T'au Codex (10th Edition) review: "I am Kroot"

T'au Codex cover on a starry background
(Image: © Ian Stokes)

GamesRadar+ Verdict

Codex: T’au 10th Edition is a fantastic update for the faction, bringing new units and rules that put the T’au back on the offensive. It’s chock-full of in-depth lore, along with stunning artwork and photos that make it a must-have for T’au fans. The focus on Kroot might not be for everyone, but there’s still plenty here for fans of the iconic Battlesuits and Hover Tanks too.


  • +

    Excellent internal balance

  • +

    New detachments support fun playstyles

  • +

    Packed with lore and backstory

  • +

    Gorgeous photos and artwork


  • -

    Only four detachments, the least of any Codex so far

  • -

    Kroot focus won’t benefit a lot of T’au players

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Get in loser, we’re spreading the Greater Good with the new Warhammer 40K T'au Codex for 10th Edition. This 136-page tome contains all things T’au, packed full of lore, rules, painting guides, and stunning photos of painted models and armies. What new tricks do the 40K universe’s upstart race have up their sleeves this time around?

I grabbed myself an early copy by picking up the Kroot Hunting Pack box set, which includes a special edition of the Codex. It’s a rather beautiful hardback, complete with blue metallic embossing and adorned with an iconic piece of artwork that dates back to the 4th edition T’au Codex. The standalone release of the Codex isn’t far behind, and the fancy cover is the only material difference between the two Warhammer 40K books.

Inside, you’ll find all the rules you need to play the faction in standard games of Warhammer 40K 10th edition, alongside Combat Patrol rules for smaller engagements if you’re just starting out with the army, as well as Crusade rules for narrative campaigns. This time around there is also a big focus on the T’au’s allies, the Kroot, with a bunch of new Kroot units and their own detachment.

There’s still plenty here for T’au purists though, offering exciting new ways to spread the Greater Good across the galaxy.

The patient hunter

An image of a T'au Battlesuit fighting a Tyranid

(Image credit: Ian Stokes)

The T’au Codex comes with a total of 38 datasheets — two more than we had in the Index rules. That might come as a surprise, given the huge number of new Kroot units that have been added to the book, but that’s because we’ve also lost quite a few older units too: RIP to Aun’va, Aun’shi, Commander Longstrike, and the regular Crisis Suit Commander. Standalone drones are also out the window, now only available as wargear upgrades for other T’au units.

In their place, we have two more variants of Kroot Shaper, the Kroot Lone-spear, and Krootox Rampagers as new units — with the rest of the Kroot line-up serving as updates to existing units. The other major change in T’au units comes with the Crisis Battlesuits, which have been split into three different units depending on their weapons and role.

Beyond that, there have been very few other changes to existing units: the Strike Team and Commander Farsight have new datasheet rules, while the Sky Ray Gunship and Stealthsuits got subtle buffs. By and large, if you played T’au before this book, then you’ll still feel right at home with them now.

Essential info

Price: $60/£35
Works with: Warhammer 40,000 (10th Edition)
What’s new:  Four detachments, updated unit datasheets, expanded lore, new artwork, expanded Combat Patrol guide, 10th Edition Crusade rules

The new sauce in the T’au Codex comes from the detachments. However, right out the gate there’s a bit of disappointment as we only get four detachments total — the lowest number of any Codex so far. Fortunately, it’s quality over quantity as they’re all good enough to see play, with two standouts for competitive play.

Each detachment has its own special rule, four character enhancements, and six stratagems  — special powers that you can trigger by spending your limited supply of command points in-game.

T’au are a shooting army, relying on speed and big guns to win the day. As a result, the three T’au-focused detachments all offer different ways to blast your opponent off the board. Then we’ve got the Kroot detachment which does a decent job of offering a bit of close combat alongside plenty of shenanigans.

If you’re a newbie considering joining the Greater Good, then there has never been a better time to jump on board.

Kauyon returns from the Index, offering T’au a defensive playstyle that gets super powerful in the back half of the game. As the Yin to Kauyon’s Yang, we now have Mont’ka, a detachment about early game aggression that can run out of steam if the game drags on. Beyond that, there is the Retaliation Cadre, aka the “I like Battlesuits” detachment. There are no turn limitations here — you get your buffs all game long, but they will only benefit battlesuit units.

And finally there is the Kroot Hunting Pack, giving the bird men their time in the sun. It offers fantastic buffs to Kroot units, which are themselves quite mediocre. The end result is a fun and fluffy, but quite niche detachment focused on guerilla warfare and stacking buffs to bring down larger targets.

