1750pts Tau Army for Carnage 2009

March 27, 2009 · 6 comments

March 27, 2009

My Tau army is finished. All 1750pts of it! Of course I'll share my 1750pts Tau army list with you. It would be rude not to and as promised, I'll let you know how my Tau army gets on at the 1750pts Carnage tournament.

The biggest change to the tournament rules pack, which I have only just read, is the change to objectives. Objectives are now worth 100pts. And that boys and girls, means that the aim of the game is KILLING and lots of it. Suddenly I feel a lot more confident about fielding a Tau army that typically struggles to take objectives, but excels at blowing the opposition away.

I only just finished painting the orange stripes on my remaining Tau tanks a few minutes ago, then glued the rest of the tank components together. I've had to take some photos of my 1750pts Tau army today instead of at the tournament. My folks have gone away for the week and taken all of the camera batteries with them as well as the charger. Obviously, that doesn't help me when my camera battery is flickering red. But I'll hunt down whoever is taking photos over the weekend and get a copy for the blog. Tau battle reports from the tournament will be up on Friday.

Wish me luck as I take the 'Stripey Brigade' to their second tournament!

Adam's 1750pts Tau Army List:

Tau Shas’el
Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Multitracker, Hardwired Drone Controller with 2 shield drones, Bonding Knife and Hardwired Black Sun Filter

2 Bodyguards with Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Hardwired Multitracker, Targeting Array and Hardwired Black Sun Filter

3 man Battlesuit Team with Burst Cannon, Missile pod, Multitracker
Leader, Hardwired Drone Controller with 2 shield drones, Bonding Knife

4 man Stealthsuit Team

(X3) 6 man Fire warrior Team
Devilfish with Smart Missile System, Targeting Array, Multitracker, Disruption Pod

10 man Kroot Carnivore squad

Hammerhead with Railgun, Smart Missile System, Target Lock, Multitracker, Disruption Pod

Skyray with Smart Missile System, Target Lock, Targeting Array, Multitracker and Disruption Pod

2 man Broadside Team with advanced stabilization
Leader, Hardwired Drone Controller with 2 shield drones, Bonding Knife

Tau Painting Day 5

March 25, 2009 · 4 comments

March 25, 2009

Following 6 solid hours of Tau painting, I've got through the entire Back to the Future trilogy, grown a solid crust of hard skin on my right ring finder which has moulded into the perfect shape for resting a paintbrush against and painted the remaining 2 Tau tanks to completion, but for the orange stripes.

The engine blocks need to be glued on, the smart missile systems need to be assembled and the landing gear needs to be glued on as well. But first, the paint needs to dry just in case it turns while and foamy around the glued areas as it occasionally does.

6 of 6 hours used. 0 hours remaining. More hours needed.
I was right that I could finish the engine pods and the smart missile systems in the remaining 6 hours, but the orange stripes still remain.

Considering how close this painting marathon has been, I'm glad I chose not to go on a date this evening. I must admit that I wasn't bothered and now I have tomorrow evening to finish the tanks, pack my bags, write up an army list and type up some army background for some extra points! I also have to type up some background for James who's taking his Ravenwing, having been bribed by a beer and 2 slices of peperoni pizza.

Tau Painting Day 4

March 24, 2009 · 3 comments

March 24, 2009

After 5 straight hours of Tau painting I've developed a good lump of hard skin on my right ring finger and the Tau tanks on are their way to completion. I did all the highlights on the second tank, tidied them up and then did the engine pods for one of the tanks as well.

This leaves the second set of engine pods, both sets of smart missile systems and then the orange stripes. The engines pods are surprisingly quick and easy to paint, it's the smart missile systems that take a long time.

5 of 11 hours used. 6 hours remaining.
That's an improvement on the last tank, which took 6 hours just to complete the hull. I know I can finish the engine pods and the smart missile systems in the remaining 6 hours, but what about the orange stripes?
This is going to be close...very close...

