With long range and good ranged damage, but low health and even lower melee damage, the Tau can be considered to be glass cannons. They combine good mobility and offensive power but suffer from weak melee that mean they need to be protected by auxiliary forces. Their vehicles also have good mobility with the ability to jump and most have long range but are fragile.
Differences from vanilla Soulstorm:
Tau units scale better than before with more upgrades to improve their damage and more weapons choices. Their squad sizes have been increased but their overall damage starts lower.
- Pathfinders have been swapped with Stealth Suits and are now the initial capping unit. Their cost has been decreased and their squad size has been increased. They no longer suppress (slowing enemy movement speed) and instead suppress through researches. Their detection range has been reduced and can no longer Mark Squads. They can now reinforce Shield Drones.
- Fire Warriors now start with 4 members and their maximum squad size has been increased from 6 to 10 (plus leaders). Their health and damage has been reduced and their cost decreased to compensate. They can now only choose one of each leader.
- Kroot Carnivores are slightly cheaper.
- XV-15 Stealth Suits are now in tier 2 (Path to Enlightenment) and their cost has been increased. Their starting squad size has been increased from 1 to 2 and their maximum squad size has been increased to 6. Their jump range has also been reduced. Their damage and morale damage has been increased.
- XV-88 Broadside Battlesuits are now in squads of 3 and their health, cost and damage has been reduced and can reinforce Shield Drones.
- Kroot Shapers can no longer be produced as a single unit and instead Kroot Carnivores and Kroot Hounds can reinforce them as leaders.
Crisis Suits are now in squads of 3 and their health, cost and damage has been reduced. They can also reinforce Shield Drones.
Skyrays Missiles now do less damage to infantry and has a smaller area of effect.The Barracudas weapons do less damage overall and the damage is spread more evenly instead of being concentrated into the Missiles.
The Tau Commander has been renamed to the XV-22 Commander and can reinforce Shield Drones and Gun Drones.
The Ethereal can no longer spawn Fire Warrior Shas'ui Bodyguards and can instead reinforce them as part of his squad.
The Greater Knarloc is now capped at 3 and its health, damage and cost have been reduced.
Shield Drones Energy Shield is now a passive effect and its damage reduction has been reduced.
XV-88 Broadside Battlesuits can no longer Entrench/De-entrench but can fire its weapons normally.
The Skyray Missile Barrage damage has been reduced.
The Ethereal can now use the Orbital Defense Cannon now does massive damage over a wide area during a long time at the cost of 300 power. The Ethereal can no longer clone any Tau unit and instead can create a clone of himself that can be reinforced with dummy bodyguards and can use dummy abilities.
The Tau Commander no longer upgrades his weapons himself and instead upgrades through researches.
The Advanced Pulse Rifles research damage bonus to Fire Warriors and Pathfinders has been decreased.
Path of Kauyon/Montka
The Shrine of Kauyon and Montka both make Crisis Suits, Krootox and Kroot Hounds available. However only the Shrine of Kauyon makes the Targeting Optics research available and only the Shrine of Montka makes the Improved Metallurgy research available.
The Shrine of Kauyon and Teachings of Kauyon increase the health of Krootox and Kroot Hounds. The Teachings of Kauyon also changes the armour of Kroot to Heavy Infantry.
The Shrine of Montka and Teachings of Montka increase the health of Crisis Suits and Hammerhead Gunships and allows the Hammerhead to be upgraded to the Railgun.
The Pathfinder Shas'ui can now be added as a leader to Pathfinders. They increase the sight and detection radius of the squad and can use the Mark Squad ability instead of Pathfinders.
Sniper Drones are now available with long range damage good against Infantry and especially against Heavy Infantry.
XV-88 Broadsides can now reinforce Repair Drones to increase the health regeneration rate of the squad. They can also reinforce the XV88 Broadside Shas'vre with more health, shoulder-mounted Missile Pods and arm-mounted Railguns.
