New Tau Battlesuits Concept

September 28, 2009 · 34 comments

The Farsight concept miniature at Games Day UK has sparked a lot of interest online. Ironically, Farsight and the new Pathfinder sculpts were both at UK Games Day 2008, but relegated to a bottom level shelf which many missed. Had a friendly GW staffer (who wasn't hysterically happy!) not pointed me to it, I would have missed it like so many others.

It's a fantastic model, taking elements from a variety of anime mecha sources before mashing it all together into a very distinct Tau look. The shield, plasma rifle and sword are all incorporated in a style that mimics the number of Tau battlesuit conversions you see online.

While Farsight and the Pathfinders will never go into production (because they were test models), the Tau are beginning to have a distinct new look and development of aesthetics thanks to modellers and the efforts of Forgeworld who produce some very nice Battlesuits. Most notable of which is the new XV9.

Someone snapped a picture of the XV9 at Games Day all painted in a drab military scheme similar to the typical Tau colours.

Judging from these miniatures I think that this is the way the Tau army will be going in the future in terms of colourscheme and design.

The Tau battlesuit model is horribly outdated. The same goes for the Broadside battlesuit and both kits are incredibly weak at the ankles.

So while the future for the Tau Empire looks bright, for the meantime we will have to sit and wait and see what happens. But Games Workshop needs to do some proper army development for our blue-skinned race (a la Orks, Imperial Guard and Space Wolves) or they may as well let Forge World produce the new Tau Empire codex.

Railguns VS Battlewagons

September 24, 2009 · 17 comments

September 24, 2009

On Sunday Marc came round for some more games of Warhammer 40K. His Orks were back, but this time the Tau were ready for them. Well, as ready as they'd ever be.

As someone who does not believe in tailoring their army list to beat a particular opponent, I had developed my Tau force to better take on all comers.

The fact that I had twin linked missile pods for light armour and flechette dischargers on all my tanks is just a happy coincidence. Oh, and smart missile systems, which are essentiall for extra range and more shots on the move.

Only after making the upgrade did I realise that I could only fire 1 burst cannon and the railgun on my Hammerhead whilst moving.

We played 2 games because game 1 was over in about 15 minutes. I deployed only my long range anti-tank units and Marc set up opposite the Broadsides.

The Skyray moved into markerlight range, hit the Big Mek's Battlewagon with both markerlights, which were used to knock the 4+ cover save down to 6+ for the Broadsides, who (hitting on 3+ with rerolls) penetrating the Ork vehicle and blew it up.

With the side armour of Ghazghull's Battlewagon exposed, the Tau Hammerhead moved into sight, hitting it in the side armour with its railgun.

Marc failed his 4+ cover save and this Battlewagon was also destroyed.

Stranded in the corner Marc quite rightly conceded. But the second game was tougher!

Game 2

The strength and weakness of this Ork army is the Battlewagons. Unfortunately your first 2 turns will tell you how the game is going to go. If you can destroy the Big Mek's and Ghazghul's Battlewagons by turn 2, you're likely to win. If not, you're like to die -screaming!

This second game was Kill Points and Table Quarters. Marc set up as close as possible to the centre of the table, while I set up in my quarter as far back as possible.

Please note that I was VERY careful with my unit placement. I had to be over 42" away from him. This would give him Turn 1 to move 13" (red paint job) and in the following turn call Ghazghull's WAAAGH! for a total move, disembark, fleet and charge of 29". That would give me 2 turns of firing.

Well, I got my 2 Turns of firing. Thank god some of my reserves had shown up to fire their missile pods into the side of the Big Mek's Battlewagon, otherwise it would never have blown up!

My luck was atrocious, which meant it was time to see how the game would go if I COULDN'T blow up 2 Battlewagons in the first 2 turns.

Please note: I was a complete dufus and parked my Hammerhead on top of a building where it immobilised itself in the following turn.

By turn 3 I had managed to destroy two of the Battlewagons, but by then the Orks were into me and 1 Battlewagon was still operational. The Skyray had been torn out of the sky, Snikrot's Kommandos had outflanked from behind the Broadsides, dissecting them in short order before making their way to the immobilised Hammerhead. Although its flechette dischargers took a horrific toll on the Orks.

