weaponry against super-heavy tanks and Imperial Titans
for the first time. For a race used to holding technical
superiority, the sheer power of these aliens was eye-opening.
The Tau way of war stresses mobility over mass attacks
and hit-and-run tactics over entrenched positions. A wise
Commander is not daunted by foes that outnumber his own
troops many times over, nor is he dismayed by the sheer
size of the crude war machines their foes might deploy.
Coordinated tactics, tight discipline and a well enacted
battle plan can overcome such minor advantages. However,
even Commander Puretide, the ultimate master of the
balanced attack, freely admitted that the creation of a
heavier class of battlesuits, with upgraded size and armour,
would better enable cadres to withstand the prodigious
firepower that was regularly directed at them.
Yet despite such worthy requests, all Earth caste attempts
resulted in failure. Earlier prototypes were ponderous
machines, not fit to enact the tactics of the Code of Fire,
or they subjected their wearer (or the planet on which he
stood) to risks beyond measure. What finally made the
XV1 04 possible was the nova reactor, an experimental
power-pack that fuses dark matter, producing energy on
scales closer to small stars than conventional engines.
Such devices have been used to empower the mighty fleets
of the Air caste, but until recently, could not be reduced
to a suitable size. Although still in the prototype stage,
the nova reactor has proven largely stable, despite some
problems in safely releasing the vast energies it produces.

to use the reactor at the start of each of his Movement phases.
If he chooses to do so, roll a D6. On the roll of a 1 or a 2,
something has gone wrong - the Riptide Shas'vre suffers
a single Wound with no saves of any kind allowed and the
attempt fails. On any other roll, the attempt is successful, and
you can choose one of the abilities listed below for the Riptide
Shas'vre to have (until the start of its next Movement phase) .

Action
ova Shield

Effect

Boost

The Riptide Shas'vre rolls 4D6 for its Thrust
Move in the Assault phase.

Ripple Fire

The Riptide Shas'vre can fire its twin-linked
fusion blaster, its twin-linked plasma rifle, or its
twin-linked smart missile system twice this tum.
Even though these weapons are fired twice, each
still only counts as firing one weapon.

Novarcharge

The Riptide Shas'vre's ion accelerator or
heavy burst cannon can fire using its
nova-charge profile.

This grants the Riptide Shas'vre a 3+
invulnerable save.

U PG RA D E S

The Shielded Missile Drone uses its cohesive energy field to
absorb incoming shots, better allowing the Riptide to acquire
and destroy enemy targets.

WS BS S T W I A Ld Sv
Shielded Missile Drone

2

2

4

6

4 1

7

U N I T TY P E : Jet Pack Infantry (Drone).
WA R G E A R : Missile pod (pg 66) ,
shield generator (pg 69) .
S P E C I A L R U L E S : Supporting Fire (pg 32) .

4+

S NIPER DRONE TEAMS
Ensconced i n cover far from the front lines of battle, a
Firesight Marksman scans the battlefield, using advanced
optical sights to select prime targets. Above him float the
rest of his team - a group of Sniper Drones, each of them
equipped with an underslung Jongshot pulse rifle. Sniper
Drone Teams are a deadly addition to any cadre as they
are adept at picking off enemy leaders or eliminating key
infantrymen, such as those carrying heavy weapons.
Although the Sniper Drones are equipped with impressive
artificial· intelligence, it is the Firesight Marksman, a shas'la,
who is the brains behind the operation. He is masked
by a small stealth field generator, meaning that he can
secret himself into dense terrain where he will blend in,
minimising the threat of return fire. The marksman is
equipped with a drone controller, with which he commands
his deadly charges, seeking out the most vulnerable quarry.
Sniper Drones are modified from the standard drones, for
they carry a Jongshot pulse rifle and stabilising fins, as well
as their own mini-stealth field generators.
The longshot pulse rifle is a lethal weapon that can send its
plasma pulse over a great distance. A well-placed shot is capable
of taking out any target, and there are many accounts of Sniper
Drone Teams single-handedly throwing enemy forces into
disarray with their ability to rain down sniper fire from long

