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This page describes the wargear and weapons wielded by the Fire Caste of the Tau Empire. The Tau are an intelligent, humanoid alien race, first discovered by the Imperium of Man in the late 35th Millennium. They were at a hunter-gatherer stage of development at this time, and were earmarked for cleansing to open their homeworld of T'au up for human settlement. The combination of intense Warp Storms in the Eastern Fringe of the galaxy where the Tau homeworld was located and the outbreak of the Age of Apostasy within the Imperium in the 36th Millennium prevented this from occurring, and during the next six millennia of isolation the Tau were able to evolve, unite, and develop an extremely advanced level of technology and interstellar civilisation. Also during this time, the Tau have incorporated numerous alien species into their fledgling Tau Empire, the most significant of these being the Kroot and the Vespid. This page will describe the various weapon types and common equipment used by the Tau Fire Caste and their Kroot, Vespid and even human allies.


The Tau Empire uses a variety of advanced weaponry developed by the Earth Caste that are often technologically superior to those of other races. Technologies such as Pulse and Rail technology are such examples, and can be seen as 'trademark' weapons of the Tau. However, the Tau Empire also has developed weapons for allied races such as the Kroot and Vespid. Another feature of Tau technology is that it constantly being adapted and developed to meet the ever-changing needs of the battlefield. As such, there are several pieces of Tau weaponry and wargear that have been designated as experimental for various reasons. As such, they are special issue and only given to experienced commanders who can field-test the weaponry.

Airbursting Fragmentation Projector


The newest pattern of the Tau Airbursting Fragmentation Projector

The Airbursting Fragmentation Projector is an experimental weapon developed by the Tau Empire during the Third Sphere Expansion. The weapon operates by firing a proximity-fused explosive projectile on a trajectory computed by a simple on-board Drone intelligence within the warhead itself. This AI full calculates the precise height and distance of each submunition it fires so as to provide optimum explosive damage across a wide area. The Airbursting Fragmentation Projector is currently still undergoing field tests and thus is considered a special-issue weapon to Tau forces due to its experimental nature. Its use is only entrusted to a number of senior Fire Caste Tau Commanders.

A known variant of the Airbursting Fragmentation Projector is the Microburst Fragmentation Launcher. A Microburst Fragmentation Launcher is also an experimental weapon and has thus far been only entrusted and issued to Tau Commanders piloting XV46 Vanguard Commander Variant Void Battlesuits. A Microburst Fragmentation Projector features a similar range to a standard Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, but fires projectiles that detonate with more focused, concussive, explosive force, sacrificing a large blast for more power per shot. It also has a far faster rate of fire, and is smaller and more portable; allowing the XV46 to use it more effectively in the close confined

Dawn Blade

Dawn Blade 2

The Dawn Blade

The Dawn Blade is a unique, alien artefact sword wielded by the Tau leader known as Commander Farsight to the Imperium of Man. The rebel Tau Commander who founded the separatist Farsight Enclaves on the far side of the Damocles Gulf in the Eastern Fringes of the galaxy recovered the weapon from the pre-Imperial xenos ruins of the Dead World of Arthas Moloch, wrenching it in desperation from a fallen alien statue to fend off the assault of a Bloodthirster daemon following the incursion of the Forces of Chaos upon that deserted planet. The Dawn Blade is older than even the Imperium of Man, and it was fashioned aeons ago by the strange xenos race that once inhabited the haunted world of its origin. Forged from materials that even the finest Earth Caste minds cannot fathom, its blade is sharp enough to cut through rock and all known forms of infantry and even vehicle armour; and its sculpted surface flickers with unknown energies which paint glittering arcs of destruction as it is swung. Since taking it up on Arthas Moloch, and modifying it for use in battle on his personal XV8 Crisis Battlesuit, it has been Commander Farsight's weapon of choice for close-combat engagements.