The Orks stranded on foot were gunned down by massed Tau firepower, but nothing substantial enough to wipe out the Big Mek's mob in a single turn. So it took 2 turns instead.

The Orks proceeded to chase the Tau around the edge of the board (in the usual Tau way) as Tau firepower did very little and the skimmers kept moving away. Thank god this game wasn't with multiple objectives!

The game ended on Turn 6. As always, I could have done with it ending on Turn 5, or continuing to Turn 7, but that's just sod's law.

Had I placed my Battlesuits a little better, I could have killed his trukk with another round of fire (instead of just immobilising it) and kept my Skyray and Hammerhead alive for another turn. But hey, we all make mistakes. I'll just have to learn from them.

Now to look forward to Marc unleashing his Ork Biker Nobz which he will be replacing Snikrot's Kommandos with. I'm short on firepower as it is, so that should prove interesting to say the least.

Marc killed: 1 Broadside Team, 1 Skyray, 1 Hammerhead and 1 squad of Tau Firewarriors
I killed: 2 Battlewagons, 1 Ork mob, 1 Big Mek
Result: Draw

A few mistakes on my part. Marc could have been more aggressive with his Battlewagon charge at the start of the game, but it made little difference.

God help me when Marc swaps Snikrot's Kommandos for Biker Nobz, because then I will be screwed. I'm sure I don't have the firepower to put them down as well, but we'll see.

Overall I'm pleased with how the Tau army played, even if I did waste a whole 15 minutes deploying 3 units while working out the attack range of Marc's army over 2 turns in relation to their position on the board. But the revised Tau army list works!

The anti tank units drew the Ork army in while the rest of the Tau army arrived from reserve on the opposite flank and fired missile pods into the side armour of the Battlewagons.

Flechette Dischargers didn't get to do much. Although 3 turns of firing the flechette dischargers into some Orks inflicted a lot of casualties, but the tank still got smacked by a power klaw and killed. I could drop them and get another Tau Battlesuit.

Now there's something to think about.

Tau XV-9 Hazard Battlesuit from Forgeworld


New for the Tau is the XV-9 ‘Hazard’ Close Support Armour, an original battlesuit design intended to act as a powerful counter-attack unit and mobile weapons platform. A recent addition to the Tau arsenal created in response to heavy losses incurred during the bloodiest phases of the Third Sphere Expansion, the XV-9 is one of the most complex and advanced combat systems the Tau have ever put into wide production, requiring a veteran’s skills to master in combat in service of the greater good. Designed by Daren Parrwood, the XV-9 is larger than a standard crisis suit as you can see Here and looks sleekly lethal. This first version comes equipped with two twin-linked burst cannon.

We should have a limited supply of this model available at Games Day UK, and the model will go on general release later in the year.

Another advancement for the Tau Empire from Forgeworld.
Essentially this is another Tau Battlesuit with +1 toughness, 2 twin linked burst cannons and vectored retro thrusters (which nobody uses).

When I saw the thumbnail for this models on the Forgeworld Newsletter I squealed like a little girl. But then I had a closer look and I must say that I'm not that taken with it.

Thank god it's a Fast Attack choice though. Tau need all the fast attack choices they can get!

Having seen the previous Forgeworld Battlesuits and the new Farsight concept model (which will never be released) at last year's UK Games Day it seems like a serious technological redesign of the Tau may be on the cards in the far future.

We'll see what the future brings, but in the meantime, I'm not enthralled by this model -which is a shame. Although all Tau Battlesuits need toughness 5 if you ask me!

Broadside Swan Dive

September 20, 2009 · 11 comments

This evening my Forgeworld Broadside took a swan dive off the breakfast bar and into the ceramic kitchen floor.

There was a crash, an expletive and hasty assessment of the damage.

As you can see from the photo, gluing the leg armour to the fit definitely formed a strong hold -because the break goes across part of the leg armour.

I hate Tau Broadside models. Someone sneezes and they break and it's usually the ankles. The same goes for Battlesuits, but the later casts seem to have thicker or at least stronger ankles.

The right knee has also come unglued, so this is going to take some careful gluing to get a strong and secure hold again. But those ankles are going to be weaker than ever from here on in.

By the way, I played 2 games this evening. Won 1, Lost 1. More on those later.

