Thursday, 9 May 2013

Mech Tau

So the first list I want to go through is a Mech Tau list.

I’ve always tried to build “all comer” lists with my Tau armies. Tau were the army I took to most tournaments all the way through 5th, and in the first few months of 6th, and I still think an all comer army is the way to go for tournament. The problem has been in 6th that building an all comers list is harder. The sheer variety of armies, with allies thrown in, and of course flyers has made it much harder. However, of all the Codices in 6th, I think Tau has the best chance of doing this… so let’s see.

This is going to be a pretty detailed post, so you might want to get a cup of tea. What I’m trying to do is run through my thought process when creating the list so when you rip it apart you know why I’ve included the units I included, and can suggest alternatives. The hope is that I can refine the list with your help.

The list is a Mechanised one. I’ve always liked the thought of a Mech Tau List, and that’s what I started out with. However, I eventually came to the conclusion that suits were better, and resorted to playing a very suit heavy list towards the end of 5th. When 6th came along I started playing with full squads of fire warriors in D’fish again, and, with marker light support, had some success with Fish of Fury tactics. Could this work in in the new ‘dex?

To be clear I’m not restricting this list to no suits at all, that would be silly. However, it has to be mobile and fluid in its play style. What I want to avoid is a static gunline list that stands and shoots. So the core of the list will be Fire Warriors in D’fish who press forward, jump out and kill stuff.

I briefly thought about using Pathfinders in this role. With a Pulse Accelerator Drone they can double tap out to 24”, and they can taks special weapons (Rail Rifles and/or Ion cannons). However, I decided that there were big draw backs – they are more expensive, they only have a 5+ armour save, and most importantly they don’t score, meaning you would need to take more troops, making it an even more expensive option. So Fire Warriors it is.
First decision is on Pulse Rifles or Pulse Carbines for the Fire Warriors. In this role I think Pulse Carbines are better. Being able to double tap at 18” allows you a little more flexibility. The only reason to take Pulse Rifles is if you plan to take an Ethereal with you to give the Fire Warriors another shot at half range. I must admit a squad of Fire Warriors jumping out of their ‘Fish and shooting 36 shots at 15” is tempting, however the idea with this list is that you will be using your Fire Warriors aggressively and pushing them forward. By including an Ethereal you’re putting him in harm’s way, and risk giving away that extra Victory Point.

So, for now I’ll go with Fire Warriors with Pulse Carbines. The only other upgrade I might consider is a Shas’ui. Leadership 8 is better than leadership 7!

Next up the Devilfish. I plan to keep the Gun Drones. The reason is 2 fold, first I can move the D‘fish 6” and fire both the Drones and the Burst Cannon (the Drones count as passengers, an SMS is another weapons system that would need to snap shot), and secondly you can get the Drones off and use them to give your Fire Warriors a cover save or to block assaults. The only other upgrades I’ll give them are Sensor Spines and a Disruption Pod. For 5pts, being able to ignore cover is great for D’fish that press forward! D’pods on ‘fish are controversial, and if they were still stopped working under 12”, I wouldn’t take them. But an “always on” 4+ save (often 3+) is too good to pass up, even at 15pts.

If points allow I might be tempted by Flechette Dischargers, or Point Defence Targeting Relays. I will be using the ‘fish to block assaults after all, and the more they can do to discourage assaults the better, but in reality these upgrades will do minimal damage to assaulting squads.

So 12 Fire Warriors and a ‘Fish with Spines and D’pod is 208pts. I’ll take 3 of them for now. But that’s not enough scoring so I’ll also take two 10 man squads of Kroot with a Kroot Hound in each giving them acute sense if I decide to outflank. Five reasonably mobile scoring units is OK, especially when 3 of them are in AV12 skimmers.

The Fire Warriors will kick out 72 S5 shots, which makes them reasonably flexible. They can deal with hordes reasonably well, and can pile wounds on MEQ and TEQ, hoping for failed saves. They can deal with light vehicles in a pinch. However, they can’t deal well with Monstrous Creatures, Flyers or, at all, with heavier armour. They are also BS3 so half those shots will miss! So we need some marker lights and some heavy weapons.

