TAU EMPIRE COMMANDER

Deathhammer40k Warhammer 40,000 Tau Empire Commander

Hi, Ben here! Here’s my recently completed Tau Empire Battlesuit Commander! This is a great model kit and it gives you the ability to make a custom Tau Commander with a whole range of weapons and support systems along with 2 different armour types (the normal XV8 armour or the Coldstar armour). The Commander has a Plasma Rifle and Missle Pod along with a Shield Generator and a Fusion Blaster that can be removed in case I want him to have a tank hunting roll in my Tau Force.

Deathhammer40k Warhammer 40,000 Commission Painted and Built Tau Empire Commander Wargaming Miniatures

I’ve modelled him with the Coldstar armour as it makes the miniature look larger and more intimidating. The pose I’ve given him is quite a defensive pose as he’s leaning back a little which makes him look like he’s ready to deflect incoming shots with his shield generator and is also looking across the battlefield, searching for his next target. Below you will see a few key features from the miniature.

Deathahmmer40k Warhammer 40,000 Tau Empire Commander Head

Sept Leader

I’m reworking my Tau Empire collection to make them look a bit more menacing. I’m going to add more black to my miniatures to give them a darker and more sinister presence.

Deathahmmer40k Warhammer 40,000 Tau Empire Commander Weathering

Weathering

I like adding weathering effects to my battlesuits as they’re veterans of many battles. Adding this effect makes them look like they’ve been through the most vicious of battles.

Deathahmmer40k Warhammer 40,000 Tau Empire Commander Base

Bloody Base

I’ve added a Blood Angels Terminator head to my base as this adds a narrative to the miniature. I’ll also be battling in the future against my brother’s Blood Angels force.

Deathahmmer40k Warhammer 40,000 Tau Empire Commander Shield

Shield Generator

I’ve added a shield generator to my Commander as I want him to be more durable in battle. Giving him this 4+ invulnerable save will really help in shrugging off heavy firepower.

Deathahmmer40k Warhammer 40,000 Tau Empire Commander Fusion Blaster

Fusion Blaster

Fusion Blasters are one of my favourite Tau Empire weapons. They’re great anti tank weapons that can also wound monstrous creatures and are perfect for trying the kill characters.

Deathahmmer40k Warhammer 40,000 Tau Empire Commander Knee Pads

Knee Pads

The kit doesn’t come with any protection for the battlesuit’s knees. They look quite bare on their own so I added some knee pads in the form of Breacher Team shoulder pads.

Deathahmmer40k Warhammer 40,000 Tau Empire Commander

I’ve modelled him with the Coldstar armour as it makes the miniature look larger and more intimidating. The pose I’ve given him is quite a defensive pose as he’s leaning back a little which makes him look like he’s ready to deflect incoming shots with his shield generator and is also looking across the battlefield, searching for his next target. Below you will see a few key features from the miniature.

Wargear and Support Systems

  • Plasma Rifle
  • Missle Pod, Fusion Blaster or Cyclic Ion Blaster
  • Shield Generator
  • Stimulant Injector
  • XV8-02 Iridium Armour
  • Neuroweb System Jammer
  • Puretide Engram Neurochip

What’s the points cost?

For the Commander including the weapons and all of support systems in the column opposite is 197 points. This is quite a few points for a Commander but I think he will be able to make his points cost back quite easily due to his durability.

Plasma Rifle and Missle Pod Tactics

This Commander will be joining other Crisis Battlesuit teams with either Plasma Rifles and Missle Pods. Ideally I want to keep the Commander close to my deployment zone so that he’s a safe distance away from the enemy and able to make use of his mid/long range with the Plasma Rifle and Missle Pod.

With a the Crisis teams and the Commander I will be able to lay down a lot of strength 6 and 7 shooting attacks that will cripple armour 11 vehicles and reduce the enemies mobility. Once their mobility has been disabled I will be able to react to situations better and predict their movements. It will also give me more battlefield control if the enemy is struggling to reach my units and important objectives.

With the help of Pathfinders this unit will be deadly. Most of the time I play Tau the enemy usually hugs cover as they’re intimidated by Railguns and Fusion Blasters destroying their armour. I usually use 2 squads of Pathfinders that will lay down a lot of Markerlight shots that will enable me to buff the ballistic skill of the Crisis Team and ignore the cover that the transports are in. All in all the squad will have 8, S7 AP4 shots that will be glancing Rhinos and Razobacks on 4s. So out of 10 Pathfinders, 5 should hit, giving me 5 Markerlights, I would then use 2 of those to ignore the cover that the vehicle is behind and then buff the squads ballistic skill by 2 making them BS5. Out of 8 shots, 7 should hit and then the Missle Pods will be glancing the vehicles armour on 4+ the vehicle should take 3-4 hull points, which will wreck any 3 hull point vehicle. All of these shots are at 36″ range too, which will keep me safe from any shooting after I’ve done my assault jump back out of sight and behind cover.

When transports have been destroyed I can then advance up the battlefield using my jet packs and fire the squads Plasma Rifles and Missle Pods into any unit that was embarked in the destroyed vehicle. I will probably be mostly playing Space Marine armies with this Tau force so Plasma Rifles will be key to wiping Tactical Squads and Terminator squads out, thanks to S6 AP2 fire.