Tau Painting Day 3

March 23, 2009 · 5 comments

March 23, 2009

The Tau painting mission continues. Today I've been painting the second Tau devilfish. I failed to do any painting this morning as I woke up late. Got home, cooked dinner and started painting at 7pm. Painted through till 10pm before my eyes couldn't take the strain anymore.

I managed to do all the green highlights on the second Tau Devilfish and made a start on tidying them up. Then it's on to the brown highlights. Tidy those up, then I can start on the engine pods and smart missile sponsons for both tanks. Then it's the dreaded orange stripes and I'm done!

3 of 14 hours used. 11 hours remaining.
The last tank took 6 hours of my time.
This is going to be close...

Tau Army Painting Day 2

March 22, 2009 · 0 comments

March 22, 2009

As predicted, Tau army painting day 2 wasn't nearly as successful as tau army painting day 1. This was thanks to two very big factors.

Firstly that I underestimated how long it takes to paint highlights on a tank and secondly, the previously mentioned Sunday lunch ran on for a lot longer than expected. In fact, the event was 5 hours long.

My day has consisted of 3 hours painting in the morning, A total of 6 hours (with driving time)having Sunday lunch and 3 hours of more painting in the evening.

However, I now know that it takes me 6 hours in total to do all the shading (and tidying up) on a Tau tank. That's not including the sponsons or engine pods though.

So now begins the frantic count down to Carnage, which won't be on the Saturday, because we're actually leaving on the Friday! Oh, and I am seeing a fine young lady on Wednesday.

So this leaves me with just 3 evenings (and maybe mornings) after work to get the last two tanks done -plus some shield drones which I have only just remembered.

Spare time consists of 1 hour in morning each day and between 3-5 hours in the evening. A devilfish takes 6 hours + approximately 3-4 hours for the extra components. So I need 20 hours in total.

However, 6 hours has been already spent on one tank, leaving me with 14 hours of work to do. If I get 5 hours per day of painting time, I can do it.

Now it's time for bed. I need to be up early for painting tomorrow morning before I go to work. And before anyone asks, no I don't want to use up any more of my holiday allowance.

Tau Army Painting Day 1

March 21, 2009 · 6 comments

March 21, 2009

Day 1 of my Tau Army painting weekend if over! I'm happy to report that Tau army painting goes well. Today I was painting Tau Broadsides aswell as building and painting Tau Devilfish transports.

Both Broadsides are now done, complete with snazzy stripes while the remaining Devilfish have been fully built and the base colours slapped on.

I started at 9am this morning and took some breaks throughout the day to allow for drying time and to rest my eyes as I get incredible eye strain trying to paint perfect orange stripes all the time.

I put my tools down at 9pm, tidied up all the emptied cups of tea, closed the window which had been releasing glue fumes from the room and decided I should take some snaps for you all to see.

My camera sucks it has to be said, although it can take some awesome photos in the right light. I guess I just need to spend time figuring it out...more time which I don't really have.

So the plan for tomorrow is to get up early (urgh!) and paint all the highlights on the tanks, followed by the smart missile systems and shield drones.

However, a spanner has been thrown in the works because it's mother's day tomorrow. Now, my folks are away, so my friend's sister has invited me to have Sunday lunch with all of them.

Naturally I'm flattered, well, I'm not flattered, but as a ravenous young man I shan't turn down a free lunch, especially when it's a roast chicken dinner!

So depending on what time this event takes place and how long I need to stay could have a negative effect on my second day of Tau army painting. This explains why I plan to get up and start painting early.

Stay tuned for Tau army painting day 2 tomorrow!

Tau Piranhas


March 21, 2009

Three Tau Piranhas just arrived in the post. I've never fielded Tau Piranhas before, so they should be an interesting addition to my army. Tau Piranhas have one thing going for them and that's armour 11. As a result Tau Piranhas are that bit tougher than other skimmers and immune to the majority of Strength 4 basic weapons as well. They can Zoom 24" as well.

I'm really looking forward to trying them out and it will be interesting to see how James deals with fast, melta gun armed units similar to his own.

