Wednesday, 16 September 2015

New Tau Empire Images Leaked - New Battlesuit Variants On The Horizon

In another group of linked images via White Dwarf photographs, it has been confirmed that the Tau Empire will be seeing a new update. Having recieved a substantial number of new toys in the last edition, it was not entirely sure what line the new group would follow. However, what we have here looks like an extremely tasty mix of Super Heavy, Elite and Troops choices.

The first of these is a point which seems to have been overlooked by many outlets reporting on this leak. Arrayed alongside the new battlesuits are several small bands of Fire Warriors, all of who have been given a minor overhaul. 

While nothing truly substantial and sticking to their main aesthetic, there is no denying the subtle changes to their helms, carbines and shoulder shields. This could be a new unit, but personally I predict that this is a revamp of an old one. We have not had a substantial upgrade to the old Pathfinders in quite some time, and the helmet sensor array does reflect their look subtly. This is further assisted by what appears to be small signal markers slung under their guns, though of course these could just be grenade launchers. It's also made a little more questionable by the presence of traditional Pathfinders in one image, though we have had hold-over models in the past.

Next up we have something especially interesting, as it could dramatically change the overall dynamic of Elite or possible even HQ choices. Namely something which is being referred to as the XV95 Ghostkeel Battlesuit.

Now, it might not be obvious at first, but there's a clear resemblance to another unit, a famed and unique one, Commander Shadowsun. While often ditched in favour of her bare head, the helmet on this design seems very similar to that of her XV22 Battlesuit and even the twin Fusion Blaster armaments seem extremely similar as well. Combine that with a hard hitting anti-tank weapon and drone controller, and it truly does look like a bulked up version of the smaller design. Personally I think this could be being brought in as a new commander option or, more likely, a bigger bulked up Stealth Suit to operate alongside, or perhaps even serve as an expensive alternative to, the traditional Stealth Teams.

Now, finally we get to the big one, the release's mini-Titan. With the success of the Riptide it was only a matter of time before another was released, and now we have an alternative. One which, even from first glance, fully embraces the doctrines of long range firepower the Tau Empire lives and dies by: The XV128 Stormsurge.

What the Riptide was to the Crisis, I personally think this will be to the Broadside. It bares the same sort of overall aesthetic with a single over-sized cannon, then multiple anti-infantry and smaller weapons to back it up. Atop of it, the pose is similar to that of the Broadside and there is no indication at all of it having a jump pack of any kind. Most of these weapons also look like fairly new designs, perhaps some entirely new and others variants on old ones. This will probably be the ones to draw the most interest given the importance of Super Heavies now.

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