First Marker Lights. As explained in my article on Maker Lights, if points allow, I would like to take a unit of Pathfinders, a unit of Marker Drones and a Skyray. This gives me multiple platforms, one that is cheap, but will most probably die turn one (Pathfinders), one that is a little more survivable (the Drones), and one I can use to start a Marker Light Chain Reaction if needed (the Skyray), and more interestingly can start a Skyfire Marker Light Chain Reaction. So lets take 8 naked Pathfinders, 10 Marker Drones and a Skyray with D’pods and Black Sun Filter.

That would bring points up to 1,113, and we have dealt with inaccuracy across the board, can threaten Flyers, and have 6 S8 shots to threaten heavier armour and Monstrous Creatures. However, we need more heavy weapons and more anti flyer.

At this point I need to make a decision, the most obvious answer is to take 3 Skyfire Broadsides with HYMPs, 12 missile drones, and stick them behind an Aegis Defence Line with a Puretide Commander on a Quad Gun. That would give me excellent anti flyer, would murder Monstrous Creatures (whether flying or on the ground) and deal with anything up to (at a pinch) AV13. However, the ADL and the Broadsides “anchor” the army and move away from the mobile Mech “theme”, and the unit (with the ADL and quad gun) costs 437pts!

So while it’s a very effective unit, and fits the bill perfectly, I’ll skip it for the sake of the theme (!). So lets take another Skyray, and again for the sake of the theme, a Railhead, with Submunitions, a D’pod and Longstirke. This gives me a reasonable chance to kill heavy armour at range, and another threat to flyers. In fact there are now 3 threats to Flyers. The 2 Skyrays and then the Railgun, guided by the Skyray’s, Skyfire Maker Lights, or if necessary I could bring in the Marker Drones, and use the Skyray’s Marker Lights to start a Chain Reaction.

So that brings us to 1,434pts. I have deliberately left the HQ and Elite slots till last as they’re what a Tau Cadre uses to fill gaps. So lets review the list I have at the moment, and see what gaps need plugging.

12 Fire Warriors, Devilfish, D’pod, sensor spines
12 Fire Warriors, Devilfish, D’pod, sensor spines
12 Fire Warriors, Devilfish, D’pod, sensor spines

10 Kroot, 1 Kroot Hound
10 Kroot, 1 Kroot Hound

8 Pathfinders
10 Marker Drones

Skyray, Black Sun Filter, D’pod
Skyray, Black Sun Filter, D’pod
Hammer Head with Railgun, Submunitions, Longstrike, D’pod

For a total of 1,434pts.

So lets review the threats Abuse Puppy talked about in his article

·       Multiple Flyers - Can I deal with 2-3 AV12 flyers, or 3 – 4 AV11 ones – i.e. Vendettas, Night Scythes or Stormravens. Or 2 Winged Hive Tyrants? Can your army shoot them down, or can your army ignore them and still compete?

Almost … ! The Skyrays are pretty Resilient (AV13, with at least a 4+ cover save) so should survive a Flyer alpha strike, and be able to fire back. Twelve BS5 S8 missiles have a reasonable chance of killing 2 AV12 flyers in one round of shooting. With a couple of Marker Light hits, the Railhead has a pretty good chance of doing the same. I’m reasonably confident I can take down 2 Flying Hive Tyrants before they can get me. Bloodthirsters might be trickier, with their invulnerable saves.

·         Guard Blobs. Can I kill 40+ T3 models, who may have FNP, or a 2+ cover save?

I’ve got lots of Marker Lights to strip cover, and volume of fire from the Fire Warriors. Combined with the HH’s submunition I’m reasonably confident I can kill a blob.

·      Deep Strikers. Can I deal with 3-4 drop pods in your face turn one, or maybe Deathwing?

Hmm. Might need to work on this one! A couple of Ironclads coming out of Drop pods are a worry. Not so worried about marines or terminators as I have volume of fire to kill them, however my vehicles would be very vulnerable to podding melta guns. I’ve got a couple of Kroot Squads to bubble wrap them, but it’s not really enough.

·      MEQ Horde. Can I kill 60+ marine that are advancing on your objectives?

The Fire Warriors will help, but not really.

·      Monstrous Creatures. Can I kill 3 Tervigons?.

Hmmmm, not really. I could probably kill one by combining both Skyrays, but what about the Winged Hive Tyrants, and the other 2 Tervigons?

