The XV107 R'varna Battlesuit is one of the latest Tau Earth Caste innovations, designed to combat the most dangerous enemies of the Tau Empire. It is a rare variant of the recently introduced XV104 Riptide Battlesuit, and mounts two Pulse Submunitions Cannons as its main armament. These are experimental weapons systems which fire micro-cluster projectiles capable of saturating a wide target area with a deadly storm of plasma pulses.
The R’varna has far heavier armour than its more mobile, Jetpack-equipped Riptide counterpart, allowing the pilot to stand firm in the face of any foe whilst the more mobile elements of this Hunter Cadre envelop and destroy them. On the battlefield, a R’varna differs from a Riptide in that its role is focused primarily on long-ranged heavy fire support, bringing its fearsome firepower to bear on infantry and vehicles to eliminate all but the most heavily armoured targets.
Plans for the XV107 R’varna Battlesuit had their roots in the stoic Earth Caste of Ke'lshan, but its development was almost abandoned due to the monumental cost of these new war engines. Instead of doing so, head engineer Fio’O Ke’lshan Sho’Aun, turned to the Ethereal Council’s demands for new and improved stealth and infiltration units, appropriating resources intended for this project to create the initial prototype XV107s under the guise of developing a new Stealthsuit. Renewed Tyranid attacks against the beleaguered Tau Sept world of Ke’lshan were to reveal O’Sho’aun’s deception to the Council, as a trio of prototype XV107 units held back the savage host of organic nightmares that threatened to engulf the Sept’s primary city.
The destruction they wrought on the alien horde earned the Battlesuit the title R’varna, named for Commander Burning Rain, a legendary hero of Ke’lshan’s wars against Hive Fleet Gorgon. It also earned O’Sho’aun the full attention of the Ethereal Council, who have summoned the errant engineer back to the Tau Empire's capital world of T'au. He has delayed this "honour," citing the need to complete his work before accepting any accolade. Meanwhile, the R’varna has entered full production on the world of Ke’lshan, whose grim and fatalistic warriors favour the tenacity and firepower of the new Battlesuit, with many other examples of O’Sho’aun’s masterwork dispatched to other Tau Septs for combat evaluation against the myriad of threats now facing the Tau Empire.
A wonder of Earth Caste engineering, the XV107 stands well over twice as tall as the XV8 Crisis Battlesuit, though its movements are more like those of its smaller cousins than the mechanical stiffness displayed by Imperial combat walkers with their crude servo-motors. While the R’varna is huge and bears a number of weapon and support systems, it is still a Tau Battlesuit -- worn and controlled by a lone warrior. As with all Tau Fire Caste warriors, the Fire Caste doctrine laid down in the Code of Fire instructs all warriors to fight closely together, with each member of a team doing his utmost to protect not just his comrades, but also nearby teams in his Cadre. With this training, Tau units can use overlapping fields of fire to provide all teams with mutual support on the battlefield in the case of enemy assaults.
The XV107 R’varna Battlesuit’s greatest strength, much like the smaller XV88 Broadside Battlesuit, lies in superior ranged firepower. With a role focused primarily on long-ranged heavy fire support, the XV107 is easily able to bring its fearsome firepower to bear on infantry and vehicles, eliminating all but the most heavily armoured forms of each. The XV107 is also capable of operating in almost any tactical environment, including extreme low-light conditions where their advanced sensor arrays can be combined with a Blacksun Filter to allow for the accurate identification and targeting of enemies.
However, despite the XV107 R’varna’s obvious power, production of the new Battlesuit has proven slow -- the materials for its dense nano-crystalline alloy armour, called Fio'tak in the Tau Lexicon, are difficult to obtain and the sheer volume required ensures that the XV107 is a rare commodity in the Fire Caste. The honour of wearing such a mighty Battlesuit is only given to those who have nobly served their Commanders as Crisis Battlesuit Bodyguards, and these Fire Warriors are always of the honoured veteran rank of Shas’vre. XV107 R’varna pilots are chosen to don the greatest of Tau Battlesuits and fight for their Cadre mates; they are exemplar "sword saints" amongst their peers.
XV107 R’varna Battlesuits are towering in size, easily many times the size of the Fire Warrior who wears it. XV107s go into battle heavily armed with potent weapon systems and combat support systems that allow them to fight more effectively. However, no matter the Battlesuit configuration or weapons load-out, all XV107 R’varna Battlesuits share some common features. These include the advanced sensors built into the primary sensor cluster that serves as the Battlesuit’s "head." These sensors, which consist of a number of variable spectrum passive sensors and active scanners, allow the Battlesuit to detect hidden enemy units and their movement; this tactical data can then be transmitted back to Tau command units. All XV107 R’varna Battlesuits are also equipped with a Blacksun Filter, which is an advanced optical system that enhances and magnifies a warrior's low-light vision whilst simultaneously filtering bright flares of light that could blind him in battle, and a Multi-Tracker; a sophisticated fire control system that is mounted in a sensor node that assists Battlesuit pilots in engaging enemy threats by using multiple armaments at once, making them formidable opponents in a wide variety of battle conditions.