EMP Blaster

An EMP Blaster is an experimental Tau weapon that fires short-ranged rounds which explode in a small blast  and generate an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) upon impact. EMP Blasters are issued exclusively to XV46-4 Vanguard Commander Variant Void Battlesuits.  Whilst the weapon's rounds do not physically damage foes, they send out powerful electromagnetic pulses that disable electrical wiring and all kinds of mechanical systems, playing havoc with the internal systems of armour and other vehicles and disabling them temporarily. Sometimes, the EMP effect will even cause catastrophic failure in a system, leading to an explosive reaction for the unfortunate vehicle or robotic construct.

EMP Grenade


A Tau EMP Grenade

An EMP Grenade is a type of grenade that is sometimes issued to Fire Caste infantry such as Fire Warriors and Pathfinders. EMP Grenades are technological marvels that briefly emit an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) upon detonation, which can overload electronic circuitry, causing anything from minor malfunctions in electronics to fires, complete meltdowns and other critical malfunctions. Whilst EMP Grenades do not physically damage foes, the havoc they play with the internal systems of powered armour and vehicles is enough to at the very least disable them temporarily, or, more often than not, cause some form of catastrophic failure in a system, leading to an explosive reaction for the unfortunate vehicle or robotic construct.



An Equalizer

An Equalizer is a Tau close combat weapon that is utilised exclusively by members of the Ethereal Caste. Equalizers are carried in pairs. Similar in appearance to batons, Equalizers serve as badges of an Ethereal's office, and also double as potent self-defence weapons. Each Equalizer contains a powerful disruption field that can shatter armour and bone on impact.


Tau crisis suit flamer largeb

A Tau Flamer

Tau Flamers are very similar to the Flamers used by Space Marines and Imperial Guardsmen in role and use, but differs slightly in construction because of the use of more stable Tau technology. Flamers can be mounted on XV8 Crisis Battlesuits and are commonly used to engage massed hordes of lightly armoured enemies. Flamers are also lethal weapons when used by Crisis Battlesuits fighting in dense terrain.

Honour Blade

Honour Blade

A Tau Honour Blade

An Honour Blade is a two-handed Tau close combat weapon utilised exclusively by members of the Ethereal Caste. Honour Blades, whilst custom-made to each individual, all consist of a long, broad-bladed halberd mounted on a lightweight metallic shaft. Honour Blades serve as symbols of an Ethereal's office, ceremonial weapons and, in emergencies, weapons of self-defence. Honour Blades are typically used to settle disputes between Ethereal Caste members in highly stylised, bloodless duels that are more coordinated co-meditation than combat. In the hands of an Ethereal, Honour Blades are used in elegant sweeping movements where the blade becomes virtually invisible. Whilst some Ethereals carry their Honour Blade onto the field of battle, they do not expect to have to actually use them, but are nevertheless prepared to make a last stand against their barbaric foes if the situation should require it.

Ion Weapons


A Hammerhead gunship armed with an Ion Cannon firing upon enemy forces

Ion Weapon technology was originally given to the Tau Empire by the Demiurg. Since then, the technology has been adapted to be used in various directed energy weapons. high energy streams of ionised subatomic particles, vaporising flesh and metal with equal ease. These high-energy ions are accelerated by an electromagnetic field and react explosively with the target as a result of the direct transfer of energy at an atomic level. The recent discovery of a Mor'tonium power source revolutionised the technological possibilities for Ion Weapons, allowing smaller weapons to be built Ion Weapons to be overcharged and generate far more powerful blasts. However, doing so exposes the wielder or vehicle to the dangerous ionising radiation emitted by the Mor'tonium, and risks overloading the weapon's primary power cells.

Cyclic Ion Blaster

Cyclic Ion Blasters are experimental Tau Battlesuit weapon systems. Early prototypes of the weapon were developed to combat multiple, lightly-armoured enemies at short ranges, and functioned by generating a rapid stream of ionised radiation that is unleashed through the Ion Blaster's four barrels. Though the extremely high rate of fire of this early prototype was stable, the ionisation effect on armour was variable. Later developments almost completely changed the nature of the weapon. As a result, the Cyclic Ion Blaster's role changed to one more similar to the more stable Ion Rifle design, and now features a moderately high rate of fire with immensely more damage capabilities per shot. The real similarities of later models to their older counterparts lies in their range and armour penetration.