range. When fighting against the humans attempting raids in
the Perdus Rift, a lone Sniper Drone Team claimed an entire
Terminator squad - each member shot directly through the Jess
armoured eye lenses of their helmets.
Many Commanders station Sniper Drone Teams behind
their own gunlines, as this affords extra protection for
Fire Warrior or XV88 Broadside Teams. Others use Sniper
Drone Teams to dominate open territory - deploying them
in positions that overlook swathes of the battlefield, often
covering the approach towards intervening friendly units.
Thanks to their anti-graviticjets, the Sniper Drones can
move, momentarily steady themselves, shoot at their quarry,
and then move back behind cover, making them very hard
to target with ranged weapons. This particular technique
was used to perfection in the battle against Hive Fleet
Gorgon on Ke'lshan, with the threat of fire from massed
banks of Sniper Drones causing even the largest Tyranid
monstrosities to cease their headlong charges and instead
attempt to move through cover.
Firesight Marksmen are equipped with a pulse pistol, in case
a foe attempts to close with them, and more importantly, a
markerlight. This is used to support nearby comrades or to
launch seeker missiles, although some marksmen prefer to
keep themselves out of the line of fire, exposing only their
drones to incoming shots. A marksman can command up
to nine Sniper Drones, but when fielding that many, it is
common to add additional controllers. Should all marksmen
on the team be slain, the Sniper Drones have enough AI
to continue the fight, and Earth caste engineers have been
amazed to arrive upon a battlefield many hours after its
conclusion to find the Sniper Drones still hovering on duty ­
their sniping rifles still turning, looking for new targets.
--

,
Firesight Marksman
Sniper Drone

WS BS s
2
2

5
2

3
3

T w

I

A Ld Sv

3
4

2
4

1
1

1
1

---

7
7

4+
4+

U N IT TY P E : Infantry.
niper Drone is Jet Pack Infantry (Drone).
WA R G E A R :

Firesight Marksman: Combat armour (pg 70) ,
pulse pistol (pg 66) , drone controller (pg 68) ,
markerlight (pg 68) .

Sniper Drone: Longshot pulse rifle (pg 66) .
5 P E C I A L R U L E 5 : Stealth, Supporting Fire (pg 32) .

'TH O S E W I T H S U P E R I O R R E A C H

CAN

D I C TATE T H E

T E R M S O F BATTLE A N D I M P O S E T H E I R W I LL U P O N
T H E I R F' D E . R E M E M B E R , T H E F I R S T S T E P O N T H E
PATH T O V I C T O RY I S O FT E N T H E M O S T I M P O RTAN T . '
·

COMMANDER PURETJOE



The Piranha is a lightly armoured skimmer - a mobile
weapons platform that is capable of great speed and
manoeuvrability. Using its jet-thrusters and anti-gravitic
engine, the Piranha glides over a planet's surface, its twin
pilots well able to hug the terrain and make the best use of
any cover. Along with a nose-mounted main armament, the
Piranha carries two drones - either retained on the vehicle
to add firepower, or detached into AI mode to perform
some other mission.
On the battlefield, Piranhas often seem to be everywhere
at once - hurtling over friendly troops to counter-attack
approaching infantry, racing along the flanks to launch
devastating enfilades at enemy armour, or streaking from
behind cover to destroy vulnerable foes. After so many
training drills that stress using coordinated attacks and
mutual fire support, Fire Warriors are well accustomed to
the thrum of a Piranha soaring just over their heads, and
they no longer turn to follow the sudden swoosh of air as
they streak past.

Piranhas are used in a wide array of capacities, and
formations range in size from lone vehicles to a team of up
to five working in conjunction. The larger schools of these
deadly skimmers can use their burst cannons to annihilate
enemy infantry units, while smaller formations are ideal for
eradicating scouts or countering enemy teleporters. Lone
Piranhas that are equipped with the deadly fusion blaster
are proficient hunters of enemy tanks. Using its speed, tl1e
skimmer will attempt to manoeuvre so as to target tanks
in their more vulnerable side and rear armour. During an
attack run, Piranhas are a blur of motion, and the crew are
more likely to trust their speed and jinking ability over any
amount of armour.
Piranhas have the ability to bring firepower quick! to
wherever it is needed, but they are even more dangerous
when working in conjunction with Pathfinder teams. Using
markerlights, the Pathfinders often set up Piranha runs,
ensuring that the skimmers' volley of fire is as devastating
as possible. In return, Pathfinders that find themselves in
danger of being overrun request quick strikes by Piranha
Teams to help wipe out approaching enemies or, at least,
buy time for the Pathfinders to reposition.

rArmour ,
BS F S R HP
Piranha

3

1 1 10 10

2

U N IT TY P E : Vehicle (Fast, Open-topped, Skimmer) .
WA R G E A R : Burst cannon (pg 65) , two Gun Drones (pg 33) .

