This multi-part plastic kit contains 91 components and a T'au transfer sheet with which to make a Broadside Battlesuit and two drones.
The Broadside Battlesuit or XV-88 is the heaviest variant of the Crisis Battlesuit. The design of these battlesuits used by the Tau is an effective compromise between offensive firepower, defensive protection, and tactical maneuverability.
The original generation of XV88 battlesuits mounted their twin railguns on their shoulders, but recent Earth Caste innovations have found that a hand-held heavy railgun is more efficient.
Originally it was just an experiment to combine the Tau 's most successful vehicle weapon - the Railgun - with the XV8 Crisis Battlesuit. Early Broadside prototypes were cumbersome, their shoulder-mounted weapons unwieldy. However, the Earth caste made adjustments, one iteration after another, until finally the XV88 emerged.
The XV8's repulsor jets, not powerful enough to lift such a heavy weight, have been replaced with additional armor plates, allowing the combat suit to brave incoming fire rather than dodge it. The additional recoil absorbers and ballistic anchors offer increased accuracy and an expanded arsenal of heavy weapons, meaning Broadsides can be equipped to engage massed infantry or armored targets with equal success.
Broadside Battlesuits are only issued to veteran Shas'ui who have gained sufficient experience piloting Crisis Battlesuits. The jetpacks commonly found in crisis suits are replaced with dual-linked railguns or heavy rail rifles, or a large array of missile pods, some of the most powerful anti-tank weapons available in the Tau arsenal. It is known that the very Great War of the Confederacy forced the XV88 Broadside to convert their Heavy Rail Rifles into Missile Pods to better deal with the Orc hordes that repeatedly attacked their lines. Other armament includes either a dual linked intelligent missile system or two linked plasma rifles and a single battlesuit support system. The Broadside is mounted on its back with a particle accelerator used to power its heavy rail weapons.
One of the most protected units in the Tau arsenal, Broadside battlesuits have been reported to have survived direct hits from autocannon and lasgun fire, and offer as much protection as Terminator armor, but unlike the Empire, the Tau are able to produce such heavy suits in huge quantities.
Broadsides are typically encountered to support larger Tau formations, in which one or more teams of three are tasked with providing fire support for entire Hunter squads. Occasionally a single broadside will be tasked with supporting a smaller Tau force.