·      Deathstars. Can I kill a squad of TH/SS Terminators – Nob Bikers – Paladins – Harliestars? What about a squad of Wraiths with a destroyer lord tanking wounds up front, while not quite a deathstar, he’s probably got 2 more of them!

Reasonably confident here. With Marker Light support the Fire Warriors provide huge volume of fire. With 6 marker lights I can put 40 wounds on T4 models.

·       Mech. Can I kill 3-4 AV11-12 Vehicles?

Depends if they also have flyers! If not, then I should be OK as the Skyrays will deal with them. However, if I need to save the Skyrays seekers for Flyers….! So a guard army with 3 Vendettas and 3-4 AV12 Chassis would be a problem. So the answer is “no”!

·      Hordes. Can I kill enough orks to stop being overwhelmed by a green tide – can you kill enough Seekers or Khorne Hounds to stop them wiping you turn 3?

Again, reasonably confident here with the Fire Warriors’ torrent of fire.

·      AV13 and 14. Land Raiders, but more common, at least in UK based Tournaments, 3 Annihilation Barges.

Longstrikes HH helps here, but the answer is not really! Again, especially if there are flyers, so a typical Necron list of 3 Anihillation Barges, and 3-4 Night Scythes would be a problem.

So I need to boost my anti MEQ, anti Heavy and Light Armour and my anti Monstrous Creature. I also need a more effective way to deal with deep strikers, and if I can boost my anti flyer that would be good… oh and I still need an HQ!

Happily, I have a choice between Riptides and XV8s, sadly I only have about 400pts to play with!

First XV8’s, with the new FAQ clarifying that they can take single weapons, without being twin linked, they are even more flexible. A squad of Double Pod Deathrains kicks out 12 s7 shots per turn. With 2 Marker Lights, that should put 6-7 wounds on a Tervigon, or kill a Chimera. Two more Marker Lights and the Chimera doesn’t get a cover save. If they can pick up 2 Skyfire Marker Lights from the Skyrays, then they have a pretty good chance of taking down an AV11 Flyer, and should at least take a couple of hull points off an AV12 one.

If I take another squad of XV8s and kit them out with a plasma rifle and a fusion blaster each that will also help with anti MEQ and TEQ. At close range it can deal with Heavy Armour and MC’s. If I give them Early Warning Overrides, then they would also help with deterring close deep strikers.

Finally, I need an HQ. An XV8 Commander to support the suits is the obvious choice. Give him the Iridium Armour to tank wounds, the Puretide chip to give the Deathrains Monster Hunter and Tank Hunter, and a Command and Control Node and Multi Spectrum Sensor Suite to make all the pods twin linked, and give them Ignores Cover. Finally, a Drone Controller so he can attach to the Marker Drones and boost their BS if necessary. Almost forget…he also needs some weapons. It’s got to be a Plasma Rifle and a Fusion Blaster to take advantage of his BS5!

The way I see these suits operating is as close support for the Fire Warriors, advancing with the Devilfish, hiding behind them, jumping out to shoot stuff, and then using their thrust move to hide again.

Sadly this takes me way over points. What can I drop? Well, with taking the 2nd Skyray I have additional marker light support, and with the commander taking the Drone Controller he can attach to the Drones making them BS5, and twin linked. If I drop the pathfinders, and 3 Fire Warriors, that comes to 1,844pts, room for another Kroot!

Next Riptides. I could take 2 of them with Fusion Blasters, Ion Accelerators, Early Warning Overrides and Velocity Trackers. This pretty much gives me an answer to all the issues! I can drop S8 AP2 pie plates on MEQ and TEQ, shoot MC’s (flying or otherwise) with 6 S7 AP2 shots and (hopefully!) drop S9 AP2 Ordinance pie plates on armour.  I can intercept flyers, and anything that wants to deep strike close will eat S8 AP2 large blasts.

As an HQ I think I might take an Ethereal. The XV8 Commander doesn’t really synergise with the Riptides in the same was as he does with the XV8s, he helps, but not as much. Also, he’s way more expensive than the Commander and Riptides are not cheap! The Ethereal would go in with the Firewarriors, so I would swap the Pulse Carbines for Pulse Rifles. That also gives me the option of hanging back and shooting stuff at a distance. The other change I might make is to take out the Marker Drones. Without the chance to boost their BS with the Commander they’re not nearly as attractive. I’ll drop them for 2 squads of Pathfinders. By dropping a couple of Fire Warriors (need to drop one anyway to make room for the Ethereal in a D’fish) that brings me to 1,845pts, room for another Kroot Hound!