Ion Rifle

Ion Rifles are a recently developed form of Ion Weapon that is infantry portable. Ion Rifles are normally issued as special weapons to Tau Pathfinders to augment their offensive capabilities in the field, and allow them to engage heavy infantry and light vehicles effectively.

Ion Cannon

The Ion Cannon was developed during the Tau Empire's early expansions into space, and is a large weapon most commonly found as a primary turret weapon on Hammerhead gunships, though numerous other Tau aircraft and voidships also make use of Ion Cannons. Ion Cannons are the most common adaptation of Ion technology. Although the firepower of Ion Cannons are significantly less than the Railgun, they have a high rate of fire that is very effective against heavily-armoured infantry such as Space Marines, and lightly-armoured vehicles.

Ion Accelerator

Ion Accelerators are large Ion Weapons developed for use by the experimental XV104 Riptide Battlesuit. For their size, Ion Accelerators have a relatively high rate of fire, and their high damage output allows them to engage both heavy infantry and vehicles effectively. Indeed, Riptide Battlesuits have used their Ion Accelerators to devastating effect on even Leman Russ Battle Tanks and reinforced Imperial bunkers.

Phased Ion Gun

A Phased Ion Gun is a prototype weapon system designed specifically for use by XV9 Hazard Battlesuits, as their advanced power cores allow them to most effectively wield these weapons. The Phased Ion Gun melds the rapid-firing technology of the Cyclic Ion Blaster with the power of the vehicle-mounted Ion Cannon into a stable Battlesuit weapon system. The lengthy particle accelerators that comprise the Phased Ion Gun's mechanism allow the Battlesuit pilot to engage the enemy at range with a storm of subatomic projectiles that react explosively at an atomic level, decimating heavily armoured infantry and vehicles. While the rate of fire is stable and very high, the ionisation effect remains unpredictable and varies due to the developing nature of this still-experimental technology. At its peak, a Phased Ion Gun's directed energy streams are able to bypass virtually all known forms of armour.

Quad Ion Turret

A Quad Ion Turret is essentially a battery of four linked Ion Rifles designed as a primary weapon for Razorshark strike fighters. A Quad Ion Turret is mounted on a gimbal turret on the rear underside of a Razorshark, allowing the weapon to strike at targets in all directions. Many an enemy aircraft has found itself under assault by a fusillade of deadly ion streams as Tau aircraft streak past. Linked together as a battery, the Ion Rifles that make up a Quad Ion Turret give the weapon system a high rate of fire, and their strength allows them to engage heavy infantry, light vehicles, and aircraft with equal effectiveness.

Ar'Ka Cannon

The Ar'Ka Cannon is a unique weapon design that was constructed on Nan Yanoi ("Sword Moon" in the Tau Lexicon), one of the two moons of the world of Kaurava II in the Kaurava System. The Ar'Ka Cannon fired a concentrated "Ion Beam", which was tuned to a frequency and wavelength that only destroyed the central nervous systems of advanced organic life forms, and ignored plant life and inorganic structures. This allowed the structures and plant life of a targeted area to remain, allowing the Tau Empire to strike at their enemies in the Kaurava System without wreaking too much damage to the environment of the system's habitable planets. This allowed the Tau to maintain the targeted location's suitability for future Tau colonisation. The Ar'Ka Cannon could fire its beam at any point on the surface of any world in the Kaurava System. This weapon was unique, and the Tau built extensive fortifications at the base they established on Nan Yanoi to protect it. A modified version of the Ar'Ka Cannon was mounted on satellites orbiting above Nan Yanoi, which acted as a defence mechanism if any intruders made it past the orbital cannons and landed on the moon.

Kroot Weapons

Before the Kroot race was found by the Tau Empire, their ranged weaponry consisted primarily of primitive slug throwers that relied on the use of chemical propellants, solid ammunition, and the transfer of kinetic force. Once the Kroot had been absorbed into the Tau Empire, their weapons were upgraded to utilise the charged pulse rounds that are favoured by the Tau. This granted far greater stopping power and penetration.

