Unlike most Warhammer 40k armies many of the Tau HQ options have better stats and then also get some heavy weapons to play with too. This means that you have mobile gun platforms with better Ballistic skills too!
Named Tau HQ Characters
The Tau Commander is the most popular option when it comes to selecting a leader fo your Tau army. There is good reason for thi too. First he has good stats, specially for reanged warfare, but not too shabby in close assalt. He also gets the XV8 Crisis Battle Suit. This gives him a far better 3+ save, but also allows him to take four of the ranged weapons or support weapons that make the Tau such fun to play. And remember that the battle suits have the jetpack rule, so your commander can move, shoot and then retreat for cover in the one turn.
The Tau Commander can take up to 2 drones. It is highly recommended that you take these. The Drones add additional fire power or support systems, however their main benifit is that they can do ‘ look out sir ‘ test and save the Commander from taking additional wounds.
Placement of the Drones can be strategic too. If you place one Drone in front of the Commander and one behind then you are likely to find that the Drones are closer to any incomming fire than the Commader is. Again this will save your Commander from getting some of the flack.
XV8 Crisis Bodyguard Team
If you are taking a Commander as your HQ then I highly recommend taking a team of two Crisis Bodyguard too. The Body guard are veteran Fire Warrior Shas’ui with a point better Leadership and the extra strength and toughness that the Crisis suits provide. However they also have the option to take 3 units of hardware each too.
Tau Commander tactics. Again by placing the Drones in a circle around the Commander and Bodyguard team then this will provide a bit of a sheild for your more expensive models.
If you take a Commander and strip off the Crisis Battle suit yo get a Cadre Fireblade.