H E R D O F TH E E M P I R E

The most famous Piranha pilot was Ghovah, from Vior'la Sept,
who claimed over 1, 000 kills during his servicefightingfor the
Tau Empire. His mostfamous victory, however, occurred after
his retirement from the frontiers to a training position. An Ork
invasion thrust Ghovah back into battle when the greenskins
attacked Vior'la 's largest moon. Only Ghovah s halftmined
Pimnha cadre stood between the mechanised greenskin army
and the destruction of the vitalfood.pmducing moon base.
With Ghovah leading the way, the Piranha squadmns darted
in interweaving patterns to attack the columns of ramshackle
Ork vehicles. Piranhas with burst cannons concentrated on
the lightly armound bikes and Trukk transports, while the
fusion blaster-equipped skimmers dealt with the heavily plated
battlewagons and tanks. The Orks broke off their drive towards
the Earth caste agri-centres and attempted to engage Ghovah s
Piranha teams. In the ensuing battles, the agile skimmers
feinted and fled, setting the Orks up for repeated countmc
attacks. The greenskins finally broke when, even while losing
control of his crippled Piranha, the eldm· Tau steered his vehicle
straight into the Warboss ' battlewagon, causing it to erupt in
flames. Ghovah 's unstinting skill and sacrifice were noted and
he was, posthumously, named a hero of the EmpiTe.

S u N S HARK BoMBERS
Due to their unique fighting tendencies and their highly

Pathfinder or Fire Warrior Team owe their continued

mobile nature, Hunter Cadres do not use artillery in

existence to those airborne seeker missiles, which they call in

the conventional sense that most armies do. Instead, in

using their markerlights. Their ability to strike enemy vehicles

association with the Air caste, they have developed the Sun

or make short work of armoured infantry with the help of

Shark Bomber - a sleek atmospheric aircraft that is capable

nearby air support greatly increases their chances for survival.

of sweeping down from the skies and blasting ground targets

The Sun Shark also bears a tail-mounted missile pod, which

with its potent payload.

can be upgraded to a twin-linked version, as well as a nose­
mounted networked markerlight to line up bombing runs.

Sun Shark Bombers come equipped with a pulse bomb
generator, which produces a ball of deadly plasma beneath

To ensure the Sun Shark survives long enough to deliver

the craft. At the pilot's command, the pulsed induction

its bombing run, the vehicle is equipped with a pair of

field propels the glaring energy ball towards targets on

wing mounted Interceptor Drones. Each armed with a

the battlefield below. Sizzling the air around it, the pulse

powerful twin-linked ion rifle, Interceptor Drones can either

bomb explodes on the ground with an incandescent fury,

stay attached to the Sun Shark, where they act like turret­

spreading destruction over a wide radius. A shoal of Sun

mounted weapons, or, they can detach from the flyer and

Shark Bombers flying in tight formation can blast apart even

serve as an escort.

the most surging of Ork Waaaghs! with a single flyover.
When disembarking from the Sun Shark Bomber, the

An extremely effective weapon, once fired, the pulse bomb

Interceptor Drones position themselves to intervene

generator immediately begins to form another destructive

between the bomber and any oncoming fighters. They

charge. Sometimes, however, a persistent glitch from its

also have the ability to boost their jets, giving them a rare

prototype days results in a power failure, meaning the Sun

burst of speed, that allows Interceptor Drones to better

Shark cannot drop further bombs until the engineers can

position themselves to lock onto aerial targets and attempt

reconfigure the micro power plant. With this in mind,

to blast them out of the sky. Few enemy flyers are capable of

the Sun Shark has also been equipped with several other

withstanding the vaporising effects of the ion rifle, and some

weapons, including a pair of seeker missiles. Many a desperate

Interceptor Drones have racked up impressive kill totals; a
source of bragging rights for the Sun Shark's Air cas te pilots,
if not for the AI powered drones themselves.

,
Sun Shark Bomber

r Armour,
BS F S R HP
3 1 1 10 10 3

Interceptor Drone

WS BS S
2 2 3

T W
4

I
4

A Ld Sv
1

7

4+

U N I T TY P E : Vehicle (Flyer) .
Interceptor Drones are Jet Pack Infantry (Drone) .

WA R G E A R :

Sun Shark Bomber: Pulse bomb generator

(pg 69) ,
missile pod(pg 66) , networked markerlight (pg 69) ,
two seeker missiles (pg 66) .

Interceptor Drone: Twin-linked ion rifle

(pg 66) .

S P E C I A L R U L E S (Interceptor Drones) : Interceptor,
Skyirre, Supporting Fire (pg 32) .
Afterburners: Interceptor Drones can Turbo-boost as if they
were jetbikes (see the Warhammer 40,000 ru1ebook) .