Kroot Rifle


A Kroot Rifle

The members of a Kroot Carnivore Squad often favour the use of weapons known as Kroot Rifle, which serve as their standard weapon. Kroot Rifles are commonly fitted with blades near the barrel and stock, which are a throwback to early traditional Kroot fighting staves. Combined with the incredible hand speed that Kroot possess, Kroot Rifle are not only effective ranged weapons, but also effective assault weapons as well.

Kroot Gun

Kroot Guns are larger calibre versions of the Kroot Rifle. These heavy weapons have the equivalent range and firepower to Autocannons used by the Imperial Guard, and are primarily used to engage light vehicles. Kroot Guns are significantly heavier than the Kroot Rifle, and thus must be mounted on the back of a lumbering Krootox. They can also be mounted on Great Knarlocs.

Kroot Bolt Launcher

Kroot Bolt Launchers are primitive and effective weapons that have been used by the Kroot long before they met the Tau Empire. As with Kroot Rifles and Kroot Guns, the Tau have aided the Kroot by replacing the original basic sharpened bolts that were originally used as the ammunition with impact-infused explosive tips, which are smaller versions of the warheads used in Tau Missile Pods. This made the weapon far more dangerous and they now have a significant area of effect. The actual bolt-thrower is operated by an ingenious hand-crank system which drops the bolts from the magazine into position before quickly drawing the bow-string. This system allows the weapon to keep up a high firing rate with little effort from the crew. The Kroot Bolt Launcher is only found mounted on Great Knarlocs.

Fusion Weapons

Fusion Blaster 4

A schematic of a Tau Fusion Blaster

Tau Fusion Weapons are similar in effect to the technology employed in Imperial Melta Weapons, in that they use small fusion reactors to produce blasts of intense heat. They usually have short ranges, but are more dangerous the closer they are used to the target.

Fusion Blaster

A Fusion Blaster short-ranged Tau Melta Weapon capable of reducing even the most heavily armoured vehicles and fortifications to slag in the blink of an eye with its nuclear fusion-powered blast. The Fusion Blaster is most commonly utilised as a weapon system on Battlesuits. The Fusion Blaster is similar both technologically and tactically to an Imperial Meltagun, albeit it possesses a longer range and is most commonly employed by more mobile units. Many Battlesuit pilots have become adept at stalking and hunting down enemy armour, using their high mobility gained from their Jetpacks to outflank the enemy and attack the more vulnerable rear and side armour. Fusion Blasters can also be used to eliminate heavy armoured enemy infantry though, as the sheer heat from them will melt all kinds of armour and often the wearer inside too.

Fusion Cannon

A Fusion Cannon is a larger versions of the Battlesuit-mounted Fusion Blaster, and fire blasts of Melta energy that can melt through vehicles or heavy infantry. Currently, they can only be mounted as a variant turret for Hammerhead gunships, and were first encountered during the Taros Campaign, where it is believed to have first been field-tested. They have an extended range compared to the Fusion Blaster, and also have a blast radius that allows them to destroy closely packed groups of enemy vehicles and heavy infantry.

Fusion Cascade

The Fusion Cascade is an experimental, cutting-edge Fusion Blaster variant that is designed to be integrated with the systems of the XV9 Hazard Battlesuit. A Fusion Cascade engulfs its target with powerful Melta energy, and fires in bursts. This means that despite each charge being less powerful than an equivalent Imperial Melta Weapon of similar size, the Fusion Cascade can overwhelm its target through sheer weight of fire.

Fusion Blades

Fusion Blades are in actuality a pair of heavily modified Tau Fusion Blasters, but in truth, they are miracles of science. When the firing impulse is sustained, each weapon can fire a constant stream of nuclear fusion-based Melta energy that blazes from the muzzle of the weapons like a blade of pure light.  Fusion Blades are a rare Tau Battlesuit weapons system that was created at the request of the third bearer of the title of Commander Brightsword. Fusion Blades are potent close combat weapons that are easily able to vaporise infantry and carve through tanks. Indeed, the seventh Commander Brightsword used his Fusion Blades to extreme effectiveness against even the giant bio-monsters of the Tyranids. However, Fusion Blades consume an incredible amount of energy to wield, and are prone to shorting out in the midst of battle. Fusion Blades are a Tau weapons technology employed exclusively by the Farsight Enclaves.

