Piranhas – optimized Mont’ka cadre

Mont’ka tactics applied by hunter cadres of the Tau Empire rely on rapid deployment and concentration of massed firepower. While most popular way of it’s application are jetpack equipped battlesuits, other popular means are fast vehicles, among which Piranha skimmers are most widely deployed.


Piranha skimmers in tabletop game occupy Fast Attack slot (not the most crowded one in competitive list) and while they aren’t a very popular choice for some reason (Riptides, Skyrays and broadsides are generally considered as better), they can indeed be a reasonable choice when applied wisely.


Clocking at mere 40pts/model (that gives 200pts/full squadron of five) they come with burst cannons and pair of gun drones each. Drones can be detached forming squadron of ten gun drones, which normally occupy second FA slot for 140 points. That leaves you with 60 points for five vehicles armed with burst cannon each. Terrific amount of S5 weaponry, on a mobile platforms, but with laughably low BS. What can we do to further improve damage output of such unit?


Buy yourself a Sahs’O – fire caste commander, equipped with drone controller. Instantly drones increase their BS from 2 to 5 (means hitting on rerollable 2+). Give commander a weapon with matching range and strength, and if you have spare points – another pair of discounted gun drones as a wargear. You’re done! Now you have a squadron dishing out 32 shots hitting on 2+ (24 of them rerollable) and wounding guardsmen on 2+.

What about Pirnhas? they also dish out 20 S5 shots per squadron, but hitting on 4+ without any kind of rerolls. Can they be further buffed?

Yes! apply markerlights. For a mere 70 points you can have squadron of two Tetrs giving on average 3 markerlight hits per turn. it’s enough to bring your Piranhas either to BS6 or BS4 with Ignores Cover. For 105 points you get three Tetras with average 4.5 markerlight counters dropped per turn. So much I like light Tau vehicles, even if their weapons are short ranged and their hulls aren’t very durable, commnding such army gives feeling of precision and speed of which Mont’ka hunter cadres are so proud.

To summarize: Commander with 12 drone is fire output of 32 S5 shots (hitting on 2+, some of them rerollable) per turn and piranhas, generate additional 20 S5 shots (hitting on 2+ when buffed with 2 ML counters). Limitation of this type of cadre is of course its low durability and low firing range of 18″.

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