The killing blow

An open T'au Codex, showing off models from the range

(Image credit: Ian Stokes)

Overall, the new T’au Codex does a great job of bringing depth and variety to the army. Index T’au had strengths, but the Kauyon detachment forced players into stalling for the late game. Now we can go on the offensive, and it’s the aggressive detachments — Mont’ka and Retaliation Cadre — that will undoubtedly be the most popular.

Early game buffs are much more in line with how competitive 40K is played in 10th edition. It’s just better to have buffs early in the game, rather than later, as then you’ll always get to make the most out of them.

The T’au army feels strong, but not abusively so. Crisis Battlesuits being split out into three variants, and limited to three-man units, is a stroke of genius. It keeps them central to the army, but stops players from stacking buffs on massive “Death Star” units. Almost every unit in the book has play, and the new detachments promote a lore accurate playstyle. T’au aren’t a gunline that sits back and shoots you; they bring the party to you.

Kroot, as far as the eye can see

Krootox Rampagers charge forward, waving their weapons and yelling

(Image credit: Games Workshop)

The army box for T'au in 10th Edition features Kroot and only Kroot. This Hunting Pack is crammed full of the chicken warriors with all-new sculpts, and it's safe to say fans lost their minds over it when the set was revealed.

While things are looking great for followers of the Greater Good, this Codex does have a few niggling issues that are worth bringing up. Namely, some of the datasheets and statlines in the army still feel a little underwhelming. For example, Strike Squads, the mainstay troops of the T’au Empire, got a decent buff with a new datasheet rule, but they’re still woefully outclassed by Breachers, so you’ll never see them in a competitive list.

The heavy focus on Kroot is also going to be divisive. Although these mercenary bird men are allied with the T’au, they have a very different aesthetic and playstyle to the anime mech suit style of the main force. This means a lot of T’au players won’t be interested in the new models, so they’ve got nothing new to play with this edition. The Kroot hogging one of the four detachments also means that for 99% of T’au players, this book actually has three detachments, because almost no one owns enough Kroot to build a full 2,000 point army.

Also, they didn’t bring back the Great Knarloc, which is an unforgivable sin — you’re putting all this effort into the Kroot and you don’t give them their infamous giant T. Rex chicken? For shame!

Games Workshop’s quarterly balance updates and FAQs mean that the rules here might be out of date very soon — the points values for units already are! It’s an inevitable part of a living ruleset, yet it’s still annoying to buy a book you know will be obsolete so quickly. You do get a digital code alongside your Codex, giving you access to all the up-to-date rules on the Warhammer 40K app. However there’s no way to buy just the code separately, making the book feel like a bit of a tax for playing the game.

Should you buy Codex: T’au 10th Edition?

Open pages displaying T'au models

(Image credit: Ian Stokes)

The T’au Index rules for 10th Edition were very limiting on the kind of playstyles that you could lean into, but the Codex has done a wonderful job of opening things up. The new detachments let you be a lot more aggressive, while defensive players still have access to a modified version of the Index detachment to suit their needs. 

The new Kroot detachment and the massive overhaul to their model range teases you with a melee-focused way to play T’au, but make no mistake — this is a shooting army. Like blasting your opponent with high tech weapons? Then you’ll love the T’au.

If you’re a T’au player already, then the Codex is a no-brainer and if you’re a newbie considering joining the Greater Good, then there has never been a better time to jump on board.

Buy it if...

✅ You like guns… lots of guns
T’au are an army of serious firepower. From their mightiest Railgun to the humble Pulse Blaster, T’au ranged weaponry is just better than everyone else’s. If you love to just start blasting, this is the army for you.

✅ You love mech robots
If there’s one thing the T’au love more than guns, it’s strapping a load of guns to anime robots. These Battlesuits come in all shapes and sizes too, from the sneaky Stealthsuits up to the gargantuan Stormsurge.

Don't buy it if...

❌ You want to hit things with your sword
T’au suck in melee combat. Seriously, I could beat a Fire Warrior in a fight and I’ve struggled to get out of some tight sweaters in my time. Outside of Commander Farsight, who has a sword the size of a sports car, T’au are just bad in close combat. If you want to hit stuff, try armies like Orks or Chaos Space Marines.

How we tested the T'au Codex

This copy of Codex: T’au 10th Edition was bought by the reviewer as part of the Kroot Hunting Pack box set, because he’s a 40K tournament player who is building up a T’au army.

Looking at a different army? You can check out our Necrons Codex review and our thoughts on the Tyranids Codex.

Ian Stokes

Ian Stokes is an experienced writer and journalist. You'll see his words on GamesRadar+ from time to time, but Ian spends the majority of his time working on other Future Plc publications. He has served as the Reviews Editor for Top Ten Reviews and led the tech/entertainment sections of LiveScience and Space.com as Tech and Entertainment Editor.