Fusion Torch

A Fusion Torch is a Tau utility tool issued to XV46 Vanguard Void Battlesuits to aid them in exploring the hazardous interior environments of Space Hulks. A Fusion Torch is a short-ranged and very high-powered Melta cutting tool, utilising an atomic fusion reaction to generate an immensely hot beam capable of cutting through even the thickest of bulkheads and barriers. Whilst designed to breach obstacles, a Fusion Torch can also be used as an incredibly potent, if clumsy, close combat weapon capable of vaporising anything that its wielder happens to target within reach of its beam.

Marker Light


The Marker Light provides enhanced targeting accuracy for Tau weapons

A Marker Light is essentially an advanced Tau hand-held laser range finder that is used to "paint" targets for other Tau units to fire upon. When activated, a Marker Light projects a simple beam at the target which measures the exact distance between the Marker Light and the user. This and a torrent of other targetting information then is fed into the Cadre tactical network and becomes available on the wider Tau electronic battle network, relaying ranges to the marked target, triangulating optimum firing trajectories and superimposing aiming vectors. All of this information is transmitted to other Tau units to guide their fire and engage the enemy with unerring accuracy. During the Damocles Gulf Crusade, the Marker Light was also dubbed the "Valkyrie's Mark" by Imperial forces, because those marked with it were soon numbered amongst the dead. A Marker Light can allow Tau Fire Warriors and vehicles to either: fire more accurately upon targets, be able to see and target enemies in darkness clearly, call in Seeker Missiles on the target, either from Sky Rays or missiles mounted on other Tau vehicles, pin enemy units under fire from Tau troops more easily, or allow shots to strike more accurately at targets who take cover

Missile Weapons


Standard Missile loadout for Tau Missile Pods

The Tau Empire uses a range of Missiles, often in very different roles from the Imperium. These Missiles tend to range more in role and also commonly have drone intelligences built into them.

Missile Pod

A Missile Pod is a small silo of missiles which are primarily mounted on XV8 Crisis Battlesuits and act as medium to long-range mobile fire support weapons. They are commonly shoulder or arm mounted and function using a relatively simple multiple missile delivery system. The missiles housed in these pods are fired in straight lines from the firer to the target. These missiles can carry enough punch to destroy lightly armoured vehicles, and well-placed shots can even bring down heavier tanks. They are similar in power and role to Imperial Autocannons.

High-yield Missile Pod

A High-yield Missile Pod is essentially a larger and more rapidly-firing Missile Pod. XV88 Broadside Battlesuits wield twin-linked High-yield Missile Pods as alternative primary weapon systems to Heavy Rail Rifles. High-yield Missile Pods were developed during the Tau Empire’s Great War of Confederation after initial setbacks were encountered fighting the Ork menace, where the sheer mass of attacking Greenskin waves and the light nature of their vehicles meant that the Heavy Rail Rifle, although deadly, could not stem the overwhelming tide of attackers. By arming XV88s with High-yield Missile Pods, the Battlesuits sacrificed range and damage for the ability to lay down faster barrages that proved more than adequate in destroying the crude scrap-armoured Ork vehicles.

Smart Missile System

A Smart Missile System is an advanced weapon system that fires clusters of small missiles, each guided by a Drone processor unit built into its warhead, intended for use against masses of enemy infantry, particularly those hiding in cover.  Upon their launch, the "Smart Missiles" will search for targets within sensor range before selecting and engaging one based on criteria previously detailed by the weapon's operator. These targets do not have to be within line of sight of the operator, as once the target has been acquired, the missiles are able to effectively home in on it, manoeuvring their thrusters to propel them around any intervening terrain as they hunt the enemy down to an explosive conclusion. Smart Missiles are smaller than the Missiles used in Missile Pods, and as a result have a shorter range and less power. However, they make up for this though the number of missiles that can be fired at once, making them effective in an anti-infantry role.

Seeker Missile

A Seeker Missile is a single high strength missile which is designed to strike targets that have been designated using a Marker Light. Seeker Missiles are commonly used in place of artillery, as Tau battle doctrine dictates that all forces should always remain mobile. As such, the Tau Fire Caste generally does not rely on static defensive positions unless absolutely necessary, and instead relies Seeker Missile strikes from roving Sky Rays.