As with all Tau Battlesuits, XV107s are protected by a very thick, dense nano-crystalline alloy armour named Fio'tak in the Tau Lexicon. This advanced alloy has an impact and energy resistant structure that is also sealed against assaults by toxins and corrosives, making it extremely resilient in the face of combat damage. Even the armour’s shape helps deflect solid projectiles, while a reflective liquid metal coating is effective at reflecting medium-grade laser fire. Due to the R’varna’s large size and significant potential as a target, additional nano-layers were also added during its development to upgrade the armour's thickness. When it comes to deflecting and withstanding damage, the XV107's armour is comparable to the Tactical Dreadnought Armour used by the Imperium's Terminator Space Marines. The material is also lightweight, which keeps the Battlesuit’s own weight down and reinforces its ground-based manoeuvrability. Despite this, an XV107 lacks a Jetpack incorporated into its design, instead it forgoes this system in favour of the ability to mount larger and more heavy weaponry, as well as more integrated support systems. All XV107 R’varna Battlesuits also greatly augment the natural physical strength of their pilots, and grant the warrior within the Battlesuit the ability to crush even heavily armoured vehicles in close combat, if necessary. XV107 Battlesuits feature retractable fingers built into their forearms for use in more delicate -- and often non-combat -- tasks. The R’varna is outfitted with a sophisticated Artificial Intelligence (AI) system, complete with advanced combat systems and numerous comm-links to keep the pilot patched in to its Cadre's Tau Commander.
All XV107 R’varna Battlesuits are armed with twin Pulse Submunitions Cannons as standard. Unlike standard Pulse Weapons, these powerful cannons 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. All Tau Battlesuit weapon systems are fully integrated and supplied by continuous, high yield power relays and ammunition hoppers. XV107 R’varna Battlesuits are also designed with advanced recoil absorption technology, meaning that they can fire their weapons at maximum capacity and with maximum accuracy, even when on the move.
XV107s are equipped with an integrated Shield Generator and a Flechette Discharger as standard. The Shield Generator provides similar defensive properties to an XV104’s Riptide Shield Generator, except an XV107’s Shield Generator provides marginally better protection against ranged firepower. The Flechette Discharger, a support system normally only mounted on Tau skimmer vehicles, fires high-velocity and potentially-lethal flechettes at infantry which try to assault the Battlesuit. XV107 R’varna Battlesuits can also be equipped with up to two different Tau Battlesuit Support systems, which are listed below.
The experimental Dark Matter Nova Reactor prototype is another essential component of an XV107 R’varna's design, and is a slightly modified version of an XV104 Riptide Battlesuit’s rerouted to different systems. Once the XV107 pilot deems it necessary, the reactor can be activated to supply near limitless amounts of energy. The resulting energies unleashed can be harnessed to either nova-charge the R’varna's primary weapon systems and double their rate of fire, boost the R’varna's leg locomotive systems and allow it to move at a flanking speed, emit an electromagnetic shockwave around the Battlesuit and cause havoc with nearby electronic systems, or nova-charge the R’varna’s integrated Shield Generator to make it an all but impenetrable energy field that deflects virtually all incoming fire. When viewed from the front, an XV107 R’varna’s Nova Reactor can be seen as the larger box on the left side of the torso, whilst the standard and more reliable fusion reactor normally used by the Battlesuit is on the right.
Due to the experimental nature of the XV107 R’varna Battlesuit, it is often supported by a pair of prototype Shielded Missile Drones, which are a new Tau Drone configuration equipped with a Missile Pod and Shield Generator. These Drones will often provide additional heavy fire support, and use their cohesive energy fields to absorb incoming shots, allowing the R’varna to acquire and destroy enemy targets with less fear of enemy fire.
Available XV107 Battlesuit Combat Support Systems
Below is a list of the most common available combat support systems that an XV107 R’varna Battlesuit can be equipped with:
- Advanced Targeting System – An Advanced Targeting System is a specialised target acquisition system that enables the Battlesuit pilot to automatically identify and pick out priority targets in the midst of combat.
- Counterfire Defence System – A Counterfire Defence System is a valuable AI sensor suite first designed to counter the threat of charging Ork hordes. It incorporates logic circuits to ensure that assaulting enemies are met with a withering curtain of unerringly accurate Battlesuit firepower.
- Drone Controller - A Drone Controller acts as a hub for communications and interface between an operator and the AI battle programs of a number of Tau Drones. It gives the owner the ability to relay additional targeting data to the Drones, thus directing their fire more accurately towards the target.
- Early Warning Override – An Early Warning Override sensor suite is calibrated to detect the electronic signatures of teleport beams and orbital-entry jump systems, and jolt the Battlesuit's weapon systems to lock-on status before the target has a chance to react.
- Positional Relay - A Positional Relay digitally records detailed battlefield data and relays it in a tight encrypted radio burst to Tau assets in orbit and squads held in reserve. Information sent usually includes battlefield terrain and status reports to allow the incoming units to make a better decision on where to deploy onto the battlefield and coordinate their actions as part of the overall strategy.
- Stimulant Injector - A Battlesuit with Stimulant Injectors is fitted with advanced life support systems that are able to flood the Battlesuit pilot's body with painkillers, analgesic drugs, and other life-sustaining stimulants should he become badly wounded in combat.
- Target Lock - A Target Lock is a specialised target acquisition system that enables the user to engage different targets from the rest of the squad.
- Targetting Array - The Targetting Array is a relatively new application of the Target Lock technology used in vehicles. It provides assistance to aiming at targets.
- Velocity Tracker – The advanced motion detecting and heat seeking sensor systems built into a Velocity Tracker allows Battlesuit pilots to track the movements of airborne targets, and effectively engage them with the Battlesuit’s weapons.
Ordo Xenos Departmento Analyticus Technical Specifications
The Ordo Xenos has not yet determined the technical specifications of this Tau Battlesuit.
- Codex: Tau Empire (6th Edition), pp. 44-45
- Forge World – XV107 R'varna Battlesuit Experimental Rules Datasheet