With the Commander and a few Markerlights thrown in, 8, S6 AP2 shots hitting on 2+ and wounding on 2+, along with firing the Missle Pods, this unit of Crisis Suits and the Commander could quite easily take down a Tactical Squad or Terminator squad in 1 turn, if I’m in rapid fire range. Once I’ve shot, and if I haven’t killed all of the enemies I will assault jump back into position with 6″ of other Tau units and make the most of the Supporting Fire special rule, just in case the enemy tries to assault my Commander and his unit. Hopefully there won’t be much of a unit left, so the overwatch shots should be able to clear the rest of the enemy unit up, especially if I give his unit Counterfire Defence systems.

Obviously games don’t always work out how you want them to but this gives you an idea of what I want to achieve with my Commander and his unit equipped with Plasma Rifles and Missle Pods.

Plasma Rifle and Fusion Blaster Tactics

If this Commander is facing a lot of enemy armour I will be taking the Plasma Rifle and Fusion Blaster option. He will then join a squad of Crisis Battlesuits with the same array of weaponry so they have a focussed anti tank, anti armoured infantry roll. Plasma Rifles and Fusion Blasters are mid/shortish range weapon so it’s best to be cautious when they advancing towards the enemy and trying not to get caught out by assaults. I think I’ll advance him up the table behind cover so that him and his unit are protected and then try to ambush heavy armour with the Fusion Blaster with the help of Markerlights. Once the target has been destroyed it’s best to then use your assault jump back into cover or out of line of sight completely in order to negate the enemy firing at this valuable unit. One the armour has been destroyed I can then mop up any infantry that was inside (if it was a transport vehicle) with the Plasma Rifles and Fusion Blasters. With the help of Pathfinders this unit with 8, S6 AP2 shots in rapid fire range and then 4, S8 AP1 shots should quite easily destroy any heavy infantry squad.

I may even opt to Deepstrike this unit in to surprise the enemy and make use of their melta weaponry. Ideally taking out Predators, Vindicators and Land Raiders and then jumping out of harms way, then move onto their next target. Deepstriking can be quite risky though but if I roll the Warlord trait that lets the Commander and his unit not scatter when arriving by deep strike this will probably be a tactic worth taking advantage of.

Another useful Warlord trait is the one where the Commander and his unit are able to skyfire for one turn only. This is a really useful trait as there’s not much anti flyer weaponry that has the Melta rule with the exception of Stormravens. Having 4 melta shots with skyfire will force the enemy flyer to try and avoid moving near the Commander and his unit, or otherwise be blown from the sky. This can be particularly nasty against Stormravens when they have infantry embarked upon them. If you take out the Stormraven while it’s zooming it can be really painful for the models embarked inside as they have to take a S10 AP2 hit. On most Space Marines this will maybe wipe out the whole squad with ease.

Fusion Blasters are also ideal for killing those toughness 4 characters. If you’re enemy has placed his character at the back of a squad so you have to kill the rest of the unit before killing him. Fire the Plasma Rifles first to get rid of most of the unit and then fire the Fusion Blasters so those last shots go on to the character!

Support Systems

On this Commander I will be taking a Shield Generator, Stimulant Injectors and the XV8-02 Iridium Armour to make him a really tough battlesuit to take out. Most anti infantry fire power like Bolters etc will have a tough time taking him out as he will be T5, have a 2+ armour save and the a Feel No Pain save after that! I’m also taking a Shield Generator so that the Commander gets a 4+ invulnerable save from those AP1 and AP2 weapons such as Meltas, Lascannons and Plasma Guns. The iridium armour making the Commander T5 is helpful too as he will only be instant deathed by S10 weapons! So when he’s being shot by Lascannons, he will still be getting a 4+ invulnerable save and then a 5+ Feel No Pain after, which can be quite tough to get through. These Support Systems add to the points cost of the Commander but it will really help keep him alive to the end of the battle, which I think is worth the points cost.

I’ve also given the Commander the Puretide Engram Chip and the Neuroweb System Jammer. The Puretide Engram Chip is quite costly for 15 points but it can make the difference when the Commander can give himself the Tank Hunter special rule especially with a Fusion Blaster, it’s almost guaranteed to penetrate the armour of any vehicle. He can also take Monster Hunter which will be handy when firing his Plasma Rifle and Missle Pod/Fusion Blaster into a monstrous creature to try and guarantee those wounds.

The Neuroweb System Jammer is only 2 points so it’s worth taking for the ability it gives. At the start of each enemy shooting phase, the Commander can target a single enemy unit within 12″. All shooting weapons in the target unit gain the Gets Hot special rule until the end of the phase. I expect the Commander and his unit to take a lot of shooting as they will be a deadly unit, having the ability to damage any enemy unit in their own phase is worth the 2 points and it can easily make it’s points back every game. Ideally for this ability to work you want to target a unit within 12″ that has a lot of shooting attacks. Tactical Squads firing rapid fire Bolters, Baal Predators with the Twin Linked Assault Cannons and Heavy Bolters. For example, if a Baal Predator fires at the Commander with all of those shots, your enemy might roll a couple of 1s to hit. Those 1s Get Hot and on vehicles it’s then a 50/50 chance the vehicle will take a hull point. So over a few turns the Baal Predator could wreck itself just from Get Hot rolls! If the Baal Predator has already taken a few hull points then it will make your enemy think twice about firing it’s weapons as it’s likely he’s going to roll a 1 from all of those shots.

 

Hopefully this gives you an insight in how I’m going to use this Commander and given you ideas of how to use yours. Keep a look out for him in future battles by checking out our Instagram account!