Plasma Weapons


An early Tau Plasma Rifle design

As with many other major races in the Milky Way Galaxy, the Tau have developed Plasma technology that is extremely potent against heavily armoured infantry. However, Tau Plasma weapons don't suffer the drawback of occasionally fatally over-heating, unlike the Imperium's more unstable Plasma weapons. Instead, the Tau favour a form of technology that forgoes a degree of stopping power for increased safety levels for the operator, similar to the Eldar.

Plasma Rifle

'Plasma Rifles' deliver pulses of searing energy and superheated matter that has been transmuted into a gaseous plasma state that carries an electrical charge. The plasma "bolts" fired by these weapons generate the destructive heat of a small sun; impacting with the fury of a supernova and scything through steel, flesh and bone as if they were nothing. Whilst Plasma Weapon technology is employed by many of the main spacefaring races of the 41st Millennium, the Tau favour a form of technology in their Plasma Rifles that exchanges some damage output for increased safety for the user by almost completely eliminating the risk of a catastrophic overheat of the weapon. Nevertheless, Tau Plasma Rifles are still extremely effective against targets such as heavy infantry, and are able to melt even Ceramite with ease. The Tau Plasma Rifle can be considered the equivalent of an Imperial Plasma Gun.

Plasma Cannon

So far, Tau Plasma Cannons are only mounted as a variant turret on Hammerhead gunships and were first identified by the Imperium during the Taros Campaign, where it is believed they were being field-tested. They use the same Plasma technology in Plasma Rifles, but are far larger in size. Because of this, they are more powerful and also fire faster. However, they sacrifice some of their armour penetrating power for this, making them similar to in damage potential to Ion Cannons.

Photon Grenade


A Tau Photon Grenade

A Photon Grenade is a type of defensive grenade that all Fire Warriors and Pathfinders are equipped with as standard. Photon Grenades are designed to be used in a situation where enemy forces advance too close to a Tau firing line. A Photn Grenade can repel the attackers with a dazzling pulse of multi-spectrum light and a deafening sonic burst. This will often blind and disorient attackers, confusing them and slowing their charge so that the Tau infantry are able to respond with further volleys of lethal firepower. Whilst disc-like Photon Grenades are usually thrown by hand, Pulse Carbines mount underslung Photon Grenade launchers as standard so that the grenades can be used to pin down enemies from a further distance.

Pulse Weapons

Pulse rifle

The iconic Tau Pulse Rifle

Pulse Weapons are a family of advanced Plasma Weapons developed by the Earth Caste of the Tau Empire, and exclusively used by the Tau Fire Caste. Pulse Weapons operate by utilising pulsed induction fields to propel lethal micro-bursts of plasma over long ranges. Pulse Weapons such as the Pulse Rifle and Pulse Carbine are issued as standard to every frontline Fire Warrior. Pulse Weapons are notorious amongst many of the starfaring races of the galaxy, for they have a range and damage output that outclasses the standard weapons of every other intelligent species the Tau have yet encountered.

Pulse Pistol

A pistol-sized Pulse Weapon, Pulse Pistols are only used by certain Tau personnel as a basic defence and hold-out weapon unleashed in desperate situations.

Pulse Rifle

Pulse Rifles are the most common form of Pulse Weapon, and are elongated rifles that are utilised as standard weapons for Tau Fire Warriors. Pulse Rifles can be wielded effectively whether the user is stationary or moving, and when compared to a Space Marine Bolter, it fires at a far slower rate but does significantly more damage and possesses a much longer range.

Pulse Carbine

The Pulse Carbine is similar in most respects to a Pulse Rifle, but sacrifices the Pulse Rifle's longer range for greater portability and an underslung Photon Grenade launcher. This allows the weapon to fire a Photon Grenade over a short distance, a capability that is especially useful in close quarters where the weapon can then be used to pin down those enemies affected by the Photon Grenade's flashbang effect.

