Ah finally some FSE here. I was wondering why we haven't seen more of them ... always thought they had the biggest fanbase among T'au player (aside from the standard colour schemes of T'au and now Vior'la).
I'm still on the fence whether I want to stick with Sa'cea, switch to Da'lyth (I've honestly got good results weathering alpha strikes with them and it fits my theme best) or switch to FSE for pure awesomeness (tho it would play and feel a lot like my Blood Angels I guess).
You haven't seen more because the violent pounding crisis suits took. They cost like dreadnoughts, have "hop" (fly), and gw
want us to be a gunline army. Like the knife ears and guard had mixed babies, forgot about psykers and did everything else quarter ass for more points.
Farsight Enclaves were THE Crisis suit heavy army. And crisis suits points costs for their output and statline makes power armored space marines look cheap.
wants us to be gunline. Our best septs have increased range on most of our weapons. Since we can't take more than on Commander (yo but space marines can flood the field with a company's worth of captains if they want to...) FSE can take... fireblades. Because we can't take ethereals.
Farsight Enclaves are the Flesh Tearers of Tau (where the best units are with the mainline Sept/chapter and we are playing "hard mode" by indulging in our hobby).
I'm eagerly awaiting chapter approved. If I'm not shocked and awed like I was when the 6th edition Tau codex came out, with sweeping changes to make crisis suits, grey knights and marine power armor in general great, I'm out for good.
Eh, if that's all that it takes to make FSE armies disappear from the community then FSE player were never fans of their armies anyway.
I know Crisis are bad currently, apart from Flamer Crisis, however there have always been units and even whole armies that were bad and people still played them because they liked them for other reasons. Otherwise we wouldn't have any Blood Angels or Tyranids players left after 7th edition now.
Also actually the love for Crisis Suits is one of the reasons why I would have expected to see at least some FSE armies in the first place. The FSE Stratagem is the one thing that makes non-Flamer Crisis actually worth their points. Just try it. Drop them, activate the Stratagem and maybe put a Markerlight on the target and suddenly they are worth their points.
CIB Crisis for the same points as Mortarion can with the FSE Stratagem and a Markerlight almost kill Mortarion in a single round (remove 14 of 18 wounds).
That's actually a huge feat! It equals damage from 27 BS3+ Lascannons which alone would already cost 625p total (about 150p more than the Crisis unit), the unit using those Lascannons not included. Keep in mind that a unit doesn't have to nuke its equal amount of points in a single turn to be worth their points. This puts Mortarion already at its lowes profile on the wound table and requires only a little more to kill him off completely which can come from any source.
It's really just the BS3+ they need to make them scary again.
As for your claim that GW wants T'au to be a gunline army ... I can't see that. At least not completely.
Yes there are effects that require them to be stationary (Ethereal aura, Kauyon, Dal'yth Sept tenet, etc) and things that increase their range on Heavy and Rapid fire weapons (Bork'an Sept Tenet), however that's only one part of the truth. The other part is that we have lots of 18" weapons, Breacher, access to lots of Flamer, 30" Rapid fire weapons which are obviously better at half range as goes for any Rapid fire weapon, the Vior'la Sept Tenet + Stratagem that promotes moving towards your opponent, the FSE Sept Tenet that promotes moving towards your opponent, and lots of units with scout and infiltration moves (Kroot, Pathfinder, Stealth Suits, Ghostkeel).
All in all the T'au Empire Codex is actually pretty balanced. Not in terms of how strong it is, but in terms of what it offers. There are fast units, there are slow units, there are fraguile units, there are tanky units, there are long ranged units, there are short ranged units, there are mobile units, there are stationary units.