A TY7 Devilfish armoured troop carrier is the primary anti-gravitic skimmer transport utilised by Tau ground forces and can carry twelve Fire Warriors or Pathfinders into combat in relative safety, and then provide mobile fire support once they disembark.
A resilient and versatile transport, it is the TY7 Devilfish that allows Fire Caste ground forces to successfully execute many of their strategies, whether by rapidly relocating Fire Warriors to new coordinates as part of grand strategic manoeuvers, or punching through enemy lines, guns blazing, to extract Pathfinder teams before they can be overwhelmed. These ubiquitous transports are exceptionally popular with the Fire Caste, and their courageous pilots are offered great respect.
The ubiquitous Devilfish chassis consists of a sleek and light design powered by complex dual anti-gravitic and jet-propulsion motive systems so that a Devilfish almost glides over a planet's surface. The anti-gravitic engines generate "cushions" of air upon which the Devilfish floats, and its armoured bulk is then driven forwards by its two powerful multi-directional thruster jet engines mounted on the rear sides of the hull. By pivoting the propulsion units downwards, a Devilfish pilot can gain extra lift to clear the many obstacles and terrain that often litters a battlefield; obstacles that more mundane tracked vehicles can never hope to traverse. There are also two lift fins mounted on the front, each with a recess to house a weapon system or a Gun Drone. Since the Devilfish was designed with troop transport in mind, the pressurised interior has the space to fit 12 Fire Warriors along with all of their equipment and weapons. The vehicle also features a hatch on each side along with a door in the rear to allow troops inside to disembark and set up into a firing position quickly. The armour of the vehicle is made from a dense nano-crystalline metal, named Fio'tak in the Tau Lexicon, that is light, malleable, strong and corrosive resistant; reducing the weight of the vehicle whilst also providing excellent protection. There is only one crew member that pilots the Devilfish, operates the nose-mounted Burst Cannon, and manages the communication and tracking systems. All other systems are drone-controlled.
The TY7 Devilfish is primarily an armoured personnel carrier and is often considered the workhorse of Tau ground forces, with the capacity to carry a fully armed and equipped Fire Warrior squad rapidly to the frontlines in relative safety. Once the Fire Warriors have been dropped off, the Devilfish continues to act as mobile fire support, providing anti-infantry firepower where it is most needed. Mobility is essential for any Tau Commander, and Devilfish allow their infantry to keep pace with a Hunter Cadre’s armoured gunships. Whether manoeuvring troops to deliver the killer offensive of a Mont’ka, or rushing them into ideal firing positions to ensure a Kauyon ambush is perfectly set, Devilfish are often key to Tau victories.
However, Devilfish are not only used to merely ferry troops to the frontlines. In addition to the fearsome firepower provided by its Burst Cannon, a Devilfish is often on hand to extract Tau troops should enemy formations be in a position to overwhelm the Tau gunline, or if the Tau Commander decides that a tactical withdrawal is necessary. Given the Tau’s loathing of close combat, a common tactic is to redeploy their gun lines when enemy units approach; whisking troops out of harm’s way to setup new firing perimeters elsewhere on the battlefield. This re-embarking and relocation tactic allows Pathfinders to escape encirclement and helps Fire Warriors keep their foes at arm’s length, better enabling them to whittle down the enemy with repeated volleys of pulse fire. In this way, they enable a Tau force's hit-and-run tactics, and are the bane of many an Imperial commander. Devilfish are usually transported inside a Manta, which can carry four fully-loaded Devilfish from orbit to the ground, and then once more to the battlefront; allowing Devilfish to be deployed exactly where and when they and their troops are needed.
- Counterstrike Cadre - When fighting at the Cadre or Battle level, it is standard Fire Caste doctrine to maintain a fast-moving reserve. These groups commonly hold back from the front line while the bulk of the fighting is taking place, only being committed when their deployment will tip the balance of the battle in the favour of the Tau or respond to enemy ploys. At that moment, the reserve force will make its move, closing in and securing objectives the enemy thought safe. The formation of these 'Counterstrike' Cadres was first proposed by the Fire Caste's pre-eminent warrior-scholar, Commander Puretide, during the Imperium's attack on the city of Gel'bryn on the Dal'yth Sept world during the Damocles Gulf Crusade. As the Imperium broke out of its landing zones, Puretide identified a need to secure key positions fast, in order slow down the Imperial forces' rapid advance. Puretide found that where he could take key positions in front of the Imperium's route of march, he could divert his enemies' efforts and gain the strategic upper hand. And so Counterstrike Cadres came into being and have been utilised ever since, wherever the Fire Caste needs to take control of a critical objective before enemy troops reach it. A Counterstrike Cadre typically consists of a number of Fire Warrior Strike and/or Breacher teams, and a single Pathfinder team, all mounted in TY7 Devilfish transports.