It's just 1 week until the Carnage tournament now, so today and tomorrow I will be painting solidly. So by Monday morning I should be reporting on how everything is painted, varnished and ready to roll. Now to get in the shower, bung on a film and paint like my life depended on it!

PS: I will post up my 1750pts army list soon.

Tau Tournament Army Painting

March 17, 2009 · 0 comments

March 17, 2009

I'm busy painting up my Tau army for this year's Carnage tournament. I've got just 2 Tau Broadsides, 2 Tau Devilfish and some Shield Drones to go and then I'm done.

I need to play a few more games with the Tau army to get them tournament ready. But they've got the mobility, they've got the firepower and they can even kick some serious bottom in close combat too. Fear my Tau! They are angry Tau.

I'm still savouring the look on Dagmire's face when the Tau Commander and his Battlesuit bodyguard charged his squad and murdered them. Hopefully the same expressions can be infliced at the Carnage tournament this year.

I'm afraid there's no time for a Forgeworld Tau Battlesuit building tutorial this time. But trust me when I say it's just like painting a Tau Battlesuit, but you have to base coat them before you glue them together. Otherwise you'll never get your brush into the nooks and crannies.

Now to knuckle down and finish those Tau Broadsides, then comes the slow and painful process of painting Tau tanks.

Tau Battlesuit Weapons

March 13, 2009 · 31 comments

March 13, 2009

Which weapons to give your Tau Battlesuits is a tough question for many Tau players. Tau Battlesuits have the widest choice of weapons, so there are a wide range different Tau Battlesuit configurations, often with fancy names that few but the die hard Tau players can remember.

I'm taking my Tau army to the Carnage tournament in just a few weeks, so I've taken the time to playtest all the various Tau Battlesuit weapons and combinations in 5th edition 40K. Some popular choices I found to be weak, a number of specialist choices were extremely limited by their armament while the classic 'Fireknife' configuration was impressive, if expensive. Then there are the experimental weapons like the Airbursting Fragmentation Projector and Cyclic Ion Blaster.

Plasma Rifle/Missile Pod/MultiTracker

The 'Fireknife' combination is one of the most expensive set ups, but one of the best. There's nothing like dishing out 3-4 high strength shots for each of your squad members. Monstrous creatures, space marines and light vehicles have a tough time against this unit, mostly due to the high strength, although the AP2 plasma rifles certainly come in handy, especially when in rapid fire range.

Low AP weapons are a must have in a Tau army when you have access to so few, which means Tau can struggle against Space Marine Terminators.

While the combination is expensive, it's quite devastating. One of my friends fields a Shas'el with 2 bodyguards armed in this way, plus some targeting arrays thrown in so that the whole unit his on a 3+. While expensive, the squad is guaranteed to slaughter whatever they shoot at and often finish it off in close combat too.

I've seen people field 'Fireknife' teams of 2 battlesuits with 1 of them upgraded to a team leader with a targeting array as a budget option to the Command team.

Plasma Rifle/Fusion Blaster/MultiTracker

The same cost as the Fireknife configuration, this close range monstrous creature, tank and Terminator killer lacks long range firepower, which can be crippling against certain armies. Great as a unit to hold in reserve which can come on and obliterate anything nasty in your deployment zone.

I've never seen anyone field these, even though they're often posted online. I personaly prefer the range of the Firekife team.

Twin Linked Fusion Blaster/2 Shield Drones

The suicide unit of 4th edition. Usually 1 Battlesuit on his own, deep striking next to a vehicle. With Kill Points to be considered no one takes his choice anymore and in truth, I always felt it was too risky taking it in 4th edition. But then, some people are VERY lucky with the Scatter Dice.

Burst Cannon/Missile Pod/MultiTracker

Cheap, cheerful and destructive! I've had great fun with this squad in preference to my usual 6-man Stealth Suit team. For just a few points more you effectively swap 3 burst cannons for 3 missile pods, higher toughness, higher strength and a couple of shield drones on a team leader with bonding knife to boot!