The XV-81 Crisis Suits are an alternative to the XV-8 Crisis Suits, have less health and they have shoulder mounted Missile Pods. They start with Flamers and can upgrade them to Burst Cannons (effective against infantry), Fusion Blasters (effective against vehicles and buildings), Plasma Rifles (effective against infantry and heavy infantry).
Lesser Knarloc Riders are tough and effective in melee. They are in squads of 3 and get more health through the Shrine and Teachings of Kauyon.
The XV9 Hazard Suits are bigger and tougher than Crisis Suits. They have Twin-Linked Burst Cannons for more damage and can upgrade them to Fusion Cascades (effective against vehicles and buildings) or Phased Ion Cannons (for damage against infantry and heavy infantry).
Tetra Skimmers are new light vehicles that are quick but fragile and have the ability to jump. They have the ability to use the Mark Squad ability and can fire a mini Seeker Missile Barrage.
Piranha Skimmers are a slightly tougher light vehicle that can upgrade to Fusion Blasters. They can also jump.
The XV-22 Commander can now reinforce Decoy Drones with high health to absorb some damage meant for the XV-22 Commander.
The XV-89 Commander is a new battlesuit commander with the ability to upgrade to Missile Pod (good against vehicles or buildings at long range), Fusion Blaster (short range and effective against vehicles or buildings), Airbursting Frag Projector (effective against groups of infantry and disruption), Cyclic Ion Blaster (effective against infantry and heavy infantry) and Plasma Rifle (good versus all targets) by researches. Can also reinforce Repair Drones, Gun Drones, Shield Drones or XV89 Bodyguards with Missile Pod and Plasma Rifle upgrades.
The Swordfish and Stingerfish Gunships are new alternative relic units with a shared cap of 2. The Swordfish Gunship has Twin-Linked Railguns, Smart Missile Launchers and a Burst Cannon. The Stingerfish Gunship has 3 Railguns and a Burst Cannon.
Another new alternative is the XV-202 Mako Superheavy Battlesuit. It is capped at 1 and is slow, heavily armed and very tough. It is armed with two Twin-Linked Railguns on either arm and two Missile Pods mounted on its shoulders. It also reduces the ranged damage received.
The player has to choose between Greater Knarlocs, Swordfish/Stingerfish Gunships or the XV-202 Mako.
The Cadre Headquarters is able to build Drone Turrets and deep-strike them onto the field. They have Burst Cannons and can upgrade to Smart Missile Launchers.
Pathfinders can now upgrade to Rail Rifles with long range and high damage to infantry and heavy infantry. They also do high damage to morale.
XV88 Broadsides can now upgrade their Missile Launchers to Plasma Rifles (effective against most targets).
XV8 Crisis Suits can now start with Burst Cannons and can upgrade either arm to Fusion Blasters (effective against vehicles and buildings at short range), Missile Pods (effective against vehicles and buildings at long range), Flamers (effective against groups of infantry and morale) or Plasma Rifles (effective against infantry and heavy infantry).
The Hammerhead Gunship now starts with an Ion Cannon (rapid firing effective against infantry and heavy infantry) and can upgrade to Railgun (effective against most targets). It can also upgrade its Burst Cannons to Smart Missile Launchers to be more effective against vehicles and buildings.
The Greater Knarloc now starts with a Bolt Thrower and can upgrade to Twin-Linked Bolt Thrower.
A new research Advanced Pulse Rifles II further increases the ranged damage of Fire Warriors and Pathfinders.
New researches Feral Strength and Feral Strength II increase Kroot melee damage.
A new research has been added to allow the XV15 Stealth Suits to use the EMP Grenade ability.
Researches have been added to allow the XV-22 Commander to upgrade to Flamer, Missile Launcher, Fusion Blaster and Plasma Rifle.
Researches have been added to allow the XV-89 Commander to upgrade.
Skyray Missile Gunships and Hammerhead Gunships now have the ability to jump.
The Ethereal can now use the Manta Strike ability to deal massive damage to a wide area over a long time at the cost of 300 power. It cannot be used at the same time as the Orbital Defense Cannon ability.
The Ethereal Clone can use dummy Manta Strike or Orbital Defense Cannon abilities that have the same visual effects but do no damage.