Lower Standards = Faster Production

September 19, 2009 · 11 comments

I'm an incredibly fussy painter. This fact is of much amusement to my friends, because I can't resist hand painting icons, perfect orange stripes and other painstaking details.

Things get worse. Tau were meant to be my 'speed paint' army despite being the neatest of all my Warhammer 40k armies -ever! Who'd have thought that a base coat and a highlight, plus some orange stripes would be so time consuming?

It takes me 2 days to complete a Tau Battlesuit. It takes James 3 hours (at the most) to finish 10 Space Marines.

I've been reworking my army a lot recently and I have to confess that I dread adding new units, simply because it takes SO LONG for me to paint anything. Meanwhile James is dry brushing his Dark Angels and Marc is stippling his Orks (for a nice rust effect). They're both dirty painting methods, but the results are good and the production rate is quick!

Now that I've hopped back aboard the Space Wolves bandwagon with Big Jim, it's time to think about production speed. Not only for my new Space Wolves army, but for the Tau army too.

When we were at Warhammer World last weekend we saw some fantastic armies. Most of which had only been quickly painted. They were for the most part a basecoat, perhaps a wash and a drybrush. I looked closely at a few and thought "Hey, I could do that!" and without feeling any guilt from not giving my models the utmost attention to detail. Si Thorne's Ork Biker Nobz army was testament to a simple paint job being more effective than painstaking highlights that could only be seen right up close.

So when I saw these Tau Battlesuits on the new GW blog, I thought "Hey, I can do that!"

I like the simple Robotech inspired colourscheme, the relatively dirty look, all quickly achieved with dark grey washes over a white basecoat with some additional damage added with a bit of sponge. The cuts, holes and scrapes are also a nice feature. It's certainly not clean, but it does look good and best of all, it's quick!

Painting at speed is what's holding me back in the hobby. I can buy and build stuff at an impressive rate, but I can't paint it fast enough.

I'll have a chat to James (master of the drybrush) about painting my Tau (and Space Wolves) in a similar scheme. But essentially, it's time to swallow my pride and simply paint an army.

This means selling my current Tau army after the Grand Tournament and starting afresh. I plan to build my favourite 1500 points Tau army list first, then expand again from there.

So I'm going to be painting both Space Wolves AND Tau. Should be fun!

They'll Keep Fighting -And They'll Win!

September 17, 2009 · 18 comments

Okay, that's the ending slogan for the movie Starship Troopers, but the Tau are back, with another revised battle plan. They'll keep fighting -and they'll win!

James came over last night to play video games, but ended up talking about the Tau Codex and how to make a better army list -for 3 hours!!

He was just as horrified as Marc at how overpriced everything in the Tau codex is. But, James was far more positive, reminding me how I give his Ravenwing a run for his money and always manage to beat an opponent (eventually) through incredibly sneaky tactics. He's not wrong, however the most influential thing he had to say was "Just accept that you're going to die."

An interesting philosophy you might think. But what James means is: Don't worry about keeping everything alive, just play them to their utmost tactical potential.

So deploy the Broadsides in the corner and keep firing until an outflanking unit tears them apart if you have to avoid faster units coming down the middle. And most importantly -put everything that's not effective in the early turns of the game in Reserve. They can get killed later and hopefully react to the enemies actions.

As for revising my army list (again), my problems before came from not being happy fielding Kroot, Pathfinders or Piranhas. I don't care what other people say, they're too slow, too fragile and in the case of the Piranhas -far too expensive.

So I've gone back to my previous Tau army list and addressed which units are under performing and HOW they are failing to meet their survivability and kill quotas.

1500 points Tau army list

Tau Shas’el with Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Multitracker, Hardwired Drone Controller with 2 shield drones
2 Bodyguards with Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Hardwired Multitracker, Targeting Array

Tau Battlesuit Team
2 with Twin Linked Flamer, Missile Pod
1 Leader with Twin Linked Flamer, Missile pod, Hardwired Drone Controller with 2 shield drones

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

Hammerhead with Railgun, 2 Burst Cannons, Multitracker and Disruption Pod

Skyray with 2 Burst Cannons, Target Lock (comes as standard), Targeting Array, Multitracker and Disruption Pod

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

The Good
The best stuff in this army is the general 12" movement of all units (apart from the Broadsides), my reliable Tau Battlesuit Command team all armed with plasma rifle, missile pod and hitting on 3+. Expensive, but awesome.

