A Pathfinder serves as the eyes and ears of a Tau army's commander, and teams of Pathfinders coordinate closely with other Tau tactical formations. An efficient Pathfinder Team can help other Fire Warrior teams operate at peak efficiency and are highly respected as a consequence. Tau Fire Caste doctrine states that a Tau Hunter Cadre should be pulled forward by its Pathfinders, while the Pathfinders should not be pushed forward by the demands of the Cadre. Pathfinders are the undisputed Tau masters of battlefield positioning, with limitless patience and a determination to choose the most valuable targets for their fellow Tau to destroy. Imperial troops who fought in the Damocles Gulf Crusade described the signature of the Pathfinders' barely visible Marker Light beams as the "Valkyrie's Mark", because those it shone upon were soon numbered among the dead. Pathfinders tend to have Tau ranks like Shas'la and Shas'ui. It is unknown if any higher ranks of Tau Fire Warriors are found among the Pathfinders. Pathfinders are armed with either Pulse Carbines with built-in Marker Lights or Rail Rifles and are usually accompaned by a Devilfish APC to ferry them to and from their scouting positions. Their roles range from target acquisition for other Tau forces to scout missions intended to identify enemy forces and call in Seeker Missile strikes when tactically useful.
Pathfinders are known to make use of Tetras, small anti-gravity skimmercraft that go ahead of the main Tau army of which they are a part and are used by the Pathfinders to carry out scouting and flank attacks.
- Codex: Tau (3rd Edition)
- Codex: Tau Empire (4th Edition)
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