Longshot Pulse Rifle

A Longshot Pulse Rifle is a variant of the Tau Pulse Rifle, modified specifically for a sniping role. As such, it has a far further range and fires more focused plasma pulses, whilst maintaining a similar rate of fire to its standard counterpart. Lethal weapons capable of sending plasma pulses over great distances, a well-placed shot from a Longshot Pulse Rifle is capable of taking out any target.

Burst Cannon

Multi-barreled weapons capable of sustaining very high rates of fire, Burst Cannons are an offshoot of Tau Pulse Weapon technology. They are usually mounted on Tau Battlesuits and vehicles, providing heavy anti-infantry support. Burst Cannons have four barrels and are short-ranged like Pulse Carbines, though this deficiency is offset by the maneuverability of the Tau units commonly armed with them. Long-barrelled Burst Cannons are variants of standard Burst Cannons usually mounted on Tau aircraft, and possess almost double the range due to their extended barrel lengths.

Heavy Burst Cannon

Heavy Burst Cannonsare larger variants of standard Burst Cannons that are only mounted as primary arm weapons on the experimental XV104 Riptide Battlesuit. A Heavy Burst Cannon possess six large barrels with extended lengths, and are capable of ferocious rates of fire that can mow down enemy hordes with ease. A Heavy Burst Cannon can also draw upon an XV104's Dark Matter Nova Reactor to nova-charge its power, allowing for a devastating hail of pulse rounds that can crack even the toughest of armour with ease.

Pulse Submunitions Rifle

A Pulse Submunitions Rifle is a newly developed form of Pulse Weapon, designed to saturate large areas with plasma pulses at range. Whilst it possesses a slightly shorter range compared to a Pulse Rifle, the scattered nature of its fire allows it to bypass cover more effectively to target fortified enemies. Pulse Submunitions Rifles were first developed as primary Tau Battlesuit weapon systems for the XV9 Hazard Battlesuit to complement its battlefield role as close-ranged fire support, and thus far have not been deployed on any other Tau weapons platforms.

Pulse Submunitions Cannon

Unlike standard Pulse Weapons, these Pulse Submunitions Cannons are powerful weapons that fire clusters of sophisticated micro-submunitions that detonate in close proximity to their target in a storm of separate pulse-discharges, showering a wide area with deadly effect. Larger targets such as bulky infantry, monstrous creatures and vehicles inevitably suffer proportionally greater harm from Pulse Submunitions Cannons as they can be struck with a wave of near-simultaneous detonations, magnifying the blast and ripping them apart. Pulse Submunitions Cannons have an extreme range and generally are used in a heavy long-range fire support role. Pulse Submunitions Cannons are only wielded in pairs by XV107 R'varna Battlesuits, which can also nova-charge the weapon systems via its Dark Matter Nova Reactor and double their rate of fire.

Pulse Bomb Generator

A Pulse Bomb Generator is a primary weapon system for a Sun Shark bomber, and is mounted underneath the aircraft’s rear hull. When activated, a Pulse Bomb Generator produces a ball of deadly plasma beneath the aircraft in the course of spinning its generating mechanisms. At the pilot's command, a pulsed electromagentic induction field propels the glaring energy ball towards targets on the battlefield below. Sizzling the air around it, the Pulse Bomb explodes on the ground with an incandescent fury, spreading destruction over a wide radius.

Neutron Blaster


Ordo Xenos schematic of a Neutron Blaster

A Neutron Blaster is a weapon unique to the Vespid race. They are made using a hybrid of Vespid and Tau technology. Mounted at the end of the barrel of each weapon is a highly energetic and unstable crystal that has been harvested from the deepest layers of the world of Vespid's cloud seas. This is combined with an efficient neutron projection system created by the Tau Earth Caste to produce a weapon capable of bypassing all but the most effective armour. The weapon emits short ranged streams of neutron radiation when firing and can reduce biological matter and machine components to cinders. Neutron Blasters can only be used by members of the Vespid race, such as Vespid Stingwings. This is mainly because Neutron Blasters constantly emit radiation that only the Vespid can handle, whereas the radiation will prove ultimately lethal to other races. It has also been theorised by Imperial scholars that Vespid wing membranes emit a constant harmonic ultrasonic tone that is required to modulate or aid the containment of the crystals used in the weapons.