- Rapid Redeployment Force - A Rapid Redeployment Force, or to give its full Tau military title, the "Objective Oriented Rapid Redeployment Detachment," was first used by the Tau during the Dal’yth Counter Attack. Under pressure from the ground forces of the Imperium’s Damocles Gulf Crusade, the Tau were forced to pull back a large number of ground troops. As the Fire Warriors at the frontline lacked their own transports, the Tau Commanders ordered a number of Hunter Cadres to send in their Devilfish. These swept in on the stranded Fire Warriors' positions and picked them up, before conducting a wide sweep of the battlefield that brought them within a hundred metres of the Imperial army’s frontline command centre. Disembarking, the Fire Warriors laid down a withering hail of Pulse Rifle fire, forcing the Imperial Guard staff officers manning the post to fall back in disarray. Not only were the beleaguered Fire Warriors rescued, but their timely redeployment turned the tide at their sector of the battlefield. After the Damocles Gulf Crusade’s withdrawal, the Fire Caste High Command instigated a number of changes to the Tau military, each the result of costly lessons during the conflict. Not the least among them was the formalisation of the Rapid Redeployment Force, a formation that can, as at the Dal’yth Counter Attack, snatch victory from the jaws of defeat if committed at the correct moment by a wise commander. A Rapid Redeployment Force will usually consist of three or more Devilfish, with one vehicle being designated the command tank.
A TY7 Devilfish is primarily armed with a nose-mounted Burst Cannon and a hull-mounted secondary weapon system. The nose-mounted Burst Cannon provides rapid-firing suppressive anti-infantry fire, acting as a self-defence weapon that can also be used to complement the fire of a disembarked squad. Devilfish are equipped with landing gear as standard, in the case of failure of the thruster engines, or for when the vehicle is simply at rest and deactivated.
Secondary weapons are mounted in the front recesses of the transport and are primarily deployed to provide anti-infantry fire support. The vehicle's secondary weapons can include either of the following:
- Gun Drones - Most Devilfish are armed with two Gun Drones which ride with the vehicle in specially designed recesses. These Gun Drones are able to lend to their Devilfish an additional weight of fire, or can detach themselves and move off independently to perform fire missions of their own.
- Twin-linked Smart Missile System - A Smart Missile System fires swarms of self-guided missiles, each with a built-in Drone intelligence so they can hunt down targets that could not normally be seen or targeted.
Devilfish transports can also be equipped with any of the following Tau vehicle upgrade systems:
- Automated Repair System - Automated Repair Systems consist of dispensers which release tiny maintenance Drones which swarm over damaged weapon and drive systems, repairing them in the midst of battle.
- Advanced Targeting System - An Advanced Targeting System assists the vehicle's gunner by identifying targets of particular value or danger, and plotting fire plans to counter them.
- Blacksun Filter - Blacksun Filters allow the vehicle's gunners to accurately see and target enemies in low-light conditions.
- Decoy Launchers - Decoy Launchers are a form of defensive measure that is mounted near the engines. They are capable of firing clouds of reflective strips and sophisticated electronic decoys, which are combined with flare and chaff launchers to protect the tank's thruster arrays from enemy missiles.
- Disruption Pod - Disruption Pods display distorting holographic images in the visual and electromagnetic spectra to make the vehicle harder to target.
- Flechette Discharger - Flechette Dischargers line the hull of the Devilfish and fire high-velocity flechettes at infantry which try to assault the vehicle.
- Multi-Tracker - A Multi-Tracker consists of advanced stabilisers that allow the vehicle to fire accurately even whilst moving at speed.
- Point Defence Targeting Relay - Designed to provide superior covering fire for nearby Fire Caste units, a Point Defence Targeting Relay automatically targets and engages enemies that try to assault the vehicle or nearby friendly units.
- Sensor Spines - Sensor Spines feed data to an advanced ground-following flight control system. This allows the vehicle to avoid hazardous terrain that could otherwise damage the vehicle's drive systems.
- Target Lock - A Target Lock computer automatically identifies potential targets and plots fire plans accordingly. This grants the gunners more choice and accuracy in engaging various targets.
- Targeting Array - Computer-aided Targeting Arrays are sophisticated targeting systems that aid the gunners' aim in firing upon enemy targets.
- Seeker Missiles - Devilfish Troop Carriers can also optionally have up to two Seeker Missiles in addition to their primary and secondary armaments. Each Seeker Missile is most effective when fired and guided by Marker Lights.
Ordo Xenos Departmento Analyticus Technical Specifications
|Serial Number||85673-908325||Main Armament||Burst Cannon in Chin Turret|
|Vehicle Codename||Devilfish||Secondary Armament||Drone-Controlled 4x Pulse Carbines|
|Weight||14 tonnes||Elevation||+30° to -15°|
|Length||8.25 metres||Ammunition||2000 rounds|
|Width||6.8 metres||Armour Type||Nano-Crystalline Alloy; Composition Unknown to Adeptus Mechanicus|
|Max Recorded Speed||75 kilometres per hour|
|Summary:||Armoured Troop Transport; holds twelve; Also can mount Seeker Missile Rack|
- Codex: Tau Empire (7th Edition), pp. 23, 44, 94
- Codex: Tau Empire (6th Edition), pg. 39, 66, 72
- Codex: Tau Empire (4th Edition), pg. 36
- Codex: Tau (3rd Edition), pg. 26
- Deathwatch: Rites of Battle (RPG), pg. 193
- Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign, pp. 163-168, 284
- Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign (Second Edition), pp. 140-142
- War Zone Damocles: Kauyon, pg. 106
- War Zone Damocles: Mont'ka, pp. 102, 117, 184
- Courage and Honour (Novel) by Graham McNeill
- Games Workshop Website - Rapid Redeployment Force Datasheet