High Velocity Deployment: Interceptor Drones can disembark
at any point during the Sun Shark's move (even though
models cannot normally disembark from Zooming Flyers ) .
Note that, unlike other Transports, a Sun Shark Bomber that
moves before its Interceptor Drones disembark can continue
its move immediately after they have disembarked.

lRAZDRSHARK STRIKE
To the Fire Warriors forming the front ranks of a firing
line, there are few sights more gratifYing than seeing a
Razorshark Strike Fighter swoop out of the cloud cover and
streak over enemy formations. Built along a design pattern
modified from the Sun Shark Bomber, the Razorshark
forgoes the Interceptor Drone in favour of additional
manoeuvring thrusters, and it trades the pulse bomb
generator for a fearsome quad ion turret. A formidable
weapon, the quad ion turret is ideal for turning light
vehicles into twisted wrecks. Although it makes the weapon
slightly unstable, when fired on its overcharged mode, the
quad ion turret can produce an enormous blast radius that
consumes entire squads with a single shot.
During the Tyranid invasion on the sept world of Ke'lshan,
the aliens quickly grew wary of the dominating Tau air
attacks. High in the stratosphere, the super-heavy Manta
blasted away the flying terrors, while just above the planet's
surface swept the Sun Shark Bombers, their pulse bombs
breaking up the swarming Hormagaunt attacks. While
the Tau's entire aerial arsenal played a part, it was the
Razorshark Strike Fighters that took the highest toll on
their foe. Streaking back and forth over the battlefront,
the Razorsharks relentlessly targeted the Tyranid Warriors,
the beams from their quad ion turrets easily penetrating
the Tyranids' thick, chitinous armour. After one of the
Razorshark's attack runs, entire squads of the elite alien
warriors would be left in ruin, their half-melted bodies
continuing to sizzle long after their deaths. A fast moving
craft, the Razorshark was able to seek out and destroy the
brains of the invasion - whether they attempted to lurk far
behind the front lines, or chose to surround themselves
with intervening lesser creatures, the Razorshark was
manoeuvrable enough to hunt them down. When infilu-ators
such as Lictors or Raveners emerged to threaten the Fire
Warriors, the Razorsharks could swiftly fly back to target
the beasts, minimising both the harm and the disuaction of
such attacks.
The Razorshark Strike Fighter can engage enem flyers,
but the craft was purpose-built as a ground support attack
craft; a role in which it excels. Its success is evident from
the craft's ever-growing popularity with the Fire Warriors
that it flies above. In addition to its main armament, each
Razorshark is loaded out with a nose-mounted burst cannon.
For further support, it also carries two seeker mis iles. These
can be auto-fired by the Razorshark's Air caste pilot himself,
but are more effective when launched by a ground unit that
has painted its target with a markerlight.

Razorshark Strike Fighter

rArmour,
BS F S R HP
3

1 1 10 10

3

U N I T TY P E : Vehicle (Flyer).
WA R G E A R : Burst cannon (pg 65) ,
quad ion turret (pg 66) , two seeker missiles (pg 66) .

A E R I A L C O NTR O L

The Tau doctrine of war places great importance upon
dominating the airways above any battlefield they deploy
to. It is their commonly held belief that controlling the skies
is the first step in winning the engagement. By making the
elimination ofenemy flyers a priority, ground troops are
allowed to concentrate on their targets without having to
concern themselves with any threatfrom above. This strategy
thereby enables the Tau to make full use of their mobile ground
support assets.
With no enemy flyers to worry about, the Sun Shark shoals
are better able to line up their devastating bombing runs
while Razorsharksfly circles around enemy infantry or
armour, using the range and potent hitting power of their
quad ion weapons to pick offfoes from beyond the range of
most return fire.
With full aerial supremacy, the Tau are free to concentrate
theirflexible firepower when and how they need to - efficiently
isolating and destroying enemy assets one by one. In the hands
of an experienced Commander, the fine-tuned coordination of
air attacks in the skies above the battlefield can make a Hunter
Cadre very adaptable and extremely lethal.


Documents similaires


Fichier PDF 1 500 pts aube zero2
Fichier PDF wh40k skitarii codex
Fichier PDF projet de 3e annee giraud remi 1
Fichier PDF elf
Fichier PDF 1767 171210114343
Fichier PDF wh40k cult mechanicus codex


Sur le même sujet..





Pinoy Tambayan V7 | Another Soul | Maulringschlüssel Gabelringschlüssel Maulschlüssel Ringschlüssel 6 mm bis 50 mm