Having a mechanised army really helps when it comes to the horrendous numbers of heavy bolters and other anti infantry weapons. Disruption pods are equally awesome.

The Bad
Units that let me down are the Broadsides unless they get help from the Skyray
The Skyray, because it seems to spend all its time (and markerlights) helping the Broadsides
The Tau Battlesuit team with twin linked flamers and missile pods

The Remedy
The Broadsides are easily fixed by losing Assisted Stabilisation Systems (slow & purposeful) and giving them Targeting Arrays (+1 BS). Then I can just park them on a hill and leave them to shoot. This way they don't need the expensive Skyray to help them every turn.

The Skyray is a tricky one. Everyone seems to rave about markerlights, but are they really that good? Well, yes they are when something absolutely has to die and a hard hitting unit can make the most of those markerlights to slot their target good and propper.

I think my Skyray tactics have been pretty poor when I could have been firing more seeker missiles. While I could pay 10 points more for another Hammerhead with a railgun (which is awfully tempting), 1 in 2 shots seems to get deflected by 4+ cover saves and with my 1 shot railgun, it's usually that 1 shot which gets ignored.

BUT, if I think of the Skyray Missile Turret at firing 2 Krak Missiles per turn (at range 36"), then it's suddenly a much more offensive tank. Might be worth giving it a smart missile system so that it can move 12" and fire ALL its weapons. Now there's an idea!

Finally, I come to the Tau Battlesuit team with twin linked flamers and missile pods. This unit either does nothing all game and then has a moment of glory with the flamers. Or they fire missile pods desperately and do nothing all game.

Twin linked missile pods and single flamers are slightly more expensive, but definitely a more reliable choice. I'd then be able to hit with a much higher percentage of shots and more likely destroy or at least immobilise more vehicles. The flamers are still there as a nice counter attack for troops huddled around one of my tanks.

Other failings of the army include not being able to deal with hordes of troops while the tanks get smacked out of the sky when they get charged, even when the attackers need 6+ to hit. But I also have a remedy for this!

1500 points Tau army list

Tau Shas’el with Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Multitracker, Hardwired Drone Controller with 2 shield drones
2 Bodyguards with Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Hardwired Multitracker, Targeting Array

Tau Battlesuit Team
2 Battlesuits with twin linked missile pods and single flamers

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

Hammerhead with Railgun, Smart Missile System, Targeting Array (comes as standard), Multitracker, Disruption Pod, Flechette Discharger

Skyray with Smart Missile System, Target Lock (comes as standard), Targeting Array, Multitracker, Disruption Pod, Flechette Discharger

2 man Broadside Team with Targeting Arrays
Leader, Hardwired Drone Controller with 2 shield drones

Changes Made
You will have probably noticed that I've given all my tanks flechette dischargers. These babies wound anything on 4+, regardless of toughness. You still get a save of course, but that's still very damaging to mobs of Orks, Nids and anything else charging my tanks. Usually it's softer units that are likely to charge them.

One of the biggest problems in my last game was a tank getting charged, because once it's been charged, it can be charged again and again due to its movement of 12". Foot slogging Orks need only move 6", then charge 6". Of course with flechette dischargers, a 16 strong mob would get wittled down to around 9 models after charging. No Ork player would want to do that 2 turns in succession. I doubt few Space Marine players would happily charge 10 marines at one of these tanks now! Either way, it greatly helps to wittle down enemy numbers.

Hopefully I can play some more games on Saturday.
Until then!

Orks VS Tau - Another Attempt

September 16, 2009 · 9 comments

September 16, 2009

Disheartened by my three dreadful games this weekend, I arranged another game against Marc's Orks, this time with a revised list.

I took a squad of Kroot to Outflank and either assault or run for an objective, some Pathfinders on recommendation from a few tourney players, a couple of piranhas for some much needed melta guns and a second Hammerhead in place of the Skyray. I also gave the Broadsides targeting arrays instead of Assisted Stabilisation Systems.

Game: Secure Ground (3 objectives)
Deployment: Pitched Battle
Players: Marc, Orks, VS Adam, Tau Empire

In the meantime, Marc had also modified his list, ditching the killa kans and deff dread in favour of Snikrot and 15 kommandos equipped with 2 burnas.