So, with XV8’s it looks like this

Commander, Plasma Rifle, Fusion Blaster, Iridium Armour, Puretide Chip, Drone Controller, Command and Control Node and Multi Spectrum Sensor

3 XV8s with 2 Missile Pods Each
3 XV8’s with a Plasma Rifle, a Fusion Blaster and an Early Warring Override each

11 Fire Warriors, Devilfish, D’pod, sensor spines
11 Fire Warriors, Devilfish, D’pod, sensor spines
11 Fire Warriors, Devilfish, D’pod, sensor spines

11 Kroot, 1 Kroot Hound
10 Kroot, 1 Kroot Hound

10 Marker Drones

Skyray, Black Sun Filter, D’pod
Skyray, Black Sun Filter, D’pod
Hammer Head with Railgun, Submunitions, Longstrike, D’pod

With Riptides it looks like this


Riptide, Fusion Blasters, Ion Accelerator, Velocity Tracker, Early Warning Override
Riptide, Fusion Blasters, Ion Accelerator, Velocity Tracker, Early Warning Override

11 Fire Warriors, Devilfish, D’pod, sensor spines
11 Fire Warriors, Devilfish, D’pod, sensor spines
12 Fire Warriors, Devilfish, D’pod, sensor spines

10 Kroot, 2 Kroot Hounds
10 Kroot, 1 Kroot Hound

8 pathfinders
9 Pathfinders

Skyray, Black Sun Filter, D’pod
Skyray, Black Sun Filter, D’pod
Hammer Head with Railgun, Submunitions, Longstrike, D’pod

Frankly, I’m not sure which is best – thoughts?



  1. My vote goes to second list. Riptides sure up the list in all the spots.

  2. Given those choices, I also vote for the 2nd list. Couple of questions:

    1) Do you think that "jack of all trades" type commander (two expensive guns he wants to shoot, two expensive systems that only work when he doesn't shoot, drone controller that only does something if he's hooked up marker drones) is the best approach, or specifically kitting him out for one specific task (boost suits, shoot stuff, marker guy, etc.)?

    2) I'm curious about the statement that the Broadsides mess with the "theme." I see this a lot that people want their WHOLE army to be mobile or nothing mobile. That seems sorta wrong-headed to me. Is your next list going to be more of a hybrid?


  3. Thanks for your comments. I’m also leaning towards the Riptide version.

    @Mike – It’s a good point you make about the Commander. In particular I think that the C&CN and the M3S were a mistake. In retrospect I suspect the list has enough ML support to do without theses systems leaving the Commander free to shoot. However, I still like the idea of him being able to jump into the drones, or support the XV8s as necessary. On the other hand, one option I had not thought about until reading an article over on 3++ about marker lights is to give him 2 Marker Drones and a Target Lock, and put him in a squad of XV8’s each with 2 Marker Drones and Target Locks. You then get the best of both worlds, saving points on the drones along the way.

    So you switch the Fusion Blaster and Plasma Gun for 2 Missile Pods, drop the C&CN and the M3S from the Commander, give him a Target Lock and 2 Marker Drones. In the MP XV8 squad you give them all target locks and 2 Marker Drones each. The Commander then hangs out with the MP squad, shooting their MPs at one target, and their Marker Drones at another one. You then drop the separate unit of Marker Drones. Think you save around 60pts. You could use that to add in an Ethereal, boosting the fire warriors, or to add a couple of drones to the other XV8 team to increase its survivability.

    On the “theme” point, it’s just a restriction I placed on myself when thinking about the list. No more than that. However, the problem I’ve come across in the past with adding Broadsides to a mobile list is that, because the broadsides are such a huge investment in points, and are so immobile (even more so now without ASS) you are tempted to defend them at all cost which encourages a “stand and shoot” mentality. Now, better players than me might be able to better judge when to sacrifice the Broadsides “for the greater good” but I always struggled in making that decision! What I’m not saying is that you wouldn’t have a better list by adding in Broadsides.

    The next post is a gun line list, going for max fire power. After that I was going to post up a Farsight list, but I might post that over on Warhammer Tau. Then I might think about a Hybrid list …. I would welcome your thoughts on that one, as I suspect it will work out being the strongest.

