Forge World Analysis: R’alai

By Master Bryss

Well, I’ve had a chance to peek at the experimental Forge World stuff and I must say on the whole they’re pretty good. I thought I’d have a look at this guy, mainly because I used his model as inspiration for Shas’O Ga’Lad, the Tau character I did, and because I’m a heavy xenos player. So I’ll have a look and see if I can improve anything.
I’m aware of a certain other blog’s ‘review’ of this guy, which basically consisted of how terrible he is and why you should instead take a melta gu... sorry, wrong army.  To an extent, I agree, but at least I’m constructive about it.
As I see it, R’alai has two main problems. Firstly, he’s not an Independent. This doesn’t seem so bad at first, as he’s T5 and doesn’t suffer from the main Battlesuit problem, ie they are far too easy to kill. Seriously, who thought it would be a good idea for Battlesuits to immediately drop dead as soon as someone aims a Battle Cannon at them? Being T5 should allow him to take a couple of missiles to the face, right? Wrong. He’s surrounded by Marker Drones, so until one dies he’s much weaker, allowing you to kill him with massed assault or small arms fire.
The other issue he has is his purpose. It’s almost like he’s trying to be a Vindicare with his stealth rule and his multiple ammo types, but most of the time his range is too short for that to be much of a boon. Lots of things in this game are fast enough to negate that. For 55 points less I can have Farsight, and I see these two characters as on par with each other. So with all this in mind, let’s see if I can help him:

R’Alai can be used as the 1+ Commander in a Tau army.

Cost...225 points

Unit: 1 (unique) and Drone.

Unit Type: Jump Infantry (jetpack)

  •  XV9 Battlesuit
  •  Eclipse Shield Generator
  •  Pulse Submunitions Rifle
  •  Blacksun Filter
  •  Vectored Retro-thrusters
  •  Failsafe Detonator
  •  Drone Controller and Marker Drone with blacksun filter.

XV9 Armour: Unchanged

Eclipse Shield Generator: Unchanged

Pulse Submunitions Rifle: All ammo types now have a 36” range.

The EMP shell does not suffer the -1 penalty for being AP-.

Special Rules:

Independent Character: If the Eclipse generator is active and R’alai is part of a squad, roll a D6 for each wound allocated to R’alai. On a 5+ that wound must be given to another model. This save is reduced to 6+ if R’alai’s unit is within 12” of the shooting squad.

Stalwart Commander: Unchanged.

Bodyguard: R’alai may take a bodyguard of Crisis Suits as normal.

Technically speaking, R’alai was originally 165 points, plus 60 for Marker Drones. By knocking off one Marker Drone he becomes more resilient on his own at the expense of less Markerlights. To justify his fluff a bit more, I’ve increased his range (his title is ‘assassin’ after all) and given him a Failsafe (if he’s going to die for the Greater Good he might as well take something with him). He’s also an Independent now, so I’ve tweaked the Eclipse to still work with him. Hopefully this should fit his new technical cost of 195. If you disagree, let me know and I’ll change it accordingly.

Picture taken from Forge World.


Atrotos said…
The Tau have been getting Forgeworld love for a while now. While I'm tempted to complain about the mediocrity of these rules I'm halted by the fact that they're at least getting *something*. And the model is epic.

I thought the way you handled the Eclipse generator was a little awkward. I would have preferred he stay un-attachable but with an improvement to the Eclipse - perhaps something close to the way Veil of Tears works? Still it works and your way is better than the half-ass job FW produced.
Master Bryss said…
The original rules seemed to be in disagreement with themselves as to whether or not they wanted him to be able to join squads (Stalwart Commander) or not. I didn't see why he shouldn't have IC or a bodyguard as that's what everyone else in a big battlesuit gets.

EDIT: Give him the option of either XV8 OR XV9 suits as a bodyguard. I suppose he should be able to have an accompaniment of the newer suits.