This unit would then be held in reserve and could come on from ANY board edge, preferably in the turn that Marc calls his WAAAGH! for maximum movement and close combat potential.

We rolled off. Marc chose his table edge, set up 2 counters in it, while I placed 1 counter in mine. He set up first and went first.

His deployment was pretty straightforward and would plow straight down the board, veering off in whatever direction took his fancy.

I also deployed centrally to make the most of my firepower for a single turn with the intention to then break off into two halves. I knew he could only come for one half of my army (or so the text book for his army implies).

However, due to the slow and fragile nature of my units, I wasn't convinced by this! But what the hell. I was also cautious to stay away from the board edges as best I could to avoid Snikrot and his Kommandos who could quite easily decimate Battlesuits and tanks alike with little effort.

The Orks sped toward the Tau gunline cheering wildly. The Tau formation began to break apart, blowing up the Trukk with the Battlesuits and destroying the Big Mek's Battlewagon with railguns.

In the following turn Ghazghull called his WAAAGH!! and the Orks surged forward. The Trukk mob slaughtered the Pathfinders, the Big Mek's mob charged the a Devilfish, but were only able to stun it.

Ghazghul jumped off his Battlewagon, then charged and killed all the Battlesuits before his Nobz retinue could get a look in.

The Ork Boyz in the last Battlewagon charged another Devilfish and destroyed it.

Seeing that all was lost, the Tau skimmers made for the Ork deployment zone, far away from the Orks!

The Hammerheads opened fire on the Battlewagons, along with the Broadsides, destroying one Battlewagon between them.

The Hammerheads used their target locks to combine their smart missile systems with that of the nearby Devilfish, killing a handful of Orks.

One of the Devilfish was too slow to get away and got charged by the Big Mek's mob again and was immobilised.

On the left flank, the Hammerhead was hit by a rokkit from the nearby Boyz squad, glanced and stunned, so it couldn't move or shoot.

Ghazghul killed all the Broadsides before his Nobz could get a look in yet again.

Snikrot didn't arrive from reserve.

After a few turns of stunned or immobile skimmers and brutal close combat, only a single Hammerhead and 6 Tau Firewarriors on foot were left, huddled around an objective in the Orks deployment zone.

The Big Mek's mob had been sent fleeing, as had Snikrot's after they had torn apart the Kroot in close combat after the alien mercenaries had Outflanked from reserve and run towards and objective.

With all the transports gone it was up to the Orks to make their way on foot towards the Tau firewarriors.

On Turn 5 the Tau Hammerhead sped towards the objective in the Tau deployment zone, hoping that the game would end. Then the Tau would scrape a victory by contesting the Ork held objective while Tau Firewarriors claimed an objective in the Ork deployment zone.

But the Hammerhead fell short and the game continued for another turn.

The Hammerhead was torn apart by Ghazghul while his Nobz squad who walked off on their own gunned down the Tau firewarriors from a distance, killing 3 of them and forcing a break test, which they failed, leaving the objective unclaimed.

In hindsight I should have spaced my forces out right from the start and begun running much earlier. I would simply have to accept that whatever Snikrot attacked when he and his Kommandos came on would die.

Then again, I'm still not fast enough to get away from all the Orks.
God help me when Marc swaps Snikrot and his Kommandos for some Nob Bikerz.

I had a chat with Marc after the game and he made some suggestions. Then I told him how much each of my units cost and his attitude changed.

"So they're like the Grey Knights," he said "overpriced for what they are and not very good under the new rules."

I'm going to give the Tau another whirl, this time I'm dropping the Pathfinders because they were useless, dropping the Piranhas because they're too expensive for a suicide squad, giving ALL my tanks flechette dischargers and have a 2-man Tau Battlesuit team with twin linked flamers and single missile pods.

I probably won't get another game in unil next weekend - so stay tuned!

40K Weekend at Warhammer World

September 12, 2009 · 10 comments

September 12, 2009

This weekend I have been mostly playing Warhammer 40K! Friday morning we all bundled into the car and drove up to Warhammer World, stopping off for a McDonald's breakfast along the way and a cup of coffee.

Friday was a relatively relaxed affair with just the three of us playing. Although we did bump into a few people who said they'd happily come for a game on Saturday.

First up, James wanted to test his semi-static Space Marine list against Marc's new Ork army (hastily glued together the night before).

Considering that both James and Marc made a few mistakes in their game, the Space Marines enjoyed a convincing win, drowning Ghazghul and chums in a torrent of plasma, melta and sniper rifle fire. Meanwhile mobs of Ork boyz were beaten down in close combat as the wave of Orks smashed apart on the rocks of James's army.

We broke for lunch at Bugman's bar before it was my turn to face the Orks with the might of the Tau Empire.

40K Battle Reports

Game: Capture & Control
Deployment: Dawn of War
Players: Marc, Orks, VS Adam, Tau Empire

Ghazghul Thrakka, 5 mega armoured nobz
Battlewagon with rokkit, grot riggers, death roller and red paint job

Big Mek with kustom force field
12 Orks: including Nob with powerklaw, rokkit
Battlewagon with rokkit, grot riggers, death roller and red paint job

12 Orks: including Nob with powerklaw, rokkit
Battlewagon with rokkit, grot riggers, death roller and red paint job

12 Orks: including Nob with powerklaw, rokkit
Trukk with rokkit, grot riggers, reinforced ram and red paint job

3 Killa Kanz with kustom mega blasters
1 Deff Dread with big shootas

I took my usual 1500 points tau army. The game started in favour of the Tau after baiting Ghazghul into the open in order to smash up the Skyray, which was a mere inch out of charge range! Unfortunately even the entire Tau army firing at Ghaz and chums couldn't wipe out the squad and the Skyray was charged, hit on a 6 and exploded. In the following turn the Battlesuit Command Team wiped out the rest of the squad with their plasma rifles and missile pods. Angered by this the Ork army charged forward as one towards the Tau tank line, which fell back firing.

It was at this point I discovered that I simply didn't have the anti-tank to deal with this army. 3 Battlewagons, 1 trukk, 3 killa kans and 1 dreadnought were too much for 6 missile pods and 3 railguns.

I continued to fall back, but not fast enough as he gained on me every turn. Calling a WAAAGH!, the Big Mek and his squad charged a Devilfish, hitting it on a 6 with a powerklaw (isn't it always the way) and destroying it. In retaliation, the Tau Battlesuit team with twin linked flamers stepped in and annihilated the entire squad. Later they did the same to a second Ork squad after another Devilfish had been torn out of the sky of course.

With almost all the Ork troops wiped out, surely I'd have nothing to worry about? WRONG! The Battlewagons advanced en masse, mowing down any surviving Fire Warriors, Tau Battlesuits and Broadsides with their Death Rollers.

The game ended with the Orks controlling 1 objective. Of the Tau, only the Hammerhead had survived.

With that, we packed up, walked to our hotel (the long way round), watched some TV, then walked back to Nottingham centre for a night at The Pit & Pendulum.

Saturday morning, we arrived back at Warhammer World to find the car park heaving and Bugman's bar overflowing with people. It turns out that a Horus Heresy era campaign weekend by the Tempus Fugitives was being run. So there were lots of awesome armies and conversions to see. Luckily Games Workshop only ever lets out half of their gaming hall, so we still had plenty of tables to play on.

A couple of guys I'd contacted previously and Glenn, who we'd bumped into the day before showed up for some games.

While James played a Sisters of Battle player with his Ravenwing and Marc unleashed his Orks against a Blood Angels player I'd been chatting to (whose friends hadn't bothered to show up!), I was set to play Simon Thorne and his Ork Nobz biker army.

I've known Si for a few years now through various tournaments. Our first game had been a tough one between Deathwing terminators and Tyranids. The game was so close, we'd always wanted to play another, but it never came about -until now!

Game: Capture & Control
Deployment: Dawn of War
Players: Si Thorne, Orks, VS Adam, Tau Empire

Warboss with power klaw, cybork body, bike
8 Ork Biker Nobz with varying junk for wound allocation and 6 power klaws + Painboy

Warboss with power klaw, cybork body, bike
8 Ork Biker Nobz with varying junk for wound allocation and 6 power klaws + Painboy

Yes, that's it!

Well, we knew how this game was going to go, so I set up to basically open fire with my entire army on one of his units and hopefully wipe it out.

Turn 1, everything fired on one of the squads, inflicting 6 wounds, but killing nothing.

I couldn't move fast enough to get away, so over the course of the game, he ate a few units each turn, I inflicted some wounds each turn until he had just 8 Ork biker nobz left. I could have got a draw on Turn 5, but overlooked how I could have sacrificed a unit. If the game had gone on another turn, then I certainly would I have lost anyway.

We took a quick break to look at many of the Heresy era armies on display. Most of the armies were basecoated, washed and drybrushed, but looked surprisingly good for it. Then again, I had been inspecting Simon's stunning Ork Biker Nobz army only to find that up close it was a very basic paint job. Looks great on the table top though! Certainly something to think about when it comes to painting my armies quickly.

My next opponent was Glenn More. I played Glenn at Carnage 2009 and we had a really close game. I wanted to play him ever since, so today was my chance. The tactics that had served me well before was to blow up his transports, then shoot the squishy stuff.

Game: Secure Ground
Deployment: Dawn of War
Players: Glenn More, Eldar VS Adam, Tau Empire

Eldar Avatar

Farseer with singing spear, fortune and doom
5 fire dragons + exarch with fire pike
wave serpent with twin linked star cannons, spirit stone

9 dire avengers + exarch with bladestorm
wave serpent with twin linked bright lance, spirit stone

3 jetbikes, shuriken cannon

3 jetbikes, shuriken cannon

1 Vyper jetbike with shuriken cannon and scater laser

1 Fire Prism with holofield and spirit stone

1 Wraithlord with wraithsword, flamers and bright lance

1 Wraithlord with flamers, bright lance and eldar missile launcher

I spent the first turn firing at the Eldar Avatar and managed to immobilise the waveserpent carrying the dire avengers with the Broadsides. After that I just struggled to kill anything. Missile pods and rail guns bounced harmlessly off eldar skimmers, while the plethora of smart missiles in my army had little to shoot at but an Avatar who had 'Fortune' case on him, so he took forever to die.

It was another game of everything surging towards me, my units falling back, but not falling back fast enough (because they're slow!) and dying a slow death while being able to kill very little.

With my weapons ineffective and having no close combat potential, Glenn was free to zoom all his units right in my face, knowing that I could do nothing while his high strength weapons and superior mobility took my units apart.

In the meanwhile, James and Simon had been playing the toughest game of their lives as Ravenwing bikers and landspeeders clashed with Ork biker nobz. I wish I'd taken some photos! The game ended in a very close draw. Simon's nobz had simply sat on the objectives and weathered fire because they couldn't risk chasing after any of the Ravenwing units and abandoning the objective. But as Simon said, if one of his units hadn't broken and fled he would have won -testament to the sheer hardness (if bland nature) of his army list.

After this Simon went home to spend some time with his missus while Glenn joined us in Bugman's for a drink for a drink and a bite to eat. I went for the lasagne again to play it safe while Glenn ordered the chilli con carne. I wish I'd ordered the chilli too, because it was huge! James and Marc came back from their cigarette break and did the same. Somewhat disheartened by my three staggering defeats, I ordered the biggest slice of chocolate fudge cake you've ever seen.

Even though I was obliterated in all 3 games, I had a fantastic time meeting up with people and playing Warhammer 40K.

As for the Tau army, it's evident how much it struggles in 5th edition now that people know what 5th edition Warhammer 40K is all about. In fact, it's getting more like Warmachine where armies revolved around special characters, long ranged shooting does little and getting right in your opponent's face with short range, high strength attacks and hard close combat units will win your games.

Does this sound like the Tau to you? Well, no of course it doesn't.
But to address this change in the game, I've decided to give my army list a reshuffle, throw in more high strength, low AP guns and generally harder hitting stuff. The kroot are back too, so let's see how they do!

Warhammer World Weekend

September 10, 2009 · 5 comments

I'm off to Warhammer World for a weekend with a few friends to play Warhammer 40K. I'll be back in a few days with photos and battle reports.

The plan is to drive to Nottingham tomorrow morning, go play games in Warhammer World, drop our stuff off at the Travel Lodge and saunter into town. In Nottingham town centre we'll probably end up in The Pit & pendulum (because Rock City is rubbish on a Friday!) and stay until kicking out time, find a bar somewhere. Drink til they kick us out and then wander back to the hotel.

Saturday, we've arranged games of Warhammer 40K against some people we often see at tournaments. I'll be meeting up with Simon Thorne who boasts and beautiful Tyranid army, but is planning to unleash his latest Grand Tournament army upon my Tau army. His friend Matt (another Tau player) is also coming along...and probably someone else as well. I for one fear going up against Marc's new Ork army. But I'm sure it's nothing that railguns, markerlights and missile pods can't cure.

I expect to get 3-5 games of Warhammer 40K in this weekend. So stay tuned for photos, battle reports and shots of the Warhammer World museum.

I Eat Space Wolves For Breakfast!

September 8, 2009 · 12 comments

The Space Wolves will be here next month, but it seems that the Space Wolves Codex has already been spilled across the forums. So is the new Space Wolves army something to be concerned about for everyone else who isn't hopping on the Space Wolves bandwagon?

Whenever a new Codex comes out, the Warhammer 40K community seems to lose their minds for a little while...until they get a few games in and give the new army a kicking. The Orks were no different, the Imperial Guard were no different and few people really raised an eyebrow about the latest Space Marine Codex...apart from Vulkan Hestan.

Having read the new rules, I can confirm that the Space Wolves truly are close combat monsters and that they are more costly for all their wolf claws and special characters.

But wait a moment, if they're more expensive and only effective in close combat, that doesn't pose much of a threat for the Tau army does it?

When it comes to blasting apart Space Marines (which I'm particularly fond of), it's actually easier to wipe out a squad wearing power armour than a larger squad of cheaper troops in cover. So by that logic, if the Space Wolves army as a whole is going to be more expensive, that will mean LESS models to wipe out.

And as the Tau don't really do close combat (except against squishy things), the Space Wolves upgrades don't give them an advantage.

So for the Tau, it will be business as usual against the Space Wolves, albeit less long range firepower and probably more melta guns up close.

Pop the transports, kill the fast stuff, then shoot the troops at your leisure and speed away if things get too close.

In the meantime, I have 1 last Tau Battlesuit to paint before Friday. I'm really looking forward to Saturday at Warhammer World. I haven't played 40K in ages!

Space Hulk Week

September 6, 2009 · 2 comments

Space Hulk arrived on Tuesday. Since then I have been playing lots of Space Hulk. I've now played the first 4 Space Hulk missions as both space marines and genestealers and it's been a blast!

We've had fun with the door switches. A Genestealer with a door switch is a fantastic way to waste overwatch ammo...well, until the assault cannon blew a hole straight through the door, then shredded the Genestealer who was hammering the Open/Close button.

It soon become apparent that you need to destroy some of the doors, which makes the space marine with the chainfist invaluable. Similarly, the Genestealer player needs to use a variety of cunning ploys to stop himself from getting hosed down by storm bolters, set alight by the heavy flamer or simply smashed round the head by the thunder hammer. Yes, the space marine sergeant armed with thunder hammer and storm shield is a close combat monster!

In Space Hulk mission 2: 'Exterminate' we discovered just how good the thunder hammer sergeant was when a huge Genestealer swarm got into the central room which was being defended by all 5 terminators. When the space marines' guns jammed or they couldn't get any more overwatch shots, the sergeant decimated whatever was left in close combat in very short order. Suddenly there were only 3 blips left, so I sent him off down the corridor on his own, screaming "For The Emperoar!!" He killed 8 more Genestealers before the last one ripped him apart. Awesome.

Space Hulk is fantastically tactical in everyway for both the space marine player and the genestealer player. While it's nice to let the space marine player win so you can continue the narrative, the genestealer player has a tough time once the space marine player knows what they're doing. But there are even more tactics to exploit for the genestealer player.

Like all the games we play, they start out relaxed and friendly, but like Warhammer 40K, Space Hulk is going to escalate into something quite fun and competitive.

For anyone using the egg-timer, we suggest throwing it away. It's supposed to run for 3 minutes, but we timed it and only got 2.2 minutes. Also, we've played some fantastically tactical turns that have turned the tide of a battle which wouldn't be possible under the 3 minute time limit, simply because you wouldn't have time to get all your shots off.

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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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