  4. I'm NOT an experienced player. I started buying Tau in 5th, never really played, and now with a new codex and a new store in town starting an escalation league I'm trying to turn my collection into some sort of army. I bought a lot of onesies and some vehicles cause I thought they looked cool. So my idea is to have a firebase that remains static and pumps out volume of fire.


    Cadre Fireblade
    12x FW

    3x Misslesides with Missledrones

    5x Pathfinders

    1x Hammerhead (not sure which gun, probably Ion up to 1500pts then maybe switching)

    Then a Mobile component that hopefully draws fire:

    1x Riptide, Ion, EWO

    3x Crisis suits, not sure how to kit them out, probably Fusion and Plasma

    1x Devilfish with FW

    1x Kroot infiltrating or outflanking

    1x Skyray that starts with firebase until it has used all it's missles then it helps the mobile detachment with moving cover and ML

    Then I'm not sure whether to add a commander to the mobile group with some more Crisis suits and Marker drones and Target Locks, or put the commander back with the Misslesides

    But that's the concept.

  5. This is sorta what I was thinking at 1500. Going up I would add a Skyray, fill out the Misslesides and possibly drop the velocity tracker on them. I'm least comfortable with the Crisis loadouts. The idea is to keep the Commander as flexible as possible without "wasting" points. The way I have him built he can go with the Crisis or the Misslesides depending on army facing. With misslesides he has the Monster/tank hunter if there are lots of fliers that I have to take down (heldrankes, flyrants, demons, etc). If it's tank heavy he goes with the crisis. The drone controller and markers might just be a silly add. Having a hard time getting that to all sync up. Might be better off just deciding what I want that commander to do and specifically build him to do that really well. The flexibility is so enticing though.

    Tau (1499/2000pt.)

    @HQ [ 2 ]

    Cadre Fireblade (60pt.) Combat armour; Pulse rifle; Photon grenades; Markerlight;

    Commander (194pt.) Crisis battlesuit; Multi-tracker; Blacksun filter; Plasma rifle (x2); Target lock; Drone controller; Marker drone (x2); Neuroweb System Jammer; Puretide Engram Neurochip; XV8-02 Crisis 'Iridium' Battlesuit;

    @Elites [ 2 ]

    3x - XV8 Crisis team (181pt.)
    > 1x - Shas'ui (57pt.); Crisis battlesuit; Fusion blaster; Plasma rifle; Target lock;
    > 1x - Shas'ui (57pt.); Crisis battlesuit; Fusion blaster; Plasma rifle; Target lock;
    > 1x - Shas'vre (67pt.); Crisis battlesuit; Shas'vre; Command and control node; Multi-spectrum Sensor Suit;

    XV104 Riptide (190pt.) Riptide battlesuit; Multi-tracker; Blacksun filter; Riptide shield generator; Ion accelerator; Twin-linked plasma rifle; Early warning override;

    @Troops [ 4 ]

    12x - Fire Warrior team (108pt.)
    > 12x - Fire warrior (9pt.); Combat armour; Photon grenades; Pulse rifle;

    13x - Kroot Carnivore squad (91pt.)
    > 13x - Kroot (7pt.); Kroot armour; Kroot rifle; Sniper rounds;

    9x - Fire Warrior team (81pt.)
    > 9x - Fire warrior (9pt.); Combat armour; Photon grenades; Pulse rifle;

    6x - Fire Warrior team (149pt.)
    > 6x - Fire warrior (9pt.); Combat armour; Photon grenades; Pulse rifle;
    > 1x - Devilfish (95pt.); Burst cannon; Distruption pod; Gun Drone (x2);

    @Fast attack [ 2 ]

    5x - Pathfinder team (55pt.)
    > 5x - Pathfinder (11pt.); Markerlight; Photon grenades; Pulse carbine; Recon armour;

    5x - Pathfinder team (55pt.)
    > 5x - Pathfinder (11pt.); Markerlight; Photon grenades; Pulse carbine; Recon armour;

    @Heavy support [ 2 ]

