I have been reading a lot of the Tau tactica threads, totally not during work hours of course, and I decided to do a bit of detective work and put together a comprehensive list of which systems work for Overwatch/Interceptor, and which ones don’t. One of my favorite things about the Tau book is how specific the special rules are; for example, many of the shooting buffs specify that they only work in the shooting phase. Bam, no FAQ necessary! Well, almost… I’ll get to that in a minute.
A lot of the support/signature systems and other rules only work in your shooting phase, so they won’t help on Overwatch (which obviously occurs in the assault phase) or Interceptor shots (in the enemy movement phase).
- Command and Control Node and the Multi-spectrum Sensor Suite both specify that they only work in the shooting phase (so no benefits if firing via Interceptor), and also notes that they don’t work on Overwatch.
- Multi-trackers only allow you to shoot a second weapon in the shooting phase, so not with Overwatch/Interceptor.
- Advanced Targeting Systems only work in the shooting phase, so no precision sniping with Overwatch or Interceptor.
- Darkstrider’s Structural Analyzer cannot be used when firing snapshots, so no Overwatch.
- Shadowsun’s Command-link Drone only works in the shooting phase, so no Overwatch or Interceptor functionality.
- Cadre Fireblade’s Volley Fire only works in the shooting phase, so no extra shots during Overwatch.
When taken together, this means Tau Overwatch firepower is much weaker than most people think. The Farsight blob with 7 bodyguards can drop in and blast a few units into oblivion via target locks, but they can’t fire all of their guns with re-rolls to hit and ignore cover saves during Overwatch. Thank the good lord for that.
On the flipside, Ethereal Elemental Powers, Pulse Accelerators, Blacksun Filters, Target Locks, Puretide Neurochip, Drone Controller, Early Warning Override and Velocity Tracker function for all shooting attacks regardless of when the shots are happening.
This leads me to one potential FAQ question: Can a model use a Target Lock to fire at a separate target during Overwatch?
This could be a huge loophole. Imagine you have Broadsides sitting within 6″ of a Fire Warrior Squad that is being charged. The Fire Warriors declare Overwatch and the Broadsides also get to shoot via Supporting Fire, but the ones in the squad with Target Locks decide to take free potshots at some enemy tanks instead. That’s probably not how it’s supposed to work…