The obvious appeal of this team is that while being cheap, they pump out lots of shots, making short work of infantry while being able to engage targets at range with their missile pods. A nice versatile unit and not too pricey. An affordable choice instead of the Fireknife team for smaller games.

Flamer/Twin Linked Missile Pod

Since 5th edition, this configuration has exploded across the internet, although it was increasingly popular towards the end of 4th edition.

The missile pods are designed to engage targets at range while the flamer burns troops that get too close. Originally people took this unit as a cheap elite slot to jump shoot jump from cover, but some clever chap realised that for 1pt more they could ditch the black sun filter that filled the compulsory third hardpoint for a flamer.

In 5th edition they're used very much the same way, but jump shoot jump from behind a Tau tank. Some players equip this unit with a single missile pod and twin linked flamer in favour of burning more troops at close range as a counter unit for anyone engaging the tank that they're hiding behind.

Plasma Rifle/Cyclic Ion Blaster/MultiTracker

Typically a choice for a Tau Commander, the plasma rifle takes out armoured targets while the ion blaster hoses down light troops with its 5 shots (usually hitting on a 2+) and often scores a single rending his as well. You have to give the ion blaster to a Tau commander who hits on 2+ to make the most of all those shots. Some people have talked about swapping the plasma rifle for a burst cannon to gain maximum shots.

Airbursting Fragmentation Launcher/Twin Linked Missile Pod/MultiTracker

Also typically given to a Tau Commander, this unit acts much in the same way as the flamer/twin missile pod battlesuits, taking refuge behind a Tau tank, then making jump shoot jump attacks with the missile pods against range targets and hitting light troops at close range (usually in cover) with the Air Bursting Frag Launcher. Some players often swap the twin missile pod for twin linked flamers for maximum troops killing in cover.

Final Thoughts

Generally, you will only field 2 Tau Battlesuit teams in a game, unless you're going up to 2,000pts. One of those teams will most likely be the command team, unless your Tau Commander likes to go it alone.

I've adopted my friend's Tau Command team configuration, simply because it's hard as nails and blows everything away. 3 Tau Battlesuits hitting on 3's with plasma rifle and missile pod will kill almost anything (especially when rapid firing). The best part is that you don't have to risk the unit's safety to ensure a kill. Your guns are range 24" and 36" so you can dance around at a distance as much as you like. The other close range units will certainly die should you have a bad dice roll.

The problem with flamers

I know it's 5th edition and the age of the cover save, so everyone has gone flaming crazy. But can Tau Battlesuits afford to go flaming? I don't think so.

While some players seem to be keen on the counter units, I can't help but wonder "What the hell are you doing huddling in your own deployment zone?"
The Tau can't afford to get too close, not without being certain of a kill. The Tau also can't win a battle out outright attrition where one unit kills another, then another unit kills that unit. We just don't have the numbers.

It's been proven that Tau die if they just sit there and wait for the enemy to come to them. So how are flamer battlesuit in an offensive roll? Not very good, because they can only move 6" and shoot while enemy bikes, landspeeders, wartracks and even jetbikes can move 12" and use their flamers. Don't even get me started on the Hell Hound!

So for the most part you're shooting your missile pods. Missile pods are still good, after all they have the same stats as an autocannon (dakka dakka!), but you could get so many more shots for your points. And now that everyone and his squig seems to get a cover save of some sort, the Tau need all the shots they can get.

You need multitrackers for maximum shots

You need all the shots you can get to reap all the kills you can get. This means the more shots your Tau Battlesuits can pump out the better and the higher the strength of those shots, the better.

This puts missile pods at the top of my Must Have list. In fact, it's thanks to this weapon that Tau Battlesuits can become so versatile and engage targets and light vehicles from afar. Combine it with a relatively long ranged gun like the plasma rifle or burst cannon and you can safely fire away and keep your distance.

This means that multi trackers are essential for all your Tau Battlesuits. Because why would you want to fire a twin linked missile pod when you can fire a burst cannon as well for practically the same points? Plus it makes them far more versatile for taking on all manner of targets.

When you can no longer afford to specialise due to the need for more troops, you have to choose your weapons wisely. So if you can engage all types of targets up close and from afar, then it doesn't matter which army you end up facing.

As a wise man once taught me...okay, it was Neil, you have to be patient with the Tau, then strike the killing blow. You chip away at your opponent slowly and wittle them down. The long ranged firepower of the Tau Battlesuits works in the same way, with the jet packs being able to safely carry you away after firing.

Then you can leisurely shoot an enemy squad from afar for a number of turns, then charge in and wipte them out rather than sit behind a tank, jump out at the last minute with your flamers and pray that you kill enough of them, which I feel is a recipe for disaster should you have a bad set of dice rolls.

I'm sure that some people will disagree with me, but this is what I have found works and makes deep striking my Tau Battlesuit teams far safer and more destructive, because they will almost always be in range of their target.

Finally, always give your Tau Battlesuits a couple of shield drones. It horrifies me how many players don't, then see their elite choices get butchered. Shield drones don't just give you a 4+ invulnerable save, they strike at Initiative 4 in close combat as well. "Wwwiiiirrrr....DONK!"

40K Battle Reports: Tau VS Ravenwing

March 11, 2009 · 0 comments

March 11, 2009

Time for a quick 40K battle report. I scribbled down a 1,750pts Tau army list on Sunday and took it to my mate's place to play 40K on his terrain for a change. So my Tau army left their home turf for this battle report, swapping urban grey surroundings for a mountainous region with trenches and pine tress.

Now James has got his Ravenwing army down to a tee. It's such a strong list and so straightforward that you can just switch of your brain and play it, which I quickly discovered.

So, to see if my Tau army list (not my Tau army tactics) was any good, I gave it to Gung-Ho-James who has never played an army that doesn't charge forward screaming. And if he has, he made it run forward screaming anyway!

This meant it was up to me to use the Ravenwing and for James to use his brain and get tricksy with the Tau. Although he just mimicked the sneaky things I usually get up to.

The Ravenwing Army consisted of Sammael in his Land Speeder and 4 maxed out Ravenwing squads with all the trimmings.

The Tau Army included a commander with 2 bodyguards and shield drones, 3 lots of firewarriors in devilfish, a stealth suit team, some kroot (woot for kroot!), a broadside team, a hammerhead and a skyray.

We rolled for mission and set up, getting Annihilation with Dawn of War deployment. It was a bit slow to start and turned into a real game of cat and mouse, so I'll just go over the highlights of the game.

He won the roll and proceeded to deploye the Tau command squad behind a devilfish with firewarriors inside at the centre of the table. Meanwhile I deployed Sammael in his speeder in the middle of my deployment zone...then failed to seize the initiative.

Turn 1 passed by peacefully as the Tau army came on and the Ravenwing remained in reserve, outflanking.

In turn 2, two markerlights from the skyray hit Sammy, knocking his cover save down to 6+ while the Tau broadside team locked on. One of them scored a penetrating hit, which pleased James as he said "Let's see you roll a 6!"

And his jaw hit the floor when I did. Ha!

The Hammerhead fired its railgun and missed.

James then realised WHY I'd put Sammael there. I wanted to see how many railgun shots he could absorb.

In the following turn, Sammael was able to penetrate the Skyray front armour with his twin linked assault cannon and rolled another 6, causing an explosion! Sammael quite clearly has the luck of the devil and I still wonder why so many people insist on taking him on a jetbike.

The Tau army rapidly advanced into the centre of the board, spreading their units out, then the Ravenwing began to roll on. And much to my irritation, all the Tau units were more than 24" away from the sides of the table. My melta guns were useless and my multi meltas only had Strength 8 against armour 13 vehicles.

What followed was Ravenwing bike squads getting wiped out by sheer mass of firepower. Turbo Boosting makes no difference when the guns hitting you are Strength 5, AP 5.

Both sides took damage throughout the game, although it was plain to see that had James not surged everything forward he would have still been within firing range, but wouldn't have suffered so badly in return.

Other highlights included Outflanking Kroot charging a Ravenwing bike squad, killing them all, then consolidating into some woods for a 3+ cover save. Kroot always amaze me considering they cost just 70pts for 10.

The game ended on Turn 6 and the Tau were on the run. But there was no way I could catch them or inflict any more damage before the game ended. Both sides had scored 7 kill points and when we counted up the victory points they were also the same.

James has a love of deep striking units, which I don't share.
This led to the almost immediate death of the stealth suit team, while the second battlesuit team did die instantly as they scattered and splattered on Sammael by rolling a 1 on the Deepstrike Mishap Table.

Had this unit arrived safely, the Ravenwing would have lost the game by a substantial margin because they're nearly 200pts and would have shot things...a lot.

I'm going to play some more games and hopefully write up a better battle report next time. Hopefully with better photos too! My camera can do great close up pics, but for aerial views and the like, it's pretty awful. I need to figure out all the settings.

Vote Results: should he stay or should he go?


March 11, 2009

The votes for the fate of Tau Commander Brown are in!

40% said: Keep him, he's a beautiful!

34.8% said: He needs more work...lots of work.

25.2% said: What the hell is that? Bung it on eBay.

Feedback was taken from emails, blog comments and real life comments, including my mate James who just looked at me and said "Oh dear."

If 60% of people have said to chuck him or that he needs more work when he is most definitely done, then he's certainly not up to scratch.

So I have concluded that "Commander Poo-Slice" as another friend affectionately named him will be pimped on eBay.

Thanks for all your votes in helping me to confirm that this paint scheme was both bad and wrong. Sorry for the lateness of this conclusion, I've been reformating my PC.

5th Edition Tau Tournament Army

March 7, 2009 · 3 comments

March 8, 2009

5th edition 40K has brought many changes to my Tau army and with a tournament looming just three weeks away it's time to finalise my Tau army list.

I only discovered I had to make a Tau tournament army for 5th edition when James asked if I was ready for Carnage. He couldn't believe that I didn't have a Tau army list prepared when the tournament was just three weeks away, which means that I not only need to finalise my list, but paint some stuff very quickly!

Carnage is a Warhammer and Warhammer 40K tournament, run by Simon Tull. While there tend to be a number of Carnage Events run throughout the year, the one at the end of March is the biggest and takes place at Warhammer World in Nottingham.

For a Londoner, (or Hertfordshirean if you prefer) this means a wild weekend of cheap booze, easy women and some great venues to enjoy like Rock City and my favourite pub The Pit & Pendulum. And we'll play 40K during the day as well.

Last year I took my Tau army to the field for the first time in the big game of Hide & Seek that was Warhammer 40K 4th edition.

I got spanked for my troubles until game 5 when I was properly MURDERED by a Grand Tournament regular (cheers Neil!).

So we swapped armies and played another game. He slaughtered me even faster than before, but was happy to outline the essential tactics and philosophy behind playing Tau. Which essentially, is to be patient, causing minor damage, then when the enemy is within short range, jump out and murder them, then jump back.

Taking this more patient approach to my next game (instead of "Raaawr! For the Greater Good! Dakka dakka dakka!"), I quickly outmanouvered my opponent and gunned down tanks, men and even his commander in a short succession of turns.

In the end I finished 8th overall, which was pretty good considering how horrendous some of my earlier games had been. But then, I did have the extra points from conversions, squad marking, paint scheme, army selection, best army nomination and sportsmanship.

Although I feel that all of these (apart from sportsmanship) shouldn't have any reflection on your total score for playing games. It's like having a really close fought game which ends with a draw on objectives and a draw on victory points...but then your opponent wins extra points because his army is 'pretty'.

Sorry there haven't many painting tutorials, modelling guides or tactics lately. 5th edition has been a bit of a curve ball for me and having only played a handful of games with my Tau army under the 5th edition rules, it's going to take a fierce tournament to cement the facts about the army in my mind.

The next couple of weeks I'll be painting up some Devilfish, the Forgeworld Tau Broadsides I bought and other random Tau bits. Hopefully I'll get a few games in as well. But you can expect a big tournament report when I get back from Carnage with photos of my games as well as the best army nominations, etc, etc.

Voting for the Tau Commander ends on Monday evening!

VOTE: should he stay or should he go?

March 6, 2009 · 24 comments

March 6, 2009

I've finished my inverted Tau Commander and I'm still not sure if he's any good. I guess it goes to show that if you paint a bad colour scheme quite well, you can still pass it off alright.

So it's going to have to come down to a vote. But to help you decide, here's a new photo of the finished Tau Commander next to some of his chums.

To vote, simply comment (annonymous folk can do this too). Don't worry if you can't see your comment after making it. I need to approve all comments before they go public to prevent spam.

The choices are:

1) Keep him, he's cool
2) Flog him on eBay

Your time starts....NOW!

When Paint Schemes Go Wrong

March 5, 2009 · 3 comments

March 5, 2009

As part of my army expansion I thought I'd build a couple of alternative Tau commander models. But how would I make them stand out from the crowd of already heavily converted battlesuits? I'd invert the colour scheme of course!

Who knows what madness inspired me to do this. I also converted my commander with a different head, taken from the scanner on the Markerlight drone. So not only does he look strangely brown indeed, but his face resembles that of a blow up doll.

But, I'm going to finish painting him. Then bung him on eBay.

Okay, I'll admit that he actually looks quite good. The only problem is that he looks too different to the rest of my army to fit in. Plus, due to his crouching position, he's very short and all my other battlesuits tower above him.

So let that be a lesson to everyone -stick to what works. Don't try and 'whacky stuff' unless it's on a test model. A £12 Tau battlesuit should not be a test model.

Tau Army Building

March 3, 2009 · 5 comments

March 3, 2009

"Bloody hell, how much stuff have you got?"

Dagmire exclaimed while I packed my Tau army away over curses about his Sister of Battle and their flamers and Faith.

The sight of 24 Tau Stealth Suits nestled in their foam tray obviously worried him. That's 18 Tau Stealth Suits with 6 spare Stealth Suits armed with fusion blasters just incase the need should arise.

I thought it was time to totally unpack the case and have a look at exactly what I've got in my Tau army. That way I know what's yet to be built and painted, as well as all the stuff I need for the future.

The Tau army looks quite impressive as it stands, but it needs more -so much more! I'm hoping for an Apocalypse game against James's Dark Angels army which comes to around 6,000pts.

I don't think I'll have enough on my own, so I'd better rope a couple of local Tau players in to join forces against the Ravenwing, Deathwing and mechanised Space Marine armies under the Dark Angels banner.

Finished -sort of

So let's see here, I've got

3 hammerheads (weapon variants are in the case)
2 Forgeworld Broadsides, 1 devilfish, 8 pathfinders
1 Crisis Battlesuit team with plasma rifle/missile pod
1 Crisis Battlesuit team with burst cannon/missile pod
24 Tau stealth suits
10 kroot
48 Tau firewarriors.

I have a few bits to paint here and there.

I've also handed 3 Piranhas over to my comissioned painter.
Some say he has brushes for fingers
and that his only refreshment is Liche Purple.
All we know is, he's called Dave. (ref: Top Gear)

In Bits or in Boxes

Lovingly stacked inside a spacious box are 4 Tau skyrays, 4 Tau battlesuits and 2 Forgeworld broadsides.

The skyrays will become Devilfish with Smart Missile Systems. That allows me to mechanise all 4 Tau firewarrior teams. Then I'll flog the spare weapons on eBay to get some cash back.

3 of the Tau battlesuits with be armed with twin missile pod and flamer, then the last suit will be converted into my brand new Tau Commander with plasma rifle and missile pod. Obvious armament, but it works.

I NEED more stuff

So now it comes down to what else I want/need for the Tau army. Crisis battlesuits are top of the list, but I'd like to play some more games with my 3 different weapon configurations first. In some games the plasma rifle/missile pod combo has been awesome while in other games it has been overpriced and not very effective.

Great for killing monstrous creatures though.  So I'd like some more of them. The burst cannon/missile pod combo makes an interesting replacement for a squad of Stealth Suits, but I can't see the need for more than one of these teams. Twin fusion blaster is a little too close for my comfort, especially when railguns do the job perfectly well and from 72" away and the burst cannon/missile pods are cheaper and more versatile.

I'm also planning a second Tau Commander, but this one will be armed with twin flamers and an airbursting fragmentation launcher to flush enemy troops out of cover. I think he could be awesome against outflanking units who come to steal my objectives and horde armies in general.

That's all for now. I have some serious painting to do!

Don't Just Stand There!

March 1, 2009 · 3 comments

March 1, 2009

Just got back from another evening of gaming at the Essex Warhounds club in Hockley. If a game could go wrong and I mean really wrong, it was this one. I forgot the fundamentals of Tau gameplay, which is to keep moving, keep shooting and for the love of god, stay out of assault (unless on your terms).

As a result, I let myself get hemmed into my own deployment zone while the Kroot and Stealth Suits were useless with little to shoot at for the whole game...until they got obliterated.

What I should have done was split my forces and shoot my opponent's slow moving army from all directions. With so many units to chase and very little long range firepower, I should have been laughing.

I never seem to learn anything when I win games. But when I lose, I learn a lot.
Got to say though, Sisters of Battle are a strange army to play against. At a distance you can slap them around and call them Susan. But once they're up close, flamers and faith really rip you a new one.

Everything was going so well until an Immolator rocked up 12", disembarked 5 sisters with 4 flamers and a brazier, joined by the cannoness who proceeded to inflict 17 flamer hits on the Stealth Suits, coupled with an Act of Faith that makes all roll of 6 to wound AP1. Bye bye Stealth Suits. No surprise really, as I'd let them get hemmed in with nowhere to go.

Instead of frantically firing at the transport, I should have simply ran everything away like a coward and shot him from the safety of greater distance next turn. While I often call 5th edition 'gung ho 40K', often the most decisive turns of a game are when there is very little or no shooting.
But I am dubious about my opponent pulling out an Act of Faith at any and every given moment. Need to read up on that. Surely you can't simply announce them in the same way you announce that you're Going to Ground?

The game of Secure & Control with Dawn of War deployment started well for me though with a pimped out Devilfish (smart missile system, targeting array, multitracker, disruption pod) with Tau Battlesuits hiding behind it being immune to all guns in range while allowing me to hammer a sisters squad straight away.

After that the positioning of my units wasn't so hot and I got cluttered around the middle as I sacrificed any strategy in favour of quick kills while trying to cling to an objective. But it's not like you can just park on objectives with Tau and say "These are mine" as you can with other armies.

The Tau Battlesuits performed brilliantly again. They even surprised my opponent when they charged his Seraphim squad, absorbing the squad leader's power weapon attacks on the shield drones before giving them all a good kicking with their 10 attacks at Strength 5.

The Tau Broadsides were okay. Once again they suffered from needing more firepower against troops and light armoured vehicles, or being too slow to move anywhere fast. I'm consiering bucking the trend by losing their Advanced Stabilisation System which gives them slow and purposeful while equipping them with multitrackers instead.

Then I can move and run them into a suitable terrain peice and leave them to blast away at various targets without a worry. So that's something to try out.

The Tau Skyray was a bit of a disappointment, although this was due to getting trapped in the middle of the board.

So in conclusion, I knew what I should have done and now I'll be more prepared for the future. Tau are a tough army to play and winning doesn't come easily, but they're still great fun and can really scare the heck out of your opponent when his squad vanishes from a single volley of fire.

Now to play some more games...

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Warhammer Tau is a group of wargamers who feel that they have a little something different to offer other Tau Empire, Kroot, and allied players... even if it's just a starting point for discussion! Our goal is to produce at least one article per week to inform and encourage the Tau and Warhammer gamer community. For the Greater Good, of course!

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