Battlefleet Gothic: Armada Opening Tau Beta Tomorrow

The Tau are coming to Battlefleet Gothic: Armada [official site], the real-time adaptation of Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40K spaceship battle boardgame, serving the Greater Good. Those blue fellas will be paid DLC but, in the sharing spirit, from tomorrow they’ll be free for Battlefleet players to try in beta for a bit. Maybe you’ll like how they think. Maybe you’ll want to sign up. Maybe you’ll want to launch military campaigns to help everyone else realise the Tau way is best.

Battlefleet Gothic seems to have gone relatively unnoticed but Daniel Starkey called it “one of the best real-time tactical games I’ve played in quite some time” when he told us Wot He Thinks.

Anyway! The Tau, as I understand it, are one of the newer factions in Warhammer 40k, both in the fiction and our painfully real world. They’re a bunch of blue folks big into the ‘Greater Good’, an idea which has brought their people together with grand visions of unifying the whole galaxy by hook or by crook. They’ve only developed technology relatively recently but already have some nasty big guns and mech-y power armour. Also they might possibly be mind-controlled by their ruling caste but that’s FINE don’t worry about it, it’s all for the Greater Good yeah?

Within Battlefleet Gothic: Armada, the Tau’s official marketing blurb says:

“Their fleets excel at long range, with powerful weapons dealing massive amounts of damage from afar. Skilled Tau admirals can eliminate the bulk of an enemy fleet before they can even get within boarding distance.”

If that sounds fun, you’ll be able to give ’em a go tomorrow. The beta is due to run “until early next week” and you’ll need these instructions to get in.

As with the Space Marines faction, people who bought Battlefleet before June 21st will get the Tau DLC. Otherwise, I’d imagine it’ll cost probably the same as the Space Marine DLC, which costs £4.99/6,99€/$6.99.


  1. Thurgret says:

    Newer relatively speaking. That still makes them fifteen years old, having been released in 2001. Time flies, I guess.

    It’s a good game plagued by developers who approach balance-related issues with a sledgehammer. Perhaps they’ll eventually tune it to a point where you aren’t presented with the cheese of the month quite so often (at least often enough to drag down the experience as a whole).

    • Asbad says:

      Jesus, you’re right time really does fly. It’s been about 11 years since I got my first kit of Fire Warriors from my local Gryphon Games after school. It was then a month or so later that I got my first DevilFish and commander unit… and then I too saw the power of the Fish… the FISH OF FURY!!!!!!!!! It was ridiculous “fun” for a few games but then I too joined the charge to ban it in our local shop and tournies. Christ its been so long…

  2. cpeninja says:

    The Tau, best described as a race that is REALLY good at the application of firepower, but starts to scream louder and in higher pitched voices the closer you get to them with your brutish barbarian assault weaponry.

    They also can’t hit the broadside of a barn without outside help, but lots and lots of dakka helps.

  3. X_kot says:

    Oh no…the missile boat swarms…so many projectiles…*spasms* *dies*

  4. NonCavemanDan says:

    They appear to be going with the models released by Forgeworld rather than the original Games Workshop fleet (much more streamlined and fits in with their current aesthetic), which is nice. Also, I think those are Kroot warspheres hiding at the back of the picture next to the Air Caste city!

  5. MiniMatt says:

    The village was knee deep in crusty jugglers until the Tau eliminated them for The Greater Good

  6. Azhrarn says:

    The big things with spherical ends appear to be Kroot Warspheres indeed, but the things shown by Alice in the last shot are Demiurg Forge Ships, they shoot a lot.
    It’s interesting that they’re included, as they’re not formally absorbed by the Tau Empire, they’re neutrals in the current lore I think. They’re basically the reincarnation of the space dwarves of old.

    • Phasma Felis says:

      I thought they were allied with the Tau, but on equal terms, not as as clients.

      (The Tau are really surprisingly pleasant multiculturalists, it seems. There’s Epic rules for an ex-Imperial human auxiliary force with Tau equipment. I had some grand ideas about making a 40K tabletop army to that spec–carapace-armored Guardsmen with pulse rifles, battlesuits with Imperial plasma guns and snub-nosed autocannons in place of missile pods, and so forth. As it turns out I have better things to do with my time and money, but it would have been cool. :)

      • Azhrarn says:

        Tau are multi-cultural to a point, but the Tau come first.
        Other species do not count as citizens, have limited self-governance. And they’ll sterilize populations of species they absorb but are “unwanted” so they die off slowly, rather than outright exterminating them, this tends to happen to absorbed human colonies for instance. Unless having them reproduce is useful (Kroot for instance, or Vespid).

        So they are not as outright horrible as the Imperium of Man is, but they’re not exactly nice either.

        • A Wanderer says:

          Well the funny thing about 40K is that the most “benevolent”, or the least evil race in this universe is a race that in pretty much any other sci-fi setting would be considered, at best, as a dangerous imperialist and hegemonist empire with a dangerous and populist ideology. (aka some kind of proto-Culture gone bad).

  7. Hensler says:

    These will be playable in campaign/story type missions, or just skirmishes? Haven’t tried game yet, but always softspot for Tau I’ve had.

    • Thurgret says:

      The only faction available for the campaign/story mode is the Imperial Navy. All other factions are skirmish/multiplayer only.

      • Thurgret says:

        My purple wobbly armed avatar has changed into a brown one with blocks. Oh no!

  8. Game kNight says:

    First gameplay of the Tau Beta is up on my channel – me and my buddy Thalric had a lot of fun playing them live last night! These ships are very strong, see for yourself: