My first impressions:
- R'alai. Kept most of his past character, although lost his anti-light infantry weapon and photon casters. But has no gets hot and the AT weapon has double shots at 12", which is nice.
- DX-4 Technical Drones. AFAIK, had no rules previously. Those little buggers are S5 in melee (!) and can repair suits. They alone can make Broadsides and any Nova-tides much more interesting than they are today. Also, Ta'unar is a battlesuit, so...
. Sadly, can't fix vehicles.
- XV84 Commander. Just plain better than the old one - you have to hit with any weapon (has 2 slots) and 1 ML token will be applied to the target. It's a durable chain ML starter. It could go well with a Drone Controller and Shield Generator and stay at your backline, helping marker drones.
- Y'vahra. One of the better T'au units in the moment.
- R'varna. Its weapons doesn't increase hits and strength anymore, but average 6 shots per arm and able to get an ATS is really nice. It's mortal wounds nova effect is glorious vs elite melee deep strikers/fast stuff closing in
- Ta'unar. Lost a bit of durability, but offset it with drones taking hits for it. Secondary modes for Tri-axis and Pulse Bombardment seem lackluster. Nexus Missile is much better. Also, BS2+!
- TX7 Heavy Bombardment Hammerhead. It seems to be a good contender for the HYMP Broadside place. Certainly better than the old version with 2 MPs and a Velocity Tracker.
- TX7 Fire Support Hammerhead. It can exchange its base weapon for a twin HBC. For almost half the price of a Riptide, you can have its main gun - with more shots than a Nova'ed one! Ok, no 3++, drone help or ATS, but still seems a good deal to me. The Plasma version has better AP over the normal Hammerhead's Ion Cannon (no overcharge option, though) and its melta weapon is much better than its 7th version.
- DX-6 Remora. It lost the markerlight, but comes with BS4+ and it's a <Drone> (Drone Controller Coldstar leading a flock of Remoras comes to mind). It has Airborne, protecting it from common strong melee units AND hard to hit. It even comes with a Target Lock! It's one of the cheapest 'flyer' in the game. It has the nifty ability of showing up when you need it, like Tetras. No Supersonic means it's pretty agile.
- Barracuda AX-5-2. While some of its main guns got increased ranged and the railgun became a 36" heavy rail rifle, it lost much of its character. The old auto-targeting weapons became normal ones. It fires more dakka than before and has a passive 5++. Looks like it lost its Strafing Run ability.
- Tigershark AX-1-0. Ooh boy. It has TWO of Ta'unar's Rail Cannon. It has a problem of not being <Titanic> and having a Macro weapon, meaning it wouldn't be able to fire the Rail Cannon while moving. A mistake, of course. 2 of these will cost a bit more than a Ta'unar, but will do quite the job against big fellas.
- Drone Sentry Turret. It became better at its job (babysit backline objectives). Overwatch at BS5+, still cheap, 2 weapons instead of 1 twin-linked. It is <Drone>, so a good spot for a babysitting Drone Controller user!
- The lack of Vehicle Systems. I'm afraid T'au will lose access to them entirely.
- R'myr. Nothing cool on him, really (lost 3++ on melee). And now can't even take drones!
- XV81 Commander. It's a Commander with 2 slots instead of 4, but with a locked-in SMS. Eh.
- XV9 Hazard. Got minor buffs, but still doesn't seem something I'd take... CIB Commanders fire 4 less shots than BC XV9s, but at better Strength and BS. Might be worth some tests.
- Tetras. Once one of Tau's stars, it's waning. Used to have 4 ML shots, then 2 twin-linked, now just 1 (that inflicts 3 ML at once). Comes at minimum 2 models. Lost homing beacons. In numbers, may be useful. has a nifty ability to show up when you need, allowing it to avoid enemy fire.
- Piranha TX-42. I don't understand why they nerfed it - it must fire its 2 weapons at the same target. Uh, if it at least could grab a multi-tracker... It might be an interesting platform for rail rifles.
- Heavy Gun Drones - better than they were before, but again with the unnecessary nerfs. If one of them fires a ML, they can't enjoy its benefits. Otherwise, they are W3 Gun Drones with double shooting.
- Tigershark Fighter-Bomber. The old drone-carrying Tigershark can exchange them for a S6 missile launcher. I don't see much use for it, as a Barracuda can fire as much S7 as it and is way cheaper. It's basically a two-Barracuda-in-one deal
- Orca Dropship. Interesting rules. Mostly useful to drop Flamer/Melta Crisis (can't carry any other kind of suit!) or Breachers near the enemy... I think it's cheaper to employ Homing beacon Stealth Suits. Can hover.
- Manta. I'll never have one, so I don't really bother with its rules. Seems good. It's harder to hit it now, instead of being easier in 7th.
- Remote Sensor Tower. A 3-token ML for 2 power level seems fancy. But ehh, I rather use Tetras, as the tower has only W3.