    2x - Broadside Battlesuit team (194pt.)
    > 1x - Shas'ui (97pt.); Broadside battlesuit; Multi-tracker; Blacksun filter; Twin-linked high-yield missile pod; Twin-linked smart missile system; Velocity tracker; Missile drone;
    > 1x - Shas'ui (97pt.); Broadside battlesuit; Multi-tracker; Blacksun filter; Twin-linked high-yield missile pod; Twin-linked smart missile system; Velocity tracker; Missile drone;

    Hammerhead (141pt.) Ion cannon; Twin-linked Smart missile system; Blacksun filter; Distruption pod;

    @Created by Head Quarters - online roster builder

  6. I see where you’re going with these lists, and I like the “hammer and anvil” idea. A few random thoughts…!

    Is it worth having Target Locks on your XV8s? There are only 2 of them in the squad that can shoot. Chances are you will want to shoot both of them at the same target, even with the C&CN on the Shas’vre. Early Warning Overrides, backing up the Riptide, might be better to discourage deep striking/drop pods.

    I would be tempted to take Fusion Blasters on the Riptide rather than plasma rifles. One of its jobs is to discourage drop pods. What happens if a dreadnaught comes out of the drop pod?

    I’m not persuaded by the minimal FW team in the ‘Fish. I know it’s there to go and get distant objectives, but for the same points you could get 2 squads of 10 Kroot with a Kroot Hound each. These are reasonably flexible units that can outflank reliably with the Kroot Hound granting acute senses. If you turn the other Kroot squad into something similar that gives you 3 utility troop choices that can infiltrate or outflank into position.

    Might an Ethereal be better than the Firebalde? The Fireblade only affects one unit of Fire Warriors, while the Ethereal will effect both of them (albeit only at 15”). He would also boost the leadership of the fire base, and if you made him your Warlord, you’ve got a pretty good chance of getting something good on the warlord table. . The extra VP is a problem though.

    How’s it been playing for you?


  7. Oh, I haven't played the list, what fun would that be ;).... pure theory right now. I'm frantically building up my army to join an escalation league at a new local store. I'm "behind" and trying to catch up has been brutal. So some of my choices are designed to "escalate" as I get to higher levels. The devilfish is there to give another hull target making my opponent decide how to use their anti-tank firepower, especially once I add in the Skyray at the next point level. It is definitely one to think about cutting, except it's one of the models I do have built and painted... The target locks on all the suits are, admittedly, kinda bad, the idea was to allow them to shoot at a different target than the marker drones. I was hoping to be able to squeeze in a few more marker drones into that squad, but it's been hard to find the points. The Ethereal vs Fireblade is a tough call, and for me it comes down to fluff and model; I just like the idea of the Fireblade more and I'd like to think the extra shots at range will be useful, and as this is a "firebase" concept, they shouldn't be moving too much. The Ethereal could force me to make poor choices in deployment as I try to concentrate my force around him. I could see myself trying to leverage his abilities at the cost of better deployment.
    I think you might be right on the fusion vs plasma on the Riptide. The local meta has a lot of Tyranids (3 of these out of 10 armies), Necrons, and marines (grey nights and Wolves and CSM). No IG or other Tau. What do you think?

  8. I think you're on the right track here, though I encourage you to consider piranhas. I like them for two reasons - they give you highly mobile melta and they drop units of gun drones which are not VPs.

    I envision much tau looking something like this
    Hq- Marker'O and ethereal.
    Elites - as many crisis suits with missile pod, missile pod and interceptor, and 2 marker drones.
    FA - as many 3 strong piranha units you can get. With fusion.
    Troops - 6 fws in df- no upgrades.
    Hvy support - sky ray and 2 hammerheads with one long strike.

    The idea would be:
    Piranhas, free vehicle drones and crisis suits do most of your damage. Piranhas drop drone units that can bubble wrap your suits, or block any assaults. Additionally can benefit from storm of fire from ethereal embarked in a fish.
    Hammerheads deal damage from afar, be sure to include large blasts. Sky ray marks and provides flier defense.

    Just theory hammer really.

  9. Ive been turning Piranahas over in my head for a while now, but haven't yet thought through how to use them. But then you said "Piranhas drop drone units that can bubble wrap your suits, or block any assaults" and that made me think........ My working theory was to push forward with Fire Warriors in Fish, supported by suits, using the D'fish to block assaults and provide cover. However, I now wonder whether it might be better to push forward with piranhas, using both them and their drones to cover the suits.

    And that just proves once again how flexible the new codex is!