Rail Weapons


An early design of a Railgun

Rail Weapons are large Tau ballistic weapons that make use of electromagnetically-induced linear acceleration to fire a projectile at hypersonic speeds. Rail Weapons typically possess an extreme range, and are particularly renowned for their destructive capabilities upon single targets, especially against armoured vehicles or fortifications. Tau Rail Weapons are fearsome weapons and are characterised by their long range, extreme power and excellent armour penetration capabilities.

Rail Rifle

A potent weapon, the Rail Rifle makes use of the same technologies as the larger Railgun and Heavy Rail Rifle, albeit on a smaller scale so that it is infantry portable. Possessed of an impressively long range and ability to deal great damage, the Rail Rifle's true strength lies in its armour penetration capabilities. The Rail Rifle's hypersonic projectile is able to punch through even Terminator Armour with ease. As a dedicated elite infantry killer, enemy units that manage to survive a Rail Rifle fusillade often find themselves pinned down, unable to do anything in the face of such deadly fire. The Rail Rifle also proves effective when used against light vehicles. Rail Rifles have only recently been authorised for issue to frontline Tau units, having completed an extensive field-testing phase.

Heavy Rail Rifle

A Heavy Rail Rifle is similar to the larger Railgun, but is slightly smaller so that it can be mounted on a Tau Battlesuit. Whilst this weapon’s range and damage is not as great as its larger cousin, it is still an impressive anti-tank weapon, renowned for its effectiveness at penetrating enemy armour at extreme ranges. The XV88 Broadside Battlesuit is the only Tau unit that is armed with the Heavy Rail Rifle, and the XV88 makes use of it as a twin-linked primary weapons system.


Railgunsare renowned for their capability to penetrate enemy armour at extreme ranges. The Railgun is most commonly mounted as a primary weapon on a Hammerhead gunship. Along with standard solid-shot rounds, a Railgun is also able to fire sophisticated submunition rounds, which consist of smaller projectiles that can strike a wide area. Whilst the overall damage imparted on impact with this variant of the Railgun's projectile is less than the standard shot, such submunitions are extremely useful for suppressive area fire against infantry targets.

Heavy Railgun

A Heavy Railgun is a larger version of the standard Railgun and is usually only mounted on the Manta and AX-1-0 variant of the Tiger Shark aircraft. Heavy Railguns fire larger rounds at higher speeds, and these projectiles are fin-stabilised to provide extra lift, and therefore greater range when fired in-atmosphere.

Starship Railgun Batteries

Despite recent Tau advances in superconductor technology, Railgun Batteries mounted on Tau starships are of such enormous size and require such large amounts of energy to fire that they are grouped into batteries and fired one barrel at a time in sequential order, ensuring that the first barrel is loaded and ready before it is charged again. Tau starship Railgun batteries are considered comparable in firepower and effectiveness to the weapons batteries of Macrocannons employed by Imperial starships.

Tau Technologies/Systems/Wargear



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  • Imperial Armour Aeronautica, pp. 58-62
  • Imperial Armour Apocalypse (2nd Edition), pp. 77-82
  • Imperial Armour - Apocalypse II, pg. 58
  • Imperial Armour Volume Three -- The Taros Campaign, pp. 68, 80-81, 158, 162, 166, 170, 173-175, 177-178, 187, 190, 194, 198, 201, 207-208, 211, 284
  • Rogue Trader: Into the Storm (RPG), pg. 121
  • Warhammer 40,000: Munitorum - Rail Rifles (Digital Edition)
  • Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (6th Edition), pg. 62
  • Warhammer 40,000: Wargear, pg. 26, 46, 49
  • Forge World Website
  • Forge World – XV107 R'varna Battlesuit Experimental Rules Datasheet
  • Dawn of War - Dark Crusade (PC Game)
  • Dawn of War - Soulstorm (PC Game)
  • White Dwarf 285 (AUS), "Chapter Approved - Tau Rail Rifles" by Pete Haines
  • White Dwarf 316 (AUS), "Index Xenos - The Vespid"


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